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Podcast / Behind the Bastards

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What's life-ruining, my tropers?

There's a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating.

Behind the Bastards is an American comedy/historic podcast hosted by Robert Evans, a former war journalist and writer for Cracked (Not to be confused with the (now-deceased) producer of Rosemary's Baby and The Godfather).

In each episode, Evans, joined by a guest, narrates the backstory, rise to power, quirks and legacies of one of history's biggest bastards: People who, it can usually be said, left the world worse off than they found it. The guest will occasionally add their own tidbits of knowledge, but mostly adds comedy bits from their (usually horrified) reactions to what the bastard of the week managed to get away with, or by cracking jokes with Evans in the hope of keeping things light.

Alongside the well-known historical facts, Evans will often dive into the less-known and too-insane-to-be-made-up personal details of the bastards, such as Saddam Hussein's attempts at writing romance novels or how an optometrist became the dictator of modern-day Syria. Evans' producer Sophie will, on occasion, cut in to drag the subjects back on track whenever digressions get too meandering.


Episodes are usually released weekly, with longer episodes split into two-parters released a day apart. See also Evans' other work It Could Happen Here, and 2020: Worst Year Ever, a political podcast made by Evans in collaboration with Cody Johnston and Katy Stoll from Some More News.

This show provides examples of:

  • Academy of Evil: "The Deadliest School in History" details the bloody legacy of the School of the Americas, where the US State Department trained foreign military officers to suppress indigenous and left-wing movements in their countries and instilled American values and a love of American luxury goods in their students, who would return to their home countries, frequently climb the ranks, and stage military coups. At least eleven of its graduates became dictators of Latin American countries and School of the Americas graduates also installed Augusto Pinochet (who unlike most or all of his co-conspirators wasn't actually a School of the Americas graduate), plunged Guatemala into 36 years of civil war, and killed and tortured hundreds of thousands throughout Latin America in the name of enriching themselves.
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  • Adolf Hitlarious: Naturally, Adolf Hitler is the subject of more than one episode, and each of those episodes of highlighting his more pathetic or ridiculous qualities such as how he was sincerely convinced that Karl May, a fraudster YA author, was the world's greatest military genius or how he mapped out an elaborate, melodramatic murder-suicide fantasy after being "spurned" by a childhood crush he literally never even talked to.
  • Adult Fear: The episode on Georgia Tann combines this with Black Comedy, discussing children being randomly abducted, sold, molested and accidentally killed, and their parents being unable to get them back as a result of manipulative laws.
  • All-Natural Snake Oil: Useless and often dangerous fake medicines are commonly discussed. Examples include homeopathy, fake cancer cures that just burn your flesh off, cure-alls like "Miracle Mineral Supplement" (which is bleach), and nonsense surgeries like medically implanting goat reproductive organs.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "We cover monsters like Adolf Hitler... Saddam Hussein... Eric Prince... Wil Wheaton..."
  • Asbestos-Free Cereal: Robert likes to lead into ads by damning the incoming products and services with extremely faint praise like "will make your babies live longer than Hyland's all-natural baby-killing pills."
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Many of the bastards examined tend to be people claiming to be medical doctors, despite having only rudimentary medicial training at best, and none actual training whatsoever at worst. One of the shinning examples is John Ronald Brown, one of the few bastards who actually managed to get a legitimate medical degree in plastic surgery (if only by barely passing his exams after failing multiple times) and came to "specialize" in gender reassignment surgery. Despite having actual credentials and some fundamentally good ideas on a conceptual level about how to perform gender reassignment surgery, Evans describe how both laymen and medical professionals were horrified by Brown's practices, noting that despite his lofty ideas he had only very little in the way of technical surgery skills, which often meant his operations turned into downright Meatgrinder Surgery, with horrible physical consequences to follow for many of the trans women he operated on. This was only exacerbated by the fact that Brown, as a person was often slovenly and absent-minded and showed a downright compulsion to completely eschew any ideas of hygienic standards and operating in a sterile environment, meaning he operated his patients pretty much everywhere but in a operating theater, including on the desk of his office, kitchen tabletops, and hotel rooms, earning him the nicknames of "Tabletop Brown" and "Butcher Brown". But the facts that Brown also were willing to perform his operations fairly cheaply and without asking many, if any questions, nor required any reference from a mental health professional (back in the day, the gatekeeping around gender confirmation surgery was even more onerous than it is today, and that's saying something), unfortunately also meant that he was the go-to guy for many desperate trans people.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Evans will usually use this whenever he tries to underline the 'positive aspects' of whatever horribleness the bastard of the week has just committed.
