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The Karen & Ellen Letters

Our Americana Podcast Network

The Karen & Ellen Letters are the collection of 3 years' worth of correspondence between a landlord and his two very dumb, very demanding tenants. The podcast chronicles the host's journey to authenticate the letters, with dramatic readings of the letters, and guest commentary from comedians, other podcast hosts, and friends.

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Episode One | Lists 1 & 2

Mar 2nd, 201711:47

Karen moves into her new apartment with a list of deductions she's ready to make from her rent. Ellen writes Mark about her hopes and dreams for her new home.

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Karen decides Mark owes her thousands of dollars. Ellen sees something on TV that disturbs her. And Mark finally asks for help.

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The Karen & Ellen Letters are found correspondance between two teenage girls and their landlord, over a three year period, from the 1980s. This podcast is the reading of those letters and a re-telling of the host's journey to validate their authenticity. The Karen & Ellen Letters arrive on March 2 at www.karenandellen.com.

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S02|A02: Is This Adulting?

Oct 26th, 20171:19:37

The guys from Is This Adulting? weigh in on episode 2. In our most revealing Aftershow: Josh pops Chris's cherry, Chris develops a fascination with someone, Steven has a new toy, and Josh has definitely picked the wrong word of the day. **We encounter some audio issues in the first 2 minutes, they clear up thereafter**

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Helena reconnects with an old friend. Someone is having a really bad day. Ellen wants free firewood. Ants! Ellen leaves something behind. Josh finds something alarming. Where's Leslie? Starring: Adrienne Hardison as Helena Josh Hallmark as Himself Cindy Packer as ??????? Sara Beth Poole as Ellen Jeff Powell as Mark Chris Green as David Alyse Braaten as Leslie Music by: Grandma Pat Julie Maxwell's Piano Music www.behindtheoven.wordpress.com

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S02|E01: How To Catch A Mouse

Oct 17th, 201727:32

Dot loses her dog. Mark gets scolded. Karen spies on her neighbors. Someone is up to something. Josh tries to reconcile timelines. Ellen catches a mouse. Starring: Lori Snyder as Dot Nina Innsted as Bonnie Jeff Powell as Mark Sara Stapleton as Karen/Herself Sara Beth Poole as Ellen Alyse Braaten as Leslie Chris Green as David Josh Hallmark as Himself Music by: Marti Broke For Free www.behindtheoven.wordpress.com

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The train goes off the tracks.

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Episode Seven | George Bush

Mar 28th, 201713:03

Ellen takes an active role in the election. Uncle Albert takes a scholarly approach to trying to understand Karen’s and Ellen’s malapropisms. Someone makes a big announcement. And The Karen & Ellen Letters go international.

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Karen needs a new vacuum. Ellen begins a long and grueling search. Mark does Karen a favor. And allegations are made.

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#MailDay comes early this week! Karen & Ellen celebrate their year anniversary with Mark. Ellen talks astrology. And Mark’s Uncle Albert weighs in.

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Ellen struggles with inequity. A heat wave strikes Karen's bedroom. And a man named Hal ruins everything. www.karenandellen.com

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Hosts of the Blaze Entertainment Podcast, and Karen & Ellen virgins, Kwame and Miss Free join me to talk about episode three. We debate who would make the worse roommate and find the origin of "alternative facts."

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Episode Two | Bad Spirits

Mar 2nd, 201711:29

Ellen arrives and has some troubles with bad spirits. The girls struggle with math. The stove may or may not be broken. And a tragic death impacts negotiations.

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The Final Aftershow

Feb 6th1:41:30

In the final Aftershow, Josh, Sara, and Jess (The Beth Chronicles & Murder Road Trip) listen to a rough draft of the final episode (for the first time), starring Josh as both Mark and Ellen.  In this episode: You'll get to listen to the Mark letters that didn't make it into the finale. We try to solve the most important mystery: whatever happened to all those dead fish? Additionally, did Sara find Hal? We laugh, we cry, we talk about what's to come.

