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Underunderstood

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There are questions the internet just can't answer. But that doesn't mean we can't find them.

On each episode of Underunderstood, we find a question the internet can’t answer — maybe it’s a dead-end Wikipedia page, an abandoned Reddit thread, or an unanswered question on Twitter — and we fill in the gaps. It’s part chat show, part documentary, and almost always surprising.
61 Episodes
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Hollywood is stockpiling scripts for full seasons of unreleased television shows. Are they throwing them out or saving them for a rainy day? Want to support the show? Become a patron at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠https://patreon.com/underunderstood⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: Why Are TV Writers So Miserable? (The New Yorker) Hollywood Writers Strike (Democracy Now!)  Film and TV writers are striking (CNN) Writers strike focuses on whether AI could take jobs from screenwriters (CBS News) Writers On Set (George R. R. Martin’s Not A Blog) Alex O’Keefe (Linktree) The Bear (Hulu) 2023 Writers Guild Award for Comedy Series (YouTube) Reed Hastings on Colbert (YouTube) Amazon? HBO? Netflix thinks its real competitor is… sleep (CNBC) We Watched It All | Netflix (YouTube) Writers Are Not Keeping Up (wgacontract2023.org) Reed Hastings on Building a Streaming Empire (YouTube) Hollywoodstrike.org wgacontract2023.org
Sometimes the truth is stranger than the hoax. Want to support the show? Become a patron at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠https://patreon.com/underunderstood⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: even if it's fake it's real (sippey.com) Street View Birth (Andy Wyeth) turning random internet drama into songs, part 2 (Twitter) Lubalin on TikTok  Meet The Musician Turning Random Internet Drama Into TikTok Bops (Buzzfeed News)
John revisits a wild pitch about a mysterious television performer. Want to support the show? Become a patron at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠https://patreon.com/underunderstood⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: The first special (YouTube) 2002 thread on The Magic Cafe It's No Secret (Chicago Tribune, 1998) The unmasking (YouTube) The Masked Magician on Diagnosis Murder (YouTube) Virginia Magicians Sue Fox TV To Stop Revelation of Secrets (Washington Post, 1998) Street Magic Finally Revealed (YouTube) A trick from the fifth special (YouTube)
There’s a formula that dictates restaurant prices in New York City airports. Adrianne digs into what does — and doesn’t — add up. Want to support the show? Become a patron at ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://patreon.com/underunderstood⁠⁠⁠⁠ Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: Cooper Lund's tweet Concessionaire Street Pricing Manual (PDF) The Cibo Express website Why Does a Plastic-Wrapped Turkey Sandwich Cost $15 at the Airport? (Hell Gate)
Hunting for Manhunt

Hunting for Manhunt

2023-04-1955:222

An obscure pro wrestling-adjacent reality show from 2001 was mired in scandal. Was it really rigged? Want to support the show? Become a patron at ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://patreon.com/underunderstood⁠⁠⁠⁠. Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: Another Reality TV Show Is Under Fire (New York Times) Manhunt on IMDB The Stingray (Wayback Machine) Twenty-One (Wikipedia) Prohibited practices in contests of knowledge, skill, or chance (FCC) JK’s letter to the FCC (Wayback Machine) Steve Beverly’s letter to the FCC (Wayback Machine) Survivor rules: the contract that details pay, tie-breakers, prohibited behavior, and more (Reality Blurs)
MTV Cribs or MTV Fibs?

MTV Cribs or MTV Fibs?

