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Kickass News

Updated 20 days ago

TV & Film
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Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!

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Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!

iTunes Ratings

2608 Ratings
Average Ratings
2290
103
35
39
141

Great interviews

By OnTelephone - Nov 15 2018
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I never miss and episodes.

Great questions, great interviews

By hannahmacxx - Jul 28 2018
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Really in depth perspectives and interviews, it’s a baller podcast.

iTunes Ratings

2608 Ratings
Average Ratings
2290
103
35
39
141

Great interviews

By OnTelephone - Nov 15 2018
Read more
I never miss and episodes.

Great questions, great interviews

By hannahmacxx - Jul 28 2018
Read more
Really in depth perspectives and interviews, it’s a baller podcast.
Cover image of Kickass News

Kickass News

Latest release on Nov 26, 2020

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Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!

Rank #1: Bryan Cranston on Life Before Acting & Becoming Walter White

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Rerun of 9/5/17 episode w/ guest Bryan Cranston. Actor Bryan Cranston recalls a difficult childhood and the two year road trip that changed his life.  He shares some of his adventures before acting including traveling as a carny, catching shoplifters as security guard, and the time he ended up a suspect in a murder investigation.  He talks about getting a crash course in comedy from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, landing the role of a lifetime on Breaking Bad, and how he built one of the most iconic characters in the history of television.  Bryan Cranston also gives some advice for aspiring actors, reveals how his life has changed since "Walter White," and why he loves making small talk with old people.

Order Bryan Cranston's bestselling memoir A Life in Parts on Amazon or download the audiobook at www.audible.com.  Bryan Cranston stars in Last Flag Flying which opens in theatres November 3.  Follow Bryan on Twitter at @BryanCranston.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 23 2018

48mins

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Rank #2: Al Jean, Head Writer/Exec Producer of "The Simpsons" Is Doing What He Loves

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The moment Al Jean completed the first episode of The Simpsons in 1989, he knew that he wanted to work on that show for the rest of his career.  He's been doing just that as the head writer and exec producer of The Simpsons, guiding that groundbreaking series to a record-breaking 28 seasons.  

Today Al Jean talks about his early days writing for “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” including those famous letters to Santa that were supposedly from little children. Then he talks about the birth of the Simpsons, the origin of many of the characters, and the early controversies that surrounded the show including a strange rivalry between the fictional Simpsons family and the first President Bush.

We talk about the process of making the show, the challenge of keeping the show fresh after 625 episodes, and what he’d like to do with the final episode (if that day ever comes). Plus we talk about the fans and some of the crazy conspiracy theories they have about the show.

Be sure to watch the season premiere of The Simpsons this Sunday 9/25 at 8PM Eastern on Fox and watch Simpsons reruns five days a week on FXX.  For more fun Simpsons fan stuff, visit www.SimpsonsWorld.com.  Follow Al Jean on Twitter at @AlJean and you can even follow the Simpsons on Twitter at @TheSimpsons

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 23 2016

47mins

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Rank #3: Part 1: Dr. Michio Kaku, Theoretical Physicist & Futurist Talks About Einstein, Gravity Waves, & The Future

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My guest today is world renowned theoretical physicist, futurist, best-selling author, and popularizer of science Dr. Michio Kaku.  He is the co-founder of string field theory and he continues to work on his ambitious mission to complete Albert Einstein's Unified Field Theory a.k.a. Einstein's Theory of Everything.  Today he'll talk about his work on the Unified Field Theory, he'll discuss how the recent discovery of Einstein's Gravitation Waves will give scientists "a window into creation," and how his lifelong love of theoretical physics and the science of the future began.  He'll reveal the real science that may one day make science fiction wonders like force fields, time machines, starships, teleportation, and travel to parallel universes possible.  Plus Dr. Michio Kaku saves my life from the same thing that took down Malaysia Air Flight 370.

If you enjoyed my interview with Dr. Michio Kaku, then follow him at www.mkaku.org or on Twitter at @michiokaku.  You can order his books "Einstein's Cosmos," "The Physics of the Impossible," "The Physics of the Future," and "The Future of the Mind" on Amazon or you can download the audio version of these books for free with a special trial offer at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics. Also be sure to subscribe to his weekly podcast on iTunes called "Explorations in Science" and you can check his site for stations that carry his weekly syndicated radio show called "Science Fantastic."

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 22 2016

45mins

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Rank #4: Jon Meacham on the Soul of America and Donald Trump

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Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment of crisis in American politics by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame hatred and reveals how his latest book The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels was born in the dark days following the infamous Charlottesville rally.  He talks about similarities between the current age and the 1920’s, how America during Great Depression could have easily followed the path of Germany into totalitarianism, and what Donald Trump could learn from the fate of red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy.  He discusses moments when Presidents have served as moral leaders for the nation including the day George H.W. Bush handed in his NRA card and an oft forgotten speech by Dwight Eisenhower that is all too relevant today.  Plus George H.W. Bush's biographer shares some candid memories of the late former First Lady Barbara Bush.

