Problem: Decision Fatigue [00:13:31]

Problem: Overpopulation Alarmists [00:32:46]

Problem: Bits [00:50:35]

Problem: Prank Bros [01:01:46]

The Biggest Problem in the Universe - Episode 97

Transcription courtesy of: Megan Pennock

Dick: Today's show is brought to you by Harry's. Please visit and use the promo code "BIGGESTPROBLEM" to save $5 off your first purchase.

(theme riff)

Maddox: Welcome to The Biggest Problem in the Universe, the show where we discuss every problem in the universe, from Bad Dancers to Colon Cancers! (Dick and Sean laugh) With over 5 million downloads, this is the only show where you decide what should or shouldn't be on the big list of problems. I'm Maddox, with me is Dick!

Dick: Hey! What's up, buddy?

Maddox: And Sean, our audio engineer.

Sean: Hello!

Dick: How many colon cancers are there?

Maddox: There's...there's gotta be at least a handful. (laughs with Dick)

Dick: Or a buttload of them.

Maddox: Colon c-...yeah! (cracks up)

Dick: You might say. (giggles)

Maddox: You could say colon cancers are a handful, yeah. That's funny.

Dick: Alright.

Maddox: Yeah. So, our first -

Dick: (interjects) The big beef!! Between Maddoff and Tim Changzzzzz!

Maddox: Okay, it's's "Maddox."

Dick: We're all waiting for the beef.

Maddox: Alright.

Dick: The beef-settling.

Maddox: Alright man, there was so much that pissed me off about last episode. 

Dick: Uh-oh.

Maddox: I couldn't sleep! I was so upset... (Dick and Sean laugh)

Dick: Sleep Deprivation, vote it up!

Maddox: Yeah, vote up Sleep Deprivation!

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: Because of Tim fuckin' Changzzzzz.

Dick: Really? Why?

Maddox: (stammers) I was a nervous wreck all week! I couldn't drive, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't WALK, I couldn't eat...

Dick: How could you tell?

Maddox: I was upset!

Dick: That you were nervous, with all those things?

Maddox: I was just shaking. Anger shakes. 

Dick: Oho, my god.

Maddox: Yeah, anger TRE-...anger tremors. 

Dick: Why?! He was a great guest! He had a lot of, uh...well, he didn't have alotta research.

Maddox: NO. ('boo' sound effect)

Dick: He had a good, uh...he had a strong POV, though!

Maddox: Yeah. (sneering)

Dick: That takes some guts!

Maddox: Yeah. 

Dick: He was just sitting in his Lyft out there for a couple minutes putting that together. know, I'm impressed by that. 

Maddox: I wish he would've stayed in his Lyft. 

Dick: He had those sick drops, too. Like this one. (Tim: "Maddoff, you's a BITCH!") (both laugh) (shots firing) (Man's voice: "AAAAAAAAAAH!!")

Maddox: It's SHIT. (fart noise)

Sean: My favorite was when he, uh, talked about his passion for making pasta. 

Dick: Yeah! (squeaking) No, that was someone else's passion.

Sean: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But if your passion was to make pasta.

Dick: Yeah. 

Maddox: Did you see how many...I knew this would happen. We got SO many...uh, motivational posters that people mocked up with Tim Changzzzzz...his stupid sayings all over them?

Dick: Yeah, I saw those.

Maddox: Yeah. But anyway, moving on.

Dick: Why were you angry about him? Why were you angry about him?

Maddox: Well, you're gonna find out why I'm STILL angry at him.

Dick: Oh.

Maddox: (drumroll sound effect) Because the biggest problem from last week was Haters!

Dick: Ohhh. It's a big problem, though!

Maddox: No, it's not! (chuckling)

Dick: Haters??

Maddox: Why is "haters" a problem at all?

Dick: Because they don't contribute anything! They just hate and tear down...I can't do Tim's whole speech here, but...

Maddox: Yeah. (irritated)

Dick: All I know is, if you have a dream that's making pasta, maybe the world doesn't get to feel your... (Maddox sighs) ...experience your pasta, 'cause you're so busy fighting off haters.

Maddox: You guys...

Sean: Hits a little close to home, doesn't it, Maddox?

Dick: Yeah!! Maybe that's why. (grins)

Maddox: Yeah, I'm a ha-...I'm not denying I'm a hater! I'm the biggest hater, I admit that! I was BORN a hater. My mom knows I'm a hater, my dad knows I'm a hater. 

Dick: You come from a long line of haters, too, I imagine.

Maddox: I imagine, yeah.

Dick: I bet your parents are tremendous haters.

Maddox: Oh, that's true. They are haters!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Oh man, that ma-...that all makes sense now!!

Dick: Yeah. (smiles)

Maddox: I ha-...I come from a proud tradition of haters and hating.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah! Anyway. I admit that, but I don't think that we're a problem. I think we're a solution, buddy. (Sean chuckles) Followed by Poor -

Dick: (interjects) What does the audience think, though?

Maddox: Yeah. We know what they think, 'cause they voted it.

Dick: Oh, okay.

Maddox: These dipshits. Followed by Poor Gym Etiquette, and then -

Dick: (interjects) Ohh! (happy) Oh, really?!

Maddox: Yeah, yeah. I know! It was fluctuating back and forth, and then Haters made a surprise rally in the last minute. And then...pretty close, actually, Attention Deficit Disorder Diagnosis. 

Dick: Hm.

Maddox: All of them were in the same neighborhood of votes. Uh, was in the lead for a while.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: In the voting, and then a bunch of butthurt, crybaby, lacking-attention idiots...

Dick: Hmm.

Maddox: You know, people...people who have a deficit of attention...

Dick: Oh, yeah.

Maddox: ...voted it up. (smiles)

Dick: I get that. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Huh. Sounds like you're doing some hating right now.

Maddox: Ah, I AM hating! I am ha-...I got a comment, though.

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: From Joshua McCaffrey. He sent this in an email. He said, "Maddox, I can't begin to tell you how happy I was that you brought this into the show as a problem. I will be 37 in April, and I was around for the initial influx of this diagnosis into the public schools."

Dick: It's gonna be a long comment. That's how you know it's gonna be a long comment, when they start with their age. 

Maddox: Yeah. Well, he said, "I had just started in 6th grade when a month in I was scheduled for a doctor's visit, and miraculously enough, diagnosed with ADHD."

Dick: Hm.

Maddox: "I was prescribed Ritalin and Wellbutrin." (burps) "Reason being: 'Josh is unable to focus and pay attention in class.'" That's... (chuckles) That's all the, uh, the evidence they need to diagnose you.

Dick: Man, and not mask it, too. That's what annoys me about that problem that you were talkin' about. Like... (stammers) ' I said last time, class sucks! It's boring! But you have to just be able to sit there and, like, not react to your feelings. Right? Like, I would...I think a kid who is paying attention in class, I think there would be something wrong with THEM. 'Cause that's boring stuff you're lookin' at, kid!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: You know? Keep goin'. Anyway. 

Maddox: No, a lot of kids are like that. A lot of kids just...are fidgety, and they have too much energy and they need to burn it off. This kid said, uh...he said, "I later come to find out that my mother had read about this new disease in 'Children' and decided I needed to be checked for it. Ironically enough, after taking that shit for 6 months and seeing my grades not improve or decline, I realized that the reason I was being prescribed was due to my wanting to simply be a child and enjoy my childhood by screwing around in school and having fun."

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: "So I decided to temper my shenanigans in class and pay attention, and without my mother's knowledge I stopped taking it, and when the school nurse gave it to me I pretended to swallow it and would spit it out in the garbage can."

Dick: Wow!

Maddox: "Needless to say, that was the first time I had been an honors student, with a 3.1 GPA, and it was then that I finally decided to tell my mother and she promptly canceled my prescription."

Dick: Huh! Good for you.

Maddox: This kid just stopped fuckin' around in school, and his mom st-...took him off the drugs. 

Dick: Huh. Maybe his mom just pretended to cancel the prescription. (Maddox laughs) I got a comment from Samuel Williams: "Madoff, youz a bitch." 

Maddox: Okay. 

Dick: Oh.

Maddox: Great. How many more of those do you got?? I know you brought in a ton of 'em.

Dick: No, I only brought the one. I don't think it's...

Maddox: (mutters) Assholes.

Sean: Yeah, wait for the voicemails.

Dick: I don't think it's that funny. This one's from Zach Owen: "Madoff yous a bitch." José...Pedrero? "Madoff..."

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: "Madoff, yousa..." Oo-..."usa ("oosa") bitch." It's different. 

Maddox: Ped-...PEDO. José Pedo, is probably -

Dick: (interjects) Charles David says, "MadHOFF..."

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: "'s...", apostrophe 's'. So presumably, it's "you's."

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: "You're..." It's "you're a bitch."

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: "YOU'RE a bitch."

Maddox: Uh-huh.

Dick: "MadOLF...", from Adam Davis, "...yous a bitch." 

Maddox: You know, I don't even know what that accent is that Tim Changzzzzz brought in. Does he think he's black?? He thinks he's black, I think.

Dick: I don't know. (laughing) 

Maddox: Yeah! 

Dick: I think he thinks he's half black. (Maddox laughs) If I were to guess. I'm gonna go out on a limb and imagine...I think he imagines one of his parents, or perhaps a THIRD parent...

Maddox: Yeah. (sarcastic)

Dick: black, and he's...he's taking the bad Asian accent and combining it with a stereotypical and very offensive black, um...

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: ...accent, I have to say. 

Maddox: Super offensive. And we know it's not the bottom half that's black. (giggles)

Dick: There's about 50 more of these. 

Sean: You know what's the scariest thing, is that he's a Lyft driver.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: I got a comment from Jessica Safron. Jessica, as we, uh, as you know, is...

Dick: Super hot.

Maddox: of the illustrators. She... (cracks up)

Dick: And a great illustrator.

Maddox: She's a babe, she's an illustrator, she's done some of the thumbnails for the show. She has the Satan Ninja 198X comic you should check out online. But anyway, she sent a comment. She said, "You made so many good points about ADHD, but sort of went backwards a bit when you'd say that you don't think it's a real disorder. I mean, you could say that about a ton of mental disorders due to their sort of nebulous nature, the fact that the majority of them can't be pinpointed or diagnosed by an observable physiological cause, and each probably include many different causes for different patients." So then she talked about this, uh, this interesting Science Friday episode they did where they talked about how...this sort of thing, when the DSM V came out, if you're interested in hearing about it. Anyway, she said that the same could be said of a lot of psychological disorders, is that, uh...the cause can sometimes be nebulous, so we shouldn't dismiss it entirely, or we shouldn't write it off. I just think -

Dick: (interjects) Are you this the long way of saying "I'm not a doctor"?

Maddox: I'M not a doc-...I'm not a...?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: I...I think I am a doctor. 

Dick: Yeah, I know. (Maddox laughs) That's why... (chuckles) I think that's why this is taking so long for you to say that.

Maddox: Dick, I will...I will never not admit that I'm a doctor. Wait, is that...

Dick: Okay, th-... (cracks up) I don't know. (Maddox laughs) This guy...I don't know if this guy agrees or disagrees with what you're saying right now, 'cause I don't understand it. (plays first voicemail message)

Voicemail (male caller): Maddox, you're the dumbest motherfucker on the face of the earth. (Dick and Sean laugh) You're gonna complain about ease of use and things like self-checkout lines, but you can't seem to solve a fucking maze that any...literally any toddler can fuckin' figure out. Alright retard, go fuck yourself. (Maddox spits out laughing) And Dick complaining about people check-...

Dick: (pauses message) Okay. I don't need to hear...

Maddox: (shouts) Ohh, no!! What was he gonna say?!?

Dick: We don't need to hear that. Here, here, here, here. (resumes message)

Maddox: What happened to...that was the meat and potatoes!

Voicemail: ...-ing to see what items you bought? You're the same piece o' shit that shows up at the...a week later,(Maddox giggles) and is like, "I don't know why I bought this and when I bought it," 'cause your ass is probably hammered when you decided to buy some fuckin' razor.

Dick: Oh, I hope so. (Maddox snickers)

Voicemail: Or bullshit. And then you wanna give the customer service...

Dick: First of all, I'd be ordering razors at home. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Courtesy of

Voicemail: ...agent a hard time. But no, of course you don't need a fucking receipt. Retard. (both laugh)

(message ends)

Dick: There''s another one. 

Maddox: I had -

Sean: (interjects) He's pretty angry about that!

Maddox: What's he...wait, what's he talkin' about, the maze? The...solving a maze?

Dick: He's talkin' about self-checkout lines.

Maddox: Oh, self-checkout lines.

Dick: Here's one about ADHD. (plays next voicemail message)

Voicemail (male caller): Hey Maddoff, you fuckin' retard! (both giggle) You have no idea what it takes to get diagnosed with ADD. Or ADHD. You end up going to a shrink, and the shrink gives you MULTIPLE tests.

Maddox: Dumb shit. Wrong.

Voicemail: Written tests, reading comprehension tests...

Maddox: (buzzer sound effect)

Voicemail: ...puzzle tests...

Dick: That's wrong?

Maddox: No.

Voicemail: ...word problem tests. 

Maddox: Absolutely not. 

Voicemail: Over the course of several weeks or several months. 

Dick: Hm!

Maddox: No.

Voicemail: At that point...

Maddox: (chuckles) M'kay. 

Voicemail: ...if you meet enough of the eleven benchmarks...

Dick: Eleven??

Voicemail: get diagnosed with ADHD. 

Maddox: Mmhm. (sarcastic)

Voicemail: And then they give you medication, which turns you into a fucking robot. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Voicemail: You have NO idea what you're talking about.

Maddox: M'kay.

Dick: Well! (shrugs) Finishing strong!

Voicemail: You fucking armchair psychologist. (Dick laughs)

Maddox: Okay. 

