Editing of Bulbapedia is currently restricted. Please see this message for more details.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have arrived!

Check BNN and Bulbanews for up-to-date Pokémon news and discuss it on the forums or in our IRC channel.

Pokémon Underground Champions League

From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search
P.U.C.L. Podcast
Pokémon Underground Champions League
"It's the one, the only, PUCL Podcast!"
PUCL.jpg
The Pokémon Underground Champions League's podcast art, featuring a close-up on the podcast's mascot, Suicune.
Language English
Status Podcast Active
Website Active
Run Podcast December 2007 - Present
Website 2009 - Present
Podcast debuted December 31, 2007
Last episode published {{{final}}}
Website opened April 2, 2009 (Current website as presumed by the host on Episode 90; the first website was a Webs.com site.)
Website closed {{{site_close}}}
Reason {{{reason}}}
Creator(s) Thaddeus Asel (a.k.a. "Thatch") and "Professor Sycamore"
Host(s) "Thatch" et al.
Number of Episodes 127 (as of April 14, 2014)
Forum P.U.C.L. Forums
Mascot Suicune
Website PUCLPodcast.com
Feed P.U.C.L. Podcast RSS feed P.U.C.L. Podcast on the iTunes Store


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.

Podcast

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.[1]

History

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."[2] 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.[2]

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.[2]

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.[2][3] 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.[2][3] (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.[2]

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.

Segments

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.

Episode list

Reception

P.U.C.L. sits at 93 ratings in iTunes with a solid 4 star rating. Currently it has 63 five star reviews and 23 one star reviews.

Website

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

"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.

Badges as of now represents someone's ability to enter the U.U.T.C. which is a P.U.C.L tournament. However only specific badges will allow the player accesses to the tournament, most of them gained by winning Pokémon battles against the staff members of P.U.C.L, or doing things involving there social media pages.

Badge list

Chat

The website has a chat room that is powered by xat.com.

P.U.C.L. Block

The P.U.C.L. Block was a live video show hosted by Thatch and a number of past staff members, with Infinity the show's "Conan O'Brien" aka Big Kahuna would end with either small news segments or just a story of his adventures in Pokémon.

League

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.

Staff

Current

Thatch
Host, webmaster, and co-founder of P.U.C.L..
Bocefus
Current Secretary of P.U.C.L., and Musical Consultant
Misty
Occasionally a co-host.
ScizorKick
Recurring co-host, Current Editor and Author
Matthew Cleary
Recurring co-host, and Social Media Adviser.
"Artist formally Known as Mister Thingy" A.K.A Ethan
Admin / Author
Scron
In the Meta article writer
Viger
PokéNews article writer
DrShamu
Tournament Organizer, and Web-master
Pokeman
Forums moderator/administrator.

Past

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.
Sarge
Recurring co-host and "funny man".
The Apprentice
Recurring co-host.
Mister Thingy
Writer/"Legman".
Infinity
Writer/"Podcast Preparation Specialist".
Speezi
Site sponsor.
Toast
Writer.
Ecko
Site developer from P.U.C.L. 2.0 to 4.0.
Green Tauros Guy
Former forums moderator.

References

  1. "Thatch" [Thaddeus Asel]. "Happy Birthday P.U.C.L.!" December 31, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Thatch" [Thaddeus Asel]. Message to "BulbaPediaAid". March 5, 2012. E-mail.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "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."
Project Fandom logo.png This article is a part of Project Fandom, a Bulbapedia Project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every aspect of the Pokémon Fandom.