Order Jon Meacham's book The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels on Amazon or Audible.  Keep up with him at www.jonmeacham.com and follow him on Twitter at @jmeacham.  Today's episode was sponsored by Citizen Watches, Grasshopper, Quip, and U.S. Markerboard

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 07 2018

41mins

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Rank #5: Matt Ingebretson & Jake Weisman Go Corporate

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Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman, the stars and co-creators of the new Comedy Central series CORPORATE talk about their own experiences in corporate America and the irony doing their new show for corporate conglomerate Viacom.  They discuss why they wanted a darker tone than typical workplace comedies, how they convinced Lance Reddick to play their tyranical boss, and why they took on the one holiday you that can’t make fun of in their season finale.  Plus Matt and Jake talk about development hell, marvel at the modern wonder of a simple banana, and reveal why everyone’s a number at Amazon.

CORPORATE airs Wednesdays at 10/9Central on Comedy Central.  For more information, go to www.cc.com/shows/corporate.  Follow Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman on Twitter at @mattingebretson and @weismanjake.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Google Cloud AI, The Looming Tower on Hulu, and Grasshopper.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 01 2018

39mins

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Rank #6: Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard On the GOP Primary

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 My guest today is Bill Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard and a political contributor to ABC’S This Week with George Stephanopalis. Just in time for the big GOP primaries in FL & OH, we talk about whether  Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich may have missed chance to beat Donald Trump outright. We discuss the possibility of a brokered convention and the prospect of an alternative conservative launching a third party run. Plus we talk about Bill Kristol’s 20 year career as editor of the #1 weekly conservative publication in America.

If you enjoyed this episode then go to www.weeklystandard.com to read Bill Kristol’s op-eds and subscribe to the print or online versions of The Weekly Standard. You can also subscribe to the Weekly Standard podcast on iTunes and follow Bill on Twitter at @BillKrystol.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 14 2016

38mins

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Rank #7: Jennifer Palmieri Empowers Women w/ Lessons from the Clinton Campaign

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Jennifer Palmieri, communications director of the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, says she wants to turn the results of the 2016 election into something empowering for future female leaders and advises the next woman who runs for President to write her own playbook not emulate her male predecessors.  She shares her insider’s perspective on the Clinton campaign, gives some insight into the candidate who she says was reluctant to run for President in 2016 and was all too aware of the slings and arrows that would come her way.  She also shares some wisdom from another famous female mentor of hers the late Elizabeth Edwards, she re-examines the role of former FBI director James Comey in the 2016 election, and explains why Hillary Clinton’s email problem was about way more than just emails.  Plus Jennifer Palmieri responds to all those armchair strategists who asked “where was THAT Hillary?” after her concession speech, she suggests that candidates for office should cry more and nod less, and she casts the Batman version of the 2016 election.

Order Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World on Amazon or download the audio version at www.audible.com.  Follow Jennifer Palmieri on twitter at @jmpalmieri.  Today's episode was sponsored by Grasshopper and AppRiver.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 12 2018

43mins

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Rank #8: General Michael Hayden, Former Head of CIA & NSA

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General Michael Hayden is the only person in U.S. history to have served as head of both the CIA and the NSA.  General Hayden served as the Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 where he implemented a dramatic overhaul and expansion of the agency in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.  He later serves as America's first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and then as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President George W. Bush.  General Hayden has written a new book called PLAYING TO THE EDGE: AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE IN THE AGE OF TERROR.

On the podcast, General Michael Hayden will give a frank assessment of the intelligence failures leading up to 9/11 and talk about what he did as NSA director and later as director of the CIA to close those intelligence gaps.  We’ll discuss the conundrums of domestic surveillance, CIA black sites, and enhanced interrogation.  Plus we’ll talk about cyber warfare, the Apple encryption controversy, the personal toll for the men and women who keep America’s secrets, why he says the U.S. military may have an obligation to reject orders from a President Donald Trump, his thoughts on James Bond and the TV series Homeland, and much more.

If you enjoy this episode, you can order General Michael Hayden's new book PLAYING TO THE EDGE: AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE IN THE AGE OF TERROR on Amazon.  You can also download the audio version of PLAYING TO THE EDGE for free with a special 30 day trial for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics.  Follow General Michael Hayden on Twitter at @GenMHayden.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 08 2016

39mins

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Rank #9: Dave Itzkoff on Robin Williams' Comedy and Tragedy

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New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff talks about the surprisingly patrician upbringing of Robin Williams, his time studying to be a serious actor at Julliard, and Robin's early influences as a comedian.  Dave reveals how Star Wars helped Williams land the role of Mork the Ork, and why his shenangigans on Mork and Mindy might have landed him in hot water in the age of #MeToo.  He discusses Robin’s gradual evolution as a movie star, and why Hollywood didn’t really know what to do with him at first.  Dave shares how John Belushi’s overdose scared Robin Williams straight, what eventually caused him to fall back into addiction some 20 years later, and how a rare disease led to his tragic suicide.  Plus Dave Itzkoff recalls his own favorite personal encounters with the comedian, and why Robin always wanted to give total strangers what he called “an authentic Robin Williams experience.”

Order Dave Itzkoff's book Robin on Amazon or Audible.  Read more by Dave Itzkoff in the New York Times and follow Dave on Twitter at @ditzkoff. Today's podcast is sponsored by The Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah: Ears Edition, LegalShield, and Dollar Shave Club.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 25 2018

52mins

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Rank #10: Part 2: Futurist Dr. Michio Kaku On Amazing Inventions Coming In Our Lifetime

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Today in Part 2 of my interview with theoretical physicist and futurist Dr. Michio Kaku, we look as some of the incredible advances in science and technology that will radically transform our lives within our lifetime.  In many cases, these inventions are already in the testing phase and may be widely available within the next 5 to 10 years.  

