How Podcasts Give Classic TV Shows New Life

Former ‘Simpsons’ showrunner Bill Oakley says he’s “delighted and surprised” to see fans breaking down 25-year-old episodes

“Seinfeld.” “Friends.” “The Sopranos.” “The Simpsons.” “The Office.” Name a hit show from the ’90s and ’00s, and you can find an active podcast covering it. And chances are, you can probably find several.

What’s behind the push to revisit shows that experienced their glory days at the same time as the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations? Nostalgia.

“The real power of nostalgia is that watching old shows is like time travel,” said Jon Gabrus, who co-hosts “Raised by TV,” a podcast that revisits old shows, alongside fellow comedian Lauren Lapkus.

Podcasts, Gabrus and other hosts believe, offer a special way for fans to re-engage with their favorite shows. There’s a sonic connection that adds a level of intimacy — something similar to talking to your friends about the show when you were a kid at school.

“Podcasts allows you to hear the joke in the cadence it was in on the show,” said Allie Goertz, co-host of “Everything’s Coming Up Simpsons.” “You can read it, and hear it in your head, and you can laugh. But there’s something different about replaying a scene [or] hearing it through…

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Sean Burch

Tech reporter • sean.burch@thewrap.com • @seanb44