Today’s debate is chock full of shocks. It’s electric eels vs. Tasmanian devils! Comedian, puppeteer, and podcaster Tim Platt reps electric eels in this scream-worthy smackdown with science journalist, Brains On! editor, and Tasmanian devil defender Shahla Farzan. Which beast will triumph? Supercharged fish or misunderstood marsupial?

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Audio Transcript

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Molly Bloom: From the brains behind Brains On, it's Smash Boom Best.

Iago: The show for people with big opinions.

Molly Bloom: Hi, 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's debate is going to be chock full of shocks. Put on your thickest rubber gloves and night vision goggles because these nocturnal beasts need to be handled with care. It's electric eels versus Tasmanian devils. In one corner, we've got stand up comedian, puppeteer, and podcaster, Tim Platt, ready to zap us with electric eel facts.

TIM PLATT: It's alive! The electric eel! Which I am defending today.

Molly Bloom: And in the other, we've got science journalist and Brains On editor, Shahla Farzan, here to defend those misunderstood marsupials, Tasmanian devils.

SHAHLA FARZAN: Oh, I'm hungry for a good debate. And I'm about to tear into this one like a Tasmanian devil with some roadkill. Just kidding. I'm actually a vegetarian.

Molly Bloom: [LAUGHS] And here to judge it all, we have Iago from Brooklyn, New York. He has pet guinea pigs named Oreo and Snickerdoodle. He loves French fry omelets, and he's an award-winning poet. Hi, Iago.

Iago: Hi.

Molly Bloom: So Iago, tell me about your guinea pigs. When did you get them?

Iago: I got Oreo and Snickerdoodle a couple of years ago on Christmas. Unfortunately, Oreo passed away a couple of months ago. But we got a new guinea pig, Cannoli, and she's great. Snickerdoodle loves to play with her. Yeah, they're best friends now, and they're both very funny. Snickerdoodle, he always does this thing where he points his chin up to heaven to pretend like he's better than me.


I let him do that, but you know.

Molly Bloom: That's nice.

Iago: I have that in my back pocket in case that-- just in case I want to show him who's boss, I'll show him. I'll stick my chin back up to him.

Molly Bloom: And what about Cannoli? What is Cannoli's personality like? Similar to Snickerdoodle?

Iago: Not so similar. She gets very scared. And she's also very loud. If you're making dinner, she'll start squeaking. And then you have to go give her some pepper or some carrot.

Molly Bloom: (LAUGHING) Oh, no. So how do you think they would handle a confrontation with an electric eel or a Tasmanian devil?

Iago: Oh, they would run away super fast.

Molly Bloom: Smart.

Iago: I actually don't think they would run away very fast because they're pretty fat.

Molly Bloom: [LAUGHS] Well, Iago, are you ready to learn more about today's night-loving creatures?

Iago: Yes, I am.

Molly Bloom: Will Iago go for electric eels or Tasmanian devils? There's no telling. Iago, are you ready to judge today's debate?

Iago: I am ready.

Molly Bloom: Before we dive in, let's review the rules of the game. Every debate consists of four rounds of argumentation-- the Declaration of Greatness, the Micro Round, the Sneak Attack, and the Final Six. After each round, our judge, Iago, will award points to the team that impresses him the most, but he'll keep his decisions top-secret until the end of the debate.

Listeners, we want you to judge too. Mark down your points as you listen. At the end of the show, head to our website and vote for whichever team you think won. All right, Tim and Shahla, are you ready?



Molly Bloom: Then it's time for the Declaration of Greatness. In this round, our debaters will present a deep and delightful argument in favor of their side. Then they'll each have 30 seconds to rebut their opponent's statements. We flipped a coin, and Tim, you're up first. Tell us what makes the electric eel so excellent.

TIM PLATT: I love electricity. Without it, how would I continue my hot streak as the 35th best player in the world on my favorite video game?


Or watch videos of adorable baby animals while doing my nightly three-hour skincare routine?


Molly Bloom: Hmm-mm.

TIM PLATT: Natural work, you guys. You might be saying Tim, what does your enviably electrified lifestyle have to do with this debate? Well, I'm about to shock you!


We should really call it electricity because the electric eel was the creative spark for the discovery of electric current and the invention of the battery!


Let me explain. First of all, electric eels aren't actually eels. They're a kind of fish called knifefish.


