What happens when two best friends have nothing to do?
If you’re Frank Delano and Desmond Murphy, you’ll launch a podcast and spend hours on end talking, laughing, debating whether Apple or Samsung products are better, and maybe even interviewing a few celebrities.
“We were like everyone famous now has a podcast,” Delano, 14, said. “Why don’t we just make a podcast and let’s just see what happens?”
The end result is 11 episodes of “Two Teens, Two Mics and a Ton of Ideas” where Delano and Murphy discuss politics, current events, sports and weather. The episodes — which are roughly a half-hour long — often include banter between the pair of teenage boys, anecdotes from their personal lives and updates on each other’s week.
In one show titled “Telepathy and Technology,” Delano pointed out Murphy’s new email profile picture and asked him to tell listeners about the changeup. Murphy, who is the more talkative co-host, dove into a quick story about his beloved dog who runs away to his neighbor’s yard and comes right back.
“I just love my dog,” Murphy told their listeners.
For Murphy, tidbits like those drive “Two Teens, Two Mics,” but the why behind them may not be the reason some think. It’s not always for show; there’s a sentimentality to it. Murphy said that during the pandemic, he and Delano sort of lost touch with each other. With school shut down for a while, they were off doing their own thing. The podcast became a way to stay connected and keep their friendship growing.
“I feel like this was our time to get to know each other better and remember those times that we had in seventh grade, and bring them back in a new way, and share them with each other over Zoom,” said Murphy, who graduated from Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Oak Park this year. The podcast was about “having a good time” and also letting their listeners in, he said.
Delano and Murphy mostly record their segments at their respective homes. There have been times when Murphy was on the road and forced to record in the car, frantically yelling at everyone to “shut it!”
“My dad sometimes comes into [my] room while I’m recording and is like ‘Oh, what are you doing, Desmond? Can you come on downstairs?’” said Murphy, who is also 14 and tried to mirror his father’s low voice.
When it comes down to putting an episode together or planning one, Delano and Murphy tend to split up the responsibilities. Delano, who initially came up with the idea for “Two Teens, Two Mics,” works behind the scenes. He edits their audio, uploads the episodes on streaming services such as Spotify or Anchor, and updates their website.
Murphy is a solid conversationalist, said Delano, also a 2021 Brooks graduate. Whenever featured guests come onto the show, Murphy takes the lead, asking insightful questions. Delano said that Murphy has the ability to relate to people and allows them to open up.
Since January, Delano and Murphy have welcomed professional speaker and humorist Jeanne Robertson and comedian Alonzo Bodden, a former contestant on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and regular panelist on NPR’s “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”
When Delano and Murphy booked Robertson, the podcast’s first guest, they were ecstatic. They couldn’t believe it.
“I reached out just thinking, you know, it’s worth the shot,” Delano said. “On Twitter, they responded, ‘Sure! We’re game! Let’s set this up.’ And, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s crazy.’”
In the past month, Murphy said he has tried emailing other celebrities to get them on the show, including actress Amy Poehler, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Kevin Hart just to name a few. Delano and Murphy’s dream guests also include actors Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, as well as YouTube star MrBeast.
With summer now underway, Delano and Murphy plan to make more episodes and have more things to talk about, especially with freshman year of high school just around the corner.
“I believe that some people would listen to this, even though I’m just a 14-year-old kid,” Murphy said.
Though the two can’t foresee where this podcast will take them, they’ve already learned some lessons. Through “Two Teens, Two Mics,” Delano and Murphy have been able to step out of their comfort zone, meet different people and work together as a team. Delano said he even started watching the news because of Murphy, so they could have material for their show.
“If it doesn’t kick off then so, I mean I still got to know Frank,” Murphy said. “I still got to learn about the world. I still got to learn about what’s happening, and I’ve got a great friend out of this.”