Kickass News

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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…

Kickass News

    • Oct 14, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • monthly NEW EPISODES
    • 43m AVG DURATION
    • 587 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from Kickass News

    Ron and Clint Howard Recall Their TV Childhood

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 38:35

    Ron and Clint Howard talk about what it was like to balance school and their hit tv series The Andy Griffith Show and Gentle Ben.  They fondly recall how their midwestern parents helped them pursue their dreams in showbusiness while always keeping them grounded.  Ron shares some crucial advice that his dad gave Andy Griffith about the relationship between Andy and Opie, and how Ron later channelled his father's strong will when he had stand up for himself during his time on Happy Days.  Clint discusses his following in father's footsteps as a working character actor, and why his dad was the best acting coach that he and Ron could have asked for.  Plus they have some sage advice for pushy stage parents and showbiz kids. Order Ron and Clint's new book The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and keep with us at or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Visit Airwave at or on Apple Podcasts to discover our other excellent podcasts like Good Job Brain, Big Picture Science, Legends of the Old West, Investing for Beginners, Into the Impossible, and other great podcasts.

    Masters of Scale Reid Hoffman & June Cohen

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2021 41:32

    Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn, Partner at Greylock, and Host of Masters of Scale Podcast and June Cohen, his producer and Co-Founder and CEO of WaitWhat, discuss their new book Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths from the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs.  They talk about the entrepreneurial mindset, the keys to blitzscaling your way to success, and the underrated importance of a company's culture.  Plus they explain the value of embracing resistance, the various kinds of “no”s that one hears gets VC meetings, and the time Reid said "no" to a startup when he should have said “yes.” Order Reid and June's book Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths from the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs at  Subscribe to Masters of Scale podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen.  Follow them on Twitter at, @mastersofscale , @reid hoffman, and @junecohen. Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and keel with us at or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Visit Airwave at or on Apple Podcasts to discover our other excellent podcasts like Infamous America, Investing for Beginners, The Accidental Creative, and Into the Impossible.

    Alexander Vindman on Doing What's Right

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021 44:03

    Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (Ret.) is the whistleblower who exposed former President Donald Trump's notorious phone call Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zellensky that led to the second impeachment of Trump.  Vindman reveals the weird activity that tipped him off that this was going to be an unusual phone call, the moment when he realized Trump may have violated the law, and what happened when he reported the matter to his own brother.  He describes the almost immediate pressure campaign to silence him, how his military training came in handy when he testified in the Congressional Impeachment Hearing, and why he feels that the Impeachment committee and the press focused too much on the prospect of a "quid pro quo."  Plus he talks about the effort to rob him of his expected military promotion and how he's now reaching out to help other victim's of bullying. Order Alexander Vindman's new memoir HERE, RIGHT MATTERS: An American Story on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and keel with us at or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Visit Airwave at or on Apple Podcasts to discover our other excellent podcasts like Infamous America, Investing for Beginners, The Accidental Creative, and Into the Impossible.

    When Things Go Wrong

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2021 47:38

    This is a preview episode of the new podcast When Things Go Wrong, hosted by Frank Supovitz.  Frank served a combined 23 years as Senior Vice President, Events for the National Football League and the Group Vice President of Events & Entertainment for the National Hockey League.  He's seen it all, and knows how to handle a crisis such as the time the lights went out in the middle of the Super Bowl! Frank interviews leaders in sports, news, music, movies, tech, politics and more about the anatomy of real crises, large and small, how they might have been prevented, and how they were resolved...or managed when they couldn't be. In this episode, Frank talks with Jeff Miller, former Chief Security Executive of the NFL, about Super Bowl security, and then Jeff discusses the most difficult experience of his professional life: managing the unfolding tragedy of a school shooting in front of media from around the world. If you enjoy this episode, please listen and subscribe to When Things Go Wrong on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen!

    Legends of the Old West Presents The Pleasant Valley War

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2021 27:12

    This is a preview of episode 1 of the latest season of Legends of the Old West about the infamous land dispute known as a the Pleasant Valley War. What began as a feud between two families turned into a decade-long war that engulfed much of the Arizona territory and  became the most deadly range conflict in US history.   In each season of Legends of the Old West, host Chris Wimmer tells the tales of lawmen like Wyatt Earp and Wild Bill Hickok and the Texas Rangers; outlaws like Jesse James and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Native American leaders like Red Cloud, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse; and rowdy towns like Deadwood, Tombstone and Dodge City. Subscribe to Legends of the Old West on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. etc.  Also check out Chris Wimmer's historical true crime podcast Infamous America on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.   Infamous America and Legends of the Old West are produced by Black Barrel Media and are part of the Airwave Media podcast network.

    The 1978 Lufthansa Heist

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 29:56

    Season 15 of the true crime history podcast Infamous America is all about the notorious 1978 Lufthansa Heist.  It involved one of New York's biggest crime families and nearly $6 million in cash and jewelry - the largest cash robbery ever on American soil at the time.  The money and jewels are still missing to this day and the mystery remains largely unsolved!  Enjoy this preview of Episode 1: The Robert's Lounge Gang. Hosted by Chris Wimmer, Infamous America takes you on a journey through the wildest, and sometimes darkest, chapters of American history. From the Salem Witch Trials to the gangsters of the 1930s to assassins, traitors, outlaws, scandals and events that still defy explanation, you'll hear them all on Infamous America. Subscribe to Infamous America on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.  Also check out Chris Wimmer's western history show Legends of the Old West on Apple, Spotify, etc.  Infamous America and Legends of the Old West are produced by Black Barrel Media and are part of the Airwave Media podcast network.

