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 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 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 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
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 or on twitter at @TheRickWilson, and look for his regular column at
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 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 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  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 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 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 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 for more information and upcoming guests.  The Dr. Phil Show airs weekdays and you can go to to find your local listings.  Follow Phil McGraw on Twitter at @DrPhil.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at, 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 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 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
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 for more information.  Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches.  Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at
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
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 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 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 or on Twitter at @Lessig.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kendra Scott Jewelry.  Visit 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 or on Twitter at @BulletproofExec.  Today’s episode was sponsored by TRTL the world's most comfortable travel pillow.  Visit 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  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 and on Twitter at @RyanHoliday.  Today’s episode was sponsored by BetterHelp online counseling, Avalara sales tax software, Kronos HR solutions, and
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 for more information, and follow Brad on Twitter at @BradMeltzer.  Today’s episode was sponsored by PuroTrader, the online community for cigar lovers. Visit 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  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 or  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 for a list of his upcoming public appearances (unless your fanatic trying to assassinate 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 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  We're also sponsored by AncestryDNA.  Go to 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 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 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  
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  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 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 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  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 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 and follow him on Twitter at @DanielSilvaBook.  This episode is sponsored by TruGreen Mosquito Defense.
July 18, 2019
Joy-Ann Reid is the host of MSNBC's A.M. Joy and she discusses her new book The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story.  She says only a New Yorker who lived in the city during the turbulent 70s and 80s can truly understand the rise of Donald Trump.  She likens that era to the lawlessness of Gotham City, and says that if NYC is Gotham than Trump is the Joker sowing chaos at every opportunity.  She tells the story of her parents' immigration from Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and suggests that America could learn something about healing racial divides from post-Apartheid South Africa.  Looking ahead to 2020, Joy believes that unregistered voters are a potential goldmine for Democrats.  She explains that the hungriest constituencies win elections and women will be very hungry this time.  Plus she weighs in the first Democratic debate, shares her daughter's nickname for Beto O’Rourke, and predicts that 2020 will be the craziest election yet! Order Joy's book The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story on Amazon, Audible or whever books are sold.  Watch her show A.M. Joy on Saturdays and Sundays at 10am Eastern on MSNBC and follow her on twitter at @JoyAnnReid.  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
July 15, 2019
Silicon Valley icon Guy Kawasaki recalls his childhood in Hawaii, his start in the jewelry business, and how his skills at jewelry sales came in surprisingly handy when he became chief evangelist for Macintosh. He talks about personally witnessing the genius and dark side of Apple founder Steve Jobs, he shares some rules that he calls "the Gospel According to Steve," and opens up about the argument that led him to quit Apple in the 90s.  He talks about honor and honesty in the tech industry, his litmus test for doing business with someone, and why many of his best deals are done on a handshake.  He shares plenty of of sage marketing advice including what he calls "Guy’s Golden Rule" and gives me a crash course in how to be a social media influencer without letting it dominate your life.  Plus Guy discusses the costly mistake Hillary Clinton made with her Silicon Valley supporters, a cost/benefit analysis of standing up to Donald Trump, and the two asian celebrities for whom Guy always gets mistaken! Order Guy Kawasaki's book WISE GUY: LESSONS FROM A LIFE on Amazon, Audible, and wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him at, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter at @GuyKawasaki.  Special thanks to Live Talks LA for hosting our interview.  Visit to learn more about their terrific line-up of speakers coming up including Malcolm Gladwell, George Will, and many more.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos and Ben & Jerry's.
July 11, 2019
In the President's campaign against what he calls “Fake News,” CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta has become public enemy number one, but Acosta warns that Trump's attacks on the press could have dangerous consequences for America.  Jim reveals some of the tricks that the White House uses to skew media coverage and avoid tough questions, and he says that the President’s war on the truth is changing journalism itself as reporters have to do double-duty as "real-time fact-checkers."  He shares some of the bone-chilling threats he receives from Trump supporters at rallies and on social media, and reports that hateful anti-media rhetoric only got worse in the 2018 midterms.  He suggest that Trump actually enjoys sparring with him in the press room and that the President only demonizes the press as part of an "act" to placate his base.  He even says he's figured out Trump's "tells" for when he's lying or losing! Order Jim Acosta's book The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous time to Tell Truth in America on Amazon, Audible and wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @Acosta and see him reporting from the White House on CNN.  Today's episode was sponsored by the TruGreen Mosquito Defense and BetterHelp.
