Rank #1: (Episode 143) "I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter" Journalist: Jesse Barron.
Journalist Jesse Barron shares his insight on this very difficult and complex case.
In July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy died by suicide in his car at a parking lot in Fairhaven, Mass. Police soon discovered a series of alarming text messages from his girlfriend, 17-year-old Michelle Carter, that seemed to encourage him to kill himself. This discovery sparked sensational headlines nationwide, leading to a trial that raised difficult questions about technology, social media and mental health, while asking if one person can be held responsible for the suicide of another.
In 2012, teens Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy fell in love. They lived hours apart and met in person no more than five times, but exchanged thousands of texts over a two-year period. After Roy was found dead in his car in July 2014, what appeared to be a standard case of suicide by carbon-monoxide intoxication took a shocking turn when investigators discovered alarming text messages on his phone. Carter, 17 at the time, had urged Roy to kill himself, even after he had second thoughts and removed himself from his car.
Directed by Erin Lee Carr (HBO’s At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal and Mommy Dead and Dearest) I Love You, Now Die explores the complicated relationship between Carter and Roy, drawing on some of the thousands of texts they exchanged over two years to chronicle their courtship and its tragic consequences. Featuring unprecedented access to the families, friends and communities that were forever changed by this unusual case, the documentary explores the changing nature of the justice system today, following a story that has wider implications for society at large, both online and in real life. The film presents a well-rounded look at a bizarre tale that was a deadly convergence of mental illness, loneliness, pop culture and technology.
In July 2017, Michelle Carter was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the suicide of Roy. In August 2017, she was found guilty and began her 15-month prison sentence in February 2019, following a failed appeal.
I Love You, Now Die includes footage from Michelle Carter’s trial, where the filmmakers had the only camera allowed in court and supplied the pool camera for this historic case. It also features interviews with key individuals in the story, including: Conrad Roy’s immediate family; Joseph Cataldo, Michelle Carter’s defense attorney; Dr. Peter Breggin, an expert witness for the defense; police detectives; and journalists who covered the case extensively.
The documentary premiered at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival.
I Love You, Now Die is directed and produced by Erin Lee Carr; produced by Andrew Rossi; co-producer, Alison Byrne; original music, Ian Hultquist; cinematographer, Bryan Sarkinen; editor, Andrew Coffman; executive producer, Sheila Nevins; senior producer, Sara Bernstein.
Rank #2: (Episode 117) "The Wonder Years" Actor: Dan Lauria.
Daniel Lauria (born April 12, 1947) is an American actor, best known for his role as Jack Arnold in The Wonder Years.
There was a little bit of everyone’s dad in Lauria’s often curmudgeonly patriarch. The actor, went on to bring this signature gruffness to other roles, most notably the part of Vince Lonbardi in the Broadway play Lombardi. Lauria has also appeared in a number of television shows since The Wonder Years, including How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy, This is us and The Mentalist.
Meet the very kind and honest: Dan Lauria.
Rank #3: (Episode 135) "Fear the Walking Dead" Actor: Lennie James.
Iconic Actor and Monday Morning Critic Favorite Lennie James returns to talk about Season 5 of "Fear the Walking Dead"
Rank #4: Breaking Down 12: Our favorite movies about loss and grief.
Doug and I break down our favorite movies about loss and grief.
Rank #5: (Episode 107) "Braveheart" Actor: Angus Macfadyen
Angus Macfadyen is a phenomenal actor who has shined in such movies as Braveheart, The Lost City of Z and We Bought a Zoo and in theater and TV (see below).
Meet the incredible: Angus Macfadyen.
