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Electric Enthusiasm

Electric Enthusiasm

By Katie Cobalt and Alexander Kjerulf
This podcast celebrates unironic enthusiasm. Your hosts, both highly experienced enthusiasts, take each other (and you) on tours of topics that are fun, fascinating and exciting.

Topics include historical figures, media, music, science, movies, books, comic books and much more. There are sometimes guests who share their enthusiasms.

There are detours into even weirder topics, as the fancy strikes us. Listen for the three words you love to hear: "By the way..."
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Currently playing episode

Cha Chaan Teng: Hong Kong's Bizarre East/West Fusion Diners

Electric Enthusiasm

Dune, the novel - 1000 times better than the movie(s)
Now that Villeneuve's Dune movie is finally coming out in America, it's time for Alex to try to convince Katie to read a book that is notoriously long and complex... but ultimately so worth it. Dune is the best-selling science fiction novel of all time. It was written by American author Frank Herbert, and came out in 1965, over 50 years ago, but contains themes and ideas that make it relevant to this day. This episode has NO SPOILERS for either the book or the movie. BTWs include: What Tolkien thought of Dune - Connections between Game of Thrones and Dune - What went wrong with David Lynch's AWFUL 1984 Dune movie - Why it's a good thing that Ridley Scott's attempt to film Dune failed. In the moment of meta we talk about the concept of FLOW and how it relates to enthusiasm. Get full show notes and links or leave a comment at
October 20, 2021
Cha Chaan Teng: Hong Kong's Bizarre East/West Fusion Diners
In this episode we talk food and that gets Katie REALLY excited as she shares her enthusiasm for Hong Kong's Cha Chaan Tengs - cheap informal diners that serve a bizarre but delicious Asian take on the western food that the British served in their restaurants. Hear about the pineapple buns that contain zero pineapple, the deep fried peanut butter french toast and Katie's mom's favorite midnight snack: macaroni soup. Katie even gets Alex to make some Hong Kong milk tea and try it on the show... hear how he likes it. BTWs include: Why you never drink the first tea they bring you in a Cha Chaan Teng - The most disgusting food Anthony Bourdain ever tasted - Impulsive tattoos Moment Of Meta In the Moment Of Meta we talk about the research that shows that enthusiasm is good for you and can lead to more happiness and a better sex life. Katie and Alex also take a test that reveals their top strengths and biggest weaknesses. Get the links and full show notes or leave a question/comment at
October 13, 2021
Swing Guitar - Preserving A Legacy With Enthusiasm (And Spite)
Jonathan Stout is incredibly enthusiastic about preserving the legacy of swing guitar and honoring the people who created and developed the genre. Swing music is amazing but real swing music that actually sounds like it did in the 30s and 40s is depressingly rare these days. Modern jazz musicians tend to look down on swing jazz and even when they do try to play it, they don't do it right and it ends up sounding more like modern jazz. Jonathan is a band leader and guitarist specializing in pre bebop jazz guitar. He leads eight different bands, but is best known for Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five and the Jonathan Stout Orchestra, both of which he co-leads with Hilary Alexander. His bands have been heralded as some of the world's premier swing dance bands. Hear about how Jonathan went from heavy metal electric guitar to jazz music, his incredible collection of vintage guitars and what "white whale" guitar he dreams of getting his hands on and the time he got the thumbs-up from Norma Miller, one of the original swing dance performers BTWs include racism in jazz and the producer who discovered Billy Holiday, Count Basie, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and MANY others. In our Moment of Meta we talk about the fourth enthusiandment: Thou shalt not fake enthusiasm! Get the links and full show notes or leave a question/comment at
October 7, 2021
Avatar The Last Airbender - The Cartoon That Will Save The World
Avatar The Last Airbender is on paper a kids cartoon show... but it's also so much more than that. Over three seasons it tells a story that is poignant, thrilling, funny and - above all - hopeful. Pretty good timing of Netflix to get it onto their service in 2020, just when we all needed a dose of positivity. Hear all about this amazing show, including: A redemption story that beats even Kylo Ren. Uncle Iroh's life lessons. Kickass female characters. What kind of bender Katie and Alex would each love to be... but what they probably are instead. Why the live-action movie sucked so badly. BTWs include: The Aristotelian world view Whatever happened to M. Night Shyamalan? The concept of redemption and the tragic story of an Amish school shooting. Avatar sightings at the recent Olympic games in Tokyo. And yes, we do end up ragging on Game of Thrones. Again. In your moment of meta, we explain the 3rd. enthusiandment: Make sure to share your enthusiasms. Get the links and full show notes or leave a question/comment at Links Avatar The Last Airbender on Netflix (NOT in Denmark, though). Xiran Jay Zhao videos on Cultural Inspiration in Avatar. Aristotelian physics - earth, air, fire and water.