They live in murky freshwater environments in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins of South America. Europeans started colonizing and exploring this part of the world about 500 years ago when there was no electric power. The only kind of electricity people knew about was lightning. So you can imagine how excited these explorers were when they saw this incredible eel.

To my esteemed colleague, Francisco, you would not believe what we found today, a long, slippery fish from the Amazon River that makes lightning underwater. My assistant, Juan, tried to grab the thing with his bare hands, and the jolt knocked him right off his feet! Eventually, these explorers started sending live eels back to Europe. Europeans were in awe. In Britain in the 1700s, people lined up and paid for the chance to tingle their fingers and tanks filled with small eels. It was an electrifying experience.


Heavens, Mary. Call me Lord Shiva Ebsworth, Duke of Tingle, for my whole hand has gone numb. [LAUGHS] Scientists in Europe were fascinated too. They spent years trying to make electricity themselves. The invention of the battery, our understanding of electric current, and so many of our modern conveniences are all thanks to their persistent tinkering, which was inspired by the electric eel!


Of course, people in South America knew about electric eels way before Europeans ever did. People living in Venezuela called these slippery superheros Arimna, which means thing that takes away movement. That's because a shock from an electric eel can be up to 10 times more powerful than a taser, which is enough to temporarily paralyze a human or even a bigger animal like a horse.



Which brings me to my next point, animal electricity. Let's talk shocks!


All animals, including humans, are electric. Our brains talk to our bodies using electrical signals that zip through our nervous system, telling all our parts what to do. Electric eels take this to the max. They have three organs along the length of their bodies that store up an electrical charge. When the eels need to hunt, they use little motion-sensing hairs along their bodies to detect the presence of other animals. When they locate an animal they want to eat, they release their stored of energy as one big zap!


Disrupt their prey's internal electricity. For a few minutes, the animal's brain can't talk to their body. Their muscles stop working, and the eel can eat its lunch.


Which means, eels are basically the wizards of the animal world. Wizards can zap foes from a distance with magic. And what wizards do with magic, eels do with electricity. Zap! Pow! Whoot! Watery wizards, slimy sorcerers, you're picking up what I'm putting down, besties. You're feeling me? I mean, you "eeling" me? "Blewww," zap!

Molly Bloom: That declaration was both electrifying and shocking. Iago, what stood out to you about Tim's Declaration of Greatness?

Iago: I was a really big fan of all the electricity noises. The picture of a bunch of posh British people going up and touching eels and making all those weird noises was also incredible.

Molly Bloom: [LAUGHS] Excellent. Well, Shahla, it's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds, and your time starts now.

SHAHLA FARZAN: OK. I know Tim's trying to make it seem like electric eels are just floating around, inspiring all of these amazing inventions, but electric eels are liars. They're not even technically eels. They're fishes. This is false advertising.

You don't see Tasmanian devils walking around saying, oh, I'm a Tasmanian kitten. At least they're being honest. Also, wizards. Electric eels are terrifying. Imagine you're just like a little frog minding your own business, and then wham, you get electrocuted by an 8-foot long cattle prod. Like this is-- they're terrorizing the world.

Molly Bloom: And time.

TIM PLATT: Shahla, all due respect, love of the game, but are you telling me that an electric eel is a liar and a Tasmanian devil is not lying about what they happen to be? They're telling us they're devils. So if we're talking about liars, at least the electric eel is picking an existing creature.

SHAHLA FARZAN: Tim, Tas-- may I help you come up with some better arguments because these are fishy?


Molly Bloom: All right. Well, we're going to find out right now why Tasmanian devils are a dream.


DIRK MCDIRKSEN: This is find your perfect animal pal.


Hi, I'm your host Dirk McDirksen, and I'm here with Shahla. Tell us what are you looking for in your perfect animal pal?

SHAHLA FARZAN: Hey, Dirk, I'm totally looking for someone who wants to hang out in the park, eat stuff off the ground, and scream at the top of our lungs. Totally normal friend stuff.

DIRK MCDIRKSEN: Well, it's your lucky day because this is the Super Machomatic 3000, the latest in friend matching technology. This little baby is going to pair you up with the best buddy of your dreams.

SUPER MACHOMATIC 3000: Hello. What other characteristics are you looking for in your animal pal?

