Maximum Fun

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: John Waters and Andy Kindler

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
John Waters
Guests: 
Andy Kindler

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.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

John Waters on writing, death, and trigger warnings

John Waters is a director who hasn't made a movie in over a decade, and he doesn't really plan to make any more. He's directed some absolute classics like Pink Flamingos, Cry-Baby and probably most notably Hairspray. But even though he's not making movies he's keeping busy - he's done a ton of live performances, released a few compilation albums and he's a published author, too. He's written about half a dozen books, his latest is called Make Trouble. It's an illustrated transcript of a commencement speech he gave in 2015. He's also an actor - he played director William Castle in the latest season of FX's Feud, he even had a cameo in one of those Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.

This week, John and Jesse talk about how he keeps the motivation to work, even after he has achieved so much in his career. They talk about trigger warnings, and John tells Jesse why he was never interested in school.

His new book Make Trouble is available now.

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


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Andy Kindler on comedy writing, hack stand-ups, and staying funny while angry

Andy Kindler is a stand up comedian. He's also kind of the ombudsman for comedy. Every year since 1996, Andy's taken the stage at the Just for Laughs Festival to give what he calls the State of the Industry speech. Andy gets in front of a giant crowd of stand-ups and industry types and basically puts them all on blast. And it's given Andy a reputation as being sort of a comic's comic. Of course, it's also really, really funny - it gets a huge crowd every year.

Andy and Jesse talk about the hardest part of giving that State of the Industry speech- staying funny while being angry. They also talk about hack comedians of the 1980's and 90's and racism in the industry. Plus, Andy blesses us with very accurate impressions of some of your favorite comics.

You can watch Coming To The Stage on Hulu now. And there are still tickets available for this years Just for Laughs Festival where you can see Andy deliver his State of the Industry speech.

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


Photo: John Iacono/Sports Illustrated

The Outshot: Rickey Henderson

Jesse tells us about one of his favorite baseball players, Rickey Henderson.

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

Pop Rocket Episode 123: Celebrity Journalism

| 0 comments
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Abby Stern

This week, we have the gang back together plus celebrity journalist and novelist Abby Stern to talk the evolution and the current disintegration of celebrity journalism. We get a historical outline of celebrity journalism, from Hedda Hopper and Louis B. Mayer to TMZ and Instagram influencers. The gang explores the symbiotic relationship between celebrities and the press, and how that has evolved over time. We find out where each of our panelists' "do not report" line is when covering celebrities, and which era they think is best for celebrity journalism. We get a postmortem from Wynter regarding Phaedra's dramatic exit from Real Housewives of Atlanta and Margaret tells us about the jealousy she feels towards the French people after their latest election. Karen tells us about why she loves May sweeps and Guy gives us a reason to stop being mad at Susan Sarandon.

Abby's brand new book According To A Source, which will be released May 23rd, can be pre-ordered now!

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell, and Abby Stern.

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Other Links:
Phaedra's Fall From Grace
Guardian article on the French media not reporting on the Macron leaks

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Moshe Kasher, Brother Ali, and Felicia Day

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Moshe Kasher
Guests: 
Brother Ali
Guests: 
Felicia Day

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.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Moshe Kasher on his new Comedy Central show Problematic

Moshe Kasher has been a stand-up for the last 16 years. You've seen him on The Tonight show with Jimmy Fallon, Conan, and Chelsea Lately.

Now, he's got his own TV show. Problematic with Moshe Kasher is on Comedy Central right now. Like a lot of shows nowadays it has a comedian taking on issues of the day, talking with newsmakers. He's explored cultural appropriation on the show, technology, and Islamophobia, to name a few. But there's something really intriguing in the show's format. He talks with experts and everyday people and the result is this really frank and insightful conversation.

Moshe also had a pretty rough childhood. He grew in Oakland and got kicked out of a bunch of schools and did hard drugs for a while. He talks about that in his autobiography, Kasher in the Rye.

Moshe and Jesse talk about the rough parts about growing up in the Bay Area. He is candid about what he is learning in the transition between doing stand-up and hosting a television show. Finally, he tells us why he thinks a diverse representation of disabled people is lacking in the media, and why he is so keen to take on controversial issues on his new show.

