Rank #1: Jim Gaffigan
Jim Gaffigan is one of the most successful and best liked comedians in the country. He’s also a best-selling author and moonlights as an actor. Leonard and Jessie discover that acting was always on his agenda in this conversation recorded at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Listen as he engages a live audience without seeming to lift a finger. That’s a great comic talent.
Apr 20 2018
Rank #2: George R.R. Martin
The prolific author behind Game of Thrones is also a lifelong movie buff and invited us to interview him at his very own theater, The Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico. George and Leonard compared notes about starting out as a fan and contributing to fanzines, back in the pre-Internet era. (For more on this, go to www.leonardmaltin.com.) George went on to teach writing and enjoyed success as a novelist before moving to Hollywood, where he spent a decade working in television. Ultimately he returned to his roots as an author, little dreaming that his novels would inspire one of the most elaborate and successful television shows ever produced. George is a great conversationalist and was a gracious host to Leonard and Jessie; you can join them vicariously by listening in.
Jun 28 2019
Rank #3: Bill Hader
One of the funniest performers around, Bill Hader is also a movie savant, as knowledgeable as he is enthusiastic. Now he’s starring in an HBO series called Barry that allows him to fulfill a lifelong dream to direct. Leonard and Jessie interviewed him in front of a live audience at South by Southwest and had a ball, as you will tuning in.
Mar 23 2018
Rank #4: Joe Dante
Director and film buff extraordinaire Joe Dante and Leonard go back a long, long time—to their teens, in fact—and enjoy swapping stories about early inspirations, moviegoing adventures in New York City, Joe’s move to Hollywood, his first big breaks, and events leading up to casting Leonard as himself in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Jessie learns some things she never knew before in this entertaining episode.
Aug 03 2018
Rank #5: Bobcat Goldthwait
If you remember Bobcat Goldthwait’s “extreme” standup-comedy persona, it might be difficult to reconcile with his career as a prolific TV and movie director. He’s made some great films like World’s Greatest Dad with his pal Robin Williams, and Call Me Lucky, a compelling documentary about one of his mentors, comedian-turned-activist Barry Crimmins. Now he’s presiding over an unpredictable anthology series on TruTV called Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters. Leonard and Jessie were delighted to meet the real guy behind the comic mask and the creative force behind so many interesting TV and movie projects.
Jul 13 2018
Rank #6: Edgar Wright
Edgar Wright is the ultimate fanboy-turned-filmmaker. He has parlayed his love and knowledge into a thriving career, from Shaun of the Dead to Scott Pilgrim and The World’s End, with Baby Driver on its way to theaters soon (after a sneak preview at South by Southwest). He’s as articulate as he is passionate, and shares his enthusiasm for movies with Leonard and Jessie.
Mar 10 2017
Rank #7: Jonah Hill
Get ready to meet a new Jonah Hill—a serious writer-director who has poured his heart and soul into his debut feature film, mid90s, which is playing the festival circuit and opens in theaters in late October. After several years of writing and research (and input from such august filmmakers as Martin Scorsese), he is unveiling his “baby” to the moviegoing public. That’s what brought him to Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas where Leonard and Jessie spoke to him before a live audience. Just as he progressed from broad comedy to Oscar-nominated performances onscreen, he’s tackling something new and exciting in this latest adventure.
Sep 28 2018
Rank #8: 61 Doug Benson of Doug Loves Movies
Jan 20 2016
Rank #9: 30 Movie Remakes
Jun 03 2015
Rank #10: Amy Adams
With five Oscar nominations under her belt and two terrific new movies (Arrival and Nocturnal Animals) Amy Adams could be forgiven for having an outsized ego…but that’s not the case. She’s charming and down-to-earth, as you’ll hear when Leonard and Jessie discuss her exceptional career. Want to hear about working opposite Meryl Streep—or playing a slut in her debut movie Drop Dead Gorgeous? Tune in to this lively conversation.
Dec 16 2016
Rank #11: Vince Vaughn
Moviegoers fell for Vince Vaughn the moment they saw him in Swingers. That was twenty-one years ago and he's still going strong, tackling a dramatic leading role in Brawl in Cell Block 99. It debuted at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, and that's where Leonard and Jessie interviewed him before a live (and lively) audience. Whether you think of him as that guy from Old School and Wedding Crashers or appreciate his smarts and versatility, you'll enjoy this delightful conversation.
Sep 29 2017
Rank #12: Jenny Slate
Jenny Slate is smart and funny in equal measure. She’s made her mark on television (on shows ranging from SNL to Parks and Recreation), movies (the award-winning Obvious Child), the Internet (with her creation Marcel the Shell with Shoes On) and even the New York Times best-seller list (thanks again to Marcel). Leonard and Jessie discuss her new movie Landline and a wide range of topics relating to comedy, careers, and real life.
Jul 21 2017
Rank #13: 81 Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin joins Leonard from New York City through the magic of the internet to chat about the joy of doing his podcast "Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin," his memories of working in Tim Burton's modern classic Beetlejuice, and the tradition of staying up late watching classic films on television with his father when he was young. Plus, Alec recommends some of his favorite unsung movies.
Jun 08 2016
Rank #14: 31 Cartoons for Grownups
Jun 10 2015
Rank #15: Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater is one of the most talented—and unpredictable—filmmakers working today. His new release, Last Flag Flying, is one of his best, but it bears little resemblance to Dazed and Confused, Before Sunset, Waking Life, or his epic Boyhood. What is crystal clear in his conversation with Leonard is that he loves movies and enjoys making them—small or large, mainstream or indie. And as you’ll hear, he also enjoys talking about movies.
Nov 10 2017
Rank #16: Ken Burns
The man who changed television programming with his landmark PBS series The Civil War is back with Country Music, a captivating eight-part, 16-hour saga you don’t want to miss. Ken Burns has become America’s storyteller and we couldn’t ask for a more eloquent or passionate historian. Leonard and Jessie have known him for years on a social basis but this is the first time they’ve ever sat down for an hour of conversation about his magnificent work. It’s a treat to hear him speak on any subject that moves him.
Sep 06 2019
Rank #17: 21 Comedy: A Serious Business
Mar 31 2015
Rank #18: Colin Hanks
A likable actor with excellent bloodlines, Colin Hanks has built a busy career for himself in such films as Orange County, King Kong, W. and TV series like Roswell, The Good Guys, Fargo and the current Life in Pieces. Now he’s exploring new avenues as a documentarian with two first-rate features under his belt: Tower Records: All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records and Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends). What’s more, he’s a great conversationalist, as Leonard and Jessie learn in this latest episode.
Aug 10 2018
Rank #19: Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston stops by for an engaging and enlightening conversation about his latest movies, the unexpected momentum of his career in recent years, and his modus operandi for keeping his feet on the ground. Leonard found him funny, thoughtful, and candid—and so will you.
Oct 14 2016
Rank #20: 20 Morgan Freeman Films
Mar 17 2015