Educated in France, fluent in French.International Baccalaureate, Copenhagen.MA (Hons) in French and English, University of Edinburgh.Trained at CENTRAL SCHOOL OF SPEECH AND DRAMA, London.STAGE:
Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
- Faculty Of Rats
- The Tempest
- The Beautiful And Damned
- Cloud Nine
- The Immortals
Has written various plays, including 1905, which was winner of the 1991 Questors Theatre Student Playwriting Award.FILM:
- Pleasure Drivers (Dir: Andrzej Sekula)
- The Virgin Of Juarez (Dir: Kevin James Dobson)
- Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Dir: Callie Khouri)
- Equilibrium (Dir: Kurt Wimmer)
- A Woman’s A Helluva Thing (Dir: Karen Leigh Hopkins)
- Titus (Dir: Julie Taymor)
- Cradle Will Rock (Dir: Tim Robbins)
- Lanai-Loa (Dir: Sherwood Hu)
- Snide And Prejudice (Dir: Philippe Mora)
- Nevada (Dir: Gary Tische)
- Styx (Dir: Alex Wright)
- Second Skin (Dir: Darrell James Roodt)
- Façade (Dir: Carl-Jan Colpaert)
- Still Breathing (Dir: J.F. Robinson)
- Joseph's Gift (Dir: Philippe Mora)
- Warriors Of Virtue (Dir: Ronnie Yu)
- The Brylcreem Boys (Dir: Terrence Ryan)
- Braveheart (Dir: Mel Gibson)
- 5ive Days To Midnight (Sci-Fi Channel)
- Spartacus (USA)
- Miracles (ABC)
- Jason And The Argonauts (NBC)
- The Rat Pack (HBO)
- Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story (NBC)
- 15: The Life And Death Of Philip Knight (YTV)
- Two Golden Balls (Bard Entertainment)
- Takin’ Over The Asylum (BBC Scotland)
- The Lost Language Of Cranes (BBC)
- Soldier Soldier (Central)
- God Of Happiness (Channel Four)
- Care (YTV)
Rank #6: (Episode 114) "Boston Bruins" Defenseman, The Captain: Zdeno Chara.
At 6'9", Zdeno Chara is the tallest person ever to play in the NHL. Chara was born and raised in Trencin, Slovakia. At the age of 17 he played Junior B hockey with Dukla Trencin. The following year he was picked up by Piestany of Division II in Slovakia while also spending some of his playing time with the national junior team and HC Sparta Praha.
At the age of 19, Chara decided to move to North America, where he still had one year of major junior eligibility remaining. He suited up for the Prince George Cougars of the WHL. In 49 contests, he had three goals and 22 points. Chara wanted to familiarize himself with the North American game and to adjust to the smaller ice surface, having been selected 56th overall by the New York Islanders in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.
In 1997-98, Chara played 25 games with the New York Islanders, picking up one assist. He followed that with a 59-game effort the next year, scoring two goals and eight points. Chara played two more years on Long Island before being sent to the Ottawa Senators for the start of the 2001-02 season.
Chara credits several of his junior coaches in Slovakia and Stan Butler in Prince George as being the people who were most influential in his development as a player, which has seen him rise all the way to a regular performer in the NHL and to his first NHL All-Star performance in 2003.
In 2003-04, Chara established himself as one of the premier defensemen in the league while setting career highs in goals with 16 and points with 41 and was named runner-up for the Norris Trophy as league's top defenseman. As the following season ended, so did Chara's contract and tenure with the Sens.
July 1, 2006 Zdeno Chara was signed as a free agent by the Boston Bruins and named captain of the club. In his first full season as a Bruin, Chara matched his career-high in points (43) and helped establish a rugged blueline corps in Beantown. The following season he established new career season-highs in goals, assists and points with 17-34-51 totals and was voted a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman.
In 2009, not only did Zdeno Chara break Nicklas Lidstrom's strangle-hold on the Norris Trophy, but he joined exclusive company by becoming just the third Bruin, along with Hall of Famers Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque to win the prestigious award as the NHL's top defenseman. The Bruins captain anchored a defense corps that allowed the fewest goals against (2.32) in the league and led his club to a first place finish in the Eastern Conference with 116 points, the third best total in franchise history. Also a 1st Team All-Star, Chara set career-high marks for goals (19), assists (31), points (50) and plus/minus (+23). He would lead the Bruins and finish sixth among all players by averaging just over 26 minutes of ice time per game and was a force on the Bruins power play, recording 11 goals for third best among all NHL defensemen.
In February 2010, Chara was captain of the Slovakian squad at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
The 2009-10 season was a difficult one for Boston. The team struggled to find the net, ranking dead last in the league for goals scored and Chara saw his offensive production drop to just seven goals for the season.
Chara and the Bruins rebounded in 2010-11, finished the regular season in third place in the Eastern Conference and rode a wave of emotion into the playoffs.