September 29, 2021
Modesty Blaise - A 1000 Times Cooler Than James Bond
Modesty Blaise kicks as much butt as 007 but she does it with way more style and way less borderline rape. Meet the coolest action heroine of the 60s who began her adventures in newspaper comic strips before making her way into novels and some shockingly bad movies. Hear about how feminist and modern the stories are for their time (or any time), including sex positivity, nudity and consent-based sex and how incredibly rare and awesome it is that Modesty (a woman) was the clear leader and Willie Garvin (a man) was her faithful follower (not slave). Alex also delivers a heartfelt plea for Netflix (or someone... anyone) to make a Modesty Blaise show. Both so he can watch it but also to annoy the hell out of all the Men's Rights Activists and conservative pundits. BTWs include: Pulp Fiction and what Vincent Vega was reading on the toilet in Butch's apartment What Katie's mom and Quentin Tarantino have in common Shoehorned romance subplots and why they suck Beverly Hills 90210 and Buffy The Vampire Slayer The trope where every time someone enjoys something, bad stuff often follows In our Moment Of Meta, Katie talks about the doll called Electric Enthusiasm, which to Alex's surprise is definitely not a sex doll. Get the links and full show notes or leave a question/comment at
September 21, 2021
The Banjo - Loud, Fun And... Sexy?
People have a LOT of misconceptions about the banjo and often dismiss it as the instrument of hillbillies or rednecks. But did you know that it's an instrument with a huge history and tradition that can be both loud, fun and... sexy? Our guest enthusiast in this episode is Daniel Rodrigues, a Portuguese jazz musician living in Copenhagen where he plays in several different jazz bands and he is VERY enthusiastic about the banjo. Daniel takes us on a journey of the banjo, that includes: Why it's the most fun instrument How to find success and fame as a banjo player The weirdest song he's ever played on a banjo The best jokes people tell about the banjo And yes, the movie Deliverance does come up. BTWs include: A fantastic connection between the banjo and Harpo Marx, the subject from our very first episode. Game of Thrones. In our Moment of Meta we talk about the single most important rule of enthusiasts everywhere: Don't yuck someone else's yum. Get the links and full show notes or leave a question/comment at
September 15, 2021
Josephine Baker - The Most Interesting Woman in the World
Singer, dancer, entertainer... but also civil rights activist and spy for France during WWII. Josephine Baker truly is the most interesting woman in the world. Hear all about her amazing life, including her cheetah that would often escape its leash and (encouraged by the audience) menace the band and how she adopted 12 children of different races to form a "rainbow tribe". BTWs include: Celebrity nicknames Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" The Trial of the Chicago 7 In our Moment Of Meta, Alex talks about one of the "commandments of enthusiasm" (or enthusiandments as he insists on calling them over Katie's strong objections) namely that any topic can be fascinating when presented with enthusiasm. Get the links and full show notes or leave a question/comment at
September 9, 2021
Harpo Marx - The Happiest Nudist In Hollywood
Harpo Marx (of the Marx Brothers) was a genius of physical comedy but, maybe more impressively, he was a nice and fun person who lived a truly happy life. Raised in a poor Jewish family on Manhattan and thrown out of school (literally) in 2nd grade, he still ended up living an incredibly interesting life and becoming friends with people like George Gershwin, George Bernard Shaw and Salvador Dali. Hear about his most epic pranks and about his occasional nudism. Harpo could (and would) turn any boring situation - like a game of golf - interesting by taking off his clothes. BTWs include: Some of the strangest town names in America Weird vaudeville acts of the 1920s In our Moment of Meta Katie reveals how she came up with the name of the podcast - Electric Enthusiasm - and shares two important quotes about enthusiasm. Get the links and full show notes or leave a question/comment at
September 9, 2021
The trailer
Get a taste for the wonderful world of Electric Enthusiasm, a brand new podcast started by two easily excited enthusiasts.
August 25, 2021