That Was Genius - A Funny History Podcast

That Was Genius - A Funny History Podcast

A comedy history podcast looking at the forgotten side of the past. The jokes are silly, the accents are terrible, and the history will amaze you.

Episodes

March 31, 2021 55 min

It's a comedy wild west gunfight this week, as we take ten paces and draw (yes, it's cartoons week)!

Sam kicks us off with a look at the Illustrated Police News, the world's first tabloid newspaper which delighted audiences with graphic illustrations of the macabre, bizarre, and cheeky. He's also got an honourable mention for the Turin Erotic Papyrus - the first known lads mag.

Next, Tom's been taking a look a...

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Oh go on, just one wafer thin episode... It's small things week!

Tom starts off with the British bantams, the pint-sized soldiers who were small in size, but large in grit, number, and ability to start a fight in a town square.

Next, Sam takes a look at the island of Tavolara, which until recently was the worlds smallest kingdom. So small, it's main export was rotten-toothed goats, and its king was technically unemployed.

...

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100 ruddy episodes, we did it!

To celebrate, we're taking a look at the number 100 in history, which is a surprisingly difficult topic, actually.

Sam kicks us off with a look at Tsukumogami, the Japanese belief that household objects gain a soul on their 100th birthday. And usually use the new-found power of life to be arseholes to everyone they meet.

Next, Tom takes a look at the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, on t...

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Oh I do like to be beside the seaside... We're celebrating all things aquatic today!

Which basically means shipwrecks, sorry (not sorry, they are great). Sam starts us off with an honourable mention for the only ship ever sunk by a meteor, before talking about Poon Lim and his incredible, record-breaking story of survival at sea.

Next, Tom's got the sinking of the whaling ship Essex and the cannibalistic survival story th...

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It's coups week! Which was a lot harder to research and less funny than we were anticipating, to be honest. But we made it work!

Tom kicks us off with the overthrow of King Wanda, who woke up one day drunk, shaved and living in a monastery. Best. Stag Do. Ever.

Next, Sam takes a look at the Golpa Borghese, a very Italian coup involving the mafia, some fascists, a renegade group of freemasons and, obviously, some Government co...

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This isn't a democracy, you can't tell us what to do! Apart from the audience member who told us to do tyrants and despots, which is exactly what we've done this week.

Sam starts us off this week with a look at The Zhengde Emperor - the mad Ming ruler who spent his time playing dress-up, chopping up Europeans and collecting animals and women, rather than really doing anything useful.

Next, Tom takes a look at Plato...

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Boom! It's weapons week. And our first episode of 2021!

Tom starts the year off with a bang, with a look at the first ever military submarine, the Turtle of 1776. He also gives an honorable mention to Dazzle camouflage - the idea you can mask a ship's movement by painting it mad, zebra-like patterns.

Next, Sam takes a somewhat odd look at the surprisingly long history of strapping bombs to birds - nearly a millennia of an...

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December 23, 2020 35 min

What a year! And how better to say goodbye to it than reminding ourselves how things were crappy in the olden days, too.

So, here we have our end of year quiz, with audience suggestions too (the questions were posted on our Facebook page and Patreon).

Have a great holiday season and new year everyone, wherever you are. I hope 2021 is better than whatever... this... is! 

Our next public episode is all about mad military invention...

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It's best friends week!

Tom kicks us off with a look at the origin of 'Whipping Boys', along with a trip to the land of the Groom of the Stool, and court eunuchs.

Next, Sam takes a look at the unusual friendship and daring prison camp escape of Max Gendelman and Karl Kirschner, a Jewish-American POW and a German officer who became best friends.

Next week is a patron exclusive all about knock offs. Join our Patreon f...

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Waking up the next day full of regret and with a splitting headache: Just one of the side effects of listening to this podcast. Especially in hangovers week!

Well, to be honest, we've both just done drunks, but hey ho. Sam kicks us off with a look at the battle of the Alma, a Crimean war barney fuelled by huge amounts of mid-fight boozing on the part of the Russians.

