The Blog of Young America

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MaxFunDrive 2015: Frequently Asked Questions (And Answers)

How do I donate?
It's simple. Go to Choose a donation level. Tell us what shows you listen to. Tell us your credit card information.

Why are you supported by donation?
The short version: because we'd rather be beholden to our audience than beholden to people trying to sell things to our audience, and we'd rather not exclude anyone from enjoying our content. We turn down a lot of advertising that we find distasteful or feel with make your listening experience unpleasant.

How much of your revenue comes from donations?
About 75% of our revenue comes from listeners directly supporting the shows.

How do you decide who gets paid what?
It's a very direct process. About 25% of your monthly donation goes to run the network - that's rent, staff, and the costs of the pledge drive. About 75% is divided evenly between the shows you listen to. You are directly supporting the shows and their creators.

Who Gets Bonus Content?
There are over 50 hours of bonus content. They're accessible to anyone who is a monthly donor. You'll find the feed address on the thank-you page, and in the email you receive after you donate.

I didn't get an email right away?
Give it a little time. You'll get an email with your receipt, but sometimes it takes a few hours.

I'm a monthly donor. Do I need to renew?
Unless you've changed your credit card or billing address, your donation will continue. However, if you're listening to more shows or MaxFun is a bigger part of your life, you can reflect that (and get a thank-you gift) by increasing your donation.

I want to upgrade my donation! How do I do it?
It's pretty easy. Just go to the donate page and click on Upgrade, or use this link

Why monthly subscriptions and not one-time donations?
Ultimately, it's folks who give (even a little) on a continuing basis who pay for our shows. One-time donations are much more expensive to (in non-profit terms) "acquire," because we have to ask every time. They're also inconsistent and make it incredibly difficult to create a sustainable budget. Monthly donations (again, even small ones) give our shows a consistent budget to plan their year. They also mean we don't have to inconvenience people (and lose donors) by asking them to sign up repeatedly. That said, if you'd like to make a one-time donation, we'll gladly accept it and put it toward the cost of the drive. You can donate online here or mail it to Maximum Fun / 2404 Wilshire Blvd. #9A / Los Angeles, CA 90057.

I want to upgrade to a level that doesn't exist! What do I do?
The easiest thing to do is upgrade to a level that *does* exist, but if for example you're at $35/month and want to kick it up a notch without going all the way to $100/month, we can help you. Email

I want to become a major part of supporting guiding MaxFun in the future. What can I do?
Of course all of our donors and all of our listeners are a huge part of guiding and supporting MaxFun, but if you'd like to make a commitment beyond monthly donations, email and we can share some information about the advisory board we're putting together.

How much money do you make?
The amount that our shows make varies pretty widely based on audience. Some newer shows with smaller audiences and donor bases gross hundreds of dollars a month. Our more established shows with larger audiences gross mid-four-digits per month.

Why not just have lots of ads?
There are lots of costs involved in having ads. You have to pay someone to sell them, the advertiser has to pay someone to buy them (believe it or not, media buyers and ad agencies take huge percentages), and they're very difficult to sell against audiences of less than millions. More importantly though, we value your time. Take a look at this calculation - if you make $10 an hour, even watching one ad-supported TV show regularly costs you about ten bucks a month of your time. We don't want to put you through that.

Is a 501c3 non-profit?
Nope. Non-profits have lots and lots of logistical requirements that we don't have the resources to manage. We're really happy as a "dual bottom line" company - with our goals being to earn money and make the world better with great, responsible content.

I'm a donor. Can I update my donation?
Yes. If you're listening to new shows, the best thing to do is to upgrade your donation to reflect that! This means that the shows you listened to before won't get a pay cut when you add new shows to the list. If you can't afford to increase your donation, you can also spread your current donation out more by simply updating your membership.

Which shows should I say I listen to?
The ones you actually listen to.

Will you take bitcoins?
Fine. Print them out and mail them to us or whatever. Just know that we'll probably use them to buy heroin online.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Patton Oswalt, 'Fresh Off the Boat' & Jemaine Clement

Patton Oswalt
Randall Park
Nahnatchka Khan
Jemaine Clement

It's MaxFunDrive time! The production of Bullseye is funded by your donations. Become a monthly sustaining member now, and get cool thank you-gifts, plus unlock challenge funds from other donors and help us meet our goal of 2000 new and upgrading members by March 27th. Just visit!

Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Patton Oswalt on Immersion in Art (and Life)

There was a period of time in the mid to late 1990s when Patton Oswalt spent most of his waking hours indoors. He'd be in a TV writers' room all day, make his way to the movie theater for a film or two, and then hit the stand up stage before going to sleep. Then he'd get up and do it all over again.

His movie obsession was supposed to teach him how to be a filmmaker and create better art, but he found he was missing out on life, and art was no substitute.

