“You’re the Expert” is a new program produced by WBUR, Boston’s NPR affiliate, aimed at making academic research more accessible and exciting.
Once a month, the program puts a distinguished academic in a specialized field in front of an audience, along with three comedians. “Through games, sketches, and hilariously misguided guesses,” says the show’s Web site, the comedians try to figure out what this expert studies all day. (Note: They toss the word “scientist” around a lot, though the person might be, like, a historian.) The show ends with an interview with the expert — the idea is that you’ll not only be entertained but also “actually learn something” — and the whole thing is broadcast on radio and available on podcasts.
Previous shows have been taped in Cambridge, Mass., and New York and have featured experts on sand, dog cognition, fish noises and frogs, along with an astronaut and a rare-books librarian. This week they’ll be taping at DC Improv on Connecticut Avenue in the District. The panel of comedians is Seaton Smith (whose credits include “Mulaney” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers”), Aparna Nancherla (“Conan”) and Maeve Higgins (“Inside Amy Schumer”) — and the neuroscientist who will be onstage sounds as though he studies something funny, but we don’t want to give it away. You can listen, download the podcast or watch it live. The show starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets, priced at $20, are available at www.dcimprov.com.