For years, Travis and Theresa McElroy have been explaining the history of etiquette behind literally everything. Why do we have to write thank you notes? What’s proper etiquette on airplanes? How do bidets work? What are the dos and don’ts of April Fools Day pranks? “Shmanners” covers it all.
Each episode is an entertaining half hour of the best behaved and the worst behaved people in history. Like people who take their shoes off on planes, or couples who get engaged at another couple’s wedding. Like, just chill. But if you’re curious about the history behind what we consider “manners,” Teresa is here to educate. And Travis is here to try to derail her.
Just kidding, the married couple have hilarious banter, nothing new for the Royal Podcasting Family that is the McElroys. Maximum Fun’s “Shmanners” is sweet and interesting, often actually providing basic scripts to help curb any anxiety you might have about an upcoming dinner party or black tie event. Pure comedy with a splash of history, every episode has an end goal of learning about what not to do. They are sharing their thoughts on the best way to handle any situation that may arise.
“Shmanners” has an ongoing series about idioms: what they mean, where they came from, what they almost were. They talk about well-known phrases like “hot off the presses,” which came from the turn-of-the-century when newspapers would literally be hot once they were off the printing press with breaking news. They also chat about the lesser-known origins of phrases like “no skin off my nose,” which has a hazier background. The two most popular origins come from boxing, where if you still had skin on your nose, then it was an easy fight, or it came from a 16th century English cult who would cut off people’s noses. So, you know, either are possible.
Hear about famous rivalries like Edison and Tesla to Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds, to proper etiquette at drag performances. If you’re looking for a contagiously positive podcast to anxiously await new releases of, then we are prescribing you a hearty dose of “Shmanners” to be taken every Friday.