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Episode 6Fool Me Once

Panelists Hannibal Buress and Annie Duke backstage with Stephen Dubner before the show. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Missing hands, missing bodies, missing scientific evidence. This week’s contestants try to fool the panelists:

Hannibal Buress, comedian, currently hosting the podcast Handsome Rambler. He’s boycotted a certain series of movies because of the main character’s name.

Annie Duke, professional poker player and decision-making expert, who gives a new meaning to “nickel-and-diming.”

Father James Martin, S.J., Jesuit priest and best-selling author, who got his professional start at a movie theater.

Our “Real-Time Human Fact-Checker” is Sean Rameswaram, who produces podcasts for WNYC Studios, including Radiolab’s Supreme Court spinoff, More Perfect.


A.E. Kieren drew live portraits of the panelists to prove how hard it is to draw hands.


Episode 5Passion Plays

Panelists and contestants confer during Wheel of Maximum Danger round. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

All of the things we’re passionate about, in a positive or negative way, from sports to sounds to experimenting on students. This week’s panel of passionate people:

Angela Duckworth, author of the best-selling Grit and psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Interned along the most famous intern in our country’s political history.

Austan Goolsbee, economist at the University of Chicago and former White House economist, who collects movie ticket stubs.

Keisha Zollar, actor, comedian, and host of the Applying It Liberally and The Soul Glo Project podcasts; also the proud owner of a semicolon.

Our “Real-Time Human Fact-Checker” is Negin Farsad, host of the podcast Fake the Nation and author of the book How to Make White People Laugh.

Episode 4Things That Come Out of Your Mouth

Real-Time Human Fact Checker Sean Rameswaram gasps at what's coming out of people's mouths on this episode. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Part two of our oral fixation: How to talk to your doctor, marine regurgitations, and texting. The panel:

Frank Delaney, novelist, podcast host, and “the world’s most eloquent man.”

John McWhorter, Columbia University linguist and host of the Lexicon Valley podcast. Working on his 20th book.

Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz, Columbia professor of surgery and TV host; knows how to treat his own bee stings.

Our Real-Time Human Fact-Checker is Sean Rameswaram, who produces podcasts for WNYC Studios, including Radiolab’s Supreme Court spinoff, More Perfect.

Episode 3Things That Go In Your Mouth

Contestant Ashbell McElveen presents his IDK. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Food in the White House, why you can feel okay about drinking more, and a little mouth music. Our panel of smart people includes:

Zeke Emanuel, medical doctor and chief architect of the Affordable Care Act, who was once thrown in jail for not drinking.

Sam Kass, former White House chef, nutrition activist, and entrepreneur; recovering sugar addict.

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, host of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast; recovering lawyer.

Our Real-Time Human Fact-Checker is Sean Rameswaram, who produces podcasts for WNYC Studios, including Radiolab’s Supreme Court spinoff, More Perfect.

Episode 2It’s Alive!

danah boyd and contestant Helen Beilinson confer during the Wheel of Maximum Danger round. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Tales from the natural world: the mule lobby; marine animals that will either live forever or kill you (or both); and the wonders of poop soup. Featuring a panel of three relatively bright people:

Danah Boyd, social media scholar at New York University and principal researcher at Microsoft Research, who has a past full of pageantry.

Chris Gethard, comedian and playwright/star of the new off-Broadway show, Career Suicide. When not on stage, you’ll find him in abandoned mental hospitals.

Simon Winchester, author of many nonfiction books, including The Professor and the Madman, which is in the process of getting the big-screen treatment. Possibly the first ex-con to be a TMSIDK panelist. Possibly.

Our Real-Time Fact Checker is Jody Avirgan of FiveThirtyEight.

Have something interesting to tell us?

Episode 1Strange Danger

Andy Zaltzman. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Lots of things you didn’t know were dangerous, but are, including Election Day, a lack of sleep, and truck drivers. Our panel of experts weighs in:

Anthony Marx, president of the New York Public Library and former president of Amherst College, who lied his way into South Africa during apartheid times.

Debora Spar, president of Barnard College of Columbia University and author of Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection. She speaks faster backwards than you do forwards.

Andy Zaltzman, comedian, political satirist, and host of The Bugle podcast, who moonlights as a midwife very occasionally.

Featuring “Real-Time Human Fact-Checker” Jody Avirgan, podcast host at FiveThirtyEight.

Episode 0A Sneak Peek of Your Next Favorite Podcast

(Photo: Lucy Sutton)

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know is like the best dinner party you can imagine — except without the food. But it’s got all the sparkling conversation you can handle. In each episode, audience contestants get on stage and tell us something fascinating (or earth-shaking, or just plain weird) while a panel of three experts tries to sort out what’s worth knowing and what’s not.


(Photo: Lucy Sutton)

The panelists are drawn from an eclectic group of wise people — like Barnard College president Debora Spar; New York Public Library president Tony Marx; former White House economist Austan Goolsbee; the Jesuit writer and thinker James Martin; bioethicist Zeke Emanuel; former White House chef Sam Kass;  Microsoft researcher danah boyd; the heart surgeon and TV doctor Dr. Oz; poker champ Annie Duke; the linguist John McWhorter; the Grit author Angela Duckworth; and the happiness guru Gretchen Rubin.


(Photo: Lucy Sutton)

We also have plenty of comedians and humorists, including Keisha Zollar, Chris Gethard, Frank Delaney, Andy Zaltzman, and Hannibal Buress. And occasionally a globetrotting adventurer like author Simon Winchester.

It’s all hosted by Stephen J. Dubner, host of Freakonomics Radio, who is accompanied each night by a real-time human fact-checker to keep everyone (mostly) honest.

So please enjoy this amuse-bouche. And subscribe today so you don’t miss a single course. Our first full episode will be out on November 7th. Season 1 will run six episodes — and we’re already taping Season 2 in New York City (in December and January), so come be a contestant or get tickets to see the show. Also, follow TMSIDK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.