With an Iron City beer in one hand and an unlit cigar in the other, Jim Krenn sits comfortably behind the mic, a position he'd been missing since his departure from 102.5 WDVE-FM more than a year ago.
The show, which debuted in March, features Krenn and local comedian and impressionist Terry Jones. Joining them are Pittsburgh transplant John Evans, a 2008 semi-finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing, and former 'DVE contributor Mike Wysocki, who writes a "Twisted Sports" segment read in "Weekend Update" style.
It's structured like a morning show, including pre-recorded skits — like parody Food Network programs hosted by Jones' Samuel L. Jackson. Familiar Krenn characters like Ralph the Cat and Stanley P. Kachowski will appear. But mostly, Krenn will showcase new voices, such as George Clooney, Paul Giamatti, Morgan Freeman, Bryant Gumbel and Deepak Chopra.
Podcast guests have included cartoonist Rob Rogers, businessman and political candidate "Dok" Harris and comedian and filmmaker Tom Megalis. The next episode features comedian, actor and director Bobcat Goldthwait.
The podcasts are recorded in Krenn's agent's studio, in Moon, and occasionally on location — including an upcoming Bigfoot Conference in Salt Fork, Ohio. In warmer weather they'll tape some on his back porch.
"The show is like a conversation at the corner of the bar — a few friends bullshitting around beers. The guests are sort of bellying up to the bar to join in," Krenn says. "And the listener is just eavesdropping on the conversation.
"‘No Restrictions' is a reinvention for me in certain ways. This is going to be the signature comedy of my life, creatively. It's the most exciting writing I've ever done. And podcasting is like the new frontier."
The show was selected as a "New & Noteworthy" podcast on iTunes. "It's not exactly an old shoe, but a new shoe that fits really well," says Krenn.
Krenn is also doing more standup. This weekend he'll take the stage at Latitude 40. Opening and emceeing for him are Jones and Wysocki — "so it will give the audience a sense of what the podcast is like."