"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

Sarah is out this week, but Gabriel and Zach are joined by writer, director, and filmmaker Maegan Houang for two bad ideas involving peanuts and intelligence tests!In our first bad idea, Gabriel brings the story of a man who dutifully pushed a peanut up a mountain to break a world record. The gang turns it into a Rat Race-style eccentric millionaire-driven comedy of errors. Then, Zach presents a slippery tale of a man who was turned away from a job as a police officer because... he scored too highly on an intelligence test. Everyone struggles with how to turn that into a forward-facing story with anything approaching sympathetic characters. Then, we get to talk to Maegan about her career, visualizing songs for music videos, and dealing with the challenges of morale on film sets.All of that, plus: reboots of Fitzcarraldo, family feuds, structural wrappers, sci-fi societies, prescient questions, and Jurassic Park for Psychopaths.Today's Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2
For more on Maegan and her work, check out her website.

Transcripts Coming Soon

Sarah is out this week but we have two stellar guests to fill out the required level of madness at No Bad Ideas HQ: the wonderful Chris and Jenn Sugden have returned!First up, Gabriel brings us a contest that could only take place in Florida and we turn it into an underdog story of an amateur hunter who would give St. Patrick a run for his money. Then Zach gives us yet another reason for why everything is horrible and talks us through the burgeoning private lie-detection industry protecting people from honest conversations with their spouses; we then turn it into a drama of ethical dilemmas, lying liars who lie, and honest brokers who need to start lying too.Finally, Jenn and Chris talk about translating Victoriocity from a much-beloved podcast to an exciting upcoming novel, how their comedy background informs how they think about stories, balancing backstory for new and old audiences, and how they manage writing collaboratively.Plus: The pre-1950 snake-hunting code of honor, the return of the zoetrope, the end of frivolous things, lying plants, and Big Pete.Today's Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2
If you'd like to check out the Sugdens' work, you can check Jenn and Chris out on Twitter and visit Victoriocity's website and listen to it wherever fine podcasts are downloadable.

Transcripts Coming Soon

The squad is back for a new episode, featuring murder, terrible hotels, and special guest star Octavia Bray, creator of Life with Leo(h)!For our first bad idea, Zach brings us a twisty tale of corporate corruption, greed, murder, shady stuff, and... well, lots of incompetence. The team pitches a film about a group of investigators who think the criminals they are pursuing are way, way, way better at crime than they actually are. Then, Sarah presents an article about an aggressively awful combination hotel/art installation experience in the Swiss Alps. The team puts together a film about a scam that tries to exploits privileged white people's worst tendencies until it all goes horribly, horribly wrong.All of that, plus: 1% Illuminati stuff, graves in swamps, Swiss chocolate, the weight of spinning plates, and poetically just comeuppances.Today's Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2
For more on Octavia's work visit her Twitter, and check out the Indiegogo for Season 2 of Life with Leo(h)!

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The Bad Ideas crew is joined by Avery Trufelman, the creator of Articles of Interest, to tackle bad ideas featuring relief funds, online casinos, and busted stereotypical gender roles!In our first bad idea, Sarah brings us the story of a man who received a much more generous Covid relief payment than he was expecting. The gang turns it into a film about a man who is desperately trying (and most failing) to get rid of as much money as he can as quickly as possible. Then, Zach presents a unique marketing tactic: small phones specifically designed to be put in, ahem, hard to reach places. The squad turns it into a story about a scheme to make money from within the walls of a prison, and how it helps the meanest, burliest, most manly inmates in the yard get in touch with their sensitive side.All of that, plus: highly orchestrated schemes, Werner Herzog, supply chain issues, emotional connections, and butts.Today's Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2
For more on Avery's work, visit her website. For more information on the Louis Armstrong House Museum, visit their website.

