How Knights Work


Announcer

Welcome to Stuff You Should Know from HowStuffWorks.com.

Josh Clark

Hey, and welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh Clark. Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant is rubbing his hair out across from me. That makes this Stuff You Should Know featuring Chuck rubbing his hair.

Chuck Bryant

I thought you said rubbing his hair out.

Josh Clark

Out.

Chuck Bryant

How do you do that? What does that mean? I'm removing my hair?

Josh Clark

- It was flat against your skull and now it's standing up.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, okay, sure. Sorry.

Josh Clark

Our colloquialisms cause some problems sometimes.

Chuck Bryant

Every now and then.

Josh Clark

Yeah, you all right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, I'm good.

Josh Clark

Are you done vomiting?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, 24 hours, dude.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Like to the minute almost.

Josh Clark

I'm glad this table keeps us as far apart as -

Chuck Bryant

- Oh, I couldn't. I don't think I could -

Josh Clark

- Projectile over here?

Chuck Bryant

Oh, I thought you meant get you sick. You mean vomit on you?

Josh Clark

Both.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

I'm kinda afraid of both.

Chuck Bryant

Neither one will happen. I'm good.

Josh Clark

So, Chuck, I'm glad you're good.

Chuck Bryant

Thank you.

Josh Clark

I was looking all over for something to lead in with this. I considered talking about the paladin class character I created when I played Dungeons & Dragons as a kid.

Chuck Bryant

Okay.

Josh Clark

No

.

Chuck Bryant

No?

Josh Clark

I don't remember his name, so it's kinda stupid.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

I searched news for knights, and I found that in Crestview, Florida the Knights overpowered the Hoboes in volleyball.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, really?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

That's great.

Josh Clark

But it made for a pretty good title: Knights Overpower Hoboes.

Chuck Bryant

Sure.

Josh Clark

And that was about it. That's the best I got.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

There is nothing going on with knights really these days except the occasional CBS News article about somebody getting an honorary title.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, some musician or actor.

Josh Clark

Um-hum.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, I guess there's other people, but they get all the press.

Josh Clark

Yeah, definitely. So, there's not a lot going on with knights, b ut I can tell you something. If this were the 13th or 14th century -

Chuck Bryant

- We wouldn't be recording a podcast.

Josh Clark

No, but we there'd be news about knights all over the place.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, yeah, sure.

Josh Clark

Everywhere.

Chuck Bryant

They reigned supreme.

Josh Clark

We would carve in wood, yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Uh-huh.

Josh Clark

So, let's go back to this. Let's talk about knights. What happened to them? Where did they go? Where did they come from? What did they do in between? Let's get to the meat of this, shall we?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, sure.

Josh Clark

Take it, Chuck.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, Josh. I'm gonna go ahead and start with what was going on back then after the fall of the Roman Empire.

Josh Clark

So, chronologically, it is, eh?

Chuck Bryant

We'll start at the beginning.

Josh Clark

Okay.

Chuck Bryant

As far as knights are concerned. We're talking about Western Europe. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it was sorta a lawless mess -

Josh Clark

- It was chaos, anarchy.

Chuck Bryant

- of an area. No defined countries, no defined governments -

Josh Clark

- No.

Chuck Bryant

- no laws that anyone was abiding by.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

- It was awful.

Josh Clark

- But people were still managing an existence.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, sure.

Josh Clark

It was just often threatened by violence.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, like, if I see something that I want, I would take it -

Josh Clark

- Yes.

Chuck Bryant

- by force.

Josh Clark

Including your dog.

Chuck Bryant

Those were the good old days.

Josh Clark

Or that keg of beer.

Chuck Bryant

Right. And because of this, it was little bit hard to control. So, if you were, let's say, Charlemagne and you had a lot of this land -

Josh Clark

- Right.

Chuck Bryant

- you might wanna do something - might want to impose some sorta restriction or a body to kinda rule, or take care of things.

Josh Clark

Perhaps a geopolitical system?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, without it being a government.

Josh Clark

Well, it was a government - a form of government.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

It's also a form of economics, too.

Chuck Bryant

Sure.

Josh Clark

Feudalism, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, feudalism.

Josh Clark

Right, so Charlemism he - or Charlemagne - Charlemism.

Chuck Bryant

It was sorta Charlemism. That was the original name.

Josh Clark

Right, and then he's like, "Oh, that's just too vain. Let's call it feudalism."

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, exactly.

Josh Clark

Charlemagne was a Frankish king, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

And he had just a bunch of land. I guess that he conquered or he just said, "Hey, this is mine."

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

"This land is my land."

Chuck Bryant

Not, "This land is your land."

Josh Clark

Right, exactly. And since he lacked a central government, he said, "Hey, you're a buddy of mine. You're an ally. I trust you. Your dad and I fought in the war together."

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

"Here's some land."

Chuck Bryant

"It's yours."

Josh Clark

"But you owe me big time for that land."

Chuck Bryant

Oh, yes.

Josh Clark

And this is the basis of feudalism. One person doles out land - the king. The ruler doles out land to the secondary ruling class, nobility.

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, um-hum.

Josh Clark

And that's their land, and in return, they pay for the land through military service, generally, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, protection basically.

Josh Clark

And then one rung down below nobility is the serf or peasant class.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

And they're attached to the land. They're essentially slaves.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, they got the short end of the stick.

Josh Clark

They definitely did. So, they pay for their land tha

t the nobility has doled out to them. So, it's subdivided even further -

Chuck Bryant

- Um-hum.

Josh Clark

- by giving the nobleman that they serve - or vassal, I believe they're also called -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

- food, or crops, or goods, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

So, that's how they paid for their land, but they were really - they didn't have much of a choice.

Chuck Bryant

No.

Josh Clark

Right? And feudalism worked because Charlemagne - he's able to keep all of this land by giving it to his friends -

Chuck Bryant

- The fiefs?

Josh Clark

- who are going to - yeah, that's the land, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

Who are gonna protect it against foreign invaders because it's theirs, but really, it's Charlemagne's.

Chuck Bryant

Well, yeah, and then the vassals - the knights - they wanted to protect the serfs because they wanted to - the knights made most of their dough, from what I could see, by their land ownership and farming. And we'll get into the other ways they made money, too, but they wanted to protect their dudes so they could, you know, prosper.

Josh Clark

Well, not only that, a knight could make money by serving in the stead or the service of the noble person that is paying them.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

Because you paid for your land through military service either directly by yourself or by paying somebody else to do it for you -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

- or by producing land. And the feudal system did away with the middle class and the commons - common land.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

It just did away with it because Charlemagne was like, "This is mine."

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

"And you work for me now."

Chuck Bryant

And, "It's sorta yours, but it's really kinda mine."

Josh Clark

But in return, there was that social contract, which led to basically trading freedom for protection -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

- which is the basis of government today.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, if you think about it.

