After years of procrastinating, Paul Culliver from Mammoth Audio and I finally launched the podcast Scamapalooza in July. Since then, we’ve released 24 episodes talking to con artists, magicians, authors, comedians and pop culture critics from around the world about the latest con artist news and best moments from swindling history.
Here are the most popular episodes of 2015
1) The Cottingley Fairies with Sarah Baggs
In the 1920’s two young girls managed to trick the world into believing that fairies existed with a handful of convincing photographs. What surprised me most about Sarah Bagg’s visit was not that people believed the hoax but the reasons why. From Arthur Conan Doyle’s desire to prove that his fairy seeing father wasn’t insane to Edward Gardner, the leader of the Theosophical movement, who refused to believe mere girls could be so devious.
2) Lose Yourself with Lawrence Leung
Lawrence appeared on Scamapalooza twice in 2015. Once to talk about his feature film debut, Sucker and once to talk about his television series Unbelievable. Lawrence’s stories from behind the scenes as he faked psychic powers, met UFO enthusiasts and fooled his idol, magician Tim Ellis.
3) Scam School with Brian Brushwood
I have never warmed to a guest as quickly as I did Brian Brushwood. The host of the popular web series that teaches bar bets and magic tricks was intelligent, witty and damn well-read. And his habit of dropping in quotes from Ethan Hawke movies made him all the more likable. Just don’t mention his hair.
4) Just A Little Prick with Mark Crislip
Dr Mark Crislip not only debunked the myth that autism can be caused by vaccinations he also helped uncover the dark scam at the heart of this hoax. The story of Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who faked his research and created a generation of fear mongering parents and sick children left me furious.
5) Now You Seem Mean with Nick Mason
Maso, with his Tony Stark beard and delightful manner, helped me unpack my mixed feelings to the 2012 magician heist movie Now You See Me. The host of The Weekly Planet podcast will be back in 2016 to talk Now You See Me 2.
These were the most popular episodes of 2015. Do you agree with the majority? Or was there another episode you prefered? Or is there a topic you’d like to see in 2016.
Nicholas J. Johnson is a Melbourne magician, author, entertainer and collector of scams.