Thursday, May 10, 2018

Interview With John & Rachael of YaJagoff Podcast

I've been a big fan of John Chamberlin and his Ya Jagoff website for many years now. I even have an entry in his book, Above The Fries though I'm still waiting for my first royalty check. I've also listed to the Ya Jagoff podcast since its inception, enjoying the interviews and keeping up to date with the happenings in Pittsburgh, even though I'm not there to enjoy them.

When I dislocated my wrist in January and wasn't able to type with two hands for about two months, I knew that I wouldn't have the time or ability to write blog posts as often as I'd like. Therefore, I contacted several friends to see if they were interested in writing guest posts or get interviewed (since this meant less typing for me). John and his co-host Rachael Rennebeck graciously accepted my invitation, so enjoy this fun interview about everything you wanted to know about the Ya Jagoff podcast!

The YaJagoff blog was around for many years before the podcast began. How did you decide to start podcasting?

John: The blog started with the first blog post on 1/1/2011. The blog post was about Mother Nature being a Jagoff by having it too warm here for the Winter Classic game. The podcast started, Light Up Night, 2016. We recorded from Dave DiCello’s store. The podcast started because, I had asked for some professional advice from internationally known social media guy, Jason Falls (Louisville, KY but has a Pgh Connection). He suggested starting a podcast.

Over the past year or so, it seems like you are at a different location or event nearly every week. Is there one (or more) places you've been or events that you covered that ranks as the coolest? Any places where you thought to yourself, "Wow, how cool is it that I'm here?"

John: Funny that you ask this question. Seems like each week we say to ourselves, “Wow! THAT was a really cool episode!” For me, the 2018 St. Patrick’s Day parade was a top favorite. I have watched that parade for years and it was total cool to be IN it while podcasting. The interviews that we have been able to do thanks to our sponsor, Total Sports Enterprises have been cool.. current and past Steelers, Penguins… JuJu Smith-Schuster has been a cool interview.

Place: David Highfield’s veranda to get footage we lost from a podcast! We had a production malfunction and had to get his interview again! He was so gracious and accommodating regardless of our mistake and bc I love him!

Event: St. Patrick’s Day parade bc it has always been a family event to attend and we had the opportunity to really be part of it through our own float and with some great interviews scored with the Governor and other iconic Pittsburgh notables.

Between media figures, sports icons, and politicians, it seems like you've talked to almost all every Pittsburgh celebrity. Is there someone that has not been on the podcast who would be your dream guest?

Rachael: Dream guest: Sidney Crosby— I think if we got him we could get him to talk! He’s such an untouchable with signings but an amazing person and I think we would have a blast asking him Pgh questions!

John: Definitely!!! Michael Keaton for me! First person to ever use the word Jagoff in a major movie (I think)

Rachael joined the podcast about midway through the podcast history. How did you/she come to be John's cohost?

John: Rachael had been on the podcast as a guest in the past. We worked together on various projects during the day and it became very clear that we had a chemistry. Plus, she was a former professional reporter so there’s THAT too!

Rachael: Because I said so lol! We worked together from a marketing standpoint and had such great chemistry that we thought it just may work. Plus having a female cohort provides a unique balance...even though I’m not girly!

The two of you have a great rapport. Are you at the point where you can finish each other's _____?

Rachael: Roasted Brussels sprouts when we have time to eat? Yes! ;) and sentences!

John: YES.. oh gawd yes! And thanks so much for recognizing the rapport. That means a ton!

What's next for the podcast? More field trips planned? (Live from Jagr's house in the Czech Republic would be awesome!)

John: Funny.. Rachael is head to the Czech Republic in late June because her 14-year old son is the number 2 ranked dek hockey player in the USA. (Sean's note: I listen to the podcast which is why I knew Rachael was heading to the Czech Republic.) He’s going there to play for team USA. Hopefully she can go in undercover and get an interview! We haven’t been in the studio since May of 2017. We love doing the podcasts on site. Every week is a new field trip.

Rachael: I say a road trip is always a must! Is that an invite for us to come there?! Sure! We hope for more outreach opps with athletes to get to know their personalities and how they relate to Pgh philanthropically. We are so lucky to be in the city of champions!

Final thought:

John: The world of podcasting seems like its growing but also seems saturated at the same time. We hope that the podcast that we deliver is always fresh. The podcast as afforded us so many cool opportunities and chance to meet some great people! We just want to wake up one day just podcast…screw all of the other real-life work! lol

Thanks again to John and Rachael for answering my questions. If you live in Pittsburgh/Western Pennsylvania or just like to hear about what's going on there, I highly recommend listening and subscribing to the Ya Jagoff podcast. The podcast is available to APPLE users on the iTunes and Podcast app., to ANDROID users on Google Play Music, and to ALL users via, Stitcher, or tunein.

(Michael Keaton photo by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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