Every Tuesday for the last two years, comedians Varun Thakur, Neville Shah, Kautuk Srivasta and Aadar Malik have sat down to discuss some of the most random, interesting, shocking, weird, absurd “facts” and personal stories in their award-winning (#DACA20) podcast, The Internet Said So. Neville’s obsession with Aaron Sorkin, the ‘struggling actor’ jokes at Varun’s expense, Kautuk and his weird food habits, and Aadar’s obsession with the facts, all of these have been a constant throughout their 99 episode run, helping them build a loyal TISS Army.
And now, the gang have reached an epic milestone. This Sunday marks the 100th episode of The Internet Said So. So we’ve put together a list of 8 must-watch TISS episodes you can binge before the big live-stream. Yes, we’ve included Food Stories because how could we not? (Looking at you, Neville). We’ve also listed some iconic guest episodes, a spooky collaboration and the one where a historic TISS comment became a reality!
1. The Internet Said So | Ep. 25 – Conspiracy Theories ft Biswa Kalyan Rath
A long time ago, when there wasn’t a deadly virus taking over our lives and people wore masks only at Halloween parties, the boys used to record their podcasts in a studio and bring on guests. For this episode, they were joined by ‘Pretentious Movie Reviewer’ Biswa Kalyan Rath to discuss their favourite conspiracy theories.
In the most-watched episode of their entire run, the TISS gang touch upon the usual suspects including the moon landing hoax, flat earth theory and existence of aliens. Biswa’s general disdain for people and mistrust in our collective human intelligence (and ability to keep secrets), is glaringly obvious and it couldn’t be funnier. If four people can’t successfully record a podcast on time, “ek moon landing ka conspiracy banane mein aur usko 40 saal chalaye rakhna bohot difficult hai.” Watch the entire episode to hear all about inside jobs, one of Neville’s many obsessions, and some absolutely ridiculous claims that will have you rolling on the floor.
2. The Internet Said So | Ep. 10 – Cricket Facts feat. Tanmay Bhat & Sorabh Pant
For this unique episode, we have only one TISS member—Varun Thakur—joining Bot Army Leader Tanmay Bhat, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named lookalike Sorab Pant and Kumar Varun. At first glance, this episode’s theme does seem like the one Tanmay jokingly suggests at the beginning of the episode—comedy collectives that didn’t quite work out. But the discussion quickly veers into our nation’s favourite sport—cricket. We all know Thakur is no stranger to cricket fanaticism, but Srivastava feels like a twelfth man in the conversation and is subbed out for Kumar Varun.
The four comedians share many laughs about the old Indian cricket team’s eating habits (who takes a pressure cooker on a tour of Australia?!) and Ravi Shastri’s Old Monk memes. No cricket conversation in India is complete without mentioning your favourite Sachin innings. Check out the entire episode to hear about the nightmare that Sorab Pant had to face at Singapore airport.
Fun fact: Varun Thakur and Tanmay Bhat grew up playing cricket together!
3. The Internet Said So | EP 86 | TISS Reacts to the Radhe Trailer
Every TISS Army member knows that Salman Khan is a recurring topic of discussion on the podcast. No matter what the conversation is about, our four podcasters know how to sneak in a ‘Bhai’ reference or two. So fittingly, they dedicated an entire episode to his much-awaited 2021 release Radhe.
The gang sits down to deconstruct the trailer of the film for an hour and… there are some flaws, to say the least. Featuring in-depth analysis that could give Nerdwriter a run for its money, Khan’s iconic step (one of which comes every year), a vaccination PSA with Bhai (NOT like the one Jackie Shroff did), and all the ‘mic drop’ moments in the trailer are just some of the talking points in this podcast. Check out the full episode to find out some ‘Just Bhai Things’ facts.
4. The Internet Said So | Ep. 29 | School Stories
After spending a good 3 minutes roasting Neville’s clean shaven face the boys sit down to talk about a topic that sends most people down a nostalgic rabbit hole—school stories. With Neville’s boarding school experience and Varun’s ingenious methods to pass exams, this episode is sure to remind you of all the hijinks you got up to with your friends in class.
