Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Wikishuffle - One of The Best Podcast's Around

I don't listen to many podcasts, if anything I find podcasts to be rather annoying.  I've tried listening to dozens over the years and never stuck around with any of them for very long.  For the most part there seems to be slew of 'geek' podcasts around, shows that cover comic books, movies, TV and video games.

Now, these are all things that I like, but these are also things I read about often, so they're not breaking any news to me, and their subjects I talk about with friends, so some of those conversations I end up listening to are very familiar ones.  So to find a podcast that's different, unique and entertaining seems to be more difficult than you'd first think.

Luckily for me, I've found a podcast that I've been listening to for months (my own personal record), and look forward to every week.  Wikishuffle.

Wikishuffle is one of those little gems, where the concept is so amazingly simple that it'll astound you that no one else had done it before, and that you weren't the one to come up with the idea yourself.  Every episode the presenters press the random article button on Wikipedia and talk about whatever subject comes up.

I know what you're thinking, 'couldn't that be really dull?'  Well, they do have to cover moth's a lot, and their are some subjects that you'd never go and read about off your own back, but even these things that would never normally interest you are full of intriguing pieces of info, and a lot of humour.

The three hosts, Jack Stewart, Chris Wallace and Phil Sharman, are able to take some of the most mundane subjects and make them interesting, and more importantly entertaining.  I found myself strangely intrigued listening to them talk about Sesame Street plot lines, Vanta Black and the sexual activity of Popes.  I was even kept entertained for almost an hour listening to the life story of a footballer, but then again that particular man's life story was so crazy and unbelievable it would make an amazing film.

Not every subject that Wikipedia generates for the hosts are entertaining ones, some are over and done with extremely quickly because there's not really much to talk about, and some cover subjects that are extremely uncomfortable.  In one episode that still sticks with me vividly the brave hosts talk about the 2011 San Fernando Massacre, a mass murder of 193 people by the Los Zetas drug cartel.  Whilst it would have been easy for them to cut the segment and pretend that it never came up they plough ahead and talk about a truly shocking account with respect and reverence, something that most comedy podcasts would never do.

Informative, funny, and at times moving, Wikishuffle is one of the best new podcasts around, even received the UK Podcasters Award for Best Comedy this year.

If you want to be entertained for an hour a week, to laugh and to learn (though possibly not learning vital information, but learning nonetheless) then Wikishuffle is definitely the podcast for you.


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  1. Fully agreed!

    It's an excellent little podcast that's genuinely interesting, funny and informative. A lot of the humour stems from the trio's own unique personalities on the topics; and the personal tangents and details they go on.

    I think it was Phil either on the podcast or on twitter who stated that they kept the San Fernando Valley Massacre in because it represents a key part of Wikipedia: the freedom of information on things people may not be fully aware of. I wasn't aware of the event, but it's good that there's something online to at least inform and keep record that it took place for parts of the world that didn't even acknowledge it. Not comfortable listening for an award-winning comedy podcast, but I fully respect and salute the reasons that they kept it in.

    1. I think the San Fernando episode was the one that made me really realise just how good a show it was, it wasn't just three funny people talking about random things, it had become a show that I trusted to tell me about certain subjects that I would never go and read about myself. That's when I knew I'd be listening for as long as the show is going on for.