You can watch Moshe's new Comedy Central TV show Problematic Tuesdays at Midnight and his autobiography Kasher and the Rye is out now.

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


Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Felicia Day on The Mighty Boosh

Felicia Day is a comedian, she's an actress, she's kind of a legend in the worlds of comedy and nerdy stuff. She had a recurring spot on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, worked with Wil Wheaton, she's also created and starred in her own web series called The Guild.

She tells us how with the weird British TV series The Mighty Boosh helped heal her with laughter, when she really needed help.

Felicia currently is starring in the anticipated reboot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix.

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

Photo: Daniel Yang

Brother Ali on his new album and why he's choosing beauty over resistance

Brother Ali is a rapper based out of Minnesota. He's part of the Rhymesayers collective - a label he shares with Aesop Rock, Dilated Peoples, and Atmosphere.

For the first part of his career, he focused a lot on making protest rap. His latest record is called All The Beauty In This Whole Life. And on it, he focuses on a lot more positive stuff. And he does it with a real honesty and openness at the same time. Ali talks about his faith a lot - he's been a Muslim since he was 15. He also talks about his albinism - and how having no pigment in his skin presented a ton of totally unique challenges growing up.

He and Jesse talk about what it was like growing up albino, and how that has affected his racial politics. He tells Jesse what it's like to have a black son in 2017, and why he's chosen to focus his music on love rather than protest in these tumultuous times.

His new album All The Beauty in This Whole Life is out now.

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


The Outshot: In The Night Kitchen

Jesse recommends the kids book In The Night Kitchen for children, or adults, who need to remember why dreams are so important.

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

Episode 9 – C-Compay written by Steve Agee & Rob Schrab

| 0 comments
Guests: 
Steve Agee as Steve Douglas
Guests: 
Matt Gourley as Murph
Guests: 
Janet Varney as Tammy
Guests: 
Dave Foley as Major Schooley
Guests: 
Wyatt Cenac as Brock Fenton/Shorty Espejo
Guests: 
Paul F. Tompkins as Shade
Guests: 
Andy Richter as Paisley
Guests: 
Joshua Malina as Fatty Espejo
Guests: 
Mark McConville as Dirt Face
Guests: 
Chris McCulloch as Aton/Ace Hunter
Guests: 
Tawny Newsome as Vasquez/Wembley/Cop
Guests: 
Andrew Reich with Stage Directions

In this episode of Dead Pilots Society, Ben Blacker and Andrew Reich interview Steve Agee (New Girl, The Sarah Silverman Program) and Rob Schrab (The Sarah Silverman Program ) regarding their dead pilot, C-Company. You'll also listen to a never-before-heard live table read of C-Company from SF Sketchfest 2017.

For more Dead Pilot Society episodes, please subscribe to the podcast! Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram , on Twitter, and visit our website at deadpilotssociety.com

Pop Rocket Episode 122: The Handmaid's Tale

| 0 comments
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

This week we have an all women episode of Pop Rocket! Karen is hosting, and the gang is talking about the new Hulu series of Margaret Atwood's 1985 classic novel The Handmaid's Tale. Margaret tells us about the differences between the series and the book. They explore whether or not Offred's internal dialogue works when portrayed as voiceover, and whether the racial make-up of the show was intentional. Does the music work, and does the show reflect anything from our current political climate? Margaret's all about is relishing in the dismantling of Fox News by the hands of its key contributors and Wynter talks about Netflix's Dear White People. Plus, the panel shares some light, vintage jams to help cleanse our palates after a particularly heavy discussion.

Read Margaret's interview with Margaret Atwood for the Los Angeles Times and don't forget to listen to Guy's interview with Atwood on Bullseye from 2015.