These include computers that will fit into a contact lens, Iron Man-like super soldiers, modular robots, liquid biopsies that will detect cancer 10 years before a tumor forms, replaceable human organs, hand-held MRI machines, recording motion pictures of our dreams, uploading information into our brain, downloading our entire consciousness onto a computer after we're gone, and recent discoveries that will dramatically slow down aging and perhaps one day even stop death entirely.  It's an amazing discussion about some very real technological leaps being made right now and the unbelievable inventions that could completely change our lives very soon.

If you enjoyed my interview with Dr. Michio Kaku, then follow him at www.mkaku.org or on Twitter at @michiokaku.  If you're interested in the science and technology of the near future, then I highly recommend Dr. Michio Kaku's books "The Physics of the Future" and "The Future of the Mind."  You can order them on Amazon or you can download the audio version of these books for free with a special trial offer at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics. Also be sure to subscribe to his weekly podcast on iTunes called "Explorations in Science" and you can check his site for stations that carry his weekly syndicated radio show called "Science Fantastic."

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 25 2016

38mins

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Rank #11: Author James Patterson on the Shocking True Crimes of Billionaire Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein

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Author James Patterson has sold over 350 million books and had more #1 New York Times Bestsellers than any author in history. He is best known for his fictional Alex Cross novels, but today he comes on the show to talk about his newest book - a true crime story about the sensational case of Jeffrey Epstein, the Palm Beach billionaire accused of sexually assaulting or molesting as many as 47 underaged girls as young as 12 and 13.

James Patterson reveals how Epstein went about recruiting teenage girls on an almost industrial scale and how it led Donald Trump to personally ban him from Mar-a-Lago.  We talk about the recent rape allegations against Trump involving Epstein, as well as other high profile figures who have been drawn into Epstein’s sordid story including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Allen Dershowitz.  Patterson discusses how Epstein finally landed on the Palm Beach Police’s radar, and he talks about the strange matter of the Florida State Attorney who intervened in the investigation and some would say even  “stacked the deck” in Epstein’s favor.

If you enjoyed today’s podcast, then you can order his book Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein on Amazon or you can download the audio version for free at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews.  Patterson also has a new novel in his popular Alex Cross series called “Cross the Line” coming out on November 21st.  James Patterson’s website is www.JamesPatterson.com and follow him on Twitter at @JP_Books.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Oct 25 2016

43mins

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Rank #12: Whitney Cummings Hacks the Female Brain

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Comedian Whitney Cummings talks about the humbling experience of being a first time director on her film The Female Brain, how she learned that every moment doesn’t have to be a joke, and why she says The Female Brain isn’t just for the ladies.  She shares how she broke free of a cycle of co-depency once she started understanding the neurochemistry behind her bad choices and why she says it’s a lot harder to come up with jokes when you don’t have all that none-stop drama.  Whitney weighs in on the Me Too movement and hints that the new Roseanne reboot (which she's executive-producing) might just help us understand how middle-America went for Trump.  Plus, Whitney talks about being a lady comedian in the Middle East, those women who see Marilyn Monroe as a feminist role model, and how she almost accidentally killed Sofia Vergara.

The Female Brain opens in theaters Friday, February 9.  For more information, visit www.ifcfilms.com.  Order Whitney’s very funny book I’m Fine…And Other Lies on Amazon, and you can keep up with her at www.whitneycummings.com or on twitter at @WhitneyCummings.  Today's episode was sponsored by Google Cloud AI.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Feb 08 2018

45mins

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Rank #13: Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on Trump's Attack on the Intelligence Community

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General Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA, talks about his concerns over President Trump's attack on the Intelligence Community and objective facts.  He refutes the President’s paranoid narrative of a so called "deep state" operating in the shadows, explains the lasting impact of a damaged relationship between the Intelligence Community and the Commander-in-Chief, and reveals what friends inside the IC are saying about that relationship including how they have to tailor the Daily Intelligence Brief to a President with zero attention span and constantly wonder “do you think he got that?”  General Hayden talks about the lasting impact of the IC’s decision to focus their efforts on cyber instead of information dominance and reveals how one analyst saw the early warning signs 2 years before the Russian attack of the 2016 election.  He weighs in on the President’s nominee for CIA director Gina Haspel, the decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, and why he believes Kim Jung Un is unlikely to give up his nukes.  Plus General Hayden discusses the advice he gives to those considering a job in the Administration, how the President’s Twitter addiction aids our enemies, and the Russian’s FSB’s nickname for men like Donald Trump..."the useful idiot."