July 8, 2019
Adam Savage (Mythbusters, MythBusters Junior) talks about building a working prototype of Marvel’s Iron Man suit for his new series Savage Builds and what it was like to fly around with tiny jet engines strapped to his forearms.  He discusses how Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson helped him take to the skies in a real World War I dogfight, why Adam's attempt recreate one of World War II’s most bizarre contraptions was less than successful, and how it served as a lesson in the importance of embracing your failures.  Adam talks about his love of juggling and magic, his friendship with magician and skeptic the Amazing Randy, his own relationship with the skeptic community, and how he discovered that Darwinism doesn’t make for good television.  Plus Adam talks about obsession with the dodo bird and why wire coat hangers are a maker's best friend. Adam's new series Savage Builds airs Fridays at 10 Eastern on the Science Channel.  Visit Adam at for more fun stuff and follow him on twitter at @donttrythis.  Today's episode was sponsored by the Life Is Good Ping Podcast.
July 4, 2019
Today's episode is a rerun of a previous podcast that aired December 3, 2018 with guest Trevor Noah.  Trevor talks about his  standup special TREVOR NOAH: SON OF PATRICIA and why he dedicated it to his mom whom he calls “the first comedian that he ever saw” and “most gangster human being you’ll ever meet in your life.”  He discusses growing up in South Africa during Apartheid, the power of humor to fight oppression, and why he believes that hateful words aren’t nearly as important as addressing with the hate itself.  He shares how the 2016 election affected his own vision for THE DAILY SHOW, why the current President reminds him of certain African dictators, and how he deciphers what’s news and what’s nonsense in the age of Trump.  Plus Trevor talks about interviewing President Barak Obama, whether he would be down to do the same with Donald Trump, and the question that he would most like ask the 45th President. Watch THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH every weeknight at 11PM ET on Comedy Central.  Visit for more on Trevor including upcoming tour dates, and follow him on twitter at @TrevorNoah.  Visit Kickass News at, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
July 1, 2019
Pulitzer Prize-winning Conservative columnist George Will answers the fundamental question “what is it that conservatives mean to conserve" and suggests that modern conservatives are losing sight of that purpose.  He extolls James Madison’s belief in the importance of natural rights and government’s role in protecting them, and he makes that case against his fellow Princetonian Woodrow Wilson who did the most to unravel the Founders’ vision.  George discusses his decision to change his political affiliation from Republican to Independent in 2016, why he still can’t make the leap to the Libertarian Party, and why he believes it would be better to vote for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in 2020. Order George Will's book The Conservative Sensibility on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @GeorgeWill and look for his regular column in the Washington Post.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp and Ben & Jerry's.
June 27, 2019
Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter takes me behind the scenes to reveal the inner workings of the Pentagon, its vital mission, and what it takes to lead it.  He describes just how massive the D.O.D. is, how he managed a $700 billion dollar budget, and how he recruited top tech talent to the Pentagon.  Ash Carter reveals why his background as a physicist came in handy in the Pentagon and how it led him to oppose President Ronald Reagan’s "Star Wars" program in the 80s.  He discusses how he came up with his successful strategy to defeat ISIS, but cautions President Trump against pulling out of Iraq and Syria entirely.  He talks about his effort to reach out to non-traditional military recruits and his history-making decision to open all combat roles to women.  Order Ash Carter's book Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by TruGreen mosquito defense.
June 24, 2019
Vince Houghton, director of the International Spy Museum, returns to take me on a wild tour of missions and schemes that almost happened, but were ultimately deemed too dangerous, expensive, ahead of their time, or insane.  These include weaponing animals such as eavesdropping cats, spooky glow in the dark foxes, and one plan to strap incendiary bombs to bats!  He reveals some of the CIA’s wackier attempts to take out Castro, the nazi scientist who tried to build a sun gun, and the Florida meteorologist who thought it would be a good idea to use a nuclear weapons to blow up hurricanes.  But just when you think it couldn’t get any crazier, Vince discusses the project that inspired the title of his new book - the U.S. military plan to nuke the moon!   Order Vince Houghton's book Nuking the Moon: And Other Intelligence Schemes and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board on Amazon, Audible, and in bookstores.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Skimm and AncestryDNA.
June 20, 2019
As a 60 Minutes correspondent and former anchor of the CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley has been a witness to events that have changed our world and he talks about some individuals who illustrate the best of America.  He recalls the heart-break and exhaustion of reporting on the 9/11 attacks and why he feels it was the finest hour for CBS News.  He shares the three rules of journalism that he learned from CBS legend Walter Cronkite, and why he believes that 24-hour cable news create even more demand for a show like 60 Minutes.  He discusses his time as a combat journalist in Iraq and Afghanistan, the question that landed him on Hillary Clinton’s blacklist, and why he says that President Donald Trump just can’t stop himself from lying.  Plus he elaborates on his accusations that the CBS Evening News was a hostile work environment, explains the secret to 60 Minutes’ longevity, and shares a few favorite memories of 60 Minutes’ lovable curmudgeon Andy Rooney. Order Scott Pelley's book Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter's Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by and Kronos.
