Listen to one of our first smash boom best debates ever: books vs. movies! Who are you rooting for? The printed word or the silver screen? Vote below for the team YOU think won!

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KATIE MCVEY: Here's a story I'm going to tell you about a roast chicken I had the other day while reading a book. Can I bring a roast chicken into a movie theater? No, I can't. I've tried before, and it doesn't work. So ba-bang!

INTERVIEWER 1: From the brains behind Brains On, it's Smash Boom Best.

INTERVIEWER 2: The show for people with big opinions.

MOLLY BLOOM: Hello! I'm Molly Bloom, and this is Smash Boom Best. The show where we take two things, smash them together, and ask you to decide which one is best. Today, bibliophiles go head to head with film buffs everywhere. It's books versus movies.

SUBJECT: Honestly, I think books are more fun. Because they give you way more information.

SUBJECT: I think movies are better because let's say there's a scene in a book and you really don't understand. And with the movie, you can actually visually see it.

SUBJECT: Sometimes I do get lazy with books. Or if I get angry at the book, I just stop reading it.

SUBJECT: You could just be in your room all day and just read a book and get lost.

SUBJECT: When you see a movie remake of a book, they often get some things wrong.

SUBJECT: Let's face it. The original Ghostbusters wouldn't be as cool if it was a book.

SUBJECT: Books have more details than movies. And you get more of an origin story in the books.

SUBJECT: I would choose movies over books any day.

MOLLY BLOOM: We have a smashing bout lined up. And if I know anything, it's going to be a very close call. So who will triumph? The printed word, or the silver screen? We asked Devon Sellman from St. Paul to help us decide. Welcome to the show, Devon.

DEVON SELLMAN: Hello. Thank you for having me.

MOLLY BLOOM: I do not envy you, because this is going to be a very tough call. I love books and movies. And I really can't imagine giving up either one. So Devon, do you consider yourself more of a book person or a movie person?

DEVON SELLMAN: Depends on the topic.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, let's get our debaters in here to see if they can help you make up your mind. Here to argue on behalf of moviegoers everywhere is Nancy Yang.


MOLLY BLOOM: And here to convince us to cozy up with a good book is Katie McVey.

KATIE MCVEY: Hi, hi, hi.

MOLLY BLOOM: So Katie, in just a single sentence, why are books the superior medium?

KATIE MCVEY: It's hard to put in a single sentence, because books are so vast. But I'll try. Books are important pieces of literature, fiction, and facts that we carry from generation to generation, imbuing the future with our past dreams and hopes and are so important. And when Alexandria Library burned down, everyone cried in the Roman Empire. Think about that. OK, thank you.

MOLLY BLOOM: That was a very grand sentence. OK, Nancy. Why do movies to serve the coveted title of Smash Boom Best?

NANCY YANG: I'm just going to say that movies are much better than books because they're a great escapism. And they put you directly into the action. I mean, you can really feel what's happening. And you feel like you're just in that moment. And you're like, oh my god, oh my god, what's going to happen? Oh my god, are they going to do it? Oh my god--


I'm too happy! Or you're really, really sad, depending on what happened. I mean, it's a roller coaster of emotion. You're just there. You're there in the moment.

MOLLY BLOOM: I am feeling--

NANCY YANG: Or you can sit at the forefront of history with a book. I don't know. Whatever.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh my. This is going to be a good debate, I can already tell. OK. Well before we get this debate battle started, let's review the rounds. Round one is Declaration of Greatness, when both teams have a chance to take us on a deep dive into the science, history, and lore of their side. Next up is the Micro Round. It's a different creative challenge every episode.

The third round is Sneak Attack, when the debaters compete in a surprise challenge. And our last round is the Final Six, when both teams have to make their case in just six words. Devon will mull over each round and award a point. And you can judge from home, too. Just grab something to write on. And after the show, you can head to to cast your vote.

OK, Devon, are you ready to do this?


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. It is time for the first round of this Smash Boom battle.

INTERVIEWER 1: Declaration of Greatness.