  • The Bad Guys Are Cops: In light of the increased scrutiny of police in the US in 2020, Evans released a six-part series about the history of American police. It isn't a pretty picture.
  • Bait-and-Switch: About halfway through "Part One: The Worst Birth Control Device Ever Invented", Evans reveals that the episode (and by extension, part two) is not actually about the Dalkon Shield, a horrifyingly dangerous IUD that caused countless serious infections and internal injuries, but rather that the suffering caused by the Dalkon Shield was just a lead-in to and one small part of the history of the real topic: eugenics and population control (the connection being that the Dalkon Shield was distributed abroad by population control organizations long after it had stopped being sold in the United States and was sold in bulk to these organizations unsterilized).
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: As Roger Stone once said, "[Roy Cohn's] absolute goal was to die completely broke and owing millions to the I.R.S. He succeeded in that." Of course, Cohn died of AIDS at age 59, disbarred, powerless, with most of his assets seized and completely alone, which were definitely not the circumstances Cohn had in mind.
  • Be Yourself: Played for Laughs in the episode "The Bastard who Executed the Top Nazis". When challenged on what seem to be the most common thread between history's bastards, Evans eventually says that it's probably that they all seemed to have boundless confidence in their own abilities and an inability to self-reflect or see their own flaws. He then suggested that if there is An Aesop in all this it's that you shouldn't always aim to be yourself, because you just might be a bastard without thinking about it.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Since Robert doesn't actually have any knowledge or say over what particular ads play during the ad break, and sometimes the iHeartRadio network puts in ads from very questionable corporations (including Koch Industries, despite the podcast having done an entire two-part episode on Charles Koch), he has taken to mocking the oncoming ads by pivoting to ads at extremely inopportune moments, damning them with faint praise like "have probably not been complicit in genocide," or just assuming they'll be for arsenic-laced, homeopathic dick pills.
  • Boarding School of Horrors:
    • The episode named "The School That Raped Everybody" is dedicated to the Odenwald School, which in 2010 was revealed to have had a long history of sexual abuse of its students reaching as far back as the 1920s.
    • "Canada's Darkest Secret: Residential Schools" goes into the schooling system purposefully designed to destroy First Nations language, culture and traditions under the auspices of "assimilation" into federal Canada, which also perpetrated untold abuse and pain onto Native children through a deliberate lack of oversight and general apathy/antipathy for their suffering.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Evans discusses this in regards to Roy Cohn, one of the main architects of the Lavender Scare of the 1950s, which saw what was basically officially sanctioned harassment and persecution of homosexuals and anyone even remotely suspected of being homosexual working for the US government. Cohn headed this policy/witch-hunt, despite he himself being a gay man working for the government (Cohn would publicly deny being gay his entire life, but his sexuality was effectively an Open Secret). Evans explains that Cohn, referring to his own comments on the subject, had convinced himself through Insane Troll Logic that homosexuals were all essentially powerless and could only be victimized, and since Cohn was essentially a rich and powerful bully he therefore reasoned that he could not possibly be homosexual himself. It all finally caught up with Cohn once he contracted AIDS in the 1980s and his repeated attempts at explaining his obviously detonating health away as liver cancer was treated as the bit of Blatant Lies it was; Cohn quickly became a victim of the very same right-wing stigma against homosexuality that he had done so much to promote, and was in short order abandoned by all his powerful allies and left effectively powerless and alone in his final days.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In "The Astrologer Who Managed the Reagan Presidency", Evans says that after the shock of something like the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, "People would turn to something comforting. Either drugs, or god, or drugs made out of god after that kind of shock. Nancy turned to astrology."
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Robert does not portray himself as a particularly functional human being, making frequent allusions to extensive drug use and thrill-seeking misadventures. That said, the guy is relentless in meeting his release schedule, preparing episodes in advance to cover a trip to report on Rojava and never missing a week while ceaselessly reporting on the civil unrest in Portland, Oregon that continued through 2020. In one case, a Proud Boy broke his hand at a protest and Robert still showed up, letting his friend Garrison write and host the episode because Robert was too spaced out on painkillers to write a script.
