Podcast brings ‘riddikulus’ humor to Harry Potter world

By Katherine Savage, Staff Reporter

Courtesy Casey Campbell
Podcast “Potterless” follows host Mike Schubert as he reads the “Harry Potter” series for the first time.

In “Potterless,” a podcast following 25-year-old Mike Schubert reading the “Harry Potter” series for the first time, Schubert is not shy about voicing his take on the Wizarding World—even when it comes to disliking the popular wizarding sport known as Quidditch. 

During each episode, Schubert breaks down the books by chapter to analyze, critique and deliver witty takes on the franchise with various guest speakers.

First airing in October 2016, Schubert is now nearing the end of the last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

Schubert spoke with The Chronicle about “Harry Potter” and the behind-the-scenes work of creating a podcast.

How do you decide which guests are on the show?

In the beginning, it was mainly people whom I knew. It was half Vine friends, whom I knew would be funny, and half people whom I knew did podcasts. As it got more popular, it became more intentional trying to find a particular guest for particular chapters. Such a fun aspect of “Harry Potter” is everyone has a different feeling on the series and a different approach, so it was very important for me to have a lot of people from different walks of life.

What is your least favorite part of the books?

[However] many episodes it took to do each book, that’s how much I liked it—because it means I have more stuff to talk about. I did the first book in two episodes, and then I did the second book in three or four. I did easily the most episodes on book six. So clearly, when I like a book more, I talk more about it. It’s no secret in the podcast that I always hated the beginning recap chapters, but I get that they’re kid’s books and [the author] wants to refresh people on what happened. The refresher might be nice for other people, but for me, as a grumpy podcaster who was just plowing through them, I was like, “Come on, I don’t need this.”

Who has been your favorite character in the book series so far?

I probably will go with Ginny. She’s the perfect mix of all of the wit of Fred and George, and the sassiness of them, but then the wizarding prowess and power of Hermione. I love her as a pairing for Harry;  she offsets him very well. I love that she doesn’t put up with his BS, and she stands up to him. She is independent, confident and strong, even though she has all of these older brothers who are sometimes obnoxious people—Fred and George being obnoxiously goofy or Ron being Ron. It’s a shame she wasn’t done justice in the movies.

What happens when you finish reading the books?

The podcast will go on for a while because I’m going to do all the books, and then I’m going to do all the movies. Then, I’m going to do the spin-off books, and I have tickets to see ‘[Harry Potter and the] Cursed Child,’ I’ll see ‘Puffs’ and I’ll watch ‘A Very Potter Musical.’ There’s a whole bunch of stuff I can do there. I also want to get listeners involved. I’m thinking of setting up a voicemail service where people can call in with fan theories or things I missed.