Ask Me Another is a fun show from WNYC/NPR that is very similar to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” – both are trivia shows with a lot of pop culture reference and usually some special guests.
Ask Me Another relies more heavily on contestant participation than special guests. When the special guests, who they call “VIPs” – “Very Important Puzzlers” are on, they are part of a game – they either read the clues or are a contestant for a game. The “regular people” contestants are live on stage wherever they are filming the episode (usually New York). Two contestants face off to ring in with the first correct answer in a trivia/pun/puzzle game. The games focus almost wholly on pop culture references.
At the end of each show they bring the “winners” of each of the head-to-head puzzles to a final round where they compete in a spelling-bee style elimination round. This is when the questions may actually get tough, and for me that is more entertaining. The rest of the show’s puzzles are usually very simple and easy, and to be honest, not usually that entertaining.
Host Ophira Eisenberg seems like a fun person and would be great to have over for a party. She is joined on the show by “one man house band” Jonathan Coulton – they balance each other well. Eisenberg over-enunciates but it doesn’t particularly bother me because she isn’t the one talking the whole time. Coulton provides the musical backdrop for this show and sometimes sings clues – it might sound hokey but I think it plays very well on air, never unnatural.
This is a light, fun show and I’ll listen to it if I need some background noise that I don’t have to focus too much on, or just want something where I can listen for 10-15 minutes and take a break from it, pick it back up later and not have really missed anything. More Jonathan Coulton would make it even better!
Audible Feast Ratings
Educational Value (3 / 5)
Pop Culture Value (4 / 5)
Host Listen-ability (3 / 5)
Flow (both planned podcast flow and advertisement-impacted) (3 / 5)
I always feel like there are a lot of ads in Ask Me Another, whether it’s for another podcast (those I don’t mind as much) or a sponsor. It disrupts the show and makes it much longer. Then they have to re-introduce everything and everyone when they come back from the ad – the content of this show is probably 75% of the length – not cool.
Humor (4 / 5)
I can tell Eisenberg is a comedienne, and sometimes they have great contestants who bring their own brand of funny – but I rarely laugh out loud.
Investigation (0 / 5)
Storytelling (1 / 5)
Makes Me a Better Person (3 / 5)
Overall Audible Feast Rating: (3 / 5)
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