Stacey Molski's blog

The pin sale begins Monday, April 29, and proceeds will support the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association!

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Since we hit our goal of 25,000 new and upgrading members during the MaxFunDrive, we're fulfilling our promise to put the exclusive enamel pins on sale for a limited time for all active members at the $10 monthly membership level or above -- with proceeds going to charity. We're about the open up that pin vault! The limited time only pin sale will run from Monday, April 29 to Friday, May 10.

If you are eligible to buy a pin, we'll be sending you an email very early on MONDAY, APRIL 29th from the donations@maximumfun.org email address (please check spam, too). This email will include all of the details you'll need to purchase pins, and for some of you, it might mention information that we need from you in order to process your MaxFunDrive gifts, so please do read the email carefully!

If you'd like, you can check out all the pins again to decide on your order ahead of time. And don't worry about anything selling out - the pins are made to order, which is why it will take some time for these pins and for your MaxFunDrive gifts to arrive. We have to wait until after the pin sale to order the pins, so if you are eligible for MaxFunDrive gifts*, hang tight. We expect the gifts and the purchased pins to ship separately in July, but we will keep you all posted.

As you know, Maximum Fun will not keep the proceeds from this sale (the best way to support your favorite shows is through your monthly membership, as always - thanks!).

The proceeds from the pin sale this year will support the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association. National CASA’s network of nearly 950 member programs across the country helps children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect by pairing them with highly-trained volunteers who advocate for their best interests in the court and foster care systems. We are so proud to be able to support the great work National CASA does, and we think you will be, too.

So, check your email on Monday to get yourself some wonderful pins, while supporting National CASA and some of our nation’s most vulnerable kids.

Thank you again!

*Please note, cancelling your membership or altering your membership level may affect gift eligibility.

Now Accepting Applications for the 2019 MaxFunCon Scholarship!

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Hi friends! We are so excited to announce that we have one scholarship available for MaxFunCon 2019! Thank you so much to all of the generous attendees who contributed to the scholarship fund and made this possible!

The scholarship will be awarded to one individual who has a strong desire to attend MaxFunCon but is financially unable to do so. It will cover the cost of your MaxFunCon ticket, accommodations, food, drink, and activities -- but it will not cover airfare or travel to and from the event.

In order to apply for this scholarship, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You have significant financial need. Specifically, it would be difficult or impossible for you to attend MaxFunCon if you did not receive a scholarship.
  • You will be able to participate in the entire weekend-long conference. MaxFunCon begins at 4 PM on Friday, June 7 and ends at 1 PM on Sunday, June 9.
  • You are able to arrange your own transportation to and from Lake Arrowhead, CA to attend MaxFunCon.

If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please send a short essay telling us a bit about yourself and explaining why you want to go to MaxFunCon. In particular, please describe your creative aspirations and how attending MaxFunCon might help you with your future projects. Application instructions are as follows:

  • Please fill out and submit this google form to provide your name, contact info, and the short essay.
  • The essay must be no longer than 1500 characters. Essays longer than 1500 characters will not be read or considered.

Creativity is always appreciated, but please make sure your essay conforms to all the requirements outlined above in order to be considered.

The deadline for scholarship applications is MONDAY, APRIL 22.

We hope to select and notify the recipient no later than FRIDAY, MAY 3.

Thank you again to all the wonderful MaxFunCon attendees who contributed to the Scholarship Fund! And good luck to all applicants!

Thank You for An Incredible MaxFunDrive!

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The 2019 MaxFunDrive has officially come to an end! We hit 25,000 new and upgrading members during our live show, and the energy in that room was astounding. It was a special thing to hear a roomful of people cheer and celebrate this community coming together (it legit made a few of us tear up a little). BUT we didn't end at 25,000 - after our Weekend Amnesty period, we ended up with 28,513 new and upgrading members!!! Holy moly. Thank you all so, SO much!