Voicemail: Fuck you, Maddoff. Dick, you're a cool guy. 

(message ends)

Dick: Aww.

Maddox: Okay. (buzzer sound effect) Fuck that guy! He's an IDIOT. He's a dumb shit, p-...he's a moron. Uh, here's the thing. Where are you going to jump through all these mental gymnastics and all these tests and quizzes, and...and, you know, stipulations? This is not scientific!! ADD is mostly diagnosed...I brought in the stats and linked to the sources last episode. ADD is usually diagnosed by parents who think that their child, their son or daughter, can't pay attention in school. Therefore, give 'em Ritalin. That's it!

Dick: But doesn't the doctor have to prescribe the medication? The parents can't do that.

Maddox: Yeah, but the doctor can based on the parents' recommendation. And by the way -

Dick: (interjects) Really?! 

Maddox: Yeah!!

Dick: I don't know, man. I've tried to get Vicodin A LOT, and the doctors are very resistant to my descriptions of pain. 

Maddox: Well, Vicodin is also s-...uh -

Dick: (interjects) 'Cause it says, "Careful: patient has drug-seeking behavior."

Maddox: There you go. 

Dick: On my chart.

Maddox: Yeah, there you go. So Vicodin is one of those things that people get addicted to and people take for pleasure, but...Ritalin and Wellbutrin, things that supposedly...

Dick: And Adderall.

Maddox: your...yeah, and Adderall, that help your focus, uh, are not prone to abuse. I guess Adderall is now.

Sean: Oh yes, yes they are!

Dick: Yeah, of course they are.

Sean: Yeah. They're, like, sche-...yeah! 

Dick: They are. They're like -

Sean: (interjects) They're HEAVILY regulated. 

Dick: They're like cocaine. 

Maddox: Yeah, but not for, they know that if you're buy-...if you're getting it for your kids, they're not going to, uh...they know that you're not gonna sit there, you know, hopped up on -

Dick: (interjects) I've taken kids' Adderall. 

Maddox: Okay. Great! (stammers) Adderall...Adderall...I -

Dick: (interjects) No no, that's a real thing that happens.

Sean: Absolutely!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Adderall is an exception. Adderall's an exception, because college kids, it's kind of popular a focus and study drug.

Sean: Yeah. Dexedrine, Adderall...

Maddox: But not Ritalin! Rital-...

Dick: (interjects) It's a feeling-good drug, too.

Sean: Rital-...

Dick: Yeah! Yeah, Ritalin, man. 

Maddox: Even Ritalin??

Sean: I think Ritalin is a...a speed-type thing.

(talking over each other)

Dick: Anything that messes with your brain, dude! 

Maddox: Stupid.

Dick: People take GHB for fun!

Maddox: Great. Yeah. (sneering)

Dick: That doesn't seem fun, but they take...people take ketamine for fun!! That doesn't seem fun at all!

Maddox: Hey, some people...

Dick: It's just a drug!

Maddox: Some people pierce themselves and hang from hooks from the ceiling for fun! Who knows what the fu-... (Dick laughs) That's just an excuse for everything now, isn't it?? (yells) Look dickheads, the point is, (Sean laughs) they're not giving you such -

Dick: (interjects) How is this our fault?! (grins)

Maddox: They're not gi-...they're not giving you guys such stringent tests and requirements to give you fuckin' Ritalin! They WANT to give you that shit. They want to sell it to you! Hand-...FISTFULS of it!

Dick: So you think that guy's wrong?

Maddox: Yeah, he's fulla shit!!

Dick: You think that guy's wrong?

Maddox: He's a moron!

Sean: "How dare you two assholes confront me with facts!" (Dick giggles)

Maddox: Yeah, the facts are that I brought in last episode. Check the sources, IDIOTS.

Dick: Well, this...somebody has a problem with your sources, too. 

Maddox: Great, let's hear it. (Dick plays next voicemail message)

Voicemail (male caller): Hi, Maddox's opinion on ADD is really...uh, bad. Um, he...

Maddox: Uh-huh. (stupid voice) (Dick laughs)

Voicemail: ...cites a Psychology Today article...

Maddox: "UHH."

Voicemail: ...which is written by a totally unqualified individual who has written for rigorous scientific journals such as Natural Health, People Magazine...

Dick: Ohh. Oooo. (smiles) Oohoohoohoo!

Voicemail: ...Wall Street Journal.

Dick: Ooooo!

Voicemail: This is unironically...

Dick: Is that true?

Maddox: Ad hominem attack. I don't know, what have YOU written for, shithead?

Voicemail: ...seriously, literally, actually the same anti-science bullshit that anti-vax people complain about.

(message ends)

Dick: Is that true? I don't know.

Maddox: Could be!

Dick: I don't know.

Maddox: I mean, here's the thing, man. Look, that's an ad hominem attack. I don't know what else to say.

Dick: Oh, stop with the fallacy shit. (Sean chuckles) 

Maddox: It's a fallacy!

Dick: Look, if a reporter is writing for...uh, Natural Health, then goes over to Psychology Today and shits one out, you have a good reason not to believe them so much.

Maddox: Look man, I don't know...I've never heard of the psychology...what, no, what was it? Natural Health journal.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: It sounds like it's probably filled -

Dick: (interjects) People Magazine! You heard of that one.

Sean: No, it's a...Natural Health is like a magazine you'd get on the grocery store newsstand. 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: No no, but Natural Heal-...he said "journal." Is that...? Oh, was he makin' a joke that it was not a journal, it's just a magazine? Natural Health magazine?

Sean: I think so.

Dick: It's a magazine.

Maddox: Yeah.

Sean: It's the only one I've ever heard of.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: I mean, I don't know!

Dick: It's something you'd find at, like, an OB/GYN's office. (Sean laughs)

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: I think.

Sean: Next to the Highlights magazine.

Dick: Yeah. 

Maddox: Right. Um, I don't know, man. I don't know. Look at the value of the article that was published, look at the study. And by the way, that article that I linked to from Psychology Today is simply talking about why French kids don't have...aren't diagnosed with ADHD. That's...when that study came out, when that article came out, it was published in Psychology Today, in, uh...I believe Washington Post, in Newsweek; lots of different publications. I just picked one and posted it on the website. So if you wanna shit on that author for, you know, your ad hominem fallacy, whatever, shithead? Why don't you do the actual research and do the legwork before you criticize your MASTER?

Dick: Okay. This guy's got a... (Sean and Maddox laugh) This guy's got a pretty good criticism, though. 

Maddox: Okay. (Dick plays next voicemail message)

Voicemail (female caller): Maddoff, you's a BITCH. (Dick cackles)

(message ends)

Maddox: Great. (surly)

Dick: Ah, that's it. Lemme...alright. Should we get into the -

Sean: (interjects) Was that your nephew?

Dick: No, no. 

Sean: Oh, okay.

Dick: No.

Maddox: Alright, let's get to the problems.

Dick: Okay. My first problem... (papers shuffling) It's a big one. I think you're gonna love it. 

Maddox: I think I will. 

Dick: Is...decision fatigue. 

Maddox: ('ding!' sound effect) Yeeeah!

Dick: Thank you.

Maddox: Alright, I'm on board with this! (applause sound effect) I've been wantin' to bring this in for a while now. This is a really good problem. (Sean chuckles in the background)

Dick: Okay. Well, I brought it...let's all...

Sean: That's hilarious! (laughing)

Dick: Let's just be clear that I brought it in. (Maddox cracks up) Everyone.

Sean: "I threw ya...I threw ya a bone."

Dick: Yeah! 

Maddox: It doesn't matter.

Dick: No, that's the highest endorsement that Maddox can give, though, is...

Sean: That's true.

Dick: "Well, that's something I would've done."

Maddox: Yeah. (laughs with Sean)

Dick: Not some-...not that that's smart, or that something good resulted from it. Just, "I would've done that."

Maddox: Dick...

Sean: "You know, if *I* had presented it, it woulda gone like THIS." (Dick giggles)

Dick: Oh shit, I didn't think of that.

Maddox: Ahh, that's true, Sean. 

Dick: That's a preview for next week.

Maddox: Uh-huh! Thank you, Sean. No, but as hosts for the show, The Biggest Problem in the Universe, at some point we have to cover all the problems. 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: And whether or not you bring it in or I bring it in, we're just both doing a yeoman's job of bringing in all these problems to discuss so that the listener can be informed when they're voting on the master list of problems. 

Dick: Yeah. 

Maddox: Okay? So it doesn't matter.

Dick: This is...what we're doing is preventing you from suffering from decision fatigue!

Maddox: Right! (laughs)

Dick: You, the listener, are sitting there in your life; you're wondering, "What is the biggest problem in the universe?? I gotta go through an infinite number of problems and decide what I should dedicate my life to solving, or how much of my life I should dedicate to solving it!" We've given you a mathematical list of ranked problems that you can consult to see what you should spend your life trying to fix, because it is objectively the biggest problem in the universe. True or false?

Maddox: ('ding!' sound effect) Correct! Absolutely correct.

Dick: True. Absolutely true.

Maddox: True. 

Dick: So, decision fatigue. This occurred to me this week, and it happens to me a lot. And it always gets me bent out of shape, and I don't know why, and I feel like an asshole that this does get me bent outta shape, but it does! You know? I don't ACT like it. When this situation happens to me, I don't act like an asshole, or at least I try not to, but it bothers me in my brain! It gives me that annoyed feeling that I...that I trust!

Maddox: What specifically annoys you?

Dick: This is how it goes. So I was at my...I was at my parents' house, and I'm only gonna give this specific example, but it happens many times in lots of different ways. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: I was at my parents' house, and my mom was coming over to mom was coming home. And she said, "Hey, I'm gonna stop at this grill down the street and pick up some food."

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: "What do you want?" And I was like, "Boom. Uh, club sandwich."

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: "Turkey club." Right?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Done. And she goes, "Or I could stop anywhere you want. Here's where I am. You know where I'm going."

Maddox: Augh.

Dick: "You pick." (stammers excitedly) That...that's exactly the reaction I had!!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Right?? And I was like, "Uhh, nonononono! No!! No, no!" I just wanted to, like, hit a, go back to a save point so I could not have this conversation, because now I'm in a crisis mode. I'm, like, sweating, because I'm not...I d-... (stammers) Again, she's asking to be as nice as possible. "Here's..." Inst-... "Here's...I'm not forcing you..." She's not forcing me to go to this cafe; she wants me to be able to pick from any restaurant in the WOOORLD, pretty much!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: 20 miles of restaurants, as far as you can see! THOUSANDS OF ITEMS that I could choose from! I could get a hummus sandwich! I could get a...a gyro wrap! I could get a, uh, double...hamburger! I could get In-N-Out! Anything I want! But the possibility of choosing from 10,000 things has suddenly made me irate in my brain. Right?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: To a point where I just want the original thing, but now I'm less happy getting that!

Maddox: You know, this might be a couple of things goin' on. First of all, the parado-...okay, so the more common phrase for this problem that I know of is the "paradox of choice." 

Sean: Here we go!

Dick: Okay, I like that you put "that I know of" on it.

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: That's...'cause that's how I first heard of this problem, as the paradox of choice.

Dick: Right.

Maddox: Now, there's that going on, and also there might be a little bit of passive-aggressive behavior going on. Uh...

Dick: What do you mean, "passive-aggressive"? From me?

Maddox: No! From -

Dick: (interjects) Well, it better be from me. 

Maddox: Not from you! 'Cause here's the thing.

Dick: (interjects) From my mother?!?

Maddox: Possibly!

Dick: (chuckles) No. You're're outta your mind.

Maddox: Okay, well...

Dick: No way.

Maddox: Here's's where it's happened to me in a similar situation, where I'll...a friend will ask me where I want to go to eat. BOOM. 

Dick: Yes, your friends, definitely passive-aggressive. 

Maddox: I w-... (both giggle) Uh, coming from an authority. 

Dick: Yeah, sure.

Maddox: My friends ask me where I wanna go eat and I'll say, "Thai food." And, uh, and then -

Sean: (interjects) I don't know, Dick's not passive-aggressive. 

Dick: No, I'm very aggressive. (Sean and Maddox laugh)

Maddox: Okay.

Sean: Yeah.

Maddox: Fair enough. I'll say "Thai food." Boom. Right out the gates, right? And then they'll say, "Well, you know, we could also do...X, Y and Z. Burger, pizza..."

Dick: Aaaaaaagh!!!

Maddox: " cetera." It's like, "Well, that what you want?" They'll say, "No no, Thai food is fine, know, I'm just throwin' out more options out there." I said, "Well, why would you throw more options out there if I already stated what I wanted?"

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: Because that's what THEY want. 

Dick: Here''s what I think's going on. I think that you're getting the same trigger as me. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: And you're ascribing passive aggression to it.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: But I actually brought in a thing that shows a know, our favorite thing on this fuckin' show, a study! That shows at a certain number of point, no, when you have a tremendous amount of choices, no matter what, when you end up with the choice you wanted, which you would think was a choice, your dream choice! 'Cause the more choices you have, the more likely that you're gonna get a better version of what you want. Right?

Maddox: You would think.

Dick: BUT, it makes you enjoy it LESS. Even if it's the thing you wanted, because the act of choosing from so many things is so stressful that it lowers the amount of enjoyment you can have, period.

Maddox: True!

Dick: That's part of decision fatigue, that I'm bringing in today.

Maddox: Yeah. 

Dick: But that's getting a little ahead of myself. Here's the other things it can do. Um, it's the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after long sessions of decision-making. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: So you make a lot of decisions every day.

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Like, let's say your job was to be a decision maker, like, to judge one outcome versus another. 

Maddox: Sure!

Dick: Like, if you were...

Maddox: Like a judge.

