On Air: De Pere’s Late Night Laughs

andrew kruse-ross | on air | april 2018

Part Two of a Two-Part Series

Mike Eserkaln (left) and Chad Nehring seated next to the Machine of Firsts during the March 3 recording of the 'Firsts!' podcast. In our first installment aimed at highlighting the free, late night laughs to be had at De Pere's Green Room Lounge, we explored Comedic Neutral, which fuses comedy with live-action role-playing. In this installment, we'll take a look at two more of De Pere's late night offerings: the podcasts.

It may come as a surprise to some, but the Green Room plays host to two podcasts: “Firsts!" and “Scott Ruins Your Podcast." Both are recorded before a live audience and free to attend.

If the thought of ex-Russian spies, Russian meddling or Russian nukes has got you down, it's good to know that the answers to life's most pressing questions are only a podcast away. At least that was the case during the “Firsts!" podcast on March 3 — the first podcast (no pun intended) to be held at the new Green Room Lounge, now located at 365 Main Ave., De Pere.

Those pressing questions: Does an automatic transmission detract from a Camaro's cool factor? What kind of a mascot is a Terror? Are Girl Scout Thin Mints a breakfast food?

Answers: Yes. A wolf/badger hybrid. Absolutely, if frozen.

Actually, these pressing issues are found in the periphery of the “Firsts!" podcast, which, as the name suggests, centers around first-time experiences. First job, first camping trip, first heartbreak, etc.

Hosted by comedians Mike Eserkaln and Chad Nehring, the “Firsts!" podcast asks a volunteer to sit in on the action and share that evening's topics with listeners.

Selecting the topics for the evening is the “Machine of Firsts" — a 50-cent toy vending machine loaded with first-time topics.

After being fed an offering of two quarters, the Machine of Firsts asks Eserkaln, Nehring and the evening's volunteer, Barb, to recall their first high school memory.

It's here that we learn Nehring was duped into purchasing a non-existent elevator pass on his first day of high school by upperclassmen for $10. It's also suggested his parents are to blame for sending a freshman to school with so much money.

Not to be outdone by a mere ten-spot, Barb's first high school memory involves her first car, a Z28 Camaro that she owned even before receiving her license. When Eserkaln says he's amazed a high school sophomore had such a car and admits he didn't own his first car until he was sophomore in college, Barb insists that she “worked real hard" to acquire the car, to which Eserkaln coolly asks, “What are you implying?" The exchange was met with considerable laughter.

Eserkaln then recounts the last day of summer before high school began. While dutifully helping his grandmother eradicate a bee nest on her screen porch, he's attacked Velociraptor-style and stung on his right hand. At school the next day, he's unable to write due to the swelling and recalls being lost in the halls of the new school. Unable to find his class, he finds himself sweating in an empty stairwell and looking at his enlarging hand while wondering if this would be the place he would die.

Luckily, he did not die and the “Firsts!" podcast continues, the 50-cent oracle then provided a second topic, this time asking our hosts to recount the first time they sold something. Listen in on their responses by visiting “Firsts! – Remember Your First Time?" on iTunes and Podbean.

The other podcast recorded at the Green Room Lounge is titled “Scott Ruins Your Podcast." The show features namesake comedian Scott Roemaat alongside other comedian guests. During the March 8 recording, Roemaat was joined by comedians Mike Eserkaln and John Egan.

“Scott Ruins Your Podcast" is a bit of an enigma. If podcasts were public transportation systems, “Firsts!" might be Green Bay's: pretty simple and easy enough to navigate with a little familiarity; you arrive at your destination in one piece. “Scott Ruins Your Podcast," on the other hand, might be more akin to public transportation in Los Angeles: a bit unruly, disorganized and will have you questioning if the Lizard People under the city really do exist, but you'll likely arrive somewhere and that place might even be within walking distance of where you were headed. And, no, that's not a bad thing.

It might go without saying that the Scott in the podcast's title provides the show's linchpin, but Roemaat does so in a unique way that's best left to be experienced rather than described. That said, it is Roemaat's reluctance to assertively navigate his own podcast that is the star of the show. His openness about insecurities, propensity to get tongue-tied (he once called David Bowie David Labyrinth) and physical clumsiness — he's prone to spill, tip or knock-over just about anything within reach — are endearing. Such traits, especially when offset by those of guests with immunity to the pressures of being center stage, like those of Eskerkaln and Egan, are genuinely funny.

Tackling hard-hitting topics like “t-shirts" and fearlessly asking questions like “What flavor is bubble gum?" and “How long do you wait to eat a burger that's been in your car?" fans of comedic randomness owe it to themselves to tune in or catch this show live, which occurs once a month after Laugh Box stand-up comedy.

There you have it, two more reasons to check out the new and expanded Green Room Lounge. But if you are still in need of convincing, here are a few things to consider:

Food and Drink — the new Green Room features a dining area and full menu that includes burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, flatbread pizzas and more. Tap beers have also been added to the bar.

Expanded Hours — the Green Room is now open every day at 11 a.m. and serves main menu items until 9 p.m. Flatbread pizzas and appetizers are available till close (12 a.m.) and food delivery will be available soon.

Elbow Room — the new Green Room is three times the size of the previous venue and that's resulted in twice the performance seating.

“Firsts!" is recorded live once a month after the ComedyCity late show. For future show dates visit the podcast's Facebook page (@firstspodcastlive). Tune in at iTunes and Podbean.com.

“Scott Ruins Your Podcast" is recorded live once a month after Laugh Box stand-up. For future show dates visit the podcast's Facebook page. Tune in at Podbean.com.

Follow the Green Room Lounge on Facebook (@thegreenroomdepere) or visit TheGreenRoomOnline.com for more details.

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