When you tell your friends that your new favorite podcast is a murder-comedy, they will respond in one of two ways.
Frequently they will have a confused, judgmental or uncomfortable facial expression to show their disapproval. However, sometimes you will see a spark of excitement, which will incite an in-depth conversation on the appeal of true crime. This connection is what has fueled the current sub-culture surrounding Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark’s podcast, “My Favorite Murder.”
The podcast emulates the feeling of the scary stories told in the dark during a middle school slumber party. Only replace the ghosts and monsters with murderers, and the childhood fear with adulthood thrill.
While they don’t hide their passion for the topic, they acknowledge it’s not common dinner conversation. The duo knows how to keep things light-hearted, while keeping respect for those involved and the sensitivity of their audience. Their humor never crosses the line into crude or graphic.
In their full-length episodes, they each tell the details of a true-crime story they have researched. In their “minisodes” they share the hometown murders and stories sent to them by their friends and listeners. This adds variety to the format, allowing their listeners to hear many stories they might not have already been exposed to.
When the podcast began, Kilgariff was a television writer and stand-up comedian and Hardstark was a writer and host for the Cooking Channel. Kilgariff and Hardstark never imagined their secret passion would become their full time job.
With almost 30,000 reviews on iTunes and a sold-out nationwide tour, what made their podcast an international phenomenon? Kilgariff and Hardstark’s chemistry makes you feel like you’re a part of a secret club. The show is filled with funny one liners, like “you’re in a cult, call your dad,” which over the years have become the show’s slogans. Many listeners feel they have found their community are proud to call themselves “Murderinos.”
One thing Kilgariff and Hardstark have done to cultivate this community has been to talk openly about their struggles with anxiety, and how that plays into their fascination with true crime. This is a sentiment many of their listeners can relate to. By creating a space for people to hear and participate in judgment free communication, they have done their part to eliminate some of the shame around the anxiety felt by their listeners.
They use their show as a platform to tell important stories, but also give recommendations to other crime-related shows, books, and movies they enjoy. With over a hundred full length episodes and 50 “minisodes,”there is plenty of true crime for you to binge.
After they have shared their true crime stories of the week, and gone on many random and hilarious tangents, they always end the show the same. “Stay sexy, and don’t get murdered,” followed by an enthusiastic meow from Hardstark’s Siamese cat, Elvis.