You’re the Expert

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Live Taping of Science/Comedy Panel Show at Brattle Theatre

Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival Boston 2015

I love radio shows. And the only thing about radio shows that I love more than simply listening to them is attending or participating in a live performance.

Last Saturday night at the Brattle Theatre, I was part of a sold-out crowd – partially due to free tickets for MIT students – enjoying the live taping of a new WBUR panel show called “You’re the Expert.”

The show uses comedy to make academic research more accessible and exciting.  At the April 18 show, a panel of three comedians, Wyatt Cenac, Maeve Higgins, and John Hodgman, tried to figure out what the distinguished MIT scientist guest does all day. The show consisted of a mixture of questions for the scientist, topical questions for the panel, and riffs by the comedians on topics loosely – in some cases, very loosely! – related to the scientist’s work.

Former Cambridge fifth grade teacher and current stand-up comedian, Chris Duffy, was an engaging and entertaining host who kept the pace of the show up, periodically letting panelists know that “this part will be edited out before airtime.”

I don’t want to spoil the suspense for others before the episode airs, so I'll just say the scientist does very interesting work and I definitely learned more about her subject, along with having spent an entertaining two hours, by the end of the night.

This event was part of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival (April 17-19) and the Cambridge Science Festival, which continues all across the city through April 26, offering hands-on workshops, exhibits, performances, lectures and more.