The MaxFun Blog

Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you and our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you. About

Judge John Hodgman Episode 138: Badgering the Waitress

| 13 comments

Max says if he needs something at a bar or restaurant, he's within his rights to flag someone down or call out to get their attention - but his friend Andy says he's going about it all wrong.

Stay tuned for next week's episode - we'll be revisiting some of the litigants from our all-time favorite episodes!

To join the conversation about this episode, please click on the Forum link below.

To suggest a title for a future episode, like us on Facebook at Judge John Hodgman! We regularly put a call for submissions.

STREAM OR DOWNLOAD THIS PODCAST
SUBSCRIBE TO THIS PODCAST in ITUNES or the RSS FEED

Throwing Shade Web Series #21: Jerry O'Connell & The Royal Baby

| 0 comments

The star of "Stand By Me" and the upcoming Veronica Mars movie sits down with Erin and Bryan this week to discuss the Kardashians, Kickstarter and how he's a "webhead." Plus, Erin talks about title inheritance in aristocratic England. And of course, what a Heart concert at Sea World would look like.


Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jack Black and Bun B

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

Our guest host this week is the author and The New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean. You can find more from Susan at her website or follow her on Twitter. Thanks, Susan!


ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Jack Black on Musical Snobbery, Childlike Innocence, and the Roles He's Yet to Play

Jack Black always seems to be on the verge of breaking into song. Whether he’s a slacker substitute teacher in School of Rock, an earnest funeral director in Bernie, or a snobby record store clerk in High Fidelity, music has a way of seeping into his performances. Maybe that’s because Black’s portrayals often possess an unbridled joy that’s difficult to capture with spoken dialogue.

Although he's known for his comedic strengths and has often played the "shlubby loser", Black has showed that he's capable of much more. For Peter Jackson’s King Kong, he played a 1930s filmmaker intent on creating an epic narrative, no matter how far into the heart of darkness he has to travel. In Noah Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding, he was a disappointing groom prone to occasional bursts of anger. Most recently, he played the titular character in Richard Linklater’s Bernie, a film based on the true story of a kind, gentle mortician accused of murder in a small Texas town. It’s the subtlety of performances like these mixed with the intensity of a man who also headlines the rock band Tenacious D that truly make Black a unique performer.

Guest host Susan Orlean gets to the bottom of Black’s career, from his early days performing one-man shows in his living room to working with some of the biggest names in show business. They’ll talk about some of his early childhood performances, dissecting musical tastes, a new HBO pilot, and why seeing him on Broadway wouldn’t be entirely out of the question.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


Ian Cohen on New Heavy Music Releases: Death Grips and Iron Chic

Ian Cohen, contributing editor at Pitchfork, stops by to recommend some new heavy music releases.

He suggests a listen to two new records: Government Plates by experimental hip hop and noise group Death Grips, and Iron Chic's The Constant One.

You find Ian's writing at Pitchfork and Grantland, or follow him on Twitter.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


Bun B of UGK on Rhyming, Big Breaks and Mourning Pimp C, "The Yin to My Yang"

Bun B was half of UGK and still is one of the South’s greatest hip-hop lyricists. Alongside partner Pimp C, he spent two decades rhyming and recording classic hip-hop and helped establish Texas as a force to be reckoned with in the national hip-hop scene. Pimp C died six years ago this month, but Bun has continued to record and release music as a solo artist. His newest album, Trill Og the Epilogue, was released in November.

Jesse sat down with Bun B in 2009 to talk about underwriting a music career with street crime, rhyming with Jay-Z, and his reaction to Pimp C's frequent arrests, setbacks, and untimely passing.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


The Outshot: The Sorcerer of the Guitar

Guest host Susan Orlean goes under the spell of "Franco" Luambo Makiadi, The Sorcerer of the Guitar.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

Stop Podcasting Yourself 299 - Lynn Shawcroft

| 7 comments
Guests: 
Lynn Shawcroft

Comedian Lynn Shawcroft joins us to talk dentists, Febreze marketing, and magicians.

