Interviews

A Chat With Ben Kissel + Henry Zebrowski Of Last Podcast On The Left

Last Podcast On The Left 2019

We managed to steal a few minutes away from two-thirds of the horror-centric weekly podcast Last Podcast On The Left.

American comedian, writer, and aspiring politician Ben Kissel and American actor and comedian Henry Zebrowski joined me over the phone to talk about serial killers, horror movies, and much more.

Their show is currently on tour and you can catch them live in Vancouver

LAST PODCAST ON THE LEFT
THURSDAY, MAY 30 at 7:30 PM
QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE

Tickets: $30 & $45 (taxes included + facility & service charges)
Ticket info: www.ticketmaster.ca
For more ticket information please visit www.hahaha.com

Full list of tour dates:

  • 5/19 – Salt Lake City
  • 5/30 – Vancouver
  • 5/31 – Seattle
  • 6/1 – Portland
  • 6/2 – Portland
  • 6/23 – Perth
  • 6/24 – Adelaide
  • 6/27 – Sydney
  • 6/28 – Melbourne
  • 6/29 – Brisbane
  • 7/18 – Oakland
  • 7/20 – San Diego
  • 7/21 – Los Angeles
  • 9/4 – Dublin
  • 9/6 – Bristol
  • 9/7 – Edinburgh
  • 9/10 – Manchester
  • 9/11 – Birmingham
  • 9/13 – London
  • 9/16 – Stockholm
  • 9/18 – Berlin

Here is our conversation:

CONCERT ADDICTS:  I was just getting into your guys’ Robert Pickton four part series.

BEN:  Hell yeah!

HENRY:  Oh yeah? You got a lot of evil in Canada. You guys really…um…you lie by being nice

CONCERT ADDICTS:  It’s true

HENRY:  I think that this is true.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  It’s how we get away with everything.

BEN:  Absolutely!

HENRY:  Honestly, under the surface there is much violence in your hills.

BEN:  I’m from Wisconsin, which is the Canada of America, and we have Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer. So, I know for a fact, nice outside and full of lies.

HENRY:  You guys go out of your way, because in Wisconsin you could like pull over on the side of the road. It’s the type of state, you can still pull over on the side of the road and like a man in a house, if he’s cooking dinner, like out in front of his house on like a fire or something, he will invite you to eat with him. You guys open your doors to people, to strangers you love it but it’s just a trap. He’s just trying to see how fat you are, how soft are you, how much my pig is going to like being on you.

BEN:  Right! How much feed can I get out of this one person’s hide.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  It’s true; it’s what Canadians are like. That silent rage.

BEN:  I know it.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  So, I actually grew up across the bridge from Port Coquitlam, where Robert Pickton was, and I used to work at a landscape yard where he used to come in every so often. So, I met him a few times.

BEN:  Nice.

HENRY:  All of you are accessories to his crimes.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  We all knew something was happening.

BEN:  I wanna flip the interview and ask how he was but I know that not what this is all about. That has to be really trippy to be meeting Willy Pickton.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Yeah, well you guys talk about it in that episode. You talk about all the parties at Piggies Palace they had there. Everybody knew something shady was going on there.

HENRY:  Yeah! Yeah, dude! It was an unlicensed rock club at a pig farm.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Run by the Hell’s Angels!

HENRY:  There had to be something fishy going on there. Those big guys are coming in and out of there. These big guys in parkas with pig emblems embroidered on the back of them, all covered in blood and cocaine.

BEN:  Yeah, how did that work? If the pigs were oinking loud was it a good party? Or, did that mean things got out of hand?

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Well, if the pigs were oinking loud I bet something was having a good time.

BEN:  Okay, good.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  That’s how we gauged it on the pig-o-meter, then we knew it was a good time.  But when you guys were here last, you guys were here a couple of years back.  You guys played at the Rickshaw Theatre, and that was in the Downtown Eastside. Which is an interesting place.

BEN:  [laughter]

HENRY:  [laughter] Yeah man.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Do you guys have any memories of that experience?

HENRY:  The worst neighbourhood I have ever been in. I have lived in the worst parts of New York. I have driven through the worst parts of Los Angeles. That was the single worst neighbourhood I have ever seen. I saw a woman pull a heroine needle out of her arm and squirt her blood all over the wall and it was three o’clock in the afternoon.

