Pokémon Underground Champions League
| P.U.C.L. Podcast|
Pokémon Underground Champions League
|"It's the one, the only, PUCL Podcast!"|
The Pokémon Underground Champions League's podcast art, featuring a close-up on the podcast's mascot, Suicune.
|Run||Podcast||December 2007 - Present|
|Website||2009 - Present|
|Podcast debuted||December 31, 2007|
|Website opened||April 2, 2009 (Current website as presumed by the host on Episode 90; the first website was a Webs.com site.)|
|Creator(s)||Thaddeus Asel (a.k.a. "Thatch") and "Professor Sycamore"|
|Host(s)||"Thatch" et al.|
|Number of Episodes||103 (as of October 20, 2012)|
The Pokémon Underground Champions League, also known as P.U.C.L. (pronounced PUCK-uhl), is a Pokémon-centric podcast and fan site hosted and run by Thaddeus "Tadj" Asel, better known as "Trainer Thatch". The podcast debuted on New Year's Eve 2007, barely beginning in the same year as another Pokémon podcast, WTPT - Pokémon Radio. The podcast is known for its wacky humor, and is the successor to a short-lived podcast that debuted in March of that same year called PokéChat.
The Pokémon Underground Champions League podcast or P.U.C.L. Podcast is known for its bizarre and eccentric humor, which includes fake commercials and interviews, a prolonged announcer intro, various cracks made towards Pokémon, their listeners and community members (who they call "PUCLonians"), and the hosts themselves; and several other recurring gags.
It is also known for its many recurring co-hosts who joins host "Thatch" in many of his show's episodes, its longevity (more than four years as of their ninetieth episode on February 12, 2012), and its supposed rivalry with the late yet more popular WTPT. Also, it is one of the few Pokémon-centric podcasts that is explicit.
Despite its longevity, the podcast is considered subpar compared to other Pokémon podcasts by both Pokémon fans (outside of the show's dedicated listeners) and even host "Thatch" himself.
Before P.U.C.L., Asel originally created a podcast called PokéChat that debuted in March 2007. The podcast ended after only a few episodes due to Asel's then-inexperience with podcasting and his dissatisfaction with the show's format.
Asel stated in an e-mail to a Bulbapedia user, "P.U.C.L. was never actually intended to be a podcast." When Diamond and Pearl were released, he had several friends playing the games in his high school during fall of the same year. He and his friends decided to try set up various Pokémon tournaments together and, jokingly, wanted to make a club out of it. They spent a couple days trying to come up with an acronym that made a "word", coming up with "Pokémon Underground Champions" or "P.U.C." (pronounced "puck") and using it for a couple of weeks. They then added "League" to the end, making the acronym "P.U.C.L." Asel treats the name as nonsensical and hopes no one takes it as serious.
He returned to podcasting after hearing WTPT and noticing that "there really were no other options for a good[,] regularly updating [P]okémon podcast." One day after he and a friend returned home from school, they came up the pseudonyms "Cool Trainer Thatch" and "Professor Sycamore" and recorded a podcast. They posted the first episode of the P.U.C.L. Podcast two weeks later, and "Thatch" has been doing new episodes of the podcast ever since.
Supposed rivalry with WTPT - Pokémon Radio
P.U.C.L. and its listener base had scuffles with the more successful WTPT - Pokémon Radio that lasted until the latter podcast's end in 2010. The "rivalry" with the other podcast began when P.U.C.L. made fun of WTPT. Eventually in the summer of 2008, Justin V. of The Pallet Tribune, then called The Pokémon Times, asked P.U.C.L. to stop ridiculing them. A flame war ignited between the two podcasts' listeners, with their bases mocking the other podcast in e-mails to their favorite podcast and writing negative podcast reviews about the other on iTunes. It reached its peak when the two Pokémon fan communities held the first of two separate tournaments to see which community was better at the Pokémon games, with WTPT's group winning both by a significant margin. After the tournaments, the two podcasts somewhat forgave each other and decided it would be best if they did not mention other Pokémon podcasts on their shows, and would later have a coexistence with each other. (This "rule" was broken for the first time on episode 90 when an e-mail mentioning other Pokémon podcasts was read.)
