76 episodes

We love dining out on bad behavior so much it's practically our national dish. But while some scandals stick, most front-page stories end up forgotten. Till now! Armed only with Google and their own indefatigable curiosity, co-hosts Kasey Howe and Mark Peikert scrabble through the graveyards of forgotten headlines to unearth the stories that once consumed the country. Join the fray as Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! remembers what America forgot.

Logo: Jessica Balaschak | Music: Caveman of Los Angeles by Party Store Music Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/american-scandals/support

Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! A History of American Scandals Kasey Howe & Mark Peikert

    • History
    • 4.2 • 24 Ratings

We love dining out on bad behavior so much it's practically our national dish. But while some scandals stick, most front-page stories end up forgotten. Till now! Armed only with Google and their own indefatigable curiosity, co-hosts Kasey Howe and Mark Peikert scrabble through the graveyards of forgotten headlines to unearth the stories that once consumed the country. Join the fray as Shocking! Lurid! Tawdry! remembers what America forgot.

Logo: Jessica Balaschak | Music: Caveman of Los Angeles by Party Store Music Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/american-scandals/support

    That Time the Falwells Met Their Match in a Pool Boy

    That Time the Falwells Met Their Match in a Pool Boy

    There's just something about seeing hypocrites fully exposed that is so satisfying, particularly when the takedown is as juicy and salacious and, yes, tawdry as that of Jerry Falwell Jr. You no doubt remember the Pool Boy Scandal of 2020, which began as a rumor that evangelical Christian and President of Liberty University Falwell was having an affair with a younger man named Giancarlo Granda... before Falwell released a statement saying that his wife, Becki, had the affair. And then Granda gave an explosive tell-all interview in which he recounted Falwell's participation in that affair.

    Now, Hulu documentary God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty is telling the full story and it's somehow even more scandalous than we thought. (Having sex in your kid's room will do that to a story.) Kasey and Mark dive into the story, the odd, loaded references to the dark time created by playing a lot of video games, lip-syncing to sexts, and why the hell Tom Arnold makes a cameo appearance in the story.

    Logo: Jessica Balaschak 

    Music: Caveman of Los Angeles by Party Store Music


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/american-scandals/support

    • 36 min
    That Time the CIA Got Very Into LSD

    That Time the CIA Got Very Into LSD

    It's an unintentional double-header of acid heads, as Kasey follows up Mark's episode about Unmask Alice with a deep dive into an aside from the book about the CIA's Operation Midnight Climax. Yes, it sounds like some horny high school boys started a band, and no, it's not actually that much different from that. Turns out, the CIA was so adamant that no Americans could possibly have committed war crimes or found Communism interesting that the only solution to veterans saying these things is... brainwashing. If the Russians could, so could we! Except... well, things get very weird very fast. Would you believe that one man was responsible for the creation of the Haight-Asbury scene in San Francisco? Let's just say you're not gonna want to have a drink at one of George White's parties. Buckle in—this is one wild trip.

    Logo: Jessica Balaschak 

    Music: Caveman of Los Angeles by Party Store Music


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/american-scandals/support

    • 55 min
    That Time Beatrice Sparks Published 'Go Ask Alice' and 'Jay's Journal'

    That Time Beatrice Sparks Published 'Go Ask Alice' and 'Jay's Journal'

    Mark went to Vegas and came back brimming over with awe at Rick Emerson's book "Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World's Most Notorious Diaries." Do you know the book "Go Ask Alice"? Probably. You're likely less familiar with "Jay's Journal." Both books—billed as actual diaries from actual teenagers—came from the same woman, and Emerson presents a pretty damning case for the havoc her ambitions wreaked on the survivors of familial tragedy and, yes, America as a whole.

    What happens to Beatrice Sparks' dream of authorial stardom deferred? Nothing less than a decades-long actual witchhunt across the country in the form of Satanic Panic. Strap in for the wild ride but be sure to purchase a copy of the riveting, infuriating "Unmask Alice."

    https://www.amazon.com/Unmask-Alice-Satanic-Imposter-Notorious/dp/1637740425

    Logo: Jessica Balaschak

    Music: Caveman of Los Angeles by Party Store Music


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/american-scandals/support

    • 42 min
    That Time John Edwards Tried to be a YouTube Star

    That Time John Edwards Tried to be a YouTube Star

    In 2006, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nominee was... John Edwards? He'd unsuccessfully campaigned as VP for John Kerry in 2003, so he was a known quantity (unlike that Barack Obama guy). But in an arena that is rife with unforced errors, Edwards made perhaps the biggest, most outrageous string of them — all while his wife, Elizabeth, was dying of terminal cancer. Not a great look, even as Edwards vied for relevancy by getting in on that new website YouTube, with the help of one Rielle Hunter (née Lisa Jo Druck). A few National Enquirer headlines, one incredibly loyal, lying aide and many memoirs later, we finally have the full story of John, Rielle, and the ways in which affairs can go so sloppy so fast. Kasey escorts Mark through the years-long drip-drip-drip of revelations, all of them way more tawdry than you probably remember.

    Logo: Jessica Balaschak

    Music: Caveman of Los Angeles by Party Store Music


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/american-scandals/support

    • 39 min
    That Time Barbara Hershey Went on The Dick Cavett Show

    That Time Barbara Hershey Went on The Dick Cavett Show

    Some things never change. Well, not Barbara Hershey's name. Born Barbara Lynn Herzstein, Hershey changed her professional name to Barbara Seagull for a period of time in the early 1970s. Much against the advice of literally everyone. She appeared on The Dick Cavett Show to discuss the reasons behind the change (buckle up) and ended up breastfeeding her son during the broadcast. Since this was 1975, you can imagine the hysteria. This week, Mark walks Kasey through the madness of early '70s Hollywood, the perils of being "kooky," and a whole lot of spoilers for decades-old films. Plus, casual Ryan Murphy dragging and Mark and Kasey invent their Bar Fly names. Grab a drink and settle in for a wild ride.

    TW: Sexual assault does come up when discussing Barbara Hershey's films. 

    Apology: Mark somehow added 8 minutes of silence to the top of the initially uploaded episode. It's been corrected, and he regrets making you wait so long to hear these dulcet tones.

    Logo: Jessica Balaschak

    Music: Caveman of Los Angeles by Party Store Music


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/american-scandals/support

    • 43 min
    That Time Alexander Hamilton Invented the Treasury and Political Sex Scandals

    That Time Alexander Hamilton Invented the Treasury and Political Sex Scandals

    Before the musical, before the Got Milk? commercial brought him back into relevancy, Alexander Hamilton was one of the more combative founding fathers. The most scandal-plagued founding father? That is TBD. But today, Kasey explains how Hamilton ended up in an extramarital affair, then blackmailed, then welcomed into cuckolding and then published an entire pamphlet years after the fact about what went down. Did that kill his chances at higher office? And why exactly was Aaron Burr in everyone's lives? Grab your powdered wig and travel back in time to the invention of the political sex scandal.

    Logo: Jessica Balaschak

    Music: Caveman of Los Angeles by Party Store Music


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/american-scandals/support

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

Jagase720 ,

History, but make it fun and scandalous

An excellent and thought provoking podcast that has you laughing one moment, then running to Google “is that really true?!” Kasey and Mark are an ideal pair whose conversations make you feel like you’re sitting across the table from them!

YomTovHayom ,

A

Too much giggling & stretching the story.

bam526 ,

Excruciating to listen to

Not only is there no script, weak research and a barely discernible grasp of story, this pod is also crammed with lame interjections, clichés and the most inane filler — like a book report written on the bus to school. Have a little more regard for your audience, guys.

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