11 episodes

Where the oddest jobs from the past meet a comedian from the present… and it’s awkward! On this weekly show, Chris Parnell (SNL, Rick and Morty) welcomes  guests who have held some of human history’s most unexpected and downright bizarre jobs: funeral clowns, garden hermits, VHS clerks, and everything in between. With the help of his tireless producer, Chris hears from the essential workers from decades and centuries past. Because before there were actual medical doctors, there were barber surgeons. And before there was Instacart, there were milkmen. Wondery’s This Job Is History is a funny, absurd, and informative look into how time can change the way we live and work.

This Job is History Wondery

    • Fiction
    • 4.2 • 17 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Where the oddest jobs from the past meet a comedian from the present… and it’s awkward! On this weekly show, Chris Parnell (SNL, Rick and Morty) welcomes  guests who have held some of human history’s most unexpected and downright bizarre jobs: funeral clowns, garden hermits, VHS clerks, and everything in between. With the help of his tireless producer, Chris hears from the essential workers from decades and centuries past. Because before there were actual medical doctors, there were barber surgeons. And before there was Instacart, there were milkmen. Wondery’s This Job Is History is a funny, absurd, and informative look into how time can change the way we live and work.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Funeral Clown: “To Die Laughing”

    Funeral Clown: “To Die Laughing”

    What is it like to tell jokes at a Roman emperor’s funeral? Chris Parnell interviews a real Funeral Clown from 82 CE, a job that sometimes captured the hearts of funeral goers… and sometimes ended in certain death. And Chris wonders if this is a job tailor-made for his talents.




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    • 34 min
    VHS Clerk: “VH-YES!”

    VHS Clerk: “VH-YES!”

    Before algorithms told us what movies to watch, the local video store clerk served as our 80s and 90s cinema sommelier.  Chris interviews a favorite icon of the Spice World Age. They’ll talk about everything from Speed to Speed 2: Cruise Control, and revisit the lost art of recommending the perfect Friday night flick.

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    • 32 min
    Sin Eater: “Sin-cerely Yours”

    Sin Eater: “Sin-cerely Yours”

    Wrath. Envy. Pride. For some, these are cardinal sins. For a professional Sin Eater in 1700s England, it’s what’s for dinner. Chris interviews a woman whose job it is to gobble down evil deeds so people may find safe passage into heaven. Talk about giving new meaning to the term soul food!

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    • 35 min
    Garden Hermit: “Only the Lonely”

    Garden Hermit: “Only the Lonely”

    What looks like a hermit, talks like a hermit, but is actually a salaried employee of the rich? A 1700s Garden Hermit, of course. In this episode, Chris gains real wisdom from a fake hermit whose job is to act like an all-knowing mystical sage who just so happens to live in some rich dude’s backyard.

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    • 31 min
    Factory Lector: “Read The Room”

    Factory Lector: “Read The Room”

    How did factory workers in the 1920s pass the time while rolling cigars?  Chris is on a mission to prove his creative genius as he interviews a man from 1925 Florida who proves that the key to making the perfect Cuban cigar isn’t in the tobacco, it’s in the art of storytelling.

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    • 33 min
    Barber Surgeon: “Men of the Clot”

    Barber Surgeon: “Men of the Clot”

    A shave, haircut, and an amputation. That’s all in a day’s work if you’re a 1690s Barber Surgeon. Chris struggles not to squirm as today’s guest covers everything from battlefield hack-jobs, whiskey as a painkiller, and of course – the secret to a great haircut.

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    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

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