Every #MaxFunDrive is an exciting time, but for some reason this one felt extra exciting. We had a rough start technology-wise, but you all didn't let that slow you down! You showed up in full force to sign up as new members, upgrade your existing memberships, or spread the word about the drive and the network to all of your friends on social media. It's genuinely moving to see how much these shows affect the daily lives of so many wonderful people like you. And it's truly amazing when people decide to voluntarily contribute money every month to support shows that they believe in - which they could totally get for free! It's a sign of something we all know and always keep in mind: the hosts and producers on the network, and the network itself, could not do this without you. Whether you're a newly minted MaxFun member, a 2019 upgrader, or someone who is supporting our shows with an ongoing monthly membership: thank you!

And if this wasn't the year for you to become a member, we love you and thank you too! We are so glad to have you as listeners and to have you in the community. You did such a great job spreading the word to folks, and we couldn't have done this without you, either!

Now that the drive is over, here a couple of quick things to know:

Watch a replay of Friday's live show!

On Friday, we had an amazing time counting down the end of the drive and watching a bunch of MaxFun hosts play parlour games at the Angel City Brewery. ALSO, JESSE SANG A SONG. You can watch the whole thing again (or for the first time) at maximumfun.org/maxfundriveliveshow. You'll have to provide your own ice cream treats this time, though.

Thank-you gifts

If you became a new monthly member at the $10 level or above during the 2019 MaxFunDrive, or if you were able to upgrade to the next membership level, we'll be sending you a gift to say thanks for taking the plunge. (Folks at the $5 level and up should already be able to dive into 200+ hours of bonus content - please email us at donations@maximumfun.org if you need access!) We send the physical gifts to production after the drive is over, so we know how many to make, and in this case, we will be waiting until after the pin sale, as well. So, gifts will probably start shipping in July, but we'll keep everyone posted on the production process via email. Please keep in mind that cancelling your membership or changing your membership level may affect your gift eligibility.

Pin sale for charity

Since we hit our goal of 25,000 new and upgrading members, we will be putting the enamel pins on sale for a limited time for all active members at the $10 monthly membership level or above -- with proceeds going to charity. We are working on setting up the shop for you, but it will take a little bit of time to get it ready. If you are eligible to buy a pin, we'll be sending you an email in a couple of weeks with further instructions and details about the sale. In the meantime, you can check out all the pins again and decide on your order. Once we're ready for the sale, we'll be posting and emailing and blogging everywhere so you won't miss it!

Transcripts announcement

In case you missed it: On Friday, we made an important announcement regarding transcripts, which you can read in full here: maximumfun.org/transcripts. (For those of you interested in the role, please note: we have not started the hiring process yet. Once we are ready to hire, we will post a notice on our website and our social media accounts, and we will also list details on maximumfun.org/hiring. When we are in a position to review and respond to applications, we would be happy for all of you to apply.)

Thank you again for a tremendous MaxFunDrive!

Watch the MaxFunDrive Live Show Livestream at 4pm PT!

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Every year we close out the MaxFunDrive with a spectacular show full of your favorite hosts, streamed live from Los Angeles. This year's live show will take place Friday, March 29 from 4pm to 6pm PT (7pm to 9pm ET).

An Announcement Regarding Transcripts

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Over the past few years, our listeners have pointed out a lack of accessibility for hard-of-hearing fans, due to a lack of transcribed podcast episodes available through our website. We have been open in the past about the cost-prohibitive nature of transcription, while remaining committed to finding a solution. We have at last found one.

We will be providing transcriptions for 18 of the shows on the network, with the McElroys providing and paying for their shows' transcripts, including their back catalog, to support the effort. Beginning this summer, transcriptions of new episodes will be made available for the following shows:

  • The Adventure Zone
  • Bubble
  • Bullseye
  • The Flop House
  • Friendly Fire
  • The Greatest Generation
  • Heat Rocks
  • Judge John Hodgman
  • My Brother, My Brother and Me
  • Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone
  • Oh No, Ross and Carrie!
  • One Bad Mother
  • Sawbones
  • Shmanners
  • Still Buffering
  • Switchblade Sisters
  • Trends Like These
  • Wonderful!

