The growing listenship for podcasts in Ireland was perhaps best exemplified by the announcement of The 2 Johnnies podcast for Cork’s Live at the Marquee. Taking place on May 30, 2020, it’s the biggest live Irish podcast show ever.
The 2 Johnnies is a regular atop the iTunes charts — still the main way of ranking podcast listenership — and the show boasts a weekly listenership of over 250,000.
Comprising Johnny Smacks and Johnny B, plus producer Ciara, they’ve performed live shows all around the country, from local GAA clubs to hallowed venues such as Cork’s Everyman Theatre, as well as in America and with a tour of Australia upcoming, since starting the podcast two years ago.
It grew out of a YouTube channel — their video ‘Could Have Been County’, a tongue-in-cheek tale of The Drink getting hold of talented GAA upstarts, was one of the most watched videos from Ireland this year.
The show is very much a bantercast — and a bingeable one at that — the mid-twenties Tipperary pair sounding like breakfast radio regulars. Indeed, you could imagine the likes of Today FM and 2FM clamouring for their signature. They have an impressive and endearing natural rapport with listeners, who message in about everything from their sex lives to classic tracksuits. It’s aimed primarily at young lads and never gets too heavy.
Last week’s episode focused on the pros and cons of being single and the Emma Watson-led ‘self-partnered’ movement. Occasionally puerile, if it helps even a couple of people in some ways, it can only be a good thing.
The ‘Noel’s News’ segment is good for a laugh and the 2 Johnnies themselves are genuinely funny, though their interviews are by-the-numbers. They’ve appeared on the Late Late Show in recent weeks, promoting their book Dear Johnnies, a facetious self-help book out just in time for Christmas, and their natural charm spreads across the family. Their Marquee show might well double as a family outing for plenty.
You've got to hear this: Maybe the previous generation’s version of the 2 Johnnies is David McWilliams, who launched his own eponymous podcast at the start of summer. From housing to banking to economics, obviously, you’ll feel just that little bit smarter after each week’s episode.