Situation Normal
Situation Normal Podcast
Episode 1: Michael meets George Burns (and blows it)

Episode 1: Michael meets George Burns (and blows it)

The kid misbehaves, haircuts, smoking, and a comedy legend. Listen 🎙! Then read to the end for a photo of Michael as a kid.

Welcome to a new thing at Situation Normal! Surprise: it’s a podcast!

To hear the story about the time I blew my chance to work with comedy legend George Burns, press Play▶️👆

After you’re done listening…

do me a huge favor and share the very first Situation Normal podcast episode with everyone you👇

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After you’ve shared it with everyone on Earth…

please consider upgrading your Situation Normal subscription.

Why should you do that?

Simple: paid subscriptions help me produce a newsletter you love. They also help me compensate my friend Todd, who produces, edits, and cohosts the podcast, when he’s not being a kickass husband to his amazing wife, Andrea, and raising their hilarious kid, “Cannonball.”

When I launched paid subscriptions earlier this year, my goal was to add 100 paid subscribers AND put out most of that work for free. So far, so good! Situation Normal has 92 paid subscribers, and 4,000 of you receive my stories for free. I’m really proud of that, and I hope every situation normie—whether you pay, or not—is proud of that too. If you enjoy Situation Normal, and you have the means to do so, please consider supporting my work by becoming a paid subscriber…

It takes $5 and 60 seconds to support Situation Normal👇

Shout out time!

Big shout outs to the newest paid Situation Normal subscribers!

Thank you for your support, Marc Typo, who generously compared my comedic range to Steph Curry. Holy shit, that makes a guy feel good, Marc, thank you!

Thank you for your support, Bill Southern, who told me Situation Normal is the first Substack he’s paid real money for. That’s a huge vote of confidence. Thank you, Bill, I won’t let you down!

Where’s that picture of you from the podcast?

OK, first of all, as the underrated comedy legend Mitch Hedberg once said, “every picture of you is a picture of you when you were younger.” Think about it, people. Second, here’s a picture of me from the story you listened to. Well, me and my no-nonsense, old school Hollywood barber, Art.

Does this podcast have an origin story?

Of course it does! Here are the broad strokes.

First, I’ve been around audio my entire life. My dad was the world’s best sound person. No joke. But aside from coiling a lot cable, I’ve always avoided the mic. I’m shy. Again, no joke.

But recently, I joined

on his excellent podcast Kurt Vonnegut Radio. It was a lot of fun. It was also really nice to hear from hundreds of situation normies about how much they enjoyed listening to me tell stories. Thank you for your encouragement, everyone!

So I did a few tests on Situation Normal. I read my stories. The tests went fine, but they weren’t fun. I felt awkward sitting alone in my office talking into a mic, and I think that awkwardness came across to listeners.

What to do, what to do?

I needed a way to get comfortable telling a story, and I needed some technical help with the audio stuff too. That’s when I remembered something my dad prided himself on. He used to say, “the solution to your problem is one or two phone calls away.” Larry was famous for sharing little pieces of wisdom like that.

Larry Estrin taking a minute out of his work on some Super Bowl to pose for a picture with his kids.

That’s when I called my friend Todd. If you don’t know Todd, picture a Swiss Army Knife of a production, wrapped inside a handsome, funny dude. Todd cuts audio and video, makes music, and write and produces on-air marketing and promo for cable networks that pay way better than a comedy newsletter. Toldja he was a Swiss Army Knife!

But Todd’s skills were only part of the package. I also asked Todd to help because we’ve been friends for 20 years. I officiated his wedding to Andrea. Todd officiated when I married Christina. I love Todd. I am comfortable with Todd. So, I had a hunch that telling stories to Todd would feel more natural and be a lot more fun for me, which makes it more fun for the situation normie community.

Anyway, that’s how this project came together. We hope you enjoy it!

Please share your thoughts and questions about the story, the podcast, my voice, Todd’s fantastic work, or anything else that’s on your mind in the comments👇

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Want more Michael Estrin stories? I’ve got two books!

The ebook versions of my books are priced between 99 cents and $2.99, so if you don’t have the budget for a Situation Normal subscription, buying an ebook is a great way to support my work. Bonus: you’ll laugh😂 your butt off, think🧠 about stuff in a new way, and feel the feels💙

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Situation Normal
Situation Normal Podcast
Michael Estrin, the writer behind one of the top humor newsletters on Substack, tells his friend, Todd Beauchamp, funny stories from his life.