Download episode 299 here. (right-click)

Get in touch with us at spy [at] maximumfun [dot] org or (206) 339-8328.

Brought to you by:
(click here for the full recap)

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 303: Hobbit Coffee with Asterios Kokkinos

| 0 comments
Guests: 
Asterios Kokkinos

Comedian, writer, and actor Asterios Kokkinos joins Jordan and Jesse for a discussion of Must See TV, the new Hobbit themed menu at Denny's, and putting shoes on dogs.

Action Items:

• Light up r/maximumfun with Pokemon/MaxFun mashups.
• Tweet @scandalwriters and get Jordan back on the show!

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: You Can't Eat the Sunshine

| 0 comments


Vital stats:
Format: comments on Los Angeles and the changes therein, followed by interviews with those tied to the region’s past
Episode duration: 1h-1h30m
Frequency: weekly

I’ve never taken a trip with Esotouric, which offers “provocative and complex, but never dry” bus bus tours of greater Los Angeles which mix “crime and social history, rock and roll and architecture, literature and film, fine art and urban studies into a simmering stew of original research and startling observations” on such territories as “Hot Rods, Adobes, and Early Modernism,” “Haunts of a Dirty Old Man” (i.e. Charles Bukowski), and “Pasadena Confidential with Crimebo the Crime Clown.” Until such time as I cough up the sixty bucks to board an actual Esotouric bus, I’ll opted for the next best thing: You Can’t Eat the Sunshine [RSS] [iTunes], a weekly podcast hosted by the company’s proprietors, the husband-and-wife team of near-obsessive Los Angeles enthusiasts Kim Cooper and Richard Schave. Each episode opens with a local place-name-checking theme song by a ukulele-playing lady known as the Ukulady, who looks, as her site reveals, exactly like she sounds, thus embodying a perfect union of form and substance. The podcast on which she plays enjoys a similar alignment between its own expansive form and that of the city/county/”mega-region”/half of the state of California it examines.

You Can’t Eat the Sunshine doesn’t make the obvious choice of offering audio versions of Esotouric tours, but it surely burns as much gas each time out with its actual mandate: to track down unusual people — poets, craftsmen, professors, impersonators of historical figures — living in Los Angeles and its environs, most of whom have strong ties to the place’s past, and interview them. On some episodes this just means going downtown; on others it means rolling to Long Beach, Eagle Rock, UCLA, Downey, La Mirada, or Lake Elsinore, the names of which wear me out in the typing alone. “We were born here,” announces Cooper in the 90-second back-and-forth spoken intro that precedes the Ukulady, and indeed, I’ve come to notice a certain divide between native Los Angeles appreciators and those transplanted. I fall into the latter group, having moved here for no better reason than that it fascinated me more than any other city in America — well, that and its robust revival cinema scene — and now my current projects include not just a book on the place but an interview podcast more than half of whose episodes deal with Los Angeles. By all rights, I should have taken every available Esotouric journey already, if not up and launched a competing provocatively complex, research-and-observation-stewing bus tour company of my own.

One explanation, grounded in the nature of the place, almost provides itself: we live in such an incomprehensibly vast city that even the like-minded seldom encounter one another. Yet here, even the likest minds diverge on many points. The Ukulady sings, for instance, of “the long-lost neighborhood of Hermon between South Pas and Highland Park.” The idea of a long-lost neighborhood between South Pasadena and Highland Park may, even if you live there, hold out little immediate appeal, but Cooper and Schave see things differently. For seemingly every square mile in and just beyond greater Los Angeles, no matter how marginal, they know a story uniting the historical, political, social, and architectural layers that lay sometimes above but mostly beneath it. Admiring this skill, I’ve also tried to cultivate it by doing as much reading, writing, and talking about Los Angeles as possible. Many of books I’ve picked up and enjoyed in the process make much of the city’s sheer size, whether in celebration (The Architecture of Four Ecologies by Reyner Banham, from whom our hosts took college classes) or in a kind of nonplussed curiosity (The Ultimate City by the New Yorker’s Christopher Rand): Los Angeles itself already covers something like 500 square miles, so why not treat Malibu and Orange County as Los Angeles too — or even everything north to Santa Barbara and south to San Diego?

