Sometime ago, I had the privilege of getting to know one of the best dude’s in the podcasting game out there, Mr. Johnny Grasso. Co-host of Rogue Won, (A podcast for Winners). A lot can be said for good ole Johnny, but I tell you this he doesn’t just make your normal run of the mill podcast, it’s a wild ride that’s always guaranteed to entertain no matter what! So if you love Star Wars and also love to laugh check out his show found here. Recently, I had the chance to bullshit with Johnny for a bit about his show and how he found the Galaxy far, far away.
Pete: Hello Johnny it’s so cool to sit down and finally get time to talk, so hows life treating ya?
Johnny: Hey Pete! Yes same here, I see you on Twitter all the time but rarely get to chat. Life is good! Keeping busy which is good, not sleeping much which sucks. But I’m surviving! (Barely)
Pete: Man, I have to say your podcast Rogue Won is one of the ones I listen to personally and it’s really cool. For those that don’t know you or your podcast tell us what its all about!
Johnny: Wow thank you! Listeners are hard to come by because there are so many great options out there so first and foremost thank you for listening!
Our podcast is called Rogue Won: A Star Wars podcast for winners! My co-hosts are Hawes Burkhardt from Blue Harvest Podcast and Michael Pappas from Ranker.com Right off the bat people will realize that we aim to have fun. I mean just the play on words alone tells the potential listeners we will approach the podcast with a sense of humor.
We try to entertain our listeners as well as inform and educate. We have incorporated several comedic segments such as ‘Johnny’s voicemail’, ‘But I digress’ which covers everything from relationship advice to anger management issues, and seemingly everyone’s favorite so far ‘Dude… ‘F’ that guy’ where we basically verbally belittle someone who has it coming.
But STAR WARS is our passion and drives the podcast. We are very fortunate to be a part of the Making Star Wars.net podcast network and can’t thank Jason Ward, Amanda Ward, and Randy Lo Gudice enough for the opportunity.
Pete: What is your Star Wars past, how did you get interested?
Johnny: I would have to thank, or blame my father for that one depending on the day. My dad is a huge SCI FI fan and he actually got me into Star Wars first through the toys, then Return of the Jedi in theaters, to finally watching the original trilogy over and over again on VHS.
Like many of us, Star Wars spoke to me. I was an outsider growing up, maybe I had 1 friend and Star Wars allowed my imagination run wild and kept me grounded. Or sane. Or out of juvenile detention. Again depends on the day.
Pete: How did you get into podcasting?
Johnny: THIS is an easy question to answer. EXACTLY a year ago I started writing into my favorite podcast, Making Star Wars.net’s ‘Now, THIS is podcasting’. And like most things in my life I tried to be funny. And more often than not, I was, and all the sudden by accident or on purpose (you’d have to ask Jason and Randy) a character was born with a distinctive perspective on Star Wars and a funny New Jersey accent played by Randy Lo Gudice.
When I saw through listening to the show what Randy and Jason were doing with my emails, I started to play into it, and develop the character ‘Johnny Grasso’. Each week I would write in trying to make people laugh. I had NO IDEA how many people actually cared or enjoyed it till listeners would write in and comment on my own listener emails to the show. People started to thank me, congratulate me, and quote me in their emails to the show, then later I joined Twitter and again, saw that I was actually being appreciated for my humor.
So what’s a guy to do? I always gave Jason and Randy ALL the credit and continued to write in. Eventually I had a regular segment on the best Star Wars podcast out and podcasters, like Magnus (@geekfurious) and Hawes Burkhardt from Blue Harvest, etc.. started inviting me to guest on their shows. That led to Michael Pappas convincing me to start our own podcast, where I brought in an amazing editor Hawes and well…. The rest is history.
Pete: Of all the upcoming Star Wars installments which one are you looking forward to the most?
Johnny: I’m a SKYWALKER FAMILY TREE guy so the episodic films are everything to me. I am most looking forward to seeing Luke and Kylo in episode 8.
Pete: What does the future hold for Johnny? What is something you want to do you have not tried yet?
Johnny: The future? “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.”
Something I want to do… To be honest, and this is nothing against anyone doing it today but…
We would OWN and DOMINATE WITH a televised and broadcasted round table Star Wars discussion/podcast/variety show.
If you put ‘Johnny Grasso’ (full on character mode), ‘Jason Ward’, ‘Randy Lo Gudice’ mixed in with a rotating panel of our fellow NTIP & Rogue Won cast mates like Sal Perales, Hawes Burkhardt, Max Palas, and Michael Pappas AND then the ‘cherry bomb’ on top with Rebel Grrrls Amanda Ward and Tracy Gardner YOU HAVE not only the greatest Star Wars panel ever assembled, but we would rival any and all pop culture shows of similar variety. PRODUCER/MONEY MAN NEEDED for this idea! Lol
Pete: That’s epic bro, truly!!! Tell us something we do not know about Johnny?
But because you are cool as hell, I will give you something. I’m almost embarrassed to say this to my Star Wars friends but….. I’m an athlete. That’s right, I’m athletic, please do not hold it against me. I love sports …especially baseball and football. Played Division 1 baseball and am a high school varsity baseball coach.
That being said, I’d rather be at a comic con or a Star Wars celebration any day over a baseball game. Even if I’m playing!