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.


March 31, 2022 45 min

Fellow historians. It's our last EVER episode. What a blast we've had. And we're going out with a ruddy big bang - our rudest episode yet (by far)!

Sam kicks us off with a tour of medieval swearing, and how rudely named streets can be used to track the economy of England in the middle ages. Next, Tom takes a look at Roman and Greek graffiti. Which is just as childish as you'd expect. 

It's been a pleasure podcas...

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It's time to lean back and take stock(market), as we look at all things boom and bust.

Tom kicks us off with a look at the Drunk Oil Trading Incident, and the Great Comic Book Bubble. Meanwhile Sam's been looking at Tulip Mania and the South Sea Bubble. Sorted.

Next week's episode is a patron exclusive all about swearing, and it's an flipping blinder! Find it at

Subscribe and listen to us! ...

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We got confused! It's medical procedures week, but Sam jumped the gun and did a man behaving badly. Doh.

Tom kicks us off with a look at the early 20th century obsession with grafting bits of animal (or criminal) testicle onto the knackers of well-to-do gentlemen and professional sportsmen to boost their performance.

Meanwhile, Sam's been looking at Saci, the naughty, smelly, wish-granting, smelly, impish, smelly Brazilian ...

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Choo choo, steaming in two months late, we're back!

This week it's all about trains. Sam kicks us off with a look at the Australian 'Afghan' or 'Ghan' camel trains of the 19th century. 

Next, Tom's looking at the ancient Greek sort-of-railway, sort of road for boats, the 'Diolkos'.

Next week's episode is a patron exclusive all about people called Tom and Sam! Find it at

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Hi everyone, 

We've taken the decision to give ourselves a few weeks break from the podcast to reset and get ourselves sorted out. Sam's daughter has just started nursery so is perennially low-level ill, and his day job is going through a busy spot which doesn't leave much free time to write and edit this old thing.

If you're a Patron ( you'll be getting a refund until we kick off again...

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Like carving a pumpkin at Halloween, sprouts at Christmas, and burning policemen in giant wicker cages, this week it's all about traditions!

Sam kicks us off this week with a look at the not-as-nice-as-it-sounds Aztec tradition of the Flower War - a sporting contest with very real and deadly consequences, and an even worse runner-up prize.

Nest, Tom's been looking at 'Line Crossing' ceremonies: The filthy, raucous, ...

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Well we nearly didn't make this one (Tom's mic broke). But we survived and we're back with an episode all about feats of survival!

Tom's up first this week, with the parallel tales of H.M. Stanley and Dr David Livingstone, whose lives collided with the famous greeting, "Dr Livingstone, I presume"?

Next, Sam's been looking at survival from a great number of feet, rather than feats, with a dive into high-a...

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It's internet week (Beep beep, boop boop, modem screeching noises)!

Sam starts us off with a look at project CyberSyn, a 1970s attempt by communist Chile to let a computer with a millionth the power of an iPhone run its entire economy.

Next, Tom's been looking at archaeological finds identified through the highly scientific medium of... Google Earth.

Next week's episode is a patron exclusive all about light! Find it at ...

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It's been... A While. But we're back, tanned, and ready to go!

This week it's all about Italy. Tom has been looking at operation Mincemeat, the allied attempts to thwart Axis intelligence in the lead up to the Italian campaign in WW2.

Meanwhile Sam's been taking a look at the history of the worlds (sort of) oldest and (sort of) smallest country, San Marino!

Next week's episode is a patron exclusive all about sho...

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This episode was a patron exclusive, which we're releasing to the public as we're taking a short summer break. Want to join and get more than two dozen exclusive episodes? Find us at We'll be back in two weeks!   Down at the Bottom of the Garden, among the birds and the bees, there live two slightly sweary hosts, and it's gardening week.   Yes, that's the Poddington Peas theme tune. ...
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I can see clearly now the pane has come. It's glass week!

Sam kicks us off with a (tenuously connected to the theme) look at the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, in which a New York newspaper's series of increasingly bizarre articles about a moon civilization caught the public's imagination. 

Next, Tom's been exploring Glass Delusion, the historical psychiatric condition which led sufferers to believe they were made of easi...

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Edison and Tesla. Hunt and Louda. Tom and Sam. This week we're exploring rivalries!

Apologies for Sam's iffy sound quality this week, not sure what happened there. Normal service will resume next week!

Tom's up first with a bold and ambitious attempt to examine the Wars of the Roses, one of the most complicated periods in English history, and the inspiration (vaguely, no dragons) for Game of Thrones.

Next, Sam's bee...

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Maple syrup. Tim Hortons. Burning down the White House. This week we're celebrating all things Canadian!

Sam kicks us off with a look at The Great Antonio - Montreal-based strongman, wrestler, and eccentric.

Next, Tom's all over the Halifax Explosion of December 1917 - one of the worst man-made disasters in history.

PS Sorry this episode is a couple of days behind - two recordings in one week makes Sam a late boy.


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Doctor Doctor, I feel like a history podcast!

Well you're in luck, it's medicine week! Tom kicks us off with a look at the Ebers Papyri, a very, very long ancient Egyptian scroll full of bizarre and filthy cures for common ailments, with some rather sarcastic modern translations. 

Next, Sam looks at the nonsense uses of wee in medicine through history. Urine for a treat!

This episode features a cross-promo for Countries Tha...

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Like an eel on a bobsleigh track, we're ploughing headfirst into a slippery situation this week!

Sam's up first this week with a look at the cursed (but very successful) life of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone and dodger of multiple near deaths, lawsuits, and assassination attempts.

Next, Tom's been slipping around the northwest passage (ooh er) with a look at 19th Century explorer explorer William Hudson.

Sorry ...

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Ooh Arr, it's farming week!

Tom starts us off with a look at Fritz Haber, the German chemist who, on the one hand, revolutionised farming and fed the world. On the other hand, he also led Germany's chemical weapons programme in World War One. The left hand giveth, the right hand taketh away...

Next, Sam's been looking at the Pig War of 1859, in which Britain and the US nearly went to war over a potato patch.

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And we're off, on a look into some of the most bizarre races ever to have taken place.

Sam starts off with a look at the 1907 Peking to Paris rally, and the trials of adventurer, conman and bacon-mechanic Charles Godard. 

Meanwhile, Tom's been taking a look at history's best-paid sportsman, the remarkable Roman charioteer Gaius Appuleius Diocles.

This episode also features a cross promo with The Silly History Boys Show ...

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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 at ...

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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 the ...

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