Comedians Sofie Hagen and Jodie Mitchell on their brilliant new podcast
BY ROXY BOURDILLON
If you’re yearning for something quintessentially queer and all kinds of awesome to fill your earholes on your commute/in the tub/to drown out the deafening sound of the patriarchy, this one’s for you! Professionally hilarious stand-ups Sofie Hagen and Jodie Mitchell co-host the new and addictive Secret Dinosaur Cult, a podcast spanning everything from body positivity and battling with your roommates to daddy issues and diplodicuses with segments including The Ross Gellar Corner Of Shame and “How did you fill your daddy hole this week?”. I caught up with Sofie and Jodie to find out more.
DIVA: I’m only a few episodes in and I’m already a big fan of Secret Dinosaur Cult. How did it all begin?
SOFIE: I was going to start a podcast with someone else, actually. We had a whole room full of people, ready to watch us record the first ever episode. Jodie was in that audience. But then my podcast partner never showed up – and I panicked and asked Jodie to please improvise a new podcast with me. And she did and it just felt so right. I then had to have a very awkward conversation with the person who I was originally meant to podcast with. I had to say, “Sorry, but… I now want to do this podcast with Jodie, that we made up on the spot”.
JODIE: What Sofie hasn’t said is that I too was late to the show and wasn’t far up enough in the queue to get a seat, so I was in the middle of helping her set up the room out of guilt for not being more supportive when she propositioned me.
I would describe Secret Dinosaur Cult as hilarious, whimsical, relatable, cathartic and T-Rexcellent. How would you describe it in five words?
SOFIE: Funny. Dinosaurs. Daddy issues. Live.
JODIE: Queer. Queer. Daddy issues. Queer.
Just how queer are we talking?
JODIE: It’s as queer as I am! (SO QUEER. I am VERY QUEER. I have spewed my genderqueer lesbian brain out all over this podcast.) We talk about gender identity and sexuality and coming out and queer sex, and all the feminism you can fit in your ears.
SOFIE: I flaunt my fat queerness and my queer fatness all over the podcast. Jodie is also a drag king and part of a queer comedy collective called The Lol Word so she’s basically all up in that queerness. Whereas I’m just getting started in exploring my own pan/bisexuality, my gender identity and presentation and how my fatness fits in to all of this. Secret Dinosaur Cult is very much a place you can go to feel not alone in your othering.
What do you love so much about podcasting?
SOFIE: I am an absolute control-freak, so I love that no faceless executive producer who has never been creative, who just cares about money, can tell me what to do. I love the autonomy of it. How it cuts out the middle man.
JODIE: I love that you can just put your stuff out there. When you’re making excellent queer content, you don’t want to have to go through the process of convincing *insert straight-white-cis-man’s name here* that he should promote it or commission it or whatever. He never has good taste.
You two have excellent co-hosting chemistry. Why do you think you work so well together?
SOFIE: So, Jodie had three dads that all left and I had one dad who left twice, so we share this bond of being abandoned daughters. Which we find very funny, because trauma is funny and when you laugh at it, it all makes a bit more sense. Besides, we’re both very eager to be politically on the right side of history and we’re both quite grateful, I think, to have found someone else who also loves being called out on being problematic because they want to become a better person.
JODIE: It’s very rare in comedy to work with people that share your opinions when you have feminist ones. Sofie does, and I do, and we like laughing at the same things and raging at the same things, and it’s just… great. Plus, there’s all the mutual trauma that we get to project onto dinosaurs. There’s lots of that #dads.
Secret Dinosaur Cult is very confessional. Have you ever shared something on the podcast and regretted it later?
SOFIE: That’s the great thing about doing a live podcast – the audience gets all the juicy, libellous secrets that we, mostly for legal reasons, have to edit out of the final version. Doing Secret Dinosaur Cult is a lot like just chatting to your best mate, so of course you’re going to say things that aren’t exactly meant for a wider audience to hear.
JODIE: I have almost no social filter, so I continuously share immensely personal details about my life with no regrets. However, as I write this, I am being messaged by my first love, who has now listened to the podcast. I now regret some things I have said.
You’re both very funny people, but what makes you laugh the hardest?
SOFIE: In each episode, we improvise a jingle for a segment called Daddy Hole. It makes me cry with laughter.
JODIE: Our opening jingle screams the phrase “so much trauma”. I snort every single time that we play it.
It is an epic jingle! I love how inclusive and positive the podcast is. I wish social media was more like that! What’s your advice for dealing with trolls online?
SOFIE: I hate that that’s a question we can ask each other. I am so utterly tired of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram allowing Nazis and other horrible misogynists, homo- and transphobes to harass and abuse people online and at the same time, they ban women for showing their nipples. My advice for dealing with trolls online is to Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey: stop allowing trolls on your social media platforms.
JODIE: I second what Sofie said. If you’d seen how she takes down trolls, you wouldn’t argue with her either. She is the troll queen.
Sofie, I can’t wait to read your book! How’s it coming along? Any ideas when it will be out?
SOFIE: Ooh, thank you! I’m very excited. Happy Fat is in the finishing stages at the moment. It will be out in April 2019 and there will be a book tour as well, where I’ll do a Q&A and my first stand-up show, which was about body image. I can’t wait.
Finally, perhaps the most important question of all: what’s your favourite dinosaur and why?
SOFIE: Dilophosaurus. It’s the official dinosaur of Secret Dinosaur Cult. My favourite version is the fictional version in Jurassic Park, the one that spits venom and has that frill around its neck. Which, I have to stress, there is no evidence that the Dilo could do in real life.
JODIE: Sue, the non-binary T-Rex. They’re a babe. Their twitter presence, knowledge of the gender binary, and bone-preservation rate are all excellent.
For more info including live recordings/cult meetings, head to secretdinosaurcult.com
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