trivia

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.

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 31.5: Go Fact Yourself opens for Judge John Hodgman

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J. Keith van Straaten, John Hodgman, Jesse Thorn, Helen Hong
Guests: 
Jesse Thorn

Our regularly scheduled episode has been moved to next week for the #MaxFunDrive. This mini-episode of Go Fact Yourself was recorded as part of a live open for Judge John Hodgman.

First, Bailiff Jesse Thorn gives a warm welcome to the audience.

Then J. Keith and Helen will share some laughs and get to know members of the crowd.

After that, the games begin: Two rounds of “What’s the Difference?” featuring the following topics:

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

What is the difference between a casket and a coffin?

Finally, we’ll finish with a round of Fast Facts!

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong

Go Fact Yourself was devised by Jim Newman and J. Keith van Straaten, and produced in collaboration with Maximum Fun.

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

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