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Ridiculous History

Author: iHeartRadio

Subscribed: 69,716Played: 2,616,562


History is beautiful, brutal and, often, ridiculous. Join Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown as they dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History, a podcast by iHeartRadio.

353 Episodes
In 1859, a dispute between neighbors in the San Juan Islands of the Pacific Northwest led to the untimely death of a local (and very unlucky) pig. What could have been an easily resolved situation quickly ignited simmering tensions between the US and the UK, both of whom claimed the islands as their own territory. In the days and weeks after, soldiers from both nations traveled to the area... each waiting for the other side to make the first move in what almost became a full-on war. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Zaron Burnett’s dad didn’t want slavery to be his son’s only image of Black people in American history. So every night, he filled Zaron’s dreams with these incredible stories of Black cowboys. Despite what Hollywood taught us, one-in-four cowboys were Black. Their stories tell a bigger, braver, more honest history of America.  Find Black Cowboys on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at
Illario 'Mario' Fabbrini was true American success story: An immigrant who built his own pizza empire just as this iconic food was becoming a normalized, nation-wide delicacy. When the business was brought low by allegations of tainted mushrooms, he did something few people would have been brave enough to consider -- he made the disposal of these so-called 'tainted' pizzas a public event, holding a mass burial for an estimated 30,000 frozen pizzas. The funeral was attended by numerous notable individuals, including the Governor of Michigan. Tune in to learn more about the inspiring, bittersweet story of one man in love with pizza, and how he learned to say goodbye. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Born Varius Avitus Bassianus, the emperor now known as Elagabalus scandalized ancient Rome with his constant displays of extravagance, his numerous sexual escapades -- and his insistence that all people worship the sun god Elagabal (represented by a mysterious black stone he brought to town). Tune in to learn how everyday Romans reacted to this larger-than-life character, and how his over-the-top behaviors eventually led to his downfall. Learn more about your ad-choices at
As John Wilkins began to put more serious thought into the idea of sending people to the moon, he reached out to fellow intellectuals in hopes of exploring the problem. So: How did they go about planning this ambitious endeavor, and how far did they get? Tune in to learn more in the second chapter of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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In the second part of this series, the guys dive deeper into the story of turtle soup -- and how it soon gave rise to the more affordable, equally delicious 'mock turtle' soup. But what exactly is a mock turtle? Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Today it's uncommon to see turtle soup on most restaurant menus-- but, not too long ago, this was considered a top-notch delicacy, praised for its flavor, enjoyed by world leaders, and widely praised for its deep, unique flavor. In the first part of this series, the guys explore the heyday of turtle soup... and how it eventually led to the rise of mock turtle soup. Learn more about your ad-choices at
When a bug bit German inventor Carl Baunscheidt, he was struck with an epiphany of sorts -- could 'venting' the human body through the creation of artificial pores (today known as puncture wounds) allow a person to rid themselves of various diseases and medical infections? Tune in to learn more about the runaway success of Carl's handy, weirdly popular Lebensweker, or Life Awakener. Learn more about your ad-choices at
The Hatpin Peril

