Ridiculous History-logo

Ridiculous History

HowStuffWorks

History is beautiful, brutal and, often, ridiculous. Join Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown as they dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History, a podcast by iHeartRadio.

History is beautiful, brutal and, often, ridiculous. Join Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown as they dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History, a podcast by iHeartRadio.

Location:

United States

Description:

History is beautiful, brutal and, often, ridiculous. Join Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown as they dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History, a podcast by iHeartRadio.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Olympics Used to Have an... Extraordinarily Weird Art Competition

12/1/2022
Everyone's heard of the Olympics. This global competition brings athletes from around the world together to compete in various sports -- but, not too long ago, one man led the charge to bring artists, sculptors, musicians and more into the fray, with medal-worthy competitions of their own. In today's episode, the guys explore how this became part of the Olympics... and why the organization eventually revoked every single medal they awarded, striking these artists' work from the record. See...

Duration:00:47:30

A Circus, or a Cult? The Strange Story of Shen Yun

11/29/2022
If you live near any large city outside of mainland China, you may have seen advertisements for the world-famous Shen Yun Performing Arts Company, a US-based non-profit known for its elaborate shows in over 130 locations across the planet. But you might not know the full story of this company's origin. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max explore the strange origin of Shen Yun -- along with that of the religious movement, Falun Gong. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:43:48

How A Massive Turkey Screw-up Created TV Dinners

11/24/2022
Hey, it's us, your pals Ben, Noel and Max from Ridiculous History. We figured the holidays can be stressful for everyone, and we're pretty sure you've heard the history of Thanksgiving countless times. So instead of telling you that story, we decided to celebrate by exploring the weird history of TV dinners and microwave meals -- none of which would exist if the food company Swanson hadn't accidentally found itself with 260 tons of leftover turkeys after Thanksgiving in 1953. So tune in; we...

Duration:00:55:42

J. Paul Getty, Part Two: A Kidnapping Discount

11/22/2022
For members of the mob, the plot to kidnap J. Paul Getty's grandson was a home run -- after all, what's a few million to a literal billionaire? Yet, as it turns out... the mob didn't know who they were messing with. In the second part of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore a series of terrifying events that led to one of most ridiculous examples of miserliness in human history. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:39:01

J. Paul Getty, Part One: Money Doesn't Make You Happy

11/17/2022
It's often said that money doesn't buy happiness -- and, in the tragic case of the Getty family, it seems that saying holds true. In part one of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore Getty's origin story, his infamously... let's say... 'thrifty' nature, and how he earned a reputation of one of the coldest businessmen in modern history. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:42:59

Introducing: Jordan Klepper Fingers The Conspiracy

11/16/2022
On his adventures into MAGA country, Jordan Klepper encounters some of the more imaginative, conspiratorial minds America has to offer. In “Jordan Klepper Fingers the Conspiracy,” a new, six-episode limited podcast series, Jordan steps off the trail to dig deep into some of the wildest theories he’s heard, and trace their origins with journalists, experts, and anyone who might have a lead on when JFK Jr. is coming back. The podcast offers an opportunity to better understand some of the most...

Duration:00:01:48

Have you heard of Andorra?

11/15/2022
While it may be unfamiliar to many folks outside the region, the 6th-smallest country in Europe has a fascinating history all its own. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the strange origin story of Andorra, from its ancient past to the modern day. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:38:30

Introducing: Stealing Superman

11/11/2022
Hi, Ridiculous History fans! We're excited to share the latest iHeart Original podcast, Stealing Superman. Since you love our show, we think you'll be intrigued by this story about priceless comics stolen from Nicolas Cage (yes, that Nicolas Cage!). Check out the trailer and decide if Stealing Superman is your next podcast obsession! About Stealing Superman: It was the most unlikely art heist of all time. Join the country’s only art detective and a vigilante comic book dealer as they...

Duration:00:02:49

How Smart Was Alex the Grey Parrot?

