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Pop Rocket Ep. 199 Hip Hop, Pop, and Mental Health w/ Clarkisha Kent

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Margaret Wappler, Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, Clarkisha Kent, Karen Tongson
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Karen Tongson
Guests: 
Clarkisha Kent

Kanye West’s rambling, pro-Trump speech on SNL late September may have surprised casual observers, but by that point, his fans had heard both his outrageous statements and his frank talk about mental health for months. Charlagmane tha God lamented his canceled TimesTalk with Kanye on Instagram as a missed opportunity, writing, "Normalizing being mentally healthy is a conversation that I really wanted to have with Kanye because he's been so vocal about his own mental health struggles. Unfortunately, I think to have that conversation with him right now would not be productive and a total distraction from the point of the convo which is to eradicate the stigma of mental health especially in the black community."

Well, we’re going to have that conversation today and we're joined by Clarkisha Kent, film and pop culture critic- known to some as a "professional hater." The panelists discuss rapper Mac Miller's death, Chris Brown's history of domestic violence, and Jay-Z's openness about lacking the necessary emotional tools for marriage, among other things.

To be clear, we are not medical professionals.

All Abouts

Margaret is all about Lucy McBath. Lucy is the newly elected Representative of Georgia's 6th Congressional district. She is a national spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which she joined after her son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed in what is believed to be a hate crime.

Karen is all about Sharice Davids. She's one of the two Native American women elected to Congress in the midterm election and represents Kansas's 3rd district.

Clarkisha is all about the Twitter beef between herself and other black critics and Rebel Wilson over Rebel's claim that she is the first plus-sized woman to lead a romantic comedy.

Wynter is all about Season 4: The Dream Door of the Syfy channel's horror anthology TV show "Channel Zero."

That's My Jam

Margaret - Jamie Isaac - Doing Better

Karen - Ariana Grande - thank u, next

Clarkisha - The New Respects - Something to Believe In

Wynter - Tori Amos - Cornflake Girl

With Wynter Mitchell-Rohrbaugh, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, and Clarkisha Kent.

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria. This episode was engineered by Christian Dueñas.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Kamasi Washington & Simon Rich

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Kamasi Washington
Guests: 
Simon Rich

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.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Kamasi Washington on Street Fighter II, South Los Angeles, and Touring with Snoop Dogg

Saxophonist Kamasi Washington is one of the most talented jazz musicians around. He's collaborated with Thundercat, Ryan Adams, Flying Lotus, Run the Jewels - that's just naming a handful. On Kendrick Lamar's classic "To Pimp A Butterfly," you can hear his saxophone and arranging work, too.

To define Kamasi Washington by the people he's collaborated with, however, would be doing him a disservice. He's recorded about half a dozen solo records. He's a dynamic, thrilling composer and bandleader.

If you love the work of Alice Coltrane or Pharoah Sanders, you'll hear something familiar in Kamasi's music. Like them, Kamasi writes songs from a transcendent, spiritual place. It's strange and lush. There's usually a melody that hypnotizes you. The songs run long, but just like the free jazz greats, you'll lose yourself in them.

Kamasi was born in the 80s, raised in Los Angeles, and he grew up listening to jazz classics, but also N.W.A., Marvin Gaye, and Snoop. The music he makes is eclectic. It's why his albums have ended up on so many critics' top 10 lists, and it's also why those same critics often ask whether Kamasi Washington is the one to make jazz a young person's game again.

His latest album Heaven and Earth is out now, and he's also touring North America.


Photo:Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Simon Rich Reads from His Latest Book: Hits and Misses

Simon Rich is one of Jesse's favorite comedy writers. He started young: first as editor of the Harvard Lampoon, then, at just 23, Simon was hired as a writer on SNL. He's also written for Pixar, The New Yorker, and is the author of seven books. He created the FXX TV series Man Seeking Woman and just had another pilot picked up by ABC.

Simon hasn't even turned 35 yet.

Earlier this year he wrote a book called Hits & Misses. It's a collection of short stories - some of his funniest work to date. This week, he reads us a story called "New Client."

Click here to listen to Simon Rich read from his latest book on YouTube.

Ep 17: Go Fact Yourself with Louis Virtel and Laraine Newman

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Jerome Vered, Helen Hong, Laraine Newman, J. Keith Van Straaten, Donnie Dunagan
Guests: 
Louis Virtel & Laraine Newman
Guests: 
J. Keith Van Straaten
Guests: 
Helen Hong
Guests: 
Jerome Vered
Guests: 
Donnie Dunagan

Louis Virtel is a comedian and a co-host of the podcast Keep It. He’s also the winner of Jeopardy, whose Double Jeopardy celebration went viral shortly after it aired on TV.

Laraine Newman returns to Go Fact Yourself, this time as a contestant. Newman is best known as an original cast member of the Not Ready for Primetime Players on Saturday Night Live, and she was a founding member of the legendary Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles. If she sounds familiar to you, you may recognize her as the voice of Crab Lady on SpongeBob SquarePants, Nana from Trollhunters: Tale of Arcadia and lots of other shows.

