Stacey Molski's blog

Maximum Fun Donates $100,000 to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank


The 2017 MaxFunDrive was a huge success for Maximum Fun, thanks to an incredibly generous community of supporters like you. One of our thank-you gifts was particularly popular this year (hi pin collectors!), so we did something unprecedented in order to thank you all and to try to help some people along the way.

We chose to sell these pins to you, our monthly members, so that you could build out your collection - but we decided up front that we would donate all of the proceeds from this sale to our friends and neighbors at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

One in seven people in Los Angeles County experiences food insecurity. That's an eye-opening ratio and it needs to change. With just one dollar, our friends at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank can provide four meals. A little bit goes a long way at this wonderful organization, and thanks to the support of people like you in Maximum Fun's community, we were able to give more than a little bit this year.

On December 20, 2017 at Maximum Fun headquarters in Westlake, the founder of Maximum Fun, Jesse Thorn, presented Roger Castle, Chief Development Officer of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, with a check for $100,365.66.

That's 401,462 meals for our neighbors in Los Angeles County.

Roger Castle explained what this donation signifies for the LA Regional Food Bank:

We feed 300,000 people a month in LA, and we need to feed more than that. So, this is going to make a huge impact on what we can do this year. We can distribute more meals than we ever have before.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank helps prevent our neighbors from going hungry, and makes it possible for people all over Los Angeles County to gather with their family and friends and bond over a meal. As MaxFunsters, we know that you understand the importance of community, and by purchasing pins you've directly helped strengthen communities in Los Angeles.

Here's what Jesse Thorn himself had to say about this:

It's just awe-inspiring to be where we are... this is our tens of thousands of listeners stepping up. It's kind of an amazing thing to me. We've always been focused on using our network to make the world a better place and impact our audience's lives. And I think we've found in this, and in many other areas of our business, that our audience is not only on board for that, but they want to join in with us and each other to make people's lives better. And that's a really beautiful thing.

Thank you again for being the most wonderful community we could ever ask for. Everyone here at Maximum Fun is so grateful for your generosity towards our network, our shows, and the greater Los Angeles community. We couldn't have done any of this without you.

If you would like to support the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank as part of the Maximum Fun community, head over to to contribute.

Thanks from all your pals at MaxFun HQ! L to R: Christian, Casey, Bikram, Jesse, Laura, Kira, Kevin, Stacey, Lindsay, Danny, and Jesus (we're missing Jen and Theresa who couldn't be in the office today!)

Maximum Fun 2017 Holiday Gift Guide!


We put together a holiday gift guide with some popular merch - plus books, albums, art, and more fun stuff created by your favorite podcast hosts! Check out the list below (in alphabetical order by show title) for some great ideas for the beloved MaxFunsters in your life.

The Adventure Zone
Pre-order your pal a copy of the comic adaptation of The Adventure Zone.

And since that won't be here for a few more months, why not throw in TAZ enamel pins?

Baby Geniuses
Get one of Lisa Hanawalt's Ben Chunch shirts or a lovely art print of her own design.

Rep both geniuses by getting Emily Heller's CD and t-shirts, too!

Beef and Dairy Network
Just buy your friend the best gift of all: truckloads of beef.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
There's a beautiful Bullseye poster in the MaxFunStore, and if you want to really impress the Bullseye listener in your life, get them the perfect find from Jesse's vintage shop Put This On.

Bunker Buddies
Andie knows all the best stuff for your favorite prepper, so check out the holiday gift episode of Bunker Buddies and see what sounds the most practical (and awesome) to you.

Can I Pet Your Dog
If it doesn't seem right to buy your loved one a puppy, the next best thing you can do is buy this adorable CIPYD poster.

Dead Pilots Society
Host Ben Blacker has a few books out in stores now that would make great gifts:
The first two books in the Star Wars young adult series:
Book 1: Join The Resistance
Book 2: Escape from Vodran.