Upon the announcement of WTPT's end, P.U.C.L.'s fans boasted on an unofficial Facebook fan page that they've won the "rivalry" by default, which was mocked by the host of another Pokémon-focused podcast on Twitter and the nineteenth episode of that podcast. (At that time the then-new podcast, which debuted during the same year that WTPT ended, had already surpassed P.U.C.L. in popularity within their first few months.) Asel has since shut down the fan page and started an official Facebook page for P.U.C.L.
100th Episode Celebration
For P.U.C.L's one-hundredth episode on July 14, 2012, Thatch hosted a 12-hour long livestream in which he cleaned a friend's house and recorded the one-hundredth episode live. Members of the P.U.C.L. community that watched the livestream earned a special badge to show that they were there. Many members from the P.U.C.L. community watched the livestream in celebration of P.U.C.L.'s milestone.
With the publishing of episode 100, P.U.C.L. became the first Pokémon audio podcast to produce and release 100 episodes.
As aforementioned, the podcast has made up many segments and running gags throughout its run. These include:
- Intro - The introduction to the show is normally goes in the following order:
- Teaser - The podcast begins with either a humorous phrase spoken by one of the hosts or a scene skit that the hosts set up as a joke. One of the podcast's most notable teases came on episode 89 when an exhausted Sarge came in and explained to listeners that the reason why they have not made a new episode since episode 88 was supposedly because he and Thatch went on a very inexpensive vacation to Mexico that went horribly wrong which supposedly ends up with Thatch dying at the U.S.-Mexico border, only for Thatch to come in yelling that the story was a lie and that he's just lazy.
- "Theme song" of the episode - A random song is played as the theme tune for the episode, with mostly various non-Pokémon-related rock and pop music played at the beginning. Pokémon-related songs have been played before, including official songs such as the original Pokémon Theme for the English dub and parodies of popular songs such as "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO; some in their entirety. Occasionally, the intro song would just be sung by the podcast's hosts.
- Announcer - After the intro song of the episode is played, a campy announcer (usually Thatch using an echo effect) gives an introduction to the show in a humorously prolonged and ever-changing tone. The phrase as it currently is usually starts by saying a location in the Pokémon world where the podcast is supposedly being recorded, then goes to its slogan, "It's the one, the only, PUCL Podcast!"
- News - After the introduction, P.U.C.L. starts with a typical Pokémon news segment, with the hosts recapping recent Pokémon-related events. Currently, this segment starts and ends with a low-quality playing of "The Mission", a piece originally composed by John Williams for NBC's news programs.
- Main topic - The typical topic of the episode segment, which provides the titles for the podcast's episodes and is discussed by the hosts.
- Interviews - Mock interviews have been a part of the P.U.C.L. Podcast since the second episode, when the Day-Care Man from Four Island was the first "interviewee" as the episode focused on breeding. These interviews happened early on in the podcast's run, but have been become less common later on, only being done on occasion when the hosts feel like it. The interviews tend to have over-exaggerated versions of various characters.
- Commercials - P.U.C.L. always has a commercial break filled with fake commercials during each episode, normally after the topic of the episode. The commercials start after one of the hosts says, "We will catch you on the flip-flop!" Some of the more notable "commercials" include:
- "Poke" of the Episode - As with any other Pokémon podcast, P.U.C.L has a segment focusing on a Pokémon of the hosts' choosing. Often introduced as the listeners' least favorite part of the podcast, the hosts look at their chosen Pokémon's Bulbapedia article and often read off the Pokémon's stats and "Trivia" section from there.
- Mailbag - As typical of any Pokémon-centric podcast, e-mails and feedback are sent to P.U.C.L. and are read on the air as part of the "Mailbag" segment. Also like other Pokémon podcasts, P.U.C.L. asks a "Mailbag Question" that is answered in most e-mails for the next episode. Currently, the mailbag is introduced as the listeners' most favorite part of the podcast and starts with a low-quality playing of "Mailtime" from the Nickelodeon children's show Blue's Clues before Thatch and his co-hosts read the e-mails. Starting with episode 97, after they've read all the e-mails for the episode, the hosts award an "Email Badge" to an e-mailer who they think wrote the best e-mail of the episode based on grammar and content. The badge is added to the user's P.U.C.L. profile, provided that they have a profile on the website.