11/10/2022
Picked at random from a pet store, a humble grey parrot named Alex went on to fundamentally alter the way humans think about animal cognition. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max explore how animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg and her parrot pal Alex spent three decades proving it's actually pretty impressive to be 'bird brained.' See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:50:19

Surprising Former Careers, Part 2: Truman Can't Sell Hats

11/8/2022
Years before he became a world-famous actor, Christopher Lee did wetwork with elite special forces during World War II. Before entering public office, Harry Truman almost ruined his life by starting a haberdashery. In part two of this continuing series, Ben, Noel and Max explore the ins and outs of more surprising former careers. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:52:19

The Ancient -- and Surprisingly Divisive! -- Story of Ketchup

11/3/2022
Ketchup is in almost 97% of US homes today -- and, while this statistic may sound surprising, it turns out there's a long story behind this humble condiment. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max trace the origin of ketchup from its ancient predecessors in Southern China and the Mediterranean to the introduction of the tomato all the way to the modern day. Tune in for the first episode in our continuing series on the history of condiments (and tell us which condiments you'd like us to...

Duration:00:56:24

The Bizarrely Xenophobic Origins of Scotch Tape

11/1/2022
There's no two ways about it: tape is a pretty handy, amazing thing -- and one we often take for granted. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max dive deep into the origin story of Scotch tape, uncovering the weird prejudice behind the name, as well as the journey of the young man who changed the world with his... well, let's call it stick-to-it-iveness. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:49:20

Introducing: OBSESSIONS: Wild Chocolate

10/31/2022
Forget Willy Wonka and those heart-shaped Valentine’s boxes. OBSESSIONS: Wild Chocolate. is a totally different beast. Join host Rowan Jacobson as he elbows his way through the rain forest, crash lands into cocaine flyaways, and avoids a few too many anaconda, tagging along with modern-day Lara Crofts as they try to get their hands on some of the world’s most ancient– and expensive– cacao. Listen to OBSESSIONS: Wild Chocolate on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts....

Duration:00:02:33

Lost Media, Part Two: We Didn't Start The Fire

10/27/2022
Silent films took the world by storm, but the material they were manufactured from was notoriously -- cartoonishly -- flammable. Soon multiple studio buildings were burning to the ground. There wasn't always a spark involved, either: sometimes this stuff just spontaneously combusted. In part two of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore how silent films became so endangered in the modern day. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:30:18

Lost Media, Part One: What Happened to All Those Silent Films?

10/26/2022
For a relatively brief period of time, silent films rocked the world of entertainment. However, these nitrate- and acetate-based films proved both fragile -- and downright dangerous. In the first part of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the strange story of how so many silent films ended up lost forever. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:38:17

A Ridiculous History of Hot Tubs

10/20/2022
While hot tubs may not always have the... best reputation in some circles, there's no denying people across the world love a good, hot soak after a long day. And we've loved this since antiquity, all the way back to the first time humans found natural hot springs. In today's episode, Ben, Noel and Max dive into the strange origin of hot tubs, from millennia past all the way to the modern day. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:45:05

Eugene V Debs, Part Two: A Prisoner Runs For President

10/18/2022
As a known agitator, Eugene V. Debs soon caught the attention of the US power structure -- and his outspoken nature led to him to court. In part two of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore how the Espionage Act resulted in Eugene's incarceration... and how he ran for the office of President while literally imprisoned. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:01:03:23

Eugene V Debs, Part One: Railroad Workers Fight The Power

10/13/2022
You may not have heard of Eugene V. Debs before this podcast -- but in his day this political activist was one of the most prominent (and at-times controversial) figures in the United States. In part one of this two-part series, Ben, Noel and Max explore Gene's origin story, from his early career in the railroad industry to his growing status as a trade unionist and agitator of the status quo. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:34:49

The Michelin Man was an Unhinged Lunatic

10/11/2022
Virtually every foodie is aware of the Michelin Guide -- the last word in high-end restaurant ratings -- but originally came about as a way to sell more cars (and, ultimately, tires). In today's episode with research associate Geoff Bartlett, Ben, Noel and Max dive deep into the origins of the Michelin guide, as well as Michelin's iconic mascot Bibendum, the Michelin Man. Spoiler: the Michelin Man was originally the absolute worst mascot for anything related to driving. Tune in to learn...

Duration:00:52:05

Introducing: Mobituaries

10/7/2022
Mo Rocca’s long love of obituaries returns for a third season. Mo looks to celebrate the dearly departed people (and things) of the past who have long intrigued him— this season explores the most intriguing history from TV’s most beloved dog to the woman of a thousand voices. Hear fresh takes on these famous legacies and why they deserve a moment in the spotlight. Listen to new episodes starting Wednesday, on the iHeartRadio App or wherever you get your podcasts....