In order to provide transcripts for our shows, we will be hiring a staff member whose job will be transcribing these episodes. They will be part of the MaxFun family, understanding and relaying the tone of the shows you love into text. We will continue to add shows to our list of transcribed programs as we are able.

This would not be possible without the support of our listeners -- in the form of their monthly contributions as well as their voices, letting us know where we can do better and best serve everyone. We are endlessly grateful.

It's the MaxFunDrive!

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The best two weeks of the year are finally here! If you aren't familiar with the MaxFunDrive, it's two jam-packed weeks full of our greatest episodes, fantastic Drive-exclusive gifts, in-person meetups, tons of fun on social media, and a big celebration of our community (including YOU!)

THE 2019 MAXFUNDRIVE STARTS TODAY, MONDAY, MARCH 18, and ends on Friday, March 29 with a livestreamed finale show! It is officially THE BEST time to become a member or upgrade your existing membership. We've added a bunch of spectacular new shows since last year's drive (Dr. Gameshow, Mission to Zyxx, The Jackie and Laurie Show, The Art of Process with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, The JV Club, and Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone), and they need your support, along with the rest of the terrific shows on Maximum Fun! If you're able to become a monthly member or upgrade your membership level this year, we've got some really beautiful MaxFunDrive-exclusive thank-you gifts. Plus, isn't it just kind of cool to know you're helping make the shows you love?

OUR GOAL IS 25,000 NEW AND UPGRADING MEMBERS. You helped us hit our ambitious and fairly nervewracking goal last year, and we're hoping you can help us get there again this year! Don't be fooled by the fact that it's the same number as last year; this is still a very big, scary number for us. Speaking of goals, remember last year's stretch goal - The MaxFun DreamDate? Well, we have a really fun, silly video of that date to share with you later this week, so stay tuned to our social media channels.

So. TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND. Think we can do it? I do, but I know we'll need your help.

Here's how you can help:

  • Tune in to all your favorite shows! Maybe try some new ones, too! Even if you're behind on episodes, you should really listen to the ones that come out between March 18 - March 29. We put in an extra effort to make sure these are some of the best episodes of the year. Your favorite hosts will tell you all the exciting stuff about MaxFunDrive, and then you can chat about these amazing episodes with all your MaxFun pals!
  • Go to maximumfun.org/donate and become a new monthly member or upgrade your current monthly membership! If you're in a position to do this now, you should do this right now. If you're like, 'but Stacey, there's so much more to read and I feel rude leaving right now...' don't feel bad. If you go become a new or upgrading member right now, that's the opposite of rude. You can come back to the rest of this post at a leisurely pace. (But do come back at some point, I still have lots to tell you!)
  • Spread the word! After you've started your membership, let everyone know with #MaxFunDrive, tag the hosts and shows, tell your friends that you joined or upgraded your membership and why they should consider doing the same. And if this year's not a year that you can support with your wallet, we totally understand! It would mean a lot to us if you could spread the word about the drive on social media and to your MaxFun pals. Thank you so much!

Those Gifts!

This is my favorite part of this email. I'm SO excited to tell you about these gifts we've had to keep secret for so long! If you're already a member THANK YOU SO MUCH! We love you, and I hope you're enjoying all the bonus content right now. If you're thinking of upgrading your membership, or if you considering becoming a member, here's the cool stuff you could get:

  • $5 a month: Super special bonus episodes and videos (over TWO HUNDRED hours of content!) from all of your favorite shows!!
  • $10 a month: Some of you have already guessed it - a whole new round of enamel pins designed by Megan Lynn Kott! Pick your favorite one*, and proudly wear your love for that show.
  • $20 a month: A 550 piece 18" x 24" jigsaw puzzle, featuring a stunning illustration by Geoffrey Tice of a person listening to a podcast while looking out at the iconic view from MaxFunHQ!
  • AND MORE! Check out maximumfun.org/maxfundrivegifts2019 to see all of the gifts at all the levels!

