Episodes
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...
Published 05/20/19
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...
Published 05/16/19
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...
Published 05/13/19
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...
Published 05/10/19
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...
Published 05/06/19
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...
Published 05/02/19
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...
Published 04/29/19
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...
Published 04/25/19
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...
Published 04/19/19
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...
Published 04/18/19
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...
Published 04/15/19
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...
Published 04/11/19
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...
Published 04/08/19
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...
Published 04/04/19
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...
Published 04/01/19
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...
Published 03/28/19
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...
Published 03/25/19
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...
Published 03/21/19
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...
Published 03/18/19
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...
Published 03/14/19
President of the American Enterprise Institute Arthur Brooks 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 divisiveness and hate.  Arthur reveals the...
Published 03/11/19
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...
Published 03/07/19
Roger McNamee was a mentor to a young Mark Zuckerberg and an early investor in Facebook, but now he warns that the social media platform has become a threat to democracy, privacy, competition, and even public health.  He talks when he noticed the first signs that not all was well at Facebook and what happened when he brought his concerns to his old friend.  He discusses the role that Facebook played in the 2016 election, how its algorithms are actually designed to polarize and spread...
Published 03/05/19
For 30 years, DEA special agent Jack Riley led the manhunt for the world’s most wanted drug-lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.   He reveals how El Chapo cleverly wrangled the cocaine trade from the Columbian cartels, how he saw America’s growing opiod epidemic as an opportunity to branch out into meth and heroine, and how he managed to run a multi-billion dollar drug empire from a Mexican prison (until he escaped).  Jack discusses being on the dangerous front-lines of the war on drugs as head of...
Published 02/25/19
France’s leading public intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy accuses President Trump of following the same path of retreat begun by Barack Obama and suggests it has created a void that is now being filled by five old-world empires that are making an unlikely resurgence. Bernard-Henri talks about the Iran Nuclear deal and the larger problem of the Middle East, he discusses his long association with the Kurds who he says represent a hopeful new path for Islam, and he recalls his own role in the...
Published 02/22/19