trivia

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

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

Ep. 42: Go Fact Yourself with Jim Beaver & Erica Rhodes

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Dr. Betsy Bogart, J. Keith van Straaten, Erica Rhodes, Helen Hong, Jim Beaver
Guests: 
Jim Beaver & Erica Rhodes
Guests: 
Dr. Stephen Brumwell & Dr. Betsy Bogart

C’est l’heure pour un nouvel épisode de Go Fact Yourself*! (In case your French is a little rusty: It’s time for a new episode of Go Fact Yourself!)

Jim Beaver is an actor who’s known for his roles in TV shows like, "Breaking Bad," and, "Justified," where he’s earned a reputation as a "tough guy"-type who’s usually associated with guns. He’s also done a lot of research on major Hollywood figures from other eras. He’ll explain why he didn’t let the technological limitations from his youth get in the way of his research of actor John Garfield. Jim Beaver can be seen in the final season of "Supernatural".

Jim will face off against Erica Rhodes, who’s currently tearing it up on NBC’s "Bring The Funny" and who had a memorable turn on "Modern Family". She’s been involved in show-business since she was 10 as a voice on the radio-drama "Prairie Home Companion". Erica’s newest comedy album is "Sad Lemon" and she’ll explain how she settled on the title after a little crowdsourcing.

The guests will discuss classic musicals set in France, American traitors and the finer aspects of going Dutch.

What’s the Difference: Going Dutch

What’s the difference between Holland and The Netherlands?

What’s the difference between a levee and a dike?

Areas of Expertise

Jim Beaver: Benedict Arnold, movies based on Raymond Chandler novels and "Adventures of Superman"

Erica Rhodes: The film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, philosopher Friedrich Neitzsche, and the poet William Wordsworth.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong


Jim Beaver and Erica Rhodes

Jim Beaver
Erica Rhodes

With guest experts:

Dr. Stephen Brumwell, award-winning author of several books on American history.


Dr. Betsy Bogart and Erica Rhodes

Dr. Betsy Bogart, singer and Film Studies teacher at UCLA.

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. 41: Go Fact Yourself with Jamie Kennedy & Melissa McQueen

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Jamie Kennedy, J. Keith van Straaten, Melissa McQueen, Helen Hong, Grant Rosenmeyer
Guests: 
Jamie Kennedy & Melissa McQueen
Guests: 
Brian Dunning & Grant Rosenmeyer

Go Fact Yourself is coming to Chicago! Join us on August 9 & 10 at Sleeping Village. Visit gofactyourpod.com for tickets and details.

Our patented mind-control techniques compel you to hear this episode of Go Fact Yourself!

Jamie Kennedy is a comedian and actor. He’s spent most of his life working in film and television with some big names like Frank Oz and David O. Russell. But how did he decide that he wanted to spend his life in Hollywood? It all goes back to his minor background role in a classic Robin Williams film. Jamie Kennedy can be seen in the upcoming film Ad Astra.

Jamie will face off against a frequent collaborator of his: comedian Melissa McQueen. These days, she’s known for wearing sequins and sparkly outfits while performing on comedy stages across the country. But she’ll tell us about how she used to work to help other people perform on stage… as a karaoke KJ.

The guests will chat about government secrets, child-actors and the value of passing on deceased relatives' clothing.

What’s the Difference: Impostors

What’s the difference between "duplicate" and "replicate?"

What’s the difference between a robot and an android?

Areas of Expertise

Jamie Kennedy: The MK Ultra conspiracy, pacemakers and lyrics to the Big Bopper song "Chantilly Lace."

Melissa McQueen: Lyrics from the Hall & Oates album Rock & Soul Part 1, the film The Royal Tenenbaums and The Pizzagate Conspiracy.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong


Jamie Kennedy and Melissa McQueen

Jamie Kennedy
Melissa McQueen

With guest experts:

Brian Dunning, science writer and host of the award-winning "Skeptoid Podcast".


Melissa McQueen and Grant Rosenmeyer

Grant Rosenmeyer, producer and actor who’s appeared on Broadway, film and television.

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. 40: Go Fact Yourself with Anthony Rapp & Jessica McKenna

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Helen Hong, Stephen Park, J. Keith van Straaten, Anthony Rapp, Cristela Alonzo, Jessica McKenna, Rory O'Malley
Guests: 
Anthony Rapp & Jessica McKenna
Guests: 
Rory O'Malley, Stephen Park & Helen Hong
Guests: 
Cristela Alonzo

Go Fact Yourself is coming to Chicago! Join us on August 9 & 10 at Sleeping Village. Visit gofactyourpod.com for tickets and details.

Cristela Alonzo is a comedian and former guest on Go Fact Yourself. This week, she’s stepping in as the co-host! Her new book "Music to My Years" will be out in October.

Jessica McKenna is known for the podcast "Off Book" where she and her co-host Zach Reino improvise a full musical with special guests… even if the guests aren’t totally aware of what’s going on when they first join the program. Jessica is also a voice-artist who’s cornered a very specific portrayal: scrappy ten-year-old boys. She’ll explain what’s behind her expertise.