- Outro/"Closing Time" - The podcast ends with Thatch giving a new "Mailbag Question" for the next episode and mentioning the e-mail address for listeners to send their feedback. After a bit of chatter, Thatch usually says, "Until next time on the PUCL Podcast, I'm Trainer Thatch," then after the co-host(s) mention their names, Thatch continues, "And here at [the PUCL Podcast or a location in the Pokémon world where the podcast has supposedly been recorded], it's closing time." Normally, during or after these final lines, the song "Closing Time" by alternative rock band Semisonic plays (with the first verse usually coming in right after Thatch says "it's closing time") until it fades out after the first chorus.
|P.U.C.L. Podcast episodes|
|1||Meet the Hosts||"Meet the hosts of the puclpodcast!"||December 31, 2007|
|2||Breeding||"Thatch and Sycamore discuss breeding."||2008|
|3||Training Guide||"Thatch and Sycamore discuss how to train your pokes to the max!"||2008|
|4||Random Aspects||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about random stuff. Probably the worst episode ever."||2008|
|5||GTS||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the GTS."||2008|
|6||Kanto||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the ins and outs of Kanto."||2008|
|7||Move Combo's||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about move combinations."||2008|
|8||EV Training||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about EV training."||2008|
|9||Pokeballs||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about Pokeballs."||2008|
|10||Super Smash Bros. Brawl||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the new Super Smash Bros. Game."||2008|
|11||Stats||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the different pokemon stats."||2008|
|12||A Pokemon Retrospective||"Thatch, Sycamore, and their friend Odie talk about the old days of pokemon."||2008|
|13||Johto||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about Johto."||2008|
|14||Pokemon Leagues||"Thatch and Oynotno talk about Pokemon Leagues."||2008|
|15||Pokemon The First Movie||"Thatch and Sycamore Talk about the Original pokemon movie. Look that Jigglypuff’s eyes are closed!"||2008|
|16||Hacking||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the controversial topic of hacking."||2008|
|17||Berries||"Thatch and Zel discuss the ins and outs of berries."||2008|
|18||Hoenn/Gen 3||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the region of their least favorite generation, the third."||2008|
|19||Pokemon Types||"Thatch and Sycamore discuss pokemon types."||2008|
|20||Console Games||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the games for anything but the handheld system."||2008|
|21||Ultimate Training Guide Part 1||"Thatch and Sycamore start their comprehensive training guide for noobs."||July 29, 2008|
|22||Ultimate Training Guide Part 2||"Thatch and Sycamore continue their comprehensive training guide for noobs."||August 2, 2008|
|23||Ultimate Training Guide Part 3||"Thatch and Sycamore complete their comprehensive training guide for noobs."||August 10, 2008|
|24||The Metagame||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the 4th Gen Metagame."||August 15, 2008|
|25||Pokemon Battle Revolution||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the battle simulator for the wii, you know, the letdown."||September 1, 2008|
|26||Shiny Pokemon||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about these elusive pokemon."||September 18, 2008|
|27||Pokemon the Movie 2000||"Thatch and Sycamore review the 2nd Pokemon Movie."||October 3, 2008|
|28||Pokemon Names / Large Mailbag||"Thatch and Sycamore read a large mailbag!"||November 3, 2008|
|29||Legendary Pokemon||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about Legendary pokemon."||November 17, 2008|
|30||One Year Anniversary||"Thatch and Sycamore Celebrate one year of the P.U.C.L. Podcast."||December 31, 2008|
|31||Trainer Card||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the trainer card and how to change its color."||January 11, 2009|
|32||Sinnoh||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the newest region in the pokemon games, Sinnoh."||January 31, 2009|
