The Ceiling Fan Podcast started when 22-year-old college student Kevin McCreary was interning at Focus on the Family in the summer of 2008. Kevin had always liked creating recordings from the time he was a kid, and had been trying to find a way to get his stuff out to a bigger audience. Podcasts had sprung up as a medium for getting audio entertainment out to people all over the place, and Kevin thought that was a good place to start. He met a guy named Charlie Roth who was also interning at Focus, and they decided to start The Ceiling Fan Podcast. Charlie was only involved with TCF for a short time at the beginning, but he has come back recently playing the character of Kurt.
At its beginnings, The Ceiling Fan was essentially a fake AIO podcast. The first part of TCF was a news segment, featuring Kevin's character John Watsenburger (spelling is disputed) as the news anchor, and a character name Tom Artichoke (played by Mark Jones) as the field reporter. They would report fake AIO news, usually stuff that would never actually happen in Odyssey. Then it would transition into the second part of the show: Odyssey with Ethan. In this segment, Kevin's 14-year-old character Ethan Daniels would talk about stuff that was actually happening in the world of AIO, such as the 20th Anniversary Birthday Bash. Ethan is very naive, having a crush on Katie Leigh and thinking that he's the biggest fan of Adventures in Odyssey when in reality he knows very little about the show. In Episode 7, he introduced a new co-host: Phil Jinkus. 25-year-old Phil was a college dropout who played World of BattleArts 8 hours a day, and worked in the corner drug store. But maybe--just maybe--there was more to Phil than met the eye. Together, this made up the show--for a time.
After a while, Odyssey with Ethan began to change. Ethan decided not to have any more birthdays once he turned 15. Phil became more of a guardian/older male influence for Ethan, (who's dad was out of the picture), and less of a loser. The format changed as well. It began to focus less on what was actually happening with AIO, and more on what was going on in Ethan's fictional life. There were still tons of AIO references, but they stopped talking about AIO news.
In 2010, season 2 of TCF, Ethan got an intern, James Carlisle (played by Loren Crisp), and they embarked on The Ceiling Fan Road Trip to find Odyssey! This was essentially the end of AIO news on TCF. It became an audio drama instead of a podcast hosted by a fictional character. And this is essentially where TCF lies today.
Ceiling Fan Season 3 launched January 28, 2011, beginning the M'kalister Park band tour, the longest story arc in Ceiling Fan history! In fact, it crossed over into Season 4, and Season 4 still hasn't ended yet! In Season 4, they dropped the news report from the beginning of the show, enabling episodes to release more frequently. Originally, Kevin and Mark tried to release an episode every 2 weeks. Once they got out of college, however, they lost a lot of their free time. They also relied on a lot more people to record lines for the show, and lost a lot of speed that way as well. There are quite a few characters these days, and now it's full-on audio drama; the quality just gets better and better as time goes on. However, Season 4 has lasted for 2.5 years now, releasing only 11 episodes during that time.
If you're going to listen to The Ceiling Fan, I would not recommend starting with the newest episode. The best thing to do would be to start with Episode 1 and make your way through all the episodes. If you really can't do that, than start with Episode 33. If you start anywhere after that, it won't make sense, due the the incredibly long storyline going on.
I would definitely recommend The Ceiling Fan Podcast as an entertainment source. It's very well written, well produced, and extremely hilarious. Honestly, a couple of the actors they've brought on recently aren't the best, but for the most part they have great actors as well.