The Scathing Atheist is an Atheist/Comedy podcast run by Noah Lugeons, Heath Enwright, and eventually Eli Bosnick who joined full-time. This page also includes info on the spinoff shows the Skepticrat Podcast, which is more political, and God Awful Movies, a podcast where they review Christian Movies.
The Scathing Atheist starts with the Diatribe, in which Noah rants about a different aspect of religion each week, then segues into Headlines, where the two hosts talk about news events in the week that relate to religion or atheism. In the middle of headlines, Noah's wife Lucinda does a segment titled "This Week in Misogyny" that talks about misogyny and patriarchy. Other segments include "The Holy Babble", where Noah, Lucinda, and Heath read The Bible in its entirety (later moving onto the Quran and the Book of Mormon), and segments where Noah interviews different people associated with the Atheist movement.
The Skepticrat largely follows the same format of going through news stories, but covers things that don't really belong in the context of anti-religious ranting. These are usually political stories from the perspective of the "far center", where all issues are examined in a skeptical but similarly irreverent and obscene manner.
God Awful Movies started out as a regular segment where the crew would review bad religious cinema once a month, which became one of their most popular segments. When Eli lost his job, the crew set up a Patreon account to see if people would be interested in turning that into its own show, hoping that maybe they could earn a few hundred dollars in a few months so Eli could make his living that way. As it turns out, there was interest, as the account got its goal within 48 hours.
The team recently started yet another spinoff show called Citation Needed, where they team up with the Cognitive Dissonance Podcast. On this show they will go through Wikipedia pages and discuss a specific subject, making fun of the content, and pretend to be experts based on their new knowledge (because this is the internet and that's how it works now).
These Podcasts provide examples of:
- Couch Gag: Multiple
- Every show begins with Lucinda giving a different content warning that the following hour will be absolutely fucking obscene.
- Heath will then give a fake sponsorship for the episode, usually in the form of a play on words of a religious phrase or product.
- There will then be a member of the atheist/secular community to quote Dr. Farnsworth's "we did in fact evolve from filthy monkey men." or some variation.
- Berserk Button: Eli has absolutely no patience for movies that demonstrate contempt or misunderstanding of modern medicine, specifically psychiatry.
- Black Comedy: Dead Baby Comedy: Frequently. This Video is a good example of the type of humor you're expected to get.
- Deep South: The show started in New York City, but spent a large amount of its time in Valdosta, Georgia. It has since relocated to "Secret lair, Pennsylvania" to Noah's relief. Regardless of where they are from, their stories are inevitably the result of religious harm, so the heavily Christian South is naturally a large target for the show.
- Defictionalization: One of the recurring gags, Christian Movie Bingo (See Drinking Game below), has actually been turned into a physical game for Patrons and convention appearances. The boards even have randomized squares.
- Distracted by the Shiny: On GAM cast, a lot of Christian films for some reason bring up good questions or points against Christianity, and then move on from the question without addressing the point. Eli calls this out by shouting "Jingly keys!"
- Drinking Game: Sorta. The GAM cast instead has "Christian Movie Bingo", related to repeated tropes in the movies that are reviewed.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Some of their roasts have been... controversial to say the least. They want to emphasize that there are no lines drawn at roasts, and their roasts are for charity.
- Evil Stole My Faith: Apparently every single atheist has a mom who died from cancer, if the movies reviewed on God Awful Movies are to be believed.
- Gag Penis: Noah sometimes thanks show patrons by complimenting their enormous penises, which can often get up to planetary or galaxy scales.
- Gretzky Has the Ball: Any time Eli is asked anything about sports, to the point of thinking someone named Kyle Gretzky was in a movie they were going to review. He may be Obfuscating Stupidity in regards to professional wrestling, however. Also pointed out in movies they are reviewing, which typically depict sports incorrectly even when the movie features athletes famous for playing that sport.
- When Michael Jordan was mentioned on the show, Eli knew him as "the guy from Space Jam.
- I'll Kill You!: Eli repeatedly threatens to kill an author of a nonsensical Christian pamphlet.
- I Warned You: Eli said he would lick Ray Comfort at Reason Rally, and he did.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite Noah being a self-described asshole and having no shortage of insults for anyone, he shows endless love for his listeners and thanks him every chance he gets.
- All three hosts have a talent for roast humor, which naturally leads to a no holds barred Crosses the Line Twice insult assault on anyone. They have decided to use their powers for good and held two events called "Vulgarity for Charity", where donors are encouraged to contribute to charity, and the cast will insult anyone at the donor's request. The first was for the aforementioned Secular Student Alliance fundraiser. The second one was where they brought on the Cognitive Dissonance podcast to insult people. They ended up raising $25,000 for Modest Needs.
