We've Launched Two New Projects

And are looking for podcast hosts

Check out our new history podcast and food newsletter!

Underbelly L.A.

You might think of Los Angeles as the city of sunshine and bright Hollywood lights. And it probably is that, to a lot of people, but the thing about bright lights is that they always cast shadows. On our new podcast, Underbelly L.A., host Hadley Meares explores the secret side of the city — the shadows beneath the spotlight. Each of the ten episodes of the first season has Hadley, a writer and historian, telling a story that that you may not have heard on other podcasts about true crime or Hollywood history. Please, join us on the shady side of the street.

Find out more about Underbelly L.A. on the official website.

Underbelly L.A. on iTunes, on Stitcher, on Spotify, and on Soundcloud

Underbelly L.A. on Twitter
Underbelly L.A. on Facebook 
Underbelly L.A. on Patreon

This podcast was researched, written and narrated by Hadley Meares.

It is produced by Drew Mackie and edited by Meika Grimm. The music was composed by Donovan Dorrance and the logo was designed by Sarah Wickham.

Photo: Doug Merriam

Smart Mouth Newsletter

Smart Mouth is our food history podcast: every week there’s a different guest and host Katherine Spiers talks to them about the history of their favorite food, be it khachapuri, pho, or boba. The newsletter takes a similar approach to food, with a focus on context, in articles written by freelancers from around the world. Features include New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley cuisine and the true history of afternoon tea. (There are some more straightforward, quick restaurant reviews, too.) Subscribe here!


TableCakes is looking for Los Angeles-area podcast hosts! We need:

  • an excellent researcher and interviewer with a passion for pop music (WOC highly encouraged to apply.)

  • someone passionate about, but also critical of, the outdoors industry, from ski lift prices to National Park policies to Native American sovereignty to the best rock climbing sites in the country and the best backpacks on the market. (POC highly encouraged to apply.)

  • A business and/or cannabis reporter who’s knowledgeable about social justice issues. (POC highly encouraged to apply.)

Hosts are not salaried, but are paid via revenue sharing. If interested, please email katherine@tablecakes.com - feel free to forward this to anyone who might be a good fit.

Have a great December!

We're Hiring

Slow but steady expansion is underway

It’s an Ad Sales Gig - Feel Free to Spread it Around

TableCakes Productions, a podcast network and production company in Los Angeles, is hiring a freelance ad salesperson. The position will entail selling advertising space on our podcasts, newsletters and social media, as well as finding overall sponsors for specific shows. We’re looking for someone who’s familiar with the podcast world and feels comfortable representing niche content, and is based in L.A. TableCakes is offering $500/month + 40% commission for the first four months, at which point we’ll renegotiate the contract. Please familiarize yourself with our work at TableCakes.com and if interested in the gig, email katherine@tablecakes.com. Please include an example of past ad sales success and one example of an advertiser you’d reach out to for a TableCakes show, so that we get an idea of your thought process.  

Feel Like Seeing a Movie?

The wait is over! Landmark Theaters is hosting a sneak preview of Being Frank (written by Gayest Episode Ever cohost Glen Lakin) on Tuesday, June 11 at 7:15 pm. There will be a Q&A following the screening with star Jim Gaffigan and director Miranda Bailey -- and maybe Glen, if you're lucky. Get tickets here.

Your Money or Your Mai Tai

What some call kitsch, we call history

TableCakes Is a Tiki Family

Between Hadley Meares and Katherine Spiers, someone here is always talkin’ tiki. Here’s a Smart Mouth live show all about mai tais, and here is Hadley’s latest on the topic: How Chinese Restaurants Shaped Tiki Culture in L.A. (Photo: Shane Redsar)

We Have Goals

In 2019, every Millennial and their mother has a Patreon, but Gayest Episode Ever feels no shame in being late to the payment party. Last week, GEE launched a Patreon with the goal of getting enough sponsors to fund a new bonus series that, yes, will be TV-related. The idea is that once the show meets its goal of $500 a month, those who have pledged money on Patreon will unlock a new ten-episode series that you’ll probably like if you’re currently into GEE’s week-to-week deep dive into TV history. You can check out all the payment tiers on the Patreon page, but we’re also into talking with the patrons about what shows they want to hear about in future episodes. And there will be more to come!