Dick: ...a judge.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah. There''s...there's a study I brought in of parole board judges. 

Maddox: Mmm.

Dick: Who, um, their judging...their decision was based on, like, a consensus ruling. Like, after the fact.

Maddox: Right.

Dick: "Do you agree or disagree?" Here was the rate of agreement and disagreement over the period of the day. I want you to feast your eyes on that study. 

Maddox: Yeah. Over the period of the day, earlier on in the day, it's more agreeable. Right?

Dick: Yeah. 

Maddox: And later on in the day -

Dick: (interjects) Meaning that all judges agreed this was the correct move.

Maddox: Yes. They agree with the consensus. 

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: And then later on in the day, as time goes on, they d-...that agreement decreases. They disagree with the consensus.

Dick: Yeah. Meaning that if you're going up for parole, if you don't get in before 8 AM, you're fucked.

Maddox: Right!

Dick: 'Cause...they're not makin' the right call. Right? So -

Maddox: (interjects) They're less likely to make the right call later on in the day. You want that decision to be made at the top of the day if you can. 

Dick: Yeah.

Sean: Well, what if you shouldn't be, you know, going on parole?

Dick: Yeah, but that's the...that's what the consensus means. 

Sean: Oh! Right, right, right.

Dick: Because the other judges said, "Yeah, you shouldn't have let this guy go."

Sean: Yeah.

Dick: "Why did you? He's, uh, an illegal immigrant."

Sean: I got it.

Dick: "He's gonna rape or murder someone." You know?

Sean: Yeah.

Maddox: (chuckles) Yeah, build that wall. (Dick and Sean laugh)

Dick: Yeah. 

Sean: And get Mexico to pay for it!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Alright, here's another outcome of this. Um...poverty. It causes you to be poor and fat. 

Sean: Hm.

Maddox: Hmm.

Dick: Decision fatigue. Because, here's why: the stress of making a decision when you're shopping for groceries is so great for poor people that it's...that it causes decision fatigue. It's not like a m-...someone in the middle class or someone in the upper class who just goes, "Whatever, throw the bread on there. Throw the soup on there."

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: They get whatever they want. They're goin' to Whole Foods and just walking down the aisle like it's Supermarket Sweep.

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Filling up the cart.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: They don't care!

Maddox: They don't care.

Dick: There's no decisions involved. 

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Poor person goes in, they gotta weigh the opportunity cost of every little thing they buy, right? "How long can I stretch this out? How long can I stretch THIS out?" By the time they get to the register, they're so sapped from decision-making, they're ready to scoop up some candy. Right? They're ready to scoop up impulse buys, which are all marketed in order to take advantage of your weakness in decision-making, right? Of your willpower.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: There's a lot of pheno-...interesting phenomenon that's going on in this problem, Dick. There's a book that I would highly recommend to our listeners to check out. It's called "Fast and Slow Thinking," and it's about this social scientist who discovered this phenomenon about the human mind, where we have two types of thinking: fast, that are impulsive decisions -

Dick: (interjects) Wait a minute. Let me guess the second type of thinking: even faster thinking. 

Maddox: N-... (laughs with Sean) No, ass. (buzzer sound effect) Slow thinking!! Is the s-... (cracks up)

Dick: Yeah. (grins) Oh.

Maddox: Yeah. Anyway!

Dick: My guess...that's the s-...splitting hairs, at that point.

Maddox: So I think I mentioned this a long time ago. I listened to an episode of Radiolab a long time ago where they did this experiment where they asked people to memorize a set of numbers between 4 and, I believe, 11 digits, or somethin' like that. Most people, on average, have no problem memorizing up to 7 digits, but after that it drops off exponentially. Uh, or is it logar-...? No, it's exponentially drops off, how likely you are to remember all those digits. So they gave...they assigned a control group a bunch of different digits to memorize.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: And then they told them to memorize that number, walk down the hallway, and get a refreshment. The refreshments they offered them -

Dick: (interjects) Was Coke and Pepsi. (Maddox laughs) 

Maddox: No.

Dick: And the idiots chose Pepsi.

Maddox: No.

Dick: Right.

Maddox: That would be an interesting experiment.

Dick: Fireball cinnamon whiskey. 

Maddox: It was not.

Dick: And a bowl of pee.

Maddox: It was... (both laugh) It was grapes versus chocolate cake. 

Dick: There you go.

Maddox: Now, here's the interesting part. The people who were memorizing the longer digits, 7-plus, versus 4...

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: ...overwhelmingly chose the chocolate cake.

Dick: Hm.

Maddox: And that's because your...the part of your mind that is preoccupied with memorizing those longer digits is also the part of your mind that you use for critical thinking.

Dick: Right.

Maddox: And the longer it's preoccupied, the less likely you are to make a decision that's right or good or just for you.

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: And that's what's going on with this phenomenon of poor people, when they have decision fatigue when they go out to check out their groceries at the end of the day, they aren't...they aren't working with all 8 cylinders. 

Dick: Well, imagine that you're...instead of just memorizing a number, if you don't remember that number your kids are gonna starve.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Like, it's...there's a lot of additional stress for them.

Maddox: That number they're -

Dick: (interjects) So they're built to make bad choices. 

Maddox: Right. That number they're memorizing, often times, is "How much do I owe on the phone bill? How much do I owe for my car rent? How much do I owe for insurance?" Or the payday loans, or whatever -

Dick: (interjects) "How am I gonna afford this iPhone?" Right? (Maddox scoffs) (Sean laughs in the background)

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Like, typical poor people problems. 

Maddox: Yeah. Poor people with poor decision-making skills use iPhones. That's true. 

Dick: Yes. (Sean laughs in the background) Scientific proof that poor people are bad decision makers, right in my hands. Um, and I think it's...I think it's even worse than this. I'm gonna get real crazy with conspiracy, uh, shit, 'cause I don't wanna spend a lot of time on this problem. But here's -

Maddox: (interjects) Why? It's a good problem! I like this.

Dick: Well, you know. Eh, you make the point and then people...people vote on it. That's why I like to... (trails off) It's so prevalent for us. Um...when I go to watch television, used to be when I was a kid, you fire up the TV, and you get a little screen, you get one channel, that gives you a grid that tells you everything that's on. It's a list. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: You go through the list, and when you find something that you might not wanna kill yourself by watching, like, "Okay. (sighs) Yeah, I'll watch Goonies. Fine." I'm changing it to, like, Cinemax, or whatever.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Doesn't exist anymore! That was nice and simple. Nice binary choice. Yes, no. Yes, no. Each one: "Yes, no. Yes, no. Yes, n-..." Now, there' when I go to watch TV, I have NO idea where to go. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: I go to Netflix. What...where the fuck do I start? I gotta get out my computer! And search for "what is not dog shit on Netflix right now?" Because 99% of it is, and I don't wanna watch...where the fuck do I even start with this?? many many video-on-demand services do I even have? I've got...I've got someone's Hulu probably plugged into my Apple TV. Does that come into the equation at some point?? I...

Maddox: Netflix. Amazon.

Dick: I've got Amazon Prime! I've got Netflix! I've got Apple TV! 

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Do I have access to my brother-in-law's shows on this? How many fuckin' decisions do I need to make before I unwind?! And this is EVERY TIME I wanna watch TV, so fuck it!! I'll just watch Mad Men over. I'll just watch Trailer Park Boys over, AGAIN. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: It's so stressful, dealing with all these...I'll go to buy a rice maker. I wanted to make some rice this week.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: (stammers) Figure out...punch "rice maker" into Amazon. (Maddox groans) Oh, they got 15,000 rice makers to choose from!! So 45 minutes later, I'm still comparing features. I'm like, "Well, I don't know! How many fuckin' rice many servings of rice DO I want to make every week? How...?" I'm...I've got another tab open that says I should be making 4 cups of rice at a time and freezing half of it, because that is better left over rice. I'm chiseling the value of my fuckin' rice out like a PEASANT FARMER in the middle of China, for what?! Like, this is what all these things have brought me, is more fucking decisions, and I HATE it.

Sean: Well, you talk about the lessening of enjoyment? If I'm watchin' TV, I am constantly menu scanning, because I'm afraid there's something else that's better to watch on!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Because there is!!! 

Sean: Yeah! So -

Dick: (interjects) There always is!!

Sean: I don't enjoy what I'm watching because I'm always thinking there's something better!

Maddox: My friend, uh, my friend Madeleine once told me that she never enjoys going to parties in LA, because she feels like no matter what party she's at, she feels like there's one that's better right around the corner. 

Dick: Oh, dude, and if you try to talk to anyone at those parties, their head's on a fucking swivel.

Maddox: Ohh, my gosh, yeah. 'Cause they'll...they're talkin' to you, but they're -

Dick: (interjects) It's so ugly. LA is so ugly. (Maddox chuckles)

Maddox: They're also scanning the room to see who else is there, and what other person's coming to the party, who else can I talk to? Um, Dick, this problem, I used to have this problem. Two of 'em that you mentioned, specifically looking at items and comparing them for HOURS on Amazon. I used to do that, and for me, I realized a long time ago, as a form of procrastination. And also the paradox of choice, which makes your decision, finally when you make it, less satisfying when you do than had you just impulse bought whatever one...look, look. If I was gonna buy a rice maker, a rice cooker today?

Dick: (interjects) I should've just bought the first one!! 

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: I just go...I pull up the one that has the's the cheapest one...

Dick: Yep.

Maddox: ...with the highest reviews.

Dick: Yep.

Maddox: Done. I don't care. I know some of 'em are gonna be negative, I know some of 'em are gonna be positive, but overall, I'm probably gonna get a decent rice cooker if it has 4,000 four-and-a-half-star reviews.

Dick: Hide the rest of 'em. That's the Amazon killer. It's gonna be another company that opens up, and they just sell one of everything. 

Maddox: Yeah.


Maddox: So, I haven't had cable or dish in a long time, and I remember when...I think the last time I had dish was when I lived at my parents' house, because after I moved out I thought, "I'm not out of my fuckin' mind. I'm not gonna order this bullshit in my house and then go through this...300-plus channels with diff-...this matrix of programming and which hours a certain show is on."

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: And whether or not it's a re-run, or whate-...I don't have time for that shit. So I canceled...I cancel...I cut my cable a long time ago. It's been at least, like, 6-7 years, somethin' like that. Longer than that, maybe. Where now all I have is the -

Dick: (interjects) Before it was cool, probably. 

Sean: Mhm. (in background)

Maddox: Yeah, know, I just didn't find myself watching it. I have nothin' against people who watch TV. I'm not gonna be one of those pretentious snobs who think that people who watch TV are dullards or idiots. I think that there's a lot of good stuff on TV. I just don't have...I don't prioritize it in my life.

Dick: (Maddox sound clip: "You know, I'm a writer. I'm..." (scoffs)) (Maddox giggles) What were you not gonna be? (Clip repeats: "You know, I'm a writer. I'm..." (scoffs) "You know, I'm a writer. I'm..." (scoffs) "You know, I'm a writer. I'm..." (scoffs)) (Dick laughs)

Maddox: By the way, what was the deal with that on iTunes? A lot of people said that they downloaded the episode and that's all it played.

Dick: Oh, uh...people were emailing me for it, so I asked Randy to upload it and I forgot that any MP3 in the post gets treated as if... (trails off)

Maddox: Oh, right. Anyway, so...

Dick: I'll upload it this time correctly.

Maddox: So, um -

Dick: (interjects) RANDY fucked it up, everyone. That's what happened. (grins)

Maddox: Handy Randy. Blame it on Ran-...the man who can't defend himself. 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: So anyway, I replaced my dish and my cable with an HD antenna, which I highly recommend everyone get right now. I'll link to it on the website. It's called HD Leaf. It's a simple HD antenna you plug into your TV. You get...I don't know, in large metropolitan cities, you get about 60-70 channels on it, which is more than enough. I get a bunch of shitty public access channels, which is all I like to watch anyway, and then you get the network channels. What more do you need? And I'll...let me tell you, Dick, I've never been happier watching TV! I don't remember being this happy watching TV in...since I was a KID! When you were a kid, you only had like 10 channels and you just cycled through them all until you found something you liked, and then you thought, "Okay, this is what I'm watchin' today."

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: But when you have -

Dick: (interjects) It was great!

Maddox: When you have all those options on cable and dish, it's overwhelming, and no matter what decision you make, you will not be as satisfied had you just chosen something. 

Dick: Yeah, that's true. Um, I got...real quick. So...or maybe not real quick. Here's something else it causes: decision avoidance. Found that people who had more choices were often less willing to decide to buy anything at all. I do that all the time.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Confronted with 20...30 options, instead of when they faced 6. So they...they gave people 30 options; they said, "Fuck it, I can't." 

Sean: No, it's -

Dick: (interjects) They gave them 6, and they're like, "Yeah, no problem."

Sean: It's overwhelming!

Maddox: This is the jam study, right? Is this the jam study?

Dick: Uhh...uh, it's the deez study.

Maddox: No, I know...

Dick: Deez nuts.

Maddox: I know that deez nuts...

Dick: Study. (laughs)

Maddox: This is the jam study, Dick, where they too-...where they...I think they set up a display case of jams and jellies in a store one day, and they put up 6 -

Dick: (interjects) People couldn't pick JAM? Out of 30 jams, they couldn't pick a jam?

Maddox: No. Well...

Dick: That's crazy.

Maddox: What...they did, occasionally, but they bought fewer jams and jellies when there were 30 choices versus 6.

Dick: Oh, I see what you...oh, that's interesting. Yeah.

Maddox: And then when they were interviewed about the product quality afterwards, even though it was the exact same brand and the exact same kind of jelly that they were buying, they were less satisfied when they had to choose from 30 as opposed to the 6.