Jessica will face off against someone who also knows a lot about musicals: actor Anthony Rapp. He was part of the original cast of Rent and now stars on the CBS show "Star Trek: Discovery." You could say he’s a pretty accomplished guy, but he’ll tell us about his formative years where he got some unsolicited advice from legendary stage actor Yul Brynner.

The guests will also discuss American presidents, contemporary films and denim jackets.

What’s the Difference: Pay me back

What’s the difference between "loan" and "lend?"

What’s the difference between a charge card and a credit card?

Areas of Expertise

Jessica McKenna: American Presidents, the musical Hamilton and Christmas & Christmas movies

Anthony Rapp: The Coen Brothers movies, the Chicago Cubs baseball team from the early 2000’s to the present and the Mass Effect video-game series.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Cristela Alonzo
Jessica McKenna
Anthony Rapp

With guest experts:


Jessica McKenna and Rory O'Malley

Rory O’Malley, Tony Award-nominated actor who’s performed in the stage shows Hamilton and The Book of Mormon.


Helen Hong, Stephen Park and Anthony Rapp

Stephen Park, actor who’s known for his performances in the films Fargo and Do the Right Thing.

Helen Hong, comedian and actress who appeared in the film Inside Llewyn Davis and who’s the regular co-host of Go Fact Yourself!

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. 38: Go Fact Yourself with Mindy Sterling & Dylan Brody

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Dylan Brody, J. Keith van Straaten, Mindy Sterling, Helen Hong, Kentaro Kameyama
Guests: 
Mindy Sterling & Dylan Brody
Guests: 
Kentaro Kameyama & Chris Claremont

Are you a true fashionista? Are you surrounded by the lore of classic comics? Do you just want to laugh and learn some great trivia? Whether you check one or all of those boxes, this episode of Go Fact Yourself is for you!

Mindy Sterling is an actor who’s perhaps best known for her role in the Austin Powers films. She’s also had several TV roles, earning her two Emmy nominations! The only problem was that those two nominations happened in the same year… and in the same category. You can find Mindy on Twitter and on Instagram.

Mindy will face off against author and humorist Dylan Brody! Dylan has made a career out of being funny. But he’ll explain why that’s changed in that profession as he got older. These days, he’s also interested in helping other people overcome their creative barriers to make what they’ve always wanted. To learn more, go to his website.

Our guests will discuss their passions, kitchenware and the finer points of telling jokes as a grown-up.

What’s the Difference: Home on the Range

What’s the difference between an oven and a range?

What’s the difference between a deer and an antelope?

Areas of Expertise

Mindy Sterling: How to put on makeup, decorating your apartment and "Project Runway."

Dylan Brody: Nikola Tesla, Korean Martial Arts and the John Byrne/Chris Claremont era "X-Men" comics.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong


Dylan Brody and Mindy Sterling

Mindy Sterling
Dylan Brody

With guest experts:


Mindy Sterling and Kentaro Kameyama

Kentaro Kameyama, fashion designer who won season 16 of "Project Runway."

Chris Claremont, New York Times bestselling author and writer of the bestselling comic book issue of all time.

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. 37: Go Fact Yourself with Margaret Cho & Jamie Kaler

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Gary Griffin, J. Keith van Straaten, Margaret Cho, Helen Hong, Jamie Kaler
Guests: 
Margaret Cho & Jamie Kaler
Guests: 
Gary Holland & Gary Griffin

Dolphins and music and sports, oh my! It’s a brand new episode of Go Fact Yourself!

Margaret Cho is a comedian and actress, known for her role in "30 Rock" as Kim Jong-il, for which she received an Emmy nomination. Margaret is also heavily tattooed, but she’ll explain why she’s ready to slow down the body art now that she only has space on her bodies that would be painful. You can find her tour schedule on her website.

Margaret will face off against fellow comedian and actor Jamie Kaler! He rose to prominence for his role in the TBS series "My Boys." He’s also a former Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He’ll explain why the punctuality he developed as a Navy man was a poor preparation for a career in Hollywood. Jamie can be found in the YouTube series "Dads in Parks" and the "Father Time" podcast

Our guests will reminisce about their careers and answer trivia questions about marine life, basketball and celebrities from the ‘80s and ‘90s.

What’s the Difference: Something fishy

What’s the difference between a seal and a sea lion?

What’s the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise?

Areas of Expertise

Margaret Cho: Korean revenge movies, YouTube beauty wars and The Beach Boys

Jamie Kaler: The Dirty Harry film series, the basketball player Larry Bird and potty training.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong


Margaret Cho and Jamie Kaler

Margaret Cho
Jamie Kaler

With guest experts:

Gary Holland, longtime high school basketball coach, whose players included Larry Bird.


Gary Griffin and Margaret Cho

Gary Griffin, keyboardist, vocalist and music producer who’s played with The Beach Boys.

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. 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.

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