Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know, often abbreviated as SYSK, is a free podcast published by Discovery Communications via its HowStuffWorks website and hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, both writers at HowStuffWorks. Clark has been a mainstay on the podcast since it began in 2008. The podcast, released every Tuesday and Thursday, educates listeners on a wide variety of topics, often using popular culture as a reference giving the podcast comedic value.

Episodes are normally around 30 minutes in length, although for more in-depth topics the show has run as long as an hour. Initial episodes were much shorter in duration, often less than 10 minutes. The podcast covers a variety of odd questions and topics, like ‘How Twinkies Work,’ ‘Do Zombies Exist?,’ ‘How Tickling works,’ and ‘How Albert Einstein’s Brain Worked.’

In 2011, the podcast added ‘Bonus Videos’ to the podcast feed. These consist of humorous 60 second videos where Clark and Bryant converse about subjects they covered on previous podcast episodes while doing a variety of random activities (playing checkers, getting fitted for a suit, going to a doctor, driving through a car wash). As they speak, the scene changes repeatedly to something completely different, though their conversation continues uninterrupted as though nothing had happened.

Starting in 2009, the show became highly active in encouraging listeners to donate to the online microlending site Kiva. Their lending team has since consistently ranked among the top five teams in terms of both donations and users, and has contributed well over one million dollars. A full-length ‘Stuff You Should Know’ TV show is set to premiere on Science Channel. Discovery describes the show as a ‘genre-bending’ series about a real podcast that is set in a fictional world. Each episode will follow Josh and Chuck inside and outside the recording booth, combining the factual information of their podcast with humorous, fictional story lines that align with each podcast topic.


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