Dick: Yeah. Let's see, I already did the judges one. How...I think it plays, uh, it plays a part in cars.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: People buying stupid shit for their car. I think this plays...PLAYED, not as big as some other factors, but played a factor in the housing crash. Because buying a house, choosing different houses, is so stressful, I bet people just kinda said, "Oh, you know what? Fuck it. I'm just going...I know that I can't afford this. I' impulse sector is flaring up like an old disease. I'm just getting this big house that looks pretty, that the realtor's pushing me toward." Right? Like, in -

Maddox: (interjects) That's how I bought...that's how I bought my first two cars!

Dick: There you go. 

Maddox: Fatigue...choice fatigue. Decision fatigue.

Dick: Also, causes terrorism. That's it. 

Maddox: Okay. (laughs with Sean)

Dick: That's it. That's it.

Maddox: Just throw that in there. Tack it on.

Dick: Big problem.

Maddox: I heard...I don't know if this is an anecdote, and I hate mentioning it, because it's Einstein, but I heard this anecdote that Einstein always wore the same outfit every day because he said it was one less decision he had to make. And I have a friend in real life who does that. He wears the exact same outfit all the time. I have decided to kind of...not exactly model that in my life, but to model it in a way so that the number of decisions I usually have to choose from is between 3 things. I always whittle it down to the top 3...

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: ...and then I choose between those. AND, here's the best friend of a critical thinker: a coin. If you d-...if you weigh the pros and cons of everything, of every decision...

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: ...and it comes down to it? Flip a coin, move on with your life. And I -

Dick: (interjects) That's true. I always thought that anecdote you tell about the coin was stupid, but it's an...after presenting that, I've convinced myself that it's not.

Maddox: ('ding!' sound effect) Awesome. I'm awesome.

Dick: I don't...I wish it wasn't Einstein, too, in that anecdote. 

Maddox: Eh, whatever.

Dick: It could be anybody else.

Maddox: It could be.

Dick: Let's just say it's someone else.

Maddox: Okay. It's Feynman. Richard Feynman. Alright, here we go. I got a real big problem this week, Dick. Sean?

Dick: What?

Maddox: You might be one of these. Overpopulation alarmists! ('ding!' sound effect) Yeah! (applause sound effect)

Dick: Ohh.

Maddox: Haha! Big problem.

Dick: Are you?

Sean: No!! 

Dick: Oh. (Maddox laughs) 

Maddox: I don't know.

Sean: I don't give a fuck!

Dick: I am. There's way too many people on Earth.

Maddox: Oh yeah?? Okay! (both giggle) There you go! There we go. Here we g-...yeah.

Dick: Yeah, it's disgusting.

Maddox: Yeah, now we got a game. Alright. Overpopulation alarmists, or Malthusian alarmists. 

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: Because it's based on this guy you'll hear about in just a second. But overpopulation is a problem that either takes care of itself, or a problem that is easily avoided with technology. Every few years like clockwork, there's some overpopulation alarmist dipshit who rings bells to warn everyone that the earth is overpopulated, and that a great cataclysm is about to come. 

Dick: Like from God?

Maddox: Never happens. No, just that, "Oh, we're gonna run out of food! Oh, there's gonna be a famine. Uhh, there...disease, war..." Something, something.

Dick: I mean, there's a touch of that in global warming. You have to admit that a touch of that type of thinking is in all of this global warming propaganda. 

Maddox: That...well, that's cataclysmic thinking. It's not overpopulation.

Dick: Okay!

Maddox: Yeah., one of the earliest overpopulation alarmists was a guy named Thomas Malthus, the guy I mentioned at the top of this. 

Dick: What year?

Maddox: In 1779.

Dick: Ohhh.

Maddox: Thomas Malthus, right? He was a psychic, or if you wanna go by the more common name for his occupation, he was an economist. (Sean groans in the background)

Dick: Oh, boy.

Maddox: Uh-huh. (laughs)

Dick: Ohooo, boy. (cracks up)

Maddox: Here's what he wrote in 1779. He said, "The power of population is so superior to the power of Earth to produce subsistence for man..."

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: "...that premature death must in some shape or another visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation." And the vices he talks about is misery and suffering. He said those are the only reasons we're not overpopulated right now.

Dick: Is because of misery?

Maddox: Because misery and suffering. 

Dick: And suffering?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Wait, wh-...uhhh...

Maddox: He makes some convoluted argument. Anyway, the guy was a dipshit. 

Dick: Yeah. Pretty good psychic, though! (Maddox scoffs) You're still talkin' about him 200 years later, 250 years later. Pretty good. (smiles)

Maddox: Yeah, 'cause he's the butt of jokes! 

Dick: Well... (shrugs)

Maddox: (belches) On a podcast. Followed by me burping up my food. (cracks up)

Sean: Boy, he's really arrived. (Maddox laughs more)

Dick: Yeah. 

Maddox: What an idiot.

Dick: (chuckles) Maybe he's right. Misery and suffering.

Maddox: Thomas Malthus. He's such a dumb shit! Every lesser-mind dullard idiot ape I talk to online always invokes this overpopulation myth.

Dick: Really?!

Maddox: It's a myth!! Yeah! All the time.

Dick: I've never hear-...I've never heard it outside of, like, a crankpot talking, using crazy people as an example. Or, like, listening to some...crazy hippie. Like, some commune hippie who literally understands nothing about how civilization works. 

Maddox: Yeah. 

Dick: Like, no idea where their clothes came from...

Maddox: Right!

Dick: idea where their...where food even comes from.

Maddox: Yeah! You know, it's interesting you mention crazy hippies with no idea how the economy works or where their clothes come from.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Because every...every website I saw him cited on was some Marxist website.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: There's all these websites that are just Marxist propaganda, and they're all citing Thomas Malthus here. Here's what he predicted, all of which seems pretty reasonable to a lesser mind. Listen to this: "Population level is severely limited by subsistence." M'kay. "When the means of subsistence increases, population increases." Alright. I'm on board with that so far. "Population pressures stimulate increases in productivity." Okay. 

Dick: Yeah, kinda have to.

Maddox: That makes sense. 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah, kinda have to. "Increases in productivity stimulate further population growth." True. "Since this productivity can never keep up with the potential of population..." Uh-oh. (buzzer sound effect) "...for long, there must be strong checks on population to keep it in line with carrying capacity." Okay, there's where he runs into trouble.

Dick: Well, wait a minute. Is he talking about...the whole earth, or little microcosms?

Maddox: He's talkin' about the whole earth.

Dick: Okay. That's...

Maddox: Globally.

Dick: Yeah, that's not even close, globally.

Maddox: Yeah, not even close. He predicted Earth's carrying capacity was 1 billion, plus 1 billion every 25 years at most.

Dick: Well, we don't know that that's not true! (Maddox snorts) (everyone laughs) According to Forbes, there was a Times columnist who predicted in 1894 that by 1950, London would be buried in 9 feet of manure due to people using horses for travel. (Dick cackles) Yeah! He just did some simple math, and he s-...and he figured, "Okay, well, everyone's gonna use horses. The population's growing. We're...more people are gonna be riding around with horses, so London's gonna be covered in horse shit."

Dick: Hey, that still sounds like global warming! (Maddox giggles) "New York will be buried underwater."

Maddox: Dick, that...

Dick: "90 feet of ocean will be sweeping over the country." Doesn't it??

Maddox: N-... (stammers) I mean, cataclysmically, yes, but it's a totally different process.

Dick: I don't know!

Maddox: Overpopulation psychics, because let's call them what they are. Most economists are glorified psychics with shitty mathematical models that don't work. 

Dick: Ohh, no. (groaning)

Maddox: Right. These overpopulation psychics keep predicting peak oil every few years, too. These are the same people. Marion Hubbert predicted peak oil in 1956, but he didn't predict ocean drilling or fracking. 

Dick: Yeah. (shrugging)

Maddox: So of course that solved that problem.

Dick: Didn't see that comin'.

Maddox: No, didn't see that comin', did you? (dumb voice)

Dick: Well... (giggles)

Maddox: "Huhhh." 

Dick: Okay, wait a minute. I just had this thought. (Maddox giggles) So, what if...what if his prediction of a billion people -

Sean: (interjects) I wanna hear YOUR predictions for the next 50 years.

Dick: That's what I'm saying. Like...

Maddox: Sure.

Dick: Like, what if they asked this guy in the 1700s, like, "Okay, wow! Well, how many people do you think the earth COULD hold?" And it was like...the actual number was, like...I don't know, 200 million at that year? And he's like, "I don't know, like a billion." (Maddox laughs) Like, he throws out a number that he's like, "That's impossible." Like, "What's YOUR prediction, then? How many...?" Because then, in like 100 years they're gonna say, "This fuckin' moron Maddox thought the world could only hold 500 billion people." (Maddox cracks up again) "Here we're sitting at 7 trillion, no big deal."

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: "'Cause half of 'em are plugged into the Oculus Rift."

Maddox: Yeah. (laughs) Yeah! Oh man, I can't wait. 

Dick: What's your number, then? How many people? 

Maddox: Dick, uh -

Dick: (interjects) Infinite?

Maddox: (stammers) It's a fallacy to be able to predict!

Dick: Ohhh. (disdainful)

Maddox: Predictions are a fallacy themselves!

Dick: Please, it's fun.

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: It's fun. (Maddox snickers)

Sean: Smart answer.

Dick: Yeah, it's fun. (grins)

Maddox: Yeah! (laughing)

Sean: It's a smart answer.

Maddox: Yeah, it''s -

Dick: (interjects) Such a politician. (Maddox giggles)

Maddox: Build that wall! Alright man, listen. According to Forbes, "The popular 1968 book 'The Population Bomb' posited that in the 1970s, hundreds of millions would starve to death. The theory was that if food production is growing at X rate and the population growth is growing at much faster Y rate, that could pose quite a problem. But then, along came Norman Borlaug, who invented high-yielding, disease-resistant dwarf wheat," which solved that problem.

Dick: Well, but y-...wait a minute. There's all...there's millions of people starving to death in Africa and China right now because they don't have -

Maddox: (interjects) It's a very small...Dick, it's like 2% of the, world's population. And by the way, they're not starving because we don't have enough capacity to produce food to feed them. They're starving due to political corruption, or the high cost of distribution, and various other reasons. It's not starvation because we're over capacity. That's an important distinction. Small but important. The problem with Malthus's predictions and those who agree with them is that they couldn't predict technological advances that allowed for increased population growth. Here are the things that Malthus and his cohorts, his dipshit psychic colleagues, didn't predict: he didn't predict the full impact of the Industrial Revolution. Couldn't have. (smug)

Dick: What an idiot. 

Maddox: Yeah! (everyone giggles) Moron. What a...what a putz!

Sean: Yeah. (grinning)

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: What an idiot, who couldn't... (cracks up) ...who couldn't predict that.

Maddox: No.

Dick: Something that would change the fundamental nature of society.

Maddox: Well...

Sean: Asshole didn't see the cotton gin coming. (Dick guffaws)

Dick: He sure didn't!

Maddox: Well, look...look -

Dick: (interjects) Watch me blow $100,000 on the stock market overnight, but this dummy couldn't predict the future. 

Maddox: You know what? You know what, shithead? (Dick laughs) Yeah, I'm not going to make a prediction based on technologies that I don't know are going to be invented yet.

Sean: That's an ad hominem attack. (Dick laughs loudly)

Maddox: No, it's...FUCK YOU, SEAN! (cracks up) (buzzer sound effect) piece o' shit!! Listen.

Sean: (interjects) You been reading Psychology Today? (Maddox laughs again) Natural Health?

Maddox: Fuck you, Sean!

Dick: Was he right? Was he right without the Industrial Revolution? Would he have been right with what...

Maddox: No!!

Dick: ...what they had at the time?

Maddox: No, of course not! The Industrial Revolution, for -

Dick: (interjects) I don't know!

Maddox: No, but I told you during the bonus episode...

Dick: Hmm?

Maddox: $1.33 on the website, check it out. During the bonus episode, I talked about the Industrial Revolution and how it transformed the society from 80% agriculture...

Dick: Right.

Maddox: 1%. That freed up a lot of people to work on a lot of different things and productivity.

Dick: Right! So he...if...without that, he might've been right!

Maddox: Oh, are you saying without the Industrial...?

Dick: Yes!

Maddox: No.

Dick: Without the Industrial R-...without the Industrial Revolution, how much acreage and people do you need dedicated to agriculture to power the world? What if it IS 1 billion?

Maddox: Well, mayb-...

Dick: (interjects) That would be int-...that would be a hell of a...

Maddox: Maybe, Dick!

Dick: ...a guess!

Maddox: Alright!

Dick: If he actually busted that out off the, how many acres does it take to feed a person using, like, Mennonite tools? Only things available before the Industrial Revolution?

Maddox: I think the same amount, it's just that we'd spend more time doing it. 

Dick: Uhhh...I don't know, I think...I think, like...well, I don't know. Of course I don't know. 

Maddox: No.

Dick: I think industrialized farming has let you make a lot of food in a lot less space. Like, you got alotta cows...

Maddox: True.

Dick: ...growin'...drivin' up to Fresno, and...

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Where the air is choked with...with, uh...

Maddox: Poop.

Dick: ...feces and orange chemical spray. 

Maddox: Yeah. 

Dick: Uh...

Maddox: Agent Orange is what... (cracks up) That's what they're spraying on the cows.

Dick: It's awful! It's awful driving up there.

Maddox: Look, here's how you avoid being a blowhard when it comes to predictions. 'Kay? Thomas Malthus could've simply just looked backwards -

Sean: (interjects) Hoh, boy. (laughing)

Dick: Yeah, here we go.

Maddox: Yeah. (cracks up) Shut up, Sean!

Sean: Listening audience, you know what to do! (Maddox laughs)

Maddox: Fuck you!

Dick: He should've got on Google and...