Josh Clark

Yeah, so the knights were borne out of that, right, Chuck?

Chuck Bryant

Yes, sir, pretty much. Well, what it did, too, was with feudalism you could - in a time of chaos, it gave you a path, like, a career path almost -

Josh Clark

- Um-hum.

Chuck Bryant

- and a way that you could advance in life if you wanted to.

Josh Clark

Yeah, because part of feudalism was the land grant -

Chuck Bryant

- Right.

Josh Clark

- was bestowed. It was passed down through the family line and they just decided to do that. There was never any part of feudalism where it's like, "Well, we're gonna set it up like this."

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, sure.

Josh Clark

It just kinda evolved.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

So a landowner could pass it to his oldest son, but he may have more than one son.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

And the other son is like, "I wanna be rich, too. So, I'm gonna go become a knight."

Chuck Bryant

Yes, exactly.

Josh Clark

Right?

Chuck Bryant

And knights were not - you weren't born into knighthood. You were born into being ultimately a page, and then later on, a squire.

Josh Clark

Um-hum.

Chuck Bryant

But you had to earn your knighthood, for sure.

Josh Clark

Right, yeah. Yeah, if your dad was a knight you were automatically a page, but poor people could also conceivably become pages themselves.

Chuck Bryant

It's legend.

Josh Clark

It happened, right? Yes.

Chuck Bryant

Apparently. I didn't even see A Knight's Tale.

Josh Clark

You didn't?

Chuck Bryant

No, did you?

Josh Clark

It was this weird anachronism.

Chuck Bryant

- Well, yeah, because it had modern music, right?

Josh Clark

- Like they danced to Golden Years and everything.

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

And it was weird, but it was a pretty cool movie.

Chuck Bryant

That's -

Josh Clark

- Paul Bettany was in it.

Chuck Bryant

I like that guy.

Josh Clark

Some other guy who you'd recognize, who was Steve the Pirate in Dodgeball.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, I know that guy.

Josh Clark

He was in it.

Chuck Bryant

And then this other dude, and then that other guy.

Josh Clark

- With the beard, yeah, and that girl.

Chuck Bryant

R.I.P. Heath Ledger, by the way.

Josh Clark

Oh, yeah, really.

Chuck Bryant

That was a big one.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

So, like we said, you are automatically a page, and basically, up until the age of about seven, you were just sorta doted on by the women at the castle - taken care of.

Josh Clark

Your cheeks were pinched.

Chuck Bryant

Exactly, and then when you became seven, they moved you to another house with another lord, and you were all of a sudden a page.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

And you were taught how to hunt, and sorta the beginnings of being taught how to fight. You were schooled by the monks. And you know, schooled as in reading and writing -

Josh Clark

- Right.

Chuck Bryant

- not they schooled you.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

Although they may have done that, too.

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

And that's basically where they got their start in this whole quest to become a knight.

Josh Clark

Yeah, and you were saying that at about age seven you were conscripted or given to another house, and usually it was a friend of the family or a relative who was a knight.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, sure.

Josh Clark

And that was about age seven?

Chuck Bryant

Uh-huh.

Josh Clark

So, that's where the word "knight" comes from. It's an old Anglo-Saxon word, "cniht" I believe for "boy".

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, I didn't know how to pronounce it. There's a lot of letters in there that aren't being said. So -

Josh Clark

Cniht - it's C-N-I-H-T, cniht.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, that's weird.

Josh Clark

Cniht.

Chuck Bryant

That's Chaucer.

Josh Clark

Sure, and also, Chuck, I found out in researching this article that the German word for knight is "reiter", which is literally "rider". So, the name of the TV show Knight Rider was redundant.

Chuck Bryant

Interesting.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Rider Rider.

Josh Clark

Yeah, or Knight Knight.

Chuck Bryant

And the Germans love Hasselhoff.

Josh Clark

It all makes sense now.

Chuck Bryant

- Oh, wow. That's crazy.

Josh Clark

All right, so after age seven, the kid became a page, and basically, the page was the little gopher for the knight's house, right? In addition to being trained, he also just basically did whatever he was supposed to do. And then around the time he turned 14, he was eligible to become an esquire or squire -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

- and his responsibilities and training became much more specific, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, I mean, you were really a house boy at this point.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

There was a lot of work that went into it - like 14 years of work. Or I get the feeling from page to squire was a little more learning -

Josh Clark

- Right.

Chuck Bryant

- but then from squire to knight was when the rubber meets the road.

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Josh Clark

Yes, and then it was time to get serious.

Chuck Bryant

- There was no rubber or roads, but you know what I mean.

Josh Clark

There were trails.

Chuck Bryant

Trails.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

That's where the hoof met the trail. How is that? So, they became a squire at 14 and that's - they had a little ceremony - a religious ceremony where you get your sword, which is a pretty big deal at the time, I'm sure.

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

And you basically become a house boy. Each squire had a different job specific to the castle.

Josh Clark

Can you guess which squire I would have wanted to be?

Chuck Bryant

Well, here. Let's go through them and let's see if maybe - I wish we could do instant voting, but say in your heads people out there listening, what you think Josh would have been. You have a squire of the body and that was the personal servant. I get the feeling they were probably the most trusted.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

Squire of the chamber, and they attended to the rooms. That was sorta like, I guess, the maid.

Josh Clark

Yeah, that's the worst squire job, I think.

Chuck Bryant

The housekeeper. There's the carving squire - or table squire carved the meat at the banquet tables, which at catering companies nowadays, like, the most stoned dude is the table squire.

Josh Clark

Also known as the protector of the roast beef.

Chuck Bryant

Yes, protector of the roast beef. The squire of the wines managed the wine cellar. That'd be a good gig. Squire of the pantry took care of the food and made sure the pantry was stocked with canned goods, and peanut butter, and all that good stuff that knights loved to eat.

Josh Clark

Yes.

Chuck Bryant

Squire of the arms, of course, maintained the armament, the swords, and all that kinda stuff, and the squire of honor assisted the lord in ceremonies and feasts.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

So, which one are you?

Josh Clark

I think that anybody who's listened to us more than once or twice could tell you I would like to be the squire of the wines.

Chuck Bryant

Squire of the wines? I'd probably be the squire of the pantry because I'm into cooking and stuff.

Josh Clark

Well, you and I would be, like, "Hey, man. I'll slide you one of these if you slide me some of that."

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, "You give me a bottle of that wine; I'll give you some roast beef."

Josh Clark

Yes.

Chuck Bryant

Or maybe I'd be the carving dude.

Josh Clark

That's cool.

Chuck Bryant

At the carving station -

Josh Clark

- Right.

Chuck Bryant

- that'd be kinda nice. Or if they had a omelette station I'd like to do that.

Josh Clark

The squire of the omelette station. Nice, Chuck. So, from hanging out at these feasts, and carving the roast beef, and making the omelettes, and tending the wine, the squire was also being indoctrinated into a higher lifestyle -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, sure.

