16 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.
Binge all episodes of This Job is History exclusively and ad-free by joining Wondery+ in the Wondery App, Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Start your free trial by visiting wondery.com/links/this-job-is-history/ now.

This Job is History Wondery

    • Fiction
    • 3.7 • 248 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.
Binge all episodes of This Job is History exclusively and ad-free by joining Wondery+ in the Wondery App, Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Start your free trial by visiting wondery.com/links/this-job-is-history/ now.

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.




    You can binge all episodes of This Job Is History exclusively and ad-free on Wondery+. Find Wondery+ in the Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 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.




    You can binge all episodes of This Job Is History exclusively and ad-free on Wondery+. Find Wondery+ in the Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

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

    Sin Eater: “Sin-cerely Yours”

    This episode is available exclusively for Wondery+ subscribers.

    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!

    Garden Hermit: “Only the Lonely”

    Garden Hermit: “Only the Lonely”

    This episode is available exclusively for Wondery+ subscribers.

    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.

    Factory Lector: “Read The Room”

    Factory Lector: “Read The Room”

    This episode is available exclusively for Wondery+ subscribers.

    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.

    Barber Surgeon: “Men of the Clot”

    Barber Surgeon: “Men of the Clot”

    This episode is available exclusively for Wondery+ subscribers.

    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.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5
248 Ratings

248 Ratings

The Goldins ,

Love this!

This podcast is so silly, fun, and informative. I listened to this with my kids who absolutely love it. My oldest has been listening to these episodes over and over. When will new ones be added? We miss Chris and Linda!

Jgfeqfhjufchyfghjhg ,

I will listen to anything with Chris Parnell

This show is silly and cute, I’m really just here for Chris Parnell.

Accesette ,

Hokey but fun!

Yes, this isn’t serious history but informative & entertaining.

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