Jams:
Karen: Summertime - The Sunday's
Margaret: Perfect Strangers Theme Song
Wynter: California Girls -
Katy Perry

Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, and Wynter Mitchell

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

Other Links:
The Smarthmouth Podcast

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Pop Rocket Episode 121: Kendrick! Lorde! Gaga! The 2017 Music Special with Gerrick Kennedy

| 0 comments
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Gerrick Kennedy

This week, the gang (minus Guy) is joined by Gerrick Kennedy, music writer at the Los Angeles Times, to discuss the best album releases of 2017. For the first time in 33 years, there are no women in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100's chart. The gang discusses whether they think this is a fluke or a trend, how they think streaming services affect the numbers, and what this means for women musicians of color. They discuss the importance of the new Kendrick Lamar album Damn. and about early contestants for "The Song of the Summer" title. They talk about whether they think Ed Sheeran is creepy and why Harry Styles is a #HeForShe hero. Then, in lieu of jams and because Coachella just kicked off the start to the music festival season, the panel tells us about their dream music festivals-where they would be, who would be playing, and how much they would cost. All of this, plus each panelist tells us what they're all about.

Margaret Wappler, Karen Tongson, Wynter Mitchell, and Gerrick Kennedy

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Other Links:
Phil Elverum Pitchfork Piece by Jayson Greene
Here Lies Love
Ed Sheeran's Rolling Stone cover story
No Women in Hot 100's top 10 For The First Time in 33 years

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Pop Rocket Episode 120: The End of Girls with Las Culturistas

| 0 comments
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Matt Rogers
Guests: 
Bowen Yang

This week, the Pop Rocket panel has some extra help to talk about the 5 years and 6 seasons of Girls that ended this past Sunday from the New York based comedy duo Las Culturistas. As you can imagine, the gang has a lot to say during this post mortem. They talk about whether we got closure from the final episode, and whether Lena should have just stopped at the penultimate episode. Did the producers of Girls do enough to deal with the lack of racial diversity on the show over the 5 years? What role did nudity and sex play on show, and why was it so refreshing? Was Elijah used as a trophy or seen as a peer by Hannah? And did we think that this was a genuinely funny show? All of these questions will be answered, plus Bowen and Wynter are all about new video games, and Matt can't stop listening to the new Gaga. In lieu of jams this week, we get a master class in the signature segment on the Las Culturistas podcast, "I Don't Think So Honey"-- things get rowdy.

We also want to thank everyone who donated during the MaxFun Drive this year, and give a particular shoutout to those who donated on our shows behalf. Tweet at us if you made a donation to us and didn't receive your voicemail from Karen Tongson.

If you will be in the Los Angeles area this Friday, April 21st, make sure to check out Matt and Bowen's improv group Pop Roulette at UCB Sunset at 10:30 p.m.

Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Wynter Mitchell, and Bowen Yang, and Matt Rogers

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Bulleye With Jesse Thorn: Guy Branum

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Emily Lordi

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.


Photo:Jesse Thorn

Guy Branum on his new tv show and the importance of being charming

Guy Branum is a comedian, writer, actor, podcaster, and now host of his own new TV show, Talk Show The Game Show. Before his career in media, he had his sights set on being a lawyer, completing a law degree and passing the bar exam before leaving that life behind. He realized he had an overwhelming passion for pop culture, and he began his career in stand-up. Eventually, he landed a writing and commentator position on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, and is now a writer on The Mindy Project. He is the host of Bullseye's sister show and Maximum Fun's own Pop Rocket podcast.

In this extended interview, Guy tells Jesse about his new show and some of the challenges that came with creating it. He shares what it was like growing up gay in a farming town outside of Sacramento, his journey of coming out to his family and friends, and why he uses the word "charming" so often.

You can watch Guys show every Wednesday at 10/9c on truTV.


Photo: Spotify

Canonball: Donny Hathaway's Live

Academic and writer Emily Lordi makes the case for why Donny Hathaway's live album deserves to be added to the canon of classic music. She tells us why this 1972 record, largely made up of covers of other people's songs, is so essential to understanding the black artistic experience at the time.

If you want to know more about this album, Emily's 33 ⅓ book on the album is out now.

The Outshot: It's Not Crazy, It's Sports

Photo: ESPN

Jesse tells us why there is no better person to capture the crazy things athletes and fans do than the documentarian Errol Morris.