2023-04-0548:003

Billy shares a new (old) segment, we examine how real MTV Cribs was, and an important update about the missing broccoli game! Want to support the show? Become a patron at ⁠⁠⁠https://patreon.com/underunderstood⁠⁠⁠. Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: (02:56) MTV Cribs Inside Travis Barker's Surprisingly Tranquil Calabasas Abode (Architectural Digest) 'I'm Into Cadillacs' Travis Barker's Home & Car Collection (MTV on YouTube) I Just Found Out That "Cribs" On MTV Was Kinda Fake And I Feel So USED (Buzzfeed) MTV Cribs Ja Rule (YouTube) Lawyer: Ja Rule Innocent in Club Clash (E! Online) Tony Hawk, JoJo & Ryan Nyquist (MTV on YouTube) Redman's Staten Island 'De La Casa' (MTV on YouTube) Redman | Drink Champs (YouTube) Redman: MTV Tried to Get Me to Rent a House for "Cribs" (YouTube) (35:44) Broccoli Game Follow-up FirestarterMethod’s comment (Reddit) ハゲパラ Let’s 育毛 (Appget) ハゲパラ〜おっさんの毛栽培ゲーム〜【育成・放置】 (APKPure)
Billy helps a listener uncover the true origins of a popular unreleased song. Want to support the show? Become a patron at ⁠⁠https://patreon.com/underunderstood⁠⁠. Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: Daft Punk – Pee Is Stored In The Balls (Full Unreleased Demo) (YouTube) Pee is Stored in the Balls (Know Your Meme) What’s the Deal With Boners? (Cosmopolitan) Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ leaks online (The Verge) Daft Punk – Pee Is Stored In The Balls (Alternate Mix) (YouTube) HOME – Resonance uploaded by Electronic Gems (YouTube) The Nostalgia of HOME’s Resonance, Explained (YouTube) Home’s verified artist page (Spotify) @RNDYGFFE on Twitter – tweet one, tweet two Pee Is Stored In The Balls (Unreleased Demo) playlist (Spotify) Did Daft Punk actually make pee is stored in the balls? (Reddit) After 8 years, I’ve managed to figure out what vocoder is responsible for the “Robot Voice” (Reddit) Randy’s original Tumblr post (slimetony.com) Randy’s tweet about music being free to use (Twitter) HOME – Odyssey (archive.org)
Mail Time!

Mail Time!

2023-03-2244:251

We take listener calls and emails about lost video games, plus a Triscuit update. Want to support the show? Become a patron at ⁠https://patreon.com/underunderstood⁠. Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: Slope Rider Slope Rider official website iOS Emulation Finally Cracked – Stop Skeletons From Fighting (YouTube) touchHLE, a high-level emulator for iPhone OS applications Timecoded link to ad in 2009 Apple event (YouTube) Monte Boyd’s Slope Rider thread on Mastodon macos9.app Stream Mixed-Up Mother Goose (1991, MS-DOS) (Internet Archive) Mixed-Up Mother Goose Deluxe (1995, Mac) (Macintosh Repository) UTM | Virtual machines for Mac Slope Rider download (Macintosh Repository) Slope Rider running (poorly) in UTM (YouTube, unlisted) Monte Boyd’s Commodore 64 games (itch.io) Monte Boyd’s website Broccoli Man Film restoration: Saving our cinema heritage – CBS Sunday Morning (YouTube) APKMirror and APKPure I know an APK is technically an installer package and not “an executable app file.” Don’t @ me. -Billy Triscuit Improvements in and relating to Apparatus for Baking Biscuit, Crackers and the like (Google Patents) Medical Press and Circular – July 29, 1903 (Google Books) The Sketch, Vol. 43 (Google Books) “Common wheat” on Wikipedia
Billy helps a listener return to VMK, the online world where they remember “learning all the bad words.” Want to support the show? Become a patron at https://patreon.com/underunderstood. Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: Expedition Theme Park’s video about VMK (YouTube) Sam from Expedition Theme Park also has a new podcast called Expedition Enthused One Name, Two Games: Virtual Magic Kingdom (Pop History) Habbo Hotel promotional videos from the mid-2000s (YouTube) Isometric video game graphics (Wikipedia) Amazing video about eBoy directed/edited by our editor Ryan Manning (YouTube) Virtual Magic Kingdom (Fandom) VMK Values (Disney VMK via Internet Archive) Fans protest end of virtual Disney site in front of Disneyland (Orange County Register via Internet Archive Investigation into Habbo Hotel (Channel 4) Preserving Worlds (Means TV) MyVMK
Writer Sage Boggs thought he discovered why Triscuit is called Triscuit. But the cracker brand has a confusing and mysterious relationship with its own name. A rough version of this story originally ran on our bonus podcast, Overunderstood. This updated version contains some new information and reporting. Want to support the show? Become a patron at https://patreon.com/underunderstood. Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: Sage’s viral tweet (Twitter) John’s original tweet to Triscuit (Twitter) Some old Triscuit advertisements (Twitter) Triscuit’s response to Sage (Twitter) Triscuit tweets about three ingredients (Twitter) “Filamentous cracker” patent (PDF) “Continuous heating and baking machine” patent Snopes article on this matter (Snopes) Charles Louis Richter questions the answer (Twitter)
More Than Just A Friend