Next, Tom takes a look at the sinking of the White Ship, a ...

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Here in my car, I've got lots of podcasts, all about stuff that happened way in the past. It's Cars!

Yes, the humble automobile is the topic this week. Tom's been looking at the amazing overland odyssey of mad Australian Francis Birtles, who drove from the UK to Oz (granted, with some boats) in the 1920s. 

Next, Sam takes a look at Bertha Benz, wife of car inventor Karl Benz, who in 1888 got bored of her husband's...

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Nudists or animal lovers? It's anyone's guess this week as we mangle the line between naturalists and naturists.

Tom takes a look at Nazi nudists, because he got confused about the topic. Frankly, it's still pretty interesting though.

Meanwhile, Sam's been looking at nudist explorer Robyn Davidson's 1700 mile naked trek across Australia, followed by an examination of the creator of cryptozoology and monster hu...

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There's nothing civil about That Was Genius. Except this week's theme, civil wars.

Sam starts off with a look at the Battle of Bamber Bridge, a WW2 attempt to segregate US troops stationed in a small village in Britain, which saw whites banned and a running battle between African American and white US troops in the streets.

Next, Tom takes a look at the civil war origins of various words, phrases and idioms throughout his...

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I don't believe it! This week we're looking at things that never happened.

Tom kicks us off with a look at some of the ridiculous flying saints in the Catholic church; some more recent than you might think, and all especially stupid. Or possibly just epileptic. 

Next, Sam takes a look at English As She Is Spoke by Pedro Carolino - a very real phrase book from someone who was only pretending to be able to speak English. Wi...

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Boom, we're back with a shot across the bow for ships week!

Tom kicks us off with the story of the collision between the HMS Victoria and the HMS Camperdown in 1893, where a badly timed order and a test of loyalty had disastrous consequences.

Next, Sam takes a look at the Battle of Fimreite in 1184, in which the Norwegian King Magnus Erlingsonn and rebel leader Sverre Sigurdsson fought a truly stupid naval battle.

Next week ...

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Sorry for the very late episode, but we've got some news! Listen on to find out more. This episode was originally a patron exclusive, but given we've taken August off for Sam to get used to *insert news here*, we thought we'd share it around to give you something to listen to.

A podcast all about pictures. I'm sure this'll work...

Sam starts us off with the Cottingley Fairies, one of the greatest photographic ...

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It's the Sultans of Swing themselves, yes, Tom and Sam are back to talk all things bands!

 

Tom kicks us off with a look at the history behind Robin Hood's Band of Merry Men, including a story about Maid Marian and Friar Tuck that reads like bad Twilight fan fiction.

 

Next, Sam takes a look at the fascinating story of Eric Vogel and the Ghetto Swingers, the concentration camp jazz band forced to play for their lives, a...

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Teenagers, eh? This week is all about errant youth through the ages.

Tom kicks us off with a look at public (what we in the UK call private) school rebellions, in which posh kids rose up against their teachers. 

Next, Sam takes a look at the Gottorp Fury, the summer in which a young King Charles XII of Sweden let loose in a booze-fuelled summer rampage that nearly lost him his kingdom.

Next week is a patron exclusive all about t...

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To the left to the left, everything you hold in the hand to the left. Yes, it's left handed week!

Sam, our resident Southpaw, kicks us off this week with a look at the odd Russian folk tale of Cross-eyed Lefty from Tula and the Steel Flea - a pre-revolutionary story about a poor but very skilled craftsman and a very, very small flea.

Next, Tom takes a look at some of the ancient lefties, and how they had a bit of an unfair ad...

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It's all about trusted advisors and sidekicks this week from your two favourite right-hand men.

Tom kicks us off with some of the stories of Raja Birbal (or just Birbal), the 16th Century advisor to Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Witty, petty and sometimes a bit rude, his stories have become the stuff of fairytale!

Next, Sam takes to the high seas for a look at Anne Bonny and Mary Reade, two 18th Century pirates who dragged up and dr...

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