Order Michael Hayden's book The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies on Amazon or Audible.  and follow him on twitter at @GenMHayden.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Citizen Watches, US Marker Board, and Grasshopper.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 14 2018

46mins

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Rank #14: Director Barry Levinson on Paterno, Pacino, & Our "Wag the Dog" Reality

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Director Barry Levinson explores the Penn State sexual abuse scandal that ended Coach Joe Paterno’s career in his new film PATERNO on HBO.  He explains why he wanted to present the straight facts of the case without actually taking sides, talks the about the student riots that broke out when Penn State fired Paterno, and reveals what the film has to say about Americans’ views on issues of loyalty, tribalism, and the truth.  Barry Levinson also recalls his early days teaming up with another "coach" Craig T. Nelson to form a nightclub comedy duo, writing sketches for THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, directing his first movie at the urging of his mentor Mel Brooks, and he shares behind-the-scenes stories from some of his classic films including DINER, TIN MEN, RAIN MAN, AVALON, and more.  Plus Barry Levinson talks about why Hollywood doesn’t make films about human beings anymore, whether he’d like to make a sequel to WAG THE DOG for the age of "fake news," and how an infamous drug kingpin got him into his first acting class.

PATERNO is available now on HBO GO, HBO NOW and HBO ON DEMAND.  Today's episode was sponsored by AppRiver, Adiamor Jewelry, and Grasshopper.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 09 2018

41mins

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Rank #15: Dylan Thuras of Atlas Obscura on the World's Hidden Wonders

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Dylan Thuras is the co-founder and creative director at AtlasObscura.com, the popular travel site that revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious.  He co-authored a new book based on the site and it's called Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders.  

Today we'll talk about some of the strangest attractions the world has to offer including a Fiery crater that has been burning in the desserts of Turkmenistan since 1971, the independent micronation of Sealandia on an abandoned offshore oil platform in the North Sea, and a saloon in the Ukon that serves cocktails garnished with a severed human toe.  Plus hipster tourism, lake monsters, doggie suicide bridges, and the hidden wonders in your neighborhood.

If you enjoyed this episode, then order Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders on Amazon and visit www.AtlasObscura.com to read articles, find new travel ideas, and join special Atlas Obscura tours abroad and in your city. Follow Dylan Thuras on Twitter at @DylanThuras and Atlas Obscura at @atlasobscura.

Please subscribe to Kickass News and leave us a review. And support the show by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Oct 10 2016

41mins

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Rank #16: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia

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Ambassador Michael McFaul helped President Obama craft the US-Russia “reset," and he later had a front-row seat for the end of the reset with the return of the hostile, paranoid Russian President Vladimir Putin.  He recalls witnessing history unfold during the attempted Russian military coup in 1989 and early encounter with a young unimpressive Vladimir Putin in the 90s.  He gives an insiders account of being with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she presented the infamous "reset" button, the first meeting between Putin and the newly elected President Obama, and his own thoughts on what motivates the Russian President.  He talks about arriving to protestors in Moscow on his first day as Ambassador, the Russian FSB’s sinister surveillance and harassment campaigns against him and his family, and the extensive efforts to gain Kompromat on US officials as well as certain wealthy American businessmen.

Order From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia on Amazon or Audible. Follow Michael McFaul twitter at @mcfaul or at www.michaelmcfaul.com.  Today’s podcast was sponsored by Michelin Premiere Tires, Just for Men Control GX, and Travel Guard Travel Insurance.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 18 2018

49mins

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Rank #17: Donald Rumsfeld On Modernizing The Military, Saddam Hussein, Snowflakes, & Churchill Solitaire

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My guest is former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  In his remarkable 50 year career, he has served as a U.S. Congressman, Director of the Office Economic Opportunity and U.S. Ambassador to NATO under President Richard Nixon, White House Chief of Staff to President Gerald Ford, Special Middle East Envoy for President Ronald Reagan, and Secretary of Defense...both for Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush.  In fact, Donald Rumsfeld has the distinction of being both the youngest and the oldest Secretary of Defense.  

Today he comes on the show to talk about the his amazing career, the current state of national defense, and the "unknown knowns" that America might be missing.  Plus he'll talk about his first impression of Saddam Hussein, his favorite President, his prolific body of memos written, the issues that keep him up at night, and how Winston Churchill inspired him to create a fun new gaming app called Churchill Solitaire.

If you enjoy this episode, then be sure to go to your app store and download Churchill Solitaire for your tablet device or smart phone.  You can also find out more about the Rumsfeld Foundation at www.rumsfeldfoundation.org.  View the massive archive of his memos at www.papers.rumsfeld.com and be sure to order his fascinating books Knowns and Unknowns and Rumsefeld's Rules on Amazon.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 01 2016

49mins

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Rank #18: Eugene Jarecki Goes Road Tripping with Elvis

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Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Eugene Jarecki drove across the U.S. in Elvis Presley's 1963 Rolls Royce to talk to people about Elvis as a metaphor for the American dream in his new documentary The King.  He traces Elvis’s journey from his birth in a Mississippi town that's barely kept alive by Elvis tourism to the musical melting pot of Memphis, and ultimately to Las Vegas and the "sweaty sequined jumpsuit Elvis" who became more of a corporate brand than a man.  He reveals how he acuired Elvis’s Rolls Royce, and how it became a beacon for people on both sides of the political divide to have a conversation about the promise of America, the sins of the past, and where our country is headed today.  Plus Eugene Jarecki talks about the perils of driving and directing and roadtripping in a 55 year old car.