More Than Just A Friend

2023-03-0134:332

Billy helps a listener track down a forgotten collaboration between Mario and Biz Markie. Want to support the show? Become a patron at https://patreon.com/underunderstood. Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: Mandela Effect (Wikipedia) Mario – Just A Friend (YouTube) Biz Markie – Just A Friend (YouTube) Biz Markie performing at The Apollo (YouTube) Freddie Scott – (You) Got What I Need (YouTube) Miley Cyrus – The Climb (YouTube) Grand Upright v. Warner Bros. (Wikipedia) Copyright Criminals (PBS) Sampling Wars (LA Times) De La Soul finally streams (Washington Post) How Copyright Law Hurts Music (The Atlantic) Albums you can’t find on streaming (CBC) Biz Markie on 30 years of ‘Just a Friend’ (EW) Beat Mann Sessions: With Biz Markie (Bandcamp) Mario at Glass City Expo 2002 (YouTube) Mario on The Early Show (YouTube) Mario on 93.5 KDAY (YouTube) Napster on CNN (YouTube) Usher Blames Album Delays On Napster Leaks (MTV News) Usher – Just A Friend (YouTube) Mario on Hot 104.1 (YouTube) Mario AOL Sessions interview (YouTube) Just A Friend 2002 (Old School Version) (YouTube) Just A Friend 2002 (feat. Biz Markie) (Spotify) Just A Friend 2002 (Radio Edit (Old School Version)) (Soundcloud) The Japanese CD version of Mario’s self-titled album also has the remix (Discogs) Biz Markie final interview (YouTube)
Raisin Suspicion

Raisin Suspicion

2023-02-2201:08:481

A Redditor starts receiving boxes full of 1980s memorabilia from the long-defunct California Raisins Fan Club. Who is sending this raisin mail? A different version of this story previously appeared in our bonus feed, Overunderstood. If you've already heard that episode, there's a lot of new material in this one. Want to support the show? Become a patron at https://patreon.com/underunderstood. Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: The first California Raisins TV commercial (YouTube) I received two packages/letters from a seemingly defunct california raisins fanclub at my home address with very rare 1980s collectors items (Reddit) thecaliforniaraisins.com https://dizzodesigns.com Were the California Raisins Created Because of Systemic Racism?(Mandatory) Mail #1 and #2 Mail #3 UPDATE: I received another package & letter from a seemingly defunct california raisins fanclub (Reddit) Archive of the sweatshirt eBay listing Mail #4 UPDATE 2: The Seemingly Defunct california raisins fanclub Has Once Again Sent Me A Bunch Of Assorted 80s Merch (Reddit) USPS Letters from Santa Mail #5 Bart Baggett’s website Bart’s handwriting comparisons (PDF)
Tough Calls

