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July 2, 2020
This Monday June 29, the world lost comedy legend Carl Reiner at the ripe old age 98.   In his honor, we’re sharing a conversation that I had with Carl in 2017.  He talks about working with Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, making The 2000 Year Old Man, and directing Steve Martin in The Jerk.  He also discusses his pride over his son director Rob Reiner's career, his thoughts on politics and Donald Trump, his enduring friendship with Mel Brooks, and how he stays sharp and spry well into his 90s.
June 29, 2020
Sir Michael Caine has starred in over 100 movies and won two Academy Awards, and today he shares stories and advice from his remarkable career.  He reveals why he never believed in taking advice from older movie stars, why he never wanted to be James Bond, and how the 1960’s made it cool to be a young cockney in the movies.  He recalls his humble working class beginnings in the projects of London known as the Elephant Castle, shares how he learned his famous discipline while serving in the Korean War, and advises young actors to "make reliability your brand."  He talks about coming out of his self-imposed retirement over 20 years ago and says he’s getting better parts now at age 85 than he did when he was a young leading man.  Plus Michael Caine on why John Wayne never wore suede shoes, John Huston on a director's most important job, having the best time of his life filming Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and doing Vegas with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Order Michael Caine's wonderful book Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold, and follow him on twitter at @themichaelcaine.  Today's episode was sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee Company and Capella University.  Order BRCC's premium, roast-to-order coffee and support our Veteran and military community by visiting www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick, and using promo code KICK for 20% off your purchase.  Learn more about Capella University's flexible online doctoral degree programs and scholarship opportunities at www.capella.edu/doctoral.
June 25, 2020
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says that America overuses (and often MIS-uses) the military to achieve its strategic goals while neglecting other (and often better) non-military options.  He discusses how Congress and the last 5 Presidents have allowed many of those non-military instruments of power to wither and die in the three decades after the Cold War.  He suggests that the United States needs to be "less monastic and more Madison Avenue" in how we talk about the good we do around the world and that Presidents need to make an effort to convince the the American people to take a broader, more longterm view of what is in the US national interest.  He criticizes President Trump’s threat to use regular military forces to squelch Black Lives Matter protests and explains that a heavy-handed approach to peaceful protesters may be a gift to authoritarian regimes around the world.  Plus Robert Gates says it may be time for the US to focus on more realistic goals with North Korea, he elaborates on the sometimes mischievous nature of the National Security Council, and he weighs in on whether he believes President Trump's claims that his former National Security Advisor John Bolton is a "traitor" and "liar." Order Exercise of Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World by Robert Gates on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Capella University.  Learn more about Capella's flexible online doctoral degree program at www.capella.edu/doctorate.
June 22, 2020
Director Peter Medak looks back on his filming of the famously disastrous Peter Sellers movie Ghost in the Noonday Sun for his new documentary The Ghost of Peter Sellers.  He discusses emotional toll that working with Peter Sellers took on him, why he thought that he would be the one director who could tame Sellers, and why he wanted to revisit that painful experience all these years later.  He talks about the mad genius and superstitions of Peter Sellers, and why Sellers was one only happy playing a character but never happy being himself.  He shares the many, many ways that the actor tried to sabotage his movie (faking a heart attack, starting a riot, trying to fire the director, etc.), and he opens up about the last time he saw Peter Sellers just months before his untimely death. The Ghost of Peter Sellers is now screening in virtual theaters and will be available on Video-on-Demand starting Tuesday, June 23rd.  For more information visit www.theghostofpetersellers.com.  Today's episode was sponsored by Capella University.  Learn about the flexible online doctoral degree program at www.capella.edu/doctoraljourney.  .
June 18, 2020
Comedian Mike Birbiglia discusses his new book The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad including the seven reasons he originally never wanted to be a parent, the lies couples tell themselves when they decide to have a baby, and the scourge of parents who try to push babies on other people.  He opens up about he and his wife's initial troubles conceiving, reveals that President Barack Obama was the first person to learn that they were pregnant, and shares some pretty good parenting advice that they got from the leader of the free world.  He talks about the moment when he finally felt like a member of his own family again, the pleasure of seeing the world through his daughter’s eyes, and whether this reluctant father might be ready to give Oona a baby brother or sister.  Plus sugar-fries, snot suckers, magic sleep suits, and more! Order Mike Birbiglia's book The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Watch Mike’s Netflix special The New One and subscribe to his new podcast Mike Birbiglia’s Working It Out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen.  You can keep up with Mike at www.birbigs.com or on Twitter at @Birbigs.  Today's episode was sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee Company and Capella University.  Go to www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick and use promo code KICK for 20% off Black Rifle Coffee Company's premium roast-to-order coffee.  You'll also be helping support the Veteran and military community!  Learn more about Capella University's flexible online doctoral degree programs and scholarship opportunities at www.capella.edu/doctoral.
June 15, 2020
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers, Talking to Strangers, Revisionist History podcast) talks about growing up in a Mennonite community in Ontario, Canada, his brief flirtation with conservatism in his youth, and how his father’s boundless curiosity inspired him to always ask questions.  We delve into the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the tragic George Floyd murder and some surprising parallels between African-Americans' relationship with the police and Britain’s heavy-handed approach to Irish Catholics during the 3-decade conflict known as "the Troubles."  Then Malcolm discusses podcasts as the antidote to our modern quick-hit news culture, he reveals that even HE is often surprised by what he discovers while making a podcast or writing a book, and he shares some of his favorite episodes of his podcast Revisionist History including the time he confronted the Law School Admission Council about the effectiveness of the LSAT and why he is now accusing art museums of being hoarders.  Plus Malcolm Gladwell on his obsession with a certain 19th-Century Russian poet and how quarantine has put a monkey wrench in his writing routine.  Season 5 of Malcolm Gladwell's brilliant podcast Revisionist History debuts on Thursday, June 18.  Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and visit www.revisionisthistory.com for more information.  You can also keep up with Malcolm at www.gladwellbooks.com and on Twitter at @Gladwell.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Capella University's flexible online doctoral degree program.  Start exploring available programs and scholarship opportunities at capella.edu/doctorate.
June 11, 2020
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace talks his five decades in broadcast journalism, following in the very big footsteps of his father Mike Wallace, what he’s learned from interviewing 7 different U.S. Presidents, and what it was like to date Walter Cronkite's daughter when he was a 16-year-old intern at CBS News.  Then he discusses his new book Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World.  He reveals how Harry Truman agonized over the decision to use the atomic bomb, the surprising dissenter among his military generals who warned against it, and how Truman broke the news of the bomb to Joseph Stalin.  He shares how the U.S. government managed to keep the enormous Manhattan Project under wraps, the many unknown variables that weighed on everyone involved in the mission, and his own touching experience of visiting the Enola Gay with an 80 year old Japanese woman who survived the Hiroshima blast. Order Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  See Chris Wallace every weekend on Fox News Sunday and follow him on Twitter at @FoxNewsSunday.  Today's episode was sponsored by Capella University and Kronos HR solutions.
June 8, 2020
Actor Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire, The Shape of Water) discusses his new film about the complicated marriage of horror writer Shirley Jackson and literary critic Stanley Heyman, how Heyman influenced Shirley Jackson’s work, and how the filmmakers of Shirley imbued the movie with a distinctively Jackson-esque style.  Michael also talks about his prolific career on stage and screen from training in mime with Marcel Marceau to working with directors like Guillermo del Toro and the Coen Brothers. See Michael in Shirley available on Hulu, Video-on-Demand, and participating Drive-Ins starting June 5.  Today's episode is sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee Company and Capella University.  Visit www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick and use promo code KICK for 20% off your purchase of Black Rifle's premium, roast to order coffees.  Explore Capella University's flexible doctoral degree programs at www.capella.edu/doctoral.
June 4, 2020
On the 40th Anniversary of CNN, journalist Lisa Napoli discusses the founding and "wild west" early years of the upstart network that set out to change how the news gets delivered and consumed.  Lisa reveals that few people to took Ted Turner seriously when he entered broadcasting and how Turner went from hating the news to founding the first all-news network in the basement of run-down former country club in Atlanta.  She talks about the skeptics who questioned whether there was a enough news to fill a whole day and how being on the air 24-hours gave CNN a decided advantage over the big three networks.  We also discuss Ted Turner’s political evolution, his flirtation with running for President, and his unlikely friendship with Fidel Castro.  Then we look back on the lasting legacy of Ted Turner on the network and the impact of CNN on the world of broadcast journalism. Order Lisa Napoli's book Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow Lisa at www.lisanapoli.com or on Twitter at @LisaNapoli.  Today's episode was sponsored by Capella University.  Capella has created flexible doctoral programs that work with your schedule and can help you gain the skills you need to get where you want in your career.  Visit www.capella.edu/doctorate to learn more.
June 2, 2020
Former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy says America is facing a loneliness crisis.  He discusses the many physical and mental impacts of feeling lonely and reveals that chronic loneliness is just as bad for you as smoking and obesity.  He opens up about his bouts of loneliness during his life, how he came to realize that it’s much larger problem than he ever realized, and the U.S. Congressman who confided in him about his own struggle with loneliness.  Vivek explains the difference between someone who is genuinely lonely vs. someone who enjoys being alone, how loneliness can often disguise itself as other health problems, and how loneliness once served an evolutionary function but might be hurting us in modern society.  Then Vivek weighs in on the President’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, shares his insights from when he dealt with the Ebola and Zika outbreaks as Surgeon General, and offers advice for how to improve the quality of our online and socially distanced interactions during the quarantine. Order Vivek Murthy's book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow him at www.vivekmurthy.com or on twitter at @Vivek_Murthy.  Today's episode was sponsored by Capella University.  Capella has created flexible doctoral programs that work with your schedule and can help you gain the skills you need to get where you want in your career.  Visit www.capella.edu/doctoraljourney to learn more.
May 28, 2020
Actress Sian Clifford (Fleabag, Vanity Fair) talks about starring as Diana Ingram, the British woman accused of helping cheat Who Wants to Be a Millionaire out of a million bucks, in AMC's 3-part limited series Quiz.  She recalls her memories of growing up watching Who Wants to Be A Millionaire with her own family and how the game show became a national obsession across the UK (and then all across the world).  She talks about working with Michael Sheen and Matthew McFadden on Quiz, what it felt like to sit in the real Who Wants to Be a Millionaire hot seat, and what she hopes will happen when the Charles and Diana Ingram’s conviction is up for appeal this year.  Plus Sian talks about her Emmy nominated role as Claire in the hit television series Fleabag and her longtime friendship with the shows creator and star Phoebe Waller Bridge. See Sian Clifford in the three-part miniseries Quiz, premiering Sunday, May 31 at 10/9c on AMC.  Visit www.amc.com for more information.
May 25, 2020
David Frum, former speechwriter and special assistant to President George W Bush, talks about his new book Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy.  He discusses Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, how Trump is encouraging disinformation and dangerous conspiracy theories about this deadly virus, and whether Republicans may finally get on board with voting rights reforms now that it’s a literal matter of life and death.  He illuminates how President Trump’s dangerous pattern of decision making continually makes matters worse for him and the nation and says that Donald Trump is his own "deep state" constantly self-sabotaging his own agenda while well meaning advisors and civil servants desperately try to save Donald Trump from Donald Trump.  David describes Trumpism as a type of affinity fraud, asks what will happen when well-meaning Trump supporters realize that they’ve been duped, lays out Trump’s dark game plan for the 2020 election, and ponders what will become of the Republican party and our democratic institutions when Trump and Trumpism are relegated to the ash heap of history.   Order David Frum's book Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow David at www.davidfrum.com or on Twitter at @DavidFrum, and read more of David’s writing in the Atlantic Magazine.  Today's episode was sponsored by the podcast Afternoon CyberTea with Anne Johnson and Black Rifle Coffee Company.  BRCC makes premium, roast-to-order coffee, donated over 30,000lbs of coffee to troops overseas in 2019, and currently employ over 200 veterans. Visit www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick, and use promo code KICK for 20% off your purchase.