Transcripts Coming Soon

Unfortunately, we're short a Gabriel this week but we've tricked one of our favorite people in podcasting to come join us for a dose of silliness at NBI HQ: the great Lauren Shippen is here!And there's plenty of silliness to go around. First, Zach brings us a small town conspiracy that definitely does not involve Banksy, and we spin it into a story of CC that also, definitely, does not involve Banksy. Then Sarah brings us the story of an author who probably shouldn't have written an essay about committing a murder, and we turn it into the story of a writer who burned out who needs to hit the best-seller list and is willing to die, or kill, trying.Then we talk to Lauren about the origins of her latest show, Mirage Diner, and its journey to the Tribeca festival, the various ways one can go about creating ideas for podcasts and the different ways they can come to fruition, the advantages of owning what you make, the reasons to leave series alone when they're done, and even more.Plus: Murder Zines, a mix of Catch Me If You Can and Lemony Snicket, scathing commentaries on municipal funding, real vibes, and a gcal sync across the multiverse.Today's Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2
To listen to the premiere of Mirage Diner at the Tribeca Fest on June 8th in New York, head here for tickets! For more of Lauren's work, you can check out all the quality shows by Atypical Artists. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Transcripts Coming Soon

We’re delighted to have not one guest this week, but two! Phillip Thorn and Øystein Brager, masterminds behind The Amelia Project, have come to NBI HQ put their considerable talents (and cocoa) to much sillier use.We start with an idea from Gabriel about the way a couple can exert the ultimate pressure on their child to have grandkids, and turn it into a stealth Failure To Launch reboot that none of us wanted or needed. Then, Phillip and Øystein bring a bad idea of their own! We take the antiquing score of a lifetime and turn it into a sculpture with an ancient curse that reverberates across many lifetimes and an opportunity for Adam Driver to return to his sleezebag roots.Finally we talk to Phillip and Øystein about their podcasting journey: what they’ve taken from their theater background, how they come up with characters, and even get an exciting announcement from them about future seasons of The Amelia Project!Plus: Bizarro courtroom dramas, hidden deadlines, 16th century tails, a suitcase full of seashells, and a polycule with Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, and Dame Maggie SmithToday’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea 1
Idea 2
To check out The Amelia Project, visit their site, and for more of Øystein and Phillip, find them on Twitter!

Transcript Coming Soon

It’s back to basics this week as just Gabriel, Sarah, and Zach are at NBI HQ today, but we’ve brought some truly terrible ideas with which to torment each other!First, Gabriel finds a sweaty Reddit post about unreasonable expectations for normal water temperature and personal space, and we turn it into a horror meet-cute where the audience is going to end up rooting for a literal hell demon. Then Zach brings us tale of unintended environmental consequences and we turn it into a political farce that hopefully would lure Simon Pegg back into acting.Plus: giant eagles, surveillance-oriented boyfriends, two tanks just lying around, Jerry from down the pub, and lost episodes of Seinfeld.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2

Transcript Coming Soon

Today on No Bad Ideas: Bears! Legal advice! Revolution! Fandom! And special guest star, Marissa Tandon, creator of new audio fiction series, That Vampire Show!In our first idea, the gang has to confront the Bear League! When a family discovers that the strange noises coming from the crawlspace under their house are a family of five bears, how will they evict these unwanted woodland tenants? Then, a bakery's new fire policy defies all common sense and good practices. In our imagination, it sparks a revolution of the working class, who seize the means of hot dog production by force!All of that, plus: NFTs of buns, this is fine dogging, digitally aged-up Kristen Stewart, environmental ramifications, and things that make you realize you need to eat the rich at a certain point.Today’s Bad Ideas™:Idea #1
Idea #2
For more of Marissa's work, check out Tandon Production's website and her Twitter. And tune into That Vampire Show wherever quality podcasts are sold!