Josh Clark

- learning how to carry himself in situations like feasts, and festivals, and all this stuff, right?

Chuck Bryant

They learned how to be really awful, and drink too much to excess, and pillage, basically.

Josh Clark

Pretty much.

Chuck Bryant

It wasn't as, you know, lofty as it seems, I would imagine.

Josh Clark

No, it's been - knighthood, I guess we should probably say, has been romanticized - almost entirely through literature that -

Chuck Bryant

- Big time.

Josh Clark

- actually originated in the 13th century, I believe.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, really?

Josh Clark

Like, while this was going on, they started to romanticize it.

Chuck Bryant

Sure.

Josh Clark

Kinda like Billy the Kid's stories that were read by the youngsters -

Chuck Bryant

- Right.

Josh Clark

- back east in the 19th century.

Chuck Bryant

And the little serial books?

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

All right. So, what you're doing is you're learning all these things, like you said - learning how to be bad person. Actually, that's not true.

Josh Clark

You don't wanna offend the knights today.

Chuck Bryant

You don't wanna offend the knights.

Josh Clark

Elton John will have your head.

Chuck Bryant

But they also learned. They started to do a little bit more training in the martial arts of knightdom, like how to handle and ride horses -

Josh Clark

- How to strike someone over the head with a heavy hammer.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, with a heavy hammer. They started wearing the chain mail to get used to, like, walking around in that kinda stuff and all the weight.

Josh Clark

Um-hum and I looked this up, Chuck. Chain mail and plate mail weighed about the same - 40 to 50 pounds, which seems like a lot, but that's about half of what the average foot soldier in the U.S. Army today carries.

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

Uh-huh. An average rifleman carries about 91 pounds of gear.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, but did the knights carry stuff in addition to just the armament?

Josh Clark

No, they had squires.

Chuck Bryant

- Oh, well -

Josh Clark

Another duty of the squire was when the knight went into battle -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, or tournaments.

Josh Clark

Right, but in battle specifically, he went with him, and if the knight fell, he was expected to basically aid and protect the knight as he got up.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, and actually, we should - just since you mentioned that we should - go ahead and point out that you could become an instant knight on the battlefield.

Josh Clark

- Um-hum, yeah.

Chuck Bryant

And I get the impression that if you saved your knight's bacon, you might have a good chance of just being knighted right there on the battlefield.

Josh Clark

Right, a knight was bestowed with the ability to invest knighthood into a squire -

Chuck Bryant

- Sure.

Josh Clark

- under circumstances like that, but for the most part, they followed a process, right? Where once you turned about 21, if you had proven yourself a decent squire, if you weren't just completely fat -

Chuck Bryant

- Right.

Josh Clark

- from being a squire of the pantry or your liver had given out from being the squire of the wine -

Chuck Bryant

- Right, right.

Josh Clark

- you could become a knight, right? And usually, this took place during an event, like, a larger event, like, the Christmas or Easter feast, or -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, or weddings.

Josh Clark

Yeah, a nobleman's wedding -

Chuck Bryant

- Sure.

Josh Clark

- or a festival or something like that.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, and you could be bestowed knighthood by other knights, kings, nobles, clergy, and I get the impression that the most favorite way if your father was a knight -

Josh Clark

- Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

- he might do the double tap.

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

Not the double tap of the SWAT teams and the Delta Force.

Josh Clark

No.

Chuck Bryant

But the sword on either side of the head -

Josh Clark

- Right.

Chuck Bryant

- a little tap on the shoulder.

Josh Clark

So, the squire would sit up for a night praying, right?

Chuck Bryant

Um-hum.

Josh Clark

And when he was finally knighted, he would take an oath that usually included several points, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

Defending a lady -

Chuck Bryant

- Oh, yeah.

Josh Clark

- is a big one; speaking only the truth; being loyal to his lord - that's a huge part of the feudal system.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

Being devoted to the church - that was also - that came to be a huge part of being a knight.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, with the Crusades.

Josh Clark

Yeah. Defending the poor, being charitable, defending the helpless, being brave, and then, getting into more specific rules, too, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, these crack me up a little bit.

Josh Clark

Like fighting only one person at a time.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

Never avoiding a dangerous path out of fear.

Chuck Bryant

See, I would have failed that one. I would have been like, "That path looks a lot safer to me. So, let's go that way."

Josh Clark

Yes.

Chuck Bryant

That seems like a smart thing to do, not a cowardly thing.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

That's just me.

Josh Clark

But if you framed it like that, you could be like, "Well, I didn't avoid that path out of fear; I avoided it because -"

Chuck Bryant

- Right.

Josh Clark

"- out of intelligence."

Chuck Bryant

Yes, exactly.

Josh Clark

Never taking off your armor during a quest except to sleep.

Chuck Bryant

I would - that'd be such a drag.

Josh Clark

It would be.

Chuck Bryant

Can you imagine? Like, you get back after the battle and you're kicking it around the campfire, and all you wanna do is take off your armor, and relax.

Josh Clark

Yeah, but then the guy who does next to you takes an arrow in his back.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

And you're like, "Man, I'm glad I kept my armor on."

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

Or you're beating someone's head in with the war hammer.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

That's what you're thinking. There's also - this one kinda got me because I would just wanna go to sleep, and if I didn't feel like talking, I wouldn't wanna talk. But apparently, one of the oaths that a knight took was to upon returning from a quest, or a journey, or a battle or something -

Chuck Bryant

- Um-hum.

Josh Clark

- he would entertain the person he was conscripted to -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

- with his stories.

Chuck Bryant

See, I'd be great at that part.

Josh Clark

You definitely would.

Chuck Bryant

We should -

Josh Clark

- I'd just be like, "I don't feel like doing this. So, I'm not gonna do this."

Chuck Bryant

We should call

this one Why Chuck and Josh Would Be Horrible Knights.

Josh Clark

I think you'd be a good knight.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, really?

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

I'd be a good pantry tender and that's about it. Oh, what was the last one there?

Josh Clark

The one that if he was taken prisoner he would give up arms and horse to the opponent and never fight the opponent again without the opponent's consent.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, that's - I wouldn't wanna fight that opponent again if they beat me down.

Josh Clark

You wouldn't want, like -

Chuck Bryant

- Revenge?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

No way.

Josh Clark

Oh.

Chuck Bryant

See, that's why I'd be a bad knight.

Josh Clark

Chuck, revenge makes the world go round.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, you're right.

Josh Clark

Who are you to buck that trend?

Chuck Bryant

That's true. And once you were indoctrinated, you would get your sword, like I said, and then you would also finally get your armor and your horse, and ride away. They would kinda throw you into things in the form of demonstrating your abilities.

Josh Clark

Right, you would -

Chuck Bryant

- Not on the battlefield.