If the person you're buying for isn't a Star Wars fan, then grab a copy of Ben's supernatural Western graphic novel, Death Be Damned.

The Flop House
The Flop House has done a series of comics on the themes of "Horror" and "Love" with the proceeds going to charity - an ideal gift AND a donation to a good cause!

Go Fact Yourself
RSVP for two free tickets to an upcoming podcast taping in LA (feel free to gift them the transportation cost), and bring your friend out to Angel City Brewery for a night of live podcast fun!

The Greatest Generation and The Greatest Discovery
Show your allegiance to The Greatest Generation and The Dustbuster Club with this impressive challenge coin .

Heat Rocks
Co-host Oliver Wang has a book called Legions of Boom that would be fantastic for Heat Rocks fans.

Inside Pop
Gather some of of your Big Sells (recommendations for new media your friend would love) and give your friend the gift of discovering new loves.

International Waters
Dave Holmes' book, Party of One, just came out in paperback!

Jordan, Jesse, Go!
Let your favorite JJGo fan know you support their Tuppy lifestyle with this Tuppy shirt. Be sure to get something from Jesse's vintage shop Put This On, too!

Judge John Hodgman
If your weird dad missed John on his book tour, he'll love a copy of John's new book Vacationland.

Lady to Lady
Brandie Posey's comedy album can be found on iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp, you can buy a cassette of Brandie's album for your friend that never gave up on their cassette player.

Magic Lessons
Get your most creative buddy a copy of the book that inspired the podcast.

Minority Korner
Tell your pal who loves Minority Korner exactly how great you think they are with a jumbotron message read by Nnekay and James on the show. Go to for more details.

My Brother, My Brother, and Me
Give the cool babies in your life some old school MBMBaM cred with this Peepum's Nastygum shirt.

One Bad Mother
Biz and Teresa's book, You're Doing a Great Job! is an ideal gift for any parents you know. And the ever popular OBM onesie makes a perfect addition to it!

Oh No, Ross and Carrie!
Gift this conversation piece of a mug, so they always have a point of reference for something creepy that happens.

Pop Rocket
Margaret Wappler's novel, Neon Green, came out last year, but it still makes a great gift!

Reading Glasses
For all your family members who sneak away to read this holiday season, there's this very direct Do Not Disturb the Reading Tote bag.

This t-shirt lets everyone know your loved one's stance on drilling holes in heads (don't do it).

It would only be polite to gift Emily Post's book of Etiquette, a Shmanners favorite.

Stop Podcasting Yourself
It's like this Stop Podcasting Yourself shirt was MADE for your friend. You wouldn't get it, but they will.

Story Break
Introduce your pal to Will Campos and Freddie Wong's earlier project Video Game High School.

Still Buffering
Get your favorite teen a shirt with their 3 favorite (former) teens. And whatever you do, don't talk about butts.

Switchblade Sisters
Assemble a collection of the genre films April chats about in the podcast, like Bone Tomahawk, Near Dark, and The Invitation.

Tights and Fights
Tights and Fights fans would be super into getting one of Mike Eagle's albums.

Trends Like These
Your TLT pals would enjoy checking out Brent Black's music (including the TLT theme).

The Turnaround
Support Jesse's next passion behind interviewing: his vintage shop, Put This On.

We Got This
Get your beloved people of the world this Mark and Hal Throwdown poster so they stay vigilant about choosing the right things.

Who Shot Ya
Who Shot Ya? fans will love Alonso Duralde's book Have Yourself A Movie Little Christmas.

Rachel (and we) think it's wonderful that Griffin has a short story in this book.

It's also worth noting that "all participating authors have generously forgone any compensation for their stories. Instead, their proceeds will be donated to First Book—a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need."

Or if you you love a big time MaxFunster very much and want to get a few gifts out of the way in one go:
A ticket to MaxFunCon 2018, a weekend-long gathering full of comedy, creativity and friendship in Lake Arrowhead, CA from June 8-10.