SHAHLA FARZAN: Someone who's cute like a Teddy Bear-- button nose, delicate, little ears-- but also tough. If you saw them walking down the street, you'd be like, oh, that's a friend you don't want to mess with.

SUPER MACHOMATIC 3000: Cute. Tough. Affirmative.

SHAHLA FARZAN: Oh! And I also want a friend who stays up really late and someone who gets as excited as I do about food.

SUPER MACHOMATIC 3000: Selecting best buddy.

TILLY: Hi, I'm Tilly, the Tasmanian devil?


TILLY: Your new best buddy. Come here, pal.


SHAHLA FARZAN: I knew it. I always knew my perfect animal pal was a Tasmanian devil. Honestly, this is a great match because real Tasmanian devils are nothing like Taz, that Looney Tunes character who spins around and destroys stuff.


Rude. I'm pretty sure if I spun around like that, I'd barf everywhere. Right? Tasmanian devils are marsupials, which means they're related to kangaroos and koalas. They're only found on the Australian island of Tasmania. And they're seriously cute, tiny, round ears, soft, black fur, and a white stripe on their chest that makes it look like they're wearing a little tuxedo.

And are you ready for more cuteness? When they're first born, they're the size of a split pea. Yeah. We love riding around in our mom's pouch as babies. When we get bigger, we hitch a ride on her back. Best way to travel. And not only are they adorable, they're also environmental rock stars.

Unlike electric eels, which literally electrocute their prey [ELECTRICITY ZAPS] Ouch, Tasmanian devils prefer a more peaceful existence. They're typically scavengers, which means they eat things that are already dead and just lying around. That's right. They're nature's cleanup crew. Yeah!

We make sure the forest isn't covered in dead stuff because who'd want that? Argh. And we've got special jaws and teeth that we use to eat all the different parts of an animal. Mm. Yeah. Tasmanian devils love to eat. They can eat up to 40% of their weight in a single sitting. That'd be like a human eating more than 100 cheeseburgers in one meal.

And we like to eat at night because we're nocturnal. We use our incredible sense of smell to sniff out tasty nibbles. And when we find something we're really excited about, [GASPS] hang on, is that a chicken leg in your lunchbox? Yum!


European settlers thought they sounded scary, so they named them devils, but it's just their way of saying, hey, I'm eating here. The native Aboriginal people in already had their own names for us, like Taraba and purinana. Plus, Tasmanian devils have kept other native mammals from going extinct.

Settlers brought lots of new European animals with them to Tasmania, like red foxes, which attack and gobble up local wildlife. But Tasmanian devils have kept foxes from taking over the island by outcompeting them and occasionally eating them. Devils, more like guardian angels, am I right?


Oh, love you, Tilly. But they haven't had it easy. Some ranchers thought they were pests and poisoned them. Drivers sometimes hit them by accident. And for years, a cancer has been making them sick. But we've started evolving protections against the cancer because you just can't keep us down. Yeah. Because even though these furry, little friends are pretty misunderstood, they're also tenacious. That means they're tough, and they always bounce back.

Hey, Tilly, you want to go do some super secret best friend stuff?

TILLY: [GASPS] Like? Eat half our weight and snacks and scream at the top of our lungs and cuddle on the couch? Yes, please. Ahh!


Molly Bloom: I love a BFF that also protects the planet. Iago, what stood out to you about Shayla's argument there?

Iago: I'm going to be very honest. I was very disappointed to hear that Tasmanian devils do not, in fact, spend like they do in Looney Tunes.


That was heartbreaking, mind-shattering, world-ending information for me.


Molly Bloom: So what about Tasmanian devils, though, did you find delightful or intriguing?

Iago: I thought it was really cool how they're kind of like ecological defenders.

Molly Bloom: Mm-hmm, very good. All right, Tim, it is your turn for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds, and your time starts now.

TIM PLATT: You're telling me you own an animal that you can take to the park that likes to eat and scream. You're describing a dog with trauma. That doesn't seem like my favorite animal. And in fact, what you're saying that animal isn't like is my favorite Looney Tune. Nothing like Taz. That's supposed to get my vote. I want more animals like Taz.

You're saying this is an animal scavenger. Love scavengers. Impressed by scavengers. But you're setting this up as an animal to be your best friend and saying this animal is going to eat your food from your lunchbox? That's my dinner! That's my lunch! That's my lunchbox! I have the scraps. Don't--

SHAHLA FARZAN: Ahh, time. Oh, Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim, this is a total smear campaign. I honestly think you need to go check some of your facts because there's that famous saying, the Tasmanian devils in the details. Go check your facts, Tim.

