Go Fact Yourself

Ep. 45: Go Fact Yourself with Peter Sagal & Rebecca Makkai

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Bob Schwartz, Helen Hong, Peter Sagal, J. Keith van Straaten, Rebecca Makkai
Guests: 
Peter Sagal & Rebecca Makkai
Guests: 
Gov. Madeleine May Kunin & Bob Schwartz

It’s another helping of Go Fact Yourself in Chicago, now more delicious and savory than ever!

Peter Sagal is the host of the NPR program "Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!" But his experience with trivia shows goes all the way back to when he was a contestant on “Jeopardy”… and quickly found himself in the negative dollars. That doesn’t mean he’s bad at trivia; he’s just bad at pressing buttons. He’ll tell us about that and why he’s so dedicated to disrupting the narrative of Chicago deep-dish pizza.

Opposite Peter is author Rebecca Makkai. Her book The Great Believers earned her the distinction of being a finalist for the Pulitzer prize. It’s a truly special accomplishment -- but she had an even bigger dream as a child: teaching dogs how to talk.

The guests will discuss the local food scene, whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich and, yes, a lot of discussion about the windy city.

What’s the Difference: The Windy City

What’s the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon?

What’s the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?

Areas of Expertise

Peter Sagal: Chicago food culture, James Cameron movies and running

Rebecca Makkai: The film Clue, the state of Vermont and the furnace girl murder of Lake Bluff, Illinois

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong


Peter Sagal and Rebecca Makkai

Peter Sagal
Rebecca Makkai

With guest experts:

Gov. Madeleine May Kunin, author, ambassador and three-term governor of Vermont.


Peter Sagal and Bob Schwartz

Bob Schwartz, Senior Vice President of Vienna Beef and author of the book Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog.

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 Sleeping Village in Chicago.

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

Come to our next live tapings in Los Angeles on Sunday, October 13 -- Go to gofactyourpod.com for FREE tickets!

Ep. 44: Go Fact Yourself with Bill Kurtis & Sarah Spain

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John Ullinskey, Helen Hong, Bill Kurtis, J. Keith van Straaten, Sarah Spain
Guests: 
Bill Kurtis & Sarah Spain
Guests: 
Jill Sweeney & John Ullinskey

It’s the first episode of Go Fact Yourself from Chicago!

Two-time Peabody Award winner Bill Kurtis is a news anchor with one of the most famous voices in television and radio. You may have heard him as the scorekeeper for the program "Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!", but he’s also known for his narration in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. He’ll explain how that role changed his life forever and share other stories from his extensive career.

Bill will compete with his fellow broadcaster and fellow Peabody Award winner Sarah Spain, host and contributor for ESPN. She’s often seen on the sports debate show "Around the Horn." She’ll tell us how she crafts an effective argument on the show and how she’s battling the negativity that comes with being a woman in the sports industry. Also, doggies!

The guests will answer questions about war veterans, improv comedy characters and the windy city.

What’s the Difference: Cubs & White Sox

What’s the difference between a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout?

What’s the difference between stitching and darning?

Areas of Expertise

Bill Kurtis: Frank Sinatra’s big band music, World War II in Okinawa and the prairie

Sarah Spain: Rescue dogs, 90’s "Saturday Night Live" characters and grammar.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong


Bill Kurtis & Sarah Spain

Bill Kurtis
Sarah Spain

With guest experts:

Julia Sweeney, actor and comedian who’s appeared in four seasons of "Saturday Night Live."


John Ullinskey & Bill Kurtis

John Ullinskey, WWII veteran who served aboard the USS Arikara and participated in the D-Day Invasion and the Battle of Okinawa

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 Sleeping Village in Chicago.

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

Ep. 11: Go Fact Yourself with Edi Patterson and Wayne Federman.

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(l-r) J. Keith Van Straaten, Helen Hong, Karie Bible, Wayne Federman, Edi Patterson
Guests: 
Edi Patterson & Wayne Federman
Guests: 
Edi Patterson
Guests: 
Wayne Federman

This week, actress Edi Patterson and comedian Wayne Federman will go head-to-head, answering such biting trivia as the difference between a cemetery and a graveyard, the politics of Beverly Hills and the finer points of childbirth. It’s a competition as funny as it is eclectic!

But first, Edi will explain how her time at the Impro theatre primarily leads to the creation of full-length, fully improvised plays (yeah with an intermission and everything). And Wayne will explain what it’s like teaching stand-up comedy… as an actual class at a University.

Edi’s areas of expertise include The Lost Boys, Midsouth Championship Wrestling from the 1980’s and Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show. Wayne’s area of expertise includes films that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture, drummers who sing while drumming and fast-food.

As always, listen to find out if your trivia knowledge surpasses those of our guests.

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Edi Patterson
Wayne Federman

With guest experts:
Podcaster and pro-wrestling historian Jim Cornette.

Box-office analyst and author of several books on movies Karie Bible.

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.

Everything's Coming Up Simpsons Ep. 133: The Blue and The Grey w/ Helen Hong

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Guests: 
Helen Hong

Helen Hong joins Allie and Julia to talk about The Blue and The Grey. You know Helen from Max Fun podcast Go Fact Yourself, and you might recognize her as a regular guest on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!. In the episode, Marge discovers she's had grey hair for years. With this new discovery she decides to go all natural. Join us as they talk about the canonical nature of Marge's grey hair, Sister Act 3, and Valentine's Day in Springfield. Plus, find out why everyone is obsessed with pickles.

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