The Onion Meets Cosmo: A Podcast for the 'Basic Bitch' - OZY | A Modern Media Company

The Onion Meets Cosmo: A Podcast for the 'Basic Bitch'

The Onion Meets Cosmo: A Podcast for the 'Basic Bitch'

By Libby Coleman


Well, it’s a man’s world, so maybe you shouldn’t care.

By Libby Coleman

El-oh-el. Like … oh my gawd. This podcast is hilar.

Take The Onion. Combine it with Cosmo, Glamour and Elle. Put it in podcast form. That’s one recipe any woman can understand, right? Every Wednesday, two editors of Reductress, a parody women’s news site, embody “basic bitch” with another sardonic, satirical episode of Mouth Time, playing characters who are obsessed with being tiny and riding horses.

In any given episode, they might work on making their laughs hotter or play “King, Barn, Schmarf” — their version of “Fuck, Marry, Kill.” The satire’s good, making for a listening experience that’s one part disgust, two parts enjoyment. We spoke with the writer-producer for the show, Sarah Pappalardo, and one of the hosts, Nicole Silverberg, about leaning in and other burning questions of womanhood and digital publishing.

OZY: Is it hard to be coming up with so many words so quickly, given your small female brains and weak female mouths?

Nicole: You know, it’s always a challenge, because our brains move at 77 percent of the speed of male brains. But we’ve got a great all-female writing team. The themes are really true to us, like inspiration or waking up from comas. 

OZY: What kind of stuff are you guys reading?

Sarah: Ugh. I can’t get enough of Elite Daily and Women’s Week.

OZY: What’s the segment you guys didn’t end up doing that still makes you laugh?

Nicole: I’ve been pushing for an episode theme about us trying to get every animal shelter empty to #emptytheshelters. I’m optimistic it’ll make it on sooner or later.

Sarah: I’m still pretty gung-ho for my favorite game, “Would You Fuck It?” We have to carefully curate a list of things or people (we’re open to that too) that we’d fuck or not fuck.

OZY: How’d you get into this? What’s the origin story?

Sarah: Reductress was started by me and Beth Newell when we realized there was not a satirical women’s magazine out there. We’ve been around three years now. And we wanted to make a podcast that touched upon the same hot topics we hit on on the site. We’re super inspired by Cosmo and their breathtaking hard-hitting journalism.

OZY: How do you describe Reductress and Mouth Time to someone who’s never read or watched?

Nicole: I think the podcast imagines two people stirred genuinely by Reductress’ content. I think they’re two women the media imagines are out there but are an absurd facet of the imagination.

OZY: Those people don’t exist?

Nicole: They’re out there but they’re in trouble.

OZY: Would you say you guys are leaning in, and like, to what degree are you leaning in? 

Nicole: I’m at 180 degrees at all times. If you’re not, you’re not doing enough yoga.

Sarah: There’s a game called “Leaning Up” I’ve created. I’ve leaned in and now I’m leaning up. As long as you’re leaning, I think you’re doing good work.   

OZY: Plans for the show?

Sarah: We’re probably going to Italy. No, if there are any readers who want to bring us out to Italy, we’ll go. We want to have our own Eat, Pray, Love, but it’s just us eating.

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