Halloween Costumes for Podcasters: Portray Podcasting Pioneers!

The spooky season is well underway. If you’re giving out candy to trick-or-treaters for Halloween, please don’t be that boring person who doesn’t get dressed up.

Sure, you can hang a pair of headphones around your neck, add a little shadow to the circles under your eyes, and call yourself a “zombie podcaster,” but why? Halloween is the best time to share your special interests with your neighbors. If you dress up as one of the pioneers of podcasting, you can show your neighbors and friends that podcasters aren’t the joke that TV says they are.

Pulling together a memorable ensemble doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some leads to help you craft an excellent Halloween Costume for Podcasters.

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Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace was a mathematician, the first computer programmer, and the daughter of Lord Byron. She broke the path for podcasting by pursuing the intersection of electricity, mathematics, and her “calculus of the nervous system,” or how the brain makes emotions and ideas. For this Halloween costume for podcasters, wear an empire waist dress paired with a bolero jacket or cardigan. Accessorize your Regency-era hair with a fancy headband.

Tesla, Marconi or Popov?

It’s still debated as to who invented wireless communication via radio waves: Nikola Tesla, Guglielmo Marconi, or Aleksandr Popov. But this Halloween costume for podcasters isn’t hard as long as you have a suit and tie. What makes the difference is the paper collars that people wore to make their shirts seem freshly starched. If you’re good with a pair of scissors and can tie a cravat, you’re all set. The earbuds were invented in 1891, and the first audio headphones were around 1910. So, any of these gents may have had a pair. You can make a replica using one of the (surprisingly many) tutorials on YouTube for how to make headphones out of cardboard.

Orson Welles

Actor, screenwriter and director Orson Welles brought us Mercury Theater’s 1938 radio broadcast War of the Worlds. Now, not a single World Audio Drama Day (October 30) can go by without this image getting passed around like nuts at Christmas.

Holiday traditions always make me sentimental.

Welles made an unforgettable radio drama by pushing the boundary between news programming and live performance. The reputed panic was, apparently, more media hype than actual hysteria. But, Welles apologized the next day. For Welles’ Halloween costume for podcasters, a good pair of trousers, a sweat-stained shirt and tie, suspenders, and tousled hair will do. Bonus points if you douse yourself with the smell of bourbon and cigars.

Hedy Lamarr

If you like your wireless headphones, thank this Austro-American actress and mathematician. Hedy Lamarr fled her first husband and the Nazis in the mid-1930s. Soon afterward, she became one of the top actresses in Hollywood. During World War II, she worked with George Antheil to develop “frequency hopping,” a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes. Her concept built what would become contemporary Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. Dressing as Ms. Lamarr is a bold move, but it’s a fabulous Halloween costume for podcasters. For a 1940s silhouette, wear a dress that emphasizes the shoulders and nips the waist with a long skirt. Add a dark wig, long lashes, dark red lipstick, and a fearless attitude.

Richard Durham

There’s a vast treasure trove of 1940s African-American radio drama, and Richard Durham created it. Durham was a poet, dramatist, journalist, and labor party organizer. Between 1948 and 1950, Durham produced Destination Freedom for Chicago radio station WMAQ. This radio drama program profiled important African Americans through history and dramatized their contributions to democracy. Another rare quality of Durham’s work for the time was the shows focused on women, not only men. Episodes include stories about Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Ida B. Wells. Richard Durham was a simple dresser: for this Halloween costume, a good work shirt and trousers should suffice. It’s pretty much the same ensemble as Orson Welles, without the pretensions. You can listen to episodes of Destination Freedom on archive.org.

Ira Glass

Dressing as This American Life’s Ira Glass is too easy. Dark jacket, light button-down shirt, skinny jeans, big glasses. You’re probably wearing it right now. You might also be John Hodgman. This is one facial hair choice and paper collar away from the Tesla, Marconi, or Popov Halloween costume for podcasters.

Only Murders In The Building

Okay, these are TV characters, but they’re worth it. If you’re the right age and height to get away with dressing as Charles, Oliver, or Mabel, please do. Costume designer Dana Covarrubias has designed a set of color palettes and ensembles worthy of cosplay tribute. This could be a great father-daughter Halloween costume for podcasters, especially if you have a marigold faux fur jacket or violet overcoat.

Be The Podcaster You Want To See In The World

Podcasters spend so much time alone working hard on our shows that we miss out on a lot of fun. No wonder the normies think podcasters are weird; we’re stuck at our computers all the time. Then again, I just called people who don’t podcast “normies,” so who’s the one with the problem?

Traditionally, Halloween is a time to celebrate our ancestors. With these Halloween costumes for podcasters, you can celebrate wireless communication pioneers and inspire others. Spark conversation while you give out candy or go to a party. Be the freaky neighbor who gives the local kids something to remember and look up to for years to come.

Originally posted on October 23, 2023 @ 8:24 am

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