|33||Pokemon Stadium 1 & 2||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the old pokemon stadium games and how great they were."||February 9, 2009|
|34||Evolution||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the mechanics of evolution."||February 28, 2009|
|35||Events||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about all the event pokemon you can obtain."||March 17, 2009|
|36||Abilities||"Thatch and Sycamore Talk about all the abilities in the pokemon games."||April 8, 2009|
|37||Pokemon the Movie 3||"Thatch and Sycamore review the 3rd Pokemon Movie."||April 30, 2009|
|38||Pokemon Gold and Silver Remake Speculation||"Thatch and Sycamore discuss the speculation being made about a Gold and Silver remake and it is kind of dumb."||May 1, 2009|
|39||Pokemon Platinum||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the new Pokemon Platinum"||June 7, 2009|
|40||Pokemon on the GCN||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the games on the Gamecube and how awesome they were."||June 25, 2009|
|41||Pokemon Antagonists||"Thatch and Norb discuss Antagonists."||July 17, 2009|
|42||Gold and Silver Review||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the good old gen 2 games and how they deserve the remake they got."||July 27, 2009|
|43||Platinum Battle Frontier||"The hosts go over awesome stuff about the battle frontier!"||August 7, 2009|
|44||Pokemon Ranch||"Thatch and Sycamore discuss Pokemon Ranch and await the update that never comes."||September 4, 2009|
|45||Elite 4||"Thatch and Speezi talk about the ultimate four trainers in the game."||September 18, 2009|
|46||More Mature Games||"Thatch and Infinity talk about how awesome it would be to have more mature pokemon games."||October 8, 2009|
|47||Gym Leaders||"Thatch and GTG talk about gym leaders."||November 15, 2009|
|48||Christmas/HGSS||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about Christmas, and the upcoming games"||December 27, 2009|
|49||The 2nd Anniversary||"Thatch and Sycamore celebrate 2 years of PUCL with clips."||December 31, 2009|
|50||Items||"Thatch and Toast discuss items."||January 13, 2010|
|51||Berries||"Thatch and Karl talk about berries."||February 4, 2010|
|52||5th Generation Speculation||"Thatch and Speezi speculate about the 5th Generation."||February 18, 2010|
|53||Pokemon the 1st Season||"Thatch and Sarge Nartker talk about their impressions of the 1st season of the anime."||February 25, 2010|
|54||TM's & HM's||"Thatch and Sycamore discuss TMs and HMs."||March 8, 2010|
|55||RGBY Manga||"Thatch and Toast talk about the fi[r]st manga series and how awesome it is."||March 27, 2010|
|56||Team Rocket||"Thatch, Nartker and New Guy all talk about Team rocket and their shenanigans."||April 10, 2010|
|57||Pokewalker||"Thatch and New Guy discuss the pokewalker, and New Guy gets his new name!"||April 20, 2010|
|58||Pokemon 4 Ever||"Thatch, Sarge, and App, all talk about this horrible movie."||May 1, 2010|
|59||5th Generation Revelation||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the revelations of the 5th generation."||May 14, 2010|
|60||Changes to the Metagame||"Thatch and Sycamore discuss how the metagame has changed since HGSS. "||May 27, 2010|
|61||Tiers of the Metagame||"Thatch and Sycamore talk about the tiers of the metagame."||June 5, 2010|
|62||Anime Music||"Thatch and Sycamore talk abit about the generation 5 [games], the famous pokemon music from the ’90s and compare Pokemarts to 7-Elevens."||June 27, 2010|
|63||Rivals||"Thatch and Sycamore discuss rivals and even get an exclusive interview with one of Hoenn’s finest!"||July 9, 2010|
|64||IV's||"Thatch and Sycamore discuss the hidden number values of breeding. Tune in on how to make your pokemon stronger!"||July 29, 2010|
|65||Remakes||"Thatch and Sarge talk about the old games that had the chance to be relived."||August 25, 2010|
|66||Spin off Games||"Thatch and Toast talk about the spin off games they think mattered."||September 9, 2010|
|67||Pokemon Memes||"Thatch and Nartker discuss and quote some of the most memorable pokemon memes on the internet."||September 30, 2010|