Transcripts Coming Soon

We’re delighted to be joined this week by the incredibly talented Ellen Winter, musician, writer, and teaching artist extraordinaire!First, Zach brings us a Reddit query which we immediately decide is a horror movie, and what follows is a quest to decide just how weird a horror movie we’re making. Then Gabriel puts us all on blast with the story of a specialized cafe for writers in Japan, and we turn it into a story that is absolutely not about writers but is about creativity on a deadline and a young producer who must contend with the most dysfunctional band of all time.Then Ellen comes back to us with an idea of her own: a short but evocative missed connection from Craigslist, which we turn into a twisted reckoning between Nick Cage and Cate Blanchett which is also obviously a meet cute; then we talk to Ellen about the importance of play and jam sessions to the creative process, how to get started and think about the component parts of a piece, and how to plug into what you’re most excited about.Plus: a pre-wrapped A24 movie, an impressive amount of surveillance, a Miyazaki liminal multiverse, some perpetually too hot tea, and Adam Drivers all the way down.If you want to check out Ellen’s work, go listen to Every Feeling I’ve Ever Felt, 36 Questions, and follow her on Twitter.Today’s Bad Ideas™:Idea #1
Idea #2
Idea #3

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Today on No Bad Ideas... long-winded essays! Lost ideas! And special guest star, podcast producer Ponders!On our first bad idea... well, we run into some technical problems and lose the audio for the first chunk of the episode. Oh no! But never fear, we come back with a vengeance for our second bad idea, a tale of woe featuring a friend breakup and the longform essay that accompanied it. The gang and Ponders turn it into the quirky, Spike Jonze romcom we didn't know we needed. Then, Sarah and Gabriel have a fascinating conversation with their guest about empathy in podcasts and how it impacts the writing of audio fiction.All of that, plus piña colada song situations, underpaid writers, Editing Gabriel, Arcade Fire soundtracks, and email notifications that know you far too well.Today’s Bad Ideas™For more of Ponders's work, check out their Twitter as well as their shows Accession and The Wanderer.

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Sarah’s out today, so we’re especially delighted to be joined by the incredible Mary Kate Wiles of Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Shipwrecked Comedy, and web video fame!Mary Kate’s first go in the NBI hot seat begins with the story of a bad liar from Alabama, which the gang turns into a heist with high rewards, deeply annoying stakes, and incredibly slow moving escapes. Then they meet the soon-to-be mother-in-law from hell and turn it into a family drama that is a trick, potentially a trap, and features the worst piggy bank of all time.Then the guys talk to Mary Kate about, among other things, the origin of Shipwrecked, the legacy of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, wearing many hats at all times, and why every actor should produce something.Plus: a new sub-genre of heists, Eugene O’Neill plays come to life, decoy invites, Timothée’s Logan Lucky moment, and the Rachel Getting Married of it all.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2
If you’d like to check out more of Mary Kate’s work, follow her on Twitter and Patreon, go watch The Fairly Oddparents: Fairly Odder and go explore the fine literary comedy of Shipwrecked!

Transcripts Coming Soon

We’re so lucky to be joined this week by not one but two adorable little audio guys: Multitude’s own Eric Silver and Mischa Stanton!We start with the worst/most bored security guard of all time and we turn it into a high espionage heist (of course), with the plots coming from inside the Kremlin, but not before making a ton of Red Notice jokes along the way. Then we visit the capital of world/bored ideas: Florida. We take a story about a man’s crossbow theft and turn it into the remake of Don Quixote that all of us end up really wanting to see.Then Eric and Mischa discuss benefits of and considerations to take into account when you work with your friends, the kinds of creativity that happens when you feel free to collaborate, making things for yourself vs. making things in the hopes it’ll be made by a big company, and much more!Plus: Zoom’s newest software update, absurdist period pieces, CGI monstrosities, a fleet of windmills, and the most obnoxious motorcycle in the state of Florida.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2
If you want to check out more of Eric and Mischa’s work, check out some of their wonderful shows like Join The Party, History Daily, and StarTripper!!, follow Eric and Mischa on Twitter, and sign up to join the MultiCrew for even more Multitude goodness.

