Kickass News
Kickass News
Kickass News
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 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 Thanks for listening!
Bulletproof Founder Dave Asprey on the Benefits of Fasting
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.
Jan 18
45 min
Six Degrees of Mike Rowe
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.
Jan 14
43 min
Ryan White on the Bizarre Murder of Kim Jong-Nam
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.
Jan 11
41 min
Director Bryan Fogel Unravels the Jamal Khashoggi Assassination
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.
Jan 7
41 min
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
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.
Jan 5
38 min
Comedy Writer Bess Kalb Buries 2020
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.
Dec 31, 2020
38 min
Joel McHale Rings in the New Year
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.
Dec 28, 2020
31 min
Loudon Wainwright III and Vince Giordano Celebrate the Great American Songbook
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.
Dec 24, 2020
48 min
Hilary Swank and Deon Taylor Revive Noir
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.
Dec 21, 2020
28 min
Michael Eric Dyson on Reckoning with Race in America
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.
Dec 17, 2020
42 min
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