    Ben Rhodes on Activism vs Authoritarianism

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2021 43:43

    Ben Rhodes, A former White House aide and close confidant to President Barack Obama, discusses what it was like to go from being the ultimate White House insider to reporting on world events from the outside.  He talks about his conversation with the now imprisoned Russian activist Alexei Navalny, what he learned from the Hong Kong protesters, and how Hungarian strongman Victor Orban quickly consolidated power and rolled back post-Soviet freedoms.  Plus he reveals why he believes that America is partly to blame for figures like Orban, Putin, and Xi, and he even weighs in on the government's joint intelligence report about Unidentified Arial Phenomena. Order Ben's new book After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to Ben's podcast Pod Save the World wherever you like to listen, and follow him on twitter at @brhodes.

    Brad Stone Takes Us Inside Amazon

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2021 45:21

    Bloomberg journalist Brad Stone discusses his book Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire.  He talks about how Amazon has exploded during the pandemic, how the company's purchase of Whole Foods proved all the critics wrong, and why the online retail giant is now making a big bet on brick and mortar stores.  We get into the fraught process of selecting a location for Amazon HQ2 and how Bezos managed to triumph over a different public relations nightmare surrounding his extra-marital affair.  Plus we discuss Bezos's relationship with frienemy Elon Musk, why he's choosing to retire from Amazon, and what's next for the company known as the “Everything Store.” Order Brad Stone's new book Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow Brad on twitter at @Brad Stone Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Check out some of Airwave's other great shows like Movie Therapy, When Things Go Wrong, Legends of the Old West, and My History Can Beat Up Your Politics.

    Malcolm Gladwell on the Bomber Mafia

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2021 41:51

    Malcolm Gladwell discusses the stranger fiction of the story of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.  Plus Malcolm talks about his heart-wrenching visit to museum dedicated to victims of the Tokyo firebombings, his revealing dinner with the top brass of the US Airforce,  and why he's making a big bet on audiobooks with his latest offering. Order Malcolm's new book The Bomber Mafia on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Check out some of Airwave's other great shows like Infamous America, Investing for Beginners, and My History Can Beat Up Your Politics.

    Jon Meacham on the Roots of the Capitol Riot

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2021 38:13

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Jon Meacham returns to discuss the early rumblings within the Conservative movement that led to the Capitol riots of January 6, 2021 and why Democrats and Republicans can no longer agree on something as objective as facts.  He reveals that the roots of January 6 go as far back as Barry Goldwater, how the GOP succeeded in squelching the John Birchers in the 60’s, but how they failed to control the radical elements in the party today.  Plus Q-Anon, the future of the Republican Party, and Jon shares what his late friend George H.W. Bush thought about the rise of the alt-right. Subscribe to Jon Meacham's podcast FATE OF FACT on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen.  Follow Jon on twitter at @jonmeacham and at  Today's episode was brought to you by Gastropod podcast.  Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Check out some of Airwave's other great shows like Infamous America, Investing for Beginners, and My History Can Beat Up Your Politics.

    Alex Gibney on the Crime of the Century

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2021 38:29

    Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney discusses his new documentary The Crime of the Century about how big pharma knowingly got America hooked on opioids.  Watch Alex's two-part documentary The Crime of the Century on HBO Max and follow Alex on Twitter at @alexgibneyfilm.  Kickass News is part of the Airwave Media podcast network.  Check out some of our other great shows like Food with Mark Bittman, Movie Therapy, and When Things Go Wrong on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

    Airwave Presents: Food with Mark Bittman

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2021 1:36

    We're launching our new podcast network Airwave on Monday, May 24, starting with our first original podcast FOOD WITH MARK BITTMAN. Former New York Times food journalist and #1 bestselling author Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything, Eat Vegan Before 6:00) is obsessed with everything about food. Each week on FOOD, Mark sits down with a different guest, ranging from Chef Tom Colicchio to Jane Goodall to Carla Hall, and to important people in the food world you may not know about. They talk about cooking, eating, and how food affects us all – our lives, our health, our planet. They talk recipes, ingredients, how to shop, what to cook tonight, and what you can do to help build a better food system. Mark even takes your questions, and gives advice – cooking and otherwise! Whatever you want is fair game, from how to boil an egg to how to feed your picky toddler to how to increase people’s control over the role food plays in our lives. Click here to subscribe now to FOOD WITH MARK BITTMAN on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and don’t miss the first episode May 24 with Mark's special guest - the fabulous Nigella Lawson.

    Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on Ernest Hemingway

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 5, 2021 43:10

    Ken Burns and Lynn Novick come back to the podcast to discuss their new 3-part documentary on Ernest Hemingway.  They share their own memories of the first Hemingway books they ever read, the challenges of getting to the real person behind the legend, and what it was like to re-examining some of the trouble aspects of the writer’s personality from his views on women and race to his struggles with mental health.  They reveal what they learned from the many contemporary authors with whom they spoke as well as Hemingway’s only living son Patrick.  Plus we talk about the time when Ernest Hemingway got in two near-fatal plane crashes within two days, how World War II changed forever changed him, how an astounding number of concussions might have led to his suicide, and why Ken believes that the quality of Hemingway’s writing was inversely proportional to the amount of shooting he did. Hemingway airs on PBS tonight April 5 through 7 from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET.  Visit for more information and follow Ken and Lynn on Twitter at @KenBurns and @LynnNovick. See for privacy information.

