YaS Cast podcast

Randy Warner, host of the YaS Cast podcast, poses for a photo Wednesday inside his studio at his home in Yuba City.

With two microphones and armchairs nestled comfortably in the room of his Yuba City home studio, Randy Warner has created the perfect spot for a homegrown and community-focused podcast. 

The warm atmosphere of his studio is inviting, and Warner’s demeanor allows for his guests to open up and tell their tale.

“I feel like an oddball,” said Warner. “... I feel like I was just lucky to where I just have that right personality. I didn’t do anything to have that personality … I see myself as an introvert. I have a hard time talking to people.”

Of course, you wouldn’t know that if you just met him. When you first encounter Warner, you are immediately struck by how charismatic and comfortable being around him is. And for someone who is a podcast host, there’s no better characteristic than to have the attitude that Warner radiates in every moment.

Launched shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic shut nearly everything down, Warner’s YaS Cast podcast gives listeners a unique opportunity to hear from various figures and personalities found in the Yuba-Sutter region.

“Something was on my mind for a long time, for years ... I was working from home and I was just, let’s do it, my wife was just like, ‘just get the equipment and start it,’” Warner said.

With a wide variety of topics and guests, YaS Cast seeks to deliver an inside look at the people found in this diverse and ever-changing community.

Warner, originally from Carmichael, has lived in the Yuba-Sutter area for nearly 20 years. Through his podcast, he has had up close and personal chats with area officials such as Marysville City Councilmember Stuart Gilchrist and Yuba City Councilmember and former Mayor Shon Harris. There are also episodes that feature local notables such as Justin France of Justin’s Kitchen in Yuba City and other business and community leaders.

Before delving into the world of podcasts, Warner began his entertainer journey through stand up comedy and open mic nights.

“I’ve dabbled in a lot of stuff,” Warner said. 

Around 2015 or 2016, Warner said he met Angel Diaz, who ran an open mic night locally. While Warner won’t admit he’s funny himself, he said others would constantly tell him how funny he was.

“After watching a couple comedians, I was like, I think I could probably do that,” Warner said. “I tried it once and I just fell in love. I was kinda hooked.”

Warner said after Diaz ended his involvement with the open mic night at Cellar & Sudz in Yuba City, Warner took over the hosting duties for the once-a-month gig.

“I felt kind of proud because it was like he trusted me to take on his project with his name attached to it,” Warner said. “So I ended up taking over hosting his open mic. … I just loved it, it was fun once a month. You get a big ol’ crowd and you’re having beers and laughing and we’d get comedians from Chico coming down … it was just a good time.”

Those good times ended somewhat prematurely for Warner after Cellar & Sudz closed down.

After his stand up comedy adventure came to a sudden pause, Warner then moved into radio and became a co-host for a morning show that also ended recently amid the pandemic. 

While he only listens to a handful of other podcasts, Warner got the idea to fully involve himself in the craft after meeting so many interesting people in his comedy circles. With YaS Cast, he sees an opportunity to hear what people in the community actually have to say -- beyond the negativity found online on social media.

“The Yuba-Sutter area is full of just awesome people, interesting people,” Warner said.

He said because of the region’s size and close-knit community, there are a lot of good stories out there to tell.

“What I initially wanted to do was talk with interesting people but I also wanted (to) talk community issues and be able to have good discussions on what’s happening in the community,” he said.

With a reliance on himself and social media outlets for promotion, Warner said he hasn’t been able to do everything he has wanted to, but he’s on the right track. With nearly 50 episodes under his belt, he said there are even more stories out there that people in the community might find compelling.

“There’s a lot of just regular people who aren’t some bigwig at some company, just interesting people that have neat skills,” Warner said. “With the homeless episode, I really wanted to create discussions around (it). I’m kind of a lurker on these Facebook groups and you see all the crime and let’s maybe have a conversation about policing. … Let’s talk about the traffic situation. … There’s a lot of little issues that pop up. And on Facebook, nobody actually listens to anyone. I really wanted to create the environment of … let’s hear your whole (story), why do you believe this. Let’s get the whole view … and generate conversation instead of these short Facebook posts.”

While everything now is done inside his home studio, Warner also has ideas of possibly doing live shows. And even though it is currently an audio-only podcast, he does have plans to potentially add video, if he can find the time.

The YaS Cast is available through outlets such as Spotify, Apple and others. The podcast also has a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/theyascast/, for listeners and other community members to comment on and interact with Warner.

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