May 21, 2020
This is a rebroadcast of a November 5, 2018 interview with Roger Daltrey, founder/lead singer of The Who.  Roger discusses how the hardships experienced by Brits in WWII paved the way for the musical revolution of the 1960s, he recalls what it was like to be the poster-boys for the British “mod” movement (and why he never fully embraced the fad), and he remembers the “utter chaos” of performing at Woodstock. He talks about how he and Peter Townsend pushed each other’s creative boundaries during the making of the first rock opera Tommy, how he managed to resist the drug fueled excess the 60s, and how it led to quite a bit of tension with his bandmates - especially The Who’s famously reckless drummer Keith Moon. Roger also reveals how he processed Moon’s tragic death in 1978, how it led to the band’s breakup in the early 80s, and a how it took a Silicon Valley con man to finally reunite the band.   Order Roger Daltrey's new book Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow The Who on twitter at @TheWho.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
May 18, 2020
Patton Oswalt recalls coming up as a comedian at the dawn of the alt comedy scene, his first gig in Hollywood as a writer for Mad TV, and his prolific side gig as a script doctor on some of the biggest box-office hits of the past two decades.  He reminisces about his friendship with the owner of LA’s most famous revival cinema and his love of the films of Billy Wilder and Sidney Lumet.  Then Patton discusses his new Netflix special Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything, finding love again after the death of his first wife, and turning 50.  Plus he talks about going to college in that wild party town of colonial Williamsburg, the time he donated to the crowdfunding page of one of his Twitter trolls, and how he got Netflix to build him a house for his new comedy special! Watch Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything streaming on Netflix beginning May 19.  Follow Patton at www.pattonoswalt.com or on Twitter at @PattonOswalt.
May 14, 2020
Dr. Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, returns to discuss his new book The World: A Brief Introduction. He explains the foreign relations implications of the current pandemic, his concerns that the crisis may lead to more nationalism and isolationism instead of greater cooperation, and what the pandemic might mean for US-China relations. He addresses why terms like "world order" and "globalism" are such hot buttons for many Americans and why the negatives of globalism and trade often overshadow the many benefits. Dr. Haass talks about why we are still struggling to define the current post-Cold War period, and he proposes that the world may need to rethink its ideas about national sovereignty to address problems that know no borders such as COVID-19 and climate change. Then he outlines the most urgent global issues of the 21st Century, the regions of the world that worry him the most, and why he believes that the US might not want to get out of the nation-building business just yet. Order Dr. Richard Haass's book The World: A Brief Introduction on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Learn more about the Council on Foreign Relations at www.cfr.org and follow Richard on Twitter at @RichardHaass. Today's episode was sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee Company.  BRCC makes premium, roast-to-order coffee, donated over 30,000lbs of coffee to troops overseas in 2019, and currently employ over 200 veterans. Visit www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick, and use promo code KICK for 20% off your purchase.
May 11, 2020
General Stanley McChrystal talks about the myths and reality of leadership.  He shares how he came to reassess the legacy of his military hero General Robert E. Lee in the aftermath of Charlottseville, how he personally learned that the man at the top often gets credit he doesn’t deserve, and why leaders aren’t always judged by their results.  He discusses a 15th century Chinese admiral who has become the symbol for that country’s global ambitions, why he didn’t realize that Coco Chanel was a real person, and one leadership flaw that he shares with Walt Disney.  He reveals why he decided to include his former enemy in combat Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the book, and what it was like to get into the dark mind of the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader.  This episode is a rebroadcast of an interview that originally aired on November 19, 2018. Order General McChrystal's book Leaders: Myth and Reality on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
May 7, 2020
Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz talk about TCM's new podcast The Plot Thickens: I'm Still Peter Bogdanovich.  Ben reveals why he was initially nervous to meet Peter because of a longstanding controversy involving Ben’s grandfather, Orson Welles, and Citizen Kane.  Peter shares stories about his friendships with Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, John Ford, and many others, and how their advice kept him from making some rookie mistakes when he eventually got to sit in the director's chair himself.  He remembers making his first movie for Roger Corman with horror icon Boris Karloff, how he tricked the government of Singapore into letting him film the movie Saint Jack, and the scene that earned a 9-year-old Tatum O’Neal an Oscar for Paper Moon...but only after 2 days of shooting and 25 grueling takes!  Peter discusses envy and success in Hollywood, his relationships with Cybill Shepherd and Dorothy Stratten, and how he managed to finish his favorite film They All Laughed in the wake of Stratten’s tragic murder. Then Ben Mankiewicz talks about the films of Edward G. Robinson, the passion that his fans have for Turner Classic Movies and the films of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and why he hopes (and indeed predicts) that moviegoers will eventually return to theaters when the Coronavirus finally subsides.  Plus Peter does impressions of everyone from Cary Grant to Jimmy Stewart, recalls some of the famous movies that he turned down, and the time he got his ass kicked by the real Hell’s Angels on set! Subscribe to The Plot Thickens: I’m Still Peter Bogdanovich on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Learn more at www.theplotthickens.tcm.com.  Follow Ben Mankiewicz on twitter at @BenMank77 and see him host some of the greatest films of all time every week on Turner Classic Movies.  While you're at it, go back and watch some of Peter Bogdanovich's terrific films starting with my personal favorites The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up Doc, They All Laughed, and Saint Jack. Today's episode was sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee Company and Demand Justice.  Black Rifle Coffee Company sells delicious premium roast-to-order coffee, employs 200 Veterans, and donates tens of thousands of bags of coffee to troops overseas and medical workers on the front lines of the pandemic.  Go to www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick to order and use promo code KICK for 20% off.  Demand Justice is fighting the politicization of the Supreme Court and protect every American's right to vote in the 2020 Election.  Visit www.demandjustice.org/kick to learn more and support voting rights.
May 4, 2020
Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Rec) talk about their improv training at Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade, the fateful day they joined forces to become the improv team of Middleditch and Schwartz, and how they still get a kick out of trying to make each other crack up on stage.  They reveal what it’s like to make-up a 45 minute play as they go along, how they keep as many as 20 characters straight (and even switch characters during a performance), and what happens when one of them ends the sketch, but the other one keeps on going.  Then they discuss the transition from doing a performance that exists entirely in the moment to recording them for all eternity for their new Netflix comedy specials.  Plus Middleditch and Schwartz talk about their obsession with Daniel Day Lewis, the night they played Carnegie Hall, and more. Their three-part comedy special Middleditch and Schwartz is now streaming on Netflix.  Follow Thomas on Instagram at @Tombini, follow Ben on Twitter at @RejectedJokes, and visit their website www.middleditchandschwartz.com.  Today's episode was sponsored by Demand Justice.  Visit www.demandjustice.org/kick to learn more and support voting rights in 2020.  
April 30, 2020
Comedy writer Alan Zweibel starting his career selling jokes for seven dollars apiece to the last of the Borscht Belt standups, some of the old comedians who are still using the same material that he wrote for them 40 years ago, and his very first manager, who served as the inspiration for Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose.  He recalls his early attempt at performing, carpooling to clubs with a young Billy Crystal, and the night he bombed on stage but caught the attention of Lorne Michaels.  He his shares his memories of being one of the first writers at Saturday Night Live, his special relationship with the late Gilda Radner, and some of his creative battles with the network censors at NBC.  Alan also discusses the genius of Garry Shandling, the delights and difficulties of working with him on the groundbreaking It’s Garry Shandling's Show, and what it’s like to be in Larry David’s world on Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Plus the comedian who paid him by the pound, the infamous night when Milton Berle hosted Saturday Night Live, and the charity auction that went horribly wrong (and then inspired Alan’s next movie). Order Alan Zweibel's terrific memoir Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow Alan on Twitter at @AlanZweibel or at www.alanzweibel.com, and look for his new movie Here Today starring Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish coming out this Fall.  Today's episode was sponsored by Demand Justice.  Visit www.demandjustice.org/kick to learn more and support voting rights in 2020.  
April 27, 2020
Wagner Moura discusses how his first career as a journalist informs his acting, what it was like to play ruthless drug lord Pablo Escobar on Netflix’s Narcos, and how he gained (and then lost) all of that weight for the role.  He talks about his fascination with the late UN diplomat Sergio de Mello, playing him in the new film Sergio, and how Iraq might have turned out very differently if de Mello had lived to complete his mission there.  He says working with war correspondent and documentary filmmaker Greg Barker added extra authenticity to Sergio, he reveals that they even used real-life refugees as extras on the film, and he suggests that the political leaders who are now dealing with the Coronavirus could learn from Sergio de Mello's example.   See Wagner Moura in Sergio, no streaming on Netflix.  Today's episode was sponsored by Demand Justice.  Visit www.demandjustice.org/kick to learn more and support voting rights in 2020.  
April 23, 2020
Nathan Lane talks about why his fans always think he’s Jewish, how his older brother inspired him to get into acting, and some of roles he’s played on Broadway in shows like from Guys and Dolls to The Producers.  He laments the that the Coronavirus could have a lasting impact on the theatre, but says that he is hoping to soon realize his lifelong dream of starring in Death of a Salesman on Broadway.  He discusses starring in the return of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, how the new season transports the show from Victorian London to California on the cusp of World War II, and what it was like to finally star in something where he gets an actual stunt double.  He reveals his love for the noir detective fiction of Raymond Chandler, how Penny Dreadful exposes the social tensions simmering under the surface of  1930s LA, and how his character was partly inspired by a real attorney turned Nazi hunter.  Plus Nathan remembers the late playwright Terrence McNally, George C. Scott as Noel Coward, and the grueling experience of starring with 80s TV magician Doug Henning in the notorious Broadway musical flop Merlin. See Nathan Lane in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels premiering this Sunday, April 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.  Visit www.showtime.com for more information.  Today's episode is sponsored by Demand Justice.  Visit www.demandjustice.org/kick to join the fight to protect voting rights. 
April 20, 2020
Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry talk about their new film Bad Therapy, and how the filmmaker's own nightmare experience with a couples counselor inspired the movie.  Alicia shares memories from Clueless, and stories from working with playwright David Mamet and the late Peter O’Toole.  Rob talks about his original audition for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, some of the low-budget, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants field pieces that he did in the early days of the show, and why he always gets cast as creepy assholes and pedophiles! See Rob and Alicia's new film Bad Therapy on Video on Demand, and follow them on Twitter at @AliciaSilv and @robcorddry.
April 16, 2020
Comedian Dan Whitney talks about the origins of his popular character "Larry the Cable Guy," his education in southern redneck culture while going to college in Florida, and how Larry went from being a bit he did on talk radio shows to a wildly popular stage act.  He shares some of his comedic inspirations, how he tests out new jokes on Twitter, and what he does when people on social media don’t like his politics.  He also discusses what touring with his pal Jeff Foxworthy and his unlikely friendship with comedian Lewis Black.  Plus "Larry the Cable Guy" weighs in on the sketchy crowd at Walmart after midnight, his love/hate relationship with the county fair, and how he is surviving the Coronavirus quarantine. His new comedy special LARRY THE CABLE GUY: REMAIN SEATED is now available through Comedy Dynamics Network on Comcast, Amazon Prime Video, Spectrum, Apple TV, Dish, Google Play, DirecTV, Vimeo, YouTube, and other streaming platforms.  You can also listen to the album on SirusXM, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Sound Cloud, and more. Visit www.larrythecableguy.com and follow him on twitter at @GitRDoneLarry.  