    Comedian Jo Koy

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 25, 2021 42:51

    Comedian Jo Koy talks about growing up as a biracial military brat, his mom’s immigrant hustle, and his first taste of the spotlight as a childhood Michael Jackson impersonator.  He recalls selling tickets door to door for his first comedy show, encountering racism in Hollywood, and how he's now paying it forward to other Philippino artists and comedians. Plus Jo talks about embracing our stereotypes, Philippino crucifixion rituals, and why there really are so many Phillipino nurses. Order Jo Koy's new memoir MIXED PLATE: Chronicles of an All- American Combo on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast the Koy Pond wherever you listen and keep up with him at and on twitter at @JoKoy.   See for privacy information.

    Melissa Bernstein of Melissa & Doug Toys

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 22, 2021 50:39

    Melissa Bernstein co-founded the wildly successful toy company Melissa & Doug.  You might think that this happily-married mother of 6, who has created over 5,000 toys which have sold over a billion dollars, is always chipper and full of positivity, but Melissa reveals that many days she wonders if she'll make it tomorrow.  She opens up about how her lifelong battle with existential anxiety and depression almost drove her to suicide, why she finally learned to manage it at age 50, and how she’s now on a mission to help other suffering from mental health issues.  Melissa also discusses how she and her husband Doug decided to start a toy company with no prior experience, how their nostalgia for simple, fun wooden toys that fire the imagination  has turned into a movement supported by The American Academy of Pediatrics, and why Melissa believes that designing toys even saved her life.   Order Melissa Bernstein's new book LifeLines: An Inspirational Journey from Profound Darkness to Radiant Light on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Find additional resources and support at and check out her wonderful line of toys for kids at  Kickass News is launching a brand new podcast network called Airwave in May, and we need your help fund our production slate of all new podcasts for 2021.  Please donate to this exciting new venture at See for privacy information.

    Admiral James Stavridis and Novelist Elliott Ackerman

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 18, 2021 31:07

    Former commander of NATO Admiral James Stavridis and decorated Marine and novelist Elliott Ackerman envision how a naval clash between the US and China in the South China Sea could lead to World War III in their disturbingly plausible work of speculative fiction titled 2034: A Novel of the Next World War.  They discuss how they came together on this project and the power of fiction to draw attention to real world issues and potential areas of crisis.  Admiral Stavridis talks about the China’s increasingly aggressive moves in the South China Sea and how tensions in this region could potential impact 30% of the world’s shipping.  He also reveals how the pandemic is altering the global balance of power, and Elliott lays out how America’s political divisions may signal the end of the two party system. Order Stavridis and Ackerman's new book 2034: A Novel of the Next World War on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow Elliott Ackerman at and on Twitter at @elliottackerman.  Follow James Stavridis at and on twitter @stavrisj.  Kickass News is launching a brand new podcast network called Airwave in May, and we need your help fund our production slate of all new podcasts for 2021.  Please donate to this exciting new venture at See for privacy information.

    A Huge Announcement from Kickass News

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 17, 2021 2:15

    It's official!  We're launching a brand new podcast network called Airwave this May!  In addition to Kickass News, Airwave will be the new home for many of your other favorite podcasts.  Airwave will also debut over a dozen original shows hosted by some of the leading thought leaders and storytellers in audio entertainment, including many of my most popular past guests.   We can't do it without you though!  We need your financial support to fund our full production slate.  Please become a part of this exciting new venture by donating at  Every penny of your donation will go toward to the production of the most engaging and entertaining new podcasts of 2021. I’ll be sharing more details about those specific shows and other Airwave news over the next few weeks so follow us on Twitter or Facebook at @AirwavePodcasts. See for privacy information.

    Walter Isaacson on the Next Scientific Revolution

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 11, 2021 38:58

    Bestselling author Walter Isaacson (Jobs, Leonardo DaVinci) shares how Nobel Prize-winning scientist Jennifer Doudna and her collaborators blazed a trail in a field dominated by men and turned a curiosity of nature into an something that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA.  He reveals how the technology known as CRISPR has launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.  Walter talks the controversy over so-called "designer babies," how Doudna and others are leading the way in the fight against Covid-19, and how the pandemic is actually changing opinions about the potential of gene editing our off-spring.  Walter Isaacson also discusses his mission to get people excited about science and the common trait that links all geniuses from Albert Einstein to Leonardo DaVinci. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, CRISPR, and the Future of the Human Race on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson wherever you get your podcasts, and follow him on Twitter at @WalterIsaacson. See for privacy information.

    Comedian Howie Mandel

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 8, 2021 52:34

    Howie Mandel talks about making his first comedy special in 20 years, his childhood growing up in Toronto, and how the show Candid Camera inspired him to pull an elaborate prank that got him expelled form high school. He shares how "winging it" the first time he want on stage turned into his signature improvisational style, and how he still finds much of his comedic inspiration from interacting with his audience.  He recalls opening for Diana Ross in Vegas, his very first TONIGHT SHOW appearance, how the HBO YOUNG COMEDIANS SPECIAL changed his life, and the time when a sitcom audition led to his getting cast in the serious TV medical drama SAINT ELSEWHERE. Howie reveals why he originally turned down the offer to host DEAL OR NO DEAL and the anxiety he gets whenever he sees contestants making bad decisions on the show.  He opens up about his struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, and how he went from fearing that it might be a career killer to using his fame to raise awareness of mental health issues.  Plus Howie Mandel gives the secret to winning the golden buzzer on AMERICA'S GOT TALENT. See for privacy information.