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Sarah is out this week, but we are joined by special guest co-host Sam Long of Singing Land Studios and Honey and the Sting. Together, we tackle two new bad ideas, featuring brains, snakes, and other slithering creepy-crawlies!In our first story, Zach brings us a report on the neurologist who was so set on pushing the envelope on what's possible that he ended up getting his own brain operated on. The team does their best to turn it into a Jekyll and Hyde drama of a man who expands his mind but maybe gets a little more than he bargained for. Then, for our second idea, Gabriel brings us the story of a man who tried to smuggle a lot of reptiles past the border. The squad tries to turn it into the story of a man who makes his living by providing a witch's coven with their animal supplies.All of that, plus: hypothetical story land, tongue hissing sounds, cesspools, curses, and hours-long sunbaths.Our first bad idea begins at 5:00 and ends at 19:16. The second idea begins at 19:35 and ends at 23:40.Today’s Bad Ideas™
Idea #1
Idea #2
For more of Sam's work, check out Singing Land Studios and the EarthSpirit Voices Podcast. For more work by other members of Honey and the Sting, check out work by Melanie Hsu and Jess Best!

Transcripts Coming Soon

Warning: This episode of No Bad Ideas contains some discussions of sexual activity in its first idea and gun violence occurring around underage people in its second idea. Listener discretion advised.Today on No Bad Ideas: Temptation! Frustration! Sexting! Guns! Reincarnation! And special guest star Alan Rodi!In our first bad idea, Zach brings us the story of a subreddit dedicated to testing romantic partners' loyalty. The shocked and appalled gang does their best to turn it into a romance based on roleplaying and pretending. Then, Sarah brings us a truly horrendous story of a man inciting their young child to violence. The team tries to turn it into a mind-melting, time-bending story of an assassin that dies and then returns to the world as a baby.All of that, plus: hyper-intelligent toddlers, heart attacks, things that makes everything worse, a Dennis the Menace gritty reboot, and the British Broadcasting Corporation.Our first bad idea begins at 5:00 and ends at 19:16. The second idea begins at 19:35 and ends at 23:40.Today’s Bad Ideas™:Today’s Bad Ideas™
Idea #1
Idea #2
For more of Alan's brilliant work, visit his website, or check out the Kinda Evil Genius and Long Story Short Bandcamp pages.

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Today we have the absolute pleasure of sharing some very silly ideas with one of our favorite thoughtful writers, voice actor extraordinaire, and sometimes-business person, the great Leslie Giddeon!The silliness starts with Sarah bringing us Disney’s newest, er, immersive experience and the gang turning that into a thriller for the ages, exploring the conflict between freedom and safety, and the choices that one family makes as a utopia falls apart. Then Zach shares one of the driving world’s most frivolous record attempts, and we take that, add an AI-driven car, and maybe create a sci-fi reboot of How To Train Your Dragon?Finally, we get a chance to talk to Leslie about the differences between writing for pleasure and writing for pay, finding the balance between separating ideas out to be passion projects vs. to be sold, how plans to build a resume can aren’t something you can necessarily time, and more.Plus: the friends we made along the way, background street-sweeper #24, real “Witness Me” energy, draft #2 questions, and the slow reverbed edgy version of “It’s A Small World”Listen to The Path Down and Leslie’s soccer history podcast Sideline Tackle, and learn more about Leslie’s work by checking out her website and following her on Twitter.Today’s Bad Ideas™
Idea #1
Idea #2

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Today on No Bad Ideas: Stolen Cars! Unconscionable Emails! Misinformation! And special guest stars Amanda McLoughlin and Julia Schifini, co-hosts of the Spirits Podcast!We are joined by Julia and Amanda of Spirits, Multitude, and all-around badass podcasting fame. And boy do we need their help to tackle two exceptionally terrible ideas. First, Gabriel brings us the story of a (Florida) man who steals a series of vehicles with increasingly erratic and destructive results. The team turns it into the saga of a man who finds himself repeatedly possessed by a mischievous spirit every time the sun goes down. Then, Zach brings us a report about an entirely made-up, trumped-up claim about litter boxes for Furries in all-gender bathrooms. The squad remakes it into the story of a group of high school friends who create a secret, vandalizing teenage superhero to fight back against the discriminatory policies that have swept into their world.All of that, plus: cryptography, Joe Pesci, Robert the Doll, high speed swamp boat chases, and things that shouldn't be interrogated too much.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2
Follow Julia and Amanda's work by checking out Spirits, Join the Party, and the rest of their work through Multitude. Or follow them on Twitter at @shessomickey and @JuliaSchifini.

