“Am I embarrassing you?” is likely a familiar refrain for any mother of a daughter. For Dr. Amy Wechsler — the go-to Upper East Side dermatologist for beauty industry insiders and adviser to Chanel Beauté — and her 21-year-old daughter Zoe, it happens to be the name of their new podcast.
The podcast, launched Sept. 21 with new episodes dropping weekly, was born one pizza-and-tequila-fueled night in quarantine, after the pair tired of playing endless games of Bananagrams and watching episodes of the “Great British Baking Show.”
“We’ve always wanted to do a project together — we love hanging out together,” said Dr. Wechsler.
“In early summer, I did a couple podcast interviews and loved them — I don’t have to worry about how I look, I can do the interview and talk like it’s old-fashioned radio,” she said.
While Dr. Wechsler hadn’t been much of a podcast fan prior to recording interviews with Goop and Fat Mascara, Zoe Wechsler, a senior at Barnard, is an avid podcast listener. Loose inspiration for the Wechsler podcast comes from some of her favorite female-led shows, like “B—h Bible” and Heather McMahon’s “Absolutely Not.”
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“Am I Embarrassing You” covers a range of topics most mothers and daughters might feel too awkward discussing together. Not the Wechslers — they easily segue from periods to depression to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sex appeal like two girlfriends.
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“‘I have friends who are close with their moms, but they’ll tell me stuff and say, ‘Oh, I can’t tell my mom that,’ and I’m like, why not?’” said Zoe Wechsler.
“We have similar views of the world,’ added Dr. Wechsler, who also holds a degree in psychiatry and answers skin-care questions from listeners in a segment called “Ask Dr. Amy” at the end of every episode.
“I curse more,” said Zoe Wechsler.
Zoe Wechsler has been living at home with Dr. Wechsler throughout the pandemic while virtually completing her degree in comparative literature. The proximity makes working together easy — the pair records in their breakfast nook. “We’re trying to build a soundproof room, but it’s taking forever,” Dr. Wechsler said.
The Wechslers have also found that they make for pretty good coworkers.
“We have similar work ethics,” said Dr. Wechsler. “She’s keeping me on track, like ‘OK mom, this weekend we have to do two outlines and record two episodes.’”
Zoe Wechsler hasn’t decided yet what she’ll do after college, but now that the podcast is up and running, turning it into a full-time business isn’t off her radar. There’s already been interest from advertisers, and the Wechslers are hoping to ultimately get picked up by a network. Early data tells the Wechslers that their audience is 80 percent female, and most match the mother-daughter duo in age, falling into either the 18 to 22 or 45 to 59 age brackets.
Up next for the Wechslers is fine-tuning their list of upcoming podcast guests. The first was fellow Upper East Sider Jill Kargman; Debra Messing and Leila Roker are on deck. While the Wechslers say they mostly agree on who to invite, they’ve found the guest list is where the generational divide seems most prominent.
“She’ll text me and say, ‘We have to have this person on the show!’” said Zoe Wechsler. “I’m like…’I don’t know who that is!’”
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