“9/12” host Dan Taberski stopped by Podsauce on the heels of his major Podcast of the Year win at the 2022 Ambies. Dan shared how he finds humor in the post-9/11 world, how documentary filmmaking led to podcasting, and what happened after he “found” Richard Simmons.
“9/12” grapples with the aftermath of 9/11. The 7-episode series shares poignant, surprising, and surprisingly funny stories of people who find themselves navigating their new, altered reality.
As a born-and-raised New Yorker, Dan shares why he wanted to tell people’s stories in the podcast. He was in the city during 9/11 and lost a friend. At the time, he was working on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, so comedy was his job, and Dan felt it was more challenging to be funny after 9/11.
People wondered how to find light in the darkness, and the podcast’s second episode is about finding humor in the post-9/11 landscape. He talked to The Onion‘s staff as they reflected on what they could possibly write about in the days and weeks following the attack.
Despite dealing with the tragedy this entire podcast, Dan says he’s laughed harder on this series than any others he’s worked on, and loves finding the funny parts of dark topics when possible.
Episode 1 talks to people who initially had no idea 9/11 happened, walks through how they found out, and why they were secluded from the world. He discussed approaching the stories without it feeling exploitative and figuring out a new way to tell the story. By interviewing people who had not seen the attacks in real time, or rewatched it on the news, it’s interesting to hear how they had processed it differently. Episodes are remembering the shock of 9/11 without overdosing on the horror and reconsidering what “Never Forget” means.
In his other podcast, “Missing: Richard Simmons,” Dan set out to find what happened to the fitness guru when he stepped away from the public eye and stopped showing up to work. Dan also created “Surviving Y2K” and “Running from COPS” among other projects.
This week’s Done in a Day pick is “Very Scary People” a 6-part series about the Amityville Murders, hosted by Donnie Wahlberg.
Our Pod Oh La La pick is “This Is Dating,” giving listeners the chance to be flies on the wall for several modern daters’ experiences.