Podcast of the week: Drunk Safari

This addictive podcast delves into fascinating aspects of the animal kingdom

Drunk Safari combines jokes and hard science

Drunk Safari combines jokes and hard science

 

When it comes to podcasts, I love structure – a solid framework within which a story is told, chaos wreaked or fear built. The Adam Buxton Podcast has perfected this: a loose chat format wherein the host tells the listener in the first minutes exactly what is about to play out. This week’s podcast has a structure that operates almost like a party game.

The host, writer Maggie Tokuda Hall, interviews comics, storytellers, writers and sometimes even scientists, about their favourite (or least favourite) animal. Animals and how they live are a fantastic, bottomless well of interesting facts. This is highly addictive listening – I got through six episodes in one go.

The same questions are answered in every episode. What is the collective noun for this animal? What time of day is it active? If you had to explain this animal to a space alien, how would you do so? These function as a framework for fascinating, playful explanations of animal life. The guests are rarely experts but have done the research on their animal of choice.

Meg Ellison’s episode on the Christmas Island crab is particularly fascinating and horrifying: the guest’s intense hatred of the creature makes for a great listen. Drunk Safari combines jokes and hard science in episodes that generally last about 30-60 minutes and move at a rapid pace.

Proof that a party game between two interesting people can feel like a party for the listener, too.

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