Episodes
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...
Published 09/19/19
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...
Published 09/16/19
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...
Published 09/12/19
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...
Published 09/09/19
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....
Published 09/05/19
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...
Published 09/02/19
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...
Published 08/29/19
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...
Published 08/26/19
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...
Published 08/23/19
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...
Published 08/22/19
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...
Published 08/19/19
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...
Published 08/15/19
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:...
Published 08/12/19
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...
Published 08/08/19
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...
Published 08/05/19
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...
Published 08/01/19
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...
Published 07/29/19
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...
Published 07/25/19
#1 Bestselling spy novelist Daniel Silva's books closely mirror world events, and he reveals how the murder of journalist Jamal Kashogi 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...
Published 07/22/19
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...
Published 07/18/19
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,...
Published 07/15/19
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...
Published 07/11/19
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...
Published 07/08/19
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...
Published 07/04/19
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...
Published 07/01/19