KCPR hosts '6 Beers Deep,' an entertainment talk show by economics senior Kolby Hatch (left) and theater senior Ben Pawlik. | Courtesy Photo

Kelly Trom
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One beer deep, economics senior Kolby Hatch and theater senior Ben Pawlik describe their KCPR show:

“A tin of sardines and a smokehouse for midgets,” Hatch said.

“You got a bunch of logs and you might see Cupid come out, but you ain’t got no sausage,”  Pawlik said.

You may recognize the duo from Cal Poly’s improv group, Smile and Nod. They are transferring their talents from the stage to the radio waves with their entertainment talk show “6 Beers Deep” at 11 p.m. on Sundays.

Hatch sat on the idea for a while. He finally talked to KCPR music director and theater junior Nick Cocores and was trained in radio show content.

“When I thought about making a show, I was thinking why someone in 2014 would tune in late night to listen to two people talk,” Hatch said. “It is low amounts of interactivity compared to the other forms of media we consume. It comes down to the content, and I want to make better content.”

The name of the show came out of a conversation the two had.

“I had been thinking about it for a really long time, but I couldn’t think of a cool name,” Hatch said. “We were six beers deep, and we got a recorder and started recording our conversation.”

Pawlik and Hatch have currently done five on-air shows, talking about everything from Vegas secrets, to St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans, to the Oscars.

The show has become more structured as it has progressed, following a format with three main sections: an interview with a special guest, current news events and a special topic.

“When we first started, an hour seemed like an eternity, and now it’s like a minute-50 left and we haven’t even gotten to half of the stuff we wanted to,” Hatch said.

Though the two had previous experience in front of a live audience, talking on the radio was a whole different skill set for them. Interviewing skills and moving smoothly from topic to topic without too much dead air space were things they had to learn.

“We were nervous for the first five minutes,” Pawlik said. “We pumped ourselves up, like how we warm up before (a) Smile and Nod show.”

It was a trial by fire on the first show they did, but they were able to use their honed sense of humor to get them started.

“Improv has helped us with presence (and) quick wit,” Hatch said. “But talking on the radio is different. There is no feedback.”

Planning content for the radio show is a team effort, but Hatch takes the reigns.

“It’s usually Kolby yelling at me to come up with ideas and then I don’t, and then he does most of it,” Pawlik said.

However, the two equally contribute to cracking jokes and keeping the show moving.

“I think that is the best part of being on the show together is that chemistry,” Pawlik said. “We stroke each other’s egos all the time.”

The entertianment value of the show comes from the wacky topics discussed, as well as Pawlik and Hatch’s off-beat opinions and thoughts.

“If you take one little flaw that me and Ben have, whether it be aggression or any emotion, the radio self is just that extrapolated to the point of being ludicrous,”
 Hatch said. “Radio is not reality — it can’t be or else you wouldn’t listen. It would be boring.”

The two are still trying to find a balance between their on- and off-air selves, but with each passing show, those characters are being developed.

“You don’t really have the character you are because you are so nervous,” Hatch said. “But as it goes on, we are starting to get our own styles.”

“6 Beers Deep” gives the two hosts different ways to develop their comedic selves and expand their repertoire of jokes.

“I like to be really physical in Smile and Nod with a lot of facial expressions, which you obviously can’t do on the radio,” Pawlik said.

It also gives them an excuse to do what they love — in a more exaggerated and concentrated amount of time.

“Sometimes I like talking on the radio more than having a conversation in real life because we can actually focus on making jokes, listen to what someone is saying and then making fun of it in a light-hearted way,” Pawlik said. “You get to constantly make jokes.”

Besides just being a funny show for students to listen to, Pawlik and Hatch want to be an avenue for artists in the guest portion of their show.

Slam poet Nick Kelly, a mathematics junior, and actor Mike McCullough, a theater senior, have both been invited on the show. Pawlik and Hatch want anyone on campus who has an interesting job, hobby, etc. to come on the show and talk with them. Even Associated Students, Inc. President and agricultural business senior Jason Columbini has been on the show.

Pawlik and Hatch are looking for participation from the whole student body. They always encourage listeners to call in during breaks to give feedback.

“We really don’t have a pulse for who is listening and what they want,” Hatch said.  “Friends will say, ‘Oh, that was so funny when you said that one joke.’ But I want to hear what we fucked up on, because I know we did.”

At the end of the day, they want the show to be for students.

“We are whatever students want us to be,” Hatch said. “We like to have a good time and we want you to join. Have a beer with us.”

Tune in at 91.3 FM on Sundays at 11 p.m.

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