There’s no shame in Schadenfreude
Schadenfreude, the German word for taking pleasure in others’ misfortune, seems like an ugly human emotion. But psychologists and philosophers argue that Schadenfreude is baked into the human condition and actually is kind of good for us. This hour, we explore why it’s okay to laugh when someone slips on a banana peel.
- John Portmann: Professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and the author of When Bad Things Happen to Other People, which explores the moral and philosophical implications of schadenfreude
- Lauren Ober: Hosted the Spectacular Failures podcast, which during its 22-episode run looked at the demise of businesses large and small — before meeting its own demise. Ober is a podcast host, consultant, and voice coach in Washington, D.C.
- Scott Dikkers: Founding editor of The Onion and the author of How to Write Funny and other books about humor writing
Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, Lily Tyson, Eugene Amatruda, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.