Coming up with the name turned out to be surprisingly simple, despite how much of an ordeal it was. When they were still conceptualizing the podcast, the Crew were smashing their heads together repeatedly as they tried to come up with a brand that was catchy and unique. It was then that one of our hosts offered encouragement in saying that the right name would “just come to us.”
“It’ll be freakishly good, and it’ll be a complete accident.”
Not exactly graceful. But then again, neither are we.
A Freak Accident is the outcome of four current and former radio industry personalities combining their diverse talents (or lack thereof) and unleashing the resulting concoction upon the world. We are a podcast that pushes the limits of reason, while always maintaining an FCC standard of censorship. We are a Show that talks about everything, yet somehow manages to be about absolutely nothing. If it’s obscure, we’ll make sure it’s made public. If it’s public, we’ll tear it down and change the way you look at it. We provide discussion and insight on everything from the geekiest of nerdcraft to the most popular of pop culture, all filtered through the lens of outrageousness and insanity. We’ll ruin the world for you if you let us. We are looney, crass, stubborn, and insensible. Expect the unexpected.
Our mission is simple: To be entertaining. It’s our deepest desire to give humanity something that’s worth listening to. We are a true radio alternative that offers what radio can’t or won’t: talent, personality, and a desire to connect with our audience with the goal of providing the listener an appealing escape from the everyday.
A Freak Accident, in its basest form, began in January of 2011. Of course, back then, it wasn’t known as A Freak Accident. Rather, it was the weekly new music show on Active Rock radio station WBSX in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and it was called Now Fear This. Though vastly different from what it would eventually become, this experiment would plant the seed for all that would come after it.
Now Fear This took root in the minds of two of WBSX full-time radio personalities Crisco and Lazy E. Unhappy and unimpressed with the state of affairs with regard to morning radio content in their market, Lazy E and Crisco set out to create a Show that would shatter the paradigm of cheap, hokey, hack radio that had come to dominate their listening area. And so, taking hints from some of the radio greats of the past and present, Crisco and Lazy E drafted their battle plans. They obviously couldn’t start in a morning slot (though they had considered taking one by force), so they chose to start small and work their way up. After intriguing their Program Director with their premise, their demos, and their vision, they received the go-ahead and Now Fear This was established as a weekly Show on Saturday evenings where they took over the role of being the “new music show” on the station. A lowly position (as any radio person will tell you), but it was a start. Hosted by both Lazy E and Crisco, the show fulfilled its obligation of playing new rock, but it also added an edge. Now Fear This was presented and executed as a “morning show” that wasn’t on in the morning. The Show had banter, self-produced bits and original content, listener interaction, interviews, and the list goes on. They provided everything that a truly entertaining morning radio show should.
It didn’t really take long for Now Fear This to gain traction. The listeners loved it, the station management was impressed, and advertisers were lining up to sponsor the Show. Things were going better than Lazy E and Crisco ever expected. In only a few short weeks, the Show was expanded to include an additional night on Fridays. Then, a short time after that, The Show was expanded yet again to include a “Best Of” replay on Sundays that included content and bits from the Friday and Saturday shows. The plan was coming together. Lazy E and Crisco began formulating a strategy to take the Now Fear This concept and incorporate it into the Night timeslot where they would have a show every single day of the week. After that, they could position themselves to transition into Morning Drive and they’d be off to the races. They were well on their way.
In their strategizing, they began to communicate with another co-worker of theirs, Rebecca Blake. Rebecca was currently the co-host and producer of the morning show that was in place at the time, and she expressed her support of their plans, even showing interest in the possibility of coming on board and joining in with Now Fear This as another co-host. Providentially, it was around this time that another on-air personality named King started his job at the station and expressed his own interest in being involved in some capacity as well. It was then, when the Show had nowhere to go but up, that things took a surprising turn…
Out of the blue, Lazy E was offered a position as head producer for a syndicated morning show in Dallas, TX. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that any radio person would have killed to have. And so Lazy E accepted the offer, took the job, and departed from WBSX and Northeast Pennsylvania.