We Study Cartoons

Speaking of Gayest Episode Ever, this week, Drew and Glen took a detour away from sitcom history and into the world of cartoons — specifically cartoons from the 1980s, and specifically those that kids like them experienced a little differently from other children. Yes, we’re talking He-Man, She-Ra, Jem and the Holograms and ThunderCats, but also some deeper cuts that you maybe never considered in the context of gay culture. The special guest for this animated talk is Ted Biaselli, director of original series at Netflix, who’s had a hand in GLOW, A Series of Unfortunate Events and more, and who probably has a deeper knowledge of cartoons than anyone you’ve ever met. Have a listen to the episode, and no worries if you’re not an ’80s baby: there’s also a visual guide so you can see what the hell they’re talking about. (And no worries if cartoons aren’t your thing. Last week’s episode was about The Golden Girls, with special guest You Have to Watch This Movie host Tony Rodriguez.

We Know L.A.

Hadley also wrote about Koreatown and Elizabeth Taylor this week. (Two separate articles this time, but you never know!)

Hey, You!

Tell a friend to subscribe. XOXO.

All Over L.A., and Arkansas Too

A lot of running around this month

What does TableCakes sound like? Well, you could check out any of our podcasts to answer that question, but in order to come up with a sound for the entire company — specifically a melodic stinger to play at the end of each and every TableCakes podcasts — Drew and Katherine sought the help of Analise Nelson and Dax Schaffer. Both work on various TableCakes shows present and future, but they’re both also musicians. And they turned out the little jingle you hear in the above video. It’s just what we wanted: warm, friendly with just a skosh of the classic retro synth you’d hear in an old educational video. And yes, that’s Katherine’s voice. (Drew’s is slightly lower, depending on his mood.)

Get Hungry

Our food history podcast Smart Mouth is on a list! Uproxx named it one of the “Best Food Podcasts to Listen to Right Now.” Above is a recent episode about mayonnaise with comic Curtis Cook. Did you know Miracle Whip has been misleading us all?

This Week in Pancake

Actor Sam Pancake, host of Monday Afternoon Movie, is co-hosting The Once-Over, the comedy game show with his drag queen BFF Roz Drezfalez at Hollywood Improv on Saturday, May 11 at 9pm. Tickets here

Sam was also this week’s guest on Karen Kilgariff’s non-murder podcast, Do You Need A Ride? They drive through Hollywood and tell tales out of school — it’s a lot of fun.

L.A. Noir

We’re getting closer to the launch of Hadley Meares’ podcast, Underbelly L.A. She recently went on Earwolf’s film podcast, Unspooled, to tell us what is true and what is fake in the classic movie Chinatown. It’s a nice preview of what she’ll talk about on her own show.

Movies in Arkansas

If you’re at the Bentonville Film Festival (founded by Geena Davis) this week, and you’re a fan of Gayest Episode Ever, co-host Glen Lakin's film, Being Frank (previously titled You Can Choose Your Family), will be ending its festival run on May 9 and 11. Shows are currently sold out, but you can try your luck in line. (Geena Davis isn't in the movie, but maybe you'll run into her while you wait.)

The Begging Portion

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Thrills, Chills & Pixelated Art

Plus, restaurants you should know

Who cares about pixels? A lot of people, actually. The early age of video gaming was a blocky and colorful world, and there are more than a few people today still rendering art in that decidedly retro style. For his video game music podcast, Singing Mountain, host Drew Mackie makes original pixel cover art for every episode, so apparently getting that Lite Brite for Christmas in 1987 really paid off. If you dig old video games, have a look at the Singing Mountain Instagram page to see what person can do with a grid of squares and a little downtime. And see the episode-by-episode cover art over at the Singing Mountain website.

It seems like it was just ten weeks ago that we were kicking off the new season of Sam Pancake Presents the Monday Afternoon Movie … because it was. But this afternoon, we’re putting up the last of season two, and it’s focused on the 1972 TV movie When Michael Calls, starring (appropriately enough) Michael Douglas. In the studio to chat with Sam is (appropriately enough) Michael Varrati, screenwriter and host of the gay horror podcast Dead for Filth. It’s a great episode to close out the season that has also had guest appearances by trans icon Calpernia Addams, Gilmore Girls actress Rose Abdoo and sketch comedy favorite Daniele Gaither. If you haven’t checked out the rest of MAM’s offerings, click here to see all the cool guests Sam has had one the show.

And a big thank you to Adam Dugas for making video previews for each of this season’s episodes.

(Photo: Erwin Recinos)

For the second year, Smart Mouth host Katherine Spiers has co-created a restaurant list for Los Angeles called Rogue 99. Very much in the spirit of the late Jonathan Gold’s work, this project covers 99 of the most essential (not necessarily the best! But sometimes the best!) restaurants, trucks, stalls and sidewalk grills across LA County. Read it here.

Forward this newsletter to an industry friend!

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