Molly Bloom: Don't take Tim's snacks. He does not respond well to that. Iago, it's time to award some points. One point for the Declaration of Greatness you liked best and one point to the rebuttal that won you over. You get to decide what makes a persuasive argument. Did one team's jokes make you giggle? Was another team's logic to die for? Award your points, but don't tell us who they're going to. Have you made your decision?

Iago: Yes.


Molly Bloom: Excellent. Shahla and Tim, how are you two feeling so far?

SHAHLA FARZAN: I'm feeling so confident. I've never felt this confident in my entire life. It's incredible.

TIM PLATT: Yeah. So I just personally, I don't like to step into spaces of delusion because confidence to me is so like it's-- I'm a little more humble than to have confidence. I'm putting myself into the faith--

Iago: I think it's very important to be confident in yourself, Tim.

TIM PLATT: Yeah. I'm also pretty confident, too.

Molly Bloom: Yeah, Tim.

TIM PLATT: Actually now that you bring that up.

Molly Bloom: Tim, just be confident.

TIM PLATT: I'm so glad that you led me to confidence because if I had chosen confidence before you led the way, I don't think that would have been very respectful to you. But since you, my king, have opened the door of confidence, I'm happy to step through.

Iago: I've never really been a fan of monarchy, to be honest. I think democracy is really the best way to go.

TIM PLATT: Yay! Yay! Yes!

Iago: And I think it's very important to--

Molly Bloom: Well, I better cut this off before it devolves further. It's time to go stun some snacks or scavenge some candy.

Iago: And we'll be right back with more Smash Boom Best.

Molly Bloom: You're listening to state of debate, home to rage and rhetoric and awe-inspiring argumentation.

TODD DOUGLAS: Hey, debaters, Todd Douglas here with my debate debutant, Taylor Lincoln.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Tis I, making my first appearance in fashionable society. And I'll have you know that today, I spotted a downright devilish logical fallacy.

TODD DOUGLAS: Ooh, a debate mistake that makes an argument easy to defeat?

TAYLOR LINCOLN: That's right. It was an appeal to ignorance, where a person argues something must be true because there's no evidence against it.

TODD DOUGLAS: Yikes, that one can sneak up on you anywhere.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Indeed. Let's head on over to Nevada peek in on a conversation between two desert iguanas.

JIMBO: Greg, we're not supposed to be here. This is Area 51. It's a top-secret military base.

GREG: But Jimbo, we're iguanas. We can just walk right up to the facility and keep our eyes on the sky all day and night.

JIMBO: No, Greg. I don't want to stare at the sky. I want to sleep, and sun myself, and eat leaves.

GREG: But they're up there. You know aliens? That's what Area 51 is known for.

JIMBO: Aliens? No. Aliens aren't real.

GREG: Jimbo, listen to me. No one has proven that aliens don't exist, so there must be aliens out there.

WOMAN: Can someone please get these two lizards out of here?


TODD DOUGLAS: Wow. Who knew lizards were such a fan of aliens?

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Yeah, and of logical fallacies. Greg's argument assumes that something is true simply because there's no evidence against it, which is a logical no go.

TODD DOUGLAS: He's got his head in the clouds and his eyes in the skies.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Can you blame him? I love a dreamer. Catch you next time on Stay Up Debate.


Iago: Boom.

Molly Bloom: Boom.

Iago: Boom, boom.

Molly Bloom: Boom.

Iago: Boom.

Molly Bloom: Boom.

Iago: Boom, boom.

Molly Bloom: Boom Smash.

Iago: Best.

Molly Bloom: You're listening to Smash Boom Best. I'm your host, Molly Bloom.

Iago: And I'm your judge, Iago.

Molly Bloom: And we love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Check out this brilliant brainwave from Oliver.

OLIVER: My debate idea is bones versus muscles.

Iago: This body battle is already giving my brain a workout.

Molly Bloom: It's got my mind moving, too. We'll check back with at the end of this episode to see which side he thinks should win.

Iago: And now, it's back to today's debate, electric eels versus Tasmanian devils.

