Examining the fan labor of episodic TV podcast hosts

  • Lauren Savit Indiana University
Keywords: Best of Friends, Fans with fans, Friends, Gift economy, Subcultural celebrity


In podcasting—an understudied site of fan engagement—hosts of episodic TV podcasts, who are self-professed fans of a particular television series, engage in their fandom through a particular form of fan labor: producing and hosting a weekly podcast. Hosting an episodic TV podcast is a form of digital fan labor situated within the online fan gift economy. The resulting subcultural celebrity status that the hosts attain is ultimately what drives them to continue podcasting, regardless of any financial incentives that may arise from hosting a successful podcast. Through interviews with the hosts of the Friends (NBC, 1994–2004) podcast Best of Friends (2015–), Erin Mallory Long and Jamie Woodham, it becomes clear that by closely examining the different modes of fandoms that emerge from episodic TV podcasts, we can expand legible fan studies methodologies and apply them in the study of new and emerging fan practices and behaviors.