Maddox: Fuck you.

Dick: ...looked backwards in time.

Maddox: No! All he had to do is look at a history book and see the Iron Age, and seen how much that improved people's lives and improved agriculture and improved the population. All you have to do is look at the past and see that, "Oh, well, in the past we've had huge technological advances." What reason do you have to believe that in the future, we won't??

Sean: But Maddox...

Maddox: What evidence do you have?

Sean: You...he was a psychic.

Dick: He didn't have that evidence!

Maddox: Yeah, he was a psychic who -

Sean: (interjects) He was a psychic! You don't look backwards as a psychic.

Maddox: No. You don't look at evidence.

Sean: He was only predicting the future.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: You don't look at past history and evidence and precedent. What you do is you try to predict the future, which always gets you in trouble. And now dipshits on the Internet are still citing Malthus for, uh, for shitty arguments. 

Dick: He invented outrage porn. 

Maddox: N-...yeah. (scoffing)

Dick: He really did!!

Maddox: He didn't predict mechanized agriculture after World War II. 

Dick: There you go.

Maddox: He didn't predict the Green Revolution that increased agricultural yield tremendously in the developing world. He didn't predict an increase in the use of birth control. He didn't predict the future of our agricultural industry, which is likely vertical farming. In short, Thomas Malthus predicted only two things correctly: jack and shit. (Dick and Sean laugh) Yeah.

Sean: Wait, these alarmists cite anyone else besides Malthus?

Maddox: Oh yeah, there's plenty of 'em! This Forbes article that talked about that guy in the Times piece? In, uh, 19-...1894? He predicted that London would be covered in horse manure? (Dick cackles) That guy?

Dick: That guy's really funny.

Maddox: And then they've also lumped people like Marion Hubbert...there's a bunch of these people who are, uh...

Dick: What else did they say? I wanna hear more global warming from the past. (Maddox laughs) Like, what else would happen?

Maddox: Well, there was that guy -

Dick: (interjects) Waves of demons would fly across the plains, instead of hurricanes? (grinning)

Maddox: Yeah. No, that "Population Bomb" book in the 1970s was another one of these. There's a bunch in this Forbes article. I'll link to it on the website. But yeah, anyway. In short, this guy didn't predict anything. I once argued with a lesser mind in the fan forums that, uh, death was a good thing. He was arguing that death was a good thing.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Because it was a solution to overpopulation. (disdainful) 

Dick: Yeah. (skeptical)

Maddox: Which is an...first of all, it...overpopulation has never been a global problem in human history. NEVER. There's a...there have been some regional instances of overpopulation, as I mentioned earlier, because of corruption or cost-prohibitive distribution or bad crop yields, but we've never outgrown our capacity to feed and sustain our population, which is the definition of overpopulation.

Dick: Lemme float -

Maddox: (interjects) You idiots.

Dick: Lemme float this one by you. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Tell me if you've heard of this experiment. It's called "the beautiful ones." 

Maddox: No, what is it?

Dick: Ohh, it's a good one. It's a juicy experiment. So a team of researchers built a...built a paradise for rats. Right? Massive installa-...massive cage, tunnels going every which way. Cheese as far as the eye could see for these rats, and they turned 'em loose. Right? So at first the rat population exploded, like you would expect. It was just...rat peace, rat peace all over rat town as the rats spread out and infested their new...their cage. But as population got out of control, after the initial fights over territory where the rats killed each other, they found that the male rats, instead of becoming aggressively territorial, would exhibit this weird phenomenon. Some of them. They would hole up in their little areas, their little nests, and they would sit there and...what is it called, when you're...

Maddox: (interjects) Excrete.

Dick: yourself?

Maddox: Oh.

Dick: What is that called, when animals do it?

Maddox: Preen? Preen themselves?

Dick: Preen themselves?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah, they would preen themselves, they would clean themselves, they would lick themselves until their coats were beautiful and shiny and straight. They wouldn't pursue women at all; they would just sit there and preen and homemake. Right? Essentially. 

Maddox: Right.

Dick: The jump is, the jump in thinking, is that in cities where massive population is a problem -- New York, parts of America, Japan -- that young males are doing the same thing these "beautiful ones," these rats were doing, because of overpopulation, where they feel no possibility of territorial claims. They just hole themselves up in shitty little apartments, making their little apartment better. Beautifying their apartment, maybe working out obsessively, collecting trophies obsessively, not pursuing the opposite sex, exhibiting no traits of, like, traditional masculinity?

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Maybe there's a comparison to draw there, that overpopulation is having some effect on our generation. I'm obviously not saying that these idiots are correct, that Earth could ever be overpopulated. 'Cause Earth could probably support, max...a trillion people. (Maddox cracks up) Right? I'm just saying that the study is very interesting, because the rats exhibit behaviors that I see in modern men. 

Maddox: Well, actually, you''re right, Dick. You touched on something really important here. Some species have self-control measures and refrain from reproduction via abstinence, and in humans, like -

Dick: (interjects) Disgusting. 

Maddox: Like humans in China, obviously, when China decided that they had a problem on their hands? They had a crisis, they couldn't feed the population, they had self-imposed abstinence measures, and some species even release pheromones that prevent them from reproducing. So that's true, there might be somethin' to that. Because when you are stressed out, due to being in close quarters with people and you don't have enough space or whatever, you are stressed and you do release pheromones that...that, uh, can inhibit reproduction. So yeah, you might be onto somethin'.

Dick: Not me. Speak for yourself. (Maddox snorts)

Maddox: Yeah. So yeah, anyway, m-...Dick, I just wanna end on this one point here, this one note. There's an economist, Henry George, argued that Malthus didn't provide any evidence of a natural tendency for a population to overwhelm its ability to provide for itself. There is NO evidence for this. It's never happened. And here's the one big prediction that I -

Sean: (interjects) You like THAT economist. (Dick and Maddox laugh)

Maddox: Yeah, you know what?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: You know what, Sean? Here's the thing. (Dick cracks up again) The only r-...the only thi-...the only reason...look, I don't know anything else...yeah, you're...oh, fuck you, Sean!!

Dick: Ohh, you fucked up. (giggles)

Maddox: Look, I've said...I've gone on the record saying there's some good economists. 

Dick: Yeah, Alan Greenspan. 

Maddox: Most of 'em are just psychics, though. They're glorified psychics. Anyway. So here's the thing that, uh, overpopulation -

Dick: (interjects) Greenspan admitted that HE was a glorified psychic. 

Maddox: Did he??

Dick: He said he was wrong. Yeah. 

Maddox: Oh, good!

Dick: He said...

Sean: Yeah! No, he really did.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah! That's a critical thinker. Someone who...a big...a big man!

Dick: (chuckles) No, he's a fuckin' idiot!!

Maddox: Ohh, okay. (sarcastic)

Dick: Like, a...go.

Maddox: Yeah. But why, 'cause he...

Dick: What'd you wanna end on?

Maddox: ...'cause he ceded a point? Here's the thing. Here's what most global...what overpopulation alarmists aren't taking into consideration in the future, for future technology? Somethin' that we have just barely scratched the surface of: vertical farming. Who knows what the capacity of our food output would be with vertical farming? With hydroponically-grown vertical farming that doesn't need any pesticides, it doesn't need anything that we don't have to...we don't have to spray because we don't have pesticides in these buildings, or whatever these greenhouses are. Whatever it is in the future. Skyscrapers full of food. Who knows what the capacity of Earth is? Who knows? I mean, I don't think we're NEAR...anywhere near the capacity of Earth.

Dick: Well... (shrugs)

Maddox: Anyway.

Dick: I guess we'll find out. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: You know what we ARE at the capacity of? (Maddox giggles)

Maddox: What's that?

Dick: Beards. 

Maddox: Oh. (laughing)

Dick: Beards. We got...everybody's got enough beards. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: We need razors to shave them off. This episode is brought to you by Harry's. Please visit and use the promo code "BIGGESTPROBLEM" to save $5 off your first purchase. Harry's makes a great blade. Why pay $32 for an 8-pack of blades, of blades that are not as good, when you can get them for half the price at The Harry's starter set is an amazing deal. For just $15 you get a razor, you get moisturizing cream, and you get 3 razor blades that'll la-...they'll last you a while. Mine have lasted me a long time. 

Maddox: They're fantastic. 

Dick: If you're a daily shaver, it could save...I don't have the number in front of me. It's like 100 b-...100 bucks. That's...a year or somethin' like that. I brought in a fan review of a Harry's product, because people are probably tired of me talkin' about Harry's. So here's this dude's review. (plays voicemail message)

Voicemail (male caller): Hey guys, thought I'd just call in saying I did actually break down and buy a Harry's razor. Cost me a ridiculously low price, $10, and I'm switching from a Gillette brand. Uh, Fusion 5. It is dramatically better in every way. Like, incomparable. 

Dick: Wow!! (both crack up)

Maddox: Hmm! 

Dick: Layin' it on!

Maddox: You can't compare them.

Voicemail: So, uh, I guess for once, Dick, go...nah, fuck it. Go fuck yourself.

(message ends)

Dick: Okay. (Maddox laughs) Thank you for...thank you for ruining the ad, sir.

Maddox: Perfect ad. You always want the word "f-..."...the F-word in an ad read. (giggles)

Dick: Over a million guys have made the switch! If you haven't, you're an idiot. Let's go to the next problem. (Sean laughs in the background)

Maddox: What a dumb shit. What a...all the people who haven't made the switch? Dumb shits. I'm gonna go on the record sayin' that! Write your hate mail to me. I'll take it. 

Dick: Who would write hate mail over that?

Maddox: Aw, I get hate mail for EVERYTHING, man. Are you kidding me??

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Anyway, whatever. Let's move on. What do you got?

Dick: Here's my next problem: bits. Bits. Bits, bits, bits. Now, I thought, and I think ma-...and maybe you do too. I thought this was a...I thought this was a comedy problem, 'cause I know a lot of comedians. Maddox knows a lot of comedians. Sean, I don't know if you know a lot of comedians. But comedians do this, um...this really horrible thing.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Lately it's been, uh, assaulting women. (Maddox and Sean snicker) But before those scandals, it was something that was almost as bad, which is constantly making jokes. 

Maddox: Close second.

Dick: Clo-...very cl-... (cracks up) Close second. We'll leave it at that. 

Maddox: Yeah. (giggles)

Dick: Second to the...yeah. Um...and I thought it was just a comedy thing. I don't know if you agree with that or not. 

Maddox: For the most part, yeah. The first time I noticed it, this phenomenon?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Was when I was at a cafe with a friend of mine, and...a couple friends of mine, and one of 'em was a pretty b-...pretty, uh...I'd say he's, like, a mid-level comedian. Really funny dude.

Dick: What is...what is a mid-level comedian?

Maddox: Mid-level comedian -

Dick: (interjects) Is that like HBO stand-up, or...?

Maddox: No. Pre-Comedy Central stand-up. 

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: But not so low-level that he's not makin' a living. Like, he's makin' a living off his comedy, but nobody's ever heard of him.

Dick: Okay. 

Maddox: Does that...that's a mid-level comedian.

Dick: Yeah, so you would think a guy who makes a living off this would wanna not do it when he's not getting paid for it. Like, I don't see a lot of mechanics when they're out of the shop just going around changing tires on cars in the street.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Right?

Maddox: They're always on!

Dick: But please, go on. This guy. What happened?

Maddox: Yeah! Well, we were sitting there...this is the first time I noticed this phenomenon. We're sitting in this cafe, and I was just tryin' to have a normal conversation. Which, know, we...we're all in the improv community, and you come out, and I the way, I hate myself for even saying that phrase out loud. "Community."

Dick: Community, 'cause it's full of people who would stab you in the back to get on an Internet commercial. Right?

Maddox: Hah, well...yeah. 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: At, uh, at some point.

Dick: Not you, because you're famous.

Maddox: No. (laughs)

Dick: But anyone else, yeah.

Maddox: Yeah, I don't give a shit. Whatever. So, anyway. So we're sittin' here, I'm just tryin' to have a normal conversation. 

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: I'm asking him questions about his life, I'm asking him where he lives, et cetera, et cetera. And every response is a FUCKING joke.

Dick: Is a joke.

Maddox: And at some point, I st-...I have to take a step back and ask myself out loud, "Um, are you...are you joking with me? I don't know if you're telling me jokes now, or if you're just bein' real for...can I get a real answer out of you for a minute? Because this is exhausting." It's exhausting to be around these people who are constantly telling jokes, all the fucking time. You feel like you can't have a real connection with these people.

Sean: He probably can't turn it off.

Dick: It's almost as if he's brain damaged.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Would you say that?? 

Maddox: I... (chuckles) I could...yeah, I could say that, sure.

Dick: Welp, turns out, it's true! Did you see this...this, uh, last week?

Maddox: The pun article, right?

Dick: The pun article!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Saying that compulsive joking is a symptom of brain damage. And I wouldn't bring this in because like you, I thought it was just a comedy thing, but I was talkin' to this girl after Deadpool came out, and she was like, "I hated it. I hated Deadpool because it was just constant jokes, and it reminded me of my friend who would make constant jokes." And I was thinking about it and I was like, "Well...yeah, I have friends like that too!" Outside of the comedy community, and it''s exhausting. It's, like, nails-on-a-chalkboard exhausting. So I think that the voting will show whether or not this is a problem globally. You know what I'm saying?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah. I brought in that study, if you're in-...the brain damage study, if you're interested in it. Do you wanna hear about it?

Maddox: Yeah, of course!

Dick: Yeah, okay. And I also brought in a test to see if anyone here is brain damaged.

Maddox: Okay.

Dick: So this guy's wife, er, the...yeah. This guy was bothering his wife. He would wake her up to tell her these jokes. Jokes like, uh...well, I'm not gonna read that one. It's horrible. 

