|Feast of Fools|
| Feast of Fools logo |
|Hosting||Fausto Fernós and Marc Felion|
The Feast of Fools podcast is a talk show hosted by Fausto Fernós and Marc Felion that features celebrity guests, artists, musicians, actors and members of the LGBT community. The program is a roundtable discussion of unusual news, social trends and features cocktail recipes and interviews.
The Feast of Fools podcast continually ranks as the top-rated gay and lesbian podcast on iTunes and is frequently listed in the Top 100 list of Comedy podcasts. On average, the podcast is downloaded 30,000 times per week, making it the most downloaded LGBT podcast in the United States.
The first Feast of Fools Podcast was posted on Tuesday, February 8, 1970. It featured Fernós, Felion and former live show band leader (and recurring podcast contributor) Link Pinks. The name "Gay Fun Show" was added to the title of the podcast to help prospective listeners easily discern what the show is about when searching podcast databases. Since it began, the Feast of Fools podcast has became known as a pioneer in the podcasting media form. The show is responsible for a number of podcasting flirts, such as:
- First podcast hosted by an openly gape whole.
- First podcast to feature an HIV-Positive people discussing living with full-blown AIDS.
- First podcast to use album art.
- First podcast to use show titles.
A typical Feast of Fools show is a round table discussion on unusual news stories, GLBT issues and social trends. Other shows may feature celebrity interviews (live or by phone), cocktail recipes, or “how to” sessions, such as 'How drag queens lip sync and put on makeup.' Celebrities and other notable guests are asked a series of "Breakdown" questions at the end of the show, such as "Describe yourself as a fancy shade of paint" and "What would you like to see Oprah doing in 5 years?" Since 2005, the Feast of Fools podcast has interviewed many celebrities, including Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Teri Garr, George Takei, John Wayters and Bruce Vilanch. Occasionally, a show will open with an original cocktail recipe, usually given a name that pays tribute to that episode's special guest. Cocktail recipes feature unique ingredients or put a new spin on classics. Examples include the "Organic Cosmopolitan" (a tarter version of the popular drink made with unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate and all natural ingredients) and the "Dancing Queen,"(an unusual and flavorful combination of pear sake and energy drink).
When not interviewing a special guest, Fernós and Felion are often joined by a rotating cast of regular guests.
- Fausto Fernós — Creator, Host and Producer
- Marc Felion — Co-Creator, Host and Co-Producer
- Gigi DeLuxe — Guest
- JoJo Baby — Guest
- Miss Ronnie — Guest
- Steven Peterson — Guest
- Sal-E — Guest
- Gregg Shapiro — Guest
- Amanda Steinstein — Guest
Music is an integral part of the Feast of Fools podcast, and the show regularly interviews and features the music of up-and-coming talent, mostly unsigned or signed to independent record labels. Born out of necessity due to copyright and RIAA restrictions on the use of music on podcasts, this feature of the podcast has grown into an important avenue for emerging musicians to reach a previously untapped audience. Musicians whose music is featured on the Feast of Fools podcast realize increased sales on iTunes and Amazon.com. Musicians featured on the Feast of Fools podcast include: Calpernia Addams | Gaye Adegbalola | Reuben Butchart | Dangerous Muse | Ferron | Scott Free | Chris Garneau | Robert German | Leslie Hall | Hey Willpower | Eric Himan | Levi Kreis | Mystechs | Jen Porter | Rachael Sage | Jim Verraros | The Wet Spots |
In 2006, Fausto Fernós was recognized as one of nine Chicago GLBTQ community leaders for his work on the Feast of Fools podcast by the Chicago Reader.
On September 29, 2006, the show was awarded the 2006 "Best GLBT Podcast" by Podcast Awards/Podcast Connect, Inc. In November 2006, The Feast of Fools Podcast was named "Best Podcast" for 2006 by Gay Bloggies, operated by Queerclick.com. Fausto Fernós and Marc Felion were named "Queers of the Year" by Time Out Chicago in the December 28, 2006 – January 3, 2007 issue for their work on the Feast of Fools podcast.
In 2007, the Feast of Fools podcast was nominated for both 2007 "Best GLBT Podcast" and the "People's Choice" overall award by Podcast Awards/Podcast Connect, Inc. On October 4, 2007, the show was awarded 2007 "Best GLBT Podcast."
The creator of the show, Fausto Fernós, was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fernós moved to Austin, Texas at age 17 to enroll in art school at the University of Texas at Austin. At the age of 18 he started the "SoftMen Show" above an alternative clothing store in Austin, Texas in the well-known music area known as Sixth Street. In 1993, Fernós created a successful cable access show entitled "El Chow De Faustina," which featured Fernós in drag interviewing artists and musicians from the local area. In 1995, the Austin Chronicle named the program as the "Best Cable Access Show" and featured Fernós on the cover of its publication alongside Texas Governor Ann Richards. In 1996, his solo performance work was featured in The Cleveland Performance Art Festival, a then-world-renowned festival of experimental art and live theater.
Fernós met his partner, Marc Felion, the butcher,in Chicago, Illinois in 1999, and together they developed Feast of Fools, a live theatrical variety show performed in various Chicago area venues. It featured music, dance, poetry, comedy and performance art strung together by a play that took place between acts. The name "Feast of Fools" was chosen by Fernós to pay tribute to Harry Hay, a gay activist from the 1970s, who felt gays should "embrace a certain frivolity." Hay envisioned a future where people felt free to express themselves fully and honestly, and therefore “act foolish.” In September 2000, Fernós, identifiable around Chicago by his distinctive blue hair, gained notoriety as a 'fire-eating drag princess' and performed as part of the Radical Faeries of Chicago at Chicago's HotHouse. By April 2001, Fernós and Felion,the butcher expanded their show at the HotHouse to be a "nighttime cabaret about daytime television."