  • The Caligula: An unsurprising subject of the show. Special mention goes to Saparmurat Niyazov, aka "Turkmenbashi"note , the former dictator of Turkmenistan, who went as far as renaming ketchup for one of the less insane parts of his cultural policies.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: The episode on The British East India Company leans fairly heavily into this trope, as does a number of other episodes featuring other less-than-squeaky-clean captains of industry. Evans is openly leftist and can often be as critical of liberal capitalism as he can be of fascist or communist dictatorships.
  • Christmas Episode: Once a year around Christmas, Robert will highlight the life of "Non-Bastard" who he views as a genuine hero, such as Raoul Wallenberg.
  • Church of Happyology: L. Ron Hubbard has had a whopping six total episodes dedicated to his life, scams, and the founding of the Church of Scientology.
  • The Coup:
    • Several of the bastards became dictator of a country by staging a coup, or at least attempted to do so, including Qaddafi, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo against his uncle Francisco Macías Nguema (both bastards in their own right) and several mercenaries against both (all failed and also bastards), and several School of the Americas graduates.
    • The episode on James Dobson and Focus on the Family is hosted by Evans's friend Garrison Davis, while Evans acts as the guest in what is jokingly described as a coup and throughout the episode, Evans acts as The Starscream, openly talking about how he's plotting to counter-coup the podcast.
    • In the wake of the January 6th insurrection in Washington, D.C., Evans had Prop back on the podcast to record "Behind the Insurrection", a miniseries of Behind the Bastards that covered the various fascist coups that happened in Europe leading up to WWII.
  • Cult: Cult leaders provide a good chunk of the currently represented bastards. Among the cult leaders featured are Keith Raniere of NXIVM, L. Ron Hubbard, R. Kelly, and spirit healer John of God.
  • Dead Baby Comedy: The bread and butter of this series, sometimes even with literal dead babies!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sophie, who can usually be heard delivering snarky one-liners from across the room in an attempt to drag Robert back on the subject or informing him they will cut to commercial soon.
  • Department of Child Disservices: "The Woman Who Invented Adoption (By Stealing Thousands of Babies)" details the actions of Georgia Tann, who destigmatized adoption by way of appealing to wealthy people by putting photos of photogenic children front and center and claiming that children under a certain age were blank slates rather than likely genetically inferior as the then-popular eugenics-based view saw them. She acquired these children by stealing them from poor families and single mothers, either by using her connections to acquire court orders forcibly separating the children from their parents or by tricking the parents into signing papers signing away their parental rights, often only taking the youngest (and most marketable) children unless a client had specifically requested an older child or teenager. Poor conditions in her facilities also led to the deaths of at least 500 children as they were often denied medical care so as to not eat into her exorbitant adoption fees. Her actions also resulted in it being the norm for single mothers to put their children up for adoption for decades after her own child trafficking empire collapsed with her death in 1950.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: During the episode on Spanish fascism in the "Behind the Insurrections" sub-series, Robert shares a photo of the Spanish Legion with guest Propaganda and producer Sophie, the latter of whom derails the episode for several minutes over how hot the Legion and their tight pants and low-cut shirts that show off their pecs are.
  • Do Wrong, Right: The fact that the likes of Koch Industries and Raytheon are included in the show's automated ad rotation doesn't seem to outrage Robert as much as baffle him: as he points out, who on Earth would want to want to do business with oil or defense companies based on podcast ads?
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The ultimate fate of John C. Woods, the bastards who hanged the Nazi top command. Rather than falling prey to the Nazis he claimed were stalking him, or even accidentally hanging himself, he died from electrocution while trying to change a fuse in a flooded room.
  • Drugs Are Good: Robert is a big fan of what he calls "honest poison"—aka recreational drugs whose sellers don't pretend aren't bad for your health.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The first episode on the RSS and BJP had Evans come in in post to point out that his intro that week (a Coronavirus joke about CPAC, written before anyone had died of COVID-19 in the US and the ensuing full lockdown) wasn't very funny any more, and he's adding a new one in post. He then tells a pirate joke instead.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The show settled into a pretty reliable Tuesday-Thursday release schedule late in 2019, with most weeks being a two part episode on a single subject. This release schedule was reasonably common before becoming the default. As a result, a lot of early episodes that are either one-shots or released in three parts will have an unexpected cadence.