Oswalt's new book is called Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life From an Addiction to Film.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.

Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Jemaine Clement on Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life"

You likely know Jemaine Clement best as half of the New Zealand comedy-music duo The Flight of the Conchords. Their show ran for several seasons on HBO.

More recently, Clement co-wrote, -directed and -stars in the new movie What We Do in the Shadows, about modern day vampire housemates.

What song changed his life? Stevie Wonder's recording of "For Once in My Life".

What We Do in the Shadows is in theaters now.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.

Photo: ABC/Bob D'Amico

The Asian-American Sitcom in 2015: Randall Park and Nahnatchka Khan on 'Fresh Off the Boat'

Fresh Off the Boat is the first network sitcom about Asian-Americans in a long time, and that's a big deal. The creative team behind the show, including memoirist Eddie Huang, showrunner Nahnatchka Khan and star Randall Park have publicly grappled with that blessing and burden. How do you retain the specificity of the Tawainese-American experience and provide that to a group of Americans who are hungry for mass-market representation, and also make a show that's big-tent enough to welcome hundreds of millions of Americans who don't know what bao are?

We're joined by Nahnatchka Khan and Randall Park to talk about trying to achieve those goals, how they see their own American experiences, and how to write a sitcom dad who's not dumb.

Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on ABC.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.

The Outshot: The Perfect Sly & the Family Stone Album

Jesse explains how Sly and the Family Stone made a perfect album, even as they slowly disintegrated as a group.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this Outshot with someone.

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RISK! Live in LA

05/28/2015 - 21:00
Los Angeles
Venue Name: 
NerdMelt Theater ; 7522 West Sunset Blvd

RISK!'s monthly LA live storytelling at the NerdMelt Theater on May 28th. This month our theme is "Lies", and we are excited to present stories from:

Greg Fitzsimmons (The Greg Fitzsimmons Show, The Adam Carolla Podcast)
Drew Droege (The Huffington Post, The Sarah Silverman Program)
Peyton Clarkson ( House of Dust, Meter Maids)

Hosted by Beowulf Jones (LA RIOT Festival, MyDamnChannel)


Buy Tickets

RISK! is a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public” hosted by Kevin Allison, of the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe The State. The award-winning live show happens monthly in New York and Los Angeles. It’s featured people like Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Nealon, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, Lili Taylor, Rachel Dratch, Andy Borowitz and more, dropping the act and showing a side of themselves we’ve never seen before. Rolling Stone Magazine featured it on their list of "25 Best Comedy Podcasts In The Country" and called it “jaw-dropping, hysterically funny, and just plain touching.”

RISK! #625: Gross

Selena Coppock, James Judd, Jamie Pinto and Travis Cook tell stories of icky life and yucky times.
Selena Coppock
James Judd
Jamie Pinto
Travis Cook
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RISK! Live in NY

05/28/2015 - 21:30
Venue Name: 
The People's Improv Theater ; 123 East 24th St

RISK!'s monthly NY live storytelling at the PIT on May 28th. This month our theme is "Nightmare", and we are excited to present stories from:

Kevin Allison
Ray Christian and more!

Hosted by Kevin Allison


Buy tickets

RISK! is a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public” hosted by Kevin Allison, of the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe The State. The award-winning live show happens monthly in New York and Los Angeles. It’s featured people like Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Nealon, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, Lili Taylor, Rachel Dratch, Andy Borowitz and more, dropping the act and showing a side of themselves we’ve never seen before. The weekly podcast gets hundreds of thousands of downloads each month. called it “jaw-dropping, hysterically funny, and just plain touching.”

Stop Podcasting Yourself 365 - Ivan Decker

Ivan Decker

It's MaxFunDrive 2015, and Ivan Decker returns to talk motorcycles, ice cream, and teenage comedy. To support the show, go to and click "donate."

Download episode 365 here. (right-click)

Email us at "spy [at] maximumfun [dot] org" or phone us at (206) 339-8328.

Brought to you by:
(click here for the full recap)

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MaxFunDrive 2015 Gifts!


What's a pledge drive without gifts? You know we wouldn't do you like that. To be eligible for these gifts, just sign up as a new or upgrading member before March 27th. That's it! Here's the run down:

If you sign on as a MaxFun member at the $200 per month level, we'll cover your registration for MaxFunCon 2016. Included in registration is food, lodging, and entertainment for the whole weekend -- basically everything you'll need to have an awesome time at MaxFunCon, short of transportation there and a snazzy outfit for the big party.

Get the complementary MaxFunCon 2016 Registration

Become a member at $100 per month or more, and we’ll welcome you into The Inner Circle. MaxFun hosts are always discovering awesome music, movies, books, and once you're part of The Inner Circle, they'll share those picks with you. Each month, we ask a host to select a piece of culture they love, and we send a copy to you in the mail or digitally.

