Under The Crossbones - Pirate PodcastAbout The Show

Join comedian and pirate geek Nick Hoffman as he explores the history and pop culture of pirates.  Deep dive interviews with the most interesting people in the pirate community who bring the history and stories to life.  Actors, treasure hunters, musicians, historians, and more.

From Blackbeard to Black Sails, Jack Sparrow to Jack Rackham… Under The Crossbones is loaded with colorful characters who will take you away from your day to day and drag you happily out to sea.



Show Host

I’m Nick Hoffman and I’m the host of Under the Crossbones.  After years of dedicated service to this podcast, Phil was looking to focus more time on his stand up comedy and other creative endeavors and reached out to see if I might be interested in taking over as host and the show’s producer.  Phil and I worked together as comics before I even know he had this great show.  Phil didn’t know about my pirate life.

Like so many of the guests of the show (and you listeners), I loved pirates since I was a little kid.  I have fond memories of my earliest visits to Disneyland and my favorite ride was Pirates of the Caribbean.  I grew up in the 70s and somehow connected the bicentennial and all those tricorn hats to pirates.  In my mind the revolution was a huge pirate undertaking.  My understanding of both pirates and our nation’s history has become somewhat more sophisticated, but that was the beginning.  In 2007 we had a pirate wedding.  We weren’t pirate reenactors before all this, we kind of stumbled into a way to make a wedding into a great adventure and pirates were the ship we sailed.  To prepare for that, I went from owning a couple of pirate books to having an entire book case dedicated to pirates.  I turned all that research and preparation into creating  a pirate exhibit for our local history museum which became one of the mostly popular exhibits/events the museum had ever had.

As a stand up and pirate, I’m enjoying hosting the show and trying to keep the flame alive on this podcast that Phil lit.


Phil JohnsonShow Creator

Hi!  I’m Phil Johnson and I’m the Creator of and former host of Under the Crossbones.  If you’re not familiar with me already, I’m a comedian and musician.  You can see the rest of what I do at www.RoadsideAttraction.com .  While you’re there, be sure to pick up your digital box set of my best stuff from the past 10+ years.

I’ve also been a bit of a pirate geek since I was a kid.  It all started the first time I rode Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland as a kid.  It hit that sweet spot I always like of “Wow! How cool!” and “Kinda scares the crap out of me!”.  It’s a sweet spot I’ve always enjoyed in music, art, and even my choice of career.

Captain Hook from J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan” has always been a favorite too. Starting with the Disney film of course.  My office is lined with stuff from both films.

From there it was reading loads of books on pirate history, dressing up as a pirate for Halloween, and having a large collection of shirts featuring skulls of some sort.

So as I was thinking about what kind of podcast I’d like to do … I think comedians are required by law to have one now … I thought something pirate themed would be fun.  In 2014 I did a podcast with a couple friends about the short-lived TV show “Crossbones” with John Malkovich playing Blackbeard.  The show (and our podcast) lasted a whole 9 episodes.

With Under the Crossbones I wanted to dive in deep with people who have made pirate lore a big part of their life.  For over 200 episodes I did interviews with writers, historians, actors, musicians, small business owners, artists, game designers, and more.  These are the people that are at the crossroads of taking pirates from their true history of being criminals and murderers and turning them into pop culture (for good or bad).

And because I’ve got so many talented comedy and music friends, I’ll be featuring some of their work in each episode as well.  Sometimes pirate themed, sometimes not.  But always entertaining.

So be sure to subscribe so you get every new episode automatically.  And let’s weigh anchor and let the waves take us where they may….



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