The King opens in theaters in NYC on 6/22 and in LA on 6/29. For information and showtimes, visit www.theking.film.  Today’s podcast was sponsored by Outside the Box podcast, LegalShieldMichelin Premiere Tires, and LightStream.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 21 2018

47mins

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Rank #19: An Anti-Endorsement and Final Thoughts on the 2016 Election

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It's almost finally over!  Today, I share some final thoughts on the 2016 election and make my closing arguments against Donald Trump.  With guests Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, Pulitzer-winning New York Times journalist David Cay Johnston, former CIA/NSA director, General Michael Hayden, Stuart Stevens, chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, Jonah Goldberg, senior editor at National Review, CNN Global contributor Parag Kanna, Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of Slate Magazine, General Wesley Clark, and former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 09 2016

41mins

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Rank #20: Dana Perino Says "If You Want a Friend in Washington, Get a Dog!"

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The former White House Press Secretary and co-host of The Five on Fox News Channel says if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.  She talks about her new book called Let Me Tell You about Jasper...How My Best Friend Became America's Dog and how pets can bridge political divides between humans.  She also talks about her time as White House Press Secretary, the post-election vibe at The Five, how her dog Jasper became a social media celebrity, and her ideas for the next White House dog.  

If you enjoyed today’s podcast, then you can order Dana Perino's book Let Me Tell You about Jasper...How My Best Friend Became America's Dog on Amazon or you can download the audio version for free at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews.  Watch Dana Perino on The Five weekdays on Fox News and subscribe to her podcast called Perino and Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What on iTunes or GooglePlay.  Visit her at www.danaperino.com and follow her on Twitter at @DanaPerino.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 28 2016

46mins

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Astronaut Scott Kelly

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This is a rerun of my interview with astronaut Captain Scott Kelly.  He talks about his year on the International Space Station, including how it pushed his body the limit, why the hardest physical test was re-adjusting to life on earth, and how his experience could get NASA one step closer to a manned mission to Mars.  He reveals how he combatted boredom in space, what he missed most about earth, and how he got along with his Russian crew-mates amid strained US-Russia relations.  Plus Scott tells me if the "overview effect" ever wears off, what space smells like, and much more.

Order Scott Kelly's book Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery (available 10/17) on Amazon or Audible.  Keep up with him at www.ScottKelly.com and follow him on twitter at @StationCDRKelly.

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Nov 26 2020

40mins

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Preview of Get Wired Podcast

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We’re doing something a little different today.  Instead of a regular episode of KickAss News, we wanted to share a clip from our friends over at the Get Wired podcast.  Get Wired is produced by Wired and hosted by senior writer Lauren Goode. It’s all about how the future is realized.  It’s the news of tomorrow, delivered to you today.  The show is nerdy, innovated, and heavy on research.  They’re stories you can trust on everything from the rise of virtual beings and the science of fire tornadoes, to heavy-hitting reporting on the racist history of surveillance tech.  New episodes drop every Monday.  Enjoy this preview of Get Wired, and if you like what you hear, listen and subscribe to Get Wired, wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Nov 24 2020

1min

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Joe Scarborough Discusses Harry Truman's Lasting Legacy

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I talk with Joe Scarborough, host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, about our mutual affection for the politician dismissed as the “strange little man” from Missouri, why Harry Truman couldn’t even get respect from his own wife and mother-in-law, and how historians have gradually rehabilitated the legacy of our 33rd President.  Joe tells the story of the twin crises that kicked off the Cold War and the speech redefined US foreign policy.  We discuss how Truman pulled America out of its isolationist past, the Republican Senator who helped him do it, and how they forged a bipartisan coalition that held for more than 70 years
and eventually defeated communism.  He discusses Donald Trump’s efforts to reject the Truman Doctrine and undermine longstanding alliances such as NATO, the degree to which President-elect Biden can undo Trump’s disastrous foreign policy, and whether Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman, thinks that he will ever return the GOP. 

Order Joe Scarborough's book Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Watch him on Morning Joe weekday mornings from 6-9 eastern on MSNBC, and follow him on twitter at @JoeNBC.

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Nov 24 2020

50mins

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Oscar-winning Director Steve McQueen

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Director Steve McQueen won an Academy Award for Best Picture for telling the dramatic true story of a free African-American who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in his film Twelve Years a Slave.  Now he’s addressing a form of racial oppression that hits a lot closer to home for him in a new anthology of films called Small Axe, which collectively captures the lives of London’s West Indian community in the 1970s and ’80s and their force of will against systemic racism and discrimination.  Steve McQueen talks about the process of creating five thematically connected but totally different stand-alone movies - each with their own distinct looks, styles, and time periods.  He reveals how his own upbringing in London’s West Indian community and the stories he was told by family members laid the groundwork for Small Axe, and he shares how he based one of the films on his own personal experience with racial injustice as a boy in school.  He also tells the inspiring tale of the Mangrove 9 who stood up to police harassment in a British court, the true story of the West Indian police officer who tried to change things from within, and why he says that the London Metropolitan Police is still plagued with systemic racism to this day.

Watch Steve McQueen's five-part anthology Small Axe on Amazon Prime TV beginning November 20.

