Bad Form: The Podcast That Kills Small Talk
Bad Form is a podcast hosted by friends Anja ‘Nanna’ Venter and Limpho ‘Dee’ Moeti. During each episode Nanna and Dee sip wine and chat about everything from comical and devastating breakups, to toxic online masculinity, to the most hellish housemates imaginable. The common thread is (you guessed it) bad form. Friends, Romans, country(wo)men, lend them your ears – because you’ll be hella glad you did.
Find Bad Form on iTunes
Bad Form is compiled of golden listener submissions, seamlessly natural conversation, and some topnotch banter. The conversational chemistry is strong with this one, and even though you’re listening to an external dialogue, you can’t help but feel as though you’re a part of it. The duo treat each episode thematically, starting with an introduction before organically just kinda going all in.
The variety of relatable subject matter evokes a bouquet of different emotions, from (mostly) LOLs to kinship to, sometimes, deeeeep disappointment in the human race.
To put this into context, one episode mentions a side-splitting breakup story involving a Please Call Me message stating “Ons is Verby” (we’re over), while another episode rightfully calls out a breed of slimy men that list their female preferences on their own customized websites – in over 3000 characters, nogal.
More about Bad Form, straight from Nanna and Dee:
Tell us about starting Bad Form. When did you first think about hosting a Podcast, and why? Then what made you actually do it?
Nanna: When Dee first moved to Cape Town about two years ago, she moved in with me for the first month, and we would literally sit down at the end of every day, pour a glass (or 5) of wine, and talk until bedtime.
Limpho: I’ve been trying to get Anja to do a podcast with me forever! I’ve done a bit of podcasting in the past and I realized our conversations kind-of naturally take the beat of one already. We started recording our conversations on a phone to listen back to them…and then one day Anja sent me a voicenote saying she thought we should call the podcast “Bad Form”. So I bummed a proper Zoom recorder from work the next week, and well, here we are.
Nanna: Our friend Jason Sutherland (Drift Prism) did the music which added credibility to the whole thing, and our friend Danielle Hitchcock (ex-The Dollfins, Beach Party, now Vincent) listened to the first few episodes, got annoyed with how badly I was mixing the sound, and volunteered to be our sound guy – so she edits the episodes all the way from Berlin every week.
You have such great conversational chemistry! How do you know each other? Why did you choose each other as co-hosts?
Nanna: I started spending a lot of time in Joburg in the mid-late 2000s, long-distance dating my now-fiance Ben. We’re super comic book nerds, and we met Dee at the local comic book store, where she worked. We always joke that’s she’s our “comic book guy” because knows every single factoid about every single comic book related thing – it’s hilarious, ’cause she’s so far away from the stereotype.
Limpho: Smashing the glass ceilings that nobody cares about! We’ve gotten along like a house on fire since we met 9 years ago, and we can literally talk until someone has to shut us down because it’s 4am and the bar is closing. So when I moved down to Cape Town it was natural that we’d hang out constantly, and that eventually manifested in doing a podcast.
How and why did you choose the name?
Limpho: So a lot of what we talk about are my misadventures transitioning into becoming a Capetonian, and grappling with the ethics of that, and just generally crashing around in this fog known as adulthood – trying to do right by others.
Nanna: Doing that, we often make moral judgements, just calling ‘Bad Form’ on certain behaviours, like “nah, dude, that was fucking Bad Form.” But we still struggled for months to come up with a name… then it just hit us one day… Bad Form, The Podcast.
How do you curate the subject matter? What’s the criteria you use for the conversations you have?
Limpho: We choose them very naturally, it’s usually stuff that we’ve spoken about before, or thought about that week
Nanna: We’ve been trying to do it thematically, because podcasts need structure to make them appealing, but now it’s got the added dimension of people just sending in stories, and us designing themes around them.
You come across as pretty (and awesomely!) frank. Is the podcast an outlet for your most honest selves, or do you try to do this IRL too?
Limpho: We do this with each other IRL anyways, so it comes quite easily and naturally for us to be like that on the podcast as well.
Nanna: It’s been weird actually dealing with our “authentic voices” being out there… realising that people get to hear this intimate, private bubble of ours, but it’s also been insanely liberating to put ourselves out there. I mean, it was nothing short of hyper-existentialism listening to myself make jokes about murder while driving with my mom in the car over easter weekend, but you know, I’m pretty sure she knew I was weird already.
Are there any types of dialogue that you skip during recordings? If so, what and why?
Nanna: ahem, well Dee vetoed the murder topic, so I guess there are no rules?
Limpho: We anonymise the stories, and try not to drag our friends into them, or if things start getting too personal, or too real, we don’t use it.
Is it important for people to call each other out on bad form? Why? Any guidelines / hacks you’ve uncovered?
Limpho: Yes it is, always. I like to believe that as human beings we’re all trying to be better, and it’s hard to grow if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Or even how you might be perceived by others. We’ve all done dickish things, and often we don’t realize them.
Nanna: I have been the biggest dick, and still can be, and it’s good to have people call you out instead of thinking that about you secretly. We believe in basic kindness and compassion, and often people are bigoted without ever having needed to interrogate that about themselves.
