Maximum Fun

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Margaret Cho & Lisa Hanawalt

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Margaret Cho
Guests: 
Lisa Hanawalt

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

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Margaret Cho on Growing Up Korean American, Breaking Through in Comedy and Gay Men She Loved and Lost

[R] Whether it’s growing up as a Korean-American girl in San Francisco or breaking through the male-dominated world of stand-up comedy in the early nineties, Margaret Cho has always found a way use all of life’s experiences to create entertainment.

Cho famously co-created and starred in the first sitcom that focused on an Asian American family. "All-American Girl" was cancelled in its first season, but it became a part of American television history and helped lay the groundwork for sitcoms like "Fresh Off the Boat." Since then, Cho has continued her standup career, and appeared in numerous film and television shows including "Dr. Ken," "Family Guy," "Sex in the City" and on "30 Rock," where in separate episodes, she played North Korean dictators: Kim Jong Il and later his son Kim Jong-un.

Today, we're revisiting our conversation with Margaret Cho from last year. She sat down with Jesse to talk about beginning her career during the 90's comedy boom in San Francisco, growing up in a Korean immigrant family, and how the community around her family’s gay bookstore continues to touch and inspire her life.

Margaret Cho’s new album American Myth is now available on iTunes and on her website, MargaretCho.com. She also just launched a huge international tour of standup, called "Fresh off the Bloat." It kicked off just last week in Scotland.

Click here to listen to Margaret Cho's interview on YouTube!

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Lisa Hanawalt on BoJack Horseman, Food Obsessions and Martha Stewart’s Horse

Lisa Hanawalt enjoys exploring the strange ins and outs of her world using words and illustrations. She has a fondness for drawing anthropomorphized animals which often represent characters, including herself. Her work reveals a childlike wonder, even while exploring adult themes.

Her illustrations and writing have appeared in numerous print and online publications including McSweeney’s, Vanity Fair and the New York Times. In 2010, she earned the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Comic for her work on her first comic series, "I Want You."

Her work can be seen on Netflix’s "Bojack Horseman," where Hanawalt serves as production designer and producer. She can also be heard on the Maximum Fun podcast, Baby Geniuses, which she co-hosts with Emily Heller.

We spoke in 2016. In the interview, she sat down with Jesse to talk about her work on "BoJack Horseman," her latest book "Hot Dog Taste Test" and her fascination with Martha Stewart’s horse.

Click here to listen to Lisa Hanawalt's interview on YouTube!

Photo: Ezra Shaw, Getty Images.

The Outshot: Draymond Green

Finally, for this week's Outshot: Jesse praises a basketball player who may not get all the fame, but is no less deserving of the glory.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on YouTube!

Who Shot Ya? Episode 12: Thanksgiving!

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Show: 
Who Shot Ya?
Guests: 
Ricky Carmona
Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Drea Clark

It's turkey time, people. This week the gang is joined by film programmer and producer Drea Clark to talk about all things Thanksgiving. Ricky and the crew go over some of their favorite Thanksgiving moments in film, as well as what movies to see during the holiday weekend. Ricky calls out Thanksgiving movies for being way too white. Alonso delivers a passionate plea for cranberry sauce. April shares an embarrassing Thanksgiving memory featuring a crotchety aunt. And Drea gives us a peak into her "John Hughes" like adolescence. Plus, as always, everyone tries their best to Stump Alonso.

Weekly Movie Recommendations:

April - Mudbound
Alonso - Call Me By Your Name
Ricky - The Breakfast Club
Drea - Fruitvale Station

With Alonso Duralde, April Wolfe, Drea Clark, and Ricky Carmona.

You can let us know what you think of Who Shot Ya? at @WhoShotYaPod on Twitter. Or email us at whoshotya@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 3: The Invitation with Heather Matarazzo

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Heather Matarazzo

This week, April sits down with actress, producer, and director Heather Matarazzo (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Saved, The Princess Diaries). They talk about a movie directed by last week's guest Karyn Kusama, the 2015 film The Invitation. April and Heather discuss the effectiveness of the setting as well as the powerful performance of Tammy Blanchard. Heather also talks about what it's like navigating a corrupt Hollywood system as a woman, having her role recast two weeks before a production, and what interests her about violence committed by women in cinema.