June 17, 2019
Senator Tom Cotton recalls the storied history of the Old Guard of Arlington National Cemetery and the rigorous training he went through to become a member of this elite regiment.  He describes what it’s like to perform a military funeral in America’s most hallowed cemetery and how the soldiers of the Old Guard manage to avoid getting choked up.  Senator Cotton shares some of the other ceremonies that the Old Guard performs and how the Old Guard played a pivotal role at the Pentagon in the hours and days following 9/11.  Plus we talk about the special soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier day and night in all kinds of weather, how they deal with unruly children and noisy tourists, and why modern science means there never be another Unknown Soldier. Order Senator Tom Cotton's book Sacred Duty: A Soldier's Tour at Arlington National Cemetery on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by, Kronos, and Soundtrap for Storytellers.
June 13, 2019
Admiral William McRaven (Make Your Bed) reveals how a high school track coach inspired him apply for the Navy SEAL program and why he still compares any struggle he faces to the grueling endurance test of the Navy SEALs “Hell Week.”  He recalls the night he got a gut feeling he was going to catch Saddam and was right, how Saddam never made his bed while he was in McRaven’s custody, and what McRaven said when he finally decided to meet with Saddam face to face.  He talks about the strange experience of personally seeing monsters like Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden cut down to size, how he managed to keep the preparation of the Bin Laden raid a secret, and how 1000’s of special operations prepared him for that mission of a lifetime.  Plus he weighs in on the Navy SEAL who stands accused of war crimes, responds to calls for him to run for President, and expresses his sincerest regret that he’s the reason you have to take off your shoes at the airport! Order Admiral William McRaven's book Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Life Is Good Ping Podcast, Udacity, and
June 10, 2019
Best-selling author Michael Wolff discusses his new book Siege: Trump Under Fire and how he got so many White House sources to speak to him again after his explosive tell-all Fire and Fury.  He tells how Steve Bannon remains the ultimate Trump insider even though he's on the outs with the President and why Trump's misfortune has always been Bannon's opportunity.  We talk about how Robert Mueller carefully gamed out every step of the Russia probe and whether Mueller may have actually drafted an indictment of Donald Trump.  He shares how Jared Kushner’s suspicious dealings with shady foreign investors jeopardized his White House security clearance and how he sought the counsel of Henry Kissinger in his effort to install himself as Secretary of State.  He reveals why Nikki Haley really resigned as UN Ambassador and how Trump’s inner circle lives in constant fear of the day when the Me Too Movement may finally catch up to Trump.  He sheds some light on Donald and Melania’s marriage of convenience, reveals how Senator Mitch McConnell got the upper hand on the President, and shares how Trump started a family feud at Fox.   Order Michael Wolff's latest book Siege: Trump Under Fire on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.
June 6, 2019
Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13) discusses his new documentary Pavarotti.  He talks about the art of filmmaking and storytelling, how he approaches a documentary versus a narrative film about a real person, and how he got the idea to present Pavarotti’s story as an opera.  We get into Pavarotti the romantic, how Ron got the various women of Pavarotti’s life to participate in the film, and why Pavarotti often compared his famous voice to a tempestuous lover.  He tells the story of how the Three Tenors were formed, and how Pavarotti took opera into sports stadiums and the mainstream by collaborating with everyone from Steve Wonder to Sting. Plus we talk about Pavarotti’s enormous appetite, his even bigger heart for charity, and Ron’s own chance encounter with this opera legend. Ron Howard's film Pavarotti opens in theaters Friday, June 7.  Visit for information and show times.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Life is Good Ping Podcast and Udacity.
June 3, 2019
David Epstein (The Sports Gene) reveals the flaw in the "10,000 hours" theory of deliberate performance, the fallacy of giving children a head-start, and how it could actually hinder them in the long-run.  He shares why athletes should be more like Roger Federer than Tiger Woods and how "serial innovators" tend to have a broad range of knowledge and experience.  David says the internet and open source information is a boon to generalists, but artificial intelligence may put a lot of specialists out of business.  He encourages the trend of midlife career changes and dabbling and suggests it's better to act THEN decide.  Plus how Venetian orphans inspired the world’s greatest composers,  why Nobel laureates always have a hobby, and why experts make terrible forecasters. Order David Epstein's book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Keep up with david at and follow him on twitter at @DavidEpstein.  Today's podcast was sponsored by, SiriusXM Radio , and
May 30, 2019
Neil Gaiman talks about adapting his book Good Omens for television, the book’s long journey to the screen, and how he took the reins as show-runner in a promise to his late co-author Terry Pratchett.  Neil recalls the origins of their book as a fable about nature vs nurture and opens up about the on screen cameo that was just too painful for him to film.  He discusses his writing process, how he manages to avoid distractions, and why he chooses to write across many different mediums.  Plus Neil shares the story of the time he and Michael Sheen accidentally dined on an endangered species and got a front row seat for a federal raid. Neil Gaiman's six-part limited series Good Omens stars Michael Sheen and David Tennant and is available on Amazon Prime Video beginning Friday, May 31st.  Keep up with Neil at and follow him on Twitter at @neilhimself.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Udacity.
