"No Bad Ideas"

Of course there are bad ideas. Like, a lot of them.
But any idea can become a good story.

About

No Bad Ideas is a storytelling gameshow where we take the worst ideas from the Internet and try to turn them into stories that are actually good.

It's the creation of Gabriel Urbina, Sarah Shachat, and Zach Valenti, three writer and artist-types who, in order to stay fresh creatively, have an excuse to hang out with each other once a week, and check in on what they're working on, take a terrible idea they found on the Internet each week and turn it into a compelling narrative. Or as close as they can get in 30 minutes.

If you're someone trying to be creative yourself or even if you just appreciate a good story, you'll enjoy listening to Zach, Sarah, and Gabriel figure out how to make sense of the best (worst?) absurdities the internet has to offer. We guarantee there have definitely been worse ideas.

Episodes

Our May experiments continue with two of the grossest, most horrifying, and most hilarious ideas the gang has tackled yet. With only fifteen minutes on the clock, first Sarah and Gabriel have to grapple with an unusual, alchemical way to get rich quick from Zach. Then Zach and Sarah have to contend with a startling home invasion story courtesy of Gabriel. Plus, the historical applications of urine, a cackling Alexa, late stage capitalism, and, obviously, a full page ad in Goop.

Today's Bad Ideas™: 

Phosphorus Starts With Pee

Oregon Man Called Police About A Burglar, Armed Officers Found A Rogue Roomba

Transcripts Coming Soon!

In this episode of No Bad Ideas, an experiment! In an effort to shake things up, the gang has brought not one, not two, but three bad ideas to the table and will try to turn each of them into stories in just ten minutes. How will our heroes cope with a criminal’s job interview, a library full of taxidermic animals, and the perils of pulling over an undercover cop? You’ll just have to listen to find out. Plus, sleep-stealing, the punishment for fracking, yet another deeply traumatizing family movie, and our favorite superhero, Florida Man.

Links:

Dumb Robber Interviews For A Job At Police Station

This Library in Anchorage Lends Out Taxidermic Specimens

Florida Man Pretended To Be An Officer

Let us know what you think of this episode format by getting in touch with us @feartheshame on Twitter.

Transcripts Coming Soon!

This week, Zach brings us a violent chapter of Chinese history that Gabriel and Sarah spin into conspiracy and intrigue in the Catholic Church. Together, the Bad Ideas squad imagine the pettiest hypothetical coup Vatican City will never see. Plus, staged escapes from heaven, Jude Law’s sexy beach pics, and shot-for-shot remakes of classics.

LINKS:

Today's Bad Idea™

Transcripts Coming Soon!

On today's episode... Sarah is away, but Gabriel and Zach are joined by Eli Barraza, creator of The Far Meridian! The three of them go on an odyssey of truly blasphemous proportion, following two embezzling nuns on the gambling, binge-drinking, hard-sinning Las Vegas trip of a lifetime. Sister Act meets the Hangover in this battle of good, evil, money, chance, destiny, and souls. Plus, God-like presences, the letter of the law, and The Divine Comedy (The Casino).

LINKS:

Today's Bad Idea™

Follow Eli on Twitter and check out her show, The Far Meridian.

Transcripts Coming Soon!

This week, Eric Silver - co-host of Horse, Dungeon Master for Join the Party, and all-around great Multi-Dude - joins the Bad Ideas team for a harrowing story of survival at sea and capitalistic conspiracy. But most alarming of all, the team takes on the challenge of spinning this yarn into their first video game pitch. Plus, oil companies that just don't give a shit, great skips, and the fact that the world isn't going to change because of a C+ grade. 

LINKS:

Today’s Bad Idea™

Follow Eric over on Twitter, check out his shows Horse and Join The Party, and learn about Multitude’s other fine podcasts.

Transcripts Coming Soon!

Before you listen to this episode, make sure you read the terms and conditions. Go and read them, right now. 

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Did you do it? Great! That makes you smarter than the people in today's bad idea anecdote, who all signed away something very valuable just to get some free WiFi access. How can Zach, Sarah, and Gabriel turn these impulsive bad decisions into a compelling narrative? Plus, epistolary novels, daemons, the Great Forever, and the master of the universe. 

Today's Bad Idea™

Transcripts Coming Soon!

This week, Sarah brings us a tale from the exotic world of art thievery, where everyone is super cool and sophisticated… everyone, that is, except for the thieves. What will Gabriel and Zach make of an entire town in on a police sting operation? And how many explosions will it involve? There are definitely more twists than you think. Plus, roles definitely played by Jason Statham, agents of chaos in the background, a fistful of art historians, and revolutions which will not be monetized.

Today’s Bad Idea™

Today’s Shameless Plug™

Transcripts Coming Soon!