Maddox: Then let's hear these horrible jokes. I like to hear a bad joke.

Dick: Here's one of the jokes that he woke his wife up to tell her in the middle of the night: "Went to the DMV to get my driver's license. They gave me an eye exam, and here's what I said. 'A-B-C-D-E-F-G, H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P, Q-R-S, T-U-V, W-X-Y, and Z. Now I know my ABCs. Can I have my license please?'" (Sean and Maddox groan)

Maddox: Aughhh, man...

Dick: Does that sound familiar? 

Maddox: Ugh...

Dick: Right??

Maddox: SO bad. 

Dick: Sucking your time out of you like a vampire. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: 'Cause you're conditioned to want the joke!

Maddox: I would ra-...I think if I had to listen to that joke again or I could be hung upside down and had my blood drained like a pig, I would choose the latter.

Dick: Yeah! Uh, here's another one of his gems: "How do you cure hunger? Step away from the buffet table." 

Maddox: Ugh. Maaaan... (Dick sighs quietly) How do you cure...? Okay. (hesitant)

Dick: So, there's no cure for it, 'cause you're brain damaged. (Maddox sighs) Oh no, I'm...excuse me, there is a cure for it: anti-psychotic medication. Has been shown...this disease that they're calling, uh, witzelshucht? Witzel-...witzelsucht? That...maybe that's a joke. (Maddox snickers) It's German. It's...they said it's addiction to wisecracking, literally. Witzelsucht. Brought was brought on by this guy with two strokes five years apart. One messed up his circuits, and the other cinched him permanently. There's a bunch of other examples, too. Some guy in 1929 who was having a tumor operated on? He was still conscious, but as they were operating on it he started to make puns, one after the other. 

Maddox: Huh.

Dick: And it was so bad, they shot him. (Maddox and Sean laugh) In the operating room.

Maddox: Just end the operation.

Dick: Yeah! They...'cause they didn't know what to do.

Sean: Dick, you and I have a friend...

Dick: Oh, I know!

Sean: Yeah, Mr. Bad Pun himself.

Dick: I know.

Sean: He can't help himself.

Dick: No! Dude, according to this research, he's got brain damage!!

Sean: Oh, I completely believe that.

Dick: Well...

Maddox: So how many studies -

Sean: (interjects) It's BAD.

Maddox: How many studies did they...did they make? Is this, like, one of these one-off studies that they came out and they said this, uh, this phenomenon's happening?

Dick: Well, there was a couple of different examples where people were doing it. Um... (papers shuffling) Let me see. Yeah, there's a bunch of different cases of it. A 57-year-old Chinese woman who suddenly morphed into a real joke machine had demen-...had suffered dementia that damaged the front temporal lobe of her brain. 

Maddox: Hm!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Now Dick, I don't wanna bust your balls too much, 'cause I feel like you do that a lot on this podcast. You know, a lot of back-to-back jokes.

Dick: Right.

Maddox: Sometimes when I'm tryin' to...but you're not like that in real life. Uh, it's -

Dick: (interjects) No, I hate joking in real life. (Maddox chuckles) I try never to do it. 

Maddox: Well, you're a funny guy on and off the air. 

Dick: Oh, please. Please, please.

Maddox: But on the air, it's a different...I think it's a little bit different. You're more "on" because it's a performance. Is that the case?

Dick: Well, I made the mistake of thinking it's a comedy podcast. (Maddox and Sean crack up)

Maddox: That's a big mistake!

Dick: And not an informa-...yeah. That's... (Maddox giggles) I's always my mistake.

Maddox: WRONG. Wrong.

Sean: That's what he's talkin' about!! (Dick laughs)

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah. Okay, I've got...

Maddox: Okay.

Dick: I brought in the funniest joke in the world, I found in my research. 

Maddox: Oh, I think I've heard...

Dick: You wanna hear it?

Maddox: Yeah, let's hear this. Yeah.

Dick: Okay. Have you heard it, Sean?

Sean: The funniest joke in the world?

Dick: That's what this was deemed by a bunch of researchers. 

Sean: Really? Well...

Dick: Yeah. Okay, here you go.

Sean: I don't know! I'll...

Maddox: Yeah. 

Sean: You'll have to read it, and then I'll tell you whether I've heard it. 

Dick: Here you go. I don't wanna fuck it up. Okay. "Three guys are stranded on a desert island, and they find a magic lantern containing a genie who grants them each one wish. The first guy wishes he was off the island and back home. The second guy wishes the same. The third guy says, 'I'm lonely. I wish my friends were back here.'" (Maddox groans)

Maddox: Ohhh, jeez. (Dick giggles) 

Sean: As soon as you started that, halfway through the first sentence, I knew it. 

Dick: (grins) Uh, okay. Here's another -

Sean: (interjects) I was already groaning.

Dick: Here's's a...

Maddox: Ughhh. 

Dick: I'm gonna...I'll wrap this up, 'cause this sucks. Um... (Maddox and Sean laugh) So people are saying that brain-damaged people that don't understand complicated jokes and they got, um...they got a bunch of these guys together and told them jokes that play on understanding the incongruity of the punchline. 

Maddox: Ah, okay.

Dick: And why that's funny. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: And they didn't understand that, but then they showed them, like, a picture of a woman getting her dress ripped off?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: And they all thought that was hilarious. 

Maddox: Thought it was hilarious. (Dick guffaws) Like a CHILD. 

Dick: That's...but that is funny. 

Maddox: Well... (Dick giggling) But like a a child, a little baby, will laugh when you make a goofy face at it.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Because the baby thinks that there's know. can't quite put...pinpoint or enumerate with a vocabulary what exactly it is they find funny about it, but the dumb kid is laughing, so.

Dick: Yeah. I brought in a bunch of more bad jokes, but I don't wanna read them.

Sean: Maddox didn't laugh until he was, like, 32. (Maddox snorts and laughs)

Dick: That was just gas.

Sean: Yeah, it was just gas! (laughing)

Maddox: It's always been gas.

Dick: Alright, go...go ahead. That's my -

Maddox: (interjects) No, no...

Dick: Bits. That's my...

Maddox: I wanna talk about this for a s-...a minute too, because -

Dick: (interjects) Oh, go ahead. 

Maddox: Here's's a phenomenon I wish I, uh...well, it's a phenomenon that I started to notice in Los Angeles when I started hanging out in comedy circles.

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox: And I started meeting more and more people who were comedians and people who were...who were doing this for a livelihood. I...

Dick: Well... (scoffing)

Maddox: I wish -

Dick: (interjects) "Livelihood."

Maddox: Well...

Dick: (interjects) That's generous. 

Maddox: Yeah. True. So, here's something I wish I could almost take back, because it's kind of skewed my memory of people I grew up with in Utah. I don't know if this phenomenon existed and I just didn't notice it, or if it's confirmation bias today, but I do notice in the comedy scene, there's a higher likelihood of these people to have this weird thing where they don't quite look you in the eyes, and they can't engage with you on a deeper level. And I feel like sometimes comedy is a layer that they put between themselves and another person to avoid that connection, because -

Sean: (interjects) Oh, I think that's COMPLETELY true. 

Maddox: Yeah. So I wonder how much of it is, like, brain damage?

Dick: Brain damage?

Maddox: Versus...I mean, it could be brain damage. It could be all tied together, because people who go into comedy a lot of times come from a, the funniest people come from a very dark background. 

Dick: Mmm.

Maddox: I think. They have the d-...they have a very dark history, they have something...something traumatic or tragic has happened to them.

Dick: Really? You think so?

Sean: Yeah, it's like a survival th-...oh, yeah!

Maddox: Most of the time, yeah. Most of the time. 

Dick: Uhh... (skeptical)

Maddox: That's why a long time ago, my friend came in...uh, interestingly enough, to an improv show I was at, and said that they just read the new Tina Fey book, and I said, "Well, is it funny or is it tragic?" And they kinda laughed, and they said, "Why would it be tragic?" and I said, "Well, you...most comedians have tragic backgrounds. Most comedians have tragic stories."

Dick: She's a comedian?!?

Maddox: Tina Fey??

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: Get outta here. (scoffing)

Dick: Oh, my GOD.

Maddox: Nice.

Dick: Why isn't she in the female Ghostbusters movie, then? (Sean chuckles)

Maddox: Yeah, well, uh... (sighs)

Dick: Checkmate. (Maddox and Sean laugh) 

Maddox: She probably is! Have you seen that photo floatin' around on Twitter? Oh my gosh. Anyway man, so you have people who are damaged, or who have, um...dark histories and dark backgrounds, who are then trying to cope with their trauma through comedy.

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox: And because of their dark histories and dark backgrounds, they may have also had some kind of psychological event that triggered...that, uh, that may have given them some kind of brain damage. Who knows?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Maybe it's all related! Maybe it's all related. But that's an in-...that's very interesting, this bit study. Yeah.

Dick: Well, if you know somebody who does it, send them this podcast.

Maddox: I'm curious what the rest of the world...because I feel like you and I, we live in a bubble right now.

Dick: See, that's what I thought too!!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: BUT, I...I think it's bigger than that! Because this guy has nothin' to do with comedy, this idiot that's keepin' his wife awake.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: This Chinese lady...

Maddox: I wanna see -

Dick: ...has nothin' to do with comedy.

Maddox: I'm curious; I wanna see this in the comments. If you guys know people like this in your life and you aren't connected to any kind of comedy scene, I want to know if this is a global phenomenon. Especially people in Europe who are listening, this a global phenomenon, or is it something that you and I notice more because we hang out with more comedians?

Dick: I don't know!

Maddox: Yeah. Interesting, interesting.

Dick: All I know is, everyone sucks. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Vote it up. 

Maddox: True.

Dick: What's your problem?

Maddox: ('ding!" sound effect) Guys, I got a big problem to, uh, to wrap things up here: prank bros. 

Sean: Mhm. (in background)

Maddox: Yeah, Prank -

Dick: (interjects) What are those?

Maddox: Prank bros. They're assholes. 

Dick: Are those specific people, or are they bros like...brohams?

Maddox: They're YouTube pranksters.

Dick: But is this a, uh, a brand? That you're describing? "Prank Bros"?

Maddox: Well, that's what, uh...that's what they're called pejoratively. 

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: They're just called prank channels on YouTube.

Dick: Oh, okay. Okay.

Maddox: But most of these prank channels are such...they're such fucking wastes...they're just, like, the cesspool of humanity. And it's people who are, um...imagine if BuzzFeed and Huffington Post, instead of their clickbait-y titles to get your clicks to come to their website? Instead of that, imagine it was just, like, a pan to the face (Dick laughs) of some stranger.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: And then it was like, "Hey guys, we hit this stranger in the face with a pan! They got really pissed - "

Dick: (interjects) I would watch the shit outta that.

Maddox: "They got really pissed o-..." (cracks up) There you go, there's the audience! (giggles)

Dick: Well, did you see the one when those kids were throwing milk in the store?

Maddox: Yeah! (Dick laughs loudly) So there's this -

Dick: (interjects) That was SO funny.

Maddox: Yeah. When I mentioned to Handy Randy, our producer, that I was doin' this problem, he sent...he immediately sent me a video of what he thought of as a prank bro. There are these kids...this video went super viral a while back.

Dick: Yeah. 

Maddox: Where these kids walk through a grocery store holding two jugs of...two gallons of milk. (Dick giggles) And then, they would just throw the milk gallons up in the air, or -

Dick: (interjects) No, they would...they would fake like they're slipping.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: It started with them faking like they're slipping really crappily.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: And they're like, "WHOOOOA!" and they throw the milk up in the air. (laughing)

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah, okay.

Maddox: Yeah. Um, you know -

Dick: (interjects) And then it escalates to, like, they're not really slipping that much anymore and they're hucking the milk sideways.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Like, tryin' to throw it both ways, and then...and then after it spills, and the people are coming over and tryin' to help them, they're pretending to slip all over the milk.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Like they can't get up, and getting milk all over their clothes. 

Maddox: Look, that part was kinda funny, but some of 'em went too far. When they actually broke the light bulbs in the store, they destr-...they did one in a -

Dick: (interjects) Yeah. (laughing)

Maddox: In a card aisle, where they're selling a bunch of birthday cards and Father's Day cards. Like, whatever. They smashed a bunch of gallons of milk that splashed all over the cards. They ruined -

Dick: (interjects) They ruined all the cards. (still laughing)

Maddox: Hundreds of dollars in goods!

Dick: Well...

Maddox: In merchandise, and then these poor old people are comin' up to save, like, help them up. They say, "Oh, here, grab my cart," and they didn't know these kids are putting them on the entire time.

Dick: And they're still slipping as they're grabbing the cart.

Maddox: Yeah. The, uh...

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: One of the funny ones in that video, I think, was the last one, where the kid just...drops the gallons of milk, (Dick cackles) and then collapses. 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: He's not even making an effort to slip. Anyway.

Dick: I think I've seen that video, like, a hundred times.

Maddox: Yeah, I've seen -

Dick: (interjects) Randy and I have watched it together.

Maddox: I've seen it a bunch too. But that spawned a bunch of copycats who went around and took things WAY too far. By the way...

Dick: Uh-oh, what'd they do?

Maddox: ...most people would say they took it too far. Well, they did this -

Dick: (interjects) Well, that's why it's so funny to me!

Maddox: Well, you know,'s funny until it's your store. It's funny until it's your mom, or your si-...

Dick: Yeah, it's not my stuff!

Maddox: ...your date, your... (cracks up) Okay.

Dick: Yeah, that's why it's great!

Maddox: Great. Dick, I will never get you on board with this problem. (Dick giggles) 

Dick: No!! (Maddox laughs) I mean, they're...I'm ho-...they're horrible and I'm horrible! I don't care! It's hilarious. (laughing)

Maddox: You are a prank bro. That's what you are. Anyway man, these prank bros, they...first of all, a lot of these prank bros are exploitive. They just...they go...they kn-...they go to areas of town where they know they can get a reaction, and it's usually pranks in the ghetto. And that's what they call them.