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Today is a big day on supersized No Bad Ideas. We have not one, not two, but THREE special guests joining us in the Bad Ideas Thunderdome. Beth Eyre, Felix Trench, and Tom Crowley, three of the amazing stars of Wooden Overcoats, join to lend their brilliance to a pair of truly odd and awful ideas.First, Gabriel brings us the tale of a woman who tried to buy a baby, and somehow we blow it up and shrink it down into a gentle indie stop-motion comedy full of heists and very organized babies. Then Sarah tells us about a man who stole a lot of manuscripts but didn’t do anything with them, and we transform it into a layered revenge plot that begins with identity fraud and ends with the worst writers’ retreat of all time.Finally, we ask Beth, Felix, and Tom about their work on Wooden Overcoats. They share some of their thoughts on this fourth and last season of the show, Piffling being a place that time forgot, their routes into the characters, the recording process and the show’s place in the tradition of British radio comedy, and the challenges (and fun) of performing the show live.Plus: Build-A-Bear Texas, semi-collapsed societies, Steven King’s sawed-off shotgun, World War B, and a pre-emptive apology to Guernsey.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2
To check out Wooden Overcoats, find them in your podcatcher, check out their website, Instagram, and Twitter, and check out the live-streamed performances of Season 4 at Kings Place’s K Player.

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Today on No Bad Ideas... passports! Courts! Fraud! Deception! Ana de Armas!In our first bad idea, Zach brings us the story of a man who bought a passport holder and found himself getting a bonus illegal item in the deal. The gang brings in Sgt. Offerman to investigate an evil scheme being carried out through Etsy. Then, Sarah offers up a frivolous lawsuit brought forth by fans of a world-famous actress. The squad uses it as a springboard to create a television show about a desperate, seedy lawyer for whom no case is too frivolous.All of that, plus: the crud de la crud, timeline questions, irredeemably broken people, Disney princesses, and fake commercials.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2

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Today on No Bad Ideas: Fire! Gangs! Drugs! Lies! And more!On today's first idea, Sarah brings us a hall-of-famer about an enormous Christmas goat that gets burnt every year in Sweden. The gang - once they stop cackling with glee - come up with a Love-Actually-like kaleidoscopic story about a merry gang battle royale. Then, Gabriel presents the story of a man who tries to talk his way out of a drug bust... very unsuccessfully. The team makes it into a movie about a man who finds the world believing each and every one of his lies.All of that, plus: the right honorable man from Florida, suck-friendly shows, outstanding sound bites, classless twats, and Christmas magic.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2

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Today on No Bad Ideas: Florida Men! Underwear! The robot revolution! And the gang recording together for the first time since the start of the pandemic!First, Gabriel brings us the story of a man who tried to wear a piece of women's underwear as a mask... while going on a commercial flight. The gang tries to turn it into a film about an alien who arrives on Earth in the middle of the pandemic, and has to figure out how to navigate this strange new world. Then, Zach brings us the story of an Alexa advising a small girl to do something very dangerous. The gang tries to find a new angle on a Robot Revolt story and on a super-being that has the information superhighway in their head.All of that, plus: fucking up everybody's day, the mayor of Orlando, machines gone wild, The Matrix but more punk, and beavers.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2

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We’re back! Sarah kicks us off with a Belgian church in a bind, and we turn it into a sensational scandal that might be the miracle that bring the flock back. Then Zach introduces us to the Squirrel Board and we take the concept of keeping squirrels as pets and turn it into a heartwarming tale of an unusual friendship between man and monster.Plus: Benedetta’s viral marketing campaign, an animal arms race, lovely British sitcoms, metaphors for community, and several hot priests.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2