BEN:  Yeah, as a fan of the Resident Evil video game series. I did feel like I was transported into a video game and it was the zombie apocalypse. I saw a woman digging into the ground as her nails broke on the concrete and I don’t know where she was trying to go, but she did just stay on the same corner until we finished our show and then I saw her again on the way back.

HENRY:  She was going to China but she didn’t understand you need a credit card to get those plane ticket.

BEN:  And you’re out on the Delta Sky Miles.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Yeah, if you go straight through the earth you miss out on those points.

HENRY:  [laughter] You gotta get those miles!

CONCERT ADDICTS:  [laughter]

HENRY:  Otherwise, it is a beautiful city and we can’t wait to be back.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  It’s going to be exciting to have you guys back here.

BEN:  I will just say to all the rich people in Vancouver, do yourself a favour, walk down East Hastings every single Friday and just feel bad about yourself.

HENRY:  [laughter]

CONCERT ADDICTS:  [laughter]

BEN:  Because, you are going that to those people.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  It’s true, it’s true. There is no other way around it. So, I’ve never seen one of your guys’ live shows, I’ve listened to quite a few episodes. What sets your guys’ live shows apart from your pre-recorded shows?

HENRY:  Actually, what we are going for our live shows is very different from our normal recorded podcast. We don’t do a live version of a podcast. It is essentially a three person, multimedia stand-up show.

BEN:  Right. So, we cover a lot of the same subjects that we have covered on the podcast in the background. So, we do something unscripted. Henry does a great UFO bit, I do a wrestling bit, and Marcus brings in some serial killer conspiracies. So, it really is just kind of a full buffet of paranormal, creepy, and serial killers.

HENRY:  We’re just trying to make sure that every single time that we bring something out to you guys, for people to watch us, that we want it to be different and we want it to be exciting. I’m not into the idea of just two people sitting on stools with microphones in front of their face.

BEN:  Yeah, we add more. There is a lot of character acting.  We just have a really good time performing with each other on stage and it would actually translate horrible into a recorded podcast. This is just for them, for the audience.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Nice! So, I just have some general questions  about your guys’ live for horror and darkness, and all of that stuff. Do you guys’ remember the first horror movie that either one of you saw?

HENRY:  When I was a little kid I was obsessed with the movie House.

BEN:  Ooh, that’s a good one.

HENRY:  It co-starred George Went for some reason.  I was just obsessed with it as a little kid and I would make my parents rent it over and over again. And then there is a scene where there is a large monster woman in a shower stall, and I’d check the shower stall before taking a shit every day until I was eleven years old.

BEN:  [laughter]

CONCERT ADDICTS:  [laughter]

BEN:  Well, mine also…my favourite horror movie growing up also involves me being horrified in the bathroom. That was the television two-parter of “It”. I was about eleven or twelve years old when that came out and that scared me, dare I say, S-H-“It”-LESS because I was just the perfect age for it. And it was so strange, the feeling of true fear. It was something that I…I think all of us, Henry, Marcus, and I…it’s just like a feeling where you’re like “Well, I better conquer this” otherwise I’m gonna end up in an insane asylum somewhere. So, for me it was the movie “It” where I fell in love with horror but I also was just not ever the same because clowns will always terrify me.

HENRY:  Honestly, the thing too is I kinda got…it’s kinda like heroin where the fear I used to get from horror movies I keep chasing for that feeling, keep chasing the dragon to get back  to being scared by movies that I think it turned into an obsession with real horror. It turned into an obsession with serial killers and cryptids and everything evil.

BEN:  Yeah, especially for Henry and myself. So, Henry his mother grew up in the Son of Sam era in Queens, New York and I’m from Wisconsin, so, I grew up with Jeffrey Dahmer. So, for both of us it was like… Henry’s mother used to talk to us about having to wear her hair a certain way, or whatever it was, and for me it was just Dahmer was just all over the airwaves . So, I think both us were just inundated with two of the biggest true crime stories in the country when we were like really young.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Well, that is definitely very cool. Henry hit the nail on the head it’s like chasing the dragon. When you start…You said when you start off young, it scars you enough that later your always just chasing that trying to get it. And, I’m always interested to find out people…well, find out there first horror experience. It’s pretty interesting.

