5 Questions With ILLUSIONOID

Podcasts. They’re EVERYWHERE. But not every Podcast is made up of an all-star lineup from Toronto’s improv scene. Not only that…they come with a message. A message…from the future. Mankind’s only hope may be to hear these transmissions, or doom will surely befall us at the hands (?) of the evil robot ILLUSIONOID!

Interested? Of course you are. Have a listen to their Valentine’s Day episode, with Whose Line Is It Anyway? star Colin Mochrie! (I kind of died – it’s pretty hilarious.)

I grabbed Nug recently (oooh) and asked him a few questions about this absolutely wonderful nerdtastic adventure.

GEEKPR0N: Standard “How did you get started?” question!

NUG: We are all friends and we’ve enjoyed working together for years with Second City and other shows around town. We initially became “Illusionoid” for the Bad Dog Theatre Globehead Tournament in 2008. All of our scenes take a sci-fi/doomsday turn because we share a common interest in the nerdy genres. I’m a big podcast listener and brought it to the guys that we could record an improvised podcast with sound effects and send it out on the internet. We recorded 7 episodes and then I went to entertain on cruise ships for a year. When I got back, we started editing and producing the show and went live in August of 2011. We actually started a year late!

GEEKPR0N: What/who has influenced you most in your career?

Comedy-wise we all have varied influences and we’ve been lucky enough to work with many of them through our time at Second City. I’m a big fan of George Carlin’s language bits & The Smothers Brothers for older stuff. Now, I listen to amazing podcasts by comedians that I don’t get to see very often. Paul F. Tompkins & his podcast, Scott Aukerman & Comedy Bang Bang, The Superego Podcast, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist and Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling are among my favorites. And I can’t leave off the massive influence of Jimmy Pardo’s Never Not Funny podcast. He’s the best and has been nice enough to chat with me on email, as have the Superego guys.

GEEKPR0N: The three of you have some pretty heavy background in the comedy scene. Have you noticed the same fan following with the podcast as with your live performances from over the years?

We’ve all worked for Toronto’s Second City in various capacities over the last few years. Our two Globehead Tournament wins have won us a few fans. Paul appears on regular shows such as Monkey Toast and The Soaps, and Lee & I do loads of improv shows at Comedy Bar. We hope the people that watch our various live shows will listen to the podcast. Since August, with a bi-weekly podcast, we’ve managed around 15 000 downloads of our show. I don’t think any one show we’ve done has had 15 000 audience members. Looks like it’s much easier for people to have the comedy come to them then for them to leave the house.

GEEKPR0N: We first met during your run in Evil Dead: The Musical. So obviously your g33k-range is quite spread out. Care to list off your favourite geeky things?

My g33k-range is VERY spread out. I am a comedy nerd & collect vinyl albums, I am a comic book nerd & have FAR too many books & action figures, I love pro wrestling, I love old-time radio like “The Shadow” & Jack Benny, podcasts, horror movies, sci-fi, video games… This whole nerd renaissance kind of bugs me as I feel like I’m losing my niche a little, but it’s nice to have some other people in my weird circles of interests.

G33kPRON: What do you want our readers who aren’t familiar with Illusionoid to know about the podcast? SELL SELL SELL!

Our episodes run about 20 minutes in length, which is the prefect length for a commute. We’re building a community by allowing listeners to submit titles for us to improvise new episodes. You can subscribe to our show on iTunes so it’s delivered hot and fresh to your earholes every time a new epsiode comes out. AND IT’S FREE. We’ve had guests like Sean Cullen and Colin Mochrie, and are working on getting a few more in the near future. Listen to one show and you’ll more than likely want to hear them all. Plus, there’s the massive mystery of how the future ends up so horrible that you can piece together. Or can you? And we crack up a lot because we can’t help it. You’ll see that for sure at the live show on the 10th.


Illusionoid is performed by Paul Bates (CTV’s Dan For Mayor, Second City), Lee Smart (Comedy Network’s 5th Quadrant, Second City) and Nug Nahrgang (Dark Rising: Summer Strikes Back, SyFy’s Scare Tactics), and have recently won the 2012 Globehead Improv Competition in Toronto.

They release podcasts bi-weekly on their website, or their facebook page.

SPECIAL AWESOME BONUS THING! Illusionoid is doing a LIVE SHOW at Comedy Bar for the Toronto ComicCon (which you’re all coming to, right!?) on March 10th! Come by, say hi, and get a picture with your Illusionoid cast AND WATCH IN AMAZEMENT AS THEY DO A LIVE PODCAST! 


Also I designed their first t-shirts.

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