Maximum Fun

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Cristela Alonzo and Stretch Armstrong

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Cristela Alonzo
Guests: 
Stretch Armstrong

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: Tommaso Boddi / Stringer

Cristela Alonzo has a new stand-up special on Netflix, Lower Classy

Cristela Alonzo is a veteran standup comedian, actress, writer, and producer. She's also something of a pioneer. You might remember her from the ABC sitcom Cristela, where she was the first Latina to create, write, produce, and star in her own show.

In this week's episode, she talks to Jesse about her formative years growing up in South Texas with an undocumented parent. Hiding from police and immigration raids were daily realities in her small border town. Her family was also desperately poor--she recalls squatting in an abandoned diner.

Down the road, Cristela discovered she had a talent for weaving those tough experiences into comedy gold. That gift is on full display in her new Netflix standup special, Lower Classy, as she takes on difficult topics including racial stereotypes, immigration, poverty, and parenting, all with her trademark smile and laugh. Cristela recalls the long journey that led to the special, and how being a comedian is, for her, about more than simply making people laugh.

Cristela Alonzo's new standup special, Lower Classy, is available to stream on Netflix now.


Photo: John Phillips / Stringer

Stretch Armstrong

Stretch Armstrong is a renowned DJ, record collector, and writer. It's impossible to tell the story of New York rap in the 1990s--what some people consider the Golden Era of Hip-Hop--without at least mentioning The Stretch and Bobbito Show, the influential college radio program that he and Robert "Bobbito" Garcia co-hosted from 1990 to 1998.

In their time, Stretch and Bobbito were among the only FM radio outlets for a generation of New York rappers. MCs like Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious BIG, and Nas. The behind-the-scenes stories from those days are the stuff of hip-hop folklore, and the subject of documentary that came out a little over a year ago, called Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives. It's available to stream on Netflix now.

Stretch, whose real name is Adrian Bartos, also recently co-authored a book. He and Evan Auerbach teamed up to make a visual history of New York City's club scene, called No Sleep: NYC Nightlife Flyers 1988-1999.

The Outshot: "Wells for Boys"

In this week's Outshot, Jesse shares a Saturday Night Live sketch that spoke to him in a particularly magical way. Behold, Wells for Boys:

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: One Day at a Time, Todd Mayfield, and SAINt JHN

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Gloria Calderon Kellett
Guests: 
Mike Royce
Guests: 
Todd Mayfield
Guests: 
SAINt JHN

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

Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce on their new show One Day At A Time

Gloria Calderon Kellett has been in show business as a writer, producer, and actor for almost two decades. She began her career writing on Andy Richter’s show Quintuplets. She also worked on How I Met Your Mother and Rules of Engagement. When Norman Lear, the legendary TV producer approached her about doing a reboot of One Day at a Time - his 1970s hit sitcom - she jumped at the chance.

She was joined by Mike Royce, a veteran TV producer of shows like Everybody Love Raymond and Men of a Certain Age, and Gloria. The two tell Jesse about how they began to conceptualize the new show, how Gloria avoided being being labeled as the "latina writer" during her career, and how they approached writing about marginalized communities in a sitcom format.

You can watch the reboot of the Norman Lear classic One Day At A Time by streaming it on Netflix.


Photo:Jesse Thorn

SAINt JHN tells us about The Song That Changed His Life

New York based rapper SAINt JHN spent his youth travelling between Guyana and New York. He realized early on, following his older brother’s lead, that he wanted to be a rapper. He began his career as a songwriter, with credits that include Usher’s 2016 hit Crash. He's now writing songs for himself and creating work for GØDD COMPLEXx, his music and art collective.

He knows the record that got him started - it's a 1999 album: Jay Z's Vol 3. He even remember the song that changed his life: Jay's classic Dopeman.

You can listen to SAINt JHN’s latest single Roses on his Soundcloud and make sure to watch the music video that he directed and produced.


Photo: Self/Twitter

Todd Mayfield

You might think that growing up the son of one of history’s most beloved R&B and Soul singers would be the greatest gift. But Todd Mayfield and his siblings didn’t always see it that way. Curtis Mayfield, who defined a whole generation of politically conscious music, left behind an incredible legacy of stories, music, and touched lives. Todd, despite his propensity to separate himself from his father in his younger years, felt it necessary to biographize his father’s life through anecdotes, interviews with friends and family.