HENRY:  Mhm, it seems to always go back early for people that are into horror that have been into horror there whole lives.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Is there any horror movie that you guys have tried to watch that was too intense, or anything, to get through?

HENRY:  Nah. I ‘ve watch…now, honestly I don’t need to watch really horrible stuff anymore. I don’t need to see it, like I’ve kinda grown a distaste for it. When I was coming up in researching stuff, I watched like every single thing and I was on the internet when the pictures of Abu Ghraib came out and I watched all of that. I watched all the human death stuff, I watched all the Faces Of Death, all that stuff back in the day.

BEN:  Yeah, I watched a little bit of the Faces Of Death but I’m also a big wrestling fan, so, I used to watch all the Japanese death matches, which is about as brutal as you can get to be televised.  For me, the only movie that truly traumatized me, because I went to Catholic school, my brothers took me to see the movie Sleepers.

HENRY:  Ugh!

CONCERT ADDICTS:  No!

BEN:  Which I was like twelve years old and that movie still messes me up to this day. Like after that movie, I was like “I don’t think I can live in this world where this kind of stuff happens”. So, that was like the only time where I was just, like, tapping out because it was a little close to home.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Yeah, that is a pretty brutal thing to watch when you are twelve. That’ll fuck you up.

HENRY:  You got to though man.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  You have to do it.

HENRY:  You gotta keep your head on a swivel. If you’re twelve years old and you’re going to church, you gotta be able to swat those hands, man. Those hands are coming from every shadow.

BEN:  [laughter]

CONCERT ADDICTS:  [laughter]

BEN:  Yeah, but you don’t want to swat their dicks because they are gonna think you are into it.

HENRY:  [laughter]

CONCERT ADDICTS:  It’s a delicate balance. So, do either of you guys collect any horror or occult memorabilia or collectibles or anything like that?

HENRY:  I have some stuff in my house.  I’ve been looking for more occult stuff. I’ve stopped collecting serial killer paraphernalia, simply because it’s just not good to have anymore or I don’t need to have any of it. But I do have some good spooky stuff.

BEN:  Well, yeah, as a matter of fact Henry probably has the greatest collection…do you have a Gacy painting Henry or you were just thinking about getting it?

HENRY:  I don’t like publically talking… no, I don’t have a full on painting. I don’t really like talking about it because its secret.

BEN:  This is kind of the thing too, for us it’s weird because we kind of have a different…you know we don’t glorify these serial killers. We kind of like to make fun of them and talk about what kind of incel lame-o’s they are. When it comes to serial killer collecting, and I don’t want to be hypocritical in any which way, it’s kind of…

HENRY:  It’s like your celebrating them. You’re giving them icon status.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  You’re deifying them.

BEN:  Right!

HENRY:  So, now, for me, I am way more into having occult objects . So, now, that is kinda what I am working towards is just having more of that. As a matter of facts, I have so many that it’s made our comedy partner Holden McNeely’s wife is actually very Christian and they were staying in our studio in Los Angeles, and I just forget that some people are just really, really triggered by upside down crosses and nude women dressed as Satan and Ouija boards.  I have a collection of Ouija boards.  And, she had to leave the studio…did you hear this Kissel?…she had to leave the studio but Holden talked her down and they got back in there. She did turn a couple of the crosses back up.

BEN:  Well, that’s funny. You know, were so funny with this kind of stuff. It really is the power that you give it. An upside down cross is not…it’s just a piece of wood or metal. It’s just the totems that people kinda create for themselves but yeah.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  It’s kind just the other end of the spectrum. They are actually following deities and they are overpowering things that don’t need to have that. That kinda leads into my next question, who is the worst or quote, unquote best serial killer in your guys’ mind?  I mean, who is at the top of the food chain when it comes to all the serial killers that you’ve ever read about?

BEN:  Well, we’re talking about the worst of the worst, so, we’ll call it the bottom of the food chain.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Yeah, the bottom, that’s what I mean.

HENRY:  The bottom of the food chain, that’s what I call them. I still think that, unfortunately, because he wants this moniker so much that he technically did do it…ugh…I’m not gonna give it to BTK. His own stupidity got him caught. I think that I would probably put that to somebody in my mind… I think Ted Bundy was probably the most dangerous person to ever live. I think that he was a very, very dangerous human being. To him and probably to Richard Ramirez.