Josh Clark

No, you'd kinda hop on a horse. I imagine this to be, like, some hormoned-up kid -

Chuck Bryant

- Right, sure.

Josh Clark

- who's like, "Yeah, man. Watch this!"

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

And he, like, starts beating up on, like, other little kids -

Chuck Bryant

- Right.

Josh Clark

- who are still squires, you know?

Chuck Bryant

With their wooden swords.

Josh Clark

In front of everybody, yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Sure.

Josh Clark

Except now he's got real sword. And also Chuck, we should say those oaths that the knight took - yeah, basically made up the code of chivalry, which was established basically because knights were the only ones who were armed -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

- who were capable of, you know, battling on horseback, and could just completely wreak havoc -

Chuck Bryant

- Oh, yeah.

Josh Clark

- anywhere they wanted to. So, the code of chivalry, especially defending the poor and the weak -

Chuck Bryant

- Was so they didn't kill the poor and the weak.

Josh Clark

Right, or take their stuff, or whatever. So, this code of chivalry was intended to keep these comparatively powerful people from just doing whatever they wanted.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

That was ideal. It didn't always work out. Like, knights also generally pillaged, and plundered, and took whatever they wanted, and ignored the chivalric code.

Chuck Bryant

Yes, which it comes from the French word, Josh, "chevalerie".

Josh Clark

Um-hum, which means chivalry in French.

Chuck Bryant

Yes, it does. That's what I - skills to handle a horse is actually what it means.

Josh Clark

Yeah, and originally that's what knights were, just like, remember the samurai?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

They were originally horsemen.

Chuck Bryant

A lot of commonalities between these two, actually.

Josh Clark

Very, yeah. They both went the way of the dinosaur because of gunpowder -

Chuck Bryant

- Oh, yeah.

Josh Clark

- which we'll get to.

Chuck Bryant

There's the spoiler.

Josh Clark

You could make the case that the fall of the Roman Empire, feudalism, and the invention of the stirrup all allowed knighthood to develop. The stirrup showed up in the 8th century and it allowed stability -

Chuck Bryant

- Right.

Josh Clark

- while you were staying on a horse and lancing somebody.

Chuck Bryant

Well, and imagine with all the armor and everything, too. It probably helped to get up on the horse to begin with.

Josh Clark

Yeah, but that was pretty much - like, if you could fight somebody on a horse, you were a knight before all of this tradition was -

Chuck Bryant

- Right.

Josh Clark

- dressed alongside of knighthood.

Chuck Bryant

A mounted soldier is essentially what a knight was.

Josh Clark

Yes.

Chuck Bryant

Should we talk about weapons?

Josh Clark

Well, yeah. I just mentioned the lance, right, which was -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, the lance was basically like a spear earlier on.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

And then later on, it developed the hand guard and a metal tip on the end of it. And that was, you know, if you were on a mounted horse you wanted something long so you could engage in battle without getting down from the horse.

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

Then, they had their sword - double-edged.

Josh Clark

Um-hum.

Chuck Bryant

Carbon - what kind - carbon steel?

Josh Clark

Yeah, but usually light on the carbon steel.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, light on the carbon steel?

Josh Clark

Um-hum.

Chuck Bryant

Heavy on the ketchup.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

And they had the crossguard hilt and the pommel, which you've all seen Excalibur. It's that classic looking sword - very large, I would imagine, pretty heavy.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

I never picked one up. And they, depending on how much money you had, determined how fancy your sword was.

Josh Clark

Yeah, it could have, like, a prayer inscribed in it.

Chuck Bryant

Sure.

Josh Clark

Or your name.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, "If found -"

Josh Clark

- That's so funny, yeah.

Chuck Bryant

"- please return to Josh Clark."

Josh Clark

Can't you see it, like, pinned to, like, your plate mail?

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

Your gauntlet?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, exactly.

Josh Clark

And so the sword and the lance were the two main weapons, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, you talked about the war hammer a couple of times. I imagine that's probably what you would have liked.

Josh Clark

Did you look up the war hammer on Google Images?

Chuck Bryant

Oh, yeah.

Josh Clark

So, it's like, they're not as big. It's not like Thor's war hammer.

Chuck Bryant

No.

Josh Clark

It's like a tack hammer -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

- with the pointed, like, rounded, curved, pointed end on one side, and then a hammer on the other. And I just imagine, like, some guy in some sorta mail just beating somebody's head in with this thing.

Chuck Bryant

I doubt if it was pretty.

Josh Clark

That's what the European martial arts amounted to - like death through blunt instruments.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, pretty much.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

They had axes, which also could slice you up, and the mace - the metal - wasn't the mace the metal ball on the end of the chain [inaudible]?

Josh Clark

- That's - I think a mace isn't on a chain.

Chuck Bryant

- Oh, it's just on the -

Josh Clark

- I think a morning star is on the chain.

Chuck Bryant

Right, there you go.

Josh Clark

If my paladin training serves me, I think the morning star is on the chain.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

The mace is a pointed ball -

Chuck Bryant

- Just on the end of a stick.

Josh Clark

- a

ffixed to a stick.

Chuck Bryant

Wow. They did think though that - although they did use archers in war, the knights kinda - a lot of them thought that was a little bit cowardly -

Josh Clark

- Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

- to shoot something from a distance.

Josh Clark

Yeah, because there was no hand-to-hand combat.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. They're like, "Get down here and fight me like a man."

Josh Clark

Exactly, one at a time.

Chuck Bryant

One at a time. And that's about it on the weapons front. You would get some privileges though once you became a knight that not everyone got, like owning land, and being called "sir".

Josh Clark

And that was it.

Chuck Bryant

I guess. Was that it?

Josh Clark

No, because you owned land - and I don't think it was necessarily because you were a knight but because you owned land - you dispensed justice locally.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

Right? Somebody stole someone's dog -

Chuck Bryant

- Sure.

Josh Clark

- you'd be like, "I'm gonna cut this dog in half and you can both have it," and the true owner would be like, "No, no. Don't cut the dog in half. He can have the whole dog." You'd be like, "It's your dog."

Chuck Bryant

And now I will cut him in half.

Josh Clark

- And there's the knightly justice, right, yeah. And then you just beat the other guy's head in with a war hammer.

Chuck Bryant

You could pack heat in church. You were allowed to carry your sword to church.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Apparently, not everyone could do that.

Josh Clark

Nope.

Chuck Bryant

You would get a seat at the high table at feasts with the lords and royals, and you could wear your armor in battle because you could afford it.

Josh Clark

Right, and you also were expected to lead soldiers into battle -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

- like an officer today.

Chuck Bryant

Sure.

Josh Clark

Chuck, let's talk about wartime for a second.

Chuck Bryant

Okay.

Josh Clark

One of the things that shaped European knights were the Crusades, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, I don't know a ton about the Crusades, but we're gonna do probably a full podcast on them at some point.