At that scale, decoding the urban palimpsest becomes to me, for whom traveling more than about twenty miles by land — least of all by bicycle, my default mode — tends to feel fundamentally unacceptable, an off-puttingly arduous task. Still, it sounds as if Cooper and Schave have dedicated their lives and careers to pursuing that, and (to use a favorite expression of Schave’s, with his deeply earnest interviewing persona) God bless ‘em for it. Their interest comes though with special impact in the “Closely Watched Trains” segment of the podcast, which happens somewhere after the Ukulady and the shared monologue, but before the interviews. Regularly clocking in at half an hour by itself, it finds our hosts running down the list of what has changed recently in greater Los Angeles, what seems about to change, what needs to change (usually back to some previous state), and what may or may not receive special protection from further change. Some of what they discuss strikes even me as inside baseball, these two having clearly visited city meetings and offices where angels fear to tread, but others have some familiarity. Let me take one example: Johnie’s Coffee Shop. Every Angeleno knows Johnie’s, and most visitors to Los Angeles have at least passed it, as I do every few days on bike rides west on Wilshire from home in Koreatown.

There Johnie’s silently sits on the corner of Fairfax, totally non-operational as a coffee shop, and at best intermittently functional as the movie-shooting location it claims to offer. This may sound like a structure in immediate need of replacement with a skyscraper, but heed the words of midcentury “Googie” architectural historian Alan Hess, who says the 1955 building “tells us as much about that period in L.A. history as the bungalows of Pasadena told us about the 1900s or the missions told us about 19th century Southern California,” embodying “all of the changes in L.A.: becoming suburban, auto-oriented, also becoming a city of the future." He speaks for a surprising number who value this, just as do Cooper and Schave, who have made Johnie’s acquisition of landmark status a very closely watched train indeed. I myself have taken two minds about Johnie’s, just as I have about practically everything else in Los Angeles. Despite feeling enamored, like most everyone, with what the pure Googie aesthetic evokes, I’d really like to, y’know, eat something there. Even more so, I’d like to see a subway station there, the looming construction of which reportedly had preservationists sweating for a few minutes.

Still, Cooper and Schave know too much to present themselves as either straight-up preservationists or (not that this counts as a word) redevelopmentists. Nor, even though they describe themselves as loving Los Angeles with a Banhamian “passion that goes beyond sense or reason,” do they come off as modern-day boosters. But their fascination itself functions as a valuable corrective to the kind of reflexively dismissive sentiment so often and so stultifyingly aired in Los Angeles’ direction. This doctrine regards any given one of the city’s assets as merely evidence of its deficiencies: its variety underscores its incoherence; its colorful history, a comparatively dull present; its recent proliferation of urban amenities, just how long it inexplicably did without the basic qualities of a city; and its great size, its great inconvenience. That last point actually still resonates with me, but then, I come from a different generation of Los Angeles obsessives — Johnies come lately, as it were — drawn by its new centripetal force, ever-increasing diversity and density, and weakening expectations of car and/or home ownership — but a generation that, perhaps for that reason, still has much to learn from a show like You Can’t Eat the Sunshine.

[Podthinker Colin Marshall, who has five Podthoughts to go before retirement, also hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture [iTunes] and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. He's working on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Contact him at colinjmarshall at gmail, follow him on Twitter @colinmarshall, or like his brand new Facebook page.]