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Nov 19 2020

32mins

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The Mindhunter John Douglas

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Legendary FBI criminal profiler John Douglas talks about some of the 5000 cases with which he has been involved and his chilling face to face encounters with the worst monsters in recent memory from Edmund Kemper to Ted Bundy.  He reveals why he first began interviewing serial killers without the FBI’s knowledge or permission, how he prepared for these deeply disturbing meetings, and he and his colleagues found commonalities that would help the FBI catch the most horrific of murderers of our time.  Then he shares how his very first attempt at profiling a wanted fugitive was instrumental to the capture of the white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin and how the Franklin case marked a significant turning point in his own career.  He discusses what Joseph Paul Franklin had in common with Charles Manson, why he shot and paralyzed Hustler founder Larry Flynt, and why Douglas fears that social media has become a fertile breeding ground for killers just like him.  Plus John talks about the one murderer that continues to haunt him to this day and offers a psychological profile of the most famous serial killer of all...Jack the Ripper!

Order John Douglas's new book The Killer's Shadow: The FBI's Hunt for a White Supremacist Serial Killer on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Learn more about John Douglas at www.mindhuntersinc.com and find out about The Cold Case Foundation at www.coldcasefoundation.org.

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Nov 17 2020

1hr

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David Sedaris Returns

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David Sedaris returns to the podcast to talk about his pre-election anxiety, his lifelong blackout of all social media, and the time he got bullied while testifying before the British House of Commons.  He discusses what it was like the comb through 25 years of material for his new collection of essays The Best of Me, the strangeness of putting out a book without the traditional book tour, and the essay that got him in hot water with bear activists.

Order David's latest book The Best of Me on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and learn more about him at www.davidsedaris.com.

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Nov 12 2020

37mins

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Michael Riedel on Broadway's Recent Past and Uncertain Future

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New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel shares his thoughts on Broadway's uncertain future, what New York theatre may look like whenever it emerges from the pandemic, and some hopeful lessons from Broadway’s dramatic recovery in the wake of the attacks on 9/11.  He says he didn't intend for the title of his new book Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway to be ironic, but a tribute to boom in American theatre in the 90s and the enduring influence of one of America's greatest cultural exports.  He recalls the disastrous Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that put an end the so called British Invasion of the 80s and how a little musical called Rent took the world by storm and changed our idea of what a Broadway musical could be.  We talk about how the musical Chicago went from a flop in the 70s to a massive hit in the 90s, how revivals of classic musical comedies like Guys and Dolls paved the way for Mel Brooks’ The Producers, and the real life story of the flashy Broadway showman who turned out to be a conman!

Order Michael Riedel's book Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Listen to The Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning show on W.O.R. radio in New York City, look for his column in the New York Post, and follow him on Twitter at @MichaelRiedelNY.

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Nov 09 2020

47mins

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Stacey Abrams on Counting Every Vote

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With Joe Biden taking a razor thin lead in George and a run-off election expected to decide who controls the Senate, many credit Stacey Abrams with making sure that every vote gets counted and likely delivering Georgia for the Democrats.  Today's episode is a re-release of my 2019 interview with Stacey Abrams in which she discusses why she refused to concede defeat in the 2018 gubernatorial race, why she believes widespread voter suppression tipped that election to her opponent, and how she's continuing the fight for voting rights and fair elections through her organization Fair Fight Action.  She explains the careful balancing act of being a woman of color in a position of power, why minority politicians undergo way more financial scrutiny than their white colleagues, and how the Republican Governors Association mocked her for daring to seek higher office as a woman.  

Order Stacey Abrams' new book Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Learn more about Stacey’s voting rights group Fair Fight Action at www.fairfightaction.com, and follow her on twitter at @staceyabrams.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

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Nov 06 2020

35mins

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Tim Heidecker Is on a Mission to the Moon

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Tim Heidecker talks about his new comedy series Moonbase 8, collaborating with fellow comedy geniuses John C. Reilly, Fred Armisen, and Jonathan Krisel on the show, and what it was like to visit NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and SpaceX headquarters as part of their research.  He discusses how Bob Odenkirk gave him his first big break, the cult following for his Adult Swim series The Time and Eric Awesome Show, and how one Tim and Eric sketch got the attention of QAnon conspiracists.  Plus Tim weighs in on the moon vs mars debate, his tongue-in-cheek run for San Bernadino District Attorney, and what his other show On Cinema has to say about influencer culture.

Moonbase 8 debuts Sunday, November 8, at 11PM Eastern and Pacific only on Showtime.  Keep up with Tim at timheidecker.com and on Twitter at @TimHeidecker.

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Nov 05 2020

39mins

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The Many Moods of Harry Shearer

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Harry Shearer is the voice behind some of the most famous characters on The Simpsons, and now he's giving voice to the wild whims of Donald Trump in a new pre-election parody album.  He talks about how writing songs from the the perspective of Donald Trump gave him a window into the President’s dark psyche, how he managed to record with a full band during quarantine, and the amazing technology that helped him physically transform into the man himself.  He also recalls his days a childhood actor working with legends like Jack Benny and Mel Blanc, what he calls the “living hell” of being on Saturday Night Live in the early 80s, and the origins of his legendary mock rock band Spinal Tap.  We also talk about his 32 years in the cast of The Simpsons, how he comes up with the voices for so many characters, and how he manages when he has perform those characters talking to each other in the same scene.  Plus Harry says never trust a man who doesn’t like music and doesn't like dogs!

Order Harry Shearer's hilarious new album THE MANY MOODS OF DONALD TRUMP wherever you get you music or visit www.harryshearer.com.  I also recommend his weekly radio program LE SHOW and follow him on Twitter at @TheHarryShearer.

