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Almost Live!: Still Alive

Comedy Podcasts

“Almost Live!: Still Alive” are interviews with the people who helped make the hometown Seattle sketch comedy show ‘Almost Live!’ a hit for more than 15 years. Hear their personal stories and get insights into one of Seattle’s most loved local TV shows.

“Almost Live!: Still Alive” are interviews with the people who helped make the hometown Seattle sketch comedy show ‘Almost Live!’ a hit for more than 15 years. Hear their personal stories and get insights into one of Seattle’s most loved local TV shows.


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“Almost Live!: Still Alive” are interviews with the people who helped make the hometown Seattle sketch comedy show ‘Almost Live!’ a hit for more than 15 years. Hear their personal stories and get insights into one of Seattle’s most loved local TV shows.




Tom Juvik

One of the reasons we all live where we do is because of the long line of early explorers and frontiersmen who led the way: People like Balboa, Ponce de Leon, and Hernando De Soto - inventor of the Chrysler hard-top coupe.And Almost Live! had its pioneers too; its Lewis and Clark's, Daniel Boone's and Kit Carson's. In fact, it is little remembered today, but the early members of Almost Live! often wore buckskin and coonskin caps - and if their comedy didn't always hit the mark, maybe it's...


Jim Sharp

Even though some members of Almost Live! were pretty good at playing the parts of dumb people - none of them actually were stupid. Well, there was that one guy. Oh man, was he an idiot. He thought the Gates Foundation is a type of girdle. He thought the Kentucky Derby is a hat. He once tripped on a cordless phone. Yea, everybody remembers that guy.But one of the show's pioneering members wasn't just smart. He was sharp. In fact, it's his name: Jim Sharp.It was Sharp in 1984 - along with show...


Scott Schaefer

There was only one Keister on Almost Live. One Conway, one Nye, one Nelson, Wilson, Wyatt and Stainton. McHale was the only one with a prefix (Mc). There WERE two Guppys - Nancy and Joe - but they were married to one another so that doesn't count.But the show's two different Shafers were unconnected, unrelated and unalike. Scott Schaefer - unlike the show's original host, Ross Shafer - was also a key member of the show nearly from the start. A native of Seattle, Scott came to the program...


Dana Dwinell

The town of Yakima is not only the self-proclaimed "Palm Springs of Washington State" - but it's also the hometown of some remarkable and famous people. A partial list includes the late Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.The great short story writer and poet, Raymond Carver, grew up there.One of the most-admired writers for kids spent time in Yakima - and was the author of Pat Cashman's favorite books about Henry Huggins and his dog, Ribsy. She was Beverly Cleary… who died in 2021 at...


Lauren Weedman

Looking back at all the people who were part of Almost Live!, it’s notable that there are literally none of them that moved onto completely different careers after the show wrapped years ago. None of the cast members went into the clergy - or became an actuary, astronaut, statistician, pipe-fitter, cartographer, or tried their hand at dentistry. Yes, Joe Guppy DID become a psychotherapist for a while, but he also simultaneously taught comedy. The two DO go hand-in-hand after all. But most...


Joel McHale

The guest this time is Joel McHale. Actor, comedian, author, producer, TV host... and had nothing to do with "McHale's Navy." He hosted "The Soup" for 11 years on the E! Network... and starred in the NBC sitcom, "Community" for six. He's been in dozens of movies, TV shows, commercials, and video games. He hosted the ESPY awards, the Independent Spirit Awards, People's Choice, the Webbys - and even the White House Correspondent's Dinner - remember when they used to have those? He's had...


Bill Nye

First of all, this episode must begin with a shocking revelation: Bill Nye believes in crazy conspiracy stuff. Nutty things like Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation. Kooky notions like electromagnetism, thermodynamics, relativity. And even, yes, dare he say it: Climate change.Nye ridiculously thinks that ideas not supported by observation and real data, or science if you will, have more rigor than ideas based on pure opinion, somebody’s gut, or religious faith alone. What a whack job, this...


Joe Guppy

The most popular freshwater aquarium fish of them all is the guppy. It is live-bearing - no eggs. It likes flake food, and is generally peaceful. But the guppy is also considered one of the wittiest in the fish kingdom... perhaps second funniest only to the clown fish - and, frankly, the clown fish’s pie-throwing and seltzer-down-the-pants routine is getting a little old. But a JOE Guppy is quite another matter. Some might guess that a Joe Guppy is a small fish that swims around in a cup of...