Throwing Shade #113- Kinky Boots, Natural Hair, Gravity, Downton Tabby, and Special Guest Yeardley Smith

| 0 comments

Thanksgiving may be over, but we've only just begun to live...and talk. Kinky Boots causes an UP(Katy Perry's)ROAR for existing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 12 year old Vanessa Van Dyke breaks her school's handbook by having hair, and Bryan and Erin talk with the human version of one-dimensional feminist icon Lisa Simpson, Yeardley Smith.
Watch Us!  Every Wednesday on Funny or Die
Subscribe and Rate Us! iTunes
Tweet Us!  @gibblertron & @bryansafi Use the Hashtag #tspod
Email Us! shadethrowing@gmail.com
Like Us! Throwing Shade Facebook Page
Old School Listen! RSS FeedProud member of Max Fun Podcasting Network 

Wham Bam Pow Ep. 35 - Desperado

| 2 comments
Show: 
Wham Bam Pow
Guests: 
Glen Weldon

We're back this week with a review of Robert Rodriguez's Desperado, which has nothing to do with the song by the Eagles, as far as we can tell. Plus, we're joined by Pop Culture Happy Hour's Glen Weldon to chat about the Movie That Made Him, and we'll help you make the most of this holiday season by suggesting some excellent, sophisticated movie/food pairings.

Glen is the author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, and you can (and should!) follow him on Tumblr and Twitter.

For next week's show, we'll be watching Olympus Has Fallen, which is available now on Netflix Watch Instant.

Follow us on Twitter! Cameron is @cameronesposito, Rhea is @rheabutcher and Ricky is @rickycarmona. Discuss the show using the hashtag #WhamBamPow!

Don't forget about our Facebook and Tumblr pages. You can also email us at whambampow@maximumfun.org.

SUBSCRIBE TO THIS PODCAST in iTUNES or the RSS FEED

Ep. 37: Parenting Online

| 1 comment
Show: 
One Bad Mother
Guests: 
Kelle Hampton

Biz and Theresa discuss social media and parenting, from over-sharing to privacy settings to ignoring the fear that the internet is going to ruin your child's life. (I know my child is a genius but I did post that picture of her shitting in the tub, soooooo...life ruined?) Biz suggests the best way to get over the fear of not always being there for your child is to sit on them...forever. And, we talk with author and blogger Kelle Hampton, who learned when she gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome that honesty is the best tool a parent has.

Subscribe to One Bad Mother in iTunes
Join our mailing list!
Follow One Bad Mother on Twitter
Follow Biz on Twitter
Follow Theresa on Twitter
Check us out on Facebook and like us!

Share your genius and fail moments! Call 206-350-9485

Enjoying the Small Things
Follow Kelle @KelleHampton on Twitter
Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected -- A Memoir, by Kelle Hampton

Show Music
Opening theme: Summon the Rawk, Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Ones and Zeros, Awesome, Beehive Sessions (http://awesomeinquotes.com, also avail on iTunes)
Mom Song, Adira Amran, Hot Jams For Teens (www.adiraamram.com, available on iTunes)
Telephone, Awesome, Beehive Sessions (http://awesomeinquotes.com, also avail on iTunes)
Closing music: Mama Blues, Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans (www.cornbreadted.com)

Dave Hill's Podcasting Incident Ep. 80: Damien Neva from Next Model Management coaches Dave on his modeling dreams.

| 0 comments
Guests: 
Damien Neva
Guests: 
Shaina Feinberg, Ian Ball

The mysterious hiatus is over and Dave's bandages have been removed as episode 80 of Dave Hill's Podcasting Incident is here like a goddamn freight train. This time around I sit down with Damien Neva from Next Model Management for one of the most glamorous episodes yet. Get your shit together as Damien and I sit down to discuss topics including but not limited to what I need to do to take my modeling career to the next level, how hard it is to get a decent cappucino in America, what male models talk about in their most private of moments, that shithole Milan, Drakkar Noir, how he hates the smell of pancakes, and about 500 other topics most people can't handle. In short, this one pretty much has everything, including my secretary Shaina Feinberg and Ian Ball's Hot Jamz. For more information on this podcast and other important Dave-related topics, please visit my website at www.davehillonline.com. Also, follow me on Twitter at @mrdavehill. I really need this.

Stay street,
Dave Hill

Syndicate content