Hello! Just a quick post this week to heartily, heartily recommend a new podcast created by two young friends of mine; the brilliant comedy writers and performers Andy Matthews and Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall.
It’s called The Pop Test, and if you’re in Australia, you can listen to it on ABC Radio National, and if you’re anywhere else in the world, you can listen to it as a podcast. (You can listen to it as a podcast if you’re Australia too, obvs.)
The Pop Test is a fast-paced – and very funny – half-hour quiz show covering various subjects in science. The questions are difficult and often abstruse, but Andy and Alasdair’s brilliant gag-writing and improvisation make the time fly by, and there are always a lot of laughs to be had. Each week, they welcome a different group of comedians, and a lot of the fun comes from listening to these guests struggle to answer the tricky, esoteric questions – or at least come up with amusing bluffs or tangents.
I suspect this is very much an ‘iceberg show’ – I’d estimate that nine-tenths of the work is below the surface. The breezy half-hour swings by so quickly that you don’t always realise just how thoughtful, surprising and expertly crafted Andy and Alasdair’s jokes are. The way they formulate the questions, the way they reveal the answers, the way they introduce the players and the way they explain the game… if you listen carefully, you’ll realise just how well written these elements are. You’re never more than a couple of seconds away from a really clever gag. And when you add the hosts’ great improvisational skills, and that panel of funny people in the contestants’ seats, you’re onto a real winner!
So there you go. The Pop Test; on ABC Radio National, or wherever you get your podcasts. Do yourself a favour. Along the way, you might even learn a thing or two about science that could serve you well in future quizzes…
Aaaand that’s it for this week. (I told you it was a quick post.)
See you next time!