John Keister

It was probably inevitable, but as a weekly sketch comedy show, Almost Live! was often compared to network television's Saturday Night Live. Why not? Almost Live! aired on Seattle's KING TV every Saturday night, immediately adjacent to the venerated SNL. Both shows had 'live' in their title. Both traded in sketch comedy. Both featured regular ensemble casts of performers and writers satirizing the world around them - the national SNL show more broadly; the local Almost Live, more......


Bill Stainton

Someone once asked me what a TV producer does. That someone was me. I asked me what a TV producer does. Maybe I should ask Bill Stainton instead. Because he WAS a TV producer - specifically, the TV producer of "Almost Live!" If that show could be compared to a farm operation, then Bill Stainton was the cruel overseer... the guy making sure the crops got in each week. Keeping the farm analogy going here, he was the guy who did the hiring and firing, supervised the operation, sometimes drove...


Tracey Conway

One of the reasons we decided on the podcast name, "Almost Live!: Still Alive" is because, happily, everybody from that show is still with us. Not necessarily still with IT... me most notably... but everyone otherwise is still breathing and reasonably coherent.However, there's one person who narrowly escaped being the exception - because not only did we nearly lose Tracey Conway some years ago when her heart suddenly decided to stop ticking, it happened in front of a live audience who were...


Ed Wyatt

Stanford University is one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation. Some of its alumni include a guy named Larry Page, who’s the founding CEO of Google. It’s true. You can look it up on Bing if you don’t believe me. Other famous graduates are Sigourney Weaver, Reese Witherspoon, Tiger Woods, Rachel Maddow, John Steinbeck, Ken Kesey, Senator Henry Jackson - and the people who founded PayPal and Netflix. But of all Stanford’s distinguished elite, only one of them climbed the lofty...


Bob Nelson

Perhaps one of the reasons ‘Almost Live!’ found a place on TV for so many years was because - at its core - it was a distinctly local show. The jokes were almost entirely focused on Puget Sound towns, neighborhoods and places - and none of those places was a more frequent target than a suburb called Kent. And no member of the ‘Almost Live!’ writing and performing group was more informed about that town than Bob Nelson - the only one of us with an actual Kent pedigree.To be clear, this is not...


Steve Wilson

If Almost Live! could be compared to a baseball team, Steve Wilson might have been the groundskeeper. At least on game day. He was the guy in charge of grooming the diamond; preparing the field, cutting the grass, drawing the foul-lines, and raking the infield. He got the field ready - but then, taking managerial duties, he positioned the players and coached them up. He was the show's studio director.Like most of the show's regulars, Steve is a native North Westerner - in his case, Lakewood,...


Nancy Guppy

In the earliest days of the show, Almost Live! was heavily influenced by a male viewpoint. A few actresses were introduced in those first years - Andy Stein and Lynne McManus - among them. But the show's first more regular female member got aboard largely because she happened to be the girlfriend of one the show's regular cast members - Joe Guppy. We’ll spend some time with him in a future podcast. But this one is about Nancy - and whether she came in the backdoor, the front window or the...


Ross Shafer

In George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984, he foresaw a time where Big Brother scrutinizes human actions, and stifles freedom and non-conformity. But while Orwell was busy focusing on Big Brother, he completely overlooked the arrival of Little Brother in 1984. It was a brand-new Seattle TV comedy show named “Almost Live!” And it's very first host was a local guy named Ross Shafer. He was a graduate of Federal Way High School, and then the University of Puget Sound, where he played some football...



Almost Live!: Still Alive is an audio podcast mini-series, featuring the creators, cast and writers of one of Seattle's most iconic TV shows, Almost Live! (1984-1999) It was a show so popular, that it also found a home on Comedy Central - and in worldwide syndication. Pat Cashman hosts this retrospective podcast series - spending time with every key player - through long and intimate conversations. Cashman's a more than appropriate host - himself a former cast member. He worked with everyone...


Brooks McBeth

A warning: Parts of this particular episode may be too… well… too highbrow, too donnish, too erudite… too filled with words you have look up. Nonetheless, if you are at familiar with Shakespeare - and specifically, his great character, MacBeth - you are familiar with his work. But there is another McBeth - the one that’s the subject of this podcast. And this one is much funnier. Certainly funnier than Othello - both the character AND the town in eastern Washington.So as disappointing as it...