MOLLY BLOOM: Both teams have come prepared to persuade using science, history, and raw emotion. It's time for the Declarations of Greatness. We flipped a coin, and Nancy is up first.

NANCY YANG: Look, I'm a worldly person. I consume movies and books. And they've got a lot in common. They both tell stories, make you feel things, and show you amazing worlds. But when it comes to putting you in the action, movies have books beat.

Take the story of the black and white silent film Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station. It's the late 1890s, and movies are brand new. Crowds gathered to see what the hype is all about. The screen shows a steam engine pulling into a station. Then, it heads straight for the camera. Watch out!

MOVIEGOER: Let me out of here! It's headed straight at us! Run!


NANCY YANG: Legend has it people ducked or ran out of the room. Some historians say this is just an urban myth. That no one actually fled the theater. But there's a lot of evidence that movies do hack our brains and make us respond physically. Scientists studying this point out we might flinch when we see a punch on screen--


Or even jump up when a monster attacks.


Have you ever seen someone leap up from their seats while reading a book? Me, neither. Researchers from Princeton University monitored the brains of people watching a movie. They found that for much of the time, viewers' brains were synced up, reacting to the screen in the same way at the same time.

Which brings me to another point. Movies are a shared experience. In a theater, you're laughing or crying with dozens of others. Even when you're watching at home with your family, you're all setting off on the same adventure together. There's even research suggesting emotional movies can help people form stronger bonds. And it doesn't end there. Once the movie is over, everyone wants to talk about it. Rate it, review it, and dissect it.

It's easy to strike up conversations with total strangers by asking, hey, did you see that new Avengers movie?

SUBJECT: Oh, yeah. It was awesome. I love the part when Iron Man was fighting the aliens and then Spider-Man comes swinging out of nowhere.

NANCY YANG: If you want to talk about books, you have to join a book club, pick a book, then read the book, then find time to meet. Make some cones, bring the scones, serve some tea. And then you can talk about the book. That is way too much work.

Movies are also excellent time capsules. If I'm watching a movie from the 1970s, I can see the fashion, the haircuts, what cars look like, furniture, food packaging, billboards, street signs, windows displays, all in one scene. You really get a feel for the time and place. A book couldn't do all of that without being very long and very boring.

Which brings me to this point. Seeing a story unfold before your very eyes makes it a lot easier to consume and easier to understand, especially if it's complex or involves a lot of characters. In a book, it can take several paragraphs to establish who the villain is. But in a movie, you can often just tell by subtle cues, like what someone is wearing or how they enter a room, or even the music that accompanies them.


And good movies aren't just popular culture. They change our culture, too. Take the 2004 documentary Super Size Me.

VOICE ON INTERCOM: Hello, may I help you?

CUSTOMER: Yeah, could I get the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Meal?

VOICE ON INTERCOM: Large or super size?

CUSTOMER: I think I'm going to have to go super sized.

NANCY YANG: Director Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald's for a month. By the end, he'd gained over 20 pounds and had serious liver damage. The film spurred more Americans to start thinking about obesity, and McDonald's dropped their super sized menu option soon after. In conclusion, movies change the world. They make us laugh, they make us scream, they make us cry, and they bring us together. Movies beat books every single time.


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent work, Nancy. Now Devon, what was the most memorable argument that Nancy made there?

DEVON SELLMAN: Well, I made a couple notes. One, you mentioned the crowds, which was good. And you did very good description on what movies bring. And then I liked how you put in the scientists about the physical reaction and the shared experience. And then the most fun part for me was when she was a little bogus to books.


The scones and how hard it was.

KATIE MCVEY: Yeah, it is bogus. Thank you so much, Devon.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right.

KATIE MCVEY: Because you could talk about a book anywhere. Just trust me.

NANCY YANG: Not if you've never read it. I mean, have you ever gone up to someone and say, hey-- I mean, have gone on--

KATIE MCVEY: Absolutely.

NANCY YANG: And said, have you read this book? And someone's like, no. And then you try to explain it, and they're like, I don't understand what you're talking about. But seriously, Avengers, everyone's seen it.

