Today’s legendary debate features two mighty, mythological horses. It’s Pegasus vs. Centaur! In a never-before-seen matchup between father and daughter, we’ve got Greeking Out creator and host Kenny Curtis here to defend Centaurs and Greeking Out writer Jillian Hughes ready to fight for the Pegasus. Who will be crowned the Smash Boom Best? Vote below for the team YOU think won!

Also… do you have your Smarty Pass yet? Get yours today for just $4/month (or $36/year) and get bonus episodes every month, and ad-free versions of every episode of Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Moment of Um and Forever Ago. Visit to get your Smarty Pass today. As an added bonus, your Smarty Pass will grant you access to a super special debate starring Sanden and Molly!

Audio Transcript

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MARLEY FEUERWERKER-OTTO: From the brains behind Brains On, it's Smash, Boom, Best.

SIDNEY: 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 legendary debate features two mighty mythological horses. It's Pegasus versus Centaur. And we've got a special father-daughter duo debating today. They're the brains behind Greeking Out, National Geographic's kids podcast about ancient Greek mythology, which is also now a best selling book series. Say hello to Greeking Out writer Jillian Hughes, a.k.a. Team Pegasus.

JILLIAN HUGHES: He's been ruling the skies since ancient times. Give it up for everybody's favorite flying horse, Pegasus.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] And we have Greeking Out creator and host Kenny Curtis, otherwise known as Team Centaur.

KENNY CURTIS: 50% person, 50% horse, 100% awesome, Team Centaur rules! Yeah!

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] Oh, boy. With that energy, it's hard to say who will winny this fantastical fracas. We'll just have to see which team whips up the most votes. But before we gallop into the fray, I want to know more about your show, Jillian and Kenny. So can you tell us a little bit about Greeking Out?

JILLIAN HUGHES: Sure. Greeking Out is a retelling of classic Greek myths for a kid and family audience. We take a famous Greek myth in every podcast episode and retell it for a kid audience. We try to make it less formal and boring and more fun and down to Earth. And then our book is kind of the same thing. We have 20 famous Greek myths retold for a kid audience. We have a fun little sidekick character called the Oracle of Wifi that helps come in with fun facts and some snake snarky side comments from time to time.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, I'm personally a huge fan of Greeking Out, so I'm so excited that you two are here. And we know that you are father and daughter. So is that going to stir up some family tensions?

KENNY CURTIS: I don't know. I see what you dis there, stir up some family tensions.


Well, we'll try to rein it in a little bit.


KENNY CURTIS: But we are chomping at the bit to get started. OK, OK.

JILLIAN HUGHES: And I will say, I have been training for this moment my entire life as Kenny's daughter. This is my dream to debate my dad in a public forum like this. So he's going down. I'm going to have bragging rights for the rest of eternity.

MOLLY BLOOM: So what are some of, like, the classic debates the two of you have argued about in the past?

KENNY CURTIS: Why can't you put towels back in--

JILLIAN HUGHES: Not the towels.

KENNY CURTIS: --the towel thing?

JILLIAN HUGHES: Not the towels.

KENNY CURTIS: She takes the towels, she takes them and they just stay in her room, just towels.

JILLIAN HUGHES: My room is really far away from the bathroom.

KENNY CURTIS: It's not that far. Just take them back up to the laundry room. It's not that far. You can walk.

JILLIAN HUGHES: Here it goes. I mean, Kenny used to say I should be a lawyer because I love to argue so much. So he's going to rue the day that he said those words.

KENNY CURTIS: Today may be the day for rueing.


KENNY CURTIS: Actually, today won't be the day for rueing. There will be no rueing.

JILLIAN HUGHES: Oh, there will be lots of rueing.

KENNY CURTIS: No, there will be-- no, we will not rue. We will not rue.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] Oh, well, we are so excited that you both are here. And for our judge today, we have Sidney from Orlando, Florida. Sidney is a triathlete and dancer, and she has a secret ziti recipe. Hi, Sidney.


MOLLY BLOOM: So I'm guessing not every one of our listeners knows. Can you tell us what it means to be a triathlete?

SIDNEY: So there's three events, and it goes swimming and then biking and then you finish with a run.

MOLLY BLOOM: Does that mean you are biking and running while wet?

SIDNEY: Yeah. You actually can't wear socks because you get out of the water and then you have to put your shoes on. It's kind of gross.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] OK, so I know it's a secret ziti recipe, but would you mind sharing it with us? I mean, I need to know.