  • Evil Colonialist: Another frequent target, especially Sir Henry Morton Stanley who helped Leopold II establish the Congo Free State.
  • Evil Is Petty: Many of Evans' digressions of personal lives often highlight how much history's bastards aren't larger-than-life villains, but often horribly petty and flawed people given way too much power by luck or systemic fiat.
  • Far East Asian Terrorists: The JRA were one of the main subjects of the episode "The Golden Age of Terrorism".
  • False Reassurance: Played for Black Comedy in "The Bleach Church is Spreading". Robert and his guest Billy Wayne Davis note that yes, drinking enough bleach will mean you don't have to worry about getting sick, in the same way being hit by an H-bomb will.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop is portrayed this way in the second part of the episode on the Reagan Administration's handling of the AIDS crisis. Though a staunchly pro-life Evangelical Christian, Koop became the champion of (predominantly LGBTQ) AIDS patients out of an obligation as both a doctor and a Christian to heal the sick and save lives, regardless of his feelings on their personal lives.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: In the episode on coup attempts in Equatorial Guinea, the country's first president, Francisco Macías Nguema, was a dangerous and paranoid madman who established a Cult of Personality, terrorized his country, ruined the local economy, and killed thousands for eleven years — both directly through state-sactioned violence against perceived political enemies and indirectly through starvation. His rule was eventually ended when he attempted to purge his nephew, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo from the government, but failed and prompted a coup that placed Obiang in charge of the country. Obiang swiftly prove to also be a dangerous dictator who established a cult of personality and kept right on ruling the country with much the same iron fist as his uncle.
  • Functional Addict: Robert frequently jokes about his copious drug use, though how much of this is comedic hyperbole is up for debate.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Several times throughout "Part One: The Worst Birth Control Device Ever Invented", Evans and guest Samantha McVay comment that something they said or that a document they're reading said would make a good name for a metal or punk band, such as "vaginal death crab", "fallopian depth charge" or "bacterial expressway".
    • The episode on the coup of Equitorial Guinea had "Mutual Genocide", which was also floated as a cool name for a band.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Invoked. In "The Bleach Church is Spreading", Robert notes that he once found Genesis II Church appalling but somewhat amusing, as it was incredibly small—but the COVID-19 pandemic, and a perceived endorsement of the church's bleach cure by Trump note , made it too influential, and therefore dangerous, to be funny anymore.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Episodes are typically titled in the format of "[Bastard's name]: the [noun] who [action that makes them a bastard]." This isn't an ironclad rule, however, as titles like "Jacob Wohl is Still the Dumbest Person In Politics" or "Hitler's Sex Life: The Whole Sad Story."
  • In Vino Veritas: The Josef Stalin two-parter episode discusses how the infamous Soviet dictator became a firm believer in this trope during his older days, and as a result forced the subordinate heads of the Soviet government to come to for a dinner party with him almost every day, where imbibing ludicrous amounts of alcohol and participating in constant drinking games where basically mandatory, as Stalin was convinced that if anyone was plotting against him, they would blabber about it while they were dead drunk (Stalin himself meanwhile drank his spirits thinned with water, because of a doctor's suggestion). Said subordinates were acutely aware that these dinner parties had a really terrible effect on their health, not just because of the sheer quantity of alcohol they consumed at them, but also because of the frequency with which they had to do it, but were also afraid about what the highly paranoid Stalin might do to them if they ever declined his invitations, and as such they felt that refusing, no matter how politely, was simply not an option. Evans remarks that he considers it somewhat of a miracle that despite the numerous cases of Alcohol-Induced Idiocy Stalin's parties caused, that there is no immediate evidence that any of them were major diplomatic or political incidents or direct losses of life amongst the members of Soviet government.
  • It's Personal: As a war journalist covering extremism, Evans sometimes ends up covering bastards who have made his job necessary.
    • Robert claims that of all the bastards he discussed, Paul Manafort is the one he personally hates the most due to Robert having personally covered the Ukrainian Civil War which Manafort helped extend and saw the resulting horrors first hand. In a later episode covering Manafort's business partner Roger Stone, while Robert admits Stone did far more damage to America and the world than Manafort, he still hates the latter far more.
