Drunk History

Ep 20: Go Fact Yourself with Matt Besser and Lyric Lewis

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Jody Duncan, J. Keith Van Straaten, Lyric Lewis, Helen Hong, Matt Besser
Guests: 
Lyric Lewis and Matt Besser
Guests: 
Jody Duncan and Debby Schriver
Guests: 
J. Keith Van Straaten
Guests: 
Helen Hong

Matt Besser is a comedian, actor, writer, director and founding member of The Upright Citizens Brigade. He also hosts the weekly podcast improv4humans. He tells J. Keith about the two word prompts he’s banned at shows (hint: one’s a type of fruit and the other is a type of animal), and how it came about that he’s featured on his very own Topps baseball card.

Lyric Lewis is an actress and Groundlings Theater performer who’s perhaps best known for her role as Stef on NBC’s A.P. Bio. You may also recognize Lyric from Comedy Central’s Drunk History, and she tells us about an upcoming episode she did about “Cleopatra’s punk ass little sister”.

In this episode, we’ll learn about how Matt adapted the visual format of improv to an audio-only medium, how Lyric used astrology to sort out potential dating prospects, and why Matt claims his memory is spotty, even though Lyric has a hard time believing him.

What’s the difference?

What’s the difference between “damping” and a “dampening”?

What’s the difference between “club soda” and “seltzer?”

Areas of Expertise

Matt Besser: Arkansas cults, Arkansas Razorback football post-1978 and the film Repo Man

Lyric Lewis: The film Jurassic Park, Greek mythology and astrology.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Matt Besser
Lyric Lewis

With guest experts:

Debby Schriver, an author whose book Whispering in the Daylight: The Children of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and their Journey to Freedom is about to become a documentary.

Jody Duncan, the author of numerous books about the making of movies.

Go Fact Yourself was devised by Jim Newman and J. Keith van Straaten, and produced in collaboration with Maximum Fun. The show is recorded at the Angel City Brewery in downtown Los Angeles.

Theme Song by Jonathan Green
David McKeever is the Live Sound Engineer.
Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher
The show is edited by Julian Burrell.

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Jon Mooallem & Elmore Leonard

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jon Mooallem
Guests: 
Elmore Leonard
Guests: 
Nathan Rabin
Guests: 
Tasha Robinson

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

How To Save A Species: Jon Mooallem At The Corner of Imagination and Extinction

Whether it's The Lion King, Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man", or the last kitten video you saw on Youtube, we are constantly inundated with stories about animals. Wilderness has taken a deep hold on our collective imaginations. And at a time when conservation science is making gigantic leaps, while dozens of species are disappearing every single day, the narratives that humans weave about animals have never had such drastic consequences.

It's this phenomenon that inspired Jon Mooallem to write his new book, Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America. Mooallem is interested in how people see, and have seen, wild animals. Focusing on three specific endangered species--the Polar bear, the metalmark butterfly, and the whooping crane--the book explores the intricacies and the repercussions of America's relationship with the wild. Mooallem has contributed to New York Times Magazine, This American Life, Harper's, Wired, The New Yorker, and Radiolab.

Jon tells us about North American dire wolves (yes, dire wolves), America's strange relationship with Humphrey the humpback whale, and the philosophical questions that conservation scientists must ask themselves while donning giant bird costumes.

Black Prairie, a Portland-based band featuring members of The Decemberists, recorded a soundtrack for the book called Wild Ones: A Musical Score for the Things That You Might See in Your Head When You Reflect on Certain Characters and Incidents That You Read About in The Book. They will begin touring with Jon Mooallem next week.

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Kurt Braunohler: "How Do I Land?"

Comedian Kurt Braunohler thinks he can make the world a better place through stupidity, absurdity, and fake Hallmark cards.

His new stand-up album, How Do I Land is available now.

The Dissolve Recommends Documentaries: A Band Called Death and Stories We Tell

Staff Writer Nathan Rabin and Senior Editor Tasha Robinson, from The Dissolve, join us to share two documentaries out now on DVD.

Nathan recommends A Band Called Death, a look at the rise, fall, and eventual resurrection of a band of three black brothers from Detroit who played punk music in the early 1970s.

Tasha recommends Stories We Tell, directed by Oscar-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley. Stories We Tell explores the nature of truth, memory, and family secrets, as Polley tries to uncover her own family's history through personal interviews that start seeming more and more like myth than fact.

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Remembering Elmore Leonard (1925-2013)

Author Elmore Leonard died last month. To honor the great pulp fiction writer, we are airing an excerpt from our interview with him from 2007.

Leonard had a style, a story schema, and a voice of which he was truly a master. His characters got into trouble, the problems grew larger, and they spoke to each other with honed dialogue that influenced readers, writers, and filmmakers for decades. His novels inspired such films as Get Shorty, Out Of Sight, Jackie Brown, and 3:10 To Yuma.

He talks about his love for Hemingway's style, why his dozens of Western novels were more true to life than the stuff he saw on TV, and how nothing gave him more pleasure than sitting down and getting characters to talk.

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The Outshot: Drunk History

Drunk History on Comedy Central has a pretty simple, crude concept: get comedians roaringly hammered and have them talk about their favorite moment in American history. Jesse explains why this is more beautiful than you'd think.

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