This week, Todd and Jesse talk about what it was like growing up with Curtis Mayfield as a father, his musical transition from the 1960s to the more politically involved records of the 1970s, and the incredible music that he was able to create when he was paralyzed from the neck down during the late 80s to his final days in 1999.

Todd’s biography of his father, Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield is out now.

Photo: Daniel Boczarski / Stringer/Getty Images

The Outshot: YG

This week, Jesse talks about LA rapper YG’s particular sound and philosophy.

Pop Rocket Episode 106: Inauguration with Jordan Morris

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Jordan Morris
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

This episode, Jordan Morris of @midnight and Jordan Jesse Go! sits in for Guy while he is away. Jordan and the gang discuss the upcoming Inauguration, the President elect’s difficulty in securing entertainment, and the different media choices that people from different parts of the country consume. They talk about the red/blue divide in terms of the reality TV choices of particular zip codes around the country. Karen tells us why she’s all about “Blackish” this week, and Wynter sets the record straight about the Golden Globes. And as with every week, the panel tells us what their latest jams are.

With Jordan Morris, Karen Tongson, Wynter Mitchell, and Margaret Wappler

Jams:
Jordan Morris - Love In A Void
Margaret Wappler - In Glendale
Wynter Mitchell - Caroline
Karen Tongson - Overkill

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:
Do Gay People Care About John Oliver?
SNL Inauguration
‘Duck Dynasty’ vs. ‘Modern Family’:50 Maps of the U.S. Cultural Divide

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Pop Rocket Episode 103: Reboots

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

On this week’s episode, Guy sits down with the newly assembled Pop Rocket gang and welcomes Karen Tongson to the team! In honor of her arrival, they discuss reboots; and the conversation gets heated! We find out the differences between reboots, remakes, and reimaginings. We also find out what everyone’s favorite reboot is, who has done it best, and why Americans aren’t good at making versions of British shows. And we find out, as we do every week, what everyone’s current jam is, and what they’re all about.

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

That’s My Jam:

Margaret Wappler - Your Best American Girl-Mitski

Guy Branum - Christmas Is Coming-Miss Piggy

Wynter Mitchell - Randy-Justice

Karen Tongson - Babe-Styx

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:
Ricki Lake’s Roach Dress
Randy Rainbow Interviews Donald Trump

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Dead Pilots Society Live @ The Largo on February 4th, 2017

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Have you been loving Dead Pilots Society?! Do you live in Los Angeles?! Well, you're in luck! We're recording a live podcast at Largo at the Coronet on February 4th, 2017!

We're reading a script written by June Diane Raphael (Grace & Frankie, Bride Wars) & Casey Wilson (Gone Girl, Happy Endings) and we'll have reads from Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation, Step Brothers) and more of your favorite comedic actors!

BUY TICKETS HERE and BUY THEM NOW: http://www.largo-la.com/event/1404688

More information:

Seat assignments begin at 6:00PM
Doors open for drinks at 7:00PM,
Showtime at 8:30PM

When you arrive at Will Call on the night of the show, seats will be assigned first come first served, from the front of the theatre to the back. If you want to sit closer, be sure to come earlier. | NO LATE ENTRY * NO REFUNDS * NO EXCHANGES * SPECIAL GUESTS ARE SUBJECT TO CANCEL WITHOUT NOTICE

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn Holiday Special with Andy Richter, Jane Lynch, Pop Rocket, and MBMBAM

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Andy Richter
Guests: 
Jane Lynch
Guests: 
Griffin McElroy
Guests: 
Travis McElroy
Guests: 
Justin McElroy
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler

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

Andy Richter on the dealing with the holidays, his favorite holiday movies, and his new SeeSo special, Home for the Holiday’s

Andy Richter probably best known for being Conan's O'Brien's sidekick, buth he's been a comedian for almost 30 years. You've probably seen him in Madagascar, Arrested Development, or maybe you watched his Emmy nominated TV series: Andy Richter Controls the Universe.
Now, he sits down with Jesse to talk about his new SeeSo comedy special Andy Richter's Home for the Holidays

Margaret Wappler and Wynter Mitchell on their favorite holiday films

Journalist and novelist Margaret Wappler and digital strategist Wynter Mitchell are hosts on Bullseye’s sister show, Pop Rocket.
This week, they sit down with Jesse to talk about their favorite Christmas films. Some of them will surprise you.
You can find every episode of Pop Rocket and more information about the show here.