May 27, 2019
Liam Cunningham discusses his 7 epic seasons as Sir Davos Seaworth on Game of Thrones and going from fighting "White Walkers" to fighting Ebola in National Geographic Channel's limited series The Hot Zone.  We also talk about his original audition for Game of Thrones, why he first thought he got the polite brush off from the series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and what it's like when he encounters hard-core GoT fans in person.  Then Liam discusses the true story of America’s close call with Ebola in 1989, the very real threat of a new outbreak in the U.S. today, the danger of the modern anti-vaxxer movement, and the importance of striking the right balance between rational and irrational fears.  He talks about filming The Hot Zone in the South African bush, his early years working as an electrician in neighboring Zimbabwe, and how the experience directly led to his pursuing a career in acting.  Plus he reveals the secret to not getting killed off by Game of Thrones producers Benioff and Weiss, we debate whether a knight can really create another knight, and we attempt to figure out who was responsible for that infamous Starbucks cup! The six-night television event The Hot Zone premieres on Memorial Day, May 27, at 9/8C on National Geographic Channel.  Visit for more info and behind-the-scenes extras, and follow Liam on Twitter at @liamcunningham1.  Today's episode was sponsored by Hackable podcast.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our listener survey at
May 23, 2019
Jared Cohen talks about the eight men who succeeded to the presidency without being elected to it and how they changed our history for better or worse.  He reveals that presidential succession wasn’t clearly defined for most of America’s history and that most Vice-Presidents come to the Oval Office with great reluctance and a serious inferiority complex.  We talk about the best and worst accidental presidents, the one who assumed the office with the heaviest burden and the least preparation, and the one who was actually accused of conspiring to murder his predecessor.  Plus Jared suggests a better way to choose a running mate, he talks about his childhood fascination with the JFK conspiracy, and shares unusual hobby - collecting presidential hair.   Order Jared Cohen's new book Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America on Amazon and follow Jared on Twitter at @JaredCohen.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our listener survey at
May 20, 2019
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough discusses his latest book The Pioneers, how it fulfilled his lifelong dream to write a nonfiction version of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and why he wants his book to serve as reminder of fundamental American values.  He tells the story of the New England minister who played an instrumental role in the creation of the Ohio Settlement, how he fought to outlaw slavery in the territory, and how his son carried on his fight for abolition a few years later.  He talks about the wealthy Irish couple who built a paradise on an island in the Ohio River and how they lost everything when they became embroiled in the Aaron Burr treason scandal. McCullough reveals what he’s learned in his 50 plus years of studying history, the importance of hindsight, and why historical figures feel like old friends. Order The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  This podcast was sponsored by  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our listener survey at
May 16, 2019
Bill Hader (SNL, Trainwreck, Barry) talks about his childhood love of film, his early days as a struggling production assistant in Hollywood, and how he's finally getting back to his cinematic roots with his dark comedy series Barry.  He discusses directing the much talked about episode 5 this season, how he staged an epic 30 minute fight scene, and why he had to hire a construction crew to build him the perfect tree.  Hader recalls his original audition for Saturday Night Live, his first meeting with Lorne Michaels, and a few of his favorite obscure impressions from SNL.  He shares what he learned about story from his time in the writers room on South Park and how his love of cheesy true crime shows like Forensic Files and Snapped inform the grittier aspects of Barry. Watch the season finale of Barry this Sunday May 19 on HBO.  For more on Barry including out-takes and behind the scenes extras, Visit for more on Barry including outtakes and behind-the-scenes extras.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions and  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our listener survey at
May 13, 2019
Jordan Klepper returns to the podcast to talk about getting out of the studio and getting out in the real world again for his new Comedy Central docu-series Klepper.  He tells the story of a wrestling club in Texas that is helping veterans body slam their way through PTSD, what it says about how vets get treated by the VA and by their fellow Americans, and how Jordan faired when he donned a cape and got in the ring with them.  Then Jordan recalls sleeping in the swamp for two nights and capsizing his boat in the Louisiana bayou as part of a direct action protest.  He discusses how Georgia is making life difficult for children of undocumented workers and how they are looking to the civil rights movement of the 60’s for inspiration.  Plus Jordan opens up about the incident that got him arrested and his memorable stay in the Fulton County Jail. Jordan Klepper's new series Klepper airs Thursdays at 10:30PM ET on Comedy Central.  Visit for more information and follow Jordon on Twitter at @jordanklepper.  Today's episode was sponsored by SiriusXM radio.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at
May 10, 2019
