A Collection of Great Podcasts - Part 2 of 4: Quizzes

Do The Right Thing

A discussion-style show which asks an assembled panel of comedians about the right or wrong thing to do in any given situation. Hosted by Danielle Ward, this show is a reasonable amount of fun but can get really loud and raucous at times. Susan Calman comes on every so often, which is an obvious shot in the arm for any show.

Friday Night Comedy - The News Quiz

This show is hosted by Sandi Toksvig and is the BBC Radio 4’s version of Have I Got News For You - a quiz show based on a satirical take on the news of the week. The News Quiz is pretty much entirely UK-centric. When this show is on a break, then the Friday Night Comedy becomes a topical sketch show called The Now Show hosted by Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt, which is quite funny as well.

International Waters

Internation Waters is an interesting concept – pit a team of two comedians each from the US and the UK in a battle of pop culture trivia. It’s also a little different from the other shows in that it appears to be a monthly podcast. That makes me somewhat glad – I don’t think I could take too heavy a dose of the host Jesse Thorn’s brand of humour, which is reasonably drowned out here by the 4 comedian guests. (As an aside, his other podcast – Comedy Bang Bang – is highly rated in the community, but I’ve always found it quite dull. Probably because the guests and recurring “funny” bits are not particularly entertaining.)

*[EDIT: I’m mistaken here. The host of Comedy Bang Bang is Scott Aukerman, and not Jesse Thorn. They sound quite the same though.]

A quick note here: All podcasts from appear to have a fair amount of monetisation effort behind them in the form of solicitation ads in the middle of the podcasts. I listen to enough BBC/NPR podcasts that this gets a little annoying after a while. YMMV.

NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

Another gem from the NPR stable, “Wait Wait…” is a both a panel as well as a dial-in quiz show. Hosted by Peter Sagal, the prize for victorious callers is a great one – they get the dulcet tones of Carl Kasell to record a voicemail greeting message for them! Peter Sagal is really extremely funny, and Carl Kasell… well, I would listen to Carl Kasell reading a dictionary out aloud. The panel features some comedians quite regularly, who are also really funny and well-informed. Some large global news items are covered, but this podcast is a whole lot funnier if you’re roughly in the know about the US political scene.

NPR’s Ask Me Another

This is the best “quiz show” podcast I’ve ever heard so far, and also the best NPR podcast. Shot live in an NY theatre, it throws brainteasers, traditional trivia questions and vocabulary puzzles at a series of contestants. The host is Ophira Eisenberg, who is accompanied by a clutch of “puzzle gurus” and a musician, who is usually Jonathan Coulton. Even though it is ostensibly a competition, the good-natured banter that runs throughout is one of the best parts of the show. Fortunately, most of the content here is general pop culture trivia, although heaving a healthy appreciation of US cultural references will significantly enhance your enjoyment.

See all the posts about the podcast collection here.