Tough Calls

2023-02-1538:412

We hear a message from a listener about a scam call. Then, Adrianne runs after a curious message on a city bus. Want to support the show? Become a patron at https://patreon.com/underunderstood. Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: How Can I Verify If a Debt Collector Is Legitimate? (CFPB) "EMERGENCY CALL POLICE" on MTA Bus Destination (Reddit) Bus with signs reading “Emergency! Call police” and “Help! Call 911”? (Reddit) Bus Messaging (Reddit) Opie and Anthony clip (YouTube) Man attacks MTA bus with driver, passengers inside (Fox 5 New York) Aaron Gordon's current newsletter, Urbababble When a Bus Driver Told a Rider to Wear a Mask, ‘He Knocked Me Out Cold’ (NYT)
A listener question sends Billy on a deep dive into an MTV reality show. Want to support the show? Become a patron at https://patreon.com/underunderstood. Have a mystery? Email hello@underunderstood.com or leave a voicemail at 212-994-4882‬. Show notes: A Deep Dive into ‘Just Tattoo of Us’, the Greatest Show on British Television – Vice ‘Just Tattoo of Us’ Is the Best Worst Show on TV – The Wrap Just Tattoo of Us: like getting waterboarded by a Ministry of Sound compilation – The Guardian Top 3 Harshest Tattoos – JTOU U.K. on YouTube Snooki And Nico Tortorella Talk New Show ‘How Far Is Tattoo Far?’ – Today on YouTube Snooki & Nico Tortorella’s Tattoo Reality Show Is TV’s Biggest Emotional Roller Coaster – Refinery29 Girl forced to get ‘S**T’ emblazoned on her bum – The Mirror This ‘Ballsy’ Tattoo Is Petty As Hell – MTV on YouTube Ephemeral On “How far is tattoo far” by Snooki, are the tattoo’s real or fake ? – Reddit Contestants on MTV’s ‘How Far Is Tattoo Far?’ Get More Than a Free Tattoo – Distractify dollarztatu’s post on Instagram Angelina on HFITF’ – MTV on YouTube Angelina’s tattoo visible on Instagram: May 25, 2021, March 28, 2022, May 25, 2022 Does Angelina have a tattoo of… her engagement ring? – Reddit @darcywindebank22’s video on TikTok Screenshot of Darcy’s tattoo Darcy on HFITF – MTV on YouTube BDave on HFITF – MTV BDave’s tattoo visible on YouTube: June 2019, October 2020, January 2023 Connor and Trevor showing their tattoos, March 2019 – YouTube Darcy talking about her HFITF experience – YouTube MTV has not yet responded to our request for comment.
Sleuth Songs