With Lazy E gone, Crisco was left to pick up the pieces of Now Fear This. Luckily, the following and the demand were still there, and so he continued the Show, albeit as a solo act. However, a contingency was in-place. Crisco had already tested the waters of having King on the air with him during a week when Lazy E couldn’t be one the Show. He knew that he and King had on-air chemistry, and he knew King was funny as hell and added a unique dynamic to the duo. So it was with little hesitation that Crisco prepared to add King to Now Fear This as the new co-host. Everything could continue more-or-less as it was, the listeners would still get what they were craving, the management could still have a product to be proud of, and the advertisers wouldn’t be losing any of their investments. The Show would literally go on. However, it wasn’t meant to be.
In a move that boggles Crisco’s mind even to this day, the station management chose not to renew Now Fear This, and the Show was officially taken off the air only a few short weeks after Lazy E’s departure. The apparent conclusion made by management was that, regardless of what came next, it wasn’t going to be the same Show, and they were only concerned with keeping what they had originally invested in and not a reinvention. Almost as fast as Now Fear This had ascended into relative prominence, it vanished from sight.
Although the Show was gone, the desire, the determination, and the idea remained. It was during this period that Crisco and King, during their many early morning and late night discussions, continued to flesh out the concept that had begun with Now Fear This. They discovered that Rebecca Blake was also still on-board and supportive of the idea, and so the three of them got to work. They began to come up with “clocks” to map out each hour of airtime, developed bits and segments which they could include on the program, and even went so far as to develop imaging for a brand new Show…The Gentlemen’s Morning Show.
With everything planned out and conceptualized, the trio of Crisco, King, and Rebecca Blake put together a demo reel and presentation for The Gentlemen’s Morning Show and submitted their proposal to the Program Director, and then to their General Manager. Unfortunately, that’s as far as they got. Despite contradictory opinions from friends, family members, and even others within the radio industry, the General Manager decided that he was sorely unimpressed with their idea and shot it down immediately, refusing to even acknowledge that The Gentlemen’s Morning Show even had potential. Defeated, the Crew found themselves back at square one and, for all their hard work, had nothing to show for it.
As it turns out, the morning show that was in place ended up being cancelled anyway, and was replaced by a syndicated morning show from out of town. It seemed like any opportunity that The Gentlemen’s Morning Show had of becoming a reality was slim to non-existent. Crisco, however, was undeterred.
One morning, early in the day, as Crisco was listening to an episode of The Nerdist podcast, he had a revelation. The Gentlemen’s Morning Show didn’t need to be on in the morning. In fact, it didn’t even need to be on the radio. But it could be heard nonetheless. Drawing upon ties from King’s past experience with internet radio, The Gentlemen’s Morning Show was reimagined, reorganized, and repackaged not as a morning radio show, but as a podcast. Crisco, King, and Rebecca ditched the “Morning”, and The Gentlemen’s Show was born.
As far as first tries go, The Gentlemen’s Show did well in teaching the Crew the ins and outs of podcasting. Many lessons were learned and much information was gleaned during the three years in which The Gentlemen’s Show existed. But while it’s never easy, change is often necessary. And so, after serious deliberation and consideration, the venture known as The Gentlemen’s Show came to an end on September 10th, 2015. But what that was the end of one iteration of this experiment, the passion and idea was never meant to die. And so, after nearly four months of work behind the scenes to rebuild, rebrand, and restructure the concept that began all the way back with Now Fear This, the Show was resurrected and relaunched in the early morning hours of January 1st, 2016. This time, A Freak Accident had occurred.
Now with Crisco, Lazy E, Mikki, and Ian Hunter on the microphones, the first official episode of AFA was recorded on January 6th, 2016, and debuted online the following day on January 7th, 2016. The rest of the Show’s history is currently being written.
A Freak Accident continues to expand and grow in ways the Crew never thought were possible. It seems like new opportunities and new adventures avail themselves with each new episode. The laughs keep coming, the ratings continue to climb, our production values get better, but the original intention remains: to give the world something worthwhile to listen to when there’s nothing else of value out there.
We are A Freak Accident and, just by being here, you’re now a part of our story. Welcome. We’re glad to have you along for the ride. Just don’t get too bent out of shape if you encounter something sticky.