The story so far…
The Widget : Games, Tech, Whatever is a technology/gaming/penis joke podcast originally started in early 2005 as a show by a group of friends; Tim, Zane and Ryan. The popularity of the show grew very quickly (by almost 3 inches… around) as the legend of the very profane, somewhat informational, and always entertaining trio spread. The revolving door of hosts and permanent guests included Jym (a.k.a. Karza), Kurt, Cheeks, Garrett (a.k.a. Top Gear Dog) and the ever elusive guest-turned-co-host, CountZer0 (or Jason as we came to know him).
During it’s original 55 episode run, the Widget commanded a dedicated (sometimes maniacal) army of listeners that continues to this day. The show would often host call-ins that invited listeners to join the insanity of the show, often with them (the listeners) not even knowing what they were getting into when the hosts answered the call. Fans also participated with the show in the “Viewer Mail” (because Tim couldn’t remember to say Listener Mail) segments, where the hosts would answer questions and/or belittle the people asking them.
Although the initial show run was very short, the show managed to hit some pretty cool milestones:
- August 2005 – The Widget hits #46 on the then brand new iTunes Top 100 (with the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy podcast fittingly right behind it).
- February 2006 – The most popular Widget episode to date, 32: Punch it Chewie hits the net. Over 65,000 downloads and counting.
- March 2006 – The Widget becomes a PC Gamer Podcast Network affiliate. The show hits the #35 spot on the iTunes Top 100.
- July 2006 – The Widget crew hangs out with legendary game developers and creators (and their personal heroes) John Romero and Tom Hall.
- August 2006 – The original Widget crew calls it quits after one year. <-amazed we went that long
- September 2006 – The video special, Widget TV Ep.1 : Tim’s Retro Corner, airs on G4TechTV.
- November 2006 – Another video special, Slashdance, is released on YouTube – 1.2 million views and counting. Comments tend to lean toward “Tim is ‘teh gheyness’.”
Unfortunately, the mildly mentally disturbed lightning in a bottle wasn’t meant to last, and (most) of the original cast gathered together on August 13th, 2006 for the last time. The show they recorded was short, but the message was clear; The Widget was finished.
Now here’s the part where it gets messy, so I’ll go quickly:
In late 2006, inspired by the post-mortem success of the show on G4 and the still gigantic download numbers, Tim launches a plan to “open-source” The Widget idea. Anyone with a show is welcome, and the first 3 to sign on are The Widget Minneapolis (hosted by Tim, because he recently moved there), Widget UK (headed by CountZer0), and The Widget NY (essentially the old crew, minus Tim, and headed by former producer Mike). The concept excited everyone, and the plan went into motion. Unfortunately, this crazy new direction wasn’t what the fans were looking for, and it didn’t take long for them to start demanding the return of the original crew of Tim, Zane and Ryan. Talks to re-unite the original cast either broke down quickly (seriously, I tried), or material promised by them simply never materialized (nobody seemed to have time for it anymore). The new “open-source” Widget idea mercifully died a quick death, and the name and legacy of The Widget was left dormant (and PC Gamer stopped returning our calls).
In August 2009, former cast member Jason (CountZer0, remember him?) stumbled upon an article from 2007 on the .Net UK magazine website, which listed The Widget UK (of the failed open-source idea) as one of the 40 best technology podcasts out there. After posting it to a the Pink Ninja Studios forums (a place where many old fans of The Widget still resided), Tim (who was wanting to do a technology related podcast again anyway) quipped that “maybe they should get the band back together”. The old fans of the show that still frequented the forum agreed, and the plans to bring back The Widget were set in motion.
And that, true believers, brings us to now. We hope you enjoy the show. Tell your friends, but not your mom.
Co-founder, host, and ruler of the wasteland