Sleuth Songs

2022-04-2648:061

Who sang the Cole Porter songs in the 1972 film "Sleuth"? This is an episode of our bonus patron-only show, Overunderstood. To support the show and hear Overunderstood every week, join our Patreon! Show notes: Sleuth (Wikipedia) Sleuth (IMDb) The Sleuth Saga Carries On (Reddit) The scene in question (YouTube) Cole Porter sings "Anything Goes" (YouTube) Thread on the Soundtrack Collector forum Massive thread on the IMDb 2.1 forum "One More Kiss, Dear" (YouTube) A page of the Sleuth cue sheet
John goes on a quest to find a sticker that may or may not have existed. Support Underunderstood and get our bonus podcast by joining our Patreon! Show notes: 04:00 – Mark Goodman and the dial position sticker (YouTube) 07:12 – MTV Your Favorite Music Promo (YouTube) 07:56 – Worthpoint 14:12 – Our theme song and other music is available to stream 22:45 – Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! commercial voiced by Jan Gabriel (YouTube) 26:54 – A detailed discussion about this setup and MTV specifically (Radio Discussions)
Billy investigates a theory that Apple products are packaged with a signature fragrance. Want to join us for "the world's largest trivia contest"? Visit https://underunderstood.com/trivia to sign up. Support Underunderstood and get our bonus podcast by joining our Patreon! Show notes: 02:00 – Kevin Purdy 02:10 – iFixit 02:22 – Carbon Switch 02:26 – ImportYeti 02:39 – #importyeti on TikTok 04:14 – Apple on ImportYeti 04:34 – GrandPerspective 09:50 – H.S. Code: 330720 Personal Deodorants - ImportYeti 11:50 – Does Apple intentionally make its products' packaging smell compelling? - Quora 15:23 – 90FM Trivia 15:40 – A video we worked on about the trivia contest 16:17 – Join our trivia team by signing up here! 18:20 – Joanna Stern 20:46 – Joanna tweeting about the new MacBook smell in in 2012 and 2014 21:28 – New Mac Candle - Twelve South (archive.org) 22:10 – New Mac Candle Hands-on - 9to5Mac 25:25 – Dave Applegate - LinkedIn 26:54 – Copy of Apple CSV file 27:36 – Google results for ASA Apple Inc. 29:32 – Similar data on Zauba 30:17 – How Do We Get This Data? - ImportYeti (YouTube) 31:48 – Apple Has Increased Use of Cargo Ships - MacRumors 33:00 – Items under code 330720 with "personal effects" in the description - Zauba 35:52 – Why do Apple stores all smell the way they do? - Quora 36:35 – What is a fact that you know about Apple products that most people don't know? - Quora 38:48 – Packaging PD team job listing - Apple 45:46 – Monkeys Spinning Monkeys by Kevin MacLeod
We were honored to be guests on Twenty Thousand Hertz’s annual Mystery Sound competition, where the four of us competed to name a variety of obscure sounds. We’re sharing that episode now. Plus, some personal news! Twenty Thousand Hertz tells the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds. Listen in your favorite podcast app. Support Underunderstood and listen to over 60 episodes of our bonus podcast by joining our Patreon! For updates on how to join us for the world’s largest trivia contest, keep an eye on our Twitter and Instagram.
An end of the year two-part episode! First, where do Trivial Pursuit questions come from? And then, why is it so hard to find a Pizza Hut Classic? Show notes: Trivial Pusuit 02:53 – The Ultimate List of Every Trivial Pursuit Version Ever Created (Trivia Bliss) 04:28 – My life as a Trivial Pursuit question writer (Darryn King) 12:45 – Fred Worth's appeal after losing a copyright case against Trivial Pursuit (Justia) 16:43 – Not-so-trivial errors (BoardGameGeek) Pizza Hut Classic 24:40 – Used to Be a Pizza Hut 25:29 – Warren Pizza Hut reopens as Pizza Hut Classic (WFMJ) 26:48 – Pizza Hut Classic - Warren, Ohio (Valley Spotlight on YouTube) 28:13 – Warren Pizza Hut Classic (@rolandopujol on Instagram) 30:11 – Eureka Springs, AR location (Ramblin' Backroads on YouTube) 32:46 – Craig Robinson Pizza Hut Commercial (Instagram) 33:56 – The Retrologist The current list of known Pizza Hut Classic locations: Warren, OH Kilmarnock, VA Bryson City, NC Tunkhannock, PA Sayre, PA Spring Lake Park, MN Wadena, MN Park Rapids, MN Eureka Springs, AR Dahlonega, GA Clayton, GA Lavonia, GA Carrizo Springs, TX Fairfield, TX Unconfirmed: Bloomfield, IA Weatherford, TX
These pop singers thought they were going to be the first band in space. What happened? Support the show and listen to over 50 episodes of our bonus podcast by joining our Patreon! Show notes: 02:50 – NASA on mission to planet pop (New Scientist) 04:57 – Put Your Arms Around Me (Natural/YouTube) 06:32 – I Love the USA (Weezer/YouTube) 11:45 – Steve Kipner 15:35 – Claire's press release 19:48 – Journalism about Lou Pearlman from The New Yorker, Tyler Gray, and Lance Bass Productions 25:29 – Veit Renn 35:27 – Danny O'Donoghue (Wikipedia) 40:25 – Columbia Disaster: What happened and what NASA learned 47:25 – Jon Fuller's website / Spotify / Apple Music
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Comments (6)

rolf

so gross that all the people you interviewed were men

Apr 5th
Reply

Brian Crawford

Hi gang...just wanted to point out some misreporting on your part. The 5500 page bill you're referring to at the end of this episode was not the covid relief bill, it was in fact the omnibus budget bill that funds the entire federal government. The covid relief bill was rolled into this much larger bill so that it could be handled through the budget reconciliation process. The assertion that there was a lot of nonsensical stuff jammed into the covid release bill is simply incorrect. There has been a good deal of confusion concerning this issue. Thanks, I always enjoy the podcast, keep up the good work.

Mar 5th
Reply

Aaron

This is excellent. I didn't buy into this conspiracy, and you covered it really well. Very entertaining.

Dec 18th
Reply (1)

R. Wagoner

Great show, fun, entertaining, and the 4+host mesh well together.

Dec 5th
Reply (1)
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