In this episode, we’ll learn how Louis’s love of publicly answering trivia questions stems from a 3rd-grade spelling bee that he came up short in and why the winners of Jeopardy love keeping in touch with each other after their victories. Laraine will explain why she never tires of hearing people announce her name in the fashion of SNL’s Don Pardo, and how she decides what the voice of each of her characters sound like.

What’s the difference?

What’s the difference between a “thumbs up” sign and the “okay” sign in SCUBA diving?

What’s the difference between a “Dead-End” and a “No-Outlet” on the road?

Areas of Expertise
Louis Virtel: Jeopardy, world capitals, and Aimee Mann.
Laraine Newman: Electronic Dance Music, cooking, Universal horror movies from the 1930’s and 40’s.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Louis Virtel
Laraine Newman

With guest experts:
Jerome Vered, writer and all-time winner of Jeopardy.

Donnie Dunagan, U.S. Marine Corp Drill instructor and the voice of the titular character in the Disney movie Bambi.

Go Fact Yourself was devised by Jim Newman and J. Keith van Straaten, and produced in collaboration with Maximum Fun. The show is recorded at the Angel City Brewery in downtown Los Angeles.

Theme Song by Jonathan Green.
David McKeever is the Live Sound Engineer.
Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher.
The show is edited by Julian Burrell.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Geena Davis and Jack Handey

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Geena Davis
Guests: 
Jack Handey

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.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Geena Davis on Gender Diversity, Archery and Quieting the Inner Critic

Geena Davis has made a lasting impression as an actress both on film and television in her roles in "Beetlejuice," "Thelma and Louise," "A League of Their Own," "The Accidental Tourist" and "Commander in Chief." Her performances have resulted in acclaim and a lengthy career both in front and behind the camera. It's also garnered her a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

Davis is just as committed to her work for gender awareness and diversity in film and television. She founded the research-based Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, to educate, and influence, the entertainment industry with regard to gender representation on screen. Davis also founded the Bentonville Film Festival, which showcases films featuring minorities and women in both cast and crew and which guarantees distribution to the festival's winners.

Geena Davis joined Jesse on Bullseye in 2016 and spoke about gaining confidence in voicing her opinions on set, how she feels about being recognized in public and how quieting her inner-critic helped her to almost qualify as an archer for the Summer Olympic games.

Today, her work at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is still going strong and they're doing a lot of really insightful, fascinating work. You can also see Geena Davis on the new season of "Grey's Anatomy" on ABC.

Click here to listen to Geena Davis's interview on YouTube.


Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Humorist Jack Handey confirms that yes, he is a real person

Make a few clicks on the internet and you'll run across ten fake "Deep Thoughts," and if you're lucky, a few real ones. Our guest Jack Handey created the seminal "Saturday Night Live" interstitial segment and authored several book collections of the material. He also wrote numerous other classic Saturday Night Live sketches, from "Happy Fun Ball" to "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer." He's been writing in The New Yorker's Shouts and Murmurs section, and these writings, plus work for Outside Magazine and other publications, have been collected in the hilarious "What I'd Say To The Martians: and Other Veiled Threats."

We spoke to Jack in 2008. What's he up to lately? Jack is still writing for The New Yorker, still putting out books, too. His latest book is "Please Stop The Deep Thoughts," which just came out last year.

Click here to listen to Jack Handey's interview on YouTube.

The Outshot: Zombo.com

Jesse on the lingering amusement provided by the absurd and simple website, Zombo.com.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on Zombo.com on YouTube.

Ep 12: Go Fact Yourself with Drew Droege & Chelsey Crisp

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(l - r) J. Keith Van Straaten, Helen Hong, Laraine Newman, Drew Droege, Chelsey Crisp, Michael Jay
Guests: 
Drew Droege & Chelsey Crisp
Guests: 
Drew Droege
Guests: 
Chelsey Crisp
Guests: 
Laraine Newman

In this episode, actor and comedian Drew Droege faces off against Chelsey Crisp of “Fresh Off the Boat”.

We learn lots of interesting facts about Drew and Chelsey in this episode. Chelsey, now a vegan, recalls what it was like eating leeches on Fear Factor. Before Drew began starring in the Charles Busch play Die, Mommie Die!, he was most recognized for his Chloe Sevigny videos. Ever wonder what it’s like to achieve a certain level of fame doing impressions of someone even more famous...and then run into that person at a party? Droege does.

On Go Fact Yourself, it’s not uncommon for the guest experts to be as accomplished as our guests, and Chelsey and Drew were thrilled to meet their respective experts. In fact, one of our experts shares some news about a certain French Canadian chanteuse that’s never been revealed in public before.

Do YOU Know the Difference?
What is the difference between a AMIABLE and AMICABLE?
What is the difference between REFUTE and REBUT?