April 13, 2020
Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee is a Pulitzer Prize-winning best-selling author and a doctor at the forefront of cancer and genetic research.  He talks about a new two-part documentary that he and Ken Burns produced for PBS titled The Gene: An Intimate History.  He discusses the fascinating history of the genetic research and those scientists who have worked to understand heredity.  He shares how the eugenics movement set legitimate genetic research back in the early 20th Century and why, even today, the specter of eugenics still looms large as scientists ponder the possibility of gene editing and designer babies.  Dr. Murkergee talks about how an unlikely public/private partnership accomplished the monumental task of sequencing the entire human genome and how modern day gene hunters are using that information to potentially treat some of the world’s rarest and most debilitating diseases.  He also revels how that same research could be applied to treating and even curing major diseases like cancer and how genetic science is currently playing a vital role in the fight against the Coronavirus. Part 2 of The Gene: An Intimate History airs Tuesday 4/14 on PBS.  You can also stream Part 1 and 2 on www.PBS.org and other PBS streaming platforms.  Visit Siddhartha Mukherjee at www.siddharthamukherjee.com and follow him on Twitter at @DrSidMukherjee.
April 9, 2020
Former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler discusses how his own battle to control his weight helped inspire him to write a book about the health dangers of processed foods.  He explains the difference between how our bodies digest fast carbs and slow carbs and why fad diets that cut out carbs all together might not be such a good idea.  David outlines the long list of diseases that can be traced to heavy consumption of processed foods, some of the tricks that the food industry employs to mislead consumers about what is in many processed foods, and he suggests some changes that he would like to make to the nutritional labels that he helped create when he was head of the FDA under Presidents Bush and Clinton.  He also expresses his concern over America's heavy reliance on processed junk foods at a time when fresh meats and produce are in short supply, he shares what he is saying to former Vice-President Joe Biden as a member of the Biden campaign's Coronavirus advisory committee, and he gives his own practical health recommendations for keeping your family safe from COVID-19. Order Dr. David Kessler's book Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs: The Simple Truth About Food, Weight, and Disease on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow Dr. Kessler on Twitter at @DavidKesslerMD.
April 6, 2020
Actor Vincent Cassel (Ocean's 12, Black Swan, Jason Bourne) talks about joining the cast of one of his favorite TV series Westworld, playing a reclusive billionaire with a dark view of humanity, and how his character attempts to make order out of chaos.  Vincent discusses how Westworld Season 3 deals with the very real problem of big data (and who controls it) and says that it has inspired him to be a lot more careful about the information that he shares on his devices.  He also reminisces about the career of his father, famous french actor Jean-Pierre Cassel, and how Gene Kelly discovered his dad on the movie An American in Paris.  He recalls being heavily influenced by Hollywood films as a kid, learning to tap dance from Broadway legend Michael Bennett, and why he originally tried to join the circus before getting into acting.  Vincent reveals how he persuaded director Steven Soderbergh to let him do his own stunts in Ocean's 12, how an acting teacher inspired his role as the controlling choreographer in Black Swan, and why this Frenchman always seems to get cast as a Russian. See Vincent Cassel in Season 3 of Westworld, airing Sundays on HBO.  Today's episode was sponsored by the podcast Afternoon CyberTea with Ann Johnson.
April 2, 2020
Actor Tom Pelphrey talks about playing Laura Linney's brother in Season 3 of Ozark and what it’s like to work with Jason Bateman as a director.  He also discusses his upcoming role as legendary Hollywood director Joseph Mankiewicz in David Fincher’s film Mank.  He recalls his early days working on the soap operas Guiding Light and As the World Turns, keeping up with the grueling production schedule of daytime television, and how it requires an actor to memorize fast and think on their feet.  He discusses the learning curve involved with switching from soaps to film and primetime television, his popular roles on the hit series Banshee and Iron Fist, and whether Marvel fans or soap-opera fans are the most obsessive. Season 3 of Ozark is streaming now on Netflix.  Look for Mank coming out in theaters this fall and follow Tom on Twitter at @Tom Pelphrey.  Today's episode was sponsored by the podcast Afternoon Cyber Tea with Anne Johnson.  
March 30, 2020
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich reports on the Coronavirus crisis from Italy, where his wife Callista serves as U.S. Ambassador the Vatican.  He offers some lessons for America from Italy’s early failure to stop the spread, some tips from what he say of South Korea’s successful containment of the virus, and his own theory of how COVID-19 made it’s way from China to Milan.  He also talks about how the pandemic will affect US-China relations, how he hopes it could lead to regime change in Iran, and how to best address the economic impact here at home in America.  Newt is also out with a new novel to help distract from the stress of these difficult times, and he discusses how top secret military research from World War II and the Cold War inspired the plot of his latest book, why the Russians make the perfect perennial villains, how the murderous Iranian General Qasem Soleimani lives on in his latest book, and how to kill a man with a poisonous snail! Order Newt Gingrich's new book SHAKEDOWN: A NOVEL on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Check out his podcast Newt’s World wherever you listen to podcasts, visit his website at www.gingrich360.com, and follow him on twitter at @NewtGingrich.
March 26, 2020
Vice Media’s President of Global News and Entertainment Jesse Angelo and Vice reporter Isobel Yeung discuss the move of Vice's flagship television program VICE from HBO to Showtime.   Isobel talks about her groundbreaking coverage of the Syrian civil war and China’s forced detention of Uighur muslims.  She shares what’s it like doing serious journalism in authoritarian nations where media is tightly controlled, and Jesse discusses the complicated process of keeping his reporters safe in those places.  Jesse also talks about his move from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to the free-wheeling culture at Vice, why Vice will focus on under-reported stories beyond our borders while the rest of the media obsess over the election in 2020, and how he sees Vice filling a demand for grittier, less-produced news in contrast to the more traditional cable news outlets. The new season of VICE premieres this Sunday, March 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.  Visit www.vice.com for more information and follow Isobel and Jesse on Twitter at @isobelyeung and @jessemangelo.  Today's episode was sponsored by American Home Shield.  American Home Shield, America’s most preferred home warranty, gives you a plan when stuff breaks down in your home.  Go to www.ahs.com/kick today to save $50, and start protecting your home and budget from inevitable breakdowns.
March 24, 2020
Director Barry Sonnenfeld (The Addams Family, Men in Black, Get Shorty) talks recalls his first gig out of film school as a cameraman for adult films, working with Joel and Ethan Coen on their debut picture Blood Simple, and why you never want to receive a cake on a Coen Bros movie.  Barry discusses his difficulties working with Penny Marshall on Big, how Rob Reiner taught him about something called “the silent schmuck,” and why he and Danny Devito had such a hard time convincing a studio to make Get Shorty.  He talks about his fight with Larry David over who is the most neurotic person on the planet, his astounding ability to beat any celebrity at leg wrestling, and his secret to making children cry on camera.  Plus what it is like to work with Will Smith and bunch of Confederate Civil War reenactors, Eleanor Roosevelt Jokes, and more. Order Barry's new book Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.
March 19, 2020
Pod Save America's Dan Pfeiffer says it's not just enough for Democrats to defeat Donald Trump in 2020, but they have to defeat Trumpism in the long-run.  He recalls witnessing some of the early signs of Trumpism when he was White House Communications Director under President Obama, and he explains how the Democratic party was allowed to collapse during the Obama years.  Dan believes that voter expansion is the key to Democrats victory in 2020 and beyond, he suggests a host of ideas to grow the voter rolls from granting statehood to the District of Columbia to enfranchising 16 year-olds, and he offers proposals for how make the Presidency more resilient against corruption and abuse of power in the future.  He talks about the resurgence of Joe Biden’s campaign, whether Bernie still has a shot at the nomination, and what we can learn from the failed campaign of Michael Bloomberg.  Plus Dan reveals the right wing media organization that he says is more dangerous than Breitbart and bigger than Fox News, the person Dan calls the worst person in American politics (hint: it’s not Donald Trump), and he let’s loose on his favorite punching bag - former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.  Order Dan Pfeiffer's new book Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again.  Listen and subscribe to Dan’s podcast Pod Save America on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, and follow him on twitter at @danpfeiffer.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR solutions.  Visit www.kronos.com/hrswagger to learn more.
March 16, 2020
Hank Azaria talks about his 31 seasons on The Simpsons, a few of the 150 plus characters he’s played on the show, and some of the classic movie stars who inspired some of his popular voices for The Simpsons.  Hank reveals how he came up with his distinctive sports announcer voice for IFC's Brockmire, he does his best to sell me on the great American pastime, but admits that often times Major League Baseball can’t get out of its own way.  We discuss Brockmire Season 4’s dystopian vision of the future 10 years down the line and why it might not be too far from reality.  Plus the tortured genius of Peter Sellers, Hank’s love for the original man of 1000 voices Mel Blanc, and he reveals which of his many characters from The Simpsons is his favorite. The 4th and final season of Brockmire premieres March 18 at 10PM ET on IFC.  Today's episode was sponsored by the podcast Afternoon Cyber Tea.  Join Ann Johnson, Corporate Vice President for Cybersecurity Solutions at Microsoft on Afternoon Cyber Tea, and learn from cybersecurity experts about defending your organization and systems from attack.  Subscribe to Afternoon Cyber Tea on on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and PodcastOne. 
March 12, 2020
This is a rebroadcast of a 2017 interview with John McEnroe, who talks about tennis, his famous temper, and his book But Seriously.  He discusses winning his first grand slam at age 20, his life after the pros, and a recurring nightmare he has about his 1984 French Open match with Ivan Lendl.  McEnroe talks about some of his famous arguments with tennis umpires, and how his temper helped his game in his younger years but he says it held him back later in his career.  He’ll handicap this year’s Wimbledon finals, give his characteristically frank take on the state of the game and a few things he’d like to do away with in tennis.  Plus, he’ll even give me a few tips on how to improve my serve.  John McEnroe's book But Seriously on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  
March 9, 2020
Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Cohen tells how a child-hood basketball game first got him interested in the mystery of winning streaks, how his work as a sports writer only further convinced him that there is such a thing as being "in the zone," and what recent science has to say about it.  He also describes how streaks can negatively bias everyone from baseball umpires to asylum judges, warns there’s an important corollary to the "Hot Hand" that can cost you big-time, and cautions that there’s a big difference between streaks that can be harnessed and those that can’t.  Plus Ben shares a tip from baseball on how to tell if you can capitalize on a streak, some advice from basketball star Steph Curry on when to take more risks, and the story of how Shakespeare wrote some of his greatest works in the most unlikely of times. Order his book THE HOT HAND: The Mystery and Science of Streaks on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Read his reporting regularly in the Wall Street Journal and follow him on Twitter at @bzcohen.  Today's episode is sponsored by American Home Shield, the nation's largest home warranty provider.  Visit www.ahs.com/kick for $50 off ANY plan.
March 5, 2020
Rob Riggle returns to shares his lifelong love of history and why he wanted to blend comedy and education for his new series Rob Riggle: Global Investigator.  He discusses a few of his recent adventures from searching for the Holy Grail to diving for pirate treasure.  Rob what it’s like to play a “heightened version of himself” on the show, and what happens when some fans don’t know the difference between the real Rob and his character.  Plus Rob braves snakes, caves, sharks, quicksand, UFO’s, and more! Rob Riggle: Global Investigator premieres Sunday March 8 at 10PM ET on Discovery.  Visit www.discovery.com for more information and follow Rob on twitter at @RobRiggle.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR solutions.
