The MaxFun Blog

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you and our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you. About

Dog Russell Crowe


Is Dog Russell Crowe the greatest unaired sketch in Conan history? Or is the the greatest sketch in Conan history BAR NONE?


JJGo on Ask A Ninja


The friendly folks at Ask A Ninja were kind enough to invite me on their show this week. The Ninja interviewed me and I performed a sketch - those will air later this week - but the first video was this one. It combines the Ninja murdering me for pledge driving with some audio from our JJGo live show in SF.

Thank-You Gifts Look Like This!


We're very excited about the thank-you gifts we're offering during this MaxFunDrive. To get one, become a new donor or increase your donation by March 13!

At the $35 per month level and above, donors will receive this awesome Nerdmergency Kit, including an Etón Self-Powered AM/FM/Weather radio with flashlight, solar charging, and USB power station/phone charger, and so much more!

Get the Nerdmergency Kit.

New donors at the $20 per month level and higher will get this MaxFun USB drive, loaded with favorite episodes of Jordan, Jesse, Go!; Judge John Hodgman; My Brother, My Brother & Me; Stop Podcasting Yourself; and The Sound of Young America.

Get the MaxFun USB Drive.

New and current donors at the $10 per month level and higher will get a MaxFun tote in a choice of five great designs. The totes are made by ECOBAGS® and designed for a variety of uses like grocery shopping, daily errands, craft projects, travel, etc. All seams and stress points are double stitched for durability, and the bag folds easily and fits in smaller spaces. Plus, high-quality printing by V.G. Kids!

Get the tote.

Thinking about donating? Go to to learn more or sign up!

If you have any questions about donations or thank-you gifts, feel free to email me (theresa at maximum fun dot org).

Our thanks to Brian Fernandes of Brianstorm Creative for these beautiful gift mock ups!

TSOYA Classics: Japanese Robots (January 26, 2007)

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In this TSOYA classic, Jesse talks with Tim Hornyak, the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots."

Jesse and Hornyak discuss the attitude differences between the United States and Japan towards the use of robots in daily life. Hornyak explains that Japanese currently utilize robots in museums, hospitals, and other public areas. He believes Americans are too "robophobic," uncomfortable with having robots as a part of human society. Listen for more information on the increasing robot technology and be prepared for robot migration to your neighborhood!

Listen Now

Subscribe to TSOYA Classics: iTunes / Feed

My Brother, My Brother and Me 44: Chunk Pump


We hope you love unprecedentedly long episodes of podcasts, dearest friends, because that's exactly what you're getting -- this here episode contains a plump 81 minutes of wisdom and joy. We also hope you love supporting extra-long advice podcasts, because it's pledge week! We could really use a hand -- after all, we ain't heavy. We're your brothers.

Suggested talking points: Sexypants, Dragon Puberty, The Laws of Love, Ezekiel's Next Top Sister Wife, B'Doodleykitten, Paul Reubens' Dark Secret, The Thrill of the Chase, New Englandish

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "The Amateur Traveler Travel Podcast"

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Vital stats:
Format: interviews with travelers, plus travel news and tips
Episode duration: 25-45m
Frequency: weekly
Archive available on iTunes: number 30 onward

I can’t close the Kayak tab open as I write this. Interpret that as a testament to the power of The Amateur Traveler Travel Podcast [RSS] [iTunes], which, despite that title whose ungainliness I only now realize, stokes the trav’lin fires in (I assume) all who listen. In my case, it helped that the show’s archive of hundreds of episodes happened to offer one or more about everywhere I want to go, be it Mexico City [MP3], Seoul [MP3], Iceland [MP3], or Ethiopia [MP3]. I’m packed. Let’s do this.

But that’s not to call it an exoticist’s podcast. It first favorably struck me that the episodes on my well-la-de-da destinations listed above stood shoulder-to-shoulder with explorations of places that a regular old North American just might forget about, like Prince Edward Island [MP3], northern Ohio [MP3], and Wisconsin [MP3]. I smiled upon seeing a two-part special on Los Angeles [MP3] [MP3], my favorite (and most-visited) city of all. My enthusiasm for L.A. has reached such a strength that it barely took a ding when I listened to the episodes themselves, interviews with an L.A.- native (a) “social media expert” who (b) recommends the Sunset Strip, (c) makes no mention of Little Ethiopia or Koreatown, and (d) talks like he’s about to shove me into a wall of lockers.

Every episode of The Amateur Traveler takes the form of Skype interviews between host Chris Christensen and some resident of a place or a frequent visitor to that place, a format that works both to the good and to the ill. Episodes tend to stand or fall on the guests’ personalities: fantastic when they turn out to be engaging people with stories to tell, but less than fantastic when they don’t. Either way, they can’t expect help from the setup: despite coming off as a sharp, curious guy, Christensen uses a bewilderingly ineffective interviewing strategy.

Rarely do questions follow from the guest’s previous answer; base a drinking game on Christensen’s tendency to come back with nothing but “Okay,” “Interesting,” and/or a chuckle at your peril. Now, as an interviewer and an interviewing geek both, I labor under a hypersensitivity about interviewing principles, one of which dictates that you should aim to ask questions askable by nobody but you and answerable by nobody by your guest. Hard to think of a more flagrant violation than asking every single guest what surprised them about their place, what disappointed them about their place, what their favorite day in their place was like, what three words best describe their place, etc. These simplify the job, sure, but they also put up a thick barrier against genuine conversation.

Nevertheless, Christensen does a valuable service. You’d have to work hard not to learn from his podcast, and you’d have to work even harder to stop it from moving you to browse airfaires. The Amateur Traveler opens a window on the travel culture I so sorely yearn to join — I got my passport shamefully late, at almost 24, to go to Canada — but, like The Indie Travel Podcast, it also offers a glimpse at what looks to me like some habitual travelers’ bland unreflectiveness, which at times borders dangerously on nihilism. “I got to see one more cathedral,” goes the show’s theme song, “I got to sit in one more café.” But to what end? The travelers here get little time to go into their deeper reasons for doing what they do, mostly cleaving to talk of sights, food, and pure logistics, but perhaps listening to more of them will bring me to an understanding. This program certainly makes it easy to put in the hours.

[Podthinker Colin Marshall also happens to host and produce The Marketplace of Ideas [iTunes], a public radio show and podcast dedicated to in-depth cultural conversation that, this week, needs 198 new subscribers to survive the year.]

The MaxFunDrive: It's On!


We've got two weeks of very special shows headed your way. Our whole operation depends on your support, so don't forget to do your part.

When you do, don't be afraid to brag. You are A Great Person. Facebook it, blog it and hashtag it #MaxFunDrive on Twitter.


Weird Al Yankovic: Interview on The Sound of Young America

"Weird Al" Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic is the undisputed king of parody music and the all-time bestselling accordionist. His new children's book is When I Grow Up. His new album is due this summer.

JESSE THORN: I’m tempted to say that my next guest needs no introduction, except that it occurs to me now that this is the radio and you can’t see him. He’s Weird Al Yankovic; probably the best song parodist of all time. He’s sold more than 12 million records, and now he has a brand new book for kids called When I Grow Up that was a New York Times best seller. His new record comes out in the summer, and it’s such an honor to have him on The Sound of Young America. Weird Al, welcome to the show.

WEIRD AL YANKOVIC: I appreciate that, thank you.

Click here for a full transcript of this show.





The Maximum Fun Drive starts TOMORROW!

Monday Morning!

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