How Bravo Fan Podcast ‘Bitch Sesh’ Fosters Community and Business

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In 2015, comedians Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider started the podcast “Bitch Sesh” as a venue to deliver their popular takes on Bravo shows — specifically the “Real Housewives.” Little did they know that their weekly airing of praise and grievances would create a consistent base of fans willing to open their hearts to each other.

“I think of the community as its own organism,” says Wilson. She then adds with a laugh, “Danielle and I are part of it, and obviously I’ve always dreamed of being a cult leader. I think I have what it takes.”

Aside from starting a commune, Schneider and Wilson bet on themselves in 2023 by taking control of their own company. Although “Bitch Sesh” launched on the alt-comedy podcast platform Earwolf — home to shows like “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” and “Comedy Bang Bang” — the duo put the show behind a paywall and invited their fans to to join them to their platform, Casey and Danielle’s trash world.

“My brother is in the Silicon Valley world,” Wilson says. “He always said to me, ‘There are so many gatekeepers in Hollywood involved in your business, so many people in between the artists.’ There is something so great about the model of starting your own small business. You get paid for doing as much work as you want. You will be rewarded more. We were like, “Let’s take a leap and try to be entrepreneurs on our own so we don’t have to feel resentment and disrespect. We can feel strengthened. ”

Although the duo consider themselves new to the business world, Schneider believes their improv comedy background gave them an edge in advocating for their work.

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“When we first started [comedy theater and school] There is a do-it-yourself atmosphere at the Upright Citizen Brigade,” she says. “You have to promote, you have to produce, you are the master of your project. We always joke: ‘We don’t know anything about things.’ But we learned early on that you can’t rely on anyone to do it for you. You have to do it yourself and be inventive. Twenty years ago we were handing out flyers in Washington Square Park. We’ve had to reinvent our wheels 10,000 times with each new project, and we can’t wait for the phone to ring.”

While the move to a paywall model was undoubtedly a risk, Schneider and Wilson, along with their producer Cait Moldenhauer, have doubled down on their role as tastemakers by launching a companion podcast called “Garbage World,” which focuses on various fantasies that there was little. time for their main show. Whether the topic is psychics, how to find the perfect pair of jeans, postpartum, trashy non-Bravo reality shows, or bringing up past regrets, episodes can veer from light-hearted to deeply personal.

“It’s opened us up creatively to think bigger, to connect with our audience and find out what they’re already like,” says Schneider. “We will always be ourselves, but what do they like about us, or what makes them get through the day with us? We can do more of that. It inspires us.”

Wilson and Schneider keep the conversation and community going after hours through their involvement in the subscriber-only Discord, where fans can chat about topics ranging from parenting to activism to ghost stories across more than 30 channels.

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Actor June Diane Raphael, Wilson’s longtime comedy partner who has appeared numerous times on “Bitch Sesh” and co-hosts the podcast “How Did This Get Made?”, says the duo’s success in their bid for independence has whetted the appetite for women’s shows-led programming.

“I am incredibly proud of Casey and Danielle for taking the leap and leaving the podcast network system,” Raphael wrote in an email. “It requires an enormous amount of trust in their audience and in themselves, and their success reflects the dedicated work they have put into building the ‘Bitch Sesh’ community. Female artists and creators are constantly told that their audiences are ‘niche’, but Casey and Danielle have proven that their audience is large enough to cover an entire audience. world.”

The “Bitch Sesh” community also includes the show’s high-profile guests, including Zooey Deschanel, Kristin Chenoweth, Vanessa Bayer, Ziwe and many more. A big part of the fun is reality TV as the great equalizer, with A-listers as well-versed in the private lives of Bravolebrities as the average fan.

Andy Cohen, the host and executive producer of Bravo’s late-night talk show “Watch What Happens Live,” and executive producer of the “Real Housewives” franchise, has been a frequent guest on “Bitch Sesh” — and in turn has featured Wilson and Schneider on his show. He says in an email Variety that “Bitch Sesh” hits just the right note for the Bravo faithful.

“Casey and Danielle have recordings that are refreshing, fun and unexpected,” says Cohen. “They are the perfect complement to everything on Bravo and often say things I wish I could.”

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To commemorate one year of Casey and Danielle’s Garbage World operations, the pair will host a live show on May 15, brainstorming new topics for future Garbage World episodes, rejuvenating their merchandise and inviting favorite podcast guests like Cohen and Kristen Wiig. Still, one thing will remain the same: the big laughs and candid discussions that grew the community in the first place.

“Our comedy puts ourselves in the foreground and tells hard truths,” says Schneider. “Talking about crazy things that have happened and taking the blame for them, and being the fool in the situation. There’s a bigger audience now, but I’m grateful that they find it funny or that they experience something or feel something with a personal story that happened to us. They have been so kind when we have revealed difficult things.”

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