SIDNEY: Oh, I don't know if I can.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh. Why is it so good? Tell me tell me why it's so good first.

SIDNEY: Well, I get basil from my garden. We use freshly grown basil and red pepper.

MOLLY BLOOM: So if I come to Orlando, can I have some magic secret ziti, please?

SIDNEY: Maybe.

MOLLY BLOOM: Which mythic creature will win most of Sidney's points? Prancing Pegasus or trotting Centaurs? It's a competition for the ages. Sidney, are you ready to judge today's debate?


MOLLY BLOOM: Before we dive in, let's review the rules of the game. Every episode consists of four rounds of debate-- the declaration of greatness, the micro round, the sneak attack, and the final six. After each round, our judge Sidney will award points to the team that impresses her the most, but she'll keep her decisions top secret until the end of the episode. 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. OK, Jillian, Kenny, and Sidney, are you ready?


SIDNEY: I'm ready.

KENNY CURTIS: Let's do this thing.



MOLLY BLOOM: Then it's time for the--

MARLEY FEUERWERKER-OTTO: Declaration of Greatness.


MOLLY BLOOM: In this round, our debaters will present a well-crafted, immersive argument in favor of their side. Then they'll each have 30 seconds to rebut their opponent's statements. We flipped a coin, and, Jillian, you're up first. Tell us why the sky's the limit when it comes to the Pegasus.


SPEAKER 1: Welcome to build a horse workshop, where you create your very own horse.

SPEAKER 2: Ooh, so we can design our perfect horse?

SPEAKER 1: Whatever your heart desires.

SPEAKER 2: Hmm, I have a pretty big wish list.


SPEAKER 1: OK, let's see, you want a strong, muscular horse.



Check. Sleek, shiny, white coat.


Check. A gorgeous mane that blows effortlessly in the wind.



Check and check.

SPEAKER 2: What about the ability to fight fire-breathing monsters, incredible speed, fantastic fighting skills?

SPEAKER 1: Done, done, and done.


Now for the finishing touches. Looks like you've requested a pair of large state-of-the-art wings. Whoa, never seen that one before. You know, just the other day, we had someone come in and ask for a horse with a grumpy, shirtless man on top. [SCOFFS] But this, this flying warrior horse is sheer perfection. What name should I put on his horse certificate?

SPEAKER 2: There's only one name that encapsulates such a fabulous, fierce flying horse, Pegasus.



JILLIAN HUGHES: Pegasus is not your average bronco. He's the number one horse to the Greek gods, Mount Olympus's top steed and ultimate wingman.


Pegasus has an impressive background. His father was the sea god Poseidon, and his mother was Medusa, the famous, snaky-haired monster with the ultimate death stare.


And in case those impressive genetics weren't enough, Pegasus was trained by Athena, the goddess of wisdom. And we can't forget Pegasus's number one fan, the big man on Mount Olympus, the king of the gods, the one, the only Zeus.


ZEUS: Hello, mortals. Zeus here. Clearly, Pegasus is the most sensational stallion to ever exist. He'd have to be to work for me. And don't tell anyone this, but he's quite cute. I mean, have you seen his silky mane and sparkly eyes? What's better than that? Centaurs? [SCOFFS] Yeah, right.

JILLIAN HUGHES: So yeah, Pegasus definitely has connections and he's got wings. A pretty unbeatable combination. But his wonderful wings are just one of the many reasons why Pegasus deserves to fly away with this victory. He's more than a flying horse. He's a bona fide hero.


One of my favorite examples from Greek mythology is the time Pegasus defeated the monster Chimera. This was a seriously scary monster. It had the body of a lion--


--a snake for a tail--


--and it could breathe fire.


So anyway, a mortal hero named Bellerophon was supposed to kill this lion snake monster, but he couldn't do it alone. So he asked for help from the best of the best, Pegasus.


Bellerophon hopped on Pegasus's back and took advantage of those incredible wings to put an end to the Chimera.

BELLEROPHON: I hate to admit it, but the battle would have been lost without Pegasus. And now everyone loves that unbelievably gorgeous flying horse, and they've forgotten all about me. Everyone's always like, Bellerophon who? [SNIFFLES] Admit it, you don't even know who I was before this, did you?

JILLIAN HUGHES: Yeah, sorry, not really. But to be fair to Bellerophon, Pegasus has a larger-than-life reputation.


