J. Keith van Straaten

Ep 31: Go Fact Yourself with Greg Fitzsimmons & Shawn Pelofsky

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John Melendez, Shawn Pelofsky, J. Keith van Straaten, Greg Fitzsimmons, Helen Hong, Leslie Kendall
Guests: 
Greg Fitzsimmons & Shawn Pelofsky
Guests: 
Leslie Kendall & John Melendez

Fans of comedy, cars and Howard Stern rejoice: This episode of Go Fact Yourself is sure to delight!

Shawn Pelofsky is a comedian whose special "Stretch It Out" is available now. She’s ready to be quizzed about her favorite things; But she’s also excited to share a personal experience with one of her greatest loves: Bette Midler.

Shawn goes up against comedian Greg Fitzsimmons, who you can hear hosting two podcasts: "Ftizdog Radio" and "Childish." He tells us about why his brief time as an athletic swimmer helped his future career in the entertainment industry.

The show touches on everything from cool janitors to chemistry to presidential prank calls.

What’s the difference: Silent "E"

What’s the difference between silicon and silicone?

What’s the difference between whisky and whiskey?

Areas of Expertise

Greg Ftizsimmons: Classic Mustangs, President John F. Kennedy and antidepressants.

Shawn Pelofsky: Howard Stern, the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" and gay culture.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Greg Fitzsimmons
Shawn Pelofsky

With guest experts:

Leslie Kendall, chief historian of the Petersen Automotive Museum.

John Melendez comedian and author of the book "Easy For You To Say".

This episode is sponsored by CA Trusts.

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.

Ep 30: Go Fact Yourself with Sasheer Zamata and Samm Levine

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Jay Kogen, J. Keith van Straaten, Samm Levine, Helen Hong, Sasheer Zamata
Guests: 
Sasheer Zamata & Samm Levine
Guests: 
Cat Thomas & Jay Kogen

"The Simpsons," Quentin Tarantino and comedy come together on Go Fact Yourself!

Sasheer Zamata is best known for her roles on "Saturday Night Live" and as the host of the variety showcase Sasheer Zamata Party Time. She’ll tell us about why a very... confusing invasion of her privacy has her so protective of her personal possessions.

Sasheer will go up against actor Samm Levine, who you may know from the Quentin Tarentino film Inglorious Basterds. He’s also in the beloved, but short-lived, TV series "Freaks and Geeks." He’s heard from a lot of fans who say they wish that show hadn’t ended so abruptly. But good news: he’ll share his solution to keeping "Freaks and Geeks" going for just a little longer.

What’s the difference: Space

What’s the difference between a meteor and a meteorite?

What’s the difference between a nook and a cranny?

Areas of Expertise

Sasheer Zamata: Beyonce, the films Kill Bill: Vol. I and Kill Bill: Vol. II and show choir.

Samm Levine: The first three Die Hard movies, poker and "The Simpsons" seasons 3-9.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Sasheer Zamata
Samm Levine

With guest experts:

Cat Thomas, award-winning costume designer for film and television.

Jay Kogen writer for "The Simpsons"

This episode is sponsored by The Big Quiz Thing and the Maximum Fun Jumbotron program.

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.

Ep 29: Go Fact Yourself with Scott Thompson and Jenny Yang

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Dylan Sittig, J. Keith van Straaten, Scott Thompson, Helen Hong, Jenny Yang
Guests: 
Scott Thompson & Jenny Yang
Guests: 
Dylan Sittig & Peter Winkler

It's a collision of comedians on this episode of Go Fact Yourself!

Scott Thompson is known for being part of the famed comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall. How did he become a part of such a well-regarded group of funny people? Let's just say that it all started with a table full of donuts. He'll explain the rest.

Scott faces off against comedian Jenny Yang. Growing up, she thought that she was destined for a career in political activism. But through a long road that included lobbying and poetry readings, she became a comedian and TV personality on the E! Network show "Busy Tonight".

