Feast of Fools Podcast Breaks Records

Thu. March 23, 2006 12:00 AM by GayWebMonkey.com

Chicago, IL - In June 2005, Apple Computer took podcasting to the mainstream when support for subscribing to programs was added to the iTunes Music Store. A show created by a Chicago gay couple and their friends was already very popular in the new medium, but The Feast of Fools suddenly became a driving force in the world of Podcasting.

Every weekday, co-hosts Fausto Fernós and Marc Felion cross global lines and barriers and strive to reach listeners from all walks of life and locations via the Internet. Since last June, as thousands of new podcasts have become available for download and The Feast of Fools remains on top. The show is regularly ranked in the top 15 comedy podcasts on iTunes, and is the only gay themed podcast in their list of "Top 100 Podcasts."

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Fausto Fernós moved to Austin Texas at the age of 16 to enroll in art school at the University of Texas in Austin. When he was 18 years old he started the "SoftMen Show" above a alternative clothing store in Austin Texas legendary music community, Sixth Street. In 1996 his solo performance work was featured by The Cleveland Performance Art Festival, the world's largest festival of experimental art and live theater at the time. Recently, the festival's curator Thomas Mulready held a retrospective exhibition titled "Confessions of the Avant-Garde" featuring 20 prominent artists who had performed in the Cleveland Performance Art Festival in the 1990's. In the mid 90's Fausto Fernós had a successful cable access show "El Chow De Faustina" where in drag won him "Best Cable Access Show" by the Austin Chronicle in 1995 and was featured on the cover issue with Texas Governor Ann Richards.

Marc Felion works full time as a bartender who lends an ear to the woes and troubles of many men and women in a local Jazz piano club. A long-time bartender, Marc loves to talk to anyone about anything, and has traveled the world meeting all sorts of interesting people, from American military bases in Germany to the highest mountain in the Andres. Marc's gentle nature and inquisitive spirit makes him a perfect co-host.

Every show is downloaded on the range of 6000-8000 times a month, with an average weekly distribution of 30,000 downloads. As a result, The Feast of Fools podcast is Chicago's #1 podcast and is consistently ranking higher in the iTunes Top 100 than such notable personalities as Howard Stern and even the President of the United States. No other gay-themed podcast has more listeners.

Every weekday the Feast of Fools posts a brand new show. Fernós and Felion act as anchors to their incredible, but real, Menagerie of friends. During an average show, The Feast of Fools features news reports, original cocktail recipes, and celebrity interviews. Known among their fans as the "Love Boat of Podcasting", ship captain Fernós and first-officer Felion manage to attract an impressive array of eccentric celebrities like: John Waters, Kathy Griffin, Teri Garr and Dee Snider.

A number of shows begin with an original cocktail recipe that pays tribute to a special guest. The recipe features unique ingredients that give a fresh take to old classics. Examples include the "Organic Cosmopolitan" (a tarter version of the popular drink made with unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate); and the "Dancing Queen,"(an unusual and flavorful combination of pear sake and energy drink).

The hosts often conduct a roundtable discussion on current news and trends with a unique humorous perspective that is a rarity in the mainstream media. Panelists reveal an inclusive view of minority culture (Gay, Latino, African-American, and HIV-positive), which makes it accessible to everyone who listens.

Being an independent media, podcasting allows the hosts to go to places where the mainstream cannot and will not. Feast of Fools "sound-sees" around the world have included: - A bus ride with Anti-War activists to a rally at Cindy Sheehan's in front of President Bush's Texas ranch. - A walk through the deep parts of the Puerto Rican rainforest. - A frank discussion of Chicago's sexual underground at the world's largest Leather Conference. - An intimate rummage through Illinois State Rep. Sara Feingenholz's office refrigerator.

Occasionally, the Feast of Fools podcast also produces unique video podcasts that touch upon the absurd and the ridiculous, referencing old nickelodeon movies and documentary narratives.

The Feast of Fools recently celebrated its first anniversary and will soon be delivering the 250th episode. Listeners can download past episodes or subscribe to the show at the iTunes Music Store or by going to www.feastoffools.net.

Article provided in partnership with GayWebMonkey.com.