SEATTLE — It was the very definition of Northwest comedy. For 15 seasons, KING 5's 'Almost Live!' helped us poke fun at ourselves, serving up comedic classics like Ballard Driving Academy, Lynnwood Beauty Academy, and the High-Fiven' White Guys.
'Almost Live!' changed lives, launching the careers of Bill Nye the Science Guy, TV and film star Joel McHale, and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Bob Nelson.
One of the show's funniest cast members was Pat Cashman. He is also one of its biggest fans.
"We were doing local jokes about local issues, local politics, neighborhoods," he said, "That's why I think it found its footing for all those years."
Cashman was known for writing and performing in some of 'Almost Live's' best-known bits.
Cashman said, "One of my favorite bits is the 'Green Riverdance.' And that simply came from a viewer that called in and said, 'Green Riverdance.'"
Now, he's launched a limited podcast series called 'Almost Live!: Still Alive,' featuring in-depth interviews with nearly every person who ever worked on the show.
"What are they up to now? Or how many of them are in prison? You know, that kind of stuff."
The podcast reveals details even some of the staff never knew.
"I think a lot of people are making stuff up," he joked, "But who cares?"
Nancy Guppy speaks candidly about long-ago troubles in her marriage to fellow cast member, Joe Guppy. Tracey Conway recalls the curtain call moment when her heart literally stopped beating.
Cashman said, "She was clinically dead. Two weeks later, she's back on the show again!"
And host John Keister chokes up as he remembers the affection of his local audience.
"I walked out and it was like this eruption," he said.
'Almost Live!: Still Alive' is a love letter to a time when Seattle was a little smaller. And, maybe, a little funnier.
Cashman said, "I don't think any of us took it for granted. So we said, 'Let's really enjoy this ride.' And I think everybody did."