KATIE MCVEY: I consider the world my book club. And if you're socially inept enough, you can describe a book to any person at the grocery store.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Katie. Well, you are going to have an official rebuttal. You have a chance to respond. You have 30 seconds. So Katie, are you ready?

KATIE MCVEY: I mean, I feel like I have rebutted already. But I'm ready to rebut some more.

MOLLY BLOOM: We're going re-rebut. OK. Your time starts now.


KATIE MCVEY: All right. There are many offensive arguments that Nancy made. But one of the most offensive was that a book cannot move you to passion, move you to leap from your seat. When in fact, books have been doing that throughout history themselves. I, in fact, leapt from my seat earlier this week when reading a high seas adventure fantasy novel, where I was very worried that the hero would not escape the sticky situation he had got himself in.

My boyfriend said, why are you running around the living room? And I said, haven't you ever been too carried away by the written word? OK.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Very good rebuttal, Katie. All right. We have heard Team Film's declaration, Katie. And now it is your turn, Katie. Let's hear what you've got.

KATIE MCVEY: Let me take you on a journey.



KATIE MCVEY: The older I get, the less I remember the particular details of my childhood. I remember big stuff, like the fight I got into with my best friend in third grade over a rather heated game of Clue. Or the time I won a pie eating contest. My friends say I get a little competitive whenever pie is involved. But the details fade away. What remains above all are the books that I read.

Fourth grade, I finally worked up the courage to read a scary book, The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed. Still scares me to think about it. Fifth grade was the year of The Phantom Tollbooth, which tapped into my summer boredom and my love for wordplay. In sixth grade, I went to a new school and finally got to check out books that my old school's librarian discouraged me from reading, like Pride and Prejudice. And talk about pride, I majored in English just to spite my elementary school librarian, Mrs. Pitman.

More often than not, I define the periods of my life by what I was reading at the time. Me, I'm into fiction. But there are all kinds of books. There's picture books, non-fiction books, novellas-- they're short books. Chapbooks are small books of poetry. And let's set the record straight once and for all. Comic book movies, they were comic books first. You're welcome, Avengers.

But books aren't just entertaining. They're good for your brain. Because reading activates entirely different parts of your brain than processing images or speech alone. You have to use your imagination to fill in the blanks. Are you reading about a castle?


The part of your brain in charge of reading the word "castle" connects with other parts of your brain.

BRAIN: Castle. OK, Connect to drawbridge, to turret, to moat, to knight--

KATIE MCVEY: To imagine that castle for you.

BRAIN: Ta-da! Here's an imaginary castle.


KATIE MCVEY: It's different than, say, watching a movie, where your brain just processes the image of the castle. No imagination required and no brain exercised. And all these extra connections that your brain makes when you're reading, they last long after you put your book down.

Researchers at Emory University did a study where subjects read a historical thriller at night and had a brain scan in the morning. They discovered that the day after reading, people experienced heightened connectivity. Not just in the parts of the brain that deal with language, but the ones that process physical sensations, too. Basically, when people read about the hero of a book running around, their brains were also running around. Books exercise your dang brain.

And listen, books aren't just available to people who can shell out $12 for a movie ticket or a Netflix subscription. You ever hear of a library? They're the best. But it wasn't always this way. For a long time, books were made by either writing longhand or using woodblock printing. Basically you had to carve all the words you wanted to print onto a big block of wood and then use it as a giant stamp. So each page was a big undertaking.

PRINTER: Oh, there we go. Just 436 pages more to go.

KATIE MCVEY: And only rich people could afford books. Then, in 1439, a guy named Johannes Gutenberg came along.

JOHANNES GUTENBERG: Aha. What if we used individual letters stamps? Then we could rearrange them instead of starting from scratch for every page.

KATIE MCVEY: Enter the printing press. Over the next few centuries, books got cheaper, and therefore, way more popular. And today, books can be written and published by pretty much anyone. Not everyone can make a movie. Actors, sets, cameras, they all cost serious money. A pen and paper are much easier to get a hold of. That's why Dorothy Straight was able to publish How the World Began when she was four years old. And Bertha Wood published her first book at 100.