This week we take a trip back to a faraway time when news could be faked and editorial controls were suspect at best. We, of course, are talking about the 19th century and are delighted to be joined this episode by Amanda McLoughlin, co-founder of Multitude, co-host of the shows Spirits and Join the Party, and all around badass podcaster. From the darkest corner of Reddit to the cobbles of Fleet Street, we take Zach’s trollface idea all kinds of places. Plus, monetization strategies, sticking it to the man, obligatory Walt Whitman tangent, knowing that the French Revolution happened… and that’s it.

LINKS:

Today’s Bad Idea™

Follow Amanda on Twitter, check out her shows Spirits and Join The Party, and learn about Multitude’s other fine podcasts on their homepage.

Transcripts Coming Soon!

This week on No Bad Ideas: a first for the show! In today's fan-sponsored episode, Gabriel, Sarah, and Zach have to go head-to-head with a bad idea chosen by our listeners! Thanks to Marci, Seirra, Chuck the Bard, and The Empty Man for supplying this one. So strap in, grab your broadswords, and get ready to go on a madcap adventure of dark lords, gallant heroes, and LSD. Plus, the unspoken line between the supernatural world and the world most people live in, high high elves, and cautionary tales about why you should always be nice to your interns. 

Today’s Bad Idea™

Transcripts Coming Soon!

Another week, another amazing guest to help us tackle a truly terribly idea! This time, Todd VanDerWerff, critic-at-large at Vox.com and co-creator of the podcast Arden, has signed up to help us unpack the real-life trend of hiring fake friends to save face at your wedding. We toy with keeping up appearances and/or burning it all down. Plus, the perils of rock climbing, the defeat of The Patriarchy, and when having it spoiled somehow makes it better.

Links:
Today’s Bad Idea™

You can check out Arden and Todd’s work at Vox, and follow him at @tvoti on Twitter.

Transcripts Coming Soon!

This week on No Bad Ideas... bugs, bugs, bugs! But before that, the Bad Ideas Band is joined by their dear friend Christian T. Kelley-Madera, co-creator and director of The Once and Future Nerd. But soon, it's all business, and (thanks to Sarah's bad idea contribution) that business is a truly unhinged tale of illness and entomology in the Caribbean. Plus, cockroaches bent on world destruction, the wrong way to eat a Reese's, and a very different kind of Cuban crisis.

Links:
This Week's Bad Idea™

Listen to Christian's Work at The Once and Future Nerd

Follow Christian On Twitter: @Ctmadera

Transcripts Coming Soon!

A wild Mike Schubert has appeared! And he's here to help Gabriel and Sarah wind their way through a twisty courtroom mystery, courtesy of Zach Valenti. Just who was it that really killed the defense's surprise witness? And how do the lives of twelve jurors depend on one single security camera? It's a locked room murder mystery, No Bad Ideas-style! Plus a young, plucky lawyer, #Sheriffed, and the world's highest stakes game of Mafia.

Links:
This Week's Bad Idea™

Mike's Podcasts: Potterless and HORSE.

Transcripts Coming Soon!

This week on No Bad Ideas, Zach, Sarah, and Gabriel are joined by author and podcasting pioneer Mur Lafferty! Together, they dive into the story of one of Europol's strangest schemes for catching criminals. From there, things only get weirder as the team descends into the world of Caribbean real estate development and the philosophical quandary of honey, vinegar, and their respective fly-catching abilities. Plus, vampire parades, tourism at all costs, and a whole new level of Good Cop/Bad Cop.

Links
This Week's Bad Idea™

Mur Lafferty's Website

Mur Lafferty's Twitter: @mightymur

Transcripts Coming Soon!

My fellow podcasters! We here at No Bad Ideas promise that we will find an idea on the Internet, bring it to our group of NY-based writer ne'er do wells, and give them 30 minutes to turn it into a good story - and this time our bad idea is a series of deeply strange campaign promises in the 1930s. Plus, Gabriel's French accent, what the universe rewards, and the elimination of poverty... after 10pm.

Links
This Week's Bad Idea™
Wil Williams' Article on Parasocial Relationships
Dylan Marron's Conversations With People Who Hate Me

Transcripts Coming Soon!

Another week, another terrible idea that someone in the world once had, and which we must now somehow turn into a compelling story. On today's episode, Zach brings Sarah and Gabriel the story of a man who was running late, forgot his keys, and resorted to truly unbelievable and desperate measures to get to work. Plus, Comedy Airport editions, pure adrenaline, and thorny situations. 

Today's Bad Idea™

Transcript Coming Soon!

Welcome back to No Bad Ideas, the show where we take bad ideas from the real world and try to turn them into good stories (and the points don't matter). This week, Gabriel takes Zach and Sarah on a wild journey to the seedy world of San Antonio aquarium heists. What is the most dangerous thing you could try to steal? And what is the most ridiculous way you could steal it? Plus illegal exotic pet farms, Oceans 11 as a pun now, and the place where everything good was stolen from somewhere else.

