What Is Commercial Media Costing You? What's MaxFun Media Worth?


Opportunity cost is a core principle of economics. It essentially means the money you lose by doing one thing instead of another. If you get paid $20 an hour to sort mail, and take an hour off to file your nails, you lost $20. So filing your nails cost you $20. That’s opportunity cost, very broadly.

Like Mad Men, produces a bunch of weekly shows, mostly an hour or so in length. (Ours are on average a little longer, actually, but we’ll let that lie.) When you watch ad-supported media, there’s opportunity cost - the time you spend with the commercials is time you could have been making money. Or doing something else that you value as much as making money - say playing ball with your kid.

What if you donated to MaxFun an amount that matched what you “spend,” in opportunity cost, on the commercials in Mad Men?

Every episode of Mad Men features about 15 minutes of commercials. There are 4 1/3 weeks in a month, on average. So a little math shows us that you “spend,” in opportunity cost, your hourly salary * 1.08 every month watching Mad Men commercials.

Make ten bucks an hour? That’s $10.83 every month.
Make twenty? That’s $21.65.
Make fifty bucks an hour? $54.13.

And if you’re salaried, work 9-6 and get two weeks off a year…

$30,000 a year, and you’re “spending” $16.91.
$50,000 a year, and you’re spending $28.19.
$80,000 a year and you’re spending $45.13.

That’s EVERY MONTH on ONE SHOW. And don’t forget - you pay for cable so you can have the privilege of watching their ads. (And there’s ads built into the show! Conrad Hilton! That whole storyline! Bought and paid for! Seriously!)

So what if you gave that to support our shows every month? Or even half? If you did, it would go straight to the people whose work you love. Not execs or ad guys or shareholders or whatever.

Why don’t you? It’s easy. In fact, click here, and do it now.

I don’t think you shouldn’t watch Mad Men. I love Mad Men. I just think this is a great chance to think about how you’re paying for your entertainment. I think it’s worth valuing your time and attention, and valuing the content you care about.

(And yes, pedants, we sometimes have a couple brief ads in our show. Why don’t we call that and the advertisement-storylines a wash :)?

MaxFunDrive Update - 404!


Here on the lovely fourth day of the MaxFunDrive, we have another big update: we've gained 404 new members!

Also: the weather in LA is still beautiful and puppies are still very cute. Your donations make all these wonderful things possible.

Seriously, it is going well - but we still need your help to keep our programs running. Please donate today.

Progress: 404/1000 new donors - 40% of the way!

MaxFunDrive Update - 307!


So here we are - blasting off the third happy day of the MaxFunDrive! It's a beautiful day here in downtown Los Angeles . . .

Why? Well, for one, it's delightfully sunny and warm. But also: we have 307 new friends / members! Yay!

Become one of our members today! Visit

Stop Podcasting Yourself 211 - Charlie Demers

Charlie Demers

Comedian and writer Charlie Demers returns to talk about book clubs, Adele, moving, and Bob Balaban.

Download episode 211 here. (right-click)

And don't forget to donate to the MaxFunDrive.
Brought to you by: (click here to see the whole recap)

Stop Podcasting Yourself 210 - Alicia Tobin

Alicia Tobin

Comedian Alicia Tobin returns to talk about sexy music, neighbourhood drunks, and eating with strangers.

Download episode 210 here. (right-click)
And don't forget to donate to the MaxFunDrive.

Brought to you by: (click here to see the whole recap)

With 39 hours left... 590 new donors!


We're still humming along, but we've fallen behind the pace.

If you love what we're doing here, DONATE.

MaxFunDrive 2010 Thank You Gifts


The best part of the Maximum Fun Drive is, of course, the thank you gifts. Here's a list of these amazing treasures just waiting to be claimed by new donors. These gifts typically go in the first few days of the pledge drive, so give quickly if you want them.

To get a thank you gift, pledge at twenty dollars or more a month, and indicate your top three preferences, in order, in the field provided on the "Donate" page. We can't promise you'll get your first choice, but if past experience is a guide, you should get one of your picks.


Apelad Original Art for MaxFun


Our friend Apelad gave a nice last-day-of-pledge surprise: an original art auction to benefit MaxFun.

Last Day To Pledge!


Hey friends --

The last two days have been really great ones. We've had two of our most successful fundraising days ever. We've surpassed 500 new donors. Now, there's only one day left. Less than 24 hours.

If you haven't donated, do so now:

Our great friend, mentor and stalwart supporter John Hodgman has laid down the law: he will match all donations today up to a cool $1000. I'm really touched by his generosity, as I am touched by the generosity of all the folks who give to support this operation.

If you or a friend haven't yet, you can here:

If you have, please accept my sincere and emphatic thanks. I'm really excited about the next phase of MaxFun.


Our new pledge gift: Andy Daly's Mustache TV!


If you know, you know how much we love Andy Daly, the brilliant Los Angeles character comic. You may also know that we also love Andy Daly's GREATEST INVENTION: Mustache TV!

Mustache TV is the world's greatest party game. The best explanation comes from Andy himself, so here he is talking about it on TSOYA a few years ago:

In short, Mustache TV is a game kit which includes a rulebook and mustache. You put the mustache on your TV, then award yourself points according to the rulebook when the mustache falls on something -- an un-mustachioed face, the front of a car, the Queen of England, whatever. It makes anything you're watching 1000 times better, and any party 20,000 times more fun.

Of course, Andy's a big star now, and he doesn't have the time to make Mustache TV kits, so he hasn't sold them for a couple years now. No matter how many people email him begging.

But we cracked Andy's tough shell, and managed to get permission to be the exclusive distributor of Mustache TVs -- but only as a thank-you gift for our MaxFunDrive.

Between now and the end of the drive, if you donate $10 or more per month, you'll not only get our special pledge drive t-shirt, you'll also get a Mustache TV kit!

And guess what? Mustache TV is also our special existing donor thank you gift! If you were a monthly donor at $5/month or more before the drive, you'll receive a Mustache TV kit from us as our thank you for your continued support.

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