MaxFunCon 2018 Tickets Go On Sale November 24, 2017!


In one week, when you're sitting around full of Thanksgiving pie (or just Thursday pie, if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving), why not make it a perfect day by buying yourself a ticket to the most fun weekend of the year? MaxFunCon is a weekend-long gathering full of friendship, creativity, education, and comedy that takes place at beautiful Lake Arrowhead, CA from June 8-10, 2018. Tickets go on sale at on Friday, November 24, 2017 at 11am PST. We expect them to sell out very quickly, so be sure to mark your calendar and get your ticket right away!

Please note, MaxFunCon East will not return in 2018. Thank you all for joining us in September, and we hope to see you at Lake Arrowhead!

Last Call for Missing MaxFunDrive Gifts and Pins - Nov 17 Deadline


If you are a monthly member of Maximum Fun and you are still missing your thank-you gift for becoming a new or upgrading member during the MaxFunDrive, or if you are missing any pins that you purchased during the post-drive sale, please email your current shipping address and what you are missing to

This is the last call for missing pins and gifts!

Please contact me by Friday, November 17. If you reach out after Nov 17, 2017, we cannot guarantee a replacement.

So speak now or forever hold your denim jacket collars.

Jumbotrons for MBMBaM, TAZ, Greatest Gen and Wonderful Go Back on Sale Today!


Jumbotron messages for My Brother, My Brother and Me, The Greatest Generation, Wonderful! and The Adventure Zone are sold out for 2017 and will reopen for sale today, Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 11am PT (2pm ET, 1pm CT). We will sell as many spots as each show has for the first six months of 2018. Sales will close once the first half of 2018 is sold out.

For your best shot at purchasing a Jumbotron, please read all the details on ahead of time, draft your message adhering to the character limits mentioned, and have your credit card ready the minute these Jumbotrons go on sale. Thank you!

Get to Know Heat Rocks Host Morgan Rhodes!


Maximum Fun's newest show Heat Rocks debuts on Tuesday, October 3rd! Yesterday, you learned a little bit about host Oliver Wang. Today, we'll introduce you to host Morgan Rhodes!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I've been a music supervisor for five years and in radio for ten, both as a music programmer/DJ and as a music critic. I'm currently working on Season 2 of Dear White People which airs in the spring of 2018. I love working around music.

What led you to create Heat Rocks?

I'm so talkative when it comes to music so initially I thought about having a show where Oliver and I talk about the songs and albums we love. Then I thought it might be interesting to create space for artists and scholars to be generous, to speak well of other peoples work. It's been incredibly rewarding listening to artists and scholars we are fans of wax poetic about their personal heat rocks.

What are you most excited for people to hear on the show?

I'm most excited for people to be as surprised as Oliver and I have been at the albums our guests have chosen. Their heat rocks have been wonderful surprises.

What's one thing that's surprised you about the process of making this podcast?

I had no idea Maximum Fun's studio was so cool. It is small but mighty!

What's your personal heat rock?

Wow. How much time do you have?

Get to Know Heat Rocks Host Oliver Wang!


Maximum Fun's newest show Heat Rocks debuts on Tuesday, October 3rd! Read on to get to know co-host Oliver Wang before you check out the outstanding first episode.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I wear many hats (literally and figuratively) but my main job is as a sociology professor at Cal State Long Beach, where I’ve been since 2006. I’ve also been an arts/culture writer since the mid-90s. I started as a music critic but these days, I write about everything from urban change to food to car clubs. I’ve also been a DJ for 25 years and I continue to collect records and occasionally, play them out.

What led you to create Heat Rocks?

It may seem archaic but I still love the album as a format. The idea that an artist would sit down to create an album as a collection of ideas, as a creative statement, is still compelling. I always knew I wanted to create a podcast around albums and when I approached Morgan to be the co-host, we cooked up the idea of inviting guests to talk about the albums they love. Ultimately, Heat Rocks is an album appreciation show.

