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I, Jesse Thorn, am one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business (I guess)


A tip of the cap to the kind people at Fast Company magazine, who have included me on their list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. I think I disappointed them when I filled out their creativity survey and said that I don’t really think of myself as creative or a businessperson… but they did like that I said when I’m blocked creatively I go to the thrift store. Anyway, I’m proud to be among genuinely great people like Conan O’Brien, Oprah Winfrey and Tina Fey. Oh, and my personal hero, Mr. Ryan Seacrest from Television, USA.

If you want to check out the little piece about me in print, it’s on page 121 of the June issue of Fast Company, which should be hitting newsstands now. Conan’s on the cover (I couldn’t make the photo shoot, so they had to go to their backup plan.)

(Special thanks to Esra Roise, who created the above illustration, and really captured my sparkling eyes and 1 1/2 chins.)

Judge John Hodgman Episode 25: The Girlfriend and the Grasshopper


Jeff says his live-in girlfriend Courtney habitually hides food from him. Courtney admits that she's hidden food in the past, but only to save Jeff from his own ravenous tendencies, and that she has since stopped the practice. Is Courtney a FOOD-HOARDER, or is Jeff a FOOD-STEALER?

You may view the evidence after the jump, and as always, you may subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or through this RSS feed.

MaxFunCon Conference Bags


Every attendee at MaxFunCon gets a conference bag, full of cool stuff.

If you or your business would like to put something in the bag, email We generally don't charge, as most conferences do. Instead, we ask that it be something cool that our attendees would actually like to get.

(So you know: about 225 people attend MaxFunCon.)

WTF: The Public Radio Show!


For about six months now, Sound of Young America editor Nick White and I have been working on a secret project. Now, the secret can be revealed... please welcome WTF with Marc Maron, the public radio series!

We've taken the hundreds of episodes of the WTF podcast and boiled them down to what we think is ten hours of exceptionally compelling radio. We've chosen the best stories and the best guests and made a ten-episode public radio series, produced by Marc, Nick and me.

Thanks to the kind support of Torey Malatia and Ira Glass, our first station commitment came from WBEZ and Chicago Public Media. We've got lots of other stations on tap, but feel free to let your station know it's available on PRX and that you love it. We hope that stations will air it this summer and early fall all over the country. (It was Torey and Ira's insistence, by the way, that led us to keep the name "WTF".)

If you want to hear the show, you can check it out, share it and review it on PRX. Our goal was to capture what makes WTF special and communicate it to folks who aren't comedy nerds - or even necessarily comedy fans. I think they sound wonderful.

Here's the first episode:

And here are the great promos Ira made out of the kindness of his (very kind) heart:

Stop Podcasting Yourself 166 - Brent Butt

Brent Butt

Comedian and TV star Brent Butt joins us to talk conspiracies, Gigolos, and backstage riders.

Download episode 163 here. (right-click)

Brought to you by: (click here for the full list of sponsors)

May Underwriting Update


The Sound of Young America and Maximum Fun are made possible by listener support. TSoYA also receives support from a handful of commercial underwriters, and each month, we publish a post to highlight these underwriters -- letting you know who they are and what they do.

This month, we've received underwriting support from the following:

Ask MetaFilter
This website is a forum for questions and answers about everything in life. Members post questions and the community responds. Of course, you don't have to be a member to be able to search the database for answers to questions about topics from cooking to relationships to video games. To learn more or to join, visit

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
FSG books are the publishers of John Waters' latest, Role Models, which is now available in paperback. Role Models is a self-portrait told through profiles of Waters' favorite personalities -- some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some surprisingly middle-of-the-road. The book is a personal invitation into the mind of the man who brought us movies like Pink Flamingos and Hairspray. Role Models is available wherever books are sold.

VGKids make custom merchandise for bands, websites, festivals, record labels, and entrepreneurs of all kinds. They print t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, posters, custom vinyl stickers, and more. If you signed on as a new donor during our March pledge drive, you recently received a MaxFunPack with a custom mailer made just for us by VGKids.

To all of our May underwriters: Thank You!

If you're interested in underwriting The Sound of Young America, visit our sponsorships page to learn more.

Prodigy, Rapper and Member of Mobb Deep: Interview on The Sound of Young America


Prodigy (aka Albert Johnson) is a Grammy Award-winning rapper. He and his collaborator Havoc founded the seminal hip hop duo Mobb Deep. His new autobiography is My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep's Prodigy.

Click here for a transcript or
Click here to stream or download the interview.

JESSE THORN: It's The Sound of Young America, I'm Jesse Thorn. My guest, Prodigy, is one of the fathers of hardcore hip hop. As a teenager in the early 1990s, he and his partner Havoc, found an East Coast answer to the emerging West Coast gangster sound. As Mobb Deep, their tone was dark, eerie, and minimal; and their lyrics cold and brutal. Let's take a listen to Prodigy's opening verse from Shook Ones Part II, the apical single from the apical record, The Infamous.

Prodigy was recently released from three years in prison on gun charges, and he's just put out an autobiography called My Infamous Life and a new free digital record called The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson EP.

Prodigy, welcome to The Sound of Young America, how are you?

PRODIGY: How you doing, man? Thank you, I'm doing good, I'm doing really good.

My Brother, My Brother and Me 55: Spaghettageddon


We did another episode together in the same room, sitting on the same couch. We're very sorry about the slight dip in sound quality that comes as a result, but we do not apologize for the weird, weird things we say due to our proximity. See you guys at Pasta Party 2012!

Suggested talking points: Destination Wedding, Ally McBathroom, A Frame for Fame, The Gym Ruiner, French Science/British Crime, The Pussycat Discography, The Book of Robots, Sister Sister, The Shrek Ending, Violet Bonergard

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 175: The Hare Krishna Gang with Tig Notaro

Tig Notaro

Comic Tig Notaro of the Professor Blastoff podcast joins Jesse and Jordan to discuss late-night smoke alarm searches, gangs of hare krishnas and more.

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