Oscar nominated actor and director Sir Kenneth Branagh is the greatest living interpreter of the works of William Shakespeare, and today he talks about his life long love of Shakespeare and stepping into the shoes of his hero for his new film All Is True.  Branagh discusses why he chose to focus on the three years following Shakespeare’s retirement and why he wasn’t afraid to deviate from the accepted biography and embrace the mystery around the man.  He talks about teaming up with writer Ben Elton, forgoing digital graphics in favor traditional matte painting techniques, and the makeup that transformed Kenneth Branagh into the bard himself.  Plus he weighs in on the rumors that the mysterious "dark lady" in Shakespeare’s love sonnets might not have been a lady at all, the sex scandals that embroiled Shakespeare's family in his final years, and speculation that William Shakespeare wasn't the real author of his famous plays. Kenneth Branagh's film All Is True opens in New York and LA on Friday, May 10 followed by a wide release.  Check your local listings for showtimes.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at
May 6, 2019
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, scientist, and renowned polymath Jared Diamond reveals that many of the factors in how individuals cope with personal crises can also predict how countries survive national crises.  He profiles six nations in transition in his new book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, and shares his personal experiences and observations about those countries including why one should never utter the word "Finlandization" in Finland, how Chileans in the 1960’s never thought that their democracy would fall to a bloody dictator, and he says this doesn’t bode well for the U.S.  He discusses why some countries like Germany choose to acknowledge their violent past while others like Indonesia choose to bury it.  Then he warns of two nations currently facing crises Japan, who suffers from crippling national debt and an aging/shrinking population, and the United States, where he says the decline of political compromise and voting rights is eroding our democracy. Order Jared Diamond's terrific book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold beginning Tuesday May 7.  Today's episode was sponsored by So, Bob podcast, SiriusXM radio, and Zebit.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at
May 2, 2019
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich talks about his new political thriller Collusion: A Novel and how writing fiction has given him a chance to let his imagination run wild about the darker side of Washington.  He discusses why it’s almost impossible to make up a fictional super-villain like Vladimir Putin, his fascination Putin’s deadly penchant for high profile poisonings, and why he believes that Putin doesn’t mind taking the blame for those murders.  Plus he weighs in on President Trump’s Russia policy, the Mueller Report, what issues will drive the next election, and which Democrat could conceivably beat Donald Trump in 2020. Order his book Collusion: A Novel on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Newt at, subscribe to his podcast Newt's World, and follow him on twitter at @newtgingrich.  Today's episode was sponsored by  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at
April 29, 2019
Congressman Seth Moulton talks about why he is running for President, what he sees as his path to the Democratic nomination, and how he plans to defeat President Donald Trump by running on Trump’s weakest issues.  He discusses why he chose do 4 tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq even though he personally opposed the war, what it was like working as a special liaison to tribal leaders in Southern Iraq, and what the experience taught him about compromise and bipartisanship. He reveals why he turned down the platinum health insurance afforded to members of Congress in favor of getting his healthcare at the Veterans Administration, what learned about what works and what doesn’t work at the V.A., and why he opposes a single payer healthcare program.  Plus we talk impeachment, abolishing the electoral college, and how he became the star of a popular Iraqi TV show “Moulton and Mohammed.” Visit for more information on Congressman Seth Moulton or to donate/volunteer for his Presidential campaign, and follow him on Twitter at @sethmoulton.  Today's podcast was sponsored by SiriusXM radio, and the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at
April 25, 2019
Janet Napolitano served the 4th Secretary of Homeland Security less than a decade after 9/11, and on today's podcast, she reckons with the critics who call it a Frankenstein's Monster of government run amok and takes a hard look at the challenges we'll be facing as it evolves to fight terrorism 2.0.  She likens the job to finding a needle in a haystack and describes how she used methods like "pushing the borders" and TSA-pre-check to shrink that haystack.  She says it takes a "dark imagination" to be Secretary of Homeland Security, but even in her darkest imagination, she never envisioned a hostile foreign government like Russia would interfere in a US Presidential election.  She takes to task politicians who engage in "security theatre," and this former border state governor has a few choice words about President Trump's zero tolerance policy toward illegal immigration.  Plus Janet Napolitano weighs in on the college admissions scandal and outlines what she's doing to address the issue as President of the University of California Board of Regents.  Order Janet Napolitano's new book How Safe Are We?: Homeland Security Since 9/11 on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Kronos, SiriusXM radio, and the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at
April 19, 2019