Josh Clark

I agree.

Chuck Bryant

But school me.

Josh Clark

Just very briefly, the first Crusade took place in 1096 and it was based on a sermon by the Pope in 1095 that basically said, "The Muslims have Jerusalem and we need to go get it back."

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

And I think the Europeans are considered to have won or been successful on the first Crusade. And then the Muslims overran Jerusalem again -

Chuck Bryant

- Right.

Josh Clark

- in their view, took it back because it was an equally holy land, right?

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

After that. So for the next 200 years there were crusades, crusades, crusades. I think there several.

Chuck Bryant

Yes.

Josh Clark

Right?

Chuck Bryant

There was more than two.

Josh Clark

Definitely, and over time, orders of knights developed out of these Crusades.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

And they also - this was the time when religiousness was attached to knighthood.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

So swearing an oath to the church, being a Christian defender of Christianity -

Chuck Bryant

- Right.

Josh Clark

- all of this became attached to knighthood about this time and it was about this time also, not coincidentally, that knighthood became romanticized as well -

Chuck Bryant

- Sure.

Josh Clark

- so that they had popular support.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, they were pious. They were defending your freedom.

Josh Clark

Exactly.

Chuck Bryant

And defending God.

Josh Clark

So, I think the stirrup, feudalism, and the Crusades are what really -

Chuck Bryant

- Right.

Josh Clark

- shaped knighthood in Europe, I would say.

Chuck Bryant

Isn't it crazy how Christians and Muslims -

Josh Clark

- All this time.

Chuck Bryant

All this time have been going at each other.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

I don't see that changing any time soon, do you?

Josh Clark

- That's why we have to do one on Crusades.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. Josh, let's talk about peacetime.

Josh Clark

Okay.

Chuck Bryant

You want to?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

During peacetime, they would have tournaments, much like you would see at Medieval Times restaurants these days. Have you ever been to one of those?

Josh Clark

No.

Chuck Bryant

I haven't either. In fact, the only time - the only thing I know about them is from The Cable Guy movie.

Josh Clark

Same here, actually.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, Janeane Garafalo is the waitress - the medieval waitress.

Josh Clark: I don't remember that part.

Chuck Bryant

She was really funny. She had - what was her line about - they asked for a fork or something and she said, "There were no forks in medieval times so there are no forks at Medieval Times." So, Matthew Broderick had to eat with his hands.

Josh Clark

That sounds familiar.

Chuck Bryant

Well, that's because you've seen the movie. During peacetime Josh, they would have these tournaments and it was a big - it was like the NFL football of the day.

Josh Clark

It was like the NFL and World Cup put together. Imagine how boring your life would be -

Chuck Bryant

- Oh, yeah.

Josh Clark

- during this time and then all of a sudden, there's some knights beating the tar out of each other in the castle keep.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

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Josh Clark

That's huge.

Chuck Bryant

In a melee.

Josh Clark

That's, like, life-changing. You'd probably tell your grandchildren about that and they'd be like, "Shut up. We've heard this story 800 times."

Chuck Bryant

- "Jerry Garcia blah, blah, blah."

Josh Clark

"You're 32 years old. You just go ahead and die."

Chuck Bryant

I mentioned melees - 32. You're an ancient human being.

Josh Clark

Have you ever seen the Mr. Show little clip -

Chuck Bryant

- Oh, yeah.

Josh Clark

- where it's like, "Questions, questions, questions."

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

"Modern man can think of three questions." It's set in, like, a medieval village.

Chuck Bryant

Uh-huh.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

So classic. I briefly mentioned the word melee, and that was actually a real thing. It wasn't just, like, a free-for-all. Well, it was a free-for-all, but that's where the word came from.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

The knights would gather out in the middle of the keep and sorta reenact what a real battle would be like and a judge or the marshall would say, "Let it begin," and you would start fighting each other one at a time until there was only one of you left standing.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

And that's why it was popular - blood sport.

Josh Clark

Sure, and these things were for spectators.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, yeah.

Josh Clark

You could also make some cash off of them.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

If you won, especially in the joust -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

If you won a joust, you got the other guy's armor - extremely expensive - and horse - extremely expensive.

Chuck Bryant

And horse's armor, perhaps.

Josh Clark

Sure, and the guy would be like, "Well, here you go. I'm a knight. So, you're a knight, too,

and you just beat me in the joust. Here's my stuff." And the guy who was taking it would say -

Chuck Bryant

- That's so great.

Josh Clark

- "You know, I have a really good idea. I've got some extra armor I'm never gonna use here."

Chuck Bryant

"I need to unload."

Josh Clark

"You are virtually naked. Let me just sell it back to you."

Chuck Bryant

"But that's my armor."

Josh Clark

And it'd be like, "P.S. pal, you have to buy it back because I'll kill you if you don't."

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

So, if you did that a few times, you just made a bunch of money in one tournament.

Chuck Bryant

- Well, yeah, unless you're losing. You could also lose your fortune if you were a bad jouster.

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

I would try to improve my jousting skills, for sure.

Josh Clark

You could also lose your life if you were King Henry the II of France.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, he died. Well, he got a spear through the little visor, right?

Josh Clark

Um-hum, um-hum.

Chuck Bryant

Like right through the eye hole?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

And during a joust, Josh - that's hard to say - you would charge each other on a horse, obviously. You've probably seen this before - with your joust out. What I did not know is what you're trying to do - I always thought you were just trying to knock them off. You were trying to break your lance on their body.

Josh Clark

Oh, well, you won if you knocked them off, but you could also win through points by breaking a lance, or just even making contact. But I'm under the impression you got more points if you broke your lance.

Chuck Bryant

Well, and you get more points according to which body part you break it on.

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

Like, if you break it on a dude's head, I would say that's probably more points.

Josh Clark

Yes.

Chuck Bryant

Although back then, maybe that was in poor form. Maybe that was penalized. Who knows?

Josh Clark

I don't know. This is a culture where, again, the martial arts consist of beating other people to death with blunt instruments.

Chuck Bryant

And you were talking about making a ton of money. There was a famous knight called Ulrich Von Lichtenstein.

Josh Clark

And he's the one who Heath Ledger's character impostors.

Chuck Bryant

Pretended to be?

Josh Clark

Yes.

Chuck Bryant

Yes.

Josh Clark

In that movie.

Chuck Bryant

And he's a legendary knight, who apparently was pretty good at jousting.

Josh Clark

He actually wrote an autobiography.

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

Yeah, it's in the source -

Chuck Bryant

- In Middle English?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

That must have been a fun read.

Josh Clark

Yeah, I think it's translated into Late English - Olde English with an "E" 800.

Chuck Bryant

Old-e?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Emily's parents used to live in one of those neighborhoods where it's all Olde English.

Josh Clark

Nottingham Forest or Sherwood Forest.

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, their street was Crowne Pointe, but we called it "Crown-e Point-e" because it obviously had "e's".