The Hatpin Peril


Nowadays, hatpins are a somewhat archaic fashion accessory--but at the turn of the century, they were often used as weapons to deter ne'er-do-wells and scoundrels. Tune in to learn how hatpins became a symbol of women's rights (and an international controversy). Learn more about your ad-choices at
In the second part of this series, the guys explore the story of Harrison Weir, "The Father of the Cat Fancy." Learn how Weir led the charge to save the reputation of felines in Europe and abroad through the creation of high-class cat shows--and how these otherwise wholesome displays of quality cats became increasingly classist. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Whether you love them or hate them, there's no denying that cats hold a unique position in human society. They're (in)famous for making their own way -- "I tolerate you," the cat seems to say to its owner, "but I do not need you." While modern civilization is pretty pro-cat, this wasn't always the case. In the first part of this series, the guys explore the waxing and waning reputation of felines throughout history, from ancient Egypt to the Middle Ages and beyond. Learn more about your ad-choices at
After literally getting away with murder, Dan Sickles joined the military, later leveraging the dubious events of his military career to reinvent himself as a war hero. Not everyone was convinced he was quite the paragon he purported to be. Learn more in the second part of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Daniel Sickles was a real pill. For a time, the wealthy New Yorker was famous for his philandering -- and then he became famous for not only murdering a man in broad daylight... but getting away with it by pleading temporary insanity. Learn more about this American scoundrel in part one of this two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at
As tuberculosis spread throughout the US, New York City banned spitting. Learn how the Ladies’ Health Protective Association saved the Big Apple from a pandemic--and paved the way for the vote. Learn more about your ad-choices at
In 1933, on his second expedition to Antarctica, Richard E. Byrd took the unusual, highly-publicized step of bringing some non-human crew along: Klondike Gay Nira, Deerfoot Guernsey Maid and Foremost Southern Girl. These three cows--four, if you count the one born in the course of the journey--were darlings of the US press both during and after the journey. But why did Byrd bring them to Antarctica in the first place? Learn more about your ad-choices at
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It's the first Ridiculous History episode of the New Year! Ben, Noel and Casey are ringing it in with some predictions--not their own predictions, mind you. Instead the guys are diving into the predictions of luminaries from ages past, exploring how much (or how little) these historical figures got right about the 21st century. Learn more about your ad-choices at
What a year, right? If you're listening to today's episode, you have (almost) officially survived. I'm ringing in 2021 with Noel, Casey and the rest of our Ridiculous Historians in this, the second part of our exploration into the very old roots of very New Years. Learn more about your ad-choices at
As 2020 (finally) draws to a close, people across the planet will celebrate the arrival of 2021 in any number of ways, including traditional foods, religious rites and more. But where do these rituals come from? Join Ben and Noel as they explore the long history of ringing in the New Year in the first part of this special two-part series. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Comments (253)

Jerry Stauffer

I'll judge. Sickles was a murdering, thieving, insubordinate, hypocritical whoremonger. That wasn't acceptable then, now or in the future.

Feb 4th

Sha Shep

I like these guys but cringe at their superficiality and ignorance. 'Cats' the musical is a stage treatment of 'Old Possums Book of Practical Cats' by T S Elliot. people are so stupid it makes me sad.

Jan 29th

Carl Scroggins

I'll be skipping this one.

Jan 21st

Terry Brown

l like the idea of this channel but it has way too much jabbering and mindless banter. Ten minutes in and you're still waiting for them to begin the story of whichever episode you want to hear. Mighty be great for some but not what I want to hear. Unsubscribing now.

Jan 13th


to be good luck....

Dec 5th

gilles st onge

prepare yourself. the quister shows up 20 mins in. just aweful. not 18th century aweful either. modern aweful.

Nov 23rd

Dara Pat

na.... no thanks on the Kesha thing I'd rather jam hot aids dripping needles in my ears 🙄

Nov 22nd

Michael Lawson

Lippy-zanner is the basic pronunciation of the world famous horses at the Spanish riding school in Vienna.

Nov 18th

Charrissa Huffman

me listening to this while literally drinking country time lemonade 👀

Nov 18th
Reply (1)

Michael Jiggens

Chris Eubank?

Nov 13th

Du Ko

poor puppy😪

Oct 30th

Kristy Gainey

sweet breads are internal organs not what you are

Sep 22nd

Joe Tucker

If you were speaking about the sea it is pronounced Caribbean with a hard a. If you were talking about the region and the people or the culture and cuisine. I think lol

Sep 8th

Joe Tucker

Johnny Depp‘s inspiration were in fact Keith Richards but also captain kangaroo

Sep 8th

Nellie Fly

reminds me of current: space farce

Sep 6th

Mandana Rouzkhosh

I enjoyed this episode thank you . just sacrificing is more than that completed and ridiculous

Aug 22nd

barkhad dahir


Jun 19th

Yasmine C

This was a fun episode, featuring the last years of the emperor portrayed in the tv series Rome.

Jun 4th

Wes Stone

Why are they pandering to this evolution denier? Take a stance and back yourselves, evolution and science are not a religion! exasperating...

May 31st

Wes Stone

This podcast had so much promise back when it started but they really struggle now to keep on topic. if there isn't enough content for a whole show, don't do it.

May 29th
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