Truly fun, joy-filled podcasts are hard to come by. There are plenty of reviews and political commentary in any direction you want, but when you want something that is just a funny, crazy, grin-inducing affair, Lord of the Rings fans discovered you only need a pair of hobbits to do the task.
Bring on The Friendship Onion, the podcast of Merry and Pippin portrayers and real-life buds Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd.
This podcast unabashedly shows some love to fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, particularly the movie franchise, but will continuously veer from subject to subject, as it does when a pair of good friends discuss some of their favorite (and sometimes weirdest) memories. The overwhelmingly gleeful conversation is the DNA nucleus of the podcast, but there are interviews, fan questions, and general silliness all around, as was demonstrated here with their Instagram teaser:
The podcast debuted on May 18, with new hour-long podcasts coming out each Tuesday, and fans have been responding to their welcoming format with enthusiastic reviews, plenty of fan art, and even contributions to their collaborative Spotify playlist. These songs just may get featured on the podcast—if they are “funky” enough.
As much of a treat as this is for fans of the franchise, it isn’t just for hardcore Ringers, as Boyd and Monaghan talk about anything that pops in their head, from useless trivia to how they spent their quarantine time. They also enjoy a few snacks, jam out to the fan-shared funky music, and share their own geeky life passions, from books to movies. The most recent episode featured an interview with astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who was selected to command the crew of the first fully private orbital space mission, Ax-1.
For those who haven’t yet taken a look into the show, episodes 3 and 4 featuring guest (and fellow hobbit) Elijah Wood is a good place to start, especially since Wood’s presence just adds to the spiritedness.
Once the “outer layer” of this podcast is peeled back, viewers will find it is, at its core, about friendship and happiness. This is one of those shows where it takes true friends to make it work. This isn’t a couple of folks taking a professional or mild interest in each other’s work, but two guys who truly love talking to each other and want to share the good things in life they discovered with anyone else who wants to join them. The laughter flows freer than pints of mead, the energy bounces off the walls like atoms, and, most importantly, the positivity and love of life is contagious.
Even those who may just have a rudimentary interest in Lord of the Rings will appreciate a podcast like The Friendship Onion because when it seems sometimes like the world is splitting into pieces, it takes a pair of happiness-seeking hobbits to gather us all together, sit us down for snacks, tunes, and lively conversation, and above all, invite us to laugh with them.