American Anglophiles! I have found the funniest audio game show, and it was made just for you.
In International Waters, your M&M-munching American culture collides with your beloved England (and sometimes Australia) in a battle to see which side of the pond knows the most meaningless pop culture trivia and who is fastest on the buzzer…okay, so there is no buzzer…to see who is fastest at saying “Whackadoo” and “Twankie.” Like those of most British panel shows, points are pointless. Panelists going head to head include some of my favorite comedians (Josie Long, Robin Ince, Maeve Higgins, Dave Hill, Michael Smiley), comedians I’ve heard of but now have a deeper appreciation for (Greg Proops, Dan Antopolski, Isy Suttie, host Jesse Thorn), and comedians I’ve never heard of but will sign up for their fan clubs as soon as this review is written (Tom Allen, Gabe Delahaye). The host, be it Jesse Thorn, Jordan Morris, or Dave Holmes, plays it pretty much the same, which may not say a lot for that particular host’s brand, but gives the show some continuity. Some of the rounds include:
Name That “Tune” – Listening to and identifying movie trailers and to film actors’ bad accents
i.e. Liam Neeson doing the age-old accent, I-think-he’s-meant-to-be-American
What’s the Story? and Quick Fire Round – Pop culture news trivia
In the ultimate proof that Americans need to pay better attention to British comedy, the American team thought that Jimmy Carr was the name of a wrestler.
In Defense – Falsely defending something horrible from their country
i.e. socks with sandals and Piers Morgan
Special round for live shows – Blindfoldedly eating and identifying food from the opposing country
i.e. spotted dick and pretzel M&Ms.
I don’t know what this round is called but it’s my favorite
- Cop dramas from the opposing country–real or fake? (i.e. Doc Martin and Alien Nation)
- Hunger Games quote or 80s pop music lyric? (UK thought the lyrics to “Eye of the Tiger” was a line from The Hunger Games!)
- Which of the sports team names is real–multiple choice
The game is sometimes interrupted for an interview with a celebrity guest who then gets to ask some of the trivia questions. This impressive roster includes Copper star Tom Weston-Jones, “person of extraordinary ability” Jon Ronson, and Looper writer/director Rian Johnson.
International Waters is educational, occasionally misleading (Kenneth Branagh has no lips?), and severely entertaining.
International Waters is on the Maximum Fun Network and has been going strong since March 2012. Check out their website to listen to the episodes for free!