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

And I always call Avondale Estates "Ye Old-e Avondale Estates".

Josh Clark

Yeah. Did you know there is no word "ye"? The y-e is still pronounced "the."

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

So, when I say, "Ye Olde," I'm just a moron?

Josh Clark

There's no such thing.

Chuck Bryant

Wow.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

I'm Ye Olde Moron?

Josh Clark

But again, Chuck, I think one of the things that we've done with this show is prove that if you can get your point across, that's correct.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, okay, got you. Let's talk about armor.

Josh Clark

Okay.

Chuck Bryant

Chain mail. Well, first they had leather.

Josh Clark

Yeah which is borrowed from the Romans?

Chuck Bryant

Yes, and leather was pretty good for, like, a sword swipe.

Josh Clark

Yeah, it protected against cutting blows.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

But if you were gonna be run through, you're in trouble.

Chuck Bryant

Exactly, and the same with chain mail. Chain mail was good, and would protect you even more from a slice, but still, a big joust or a lance jousting you, puncturing you, a big sword, your chain mail is probably not gonna work out that well either.

Josh Clark

And it says in this article that that was also borrowed from the Romans. Untrue - chain mail was developed by Celts in Eastern Europe as far back as the 3rd century.

Chuck Bryant

Does it say that in here?

Josh Clark

No.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, okay. And then if you had some serious dough, you would get the plate armor, which if you've ever seen, like, the knight standing in the corner - not the real knight -

Josh Clark

- Um-hum, the suit of armor.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, the suit of armor, that's exactly what it is. That protected you a lot more from a puncture wound, but still wasn't 100 percent, and where you were really vulnerable was in the gussets where - like, in your armpits, and the places where your joints would meet, where you had chain mail underneath.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

That's what I was gonna ask you. They wore chain mail and the plated armor. So, does that equal what a modern-day soldier would be?

Josh Clark

I read that chain mail and plate mail weighed about the same - 40 to 50 pounds. So, then, I guess if you were wearing both it would be 80 to 100 pounds of armor.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

And apparently, they could move around pretty well in these. It's not like in the funny movies when you see them, like, on the ground writhing about because they can't get up.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

Apparently, you could move okay, not like if you were wearing nothing at all because that's when you can

really move - when you're naked.

Josh Clark

Right.

Chuck Bryant

But you could get up off the ground. You could mount a horse, but that doesn't do anything if you've got a gun pointing at you, does it?

Josh Clark

No, it doesn't, and actually, I can't remember the show, but it's one of the shows where one ancient warrior battles another ancient warrior.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. I think it's called Battles of the Ancient Warriors.

Josh Clark

And the - something - there's, like, five of them, isn't there?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, there's a few.

Josh Clark

There was - I saw pirate versus knight, right?

Chuck Bryant

I would say knight would win.

Josh Clark

No.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, because they had gunpowder.

Josh Clark

Yes, that's exactly right. If that pirate had just had his sword, he would have been totally screwed.

Chuck Bryant

Um-hum.

Josh Clark

But he had gunpowder and this was a really good point - that gunpowder made knights obsolete.

Chuck Bryant

Sure.

Josh Clark

Actually, by the way, in the pirate versus knight battle, at the end, the pirate gets the knight down, pulls his visor up, and shoots him in the face, and that's that.

Chuck Bryant

Are you serious?

Josh Clark

Yeah, it's really graphic.

Chuck Bryant

Do they reenact these?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Wow.

Josh Clark

Yeah, they battle.

Chuck Bryant

I gotta see that.

Josh Clark

But the gunpowder brought about the end of the military - martial knights - because No. 1, there was no more - like, you couldn't make armor that was going to defend against firearms.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

And that was a huge hallmark - a characteristic - of a knight - the ability to wear armor and fight on a horse. Not everybody could do that.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/wordpress/2011/03/josh.jpeg" alt=""/>

Josh Clark

And that same specialization became obsolete by gunpowder because I could just shoot you with a gun.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Josh Clark

"You go ahead and study for 14 years your little swordplay, and protect the wine, and I'll just shoot you in the face because I'm a pirate."

Chuck Bryant

Sure.

Josh Clark

So, that was the end of knighthood, much the same way that firearms brought about the end of the samurai.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

It was in Japan as well.

Chuck Bryant

They were just sorta like, Asian knights, in a way.

Josh Clark

Yes.

Chuck Bryant

Yes.

Josh Clark

Chuck?

Chuck Bryant

Yes, Josh?

Josh Clark

You wanna talk about a few orders of knights - Knights Templar. Do you know how many e-mails we would get if we just hadn't talked about the Knights Templar?

Chuck Bryant

I'm so sick of the Knights Templar.

Josh Clark

I am, too. This whole Dan Brown stuff -

Chuck Bryant

- I know.

Josh Clark

Yes, there was a whole group of knights and they were associated with the devil, but they actually have, like, this plundered - this treasure.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

I hate it. It's so played out.

Chuck Bryant

So, that's the Knights Templar. There was also the Knights Hospitallers and also called the Knights of St. John of the Hospital, and they cared for the sick pilgrims, which is what they do today.

Josh Clark

Right, and the Templar and the Knights of St. John of the Hospital both - and Teutonic Knights - all developed to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land during the Crusades.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

Remember, we said the Crusades really shaped knights.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. Order of the Garter -

Josh Clark

- Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

- King Edward the III of England established this in the 1300s, and they were an elite group of knights that are still around today, and they're royalty and appointed by the sovereign of Great Britain.

Josh Clark

Yes, and originally, there were women in the Order of the Garter, and that went away -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

- for many centuries. Then, in 1987, Queen Elizabeth said, "We're gonna get the gals back in this."

Chuck Bryant

"Bring in the ladies."

Josh Clark

Exactly, and Order of the Garter weren't the only female knights, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, what was the other one?

Josh Clark

There was a bunch. From - let's see - 1358 to 1488 there were women in the Order of the Garter. In the Order of the Star of India, that was another order of knights, a woman -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, I think we talked about that in the Masons, didn't we?

Josh Clark

Oh, no. That's the Order of the Eastern Star.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, God. I always get those confused.

Josh Clark

Well, they're pretty close. In 1861, a woman with one of the coolest names of all time - Nawab Begum - it sounds like Barbara Walters is pronouncing it.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

Nawab Begum was inducted in 1861.

Chuck Bryant

Order of the Hatchet?

Josh Clark

Yes.

Chuck Bryant

That sounds like probably the meanest female knights would be the Order of the Hatchet.

Josh Clark

Yes.

Chuck Bryant

And they protected the - they defended the Spanish town of Tortosa from the Moors. So, they said, "You know what? You did a pretty good job. We're gonna make you the Order of the Hatchet," and unfortunately, that original group was the only Order of the Hatchet. They didn't survive beyond that.

