How did a NATO military exercise nearly spark a nuclear war? ‘SNAFU with Ed Helms’ explores history’s most infamous moments

History October 18, 2022
SNAFU with Ed Helms
Listen to ‘SNAFU with Ed Helms’

Writer, actor, and comedian Ed Helms finds humor in history’s most infamous moments with his new podcast that focuses on 1 “situation normal all f***** up,” aka the military acronym “SNAFU,” each season. Ed details Able Archer 83’s story, a NATO military exercise that could have sparked an actual war in 1983.

Able Archer 80 was a practice run for conflict with the Soviet that got way too real – this resulted in the U.S. military reaching DEFCON 1, the highest alert indicating that a nuclear attack was impending or already started. With this news, the Soviet military was ready to green light their nuclear stockpile, because they believed the US was about to strike. This podcast captures the nation’s nuclear fears in the 1980s and illustrates a scary chapter of American history that nearly created a nuclear war crisis.

Start the comedy nonfiction series from the beginning to hear the full drama unfold in weekly episodes running less than 45 minutes on average. Fans of films like 1983’s WarGames, Argo, and Dr. Strangelove might also enjoy this series and binge this embarrassing series of events.

This season, tune in to hear research from U.S./NATO and the Soviets, interviews, archival audio, and more. This scenario is widely considered America’s closest brush with nuclear war after the Cuban Missile Crisis. On episodes, Ed is also joined by guests like Matthew Broderick (who starred in WarGames), former KGB sleeper agent Jack Barsky, nuclear expert Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, and former national security official Dr. Fiona Hill.

Ed previously starred on The Office, The Hangover‘s films, True Story, and more. He co-created and starred in Rutherford Falls, produced/starred in The Clapper, The Fake News With Ted Nelms, and Corporate Animals.

“SNAFU with Ed Helms” is presented by iHeartPodcasts. Tune in weekly for new episodes wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

Listen to ‘SNAFU with Ed Helms’

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