    The Egyptian Indiana Jones Dr. Zahi Hawass

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 4, 2021 35:30

    Dr. Zahi Hawass is the former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities and Director of Excavations at Giza, Saqqara, the Bahariya Oasis, and the Valley of the Kings. He is often referred to as “the real Indiana Jones, and some of his major finds include the Tombs of the Pyramid Builders at Giza, the Valley of the Golden Mummies, and multiple undiscovered pyramids.  Now he’s leading the biggest archeological excavation ever attempted in Egypt, and he is documenting the adventure in a new 2-hour special for discovery+ called VALLEY OF THE KINGS: THE LOST TOMBS. Dr. Hawass discusses the logistics of this massive dig in one of Egypt’s most unreachable areas, why he believes that the Western Valley of the Kings is rich in undiscovered tombs, and some of the tantalizing clues that may lead him to Egypt’s most famous queen Nefertiti.  He shares the the most important factor for a successful dig, the role that modern forensic science is playing in identifying mummies, and why even the greatest archeologist still relies on luck and instinct every now and then.  Plus Dr. Hawass opens up about his efforts to repatriate looted Egyptian artifacts, and he dispels myths about King Tut's death, a treasure under the Sphinx, and ancient aliens building the pyramids. VALLEY OF THE KINGS: THE LOST TOMBS is now streaming only on discovery+.  Keep up with Dr Hawass at See for privacy information.

    Mark Bittman on Our Complicated History with Food

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 2, 2021 41:03

    James Beard Award-winning food writer and #1 bestselling author Mark Bittman offers a panoramic view of how the frenzy for food has driven human history to some of its most catastrophic moments, from slavery and genocide to our current moment, wherein Big Food exacerbates climate change, plunders our planet, and sickens its people.  Mark reveals how he first got the world to take food issues seriously, how we can rethink our food distribution systems, and take a different approach to feeding the world’s hungry.  We discuss America's junk food epidemic, how to tell junk from real food, and how government farm subsidies actually incentive the production of food with minimal to no nutritional value.  Plus we get into the impossible burger, lab grown meats, arsenic in the baby food, and Mark's mixed feelings about President Biden’s Secretary of Agriculture. Order Mark Bittman's book Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his newsletter The Bittman Project at and keep up with him at and on Twitter at @bittman. See for privacy information.

    Director Lee Daniels on Jazz Icon Billie Holiday

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 26, 2021 38:13

    Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) talks about his latest film The United States vs. Billie Holiday and how the 1971 movie Lady Sings the Blues inspired him to go into entertainment.  He reveals that he always has a personal connection to each of his films, that The United States vs Billie Holiday was the first movie that he has ever directed sober. and how his own struggle with drugs and alcohol gave him insight into Holiday’s lifelong addiction.  We discuss how the iconic song Strange Fruit that put Billie Holidays in the cross-hairs of a powerful drug agent who was intent on destroying her and why Lee believes that she deserves a place among America’s Civil Rights Heroes.  Plus Lee talks about his upcoming miniseries about another famous black entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. The United States vs. Billie Holiday streams on Hulu beginning Friday, February 26.   Follow Lee Daniels on Twitter at @leedanielsent. See for privacy information.

    Gayle Lemmon on the Women Who Beat ISIS

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 22, 2021 38:35

    Journalist and author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon talks about the women who fought ISIS in Syria.  She discusses how the female fighters of Kobani helped to deliver the first blow to the previously unstoppable forces of the Islamic State and how that victory convinced the US that it had a reliable partner against ISIS.  She shares the individual stories of some of the brave women she encountered, including some who rose to command both women and men in combat, and some who were forced to marry ISIS fighters, survived unspeakable brutality, and then went on the defeat ISIS on the battlefield.  Gayle reveals how the women of the Syrian Democratic Forces are now working to establish equality for women in Syrian and throughout one of the most hostile regions for women in the world.  Plus how ISIS reacted when they realized they were getting their butts kicked by a bunch of bad-ass women! Order Gayle Lemmon’s new book The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Gayle at or on Twitter at @GayleLemmon.   See for privacy information.

    Jared Diamond Explores Nations in Crisis

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 20, 2021 44:31

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author, scientist, and renowned polymath Jared Diamond reveals that many of the factors in how individuals cope with personal crises can also predict how countries survive national crises.  He profiles six nations in transition in his book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, and shares his personal experiences and observations about those countries including why one should never utter the word "Finlandization" in Finland, how Chileans in the 1960’s never thought that their democracy would fall to a bloody dictator, and he says this doesn’t bode well for the U.S.  He discusses why some countries like Germany choose to acknowledge their violent past while others like Indonesia choose to bury it.  Then he warns of two nations currently facing crises Japan, who suffers from crippling national debt and an aging/shrinking population, and the United States, where he says the decline of political compromise and voting rights is eroding our democracy. Order Jared Diamond's terrific book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  See for privacy information.

    Comedian Tom Papa

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 15, 2021 49:38

    In this age of insurmountable consumption of media where bad news travels fast from all directions, comedian Tom Papa wants to remind us to take care of ourselves, embrace who you’ve become, and absorb the beauty of life in his new Netflix special Tom Papa: You're Doing Great!  In this February 2020 interview, Tom reveals where his trademark optimism comes from, why he rejects the cynicism often associated with standup comedy, and what he learned about being true to your comedic voice while touring with Jerry Seinfeld.  He opens up about his anxiety over sending his daughter off to college and warning her that most men’s “nice guy act” is a total fraud.  Plus Tom talks about his own real life ghost story, the lie of social media, the myth of "the good old days," and the symbiotic relationship between baking and writing comedy. Tom’s standup special Tom Papa: You're Doing Great is now streaming on Netflix, and look for his book You're Doing Great in stores May 12.  Visit for his upcoming tour dates and follow him on twitter at @TomPapa. See for privacy information.

