American Hysteria – Podcast Review

In this episode I talked about my experience with American Hysteria. This show is determined to be factual evidence driven and a definitive summation when it comes to each episode.

PodApplaud- American Hysteria

Welcome to PodApplaud, the Monday through Friday podcast that aims to enable your Podcast habit. I’m your host Seb, and today we are getting hysterical with the podcast: American Hysteria.

American Hysteria is a explorative podcast by Skylark Media that explores and explains the panics and collective delirium of America’s past present and future. At the time of this recording the show is releasing mini episodes between seasons 1 and 2. There are currently 11 uploaded episodes. For full episodes the show usually runs about 40 minutes and is roughly half the length for mini episodes.

This show made a pretty impressive splash onto the podcasting scene when it released near the end of 2018, I believe it was trending rather quick into its lifespan. That is when I first came across it. Our host Chelsey Weber-Smith skeeks to demystify topics that seem to explode into and poison the American consciousness out of nowhere. Former episodes include: The Satanic Panic, The Illuminati, Poisoned Halloween Candy, Stranger Danger, Phantom Clowns, and The Gay Agenda. You may have heard these topics covered in a podcast here or there, especially since there are a lot of podcasts that love to cover conspiracy theories. I would hazard a guess you have not heard the topics broken down nearly as thoroughly as Chelsey breaks them down in American Hysteria. I have heard enough podcasts babble off the Illuminati wikipedia page to last a lifetime. Really, I was tempted to skip the American Hysteria Illuminati episode when I saw it, but as a completionist I went down the rabbit hole one more time. The coverage is satisfying and not in a dry way Chelsey finds a way to make the material engaging and bring just a tad of wry humor here and there. I’m tempted to go so far as to say if you hear a subject covered by American Hysteria you have heard the definitive coverage. The production is really quality too, I will definitely be keeping my eyes on the Skylark Media Network. At times there are some topic specialists that speak, there are old audio pulls from commercials or radio, and other audio sources that all end up well balanced. An interesting aspect of the show is that every second episode is called a calm down episode. The idea being is that we get all riled up learning about the Satanic Panic one episode, then we have a more human level episode where the research and revelations are discussed in the next. Chelsea brings a friend or colleague to discuss the subject matter in the Calm Down episodes. Essentially what this does is takes the conversational  tone of duo host podcasts and separates out the banter, anecdotes and conversation into the calm down episode and leaves a more dense research and presentation in the first episode. I’m not sure how I feel about this, the calm down episodes can’t stand by themselves, but I do think they add to subject. I wouldn’t want the two episodes mashed together and edited down because the show would likely have to sacrifice some of the quality research, so I think this unique setup works. One of my favorite aspects of the calm down episodes is when Chelsey reveals even more things she could have gotten into in the main episode, it is like a little breadcrumb you can follow if you want to learn more on your own time.

Here on PodApplaud I rate shows on a 1-5 scale, 1 is silence, 2 is a slow clap, 3 is applause, 4 is a round of applause, and 5 of course is a standing ovation! I would give American Hysteria a 4/5., a round of applause. The show is ear candy and no not the poisoned kind. What holds the show back is that is has so much overlapping content with other shows and that The Calm Downs format feels like it is on the right track, but still has some wrinkles and feels a bit like a feed filler. I’ll stay subscribed and listen to episodes as they come out. I would recommend the show to curious people who want the whole story or are first hearing about these topics.

That’s been the show for today, I hope you found it valuable If you wish to reach out or follow me, you can find me on twitter @podapplaud or send an email to Thank you for listening, and please tune in again.