In addition to his many TV and film projects, actor Rainn Wilson is also an accomplished podcast star and currently hosts Radio Rental for Tenderfoot TV. Speaking exclusively to PopCulture.com about the hit podcast series, Wilson described it as “spine-tingling” and offered some insight into the show’s premise. “Radio Rental is essentially true stories of the weird, the macabre, the mystical filled with horror and strange coincidence,” he began.
“They’re like little Twilight Zone episodes, but they actually happened to real people and they draw out these people’s stories and they’re just fascinating, horrifying, astounding, stupefying, spine-tingling,” Wilson continued. “And I’ve been really lucky to be a part of it from the beginning, just playing my character, Terry Carnation, who is a late-night paranormal radio disc jockey. And in this circumstance, the owner and host of a video rental store are somewhat lost in the past video rental store. And the stories are basically the VHS tapes that he puts into the machine each episode.”
Terry Carnation is very similar to the horror characters from years past, such as the Cryptkeeper or legendary horror host Svengoolie. Wilson confessed that he grew up loving stars and characters such as these, sharing, “I loved all of those horror stories. I remember the crypt keeper very well. I can go back to watching Vincent Price.” He also praised the beloved and iconic Elvira saying, “She was such a part of our mythology in suburban Seattle in the eighties. Yeah. So I love that stuff. So it’s super fun to be a part of that… the strange character that has a very particular point of view and opens the doors to the mysterious.
While each week on Radio Rental Wilson brings unusual and unsettling stories to the masses, and while he says his own “life is riddled with bizarre happenstance,” he was hard-pressed to recall an incident more inexplicably coincidental than a something that happened to a friend recently after they had been “talking about psychics and he had met with the psychic.” Recounting his friend’s experience, Wison shared, “He has been working as a background actor on TV commercials because it pays pretty well. You’re in the background of TV commercials and you make a nice living and get some healthcare. But he had met with the psychic and she said, ‘I see something with the letter A’ and she’s like, ‘Do you have anyone close to you with letter A?’ And he is like, ‘No.'”
Wilson’s friend assured the medium that he had no one in his life with who the letter A sparked thoughts or memory of. “She’s like, ‘Wow, I’m just getting the strongest impulse of the letter A, it’s like, I really don’t know.'” He continued, “The next day or maybe two days later he goes to do a background on a commercial for an auction house. Like Sotheby’s something like that. And they’re having the background people carry out weird things on the stage, like a stuffed giraffe or a suit of armor or, weird things as part of the comedy of the commercial. And they’re like here, they say to him, ‘Why don’t you hold this?’ And they hand him a giant letter A, and he spends the entire day, eight hours holding a giant red letter A as part of his day. So coincidence?”
This story is just a small taste of what listeners get weekly from Radio Rental, which just recently debuted its newest season of episodes. Fans can check it out here, or wherever podcasts are streamed. Keep it locked to PopCulture for more news about Rainn Wilson and his upcoming projects!