SoberMan Podcast (formerly Al Berman Live from a Studio Apartment)
Sure – He’s performed stand-up comedy in some of the top venues in the country.
Sure – His ability to act has led to work in T.V., film & commercials as has his ability as a song writer and musician gotten him recognition internationally.
Whether you’re sober or not, this is the podcast for you!
“I laughed so hard, I forgot to call my dealer!” – Current Drug & Alcohol User
Jacked Up On Coffee Now Meditate
Al talks about the difficulties of building an audience with his podcast, possibly moving to another country, a guy sleeping in a car outside his apartment building, the release of his hip hop comedy video, planning a trip to visit his family and a love match on Instagram.
Two Guys Named Joe
Al talks about his dad, an upcoming trip he is planning on taking, people asking their Facebook community for medical advice, considering moving to Thailand or the Philippines, a documentary about The Black Panthers, a strange name for a bakery, finding a new place to get his car smog checked and a place that makes great falafels.
A Short One
Al is dealing with some serious family issues so no real show this week.
The Answer Is Really Blowin In The Wind
Al talks about how he used to live next door to gang members, how he's about to release a music video and a children's book, a unique emergency landing, learning about the Santa Ana Chill, how he has sometimes acted like a jerk, unsweetened cranberries and broken English
Do They Ever Clean Restrooms In The Park
Al talks about the enormous amount of podcasts that currently exist, age discrimination in show business, how meditation is improving his life, the consequences of too much coffee, AT&T trying to get his internet business back again and tis the season for Girl Scout Cookies.
Vegan Lady Craving Meat
Al talks about the wonderful Los Angeles weather, learns the difference between Sue and Suzie, showing appreciation to others, changes in Facebook, trying to delete U2, and a warm and fuzzy UPS story.
Al Berman has branded himself Soberman, because he stopped drinking and doing drug decades ago. His podcast is mostly about his day to day activities while living in a room in North Hollywood, California. In fact the podcast was previously titled “Live from a Studio Apartment in North Hollywood California. Then the location was dropped on the advice of a friend.
Listeners can depend on stories of his visits to various supermarkets like Gelson's, Whole Foods, Ralphs and others and his trips to the prepared hot food items. For example one story was about his trip to get meat at the meat counter on April Fools and the clerk said there wasn’t any meat left. April Fools. Al responded in kind by saying that he had wanted a pound after the clerk gave him half a pound. April Fools. But the clerk knew better. The clerk knew that Berman always asks for half a pound.
Speaking of pounds, though Berman has successfully fought his drug and alcohol demons, he’s had less success with food, which he frequently calls the original drug. By his own admission, Berman is a slave to ice cream, and frequently has a freezer full of the stuff. For fun, he takes photos of the ice cream and shares it with friends.
As well as entertaining thousands of listeners, peaking at 8K, Berman uses the podcast to mine for comedy material like the April Fools story.
Berman asks for listener feedback but only positive feedback saying if you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything at all. For example, recently a subscriber had complained that a longer story where Berman treated himself to a pedicure and waited an inordinate amount of time to get service while one client after another walked in and was helped. Berman complained and discovered that those people had made appointments and so he then decided to make an appointment as well with the pretty girl he was talking to. Berman got the “Tropicana” where the pedicurist wrapped warm towels around his calves which he greatly enjoyed.
The Soberman podcast subscriber had complained that the story didn’t have a payoff, that it wasn’t funny. Burman responded in his next podcast telling his audience that it was just him sitting in his kitchen looking at his microwave, that he had no one helping him and there is no way he could make a funny 30 minute podcast a week and reiterated that the point of the podcast was to look for material and sometimes it just isn’t there.
This may have been a tipping point for the podcast because Berman could have made THAT funny. Maybe listen back to it with his audience dissect it like a listener would, maybe even eat ice cream when he’s listening, mock criticizing. Something. It came across as defensive instead of using it as an opportunity to be inclusive and to grow the show. These days, anyone taking a moment to comment on something you’ve done, they are doing you a favor.
Berman has said from the beginning that he subscribed to Twitter too late and doesn’t understand it, saying it’s a platform for people who are doing a lot of talking and not a lot of listening. He finds that he’s been burned by getting followed by someone on Twitter so he follows them only to later discover that he was unfollowed.
Many times Burman has said that social media is “all a bunch of selling folks,” meaning no one is buying. No one is listening. People are only really friending or following with a purpose to sell something. He had an hopes for Twitter when he met a woman and they chatted all night. But mostly Twitter has been a bust.
The idea of Social as a promotional tool makes Berman uncomfortable for the reason stated above. One example is when a repurposed podcast was posted on his Facebook page saying that he had a job offer from Google for 80K. He got a lot of congratulatory notes from Facebook friends and found it frustrating to tell people that no, it wasn’t true. This was a jumping off point set up by his marketers to promote the podcast.
Berman prides himself on being a people person and it appears to be mostly true. He likes to engage with clerks who serve food, park cars, clean his room, and the general contractors that service his room and building. He buys ice cream and spends time with people who park cars. He also bought a homeless man a bottle of sprite and about $8 who had offered to clean his windshield.
Though Berman will be the first to admit that he has a short fuse when it comes to poor customer service and he is not treated with respect or respect for his intelligence or when he’s been cheated, like in the case of the pedicure. He compared two Thai restaurants across town. Once who treated him poorly and charged for extra vegetables and one who treated him well buy sliding him a huge amount of extra chicken. He become intolerant when he orderd food for pick-up later that night and the clerk couldn’t understand what he meant. Or when a grocery clerk placed his ice cream and his hot macaroni and cheese in the same bag or when a recording demonstrates a way to say a date. He was angry at a neighbor who talks to him while he smokes cigars in his van or when two fellow comedians didn’t ask what he was doing. After he listened to what they were doing. He was angry when a man behind him at the meat counter coughed on him, when a man refused to get out of his way while in a small isle at Gelson's. He once bought three bowls of food from a Thai food place and called them asking if the bowls were microwavable and was offended when the clerk said, “of course,” as in ‘how would I know? If it was of course then I wouldn’t have called.”
Berman was a musician in the 80s when he was doing drugs and had several No. 1 songs in Europe. He says that he came up the same time as Elvis Costello, or just before Costello and had the same sound. He does. Listening to his music, which he bumpered at the end of a handful of podcasts, the sound of EC is present. It’s good hard punk/rock.
Berman wrote a song for a Jamie Kennedy project, not JKX,
A must listen! Soberman will win you over!
Great podcast from the charming, charismatic and hilarious Al Berman. He's a great time and his off-the-cuff observations are priceless!
Awesome! One of my favorite podcasts. Al is a truly original comic.