Podcast Review: The Bugle With Andy Zaltzman

December 6, 2013
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The Bugle is a news podcast for people who aren’t entirely interested in the actual news. Hosted by British comedians Andy Zaltzman (BBC Radio 4) and John Oliver (The Daily Show), this free download is as satirical as it gets. Although, real news topics are covered, don’t take what these guys say as gospel. Even they lovingly coined the phrase ¨bugle bullshit¨ to describe the reports they are serving up, best taken with a grain of salt.

Although a good 70% of the episodes are pre-scripted, the speed at which these two can riff off of each other verges on genius. Common topics include: Berlusconi, Putin, cricket, The Catholic Chruch and let´s not forget a heavy sprinkling of puns. If any of these things seem offensive to you (the puns perhaps?) maybe this one isn’t for you. Offensive would be a very mild term to describe their comedy.

The Bugle Podcast
John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman

Like a rumbling stomach after some questionable seafood, you can feel one of Andy’s loved and loathed ¨pun runs¨ coming from a mile away and it can last for minutes.

John and Andy are both Brits but no nation is spared their tirades.
¨I guess an Obama victory is very good news for the Pakistani roofing business.¨
¨Oh so the Queen did enjoy watching the Olympics then? Would she like to go back in time and tell her face that?¨
¨Berlusconi´s political career is just like his penis. Just when you think it´s finally down and will stay that way forever, somehow it ends up rising to a place it has no business being.¨

And lets not forget religious groups…
Andy: ¨It’s been awfully sweary, The Bugle recently.¨
Chris: ¨Right, that´s now 12 ¨fucks¨ and 1 ¨cunt¨ today. Actually now I’ve said that, that´s 13-2.¨
Andy: ¨12 fucks, 1 cunt. That’s pretty much the Jewish attitude to the New Testament isn’t it?¨

Most weeks they get round to reading out a few emails from ¨Buglers¨ who all tend to be just as witty and well-spoken as the shows hosts. The producer Chris Skinner, takes on a special role as the mostly silent partner and in this case someone for the hosts to constantly heave ridicule and expletives at – all in the name of old fashioned British fun of course! The heavy phrase ¨Fuck you Chris¨ has become so common that even the listeners jovially pop it into their emails, somewhat religiously.

The sound quality is hit or miss and has on occasion caused me to bail on an episode but to their credit it’s because they want to keep the podcast alive even with the hurdles of distance between them. Since it´s conception inn 2007, there are over 200 episodes available to download so you can always skip one here or there if need be.

When a snippet of news catches my attention these days, instead of hitting up a reputable news source I will most often download an episode of the bugle for a dose of half-truths, but whole laughs.

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