In contrast to what you might expect, Thakur was that kid in class who studied more than was required (all thanks to his grandmother’s great storytelling skills). On the other hand, a fact that won’t surprise you—Neville passed out of school 24 years ago (?!) in ’96 (cue the ‘Neville is old’ joke montage). “Your ICSE degree is a millennial,” says Aadar. Let’s just leave it at that. Relive your school schooldays with the TISS boys with this conversation about our Indus Valley civilization syllabus, elections to become a prefect so you could bunk classes—or in Varun’s case, to wear a blazer—and struggling to make sense of mathematics.
5. The Internet Said So | EP 95 | Ghost Stories Part 2 LIVE ft. Hoezaay
“What is this, a crossover episode?” In this TISS live stream, the podcasters sit down with candles in dark rooms to tell some ghost stories that will scare Neville’s pants off. They are joined by resident horror story expert and Har Army commander, Jose Covaco. One of the few episodes from the promised “Part 2 series”—the first one being with Sumukhi Suresh—this is a scary and equally funny watch.
The gang shares some chilling stories but things take a comedic turn, as they should when we have five comedians discussing ghosts and spirits. If you’re a regular listener, you’ve heard Varun’s “spirits playing table-tennis” experience multiple times. But there are newer stories that Covaco came across on his Ghost Stories streams: more funny than scary, really. That’s not stopping Neville from hiding behind his t-shirt, though. As writers, they also share some insights about how to script and tell a compelling ghost story.
Check out the entire episode to hear about some helpful ghosts, the white saree cliches and spirits looking to just hitch a ride.
6. The Internet Said So | Ep. 22 – Death
In this episode, the gang discusses a topic as morbid as death: another one of Neville’s obsessions and the subject of most of his standup comedy. The four comics discuss some statistics about sky diving, dance parties and roller coasters—giving a completely new meaning to “Essel World jaunga main, ghar nahi aaunga main.”
Varun’s story of getting stung by a jellyfish at Juhu beach and being treated as a plate of bhelpuri segues into a bit about the whale that was washed up on Mumbai’s shoreline that is a must-watch! The conversation takes a philosophical turn when they discuss how they perceive death, what waits for them in the afterlife and dealing with grief.
7. The Internet said So | Ep 38 | Friends – Not the Show
“Call Kriti Sanon on the podcast and discuss nepotism.” This comment has its own place in TISS history, dating back to a previous podcast The Big Question when a superfan named Giridhar made this request on almost 120 consecutive episodes. Well, his prayers were finally answered and Kriti Sanon did make an appearance on the podcast but she didn’t discuss nepotism. She took the opportunity to talk about something more immediate and important and urged the fans to stay indoors and stay safe.
Coming back to the episode’s title, the boys bring us into their personal lives to talk about friends who shaped their lives, with whom they’ve had fall-outs and the dynamic in their friend circles. They discuss light-hearted topics such as the shenanigans friends are up to when you’re on a call with your parents, and drop some hard-hitting truths about how life takes a toll on your relationships. Watch this episode and you’ll soon find yourself on a call with your friends pouring your heart out.
8. The Internet Said So | Ep. 13 – Food Stories
An epic face-off between Kautuk’s weird food habits and Neville’s food elitism (refer to the episode 80 cold open where Neville can’t stand Kautuk’s pizza-dosa-khakhra concoction), this is an episode that every TISS Army member was eagerly waiting for. From eating an Rs. 8000 meal at India’s former best restaurant to what we now call “Indian Chinese”, the gang covers it all.
For every one-word answer, Neville has a long explanation because well, that’s how he is when it comes to food and the boys rip into him for that. They also discuss the long history of food in our country and how our dishes have evolved to become one of the most beloved cuisines in the world. Aadar sheds some light on his vegan diet and why he made the switch. Some dishes you might have never heard of including ant chutney, prawn pickle and goat brain soup are discussed in this hour-long episode. Not to forget, Kautuk’s favourite masala dosa.