|68||Online Communities||"Thatch and Toast Talk about Pokemon communities in an iffy sound quality."||October 30, 2010|
|69||Breeding Pokemon||"Thatch and Infinity talk on this legendary episode of innuendos. They discuss breeding without mistakes and ask you a question and call all Puclonians to send in their mail."||November 6, 2010|
|70||Pokemon Retrosode||"Thatch and GTG reminisce about the old days of pokemon and PUCL."||November 13, 2010|
|71||Pokemon Heros (5th Movie)||"Thatch and Nartker review the 5th movie and give their opinion on the franchise itself."||November 23, 2010|
|72||Mewtwo Returns||"Thatch and Nartker go over the sequel of the first pokemon movie."||December 5, 2010|
|73||New Stuff in Black and White||"Thatch and Sycamore discuss the things they find weird and interesting in the new Black and White Pokemon games."||December 23, 2010|
|74||3rd Anniversary||"Thatch and Sycamore talk [about] the past year, and how they plan on changing PUCL in the future!"||January 5, 2011|
|75||Pokemon History||"Thatch and Sycamore use their new mic to bring you this awesome show."||January 13, 2011|
|76||Love Hate Relationship||"Thatch and Sarge talk about the things they hate about the pokemon games."||February 7, 2011|
|77||Diamond and Pearl||"With the release of Black and White coming out what better topic than to reflect and give one more hoorah to the games that hosted the 4th generation."||March 1, 2011|
|78||Team Building||"Thatch and Aero discuss this long awaited topic and teach you how to build a better team of pokemon to beat your friends."||March 27, 2011|
|79||Pokemon Black and White||"Thatch and the Apprentice discuss the newest pokemon games, and talk about other cool PUCL events."||May 16, 2011|
|80||Pokemon Red and Blue||"I can’t believe we haven’t done an episode on this. App and Thatch talk about the first pokemon games released in the US."||May 28, 2011|
|81||Pokepark Wii||"Thatch and the Apprentice talk about the going ons in the PUCL and Pokemon worlds and then discuss the “meh” game of Pokepark Wii."||June 4, 2011|
|82||Pokemon the 6th Movie: Jirachi Wishmaker||"Thatch and App talk about this movie and the decline of quality between pokemon movies, thus far."||June 11, 2011|
|83||The Second Season Orange Islands Saga||"Thatch and Sarge go over the exciting happenings in the orange islands in the Second Season of the Anime."||June 18, 2011|
|84||Religion in Pokemon||"This episode Thatch and the Apprentice talk about how Religion has affected the pokemon video games. No harm was intended to anyone."||June 26, 2011|
|85||Things in Pokemon that make us Angry||"Thatch and the Apprentice talk about things that make them upset in the pokemon games. They also bring back interviews!"||July 4, 2011|
|86||Pokemon Movie 7: Destiny Deoxys||"Thatch and App discuss this next feature film and how to classify pokemon on site!"||July 16, 2011|
|87||Pokemon TCG||"Thatch and App talk about the TCG until App goes to rehab and a surprise guest comes in to replace him!"||July 24, 2011|
|88||Regions||"Thatch and Thingy talk about the pokemon regions!"||August 9, 2011|
|89||Odd Evolutions||"Sarge breaks to the PUCL community about the long wait. And de[c]ides to go ahead and in Thatch’s stead make an episode!"||December 3, 2011|
|90||Pokemon Conspiracies||"Thatch, Sarge and App bring back the PUCL Podcast with a vengeance, while talking about conspiracies and give you all one simple answer. Aliens."||February 12, 2012|
|91||P.U.C.L. Happenings||"Your favorite hosts ramble on about whats happening in PUCL and how there was only a two week gap between episodes."||February 27, 2012|
|92||Pokemon Black and White 2... 2||"Thatch[,] Sarge and App talk about all the new stuff that has been revealed for the newest pokemon games and hope they make it to them soon!"||April 27, 2012|
|93||Shipping||"Thatch and App discuss the odd topic of shipping and their opinions of what it is to be."||May 21, 2012|
|94||Pokemon Snap||"Thatch and Sarge talk about this classic game and how badly a sequel is needed."||June 3, 2012|
|95||Gym Leaders Part 1||"Thatch, Sarge, and App all discuss the first 2 generations of pokemon gym leaders and their legacy."||June 11, 2012|
