Seattle Growth Podcast 6.4: Finding community through comedy and sports

Comedy makes us laugh and sports make us feel (and, well, sweat). But can they also build community?

Season six of the Seattle Growth Podcast continues to explore how Seattleites are building or finding community and a sense of belonging within a city that is growing and changing so rapidly.

Episode 6.4 features community makers in the worlds of sports and comedy.

John Barr, creator and “chief instigator” of NHL To Seattle, shares how his love of hockey evolved from a hobby newsletter to an online network on Facebook and Twitter to a rich and expansive community of fans and enthusiasts who successfully advocated for Seattle to join the ranks of National Hockey League cities. Barr discusses what motivates him to pour his passion into the community and how he felt finally seeing Seattle realizing his dream of an NFL franchise.

Alex Grindeland, owner of CSz Seattle, describes how his passion for improv comedy evolved into a business that serves as host of ComedySportz improv competitions, hub for Seattle’s community of improv comedians—and a kind of training dojo for those intrepid souls who’d like to join. To demonstrate the importance of skill and practice in improv, Grindeland and podcast host Jeff Shulman collaborate on the least funny extemporaneous comedy act of all time.

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The Seattle Growth Podcast is hosted and produced by Shulman, the Marion B. Ingersoll Professor of Marketing at the UW Foster School of Business.

Shulman is also the producer of On the Brink, the acclaimed documentary of history, hope and determination to save Seattle’s vanishing Central District. You can view the film at upcoming screenings August 15 at the Neptune Theater and October 19 at the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI).