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Ep. 43: Go Fact Yourself with Jena Friedman & Jack O’Brien

Tracy Newman, Jena Friedman, J. Keith van Straaten, Jack O'Brien, Phyllis Katz, Helen Hong, Carl Gottlieb
Jack O'Brien & Jena Friedman
Tracy Newman, Phyllis Katz and Carl Gottlieb

This episode of Go Fact Yourself features quick wits and facts about hit flicks!

Jena Friedman is a comedian and longtime contributor to television, perhaps her best known work was as a producer on "The Daily Show." She’ll talk about how she was so dedicated to her work on the show that she was willing to risk her life if it meant getting the shot that she needed. Jena’s new series "Soft Focus" is on Adult Swim.

Jena’s opponent is Jack O’Brien, co-host of "The Daily Zeitgeist" podcast. Before that, he was the co-founder of How did he turn the website into such a success? Well, he decided to take everything that worked about the original Cracked magazine… and completely ignore it. He’ll explain.

The guests will take a deep dive into the lore of the Jaws franchise, the history of comedy and why it is never a good idea to take a bath at a funeral.

What’s the Difference: Emergency

What’s the difference between a fire engine and a fire truck?

What’s the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic?

Areas of Expertise

Jena Friedman: The TV show "Ghostwriter," the history of improv and the ebola virus.

Jack O’Brien: The film Jaws 2, the film Rocky IV and Wu-Tang Clan solo records from 1993 to 1997.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Jena Friedman
Jack O’Brien

With guest experts:

Tracy Newman, Phyllis Katz and Jena Friedman

Phyllis Katz and Tracy Newman, original company members of The Groundlings improv theater.

Jack O’Brien and Carl Gottlieb

Carl Gottlieb, Screenwriter of Jaws and author of The Jaws Log.

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

Theme Song by Jonathan Green.
Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher.
The show is edited by Julian Burrell.

Story Break: Heaven Heist - Sc. 6: "They'll let anyone in these days..."

Story Break

Jin gets picked up by his grandma this week as we dive deeper into the background philosophical and theological groundwork of heaven, discover that we have broken all movies and stories irreparably, figure out a better word for grandfather, and Will gives us a piping hot take about his beef with Fast and the Furious 5.

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Matt Arnold is @mattlarnold
Will Campos is @willbcampos
Freddie Wong is @fwong

MK195: Glitter Bombs of Truth (Rep Illhan Ohmar, Jay-Z & the NFL, Sex in the Stacks, Missy Elliot, Dreams of Beyonce)

Minority Korner

The Wonder Twins are back- no more voicemail messages they are talking person to person! Missy Elliot may have been celebrated at the VMAs (a little too late) but Nnekay noticed a huge problem with her performance... a certain R&B princess was missing. Is James really friends with Beyonce & Jay-Z? Or was it a dream? Speaking of Jay-Z sure did step in it this week. Jay-Z Mr. Got Colin Kapernick's back on take a knee, seems to have flipped the script and aligned himself with the NFL. Is he shcukin' and jivin, or jumping into the arena? The twins discuss. James seems to have come back from Europe more able to see both sides to everything. Does Nnekay get her comedic writing from her dreams? In the main event Nnekay stops the rumor mill for Representative Illhan Omar. Nnekay breaks down her heroic story, truly representing the American Dream, and the work she's done, and what she's been up against. In a new segment called "James Asks a Question" he poses to our friendly neighborhood librarian his burning question over the last few weeks: Sex in the stacks? Fact or fiction based on the latest season of 'Dear White People'. Also please watch the Great Hack on Netflix if you haven't! 


Twitter: @minoritykorner
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Courtney and Brent LIFE UPDATES, Boris Johnson’s Bad Brexit Week, Scarlett Johansson Steps in it AGAIN, Jeremy Renner App Gone Too Soon, Trump Update, Chanel Miller Steps Forward


It's a rare *TIDBLAST* episode where the stories and segments all run together! Join Brent and Courtney for an episode that gets a little more personal than usual, a little darker than usual, and a lot more about Jeremy Renner than usual!

Transcript available here

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian

Stuart Murdoch

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

Photo: Julio Enriquez for Flickr Creative Commons

Belle and Sebastian founder Stuart Murdoch on making 'Indie Pop'

As founder of the indie-pop band Belle and Sebastian, Murdoch has an affinity for popular music of the past. The Brit-pop movement of the 1980s or the sunshiny American pop of the 1960s are some of his favorite genres. The 1980s were a great time for the musician. He had little interest in creating music as a kid outside of a few piano lessons and recitals. Then there was the occasional DJ set during his formative college years. Still, being a spectator of music was very much a part of his life.

Around the beginning of the 1990s, though, that changed. Murdoch started to feel exhausted and sore pretty much all the time. He couldn't concentrate. Sleep would come, but it wouldn't help. He'd come down with chronic fatigue fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME. Murdoch dropped out of school, stopped running track, stopped DJing. At home, he started writing songs on the piano. And on the advice of his doctor, he took a class for unemployed musicians.

There he met Stuart David, and the music they made together eventually became Belle & Sebastian.

Since their debut, Belle and Sebastian records have made it on literally hundreds of top ten lists. Their second album, 1996's If You're Feeling Sinister, is routinely called one of the best albums of the 90s.

These days Murdoch still fronts the band and still writes music, he's got a wife and kids and through all that, he still deals with chronic fatigue.

The band is back with a new album. It's the original soundtrack to Days of Bagnold Summer. It features a breathtaking new track, Sister Buddha.

Murdoch joins Bullseye to talk about retro pop music, how meditation changed his music and songwriting. Plus, Jesse and Stuart talk about the great game of baseball. If you didn't know, Stuart's a Mets fan.

If you're traveling in Europe this fall, click here for Belle and Sebastian's upcoming tour dates.

For the rest of us, you can purchase their latest album on vinyl here.

This interview originally aired in February of 2018.

Friendly Fire Ep 87: Lebanon (2009)

Friendly Fire

Some war pictures are about hostile territories, some are about the group turmoil, and other movies are about both. On today's episode Adam, Ben, and John cook-off while reviewing this 2009 claustrophobic drama.

This film is available on:
Amazon, Apple, and your local library.

Next Film: Forest Gump (1994)
Available on: Amazon, Apple, and your local library.

The JV Club Ep. 339: Terry Blas

The JV Club
Terry Blas

It’s a last Boy of Summer post Labor Day! How scandalous! Indulge yourself with the delightful Mexican-American-Queer-Writer-Illustrator Terry Blas, whose experiences growing up Mormon in both Boise, ID and various places in Mexico make for quite a journey. Happy listening….

Hosted by Janet Varney.

Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

The JV Club will be LIVE at the Bellhouse in Brooklyn on Wednesday Oct. 9th! Details and tickets are available now.

Tights and Fights Ep. 159: The Fallout from All Out


This week Hal, Danielle, Lindsey and Mike are reunited to discuss All Out! It’s AEW’s last show before they go live on TNT in October.

The brand still had a few surprises in store. That included the debuts of LAX and Orange Cassidy; fan favorites from the international wrestling scene who have an opportunity to make a name for themselves on a bigger stage.

Plus there was the somewhat surprising coronation of Chris Jericho as the AEW champion. But we all agree that the best moment of this story came after the broadcast when Jericho had his AEW World Championship stolen.

We’ll laugh about that, break down the rest of the show and discuss Bayley’s newly minted heel turn.

Hosted by Danielle Radford, Lindsey Kelk and Mike Eagle.

Produced by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

If you want to talk about more wrestling throughout the week be sure to join us on Facebook and @TightsFights on Twitter and Instagram.

If you liked the show, please share it with your friends and be sure to leave us a quick review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get podcasts.

Maximum Fun Production Fellow, Fall 2019-2020


Maximum Fun is an independent podcast and radio production organization, based in Los Angeles. The network distributes over three dozen audio programs in the areas of comedy and culture, including the NPR radio show Bullseye with Jesse Thorn.

Audio shows produced and recorded in our Los Angeles office include Judge John Hodgman, Switchblade Sisters, Troubled Waters, One Bad Mother, Heat Rocks, Tights and Fights and the scripted comedy Bubble, which was named one of the best podcasts of 2018 by Apple, Rolling Stone, and the Atlantic.

We’re seeking candidates who are starting out in (or transitioning to) a career in audio production. The Production Fellow will work full-time out of our office near downtown Los Angeles.

