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

We're at 1035!


We're only 165 new donors short of our goal of 1200. Anticipation is building at MaxFun World HQ. I think we can blow the lid off of our goal in the last 36 hours of the drive. Let's go!

If you haven't become a donor, there isn't much time to do so and get our awesome thank-you gifts.

Ready... steady... GO!



80% of the way to our goal! 958 new donors!

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We've only got 242 new donors to go to reach our goal of 1200 donors. Thank you a thousand times over for your support, everyone!

If you haven't taken care of business yet... DO IT NOW!

And remember that our live show is coming Sunday night at 7 pacific, right here at

Greg Mottola, Director of Superbad, Adventureland, Paul and more: Interview on The Sound of Young America

Greg Mottola

Greg Mottola is a director whose films and TV shows often capture the sweet, funny, embarrassing but very real moments of being an adolescent. He's directed Superbad, starring past guest Michael Cera, Adventureland, The Day Trippers and episodes of Undeclared and Arrested Development. His newest film Paul (which features Bill Hader) is out March 18th and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as English geeks road-tripping from Comic-Con, living out some of their sci-fi fantasies when an alien joins them on their trip.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest is the filmmaker Greg Mottola. He’s had an interesting career path. His first film, The Day Trippers, was released in the mid-1990s and was a success in the world of indie film, but it took ten years for him to release his next film. He worked in television on shows like Undeclared, which was part of the launching pad of the vast Judd Apatow comedy empire, and Arrested Development, among others. His first film after his first film was the international megahit, Superbad. He’s since made Adventureland, a really sweet and hilarious coming of age comedy set in an amusement park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and his latest film is a road trip comedy with tones of the 1980s supernatural adventure film called Paul. It’s about two geeks who come to America from England to visit the San Diego Comic-Con and go on a road trip of alien sites and find themselves on the road trip with a real alien in their car. Greg Mottola, welcome to The Sound of Young America.

GREG MOTTOLA: Thank you Jesse, pleasure to be here.

Click here for a full transcript of this interview.

800 Donors! 400 To Go!


Our beautiful thermometer is filling up with, uhm, temperature mercury.

We're now 2/3 of the way to our goal of 1200 new donors... but with only FOUR DAYS LEFT, we need 100 donors each day to make our goal.

You should become a supporter NOW.

Ira Glass and Damian Kulash on Internet

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Session 3: May the Best Band Win from Ford Foundation on Vimeo.

Two great past TSOYA guests, Ira Glass and Damian Kulash of OK Go chat about the power of INTERNET at the Ford Foundation.

Special guest appearance by a CERTAIN JUDGE.

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 166: Dress Mess with Maria Bamford

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Maria Bamford

Maria Bamford joins Jesse and Jordan to pitch reality shows and so forth.

Judge John Hodgman Ep. 16: The Potluck Problem

Judge John Hodgman

Two best friends disagree on the morality of the potluck. One says it's a great opportunity for everyone to pitch in. One says it's a sign of a host who's abdicated responsibility for the party. Only one man can decide who's right.

To view the evidence for this case, CLICK HERE.

Our Pledge Drive Goals


Why are we even having a pledge drive?

I'll tell you why.

First of all, we want to increase the staff of The Sound of Young America. For the last three months, producer Julia Smith has been working full-time on the show. I've paid for 40% of her salary out of my own pocket. The extra time Julia's hard work affords me is the biggest reason I've been able to add Judge John Hodgman to our lineup. We need to raise money so Julia can have a full-time job at a reasonable wage.

Theoretically, The Sound of Young America editor Nick White works for us two days a week. The reality is that it's more like three, and even that's compressed. I want to hire him to work on The Sound four days a week, so we can have more highly-produced episodes like our interview with Mavis Staples last month.

Similarly, our costs in producing The Sound are increasing all the time. We've been running lots of comedy in the show the last year or so - something in almost every episode. We pay the people who write that material, and we pay for studios all over the world in which they're recorded. More and more, also, we have to book studios for Sound guests who aren't in Los Angeles. Two out of our four pledge drive episodes were taped in a studio we booked in New York, for example. We're also moving this month - we need more room to accommodate the four people who work in our office.

Theresa, our development director, has been working without a salary for about six months. She's a vital part of MaxFunCon, arranges all of our road shows, manages relations with donors and underwriters, and is generally indispensable. She needs to get paid for her work.

Speaking of getting paid for their work, we have a group of amazing podcasters who deserve to be paid more! We've been giving My Brother, My Brother and Me a monthly check, but it's for a modest amount that will be increased after the pledge drive. We also want to increase the monthly checks that Stop Podcasting Yourself and Jordan get. All of these folks are working incredibly hard, and they deserve to be compensated for their efforts.

We're making content that isn't designed as a wrapper for advertisements or as a lowest-common-denominator mass market product. We're making stuff that you care about and that we care about. I think it's worth your support.

Everything we do, we do because people like you donate. Thousands of them. I appreciate if you send us $200 a month, and I appreciate if you send us $2 a month. What's important to me is that if you like and care about the work we're doing, you give.

Do your part today, and see how great it feels.

Bill Hader, Actor and Comedian: Interview on The Sound of Young America

Hader as FBI Agent Haggard in the new movie "Paul".
Bill Hader

Bill Hader has been a cast member of Saturday Night Live for several years, and has become known for his impressions, from Vincent Price and Alan Alda to Al Pacino.

His last appearance on The Sound was in 2007, shortly before his appearances in a spate of movies including Superbad, Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder, Hot Rod, and Adventureland.

His newest role is in the film Paul, a sci-fi comedy about two English comic book nerds touring alien sites in the American Southwest. Hader plays an FBI agent who becomes involved in tracking the nerds after they pick up a stray alien. The film comes out March 18th.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest on the program, Bill Hader, has been a cast member of Saturday Night Live for quite a number of years now; he’s also managed to worm his way into some of the best comedy films of the past ten years, including movies like Tropic Thunder and Superbad, among many others. He’s now featured in the new film, Paul, which is just about to hit theaters, and of course, he’s in the current season of Saturday Night Live. Bill, welcome back to The Sound of Young America.

BILL HADER: Thanks for having me, man.

Click here for a full transcript of this interview.
Click here to stream or download this podcast!

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