Dick: Whoahohoho, really?

Maddox: Yeah! Yeah.

Dick: Ooooo.

Maddox: Go to YouTube and type in "pranks in the ghetto," and you'll find hundreds of videos of these dickheads going to, quote, "the ghetto."

Dick: Oh.

Maddox: And...and fucking with black people. They'll... (Dick guffaws) Yeah!

Dick: What the hell...what are they doing?

Maddox: Yeah. Listen to this. Here's one from, uh, Josh...PalerLin. 

Dick: Like, "Your momma's so fat..."? They walk up and start a beef with them?

Maddox: No, it's...I mean, stuff like that, but they'll also come up and say, "Hey, um, you wanna get popped in the mouth?" They'll come up to a black dude, just sittin' there minding his own fuckin' business, and they'll say, "Hey, you wanna get popped in the mouth?" and the guy's like, "What the fuck are you sayin' to me??" 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: And the kid...uh, the kid will then pull out a soda from his pocket and say, "Uh, do you want a pop in your mouth?"

Dick: Oh, my GOD. (chuckling)

Maddox: You know, like some -

Dick: (interjects) That guy's gonna get shot!

Maddox: Yeah, exactly! 

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: And some of these kids do! They get beat up, they get knived, of these kids...I think one of 'em DIED during one of these stupid pranks! (Dick giggles) 

Sean: So what's the problem?

Dick: Yeah!! (laughs with Maddox) That's...even funnier! That's a double prank!

Maddox: Well, because that's not always what -

Sean: (interjects) "Joke's on YOU, fuckhead." (Dick cackles)

Maddox: Yeah, but that's not what always happens, Sean. Like, some of these people feel threatened.

Dick: Yeah!!

Maddox: They'll come up to the kid...they'll come up to, like, some...a group of black dudes, right?

Dick: Mhm. 

Maddox: A group of these guys, just sitting there minding their own fuckin' business, and they'll say, "Hey, you want a piece? You wanna buy a piece from me?" And this of these guys got really fuckin' upset, 'cause I think he just got out of prison. He was just paroled or somethin' like that. 

Dick: Hooo.

Maddox: He's like, "You tryin' to sell me a fuckin' gun?" And this kid is, uh...this kid's like, "Yeah! You want a gun?" And he's like, "What the fuck is your problem?!" And he starts to come at this kid! He's like, "Get the fuck away from me!" And the kid's like, "Oh no, do you want a piece of GUM?" Or, he'd just pull some's always a stupid fuckin' pun. This might be related to your problem, Dick. These idiots -

Dick: (interjects) They probably DO have brain damage.

Maddox: Yeah! They'll always pull out somethin' like that, or they'll go up to a -

Dick: (interjects) They're kids! They definitely do. 

Maddox: Yeah. So, there's this guy -

Dick: (interjects) Wait, did he have gum?

Maddox: Hm?

Dick: Did the kid have gum in the end?

Maddox: Yeah, they always have some stupid pun joke in there.

Dick: Ohhh.

Maddox: And then when they get their asses kicked, they say, "Oh, it's just a prank! It's just a prank." 

Dick: Huh.

Maddox: There's this guy named Josh PalerLin. He got a lot of fame because he did this video, which a lot of people think is fake, but...he went up to a homeless guy, and... (Dick sighs) This is the most exploitive thing. 

Dick: Hoo, boy.

Maddox: He gives him a hu-...he gives this homeless guy a hundred dollars, and then they send this secret camera behind the homeless guy to follow him and see what he does with this money, right? The homeless guy walks into a liquor store. Okay. So, stereotype confirmed. And then, here's the twist. Here's the heart...the part that -

Dick: (interjects) It's counterfeit?

Maddox: (laughs) No. Here's the part that pulls -

Dick: (interjects) Oh, that's a good prank.

Maddox: That tugs at your heartstrings. They follow the guy into the store and he buys a bunch of food with it. And then they follow the guy to the park, where he hands the food out to other homeless people. It's a very heartwarming video, and it's one of those things that make you kinda scratch your head and say, "Huh! I guess I judged this guy too soon. I guess I judged wrong." 

Sean: And then THEY give him crack. (Maddox cracks up)

Dick: Yeah, what's the joke?

Maddox: Shut up, Sean! (giggling) No, but, uh, that wa-...first of all, that wasn't a joke. 

Dick: Oh.

Maddox: That one was just one of these videos. A lot of people -

Dick: (interjects) Well, it wasn't funny. 

Maddox: No, it wasn't funny. 

Dick: Yeah. (grins)

Maddox: But then...that's how this guy got his fame, right? And then he's...he's doin' prank videos.

Dick: Then he went heel. 

Maddox: What's h-...? 

Dick: He got famous bein' a babyface...

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: ...and he turned heel.

Maddox: Wait, what does that mean, "heel"?

Dick: The wrestling term, when you're..."babyface" is like a good guy.

Maddox: Yeah. Ohhh, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dick: "Turning heel" is being a prick. 

Maddox: Yeah. Well, here's one of his more recent videos. This is a car window prank in the ghetto. He goes and pretends -

Dick: (interjects) What the hell with the ghetto?? Why...?

Maddox: Yeah! They just...they just harrass people.

Dick: 'Cause it's more dangerous? They're afraid of black people.

Maddox: They're afraid of black people...

Dick: These kids are projecting their fear of black people onto the viewer. Yeah, okay.

Maddox: Exactly, exactly. So he goes and pretends to break car windows of black people who are comin' to their cars. 

Dick: Oho, my god!!

Maddox: Who lose their fuckin' mind, of... (stammers) Understandably so! Listen to this one. Here's a video from Josh PalerLin. Listen to this. (plays prank video) 

Josh: What's up, guys? Today I'm gonna go around and smash people's car window like this! (thumping sound)

Dick: Why does he talk like that?

Josh: Just kidding. This is a rubber hammer...

Maddox: (pauses video) What? W-... (chuckles)

Dick: Why does he talk like that? 

Maddox: Oh, like... (giggles) He's a...he -

Dick: (interjects) Like he's got a sack of jawbreakers in his mouth.

Maddox: He's got an accent. He's Asian. He's got an accent. 

Dick: Well, that's the prank. (Maddox and Sean laugh) That's God's prank on you. (grins)

Maddox: Jeez. Stop. (giggling) (Dick laughs) Stop. Anyway, so he's got a rubber hammer and he's, like, pretending to break people's windows, and then he has a real piece of glass that he then breaks.

Dick: Ahh.

Maddox: So it's an elaborate prank, where if someone saw from a distance someone doin' this to your car, you would think your window was broken.

Sean: It's pretty elaborate. (amused)

Dick: Yeah. It's pretty eraborate, I would say. 

Sean: Yeah. Oh! (laughs with Dick)

Maddox: Ohh, my god. (groaning) Stoooop!

Sean: Piece of glass and a rubber mallet! 

Dick: Yeah. 

Sean: How did he come up with that scheme? (smiling)

Maddox: Anyway, listen to this. (resumes video)

Josh: ...and I'm going to smash my own breakaway window.(Maddox scoffs) Let's see how people react. 

(electric guitar music in background)

(glass shattering) 

Dick: What does he do...?

Cameraperson: (laughing) Oh, shit!

Maddox: He smashed a window. Now, this poor -

Josh: Look at your window!

Maddox: (stops video) This poor lady is chasing him, saying, "What the fuck did you do to my window?" And he's just giggling and laughing, and...again, still hasn't revealed that it's a's an alleged prank. 

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: So he broke this... (stammers) And by the way, this woman comes up to her car and she just wants to get in and drive off. Now she has to step over all this broken fucking glass around her car. 

Dick: Yeah, well, that', yeah. That's the least of the bad things that happened to her there. 

Maddox: Yeah. Here's another one. It's by Vitalyz...VitalyzdTv. It's eggs..."Egging Cars in the Hood Prank." 

Dick: Oh my god. (chuckling)

Maddox: Egging cars in the hood. So it's a really hot day, and this guy pretends to go out to people's cars and cook an egg on their hood. Listen to this funny prank. (plays next prank video)

VitalyzdTv: What's up, guys? It's so hot in California today that I've decided to fry some eggs. (Dick laughs) 

(dramatic music in background)

Car owner: Hey homey, what the fuck are you doin'?!

VitalyzdTv: Yo, I'm just cooking, bro. My stove broke.

Car owner: What are you doin'?? What the fuck are you fucking...

VitalyzdTv: My stove broke.

Car owner: You're gonna make a Denver omelet on my fuckin' car?? (keeps yelling)

VitalyzdTv: Dude, my stove broke. 

Car owner: What the fuck are you doin'?

VitalyzdTv: My stove broke, bro. I'm sorry.

Car owner: I don't give a fuck about your stove! Fuck you and your motherfuckin' stove.

VitalyzdTv: Dude, your car...your car...your car is nice, bro. Your car is very nice. 

Car owner's friend: Hold on, hold on. (trying to hold back his friend)

VitalyzdTv: Dude, what are you doin'? Yo!

Maddox: (stops video) So, he just, like...

Dick: That fucks up your paint, though. 

Maddox: Yeah. Well, he used, uh...he used some, like, latex...some late-...some fake egg. A latex egg, he puts on his...

Dick: Ohh, it wasn't really egg? He just..

Sean: I like how he said -

Dick: (interjects) Oh, he just slapped the egg on there. Okay.

Sean: I like how he said, "Are you makin' a fuckin' Denver omelet?"

Dick: Yeah. (chuckling)

Sean: "On my car?" Like, he...

Dick: Still clever!

Sean: He was very specific.

Dick: Yeah. (smiles)

Maddox: Which, the...the guy who came out?

Dick: The black guy.

Sean: Yeah! The guy...yeah.

Maddox: So, that's the other thing, Sean.

Dick: The prankee.

Maddox: A lot of these pranks are...possibly fake.

Dick: Oh, they're too witty?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: That makes sense.

Maddox: They could be...they could be fake. So it's...they're doin' this just to get the views.

Sean: Oh no, that guy's -

Dick: (interjects) If something is fake, it is. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: I mean, right?

Maddox: But then, there's this -

Dick: (interjects) If something could be fake, it probably is. 

Maddox: Sure. Then there are these guys from, uh, OckTV. They changed their name recently to "Moe and ET." And there's this channel called h3h3Productions. I'm a huge fan of this channel. He just busts on these stupid prank videos all the time. He pointed, these guys uploaded a prank video recently where it was deleted within a day.

Dick: Mm.

Maddox: And that's really unusual for this channel, because they leave the most HEINOUS shit up there. They put up these videos where they give people fake parking tickets for parking in front of a fire hydrant, and these people are so upset. It ruins their fucking day. And then they're sitting there yelling back and forth, like, "I didn't...the fire hydrant wasn't there when I got here." They put a fake one down, right?

Dick: Oh.

Maddox: They write them a fake ticket.

Dick: Hmm.

Maddox: And then these guys argue with them. They're like, "Fuck you. You have to pay it," whatever. They put them in a bad mood, they get ar-...they get angry. Some of these people might have high blood pressure. They might have heart conditions. They might have something going on in their lives, and they don't...they might just want to, go on with their day without fucking being harassed! But they come out there, and then the big reveal at the end is like, "Oh, the ticket is fake, and it has some money in it. Here you go. Here's 20 bucks or whatever for your fuckin' time."

Dick: Ahhh! Alright.

Sean: I gotta say, I don't think this shit is funny at all.

Maddox: No!

Dick: Not at all? 

Sean: No.

Dick: Even the milk-throwing one?

Sean: No.

Dick: Ohh, man. 

Maddox: Most of it isn't, man!

Dick: Have you seen it?

Sean: Yeah.

Dick: You've seen it and you didn't laugh?

Sean: Yeah, I've seen it! 

Dick: Did you smile at all?

Sean: I might've smiled at one.

Dick: Eh, okay. (Maddox sighs)

Sean: No, I'm not sure. But it's like... (sighs) Man, they always do it when the person's back is turned, so it sounds like they fell really hard, right?

Dick: Yeah.

Sean: But there was ONE time where a guy turned around to kinda see him do it, and I hope that guy kicked that guy in the fuckin' face. (Dick giggles)

Maddox: Yeah. There' these guys, Moe and ET, they rebranded themselves from OckTV. 

Dick: Right.

Maddox: Now it's Moe...Moe and Ethan Bradberry, these two dudes. They did this prank recently where they put out an ad on Craigslist, where they're not calling them pranks anymore; they're calling them "social experiments," where they invited some girl over to their house who was interested in buying their TV, and they...this girl comes into the house, and they get, like, 4 or 5 of their thug friends to put on ski masks and get fake knives...

Dick: Oh, my god!!

Maddox: Yeah! And the g-...this poor girl comes in. First of all, the girl comes to the door and he's like, "Are you here alone?" And the girl's like, "Uh, yeah, I...I guess. I mean, should I worry here?"

Dick: Yeah, that's a PSA alright.

Maddox: Yeah! So the girl's already freaking out. She comes into the house -

Dick: (interjects) World Trade Center, big PSA. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Thank you. (smiles)

Maddox: So -

Dick: (interjects) Saudi Arabia. 

Maddox: So this girl walks into the house of these, uh, this...these bros, and she's lookin' at the TV, and then they ambush her. This guy runs up and blocks the doorway...

Dick: Oh, my god. (laughing in shock)

Maddox: ...and he says, "S-..." He says, "You're not going anywhere. Shut the fuck up," and, like, starts yelling at this girl, right? And this girl starts SCREAMING bloody murder, and this is why a lot of people felt disturbed, because you can tell the difference between a fake scream and a real scream. This seemed like a real scream. 