Molly Bloom: That's right. And it's time for round 2, the Micro Round. [BELL DINGS] For the Micro Round challenge, each team has prepared a creative response to an assignment they received in advance. Tim and Shahla's prompt was influence moi. For this challenge, we asked them to make a video for a social media platform of their choice, featuring their side's most fabulous influencer energy. Tim went first last time, so Shahla, you're up. Give us a taste of your devilish, little influencer.


NEVILLE: Are you looking for delicious food hacks that revolutionize your routine and deliver big results? Well, you've come to the right place. This is deceased feast, the show for foodies who want a little stank on their food. I'm Neville, the Tasmanian devil.

What up, my feasties? Today, we're talking carrion diets. Carrion is a fancy term for dead stuff. People ask me all the time, Neville, why is the carrion diet so unbelievably, indescribably awesome? And I'm like, yo, put on your helmet because I'm about to drop some knowledge on you.


Fact, when Tasmanian devils eat dead stuff, we cut down on the spread of diseases. But the carrion diet isn't just great for the planet, it's also delicious. Want to try the carrion diet but not sure where to start? Well, you're in luck because today, we're preparing a mouthwatering wombat carcass I found in the forest.

First, you want to leave that sweet, sweet meat out in the sun for a good 12 to 14 hours.


Really let that sun warm it up.


Then eat up.


No grocery shopping, No dishes, just straight eating. That means more time for sleeping in your den, lumbering around the forest for hours at night, and screaming as loud as you can to your friends.


Beach season is right around the corner, yo, so dig in and get the physique you always wanted-- short, furry, and round. Neville, the devil out.


Molly Bloom: Wow. Neville the Devil, he is credited with starting the roadkill rage of 2023. All right, Tim, it's your turn. Grab our ears with your electrifying eel content.

PEACH MARANCHINO: Hello subscribers. Welcome to my channel, surviving the wilderness with nothing but animals. I'm Peach Maranchino. And today, I wanted to talk to you about how I, a man who lives alone in the wilderness, likes to utilize the electric eel to power a fan.


A man needs a fan for all sorts of reasons. Today, I need it to help clear the air of Tasmanian devil stank.


When these little furry stink balls get stressed out, they emit a foul odor. And wow, he smells like hot trash. [GRUNTS] Give me that fan.


Here's the hack. When the electric eel comes up for air, a man who lives alone in the woods dangle a frog in front of its face. The electric eel shocks the frog, which I've connected to a battery, which I've connected to a fan, that gets enough charge to blow away that Tasmanian devil smell. Let's see it in action.


That's an eel, again, solution.


But get this, you can use an electric eel to power more than a fan next time you're out alone in the wilderness like me, someone who lives alone in nature. And your electric scooter is dying, or your Gameboy is running low on battery, look no further than your friendly electric eel.


Ouch. Good reminder don't try to take a foot bath while you're charging up your appliances. This has been surviving the wilderness with nothing but animals with me, Peach Maranchino. I have new, "eel-ectrifying" videos every day, so please don't forget to like and subscribe. It's so lonely in these woods. So lonely.


Ooh. Oh! Ow.



Molly Bloom: Followers, please be friends with Peach Maranchino. He's got lots of good tips for how to be eco, renewable sources of energy. All right, Iago, what stood out to you about Tim and Shahla's Micro Rounds?

Iago: Yeah. I feel like Peach is cheating, to be honest, because I feel like the whole reason you go out into the woods and be in nature is to just get away from technology and stuff, but I don't know. I also think that Neville's spiel on the carrion diet was very interesting. People talk a lot about vegan diets, paleo diets, keto diets. But I really think that the carrion diet is really the next big thing, just letting your food rot out in the sun for hours and hours on end, just sounds delectable just eating rotten food all day.

SHAHLA FARZAN: Iago, I feel like we're really having a heart-to-heart soul connection right now.

Molly Bloom: I appreciate that both influencers are trying to influence people for the good of the planet. It's a beautiful thing. So Iago, it is time to award a point, completely subjective. The criteria are up to you. Is it the one who you would follow? Watch all their videos the one who taught you something, the one who made you think, the one who made you feel. Award your point, but don't tell us who it's going to. Have you made your decision?

Iago: Yes.


Molly Bloom: Fantastic. Then it's time for our third round, the super stealthy Sneak Attack. This is our improvised round where debaters have to respond to a challenge on the spot. And today's Sneak Attack is called Speed Facts. This challenge is all about how many facts you can get out in one breath about your side.

