Josh Clark (left) and Chuck Bryant host the popular "Stuff You Should Know" podcast, which has been turned into a 30-minute mockumentary-style show on Science Channel, debuting 10 p.m. on January 19, 2013.
One of the most popular podcasts in America is "Stuff You Should Know," hosted by two Atlanta podcasters who work for How Stuff Works, an information portal located in Buckhead. The show is downloaded about 5 million times a month.
Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, twice a week for the past five years, gab about a variety of topics, educating while entertaining. Recent topics: "Does the five-second rule work?" "Can you out-run an alligator in a zig-zag?" "How Bigfoot works."
They now have a TV show on the Science Channel debuting January 19 at 10 p.m., but it's not an exact visual rendition of the podcast.
Instead, the pair play fictional versions of themselves with an actor as their ruthless boss (and not at all like their actual boss). They address topics using storylines they created such as a fan arriving at the office pretending to have "Alien Hand Syndrome." "It's such a weird, rare condition, lousy with comedic implications," Bryant said. The most random moment in that episode: Rufus Wainwright plays a waiter who suddenly croons in Spanish at a restaurant. Later episodes address CSI work, time travel, flesh-eating bacteria, artificial intelligence and bees.
"We made ourselves fairly likable," Bryant said.
"I emerge as the guy who gets beat up whenever someone needs to get beat up," Clark said.
Science commissioned ten episodes.
While they aren't sure how long the TV program will last, they have no shortage of topics to address for the podcast for years to come. "We haevn't touched the tip of the iceberg," Bryant said. (But they have done a podcast on icebergs.)
Their methodology for each podcast: both research an agreed-upon topic but don't consult with each other. They just hit the airwaves and spontaneously share what they know - though it's not a contest of who knows more. "That would make for terrible episodes," Clark said.
Clark, between the two of them, is more the Cliff Clavin of the duo, more likely to spout off random factoids. "Sometimes, I have to put the brakes on it," he said. "It can be annoying."
Their fans range from stay-at-home moms to professors to college students. They even heard someone teaching grammar/English lessons in prison using the podcast. Actress Kristen Bell ("House of Lies") is reportedly a regular listener. "The singer of Evanescence," Bryant said. "Her father's a fan."
Bryant hopes that people who enjoy the podcast will get the wry humor on the TV show. "We have a little fun with science," he said. "We hope people come away learning something."
"Stuff You Should Know," 10 p.m. Saturdays, Science Channel, starting January 19