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Nov 03 2020

37mins

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Legendary Newsman Dan Rather

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Legendary newsman Dan Rather talks about his 60 year career and how his travels and conversations have given him a “wide shot” of the American experience and the values that unite us.  He condemns recent attacks on some on those values (including freedom of the press), he shares his own family's experience during the Great Depression as a lesson in empathy, and he recalls how his time spent with men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Medger Evers opened his eyes to institutionalized racism in America.  He talks frankly about how his own thinking has evolved on some social issues, and he weighs in on the recent rash of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the news business.  He discusses a few of the dozen Presidents he’s known in his 60 years as a journalist and reveals the one word that has always carried Dan Rather through good times and bad.

Order Dan Rather's book WHAT UNITES US: REFLECTIONS ON PATRIOTISM on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on twitter at @DanRather or at www.newsandguts.com.  

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Oct 29 2020

41mins

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Lenny Kravitz Reveals How He Found His Voice

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Grammy-wining musician Lenny Kravitz shares how his parents' biracial marriage and very different personalities fostered what he calls his "gemini soul," how his mom, actress Roxy Roker from TV's The Jeffersons, inspired the artist in him, and how he and his dad still found connection through music even as their relationship deteriorated. He recalls the rock concert that changed his life, the first song he ever wrote, and sneaking out of his parents' house every night to explore LA’s thriving music scene when he was in high school.  Lenny discusses his early music career, why he turned down lucrative record deals even though he was living out of his car, 
and how he originally crafted a persona for himself in the style of popular 80s new wave artists like Prince and David Bowie.  He explains how his romance with The Cosby Show’s Lisa Bonet led him to find his authentic voice and record the album that would change his life, and says that "Let Love Rule" remains the guiding principle of his life.

Order Lenny Kravitz's new memoir Let Love Rule on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow him at lennykravitz.com and on Twitter at @LennyKravitz.

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Oct 26 2020

39mins

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Peter Frampton Comes Alive

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Rock legend Peter Frampton talks about the making of that seminal rock album Frampton Comes Alive! and the story of his famous guitar that he nicknamed "The Phoenix."  He recalls learning to play guitar by ear when he was a boy, growing up with another future rock legend David Bowie, and what it was like to be in high school during the day and perform in a rock band at night.  He tells the story of the time he barely escaped Noriega’s Panama with his life, how he took the the news of the death of his former bandmate Steve Marriot, and how his recent diagnosis with a debilitating muscle disease has put an end to his touring days, but not to his writing and recording.  Plus Peter shares memories of working with the Beatles, Phil Spector, and many others.

Order Peter Frampton's new book Do You Feel Like I Do?: A Memoir on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him at www.frampton.com and on Twitter at @peterframpton.

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Oct 23 2020

38mins

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John Cleese on Creativity

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As the actor and writer behind Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and films like A Fish Called Wanda, John Cleese is among the most creative minds in entertainment.  He opens up about his writing process, why he often finds inspiration in the most unlikely of places, and how you can foster creativity in whatever you do.  He explains why overconfidence is the enemy of creativity, where he gets his particular disdain for pompous politicians and feckless authority figures, and why he says that people in charge are always uncomfortable around comedians.  John reveals how he and the Pythons came up with that classic "Dead Parrot" sketch, the curmudgeonly hotel manager who served as the real life inspiration for his character in Fawlty Towers, and the moment when he first realized that he was funny.  Plus he shares why he turned down a Lordship, why believes that Prince Charles will make a good king, and why you couldn't even pay him to have dinner with Prince William.

Order his book CREATIVITY: A SHORT ANS CHEERFUL GUIDE on Amazon or wherever books are sold, and follow him on twitter at @JohnCleese.

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Oct 20 2020

58mins

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Senator Ben Sasse on Political Division and Breaking w/ Trump

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Senator Ben Sasse does a deep dive into the societal shifts affecting modern American life and the roots of our political divisiveness.  He talk about the outsized role politics plays in our daily lives, how "polititainment" celebrities like Sean Hannity are fueling dangerous tribalism in America, and how to build a healthier tribe of family and friends instead of political outrage.  He shares recent data that indicates that Americans are feeling increasingly lonely, and explains how the digital economy and smart technology are leading us to pull up our roots and lose our sense of community.  He then reveals how his own family has embraced the idea of a "digital Sabbath" and shares a few of his favorite tips for unplugging and living in the moment.  Plus I ask Senator Ben Sasse if he’s still comfortable with a GOP that has remade itself in President Trump's image.

Order Senator Ben Sasse's important new book Them: Why We Hate Each Other--and How to Heal on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold, and follow him on twitter at @SenSasse.  

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Oct 16 2020

50mins

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Google's Eric Schmidt

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Former Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt discusses how former college football coach Bill Campbell mentored him and many of Silicon Valley's greatest visionaries from Jeff Bezos and Larry Page to Marc Andreessen and Steve Jobs.  Eric recalls how he initially reacted when venture capitalist John Doerr suggested that he work with a coach, how Coach Campbell helped shape the relationship between Eric and Google's founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and how the coach talked Eric out of resigning as Google’s CEO in 2004.  He shares how Bill Campbell coached teams more than individuals, and talks about the importance of trust and even love to a company's success.  Eric opens up about his decision to step down as Executive Chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet in 2017 and his next big bet on the positive potential of artificial intelligence.  Plus Eric Schmidt reveals why starting a meeting with some little polite chit-chat isn't just a waste of time and the power of hugs in the workplace.

