'Ridiculous News' podcast covers unique news stories with a healthy dose of humor
Ridiculous has become a positive description — think “ridiculously cool,” or “ridiculously gorgeous.” Now, “ridiculous” is a positive take on the news. Earlier this year, comedians, writers and co-founders of Cool Cool Cool Productions, Mark Kendall and Bill Worley, joined iHeartRadio to create the podcast “Ridiculous News.” They cover everything from Ms. Pacman being inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame all the way to creating more inclusive spaces. The podcasters joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to share some tidbits from their podcast series.
On the fun and fascination of picking out oddball news items:
“There’s so many fascinating things that we have to cut a couple and pick some favorites,” said Worley. “It’s nice because we try to avoid the mainstream stuff and get to the fun nitty-gritty things, like the fact that Doritos has five fewer chips per bag due to inflation, which saves them just a little bit of money, $50 million a year. It’s just fun stuff like that, and then going into more deeper dives about more serious topics as well, because we don’t wanna shy away from those things that are kind of below the fold, but need to be addressed.”
“[Bill] found a great story recently that we had just talked about, about a group of Black mothers that had used mushrooms, experimenting with mushrooms as a way to heal from the things that they were going through in life. And it was a really interesting exploration about how this particular demographic, who you don’t normally hear about using that particular drug, using it. And that was a cool story, an example of something we’ve talked about,” said Kendall.
“These fascinating things that you learn about, it also makes it easier to have conversations meeting people, you know, because you have something interesting to talk about,” said Worley. “One I bring up a lot is, there was a guy in Germany who got 90 COVID shots so that he could sell forged passes, which is just so bizarre, and perhaps the next supervillain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
The story behind the “Ridiculous News” theme song:
“That’s from our friend 4-Ize, who’s an amazing musician-rapper. He’s a brilliant Atlanta rapper; he’s been in the Atlanta rap scene for a long time, and what I love about 4-Ize, in addition to just his skills as a lyricist is, he can rap in so many different genres. And by that I mean he has songs out there where he is talking about serious topics, but he can also be just incredibly funny,” said Kendall.
A comedy bit with tone-deaf CEOs receiving diversity training:
“It’s fun; we’ll take the stories, and a lot of times there’s just some interesting elements of it, and we’ll pull in the people from those stories and improvise, or pretend what was going on behind the scenes,” said Worley. “In that case, [comedian and opera singer] Jayme [Alilaw] does these amazing trainings to create inclusive spaces, and, well, ‘What was it like if you got some tone-deaf CEOs, and how would she handle it?’ And what was so impressive about that was how well she handled it. We were just throwing stuff at the wall, and she is so incredible and so cool, and I can see why she’s so amazing at talking to folks like that.”
The “Ridiculous News” podcast streams via iHeartRadio and other major podcast platforms, with full episodes available here.