No matter how old or young you are, you can write a book and share your story. Still not convinced books are superior? Imagine this. You're at home when suddenly, the power goes out in your house. Or say you're in a canoe in the middle of nowhere. No TVs, no cell phone reception even. Guess what can still entertain you. That's right, a book. Books don't have batteries. Books don't need Wi-Fi. You just need some sun or a flashlight. Books are there for you no matter what.

In closing, let me leave you with this quote by writer and fellow book nerd William Lyon Phelps. "Books are of the people, by the people, for the people. Literature is the immortal part of history. It is the best and most enduring part of personality." As we say in books, the end.

MOLLY BLOOM: Nicely done, Katie. Devon, what stands out to you from Katie's argument?

DEVON SELLMAN: The reading of-- when it triggers a different part of your mind helped her argument, I think, a lot. But a part that did hurt it a little bit, at least for me, was saying the history of the book.

MOLLY BLOOM: Why did that hurt it for you?

DEVON SELLMAN: Because when she said it was, one, mostly affordable only to the upper class, it was like, well, now movies are expensive. So it's putting them on the same playing field when the argument is to be above it. But she tied it in.

MOLLY BLOOM: She brought it all back together.


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Well, Nancy, I'm sure you have some thoughts to share. You get a chance to make a rebuttal now. I'm going to start your 30-second timer right now.

NANCY YANG: Those are all very interesting arguments, but again, I just go back to the whole social aspect of it. And it all just seems very solitary. You're reading a book. I've never in my entire life ever said to Devon, let's go into the library and read a book together. I mean, sure, you can read a book to someone. But I think when you're trying to get that experience, you want to be able to see it and talk it through and just react together. You don't really get that. And it just seems very solitary when you're sitting there reading a book by yourself.

Also I take issue with this whole idea that--



MOLLY BLOOM: That's a cliffhanger. What does she take issue with? I don't know.

NANCY YANG: We'll never know.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, I think we have heard strong arguments from both sides. And now, it's time to award the first point. Take a minute to think it through, Devon. Whose arguments were the most convincing? Which side sounds superior as of right now? Don't say it out loud. Just mark down a point for whichever side you think took that round. And listeners, you, too. You can always press pause if you need some more time to deliberate.

OK, Devon, did you decide?



NANCY YANG: That sounds like it was tough.

MOLLY BLOOM: Was it a tough decision?

DEVON SELLMAN: Yes and no.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very interesting.

KATIE MCVEY: Devon, you're keeping me hanging on a cliff with this.

MOLLY BLOOM: Nancy and Katie, you guys feeling secure in your side's superiority still?

NANCY YANG: Of course, always.

KATIE MCVEY: I mean, what is enduring? The book. Thank you.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. If any of our listeners have a genius idea for a debate battle, please send it our way. Head over to our website and click Submit Idea. You can also cast your vote for all of the match-ups we've done so far.

DEVON SELLMAN: And if you like the show, help us spread the word.

MOLLY BLOOM: Like the next time you're doing some low key weekend mountaineering.

DEVON SELLMAN: Ah, nothing like watching the sun rise from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

MOLLY BLOOM: Maybe jot down some podcast recommendations in the log book.

DEVON SELLMAN: Dear fellow explorers, you can find Smash Boom Best on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen. It is awesome.

MOLLY BLOOM: Because you're all going to need some entertainment on your three-day hike back to civilization.

DEVON SELLMAN: Ah, solitude. Nothing but me and my podcast feed.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, don't go anywhere. We'll be right back with three more rounds of page versus screen.

AUDIO TRACK: Smash. Boom. Best.

MOLLY BLOOM: And we're back. You're listening to Smash Boom Best, the show about showdowns. I have to tell you, the hardest thing about making the show is choosing which matchups to do. There are so many possibilities, and our listeners have the best ideas. Like Jason from Brisbane, Australia.

JASON: My debate idea is manmad versus nature.

MOLLY BLOOM: We'll call up Jason at the end of the show and find out who he thinks would win in a showdown between manmade and nature's creations. But first, it's on to the next round of today's debate.