If that’s you, apply today! Our application deadline is September 23rd, 2019. The target start date is October 7th.

Our Production Fellowship program will be a full-time position. By the end of their tenure, the Fellow will have worked on every aspect of producing our in-house shows. That includes script writing, research, booking, engineering recordings, editing audio, getting material broadcast and podcast-ready, writing content for our blog, and managing and curating social media for our shows. The Fellow will also assist with occasional live shows and events.

The ideal candidate is a podcast enthusiast who is deeply immersed in culture (pop or otherwise) and/or comedy. You should have a strong interest in audio and a curiosity about the world. Our job will be to train you in the skills needed for audio production.

The Fellow will split responsibilities across Bullseye with Jesse Thorn (distributed nationally by NPR) and other MaxFun projects. We take training and skill-building seriously, and expect the Fellow to advance existing skills and build many new skills over the course of the year. Our goal is that those completing the Fellowship are capable of comfortably handling all steps of the audio production process, from pre-production to publishing. is an equal opportunity employer, and actively seeks applicants from a broad variety of backgrounds. Diversity of experience and perspective is essential to our business. We want interesting and distinctive candidates, not cultural homogeneity.

The Maximum Fun Production Fellowship is a one-year, full-time position. The fellow will receive an annual salary of $31,200, plus paid federal holidays and a benefits package that includes health insurance, sick time, personal time, YMCA membership, and more.


  • Will not be enrolled in an academic program throughout the duration of the program
  • Some experience with Adobe Audition, ProTools, Hindenburg, or similar digital editing software
  • Demonstrated ability to work quickly and efficiently under pressure
  • Ability to multitask
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team
  • Love of comedy and culture
  • Experiences that could be helpful (even if you've never cut tape):
    - Radio or podcast production (independent / college radio production is a-okay)
    - Journalism
    - Social media marketing / brand management
    - Event coordination

We cannot accept submissions from international applicants who are not residents of the US. All applicants must be willing to relocate to Los Angeles before the start date of the position.


To apply for the production fellowship, please send the following to

  • A resume
  • The names, phone numbers and email addresses of two references we may contact, including at least one past employer
  • A work sample (i.e. an audio piece or journalistic work that you helped produce, including a description of your work on the project). No attachments, please. Download links to MP3, Soundcloud links OK.
  • Brief responses (no more than a paragraph each) to the following prompts:
    - Why do you want to work in public radio and/or podcast production?
    - What previous experience (if any) do you have in journalism and/or radio or podcast production?
    - What previous experience (if any) do you have with audio editing?
    - What book, article, show, film, podcast, album, song or other cultural product that you consumed this week would you recommend to a friend? Why?
    - Pick a MaxFun show (maybe you already have a favorite) and review a recent episode. Let us know the show, episode title, what you liked and what you didn’t.

Note that a cover letter is not required.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 96: 'Dead & Buried' with 'Riot Girls' Director Jovanka Vuckovic

Jovanka Vuckovic

Dead & Buried

Jovanka Vuckovic is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. In the past two decades, she has worked as a visual effects artist, earning a Gemini Award, and cemented a reputation as a genre film authority—she was twice named one of the most important women in the history of horror, serving for a time as editor-in-chief of famed Rue Morgue Magazine. In 2016, she spread her wings into the US film market, joining the DGA after directing a segment of XX, the first-ever all-female horror film anthology from Magnolia Pictures, which had its premiere at Sundance 2017. Her debut Riot Girls, written by Katherine Collins, will see its release this year. The film tells the story of two young women who must save a young man from the clutches of a little psychopath on the wrong side of Potter’s Bluff — a town divided after a mysterious disease wiped out all the adults.

The movie that Jovanka has chosen to discuss is a grossly underappreciated classic - 1981's Dead & Buried. Jovanka talks about how she named the small town of Potter's Bluff in Riot Girls after the Potter's Bluff of Dead & Buried. She even goes as far to say she envisions that both films exist in the exact same town. Jovanka also opens up about her intense fear of death and how that influences her films. And she and April discuss the struggles of getting a movie made as a female filmmaker.

You can see Riot Girls in theaters and on demand on September 13th.

And if you haven't seen Dead & Buried yet, you simply must!

With April Wolfe and Jovanka Vuckovic.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for

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