“The World According To Noah Savage” Is The Podcast You Need During the Corona Crisis
By John Field
Comedian Noah Savage has a lot of things going for him; he’s a stand-up, sports broadcaster, former professional basketball player in Switzerland, and, most recently, one of the first 278 cases of people in New York City to be diagnosed with COVID-19. He’s been bringing all of these experiences, saddled with a comedian’s perspective to his podcast The World According to Noah Savage, and bringing his wife Alyssa Wolff along for the ride.
As the self-proclaimed, “first comedian with Coronavirus,” Noah has been broadcasting from his home studios in New York City since early March of 2020.
“We combine sports, pop culture and incredibly stupid stories from our past… occasionally I have other sports personalities, comedians or whoever I want on the show but sports unfortunately ended due to the global pandemic recently.” said Noah. “We can’t just do normal sports talk.”
As the podcast progressed, the subject of sports transitioned from what was happening to what was not happening in the world of sports, speaking with experts such as Princeton basketball head coach Mitch Henderson, and broadcaster Rick Wolff — son of Hall-of-Fame Bob Wolff. Through these discussions Noah and his guests were able to explore, as people working in the sports broadcasting industry and ex-athletes, what was going around them and what could be in store for the future as we rebuild in a post-COVID world. There were even room for discussion of instances where pop culture and sports mix, such as with The Last Dance, an ESPN and Netflix joint production on Micheal Jordan and the 1997–98 season of the Chicago Bulls.
“The Last Dance documentary about the Chicago bulls has been great for the pod and it almost hits the exact thing that we are going for in terms of a sweet spot of sports and pop culture. We talk about Dennis Rodman but how we feel empathy toward him because all comics feel some sense of being a ‘weirdo.’”
In addition to sports personalities, the show also features predominant up-and-coming comedians such as Ryan Beck (Comedy Cellar) and Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central). However, Noah describes the show’s ‘bread and butter’ as being his wife, comedian Alyssa Wolff.
“[Alyssa] is so great on the podcast and our chemistry is unmatched. People love to hear us talk about whatever we pull from pop culture but also just our conversations about normal life or marriage or whatever. We never run out of things to say to each other.“
As their quarantine progressed, the show has evolved into a makeshift at-home variety show, featuring reality show recaps, embarrassing stories and even improvised raps. In episode 16, “Did You Marry a Dumbass?”, Noah and Ayllsa riffed on weird dreams and the difficulties of being on top of each other in the middle of a quarantine;
“This past episode I wrote a rap song in my sleep which I performed and then explained why in middle school I thought it was cool to be tired,” Noah quipped.
Describing her as his all-time ‘favorite’ collaborator, Noah stresses that at the heart of the podcast in Noah and Alyssa’s podcast is their relationship; “[Alyssa] is super funny. I think we’ve found perfect chemistry on the air. I love when she makes fun of me on the podcast,” said Noah.
He went on to share the story of how they began dating. Savage said, “We were friends/acquaintances for around two years and I kept trying to ask her out. I would book her on this show I ran over and over, then we’d have a few drinks and I’d ask her out. She’d say, ‘Yes,’ and in the morning when I was sober, I’d text her. She’d say, ‘Yeah I don’t think so.’ This went on for months until I invited her to my march madness pool. She finally hung out with me and I hit her with a terrible line like ‘hey I like you’ she said “I know,’ she said ‘I don’t want to date a comedian” and I said ‘you’ve heard my stuff I’m barely a comic.’ Then we made out by a subway.”
Through the lens of The World According to Noah Savage, their passionate relationship shines through and is given a different context inside of the global pandemic. Between the hot takes on Michael Jordan, Vanderpump Rules, Real Housewives of NY and bad early 2000s romantic comedies starring Ryan Reynolds, you discover something happening under many roofs during the quarantine; families coping, surviving, and laughing through the tedium of each day.
The show began with Noah sharing his experiences in person with close friends, but the shutdown and his initial infection forced him inside and forced the podcast to change it’s format, but for the better. It became a story of a different type of endurance, which is waiting for the world to return to a pace that we understand. At the core, the show is about building a nest for ourselves and our eventual return to normalcy.
Toward the end of one the early episodes, while Noah was still fighting the infection, Noah and Alyssa were exchanging speculation about what comes next for the world after one of the largest global catastrophes of our lifetime, at which point Wolff paused her thoughts about the future, and brought things to the present, laying out the intention for the show by saying, “It’s so important to stay positive now. It’s really crucial to be cautious and respectful to one another and then we can go back to being our disgusting human trash cans we all love to be.”
You can find Noah’s podcast here. He’s also on Twitter and Instagram with even more golden, relatable quarantine content for you.