Comedians Leah Knauer and Rachel Laforest are conjuring up some hilarious content with their podcast “Basic Witches.” The show, which premiered as a live show in Hollywood, is constantly expanding, featuring famous guests like Margaret Cho and attracting over 12,000 followers on social media. We had a chance to catch up with the Basic Witches themselves to uncover the magic behind their spooky creation!
Tell us a little bit about Basic Witches, what listeners can expect, and where your inspiration came from.
Basic Witches has been casting a comedy spell on listeners since 2018 at the world-famous Comedy Store in Hollywood. We, Leah Knauer and Rachel Laforest, high-lariously enchant guests like Margaret Cho, Alex Banayan, and Jackie Tohn to talk about spirituality, sexuality, manifestation, and the magic of everyday life. Expect spooky ghost stories and even spookier getting ghosted stories – after all, we are “basic.”
It really is always the season of the witch, as we smash pumpkins and the patriarchy. As a magical duo, we brew up transformative conversations of witchy wellness and lots o’ laughs. Leah and I met in a UCB musical improv class where we bonded over fierce female archetypes, unbelievable synchronicities, and how to laugh despite the darkness. Add one leg of toad, and the rest was herstory.
When did you know you were witches? Has this been a lifelong journey or is this a new development?
The term “witch” is a newer identity, but we’ve always felt magical from a young age. Leah could guess sports scores and predict things that would happen, and Rachel had psychic dreams and a tendency to get kicked out of gym class for speaking her truth. Witchcraft, in general, is a journey, which is why we use the name “Basic Witches.” We believe we will always be learning and growing.
How has the production process been? Have you had to adapt during quarantine?
We used to record at The Comedy Store, which added a nice spooky element since the place is known to be haunted… and we recorded in the dark basement. Of course, with quarantine, we’re not able to record there or do our live shows there, so we’ve adapted to the Zoomiverse as our new recording studio. Due to the pandemic, “Blazin’” blossomed, which is our live streaming Instagram show we do every Tuesday at 5:55 PST! We smoke weed and wear blazers and talk to witchy experts and celebs. We’ve also been doing virtual New Moon and Full Moon Circles, which has been extra amazing because we finally get to “meet” our listeners across the globe! We love connecting with our patrons on Patreon with monthly card readings! Amidst this crazy year, we have had some beautiful moments and we’re seeing, as we adapt, that this time is truly the Divine Feminine Uprising, as more and more witches unite in their power – virtually. See ya online, witches!
Do you have a favorite episode so far?
“Peace by Peace” with Margaret Cho has got to be one of our all-time favorite episodes! We personally got to hear Margaret do an impression of her mom while telling us a true ghost story – we can die happy now. Plus, this episode has been nominated by The 2020 Witchies for “Most Exceptional Podcast Episode of the Year!”
You two have the coolest graphics and promo materials ever. What witchy tips do you have for other women looking to create content?
Thank you so much! As any good witch knows, the intuition is where it’s at! You’ll make the most magic for your brand when you follow what feels good and create from a place of joy. When you see our graphics, you’re seeing the stardust of our soul. Intention is everything, so how do you want your audience to feel when they see your content? Do you want to lift them up? Make them think? Turn them on? There is meaning to everything you post, so be intentional!
What are your future goals for Basic Witches?
Well, we’re glad you asked! We are manifesting a spread in Maxim and Cosmopolitan. We want a comedy special/series where we spread laughter and inspiration for womxn and witches of all kinds. We want to write and star in movies. We want to go on tour with “Basic Witches: Live!” so we can meet our incredible witchy listeners around the globe. And we want to have Lana Del Rey as a guest on the podcast. And so it is!
Check out the Basic Witches!
Image: Claude Charles Photography