Jarlath Regan began his Men Behaving Better podcast in July this year, and in this short time he has interviewed a variety of interesting people, discussing subjects such as the #MeToo movement, consent and the responsibility men have to help combat inequality in our day to day lives.
MoodyComedy had a chat with Jarlath about his podcasting experiences
Talk us through your experience with podcasting over the years.
Like most I first downloaded The Ricky Gervais Show – that really opened my eyes to the format. After that I became mildly obsessed with long form interview pods. I then created my own, An Irishman Abroad, and fell in love with the form and the space it provides both guest and host. Men Behaving Better grew out of that show because we had the space and time to explain the complicated thoughts everyone was having in relation to male and female behaviour.
Do you ever receive any backlash regarding the angle that Men Behaving Better takes?
Yes. Mainly from old men, angry men or people who haven’t listened yet. The show takes its time to have a nuanced conversation on tricky, delicate things like calling out your Dad or brother on their language, why #MeToo fatigue is a thing or can we enjoy the art of fallen men. The knee jerk response is to shout back at those questions but that’s really the opposite of what the show is.
What attitudes do you want to challenge with this podcast?
There’s one that really annoys people: Some men don’t need to change. I like challenging that because it seems so obvious that that thought is driven by a massive blind spot in your perception of the world, your impact upon it and the supposed guilt involved in all of this. I’ve always been into self-improvement. Some people simply hate that notion. I like to challenge that and broaden it out as the season progresses.
Is talking about the topic of sexism and discrimination easy for you to make funny, or do you and your guests ever find it tiresome?
It’s all about your purpose for me. Are you punching up or down? And why? You can make anything funny but first we need to talk about what’s not funny in all of this. What’s absurd about all of this – that’s closer to funny. There’s funny available at every turn but it’s how you get there and why you get there that counts. It’s only tiring if you’re not interested.
How do you choose which guests you have on the show?
For season one I wanted comics I respect, activists with passion, journalists who have moved me and artists I know have a new or interesting take on the issues. That can be the human rights lawyer Simone George or Sara Pascoe, the actor Mark O’Halloran or Brett Goldstien. Balance is crucial so we never get too one-note in the discussion – it’s been challenging and fun every step of the way.
Who would you like to have as a guest?
Where do I start? Jo Brand, JK Rowling, Madonna, Cher, OJ Simpson, Tiger Woods. I mean this subject would make for some interesting chats with pretty much anyone in the public eye right now and that is the plan for next season.
How do you think we can each make a change within society?
I’d say listening. It’s a rare thing. Hearing someone out. Listening to the fullness of what they have to say and why they’re saying it. People are way more likely to listen to you if you listen to them. Also, maybe have a second referendum on Brexit.