In fact, he's more than just a mythological hero. He's a cultural icon. He's been featured in countless plays, books, TV shows, and movies. He was even in the Disney movie Hercules. But this fierce winged horse isn't only on Disney merch. He's featured on the logos of colleges, companies, and organizations. Nike even has a line of sneakers called Pegasus.

Attention, fellow Nike executives. I have created a shoe so fast, it will feel like flying, so stylish, it should have its own luxury line. What should we call it? Centaur shoe? That's awful. No one will buy it. How about Pegasus?


Yep, Pegasus has certainly made his mark on modern day life. He soared into the zeitgeist and never left. So when it comes to horses and mythological creatures, there's only one steed that you could possibly claim superior. It's the one with the wings, an entourage of Greek gods, and a multi-million dollar shoe line. It's Pegasus.


MOLLY BLOOM: Pegasus flying in hot with powerfully persuasive points there.

JILLIAN HUGHES: Whoop whoop!

MOLLY BLOOM: Sidney, what stood out to you about Jillian's declaration of greatness?

SIDNEY: I really liked that she had a bunch of different scenes in her debate and she also had those slight jabs at the other team. So that was pretty funny.

MOLLY BLOOM: Anything in particular you learned about Pegasus that's going to stick with you?

SIDNEY: I didn't know it represented, like, a lot of different schools and, like, a shoe and stuff like that. That's pretty cool.

MOLLY BLOOM: It is pretty cool. OK, Kenny, it is time for your rebuttal. Please tell us why the Pegasus is a turkey with horsepower. You've got 30 seconds, and your time starts now.

KENNY CURTIS: OK, Sidney, Bellerophon was right, Pegasus is cool like a Lamborghini or a Maserati, but he's still more of a mode of transportation than an impactful hero or a character. And I'm going to say what everybody's thinking. You know what a bird does to the windshield of your family car?


KENNY CURTIS: Imagine if that was a flying horse. I mean, come on.


KENNY CURTIS: Come on, all right?


KENNY CURTIS: Unpractical. Unpractical. Pegasus isn't that glamorous.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

KENNY CURTIS: That was early.


KENNY CURTIS: That's unusual for me.

JILLIAN HUGHES: That's because you don't have that much to say.

KENNY CURTIS: Oh, there's a lot to say. I could say a lot more. I could say a lot more.

JILLIAN HUGHES: What could you possibly say--

KENNY CURTIS: I have a lot more tor say.

JILLIAN HUGHES: --to take down a flying horse like Pegasus?

KENNY CURTIS: I mean, he's just a flying horse. Pegasus is just a mode of transportation. Bellerophon was right, you know? Nobody appreciates Bellerophon.

JILLIAN HUGHES: Transportation?

KENNY CURTIS: Yeah, it's like a nice, fancy car, you know? Don't be fooled by the hype, Sidney, OK?

JILLIAN HUGHES: The disrespect.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] Well, Kenny, I know you have a lot more to say, so please tell us why the centaur deserves to be the center of attention.

SPEAKER 3: [EXHALES SHARPLY] I sure wish I could be a hero.



SPEAKER 4: Did somebody say hero?

SPEAKER 3: Whoa, who are you? And why do you have a horse butt?

SPEAKER 4: Kid, I'm a centaur.


You know, half human, half horse, super famous character from Greek mythology, smart, skilled, strong and fearless?

SPEAKER 3: And you can make me a hero?

SPEAKER 4: Oh, you bet I can, my guy. The greatest warriors in Greek mythology, centaur trained.

SPEAKER 3: Really?

SPEAKER 4: Really. I'm not horsing around here. Follow my instructions, and you too, can be a bona fide--



SPEAKER 3: Awesome. When do I start?

SPEAKER 4: Right now.


KENNY CURTIS: Centaurs truly have it all. In Greek mythology, these larger-than-life creatures were fierce warriors, skilled hunters, and noble teachers. But it's not all mythology. Many historians believe that centaurs were inspired by real people.


You see, in ancient Greece, the people of Thessaly were some of the first people to actually ride horses. Back then, more than 2,600 years ago, horses were mostly used as work animals, pulling chariots and carts. But for a long time, nobody really thought about climbing up and actually sitting on them. Many historians believe that when the Greeks traveled through Thessaly and saw humans riding horses, they weren't really sure what they were looking at. Some believe that this is where the legend of the centaur began.

SPEAKER 5: Hey, Atticus. What's that?

ATTICUS: Uh, that's a horse.

SPEAKER 5: Is not. It has arms and it's carrying a spear.

