The History of Pop Culture Philosophers

Thank you for an amazing debut for Pop Culture Philosophers in 2015!

In early 2012, some friends and I started working on an idea that would eventually become Pop Culture Philosophers. We started two podcasts that year: The Smile or Else Show and Rockin’ with Rockin’ Robbie. Due to the dedicated determination of Mike Matthews, James Lineback and Kevin Tome, this idea ignited a passion for podcasts and pop culture education within me.

Mike Matthews was the original host of The Smile or Else Show until he decided to step down in 2013. The value that Mike brought to these early shows has never been lost on me. I am thankful everyday that I have friends who will help me nurture and blossom my ideas. I look back on these pioneering days with joy, even though many nights led to hours, and even days, of arguments over creative differences.

In 2014, we relaunched The Smile or Else Show with John Holshoe as the host. I will be honest, John never wanted to host a show, but he has developed a hell of a talent and is, by far, the funniest host we have ever had on our shows. These episodes were much cleaner, concise and accessible in my humble opinion.

In late 2014 and early 2015, life happened. I had some personal losses come my way and it brought the already irregular podcasts to an abrupt end. During this time off, I refocused my life towards becoming, as my YouTube mentor Elliott Hulse would say, the strongest version of myself. I started meditating, working out and paying attention to nutrition. My passion for pop culture seemed to be diminishing, but I burned inside with a desire to talk about my newfound philosophy of life.

In mid-2015, I had a vision. Throughout the entirety of my life, I have been fascinated with superheroes and mythology. My time spend meditating revealed to me the correspondences and connections between the two. Story has always been the way we discuss and relate our personal experiences. There is no difference between the heroic myths of the past and George Lucas’ Star Wars saga or Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s Marvel Universe. Why not blend both of my passions, pop culture and philosophy, into one show? One vision. One purpose.

Thus, Pop Culture Philosophers was born. I partnered back up with John Holshoe, rededicated our YouTube channel to bringing more videos and original content, and we re-imagined the show as a bridge between life and our stories about life. We have seen fantastic growth in our short time existing as PCP, and we look forward to carrying this momentum into 2016 and beyond, creating new and exciting content for all who wish to take their love of pop culture a little bit further. We seek not an escape from life through pop culture, but, rather, an enrichment of life through the applied teachings of our favorite stories.

I would like to personally thank my fellow podcasters and pop culture philosophers from our SOE past and our PCP future: Mike Matthews, John Holshoe, James Lineback, Kevin Tome, Alicia Maro, Brooks Gibbs, Jelani Bullard, Justin Goldsmith, Drew Madsen, Tad Kopp, James Donahoe, Richard Werder, Alex Humphrey, Kenny Hill, Scott Matkin, Anthony Horton, Mark Lanier, Jesse Jewell, Keyera Key, Jonathan Printz, Chuck Harwood, Annalise Harwood, JT White, Chelsey Kilgore, David Locke, James Dingus, Michael Finley, the Anchor Thieves and Flux Capacitor Overdrive.

To Infinity and Beyond!
-Rockin’ Robbie Billups