Fluffed up: Fake history podcast makes its Brooklyn debut

The mystery of history: Comedian Dave Hill will treat listeners to a front-row seat to historical events at Union Hall on Jan. 24.
Photo by Mindy Tucker

He’s the most interesting man in the world. 

A local comedian might discuss his tour with the Beatles, his membership in the Brat Pack, the time he accidentally launched Brexit, or any number of other tall tales at a live recording of the podcast “History Fluffer,” at Park Slope’s Union Hall on Jan. 24. 

The improvised fake history show stars Dave Hill as a comedic “Forrest Gump”–like figure recalling his involvement with key historical moments, while fellow comics Jim Biederman, Jodi Lennon, and Chris Gersbeck add details and egg him on. 

“I basically just b——- the whole story,” Hill said. “It’s really fun and silly.” 

The stories are completely off-the-cuff, with the team of comedians coming up with a historical subject a few hours before each showtime. The comics sometimes build a narrative based on accurate details before veering off into the absurd, but just as often start with no facts at all, and only touch on the ostensible subject in the last five minutes of the hourlong show.

Past episodes have fluffed Hill’s time as a member of the Ramones, the time he helped J.R.R. Tolkien write “The Lord of the Rings,” and his time as the Son of Sam’s dog walker. 

The podcast has been recording regularly for about a year, with the comedians alternating between episodes taped in the studio and live shows. The live episodes are a kind of improv endurance test, said Hill, with everyone having to think on their feet with no breaks, but having a live audience provide laughs is a worthy payoff. 

“The fun thing about having the audience is just getting that reaction,” he said. “It’s even more of a challenge because you’re trying to keep the ball in the air.” 

The “History Fluffer” show at Union Hall is a part of the third Brooklyn Podcast Festival, which will host  more than 15 live podcasts between Jan. 22 and 26, including an episode of NPR’s “Ask Me Another” featuring “High Maintenance” star Ben Sinclair at the Bell House on Jan. 22, the Dungeons and Dragons podcast “Rude Tales of Magic” on Jan. 23, and accurate history podcast “The Bowery Boys” at the Bell House on Jan. 26.

“History Fluffer” at Union Hall [702 Union St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 638-4400, www.unionhallny.com]. Jan. 24 at 9:30 pm. $15. 

In the spotlight: The “History Fluffer” podcast will record a live segment as part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival, running next week at several Brooklyn locations.Photo by Scott Eric Johnson