ATTICUS: By Zeus, you're right. It's a man with a horse body.

SPEAKER 5: Wait, are you sure? I mean, maybe it's just a person sitting on the back of a horse.

ATTICUS: A person sitting on the back of a horse. No way. It's definitely a horse person.

KENNY CURTIS: Since then, the legend of the centaur has continued to grow. One of the most famous centaurs out there, Chiron. In Greek mythology, Chiron is known for being wise and just. Folks came to him from far and wide to turn their youngsters into champions, even gods.



ZEUS: Chiron, my man.

CHIRON: Oh, Zeus, wonderful to see you. What can I do for you?

ZEUS: I wanted you to meet my son, Heracles. I was wondering if you might be able to, you know, train him to be a great warrior and hero and stuff.

CHIRON: But, of course.




ALCIMEDE: Hello. I'm Queen Alcimede. You must train my son Jason to be a great warrior while he hides from his evil uncle.

CHIRON: Uh, OK, sure. It would be my honor to--

ALCIMEDE: Great. Goodbye.




THETIS: Greetings. I am Thetis, goddess of the sea. I need you to train my son Achilles to be a great hero.

CHIRON: Oh, uh, OK. Well--

THETIS: Oh, and watch out for his feet. He has very sensitive heels. Bye, sweetie. Smooches.


CHIRON: Sheesh.

KENNY CURTIS: Everyone knew that if you wanted to be a great hero, you needed to have a centaur showing you the ropes. And we're still fascinated by centaurs today. In the Chronicles of Narnia, the Centaurs are a race of honorable and wise creatures who battle against evil. In Harry Potter, the Forbidden Forest is inhabited by centaurs, most notably Firenze, who actually becomes-- wait for it-- a teacher. Not to mention he saves Harry's life. And of course, there's a centaur in the Percy Jackson series too. He's a wise and powerful trainer.

Unlike Pegasus, centaurs aren't just tricked-out flying horses. They're half human. They're practically identical to people from the waist up. I mean, you could be on a Zoom call with a centaur and not even know it.


You could go into 7-Eleven to get a slurpee, and the person waiting on you behind the counter could be a centaur. You would never know. From mythology to movies, centaurs are amazing and beloved creatures who teach others how to be strong, wise, and brave. They're not just some sort of godlike mode of transportation. They're like us-- with four feet and a tail.

MOLLY BLOOM: Sidney, what did you think about Kenny's declaration of greatness?

SIDNEY: I really liked that he had a lot of different, like, characters in his debate and he had a lot of puns.

MOLLY BLOOM: Mm, we love puns. Were there any facts you learned about centaur that you didn't know before?

SIDNEY: I didn't know a lot of those heroes were trained by a centaur, so that's pretty cool.

MOLLY BLOOM: That is very cool. OK, Jillian, it is time for your rebuttal. Tell us why the centaur is more of a laugh than a legend. You've got 30 seconds, and your time starts now.

JILLIAN HUGHES: OK, so most of your argument was based on Chiron and how he is the best teacher ever. And that's fair because he was a cool dude. But that's just one example of the whole species of centaur. The rest of them, like, caused fights, got into trouble, drank too much, rambunctious. They never wear shirts, which I find suspicious. What's wrong with you? Put on a shirt.


JILLIAN HUGHES: And you can't say that Chiron was the best centaur because he was actually killed by another centaur crashing a wedding. So they're just rowdy wedding crashers that drink too much. And you can't say Chiron is the best centaur when he was killed by a centaur. That doesn't make sense.


KENNY CURTIS: Oh, you are so wrong. You are so wrong. Centaurs-- OK, shirts, you know, OK, fine, shirts are optional.

JILLIAN HUGHES: I would know it's not a centaur on the Zoom call because he'd be shirtless.

KENNY CURTIS: Yeah, well, not necessarily.


KENNY CURTIS: I mean, he could-- centaurs can wear shirts. They frequently wear ties without shirts. It's a thing.


KENNY CURTIS: And hats. They're big on hats, centaurs.

JILLIAN HUGHES: Doubtful. Doubtful.

KENNY CURTIS: Big on hats and the chest piece.

JILLIAN HUGHES: They're creepy. You can't--

KENNY CURTIS: They're not creepy. They are very, very solid creatures.

JILLIAN HUGHES: You don't like clothes. Are you a horse? Are you a man? Decide. Just decide.

KENNY CURTIS: You know--


KENNY CURTIS: --there was only one Pegasus too. There's only one Pegasus.