March 2, 2020
Actor Bryan Cranston recalls a difficult childhood and the two year road trip that changed his life.  He shares some of his adventures before acting including traveling as a carny, catching shoplifters as security guard, and the time he ended up a suspect in a murder investigation.  He talks about getting a crash course in comedy from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, landing the role of a lifetime on Breaking Bad, and how he built one of the most iconic characters in the history of television.  Bryan Cranston also gives some advice for aspiring actors, reveals how his life has changed since "Walter White," and why he loves making small talk with old people. Order Bryan Cranston's bestselling memoir A Life in Parts on Amazon or download the audiobook at www.audible.com.  Follow Bryan on Twitter at @BryanCranston.  
February 27, 2020
Vox co-founder Ezra Klein reveals how America's political system is polarizing us and how we are polarizing it with disastrous results.  He explains that the Founding Fathers planned for many things, but they did not designed a system of government that was intended to function effectively in times of hyper partisanship.  He points out that politics came into being to represent deep social cleavages, but now politics is the cleavage, and our political affiliation has grown into a mega-identity that is consuming our lives, making us angrier, and destroying friendships and families.  We discuss how politicians and voters got stuck in a feedback loop of negative partisanship and how polarization has lead many of our leaders in Washington to conclude that bipartisanship is actually irrational. Plus we discuss how demographic threat is fueling political anger, how the rise of extremism correlates with a decline in the influence of parties, and Ezra offers a few recipes for how to reunite the country and make America more democratic. Order Ezra Klein's new book Why We're Polarized on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Read his political analysis at vox.com, follow him on Twitter at @ezraklein, and subscribe to The Ezra Klein Show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Wave.  
February 24, 2020
Adam Davidson, creator of NPR's Planet Money podcast and award-winning New Yorker staff writer, says that the 21st-century economic paradigm offers new ways of making money, fresh paths toward professional fulfillment, and unprecedented opportunities for curious, ambitious individuals to combine the things they love with their careers.  He talks about his father and grandfather as examples of two different approaches to work and money, and says we’re entering an economy that combines the best of both.  How explains how to tell between a hobby and a passion, how globalization and the internet allow you to monetize that passion like never before, and why it’s important to have what he calls "the Goldilocks of business models" to avoid getting undercut or replaced by bigger companies, foreign competition, or automation.  Plus he shares some surprising examples of people who are making the passion economy work for them including one man who only sells to the Amish, a brush company that took the most basic of products and turned it into a high-priced specialty item for NASA, and an accountant who found his passion  by helping others pursue their own. Order Adam's new his book The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and follow Adam at www.adamdavidson.com or on Twitter at @adamdavidson.  Today's episode is sponsored Wave and American Home Shield.
February 20, 2020
Comedian Whitmer Thomas talks about returning to his hometown to film his first hour-long comedy special at Alabama's legendary Florida-Bama Lounge where his late mother used to perform with her band Sin Twister.  He says his music and comedy is his way of honoring his mom, and in a way, he’s now fulfilling her dream by pursuing his own.  We also discuss some of his most recent skating injuries, what it was like touring with comedian Bo Burnham, and how he went from being an angst-ridden emo kid in high school to parodying emo bands in his act.  Plus we talk about Pee Wee Herman, Donald Trump, Blink 182 as the ultimate parody band, his early obsession with Zach Galifianakis, and the time a 3-year-old Whitmer got kidnapped by his own obsessed fan! His hour-long comedy special Whitmer Thomas: The Golden One debuts on HBO on February 22 at 10PM E/P.  Follow him on Twitter at @WhitmerThomas.  Today's episode was sponsored by Online Trading Academy and Wave.
February 17, 2020
Actor Scott McNairy talks about starring in season 2 of Narcos: Mexico as a DEA agent who heads an "off-the-books" operation to avenge the death of a fellow agent and take down a ruthless drug lord.  He recalls growing up in Texas, coping with dyslexia as a kid, and his early ambition to be a wildlife cinematographer.  He discusses how he prepares for a role and how most of his characters are drawn from a personal friend or acquaintance.  He discusses spending time with real DEA agents for Narcos: Mexico, goes into the history of the Mexican narcotics cartels, and speaks frankly about the endless war on drugs. Watch Season 2 of Narcos: Mexico now streaming on Netflix.  Today's episode was sponsored by Wave.  
February 13, 2020
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks about executive producing the History Channel miniseries Washington, some things she’s observed from watching Steven Spielberg on the set of Lincoln, and how the collaborative process of making Washington helped her through her husband's death.  She discuss why she wanted to go beyond the highlights of George Washington’s life to explore the real man, and she debunks and confirms some common legends about our founding father.  Doris reveals the long held personal grudge that led George Washington to join the American Revolution, the intense ambition that drove him to succeed, and how owning and exploiting slaves became essential to that success. The three night television event Washington begins Sunday February 16 at 8PM E/P on The History Channel.  Today's episode was sponsored by Wave and Kronos.  
February 10, 2020
The Washington Post's DC bureau chief Phillip Rucker discusses his new book A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America.  He shares stories from White House insiders about the time President Trump tried to overturn the Foreign Corrupt Practices act so American businesses could bribe foreign governments, the time Trump wanted to turn a profit on the US military by turning our troops into a mercenary force, and the Pentagon meeting when Trump called his decorated generals a bunch of "babies and losers."  Phil discusses the falling out between the President and his former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, how some world leaders have tried to turn Trump against his own advisors, and how the most powerful leader in the world solicited other heads of state for the Nobel Prize.  Plus we talk about Impeachment, Trump tweets, Bolton, Mueller, and more. Order A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  You can read more by Phillip Rucker in The Washington Post and follow him on twitter at @philliprucker.  Today's episode was sponsored by Online Trading Academy and Native deodorant and toothpaste.
February 6, 2020
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!  He 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 new 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 www.tompapa.com for his upcoming tour dates and follow him on twitter at @TomPapa.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Wave. Wave's easy-to-use invoicing software, allows you to customize your invoices, look professional, and get paid faster for your work.  Create your account at www.waveapps.com/kick and get started with 100% free and unlimited invoicing
February 3, 2020
Professor Allan J. Lichtman explains why he feels that it is necessary for America to repeal the Second Amendment to clear the way for sensible gun reforms and clarifies that repealing the Second Amendment does not mean that the Federal government is going to take your guns away.  Professor Lichtman discusses why the outrage following every mass shooting quickly devolves into inaction by politicians, how the gun regulation lobby more effective can become more effective, and how to debunk some of the myths about gun violence propagated by the NRA.  He tells the history of the National Rifle Association from its origins as a group intended to improve marksmanship in 1871 to the power special interest lobby that it is today.  Plus the man who has successfully predicted the last 8 elections shares his data on the 2020 race, why election polls are failing us, and his thoughts on the Impeachment of Donald Trump. Order his book Repeal the Second Amendment: The Case for a Safer America on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @AllanLicthman.
January 30, 2020
Comedian Russell Peters talks about his life as a middle-aged man dealing with health issues, relationships and fatherhood.  He discusses filming his new standup special Russell Peters: Deported in Mumbai, whether he’d consider doing a Bollywood movie, and why he was exposed to black culture more than his own Indian heritage when he was growing up in Toronto.  Russell recalls getting some early mentorship from the late George Carlin, becoming the first comedian to hit it big on YouTube, and how he still maintains a sense of intimacy when performing in stadiums before tens of thousands of people.   Watch Russell Peters: Deported on Amazon Prime Video.  Keep up with Russell at www.russellpeters.com and on twitter at @therealrussellp.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Wave.  Wave helps freelancers, consultants, and small business owners make, move, and manage your money with accounting, invoicing, payments, and payroll services that are easy-to-use, secure, and free.  Visit www.waveapps.com/kick.
January 27, 2020
Republican political strategist Rick Wilson follows up his #1 Bestseller Everything Trump Touches Dies with a detailed playbook for how Democrats can defeat Trump in 2020.  He warns Democratic candidates that this election is not about policy but a simple referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump.  He also suggests that this race will be settled in fewer than 15 states, and Democrats need to focus on winning in the electoral college instead getting lulled into a false sense of security by Trump's poor poll numbers.  He also says that this election will be a knock-down, drag-out bar fight unlike any others, and Dems should be prepared to go after Trump on his perceived strength - the economy, impeachment, and even his family. Order Rick's book Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump --and Democrats from Themselves on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Rick at www.therickwilson.com or on twitter at @TheRickWilson, and look for his regular column at www.thedailybeast.com.
January 23, 2020
Neuroscientist and cognitive psychologist Dr. Daniel Levitin reveals that growing old is a lot more than just a gradual period of decline and indeed we get better at many aspects of life as we age.  He explains how memory really works, why online brain games probably don’t do all that they promise, and how taking up a new hobby or starting a second career could be the best thing for keeping the mind sharp.  Dan debunks most longevity diets and supplements as well as a whole bunch of common myths from the idea that old people get more depressed to the belief that the elderly need less sleep.  Plus Dan shares the secrets of some of the world's sharpest and most active seniors from former Secretary of State George Shultz to the Dalai Lama. Order Dan's new book Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Dan at www.daniellevitin.com or on twitter at @DanLevitin.  Today's episode was sponsored by Wave invoicing software.
January 20, 2020
Seven Worlds, One Planet is a seven part television event that marks the first time that BBC Studio’s Emmy-winning Natural History Unit has explored all the planet’s continents in a single series. Executive producer Jonny Keeling, and producers Emma Napper and Chadden Hunter discuss how BBC documentaries have turned nature programming into global television events, the logistics of filming on seven continents at once, and how their first episode is hoping raise awareness and support for fire relief efforts in Australia. They talk about some North American polar bears who have found a surprising way to adapt to climate change, how agriculture is threatening over 2000 endangered species in South America, and how Pacific fisherman who had nearly driven the whale shark extinct but are now finding ways to help this magnificent creature thrive again. Plus snakes, scary kangaroos, the real Tasmanian Devil, and a monkey that looks like Don King! The seven-part series premiere of Seven Worlds, One Planet airs on Saturday, January 18th at 9:00 pm ET/PT on BBC AMERICA, AMC, IFC and SundanceTV.  Visit www.bbcamerica.com for more information.  Today's episode was sponsored by Online Trading Academy.
January 16, 2020
Director/writer Greta Gerwig discusses her Oscar nominated film adaptation of the beloved classic Little Women, how she imbued her movie with even more of author Louisa May Alcott's own personality, and why it was important for her to give a nod to the author's original intended ending.  She talks about the status of female directors and writers in Hollywood, recalls a conversation she once had with a studio executive about how women talk, and how Meryll Streep inspired some of the film's most insightful dialogue about a woman’s role in 19th Century society.  Greta also reveals that she was secretly pregnant while filming Little Women and what it is like to be in competition with her husband Noah Baumbach for Best Picture this year.  Plus we talk about why actresses in the 30’s and 40’s got better roles than they do today, our mutual love of the films of George Cukor and Greta Garbo, and the wicked wit of Dorthy Parker. See Greta Gerwig's wonderful film Little Women in theaters now.  Check your local listings for showtimes or visit www.littlewomen.movie.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions.  
January 13, 2020
Drs. Daniel J. Siegel and TIna Payne Bryson, the bestselling authors of The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline discuss their new book The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired.  They explain what it means to really show up for your children and how your interactions with your kids shape the course of their lives and literally altering their physical brain.  They discuss the latest discoveries in attachment science, some tips for encouraging the "baby scientist" in you kid, and why sometimes with children, it’s best to answer a question with a question.  Plus we talk about the perils of hyper-parenting, the difference between soothing a child and coddling them, and how even people who experienced neglect and abuse from their own parents can break the cycle for the next generation. Order Daniel and Tina's book The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's episode is sponsored by Native Deodorant.  Visit www.nativedeodorant.com and use promo code KICK for 20% off your first purchase.
