SNAFU with Ed Helms

SNAFU with Ed Helms

Hosted by Ed Helms, SNAFU is a podcast about history's greatest screw-ups. On Season 1, we tell the story of Able Archer 83, the NATO military exercise that almost caused a nuclear war in November of 1983... or did it?

Episodes

September 27, 2022 3 min

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By the 1980s, tension between the U.S. and Soviet Union was a fact of everyday life. Early '80s American pop culture was quite literally exploding with nuclear doom. But was a real crisis unfolding right under our noses? One dauntless sleuth grows determined to get to the bottom of a decades-old Cold War mystery: Able Archer 83. Produced by FilmNation and Pacific Electric Picture Co. in association with Gilded Audio.

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A former Hollywood actor and a former Chairman of the KGB walk into a bar and... blow the whole thing up? In 1983, the decision to launch nukes lay in the hands of two men: Ronald Wilson Reagan and Yuri Andropov. Let's talk about how their teeny tiny… inferiority complexes set us on a path – right to the edge of a nuclear cliff. Produced by FilmNation and Pacific Electric Picture Co. in association with Gilded Audio.

 

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October 19, 2022 43 min

Tension mounts as Reagan's aggression deepens Andropov's paranoia. Surely, an attack from the West is imminent! Meet Oleg Gordievsky and Rainier Rupp, two spies whose loyalties aren't what they seem. These super secret agents scour the earth for signs of impending doom, but they have no idea that they're about to be embroiled in utter disaster. Produced by FilmNation and Pacific Electric Picture Co. in association w...

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October 26, 2022 35 min

The situation is getting dire. Mind games and twitchy nerves lead to tragedy in Russian airspace. Finger-pointing only makes it worse, and any chance for real diplomacy flies out the window. As we hurtle toward November ‘83, a glitchy missile detection system almost spells disaster. Produced by FilmNation and Pacific Electric Picture Co. in association with Gilded Audio.

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November 2, 2022 43 min

It’s Opening day for Able Archer 83. The Soviets have front row seats to NATO’s autumn military exercises. Tens of thousands of soldiers are playing pretend war in West Germany. The Soviets are NOT enjoying the show. And then… the war game actors begin ‘launching’ nukes. Holy sh*tballs, this is not looking good. The spies try to thwart disaster, and one man is faced with a cataclysmic decision. Produced by FilmNation and Pacific El...

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November 9, 2022 42 min

Lt. General Leonard Perroots faces down the single most critical decision of his career: to escalate, or not? He knows the situation is bad, but he has no idea just how bad. The man’s got the fate of the world in his hands. Produced by FilmNation and Pacific Electric Picture Co. in association with Gilded Audio.

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November 16, 2022 45 min

Sheer terror about the near disaster recedes over time, and intrigue sets in. Competing theories emerge as Nate Jones and others uncover reports that have been buried in archives for decades. Time casts a new shadow on Gordievsky and Rupp’s Able Archer heroics. Myth, propaganda, and reality melt into one big cloudy soup. Produced by FilmNation and Pacific Electric Picture Co. in association with Gilded Audio.

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November 23, 2022 42 min

The Finale of Snafu: Season One! The holy grail of classified Able Archer documents is finally revealed. Will it hold the answers we seek? Produced by FilmNation and Pacific Electric Picture Co. in association with Gilded Audio.

 

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Bonus Episode – Ed speaks with actor Matthew Broderick, and director John Badham about their time on the seminal 1983 classic, “WarGames” and how it played a part in the cultural zeitgeist of the Cold War. Produced by FilmNation and Pacific Electric Picture Co. in association with Gilded Audio.

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December 7, 2022 39 min

Bonus Episode – Ed speaks with former sleeper agent for the KGB, Jack Barsky. Together, they recount Jack’s life trajectory from super spy to American author, and discuss the Soviet paranoia permeating throughout the Soviet ranks during the high-intensity of Able Archer ‘83. Produced by FilmNation and Pacific Electric Picture Co. in association with Gilded Audio.

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