JILLIAN HUGHES: Exactly, one amazing Pegasus. You have a species of suspicious--

KENNY CURTIS: I should be able to take one of the best.

JILLIAN HUGHES: --naked men.

KENNY CURTIS: They're not naked. They're not naked. They're just shirtless from the waist up. And they're animals. Animals aren't supposed to wear clothes, you know? I mean, unless you're, you know, a small Scottish terrier in the park. Then you can wear a little outfit.


KENNY CURTIS: That's fine. You can wear a sweater.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Sidney, our debaters have given you a lot to think about, but it is time to award two points. Please give one point to the declaration of greatness that you liked best and one point to the rebuttal that won you over. You get to decide what makes a winning argument. Did one team's jokes make you giggle? Was another team's logic a step above the rest? Award your points, but don't tell us who they're going to. Both could go to the same person, or each person could get a point. Have you made your decision?

SIDNEY: I have.


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Kenny and Jillian, how are you two feeling so far?

JILLIAN HUGHES: I'm feeling confident. I'm about to fly away with this victory--

KENNY CURTIS: I feel good. I feel I might take my shirt off. I'm that excited about it.

JILLIAN HUGHES: And nobody would want that. You know why? Because that's creepy and suspicious.




MOLLY BLOOM: We're going to take a quick break, so take a gallop around the block.

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

TAYLOR LINCOLN: You're listening to State of Debate, home to raging rhetoric and awe-inspiring argumentation. Batter up, it's Taylor Lincoln.

TODD DOUGLAS: And hut, hut, hike, Todd Douglas here too.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: And we're calling foul on the logical fallacy that happened at the hockey rink.

TODD DOUGLAS: A logical fallacy is a bogus argument that makes your point easy to block. This one was the bandwagon effect.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: That's when you argue something is right just because it's popular, which obviously isn't true.

TODD DOUGLAS: Strap on your ice skates and let's check it out.

COACH: All right, team, we've only got two minutes left. Let's keep the gameplay simple. Be quick, pass a lot, and watch your player, not the puck. That's the best way to win this match.

PLAYER: Or-- hear me out, coach-- we do the flying V.

COACH: The flying what?

PLAYER: Oh, it's the hot new hockey move. The whole team forms up like a V. You know, how, like, ducks fly in the sky? Then we drive in at the goal. It looks cool, it's intimidating, and it'll guarantee a win.

COACH: That sounds really easy to thwart, actually. You skate around the V or just push through an opening and you've got a clear shot at the goal. It'll lose us the match for sure.

PLAYER: Nah, coach, nah. It's going to work because everyone is doing it right now. It's the coolest move. Who's with me? Quack, quack, quack, quack!


TODD DOUGLAS: Ooh, that bad logic deserves a penalty for sure.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Yeah. Just because a play is popular doesn't mean it's good. Classic bandwagon fallacy.

TODD DOUGLAS: If you want to shoot and score, argue with facts, not popularity contests.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: That play will always win the day. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you next time on State of Debate.


SPEAKER 6: Brains On Universe is a family of podcasts for kids and their adults. And since you're a fan of Smash Boom Best, we know you'll love the other shows in our universe. Come on, let's explore.

ROBOTIC VOICE: Entering Brains On Universe. Ooh, so many podcasts. Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Forever Ago. [GASPS] Picking up signal. Forever Ago, a history podcast starring Joy Dolo.

JOY DOLO: Flare's gum was so sticky, when the bubble popped, it was so hard to get off your skin. You'd have to scrub it off with harsh chemicals.

ROBOTIC VOICE: Me love sticky facts.


[GASPS] Zorp. Signal down. Quick, need Forever Ago now.

SPEAKER 6: Search for Forever Ago wherever you get your podcasts.


- Smash Boom Best.


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

SIDNEY: And I'm your judge Sidney.

MOLLY BLOOM: And we'd love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Take a listen to this entertaining debate idea from Hugo.

HUGO: My name is Hugo, and I'm from Auckland in Aotearoa, New Zealand. My debate idea is Nintendo versus PlayStation.

SIDNEY: This debate sounds like a real game changer.

MOLLY BLOOM: We'll check back in at the end of this episode to see which side Hugo thinks should win.

SIDNEY: And now it's back to our debate, Pegasus versus Centaur.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's right. And it's time for round two, the--


--micro round. For the micro round challenge, each team has prepared a creative response to a prompt they received in advance. Today's micro round challenge is Seussian stylings. Kenny and Jillian each wrote a poem about their side in the style of Dr. Seuss. Jillian went first last time, so, Kenny, you're up. Show us your Seussian centaur stuff.


