When podcast fans around the country hungrily download the new episodes of “Stuff You Should Know” at lunchtime on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, most don’t realize that the show originates in the Old Fourth Ward’s bustling Ponce City Market.
Podcast publisher and education website How Stuff Works has become a go-to for those seeking answers to questions about a variety of topics. Their most popular podcast series, “Stuff You Should Know,” starts conversations about everything from genes to the Galapagos. The show is constantly on iTunes Top 10 podcast rankings.
Over the course of eight years, “Stuff You Should Know” hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant have recorded some of the most downloaded podcasts ever, including “How Dark Money Works,” “How Makeup Works,” “How Big Bang Theory Works” (with Neil deGrasse Tyson) and “How Water Slides Work.”
“The fun thing about ‘Stuff You Should Know’ is that since we cover such a wide range of topics, we are constantly learning something interesting ourselves,” said Bryant.
Coming up with original, captivating episodes is aided by the creative office space at How Stuff Works. The fourth floor Ponce City Market office features a large mural that depicts how ideas take shape, a large research library, audio and video recording studios and a giant question mark-shaped conference table where the 35-member staff meets to discuss ideas.
Clark and Bryant, both Atlanta natives, are always on the hunt for interesting topics and spend countless hours in research to record the twice-weekly podcasts. The duo never rehearses a show together before recording in order to preserve an authentic, conversational flow.
Tacked on the walls of the Stuff You Should Know sound studio is just some of the kooky fan mail Clark and Bryant have received over the years, ranging from photoshopped posters to wedding invitations. The hosts gained even more attention when the Science Channel aired a video version of “Stuff You Should Know.”
Bryant said the listener base is dedicated and loyal. “There is something about getting [the podcast] for free that makes them want to return the favor,” he said.
At some point, the duo hopes to do a show about Atlanta, and specifically the secret behind the fame of Coca-Cola.
“The city is more progressive than it’s ever been,” Bryant said. “I felt like I had to defend Atlanta for a number of years, but now it makes me proud.”
For more about the show, visit stuffyoushouldknow.com.