5 Interesting Things You Need To Know About Dan Carlin

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Dan Carlin is an American journalist, podcaster and political commentator. He is best known for being the host of three podcasts, Hardcore History, Common Sense with Dan Carlin and Hardcore History: Addendum. In the past, Carlin has worked as a television news reporter and radio talk show host. He and his podcasts have won several awards, this is especially true of his most popular podcast, the Hardcore History podcast. In Hardcore History episodes he generally narrates and explains complex historical events and people in simplest most entertaining possible terms.

5 Things You Should Know About Dan Carlin

Early Life

Dan Carlin was born on November 14, 1965. His father Ed Carlin was a film producer and his mother Lynn Carlin is an Actress. Carlin was a student at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he studied and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History.

He began his career as a television news reporter with KVAL-TV at Oregon in the late 1980s. One of his assignments as a TV news reporter was the coverage of the Los Angeles riots of 1992. Before transitioning to the world of podcasting in 2005, Carlin also held jobs as a columnist, author and radio talk show host.

Between 1994 and 2004, he was primarily a radio talk show host and his self-described posture as a non-partisan neo-prudentist especially regarding political affairs and trends during his time as talk show host and political commentator often left his bosses frustrated as he mostly takes a skeptical stance and never hesitated to criticize both the political right or left whenever he saw fit.

Carlin began experimenting with internet radio in the 1990s. Not long after, he was approached by a computer programmer with the idea to launch his show on the internet and so, he set up a company and started uploading amateur content on the web. However, things really kicked off when he launched his first podcast – Common Sense with Dan Carlin in 2005. His Common Sense podcast’s focus is on political trends and current affairs. The podcast earned a Podcast Award nomination for Best Political/News podcast 2012 as well as 2013.

Hardcore History

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast gets downloaded millions of times per episode. He launched the podcast in 2006 at the insistence of his mother-in-law who had been a pleased listener of his dinner table history table for a long time. At the time Common Sense was gaining momentum.

On this podcast, Carlin gives narratives of some of the most dramatic moments in history in an unusually entertaining way as compared to boring history classes. Hardcore History provides listeners with interesting perspectives and anecdotes that are often left out in traditional history classes. His conspiratorial tone and conversational asides leave listeners hooked for episodes lasting up to four and sometimes over five hours. Each episode focuses on an epochal event in history and sometimes a series of episodes are created when a topic is too long to be covered in a single episode.

Hardcore History started out with episodes that lasted less than an hour but evolved over time to have much longer episodes, with a few going up to 6 hours. The first episode of Hardcore History was Alexander Versus Hitler where Dan makes a comparison between Adolf Hitler and Alexander the Great.

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Some of the more popular episodes of Hardcore History are The Macedonian Soap Opera in July 2007, Wrath of the Khans series that aired between 2012 and early 2013, The American Peril in 2013, and The Celtic Holocaust in 2017 among several others. Presently Carlin takes over four months to produce an episode of Hardcore History.


At the time Dan Carlin was born and decades after, his parents were actively involved in the film industry. His father, Edward “Ed” Carlin (born August 23, 1932) was an American film producer. Ed Carlin produced and co-produced a host of films throughout his career, some of these include The Night God Screamed in 1971, Blood and Lace in 1971, Mama’s Dirty Girls in 1974, The Manhandlers in 1974, The Swinging Barmaids in 1975, The Student Body in 1976, Moonshine County Express in 1977, The Evil in 1978, Beyond the Stars in 1980, Superstition in 1982, Fast Gun in 1988, and Private Lessons II in 1993. Ed Carlin passed away in October 1996, he was 64 years old at the time of his passing.

Dan Carlin’s mother, Lynn Carlin is an American film and television series actress. Lynn Carlin (formerly Mary Lynn Reynolds) was born on January 31, 1938, in Los Angeles, California. Lynn Carlin earned an Oscar nomination in 1968 for Best Supporting Actress in 1968 for playing the role of Maria in the John Cassavetes film Faces, this was her first feature role.

Lynn Carlin has performed in several movies and television shows since after her role in Faces, some of her movie roles include playing Julia Little in tick…tick…tick… (1970), Linda Connors in A Step Out of Line (1971), Lynn Tyne in Taking Off (1971), Fran Lester in The Morning After (1974) Margaret Houston in The Honorable Sam Houston (1975), Mrs. Weber in French Postcards (1979), Nell’s voice in Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) and Melinda Leahy in Superstition (1982) among several others.

Lynn Carlin’s television series roles include playing Sara Griffith Bridges in The Waltons between 1975 and 1979, she also played Meg Hunter in James at 15 between 1977 and 1978 as well as Lorraine Klein in Strike Force in 1981. Prior to her marriage with Ed Carlin, Lynn was married to Peter Hall from 1958 to 1960. She married Ed Carlin in 1963 and they were divorced in 1974. She is presently married to John Wolfe. They have been married since 1983.


Dan has managed to keep his immediate family away from the every prying eyes of the media. Dan Carlin is married and lives with his wife and two children in Eugene, Oregon.

Criticism from Historians

Dan Carlin has come under some criticism from historians for having a simplistic approach to teaching history, in effect leaving out important nuances a more sophisticated approach would have catered to. To this Carlin usually insists he is not a historian but a lover of history and so an academic approach should not be expected of him.

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