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Comedians Brian McGuinness and Calvin Cato prepare for 100th episode of improvised video game podcast, Playable Characters

PRESS RELEASE — February 6, 2019

New York NY, USA—Comedians Brian McGuinness (Inside Amy Schumer) and Calvin Cato (named one of Time Out New York’s “LGBT Comedians of Color You Should Know”) are preparing to release the 100th episode of their long-running video game podcast Playable Characters on Monday, February 25th, 2019. The show finds its two hosts engaging in completely ad-libbed interviews with retro and often obscure video game characters. Past “guests” have included everyone from King Bowser to Diddy Kong to Arthur from Ghosts n’ Goblins. Playable Characters’ archive of 96 episodes are all currently available on iTunes.

The podcast, which debuted in March of 2017 and has amassed a cult following amongst both gamers and comedy fans, was created as an alternative to typical gaming podcasts.

“Most video game podcasts are just a couple people reviewing or complaining about video games,” said Brian McGuinness. “We wanted to do something different so we started rattling off ideas. Then Aalap [Patel - who is no longer involved with the show] said, ‘What if we just interviewed video game characters like Bullet Bill?’ and the concept grew from there.”

Each episode of Playable Characters features a comedian playing the role of McGuinness and Cato’s guest. Performers have included Christian Finnegan (of the infamous “Mad Real World” sketch on Chappelle’s Show) who portrayed Roach the Horse from Witcher 3, while an upcoming episode will feature Lucie Pohl (who is actually the voice of heroine Mercy in Overwatch).

Occasionally, “guests” are only tangentially tied to video game characters. Sometimes, they’re even completely made up. “We love creating our own characters such as ‘Fighting Game Location Scout’ or ‘Resident Evil House Cleaner,’” said McGuinness. “The show is also 100% improvised and ad-libbed, so the joy and laughter you hear is all real.”

The hosts made the decision early on to shy away from big name characters like Mario or Sonic in favor of B, C and D-list characters such as Jax from Mortal Kombat, Roll from Megaman and Igor the Candlemaster from Castlevania. A popular recurring segment of Playable Characters is “wed, bed, dead,” or as Cato calls it, “a slightly family-friendlier version of f*ck, marry, kill.”

McGuinness & Cato have big “guests” planned for Playable Characters’ 100th episode, though they can’t yet reveal who they are due to its ambitious undertaking.

“We’re really excited for our 100th episode.” McGuinness said. “First, we can’t even believe we made it this far with such a consistently funny product that we’re very proud of. But also it’s a pretty massive idea that we’re so excited for our loyal fans to hear.”

Playable Characters is available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else podcasts are found.

Brian McGuinness has been making the world laugh since he was in college writing funny stories for Nonsense Humor Magazine at Hofstra University in 1998. Since 2004, he’s been performing stand-up all over the country. He’s appeared on Inside Amy Schumer and The Jim Gaffigan Show, and numerous commercials as a voice-actor. His laid back, yet hilarious brand of silly comedy will leave audiences crying of laughter.

Calvin S. Cato got his comedic start with the Wesleyan University stand-up comedy troupe Punchline and then transferred his unique brand of humor to New York City in 2006. He has performed all across the United States and has even crossed the border into Canada. His television appearances include the Game Show Network, Oxygen’s My Crazy Love, National Geographic’s Brain Games, and an unaired pilot for Vice Media called Emergency Black Meeting. His comedy has been featured in San Francisco Sketchfest, Austin’s Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, and the Cinder Block Comedy Festival. In addition, you may have heard him overshare on many podcasts including Keith and The Girl, The Beige Philip Show, and Tinder Tales. In 2017, Calvin was named one of Time Out New York’s Queer Comics of Color to Watch Out For. You can catch Calvin every 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Mondays as the host/producer of Ed Sullivan on Acid at Freddy’s Bar in Brooklyn, one of the longest running free comedy shows in Brooklyn.

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