SEATTLE — Ken Jennings won Jeopardy! a record 74 times. John Roderick is the front-man of rock band The Long Winters.
But if they seem to have little in common, their new podcast Omnibus may surprise you.
"If a musician is going to hang out with nerds, it's definitely John. He's at that point in the Venn diagram," Jennings said.
Roderick added, "Ken is pretty racy for a nerd who doesn't even drink coffee.”
The two met at Bumbershoot in Seattle and eventually struck up a friendship. Their shared senses of humor and curiosity became clear, even in the most ordinary conversations.
"We'd just be talking at lunch or something and it would sound like an irritating podcast with two know-it-all white guys,” Jennings said.
Roderick, an experienced podcaster, encouraged Jennings to give it a try. When media company HowStuffWorks came calling, Omnibus was born.
The intellectual and funny show features the hosts talking about weird (and generally, lesser-known) facts in human culture and achievement.
"The conceit of the show is that we're not talking to modern day listeners, we're talking from the distant past to whatever succeeds humanity in the future,” Jennings said.
Topics include European starlings in Central Park, short-lived Smell-o-Vision technology, the disastrous Olympic marathon of 1904, and 'The Rachel' haircut.
All of the episodes are recorded as if they'll be placed in a time capsule and discovered long after modern civilizations disappear.
“I love the idea that it might actually survive,” Jennings said, laughing. “Like, what if we really do put it on gold records and shoot it into orbit or put it in some climate-controlled vault?"
Meantime, new episodes are available for contemporary audiences to download twice a week.
"I think it is a format for the future. And the present,” Roderick said.