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This Job is History

Author: Wondery

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Where the oddest jobs from the past meet a comedian from the present… and it’s awkward! On this weekly show, Chris Parnell (SNL, Rick and Morty) welcomes  guests who have held some of human history’s most unexpected and downright bizarre jobs: funeral clowns, garden hermits, VHS clerks, and everything in between. With the help of his tireless producer, Chris hears from the essential workers from decades and centuries past. Because before there were actual medical doctors, there were barber surgeons. And before there was Instacart, there were milkmen. Wondery’s This Job Is History is a funny, absurd, and informative look into how time can change the way we live and work.

11 Episodes
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Where the oddest jobs from the past meet a comedian from the present… and it’s awkward! On this weekly show, Chris Parnell (SNL, Rick and Morty) welcomes  guests who have held some of human history’s most unexpected and downright bizarre jobs: funeral clowns, garden hermits, VHS clerks, and everything in between. With the help of his tireless producer, Chris hears from the essential workers from decades and centuries past. Because before there were actual medical doctors, there were barber surgeons. And before there was Instacart, there were milkmen. Wondery’s This Job Is History is a funny, absurd, and informative look into how time can change the way we live and work.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
What is it like to tell jokes at a Roman emperor’s funeral? Chris Parnell interviews a real Funeral Clown from 82 CE, a job that sometimes captured the hearts of funeral goers… and sometimes ended in certain death. And Chris wonders if this is a job tailor-made for his talents.Please support us by supporting our sponsors!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Before algorithms told us what movies to watch, the local video store clerk served as our 80s and 90s cinema sommelier.  Chris interviews a favorite icon of the Spice World Age. They’ll talk about everything from Speed to Speed 2: Cruise Control, and revisit the lost art of recommending the perfect Friday night flick.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Wrath. Envy. Pride. For some, these are cardinal sins. For a professional Sin Eater in 1700s England, it’s what’s for dinner. Chris interviews a woman whose job it is to gobble down evil deeds so people may find safe passage into heaven. Talk about giving new meaning to the term soul food!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
What looks like a hermit, talks like a hermit, but is actually a salaried employee of the rich? A 1700s Garden Hermit, of course. In this episode, Chris gains real wisdom from a fake hermit whose job is to act like an all-knowing mystical sage who just so happens to live in some rich dude’s backyard.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
How did factory workers in the 1920s pass the time while rolling cigars?  Chris is on a mission to prove his creative genius as he interviews a man from 1925 Florida who proves that the key to making the perfect Cuban cigar isn’t in the tobacco, it’s in the art of storytelling. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
A shave, haircut, and an amputation. That’s all in a day’s work if you’re a 1690s Barber Surgeon. Chris struggles not to squirm as today’s guest covers everything from battlefield hack-jobs, whiskey as a painkiller, and of course – the secret to a great haircut.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Milk. Eggs. Cheese. It’s all in a day’s delivery for the 1950’s milkman. But most people don’t know this sunny occupation had a dark side. In today’s episode, Chris uncovers the truth about the “Milk Mafia” and owns up to a secret he’s harbored since childhood.Please support us by supporting our sponsors!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Before eggplant emojis and cat gifs, the Telegraph Operator decoded DM’s one letter at a time. It’s old west meets new tech as Chris and his guest cover everything from call signs to heartbreak and all that happens “on the wire.Please support us by supporting our sponsors!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Grave robbing. Body snatching. Call it what you want but selling corpses for cash was a lucrative business in 19th century England. Chris struggles to keep it together as he learns the morbid details of what it takes to be the very best in the corpse stealing businessPlease support us by supporting our sponsors.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Messenger pigeons carried crucial communications that saved untold lives during World War 2. But before they soared into battle, these winged warriors needed to be trained. In today’s episode, Chris learns about these unsung heroes and faces a childhood fear of his own.Please support us by supporting our sponsors.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Comments (8)

atbin marzban

🤏

Feb 4th
Reply

Claire Voyant

Why is Jeffrey Epstein on the show's cover art??

Dec 27th
Reply (2)

Amanda V-M

I like this podcast.

Dec 12th
Reply

Sean Scully

meh, neat concept. terrible execution.

Nov 30th
Reply

Sean Scully

I was hoping to learn something, but the stereotypical ren fair clown char is so annoying I couldn't get through it... That was bad, dude, really bad. maybe the next episode will be better.

Nov 30th
Reply

David Buseman

Chris Parnell should be in everything in entertainment.

Nov 16th
Reply
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