Anchored by Chara on the back end, the Bruins accomplished what no Bruins club had done in almost 40 years when they defeated the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup.
Chara would record 17 goals and 23 assists during the 2013-14 season. He would also represent Slovakia once again at the Olympic Games. This time held in Sochi, Russia, Chara would serve as captain and was his nation's flag bearer at the opening ceremony.
In the summer of 2016, Chara would represent Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey. He and his teammates would surprise many by advancing all the way to the tournament final.
Meet the very kind: Zedeno Chara.
Rank #7: (Episode 75) Comedian: Jim Florentine.
JIM FLORENTINE is a stand-up comedian, TV host, actor, podcaster and voice artist. He is best known for co-hosting VH1 Classic's heavy metal talk show series "That Metal Show" that ran from 2008-2015. JIM FLORENTINE is also known for his work on Comedy Central's show Crank Yankers where he performed the voice of Special Ed and Bobby Fletcher. Recently, JIM FLORENTINE has appeared in the hit movie Trainwreck as the one night stand guy and on the critically acclaimed TV series Inside Amy Schumer and Louie on FX. He was submitted for an Emmy for best supporting actor for his role of Kenny on Louie. JIM FLORENTINE appeared on an episode of Girls in 2014. JIM FLORENTINE also appears in the feature film "A Little Help" starring Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesley of The Office). JIM FLORENTINE plays the character Brian, who is Jenna Fischer's love interest in the film. A Little Help won best film in several different film festivals. JIM FLORENTINE played a pimp on an episode of Californication in 2014. JIM FLORENTINE played a Cop on an episode of Red Oaks on Amazon in 2015.
Meet: Jim Florentine.
Rank #8: (Episode 80) Wrestler and Motivational Speaker: Marc Mero.
Marc Mero, Former WWE Wrestling Champion and Author of “How to be the Happiest Person on the Planet,” reached the pinnacle of sports-entertainment success – then lost it all — but in the process discovered what’s most important in life. Everyone faces adversity. “It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up. You can do anything you set your mind to!”
Marc shares his captivating journey with audiences worldwide and inspires people to examine their life choices. Listeners feel a greater sense of appreciation toward their relationships and the “gift of time” – and are empowered to make a difference in their personal life, school, career, and community.
Meet Marc Mero.
Rank #9: (Episode 76) Cindy Healy.
"While working on the Mars Pathfinder mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, I came to a fork in the road. It was a moment when I had to decide whether to move out of my comfort zone and take a risk.
NASA was putting together a 25-person launch team that would temporarily move from California to Florida near the Kennedy Space Center. All of my best buddies were going to be on this team. I knew it was going to be a “work hard, play hard” scenario, and I really wanted to go.
Up until that point I had been working as the lead for the simulation software that was used to prepare for the mission. At one point, a colleague and I were tasked with fixing the flight simulation code, including the star scanner—the eyeball of the spacecraft. The flight simulation code fakes out the spacecraft so it thinks it’s flying to Mars when it’s really sitting in the lab in Pasadena. The work had fallen nine months behind schedule, and my teammate Miguel and I had been given eight weeks to complete the code. Neither of us had ever written this kind of code before, but failure was not an option.
In one way, the entire Pathfinder mission was a risk—it was an attempt to reinvent space travel, an experiment to see just how cheap and how fast we could put a spacecraft on another planet. And we didn’t want to disappoint America.
Working night and day, we got the code written and meeting performance targets, and then it was time for some folks to head to Florida to prep for the launch. I really wanted to go. But, I wasn’t on the list because my role was not critical to the Florida operations.
My coworker was the UNIX system administrator, and he was on the list. But, he and his wife were having a baby, and he didn’t want to go.
In one moment, I had to make a critical decision: would I take a risk? I had no idea how to do the job. But I love a challenge, and I really wanted to go to Florida.
I raised my hand and said, “I’ll do it, just teach me how to be the UNIX system administrator.” As if it’s so easy.
So my coworker trained me, and I was just writing everything in a notebook, scribbling down as much as I could. Those notes were all I would have to help me do the job."
Meet: Cindy Healy.
Rank #10: (Episode 84) NFL Analyst: Chris Raybon.
Back for Round 2, one of the most popular MMC guests, NFL Analyst, Chris Raybon!