KENNY CURTIS: What a wonderful thing a centaur is. It runs. It fights. It teaches kids. You'd be up a creek without a paddle if you couldn't ride your centaur into battle, and you wouldn't even need a saddle. He'd be in the front. You'd be on the back with your spear and your shield. You'd block any attack. You would win the day and be a big hero, like Achilles or Jason or Robert De Niro. Their top half's a person, the bottom, a horse. So they know about all of the creatures, of course.

Your centaur would show you all the things heroes do-- how to fight, how to heal, how to tie your own shoe. You would learn about swords. You would learn about shields, when to press your attack and when you should yield, plus, when to run screaming from the big battlefield. A centaur is a teacher. A fighter. The total package complete. He's wise and he's caring and he's got four hooved feet. A centaur is a mentor, and he'll get you on track to become a great hero. He's got you on his back.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, very lovely work. OK, Jillian, it is your turn. What would Dr. Seuss say about Pegasus?


JILLIAN HUGHES: You have wings on your back. You have hooves instead of shoes. You can fly yourself in any direction you choose. You're an immortal horse that makes waters flow. And you are the horse we all wish to know. You've flown across Greece, protected it with care. Your friend of the gods. You've got style and flair. With your head full of brains and your back full of wings, you're a flying horse. You do all kinds of cool things. You've chosen to help warriors, demigods too. You fly and you fight. You know just what to do. There aren't many horses that are built just like you.

So when things start to happen, we won't worry, we won't stew because you can flap those big wings and fight scary monsters too. You never lag behind because you have the speed. You pass herds of centaurs and you soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best, much better than horses with a human head and chest. Because centaurs are cool, but they are kind of scary. They don't smile a lot. Their chest can be hairy. But you, Pegasus, are smart, kind, and brave. You are the horse we desire when the situation is grave.

When you clap your big wings, we all hear the thunder. And because of your awesomeness, we don't have to wonder. Pegasus, you are the winner today and tomorrow. There's no need to beg, steal, borrow, or barter because everyone knows flying horses don't lose to whiny old centaurs with poor social cues.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, the excellent rhyming and writing skills clearly run in the family. Excellent work, both of you. Sidney, what did you like about these poems?

SIDNEY: I liked the first poem because it felt like if I had an older brother that maybe, like, what we were doing when we were hanging out.


SIDNEY: And the other one had a lot of rhymes, which I liked.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Well, Sidney, it is time to award a point. The criteria are completely up to you and completely subjective. Have you made your decision?

SIDNEY: I have.


MOLLY BLOOM: Fantastic. Then it's time for our third round, the super stealthy--


--sneak attack. This is our improv 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. When I say go, take a huge breath in, and on your exhale, deliver as many facts about your side as you can. Shout them, whisper them, slur your words, do whatever you need to do to wedge as many in there as possible. Does this make sense. Jillian and Kenny?

JILLIAN HUGHES: You know, I don't think this is really fair because Kenny has a very big mouth.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] Well, does a big mouth equal big lungs?



JILLIAN HUGHES: Yes. In this case, it does. In this case-- I've been listening to this man talk my whole life.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] OK, we're going to start with Jillian. Time to saddle up and let the Pegasus facts fly. Take that deep breath in and go.

JILLIAN HUGHES: All right, here I am, I'm taking my breath.


OK, Pegasus was the son of Medusa and Poseidon. And then he was raised on the mountain by a bunch of muses. And he would stomp and then the water would come out and it would be magical. And then Athena came, and she trained him to be the best warrior horse ever. And then he went over to Bellerophon and he helped him fight all kinds of scary monsters like Chimera that could breathe fire, that had a snake for a tail and a lion face. [INHALES] An then-- oh!


JILLIAN HUGHES: I did it. Darn, I didn't even mean to do it. It's just on instinct.

KENNY CURTIS: It's so hard, I know.


MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, that was good, Jillian. I mean, my lungs--


MOLLY BLOOM: --my lungs hurt listening to you. That was incredible.

JILLIAN HUGHES: No, you don't even know. Get ready. Kenny is going to rock this because, like I said, he actually does this for fun. He just practices. How many words, can I get out before I take a breath?

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Kenny. Kenny, Jillian's really hyped it up, so let's hear it. Please take a breath and give us everything you've got for the centaur.

