I don’t know about you, but I love trivia game shows! The BBC’s Pointless, Cash Cab (let’s be honest, who doesn’t dream of getting picked up by Ben Bailey and having those iconic Cash Cab lights go off?) and Jeopardy are just some of the trivia game-show greats. And my newest fix is Jame’s Corden’s latest segment on The Late Late Show, Know For Your Row. It’s like Trivia Night on steroids! First of all, you’re answering these questions in front of the entire studio audience, as well as pretty much the entire planet – which is scary enough in and of itself! But where this game really ups the ante is that you’re not just playing for yourself, but for your entire row. The aim is for each member of the row to answer their question right, and if the whole row succeeds, then everyone wins a cash prize, which is amazing! However, what’s not-so-amazing is if you miss your question, the next row has the chance to take over where you left off. And you get to endure the disappointed looks of your row mates for the rest of the show! Talk about pressure! And so just in case you or I ever find ourselves roaming the streets of New York with Ben Bailey, or we’re facing off against James Corden, we’ve put together a list of podcasts that will help amp up your trivia game and boost your general knowledge, ensuring that you’ll be well on your way to trivia glory.
1. No Such Thing As A Fish
We start off our list with one of the best-loved general knowledge boosting podcasts out there, No Such Thing As A Fish, brought to our ears straight from the QI offices by the self-professed QI elves. Each week, the researchers for the hit British show QI, Dan, James, Anna, and Andy, who do all the hard work behind the scenes share all the bizarre, strange, and down-right unusual information they discovered during their week of research. You’ll always come away from a listen having learned some many strange and wonderful things, and the chemistry between the four hosts ensure that this show is entertaining, as well as enlightening. Each topic is well-researched, interesting, and the discussion which follows often uncovers even more fascinating facts. With just one listen you’ll be hooked! And I’ll wager that you’ll be sharing all that you’ve learned with at least one person each week!
2. Stuff You Should Know
Another long-running and well-loved general knowledge-centered podcast is Stuff You Should Know. Brought to you by Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark, this award-winning podcast, affectionately abbreviated SYSK, focuses on answering all those strange questions we never knew we needed the answer to until this show. And while they are definitely not subject experts, and don’t claim to be, Chuck and Josh come to the table having researched the topic thoroughly and have usually gleaned all sorts of interesting information to share with their listeners, allowing you to learn with them. Their friendship and natural chemistry ring true throughout each episode, making for an easy listen, not to mention keeping you entertained with great banter. Episodes come out bi-weekly, so you have plenty of interesting things to learn if you’re planning on starting way back at the beginning when the show first aired in 2008. So if you want to how Pez works, learn more about the Mona Lisa, or you want to know why time speeds up as we age, then Stuff You Should Know should be the podcast for you.
3. In Our Time
A beloved British favorite, In Our Time, has been on the air for over 20 years, first airing in 1998. It’s since made the leap to podcast and has garnered an even bigger fan base. With Melvyn Bragg at the helm (at an impressive 78 years of age, by the way!) along with a panel of experts, each week they discuss topics from vast and varied subjects with wonderful depth. Bragg, while not being an expert himself, guides and governs the discussion in an old-timey style while allowing his guests to divulge their knowledge by the bucket load. The show’s format contains none of the traditional “seasons” or “arcs” and so you’ll learn about all sorts of things the more you tune in. Whether coffee, Lawrence of Arabia, or Frankenstein is the topic of the day, you can be guaranteed that the subject will be explored in all the depth, width, and height you could want. So if you enjoy intellectual, round-table discussions with a spot of English tea, then In Our Time will deliver all that and more by the cupful.
4. 99% Invisible
While 99% Invisible is a podcast focusing mainly on the power and process of design, you’ll quickly discover so much you didn’t know or even think about when it comes to all that happens in the world around us. The show is also really well-produced and is incredibly thought-provoking! You’ll constantly find yourself shaking your head slightly, whispering, “I didn’t know that!” And what starts off as an unraveling of the effect of design and how things function, becomes a remarkable journey into the intricate details, odd stories, and strange facts that make up the world in which we live. The topics are truly fascinating, whether they are light and humorous, or dark and mysterious, they are all researched and compiled with expert precision. Without a doubt, you’ll look at the world with new eyes and an elevated level of appreciation after spending a little bit of time with Roman Mars and 99% Invisible. And you’ll definitely discover at least a 99% increase in what you know (or thought you knew!) about the world at the end of every episode.