When I say go, you're going to take a huge breath in. And on your exhale, deliver as many facts as you can. Shout them, whisper them, slur your words, do whatever you need to do to wedge them in there. We're going to be listening for that inhale at the end. And we're going to cut you off if we hear it. Does that make sense, Tim and Shahla?

SHAHLA FARZAN: It does, but I have really tiny lungs. They're the size of lima beans.

Molly Bloom: [LAUGHS] Well, you might be at a disadvantage here, Shahla, but I have faith in you.

SHAHLA FARZAN: I don't know. It sounds like Tim has really, really big lungs, like healthy, large lungs. So I'm really nervous right now.

TIM PLATT: Why would you say that?

SHAHLA FARZAN: You're just so good at projecting misinformation. You're just like--

Molly Bloom: Oh, man.

SHAHLA FARZAN: You're just really projecting it into the world loudly.

TIM PLATT: This is so hurtful because I was so ready to take that compliment. And you see the moment I question the complement, it turned out to be just another insult. That's so hard for me to hear because I was so excited about that compliment.

Molly Bloom: Tim and Shahla, does this make sense to you?

TIM PLATT: Yeah, one big breath.

Molly Bloom: All right. We're going to start with Tim. Let's hear you elevate the conversation with tickling truths about the electric eel, and go.

TIM PLATT: You've heard about their electricity. You've heard about how they've been used. But I want to actually focus on one fact that wasn't mentioned. I want to focus on that fact alone. These eels breathe air. They have gills, but they don't use them very often.

They have very small gills. They actually come up for air like mammals do, which is a pretty interesting thing because they are still fish. They are technically still fish, but they do come up for air, which is a rare thing. That's pretty cool. I wanted to spend all my time talking about that one very cool fact. [GASPS]

Molly Bloom: Wow. I appreciate that you talked about their breathing while demonstrating your own power of breath. Tim, nicely, nicely done. Shahla, it is your turn. Let's hear your most fascinating facts about the Tasmanian devil. Take a deep breath in those tiny lines.


TIM PLATT: You've really latched on--

SHAHLA FARZAN: I should have never said it. I should have never said it. [LAUGHS]

Molly Bloom: And go.

SHAHLA FARZAN: Did you know that Tasmanian Devils are really great at sharing the record for the number of devils feeding together at the same time is 22 devils? Also, they have 11 different calls to communicate all their feelings because they have really deep, emotional inner lives. Also, their chins are covered in whiskers, which they use as sensors for movement, feeding, and also talking to each other. And they can glow in the dark. So their eyes, ears, and their snouts [GRUNTS]

Molly Bloom: Whoa, cliffhanger.

SHAHLA FARZAN: (WHISPERING) Are bioluminescent.


Molly Bloom: Wow. Glow-in-the-dark, you saved that for the end.

SHAHLA FARZAN: I know. I should have led with it.

Molly Bloom: Wow.

SHAHLA FARZAN: Don't hold this against me.

Molly Bloom: Wow. Incredible. All right, Iago, think about which side impressed you the most and award your fourth point. Again, the criteria are totally up to you and totally subjective. Have you made your decision? Yes.


Iago: Perfect. And then it's time for our last round.


The final six in this round, each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side. Shahla, let's hear your six words for those tuxedo-wearing furballs we call Tasmanian devils.

SHAHLA FARZAN: Devils protect. Eels, just a wreck.

Molly Bloom: Very good, Shahla. Tim, it's your turn. Give us your zingiest Final Six for electric eels.

TIM PLATT: Hey, Molly, before I do that, I have a quick question.

Molly Bloom: Yeah.

TIM PLATT: Is it OK if I just give two words back to the room. I think I only need four.

Molly Bloom: Yeah. If you want to be efficient, brief, concise, that is totally up to you.

TIM PLATT: Iago, I do want to be efficient, so I'm going to do this for you.

Molly Bloom: [CHUCKLING]

TIM PLATT: Devils burn. Eels illuminate.

Molly Bloom: Oh.

Iago: Whoa.

SHAHLA FARZAN: That was a flex, Tim. That was a real flex.

Molly Bloom: Very nice.

TIM PLATT: Yeah, I thought.

Molly Bloom: All right.

TIM PLATT: I thought about that last night. I thought that's a winner.