If you haven't seen it yet, you must go watch The Invitation on Netflix now.

With April Wolfe and Heather Matarazzo

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Greta Gerwig & Pixar's Lee Unkrich

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Greta Gerwig
Guests: 
Lee Unkrich

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

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images.

Greta Gerwig on her new film: Lady Bird

You probably know Greta Gerwig as an actress - she starred in Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha and a bunch of other mumblcore indies. She's also been in Oscar contenders like Jackie and 20th Century Women. Now, she's written and directed a film of her own: Lady Bird. It’s a piece of work that is grounded in reality - the reality of growing up. And no exaggeration - it's one of our favorite movies from this year.

The protagonist is named Christine McPherson, but she'd rather you call her Lady Bird. She's played by Saoirse Ronan, she lives in Sacramento and the whole movie is set in 2002. It's almost like a period piece from the Bush years. You can bet anyone with a cell phone is rocking a flip phone. Greta talks with Jesse about growing up in Sacramento and the importance of writing the phrase "hella tight" in the script of a major motion picture.

Click here to listen to Greta Gerwig's interview on YouTube!

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Pixar’s Lee Unkrich on directing Coco.

For over 20 years, Lee Unkrich has been one of the leading creative voices at Pixar. He worked on Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, and a bunch more. He directed Toy Story 3, probably the darkest and most affecting of the movies in that series.

Now, he's directed Coco, the newest Disney Pixar movie. Set in Mexico, Coco is a story wrapped up in the Mexican day of the dead - Dia De Muertos. Lee Unkrich talk with Jesse about the making of Coco and lots more, especially his time working on 1993 USA classic police procedural Silk Stalkings back when Pixar was a side gig for him. What could be sexier than solving sex-related crimes on cable television in the 90's?

Click here to listen to Lee Unkrich's interview on YouTube!

The Outshot: E.B. White’s Death of a Pig

Finally, for this week's Outshot: E.B. White’s most eloquent words about a pig were not about Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web. Jesse talks about White's Death of a Pig, which was first published in The Atlantic in 1948.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on YouTube!

Who Shot Ya? Episode 11: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri w/ Inkoo Kang

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Show: 
Who Shot Ya?
Guests: 
Ricky Carmona
Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde
Guests: 
Inkoo Kang

On this week's episode the gang is joined by friend-of-the-show, film critic Inkoo Kang, to discuss Martin McDonagh's new film Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. Heads up: This episode features a provocative and heated debate about the film that pits April and Inkoo against Alonso and Ricky. Inkoo fills everyone in on the new Stephen Soderbergh "Choose Your Own Adventure" film, Mosaic. April challenges the Directors Guild of America to advocate for its female members. And of course, the holiday tradition continues with another installment of Stump Alonso.

In news, Gal Gadot confirms that Brett Ratner is not involved with Wonder Woman 2, Stephen Soderberg has a new series for your phone, the DGA announces a spike in the number of women and ethnic minorities hired as first time directors, and people are watching Netflix in the bathroom.

Weekly Movie Recommendations:

April - They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
Alonso - I'll Be Seeing You
Inkoo - Happy Valley
Ricky - Darkman

With Alonso Duralde, April Wolfe, Inkoo Kang and Ricky Carmona.

You can let us know what you think of Who Shot Ya? at @WhoShotYaPod on Twitter. Or email us at whoshotya@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 2: Near Dark with Karyn Kusama

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Karyn Kusama

This week, April sits down with director Karyn Kusama (Girl Fight, Jennifer's Body, The Invitation) to discuss the Kathryn Bigelow vampire classic, Near Dark. The two marvel at Bigelow's mastery in crafting a vampire western, the amazing performance of Bill Paxton as the villainous Severen, and the elegant cinematography throughout the film. Plus, Karyn talks about her journey as a director from discovering Michelle Rodriguez for Girl Fight, to subverting genre expectations for Jennifer's Body.

