53 episodes

Before binging, there was cable. Welcome to Basic!, the official podcast bringing you the unofficial history of cable TV. Go behind the scenes of a glorious time in pop culture, when shows like MTV’s ‘The Real World,’ ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter’ and AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’ made basic cable a must-have for every American home. With the help of guests like Jimmy Kimmel, Cindy Crawford and Amy Schumer, hosts Doug Herzog (former network executive at MTV, Comedy Central, Fox) and Jen Chaney (TV critic at New York Magazine/Vulture) explore basic cable history through the experimental shows, ground-breaking creators, and Zeitgeist-shifting trends that defined the medium. 2023 Signal Arts & Culture Listener’s Choice Award Winner. Part of Pantheon Podcasts.

Basic‪!‬ Pantheon Plus

    • TV & Film
    • 4.7 • 98 Ratings

Before binging, there was cable. Welcome to Basic!, the official podcast bringing you the unofficial history of cable TV. Go behind the scenes of a glorious time in pop culture, when shows like MTV’s ‘The Real World,’ ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter’ and AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’ made basic cable a must-have for every American home. With the help of guests like Jimmy Kimmel, Cindy Crawford and Amy Schumer, hosts Doug Herzog (former network executive at MTV, Comedy Central, Fox) and Jen Chaney (TV critic at New York Magazine/Vulture) explore basic cable history through the experimental shows, ground-breaking creators, and Zeitgeist-shifting trends that defined the medium. 2023 Signal Arts & Culture Listener’s Choice Award Winner. Part of Pantheon Podcasts.

    John Mulaney

    John Mulaney

    John Mulaney joins us for a "wide-ranging conversation," including his first job answering phones in Doug's office, the reason behind his trademark suit, and his current fascination with the Van Halen brothers. We also talk ‘SNL’ and Stefon, fatherhood, and how former chaos in his life led to his brilliant new Netflix special, ‘John Mulaney: Baby J.’
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    Eric André

    Eric André

    Eric André teaches us the art of pulling the perfect prank, the perils of doing his own stunts, and reveals the weirdest note he ever got from Adult Swim’s Standards and Practices department.
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    • 51 min
    Trevor Noah

    Trevor Noah

    We enjoy a Moment of Zen with Trevor Noah this week when he joins us to discuss his journey from Johannesburg to ‘The Daily Show,’ and his decision to ultimately leave the series.
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    'Top Chef''s Padma Lakshmi

    'Top Chef''s Padma Lakshmi

    Padma Lakshmi stops by to see what's cooking on the podcast this week, talking 20 years of 'Top Chef,' her love of indigenous cuisine, and changing the world through food.
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    • 48 min
    John Slattery from 'Mad Men'

    John Slattery from 'Mad Men'

    Pour yourself a martini, because ‘Mad Men’ star John Slattery is joining Jen and Doug to discuss the art of smoking fake cigarettes, how he almost played Don Draper instead of Roger Sterling, and the great chemistry he developed with co-star Jon Hamm.
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    • 49 min
    Pauly Shore

    Pauly Shore

    Hey buh-dee! Pauly "The Wiez" Shore joins Jen and Doug to talk ‘Totally Pauly,’ the pitfalls of quick success, and why watching his old movies makes him sad.
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    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
98 Ratings

98 Ratings

NorCalWahoo ,

Cable’s golden era through the eyes of the people who made it

Stumbled on this show after John Mulaney promo’d his appearance and completely fell down the rabbit hole. As an elder millennial, these guests completely fall in the cultural sweet spot of my childhood/early adulthood. As good as the guests are, I’d listen to a show with just Doug if only to hear all the stories he has about his role in shaping cable programming and culture over the years.

Jesse W Jackson ,

So many cool guests

Doug and Jen do a wonderful job of bringing a wide arrange of guests discussing so many wonderful stories. More please!

fjfbhwidcj ,

Anything but basic

Love this podcast and love having Doug Herzog in my head. Insightful and filled unmatched anecdotes. And delightfully funny. If you love TV, you will love this podcast

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