Former KROQ “Kevin and Bean” colleagues Gene “Bean” Baxter and Allie Mac Kay have reunited to launch a new podcast, “A Cup of Tea and a Chat with Allie & Bean.”
The show, which will post episodes three days a week, comes nearly a year after Baxter left “Kevin and Bean” and moved to London, and six months after KROQ yanked the successor program, “Kevin in the Morning with Allie and Jensen,” off the air.
Baxter and Kevin Ryder hosted “Kevin and Bean” on KROQ for nearly 30 years — since the start of 1990. After Baxter left, Ryder continued with Mac Kay (who had been with “Kevin & Bean” since 2015) and Jensen Karp, who joined in 2018.
But new KROQ management decided to pull the plug in March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic got underway, and the station took a ratings and public relations hit as a result.
Since moving to London, Baxter has been hosting interviews and doing voice tracking for digital broadcaster Podcast Radio. Mac Kay and Baxter remained in contact, and she said she broached the idea of reteaming soon after KROQ ended “Kevin in the Morning.”
“We were fired in March, I believe I started pestering Bean in April,” Mac Kay said. “‘Hey Bean you ever thought about doing a podcast with an old friend that lives in Los Angeles?’ I think I probably mentioned it only about four or five times, really. And it would just kind of be in passing because if Bean doesn’t want to do something, he’ll totally change the subject. He won’t answer, and he wasn’t really answering and he was changing the subject. So I kind of let it go. “
Baxter said it took a bit of prodding, and hearing from “Kevin and Bean” fans.
“I didn’t think it was a bad idea, it just took me a long time to realize that it was a good idea,” he said. “To tell you the truth, when you hear it so many times every single day from former listeners, you kind of feel like you have an obligation to do it. Because there were so many people out there who were really just starved for that kind of content right now. Which to me is crazy because there’s a huge world out there of content, I feel like nobody needs another podcast. But our people missed us so much — and I know I speak for Allie when I say we miss them so much too, because it was such a give and take relationship.
“The listeners and the hosts all had their own in jokes and their own subjects that they were interested in and constantly talked about,” he added. “And it really built up to be a community over so many years that I got to the point, it’s coming up on a year now since I’ve been on the radio in America. I got to the point where I just was really starting to miss it so much that I thought, well, why am I not doing this? The listeners would enjoy it and I think it would really be fun.”
Mac Kay and Baxter said the show is still a work in progress, but some hallmarks of “Kevin and Bean” can be expected — including Baxter’s love of collecting soundbites (he’s amassed more than 1,200 new ones since last year).
“A Cup of Tea and a Chat” will be available to subscribers via Patreon at different subscription levels, starting at $3 a month up to $20, which features more perks.
“I have a few friends that launched their podcasts mostly on Patreon and they had a great experience with it,” Mac Kay said. “And I knew Bean didn’t want to go right back at it five days a week, and I think a lot of people have changed their listening habits. Nowadays, people aren’t listening to podcasts five days a week and if they are, sometimes they get backed up with them. So I thought three was the magic number.”
Ryder, meanwhile, is currently writing a book based on his 30-year experience at KROQ, but “A Cup of Tea and a Chat” listeners can expect to hear plenty of familiar voices; Baxter’s wife, Donna, appeared on episode 1.
“Kevin and Bean” fans suddenly have multiple podcast options to fill the void. Besides “A Cup of Tea and a Chat,” former “Kevin and Bean” producer Dave Sanchez, “Kevin and Bean” imaging director Omar Khan and jack-of-all-trades Johnny “Beer Mug” Kantrowe recently launched a new podcast, “Jankytown.”
Sanchez, Khan and Kantrowe formerly hosted KROQ’s “B-Team” podcast, which discussed the behind-the-scenes antics of “Kevin & Bean” while replaying classic bits from that show’s archives. Khan remains at KROQ, working on production for “Stryker and Klein,” the morning show that replaced “Kevin & Bean,” while Kantrowe handles weekend and fill-in shifts at the station. But KROQ has no relation to “Jankytown,” and the new show, while referencing their past on “Kevin & Bean,” focuses more on the hosts’ current lives and interests.
Also on Patreon, former “Kevin and Bean” cast member Ralph Garman has hosted the five-day-a-week “The Ralph Report” since 2018, along with comedian Eddie Pence.
Karp, meanwhile, has launched several podcasts since KROQ ended “Kevin in the Morning,” including “The Sports Bubble,” “Talk Ain’t Cheap: A Podcast About Cameo” and “Scorantine,” a game show on Patreon that he hosts with wife Danielle Fischel.