Pop Rocket Episode 118: Game Shows

| 0 comments
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

In honor of the premier of Guy Branum's new truTV show, the gang is talking about game shows this week! Karen reminisces about the implicit corniness of 70's and 80's game shows, Wynter talks about the accessibility differences between quiz shows like Jeopardy and Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, and Margaret tells us about the time she was on The Price is Right. Plus, we learn about Wynter's new obsession with ASMR-adjacent Youtube click-holes, and Guy tells us why he was stunned by the latest episodes of Feud, Girls, and the gang discuss the series finale of Big Little Lies. Finally, the gang tell us which tracks they can't stop listening to.

**There are many plot revealing spoilers in this episode, particularly about the series finale of Big Little Lies**

Rocketeers, don't forget to tune into Guy Branum's NEW tv program called Talk Show The Game Show every Wednesdy at 10/9c on truTV, with a premier date of April 5th!

Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Wynter Mitchell, and Margaret Wappler

Jams:

Margaret Wappler - Sit Down - James
Wynter Mitchell - That's What I Like - Bruno Mars
Karen Tongson - Maggie Rogers - Alaska
Guy Branum - Conceptual Jam - Donate to Maximum Fun!

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Other Links:
Michael Larson on Press Your Luck
James - Laid
That Poppy

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Baseball Special with Tabitha Soren, Sean Doolittle, and Josh Kantor

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Tabitha Soren
Guests: 
Sean Doolittle
Guests: 
Josh Kantor

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.


Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Oakland A's Relief Pitcher Sean Doolittle

This week Jesse talks to Oakland Athletics' reliever Sean Doolittle, who's been called one of the most interesting players in baseball.

Sean had an improbable journey to the majors. He was originally drafted as a hitter in 2007 before being sidelined by knee injuries. He didn't play for two years as a result. Sean talks to Jesse about the physical and mental obstacles he faced during recovery. At one point, he thought about giving up and going back to college to earn his degree.

Eventually, Sean was encouraged to try his hand at pitching instead. As it turns out, he had an excellent arm and could throw in the mid-to-high-90s. He's been on the A's since 2012, and was selected as an All-Star in 2014.

Sean's known as one of the nicest guys in the majors. He's used his platform as a baseball player to raise awareness about a number of causes, including veteran homelessness and the Syrian refugee crisis. Jesse talks to Sean about his outspoken support for LGBT rights, somewhat of a rarity among his fellow players.

You can find out what Sean's up to on Twitter.


Photo: Jim Harrison

Boston Red Sox organist Josh Kantor on the Song that Changed His Life

For fourteen years, Josh Kantor has been the organist for Boston Red Sox games at Fenway Park. He's known for playing creative renditions of popular songs, and six years ago he started taking fan requests via Twitter.

In this Song that Changed My Life segment, Josh recalls one of first Twitter requests he ever got: "Halo" by Beyonce.

When he's not delighting Red Sox fans, Josh plays keys for a rock band called The Baseball Project, a baseball-themed supergroup that includes members of R.E.M. You can find him on Twitter,
where he's now taking song requests for the new season.


Photo: Kevin L. Jones/KQED

Photographer and former MTV newscaster Tabitha Soren on her new book, Fantasy Life

This week Jesse talks to the artist Tabitha Soren. You might remember Soren from her previous life as a newscaster if you watched MTV in the early 1990s. During the era of "Rock the Vote" and Bill Clinton, she was one of the most recognizable young faces on television.

Now Soren is an accomplished artist and photographer, whose work has appeared in galleries around the country. She has a new photography book called Fantasy Life: Baseball and the American Dream, which follows the 2002 Oakland Athletics draft class.

Soren admits she didn't know much about baseball before starting this project. She started shooting the Oakland A's draft class in 2003, while helping her husband with a book he was writing. That book was Moneyball, which became a New York Times bestseller and a movie by the same name. Fantasy Life is an update of sorts to Moneyball. Taken over the last fifteen years, the collection of photographs chronicles the lives of 21 players, most of whom are no longer playing baseball.

Soren talks about the incredible odds that these players faced, and how their struggle is a parable for a uniquely American obsession. She also explains why not knowing much about the game helped her tell a different story than most baseball photographers.

Fantasy Life is now available on Amazon.


The Outshot: The Glory of Their Times

Jesse shares about a book that he believes may be the greatest sports book ever written. Curiously enough, it was written by an economics professor, and it's called The Glory of Their Times.

The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It is available on Amazon.

Syndicate content