Areas of Expertise
Chelsey’s Crisp: Celine Dion music, Vegan Food, and Self-tanning tips
Drew Droege: 1970s Movies, Serial Killers, “Saturday Night Live”

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Chelsey Crisp,
Drew Droege,

With guest experts:
Laraine Newman
Songwriter Michael Jay

Go Fact Yourself was devised by Jim Newman and J. Keith van Straaten, and produced in collaboration with Maximum Fun. The show is recorded at the Angel City Brewery in downtown Los Angeles.

Theme Song by Jonathan Green
David McKeever is the Live Sound Engineer.
Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher
The show is edited by Julian Burrell

Inside Pop Ep. 118- Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy, A Quiet Place, Children of a Lesser God, Saturday Night Live, P!nk

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Show: 
Inside Pop

This week we have a proverbial pop culture hat trick with a trifecta of TV, Film and Music covered in our episode.

It may seem like there was not a time before you knew Cardi B existed – but she’s just released her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, and we’re telling you what we think of it- plus sharing our thoughts on her SNL performance (and her SNL ‘announcement’).

We review the number one movie of the week, A Quiet Place and the broadway revival of Children of a Lesser God and discuss how each portrays its hearing impaired characters.

And Amita talks about the swinging time she had with P!nk at Madison Square Garden.

Plus the Big Sell!

And we tell you why the time is NOW to become a member of the Maximum Fun podcast network!

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @PopInsiders

Like us on Facebook

Pop Rocket Ep. 167: Problematic Faves

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Show: 
Pop Rocket

This week, Guy, Karen, Wynter and Margaret bare their souls and confess their problematic faves. Not sure what that means? Don’t worry. They break it down.

Wynter Mitchell is all about Cynthia Nixon running for governor of New York. Margaret Wappler is all about Nina Riggs’ memoir The Bright Hour. Karen’s digging CBS All Access’ The Good Fight, and Guy has just discovered The Supersizers Go

With Karen Tongson, Guy Branum, Margaret Wappler and Wynter Mitchell.

That’s My Jam:

Margaret Wappler - Led Zeppelin - Good Times Bad Times
Karen Tongson - Tove Styrke - I Changed My Mind
Guy Branum - Topsy Turvy - Three Little Maids (The Mikado)

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to our Spotify playlists.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Episode 160: The Fourth Estate in Film

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Louis Virtel
Guests: 
April Wolfe

This week, Louis Virtel takes over hosting duties to talk about The Post and journalism movies with Margaret and special guest April Wolfe! What kind of stories would the gang like to see in the future? Is Broadcast News secretly creepy?

Plus, Louis LOVES awards season, April talks SNL, and Margaret discusses Kesha's Grammy performance and her legal feud with Dr. Luke.

With Louis Virtel, Wynter Mitchell, April Wolfe and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:

Margaret Wappler - Rayvn Lenae - Sticky
April Wolfe - Tweak Bird - Whorses
Louis Virtel - Colonel Adams - I'm Not Gonna Let You

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to our Spotify playlists.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas for MaximumFun.org.

Pop Rocket Episode 102: Farewell

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Wynter, Oliver, and Margaret
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Oliver Wang
Guests: 
Guy Branum

This week, Margaret hosts a very bittersweet episode with the whole gang present (Guy via phone). This is Oliver Wang’s last show as a co-host, and the gang is talking about pop culture farewells. They talk about the departure of which characters affected them most growing up, good and bad series finale’s, and the most recent pop culture departures that really got to them. And later, Guy joins the conversation to talk about their latest jams and to say his own farewell.
P.S. because this show is about **farewells** please note that there will be many spoilers. Breaking Bad, The Affair, Seinfeld, 90210, The Walking Dead, The Wire, The Sopranos, Sex And The City, La La Land are among some of the TV and movies discussed.

That’s My Jam:
Margaret Wappler - Ragged Wood
Guy Branum - Adventures in Paradise
Wynter Mitchell - A Solid Wall Of Sound

Oliver Wang - Always In My Heart

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Other Links:
Days of Being Wild Opening
Santa Barbara Soap Opening
Saturday Night Live
The Face Collection of Books

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Pop Rocket: Episode 101 The Crown with Karen Tongson and Chris Schleicher

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Guy, Margaret, Chris and Karen
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Chris Schleicher
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

This episode, Guy and Margaret are joined by two very special guests to talk about Netflix’s most expensive series The Crown. They talk about Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, whether Prince Philip is hot or not, and who has played the best Elizabeth on screen. Have smart phones ruined bathroom meditation? Did the Gilmore Girls reboot live up to expectations? And is Julio Torres leading the way in writing smart comedy about queer experience?(***hint, the answer is a resounding yes***). And as always, the panel will delight you with their latest jams and what they are all about.

That’s My Jam:
Margaret Wappler - Playing Elevator
Guy Branum - Am I The Same Girl
Chris Schleicher - Camelot Finale
Karen Tongson - All Time Low

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Other Links:
Insight Timer
Sorority: The Woods
Jackie
Scott Thompson as Queen Elizabeth II
Fred Armisen as Queen Elizabeth II on SNL
Wells For Sensitive Boys

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

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