*You know the deal: If we hit our goal of 25,000 new and upgrading members, all monthly members at the $10 level or higher will have the opportunity to buy extra pins for a limited period of time. Please keep in mind that the money made from the sale of these pins will be donated to charity, and that the single best way to support your favorite MaxFun shows is to join as a sustaining monthly member or upgrade your membership to the next tier. So, be sure to encourage all your friends who listen to MaxFun shows to pledge a $5 monthly membership if they're able to!

Mark your calendars!

  • Tuesday, March 26: #MaxFunMeetupDay! Meetups are happening all across the globe on this day! Make sure to go to yours, or if you don't see your town, get one started!
  • Friday, March 29: MaxFunDrive Live Show Finale from 4-6pm PT! We are starting earlier this year, to make it a bit easier for our friends in later time zones to watch. Set up your viewing parties and count down the exciting end of the drive with us! If you'd like be in the audience in-person, ticket info will be sent out to all active monthly members on Wednesday, March 20.

Ok, I think that's everything for now! If you have any questions along the way, please email donations@maximumfun.org so we can help! Thanks! AND HAPPY MAXFUNDRIVE TO ONE AND ALL!

MaxFunDrive 2019 Gifts!

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Due to some technical issues, at the time of posting, the new gifts aren't displayed yet on maximumfun.org/donate. Don't worry, we're hard at work getting things updated. In the meantime, if you sign up to become a member right now, you'll still get these sweet drive-exclusive pledge gifts you've heard so much about -- we'll send you an email to confirm your pin selection. You can see all of the gifts (including all of the pins selections) below. Thanks for your patience and support!


MaxFun High Fiver

$5: Bonus Content

For just $5 per month, you’ll receive immediate access to our single most popular thank you gift: hours upon hours upon hours of bonus content from all of our shows! There’s really something for everyone in our oversized (if metaphorical) bonus content vault, from exclusive music, wild videos, fan-favorite guests, and more!


Friend of the Family


$10: One of 41 Enamel Pins & Letterpress MaxFun Membership Card & Bonus Content

The finest accessories for your jean jackets, cork boards, lapels, and fanny packs are back for the third year running - beautiful enamel pins designed by the inimitable Megan Lynn Kott! Choose your favorite from 41 unique, show-specific designs, and declare your fandom to your fellow listeners and the world at large.

Plus, you'll receive your own letterpress MaxFun membership card, ideal for flashing, should anyone doubt your podcast bona fides.

And of course you'll get access to all of our bonus content!


Diamond Friendship Circle

$20: Maximum Fun Jigsaw Puzzle & One of 41 Enamel Pins & Letterpress MaxFun Membership Card & Bonus Content

Sometimes you need a chill activity to keep your hands busy while you're listening to your favorite podcasts. With that in mind, we are thrilled to present our $20 monthly members with the first ever Maximum Fun Jigsaw Puzzle! One of our favorite artists, Geoffrey Tice, brought to life our vision of a listener enjoying a podcast from MaxFun HQ while gazing over Los Angeles's MacArthur Park lake.

This beauty's 550 pieces come together to create an 18"x24" final product, which is challenging enough to appeal to the hardcore puzzler, but definitely still doable for novices. Glue the finished puzzle together to hang on your wall, or take it apart and keep it as your trusty companion for future bonus content binges!

Naturally, you'll also receive your choice of enamel pin, a letterpress membership card, and access to all of our bonus content!


