Ed Bailey and Day Bracey host a show about finding hidden gems in Pittsburgh and yet are still always discovering new places worthy of their time and attention.
The Steel City-based comedians and hosts of the “Drinking Partners” podcast stepped out from behind their microphones last year for “Ed and Day in the ’Burgh,” a show where they go around Western Pennsylvania and highlight local establishments with their trademark brand of irreverent humor.
Its first season aired last year on the Heart-owned Very Local streaming service. Season two of “Ed and Day in the ’Burgh” is set to premiere Thursday and feature Bailey and Bracey exploring even more Pittsburgh haunts ranging from neighborhood watering holes to a former bank in Homestead that’s now a multipurpose entertainment destination.
“Sometimes I’m a bit more comfortable, sometimes Ed’s a bit more comfortable, sometimes we’re both lost,” Bracey said of this upcoming season. “If me and Ed are still finding places, I don’t know if there’s anybody in this city who knows everything.”
Both Bailey and Bracey had a better 2022 than the previous two pandemic-tinged years. Bailey is still doing standup while raising a family and a pitbull puppy — as he put it, “living the life.” Bracey has enjoyed being able to do live events again, “because that’s the fun part of this.”
In August, the duo will once again host Barrel & Flow Fest, a celebration of Black brewers, artists and more taking place at The Stacks at 3 Crossings in the Strip District. Bracey said it took them five years to hold Barrel & Flow at the same location two years in a row, which “eliminates three months of work up top” and makes things easier for everyone involved.
“I think we’re going to reach this place of exponential growth,” Bracey said. “We’re not just reinventing the wheel. We’re allowing the community to run with it.”
After eight years of podcasting, it was a “natural progression” for the Drinking Partners to see if their repartee translated into a visual medium, according to Bailey. Bracey said he heard from quite a few members of the Pittsburgh diaspora nationwide who enjoyed the first season of “Ed and Day in the ’Burgh,” and Bailey also received “overwhelmingly positive” feedback on their freshman outing.
“We got a second season,” Bailey said. “So it was at least good enough to do it again.”
There was “a synergy” to season two in terms of everyone knowing how to execute their respective assignments that made for a more streamlined shoot, Bailey said. Bracey noticed that the cinematography had been “stepped up a bit” in season two and that the whole production seemed “more homogenous” in terms of technical and creative consistency.
Bailey pointed out that there’s a “more physical” element to his and Bracey’s season-two shenanigans. That’s exemplified in the premiere episode where the pair take a trip to Homestead. They start out at The Bank on 8th, which now contains an escape room, ax-throwing space, golf simulator and speakeasy. Things get harrowing on the ropes course at Dragon’s Den before they settle in for a beer and bite at Duke’s Upper Deck Cafe.
As a former Homestead resident, Bailey was pleasantly surprised to learn that places such as The Bank on 8th and Dragon’s Den are thriving in his old stomping grounds. It’s wild to him how so many yinzers going to the Waterfront are “driving past fun every day” without even knowing it.
“It really brought out what I see as the value in the show,” he said. “You can be living somewhere and not know it’s right there.”
In addition to this season proving that Bailey is “way more brave than Day,” as Bailey quipped, it will also include an interactive element in the form of watch parties being hosted in the featured neighborhoods every Thursday as the season airs. The first one will be Thursday at The Bank on 8th, and the schedule for the rest of them is available via barrelandflow.com/events.
The tagline for “Ed and Day in the ’Burgh” is “three rivers, two guys, one city.” That’s what folks can expect from the show’s second season, Bailey said: “Real people doing real things.”
Bracey’s pitch was a little more blunt: “There are Black people on Pittsburgh TV. And it ain’t the news.”