Episode 62 (Fast-Talkin’ Dudes)

For the March 2023 episode of the podcast, Paul takes an in-depth look at the world of speed talking and speed singing. He examines the world records and introduces us to the wide variety of people who are called upon to talk or sing quickly — from actors to auctioneers to debaters to people who simply enjoy speaking at high speeds.

Here is the original text that Paul and Cameron use in their speed test:

“So this old guy comes up to me and wants me to tell him how fast I can talk. I told him I didn’t know but like why did he want to know such a thing.  He said he’d heard of a man who could speak four times as fast as the norm. So I said to him let’s put it to the test and I told him I’d write him a short speech that we could use to test our own speeds and this is it. So if you want to see how close you can get to the top speeds I spoke of just use this brief text. Can you do it fast and still make it clear and not make it sound like a speed test?”

For the lyrics to “The Major-General’s Song” or “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General,” plus the lyrics to Tom Lehrer’s parody, “The Elements Song,” go here.

This episode includes many fair-use snippets of longer video and audio clips. Many of those clips are available in their entirety below.

And to hear cattle auctioneer John Korrey, go directly to YouTube.

(Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) is courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.)