Leadership Squad

$35: Rocket Engraved Glass Coffee Mug & Maximum Fun Jigsaw Puzzle & One of 41 Enamel Pins & Letterpress MaxFun Membership Card & Bonus Content

Your morning (or afternoon or evening -- we're not judging) beverage should appeal to your eyes as much as your taste buds, which is why our new and upgrading $35 monthly members will receive a beautiful glass coffee mug, permanently engraved with our rocket logo. Sip your coffee (or hot chocolate or hot toddy -- again, we're NOT JUDGING) in style!

Will you still receive the Maximum Fun jigsaw puzzle, your chosen enamel pin, a letterpress membership card, and access to our bonus content? Yes, of course!


Silver Seagull

$50: Custom Metal MaxFun Membership Card & Rocket Engraved Glass Coffee Mug & Maximum Fun Jigsaw Puzzle & One of 41 Enamel Pins & Letterpress MaxFun Membership Card & Bonus Content

We recognize contributing $50 per month in support of our podcasts is a huge, solid commitment, and your gift should be something that reflects that solidity -- something like a solid, metal MaxFun membership card, laser engraved with your name (or whatever you’d like, provided it fits on the line).

That extra special membership card AND a rocket engraved glass coffee mug, the MaxFun jigsaw puzzle, your choice of enamel pin, a letterpress membership card (for when you want to be light and casual with your proof of membership), and access to all of our bonus content are yours at $50 per month.


Golden Eagles

$100: Membership in the Inner Circle culture club & Immortalization at MaxFun HQ & Custom Metal MaxFun Membership Card & Rocket Engraved Glass Coffee Mug & Maximum Fun Jigsaw Puzzle & One of 41 Enamel Pins & Letterpress MaxFun Membership Card & Bonus Content

Golden Eagles are welcomed into the Inner Circle, receiving hand-picked pieces of culture from their favorite MaxFun hosts. Each month, a host will select a movie, album, game, book, or other piece of culture that they’ve been currently enjoying or is an all-time favorite, and we’ll send you a copy in the mail (or e-mail) along with a note from the host explaining their choice.

Plus, we’ll immortalize you in MaxFun HQ! We’ll engrave your name on an engraving plate that will be permanently displayed in our office. How’s that for commitment?

Last but not least, our Golden Eagles are invited to the annual get-together in Los Angeles the evening before MaxFunCon. It’s a great opportunity to rub elbows with MaxFun staff, hosts, and special guests!

All that PLUS the metal engraved membership card, the rocket engraved glass coffee mug, the MaxFun jigsaw puzzle, your choice of enamel pin, a letterpress membership card, and access to all of our bonus content! Do you have room in your home for all of that?


Platinum Angels

$200: Complimentary Registration at MaxFunCon 2020 & Membership in the Inner Circle culture club & Immortalization at MaxFun HQ & Custom Metal MaxFun Membership Card & Rocket Engraved Glass Coffee Mug & Maximum Fun Jigsaw Puzzle & One of 41 Enamel Pins & Letterpress MaxFun Membership Card & Bonus Content

Our Platinum Angels soar in the stratosphere, helping spread joy and podcasts to all. If you choose to join their ranks, we’ll comp your registration to MaxFunCon 2020 in Lake Arrowhead. What’s MaxFunCon, you ask? Only the best weekend for fans of comedy, creativity, friendship, and natural beauty imaginable! Registration is all inclusive (food, lodging, entertainment, ridic bevs [both alcoholic and non-alcoholic], and swag) -- all you need to do is get yourself to Lake Arrowhead, and you’re in.

If you’re ready to inhale that rarefied Lake Arrowhead air as a Platinum Angel, in addition to your registration, you’ll also get membership in the Inner Circle, immortalization at MaxFun HQ, an invitation to our pre-MaxFunCon soiree, a custom engraved metal membership card, a rocket engraved glass coffee mug, the MaxFun jigsaw puzzle, your choice of enamel pin, a letterpress membership card, and access to our treasure trove of bonus content.