    True Crime Documentary Filmmaker Joe Berlinger

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 11, 2021 37:09

    True crime documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Paradise Lost) discusses his new Netflix docu-series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel that deconstructs the mythology and mystery surrounding infamous locations in contemporary crime.  He explains the dark history of the Cecil Hotel and why the socio-economics of downtown Los Angeles have made it a haven for the downtrodden, desperate, and despicable, including Richard Ramirez aka the Nightstalker.  We talk about the mysterious 2013 disappearance of Canadian college student Elisa Lam, whose body was later found in a tank on the roof that provided the hotel’s water supply, the bizarre elevator footage that fed media speculation around the case, and some of the even more bizarre conspiracy theories propagated by a community of online web sleuths. Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is now streaming only on Netflix.  Follow Joe Berlinger on Twitter at @joeberlinger. See for privacy information.

    David Mamet Talks Jazz, Gangsters, and Noir

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 11, 2021 34:23

    In this 2018 interview with David Mamet, the Pulitzer-winning writer/director discusses how the old gangster stories he heard as a child inspired him to write CHICAGO: A NOVEL.  He talks about his love of classic noir and hot jazz, and dislike of social media, computers, and flowery prose.  He shares why famous figures are better felt than heard in historical fiction, why he says Hollywood is dead, and why he never reads his own reviews.  He teases his latest play about Harvey Weinstein, and reveals his longing to live as a reporter in the 1920’s and die as a whorehouse piano player with a whiskey and a cigarette. Order David Mamet's book CHICAGO: A NOVEL on Amazon. See for privacy information.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson Answers Your Questions

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 5, 2021 51:01

    In this 2019 conversation with astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Neil discusses some of his favorite letters from fans on a diverse array of topics from Pluto and Bigfoot to race and religion.  He shares touching personal letters from his cousin wondering about her deceased father’s spirit, and a mother whose autistic son is torn between what he learns in Hebrew school and what he learns from Cosmos.  He talks about the tweet that enraged the musician Moby, the rapper who insisted that the earth is flat, and a man who asked Neil to help promote his "perpetual motion machine."  Plus Neil answers your questions about black holes, the speed of light, the moon landing, and more. Order Neil deGrasse Tyson's book Letters from an Astrophysicist on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast Startalk on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, follow him on twitter at @NeilTyson, and visit his webpage at   See for privacy information.

    Zackary Taylor and Jay Duplass

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 2, 2021 41:53

    Mark Duplass and Zackary Taylor discuss their new docu-series The Lady and the Dale about the rise and eventual fall of automaker and trans trailblazer Elizabeth Carmichael.  We talk about Carmichael's three-wheeled car that claimed to get 70 per gallon and how the 70s gas crisis fueled incredible interest in "the Dale."  We Carmichael's shady past, and life on the run from the law, and how it inevitably caught up to her.  We also cover some of the prejudices she faced and what her trial meant for the trans community.  Plus Elizabeth Carmichael's connection to the mafia, the Cuban revolution, and Tucker Carlson’s dad! Watch the first episode of The Lady and the Dale on HBO on Demand or HBO Max,  and don’t miss new episodes airing Sunday at 9PM E on HBO and HBO Max.   See for privacy information.

    George C. Wolfe on Bringing a Blues Icon to the Screen

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 28, 2021 42:53

    Five-time Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe talks about his acclaimed new motion picture Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the legacy of the original the original Mother of the Blues, and what went into transforming Oscar-winner Viola Davis into this larger than life icon. He discusses what the Chicago jazz scene meant to black musicians who migrated from the Jim Crow South in the 1920s and some of the creative ways that he found to visually depict the foreignness of the urban north for those who made that journey. George opens up about the process of bringing August Wilson’s play to the screen and why he chose to use Wilson’s hometown of Pittsburgh as a double for the windy city. He shares why he always has an intense rehearsal period before he shoots a frame of film, how his own experience as an occasional actor informs his directing, and how he got the performance of a lifetime out of the late Chadwick Boseman. Plus we talk about the white bandleader who appropriated black music and then had the nerve to bill himself as "the king of jazz," the relevance of Ma Rainey’s story in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, and the swirl of Oscar buzz surrounding this five-time Tony-winning director and his movie. George C. Wolfe's fantastic film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is now showing in select theaters and streaming on Netflix. I also encourage you to check out the wonderful motion picture soundtrack by the great Branford Marsalis and discover some of the original recordings by the real Ma Rainey on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, Pandora, or wherever you like to listen. Some of my personal favorites by Ma include "See See Rider Blues," "Chain Gang Blues," "Prove It On Me," "Moonshine Blues," "Hear Me Talking to You," and of course "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." If you enjoyed today's episode of Kickass News, please subscribe and rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Visit for more information on the show, and follow us on Facebook and on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod. Thanks for listening!   See for privacy information.

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 26, 2021 31:02

    In this 2017 interview, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about his 50 year friendship with the "Wizard of Westwood" UCLA Coach John Wooden.  He says Coach Wooden was more concerned with his players’ grades than with winning basketball games, he shares some of the wisdom that Coach Wooden imparted, and talks about the time Coach helped Abdul-Jabbar forgive another one of his early mentors who used a racial slur.  He talks about how he felt when the NCAA banned dunking and how Coach Wooden helped him overcome that setback by showing him how use his signature "skyhook" to maximum effect on the court.  Plus Kareem shares some of Wooden’s favorite inspirational quotes, the Coach's essential advice on how to put on your shoes and socks, and Kareem explains how his two loves - basketball and jazz are really very similar.  Order Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's new book Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court on Amazon or download the audiobook for free with a special trial offer just for our listeners at You can learn more about what Kareem is up to these days at and support his charity The Skyhook Foundation at  Follow Kareem on Twitter at @KAJ33. 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 for more fun stuff. See for privacy information.