In this episode, we'll learn about timeless movie stars, city planning and the expansive network of UCLA alumni.

What’s the difference: On the Water and Under the Ground

What’s the difference between a cruise ship and an ocean liner?

What’s the difference between a casket and a coffin?

Areas of Expertise

Jenny Yang: LA city planning, social justice leaders and Taiwanese food.

Scott Thompson: James Dean, the show “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and condiments.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Jenny Yang
Scott Thompson

With guest experts:

Dylan Sittig, community-focused urban and environmental planner for the city of Los Angeles .

Peter Winkler, author of the book The Real James Dean: Intimate Memories from Those Who Knew Him Best.

This episode is sponsored by Scott Langteau's new children's book Sofa Boy and the Maximum Fun Jumbotron program.

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.

Ep 28: Go Fact Yourself with Felicia Day and Elliott Kalan

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Alan Rachins, Felicia Day, J. Keith van Straaten, Elliott Kalan, Helen Hong, Veronica Cartwright
Guests: 
Felicia Day & Elliott Kalan
Guests: 
Veronica Cartwright & Alan Rachins
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

It’s a trivia mix of film, TV and the internet this week on Go Fact Yourself with two of the creative forces behind Netlfix's “Mystery Science Theater 3000!”

Elliot Kalan is a newly published children’s author of the book Horse Meets Dog. He’s also the host of fellow Maximum Fun podcast The Flop House. The show is all about discussing bad movies, but Elliott’s made sure that that never impacts his love of great films… even if he can only watch them on his iPad these days.

Facing off against Elliott is actress Felicia Day. She’s most known for creating and starring in the online series The Guild. She’ll tell us all about some of her favorite topics and explain some of things she’s learned as she navigates motherhood.

In this episode, we'll learn about 90’s sitcoms, classic films and the everlasting star-power of dinosaurs.

What’s the difference: Intention and Prevention

What’s the difference between “purposely” and “purposefully”?

What’s the difference between “cease” and “desist”?

Areas of Expertise

Elliott Kalan: Dinosaurs, Alfred Hitchcock, and Abraham Lincoln.

Felicia Day: The TV show “Dharma and Greg”, the board game “Settlers of Catan,” and baking cookies.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Elliott Kalan
Felicia Day

With guest experts:

Veronica Cartwright, actress who has had roles in films like Alien and The Birds.

Alan Rachins, actor who’s had roles in series such as “L.A. Law” and “Dharma and Greg.”

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.

Ep 27: Go Fact Yourself with Cara Santa Maria and Glen Weldon

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Brian Firkus, Glen Weldon, J. Keith van Straaten, Cara Santa Maria, Helen Hong, Christopher Marley
Guests: 
Cara Santa Maria & Glen Weldon
Guests: 
Brian Firkus & Christopher Marley
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

Happy National Trivia Day! Let’s celebrate with a collision of journalists who also host podcasts!

Cara Santa Maria is the host of the podcast Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria. She’s also a science communicator and there’s a chance that her proficiency in STEM will lead her to victory in this trivia battle.

Her opponent is Glen Weldon, panelist on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He’s written the book on Batman and Superman (literally) but will that knowledge be enough to guide him to victory?

In this episode, we’ll learn about fashion, drag queens and art with deceased creatures.

What’s the difference: Top and Bottom

What’s the difference between a shirt that is “button-up” and “button-down”?

What’s the difference between “below” and “under”?

Areas of Expertise

Cara Santa Maria: Hold ‘em poker, the artist Christopher Marley and the Olive Garden menu.

Glen Weldon: Wine tasting, Rupaul’s Drag Race and Catherine O’Hara.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Cara Santa Maria
Glen Weldon

With guest experts:

Christopher Marley- international artist.

Brian Firkus- actor, singer and embodiment of drag-queen Trixie Mattel.

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.