January 9, 2020
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power recalls her early years as a freelance journalist covering the Siege of Sarajevo, how her Pulitzer-winning book about genocide got the attention of a young Senator Barack Obama, and what it was like for her to go from being an idealistic human rights advocate on the outside of government to working for change in the White House and at the U.N.  She gives an inside account of the discussions in the Oval Office over how to handle the Syrian civil war and talks about how deeply that crisis affected her.  Plus Ambassador Power discusses the rise of China, America’s loss of moral authority under President Trump, and the power of empathy and understanding in politics and diplomacy. Order Samantha Power's book The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with her at www.samanthapower.com and on twitter at @SamanthaJPower.
January 6, 2020
Dan Buettner has become an expert on longevity ever since he wrote his groundbreaking National Geographic article on the Blue Zones, the five places in the world where the most people live to 100 or older.  One of the key factors is diet, and Dan has been studying what the oldest people in the world eat for more than 15 years.  He reveals the health benefits of dietary monotony and periodic fasting, why HOW you eat is just as important as WHAT you eat, and why you want to load up on beans and veggies instead of meat and eggs.  He shares some cooking secrets that he learned in the kitchens of grandmas in all five of the Blue Zones, including a Sardinian minestrone that has all the properties of a "superfood," a simple dish that he calls healthiest breakfast in the world, and the Greek Island of Ikaria’s unique take on the Mediterranean diet.  He talks about traveling to Okinawa, Japan with his remarkably spry 84-year-old dad, and visiting 100 year old Costa Rican cowboy who still goes riding every day. Order Dan's new bestselling cookbook The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100.  Learn more at www.bluezones.com and follow him on Twitter at @bluezones.
December 30, 2019
Dr. Phil McGraw says that some of his guests still surprise him even after 2000+ episodes of his #1 daytime talk show The Dr. Phil Show.  He recalls how losing a football game in junior high school inspired him to go into psychology, what it was like to go into practice with his father, and why he eventually decided to go from getting into the minds of his patients to getting into the minds of juries as a trial consultant.  He explains how that put him into contact with Oprah Winfrey, how he convinced her to move her entire TV operation to Amarillo, Texas for 3 months during the famous mad cow beef trial, and why he was initially hesitant when Oprah first invited him to come on her show.  He discusses his belief that problems are complex but solutions are often fairly simple, but he also says don’t be fooled by the magic of television and his easy going manner.  He says hours of research and peer review by America’s top doctors go into every single episode of The Dr. Phil Show.  He shares a little relationship advice from his 42 years of marriage, how his wife Robin is the "Dr Phil to Dr Phil" who always keeps him in check, and why Robin still sits in the audience of every taping of his show.  Then Dr Phil discusses how his podcast Phil in the Blanks is a welcome chance to interview interesting people without the pressure of having to solve their problems, why he desperately wants to get O.J. Simpson on the show, and why he's planning to enter the popular true crime genre for his next project.  Plus why he never volunteers advice to his friends, what he would say if he was mediating the government shutdown negotiations, and he weighs in on the prospect of an Oprah for President campaign in 2020. Subscribe to Dr. Phil's podcast Phil in the Blanks on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify, and visit www.drphilintheblanks.com for more information and upcoming guests.  The Dr. Phil Show airs weekdays and you can go to www.drphil.com to find your local listings.  Follow Phil McGraw on Twitter at @DrPhil.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
December 26, 2019
Actor/director Tim Robbins discusses why his classic political mockumentary BOB ROBERTS is more relevant now than ever.  He says Harvey Weinstein reminds him of the shady operators he knew growing up in New York’s Greenwich Village, he recalls studying real studio execs for his role in Robert Altman’s THE PLAYER, and he remembers Altman's mentoring Tim's leap from actor to director.  He discusses how he funded his first play while he was still a struggling actor, how his play THE NEW COLOSSUS is putting personal faces to the immigration issue, and why he’s using The Actors Gang to bring theatre into California prisons.  Plus Tim opens up about turning 60, weighs in on the current struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, and recounts the time he heckled Henry Kissinger outside of a famous celebrity restaurant. Visit www.theactorsgang.com for tickets or to learn more. See Tim in Alan Ball’s excellent series HERE AND NOW with a subscription to HBO, HBO GO, or HBO NOW.  Keep up with Tim at www.timrobbins.net or on twitter at @TimRobbins1.  
December 23, 2019
For three days in November, 1943, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in Tehran, Iran and made decisions that would change the course of World War II.  It's the subject of a new book by Fox News' Bret Baier titled Three Days at the Brink: FDR's Daring Gamble to Win World War II, and today Bret Baier shares how his latest book fits into his Three Days in History trilogy, why the Tehran Conference was so crucial to Allied victory, and how it also set the stage for the Cold War.  He reveals why Stalin held all the cards going into Tehran, how FDR managed to use Stalin's eavesdropping to his advantage,  and why Roosevelt had to risk hurting Churchill’s feelings in order to make a deal.  He also discusses how lots and lots of alcohol greased the wheels of diplomacy among the three leaders, similarities between the personal diplomacy styles of FDR and President Donald Trump, and some key leadership lessons from those three days in Tehran.  Plus this beltway insider weighs in on the mood in Washington as Congress moves forward with Impeachment. Special thanks to The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum and the Ronald Reagan National Defense Forum for hosting our interview.  Order Bret Baier's book Three Days at the Brink: FDR's Daring Gamble to Win World War II on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Also check out the other books in his Three Days trilogy Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission and Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire.  Watch Special Report with Bret Baier five days a week on Fox News and follow him on Twitter at @BretBaier.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which wants to remind you not to drive drunk or high this holiday season.
December 19, 2019
Ash Carter and Sam Kashner discuss their new book about the EGOT-winning director Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff, The Birdcage).   They talk about his early years as one of the founders of the improv group that would become Second City, the story of how Nichols joined up with Elaine May to make comedy history, and how the creative differences that broke up Nichols and May opened the door for Mike Nichols to direct for Broadway and Hollywood.  They reveal how the first time director got the nerve to stand up to movie mogul Jack Warner during the filming of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff, why Nichols originally wanted to cast Robert Redford in The Graduate, and how Orson Wells tried to usurp him as director on Catch-22.  They share stories of Nichols’ courtship and marriage of news anchor Diane Sawyer, his lavish life, his many friendships, and a lesson in how to go out in style. Order their book Life isn't everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow Sam and Ask on Twitter at @SamKashner and @Psmithjourno.  Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches.  Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at www.oris.ch/kick.
December 16, 2019
Craig Ferguson talks about his new limited series Hobo Fabulous, why he wanted to do a rockumentary-style show about his US comedy tour, and how he's ready to take a long break from the road after a 2 month American bus tour. Craig recalls that he never watched a late night television show in his life before taking over The Late Late Show on CBS, what it was like working with David Letterman as a producer, and how doing the show 5 nights a week for 10 years made him fall out of love with show-business.  He says that late shows have become all about viral clips and clicks on the internet instead putting on a show for the tv audience and that he wouldn’t want to do a late night show in today’s politically charged environment.  We also discuss his decision to become a US citizen more than 10 years ago, the one state in the US that won’t grant him honorary citizenship, and why he’s still paying taxes in the US although he's now returned to his native land of Scotland.  Plus we talk about Groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons, the Scottish production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, and Craig’s breakout role as "Bing Hitler." All six episodes of Hobo Fabulous are available now on the Comedy Dynamics Network, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Comcast, Spectrum, Dish and other platforms.  Visit www.comedydynamics.com for more information.  Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches.  Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at www.oris.ch/kick.
December 12, 2019
Abby McEnany discusses her start in Chicago’s improv scene and how her one woman show turned into her new Showtime series Work in Progress.  She reveals how Julia Sweeney’s Saturday Night Live character “Pat” made her life a living hell for a while and how she convinced Julia to join the cast of her new show.  Abby talks about her perennial problem of getting misgendered in the women’s restroom, why the 51 year old sometimes feels like a "square" in the younger gay and transgender community, and why she avoids all social media. Abby's show Work in Progress airs Sundays At 11pm ET/PT on Showtime.  Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches.  Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at www.oris.ch/kick.
December 9, 2019
Andrew Marantz, a staff writer for the New Yorker, talks about his experience embedding with the so called "Deplorables," and how he got a rare insider's glimpse into the pundits, trolls, and provocateurs who drive the conversation on the alt-right.  He recalls his strange relationship with a right wing media influencer who is able to manipulate America’s political conversation, spread conspiracy theories, and even put words in the mouth of President Trump.  He also discusses how Silicon Valley’s laissez faire libertarianism opened the door hate-mongers and conspiracy theorists, how social media algorithms actually promote that type of content, and why he says it’s time for tech leaders to stop hiding behind the 1st Amendment.  Plus Andrew describes how Reddit is now cracking down on hate speech, the bizarre story of the neo-nazi who is married to a jewish woman, and the pitiful demise of right wing gadfly Milo Yiannopoulos. Order Adam's book Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Read Andrew Marantz regularly in The New Yorker and follow him on twitter at @AndrewMarantz.  
December 5, 2019
Master of suspense Dean Koontz recalls the literary agent who said he'd never be a bestselling author and how he defied expectations with fourteen #1 New York Times Bestsellers.  He discusses his new collection of six short suspense stories for Amazon, why creating an antihero with no memory and no identity appealed to him, and those stories have to say about the blessing and the curse of technology in our lives.  Dean reveals the meticulous research that goes into his writing, how much of himself he puts into his books, and why his love of dogs always seems to make it into his work. Nameless, collection of short stories by Dean Koontz is available for free to Prime and Kindle Unlimited members.  Keep up with Dean at www.deankoontz.com and on twitter at @deankoontz.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions.
December 2, 2019
CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and humorist Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries but he says that not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves.  He's attempting to right those wrongs with his Mobituaries podcast and his new book Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving.  We discuss celebrities who died on the same day,  historical figures who were eclipsed by the actors who played them in the movies,  and the old debate over whether famous people die in pairs or threes.  Mo tells the stories of lesser known figures like Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy,  the original Siamese twins Ang and Chang, and the world’s first fashion influencer.  Plus we cover the unceremonious sendoff of founding father Thomas Paine, how Lawrence Welk proved it’s hip to be square,  and famous rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike. Order his book Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to the Mobituaries podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen.  You can also catch Mo on CBS Sunday Morning and follow him on twitter at @MoRocca.  Today's episode was sponsored by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally's new podcast In Bed with Nick and Megan, Kendra Scott Jewelry (use promo code KICK for 20% off), and Invitae genetic testing.
November 28, 2019
Oscar and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney discusses his new film Citizen K and what it was like to profile Russia's billionaire oil oligarch turned political activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky.  He talks about the parallel rise of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Vladimir Putin amid the chaos of post-Soviet Russia and the public showdown between the two men that put Khodorkovsky on Putin’s enemies list and eventually landed him in prison.  Alex reveals why Khodorkovsky refused to flee Russia before his arrest and the personal transformation that he underwent during his decade in a remote Russian prison.  He shares how Khodorkovsky got out of prison and escaped Russia with $500 million in the bank, how the ex-patriot is now waging a political war against Vladimir Putin from London, and whether he worries that Putin might could target him for assassination.  Plus Alex reveals what Mikhail Khodorkovsky knows about Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election, why Vladimir Putin employs a cast of actors to make himself look good, and what Mikhail Khodorkovsky believes is Putin’s worst nightmare. See Alex Gibney's new documentary film Citizen K now out in theaters and follow Alex on twitter at @AlexGibneyfilm.  Today episode was sponsored by Uncommitted: Iowa 2020, an original podcast from VICE News that's available every Tuesday for free on Spotify and Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood now out on digital.