You can watch Karyn's most recent film The Invitation on Netflix.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch Near Dark.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Amy Sedaris & Paul Reiser

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Amy Sedaris
Guests: 
Paul Reiser

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

Photo: TruTV

Amy Sedaris on her new show: At Home with Amy Sedaris

Amy Sedaris made a career playing characters - and we say this with absolutely *zero* shade intended - people who are kind of grotesque and weird. The weirder the better. There's Jerri Blank from Strangers with Candy - a middle aged high school student with an overbite, weird highlights and a penchant for mom jeans. Or Mimi Kanasis, the crazed, kinda plastic-y socialite on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, too. But on her new show, At Home with Amy Sedaris, Amy pretty much plays herself. She talks with Jesse about how that's a transition out of her normal comfort zone.

Also discussed: rabbits (she has one), monkfish (they smell bad when their dead), and Girl Scout badges (she has them all!)

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Paul Reiser on dramatizing the Tonight Show's golden days.

Paul Reiser is, of course, a longtime standup. Alongside Helen Hunt, he starred in the hit sitcom Mad About You. And he's been acting a lot lately, too - he's great in Amazon's Red Oaks, Stranger Things, he was in Whiplash too. He's also the creator of a brand new TV series, it's called There's Johnny and it's premiering this week on Hulu.

It's set in the early 70s, behind the scene of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Reiser knew Carson about as well as anybody could and dishes on what it was like appearing on his show almost a dozen times, how the show came together and what it was like following up a hit show like Mad About You.

The Outshot: Who Needs Donuts?

Finally, for this week's Outshot: Who needs "Who Needs Donuts?" You need "Who Needs Donuts?"

Who Shot Ya? Episode10: Thor-Ragnarok

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Show: 
Who Shot Ya?
Guests: 
Ricky Carmona
Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Alonso Duralde

For those about to Ragnarok, we salute you. This week the gang takes on the new Marvel film, Thor: Ragnarok. Ricky is joyous over the return of the McRib to the McDonalds menu. April introduces the world to Rosaura Revueltas in another installment of Forgotten Women of Hollywood. And once again, the gang attempts to overthrow King Christmas himself, Alonso Duralde, in another round of Stump Alonso.

In news, Kevin Spacey gets recast, Disney lifts the ban on the LA Times, Dustin Hoffman is accused of sexual assault, and Disney may purchase 20th Century Fox.

Weekly Movie Recommendations:

April - The Divine Order
Alonso - Lady Bird
Ricky - I Am Thor

With Alonso Duralde, April Wolfe, and Ricky Carmona.

You can let us know what you think of Who Shot Ya? at @WhoShotYaPod on Twitter. Or email us at whoshotya@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 1: Bone Tomahawk with Emily Gordon

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Emily Gordon

On the debut episode of Switchblade Sisters, April talks with the writer and producer of The Big Sick, Emily Gordon. Things get gruesome quickly as the two of them discuss the 2015 horror-western, Bone Tomahawk. April and Emily examine what makes the movie so good; the insane violence, the heartbreaking monologues, the beautiful cinematography. Plus, Emily talks about the making of The Big Sick and how she uses her psychology background in her writing.

You can buy or rent The Big Sick today.

And if you haven't yet, go watch Bone Tomahawk .

With April Wolfe and Emily Gordon.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters: Coming November 9th

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Emily Gordon

Our debut episode drops this Thursday!

Make sure to subscribe where ever you listen to podcasts.

On the upcoming premiere episode, April Wolfe (lead film critic at LA Weekly) sits down with the writer and producer of The Big Sick, Emily Gordon. The genre film Emily chooses to discuss is the 2015, horror-western, Bone Tomahawk. Emily highlights the things she loves about the film; the crazy violence, the heartbreaking monologues, the beautiful cinematography. Plus, she also discusses what challenges and joys she encountered in the making of The Big Sick.

That's just a taste of what's to come. Some other upcoming guests include Karyn Kusama (Jennifer's Body, The Invitation) Heather Matarazzo (Welcome to the Dollhouse, The Princess Diaries) and Issa Lopez (Tigers Are Not Afraid).

The first episode of Switchblade Sisters arrives this Thursday, November 9th.

You can check us out on @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

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