Ep 26: Go Fact Yourself with Lea Thompson and Sandeep Parikh

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Ellen Greer, J. Keith van Straaten, Lea Thompson, Helen Hong, Sandeep Parikh
Guests: 
Lea Thompson & Sandeep Parikh
Guests: 
Dan Shaughnessy & Ellen Greer
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

Nerdy media of the past and present collide on this edition of Go Fact Yourself!

Lea Thompson is an actress, perhaps best known for her role in the classic Back to the Future series. But lately, she’s developed a reputation for losing reality TV competitions to such illustrious names like Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong and Alfonso Ribiero. But she’s ready to end that trend on this show!

Competing against Thompson is Sandeep Parikh, star of the series The Guild. Growing up, he worked really hard to learn about things that would help him fit in and make friends. Luckily, that helped him gain knowledge that could help him win today's game.

In this episode, we’ll learn about classic Hollywood movies, baseball and the color green.

What’s the difference: Green

What’s the difference between “jealous” and “envious”?

What’s the difference between a grove and an orchard?

Areas of Expertise

Sandeep Parikh: The Boston Red Sox, Hindu Mythology, and the film The Princess Bride.

Lea Thompson: Roseville Pottery, designing houses and the film Harold and Maude.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Sandeep Parikh
Lea Thompson

With guest experts:

Dan Shaughnessy, sports columnist for the Boston Globe.

Ellen Greer, actress who’s appeared in more than 100 projects across movies, television and theater.

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.

Ep. 25: Go Fact Yourself with Wil Wheaton and Anne Wheaton

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Owen Rubin, Wil Wheaton, J. Keith van Straaten, Anne Wheaton, Helen Hong, Gene Lewin
Guests: 
Wil Wheaton & Anne Wheaton
Guests: 
Gene Lewin & Owen Rubin
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

It’s the very first couple-edition of Go Fact Yourself!

Wil Wheaton is an actor, writer and geek-culture legend. He’s been in everything from Star Trek: The Next Generation where he starred as the character Wesley Crusher, to his YouTube series TableTop. He’s glad to come onto the show and answer trivia questions about his interests; but he also is eager to prove that he knows these subjects well enough to stump the hosts too.

Competing against Wil is Anne Wheaton, author of the children’s book Piggy and Pug, which is as adorable as the title makes it sound. The book also reflects her background as an animal lover, which has shown in her professional life as well as her personal one. Anne also happens to be married to Wil.

In this episode, we’ll learn about secrets from classic arcade games, musical theater and how Anne and Wil met and fell in love.

What’s the difference: High or Low

What’s the difference between “altitude” and “elevation”?

What’s the difference between “less” and “fewer”?

Areas of Expertise

Anne Wheaton: 1980’s Arcade games, Atari 2600 video-games and puns.

Wil Wheaton: 1980’s Arcade games, Atari 2600 and baking sourdough bread.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Wil Wheaton
Anne Wheaton

With guest experts:

Gene Lewin, owner of Vintage Arcade Superstore.

Owen Rubin, game designer who helped make classic arcade games for Atari.

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.

Ep 24: Go Fact Yourself with Jordan Morris and Alison Rosen

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Gloria Loring, Alison Rosen, J. Keith van Straaten, Jordan Morris, Helen Hong, Dr. Mairin Balisi
Guests: 
Jordan Morris & Alison Rosen
Guests: 
Gloria Loring & Dr. Mairin Balisi
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

Go Fact Yourself has returned to Los Angeles!

Jordan Morris is a podcasting savant. For years he has endeared himself to listeners as one of the hosts of the Max Fun podcast Jordan, Jesse Go!. But these days, he’s getting more attention for the sci-fi/comedy show Bubble, which wrapped up its initial season (spoiler alert: he’s going to tease the future of the series in this episode).

Completing our pair of podcasting guests is Alison Rosen, host of Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend. She’s also the author of the book Tropical Attire Encouraged (and Other Phrases That Scare Me). She’s got a reputation of being very funny in her work, but also very warm in a way that encourages people to share personal insights with her. But that’s not what makes her successful. What is? Well… she’ll explain

In this episode, we’ll learn about the Harlem Globetrotters, sweet treats and prehistoric poop.

