Q/A With Space Talks

Airon “Ridd” Malone is a one-man production crew for his new YouTube talk show Space Talks. Photo by Chris Dorantes

From the brain of Film major Airon “Ridd” Malone aka Air Saturn aka Ridd Spacelee Prime, comes the new YouTube talk show Space Talks. Space Talks is an absurdist episodic sketch show that talks about a new topic each week. With two episodes currently out, Jackalope sat down with Malone to talk about his new, beautifully weird project.

Jackalope Magazine: Can you explain what the show is about?

Airon “Ridd” Malone: In a nutshell, Space Talks is a talk show where I am expressing my opinion about various topics… I want to have deep meaningful [conversations] that are quick and also funny. I don’t necessarily want people to get it the first time. I want people to be like ‘What?’ or ‘He’s so crazy!’ and then later on you rewatch it and be like ‘Oh my god, he was talking about plastic pollution!’

JM: How did you come up with the idea?

ARM: I’ve always loved sketch comedy. I came up with [Space Talks] just from my life and how I talk to people. I would be thinking, ‘I should write a sketch about that, I should write a sketch about that.’ It’s really just all of the stuff in my brain that I want to put on the show and it makes sense to me and if people are entertained, perfect.

I came up with the idea by myself, but I give so much credit to every single person who has stepped into my life because [the show is] honestly my life experience. It’s my opinion. It’s so opinionated, but at the same it’s an outcry to the public to help me understand more.

JM: How so? How is it an outcry?

ARM: The reason it’s called Space Talks is because I feel like I’m from outer space… and ‘Talks’ means more than one. I needed to be talking to someone so whether the audience is somebody coming up to me like ‘Hey, I watched your video. What does this sketch mean?’ or there’s a debate in the comments section or on Facebook, I’m going to learn something because I’m going to read that stuff.

I’m also going to have so many people on the show, which is why I wrote a Facebook status asking the LGBTQ community ‘Hey, who wants to help me with this episode on your community?’ because I know that I don’t know everything about LGBTQ, but I want to learn so that I can help. With the LGBTQ [episode] I didn’t feel like I could do it myself. I care about these people, but I’m not the right person to talk about it, so for that episode I’m going to have Triston [Pullen] host it. I’m giving voice to the people who are actually part of the community. I’m still going to be in it… It’s still my show, but it gives other people power.

JM: Is that what your next episode is about?

ARM: No, that’s not what the next one is about. I have one about guns. I have one about DACA. I don’t know which one I’m putting out first, but they’re all going to be humorous. So for the gun one, I’m going to make a gun talk. It’s going to be like, ‘I know you all have opinions about guns, but I think you should actually ask a gun how they feel.’ So I’ll put the gun in the Space Talks chair. It’s going to be all satire.

JM: What’s your opinion on guns?

ARM: It shouldn’t be that easy to get high powered [guns]; I think it’s crazy that people will care about things for a week and then next week nobody will care about Las Vegas, but the point of the episode is guns. I’m not going to pinpoint on Las Vegas, but it matters now and even two years from now it will still matter if gun reform isn’t reformed. I have so many opinions on it, but I’m going to try to condense it into three minutes.

JM: Your show is kind of a mix of absurdism and poignancy. Can you talk a little bit about how you achieve that balance?

ARM: I wanted it to be simple [and] I wanted it to be something we could talk about for five minutes. There’s a sketch [in the water episode] where my friend Derek is in the shower and all of sudden water bottles are being thrown at him and that’s it! That symbolizes how fish feel! How would you feel if somebody just came into your house and just threw water bottles at you? That shit’s fucked up. That’s exactly how the ocean is being treated. We’re just throwing water bottles into this peaceful ecosystem that’s not supposed to have plastic in it!… Obviously a water bottle being thrown at you might hurt your head, but a water bottle could kill a fish.

I want the show to be simple enough that you laugh and maybe later you’ll be thinking about it or you’ll show it to someone and think deeper about it. I just want people to talk. Space Talks! It’s about talks that are out of this world.

JM: What’s production like? It feels like something you and your friends put together to make each other laugh.

ARM: I film everything. I edit everything. I mix all the sound. Every time I drop an episode, someone is like ‘Hey! I want to be involved,’ which is exactly what I want. I’m hoping that people can help me write sketches that have a deeper meaning. If I can get more crew, I can have more angles to shoot from. I don’t know if it’s obvious that I’m doing it all by myself, but in terms of crew, it’s all me. In terms of graphic design, I have Trae [Perry]. I also have people who send me beats. I want all original music because of copyright.

We don’t have scripts or anything. With Triston [Pullen] I was like, “I’m going to film you for a few seconds and then I’m going to just film your hands and you’re basically going to fill the ice tray up really fast and then you’re going to be like “No!” and then you’re going to fill it up really slow and then you’re going to watch the footage and you’re going to do the voiceover.’ And he was like, ‘What do want me to say?’ and I just told him generally what I wanted and then he improvised from there. I told him to just be himself and just be funny. A lot of it is improvised.

JM: It’s unorthodox for a talk show. In the water episode you talk about BPAs and then instead of explaining what those are, you tell the audience to just Google it. Why such a casual feel?

Senior film major Airon “Ridd” Malone created the new YouTube talk show Space Talks. Photo by Chris Dorantes

ARM: Because I want it to be real! If you don’t believe me [about BPAs], Google it. I’d rather you not believe me and Google it to find out for yourself…  and be like ‘Oh, that’s real. He knows what he’s talking about.’ BPAs are really bad for you. There’s a lot of stuff in it. If you don’t believe me, whatever.

JM: What sort of research goes into the show?

ARM: I’ve done a lot of documentary watching, a lot of Googling. I’ll ask people what they think. My research is also talking to real people.

JM: Is this the future of SpaceMob?

ARM: Space Mob is a group of people that will always love each other and work together no matter where they are. Obviously our school is shutting down, so in terms of a specific band, we don’t have a band right now, but we’re still making things and we still all support each other. SpaceMob is more than a band. SpaceMob is a collaborative group of artists. It’s a movement. Space Talks in the future of SpaceMob because I am the leader of SpaceMob!

Space Talks is available on the SPAC3L33 YouTube channel. Episodes “What’s Up World!!!” and “Water” are available now. Space Talks uploads new content semi-weekly.

This interview was edited for clarity.