The Bugle is a political satire and comedy podcast hosted by Andy Zaltzman. It was co-founded by John Oliver and Zaltzman, though Oliver has since left the show. During each episode, Zaltzman entertains different co-hosts, including Nish Kumar, Hari Kondabolu, Anuvab Pal, and Wyatt Cenac, as they jab at current political situations.
In the first episode of 2017, “George W. Bush Nostalgia,” Zaltzman and Kumar co-host the show. They begin with a light, sarcastic tone as they predict what trends will become popular in 2017. They share interesting facts about the day, and jokingly reflect on the place of a political satirist in a “post-truth” world. Zaltzman and Kumar transition swiftly from one topic to the next, as they do in every episode, and had great chemistry, allowing them to create a fluid dialogue.
In one of the funnier moments, the hosts note that Trump has caused people to reminisce about Bush. People are concluding that Bush wasn’t bad when compared to Trump. Evidently, Trump’s most extraordinary achievement so far has been to make people nostalgic for Bush.
One characteristic of The Bugle that stands out is the show’s witty and sarcastic sense of humour. The humour is acquired, so it might not be enjoyable for everyone. Kumar is a lively co-host who reminds me of Oliver’s energy.
The topics for the most recent episode, “Bashfulness and Shame,” include Brexit, British diplomats, and of course, Trump. Zaltzman and Pal, the co-host for this episode, present facts, but with added humor, commentary, and exaggeration. At one point, Zaltzman and Pal joke about how soon enough, once children are born, we’ll hook them up to a charger and Wi-Fi.
Wit and humour are necessary in times of political turmoil and uncertainty, especially because political commentary plays an important role in challenging assumptions and power. If you find Trevor Noah, John Oliver, or Stephen Colbert entertaining, The Bugle will likely spark your interest.