Order Eric's book Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. 

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Oct 13 2020

34mins

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Tim Robbins on Defeating Tyranny with Satire

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Oscar-winning actor/writer/director/producer Tim Robbins shares how he originally developed his latest project Bobo Supreme as a movie with the director Adam McKay, but he was inspired to adapt his screenplay for an auditory medium when the pandemic shut down film production. He reveals how he managed to record with 35 different actors in 35 different locations simultaneously during quarantine, and how it has given him a renewed appreciation for the radio dramas of Orson Welles and his Mercury Radio Theater.  We talk about taking down tyrants through satire, comedy as a welcome break from our toxic addiction to doom scrolling, and how Tim’s career in Hollywood has given him some insight into the fragile, narcissistic id of Donald Trump.  Tim offers some hopeful speculation on how the movie business may transform in the wake of Covid-19 and what it will take to reopen live theaters such as his own repertory group The Actors Gang.  Plus, how Joe Biden won Tim over, the enduring relevance of his film Bob Roberts, and why you probably won’t see a sequel to that seminal political mockumentary any time soon.

Episode 1 of Bobo Supreme debuts today, October 8 on Patreon.  Visit www.bobosupreme.com or www.patreon.com/timrobbinspresents to listen.  Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimRobbins1.

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Oct 08 2020

44mins

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99% Invisible's Roman Mars on How People, Politics, and Pandemics Impact Design

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99% Invisible host Roman Mars discusses his new book why it’s taken him a decade to finally write a 99% Invisible book The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design, all of the thought that this design fan put into the look of his first book, and some of the secret publishing considerations that determine everything from how many units get returned to whether a book gets sold by Costco.  We talk about the baseball player who became synonymous with stairs to nowhere and other architectural elements that have outlasted their usefulness, how the lost art of neon tube bending is making a comeback, and how residents, local governments, and more affect the look and character of a neighborhood.  For instance, Roman shares how taxes have impacted the shape buildings throughout history, and the role that design plays in making our public spaces safer and our cities more pedestrian friendly during the current pandemic.  Plus we talk about creepy dolls, librarians on a power trip, the beautiful hideousness of city flags, and San Francisco's love/hate relationship with the TransAmerica pyramid.

Order Roman's his book The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design.  You can listen to 99% Invisible wherever you listen to podcasts or at www.99percentinvisible.org.  Follow Roman and the show on Twitter at @RomanMars and @99piorg, and be sure to check out the whole lineup of Radiotopia podcasts at www.radiotopia.fm.  Today's episode is sponsored by Kestra Financial.

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Oct 05 2020

44mins

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H.R. McMaster Looks at America's Greatest Challenges to Come

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Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster served in the US Army for 34 years and then as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump.  He discusses what it was like to take over that job in the chaotic period following the firing of his predecessor Michael Flynn, how studying LBJ's mistakes during the War in Vietnam made him even more determined to provide the current Commander-in-Chief with straight-forward, unvarnished policy advice, and why he believes that some others in the White House might not have had the same lofty motivations.  He talks about the value of empathy in national security and some of the biggest challenges America faces from an emboldened China that is taking advantage of the Covid crisis to advance it’s own agenda to a Russia that he says is determined to drag America down with it.  He he explains why the war in Afghanistan is really a one year war fought over and over 20 times, why he believes that his departure from the Trump Administration was partly the result of a social media smear campaign by Russian cyber-trolls, how the National Security Council put a strategy in place for a global pandemic (and what went wrong).

Order his new book Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World.  Today's episode was sponsored by Freeform's new series Kal Penn Approves This Message, now streaming new episodes on Wednesdays on Hulu.





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Oct 01 2020

47mins

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John Lithgow Takes on Trump with Rhyme and Verse

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John Lithgow shares some of his favorite poems from his new book Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown: Verses for a Despotic Age and how a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most famous song inspired him to express his political voice through rhyme and verse.  He reveals that he originally wanted to go into fine art instead of acting, how his poetry books have returned him to his childhood love of drawing, and why the motley cast of characters around Donald Trump serve as endless sources of inspiration for his humorous illustrations.  We also discuss his magnificent turns as Roger Ailes and Winston Churchill on screen, how this classically trained actor was convinced to play an alien on the hit sitcom Third Rock from the Sun, and how Twilight Zone: The Movie has made him every flight attendant’s favorite star.  We talk about his series of books and albums for children, we dig into his dark poem about the President’s deadly mishandling of the Coronavirus, and John ponders whether might he one day want to star as Trumpty Dumpty himself.  

Order his book Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown: Verses for a Despotic Age on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Be sure to check out some of John's celebrity video readings of Trumpty Dumpty on Youtube and follow John on Twitter @JohnLithgo.  Today's episode was sponsored by Freeform's new series Kal Penn Approves This Message, now streaming new episodes on Wednesdays on Hulu.

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Sep 28 2020

45mins

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iTunes Ratings

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Great interviews

By OnTelephone - Nov 15 2018
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I never miss and episodes.

Great questions, great interviews

By hannahmacxx - Jul 28 2018
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Really in depth perspectives and interviews, it’s a baller podcast.