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Welcome back to the first No Bad Ideas for 2022! Today on the show, we bring you: fake IDs, tattoos that determine your life, accidental hacking, and crime cell phones!In our first bad idea, Gabriel presents the tale of a man so desperate for a vaccine card - but so unwilling to get a real vaccine - that he tries to use a fake arm to bluff his way through the vaccination. The gang turns it into a cyberpunk adventure about escaping your government-assigned role. Then, Sarah brings us the story of how an unlucky man accidentally hacked a Latin American organized crime ring. The squad transforms it into a breakneck adventure starring a mild-mannered man man who finds his life turned upside down when a notorious assassin sets out to steal his identity.All of that, plus: cartoons come to life, microchips, extended Some Like It Hot riffs, digital footprints, and nuevo telefono, quien es?Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2 

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In our last episode of 2021, we tackle a couple very normal and relatable problems. First, Gabriel brings us the tale of a Don Draper stan in all the wrong ways and we turn it into the cutthroat tale of a kid who takes a cynical scam much too far. Then Zach tells us a chilling story of a forgotten VHS tape that resulted in a felony charge, and we turn it into an origin story for the spy drama of the century and a great opportunity, we think, for Vanessa Hudgens.Plus: Savvy 16 year-olds, the cyber mob, new uses for Christmas trees, a North By Northwest situation, and Finance Bros, Inc.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2 

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Today on No Bad Ideas... Airplane crashes! Movie diaries! Darkwing Duck as a person! Cocaine hippos! And more!In our first bad idea, Sarah brings us the story of the airplane pilot who meticulously documents every single one of his crashes... just in case someone wants to turn his life into a movie. The gang tries to turn it into a movie about a foolish man chasing the wrong kinds of glory. Then, Zach brings us the news that Colombian hippos have officially been declared legal humans. The squad tries to spin that into an animated story about some displaced animals trying to find out what happened to their master.All of that, plus: incredibly dangerous animals, buffoonery, one-page RPGs, people who definitely do not deserve justice, and last minute pivots.Today’s Bad Ideas™:Idea #1Idea #2

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Today on No Bad Ideas... Slapping! Hangovers! Sympathy magic! Operant conditioning! And more!In today's first idea, Gabriel brings us the story of a man who was so addicted to Facebook that he had to hire someone to slap him every time he goes to the website. The team turns it into the story of a wealthy businessman who has to resort to extreme measures to keep himself productive and civil. Then, Sarah presents the story of a hangover-prevention item from ancient times. The squad works to turn it into the story of two archeologists who find their lives intertwined in some surprising (and very literal) ways.All of that, plus: vanilla millionaires, getting into coding at the exact right moment, fake dating as a productivity hack, a classist ring system, and adding a third genre for no reason.Today’s Bad Ideas™:Idea #1Idea #2

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Today on No Bad Ideas... Rumbles! Investigative reporters! Therapy lions! Community-building! And more!After a slight breakdown in our production assembly line, we are back with the first of two new episodes this week! In our first bad idea, Sarah brings us the story of a bus that is designed to put its riders to sleep. Wacky hijinks ensue when the sleepy passengers awake to find themselves in the middle of a high-stakes movie they don't know they're in. Then, Gabriel brings the squad the story of three Spanish writers who pseudonymously created a successful female writer. The gang turns it into the story of three disgruntled film industry professionals who create a fake writer to make their dreams come true... and then have it completely spiral out of control.All of that, plus: eccentric demands, ways to artificially raise the stakes, you'll-never-work-in-this-town-again moments, new forms of identity theft, and things that feel like punching down.Today’s Bad Ideas™:Idea #1Idea #2

