University of Richmond’s Edward L. Ayers, president emeritus, will be a featured guest on an upcoming episode of “Adam Ruins Everything.”

Hosted by comedian Adam Conover, the show uses a combination of humor, history and science to debunk widespread misconceptions about a variety of topics.

For example, on a recent episode titled “Adam Ruins Forensic Science,” Adam takes a close look at myths associated with lie detectors, including the reliability of this tool. Using multiple expert sources and comedy, he informs viewers that truthful people actually fail polygraphs all the time simply because they are sweaty or nervous.

Ayers, a noted historian, will appear on a show focusing on elections, which will air on Nov. 10 at 10 p.m. on the cable channel truTV.

"I had a lot of fun working with Adam and his team.  The show manages to be funny and enlightening at the same time - a difficult feat."

“I’ve been a tremendous fan of Ed Ayers for years thanks to his BackStory podcast,” said Conover. “His ability to uncover surprising revelations about history and communicate them to a lay audience with ease and humor made him a perfect expert for our show. As a comedian and dilettante, it was a thrill to have the chance to work with an eminent historian whose work I so admire.” 

Full episodes of this show are also available online at if you log in through your TV service provider, and numerous clips are available on YouTube.

Produced by Big Breakfast, the show was born out of a popular CollegeHumor Original series that has generated more than 30 million views since premiering online with the video "Why Engagement Rings Are a Scam" in early 2014. The videos are available to watch on, which was co-founded by UR alum Josh Abramson, ’03.

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Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and President Emeritus
The Civil War
Digital Humanities