In a mixed-use multimedia space on the east side of Austin, Texas, Korey Coleman and Martin Thomas broadcast their serialized live show five nights a week to viewers around the world. Double Toasted’s unique uncensored approach to the talk show format covers a broad array of topics, including film and trailer reviews, humorous insights on the internet’s latest viral video, and discussions of pop culture topics. Their YouTube channel features digestable cuts of their longer-form live shows, which are available via paid subscription on their website.
I recently had the chance to visit the Double Toasted crew in Austin, and interviewed Korey and Martin to get some more insight on the journey to creating this growing entertainment brand, YouTube channel, and passionate fan community. After a red-eye flight, some cycling, and a chilly swim at Barton Springs, I called Korey from a pay phone (yeah, they still exist). We agreed to meet up later that evening ‘old school’ – no cell phones, just an established place and time.
Fast forward a few hours, and Korey was dashing through a rain shower and into the lobby of the downtown Austin hostel where I was staying. After a brief admonishment that “Y’all need to get a phone!” we dug into all things Double Toasted over an IPA at the Firehouse Lounge. True to his daily appearance on Double Toasted, he was uncensored and hilarious. Later that evening over a heaping plate of Texas BBQ at Terry Black’s, I’d get a chance to meet Korey’s counterpart Martin Thomas, who was as cordial and composed as he appears in Double Toasted’s episodes.
The next evening, I’d get a chance to sit in on a live taping of The Sunday Service, Double Toasted’s Sunday night show that covers the week’s wildest events, generally features a guest or two, and an overview of the weekend box office. Upon entering the studio space, I was amazed by how compact the room was; on camera, it looks expansive. The equipment used is on the professional end of the scale, with proper lighting, several cameras, and a PC/server setup for live streaming. After the show, I had the chance to catch up with Korey & Martin at a nearby bar.
Martin, Korey, how did you originally get into film and entertainment commentary?
Korey: I met Martin in college. I was accepted into a group of extremely talented local college cartoonists who drew for the University of Texas’ student newspaper. Martin had been friends with them for a while before I met them. Since we were the the only black cartoonists within this social circle, we gravitated towards each other.
When I was done with school I didn’t see Martin until he caught my cable access show, The Reel Deal, where I reviewed movies. I had done it for a couple of years at that point. I was doing silly sketches and invited Martin to come on for a few. He was coming on so much at one point, and he enjoyed talking about the movies, that he agreed to be a regular.
Martin: Korey and I got to know each other as part of a happening scene of Austin cartoon & comic artist in the early 90’s. I was freelancing on comics for Marvel, DC and various independent companies; Korey was writing and drawing a popular comic strip, “Eddie the Albino Squirrel” for UT’s student paper. It seems strange now, but for a college newspaper The Daily Texan was a big deal, filled with strips by people like Robert Rodriguez and others who are now big names in the gaming and animation industry. Being two of only three black guys in the group, Korey and I bonded quickly.
Double Toasted interviews Steve-O, formerly of Jackass, in advance of his stand-up comedy special at Austin’s Paramount Theatre. Courtesy of DoubleToasted.com
Prior to Double Toasted, you two were involved in Spill.com, another film review site, in collaboration with the likes of Chris Cox, C. Robert Cargill, and Tony Guerrero. What has the transition from Spill to Double Toasted been like, and has your approach changed at all?
Korey: The approach has been easier in some ways. Spill revolved so much around animation. Having animated reviews…