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Our apologies for the delay this week, but sometimes ideas just are so bad that it takes a little extra time to put them together. These may be the worst things we've ever pitched.First, Gabriel brings us a story from the Internet’s homeland for bad ideas, Reddit’s Am I The Asshole?, and we turn the tale of a critical boyfriend into a contained family drama even Edward Albee would fear. Then, Zach tells us about a new initiative by Austrian museums and we, somewhat against our will, turn it into the Dan Brown sequel that no one has asked for.Plus: 3/10 handshakes, learning nothing from Tumblr, succumbing to the golden touch, an episode of Black Mirror as a person, and boundaries that could have been set earlier.Today’s Bad Ideas™:Idea #1Idea #2

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Gabriel, Zach, and Sarah are taking a quick autumn break this week, but we didn't want to leave you without any No Bad Ideas this week! So check out this old favorite from our archives, featuring our friend Mark Pagán, producer of the podcast Other Men Need Help!We certainly could use a hand, as Gabriel issues us an idea about a very unconventional way to settle disputes, which leads to a mockumentary of a divorce for the (middle) ages. Then, Sarah shows us a question about one man's quest for a licensing deal that is so strange, we immediately cast Christian Bale.Plus: 12 Techniques To Win Your Custody Battle In Three Moves Or Less, things that are Game of Thrones' fault, Paul Giamatti’s first Oscar, and the secret ingredient: friendship.Today’s Bad Ideas™:Idea #1
Idea #2
If you want to follow Mark and his work, you can check out his website, or follow him on Twitter, as well as Other Men Need Help.

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Zach is off this week, but we’re delighted to have a long time friend of the show join us for some mayhem at NBI HQ: we're luck to have author extraordinaire Zoe Tokushige in the Bad Ideas Hot Seat!Things get heated with Gabriel’s first idea about a photographer who has a terrible time at a friend's wedding, which we turn into a Fellini movie from hell, with a weird ending that even European arthouses would be proud of. Then Sarah brings us a story of high-stakes, deeply weird negotiations between the Russian space authority and a Kazakh businessman, which we turn into the lowest-stakes treasure hunt we possibly can.After that, we talk to Zoe about her writing process, finding characters on the page, and the different between writing and other forms of creativity.Plus: Ships passing in the night, one star Yelp reviews, real-time descents, brief shining moments of potential, and Werner Herzog watching Cats.Today’s Bad Ideas™:Idea #1
Idea #2
If you’d like to check out more of Zoe’s work and get information on her upcoming novel, The Prankmaster General: New School Skirmish, you can find more on her website and follow her on Twitter.

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We have cracked the code on badness this week and/or we’ve just cracked. First, Zach brings us a tale of woe from the world of cryptocurrencies and we turn it into a tale taking place during the actual age of piracy, because that’s somehow more grounded. Then Gabriel tells us about a business marketing strategy gone horribly wrong, and we craft a story about a man who's a little too weird to work but really vibes with his CEO.Plus: ironic hipsters, unnecessarily intense actors, the nuclear option, bargain deals that won’t bargain themselves, and only breaking the stupid laws.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2

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Today in No Bad Ideas: detached human brains! Frankenstein technology! Lotteries! Drug kingpins secretly living in your home!In our first bad idea, Sarah presents the tale of a divorce that led to a heist of cryogenically frozen bodies... and then things started getting weird! The gang does their best to turn it into a thrilling heist story in a world where the über-rich guard their minds as closely as their bank vaults. Then, Gabriel brings us the tale of a government so desperate to get rid of the house formerly owned by a drug lord they are giving it away in a lottery. The squad turns it into a Fight Club-esque tale of the mild-mannered man who is led to the dark side by the criminal mastermind he finds living in his basement.All of that, plus: remote customer service, newfound confidence, common incessant thoughts, chess games of the mind, and lots and lots of 'tude.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2