November 25, 2019
Senator Sherrod Brown reveals how he first learned about the rich history of his desk in the U.S. Senate and how he grappled with some of the contradictions and controversies of the men who sat there before him.  We discuss the singing cowboy turned one term Senator from Idaho who once spent a night in Bull Conner’s jail in Alabama and the Senator from Wisconsin who was a legendary penny pincher and never missed a vote.  He talks about getting back to a more movement-oriented definition of Progressivism, his belief in the dignity of work, and why he feels it’s a winning message for Democrats running against President Trump in 2020.  Plus Senator Brown opens up about his decision to stay out of the Democratic Presidential Primary, whether or not he might reconsider that choice in light recent calls for him to jump into the race, and how he plans to approach a potential impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. Order Senator Brown's book Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and follow him on Twitter at @SenSherrodBrown.  Today episode was sponsored by Uncommitted: Iowa 2020, an original podcast from VICE News that's available every Tuesday for free on Spotify.
November 21, 2019
As the Ukraine scandal continues to heat up, MSNBC intelligence expert Malcolm Nance explains why US support for Ukraine is in our own national interest, what Rudy Giuliani is getting from being the President’s bag man to Ukraine, and how Paul Manafort started the conspiracy theories about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election.  He also shares that Russia has been keeping tabs on Donald Trump since as early as 1977, how Trump went from an unwitting asset of Russia to a willing asset, and why he sees Vladimir Putin’s fingerprints all over Trump’s withdrawal from Northern Syria. Plus Malcolm weighs in on Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Democratic Presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset. Order Malcolm Nance's new book The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and follow at www.MalcolmNance.com or on Twitter at @MalcolmNance.
November 18, 2019
Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig discusses the fundamental issue that he says underlies many of our current political problems - "unrepresentativeness."  He offers some creative prescriptions for how to cure America’s unrepresentativeness problem such as public funding of election campaigns (including campaigns for Congress), a radical restructuring of the United States Senate, and some ways to reform the Electoral College without having to change the Constitution.  He also says we the people are complicit in America’s political dysfunction, and suggests some ways that Americans can take a more proactive role in government such as  "civic juries" and citizen referenda.  Plus I ask this distinguished legal scholar to weigh in on the impeachment of President Donald Trump.  Order Lawrence Lessig's new book They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow him at www.lessig.com or on Twitter at @Lessig.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kendra Scott Jewelry.  Visit www.kendrascott.com and use promo code KICK for 20% off your next purchase or mention this ad in your local Kendra Scott store.
November 14, 2019
Bestselling author Mitch Albom returns to the podcast to talk about how he came to run an orphanage in earthquake ravaged Haiti, how recent political instability in Haiti has led to some frightening encounters for the kids, and the hardest part about running an orphanage.  He shares how he became a surrogate father to a young girl with a terminal illness, how he learned what it means to be "kid tough," and how a girl named Chika taught him some valuable lessons about the important things in life. Order Mitch's touching book Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him at www.mitchalbom.com or on Twitter at @MitchAlbom.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Bayer.
November 11, 2019
Actor/comedian Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs, Curb Your Enthusiasm) reveals how Jimmy Durante inspired him to get into comedy as a boy, what it was like rooming with a young Conan O'Brien when he started at Chicago’s legendary improv group Second City, and the time he witnessed one of Larry David’s famous fights with his audience at a comedy club.  He talks about his worst gig as a comedian, why he always goes on stage to a different song, and why not everyone should follow their dream to Hollywood.  Plus Jeff shares how he kicked the sugar habit, what you can order in a catalogue for fat guys, and how he almost got fired from his hit show The Goldbergs. Jeff's new hourlong standup special Jeff Garlin: Our Man In Chicago is available on Netflix starting November 12.  You can also catch Jeff on The Goldbergs and the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm coming in 2020.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Afternoon Cyber Tea podcast and Kendra Scott Jewelry.  Visit www.kendrascott.com and use promo code KICK for 20% off your next order.
November 7, 2019
Bestselling sports writer Joe Posnanski recalls delving into the rabbit hole of magician Harry Houdini’s legendary life and separating fact from the fiction invented by Houdini and his followers.  Joe discusses the handcuffs that Houdini almost couldn’t get out of, some of the more bizarre things people challenged him to escape, and how Houdini upped the ante with increasingly more dangerous escapes to keep audiences interested.  He explains why many people falsely believe that the magician died performing his most famous trick, and we talk about the secret code that Houdini’s widow Bess used  to try to make contact with him from beyond the grave.  Joe also gives us entre into the world of Houdini superfans from the couple who committed a crime to honor their hero to the mysterious man who calls himself "Houdini’s ghost."  Plus he reveals what it’s like inside David Copperfield’s private magic warehouse in Las Vegas, how Houdini learned from some of the turn of the century’s most bizarre sideshow acts, and his daughter’s favorite Houdini revenge story. Order Joe Posnanski's wonderful new book The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him at JoePosnanski.com or on Twitter at @JPosnanski.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions and Avalara Sales Tax Solutions.  
November 4, 2019
Golden Globe-winner Edward Norton talks about his film Motherless Brooklyn's 20 year journey to the big screen and what it was like to write, direct, and star in this neo-noir masterpiece.  He shares some of the things he’s learned from working with directors like Milos Forman and Woody Allen.  Edward talks about the real life New York powerbroker who inspired his film’s antagonist, his own grandfather’s crusade for low income housing, and the things that get lost in the service of progress.  Plus we delve into our mutual love of jazz, classic noir detective films, and Manhattan landmarks of a bygone era. Don't miss Edward Norton's new film Motherless Brooklyn now showing in theaters.  Order Stuart Russell's new book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Afternoon Cyber Tea podcast, Invitae, and Purotrader.  Check out www.Purotrader.com and use the promo code NEWS for a chance to win a day at the Porsche Racing Experience in Los Angeles or Atlanta.
October 31, 2019
Artificial Intelligence researcher Stuart Russell says that machines are probably a long way from achieving the kind of self-awareness portrayed in films like 2001 and The Predator, but he warns the greater danger is that they might obey our instructions too well.  We get into the myriad unintended consequences of AI from the social media algorithms that are actually rewiring our political preferences to how AI that is intended to solve global climate change could go horribly wrong.  He suggests that we will need to rethink the standard model of how people use tools and technology to achieve our goals, and he gives just a few examples of the many ways AI will change our lives for the better if we get it right. Order Stuart Russell's new book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Bayer,  Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, and Belkin.  Visit www.belkin.com and use promo code KICKASS for 30% off all Belkin products.
October 29, 2019
Actor, comedian, and humorist John Hodgman talks about the strange sense of validation he gets from his airline loyalty program, the perks and perils of hotel living, and the best way to get thrown into Disneyland Jail.  We discuss his memorable appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, how his Daily Show colleague Al Madrigal got him into standup, and his podcast where he mediates minor disputes between squabbling couples.  He recalls his early days as a fancy New York literary agent, the worst book manuscript he ever read, and the writer who became his stalker.  Plus we talk about John’s remarkable skill at gaining entry into all manner of exclusive, and sometimes sinister clubs, from Yale’s secret societies and meetings of the New World Order, to the Church of Scientology’s Flag Land Base and Mar-a-Lago. Order John Hodgman's book Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Be sure to subscribe to the Judge John Hodgman podcast, and keep up with John at www.JohnHodgman.com or on Twitter at @Hodgman.
October 24, 2019
Chef David Chang shares that he originally wanted to be Tiger Woods not Wolfgang Puck, and he eventually got into cooking because he hated his job in finance.  He recalls learning in some of the best kitchens in New York and Tokyo, then rebelling against New York’s fine dining establishment, and how struggling to get Momofuku off the ground shaped his success.  Dave talks about his new Netflix series Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, smoking weed and touring Vancouver with Seth Rogen for the show, and exploring the mysteries of Marrakech with Chrissy Teigen.  Plus he talks about his love/hate relationship with the California food scene, customers who Instagram their food, how food delivery apps are disrupting the restaurant industry, and what that means for chefs.   Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is now available on Netflix.  Keep up with David at momofuku.com or on Twitter at @DavidChang, and be sure to subscribe to his podcast The David Chang Show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, and Belkin.  Visit www.belkin.com and use promo code KICKASS for 30% off all Belkin products.
October 21, 2019
Ambassador Susan Rice has been at the table during the most pressing international crises of the past 30 years and she discusses it in her new memoir Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For.  She talk about her family’s unique American story and how playing peacekeeper during her parents troubled marriage made her grow up fast but also prepared her for a life in international diplomacy.  She recalls her baptism of fire when she joined the Clinton administration and immediately got thrown into the deep end with back-to-back crises in Somalia and Rwanda.  She describes the US Embassy bombings in 1998 as the hardest day in her career, her contentious relationship with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and how she became the public face of the 2012 Embassy attack in Benghazi.  Plus she speculates on what might have motivated President Trump to suddenly pull out of Northern Syria, she says Vladimir Putin is a creep and a pig, and she talks about her famous moves on the dance floor. Order Susan Rice's book Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, the Invitae Genetic Test, and the TRTL Travel Pillow. 
October 17, 2019
Governor John Kasich shares some of the stories of every day Americans doing great things that inspired his latest book to write the book It's Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change.  This two-time Presidential candidate says that the actions of ordinary people matter way more to this country than whose occupying the White House.  He talks about the importance of breaking free of political echo chambers, and shares what kind of news outlets make it into his own daily newsfeed. We talk about his uncanny abilities as a political prognosticator, and why he’s staying out of the Republican presidential primary (at least for now). Plus John Kasich on thinking about eternity, what he’d like his obituary to say about him, and the meditative power of playing golf. Order his new book It’s Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Look for him regularly as a political contributor on CNN, and keep up with him at www.johnkasich.com or on Twitter at @JohnKasich.  Todays episode was sponsored by Kronos HR solutions, Purple Mattress, Belkin, and Purotrader.  
October 14, 2019
Blackstone Co-founder, CEO, and Chairman Stephen Schwarzman shares lessons for how to think about ambition and scale, risk and opportunities, and how to achieve success through the relentless pursuit of excellence.  He talks about his middle class beginnings as the son of a linen salesman in Philadelphia, getting paired with a literal Nazi for a roommate at Yale University, and his own version of a summer at sea - working on Scandinavian shipping boats.  He reveals how a famous statesman convinced him to go into business instead of politics and how he was completely unqualified for his first job in finance.  He recalls how he took $400,000 in 1985 and turned Blackstone into an investment firm that today manages over $500 billion, and how he capitalized the fund just days before Black Monday.  He shares how an early loss completely changed how Blackstone evaluates risk, why the firm jumped into real estate at a time when no one was buying or selling, and how the company weathered the 2008 financial crisis.  Plus Stephen Schwarzman discusses his his friendship with President Donald Trump, his efforts to backchannel trade negotiations between the US and China, and why the Chinese know him by the nickname “Farmer Blackstone.” Order Stephen Schwarzman's book What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions. 
