Freakonomics Radio Live! brings to the stage the uncommon, inquisitive journalism that is a hallmark of our studio podcast — but in an unscripted and freewheeling format. Host Stephen J. Dubner invites exceptional guests to join him in front of an audience for conversations that are interesting, entertaining, unexpected, and occasionally ridiculous.
Freakonomics Radio Live! began in 2017 as a game show called Tell Me Something I Don’t Know. The name and the structure of the show have changed, but the spirit remains. Guests try to wow Stephen and and the audience with a fascinating fact — a historical wrinkle, a new line of research — anything, really, as long as it’s interesting, useful and true. At the end, the audience gets to vote for their favorite — and everyone goes home feeling a little bit smarter. Think of the most crackling, unforgettable, inimitable dinner-party conversation you can imagine.
If you’d like to listen to past episodes of Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, go here.
In this live episode of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” we learn why New York has skinny skyscrapers, how to weaponize water, and what astronauts talk about in space. Joining Stephen J. Dubner as co-host is the linguist John McWhorter; Bari Weiss (The New York Times) is the real-time fact-checker.
This week, we work on our survival skills: in the desert, on the tundra, and growing food in abandoned warehouses. Actress Sas Goldberg is co-host; A.J. Jacobs (author of It’s All Relative) is live fact-checker.
Things we learn this week: dogs aren't so great at sniffing, men aren't so lazy, and New York doesn't smell so bad (anymore). Gail Simmons (Top Chef) is co-host; Jon Batiste plays his melodica for us; the live fact-checker is Mike Maughan.
We filled this episode with insights about the true value of ground beef, sleeping in, company names, and more. Alex Wagner (CBS This Morning Saturday, The Atlantic) is our special guest co-host, with AJ Jacobs (author of It's All Relative) as real-time fact-checker.
Mary Roach (author of Stiff, Spook, Bonk, Gulp, and Grunt) is our special guest co-host, with AJ Jacobs (author of It's All Relative) as real-time fact-checker. If the promise of tractor beams doesn't pull you in, our guests also explore robotic fish, counting to infinity, and more.
Alex Guarnaschelli (Iron Chef America and Chopped) is our special guest co-host, with Sean Rameswaram (Radiolab Presents: More Perfect) as real-time fact-checker. Tell Me Something I Don't Know explores the origins of food words, children's menus, and seltzer.
Hari Kondabolu (comedian and host of Politically ReActive) is our special guest co-host, with Sean Rameswaram (Radiolab Presents: More Perfect) as real-time fact-checker. Tell Me Something I Don't Know reaches into our “grab bag” for fascinating facts on the downside of keeping secrets, the origin of fantasy sports, what pronunciations say about our politics, and more.
Alexandra Petri (Washington Post columnist) is our special guest co-host, with AJ Jacobs (author of It's All Relative) as real-time fact-checker. TMSIDK covers everything from birth to earth, including pregnancy tests, parenting, monogamy, aging better, and, finally, embalming.