What’s the difference: Feast or Famine

What’s the difference between “ice cream” and “gelato”?

What’s the difference between “to deny” and “to deprive” when referring to food?

Areas of Expertise

Jordan Morris: The Simpsons, the La Brea Tar Pits, and the 90’s third-wave ska revival.

Alison Rosen: In vitro fertilization, The Facts of Life, and analogies.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Jordan Morris
Alison Rosen

With guest experts:

Dr. Mairin Balisi, National Science Foundation postdoctoral research fellow.

Gloria Loring, singer and actress.

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.

Ep 23: Go Fact Yourself with Ophira Eisenberg and Charles Busch

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Eugenia Paulicelli, Charles Busch, J. Keith va Straaten, Ophira Eisenberg, Helen Hong, Marcel Simoneau
Guests: 
Ophira Eisenberg & Charles Busch
Guests: 
Marcel Simoneau & Eugenia Paulicelli
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

It's another episode Go Fact Yourself recorded in New York!

Ophira Eisenberg is used to being on trivia shows as the host of NPR’s Ask Me Another. But here’s the thing: she doesn’t consider herself a trivia buff. Like, at all. That said, she’s chosen topics that she thoroughly understands… and most of them involve being a proud Canadian.

Charles Busch is a Tony-nominated actor, playwright, and drag legend. He’s the creator of the film and play Die, Mommie, Die!, which will soon be produced as a radio show. Even though he’s spent most of his professional career performing in women’s clothing, he still finds some of the clothes a bit uncomfortable… but that’s one of the best parts of being an actor.

In this episode, we’ll learn about street-building materials, fashion, and the undervalued cuisine of Canada.

What’s the difference: The streets of New York

What’s the difference between “cement” and “concrete”?

What’s the difference between a “freeway” and a “highway”?

Areas of Expertise:

Ophira Eisenberg: Canadian Geography, Canadian food, and the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Charles Bush: Women’s fashion of 1930’s, The film Rosemary’s Baby, and Bette Davis

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Ophira Eisenberg
Charles Busch

With guest experts:

Marcel Simoneau, owner of the Brooklyn-based Canadian restaurant Up North.

Eugenia Paulicelli, professor and author of the book Fashion under Fascism.

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 Caveat in New York City.

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

Ep 22: Go Fact Yourself with Stacy London and Scott Rogowsky

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Christa, J. Keith, Scott, Helen, Stacy
Guests: 
Stacy London & Scott Rogowsky
Guests: 
Christa LiTrenta
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

It's the first episode of Go Fact Yourself recorded in New York!

Fashion stylist Stacy London is a New York Times Bestselling author. And for ten seasons, she was best known as the host of What Not to Wear on TLC. And while she still prides herself on being a fashionista, she insists her advice for others… but Helen still remembers when that wasn’t the case.

Scott Rogowsky can be seen on the popular app-based trivia gameshow HQ. He’s also known for the theater talk show Running Late with Scott Rogowsky. It’s all helped him reach a level of fame that allowed him to fulfill a lifelong dream: play in the Celebrity softball game where he got to pitch against Shaquille O’Neil.

In this episode, we’ll learn about the subtleties of cocktail ingredients, learn about how to have a proper “mid-life renaissance” and why sweet desserts are superior to savory ones.

What’s the difference?

What’s the difference between “Manhattan” and an “Old-fashioned” cocktail?

What’s the difference between “Manhattan” and “New England” clam chowder?

Areas of Expertise

Stacy London: The best desserts in New York City, the film Tootsie and French existentialism.

Scott Rogowsky: The show Seinfeld, Woody Allen movies and minor league baseball teams.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Stacy London
Scott Rogowsky

With guest experts:

Christa LiTrenta, director of culinary training for Magnolia Bakery.

Dick Cavett, actor and broadcasting legend.

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 Caveat in New York City.

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

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