JILLIAN HUGHES: You've trained for this.

KENNY CURTIS: This is what I've trained for. This is what I live for. OK, you ready? OK. [INHALES DEEPLY] Chiron was a centaur. He trained Jason. He trained Achilles. He trained Heracles. He was an amazing teacher. And he was probably the most famous centaur ever. Centaurs are actually based on real people from the part of Greece known as Thessaly. They were featured in movies like-- I'm out of air.


KENNY CURTIS: I ran out of air. I ran out of air.

JILLIAN HUGHES: You had a lot of words.

KENNY CURTIS: Ooh, I'm a little dizzy, actually.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, take a deep breath. We don't want you to pass out.

KENNY CURTIS: I was trying-- I was trying not to breathe, and then I breathe. That's harder than you think it is.


JILLIAN HUGHES: It's very hard.

MOLLY BLOOM: It's hard not to breathe. Like, you, just, like-- your lungs want to.


MOLLY BLOOM: Air. Who knew? Air is important, it turns out. All right, Sidney, please think about which side impressed you the most and award your fourth point. Again, the criteria is totally subjective, totally up to you. Who went longer? Who got more facts in? Who had style? Who had grace? It's up to you. Have you made your decision?



MOLLY BLOOM: Perfect. Then it's time for our final round--


--the Final Six. In this round, each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side. OK, Kenny, give us six words for the centaur.

KENNY CURTIS: OK, so six words, uh-- just so you know, the first word is a compound word. I'm saying it as one word, horseman. OK, ready? All right, so horseman, teacher, coach, warrior, hero, friend.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. OK, Jillian, it is your turn. Let's hear your six words for Pegasus.

JILLIAN HUGHES: Centaurs are creepy. Pegasus can fly.

MOLLY BLOOM: Mm, nicely done.

JILLIAN HUGHES: It's all you need to know, all you need to know.

KENNY CURTIS: See, that's-- what a weak-- that is weak sauce. That is--


KENNY CURTIS: That is weak-- that is weak sauce.

JILLIAN HUGHES: You said they were warriors. That is a stretch.

KENNY CURTIS: That is all you got. OK, so the horse can fly. Yes, we know the horse can fly. We know the horse can.

JILLIAN HUGHES: That's it. That's all you need to know. It's like, uh-- it's like the Michael Jordan, LeBron debate.

KENNY CURTIS: That's all they got.

JILLIAN HUGHES: He won more championships.

KENNY CURTIS: Yeah no, no, it's a whole different-- that's a whole different-- don't even get me started on Michael--

JILLIAN HUGHES: That's the only argument you need.

KENNY CURTIS: Can we have another Smash Boom Best about Jordan and LeBron?

MOLLY BLOOM: Absolutely. We'll have you back for that.

KENNY CURTIS: Sign me and Jillian up for that.


MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Sidney, it is time to award a final point for the Final Six. Have you awarded your point?



MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. Please tally up those points. Are you ready to crown one team the Smash Boom Best?

SIDNEY: I think so.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, drum roll, please.


And the winner is--

SIDNEY: Pegasus.


KENNY CURTIS: Oh, you cut me. You cut me.

JILLIAN HUGHES: Flying away to victory.

KENNY CURTIS: You cut me. It's just not fair. The centaurs get no respect.

JILLIAN HUGHES: (SINGING) I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky.

KENNY CURTIS: It's just a flying horse.

JILLIAN HUGHES: (SINGING) I think about it--

KENNY CURTIS: Does it teach?

JILLIAN HUGHES: --night and day--

KENNY CURTIS: No, it doesn't teach anything.

JILLIAN HUGHES: (SINGING) I spread my wings and fly away.

KENNY CURTIS: He's just a flying horse. That's it. That's all.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] Sidney, you inspired-- you inspired Jillian to sing. Nice work.


MOLLY BLOOM: This must have been close. This was a fierce debate.

SIDNEY: Yeah, it was 3 to 2.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, as close as you can possibly get. So what was the moment that really tipped the scales?

SIDNEY: I liked that she was focusing a lot on, like, the animal--


SIDNEY: Instead of, like, the person.

MOLLY BLOOM: Interesting. So it was a more general look rather than a specific look. That's what won you over?


JILLIAN HUGHES: Smart woman.

KENNY CURTIS: Hard to compete with that.

