J. Keith van Straaten

Ep. 36: Go Fact Yourself with Allie Goertz & Jason Stuart

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Penelope Spheeris, Allie Goertz, J. Keith van Straaten, Jason Stuart, Helen Hong, Mikal Vollmer
Guests: 
Allie Goertz & Jason Stuart
Guests: 
Penelope Spheeris & Mikal Vollmer

This episode of Go Fact Yourself is part of a balanced breakfast of trivia and comedy!

Allie Goertz is a writer who hosts the fellow Max Fun podcast "Everything’s Coming up Simpsons". As if that didn’t give her enough funny things to surround herself with, she’s also the first woman editor for MAD Magazine! She’ll explain why even the silliest MAD content requires a lot of hard work.

Allie faces off against Jason Stuart! He’s a comedian and actor. He’s appeared in a number of films like Birth of a Nation stars in the new TV series "Smothered." He’s always been openly gay in his showbiz career. But these days he says he’s, "only gay on the weekends." He’ll explain.

Our guests will discuss breakfast, math and seminal "Saturday Night Live" films.

What’s the Difference: Make it Count

What’s the difference between a number and a numeral?

What’s the difference between arithmetic and mathematics?

Areas of Expertise

Jason Stuart: LGBTQ History, Barbra Streisand, and breakfast cereal.

Allie Goertz: The Beatles movies, the film Wayne’s World and giving advice.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Allie Goertz
Jason Stuart

With guest experts:


Penelope Spheeris and Allie Goertz

Penelope Spheeris, director of films such as The Decline of Western Civilization parts 1, 2 and 3 and Wayne’s World.


Jason Stuart and Mikal Vollmer

Mikal Vollmer, cereal box collector, lecturer and historian and creator of the online zine about breakfast cereal Free Inside.

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. 35: Go Fact Yourself with Suzy Nakamura & Mark L. Walberg

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Bianca Bulle, J. Keith van Straaten, Mark L. Walberg, Helen Hong, Suzy Nakamura, Stephen Tabor
Guests: 
Suzy Nakamura & Mark L. Walberg
Guests: 
Bianca Bulle & Stephen Tabor

It might be the most highbrow episode of Go Fact Yourself yet!

Suzy Nakamura is an actor who’s been seen in shows like”Dr. Ken” and “The Goldbergs”. Her work has endeared her to a large number of fans, but she’ll explain what she’s had to correct them about an unfortunate number of times.

Suzy’s opponent is Mark L. Walberg! He’s the host of shows like “Antiques Roadshow” and “Temptation Island” (and is not to be confused with the actor who shares his name). Mark will tell the story of how his son inadvertently helped him win another trivia game show, “The Weakest Link.”

Our guests will discuss minor league baseball, math, and traditional holiday ballet.

What’s the Difference: Mean

What’s the difference between "facetious" and "sarcastic"?

What’s the difference between a median and a mean in mathematics?

Areas of Expertise

Suzy Nakamura: The Gutenberg Bible, the city of Chicago and Instagram cats

Mark L. Walberg: The film Pitch Perfect, moonshine and ballet.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Suzy Nakamura
Mark L. Walberg

With guest experts:


Suzy Nakamura and Stephen Tabor

Stephen Tabor, rare book curator for the Huntington Library.


Bianca Bulle and Mark L. Walberg

Bianca Bulle, Principal ballerina for Los Angeles Ballet.

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. 34: Go Fact Yourself with Dave Anthony & Xeni Jardin

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Tommy Chong, Helen Hong, Xeni Jardin, J. Keith van Straaten, Dave Anthony, Dr. Alex Hall
Guests: 
Dave Anthony & Xeni Jardin
Guests: 
Dr. Alex Hall & Tommy Chong

This week’s episode of Go Fact Yourself features topics that are really scary and really funny!

Dave Anthony is a comedian, but he loves making people think just as much as he loves making them laugh. He hosts the podcast "The Dollop" where he tells people about the U.S. history that they probably didn’t learn in school. That includes some less-discussed details about George Washington’s teeth.

Dave’s opponent is Xeni Jardin! She’s the co-editor of one of the premier blogs on the internet: "Boing Boing". As someone who’s worked with websites for years, she’s got a lot of thoughts on what makes the internet such a great platform for conversation… and why it’s often not-so-great as well.

Our guests will take deep dives into trivia, advocate for important causes and even get to meet a personal hero.

What’s the Difference: Warship/Worship

What’s the difference between a battleship and a destroyer?

What’s the difference between a church and a cathedral?

Areas of Expertise

Dave Anthony: San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, why Halloween is better than Christmas and climate change.

Xeni Jardin: Golden retrievers, the film Blade Runner and marijuana.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Dave Anthony
Xeni Jardin

With guest experts:


Dr. Alex Hall and Dave Anthony

Doctor Alex Hall, director for the UCLA center for climate science.


Tommy Chong and Xeni Jardin

Tommy Chong, comedian, writer, actor and cannabis activist.