    Ocean Explorer Robert Ballard

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2021 48:43

    Dr. Robert Ballard is the famed ocean explorer responsible for some of the greatest undersea discoveries including the RMS Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and John F. Kennedy's WW II boat PT-109.  Today Dr. Ballard reveals that he was actually on a top secret government mission when he found the Titanic, what it was like the first time he physically went down to visit Titanic, and his outrage at those who are looting this sacred burial ground for profit.  We also discuss what really sank the Lusitania, what Russia is up to in the waters around vital fiber optic cables in the Atlantic, and the future of fishing with sustainable floating fisheries in the open ocean.  Plus, how Dr. Ballard is now trying to bring his underwater adventures right into every classroom in America. Learn more about Dr. Robert Ballard and his Ocean Exploration Trust at, and as of May 12, you can follow the explorations of Dr. Ballard and the crew of the EV Nautilus in real time at  Follow Dr. Ballard and his team on Twitter at @EVNautilus. 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 for more fun stuff. See for privacy information.

    Bulletproof Founder Dave Asprey on the Benefits of Fasting

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2021 45:36

    Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey talks about his latest book Fast This Way: (How to Lose Weight, Get Smarter, and Live Your Longest, Healthiest Life with the Bulletproof Guide to Fasting).  He discuss why diets and New Year's resolutions never work, the difference between fasting and dieting, and why science is just starting to take intermittent fasting seriously.  He shares how fasting can reduce inflammation, increase your sharpness and productivity, boost your immune system, and even add years to your life.  Dave also reveals how four days alone in a cave opened his eyes to benefits of fasting, why every major world religion still has some form of ritualistic fasting, and why he is now embracing something called a dopamine fast.  Plus how the most famous biohacker is protecting himself from Covid-19, why you always want to start your day with a cup of coffee, and why you finally have  permission to never eat kale again! Order Dave's book Fast This Way: (How to Lose Weight, Get Smarter, and Live Your Longest, Healthiest Life with the Bulletproof Guide to Fasting) on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and you can learn more at  Listen to Dave's podcast Bulletproof Radio wherever you get your podcasts, and keep up with Dave at and on Twitter at @bulletproofexec. See for privacy information.

    Six Degrees of Mike Rowe

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 14, 2021 43:53

    Mike Rowe has handled some of the toughest and most disgusting jobs during his nine seasons as host of Discovery's Dirty Jobs.  Now he's putting that same work ethic to work to prove once and for all that everything in the world is connected for his discovery+ series Six Degrees with Mike Rowe.  Mike reveals how he faked his way into his first job as an opera singer, some of the strangest products he used to pitch as a late-night host on QVC, and the hardest thing he ever had to do as host of Dirty Jobs.  Mike talks about the party game that inspired his latest show, his own habit of getting lost down rabbit holes on Google (especially when history’s involved), and how he is using everything from puppets and animation to his high school best friend to make history fun on Six Degrees.  Plus he shares where he gets his famous work ethic, what he’s doing to help young people find honest work in the vocational trades, and why he believes that 4-year colleges are becoming increasingly out of touch.   Watch all six episodes of Six Degrees with Mike Rowe on discovery+, subscribe to Mike’s podcast The Way I Heard It wherever you like to listen, and learn more about the Mike Rowe Works Foundation at  Keep up with Mike at and follow him on Twitter at @MikeRoweWorks. See for privacy information.

    Ryan White on the Bizarre Murder of Kim Jong-Nam

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2021 41:10

    Documentary filmmaker Ryan White (The Case Against 8, The Keepers) talks about his new film Assassins about the murder of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un's half brother Kim Jong-Nam.  He recounts how Kim Jong-Nam was killed in broad daylight with the deadly VX nerve agent, questions the press’s sensational portrayal of two young Southeast Asian women as diabolical black widow assassins, and reveals that the truth of what happened is even more bizarre than anything that the media could make up. Ryan discusses his belief that the two women were unwitting pawns of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un, explains why the dictator would want to murder his own brother in such a sensational manner, and shares how 8 North Korean agents, who were suspected of masterminding the plot, slipped right through the hands of Malaysian authorities.  He recalls covering every moment of the very public show trial of the two accused murderers, what it was like to become so emotionally invested in the fate of two people he had never even met, and what kind of security precautions he had to take as he unravelled an international thriller involving one of the world’s most ruthless strongmen. Assassins is now showing in theaters and available on Video-on-Demand starting January 15.  Follow Ryan White on Twitter at @RyanWhiteIV and at See for privacy information.

    Director Bryan Fogel Unravels the Jamal Khashoggi Assassination

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 7, 2021 41:55

    Academy Award-winning director Bryan Fogel (Icarus) discusses his gripping new documentary thriller The Dissident about the 2018 execution of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul.  He discuss how Jamal Khashoggi went from being an insider in the Saudi royal family to a harsh critic of the House of Saud, how a sophisticated cyber hack and the ultimate Twitter war put Khashoggi squarely in the cross hairs of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (aka MBS), and what he learned from friends, allies, and the fiancé of the late Saudi dissident.  Bryan reveals why no major Hollywood film distributor or streaming service would even touch his movie (despite the widespread acclaim for The Dissident), he explains how Saudi Arabia’s massive sovereign wealth fund turns dollars into censorship, and calls out everyone from major US corporations to President Donald Trump for cowering and kowtowing to Mohammed bin Salman.  We talk about the gruesome audio of Jamal Khashoggi’s execution that emerged shortly after his death, who may have been responsible for those recordings, and whether MBS may finally suffer consequences for this brutal murder once President-elect Biden takes office. The Dissident is currently showing in select theaters, and available on paid video on demand starting January 15.  Visit for showtimes and information, help support the Human Rights Foundation at, and follow Bryan on Twitter at @bryanfogel. See for privacy information.

    Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2021 38:40

    Madeleine Albright fled fascists during her childhood and faced them down as Secretary of State, and today she comes on the podcast to warn that fascism is once again on the rise.  She shares how her own refugee experience during World War II and the Cold War shaped her worldview and recalls her meetings with with authoritarian strongmen like Kim Jong-il, Slobodan Milošević, and Vladimir Putin.  She reveals that most fascists come into office through democratic elections or a constitutional transfer of powers, not a bloody coup, and in her experience, dictators can be surprisingly normal and polite despite their monstrous cruelty.  She discusses the upcoming summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, says Putin plays a poor hand well and Trump plays a good hand poorly, and calls out Donald Trump as "the least democratic President in American history." Order Madeleine Albright's book Fascism: A Warning on Amazon and follow her on twitter at @madeleine.   See for privacy information.

    Comedy Writer Bess Kalb Buries 2020

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2020 38:27

    After eight years as a comedy writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Bess Kalb recently wrote and produced a new comedy special that "eulogizes" the year 2020.  Yearly Departed is available on Amazon Prime Video beginning 12/30.  Bess comes on the podcast to talk about her own trials and tribulations over the past year, including a recent Covid-scare at the pediatrician, how she finds catharsis through laughter, and how that inspired her to bid adieu to 2020 with a rollicking roast-style memorial service. She reveals some of the big comedians she attracted to the special, some of the things they sarcastically eulogize, and how they managed orchestrate an entirely social distanced production. Bess shares stories from her years in the Kimmel writing room, including being the interviewer for Jimmy’s "Lie Witness News" segments and coming up with the classic "Baby Bachelor" sketch.  Plus she talks about writing jokes for Hillary Clinton, working as an undercover speech-writer at the Democratic National Convention, and perhaps her proudest moment...getting blocked by Donald Trump on Twitter! Bess's special Yearly Departed is now available on Amazon Prime Video.  I also highly recommend her book Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A True (As Told to Me) Story.  You can follow Bess at and on Twitter at @BessBell. See for privacy information.

    Joel McHale Rings in the New Year

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2020 31:04

    Joel McHale (Community, The Soup) shares his excitement for his first time co-hosting a New Years Eve special and how he’s looking forward to relentlessly roasting his pal Ken Jeong for a full three and half hours on Fox’s New Year’s Roast & Toast 2021.  Joel reveals why he and Ken just can’t quit each other and the origins of their recent pandemic themed podcast The Darkest Timeline.  We also discuss how Netflix has breathed new life into Joel and Ken’s series Community, what it was like to work with that comedic genius Dan Harmon on the show, and the status of the long talked about Community movie.  Joel recalls juggling making Community at the same time as his other series The Soup, how that show took off with the rise of social media and reality TV,  and the one daytime talk show that refused to let The Soup use its clips.  Then he teases some of the musical guests on Fox’s New Year’s Roast & Toast and attempts to explain the concept behind Fox’s new show The Masked Dancer. Don’t miss Fox’s New Year’s Roast & Toast 2021 on December 31st at 8/7c only on Fox and follow Joel on Twitter at @JoelMcHale. See for privacy information.

    Loudon Wainwright III and Vince Giordano Celebrate the Great American Songbook

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2020 48:39

    Loudon Wainwright III is best known as a folk singer and songwriter, but now he is lending his unique interpretation to the music of the great American songbook on a new album that he recorded with big band bandleader Vince Giordano and his Nighthawk Orchestra.  They talk about their deep affection for the music of composers like Irving Berlin and Rodgers & Hart and some of their favorite tracks  from their album I’d Rather Lead a Band.  Loudon recalls fond memories of his father playing these songs on the family record player when he was boy, and Vince remembers the legendary jazz arranger who inspired his lifelong passion for keeping this this music alive.  They reveal what they are doing to keep busy now that the pandemic has prevented them from touring and performing and how they find solace and a few laughs during these troubled times in the hopeful music of the Great Depression and the bawdy lyrics of a rather tragic ukulele player who became the voice of Walt Disney’s Jiminy Cricket. Download or order Loudon Wainwright III and Vince Giordano's wonderful album I'd Rather Lead a Band on iTunes, Spotify, or Amazon.  Keep up with Loudon at and follow Vince at See for privacy information.

    Hilary Swank and Deon Taylor Revive Noir

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2020 28:54

    Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank and filmmaker Deon Taylor talk about their new film Fatale and their love of classic film noir directors from Alfred Hitchcock to Brian Depalma. Hilary explains what drew her to finally play an antagonist on screen and how she found a way into that character that strikes right at the heart of worst fears and most basic instincts.  Plus we talk about expanding the range of female villains beyond shallow "psycho woman" roles and the social responsibility of depicting police violence against a black man on film in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Fatale opens in theaters on Friday, Deceember 18.  For showtimes and more information, visit   See for privacy information.

    Michael Eric Dyson on Reckoning with Race in America

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2020 42:51

    Bestselling author, professor, and leading public intellectual Dr. Michael Eric Dyson talks about his decision to address race in America through a series of letters to black martyrs, why we all know the name George Flloyd, but we might not know the name Elijah McClain, and how he’s seeking to educate white people about the centuries violence against blacks that have led up to this moment in his new book Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America.  He explains the origins of what he calls the black political economy of the night, how it ties into modern-day looting and rioting, and what is really meant by the rallying cry to defund the police.  He says cancel culture has an insidious effect of fracturing black unity, and calls on white folks to back up their holy hashtags and black squares on Instagram with real action.  Plus he expresses his dismay that a large part of white America failed to reject Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric and policies in the 2016 election, his faith that President-elect Joe Biden will follow through on his promise to black voters, and why he still remains ever hopeful for a better future. Order Dr. Dyson's book Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and follow him on Twitter at @MichaelEDyson.     See for privacy information.

