Too Beautiful to Live began as a radio show on KIRO on January 7, 2008 and soon began to delight tens of listeners in the Seattle area. Luke Burbank of public radio fame led the show with his unabashed and hilarious insights into his own life and society around him. Jen "Flash" Andrews, a longtime friend of Burbank's, was the producer and pop culture savant who did her best to run a show that was tight and on topic… most of the time. Sean DeTore was the sound engineer who regaled the audience at times with his cooking segment as well as his jaw-dropping stories of how he made a little extra cash.
The radio version of the show sadly ended in September of 2009, but was kept on the roster as a podcast or, as it would come to be known, an "imaginary radio show." One could say that the show really took off once it was no longer subject to serving its P1's. The team was able to let the swears, the unimaginable stories, and the Big Dog out from time to time earning itself a worldwide audience.
Throughout the years the show saw its share of changes. Jen Andrews traveled the United States in search of fun and adventure and perhaps a paycheck. Sean DeTore was no longer the engineer but would pop in occasionally to entertain the audience with his puns, dating stories, and, of course, his cooking. Added onto the roster was Andrew Walsh, a radio producer hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, who brought his own views on politics, feminism, and pastrami to the show.
At its core, TBTL was more than just a podcast. What began as a radio show grew into a community experience that truly brought Jen Andrew's vision of "curing global loneliness" to fruition. Thanks in part to Jon Takemoto creating a Facebook page for the listeners, and a myriad of bloggers, the show grew into an interactive experience where everyone was welcome. Fans became friends, and some friends even became life partners. Laughter and heartache were shared, and lives were altered because of this little radio show.
The insight and vulnerability that Luke, Jen, Sean, and Andrew shared allowed others to feel less isolated regardless of their own life situation. If you were a hiker, biker, or albino, there was a place for you. If you were a teacher, musician, or former bank robber, there was a place for you. If you were a liberal sports nut and die-hard Game of Thrones fan with an affinity for Us Weekly, there was most definitely a place for you. Everyone was welcome… unless you were a dummy.
The show will be sadly missed, but the stories, hilarity, and audio drops will forever live on in the minds and hearts of the tens.
-toni hammer // firstname.lastname@example.org // @realtonihammer
TBTL Song of the Day: I'm Your Man by Wham!