Two updates before MaxFunDrive begins

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Bunker Buddies and Jonah Raydio will be leaving Maximum Fun before MaxFunDrive. Each show has its own particular set of circumstances, but we wanted to give you all the news at once.

Andie and Ben have been working on a re-imagined show that focuses less on prep kits and go-bags for an external apocalypse and more on tools for joy and happiness via adventures deep inside ourselves. Since they're moving their show in a new direction, they, along with MaxFun, felt it was a good time to take the show independent, and we hope you all will support them on their new journey. Keep in touch with them and sign up for their newsletter at BunkerBuddies.org.

Jonah Raydio would like to lend their support to a brand new network that some good friends of theirs are starting up later this year. You can hear them speak a little more about it in their March 6 episode. The new network is still a bit of a secret, but the guys wanted to make this announcement in advance of the MaxFunDrive since they knew they'd be moving. For now, their show will remain in the same feed, so you don't need to update your podcatchers.

We've loved having Andie and Ben, and Jonah, Cash, and Neil as part of Maximum Fun, and we're sad to see them to go.

If you are a monthly member supporting Jonah Raydio and/or Bunker Buddies, your contributions will no longer go towards those shows. If you want to continue to support other Maximum Fun shows or add new shows to support, you can alter your Maximum Fun donation to redirect your contribution. If Bunker Buddies or Jonah Raydio was the only show you listened to on Maximum Fun and you would like to cancel your membership, you can do so by following the instructions at that link. If you run into any issues, please email donations@maximumfun.org and we can help you out.

Thank you for all of your support of Bunker Buddies, Jonah Raydio, and Maximum Fun!

The 2019 MaxFunDrive is March 18- March 29!

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It's baa-aack! Put it on your calendars --

The MaxFunDrive starts Monday, March 18 and ends on Friday, March 29.
We've been prepping for a while now and we are SO EXCITED for it. The hosts have some truly amazing episodes in store for you, so be sure to listen to the new episodes of all your favorite shows right when they come out during the MaxFunDrive. The new super special bonus episodes for $5 monthly members will be tremendous (if you're an active $5+ monthly member, you'll be getting an email from me about bonus content in the next couple weeks). You'll be hearing a bunch more about the MaxFunDrive soon, so for now, let me just announce that:

MaxFun Meetup Day will be on Tuesday, March 26 at 7pm local time!
All across the world, MaxFunsters will be meeting up with fellow listeners to celebrate their love of the shows and say hi to new and old friends. If you want to get a MaxFun Meetup going in your city, just a pick a place that can accommodate a group, and email stacey@maximumfun.org with your name, city, state and venue and I'll add it to our master list at maximumfun.org/meetups2019. Remember, meetups don't have to be anything fancy - just a place for some pals to hang out for a bit!

Dr. Gameshow - How to Get Involved!

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Every other week, the totally delightful Jo Firestone and Manolo Moreno will play original listener-submitted games with their comedian friends and listeners who call in.

That's right - this family-friendly show is heavy on listener participation. Here's how to get in on the fun:

  • Submit a game show! Send your game show ideas to drgameshow@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 256-MANOLO-1.
  • Call in and play along! You can tune in to a live stream of the recording on the dates and times below and call in to play along. The studio number is 857-MANOLO-1 (only works during recording times). Follow Dr. Gameshow's Twitter, Instagram and Facebook page for updates on when the livestreams start. Recording dates:
    • Tuesday 3/5 at 1pm & 3pm ET
    • Thursday 3/14 at 1pm & 3pm ET
    • Sunday 3/17 at 1pm & 3pm ET

If you want to check out the back catalog, you can find episodes here:

Dr. Gameshow will officially premiere on Maximum Fun on Wednesday, March 13, but before then, listen to their 2-minute preview in their feed, then dive into some past episodes before they get put back in the vault (Earwolf, the show's old network, puts episodes older than six months behind a paywall). Here are the top 3 fan favorite episodes that are currently available:

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