October 10, 2019
Dave Asprey talks about his plan to live to 180 and his new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever.  He opens up about a traumatic health crisis that got him interested in health and longevity as a teenager and his battle with early cognitive decline that set him on a path to hacking the human brain. He shares the one food that he never ever eats, the benefits of periodic fasting, and how he manages to feel more rested on less sleep. We talk about the importance of light, gut health, and even jaw alignment to our wellness. Plus he describes some of the more cutting edge treatments that he’s tried from stem cell injections to blood transfusions, including a couple that he wished he hadn’t tried, and he reveals why Russians may have the inside track on hacking longevity. Order Dave Asprey's new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subcribe to his podcast Bulletproof Radio on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, and keep up with him at www.bulletproof.com or on Twitter at @BulletproofExec.  Today’s episode was sponsored by TRTL the world's most comfortable travel pillow.  Visit www.trtltravel.com and use the code KICK for 20% off.
October 7, 2019
Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson 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 new 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 www.haydenplanitarium.org/tyson.  Today’s episode was sponsored by  Avalara sales tax solutions and Purple Mattress.  Text KICK to 84-888 for a FREE Purple pillow with the purchase of a Purple Mattress.
October 3, 2019
Bestselling author Ryan Holiday discusses his new book Stillness Is the Key, how he became the leading modern proponent of Stoicism, and why many people today misunderstand what it means to be a Stoic.  He says ancient Greeks and Romans were every bit as distracted as we are today and reveals some of their secrets to ignoring the chaos and finding focus.  He also shares how he finds silence and serenity in his own life and how his daily routine keeps him calm and prepared even on the most hectic of days.  He discusses his definition of "stillness," how TV’s Mr. Rogers personified it, how Tiger Woods eventually attained it, and why President Donald Trump is the precise antithesis of it.  We talk about our mutual love of Winston Churchill, how learning to see the world like an artist helped Churchill keep it together while freeing the world from tyranny, and why he once altered a priceless painting by Peter Paul Rubens. Order Ryan Holiday's new book Stillness Is the Key on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Ryan at www.ryanholiday.com and on Twitter at @RyanHoliday.  Today’s episode was sponsored by BetterHelp online counseling, Avalara sales tax software, Kronos HR solutions, and Purotrader.com.
September 30, 2019
Jeannie Gaffigan reveals how she went from a perfectly normal life to being rushed into surgery for a pear-sized brain tumor over the coarse of an Easter Weekend, why things got worse just when she thought she was in the clear, and how she learned that laughter truly IS the best medicine.  She reveals how she and her husband comedian Jim Gaffigan write jokes together, talks about Jim’s surprising swagger when he first began romancing her, and how she finally knew that he was "the one."  She discusses why she and Jim decided to end The Jim Gaffigan Show after two seasons, what it was like to balance a tv family with their real family, and how they manage to keep track of five children. Order Jeannie's book When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith, and Funny People on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow Jeannie on twitter at @JeannieGaffigan.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Capella University's online doctoral program.
September 26, 2019
Meryl Streep is arguably the greatest actress of this or any generation.  She has starred in more than 60 films, won 3 Oscars, and received a record setting 21 nominations.  Entertainment reporter Erin Carlson discusses Streep's illustrious acting career, her advocacy for women off the screen, and her deeply guarded personal life.  Erin delves Jane Fonda’s mentorship of Streep on the film Julia, Meryl’s rivalries with Jessica Lang, and the behind-the-scenes drama between her and Dustin Hoffman on Kramer vs Kramer.  She suggests that the late actor John Cazale was the love of Meryl Streep’s life, she shares how he how helped her hone her craft, and reveals how Meryl coped with his tragic untimely death.  We talk about acting over 40, how Meryl became a champion for better roles and equal pay for actresses, and how she navigated doing business with disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein.  Plus Erin weighs in on Meryl Streep’s best performances and most underrated films. Order Erin's book Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Stitcher's new podcast Lost at the Smithsonian.  Subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, or favorite podcast app.
September 23, 2019
New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer grew tired of his kids’ obsession with reality TV and people who were famous for being famous so he began to write children's books about real heroes from history.  He talks about the newest additions to his Ordinary People Change the World series I Am Walt Disney and I Am Marie Curie, and  reveals some of his own childhood heroes.  He says he puts just as much historical research into his children’s books as he does into his bestselling political thrillers and explains why it was so important to show kids that even famous historical figures started out somewhere.  He talks about the new PBS TV series based on his books and how it’s a dream come true for a man who grew up with Sesame Street and Mr. Rodgers.  Plus Brad announces his next book for his adult readers - a sequel to his best-selling novel The Escape Artist.   Order I am Marie Curie and I am Walt Disney and other books in Brad’s Ordinary People Change the World series for kids on Amazon or wherever books are sold.  Visit www.bradmeltzer.com for more information, and follow Brad on Twitter at @BradMeltzer.  Today’s episode was sponsored by PuroTrader, the online community for cigar lovers. Visit www.purotrader.com and use the promo code NEWS for a chance to win a day at the Porsche Racing Experience in Los Angeles or Atlanta.
September 19, 2019
Scott Aukerman is the co-creator of hilariously awkward talk show Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.  He talks about expanding the Ferns universe for Between Two Ferns: The Movie, how he and Zach improvised the entire film, and what it was to direct his hero David Letterman.  Scott reveals how Between Two Ferns was born out of his and Zach's love of bad cable access programming, why actual ferns were so essential to the look of the show, and how they managed to snag President Barack Obama as a guest.  Plus we celebrate 10 years of Scott's podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! Between Two Ferns: The Movie comes out on Netflix beginning this Friday, September 20.  Subscribe to Scott’s podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen and follow Scott on Twitter at @Scott Aukerman.  Today's episode was sponsored by Bank of America's The Academy for Consumer and Small Business and Invitae. 
September 16, 2019
Randall Munroe is the former NASA physicist turned bestselling cartoonist behind XKCD and the What If blog.  He talks about his new book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems.  Randall reveals the cost of putting a lava moat around your house, how to move your house with helicopters, how to throw a coin or just about anything across a river, and how Serena Williams takes down a drone.  Plus Randall explains fishing with electricity, why scientists still haven’t figured out how ice works, and why the US military once nuked a bunch of beer cans. Order Randall Munroe's new his book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold, and view some of his wonderful cartoons at www.xkcd.com.  Today's episode was sponsored by Capella University's online doctoral program.
September 12, 2019
Caitlin Doughty is a best-selling author, funeral director, and host of the popular YouTube channel Ask a Mortician.  She returns to the podcast to answer children's questions about death such as "why don’t we eat human’s after they die?" and "what if they make a mistake and bury me in coma?"  She says it’s illegal to own or sell human remains, but there's a loophole that might allow you to keep human bones and you can pretty much do anything with cremated ashes.  She explains how a whole person's ashes can fit into a tiny urn and what happens when a cemetery runs out of room  She unravels some famous movie myths about death, takes me behind closed doors at a funeral directors convention, and opens up about a mortician's worst nightmare! Buy Caitlin's latest book Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow her on Twitter at @TheGoodDeath, subscribe to her YouTube series Ask a Mortician, and learn more at www.caitlindoughty.com or www.orderofthegooddeath.com.  This episode is sponsored by Kronos HR solutions, BetterHelp online counseling, White Castle microwavable sliders, and MyBookie.
September 9, 2019
Acclaimed author Salman Rushdie talks about drawing on Cervantes and pop culture for his new novel Quichotte.  He describes having to consume a massive amount of "trash tv" in preparation for the book, how Quichotte addresses the most pressing issues of our time from opioids to immigration, and why the “the age of anything can happen” may not necessarily a good thing!  Rushdie opens up about his early career as a stage actor, his secret longing to be a second rate spy novelist, and why he finally decided to make a novelist a character in one of his stories.  Then we talk about the moment when a writer finds his own voice, how he developed his signature style of magical realism, and how it manifests in his latest novel with everything from mastodons to talking crickets.  Plus we talk about the fatwa that was issued against him 30 years ago and what it was like to play that scary event for comedy in the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Order Salman Rushdie's latest book Quichotte: A Novel on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @SalmanRushdie and visit salmanrushdie.com for a list of his upcoming public appearances (unless your fanatic trying to assassinate him...in which case disregard this).  This episode is sponsored by Purotrader and Invitae.
September 5, 2019
Comedian Anthony Jeselnik revels in making audiences a little uncomfortable and now he's making his fellow comedians uncomfortable as host of the hilarious new interview show Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik.  He shares how the Saturday Night Live bit "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey" inspired his uniquely off-beat style of comedy, the time he auditioned to be the anchor of SNL’s Weekend Update, and some pretty smart advice he once got from Lorne Michaels on how to write a late night monologue.  Anthony recalls the Comedy Central Roast that changed his life and what makes for the perfect roast speech.  We delve into how Good Talk deconstructs the late night talk show, why this famously confident comedian never does self-deprecating humor, the power of silence in standup, and the one thing that Anthony says is the most important element of good comedy.  Plus talks about how to out-deadpan Tig Notaro, what it was like to roast a future President, and the comedic genius of HBO’s Deadwood. Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik premieres this Friday, September 6 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central.  Keep up with Anthony Jeselnik at www.anthonyjeselnik.com or on twitter at @Anthony Jeselnik.  This episode is sponsored by MyBookie, and White Castle.
September 2, 2019
If you’ve ever seen the Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film Catch Me If You Can, then you know the story of the boy con artist Frank Abignale. Abignale has since reformed his ways and now he is a leading expert on fraud, forgery and cybersecurity who consults for Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and law enforcement. Frank discusses his early life of crime, how he turned it all around, and how he’s helping to protect Americans from scammers. He recalls how wearing the uniform of a pilot or a doctor played on people’s trust of authority, he reveals what kind of personalities were most susceptible to his schemes, and he warns that technology has made it much easier for crooks to pull off the same cons that he got away with in the 1960s. He discusses which demographics are most vulnerable to fraud and cautions that it actually has nothing to do with how smart you are. We talk about a range of specific scams including those spam emails from a "Nigerian Prince" and automated phone calls purporting to be the IRS. Frank also gets into how con artists are using crowd funding sites, dating apps, and even ancestry companies to rip you off. Plus Frank reveals why he doesn’t own a debit card and why he wants Americans to do away with passwords once and for all. Order Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today’s Rip-Off Artists on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business, Capella University's online doctoral program, and BetterHelp online counseling.
August 29, 2019
In 2018 Senator Jeff Merkley posted a viral video that triggered worldwide outrage at the forced separation of migrant children from their parents.  Now over a year later, he claims that there are still families who haven’t been reunited and that family separations are the result of a deliberate effort by the Trump Administration to deter immigrants by inflicting maximum pain.  Senator Merkley makes the case that Trump’s zero tolerance policy toward illegal immigration is violating both US and international laws, and he reveals what happened when he confronted his old Senate colleague Jeff Sessions about this issue.  He recalls his travel through war-torn Central America in the 80’s and actually claims that those countries are much worse off today.  Plus he shares heart-breaking stories from refugees who risked everything to escape worst imaginable kind of evil at the hands of gangs and drug cartels. Order Senator Jeff Merkley's book America Is Better Than This: Trump's War Against Migrant Families on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow Senator Merkley on Twitter at @SenJeffMerkley.  This episode is sponsored by Anchor.  Anchor is a Spotify-owned company that makes it easy for anyone to make a podcast, for free. Get started at www.anchor.fm/kickassnews.  We're also sponsored by AncestryDNA.  Go to www.ancestry.com/kick today for 20% off your AncestryDNA kit. 