    • Evans covered the warzones in north-eastern Syria during the Syrian Civil War and made several stories from the Rojava Autonomous Region. As a result, his coverage of Bashar Al-Assad's (and the US's later) treatment of the Kurds tend go into this trope by his own admission.
    • The Bjorn Lomborg episode also counts since Robert spends a substantial portion of it relating how his conservative upbringing coupled with Lomborg's brand of climate denial had caused him to also embrace climate denial in his youth.
  • Karma Houdini: Incredibly and unfortunately common. The bastards of the week will frequently have either lived a long life without facing consequences for their crimes, or will have yet to have faced real consequences at the time the episode airs.
  • The Klan: Gets their own episode, focusing on both the First and Second Klans. The Second Klan, and specifically their close relationship with police departments, is also the subject of the third episode of the six-part series on the history of American policing.
  • Knife Nut: Evans collects knives and frequently brings them into the studio, as many guests' comments can attest to. A particular recurring 'guest' is the "recording machete", which is often given a place of honor (and often features on the show's twitter). Evans also occasionally touts the benefits of the joke psuedo-medical theory of "macheticine", which was concocted during the episode on homeopathy and has tenets spoofing those of homeopathy - 1.) Knife cures knife and 2.) More is morenote .
  • Les Collaborateurs: There is a very good chance that any given bastard covered, even will have, at some point, supported and/or actively collaborated with the Nazis or equally heinous regime.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: "What's [verb]ing, my [related noun]s!". Usually using extremely outlandish and/or unnerving verbs who are only tangentially related.
  • Mad Scientist: The podcast has featured several Real Life examples. Subverted in that the most egregious examples, like Trofim Lysenko, killed the most people because they'd been put in high government positions by even bigger bastards, where they would use their theories to affect government policy that indirectly killed a lot of peoplenote .
  • Not Quite the Right Thing:
    • During the "Non-Nazi Bastards who helped Hitler Rise to Power" Robert and his co-host of the week, Naomi, are at a loss of how to land when discussing an incident in which a woman prevented the suicide of her husband's friend, Adolf Hitler, eventually deciding that, sometimes, history doesn't provide a lesson—it just sucks.
    • "The Bastard who Invented Homeopathy" comes off partially as this. Robert notes that, while homeopathy is essentially placebo therapy and ends up making people not seek out actual medicine for life-threatening conditions, at the time of its invention it was still less deadly than most actual medicine at the time.
    • In "The Bastard Who Invented The Lobotomy", Evans notes that Walter Freeman wasn't wrong in his hypothesis that mental illness often had a physical or chemical cause, contrary to the prevailing Freudian medical opinion of the time that mental illness was mostly or all psychological and the result of repressed memories and the like. However, where he was extremely wrong was in his belief that lobotomy was the cure for most or all mental illness, rather than a very limited use niche treatment for a very, very small segment of brain problems.
  • Offing the Offspring: Regaled in the appropriately titled episode "Gary Young: The Fake Doctor Who Drowned His Own Baby."
  • Ponzi: Many of the bastards covered ran Ponzi schemes or MLM schemes, including the Second Klan.
  • Private Military Contractors: Eric Prince, founder of the infamous Blackwater unit, got his own episode and has been described as a "frequent guest bastard" for his appearances in many other bastards' stories, and King Leopold is noted to have used mercenaries for many of his greatest abuses of the Congo Free State.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Robert often jokes about plans to start his own grifts and cults even more outlandish than the ones he covers, at one point stating he dreams of starting his own drug-addled orgy cult and recreating the ATF's Waco, Texas screwup — except he wants to provoke the FDA instead. He also has an odd respect for L. Ron Hubbard he doesn't share with most of the other bastards covered simply because Hubbard's bastardry was so damn ambitious and out there. (The time he attempted to summon the antichrist at a sex mansion in California with real-life Mad Scientist Jack Parsons is glossed over as an aside because there's just too much ground to cover already, though it would later get its own episode.)
  • Realpolitik: A distressing number of bastards (especially state leaders) were often allowed to stay in positions of power thanks to this trope, with political (and economical) concerns making greater powers stand in and support and/or condone their bastardry.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • The COVID-19 pandemic forced production of the show to move from its regular studio in Los Angeles to remote casting. Many of the running gags from the studio (such as throwing bagels and the poison room) fell by the wayside as a result. The shift in recording venue also led to a corresponding increase in Sophie's speaking presence on the show, as in the recording studio, she didn't usually have a microphone, while she does have one when doing remote sessions.