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Reconciliation.    Stay tuned for a preview of the new story coming next season.     www.behindtheoven.wordpress.com        Starring: Sara Beth Poole, Josh Hallmark, Sara Stapleton, Jeff Powell, Matt Peelen, Megan Chaney Walker      //   Music by:Mr. Twin Sister / Podington Bear / Rosanne Cash

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Charlie, Ali, and Matt, who have been on the Karen & Ellen journey since the days of the blog (2011), join me to chat about the series as a whole, season 2, episode 9, and the process of turning the letters into a podcast.

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S02|E09: Sunset/Sunrise

Jan 23rd31:11

The results are in. Mark moves on. Crochet Pants looks back. A life is celebrated. A birthday is celebrated. Aloha Karen watches the sunrise. www.behindtheoven.wordpress.com        Starring:  Chris Braaten as Reporter;  Lori Snyder as Dot;  Adrienne Hardison as Helena;  Sara Stapleton as Aloha Karen/Herself/Crochet Pants Karen;  Josh Hallmark as Himself;  Matt Valletta as Darren;  Nicki Thatcher as Clerk;  Jeff Powell as Mark;  Ryan Conley as Christopher      //   Music by: Podington Bear / Beach Party Hula Island / Sara Stapleton / Evgeny Grinko / Radical Face

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Helena provides some insight into Fish Ellen. Josh presents Aloha Karen's greatest hits. Crochet Pants goes home. Sara asks for help. An old friend returns.  www.behindtheoven.wordpress.com        Starring:  Lori Snyder as Dot;  Adrienne Hardison as Helena;  Josh Hallmark as Himself;  Sara Stapleton as Herself/Aloha Karen/Crochet Pants Karen;  Matt Peelen as Aloha Rob;  Nicki Thatcher as Clerk;  Benjamin Watkins as Uncle Albert     //   Music by: Podington Bear / Traylayne & GhostSoda / Sunset Rubdown

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Roomies Cindy, Vanessa, and Vicki join Josh to chat about Cindy's mysterious Season 2 role, theories, feelings, late night rabbit holes, and more. Plus, we play a game!

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Hosted by Laila   Featuring:  Vanessa York,  Brian York,  Staci P,  Lenny & Duke,  Sara Poole,  Chris Braaten,  Nicki Thatcher,  Steven Pappas,  Josh Hallmark,  Donna Hume,  Chris Green, and  Deana Marie  // Music by: Podington Bear Scott Holmes Patrick Watson

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S02|E07: The Big Guy

Dec 12th, 201724:05

We touch base with David. Dot & Helena look at "pics." Patty tells a friend about her wedding. Josh finds something at the bottom of a rabbit hole. // The Karen & Ellen Letters will return in January. www.behindtheoven.wordpress.com        Starring:  Chris Braaten as Rod Downey;  Chris Green as David;  Lori Snyder as Dot;  Adrienne Hardison as Helena;  Holly Hall as Patricia;   Sara Beth Poole as Ellen;  Sara Stapleton as Herself/Karen;  Josh Hallmark as Himself     //   Music by: Podington Bear / Mele / Samuel Corwin / The Do

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Helena gets upset with the news. Ellen has her eye on a cat painting. Josh can't believe his eyes. Darren spills the beans. Thanksgiving is celebrated on opposite ends of the country. www.behindtheoven.wordpress.com        Starring:  Adrienne Hardison as Helena;  Josh Hallmark as Himself;  Sara Beth Poole as Ellen;  Sara Stapleton as Herself/Karen;  Matt Valletta as Darren;  Holly Hall as Patricia    //   Music by: Podington Bear / Titus 12 / Gary & John / Chris Zabriskie / Samuel Corwin / Lia Ices

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In this slightly different Aftershow, Chris & Donna join me for more exploration than commentation.  Plus: Donna holds Josh’s feet to the fire. Chris talks about his mismatched roles. We deep dive the Karen & Ellen mythology. And a plea to Catfish Karen. Also, we get down to business over all that bad karaoke.