AUDIO TRACK: Micro Round.


MOLLY BLOOM: It's the Micro Round. We told Team Movies and Team Books about this challenge in advance, so they've had plenty of time to prepare. Today's challenge is Halftime Speech. We'll play some snappy music, and each debater has 20 seconds to give their imaginary team a rousing pep talk. Nancy went first in the last round, so Katie, it's your turn. Let's hear your Halftime Speech.

KATIE MCVEY: All right, team. Gather around. People are always trying to talk a mess about how books are going to die. But we know that's hogwash, don't we, team? Who was there in Japan in 1010 when Murasaki wanted to get a story out about noble men and women? Was it a movie crew? No siree, it was the written word. And when Tommy from down the street wanted to make his mom a present to remember their summer vacation by, did he make a movie? No, he's six! He can't afford a state of the art camera. He made a book. Using simple crayons and paper books.

We knew first that Superman can fly. We were around for all the great stuff. We weren't waiting for camera technology to be invented. We were making inroads in the 1400s. We were reshaping people's minds. Who's improving memory? Books! Who's inspiring imagination? Books! Who is it that helps adults and children alike develop empathy? Books, books, books. B-O-O-K-S. What does that stand for? Books.

And where'd you learn to read that word? Probably in a book. Heck, team, the minute we finish writing a book about this speech, they'll probably make a movie out of it. That's just how this whole thing works. Books-- first, best every time. Get out there.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. I think Team Books might just hit it out of the park after that literary pep talk. But now it's Team Movies' turn to take it home. Nancy, have at it.

NANCY YANG: Team, this is it. You can do it. We can do it. Sure, books have got their bestseller lists and their clubs and their fancy titles. But we're movies. We can do anything. We can take people to a whole new world, to a place where people know they're not in Kansas anymore. Movies make people believe that a man or a woman can fly to infinity and beyond.

Movies make people believe that a stranded alien can phone home, or that dinosaurs can walk among us. They make people want to step up and dance and sing from the mountaintop that the hills are alive with the sound of music! That's because we're winners. We're movies. We are the best. And we come with a side of popcorn. Now let's get out there and show everyone our magic.

MOLLY BLOOM: If movies could score touchdowns, I'm pretty sure they'd be doing it after that speech. Devon, you ready to score a touchdown for Team Movies?

DEVON SELLMAN: I am not at liberty to--

MOLLY BLOOM: To divulge.


DEVON SELLMAN: I think they were both good.

MOLLY BLOOM: You were roused by both.

NANCY YANG: Tough judge. I can't--

MOLLY BLOOM: They were both very--

NANCY YANG: --anything.

MOLLY BLOOM: They were both very inspiring. All right. Katie, Nancy, how do you feel your team is doing in this Superbowl of media? Give me the halftime breakdown.

NANCY YANG: I'm feeling good. Feeling good about our chances.

KATIE MCVEY: Nothing's better than books, so it's a slam dunk for me.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Devon. It's time to give out a point for that Micro Round. Whose speech would inspire you to go for goal? Mark it down once you have decided. Oh, he's ready.

DEVON SELLMAN: Yes. I am ready.

MOLLY BLOOM: He gave me a thumbs up, you know.


All right. Next up, it's--


AUDIO TRACK: Sneak Attack.

MOLLY BLOOM: We've kept our contestants in the dark, because this round is designed to catch them off guard. Today's challenge is--


Rhyme time. Now's the time to bring out your rhymes. You have 30 seconds to come up with as many rhymes for your thing as you can. We'll play our signature hold music while both of our debaters work.


(SINGING) Books and movies, books and movies. Books and movies, books and movies. Books. They give you pictures in your head. Movies and books, movies and books. Movies and books, movies and books. Movies. Pictures on a screen.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time. Put down your pens, ladies.


MOLLY BLOOM: All right. We're going to have you rattle them off for us. Katie, let's hear your rhymes.

KATIE MCVEY: OK. Book, nook, shook, shook-- oh, I wrote down shook twice.


Book, nook, shook a cook, crook, luck. That's all I got.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, so how many words was that you got?