Molly Bloom: It's going to be close. Iago, it's time to award your final point for this Final Six. Have you made that decision?

Iago: All right, I made it.


Molly Bloom: Are you ready to crown one team the Smash Boom Best?

Iago: Yes.

Molly Bloom: Drumroll, please.


And the winner is--

Iago: Electric eels.

Molly Bloom: No!

TIM PLATT: Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. And you know what? And I want to thank you for giving me that crown, but I actually don't really believe in monarchy. So I'm going to take that crown. I'm going to divide it up between everyone in this room. Shahla, I'm going to give you some of that crown too because I think we are all-- and Molly, I give you some of the crown, too, because I think we're all a part of what makes this animal kingdom, this animal democracy together.

Molly Bloom: Thank you so much for sharing your crown. Iago, was there a moment that decided this for you today?

Iago: I was a big fan of Tim's Final Six. Honestly, it was very close, but I just keep going back to those British people touching those eels. And it just makes me laugh so much.


TIM PLATT: Shahla, you did a great job all around. I feel I learned so much about the Tasmanian devil, especially in that last round with all those facts, the bioluminescence. But what stuck out to me most was treating their diets like a food show. I thought that was great.

SHAHLA FARZAN: Yeah, Tim, I learned so much from this debate, seriously. I have to admit now that it's over, I can tell all of you that in my heart, I am a secret electric eels fan.


Molly Bloom: That's it for today's debate battle. Iago crowned electric eels the Smash Boom Best, but what about you?

Iago: Head to and vote to tell us who you think won.

Molly Bloom: Smash Boom Best is brought to you by Brains On and APM Studios.

Iago: It's produced by [LISTING HONOR ROLL]

Molly Bloom: We had engineering help from [LISTING HONOR ROLL], with sound design by [LISTING HONOR ROLL]. Our editors are [LISTING HONOR ROLL].

Iago: And we had production help from [LISTING HONOR ROLL].

Molly Bloom: Our executive producer is [LISTING HONOR ROLL], and the APM Studios executives in charge are [LISTING HONOR ROLL]. Our announcer is [LISTING HONOR ROLL]. And we want to give a special thanks to [LISTING HONOR ROLL]. Tim, is there anyone you'd like to give a shout-out to today?

TIM PLATT: I'd like to give a shout-out to my good friend now, Iago, for being here with us and being a great judge. And also just have to give you credit of playing both parties against knowing when to give direction, knowing when to give approval. You gave a very good celebrity judge sense of drama to the event. So that's my shout-out.


Iago: Thanks a lot. I had a really fun time here. You were great, Tim. Thank you.

Molly Bloom: And how about you, Shahla? Any special shout-outs?

SHAHLA FARZAN: Oh, yeah. I mean, I want to thank the whole Brains On team for just being an absolute dream to work with. Oh, and also my mom for suggesting the name Neville the Tasmanian Devil. I love you, Mom.

Molly Bloom: [LAUGHS] Oh. And Iago, do you want to give any special thanks for shout-outs?

Iago: Yeah. I'd love to make a shout-out to the Brooklyn Public Library for making this connection between me and APM Studios. This was a great opportunity, and I'm glad I got to be here. [LAUGHS] Yeah.

Molly Bloom: [LAUGHS] Nice. Before we go, let's check in with Oliver and see who he thinks should win his bones versus muscles debate.

OLIVER: I think muscles is going to win because they help you survive, and they help you move.

Molly Bloom: Do you have an idea for a knockdown drag-out debate? Head to and tell us about it. We'll be back with a new debate battle next week.

Iago: Sayonara.

TIM PLATT: Good bye.

Molly Bloom: See you.

TIM PLATT: Goodbye.



(SINGING) Oh, you're the Smash Boom Best. Oh, put you through the test. Oh, you're the Smash Boom Best. Oh, better than the rest. It's Smash Boom Best. It's Smash Boom Best.

TIM PLATT: They say in movies it's like the thing that's happening and also the thing under the thing that's happening. They also say about literature, too. I don't know why I picked movies. Maybe it's because it's the medium of the day. Actually, TV, is probably the medium of the day.

But literature is also the time honored medium, too. But it's the plot and the what's under the plot. And those two can reflect each other, or interestingly, creatively contrast each other. And that can create its own arguments, but I'm not here to talk about literature analysis. I'm here to talk about eels, and I have talked about eels.

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