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S02|E05: Karen Karen Karen

Nov 28th, 201727:57

Dot tells Helena about her daughter's wedding. Josh and Sara try to sort out several possible Karens. Josh hears from Email Karen. We're introduced to someone we call Crochet Pants. And Ellen catches another mouse. www.behindtheoven.wordpress.com Starring: Lori Snyder as Dot;  Adrienne Hardison as Helena;  Sara Stapleton as Karen/Herself;  Josh Hallmark as Himself;  Denise Page as Rosie;  Sara Beth Poole as Ellen;  Music by: Podington Bear / Muddy Waters / Aurelie

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Hannah, Lanie, and Tawny drop by to talk episode 4. We deep dive some fan theories, sort out Ellen's homework, and answer some listener questions. Plus: Hannah roasts a chicken; and should Josh get that mole checked out?

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S02|E04: Jurisdicted To Love

Nov 7th, 201727:34

Helena fondly remembers Dot's daughter and her friend. The girls return from vacation. Ellen continues to struggle with geography. Josh reaches out to an old friend. www.behindtheoven.wordpress.com Starring: Sara Stapleton as Karen/Herself;  Chris Green as Email Man;  Adrienne Hardison as Helena;  Jeff Powell as Mark;  Sara Beth Poole as Ellen;  Matt Peelen as Rob;  Josh Hallmark as Himself Music by: Podington Bear / The Flaming Lips / Herman & Ian / YEYEY / Part Time

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S02|A03: The Roomies

Nov 3rd, 20171:05:21

Roomies Cheryl J, Jen P, Staci P, and Stephanie S take over the Aftershow and grill Josh as much as possible. We tackle the strangest and most disorienting episode yet, go over fan theories, try to figure out Patti with the crystals.

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S02|E03: In My Legal Opinion

Oct 31st, 201729:52

Karen's legal representative weighs in. Karen, Ellen, and Rob need jobs. And the fate of the cat painting is uncovered. www.behindtheoven.wordpress.com Starring: Josh Hallmark / Lori Snyder / Deana Marie / Cory Saceaux / Steven Pappas / Donna Hume / Chris Green / Sara Stapleton / Holly Hall Music by: Podington Bear / Grandma Pat / Ivy

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S02 Aftershow 1: Tamie & Sue

Oct 17th, 20171:23:45

Tamie & Sue return for the Season 2 Aftershow premiere, which was fraught with techincal difficulties. It's Sue's birthday, and Tamie and Josh get very drunk. Sue and Tamie share some theories, Josh reveals some bombshells, and we answer listener questions. Plus: some singing, some vulgar penis talk, and a glimpse of what it's like to work with Josh.

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In the season finale, Ellen has big news that brings Karen & Beth together again.

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Beth finds out how Rob & Karen met. Karen tries to make garlic bread. Karen sees a potential love connection for Beth.

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Karen and Rob arrive to visit Beth. Things get undeceptable. Plus: Beth hatches a plan.

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Karen plans a trip to New Zealish.

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The premiere of Karen & Ellen season 2 is just five weeks away. In the meantime, Sara (Karen) and Jess (from Kiwi Crimes) have collaborated to create a 5-part, non-canon miniseries that chronicles imagined events leading up to Ellen's wedding.

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SPECIAL MESSAGE: Podcasters Unite

Sep 11th, 20171:08

Our family of independent podcasters is banding together and partnering with the Red Cross to benefit the people affected by hurricane Irma. Please listen to the attached informational message or go to this link to participate in the efforts. #PodCastersUnite #IRMA http://www.blazingcariboustudios.com/podcastersunite/

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Chris Green hosts a Q&A covering listener questions on what to expect from season two.

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Season 2 Preview: Baked Ham

Jul 22nd, 20176:36

New mail arrives this Fall.

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Season 2 Teaser

Jun 17th, 20171:46

Season 2 arrives November 14.

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Season One Roundtable & Wrap Up

May 18th, 20171:27:58

In the Season One wrap up, Josh and Sara (Karen) are joined by Chris Green (The GravityBeard Show), Steven Pappas (Is This Adulting?), Sara DaSilva (Audible Feast), and Shannon Martin (Podbean) to discuss the season as whole. We talk ethics, the contagious nomenclature of Karen and Ellen, favorite moments, armchair detectives, and Season Two. Plus, Steven takes us down a psychological rabbithole; and the group shares their own Karen and Ellen moments in life. And, listeners chime in to share their favorite theories, episodes, and highlights of The Karen and Ellen Letters!

