Interview: Steve Gadlin of Steve Gadlin's Star Makers

 Steve Gadlin's contributions to the Chicago comedy scene are numerous: through his production company Blewt!, he's produced the well-loved talent competition Impress These Apes!, the comedy game show Don't Spit The Water!, and the call-in public access show Talkin' Funny, which gave regular people the chance to call in and hear themselves say "toilet time!" over and over again.

Blewt's latest effort is Steve Gadlin's Star Makers, a new biweekly TV show that airs locally on The U Too, WCIU-TV 26.2, with full episodes available on Youtube and as a downloadable podcast. Past guests include comics Ian Abramson, Martin Morrow, and Amber Gerencher, plus a belly dancer, some very emotive singers, and a professional rhythmic clapper. 

Check out this interview with Steve, along with some choice clips from SG Star Makers and be sure to contact the producers if you're interested in sharing your talent with the world!

The Steamroller: You have a long history with TV at this point, having been featured both local (Talkin' Funny! and now SG Star Makers) and network (Shark Tank) productions. Is there something specific about the medium that you're particularly drawn to?

Steve Gadlin:  My goal in life is to fill the world with as many head-scratching moments as possible - to seed the planet with strange entertainment artifacts. Television is a great medium for that! But I wouldn't say I'm drawn to that medium more than any other. It's just one I'm having a little fun with right now.

TS: Star Makers is so pitch perfect in it's presentation. It comes off as a love letter to the sort of peculiar, pre-internet public access television that so many folks grew up obsessing over. Was that your intention when putting together the show? 

Steve: Definitely. Steve Gadlin's Star Makers is a loving homage to cable access shows of the 1980's. We're trying to create the found footage of the future. It may not strike a chord now, but when people stumble upon the footage twenty years from now, it's sure to delight and confuse. 

TS: What's the casting process like? What makes someone a good candidate for Starmakers? 

Steve: The show is meant to celebrate performance in all of its forms. We want to showcase people who love performing, regardless of their skill level. There's something so entertaining about watching a raw, but passionate performance. To cast the show we post ads on Craigslist. And now that it has aired for a while, people reach out to us through our website

TS: Your production company, Blewt!, has helped facilitate countless projects over the last several years, including I Want To Draw A Cat For You, Impress These Apes, and Don't Spit The Water. Is there one project that stands out to you as your favorite? 

Steve: I Want To Draw a Cat For You has really consumed my life for the last couple of years. It's the project I'm closest to, so it would be hard not to call it my favorite. The most fun I've had with a project is probably with my old live call-in talk show, Talkin' Funny. There's something awesome about live TV - and when the audience gets to dial in and become part of the show, some really great things happen. I'll always regret that we never found a larger audience for that show, and I miss doing it! 

TS: What else can we expect from SG Starmakers/Blewt in the future? 

Steve: We'll be releasing new episodes of Star Makers every few weeks or so. We just taped the next two on Sunday, and there were some acts that I can't wait to share. We'll also be launching a Kickstarter soon to fund the next step of The Nairobi Project, a series of plays penned by a spammer in Nairobi, Kenya.