Meet: Chris Raybon.
Rank #11: (Episode 82) Author: Jonathan Eig.
Ken Burns calls Jonathan Eig a "master storyteller." Eig is the author of five books, three of them New York Times best sellers. He was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Eig is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, where he remains a contributing writer. Eig has also written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post, among others. Prior to The Wall Street Journal, he worked as a feature writer for Chicago magazine and as a news reporter for The Dallas Morning News and The New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Eig's books have been published in 13 languages. His first book, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, won the Casey Award for best baseball book of the year. Ali was named winner of PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting; best book of the year by Sports Illustrated; and one of the ten best non-fiction books of the year by The Wall Street Journal. Ali won best biography and best overall book in the British Sports Book Awards. It also won the award for best biography or memoir from the Society of Midland Authors. It was a finalist for Mark Lynton History Prize; the Plutarch Award; the William Hill Award; the James Tait Black Award for biography; an L.A. Times Book Award for biography; and an NAACP Image Award.
Eig has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and in two Ken Burns documentaries: Prohibition and Jackie Robinson. He is currently working with Burns and Florentine Films on a Muhammad Ali documentary. His next book will be a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Rank #12: (Episode 77) "Hell on Wheels" Actor: Phil Burke.
Phil Burke attended the American Academy Of Dramatic Arts in New York, on a Board of Trustees Scholarship. He graduated with an Associates Degree in Fine Arts in 2003. Burke continued his acting training at various performing workshops and studios throughout New York. On stage, Phil Burke holds a noticeable list of leading-roles to his credit while holding mixed work in leading and supporting roles on the screen. Burke's screen debut was in 2005 and since that year, he has performed in various films and on numerous television series. Notable television series of the latter 2000s include The Good Wife (2009) and Hell on Wheels (2011) on which he held a recurring role.
Meet the very funny. Very cool: Phil Burke.
Rank #13: (Episdoe 86) Actor: Peter Stormare.
With a cool stoic gaze suggesting unmentionable thoughts lurking somewhere deep behind those deep, blank eyes, popular character actor Peter Stormare offered American audiences slightly discomforting comic relief in Joel and Ethan Coen's popular dark comedy Fargo (1996), though his versatility and adaptability have since led him to major Hollywood blockbusters.
One of the best actors of our generation, known for one legendary role after another...
Meet: Peter Stormare.
Rank #14: (Episode 125) "The Best of Enemies" Actor: Gilbert Glenn Brown.
Gilbert Glenn Brown is an NYU trained actor, who is well known for his theater and troupe accomplishments, an extensive television filmography and he can currently be seen in the smash hit "The Best of Enemies" and is in production on "Star Girl"
Welcome the kind, very busy and dedicated: Gilbert Glenn Brown.
Rank #15: (Episode 85) "Pets for Vets" Army Veteran: Sean Quigley
Chapter Director Sean C. Quigley
As a former Army Medic, DAV, American Legion member and dog lover, Sean believes the organization is the perfect way to combine two things he is very passionate about: Veterans and dogs. He looks forward to improving the quality of life for local Veterans and providing loving homes for dogs in need.
Meet: Sean Quigley.
Rank #16: (Episode 88) Actor: Don Most.
Don is probably best known for his co-starring role as Ralph in the long running television series “Happy Days”. During this time, he worked with such emerging talents as Ron Howard and Garry Marshall. Donny has always appreciated the swing and big band style of music and now he delights audiences with a unique show that fuses the swing era with the 50’s cool.Donny has directed three feature films. “the Last Best Sunday”, “Moola” and “Harley’s Hill”. His films have premiered at The Newport Beach Film Festival, at the Seattle International Film Festival, and earned Most The Outstanding Achievement In Directing Award.
Meet: Don Most.
Rank #17: (Episode 126) "Searching for Bobby Fischer" Author: Fred Waitzkin
Author of recently released... "Deep Water Blues"....Fred Waitzkin was born in Cambridge Massachusetts. His father was a salesman, and his mother, an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor. To the best that he can recall, Abe and Stella never shared a warm moment. Early on Fred considered careers in sales, big game fishing, and Afro Cuban drumming but by the age of thirteen decided he would be a writer. Both of his parents were strong literary influences along with Ernest Hemingway: “His little sentences thrilling me with descriptions of men pulling in huge sharks and marlin.”
