The dumb nonsense that's so worth it at Crossroads Comedy 

That's How I Remember It podcast and live show returns to Crossroads

click to enlarge Michael Mongiardi, John Richardson, Sharjil Rasool and Raul Delgado
  • Michael Mongiardi, John Richardson, Sharjil Rasool and Raul Delgado

Do you remember that one part in that one part of that one movie? Yeah, me neither.

Luckily, there is That's How I Remember ItThat's How I Remember It podcast and live show returns to Crossroads. The podcast-turned-live-show is comprised of four Toronto-based improvisers, Michael Mongiardi, John Richardson, Sharjil Rasool and Raul Delgado, who are good friends as much as they are good improvisers. Michael Mongiardi, one of the members who founded the podcast in 2013, answered a few question about the group's growth and their transition from podcast to live show. This will be the group's second year performing at Crossroads Comedy Festival.

NUVO: Your show sounds like you all are having a great time when you do it.

Mongiardi: Yeah, and that's kind of the feedback we get a lot. We all were very close friends before we even started this idea. So I think people like how our friendship comes through, and it's very light and fun and it's just friends messing with each other. And I think that's fun to listen to.

NUVO: How do you feel the show is different if it's in front of a live audience or if it's solely a podcast?

Mongiardi: It's definitely different. It's a different feel. I think we all prefer the live audience because you get that instant feedback. If you're doing something that's funny you get laughter from the audience and then you know, "Oh, that's what they like, so do more of that or do more stuff like that," and just having people there and recording it, it's cool because that exact event was recorded forever and you can hear it later and you can hear the laughs and it feels more real!

NUVO: Do you think the dynamic between the four of you is different when you are doing it live versus when you do the show as a podcast?

Mongiardi: Yeah, it's different. It's even more high-energy when it's in front of an audience. 'Cause often when we record it we're sitting down in seats and John adds in sound effects later, but when we're doing it live the sound effects are being added live. We have a sound guy now, which is a new thing we've added in the last six months. We have a guy who does sound effects for us so he surprises us with little things. If someone is holding a gun, for example, then if he hits the gunshot button on his keyboard then we have to deal with the fact that the gun just went off. So instead of us deciding that that happens, it's reversed when we're doing it live. He call the shots a lot of the times. No pun intended.

NUVO: That's really fun. So that's like having a whole other member to the group.

Mongiardi: Yeah, it's really fun and we're bringing him to Indy, which we're really excited about. It's going to be our first festival with him.

NUVO: What about the specific form of podcasting do you enjoy?

Mongiardi: You can listen to it at anytime at your own pace. And anyone can listen to it. If we had a show in Toronto and people came out to see it, the audience would have however many people and they would see the show and then it's gone forever and no one ever see it again. But [our show is] online, from back to the first episode, which we recorded three years ago, someone somewhere in the world in some city in Europe could just find this podcast somehow and listen to something we recorded years ago. So that's kind of cool. We get emails all the time from all over the world and it's always really fun and exciting. It's just like, "Wow. they are listening to our dumb nonsense."

NUVO: That's got to feel good.

Mongiardi: It feels great and it's really unique. Both John and myself have always been podcast fans. And there weren't a lot of people in the comedy community here doing it. We thought it's such a cool medium and it's not even new anymore. It's pretty much in the zeitgeist now. But no one here was doing it so we wanted to start doing it and hopefully start it with a couple more people from the community and get a podcast thing going and now there are a bunch more and it's fun. And now we're guests on each other's shows and share ads on each other's podcasts and it's kind of like a little mini community.

NUVO: Do you have a favorite type of movie to imitate? Like when you hear from the audience you think "Alright. Here we go. I'm ready."

Mongiardi: We love '80s movies. I think it's because they are just so rich with tropes. You know the classic '80s ski movie or the '80s buddy cop movie or whatever. The '80s were a time when the genres were very clearly defined, and there's just so much to make fun of there and to play with. Also, John and I both grew up in the '80s. The other two are younger.

NUVO: Is that a thing you run into every once in awhile where you realized the younger guys don't get this?

Mongiardi: Sometimes yeah, but surprisingly not. Especially with Raul, he's the youngest, but he must have just been raised by a television because he's seen every movie and his reference level is the same as mine and he's 12 years younger than me. I don't know how it happens. I think he might be a robot. But Sharjil, his knowledge is much less, and that's always fun because when something comes up, it's always a joke that he doesn't know the movie. And it kind of adds to the fun [of the show] because we have one guy who is clueless a lot of the time.

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