The Friendship Onion is a podcast no one expected but a welcome addition to the podcasting world, particularly for any Lord of the Rings fan. Twenty years after Middle Earth first graced the silver screen, Merry and Pippin – that is, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd – have come together to host their own podcast. But this is not a Lord of the Rings podcast. Rather, it is a podcast that works because of the chemistry between the two hosts as they discuss their own real life adventures, unabashedly reveal their random ponderings of the day and take the time to satisfy fans with stories from the set of one of the biggest fantasy franchises of all time.
The first episode gets off to a great start as they chat about podcasts, their favourite childhood movies and reading Lord of the Rings for the first time. Together, Billy and Dom are entertaining hosts as they carry an upbeat energy through their similar – oftentimes ridiculous – sense of humour.
Although The Friendship Onion doesn’t follow any specific structure, there are plenty of recurring segments to keep listeners satisfied. They answer fan-submitted questions in Emails and Real Mails. In Billy and Dom Eat the World, their producer John provides them with popular food from around the world for them to critique, including coffee syrup from Rhode Island, Irn Bru from Scotland and a traditional pickled herring dish from Denmark. The two occasionally invite fans onto the show to play a Lord of the Rings trivia quiz and often round off each episode by listening to a song suggestion which they then rate by ‘funkiness.’ From time to time, Billy might even surprise us with a quick tune played on his guitar.
Occasionally the show will feature a guest, with their first being Lord of the Rings co-star and ring bearer himself, Elijah Wood. Elijah fits in perfectly with Billy and Dom’s as they reminisce over their days working together in New Zealand. Since his appearance on the show, Billy and Dom have given us weekly updates regarding their attempts at getting Elijah to join their League of Legends team, rating their success on an arbitrary fruit-themed scale. If it sounds crazy, it is – but that is part of the appeal of the show.
Another guest brought onto the show includes NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegria, who talks all-things space with Billy and Dom who use their experience of space-themed films as a basis for their questioning. Michael willingly offers up his expertise to judge just how accurate these movies are with their depiction of space-technology. Most recently, Stephen Colbert joined them as the King of Lord of the Rings nerdom and was a welcome guest on the show.
The Friendship Onion is a feel-good podcast by Kast Media and is available on all the regular platforms. You can even watch along on their YouTube channel or engage with them through their Instagram, @thefriendshiponion. Although they release weekly, you can tune into any episode without missing a beat. I recommend listening to this show while going for a walk or cooking in the evening, as it feels like you’ve got two friends chatting alongside you.
As the name suggests, the podcast is all about peeling back the layers of Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan’s long-time friendship, and it feels good to be taken along for the ride!
If you’re looking for more laughs from another great duo, why not give Dubland a listen? Hosted by Suzanne Kane and PJ Gallagher, who offer up their take on the week.
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