August 26, 2019
Adventurer and explorer Josh Gates has spent his career crossing the globe to investigate the world’s most intriguing mysteries as host of Expedition Unknown on Discovery Network.  In the age of Google Maps, he says there are still unexplored parts of the world full of wonders to be uncovered.  The self-described “opened-minded skeptic” talks his obsession with Yeti and why these "mystery primates" appear again and again in cultures all around the world.  He reveals how Expedition Unknown helped recover Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, new forensic evidence they found in the case of D.B. Cooper, and recent developments that have lead him to revisit several topics in the new season.  Josh recalls some of his craziest adventures in Season 7 such as braving the Siberian winter to look into the bizarre Dyatlov Pass incident and scouring the ancient caves of Israel and Jordan for the lost Dead Sea Scrolls.  He walks me through how he decides which legends to chase, which ones are too dangerous, how to handle a shakedown by local authorities in a strange country, and the most awkward of conversations - how to divvy up a treasure! Expedition Unknown airs Wednesdays at 9PM Eastern on Discovery Network.  Keep up with Josh at www.joshuagates.com or on Twitter at @JoshuaGates.  This episode is sponsored by Capella University, MyBookie, and White Castle.
August 23, 2019
Adventurer and explorer Josh Gates has spent his career crossing the globe to investigate the world’s most intriguing mysteries as host of Expedition Unknown on Discovery Network.  In the age of Google Maps, he says there are still unexplored parts of the world full of wonders to be uncovered.  The self-described “opened-minded skeptic” talks his obsession with Yeti and why these "mystery primates" appear again and again in cultures all around the world.  He reveals how Expedition Unknown helped recover Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, new forensic evidence they found in the case of D.B. Cooper, and recent developments that have lead him to revisit several topics in the new season.  Josh recalls some of his craziest adventures in Season 7 such as braving the Siberian winter to look into the bizarre Dyatlov Pass incident and scouring the ancient caves of Israel and Jordan for the lost Dead Sea Scrolls.  He walks me through how he decides which legends to chase, which ones are too dangerous, how to handle a shakedown by local authorities in a strange country, and the most awkward of conversations - how to divvy up a treasure! Expedition Unknown airs Wednesdays at 9PM Eastern on Discovery Network.  Keep up with Josh at www.joshuagates.com or on Twitter at @JoshuaGates.  This episode is sponsored by Capella University, MyBookie, and White Castle.
August 22, 2019
This is a rebroadcast of an interview with former Secretary of State George Shultz that originally aired January 19, 2018.  Secretary Shultz recalls his close friendship with President Ronald Reagan, the moment he realized that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was someone the U.S. could do business with, and Reagan's Pershing missile moment as a masterclass in peace through strength.  He suggests that President Trump may soon need to have a "Pershing moment" of his own, reveals what he learned in a meeting years ago with a young Vladimir Putin, and weighs in as an economist on the Trump tax reform act.  Plus George Shultz discusses why Ronald Reagan never bluffed, why foreign policy is a lot like gardening, and why the prospect of nuclear war still keeps him up at night. George Shultz is a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and you can read some of his articles at www.hoover.org.  
August 19, 2019
Former deputy director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center Philip Mudd talks about the radical transformation that the intelligence community underwent in the first 90 days after 9/11, why CIA was never intended to be in the business of housing and interrogating prisoners, and how the CIA reached the decision to outsource the job to America’s allies at so-called black sites in what came to be known as "the Program."  He discusses some of the 13 enhanced interrogation methods that were approved by the U.S. Justice Department, how they delineated between aggressive interrogation and torture, and which techniques worked and which ones did not.  He says CIA operators express few regrets about what they did in "the Program," and many still feel they were thrown under the bus by members of Congress and also by former President Barack Obama.   Order Philip Mudd's book Black Site: The CIA in the Post-9/11 World on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold and keep up with Philip at www.PhilMudd.com.  This episode is sponsored by Capella University, White Castle, and PuroTrader.  
August 15, 2019
The Amazing Johnathan Documentary begins as a profile on a uniquely deranged magician, who built a career out of shock and deception in the 1980s, but it quickly becomes the bizarre story about the unravelling of his documentarian Ben Berman.  Johnathan Szeles and Ben Berman join me at the world famous Magic Castle to talk about the crazy experience of making this film. Johnathan discusses the heart condition that lead to his retirement in 2014, what his doctors say 5 years after giving him a year to live, and why Johnathan believes the secret to his survival is either stem cells, meth, or both! Ben talks about having to relinquish some control as a director and follow the Amazing Johnathan wherever this wild ride took him including having to contend with a second crew filming a totally different documentary about Amazing Johnathan.  Plus the psychology of magic, the gamesmanship of elaborate pranks, why David Copperfield and Chris Angel hate each others’ guts, and Johnathan knows a lot about faking your own death! The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is available on Hulu and in select theaters beginning Friday, August 16.  Keep up with the Amazing Jonathan at theamazingjohnathan.com or on Twitter at @TheAmazingJ, and follow Ben Berman on Twitter at @LipsBerman.  This episode is sponsored by Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
August 12, 2019
Long before Star Trek, a very young George Takei was one of 145,000 Japanese Americans held in internment camps during World War II, and now he returns to this formative experience in his life as a historical consultant and star in the second season of AMC's horror anthology series The Terror: Infamy.  He talks about the painful experience of having his whole family uprooted by their own government, the eerie sense of déjà vu that he got when he first arrived on the set of The Terror: Infamy, and how he served as a link to the past for the other actors on the show.  He recalls being forced to live in a horse stall at a California race track for two months and then getting shipped across the country to an internment camp in the swamps of Arkansas, but that it all just seemed like a great adventure to an innocent boy who was oblivious discrimination and injustice.  George explains why he takes issue with the term "Japanese internment camps," why his parents were nearly deported over a citizenship questionnaire, and why he fears that history might be repeating itself under President Donald Trump.  Plus he reveals how an early experience in the camps partly inspired him to go into acting, and we talk a little Star Trek. The Terror: Infamy premieres on Monday, August 12 at 9/8 Central on AMC.  Order George Takei’s new graphic novel They Called Us Enemy on Amazon or wherever books are sold and follow him on Twitter at @GeorgeTakei.  This episode is sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business, Kronos HR Solutions, and BetterHelp.
August 8, 2019
Actor Wyatt Russell is the star of the most original show on television AMC's Lodge 49.  We discuss the allure of ancient fraternal orders, the importance of embracing everyday "magic," and getting curious about the places and the people we all too often drive past.  He talks about how the show speaks to the isolation of modern social media culture and our longing for fellowship.  Wyatt reminisces about previous career as a professional hockey player and the injury that sidelined him from hockey, but opened the door to a career in film and television.  He recalls getting his first big break just when he was ready to give up on acting, following in the steps of his famous parents Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, and what they taught him about keeping celebrity in perspective. Season 2 of Lodge 49 premieres on Monday, August 12 at 10/9C on AMC.  Visit www.amc.com for more information..  This episode is sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business.  
August 5, 2019
Terry McAuliffe was Governor of Virginia at the time of the infamous Unite the Right rally that left three dead and many injured in Charlottesville, VA.  He offers a behind-the-scenes account of this infamous chapter in our history and shows how we can prevent other Charlottesvilles from happening in the future.  He shares his biggest worries in the weeks leading up to the infamous Unite the Right rally, why local authorities didn’t take his concerns nearly seriously enough, and why he believes that the ACLU shares some of the blame for failing to prevent the violence.  He opens up about the tragic loss his own family suffered on that fateful day and voices his anger at the out-of-state agitators who gave Virginia a bad name.  He discusses his phone call with President Trump on the day of the rally and his outrage when the President later made a wildly offensive public statement on the issue.  Terry McAuliffe also talks about running for Governor and recalls his efforts to bring Virginia into the 21st Century.  Then the former chairman of DNC weighs in on the Democratic debates and what he thinks Democrats are looking for in 2020. Order Terry McAuliffe's book Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @TerryMcAuliffe.  This episode is sponsored by Capella University, The Life Is Good Ping Podcast, and Magoosh online test prep.  
August 1, 2019
Walton Goggins and Jim Gaffigan talk about getting over their fear of snakes to portray Pentecostal snake handlers in their new film Them That Follow.  They discuss the beliefs behind the religion, why members of these Pentecostal sect live in fear of the law, and why they took particular care not to reinforce negative stereotypes about the people of rural Appalachia.  We talk about what attracts Walton to religious roles from The Apostle to Them That Follow, and how he manages to move so effortlessly between drama and comedy.  Then Jim Gaffigan discusses his own transition from comedy to drama, how his acting and standup inform each other, and what it’s been like hit the film festival circuit.  He goes into how his experience as a devout Catholic informed his portrayal in the film, his upcoming standup special for Amazon, and how his wife Jeannie’s recovery from a brain tumor has inspired him to get more personal in his act. Them That Follow opens in theaters this Friday, August 2.  Also look for Walton Goggins in HBO’s new limited series The Righteous Gemstones August 18 and Jim’s new comedy special Quality Time on Amazon Prime Video beginning August 16.  This episode is sponsored by Anchor.  Anchor is a Spotify-owned company that makes it easy for anyone to make a podcast, for free. Get started at www.anchor.fm/kickassnews.  We're also sponsored by BetterHelp Online Counseling and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.
July 29, 2019
Diallo Riddle and and Bashir Salahuddin channeled their nostalgia musical variety shows like SoulTrain and Solid Gold into a hilarious new parody series Sherman's Showcase on IFC.  They reveal how they lured artists like John Legend to the show and why all musicians are secretly aspiring comedians.  They recall drinking with Lorne Michaels, writing sketches for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and how Sherman's Showcase gave them an opportunity to do all the sketches that were too risky for network television.  They reminisce meeting at Harvard, starting their own sketch group just to get better parts, and being on the ground floor of the Youtube comedy boom.  Plus Frederick Douglass sells hair products! Watch Sherman's Showcase starting Wednesday, July 31st at 10PM ET on IFC, and also be sure to catch Bashir and Diallo's other new show South Side on Comedy Central.  Visit www.ifc.com for more fun stuff about Sherman's Showcase, and follow Diallo Riddle on Twitter at @diallo.  
July 25, 2019
Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake have served as the top cyber security experts to three Presidents, and they discuss their new book The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats.  They discuss Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and say that Russia will almost certainly try it again in 2020.  They warn against the folly of continuing to allow local state bureaucrats to ensure the integrity of America’s electronic voting machines and suggest that Russia’s 2015 shutdown of Ukraine’s power grid might have been a dry run for a similar attack on the grid here in the US.  Clarke predicts that the next war that America enters will likely be triggered by a cyber attack.  They discuss the offensive and defensive potential of new technology like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and 5G.  They advocate for private companies to take greater ownership of their own data security instead expecting the government to protect them from attacks.  Plus they offer a few steps that every listener should take to protect themselves from cyber crime. Order The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  This episode is sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business and Capella University's Doctoral Degree Program.
July 22, 2019
#1 Bestselling spy novelist Daniel Silva's books closely mirror world events, and he reveals how the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi led him to toss out 250 pages of his latest novel and start over.  The New Girl is the 19th book in his wildly successful Gabriel Allon series, and he says he never imagined that his most popular character would last more than one book.  Daniel discusses the similarities and differences between his fictional Saudi Prince and the brutal Mohammed bin Salman and why he believes that Russia may have had something to do with President Trump’s decision to give bin Salman a pass on the Khashoggi murder.  Daniel recalls his start as a journalist working at CNN in the early days of 24-hour news, being there the night when the network brought Operation Desert Storm into America’s living rooms, and meeting his wife and fellow journalist Jamie Gangel during the Iran-Iraq War.  Plus Daniel talks about his unique writing process, his fascination with art restoration, and more.  Order Daniel Silva's latest thrilling novel The New Girl on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Visit his website at www.danielsilvabooks.com and follow him on Twitter at @DanielSilvaBook.  This episode is sponsored by TruGreen Mosquito Defense.
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