After 10 years, 450 episodes, and almost 200 guests, The Movie Jerks are wrapping up their long-running Edmonton podcast.
But before JP Fournier and Shawn Gramiak stop "exploring the dark, scary, confusing, and sometimes pathetic world of bad movies," they're planning to give past guests one more chance to share a piece of their mind.
"For our finale episode, we have been requested by a couple of our beloved guests to allow them back on so they may have their final words about what they have experienced and what they think about Shawn and I," Fournier said in his Facebook post announcing the show's end.
"That sounds like a great way to leave the podcast world with our heads up high."
Fournier and Gramiak discovered something special about one another when they met in Edmonton's standup comedy scene.
"We found out very quickly that we had a common trait of bringing a film to a group of people to watch and almost being ostracized by that group," Fournier told Taproot.
This unique similarity led to the idea for a podcast based on forcing people to watch awful films. "We just thought it was a neat idea because when people talk about a movie they hate, they're very passionate," Fournier said. "You can easily get someone to talk for hours about something they dislike."
When they started in 2012, podcasts were far more scarce than they are today. There were fewer than 100,000 shows listed in iTunes, which was the main way to listen at the time. Now, there are more than a million shows, with more being added to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other players every day.
The Movie Jerks caught a break when CTV featured them in a review of 50 Shades of Grey, thanks to a recommendation by cameraman Matt Marshall. That show introduced the pair to journalist Stacey Brotzel, who has returned to the show multiple times to review the 50 Shades of Grey sequels.
From there, the show gained listenership across the globe, finding listeners who share their admiration for the transcendent language of film.
"Film is a method of passing on life lessons from one generation to another. It's a historical record. It's a communal experience. It's a language unto itself," Gramiak told Taproot.
"It's the weird thing about it is is that at this point in my life. I now look back and I see films that have fundamentally changed me."
Their most popular episode ever, garnering more than 160,000 downloads, featured musician and actor Henry Rollins, along with director Jason Krawczyk and producer Zach Hagen, talking about their film He Never Died.
While this is the end for the Movie Jerks, as they are "generally irreplaceable," Fournier and Gramiak will not be leaving the Edmonton comedy scene. Both hope to further their pursuits on YouTube, and Fournier is keen to write more plays and fiction.
The grand finale is slated for some time in February, and Gramiak and Fournier are eager to hear from any past guests who want to make an appearance. The beginning of their three-episode final run is a look at the best and worst of 2021 featuring writer and frequent guest Chris Vander Kaay.