    Jon Hamm on Mad Men, SNL, and the Luck of the Irish

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2020 36:17

    Jon Hamm talks about making his first trip to Ireland for his new movie Wild Mountain Thyme, filming in the ancestral hometown of President-elect Joe Biden, and why he was blissfully relieved that he didn’t have to attempt an Irish accent.  Jon recalls his childhood growing up in St. Louis, the unusual side job he had when he was starting out as a struggling actor, and the deadline he gave himself to make it in Hollywood.  Jon discusses the lengthy audition process for the role that made him famous on AMC’s Mad Men, the hardest part about hosting Saturday Night Live, and his plans for an upcoming reboot of the classic Fletch franchise. Wild Mountain Thyme is out in theaters and Video-on-Demand starting Friday, December 11.   See for privacy information.

    The Doors Drummer John Densmore

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2020 42:23

    In his more than 50 years in music, drummer John Densmore has played with and gotten to know some of the greatest musicians of our time, from Janice Joplin and Paul Simon to Ravi Shankar and Willie Nelson, as well as some inspiring non-musicians from the Dalai Lama to screenwriter Joseph Campbell.  He has managed to learn something from many of those interactions - lessons he writes about in his new book THE SEEKERS: MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MUSICIANS (AND OTHER ARTISTS).  John Densmore discusses the many musical influences on The Doors, what he thought the first time he met Jim Morrison, and how Morrison’s tragic self-destruction served as a cautionary tale that kept John Densmore straight the rest of his life.  We talk about Oliver Stone's movie about The Doors, the tense legal battle between John and his bandmates over the commercial use of The Doors songs, and how he made peace with Doors’ Ray Manzarek just before his death in 2013.  John goes into the importance of space and silence in music, the power of improvisation to take him to a higher place, and the person whose drumming style he most emulates to this day.  Plus we talk about his friendship with classical conductor Gustavo Dudamel, jamming with Rock n' Roll wild man Jerry Lee Lewis, and smoking weed with Willie! Order John Densmore's book THE SEEKERS: MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MUSICIANS AND OTHER ARTISTS on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow John on Twitter at @JohnDensmore or at   See for privacy information.

    My Podcast with André

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2020 41:16

    Acclaimed actor, writer, and theatre director André Gregory joins me on the show to talk about his unusual life from his Jewish father’s possible collaboration with the Nazis and his mom’s affair with Errol Flynn to the 14 year rehearsal for his production of Ibsen’s The Master Builder and the time the local Sheriff escorted him out of his own repertory theatre and dumped him across the state line in the middle of nowhere.  We get into his longtime collaboration with actor/writer Wallace Shawn, how their conversations lead to the iconic film My Dinner with André, and whether they’ve ever considered a sequel.  Plus we discuss how that movie presaged the chaos of the Trump era, how his production of a play that would never open became the hottest ticket on Broadway, and why he and Wally Shawn will soon bring their talents to podcasting. Order André Gregory's new book This Is Not My Memoir on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. See for privacy information.

    Chef Magnus Nilsson

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2020 49:29

    In 2019, Chef Magnus Nilsson closed Fäviken, his one-of-a-kind Michelin-starred restaurant in remote Sweden at the peak of its success.  He shares how Fäviken became one of the top restaurants in the world, how the industry it was a part of has changed, and why he eventually elected to pursue new projects.  He talks about his reliance on fresh local seasonal ingredients, the difference between great produce and "exceptional produce," and why he’d rather eat an exceptional carrot than imported kobe beef or truffles any day.  He speaks frankly about the lack of originality among chefs, how food bloggers, Instagram, and even diners are ruining the dining experience, and what he calls the hypocrisy of sustainability in the restaurant business.  Plus he talks about his new life as an educator and apple farmer and whether he thinks he will ever open another restaurant.  Order Magnus Nilsson's new book Fäviken: 4015 Days, Beginning to End on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @Faviken. See for privacy information.

    Matthew McConaughey on Catching Life's Greenlights

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2020 53:46

    Matthew McConaughey is an Academy Award-winning actor, but he is also a poet, philosopher, husband and father of three, global traveler, writer, occasional orchestra conductor, and passionate student of life.  Today he shares some of things he's learned about himself, others, and the world around him.  He discusses what he calls the "wild rodeo marriage" of his mom and dad, the moment when he became a man in his father’s eyes, and the long line of cattle rustlers, hustlers, and river boat gamblers in the McConaughey family tree.  He talks about landing his first role in Richard Linklatter’s Dazed and Confused, the "launchpad line" that opened up the character of Wooderson for him, and how an improvised line in a scene that wasn’t even supposed to take place became the catchphrase that has followed him ever since.  He recalls going from total anonymity to a celebrity in the span of just 48 hours, stepping away from Hollywood for 20 months at the peek of his success in order to land the kind of serious roles that he really wanted, and the long road to his Academy Award-winning performance in The Dallas Buyers Club.  Plus Matthew talks about healing our nation’s divisions, finding our tribe in our shared values, and whether he just might want to run for office one day.  Order Matthew McConaughey's new book Greenlights on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. See for privacy information.

    Astronaut Scott Kelly

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2020 40:49

    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 and follow him on twitter at @StationCDRKelly. See for privacy information.

    Preview of Get Wired Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2020 1:16

    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.  See for privacy information.

    Joe Scarborough Discusses Harry Truman's Lasting Legacy

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2020 50:14

    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. See for privacy information.

    Oscar-winning Director Steve McQueen

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2020 32:02

    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. See for privacy information.

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