Former Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt discusses how former college football coach Bill Campbell mentored him and many of Silicon Valley's greatest visionaries from Jeff Bezos and Larry Page to Marc Andreessen and Steve Jobs.  Eric recalls how he initially reacted when venture capitalist John Doerr suggested that he work with a coach, how Coach Campbell helped shape the relationship between Eric and Google's founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and how the coach talked Eric out of resigning as Google’s CEO in 2004.  He shares how Bill Campbell coached teams more than individuals, and talks about the importance of trust and even love to a company's success.  Eric opens up about his decision to step down as Executive Chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet in 2017 and his next big bet on the positive potential of artificial intelligence.  Plus Eric Schmidt reveals why starting a meeting with some little polite chit-chat isn't just a waste of time and the power of hugs in the workplace. Order Eric's book Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at
April 18, 2019
As the longest serving senior official in Obama White House, Valerie Jarrett was known as one who "got" President Obama and helped him engage his public life, but she was also an early mentor, trusted advisor, and family confidante to the Obamas for decades.  She remembers her first impression of Michelle and Barack Obama in 1991, shares her unique perspective on their marriage, and tells the story of the time when Michelle Obama recruited her to help convince a young Barack Obama to give up politics and get “a real job.”  She talks about being the person who kept President Obama connected to the world outside of Washington as director of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and how her own experience as a single working mom influenced her to advocate for women and families.  She describes the surreal/heartbreaking experience of watching the 2016 election returns with the Obamas in the White House residence, how she's been handling the Trump Presidency, and a few of her “pinch me moments” from her 8 years in the Obama Administration.   Order her book Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at
April 15, 2019
Bestselling psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb talks about the event that led her to seek help for herself, what it was like to switch roles and be the patient on the couch, and how her own quirky therapist got to the underlying issues of in life.  She discusses some of her favorite patients including an insufferable Hollywood producer, a newlywed diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the patient who she says was "like looking in a mirror."  Lori offers some ideas for how to address the mental health crisis in America and she weighs in on the ongoing debate among those in her profession over the Goldwater Rule.  Plus Lori reveals whether she’s ever dozed off on a patient, why her own therapist once kicked her in session, and what her colleagues think about her pulling back the curtain on psychotherapy.  Order her book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Visit her website at and follow her on twitter at @LoriGottlieb1. Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at
April 11, 2019
As America waits for the full Mueller Report, I talk with the first Trump official to plead guilty in the Mueller Investigation.  George Papadopoulos was the young foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign who reportedly told an Australian diplomat that Russia had thousands of hacked emails that could damage Hillary Clinton and tip the 2016 election to Donald Trump.  He talks about the Maltese professor who first told him about the Clinton emails and why the mysterious professor has now vanished.  I ask him whether he ever attempted to take the professor up on his offer, whether he reported news of the emails back to the Trump campaign, and why he didn’t take this information to U.S. authorities at the time.  Papadopoulos explains why he refused to wear a wire for the FBI, why he says he didn’t intend to lie to the Mueller Investigation, and why he now believes that he was a "patsy" in what may have otherwise been a legitimate investigation into Donald Trump’s connections to Russia.  Plus he discusses why he’s considering withdrawing his guilty plea and whether he might get a pardon from President Trump himself. Order his book Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Rochester Institute of Technology.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at
April 8, 2019
Comedian Chelsea Handler recalls her anger in the wake of the 2016 election and how Donald Trump became the unlikely catalyst for Chelsea to work through some unresolved personal issues with the help of a clever psychiatrist named Dan.  She discusses her decision to walk away from her Netflix talk show in order to dedicate herself to political activism and campaigning for minority and female candidates in 2018.  Chelsea opens up about how the sudden death of her favorite brother impacted every relationship she has had since then, she says she's finally ready to find a serious partner now, and she lists some of her dealbreakers for a potential mate.  Chelsea talks about the moment she realized she was incapable of operating her own television or making herself a cup of coffee, how she cured herself of “domestic amnesia," and she describes the humbling experience of making a documentary about white privilege.  Plus we get into her deep attraction to Robert Mueller, her obsession with rescuing Chow-Chows, how to fake a Jewish funeral, and more. Order Chelsea Hander's new book Life Will Be the Death of Me: . . . and you too! on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Chelsea at and follow her on Twitter at @ChelseaHandler.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Kronos and Zebit.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at
April 4, 2019