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Today on No Bad Ideas... Imprisonment! Dystopias! Literature! Very intense judges! And more!In our first bad idea, Zach presents the horrific news story of an alternative to prison that may end up being even worse (and more exploitative) than jail-time. The gang tries to turn it into the story of an exploiter who is hoisted by his own exploitative petard. Then, Sarah brings us the story of a young ne'er-do-well who a judge attempts to rehabilitate by subjecting him to the greatest works of Western literature. The squad considers different ways to tell stories of enforced art-consumption making people better.All of that, plus: vandals with too much destructive energy, things that are entirely made up, empathy training programs, Dickensian poorhouses, super downers, and old, explosive fertilizer.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2

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We’re back at full strength this week, just in time for a pair of ideas that really go all the way.First, Gabriel brings us a nugget from the proverbial well of online bad ideas, and by “well” we mean the "Am I The Asshole?" subreddit. We take a prank gone wrong and turn it into the world's latest trend/cult/international conspiracy. Then Zach invites us to The Garden, and we take the story of a utopian community who took to the Internet and turn it into a thriller set in the near-future that involves a company definitely not named Schmoogle.Plus: playing ‘Carrot in the Wind’, an Iceland/Greenland situation, a button that can be smashed in a heroic fashion, irony being dead, and going viral for all the wrong reasons.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2

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Today on No Bad Ideas: ketchup! Chefs! Football! Side gigs! Moral victories!In today's first bad idea, Gabriel presents an "Am I the Asshole?" spiritual successor to one of our favorite past episodes: the story of a man who will stop at nothing to sell his own particular brand of ketchup. The gang turns the ridiculousness up and concocts a story of culinary revenge. Then, Sarah brings us the story of a high school that plays football against Division 1 athletes... even thought it has no earthly business doing that. The team turns the ridiculousness down and turns it into a TV series about a cynical coach finding the worst football team ever and seeing if they can surprise everyone and go the distance.All of that, plus: dart boards, theoretical universes, secret ingredients, weird new wrinkles on old forumlas, and Zoltar.Today’s Bad Ideas:
Idea #1
Idea #2

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This week, we have a couple super cute/disturbing ideas ready-made for your next Netflix comedy/rom-com evening.First, Sarah brings us the story of just how many ancient artifacts might be in the US illegally (but conveniently all in one place) and we take it to a world where demons and devils have real power, and it’s up to a band of rag-tag experts to track them down. Then Gabriel brings us one of the most harrowing stunts ever attempted in the name of love, and we fictionalize it just enough to fit in the age of Instagram.Plus: Five (5) horsemen, D-list celebs, fuddy-duddy antiquities professors, 40 lbs. of weed and exposure therapy (baby).Today’s Bad Ideas:
Idea #1
Idea #2

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Gabriel is out this week, but stepping up to fill the void is a truly special guest star: the mastermind behind The Message, Steal the Stars, and the recently unleashed Give Me Away - it's Mac Rogers!In our first bad idea, Sarah brings us the story of a car company bringing old school smells kicking and screaming into the future. The squad turns it into a story about a one-of-a-kind event that immerses its patrons in the sights, sounds, and smells of the past. Then, in our second bad idea, Zach brings us the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, and the letters it's been sending promising enhanced accountability. The gang turns it into the story of two kids who are marked for failure from early on in life to a terrifyingly literal degree.All of that, plus: the Goodwood Festival of Speed, moving character-driven things, scents on demand,self-fulfilling prophecies, and brutally depressing dramas about there being no way out.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2
For more of Mac's work, check out the website for his production company Gideon Media or follow him on Twitter.

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Ready for some terrible decisions, everyone? First, Sarah brings us a report of strange doings at a local Home Depot, and we turn it into a competition that turns into a war that turns into a supernatural battle between the forces of good and the forces of meh. Then Zach offers up the story of an odd house in California and we craft a themed murder mystery party perfect for a bunch of (un)suspecting billionaires.Plus: people having too much money, famous lines from Chinatown, out of body experiences, one little bitty curse, and getting dangerously close to dirty jokes about lumber.Today’s Bad Ideas™:
Idea #1
Idea #2

Transcripts 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.