- Eli is actually well-known to be a fierce social justice advocate, and has been known to debate frequently with critics of social justice movements.
- Mushroom Samba: The crew's explanation for the craziest parts of The Bible like Ezekiel or Revelation. How else are you supposed to explain "Locusts having scorpion tails wearing crowns", Jesus with a sword that comes out of his mouth, or Ezekiel deciding to eat a scroll?
- Noodle Incident: There is allegedly a white board of things they (mostly Eli) can't do, and the reasons behind them of often this.
- Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: One of the running gags in GA Mcast episode 58 was that the Christiano Brothers, creators of Time Changer, raped a girl in the late 1800s. Their lawyer makes several disclaimers throughout the episode insisting it's a joke and for humor, and that the show is definitely not making that allegation.
- "Do not take [subject] advice from a podcast."
- Since hiring lawyer and fellow podcaster Andrew Torrez from the legal podcast Opening Arguments, Andrew has had to step in a few times to clarify that a few of the worst pedophilia, rape, and murder based jokes are indeed jokes so the crew won't be held liable. The show has somehow gotten more and more obscene over time somehow, likely because now that their lawyer can advise them exactly where the line is regarding what can and cannot be legally stated on a podcast.
- Pun: Everywhere in the show. Noah and Heath love showing off their mastery of the English language. Particularly prominent in the "30 Seconds on the Clock" bit, where they usually try and make as many puns as possible for things such as "Ideas for the Strip Club Convent" or "Offensive Cartoons to Scare Away Shitty Christian Busboys From Their Job at the Gay Bar".
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Eli had been a regular guest on the main show, as well as a full-time host on God Awful Movies, but he was brought on full-time to Scathing Atheist and the Skepticrat as soon as patrons reached a certain goal.
- Refuge in Vulgarity: Stuff like the gag penis jokes are worn with pride.
- Replaced the Theme Tune: Played with in one episode where Noah invites The Cognitive Dissonance Podcast on with Heath and they all get in a fight over Fantasy Football. Noah kicks Heath off and brings Tom on as a cohost to host "The Cognitive Atheist" using the Cognitive Dissonance theme song.
- When Noah started the podcast, he didn't expect it to become as popular as it eventually did, and made his own theme and interstitial music. 200 episodes and four years later with a much bigger following, the theme tune seemed a bit amateur-ish, even though the tunes were inseparable. The gang had hired a sound engineer by that point, who eventually completely remade all the themes in a far shinier, more professional arrangement, using most of the same melodies.
- Running Gag: God Awful Movies features several, including Eli Bosnick's "Crazy Billionaire Money", which he talks about how he would reshoot movies to change exactly one scene, and "____: The Eli Bosnick Story" where he takes spoken lines out of context to describe his own life. See also Distracted by the Shiny above.
- Other sporadic running gags include Noah being an old man who really likes water beds and Heath being a white supremacist who loves cooking ramen.
- "If you're not picturing [Insert obscene or absurd pornographic situation], then you're not the listeners we know and love!"
- "[Person] looks like they opened the Ark of the Covenant just a little bit."
- Eli doesn't know the names of any athletes. When asked to name some, he will inevitably refer to to the made-up "Tre Shawn Jenkins."
- Heath's Berserk Button, conspiracies claiming that the Fed is a Ponzi scheme.
- Eli: "Well, if you love _______, but you hate _______, you will love this movie!"
- Signing-Off Catchphrase:
- At the end of headlines, Heath is prone to shouting the names of games. This started with "Jumanji!", usually, and then moved on to "Boggle!" or "Scrabble!". Since Eli has joined the show he has been editing the show notes at the last second to try and screw Heath up.
- Heath Enwright lampshades this by ending every episode of the Skepticrat with "Catchphrase Signoff."
- The signoff for God Awful Movies started off with variations on a man from Brooklyn telling you to go fuck yourself, but then Eli gave an outro as a spoof of The Breakfast Club. Now the cast gives epilogues after ad-libbing "Don't You (Forget about Me)" by Simple Minds.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Expect this when one minute Noah is ranting about proper grammar usage and the next minute he's making oral sex jokes about Pat Robertson.
- Spinoff: The Skepticrat, which focuses on politics, and God Awful Movies, which reviews movies, based on a frequent segment on the show.
- Stage Names: Noah Lugeons, Heath Enwright, and Lucinda Lugeonsnote are not, in fact, their real names.
- Stealth Pun: Noah and Heath are master wordsmiths, and will sometimes drop these in. If you're lucky, they'll tell you to think about a certain phrase or joke before moving on.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: For all the vulgarity, there are a lot of really high-brow jokes.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Has happened a few times in God Awful Movies. Not in the movies they review, the hosts come up with imaginative fates for the main characters of the film they've just lambasted.