To engage more people in local politics, a Longmont artist and musician merges comedy and candid conversation to talk about community issues.
Andy Eppler is the creator of the all-new “Boulder County Tonight,” a 16-part series that began airing August 7 and will run through November. Each episode lasts around half an hour, and after jokes and a monologue, the show sheds light on different local issues and features interviews with city leaders and candidates vying for the next political title.
âI feel like a lot of locals didn’t even realize we were going to have an election,â Eppler said. âOf course, average citizens don’t necessarily know who their city councilors are. I try to love, with a heart of playfulness and joy, to guide our community through some of these things.
Eppler said he thinks local politics are important because this is where residents are going to see the most change, whether it’s coronavirus policy or helping the homeless. With a curiosity for these issues impacting his community, Eppler said his goal was to create “non-toxic” discussions with local politicians. He said it means listening to their ideas, rather than arguing with them.
So far, Eppler has interviewed fellow musician Greg Benton, Boulder Weekly writer Caitlin Rockett and Longmont Mayor Brian Bagley. For episode four, Eppler interviewed city council member Aren Rodriguez to talk about homelessness in Longmont and house prices.
Wanting the show to have an authentic, unedited vibe, Eppler said he sprinkled the show with expletives.
âI have some flavor for sure,â Eppler said. âIf I had to edit myself, the people who follow my art would know, and they would know that I am holding back and not speaking from my heart. They would know that I am standing up. It’s just against the law in my art.
Eppler shared his idea for the show in mid-June with Sergio Angeles, the executive director of Longmont Public Media.
âLongmont never had a late night show, Boulder County never had a late night show, so we said, ‘Let’s go,’â Angeles said. âAs a media creation space and a publicly accessible television channel, that’s why we exist, to help facilitate the creation of concepts like this by local residents in our community. “
Eppler moved to Longmont in 2009 from Lubbock, Texas to play music in a band. He is part of the Left Hand Artists Group, which brings together musicians, local beer brewers and artists to empower and promote each other. Eppler plays guitar, piano, drums and bass and has performed in local venues.
Her new show is not her first appearance on Longmont Public Media. Last year in April, he played guitar and harmonica for a show called “Quarantunes # 1”.
Every local election season, Eppler said, he writes op-eds for local online publications, including The Longmont Leader. The show is not his first attempt to broadcast; he’s had other comedy interview shows and podcasts.
Angeles said people are encouraged to contact Longmont Public Media if they have an idea for a show they would be looking to explore.
He praised Eppler’s show for bringing some comedic relief, while also teaching people about local politics.
âComedy is necessary. I think it brings an interesting dialogue, especially between the guests, âAngeles said.
Eppler’s YouTube channel numbers have nearly 2,000 views per episode – a number that Angeles says continues to grow.
“It’s easy for people to get distracted by politics at the national level, but the truth is in their real life, I believe people are more affected by local politics whether they realize it or not,” he said. Eppler said. âPeople who disagree can always have a polite conversation about how to help our community. “
Where to see the show
What: “Boulder County tonight”
When: 10 p.m. nightly, with new episodes airing on Saturdays
Or: It can be viewed on the Longmont Public Media YouTube channel; at 10 p.m. on Public Access Channel 8 and is available on demand through the Roku app.
An idea for a show? Contact [email protected] to start a discussion.