06 The Chemistry of Professor Blastoff

How do comedians Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan and David Huntsberger keep their creative fires a-blazing? For years, part of that plan included meeting up each week to verbally joust with one another and unsuspecting guests on a podcast named Professor Blastoff. In light of recent news that they’re finally shutting the hatch on Blastoff, our editorial team recalls visiting the gang in Hollywood last year to learn that our mission to foster more creativity in the world was… completely misguided? Here, we invite you to be the judge as we share notes from that adventure and catalog our favorite moments from the show.

FTP_Issue_06_web-02Fame historically breeds insularity and, for many artists, movement away from the people, places and things that originally inspired their work. But that’s not a given. For four years, comedians Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan and David Huntsberger found at least one way to combat that fate and remain ever more relevant to their growing audiences.

Every week, the longtime friends would convene in a secret hatch beneath Kyle’s apartment (i.e., a non-descript office space on Hollywood Blvd. that serves as the studio for Earwolf productions) to record the Professor Blastoff podcast. Ostensibly a science-themed comedy show, the podcast offered an excuse for the trio to return to the highly fertilized soil of their friendship to improvise new material, all while messing with the heads of their guests and a highly interactive listenership.

FTP_Issue_06_web-03The Fire Theft Project visited Professor Blastoff in the stu… erm… hatch last year and attempted to turn the tables on our hosts, interviewing the trio about the nature of creativity. While the comedians playfully abused us and disabused us of our theories—culminating in Kyle and David’s declaration that there were already too many artsy-craftsy things in the world and we should do our best to discourage creative acts altogether—we nonetheless came away with a few insights to share.

Here, we provide an introduction to the show and distill our interview [click here to listen to the episode] into Sparks of inspiration. Despite Tig, Kyle and David’s protestations, there’s still plenty to learn from the show, now archived for eternity in cyberspace. Professor Blastoff is dead, long live Professor Blastoff.

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