Limpho: It’s especially important on the big stuff – active and passive sexism, racism, homophonia, transphobia..We’re not out here to be judge and jury, but we have the right to be critical towards social systems that manifest in discrimination, and the people who uphold them.
Nanna: I’d say my main guideline / hack is that people respond positively if you’re genuinely delightful and kind.
Limpho: One of my big guides is just to listen to people. And do your best to avoid behaviors that harm others. Even if you personally don’t think it is a big deal.
Why a Podcast specifically? What about the format was more appealing to you than, say, a blog / vlog?
Limpho: Oh, I hate myself on camera.
Nanna: Me too.
Limpho: I also feel like it’s harder for things to feel natural when you have all those additional accoutrements of representation – there’s a privacy in it just being a voice. We can sit in our pyjamas and just get comfy and be ourselves – not the cool versions that we try to be around others.
Nanna: It’s definitely easier to just pitch up and talk, which I think has greatly contributed to it being a manageable project.
Drinking wine is a big part of your recording ritual. Any other tricks you’ve uncovered over the last few months that make the process smoother?
Limpho: Make sure that you have two bottles, and at least one of them is really good. Gotta keep it classy.
Nanna: We also usually sit down for an hour before and just catch up to get that out of the way, and it’s warm up I guess.
Limpho: But we try to avoid talking about the topic beforehand, so our reactions come across as genuine and natural.
Nanna: And we make ourselves record every week! It’s nice cause we used to see each other once or twice a week anyway, but now we get to turn our wino time into something productive.
What do you hope Bad Form will add to listeners’ lives, and the world in general?
Limpho: That our motto gets taken to heart by everyone who listen to it: be kind and compassionate yo! That it’s just also really delightful, and entertaining as well.
Nanna: Kurt Vonnegut, who is my personal lord and savior, has this quote about people needing to make things for the pure purpose that other people will feel less alone in their experiences. We have so much in common. Music, art, literature, comics and podcasts let people know that they’re not the only weird one that’s been thinking about this, or feeling like that… I guess that’s really important to me, the aspect of connection.
What’s in your Podcast library? Any recommendations?
Limpho: I don’t really listen to that many podcasts (lol*) but 2 Dope Queens is rad! And Welcome to the Nightvale, and every now and again I’ll put on Harmon Quest!
Nanna: My Favorite Murder, Starving Artist, My Dad Wrote a Porno, The Rookie podcast, Honeycunt, Capsule ’98, Anna Faris is Unqualified, You Must Remember This, and a bunch of murder shows…
Limpho : You and your goddamn murder shows! (lol)
Tell us about your lives outside of Bad Form. What do you keep busy with, and how does it fuel what you chat about during recordings?
Limpho: I am up to my elbows in pop culture generally. I work at a games design studio called Free Lives as an Admin Systems Specialist and I’m always thinking about the makeup of the industry in general…so yeah, there’s a lot of content there. And being in Cape Town makes me think about how we navigate through spaces and how all sorts systems are reproduced in subtle ways.
Nanna: I’m a general creative*. I just finished my PhD last year, I do contract lecturing in Media Studies at the University of Cape Town and I’ve been an artist/designer/comics person forever, so a lot of my work is engaging with forging towards some kind of societal narrative. It helps to have Dee to talk to about a lot of my ideas, she’s always been my sounding board person.
*Editor’s note: Anja is being modest. Find some evidence here: nannaventer.co.za.
What are your ambitions for Bad Form? Any dream guests, topics, listeners…?
Limpho: My hope for Bad Form is that it continues to grow and that people continue to enjoy it and get on board… and dream guests: Kanye West (lol). And just people that we know that are incredibly interesting.
Nanna: I’d love for us to keep being prolific with it, and growing with, and into, it. It’s been rad having more people listen, and feeling like we’re moving outside of our social bubbles, so yeah, I’m hoping it’s a learning experience for us. But also, fame.
Limpho: I mean, that’s definitely the end-goal. Then we could have a “Dope Form” episode with the Two Dope Queens…
Nanna: And then we both get strung out on fancy valium while taking meetings in Hollywood, have a short-lived Netflix special and then we become tabloid fodder after Limpho has an illicit affair with Alexander Skarsgård, which leads to us having a messy, drama-filled break up.
Limpho: And then there’s an E! True Hollywood story about us 5 years later about our failed attempts at making Bad Form spin-offs with other celebrities ( like ‘2 Bad 2 Form’, and ‘Bad Form: Tokyo Drift’)
Nanna: And a Behind The Music special! But after all the media coverage from that we make a comeback and do an epic live recording at Madison Square Garden…
Limpho: …and then we host both the Grammy’s and the Oscars in the same year…
Nanna: …and then we win the Nobel Peace Prize for our contribution to world peace.
Limpho: The End.
Note – all lolz were used when we ACTUALLY laughed out loud.
Theme song by Jason ‘@driftprism‘ ‘Jaydawggy’ Sutherland.
Big ups to Free Lives for the microphone loan!
Listen to Bad Form on iTunes.