Keith Lowell Jensen brings the joy in his new podcast

Comedian Keith Lowell JensenKeith Lowell Jensen's latest podcast title is too long for this caption. Photo by Jason Broussard, (Photo courtesy of Keith Lowell Jensen)

The podcast begins with an enthusiastic announcer: “Keith Lowell Jensen presents The Keith Lowell Jensen Show with Keith Lowell Jensen.” Our host immediately follows up: “This is Keith Lowell Jensen on Keith Lowell Jensen presents The Keith Lowell Jensen Show with Keith Lowell Jensen.’”

That’s a lot of repetition of one’s own name for the first ten seconds of a podcast, and more than a little tongue-in-cheek. Not only does the longtime Sacramento comic step back and let the guests be the show’s focus, he seems absolutely delighted to be speaking with each one of a variety of guests from different walks of life. The lone constant is the very point of the show: Jensen adores them all.

“We almost called this The Fanboy Hour” Jensen says. “In the beginning, literally, the first people I wrote to were all people that I’ve written fan letters to, and I’m not a big fan letter writer.”

While the name didn’t stick and a podcast invite now serves as de facto fan letter, there’s a pure joy that emanates from the speakers. As he puts it, “These are all people who I adore super excited about as artists.”

It’s his first solo effort, but this isn’t Jensen’s first foray into podcasting. It’s Funny Because, co-helmed with fellow comic Johnny Taylor (now with his own podcast, Hipsterocracy, on The Hard Times podcast network), ended in 2016, and Jensen was perpetual guest on Rebecca Watson’s Quiz-o-Tron, a live comedy and science show.

So why a solo podcast, and why now?

“I enjoy interviewing people I enjoy talking about the creative process with people,” Jensen says. “But the pandemic definitely gave me a kick in the butt to do it.”

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to halt live performances and the tours that go with them. For Jensen, who enjoys that travel, of the many things he misses, one comes to mind immediately:

“I like to drink coffee in other towns… Honestly, my favorite thing [is for] me and another comedian roll into a new town, and it’s like, ‘Hey, let’s go get coffee.’ It’s that first coffee. The next morning, that’s the best, like wake up in a strange place, go find a coffee shop. I love it.”

In the meantime, Jensen continues to interview the people in his life who bring him joy. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this week’s guest is Bryna, his wife of 27 years. Perfect.

Keith Lowell Jensen presents The Keith Lowell Jensen Show with Keith Lowell Jensen is available on all major podcast platforms.

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