Completely Unnecessary Podcast

CUPodcast Cover Art

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There are thousands of video game podcasts out there. Some by industry peeps, some by YouTubers or streamers, and most of them by random people who just like to chat about games.

So how can you discover the difference between a completely necessary podcast and a Completely Unnecessary Podcast? Let’s find out!

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Completely Unnecessary Podcast

CUPodcast Cover Art

Completely Unnecessary Podcast (#CUPodcast) is a weekly podcast that covers the latest in video game and video game culture news with a slight slant towards the retro gaming / retro-revival scene. You’ll also get conversations on other popular topics, like film, TV, and pro wrestling.

The show started on August 30, 2013! It was bi-weekly for a while, but now consistently releases every Tuesday. There are 178 episodes in the backlog to binge (if that’s your thing.)

Runtime?

On average, the recent episodes come in around 90 minutes. Because it’s mostly a topical news show, you can skip around if you don’t care about, let’s say, what’s new in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Who hosts it?

#CUPodcast is hosted by Pat Contri and Ian Ferguson, two guys I’m not expecting you to know, but they’re definitely known in gaming.

Pat is best known for his long-running YouTube channel and character/persona, PatTheNESPunk. He was one of the early popular video game content creators on YouTube, similar to James Rolfe, the Angry Video Game Nerd. Pat’s since amassed an incredible collection of gaming-related stuff, including Nintendo gear and rare NES games.

There’s a fascinating profile of Pat and making YouTube a career over on Wired.

Ian is a friend of Pat’s and owns a retro gaming store in the San Diego area.

What’s the format?

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Opens with a short rad intro song that could easily be a WWE entrance track,
  • Pat and Ian run through the latest gaming and pop culture news,
  • There are ad breaks throughout, they often feel forced (which has a maybe unintentional hilarious effect,)
  • Q&A from fans, mostly their Patreon patrons.

This show can quickly ping pong between just sharing the news with light commentary, getting wrapped up into a fiery opinionated rant or debate, and spiraling into off-topic banter.

What’s so special about that?

That sounds like most video game podcasts, so why choose this one:

🗣️ Pat and Ian: You’ll love ‘em or hate ‘em.

But if you love ‘em, you’ll love ‘em.This show is like sitting around talking about the latest gaming news with a few friends over a drink or two. It’s not just banter. It’s not a history lesson. While accused of being pretentious, the hosts (in my opinion) don’t position themselves as top industry guys, or mega influencers.It’s just two guys talking about game news. The casualness of it made for a good “tune out and relax” experience for me.I listened to this show for years and took a long break. When I jumped back into it recently, it was like nothing changed.

🎮 It does cover the news.

I like keeping up with gaming news (especially in the retro gaming scene.) Not every podcast does a great job covering the must-read news. I’ve got a few blogs connected to my RSS feed reader, but it’s mostly just for headlines with no commentary.If you want a show that’ll keep you in the loop with what’s going on in gaming, this’ll do it.

🤣 Most of y’all will find it funny.

But it’s a cynical, sarcastic, self-aware South Park kind of humor. It’s not for everyone. I think they intentionally appeal to long-time viewers of the YouTube content, which, like most of that early YouTube stuff, is very character-driven and tongue-in-cheek.While Pat is playing less of a character, the humor in the conversations is still there. It’s crude, it’s opinionated, but it’s definitely funny if that’s your style.

What do others say about it?

There’s a 4.6 star rating on Apple Podcasts currently, from 675 reviewers.

Here’s a good one from “CarsonKaiser”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Favorite Podcast of All Time

While there is some vulgarity, and biased opinion, this podcast exceeds at providing fellow gamers, and pop-culture fans news, facts, and opinions. Ian and Pat definitely have perfected the way a video game themed podcast should be presented.

But I’ll warn ya, Pat and Ian aren’t for everyone…

Here’s some feedback from a lower review from “Okthings”:

⭐⭐ “Meh”

Ugh. Stop giving this clown money. I’ve never heard someone love themselves more than Pat Contri.

Are you really giving them money by listening? Yes, I guess technically if you listen to the show and they continue to have ads, your download is helping them monetize. But listening to a podcast is much different than supporting via Patreon.

There are some biases and opinions shared on the show, and they don’t shy away from controversy or politics, so if you prefer keep your personal politics out of your gaming podcasts, skip this one. 🙂

Is it kid-friendly?

Nope! This show is rated M for Mature. (Note: You might not care about this… I typically don’t, to be honest, but I’m on an epic quest to find podcasts that I can reliably listen to with my kids in the car!)

Final thoughts?

#CUPodcast is a solid weekly dose of gaming and pop-culture news, commentary, and shenanigans. There’s humor, there’s drama, there’s stuff that’ll offend certain people (like the blatant and frequent advertising for meal delivery,) but there’s plenty of gaming and pop culture content to keep thousands of fans tuning in, and hundreds supporting on Patreon.

It’s not my favorite podcast, but that’s not the point of this publication! This exists to connect you to new shows that might be hidden gems for you. Give it a shot, it certainly might fit the bill.

Where to listen? What’s a good starting point?

Unless there’s an old news topic you’re interested in, just pop into the latest episode!

👇 Here are your links:

Do you already listen to #CUPodcast? Have you checked it out after reading this? Love it? Hate it? Let me know your feedback!