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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

Josephine Baker - The Most Interesting Woman in the World

Electric Enthusiasm

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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. Links Daniel’s bands: Dusty Rag Jazz Band (New Orleans jazz), The Lindy Syncopators (Swing music), Les Gitanes (Gypsy jazz). Daniel playing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM7MGOxM9NQ Eddie Peabody: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KESgZT4aYSA Bela Fleck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9XDUBDMNuk Earl Scruggs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQIJuu3N5EY A clip of the “Banjo” character from The Man Who Came To Dinner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dWAN4D3WEE
25:10
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. Links Baker, Jean-Claude, and Chris Chase. Josephine: The Hungry Heart. New York: Random House, 1993 Josephine Baker singing - J`ai Deux Amours (1953) Josephine Baker - Banana dance Josephine Baker at The March On Washington Article about Josephine Baker from The Guardian (1974) Eric Singer on dialects
42:42
September 9, 2021
Harpo Marx - The Happiest Man 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. Links Harpo's autobiography called Harpo Speaks Groucho and me - Groucho’s autobiography 2 Marx Brothers movies to start with: A night at the opera, Horsefeathers Some hilarious Harpo moments from their movies Harpo playing the harp Harpo doing an interview without talking 20-second (tragically silent) clip of Le Petomane on stage
48:43
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.
02:52
August 25, 2021