|96||Gym Leaders Part 2||"Thatch, Sarge, and App all discuss the gym leaders that they did not complete last time."||June 18, 2012|
|97||Pokemon Conquest||"Thatch and Sarge talk about the newest pokemon spin off game, pokemon conquest. They also award the first ever email of the episode badge!"||June 24, 2012|
|98||League Team building||"Thatch and Sarge go over the basics of team building and award a new email of the episode badge!"||July 1, 2012|
|99||The Elite Four||"Thatch and Sarge talk about the Elite Four members of every region and reveal some of the PUCL 100 plans so stick around on the website if you want to find out more!"||July 9, 2012|
|100||The Ultimatum on Pokemon Communities||"Thatch, Sarge, and App Celebrate in Style!"||July 14, 2012|
|101||Dream World||"Thatch and Sarge discuss this extra 5th gen feature that apparently no one likes. Also the music sucks."||July 29, 2012|
|102||Dream Radar||"Thatch and Sarge haven't quite finished Ash Gray so they talk about upcoming side features!"||August 6, 2012|
|103||Pokémon Black and White Versions 2||"Thatch, App, and a new host discuss the new game that was just released internationally and their opinions of it."||October 20, 2012|
|104||Pokémon X and Y||"Thatch, Sarge and Misty discuss the newest addition to the Pokemon series!"||January 21, 2013|
|105||Starters||"Thatch,Sarge, and App talk about all of the starters across every generation."||February 3, 2013|
|106||Ash Grey||"Thatch, Sarge, and App start their conversation with this hacked Rom that is a delightful blast of nostalgia."||February 24, 2013|
|107||Remakes||"Thatch and Sarge discuss the plausibility of remakes, and their quality."||March 10, 2013|
|108||Nuzlocke||"Thatch and Sarge talk about their Nuzlocke journeys!"||March 24, 2013|
The website is also called the Pokémon Underground Champions League, but is actually located at and called on the podcast, PUCLPodcast.com. The site has been redesigned several times; the most recent site renovation, called P.U.C.L. 5.0, was completed on June 20, 2012.
"Badges" were introduced in P.U.C.L. 5.0 along with improved user profiles for users. Similar to video game achievements, they are awarded to users to do P.U.C.L.-related things, such as following the podcast and website on social networking sites, writing a P.U.C.L. Podcast review on iTunes, and winning P.U.C.L. League tournaments. Some badges require users to send an e-mail to P.U.C.L. stating that they've completed the task required to earn the particular badge, while others are given out for certain one-time-only events, such as the "PUCL 100 Badge" for watching the 100th Episode Celebrations live. Badges also have points attached to them, similar to Xbox Live Gamerscores; the top ten users with the most badge points are shown on a leaderboard on the website's sidebar.
The website has a chat room that is powered by xat.com.
The P.U.C.L. Block is a live video show hosted by Thatch and his co-hosts.
The "P.U.C.L. League" is the competitive battling portion of the Pokémon Underground Champions League. It has recently been redone for the new P.U.C.L. 5.0 site redesign.
- Host, webmaster, and co-founder of P.U.C.L..
- Recurring co-host and "funny man".
- The Apprentice
- Recurring co-host.
- Occasionally a co-host.
- Pokémyth article writer.
- Matthew Cleary
- Badge designer.
- Forums moderator/administrator.
All past staff mentioned here have been co-hosts on the podcast.
- Professor Sycamore
- First recurring co-host and co-founder of P.U.C.L.
- Mister Thingy
- Writer/"Podcast Preparation Specialist".
- Site sponsor.
- Site developer from P.U.C.L. 2.0 to 4.0.
- Green Tauros Guy
- Former forums moderator.
- "Thatch" [Thaddeus Asel]. "Happy Birthday P.U.C.L.!" December 31, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- "Thatch" [Thaddeus Asel]. Message to "BulbaPediaAid". March 5, 2012. E-mail.
- "Thatch" to "BulbaPediaAid": "We said a lot of stupid things we shouldn't have. [...] After [the tournaments] we kind of forgave each other and decided it [was] best not to mention other [P]okémon podcasts just as WTPT did."
|This article is a part of Project Fandom, a Bulbapedia Project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every aspect of the Pokémon Fandom.|