Comedian Wyatt Cenac discusses how he wanted to distinguish his HBO docuseries Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas from his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show including forgoing the traditional studio audience and creating a fun retro 70s look for the show.  He talks about checking his own biases to explore different perspectives on the contentious issue of policing urban communities, what he wants to learn about America’s education system in Season 2 of Problem Areas, and why the topic of school choice is so controversial.  Plus we get into the college admissions scandal, goat yoga, and more. Season 2 of Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas debuts Friday, April 5 at 11 p.m. ET on HBO.  Visit for more info on Wyatt including his upcoming standup dates and follow him on twitter at @WyattCenac.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at
April 1, 2019
Preet Bharara talks about his eight years as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, what movies and TV get wrong about criminal investigations, and why the job is more than just "connecting the dots" or "following the money."  He says if you want to get a confession out of a bad guy, food works better than playing hardball, he discusses the devil's bargain of cutting deals with cooperating witnesses, and why sometimes the cases you don’t prosecute are just as important as the ones you do.  Plus Preet weigh in on the Mueller Report, whether U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr’s interpretation of the report can be trusted, why Mueller didn’t make any recommendations, and whether Mueller intended to "punt" those decisions to Congress rather than Barr. Order Preet Bharara's book Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast Stay Tuned with Preet on Apple Podcasts and follow him on Twitter at @PreetBharara.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at
March 28, 2019
Stacey Abrams has become a political superstar since running for governor of Georgia in 2018 and delivering the Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union this February.  We talk about her private meeting with Joe Biden, the rumors of a Biden-Abrams ticket in 2020, and what issues she’d campaign on if she does run for national office.  She discusses making history as Georgia House Minority Leader and her party’s nominee for governor, why she refused to concede defeat in the 2018 gubernatorial race, and why she believes widespread voter suppression tipped that election to her opponent.  She explains the careful balancing act of being a woman of color in a position of power, why minority politicians undergo way more financial scrutiny than their white colleagues, and how the Republican Governors Association mocked her for daring to seek higher office as a woman.  Stacey also admits to being a Star Trek: Next Generation "super-fan" and reveals what the show can teach us about outsider politics.  She shares her personal philosophy of "work-life jenga," talks about moonlighting as a successful romance novelist, and opens up about finally making time for dating and romance in her own life. Order Stacey Abrams' new book Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Learn more about Stacey’s voting rights group Fair Fight Action at, and follow her on twitter at @staceyabrams.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Rochester Institute of Technology and Brother INKvestment printers.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at
March 25, 2019
    Jeff Bridges discusses his 6 decades in Hollywood and what he learned about acting from dad Lloyd Bridges.  He recalls the "Little Rascals" version of Tucker that he and Francis Ford Coppola made prior to filming, laughing it up with Robin Williams and Terry Gilliam on the set of The Fisher King, and how he and his brother Beau tested each other in The Fabulous Baker Boys.  He shares stories about making The Last Picture Show, King Kong, Heaven's Gate, The Contender, and True Grit.  He talks about his Big Lebowski fandom, how he feels about being identified with his iconic character "the Dude," and why he says the Dude is a zenmaster.  Then Jeff Bridges gets zen about the environment with his new documentary Living in the Future's Past.  He discusses how we can take a more global approach to climate change, explains the evolutionary roots of our energy consumption, and says humans collectively form a super-organism that is exhausting resources at a faster and faster pace.  He calls for the removal of politics from the climate debate and suggests how everyone can make individual changes that can have a big impact. Keep up with Jeff at and be sure to catch his film Living in the Future's Past.  This podcast was sponsored by Heineken and Espresso Monster.  Visit Kickass News at, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
March 21, 2019
Bestselling authors Dr. Warren Farrell (Why Men Are The Way They Are) and Dr. John Gray (Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus) warn that boys around the world are in crisis and say it's largely the result of a crisis of fathers who suffer from a "purpose void" as their traditional role is being diminished. They reveal how moms and dads parent differently and how fathers use things like rough-housing with the kids to establish boundaries.  They discuss how the lack of boundaries can lead to ADD and ADHD in young men and caution parents to focus on the root cause of ADD before they resort to drugs like Aderall.  They talk about the difficulty they’ve had getting lawmakers to take the boy crisis seriously and offer some recommendations for how the government and our schools can help address this growing problem. Order John and Warren's new book The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It on Amazon and learn more at  Keep up with Warren at or on twitter at @drwarrenfarrell, and follow John at or on twitter at @RealJohnGray. Today's podcast was sponsored by Brother INKvestment tank printers.
