It’s the brighter spot of your week. It’s what gives you enough hope to make it through the hectic and chaotic moments in life where you feel like screaming. It’s what attracts thousands of listeners from all over the world to swarm their favorite Harry Potter website waiting for more. It’s MuggleCast, the weekly Harry Potter podcast from MuggleNet.com that has invaded computers all over the world and shown us what being a Harry Potter fan really is.
It started out as a humble attempt for the hosts to take their fandom one step further, but what they imagined may never catch on turned them into stars. The silent newscasters became living people. Flesh and blood complete with real humor and emotions. They would no longer have to slave in the shadows as Emerson Spartz, the website’s creator, earned all the credit in the eyes of his loving fan girls. Now the could be adored by their own fans. Websites and LiveJournal communities in their honor have popped up all over the internet with close friends of hosts Eric Scull, Jamie Lawrence and Andrew Sims, posting pictures and reminiscent stories of their outings. Their quick wit and speedy recollection of all things Potter, as well as their inability to stick to one topic, gives the show its personality, keeping it at the top of every podcasting chart it’s listed on.
Among the regular features of the show are “Jamie’s British Joke of the Day,” voicemails from listeners and, my favorite, “Spy on Spartz.” In this segment they stalk Emerson Spartz, who is currently attending the University of Notre Dame, by watching the schools webcams as well as reading his creative away messages and e-mail from those who have spotted him in the past week, on air. Another favorite is “Andrew’s Listener Challenge” in which Andrew enlists his listeners to do anything that he deems fitting to that week’s conversation. From asking his fans to come up with creative new places to podcast from and submit a picture of the place or make t-shirts dedicated to the show.
I am glad I decided to listen to MuggleCast, despite my first, pre-listened attempts to dismiss it as a dull waste of time. It has certainly become a large part of my recreational life now, as well as my dream than someday my friends and I can be big time podcasters as well. Who knew that an internet talk show based on a children’s fantasy novel could become so popular? Certainly not JK Rowling, the boys at MuggleNet, or anyone else for that matter. It’s only a matter of time before MuggleCast replaces more popular late night talk shows on the television.