Join The Inner Circle, and get a hand-picked selection sent to you each month

Long-time MaxFunsters may have noticed a glassware theme around the $35 per month level, and this year is no different. We are thrilled to present to all new and upgrading $35 plus monthly members a pair of beautiful rocket engraved shot glasses. They make a perfect addition to any home bar -- use them to measure shots for mixed drinks or break them out at celebrations.

Get a pair of rocket engraved shot glasses

The gift package we put together for new and upgrading $20 plus monthly members is designed to appeal to road trippers, world travelers, or maybe just people whose phones frequently die. We are pleased to present the MaxFun In-Flight Power Pack. Complete with a portable device charger, a collapsible water bottle, a pack of anti-bacterial wipes (easily brought through security), and a set of pilot wings, we have all of your traveling needs covered.

Get the In-Flight Power Pack

We went back to the basics with this year's gift for new and upgrading monthly members who sign on at the $10 level or higher: a stylish, drive-exclusive tote bag. This bag bears the names of all of your favorite shows arranged in a classy rocket, word cloud design.

Get the tote bag

Finally, all of our members who give at least $5 per month are granted access to our collection of exclusive bonus content. You'll get over 50 hours of extra episodes, outtakes, Q&As, extended cuts, and pilots from all of your favorite shows. Become a member now, and start listening!

What are you waiting for? Go to to find out more and join or upgrade now!

If you have any questions about memberships or thank you gifts, please email

And thank you to Brian "Sunny D" Fernandes of Brianstorm Creative for these beautiful gift mockups.

Rendered #2 Choose Your Own Adventure!

Panels from "Meanwhile" by Jason Shiga
Choose Your Own Adventure author Edward Packard
ChooseCo publisher Shannon Gilligan
Actor Neil Patrick Harris (kind of)*
Cartoonist Jason Shiga
Author Doug Wilhelm
Multnomah County Library youth services outreach worker Cathy Camper

Listen to this episode on SoundCloud
Talk about it on Reddit
Subscribe in iTunes
Please support Rendered by becoming a member of Maximum Fun!

If, like me, you’re a child of the ‘80s, you probably remember Choose Your Own Adventure books. For a lot of us, it was our first experience with reading for fun.

Whether you were a die-hard fan of Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books or you're just discovering them for the first time, there is something in this episode for you. I talked to Edward Packard, who wrote the very first CYOA book and Shannon Gilligan, whose late husband, Ray Montgomery was a CYOA writer and the first publisher to take a chance on this innovative storytelling format. Shannon was a CYOA author herself and she now runs ChooseCo, the company that's now publishing some of the classic CYOA titles. You'll also hear from Jason Shiga, a huge CYOA fan and the cartoonist behind Meanwhile — a CYOA-style graphic novel for kids.

*Was I able to convince Choose Your Own Autobiography author Neil Patrick Harris to come on the show? There's only one way to find out!

After you listen, you'll probably want to check out Edward Packard's U-Ventures along with the ChooseCo books and CYOA author Doug Whilhelm's work. Youth librarian Cathy Camper also has a fantastic graphic novel for kids that should not be missed. It's called Lowriders in Space.

Thanks for listening and for supporting Rendered!

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MBMBaM 243: Lenny Kravitz Marinara Breast Milk


Happy MaxFunDrive, everybody! This is our first of two pledge drive episodes, and it's extra-long, meaning we have way more time to talk about haunted dolls and Travis' unhealthy relationship with food. Also: Lenny Kravitz Marinara Breast Milk.

Suggested talking points: Babypizza, Precog Wendy's, Mayonnaise Boys, Angel Lover, Photography Class, Food Faces, Burning Man Bartering, Chicken Memory, Fabric Secrets, Katie/Frida, Whip-Its Master

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MaxFunDrive 2015 is here!


It's the first day of the 2015 MaxFunDrive, and you know what that means, right? Two weeks of the best episodes of your favorite MaxFun shows! It's also the time to join up as a new MaxFun member or upgrade your existing membership. We have amazing gifts to tempt you (A stylish, drive-exclusive tote bag! The In-Flight Power Pack to help you sustain your jetsetting lifestyle! Rocket engraved shot glasses because we know you like to keep it classy!), and all members get access to our collection of over 50 hours of bonus content. That's a lot of goofs.

We've added a ton of new shows to the MaxFun family this year, and if you like these shows, they need your support now. Our goal is 2,000 new and upgrading members, which is pretty ambitious, but we know we can make it with your help. Becoming a member is easy. Just decide on an amount that's right for you, go to, and sign up there. That's it! Make sure you tell the world you're a MaxFun member on Twitter with the #MaxFunDrive hashtag.

Thank you so much for your support and listenership! Let's do this!

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