Some Trivia Fun
To end off this list, we thought it would be fun to include some trivia podcasts that take the shape of trivia quizzes. Not only are these shows a great way to put your knowledge to the test, but you’ll also learn heaps of new things from the wide variety of questions that are asked. From celebrities to laugh-out-loud comedy, there’ll definitely be something for everyone. So if you wish Quiz Night was every night, then you should most certainly give these shows a listen!
1. Quiz Quiz Bang Bang Trivia
If you’re into pub quizzes or wanting to gain a little confidence before taking up the challenge, then Quiz Quiz Bang Bang Trivia is just the podcast you have been searching for. It’s a weekly pub quiz practice show, covering every topic under the sun to help you flex that quizzing muscle and get you ready to take your place as the next quiz champion. For three shows in the month, you’ll get straight-up questions and answers from hosts Annie and David Flora, and the fourth show brings together some of their friends for a live quiz challenge…and a whole lotta laughter! Annie and David are really fun hosts, and true trivia buffs, who will make you laugh out loud as you store up all that knowledge. It’s a really great way to get you a sought-after player on any quiz team.
2. Go Fact Yourself
Go Fact Yourself brings us new episodes twice a month. Host J. Keith van Straaten and co-host Helen Hong have created a platform that brings together a plethora of celebrities to test their knowledge, usually with hilarious results. Another angle making this show stand out from the rest is that it is recorded in front of a live studio audience – just for a little added pressure. There are multiple rounds of challenges, and the guests also bring in their own subjects of expertise, which will have you learning facts from a wide variety of really random topics. FUN FACT, I now have a whole lot of facts about Zambonis and Chuck E. Cheese that I never knew I needed! If you’re looking to load up on weird and wonderful facts, then you should definitely Go Fact Yourself.
3. Ask Me Another
Another entertaining trivia podcast is Ask Me Another. It’s a fun, quirky show full of comedy, celebrities, and a whole lot of laughs. There are a whole bunch of different rounds, and you’re bound to find your area of expertise as you learn tons of both serious and bizarre facts along the way. It’s entertaining to the max and the different formats are really creative, making it both educational, as well as just a fun, feel-good listen. Big-name celebs like Matthew McConaughey, Kristin Chenoweth, and Terry Crews (seriously, just to name a few!) add a really fun dynamic to this wonderful show. You’ll get so into it, you’ll need to be careful to not yell out the answers with gusto when listening in public!
4. Trivia With Budds
Trivia With Budds is a daily trivia podcast that is fun for the whole family. Hosted by Ryan Budds, this podcast covers a wide variety of topics but with a particular focus on all things pop culture. Ryan hosts in an upbeat and enthusiastic manner, making this a really fun listen while you put your general knowledge to the test. As it’s family-friendly, this show would make a great addition to any road trip podcasts you’ve got lined up, as it will keep everyone entertained for hours as you fight for the honor of Trivia Champion. It’s also a great show to bring a little more joy to your commute as Ryan is also a comedian in his own right and you’ll most certainly reach the end of each episode with a great, big smile on your face and a plenty new trivia in your brain.
There you have it, our list of fantastic general knowledge podcasts, proving that learning can be seriously fun! The world is so full of incredible things to learn and wonderful discoveries to be made that you’ll never run out of truths that will blow your mind or information you can’t wait to share. So whether you want to hold your own at the next pub quiz, or dazzle your friends and family with your impressive general knowledge, there are some truly great podcasts out there to help quench your thirst for knowledge and get you filled up on facts. With all those random facts and interesting tidbits of information, you’ll be a key conversation starter, a regular fountain of knowledge, and who knows, you may one day find yourself answering your way to trivia stardom.
Are there any other trivia gems we should check out? Share them with us in the comments!