Rob Riggle: Global Investigator review: An energetic history series and exploration for all ages

Rob Riggle
Don’t let the humor fool you, lessons are learned with Rob Riggle: Global Investigator. Pic credit: Discovery.

Rob Riggle: Global Investigator on Discovery is finally here this spring forward March weekend!

History lessons can be as stale as day-old bread or brought to life using humor, wit, shock, and surprise. Discovery viewers are all about the mysteries of the planet and are brought into the journeys via several engaging hosts.

Now, Rob Riggle, who we know from The Daily Show and SNL, has a self-deprecating, about-face in his comedic style.

And using this, he has taken his past Shark Week cred and parlayed it into a fun globe-trotting adventure, sure to win fans of all ages.

This is a show that a grandfather can watch with his grandkids, family-friendly fare but not boring… just programming for all.

Rob Riggle: Global Investigator review

The age-old lost city of Atlantis is up at-bat for the premiere. The lure of its existence captured the imagination of humanity since the times of Plato.

The Plato of comedy IS Riggle. He takes a 3,500-year-old mystery and with tongue firmly in cheek, explores what we know and maybe what we want to know, but isn’t quite scientifically kosher.

But he gets there, and delightfully detours just enough to keep you locked in.

His show is a chase for new leads, using his comedic flair to disarm stoic academics as he tries to get to the bottom of the subject at hand. But never for a moment think that he lets the series devolve into slapstick, despite his breezier approach than an academic.

At the recent winter Television Critics Association press tour, Riggle was on a panel and expressed his delight at being compared in spirit to Indiana Jones.

He said of the comparison:

“A sense of curiosity I hope is what we [Indiana Jones] both share and a willingness to go find answers. And hopefully people will enjoy it. I hope they come along for the adventure. I always kind of viewed myself as an advocate for the audience. So, when I’m talking to experts I’ve tried to ask questions. If I was sitting at home, this is what I would ask. This is what I’d want to know. So, you know I’m not getting handed questions by producers all the time saying, ‘Well, you should ask this because it’s important to the story.’ No, no. I don’t want to know that. I want to know this. So, that’s kind of what I try to do.”

In the premiere episode, we not only get the dirt on Atlantis but find out you can get a hell of a fish pedicure while eating gelato in the ancient place too.

Good to know as the calluses are real in barefoot Greece where mega quakes are opening up the earth and allowing us to peek back in time at underwater antiquities.

This fact allowed Riggle to get in there and examine new evidence off Amoudi Bay (a seawater filled crater left behind from a massive eruption) and in Santorini, as the Minoan eruptions are revisited, and the parallels to accounts of Atlantis and the events of Santorini are compared.

Riggle dives into caves that hold secrets to the possible past of Atlantis:

If you have a kid who tunes out in history class, you may want to put them in front of this series.  The approach Riggle employs is whip-fast and equal parts silly, serious, and scientific.

Who is Rob Riggle, anyway?

Man of mystery, this strapping Kentucky born-and-bred Marine is a bonafide military man whose sense of humor took him from a serious career path to a more comedic bent, showing off his skills in timing and tone.

You could say he was born to do this sort of reporting with a comic twist.

Like a similar talent, cult icon Bruce Campbell, Riggle is a Hollywood outlier, who has a huge following of fans.

His unpredictable energy and humor were first noticed for Shark Week’s 30th anniversary in 2018 when he gave Shaquille O’Neal some tough love and helped him overcome his fear of sharks.

Then he made Shark Week 2019 one for the books last summer as Rob led a team of adventurist celebrities on the ultimate shark trip.

Riggle’s passion for adventure across the globe will see him in action, deployed to solve and investigate the world’s greatest mysteries.

There may be costumes, there may be fish pedicures, but the heart of series ultimately is to serve the mission: Get some answers, entertain in the process.

Rob will team up with experts and scholars that help him use history, archaeology, science, and more to uncover the truth, wrapping tasty bacon around the lesson.

Kids of all ages who have a thirst for knowledge can take in a lot of information and be amused in the process.

With his new series, Discovery has wisely counterbalanced the nerdier tried-and-true science-based hosts like Josh Gates with Riggle, who brings a new perspective to illuminating big mysteries with just enough cheek to grab a wider audience.

Rob Riggle: Global Investigator airs on  Sundays beginning March 8 at 10 PM on Discovery Channel.

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