KATIE MCVEY: One, two, three, four, five. Five.

MOLLY BLOOM: Five words. OK, Team Movies. Nancy, let's hear your words.

NANCY YANG: I would just like to acknowledge that I had a much harder word, and I had two--


NANCY YANG: But I think I have two amazing words.

MOLLY BLOOM: Let's hear your two amazing words.

NANCY YANG: Patootie, because that's a term of endearment. Because I say cutie patootie. It's a term of endearment. So obviously, movies patooties. And then groovy, because movies are super, super groovy.

DEVON SELLMAN: Technically you had two in the first one, because you said cutie patootie.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh. That's true.

NANCY YANG: I got three. Thank you so much for pointing that out.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK. So Devon, we want you to award a point for this round. And it's not necessarily who got the most words, it's whoever had the most, also combined with style and creativity. So this is totally, totally subjective. You can award a point to whoever you like. Have you awarded your point?



MOLLY BLOOM: Well, our debaters have given us a lot to consider in this debate. But in case you're still on the fence, they have one last chance to win us over.

AUDIO TRACK: The Final Six.

MOLLY BLOOM: It's the shortest and oftentimes the sneakiest of rounds. The Final Six. OK, Team Books is up first. Katie, what six words do you want to leave us with?

KATIE MCVEY: OK. I would like to read this in the style of someone trying to sell you fancy jewelry. So get ready for it. OK. Books-- timeless, important, no batteries required.


MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, that had so much style. OK, Nancy, it is now your turn to make a final case for Team Movies in six words.

NANCY YANG: Goes back to my original point. Want to see a movie Friday?

MOLLY BLOOM: Very strong stuff, guys. OK, we have reached the third act. And it's time to make some big decisions. Devon, go ahead and mark your final point. Have you marked it?



MOLLY BLOOM: All right. It is the last page. The final scene. Time to close this cliffhanger. Devon, who won?

DEVON SELLMAN: So it was really hard. I'm just going to point out a couple pointers.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yes, please.

DEVON SELLMAN: So the first round, the point went to movies. Because the main part was the one about the history. And then two of you said the power goes out. But if the power goes out, you can't see the book. And her rebuttal and words were strong. The next point went to books. Because the Japan and the Tommy wrote a book with crayons. And the books knew everything first. Third point went to movies, because I thought the words were a little more fun. And also, it was a little harder.

And then the last point--


Went to books.

NANCY YANG: Is this a tie?

MOLLY BLOOM: We have a tie. Oh, this was a close debate.

KATIE MCVEY: Shocking. This was close.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK. Well, we do have a tie-breaker.


MOLLY BLOOM: So it all comes down to this last tie-breaking round.

AUDIO TRACK: Sudden Death.

MOLLY BLOOM: It's sudden death. Here is your challenge, Team Movie and Team Book. If your thing was an animal, real or fictional, what would it be, and why?

NANCY YANG: I already know.


MOLLY BLOOM: Katie, we'll start with you.

KATIE MCVEY: OK. If a book were to be made into an animal, it would be a gryphon. Because it is majestic. It is fantastic. It is bigger than you can contemplate. It is a combination of so many tough, cool, nice things. It would be a gryphon.

MOLLY BLOOM: Can you describe what a gryphon is?

KATIE MCVEY: Oh, explain a gryphon? Oh, wait, let me-- I'm going to have to Google it.


I-- well, I've seen--

MOLLY BLOOM: Is it a lion? A lion with an eagle.


DEVON SELLMAN: From Gryffindor with--

KATIE MCVEY: I think--

MOLLY BLOOM: That's a lion with an eagle head and wings or something.

KATIE MCVEY: Yeah. Yeah, it is a lion with the head of an eagle. Which, think about that. That's cool. You can fly on the wings of the written word into histories.


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent.

KATIE MCVEY: I stand by it, even though I had to Google.


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. I like it. I see it. Nancy.

NANCY YANG: What happens if we end up having a same or similar animal? Because--


NANCY YANG: I said a lion. Because movies are fierce, and that they're the king. So everything bows down to them.