BEN:  I was gonna go with Richard Ramirez just because he didn’t really have a type. He would kill old, he would kill young , he would kill men, he would kill women, and he would camp out in their homes which is such an invasion.  He just sort of, you know, he just kinda violated every single safe haven, every single, you know, safe institution.  So, I’m gonna go with Ramirez.

HENRY:  The same thing, BTK…BTK kinda did…yeah, no, Richard Ramirez combined them all because Richard Ramirez was both impulsive and he planned. He really just did every type of heinous thing you could do and he acted like he was a sixteen year old who just go into Jethro Tull.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  [laughter]

BEN:  [laughter] Well, their more metal than Metallica according to the Grammy’s.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  That makes sense. That hyper intelligence and sort of overcoming their own desires by being hyper calculated so they don’t follow a string pattern. That definitely makes sense; Ted Bundy and Ramirez. I would put them up there for sure, that makes sense.

BEN:  You know they also all followed patterns and they were crazy, so, it’s hard to, like, find the pattern, but there is always a pattern with these people. Even  Isreal Keyes, who we just covered, you know.

HENRY:  Just straight up the fact that they did it where they live. Something always have to give with these guys. It just happens, that is how we end up knowing about them. They fuck up one way or another, and mostly they do that because of their impulsivity.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Well, thank you for that. I’ve got just a couple quick questions for you and then I will let you guys go. This one is actually specifically for Henry. Is there any chance of converting Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell into a Broadway play?

HENRY:  I’d love to.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  That would be the best.

HENRY:  We just need a financier.  We need a financier but  I’d love to.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Anybody I talk to, it’s definitely one of the shows that I recommend across the board. That dark fucking humour is so good.

HENRY:  Thank you so much, man.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  It’s fucking amazing.

HENRY:  I love that show.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  It’s so good, I want to see it every day. I just want to watch new episodes every day.

BEN:  Absolutely.

HENRY:  Thank you, man.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  So, one last question. This is something we ask everybody. Our website is kind of geared more towards music and we do a lot of stuff with pop culture and movies. Is there any under-the-radar or lesser-known musicians or artists that you guys are into that you think people should be checking out? That doesn’t have to be musicians that could be writers or painters or anything.

HENRY:  Oh my god. We are like the wrong dudes. Marcus is the guy for that.

BEN:  I mean I like older country, so, I like…there is this…William Elliott Whitmore is really fun. You know there is some cool new country that I like, like Sturgill Simpson. So, I think there is some cool new, old-country found . But honestly man, when it comes to me anyway, I just like to listen to old stuff; Willie and Waylon. I think music could have stopped in 1981 and we would all be fine.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  [laughter] I get that.

HENRY:  Yeah dude. It’s the truth. Marcus actually listens to current music. My music tastes, I straight up listen to classic rock. I listen to a lot of songs you could wash your car to. A lot of seventies stuff.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Okay, how about this? Last song that you remember listening to, then. The last band that you remember listening to. Doesn’t have to be new.

 HENRY:  I was just listening to the band Chic on the ’70s on 7 on SiriusXM.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  That’s fucking awesome.

HENRY:  Yeah!

BEN:  I don’t wanna be to up to date but I did just download all of Townes Van Zandt albums and I listened to Townes Van Zandt the entire last airplane trip that I had.

HENRY:  It’s a good album to drunkenly…or I guess hangoveredly cry on an airplane to.

BEN:  Exactly!

CONCERT ADDICTS:  There’s some melancholy in there.

BEN:  When you travel as much as we do, when you live the kind of life we do, it really is like drunk music, hangover music, and then sober music we just don’t talk about. Like sometimes we’ll listen to Ben Folds Five.

HENRY:  Yeah, I was just listening to the “Le Freak”, which I think that, I dunno.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Nice! That’s perfect. That’s exactly it, and that is all I have for you guys. So, I really appreciate your time and I can’t wait to hopefully catch you guys when you come in here to Vancouver.

BEN:  Absolutely! You’re on the list, so please just come on out and enjoy the show.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Oh! For sure I will be there. I’ll be the fat guy with the bard laughing harder than anyone else there.

BEN:  You’ll be just like us.

HENRY:  Thank you so much, man.

CONCERT ADDICTS:  Thank you so much, you guys have a great day.

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