Justin, Travis, and Griffin Mcelroy answer some holiday questions

The brothers from the Maximum Fun produced advice show and podcast, My Brother, My Brother and Me field some questions from listeners, and give some holiday advice.

Jane Lynch on her new Christmas album, hating the holidays, and coming out in a post-Ellen America

Emmy and Golden Globe award winner Jane Lynch is best known for her hilarious portrayal of Sue Sylvester on ABC’s Glee, and if you've seen a Christopher Guest movie, odds are her's was the funniest character - no small feat. Recently, she's teamed up with Kate Flannery and Tim Davis on A Swingin' Little Christmas, a big-bad era inspired Christmas album.
This week, she sits down with Jesse to talk about that album, her arms-length relationship with Christmas, and what it was like for her to come out as gay after comedians like Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O'Donnell paved the way.

Pop Rocket Episode 102: Farewell

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Wynter, Oliver, and Margaret
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Oliver Wang
Guests: 
Guy Branum

This week, Margaret hosts a very bittersweet episode with the whole gang present (Guy via phone). This is Oliver Wang’s last show as a co-host, and the gang is talking about pop culture farewells. They talk about the departure of which characters affected them most growing up, good and bad series finale’s, and the most recent pop culture departures that really got to them. And later, Guy joins the conversation to talk about their latest jams and to say his own farewell.
P.S. because this show is about **farewells** please note that there will be many spoilers. Breaking Bad, The Affair, Seinfeld, 90210, The Walking Dead, The Wire, The Sopranos, Sex And The City, La La Land are among some of the TV and movies discussed.

That’s My Jam:
Margaret Wappler - Ragged Wood
Guy Branum - Adventures in Paradise
Wynter Mitchell - A Solid Wall Of Sound

Oliver Wang - Always In My Heart

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:
Days of Being Wild Opening
Santa Barbara Soap Opening
Saturday Night Live
The Face Collection of Books

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Bullseye: Pedro Almodóvar and Alexis Krauss

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Pedro Almodóvar
Guests: 
Alexis Krauss

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

Pedro Almodóvar on his new film Julieta, Spain in the 1980’s, and why he never writes about himself

Pedro Almodóvar has been making art for almost 4 decades. Whether that be music, writing, or directing, he has a distinct, bold, and critically acclaimed vision to his art. Originally from a small rural town in Spain, Pedro moved to Madrid in his late teens to study film. His artistic endeavors flourished during the Spanish cultural revolution that followed Francos death in 1975. His first film of distinction was called Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, for which he was nominated for the 1988 Best Foreign Film Academy Award. Since then, he has won two Golden Globe and two Academy awards, among many others.

This week, Jesse sits down with Pedro to talk about his new dramatic endeavor Julieta, his new wave band, and his unseen ailment.

You can find more information about Julieta here.


Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images

Alexis Krauss on the song that changed her life

Alexis Krauss, one half of the pop-metal band Sleigh Bells has been a musician her entire life. Both of her parents are musicians, and some of her earliest concerts were with her dad performing on the Jersey Shore.

This week, Alexis tells us what song changed her life in a way that only this mid-90’s female pop-rock recording artist could for a young budding musician. You probably oughta know.


Photo: A Prize Bull In A Barn by Richrd Whitford, 1875

The Outshot: 19th Century Paintings of Cows

Finally, Jesse tells it to you straight: he's fallen hard for 18th and 19th century paintings of cows, and you should too.

Pop Rocket: Episode 101 The Crown with Karen Tongson and Chris Schleicher

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Guy, Margaret, Chris and Karen
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Chris Schleicher
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

This episode, Guy and Margaret are joined by two very special guests to talk about Netflix’s most expensive series The Crown. They talk about Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, whether Prince Philip is hot or not, and who has played the best Elizabeth on screen. Have smart phones ruined bathroom meditation? Did the Gilmore Girls reboot live up to expectations? And is Julio Torres leading the way in writing smart comedy about queer experience?(***hint, the answer is a resounding yes***). And as always, the panel will delight you with their latest jams and what they are all about.

That’s My Jam:
Margaret Wappler - Playing Elevator
Guy Branum - Am I The Same Girl
Chris Schleicher - Camelot Finale
Karen Tongson - All Time Low

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:
Insight Timer
Sorority: The Woods
Jackie
Scott Thompson as Queen Elizabeth II
Fred Armisen as Queen Elizabeth II on SNL
Wells For Sensitive Boys

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

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