The SmartLess Podcast BFFs Are Collaborating with Best Friends Animal Society
Hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes are putting their money where their mics are.
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It’s safe to say that podcasts are well on their way to engulfing radio’s place in the media landscape. And yes, it seems like pretty much every celebrity under the age of 60 has started one of their own at this point — but if you ask us, the Hollywood-helmed SmartLess is in a whole other league. First of all, it’s run by not one, but three of your favorite scene-stealers. And second, it’s raising money for a cause we can all get behind: animal advocacy.
Hosted by Hollywood vets Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes, SmartLess features unscripted conversations with other writers, actors, directors, and entertainment legends of all stripes. The premise is a spin on the now-standard podcast interview format with the twist being that every guest is a mystery to two-thirds of the hosts until each episode starts recording. SmartLess quickly gained a following after launching less than three years ago. It is regularly seen atop weekly rankings and was one of the top five most listened-to podcasts on Apple last year.
Doubling down on the trio’s charm, the podcast just announced a run of merch to raise funds and awareness for the Best Friends Animal Society, an animal welfare nonprofit. The organization combats animal mistreatment by promoting spay-and-neuter practices and no-kill shelters. Additionally, the group helps rescues with national outreach to increase pet adoption. This partnership was announced on the heels of Smartless’s recent sold-out tour and coinciding HBO docuseries.
The Best Friends Animal Society seems like an obvious choice as Bateman, Arnett, and Hayes are themselves real-life BFFs. In fact, SmartLess was itself an opportunity for the three actors to finally work together after years of friendship and little collective professional history. “We just thought it’d be a really fun way for us to take what we do all the time, which is just goof around, and bring other people into it who were more interesting than us,” Arnett told The Hollywood Reporter during the podcast’s launch in the summer of 2020.
Something else the three share (beyond their day jobs) is a love for pets, specifically dogs, making the collab a natural union. All three are committed pet parents: Hayes has a Goldendoodle named Ricky, Arnett has a Labrador Retriever named Bella, and Bateman has a French Bulldog who acts as the avatar for his Twitter. Shortly after adopting Ricky, Hayes was on The Kelly Clarkson Show and even mentioned having multiple nannies for his pup — it’s unclear whether he was joking.
The charity merch includes a mix of dog products. There are blue,black, gray, or red pet tees with the SmartLess logo on back. A collar rocking the SmartLess signature color stripes and a branded leash are also available. Additionally, they’re offering personalized SmartLess bowls for your favorite podcast-listening buddy. For each purchase, a portion of the proceeds will go to The Best Friends Animal Society and will support their fight against animal neglect.
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Sean Zucker is a writer whose work has been featured in Points In Case, The Daily Drunk, Posty, and WellWell. He has an adopted Pit Bull named Banshee whose work has been featured on the kitchen floor and whose behavioral issues rival his own.