Josh Clark

And then, the Order of St. John's of the Hospital also had female knights known as nuns.

Chuck Bryant

Warrior nuns.

Josh Clark

Warrior nuns.

Chuck Bryant

You don't see that in the movies.

Josh Clark

And then there wasn't a lot going on with knights for a couple of centuries until a little guy with stubby fingers stopped doing cocaine and straightened up his life. A man named Elton John was knighted in 1998, right?

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, as we like to say here in Atlanta, some-time Atlanta resident, or part-time resident.

Josh Clark

Right.

"transcript-comment">

Chuck Bryant

Boy, when he moved here, the Southerners love that.

Josh Clark

That was huge, yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Elton John -

Josh Clark

- I remember he was the toast of the town, wasn't he?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, he still is.

Josh Clark

I never see him around.

Chuck Bryant

I don't either. Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Bono -

Josh Clark

Are we calling him "Bone-o"?

Chuck Bryant

Is that not his name?

Josh Clark

I thought it was "Bon-o".

Chuck Bryant

Is it?

Josh Clark

One of the two.

Chuck Bryant

I'm just kidding.

Josh Clark

Oh.

Chuck Bryant

Bono is I think - what's his real name? Paul Hewson, I think. I think that's right.

Josh Clark

Is it?

Chuck Bryant

I think so. I don't think they call him Sir Bono.

Josh Clark

I never even imagined him with a real name.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, his name is Paul. Bono Vox was his full name and it means "good voice".

Josh Clark

Oh, okay.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, he was a little full of himself back when he was a kid in Ireland - in Ireland. And The Edge - what's his name?

Josh Clark

Tommy Edge?

Chuck Bryant

He has a real name, too. He wasn't born The Edge.

Josh Clark

He was married as The Edge though.

Chuck Bryant

Was he really?

Josh Clark

Yeah, I remember when he got married. I don't know if, like, in the ceremony, but in all of the spread it was, like, The Edge and Mrs. Edge.

Chuck Bryant

I think his name is Dave something, but I wonder if those guys ever feel silly now.

Josh Clark

It's Dave Coulier.

That's his name.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, is it? I wonder if they ever feel silly. If Edge ever goes -

Josh Clark

- I know, being like 60, and being called "The Edge"?

Chuck Bryant

The Edge. "I thought of that when I was 18. It was kinda cool back then."

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

That would be the equivalent of those stupid Jersey Shore kids with all their dumb names.

Josh Clark

Yeah. I can't believe that they're - I can't believe the Jersey Shore.

Chuck Bryant

I've never seen it.

Josh Clark

I can't believe that in 2010, the Jersey Shore is one of the most popular shows on television.

Chuck Bryant

I've never seen it. I refuse.

Josh Clark

Just take, like, a minute -

Chuck Bryant

- Really?

Josh Clark

- and watch a clip on YouTube. You'll get everything you need to know.

Chuck Bryant

They won't be knighted any time soon. And who else? Well, you get - if you're a female knight, you're a Dame.

Josh Clark

Yeah, like Dame Judi Dench.

Chuck Bryant

Yep.

Josh Clark

You wanna hear some more -

Chuck Bryant

- Sure.

Josh Clark

- surprising ones?

Chuck Bryant

Oh, yeah.

Josh Clark

Steven Spielberg.

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

Bill Gates.

Chuck Bryant

Scottie Pippen?

Josh Clark

No. He's an honorary member of the Eastern Star.

Chuck Bryant

Okay.

Josh Clark

Bill Gates; Ted Kennedy got one right before he died.

Chuck Bryant

Right.

Jo

sh Clark

Rudy Giuliani.

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

Who, by the way, I learned, has a Blackwater-esque security company now. That's how he's making his money.

Chuck Bryant

- Called Rudy's Gang?

Josh Clark

- And apparently, they're fighting the drug war down in Mexico.

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Wow.

Josh Clark

I didn't realize that, but yeah - Pelé, Colin Powell -

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

Robert Mugabe -

Chuck Bryant

- Really?

Josh Clark

- President of Zimbabwe, whose knighthood was rescinded in 2008.

Chuck Bryant

What for?

Josh Clark

Just being a horrible dictator.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, sure.

Josh Clark

And then Mussolini was also a knight starting in 1923, and his was rescinded in 1940.

Chuck Bryant

So -

Josh Clark

- And then Bob Hope -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, that makes sense.

Josh Clark

- Honorary Knight.

Chuck Bryant

Wow. So we could actually be knights? I thought you had to be, you know, not American.

Josh Clark

If you're American you can be knighted, but you're not titled "Sir".

Chuck Bryant

Oh, so it wasn't Sir Bob Hope?

Josh Clark

No.

Chuck Bryant

Just Bob.

Josh Clark

It's - yeah, Bob.

Chuck Bryant

Got you.

Josh Clark

Just Bob.

Chuck Bryant

Or The Edge.

Josh Clark

It's what he wanted anyway. Chuck, this was a long one. Do we have any listener mail - anything like that?

Chuck Bryant

Let's do a quick announcement for our trivia event, and then we have a few Facebook questions.

Josh Clark

Okay. I guess let's get the trivia announcement event music started.

Chuck Bryant

- Go ahead.

Josh Clark

Chuck, on October 13th, 2010 A.D., there will be an event unlike any other except for one that we held in New York in June.

Chuck Bryant

This is the quick version?

Josh Clark

Well, October 13th, 6:00 p.m. doors open. We finally have a time, dude.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, it was likely surmised.

Josh Clark

At 5 Seasons Brewery we're having our trivia event -

Chuck Bryant

- Westside.

Josh Clark

Doors open at 6:00 - Westside, yes - where - what - Marietta and Howell Mill meet?

Chuck Bryant

- Sorta near there, for sure.

Josh Clark

It's like right there.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, is it?

Josh Clark

From 6:00 p.m. the doors open. 7:00 p.m. we're starting trivia. John Hodgman, the editor of The Onion, Joe Randazzo, and the creator of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Dave Willis, will all be playing with us - playing triv with us.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

That's gonna be awesome.

Chuck Bryant

It'll be great.

Josh Clark

Anybody who wants to come can play. I believe Scoutmob, right?

Chuck Bryant

Um-hum.

Josh Clark

They're going to have, like, some sorta coupon, or, like, half off drink something. You can get -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah, they've jumped on the bandwagon here and we're promoting each other.

Josh Clark

And that's going down October 13th, the night before, at the Drunken Unicorn on Ponce De Leon Avenue.

Chuck Bryant

Um-hum.

Josh Clark

The kinda unofficial house band for Stuff You Should Know, the Henry Clay People, will be playing starting at what time?

Chuck Bryant

It's a later show. I would get there by, like, you know, 9:00. They probably won't go on until about 11:00. So, hopefully John and Joe will be there, too.

Josh Clark

Hopefully.

Chuck Bryant

We can't promise that.