JILLIAN HUGHES: You know, dad, you gave it your best shot. You really tried. You really dug deep. No, you did great. [CHUCKLING] You made some valid points for the centaur. I really appreciate your argument. I really laughed out loud when you talked about them being on the Zoom. You never know when a centaur is looming. And you know, he is a good teacher. He did teach some of the greats. All the great Warriors were taught by Chiron. So I have to give you and the centaurs both props.

So I really would also like to take this opportunity to just thank Smash Boom Best for letting me debate my dad publicly. This is a victory for daughters everywhere.


JILLIAN HUGHES: You know, Jillian, I am so proud of you. And you're right, you should have been a lawyer. The whole shirtless thing, I mean, Sidney's not saying it, but I think that was-- that could have been what tipped it because, yeah, that was-- that was a little weird. That was a little weird. And I congratulate you. And, you know, I do love and respect Pegasus too, but I would like to remind you that I drove us both here in my car, so you may have to call Pegasus for a ride home. That's all I'm saying.


JILLIAN HUGHES: If I could, I would--

KENNY CURTIS: That's all I'm saying.

JILLIAN HUGHES: --because he may be a mode of transportation, but he's the best mode of transportation.


No one's turning down a ride on the Pegasus.

KENNY CURTIS: I can't argue with that.

JILLIAN HUGHES: But it was good. Here, let's-- we're going to hug it out. Family first.

KENNY CURTIS: Oh, oh, family hug. oh.

JILLIAN HUGHES: Even though I kicked her butt.

KENNY CURTIS: Yeah, whatever.


MOLLY BLOOM: And that's it for today's debate battle. Sidney crowned Pegasus the Smash Boom Best. But what about you?

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

MOLLY BLOOM: Smash Boom Best is brought to you by Brains On and AP studios.

JILLIAN HUGHES: It's produced by Molly Bloom, Hans Buetow, Anna Weggel, and Aron Woldeslassie. Our editors are Sanden Totten and Shahla Farzan. Fact checking by Anna Goldfield.

MOLLY BLOOM: We had engineering help from Aaron Gandia, Brandon Lackey, and Derek Ramirez, with sound design by Rachel Brees. Original theme music by Marc Sanchez. Episode art by Emily C Bernstein.

KENNY CURTIS: We had production help from the Brains On Universe team. Rosie DuPont, Anna Goldfield, Nico Gonzalez Wisler, Ruby Guthrie, Lauren Humpert, Joshua Ray, Mark Sanchez, and Charlotte Traver.

MOLLY BLOOM: Beth Perlman is our executive producer, and the executives in charge of APM Studios are Chandra Kavati and Joanne Griffith. Our announcer is Marley Feuerwerker-Otto. And we want to give a special thanks to Austin Cross and Taylor Kaufman, Euan Kerr, and Rebecca Benjamin. Jillian, is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to today?

JILLIAN HUGHES: Yes. Let me say a big shout out to my husband Brian and my beautiful kids Everett and Kendall, and then also Morgan, Andrew, Devin, Molly, Sean, Malia, my beautiful siblings. I did this for us! I defeated dad for all of us! This is a victory for the Curtis kids. Love you all.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] And how about you, Kenny? Any special shout outs?

KENNY CURTIS: How am I going to follow that? I just want to give a shout out to my wife, Kim, mom, who is probably the only person who will give me at least a little bit of comfort today. The rest of them will be joining Jillian in her victory lap around the house.

MOLLY BLOOM: And how about you, Sidney? Any special thanks or shout outs?

SIDNEY: I would like to thank my sister because I wouldn't have been able to do this without her.

MOLLY BLOOM: Before we go, let's check in and see who Hugo thinks should win his Nintendo versus PlayStation debate.

HUGO: I think Nintendo would win because they created their greatest game series of all time, The Legend of Zelda.

MOLLY BLOOM: If you're between the ages of 13 and 18 and you'd like to be a judge, or if you're any age and you have an idea for a knock down drag out debate, head to and drop us a line. And make sure to subscribe to Brains On Universe on YouTube where you can watch animated versions of some of your favorite episodes. That's it for this season of Smash Boom Best. We'll be back on August 8 with a whole new season of debate battles. Bye.






Smash Boom Best. Oh, put you through the test. Oh, it was Smash Boom Best. Oh, better than the rest. It's Smash Boom Best. It's Smash Boom Best.

KENNY CURTIS: Horseman-- oh, wait I don't have to do this in one breath, do I?

MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, no, you're back to normal breathing. You can do whatever you want.

KENNY CURTIS: Sorry, I took a deep breath.

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