March 18, 2019
Alyssa Mastromonaco spent 6 years in the Obama White House as assistant to the president, director of scheduling and advance, and deputy chief of staff for operations.  She says working in the West Wing is a lot like VEEP and recalls some of the lighter moments including getting down on the dance-floor with Michelle Obama, impersonating a hedge hog for President Obama, and the time the leader of the free world tried to play matchmaker. She opens up about her at times comical struggles with irritable bowel syndrome including a few close calls at the most inconvenient moments, and the time that she contracted something called "beaver fever" (yes, it’s a real thing) during a state dinner in Tanzania.  She reveals all the care and protocol that went into every foreign trip she planned for President Obama, and why it was more than a little disheartening to watch President Trump bungle his way through a hastily thrown together North Korea summit.  She also warns that Trump’s use of a personal iPhone is a major security risk, she predicts what Democrats will be looking for in 2020, and she advises Dems to banish the term socialism from their vocabulary. Order Alyssa Mastromonaco's book So Here's the Thing: Notes on Growing Up, Getting Older, and Trusting Your Gut on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow her on twitter at @AlyssaMastro44.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Kronos and BetterHelp.  Please take our annual podcast listener survey and register to win a $100 Amazon gift card at  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review.  Follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  Visit our website at
March 14, 2019
Actor/comedian Bryan Callen (THE GOLDBERGS, SCHOOLED, HANGOVER I & II) shares how his childhood growing up in countries all over the world inspired him to question labels and defy categorization, and he discusses his particular issue with the catch all term "Asians" to describe 48 different nationalities.  We talk about the polarizing effect of political parties, why he believes that liberals and conservatives share the same fundamental values, and why everyone should demand to be treated like a verb instead of a noun.  Bryan gets into the problem of political correctness and says that standup comedy is probably the last bastion of free speech in America.  We talk about how he became associated with mixed martial arts, what it’s like inside the surprisingly inclusive world of MMA, and how women in the UFC cured him of chauvinism.  Plus Bryan thinks he’d be a terrible border patrol agent, his proposal to make the world a better place thought "idea sex," and why at the end of the day we're all just complicated apes.   Don't miss Bryan's new comedy special BRYAN CALLEN: COMPLICATED APES now available on Comcast, DirecTV, Spectrum, AT&T, Dish, Cox, iTunes, Google Play, PlayStation, Xbox, and many more.  Watch Bryan on his ABC shows THE GOLDBERGS and SCHOOLED, subscribe to his podcasts THE FIGHTER AND THE KID and MIXED MENTAL ARTS on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, and follow him on twitter at @bryancallen.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Brother INKvestment tank printers.
March 11, 2019
Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, returns to the podcast to call on Americans to reject the culture of contempt and the outrage industrial complex.  He talks about the event that woke him up to the ugliness of our political discourse two and a half years before the 2016 election.  He pulls back the curtain on how political parties are pushing us farther apart and how talking heads in the media are profitting from stoking division and hate.  Arthur reveals the connection between trolling on social media and personality disorders and his own strategy for handling angry emails and twitter trolls.  He shares what we can learn about civility from the Dalai Lama and a leading marriage counselor.  We discuss the power of stories to bridge divides and the necessity of the competition of ideas to a health democracy.  Plus, Arthur shares what he thinks about President Trump’s two hour speech at last week’s CPAC conference, the time he got mistaken for a Mormon (and loved every minute of it), and why this free-market conservative says everyone needs a friend like Cornel West or Robert George.   Order Arthur's book Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to The Arthur Brooks Show wherever you listen podcasts and follow him on twitter at @arthurbrooks.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Brother INKvestment Tank Printers and season 2 of Breach podcast.  Please take our annual podcast listener survey and register to win a $100 Amazon gift card at  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and visit our website at
March 7, 2019
On the 50th Anniversary of the Navy's legendary fighter pilot school known as Top Gun, the founder Captain Dan Pederson discusses how the pilot losses he witnessed in the Vietnam War led to the formation of Top Gun, how he and the other original "9 bros" got it up and running in just a matter of weeks with little or no funding, and what they looked for in new recruits.  He recalls the days before Top Gun when aerial combat training was banned by the military and how he and his fellow pilots learned their skills at a secret fight club in the sky off the coast of San Diego.  He talks about getting to train against real Russian MIG fighter jets at the most classified location in America, the mental and physical stamina required to perform the kind of aerial acrobatics taught at Top Gun, and the toll that it can take on a pilot’s personal life.  Plus Dan shares what the famous movie Top Gun gets wrong, he reveals the absolute worst weather to fly in, and he offers a few choice words about the Pentagon’s current reliance on the costly F-35 fighter jet. Order Captain Dan Pederson's book TOP GUN: AN AMERICAN STORY on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Please take our annual podcast listener survey and register to win a $100 Amazon gift card at  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and visit our website at
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