What are you most excited for people to hear on the show?

It’s the surprise factor when you hear what guests want to talk about. Phonte choosing, for example, “Intro” by Intro, an early ‘90s new jack swing album totally caught me off guard but it turned out to be an incredibly fun episode. Likewise, I wouldn’t have guessed that one of Ill Camille’s favorite albums was Common’s “Like Water For Chocolate” but she had every verse on that album memorized. Every. Verse. It was incredible.

What's your personal heat rock?

I have many! But if you twisted my arm to just pick one, I might have to go with Al Green’s “I’m Still In Love With You.” It doesn’t even have “Let’s Stay Together” on it yet it’s 9 songs, barely over half an hour long, and it’s damn near perfect.

The Greatest Generation is Going on Tour!


Catch Adam and Ben LIVE at one of the shows below!

Mon, Aug 14
Minneapolis MN
Brave New Workshop

Tue, Aug 15
Milwaukee WI

Thu, Aug 17
Chicago IL
Lincoln Hall
Early Show

Fri, Aug 18
Cleveland OH
Beachland Ballroom

Sat, Aug 19
Toronto ON
The Great Hall

Mon, Aug 21
Somerville MA
ONCE Somerville

Wed, Aug 23
Brooklyn NY
The Bell House

Thu, Aug 24
Philadelphia PA
World Cafe Live

Fri, Aug 25
Washington DC
Black Cat

MaxFunCon Scholarship - Now Accepting Applications!


We've got some exciting news for folks interested in experiencing MaxFunCon, but finding it financially out of reach:

This year, thanks to the generosity of MaxFunCon attendees, we are able to offer one scholarship ticket for the event!

The scholarship will be awarded to an individual who has a strong desire to attend but is financially unable to do so.

This scholarship is a free ticket to the event. It does not cover transportation to the event (i.e., airfare, rental car), but still covers the cost of your MaxFunCon ticket, accommodations, food, drink, and activities.

In order to apply for this scholarship, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You have significant financial need. Specifically, it would be difficult or impossible for you to attend MaxFunCon if you did not receive a scholarship.
  • You will be able to participate in the entire weekend-long conference. MaxFunCon begins at 4 PM on Friday, June 9th and ends at 1 PM on Sunday, June 11th.
  • You are able to arrange your own transportation to and from Lake Arrowhead, CA to attend MaxFunCon.

If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, you will need to fill out this form:

We're asking for a short essay telling us a bit about yourself. Essay instructions are as follows:

  • Explain why you want to go to MaxFunCon. In particular, please describe your creative aspirations and how attending MaxFunCon might help you with your future projects.
  • The essay must be no longer than 300 words. Essays longer than 300 words will not be read or considered.

The deadline for scholarship applications is midnight PT on Friday, May 19th.
We will select and notify the recipient by the end of the day on Wednesday, May 24th.

Finally, a HUGE thank you to all the awesome, generous MaxFunCon attendees who contributed to the Scholarship Fund!

Today is the LAST DAY of the enamel pin sale!


Heads up, friends! If you're a $10+ monthly member who was hoping to purchase additional pins (with profits going to the LA Regional Food Bank), please note that today is the FINAL DAY to do that! The sale ends tonight at 11:59 PM PDT, and then the pins are gone forever.

$10+ monthly members in good standing should have received access information in your email. If you can't find it (subject line: "Here's your access to the enamel pin sale!") please please please double check your spam folder and promotions folder, even if you've previously received emails from us in your inbox. If you still can't find it, email Lindsay at lindsay[at]maximumfun[dot]org.

This is really, sincerely it for these pins, so if you want to do a good turn, you might want to remind your MaxFun member friends that this is their last shot, too.

Thanks to ALL of our monthly members for making the network possible, and thanks for being such a lovely community. We feel incredibly privileged to fight hunger in LA with your help.

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