KATIE MCVEY: If anything, this round has proven that this is a hard debate.

NANCY YANG: I know. I'm like-- because we both came up with lion-ish animals.

MOLLY BLOOM: Devon, Devon, you heard both their arguments. We've got to--


MOLLY BLOOM: Who will you reward this final point to? Who won this debate?

DEVON SELLMAN: I think because of just the all around and the ending, the sudden death, it seemed a little bit more together and supported by their past arguments.




NANCY YANG: Yay! Movies!

DEVON SELLMAN: In fact, it's contrary to my prior belief coming in.


MOLLY BLOOM: You favored books?

NANCY YANG: Movies. Bow down to the movie.


NANCY YANG: Devon, I'm so sorry to take you off the path of the book. I've done a disservice to books today, it seems like.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, whether you're a book nerd or a cinephile, I think we can all agree that both teams brought it today.

KATIE MCVEY: Oh, Nancy, you did an amazing job. You've really made me think more about the movie. You deserve the win. You're a great debater and a great person.

NANCY YANG: Katie, you also are amazing. I would not want to face you again in any other round. Great job. Books are great. But I think, yeah, we discovered in the end that movies are just a little bit better. Not a lot better, a little bit better. Just better.

MOLLY BLOOM: Squeaker. It was a squeaker.

KATIE MCVEY: Here's what I think is the most compelling part of your argument, if I'm going to be honest with you. Is the fact that putting a book club together is a true--


--ever have together.

NANCY YANG: I speak from experience. Because yeah, I was in a book club, and we just never managed to make it work. So.

KATIE MCVEY: I've tried. I've tried so many times. I can't get a book club together to save my life.

MOLLY BLOOM: Someone needs to figure that out for Team Books. How to make the book club a better thing.

All right, listeners. Devon may have chosen movies as the winner today, but this debate is far from over. And we want to hear from you. Tally up your points and head to to tell us who you crowned the Smash Boom Best. We'll see who wins with the masses. While you're there, check out the rest of our Smash Boom besties.

And that's it for this knock down drag out opinion-off. Smash Boom Best is brought to you by Brains On and American Public Media.

NANCY YANG: It's produced by Marc Sanchez, Sanden Totten, Molly Bloom, and Alyssa Dudley.

KATIE MCVEY: And we had engineering help from Cameron Wylie and Sean Campbell.

MOLLY BLOOM: Production help comes courtesy of Lauren Dee and John Lambert. I want to thank Jamie and Selman today. And Nancy and Katie, is there anyone you want to especially thank?

NANCY YANG: I would like to thank Devon for being such a great judge today. And also to Sarah Porter and Cody Nelson for their Oscar worthy performances in my main argument today.

MOLLY BLOOM: Katie, anybody you want to give a special thanks to?

KATIE MCVEY: I just want to give thanks to everyone who was here today and Devon. And Johannes Gutenberg. Thank you so much for the printing press.

MOLLY BLOOM: We also want to give a special thanks to our announcer, Marly Foyerworker-Otto. And to the voice of our hold music, Brenna Everson. And before we go, let's give Jason a call. He's the one who suggested a manmade versus nature debate. Here's what he had to say.


JASON: I think nature should win. Because way before people were making structures, nature had created amazing things, like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Grand Canyon in America.

MOLLY BLOOM: The Grand Canyon is pretty impressive. There is no arguing with that. Listeners, do you have a debate you want to hear on the show? Tell us about it at And that's it for this episode of Smash Boom Best. We'll be back soon with another debate battle.

EVERYONE: See you next time!

(SINGING) Ooh, you're the Smash Boom Best. Ooh, pushing through the test. Ooh, you're the Smash Boom Best. Ooh, better than the rest. You're the Smash Boom Best. You're the Smash Boom Best.

KATIE MCVEY: Who is that person bringing you roast turkey into the movie theater? It's me.


NANCY YANG: Get out of my theater. We don't want you here.

KATIE MCVEY: With a large sweatshirt and try to smuggle half a turkey in.

Transcription services provided by 3Play Media.