Comedian Kristal Adams is Discussing All Things Black Culture on New Podcast Black Card Rehab

Ever wonder “why so many Black people don’t like raisins?” Well, accomplished comedian Kristal Adams will let you know! Her podcast, Black Card Rehab, hosted by Adams and fellow comic Paige Wesley, welcomes guests to discuss everything from music to celebrities to least favorite foods, uncovering what really makes up modern day Black pop culture.

We had a chance to talk to Adams about her inspiration, the highs and lows of running a podcast, and her advice for other women in entertainment.

Tell us a little about your podcast and what listeners can expect.

Black Card Rehab is a comedic journey through all aspects of Black pop culture. The podcast is hosted by myself, Kristal Adams, a stand up comedian seen on Season 2 of Laugh After Dark on Amazon, JFL and the 2019 Big Pine Comedy Fest Winner. I co-host the podcast with my “White friend” Paige, a stand up comedian and co-host of Cult Podcast. Every week, comedians and artists are invited to geek out about a subject in Black pop culture that they know a lot about, for an example who are sex symbols of Gospel Music, who is the Black George Clooney and why so many Black people don’t like raisins. We start every episode by weighing in on how we’re feeling that day on a scale of “Zero to Black,” with the hope that by the end of the episode everyone is feeling very Black.

What inspired you to create this podcast?

I’m turned on by anything that blends comedy with vulnerability. There are so many shows where Black people are presented as the resident experts on our culture. However, for me, it was more interesting to investigate something that I felt insecure about: that I’m fully a Black woman, but don’t know a lot about “black stuff.” Even though the show is focused on Black pop culture, I think my experience of feeling like an outsider is pretty universal.

When I describe my podcast to avid podcast listeners, I tell them that my podcast splits the difference between The Dork Forest hosted by Jackie Kashian and Gimlet Media’s The Nod. For everyone else, all I can say is, “Strap in!”

What challenges, if any, have you encountered so far?

My main challenge is fighting algorithms in order to compete with the many, MANY podcasts that have massive funding and celebrities behind them. My podcast doesn’t have the money, fame or woman-power that some popular podcasts have had starting off. For my podcast, I am

the host, editor, talent booker, marketer and promoter. Wearing this many hats, I often have to make tough decisions about where to spend my time and what details to worry about on a day to day basis.

As a recovering perfectionist, I am also constantly having to challenge myself to let go of things that could kill my momentum and motivation. Sometimes when I look at the charts of the “top podcasts” it’s easy to get discouraged by how few women of color have broken through and cracked the code, especially in the comedy podcast space. So I have to continuously look to the women who have inspired me and remember that everyone has to start somewhere.

How do you think your experiences as a woman in entertainment have influenced this project?

Being a woman in stand up comedy has made me very comfortable being the underdog. Though I would love to be the horse that the big companies are betting on, I am used to having to make my own ideas happen without their help. Also being in stand up comedy, you learn to be everything to yourself: manager, promoter, web developer, social media manager. Stand up comedy is one of those weird professions where it’s basically expected that you wear all of these hats. Until you become Kevin Hart, you had better learn fast or die trying. Ultimately however, I’m grateful for this corner I’ve been pushed into, because now I can use all of these skills that I’ve gained for my podcast.

What advice do you have for women seeking to create their own content?

My advice for women interested in creating content is to ask yourself if you would still want to make the thing you’re about to make even if not a lot people are interested right away. Then, make a plan to MAKE them get interested. The idea for Black Card Rehab came as a “feeling” that I knew I needed to listen to. I’m grateful to have now spent years paying attention to this “feeling.” Now it takes me a lot less time to listen and then launch.

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Caitlin Arcand
Once upon a time, Caitlin had a fever dream and started this website. Now she's stuck writing satire for all eternity.