Last month, The Dollop—a popular American history podcast—came to Wisconsin. More specifically, hosts/comedians Dave Anthony and Brown Deer native/diehard Packers fan Gareth Reynolds came to Madison’s Barrymore Theatre, then followed it up with a show at Turner Hall right here in Milwaukee.
The Dollop is known to base live episodes on topics with at least some connection to the host cities, and Anthony (the historian and storyteller of the duo) did not disappoint with his chosen subjects for both Wisconsin episodes. The podcast posted those live recordings over the last two weeks. If you missed one or both shows and you have any interest in local history, you’re going to want to hear them.
The Madison episode is about would-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Over the course of more than 90 minutes, the show chronicles the complicated, tragic, and less-than-honorable life of the Richland Center, Wisconsin native and short-tenured University Of Wisconsin student. Though it gets heavy at times and it doesn’t exactly cast Wright in an altogether favorable light, it’s extremely informative and the steady diet of characters and bits Reynolds employs throughout the episode are hilarious. You can listen to it here.
Recorded two nights later, the Milwaukee episode is even better. Over the course of about an hour and a half’s time, the pair talks about the city’s inexplicable Bridge War that Byron Kilbourn waged against Solomon Juneau in the mid-1800s. The episode also covers the fact that, as a result of sheer pettiness, Milwaukee’s streets were laid out and named in extremely confusing ways until well into the 1900s. You can listen to that episode here.
And once you’re through with both of those, the two-part episode about Ronald Reagan is required listening.