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. 33: Go Fact Yourself with Sara Schaefer & Kurt Braunohler

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Larry Niven, Kurt Braunohler, J. Keith van Straaten, Sara Schaefer, Helen Hong, Dr. Muriel C. McClendon
Guests: 
Sara Schaefer & Kurt Braunohler
Guests: 
Dr. Muriel C. McClendon & Larry Niven

Grab your favorite science-fiction novel and settle into your 1400's English outfit for this episode of Go Fact Yourself!

Sara Schaefer is an accomplished comedian and writer. She won an Emmy for her time as a blogger on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." And yes, you can win an Emmy for blogging! But that was not her first Emmy nomination, that came during her time as a writer for a show that might help her out today: "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" Sara's new comedy album "LIVE LAUGH LOVE" is available now.

Sara's opponent is Kurt Braunohler! He's the host of the Los Angeles comedy show "Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen". These days, he's got a pretty great professional life, but that wasn't always the case. He'll recount some of the roughest parts of his career, including when he performed an hour of stand-up to an audience of three people. You can see Kurt in the Showtime series "Black Monday"

As our guest's trivia prowess is pushed the limit, we'll learn more about the postal service, barnyard animals and the two Coreys.

What’s the difference: Mail/Male

What’s the difference between certified mail and registered mail?

What’s the difference between a bull and an ox?


Kurt Braunohler and Sara Schaefer

Areas of Expertise

Sara Schaefer: Joni Mitchell, crafting and Tudor England

Guy Branum: Science-Fiction literature, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and movies that feature both Coreys Haim and Feldman.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Sara Schaefer
Kurt Braunohler

With guest experts:

Dr. Muriel C. McClendon, UCLA professor whose area of research is Tudor England.

Larry Niven, author of numerous science-fiction books, including the Ringworld series.

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. 32: Go Fact Yourself with Guy Branum & Emily Heller

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Margaret Cho, J. Keith van Straaten, Guy Branum, Helen Hong, Emily Heller
Guests: 
Guy Branum & Emily Heller
Guests: 
Margaret Cho, Emily Saliers

In honor of the #MaxFunDrive, Go Fact Yourself presents a special network crossover!

Guy Branum is a comedian and host of the podcast "Pop Rocket". He's also a pop culture savant, as detailed in his book My Life as a Goddess. If you want to know more about the pop culture he loves, you'll have to read the book… but he's happy to provide a glimpse through some of his answers today.

His opponent is a fellow comedian for whom he has a lot of respect (and fear): Emily Heller! You can hear her as the host of the podcast "Baby Geniuses". Her show is all about explaining things. Today she’ll key in on a very important topic: Martha Stewart's barnyard animals.

From personal heroes to classic television to the subtleties of regional coffee pot designs, this episode has it all.

This show is directly funded by our Maximum Fun Members. As part of our annual #MaxFunDrive, you can sign up for as little as $5 a month at maximumfun.org/donate to help support this and other Max Fun shows you listen to AND earn great gifts in the process!

What’s the difference: Coffee/Coughy

What’s the difference between a teapot and a coffee pot?

What’s the difference between phlegm and mucus?


Guy Branum and Emily Heller

Areas of Expertise

Emily Heller: The TV show "Frasier," the musical group Indigo Girls and how to have a good time at Disneyland.

Guy Branum: Academy Award nominees for best actress, the TV show "30 Rock" and grains.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Guy Branum
Emily Heller

With guest experts:

Emily Saliers, Grammy Award winning musician and one-half of Indigo Girls.

Margaret Cho, comedian 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.

Go Fact Yourself Bonus Episode with Ross Blocher & Carrie Poppy

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Earl Pomerantz, Carrie Poppy, J. Keith van Straaten, Helen Hong, Dr. David H. Bailey

Max Fun Members, this episode is exclusively for you! The hosts of the podcast "Oh No Ross & Carrie!" compete to determine trivia supremacy in a special network crossover edition of "Go Fact Yourself"!

Ross Blocher is known for being an expert in the paranormal… and disproving it. As a member of the Independent Investigations Group, he investigates the paranormal from a scientific perspective. What's he discovered? Not much of the stuff that goes bump in the night holds up.

His opponent is Carrie Poppy. Like Ross, she's also extremely well-educated in the paranormal. But her education actually extends to the degrees that she's earned. And she's all to happy inform everyone about it.

In this episode, we'll learn about mathematics, comedy legends, and the subtleties of men's fashion.

This show is available EXCLUSIVELY to our Maximum Fun Members. To get the chance to listen as well, be sure to take part in the annual #MaxFunDrive and become a monthly member! You can sign up at maximumfun.org/donate to help support this and other Max Fun shows you listen to.

What’s the difference: Hanging on the rod

What’s the difference between a blazer and a sportcoat?

What’s the difference between drapes and curtains?

Areas of Expertise

Ross Blocher: The band The Smashing Pumpkins, The number Pi and the duck-billed platypus.

Carrie Poppy: "The Dick van Dyke Show", "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and farm animals

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Ross Blocher
Carrie Poppy

With guest experts:
Dr. David H. Bailey, author of the book Pi: The Next Generation.

Earl Pomerantz, TV writer whose credits include "The Cosby Show," "Cheers" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

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 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.

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