Today's Bad Idea™

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Welcome back, everyone! New year, same old set up: we find some bad ideas, and then bang our heads together until we've figured out how to turn them into a good story. This week, Sarah infects Gabriel and Zach with the idea behind a truly (and thankfully) one-of-a-kind museum. Plus, much more ado, chaotic agents, and the closest you're going to get to death without actually dying. 
 
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Today's Bad Idea™

Transcript Coming Soon!

Happy Holidays, everyone! As an end-of-year present to ourselves, we brought our first guest on the show: actress and performer extraordinaire, Michelle Agresti! Michelle worked with us on our audio drama series Wolf 359, and she brings to the table a bad idea unlike any we've tackled before. Grab your smart phones, boot up your Instagram filters, and get ready for a rom-tragi-com, No Bad Ideas style! Plus, happy endings (for some people), the world's best/worst wingmen, and Peonies for Algernon.

For more of Michelle's work, do yourselves a favor and check out Arden and Hit The Bricks.

Links:
Today's Bad Idea™

Transcript Coming Soon!

Our first really Not Safe For Work episode, so beware of listening out loud at work.

Zach takes Gabriel and Sarah to the world of theater with 100% the poetic irony and pretentiousness you expect, and at least 50% more genitals than you expect. Plus, totally BS fire safety laws, tortured metaphors, and costumes you shouldn't think too much about.

Links: 
Today's Bad Idea™

Transcript Coming Soon

No, you read that right. This week on No Bad Ideas, we tackle a new twist on an old sport that is so, so unnecessarily dangerous, that... we just had to try to turn it into a story. Plus: how did yogurt happen, yet another twist on the Rocky formula, and the heebie jeebies of it all.   

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Today's Bad Idea™

Transcript Coming Soon!

This week on No Bad Ideas: a year of living cartoonish-ly, car chases against traffic, and a really jaded Mario.

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Today's Bad Idea™

Transcript Coming Soon!

Zach is back with a decidedly deep cut from the deep web for Sarah and Gabriel. Ready or not: the world's weirdest brochures, gas-lighting roommates, and secret codes abound!

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Today's Bad Idea™

Transcript Coming Soon!

This week, Gabriel unleashes 400 phobia inducing creatures and one tender hearted man on Sarah and Zach and - spoilers - they are not ready. Join us for The Animal episode, where barns are burned, The Oscars get baited, Timmy is terrified of tarantulas, and there is conflict everywhere in the world.

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Today's Bad Idea™

Transcript Coming Soon!

Episode 3: We Don't Wanna Do Batman, We Wanna Do Chaos
This week, Sarah throws Gabriel and Zach a curveball with weirdness from the world of sports. The madness metastasizes quickly into unwieldily pranks and conspiracies involving - among many, many other things - so many drones bearing catfish that the sun gets blotted out of the sky in downtown Nashville.

Links
Today's Bad Idea™

Some context about the catfish

Good medicine for people sick of the concept of success as measuring up to an image

Transcript Coming Soon!

Episode 2: Don't Sell Your Data
This week, in our continuing quest to see if we can turn the worst ideas that can be found on the Internet into good stories, we explore the pros and cons of selling your online identity to a mysterious, wealthy stranger. Plus, nonzero days, the shadow of past work, corrupt politicians, the cost of utopias, and time travel. 

Links
Today's Bad Idea™

Reddit's Discussion on Nonzero Days

Transcript Coming Soon!

Episode 1: To Death Ray Or Not To Death Ray
Welcome to the very first episode where we get into the minds of people buying and selling second-hand death rays.

Links
Today's Bad Idea™

Wolf 359

Time Bombs

Transcript Coming Soon!

About Us

Gabriel Urbina - Gabriel Urbina is a Costa Rican-American writer, filmmaker, and science fiction lover. When he’s not too busy taking dictation from the voices in his head, Gabriel juggles, has strong opinions about movies, and sleepwalks an alarming amount. He lives in Brooklyn. Learn more about him on his website and follow him on Twitter.

Sarah Shachat - Sarah Shachat is a writer and editor from New Orleans, even though she doesn't sound like it. She writes audio fiction, creative nonfiction, picks apart old films and tv shows, and drinks a lot of black tea. She knows, she knows, she doesn't have a website, but you can say hi to her on Twitter.

Zach Valenti - Zach Valenti is an artist and entrepreneur based in New York City. He is currently working as a filmmaker, author, voiceover artist, and full-time nerd. Learn more about Zach on his website and follow him on Twitter.

Music in No Bad Ideas comes from State Shirt and Jahzzar via Free Music Archive.