Dick: Yeah!

Maddox: This seemed like it know, one of those bloodcurdling screams where someone's actually afraid for their lives. 'Cause these guys are coming at her with ski masks on... (stammers) Threatening to do whatever the fuck, possibly murder her, rape her; whatever it is. And then she collapses out of fear, and she's, like...just huddled up in a little ball, in a fetal position, just crying, and the guy comes out for the big reveal.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: And he says, "I need you to get up and sit on the couch." And it...this guy is so fuckin' tone deaf, that this woman is sittin' there SOBBING.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: For fear of her life, and he wants her to get up and sit on the couch so he can get a better camera angle, 'cause he has cameras all over the house, right? For this big reveal.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: And she gets up...he's like, "It's a social experiment, it's a social experiment," and he puts his hand on her shoulder. She gets up, she's like, "Don't fuckin' touch me!" and runs out of the house, and he's chasin' after her. He goes, "Ma'am, ma'am! It's a social experiment!" and she goes, "I don't give a fuck what this is, I'm leaving." And she's running down the street to her car, and they're chasing after her with the cameras. And then they finally catch up to her and console her for a few minutes, and finally when she calms down, she's shaking and crying, they say, "Well, it's a social experiment. You know, we just wanna raise awareness that people can get raped and murdered from Craigslist." 

Dick: That...there's...that cannot be real. That's on YouTube?

Maddox: They r-...they deleted it! 

Dick: Well...

Maddox: And that's why a lot of people suspect that this was real, because it wasn't even up long enough for them to get that many views. They got a lot of negative reaction to it.

Dick: That'd be a pretty good way to prove something is real, though, to make something fake and then remove it right away, 'cause it's so scandalous?

Maddox: Well, they have a lot of shit on their channel that is heinous. But this...and they haven't deleted any of it, but THIS one...

Dick: How are they's YouTube not getting sued out of existence with this stuff happening?

Maddox: Well, they could...I mean, here's the thing.

Dick: Any one of these people could sue for that. 

Maddox: Yeah. Well, that's -

Dick: (interjects) Like, can't...that's why I think it can't possibly be real, 'cause there's a ton of victims. There's a ton of recordings of victims. 

Maddox: Well, a lot of times they'll hire...first of all, there are a lot of hired actors, so a lot of these prank videos are fake. But the ones that aren't, the ones this, that get deleted? Those are the ones that are actually questionable. Those are the big question mark, because, again, they are being deleted off of YouTube. YouTube wouldn't allow that on their website, through know, it violates their terms of service. But, uh...

Dick: Well, they let a ton of other stuff that violates their terms of service on.

Maddox: Yeah. I mean, look, YouTube's not perfect, obviously. They're probably...if someone brings it to their attention, they'll delete it.

Dick: Yeah. 

Maddox: But, um...there's another guy, Sam Pepper. Sam Pepper is a notorious prankster, who for a long time did all these pranks, and he got a bunch of, like, sexual assault allegations from VidCon, where he hooked up with underage girls, et cetera, et cetera. And it -

Dick: (interjects) 'Cause of his pranks? Or just in general?

Maddox: Just in general.

Dick: Oh, okay.

Maddox: Yeah. He had some pranks...he had this one that got him in a lot of heat, because he went around in public with a fake hand sticking out of a hoodie, so, a fake hand inside the hoodie.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: So he would, like, go up to girls and grab their ass, and then he would -

Dick: (interjects) Ahhh, Jeeeesus. 

Maddox: Yeah, and then... 

Dick: Ah, guys. (sighing quietly)

Maddox: And then you'd turn...the girl would turn around, and it's -

Sean: (interjects) THAT'S the one you don't like?? (laughing) (Maddox chuckles)

Dick: Yeah, 'cause it's just making no one get laid!

Maddox: Okay. There we go. (sarcastic)

Dick: The last thing we need is girls being more freaked out in public of guys being around them. 

Maddox: Anyw-...yeah, well, th-... (laughs) That's...

Dick: It's just salting the fuckin' earth.

Maddox: Well, it's also sexual assault. Uh, you're not a... 

Dick: Yes, that's what I mean. (exasperated) (Maddox and Sean giggle) It's the same thing.

Maddox: You know, a's just...just a little bit more annoying than bits. Than comedians constantly telling bits. But anyway.

Dick: The pranks?

Maddox: N-... (chuckles) No, sexual assault. (giggles)

Dick: Oh. Do you guys remember that prank show where they would tell guys that underage girls would have sex with them? And then they would lure them to that house?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Where Chris Hansen would pop out and go like, "Hahaaa!" (Sean chuckles)

Maddox: To Catch a Predator.

Dick: "No undera-..." Yeah. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: That was hilarious. 

Maddox: Yeah. anyway, these...the Sam Pepper guy, right?

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox: He got in a lot of trouble for this video, because people were like, "Dude, that's just sexual assault." And then he came out and said, "Uh, it wasn't sexual assault, 'cause I actually hired these actresses. They were all in on the joke," et cetera, et cetera.

Dick: Oh! Okay.

Maddox: Right? Allegedly. Then, he came he took that down. He got a lot of heat for that video. He came out with this big apology, and all know, he got a lot of flak for it. His MCN dropped him, his agent dropped him.

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: And he was makin' a lot of money. He w-...he had somethin' like 6 million subs, somethin' like that? Getting a lot of -

Dick: (interjects) I don't...that's not English to me. What does that mean?

Maddox: 6 million subscribers, and millions of views on his videos. 

Dick: What does that translate to?

Maddox: That translates to...for every million views on YouTube, you make approximately $1,500. 

Dick: Oh!

Maddox: Anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000, depending on when it's released. So if you get, you know, 3-4 million views on a high season? You're makin' like 12 grand! 10-12 grand on...per video, if you're making...if you're gettin' those views. So he's makin' money hand over fist. Anyway, his MCN dropped him, his agency dropped him. MCN is a multi-channel network. Then he came out with another video most recently that was, again, way too over the top. These two friends were walking down the street. He ambushed one of 'em. One of his friends was in on it. They kidnapped this guy, and...these guys, they look like ISIS terrorists. 

Dick: Mhm.

Maddox: They took him to a rooftop somewhere, had a hoodie over his head, and th-...a hood over his head, they removed it, and then they were...they said that they were gonna kill the guy. The guy was crying, snot runnin' out of his nose; looked like he was afraid for his life. 

Dick: This was on YouTube?

Maddox: Yeah. 

Dick: But I think these are all staged. 

Maddox: Well, that's what Sam Pepper said again when the backlash followed him.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Uh, caught up to him. 

Dick: Now look, if that's...if these aren't staged, then all, tort lawyers, all the ambulance-chasing lawyers have just suddenly become retarded. 

Sean: Yeah, that one seems like it would be staged.

Dick: Yeah. I...and I wouldn', the...making sexual harassment films?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Would be enough to get you dropped from those anyway, whether they were real or not. 

Maddox: Sure.

Dick: You know.

Maddox: Well, that's the other big problem with these videos, is that they are inspiring a young generation of so-called "pranksters" to follow in their footsteps.

Dick: Sure!

Maddox: And these guys MIGHT be pros. They MIGHT be professionals. They might know what they're doing, and they might know how to skirt the legal issues that they have with really pranking these people, but their viewers do not. Their viewers are...skew younger, their viewers are imitating them, and they're also going out there and doing real pranks like this.

Dick: Eh, that's a slippery slope, buddy. (Sean laughs in the background) That's what Beavis...Beavis and Butthead got blamed for starting fires, and they wanted to kick them off the air. I'm not gonna blame artists for copycat crimes. I can't do it!

Maddox: There is a suspension of belief there, because it is an animated show. This is just people who are going out there without necessarily disclosing that these are hired actors and doing these pranks. That's a big...pretty big difference.

Dick: I just can't do it out of principle. 

Maddox: Well, here's another one. There's another channel called TwinzTV, and they have all sorts of pranks, like "Jumping People in the Hood Prank."

Dick: Yeah, that's gotta be fake.

Maddox: They have another one -

Dick: (interjects) Let's hear it. 

Maddox: Uh, "Leaving Car Open in the Hood Prank"? "Social..." And then they put in parentheses, "(Social Experiment)". (Dick laughs) "It's a social ex-...we're gonna see what happens when we leave a car open."

Dick: Ah.

Maddox: "Cops..." And then this one...listen to this one. It's "Cops Are Coming in the Hood Prank," and then in parentheses it says "(Extremely Illegal)". 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Like, that's their cover...

Dick: Yeeeah.

Maddox: ...cover-their-ass thing.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Yeah. It's got 1.9 million views over 3 months, and...listen to this. These guys got cop uniforms, and then they went into the hood, you know, scaring people.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Saying, "The cops are coming. Listen to this. (plays next prank video) 

TwinzTV: What's up, guys? Today we're gonna be goin' into the hood, screamin' "Cops are coming!" (Dick giggles) But this time? We're the cops. "Freeze!" 

Maddox: (stops video) So they have, like...they have fake guns on them!

Dick: Yeah. (amused)

Maddox: They have tasers and shit on them. These are...these are people who are gonna potentially get killed, they can give someone a heart attack, they can stress someone out. This shit is out of fucking control on YouTube. These prank videos.

Dick: They could fuck up a drug deal. (Maddox scoffs)

Maddox: Yeah. They could. 

Dick: Yeah. (shrugs)

Maddox: They could. (laughing) I guess...I guess they could, Dick. 

Dick: Well...

Maddox: There is that. No man, but these, uh, these prank videos. These prank bros, as I like to call them, they are out of fuckin' control. I think they're a huge problem, and it's only a matter of time before more of these dipshits get killed. And by the way, they're gonna ruin pranks for everyone. These pranks aren't funny, Sean. I agree with you. They're not funny. They're mean-spirited. They're...the butt of the joke is not the prankster; it's THEM. There's another prank -

Sean: (interjects) That's why I don't mind Jackass. 

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: It's on them. 

Sean: Because they do it to each other.

Maddox: They do it to each other!

Sean: Everybody knows.

Dick: Yeah.

Sean: Yeah.

Maddox: There's another prank...I'll tell you when I like a prank video. Recently I saw these, uh, these French guys. I think it's called "Nous TV" or "Vous TV," whatever? The prank was, they take their laptop to a quiet library or a study hall someplace, and they start...they pretend like they're watching a porno.

Dick: That's great.

Maddox: And their headphone jack is not plugged in all the way, so it's really loud and everyone laughs at them. Right?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: They're the butt of the joke. 

Dick: Sure.

Maddox: I think that's funny. Another one that...uh, Roman Atwood. This...he does a...he did all these, like, pun pranks back in the day, which I thought were really funny. He would go up to people and say, "Hey, there's a bee on you," and it's a letter 'B'. Just, like...

Dick: Oh, boy.

Maddox: You know, or he'd go... (cracks up)

Dick: That sounds like, uhhh, brain damage to me. 

Maddox: I don't know. I don't know, some of his pranks have been pretty funny. But, like...these are pranks where, you know, it's not really mean-spirited. They're not making the other person the butt of the joke. They're not -

Dick: (interjects) I feel like a prank should end in a laugh or a smile from the person getting pranked. 

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: Like, you've gotta trick them in, at some point, into losing their temper when...they might not. Like, that show with Ashton Kutcher, when he would tow celebrities' cars. Remember that one? 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: And they would lose their cool a little bit.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: But at the end, they would laugh it off.

Maddox: You have to have the reveal where the person being pranked gets in on the joke, and they laugh it off. Otherwise, you're just a dick.

Dick: I don't know, maybe that's the same, though. I don't know.

Maddox: Maybe. Anyway man, my problem -

Dick: (interjects) You don't wanna be a hypocrite. 

Maddox: (scoffs) No. Uh, my problems this week (closing riff starts) were Overpopulation Alarmists and Prank Bros.

Dick: Mine were Decision Fatigue and Bits. See you next Tuesday. 

(closing riff)


Voicemail (female caller): Hi guys! This is Kelsey. I've been a longtime listener of the show, but last episode you guys were talkin' shit about adult coloring books. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Really??

Maddox: Not just last episode. 

Dick: She just called!

Voicemail: And I just want you to know that that's my favorite thing to do while listening to your podcast, is color. (Maddox snorts and laughs)

Dick: Oh. 

Voicemail: It's the only thing that can calm me down when you all are yelling at each other. And it ain't no fuckin' joke, I'm tellin' ya. Don't believe the stereotypes. It's the shit. (everyone laughs) Anyways, Dick, will you go to prom with me? Alright, bye.

(message ends)

Dick: Ohooo! (smiles)

Maddox: Ohhh, there you go.

Dick: Absolutely. Only if you're under 18. (Maddox snorts and giggles) So, let me ask you this. If you're...lemme ask you this about coloring books. Adult coloring books, 'cause I don't understand what's wrong with them. 'Cause games are okay, right?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: That's okay?

Maddox: Coloring books are okay, too! 

Dick: Oh! I thought they were a big problem. Everybody shits...everybody tweets at you, "Look at this shit, adult coloring books. They're fuckin' horrible."

Maddox: Yeah. I think people...people confuse my problem with infantilism as just people who color in coloring books. It depends...look, guys. Again, if you are doing it to avoid your responsibilities...

Dick: Right!

Maddox: ...or you're doing it to avoid any uncomfortable feelings you might have, or if it's part of your safe space, you're an idiot. 

Dick: Oh. Then, but... (stammers) Isn't that what escapism is?!

Maddox: No...

Dick: Isn't that liquor, video games, sports, coloring books? Isn't it all the same??

Maddox: Well, yeah, all those things can be problems when you avoid responsibilities. Yeah.

Dick: How is liquor a problem? (Maddox spits out laughing)

Maddox: Okay.