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Sara, Jeff, and Josh answer listener questions, talk about the production of the podcast, theorize, and share personal stories of friendship and life lessons.

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In this first part of the final Aftershow, Sara (Karen), Jeff (Mark), and Josh comment on the letters featured in the finale.

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Season Finale | Cognitive Dissonance

May 17th, 201730:57

A revealing connection is made. A villain emerges. Josh, Jeff, and Sara do some investigating, with varying success. Ellen leaves something behind. An email is sent. A package is shipped. We see the return of several old characters, and meet some new ones. We learn a shocking truth about one of our letter-writers, that changes everything. Plus, bloopers and drunken ad-libbing, by Jeff and Sara.

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What starts off as a morose Aftershow (with all that anti-semitism talk) quickly devolves into drunken hysteria when the word of the day comes up 16 times in two consecutive letters.

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Ellen has an awkward dinner with Karen's family. Karen and Rob use a newspaper article to appraise the mermaid clock. The Karen & Ellen Letters hit the stage, and are quickly retired to a box forever. Someone strange enters the fray.

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Episode Eleven | Uh-oh, Scandal

May 2nd, 201722:54

A flashback, a 3rd timeline, and a lot of information about the girls' families. Plus, Mark and Ellen become closer; while Mark and Josh hit a snag.

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Deana from the Twisted Philly podcast, and Ali and Charlie from In Sight, join me to discuss Karen and Ellen's strange relationship with Mark, whether socio-economics play a role in stupidity, and Ali's and Charlie's long history with the letters.

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Josh piques Karen's interest. A real, old valuable antique goes missing. Ellen writes an OpEd. And new questions about Ellen arise.

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Episode Nine | In My Legal Opinion

Apr 17th, 201718:41

Josh makes several bad decisions after hearing from Karen. Karen's legal representative weighs in. Karen, Ellen, and Rob need jobs. And the fate of the cat painting is uncovered.

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Tamie & Sue (and their pets) return to help unpack this doozy of an episode. We discuss our favorite listener conspiracy theories. Hilarity ensues when 3 secular people try to figure out Ellen's interpretation of Karen's interpretation of Catholocism. And the entire commentary seems to be continually haunted by the spirit of Mary Christ.

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This week we instate 2 words of the day, and consequently get very drunk. Amanda has a wine pairing specifically for our protagonists. Ellen outsmarts all of us. And we expound upon a dark theory regarding Ellen’s whereabouts. Plus: A lost letter that didn’t make it into the original episode (because: mistakes were made)!

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In this very special morning edition of the Aftershow, the hosts of Josh's favorite podcast join him for what Donna calls, 'Day Drinking With Josh.' We breakdown Karen's impact on the English lexicon, the girls' mixed metaphors, and landlord letters of recommendation.

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WARNING: This aftershow features a lot of explicit language and inappropriate humor. Josh is still drunk from the last Aftershow. Jason shocks us all with an unsavory joke; and then doubles down. We draw a dark conclusion as to why Ellen disappeared after 1990. We try to figure out which drugs the girls were on. And then compare Karen & Ellen to our favorite Real Housewives.

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The Karen & Ellen Letters Q&A

Mar 15th, 201740:31

3 hours ago, I decided I should do a Q&A. The GravityBeard host wanted to facilitate it. The only time that worked for both of us was right now. Chris and Josh sit down, entirely unprepared, to go over some listener questions. Mild spoilers ahead. Also: Mild political discourse.

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Friends (and friends of the show) Liz and Rebecca join me as we try (really) hard to find a way to honor International Women's Day with Karen & Ellen. We also answer some Facebook questions and attempt to unpack that Roger Rabbit letter. Plus: A Karen & Ellen drinking game ends as expected.

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Hosts of the More Gooder Than and Gravity Beard podcasts, Chris Braaten & Chris Green, join me to talk about episode 3. We try to figure out why Ellen wants firewood so much. And Braaten brings his stories and expert opinion as a landlord.

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Long-time friends of Josh and fans of the letters, Tamie & Sue, stop by to talk about their introductions to the letters. Plus: Tamie reads some of her own landlord correspondence; and Sue's cat weighs in.

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