Who is Tom Scharpling?

So a few weeks ago, I was listening to my new favourite Podcast What a Time to Be Alive and the hosts mentioned a different show. This Tom Scharpling guy apparently has a show and they revered it a bit actually. The name sounded kinda familiar and I made a note to check him out later.

Well so this Tom fella is listed in the Apple Podcasts as running Best Show, so I checked it out. About… thirty seconds into the first episode I froze. My eyes dilated and defocused. I held my breath.

“Wait a minute.”

I double-checked on IMDb.

Tom Scharpling is the voice actor behind my favourite character on my favourite show: Greg Universe. I’ve already been listening to this guy and I didn’t know it! And he was a writer and producer on Monk, which played a big role in my formative years. (I’d never seen a protagonist depicted with a mental illness before.)

Okay so that’s pretty cool, right? Well I kept reading up on him and he’s been involved with a bunch of musicians that I like, over many years. Very cool! I kept digging.

Best Show has been running for well over a decade, with many people now attributing the rise of podcasting in general to this show. Some describe him as the “Godfather Of Podcasting”, according to Wikipedia. Very cool! I’ve run a number of podcasts over the years and they’ve all be influential on my career. My first was just with some friends and colleagues in 2011, but I later did an interview series with established developers who described their origin stories – because we all start from somewhere – and finally I did another iOS news show. (All the shows are defunct and offline, sorry. Welllll, one of them is archived but you should absolutely not listen to it.) The point is, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into podcasting if not for the zeitgeist around the medium in 2011, which Tom Scharpling helped create.

So this person, who I didn’t even know about really, has been influencing my life for well over a decade. My personal life, my career, my art. Wow. And I didn’t even know his name. Prettttty cool!

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