    • Additionally, one episode featured Robert as the guest with the show written and hosted by his friend Garrison after a Proud Boy broke Robert's hand at a protest he was reporting on, leaving him unable to type up a script.
    • Robert's time covering the events of Rojava and the extended civil unrest in Portland, Oregon led to the Behind the Police miniseries and also to the spin off shows It Could Happen Here and The Women's War.
    • In early 2021, pressing family matters cut the Behind the Insurrections miniseries an episode shorter than originally intended and prompted a temporary shift towards more book episodes and away from the standard bastard-of-the-week format, as well as occasionally left the companion current events podcast "Worst Year Ever" presented only by co-hosts Cody Johnson and Katy Stoll.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: Another frequent target. Evans has followed real-life right-wing extremism for much of his journalistic career (as can be seen in his other works) and has devoted several episodes to the subject, especially on their influences on the U.S. Border Patrol.
  • Running Gag:
    • The aforementioned Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking gag of frequently listing Wil Wheaton amongst history's greatest bastards (an appellation he has, as of yet, failed to earn in Real Life). It was eventually dropped after the first dozen or so episodes.
    • Evans throwing objects (most commonly bagels or Pringles) around the room in response to particularly frustrating aspects of the bastard of the week.
    • Evans is absolutely incapable of pronouncing British town names properly, even after well over a dozen episodes of various British bastards, and has lampshaded this tendency by refusing to find out how.
    • Evans intentionally cuts to commercial just as he's revealed a particularly horrific act by the week's bastard, usually by explaining that the products and services that support this week's episode do NOT cause said horrific act. The ensuing Mood Whiplash is then followed by an Incoming Ham about PRODUUUCTS!
    • Evans ironically gushing about David Koresh and especially his presentation in Waco whenever given half the chance (usually followed by Sophie getting annoyed that he got brought up again).
    • Evans wanting to start his own cult and wanting to antagonize the FDA into laying siege to it.
    • Evans ironically fanboying over the Raytheon corporation and their specialty knife missiles, missiles that shoots knives guaranteed to 100% devastate all civilian wedding parties you aim it at.
    • Evans will jokingly claim that Bernie Sanders was the actual assassin of JFK and Robert Kennedy instead of Lee Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan respectively.
    • Evans trying to get Doritos to sponsor the podcast, especially during the first fifty or so episodes.
    • During episodes with Katy Stoll and Cody Johnson as guests, any of the three bringing up the slogan "One Pump, One Cream" from a bottle of Nestle coffee creamer that was in the recording studio.
    • Evans tends to have running themes for episodes where recurring guests star. For example, eps featuring Billy Wayne Davis tend to be about fake doctors while ones with Sofia Alexandra tend to involve dead children.
  • Saving Christmas: Evans jokingly claimed that his Tactful Translation of "Bat'ko" as "boss" during the Christmas Special on Nestor Makhno with Jamie Loftus was done in the name of this.
    Robert: I did what‎ ‎I had to do, to save christmas. I understand that it's going to ruin the rest of my life.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: The show does not look fondly on medical scammers and they are frequently featured as bastards of the week.
  • Tactful Translation: During the non-bastard episode on Nestor Makhno, Evans tells guest Jamie Loftus that "Bat'ko" translates as "boss" and then explains in an aside that it actually means "father" or "daddy" and that he told her that it meant something else but roughly equivalent for the purposes of the story because telling her that it meant "daddy" would have hopelessly derailed the episode. When Loftus jokingly call him out on it in a later episode, Evans replied that he was not proud of what he did, but he felt it necessary in the name of Saving Christmas.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Unsurprisingly, members and enablers of Nazi Germany frequently feature as bastards of the week.
  • Unpleasant Parent Reveal: The "All Fertility Doctors are Bastards" episode involves a lot of this, as the entire episode is devoted to fertility doctors who used their own sperm to impregnate patients leading to numerous children unaware of their true parentage.
  • Who Shot JFK?: A running gag on the show (and other podcasts Evans is involved in) is that Bernie Sanders was the true assassin of JFK.


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