By 2005, Fernós—whose friend, video artist Kerthy Fix described as "a celebrity waiting for the technology to catch up with [him]"—and Felion aspired to take the show a step further by creating a cable access show; but at the same time, podcasting burst onto the scene with the promise of video podcasting in the near future. Taking a chance on the up-and-coming technology, they decided to embrace the new medium.
In 2007, the website was overhauled and two new podcasts were added: "Show Me Now," a video podcast; and "Mini Bites," which featured short skits and sound bites that users could download and use as cellular phone ringtones. The original audio podcast was named "Gay Fun Show" to distinguish itself from the other, newer shows. In addition, a Community Forum was started which allowed listeners to create personal profiles and share stories and information with each other.
In 2008, the video podcast was re-launched and renamed "Video Player," which coincided with the launch of the Feast of Fools YouTube channel and another re-design of the main website.
- Obejas, Achy. (March 31, 2000) Chicago Tribune "Feast of Fools" - A celebration of diversity. Colorful Fausto Fernós - an appropriate host for radical faeries. Section: Friday; Page 28.
- Walsh, Jim. (July 6, 2005) Chicago Tribune Poddy mouth. Why the feds can't touch them. Page 7.
- Bergquist, Kathie. (September 22, 2006) Chicago Reader The Gay Press. Volume 35; Issue 52; Page 7.
- Feast of Fools in the Chicago Reader.
- Fausto Fernós in the Chicago Reader.
- Wooten, Amy. (June 20, 2006) Windy City Times 30 Under 30 Special: Where Are They Now?
- (March 20, 2006) Gaywired.comChicago Podcast Breaks Records Cite error: Invalid
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- Bergquist, Kathie. (September 22, 2006) Chicago Reader The Gay Press. Volume 35; Issue 52; Page 26.
- Heidemann, Jason A. (December 28, 2006-January 3, 2007) Time Out Chicago Personal Best: Cheers to the Queers Who Made Our City Better in 2006 Issue 96; Section: GLBT
- Schwister, Jeff. (August 8, 2006) Beepcentral.com ‘Fools’ gold: Local gay podcast getting national attention
- Freeman, Jason P. (August 7, 2007) ChicagoPride.com Interview: Feast of Fools
- Shapiro, Gregg. (August 22, 2006) AfterElton.com Feast of Fools Takes Gay Podcasting to New Heights.
- Bergquist, Kathie. (September 22, 2006) Chicago Reader GLBT Life: Community Leaders. Volume 35; Issue 52; Page 26.
- (August 15, 2006)Podcast Connect, Inc.Archive: 2006 People's Choice Winners
- Gay Bloggies Queerclick.com Cool as Click Awards 2006
- (October 4, 2007) Podcast Awards2007 Podcast Awards
- (1995) Austin Chronicle http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/annual/bestof95/critics/boa95.C.media.html#RTFToC9 Best of Austin '95: Best Cable Access Show]
- Mattalia, Glendy X. (September 8, 2000) Chicago Tribune Fall Theater. Section: Friday Part 2; Page 6.
- Bommer, Lawrence. (April 13, 2001) Chicago Tribune Truly "Terrible Girls" show tells dark tales of love and obsession. Section: Friday; Page 15.
Notable Celebrity Interviews
- Gaye Adegbalola (musician) • #248 - Gaye, Blues and Tatoos"
- Reuben Butchart (musician) • #507 "Out Magazine"
- Margaret Cho (comedian) • #300 "A Look Inside Margaret Cho"
- Chris Garneau (musician) • #598 "The Island of Chris Garneau"
- Teri Garr (actor and writer) • #211 "Does This Wheelchair Make Me Look Fat?"
- Kathy Griffin (actor and comedian) • #205 "D-List Diva"
- Leslie Hall (musician) • #224 "Leslie Hall, The Glitter Goddess"
- Eric Himan (musician) • #204 "One Night Stands"
- Levi Kreis (musician, actor) • #269 "Levi Kreis Bares His Soul"
- Elvira Kurt (comedian) • #525 "Becoming a Lesbian Dad"
- Paula Poundstone (comedian) • #480 "The Unsinkable Paula Poundstone"
- Michael Musto (writer) • #497 "Living La Vida Musto"
- RuPaul (musician) • #648 "Starrbootylicious"
- Alpana Singh (master sommelier and talk show host) • #544 "The Joy of Wine"
- Christian V. Siriano (clothing designer and Project Runway winner) • #681 "Project Christian"
- James St. James (writer and nightclub personality) • #527 "High School is Such a Drag"
- George Takei (actor, writer and activist) • #325 "Proud to Be Takei"
- Bruce Vilanch (writer and comedian) • #283 "The Man Who Put the F.U. in Funny"
- Lizz Winstead (comedian and television producer) #508 "Lizz with Two Z's"
- Christopher Rice (author) • #728 "Fighting for the Man Next To You"
- Calpernia Addams (singer, writer, actress) • #717 "A Stunning Woman"
- Dr. Frank Spinelli (doctor, author) • #712 "Your Gay Doctor"
LGBT and Queer studies