Waitzkin was an English major at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. During the summer vacation following his junior year, he met Bonnie on a sword fishing trip, and a year later they were married. He received a master’s at New York University and for a time considered pursuing a career as a scholar of seventeenth century poetry. He taught English at The College of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, but admits that it wasn’t love of teaching poetry that intrigued him about St. Thomas, but rather the rumors of thousand-pound blue marlin that were said to graze twelve or fifteen miles north of the island on a patch of ocean called “the saddle.”
Following the St. Thomas years Fred and Bonnie settled in New York City. After collecting a great many magazine rejections for his short stories, Waitzkin began writing feature journalism, personal essays and reviews for numerous magazines including Esquire, Forbes, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, New York Magazine, Outside Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.
In 1984, Waitzkin published Searching for Bobby Fischer, the story of three years in the lives of Fred and his chess prodigy son, Josh Waitzkin. The book became an internationally acclaimed best seller. In 1993 the movie version was released by Paramount and that same year was nominated for an academy award.
In 1993, Waitzkin published, Mortal Games, a biography of world chess champion, Garry Kasparov. It has been described as, “a remarkable look inside the world of genius—a brilliant exploration of obsession, risk and triumph.”
In 2000 he published, The Last Marlin, a memoir that was selected by The New York Times as “a best book of the year.”
In the spring of 2013 St. Martin’s Press published The Dream Merchant, Waitzkin’s first novel. In a starred review Kirkus wrote, “Waitzkin offers a singular and haunting morality tale, sophisticated, literary, and intelligent. Thoroughly entertaining. Deeply imaginative. Highly recommended.” A second novel, Deep Water Blues, published in 2019 by Open Road Media, is set on a remote a sparsely populated Bahamian island where a peaceful marina becomes a battleground.
Fred Waitzkin lives in Manhattan with his wife Bonnie. He has two children, Josh and Katya, and two cherished grandsons, Jack and Charlie. Fred spends as much time as possible on the bridge of his old boat Ebb Tide trolling baits off distant islands with family and friends.
Meet the very kind and talented: Fred Waitzkin.
Rank #18: (Episode 118) Actor: Don Jeanes.
Don Jeanes is an American actor from Houston, Texas. He is best known for his role as the rancher in the award-winning 2013 through 2015 Budweiser Clydesdale Super Bowl Commercials as well as playing Niel Armstrong in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. He has appeared on television in CSI:NY, Criminal Minds, The Exes, All My Children and many more. Don continues to work in Film, TV, Television, Commercials and as a Print Model in Texas.
Welcome the kind and humble, Don Jeanes.
Rank #19: (Episode 87) Film Critic: Alissa Wilkinson.
Alissa Wilkinson is Vox's film critic. She's been writing about film and culture since 2006, and her work has appeared at Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Vulture, RogerEbert.com, The Atlantic, Books & Culture, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Paste, Pacific Standard, and others. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and a 2017-18 Art of Nonfiction writing fellow with the Sundance Institute. Before joining Vox, she was the chief film critic at Christianity Today.Alissa is also an associate professor of English and humanities at The King's College in New York City, where she teaches criticism and cultural theory.
Meet: Alissa Wilkinson.
Rank #20: (Episode 111) "The A-Team" Actor: Dirk Benedict.
Dirk Benedict was born in Montana on March 1st, 1945. He was raised in the country, far away from anything connected with movies or acting. He gathered his first experiences in acting (on a dare) in a college production of "Showboat" where he got the main part. His father, a lawyer, died when Dirk was 18, which was hard for him to take. While working on Georgia Georgia(1972) in Sweden, he made the first contact with a macrobiotic diet and changed his eating habits drastically. He was 26 at that time. A few years later, doctors found that he had cancer of the prostate. He refused to accept the usual treatment and moved away to a secluded cottage. Dirk managed to cure himself from cancer by following the rules of his macrobiotic diet. When he got his part as "Starbuck" in Battlestar Galactica (1978), the doctors stated that he was in good health. Dirk's main successes were "Battlestar Galactica" and The A-Team (1983) in which he played "Templeton - The Face - Peck".
Meet: Dirk Benedict.