Josh Clark

Two huge days in the southeast: October 12th, Tuesday -

Chuck Bryant

- Yeah.

Josh Clark

- Henry Clay People; October 13th, a Wednesday, our triv event. Thursday - who knows? We'll all be in Guadalajara by then.

Chuck Bryant

I just saw the guys, too, this past weekend.

Josh Clark

Cool.

Chuck Bryant

They came through town not playing a gig, but we cooked out, and played music, and -

Josh Clark

- That's awesome.

Chuck Bryant

- it was awesome. It was a good time.

Josh Clark

Did you use your guitar picks?

Chuck Bryant

No, I didn't. Actually, I just kinda watched while they played. How many of these can we get to?

Josh Clark

I don't know. I didn't know we were doing this. This is Facebook stuff. So, we have Facebook page - Facebook.com/Stuff You Should Know, by the way.

Chuck Bryant

Yes, please "like" it because that is good for us around here.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

We get a penny for every person that "likes" us.

Josh Clark

I was gonna say a nickel.

Chuck Bryant

Daniel S. says, "Why doesn't Jeri ever talk?" Daniel, Jeri talks all the time. You have no idea.

Josh Clark

Endlessly.

Chuck Bryant

She just doesn't do it on the show.

Josh Clark

But Erin Hagan says, "Do Umi and Emily ever hang out together?" Yes, they do, when Chuck and I hang out together. They were -

Chuck Bryant

- But we forbade them from seeing each other unless we're present.

Josh Clark

Yeah, we don't want them talking or coming up with anything to use against us, right?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah. Emily loves Umi.

Josh Clark

Well, Umi loves Emily.

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

That's good. Like you would tell me, actually, she thinks Emily is a real jerk.

Josh Clark

Yeah, "Umi can't stand Emily."

Chuck Bryant

Catina Franklin Sweedy says, "What was your best Halloween costume ever?" I was a Hare Krishna one year and that went over pretty well. I, like, shaved my head, and had the ponytail, and -

Josh Clark

- No way.

Chuck Bryant

- a little tambourine, and literature, and everything.

Josh Clark

Real literature? Did you get your hands on some Hare Krishna literature?

Chuck Bryant

No, I just printed some out and -

Josh Clark

Okay.

Chuck Bryant

What about you?

Josh Clark

When I was in elementary school, my mom made an upside down clown costume. So, from my shoulders were the legs sticking up.

Chuck Bryant

Uh-huh.

Josh Clark

In between my legs - my actual legs - was the head, and then it looked like a clown walking on his hands. It was pretty awesome, actually.

Chuck Bryant

That is awesome.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Kristen Keiler says, "You cover a lot of topics that are outside your area of expertise. What do you personally know a lot about?" I know a lot about music, and movies, and filmmaking, and camping, and hiking, and personal defense systems.

Josh Clark

Excellent, Chuck.

Chuck Bryant

What about you?

Josh Clark

I didn't hear the question. I was reading the next one.

Chuck Bryant

What do you know a lot about personally expertise-wise?

Josh Clark

Oh, weird.

Chuck Bryant

You know a lot about politics.

Josh Clark

I guess, but I mean that's not expertise.

Chuck Bryant

- What do you know a lot about?

Josh Clark

What am I an expert in? I guess throwing stars is about it.

Chuck Bryant

Okay, throwing stars. Vajo Moore says, "I saw Pavement last night in Central

Park. It was truly memorable. Guys, what is your best concert experience ever?" Hum, I've got a Top 5.

Josh Clark

Wow.

Chuck Bryant

Public Enemy in 1991 -

Josh Clark

- I'll bet.

Chuck Bryant

- at the Masquerade.

Josh Clark

Nice.

Chuck Bryant

Unbelievable cross-cultural experience. The London Philharmonic did Beethoven's Ninth at Carnegie Hall with a full choir for the Ode to Joy.

Josh Clark

Wow.

Chuck Bryant

Unbelievable. Two Lollapalooza experiences: The first one with Jane's Addiction.

Josh Clark

Oh, yeah.

Chuck Bryant

That was immense and then the second one - the Beastie Boys was just out of control it was so good.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

Bonnie Prince Billy last year, which I know you hate.

Josh Clark

Yeah.

Chuck Bryant

And Levon Helm. I saw Levon Helm last year and it was just classic.

Josh Clark

I don't know who that is.

Chuck Bryant

He was the drummer and part-time singer for The Band - my favorite group.

Josh Clark

Oh, the band The Band?

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

I got you.

Chuck Bryant

What about you? What's your favorite?

Josh Clark

Best stage show I ever saw in my entire life was Peter Gabriel -

Chuck Bryant

- Oh, I bet.

Josh Clark

- in the, I guess, early '90s.

Chuck Bryant

God that would have been good.

Josh Clark

I guess all around best show I ever saw would have been Alter Night down in Florida when I was a little rave kid.

Chuck Bryant

Uh-huh.

Josh Clark

And then, let's see. There has to be at least one other.

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Chuck Bryant

Did you have a pacifier?

Josh Clark

Yes, it has Mickey Mouse on it.

Chuck Bryant

Oh, God.

Josh Clark

Yeah, yeah. I was definitely one of those rave kids.

Chuck Bryant

I'm so glad I'm just old enough to have been too old for the rave culture.

Josh Clark

Yeah, yeah. You just missed it.

Chuck Bryant

I saw the big leg jeans, and the pacifiers, and just didn't get it.

Josh Clark

Oh, and probably my first concert ever - Hall & Oates with 'Til Tuesday opening for them. Poor 'Til Tuesday got booed off the stage.

Chuck Bryant

Really?

Josh Clark

Yeah, but Hall & Oates came out and they were backed by G.E. Smith and the Saturday Night Live Band, including the guy, who wears, like, the floor-length mink coats and plays the sax.

Chuck Bryant

Yeah.

Josh Clark

Like, they were the band, and they played everything.

Chuck Bryant

- Wow.

Josh Clark

So, that was a good one, too. I was like, "Hey, I like concerts. I'm gonna start going to them."

Chuck Bryant

Yeah, Aimee Mann was still terrific.

Josh Clark

Sure.

Chuck Bryant

And she's buddies with Paul Duncans.

Josh Clark

I did not know that.

Chuck Bryant

I believe so.

Josh Clark

Awesome.

Chuck Bryant

They're part of the whole Largo scene. Is there anything else? Do you got anything else?

Josh Clark

Nah.

Chuck Bryant

Nah?

Josh Clark

Nah.

Chuck Bryant

All right, that's it.

Josh Clark

That's it.

Chuck Bryant

Do your thing.

Josh Clark

If you want to ask us a question, Chuck asks for them intermittently on Facebook.

That's Facebook.com/Stuff You Should Know. Or you can just send us a plain, old-fashioned e-mail at StuffPodcast@HowStuffWorks.com.

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