What gives three comedians the right to talk about the world of science in an educational matter every week? Peer reviewed stories found on Google? Entertainment? Free speech? No matter what the answer to that question is, it doesn’t matter because the result is hilarious and sometimes educational.
Started back in January 2012, Probably Science was headed up by Andy Wood, Matt Kirshen and Brooks Whelan, a former engineer, a Mathematics graduate from Clare College, Cambridge and a biomedical test engineer, respectively. All equally funny in their own right, the team would talk the latest science news each week with a rotating list of guests. Unfortunately for the show but fortunately for the state of American comedy, Brooks left the show in early 2013 as he went on to write and perform on Saturday Night Live. Soon enough, the hysterical Jesse Case joined the podcast and the team was as strong as ever.
Since then, the show has had over one hundred and seventy episodes with an impressive guest list that has included Chris Hardwick, Celia Pacquola, Karen Gillan, Wil Anderson, Adam Buxton and many more. Although, the guests haven’t always been as amazing as that and the show had a slight controversy when the guest, Gallagher stepped over the PC line at a live recording. Luckily, Peter Serafinowicz, who was also a guest at the recording was amazingly funny and shut Gallagher up spectacularly. Not only does the trio grab some impressive comedy names but they have also had some remarkable guests from the world of science. Brian Cox, Dipak Srinivasan from the New Horizons crew, spider monkey expert Dr. Christina Campbell and NASA space oddity Chris Hadfield are among the multitude of brilliant science guests.
The smallest of the Probably Science spinoffs, Probably History has only ever had four episodes. Don’t let that retract from the show’s edu-tainment value, the research and the jokes are always up to the same standard of its parent podcast. The show follows pretty much the same formula as Probably Science, with Jesse, Andy, and sometimes Matt talking with a guest either versed in the world of history or comedy. Christmas, Pompeii, the Borgias and video games are the topics that have been covered over the four episodes which provide a bounty of interesting facts and dick jokes.
The podcast was released on the original feed and have since disappeared from iTunes but luckily the entire back catalogue can all be found on the Probably Science website. This website also contains links to stories and other references from the shows which is incredibly helpful and the quite rare extra mile for a podcast to travel. If you can’t be bothered to go to the website you can also find the hyperlinks in the description for the podcast on the podcast app.
It’s a shame that this podcast exists, not because it’s bad by any means but because well you can probably gather from the title, it means Jesse has cancer. Now cancer can be a delicate topic for some and it’s understandable that some people would rather not talk about the disease. As for Jesse, he has made it quite clear that he is very open on the topic, hence the podcast.
Announcing on Twitter in early June that he had colon cancer(of course that’s the kind of cancer a comedian would get), Jesse moved from L.A. back to his home town of Nashville and began documenting his life living with cancer. The show has only had three shows as of yet and in the style of Probably Science they have all been hilariously entertaining and very informative. What makes Jesse Vs Cancer stand-out is Jesse’s honesty and differing views on the subject. Generally in the media and pop culture, cancer patients are portrayed as victims to be pitied or people angry at the world and their bad luck. Jesse on the other hand, is neither here nor there and he is quite vocal on how cancer doesn’t just affect the patient but everyone close to them and he is far from being a victim, making it clear that he is going to take the fight head on.
Advertising can be very important to a podcast and Jesse Vs Cancer has got worst/funniest, depending on how you look at it, in Dodge. That is the beauty of the show, tackling such a dower topic with comedy. Still we are hoping this podcast ends soon because we are all on Jesse’s side. Of course we are, who is ever on the side of cancer?