Happy Belated First Birthday to Nathan Rabin's Happy Cast

Harris Wittels, guy from Islands, me and Scott Aukerman

Harris Wittels, guy from Islands, me and Scott Aukerman

On November 8th this here website reached another milestone when its official podcast, Nathan Rabin’s Happy Cast, officially turned one. I’ve got to admit that the anniversary snuck up on me, although as I get older and more decrepit my sense of time gets fuzzier and more indistinct. I’ll remember as a recent event something that happened fourteen years ago. 

I honestly thought the podcast was only eight or nine months old and while it would be an exaggeration to say that the podcast has been part of the website from the start it has been a major component of the Happy Place for most of its existence. It has played a huge role in determining the personality and content of the site. Many of the site’s core features, like Scalding Hot Takes, Control Nathan and Clint and of course the podcast itself come directly from Happy Cast. The podcast has pushed me ever so gently back into the general direction of film criticism with Scalding Hot Takes and while Control Nathan and Clint has the same basic idea as Control Nathan Rabin, Control Nathan Rabin 4.0 and the patron-exclusive Control Nathan Rabin, getting to share the exquisitely terrible experience of watching these films with my cohost Clint as well as you adds a whole new rich dimension to the project. 

I love having what a therapist ex-girlfriend of mine refers to as a “process moment” with Clint and guests over our shared trauma watching movies like Saving Christmas, Kazaam and Peppermint. Jesus. Fucking Peppermint. Now there is a real piece of shit. 


It’s the collaborative aspect of Nathan Rabin’s Happy Cast that I enjoy the most, the way it pulls me out of my shell and increasingly hermetic existence and allows me to talk about the things I love—terrible movies mainly—with people I like and respect. We’ve had the pleasure and the honor of having as guests ridiculously talented luminaries of the bad movie podcast world like Elliott Kalan and Dan McCoy of The Flop House, Andrew Jupin and Eric Szyska from We Hate Movies and heavyweights from the world of serious film criticism like Amy Nicholson and Alonso Duralde, who was our first guest and our first repeat guest on today’s episode.

We’ve had a lot of amazing guests. There have been times throughout the year when I got off a recording feeling a natural high, having just done a really satisfying episode with a guest I adore. That’s a wonderful feeling. 

We have not, however, had a lot of trappings of podcast success. We’ve never done a live episode. We’ve never done a festival. We haven’t been wined and dined and seduced by a billion-dollar podcast networks eager to get into the Nathan Rabin and Clint Worthington business. In terms of things like “money” and “patrons” we’re not doing so great. Let’s just say we’ve often reached our exceedingly modest goal of one new patron every two weeks but just barely. 


We were lucky enough to have some ad reads for early episodes, which was nice, and fun, and also affordable at just twenty-seven dollars per ad/episode sponsorship. But we haven’t had any in a while so if you want to help sell your good, product or service and help us out give it a shot! As the kooks over at Mad magazine might say, twenty-seven dollars for an ad is comparatively inexpensive. 

As I’ve probably made all too apparent, I cannot go an hour without obsessively checking the analytics for the website. Yet I have somehow managed to make it an entire year without knowing how many people listen to the podcast, how many times it’s been downloaded or whether we’re gaining or losing listeners.

I made a choice not to know our listenership numbers because I was worried that nothing good would come of it, that it would just make me feel like a failure. I feel like it would be opening up a Pandora’s Box of anxiety and negative self-talk and depression so it’s enough for me to merely know that we’ve been struggling to get one new patron and one mailbag question per episode.

The thing is, I’m not doing this for the downloads or the hookers or the cocaine. No, I’m doing it for the challenge, and the pleasure of working with Clint in a medium that I love as a fan and a listener and because it keeps at least one toe in a world of professional pop culture media I feel like I’m spiraling away from more and more each day, as I build this site into my own little online paradise away from the stress and unrelenting pressure of the business.


In conclusion, listen to Nathan Rabin’s Happy Cast. Rate, review, subscribe. Also, give us money and invite us to festivals and advertise with us, because we’re good, I think, or at least Clint is, and we’re only getting better! Our self-confidence is through the roof, and soon our “numbers” will be as well. 

I make my living through Patreon so you can totally give me money over at http://patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace or, alternately you can give money to me and Clint (but mostly Clint) over at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappycast/posts