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Congratulations weight losers!


I lost about five pounds during the Maximum Fun Weight Loss Challenge... but the champion Lisette managed to drop about 8% of her total weight over the course of eight weeks! Congratulations Lisette!

We'll be sending Lisette a framed print of "Let's Go!" by MaxFunster Darryl From Montana. You can check out Darryl's beautiful work here. Many entrants pledged to donate twenty bucks to MaxFun if they lost, and I'd like to thank those folks as well.

We had a lot of good conversations about healthy living and how to lose weight without dumb crash diets or other unsustainable lifestyle changes. I'm really proud of everyone who participated!

Podcast: Chip Kidd at Bumbershoot

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Chip Kidd is one of the country's best-known designers. For the past twenty years, he's designed book covers for authors like Michael Crichton, David Sedaris, Cormac McCarthy and innumerable others. More recently, he's taken pen to page himself, writing two comic novels, "The Cheesemonkeys" and "The Learners."

This show was recorded live at the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival in Seattle, Washington.

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If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Adrian Tomine
Ze Frank
Jack Handey

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: All World Knowledge


Guests John Hodgman and Fred Rees. Is it possible to contain all of the world's knowledge within the boundaries of one book? One radio show? We find out here. John Hodgman can be seen on the Daily Show, heard on This American Life, and read in his new book The Areas of My Expertise. The book is a compendium of made-up facts more valuable than the vastest library. Fred Rees is creator of The Book of Cool, a DVD set (and book) that teaches you every cool skill you need in life, from pen-spinning to behind-the-back dribbling.

Chevy Chase on Howard Stern


Above is the first part of an amazing interview with Chevy Chase on the Howard Stern show. The segment runs about an hour, and you can hear the whole thing here. Stern can be base, and he isn't for everyone, but he most certainly is an amazing interviewer, and this is a very insightful interview, especially if you're interested in Chase and his history. Some inside stories about Bill Murray, Doug Kenney, Goldie Hawn and more.

Dave Eggers interviews Chris Elliott


At City Arts & Lectures in San Francisco. I used to work backstage at that theater!

Chris Elliott isn't just a comedy genius, he is also a really nice man. He's been on TSOYA a couple of times.

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: "The Paul Goebel Show"


There was once a Comedy Central show called Beat the Geeks, where contestants from all walks of life would test their knowledge of popular culture against that of one music geek, one television geek and one movie geek, plus a fourth spot filled by a series of more specialized geeks. An imbalance resulted from the fact that Joe Average tends only to know one or two particular musical genres intimately and doesn't see many movies. What J.A. does think he knows, however, is television, given that he's been habitually devoting his evenings to it for ten, twenty, thirty years, and thus feels pretty secure in his televisual scholarship. Despite how frequently he was challenged, however, the TV geek still routinely laid the smack down with his vast knowledge of the vast wasteland.

That television geek's name? Paul Goebel. Though Beat the Geeks now sleeps with the Tituses, the self-described King of TV now rides high on his very own eponymous podcast [iTunes link]. The sound quality is iffy, but the setup is tried and true: using the standard format employed by Never Not Funny, among other shows, Goebel and his best bud Jim Bruce bring in a different guest (usually a comedian) every week and, together with this guest, be it Mike Schmidt, TV's Frank, Graham Ellwood or whomever, bullshit about culture. (For hardcore Podthinkers, yes, this makes the program a bona fide TFWGBAC, where the F is for fortysomething.)

Bullshit is the right word to use, too, because boy, these guys work blue. In the first handful of episodes I heard, Goebel and co. had rousing discussions about running away from a threesome while crying, how to most politely handle the situation when the girl you bring home turns out to be a man, and the joys of jumping to bed with 40-year-old women of various ethnicities after getting a vasectomy — or after telling them you've gotten a vasectomy, I'm not sure which. Its essentially a bunch of early-middle-aged guys — sometimes a woman shows up — hanging out, cursing like hobo sailors and accusing one another of homosexuality. A real lunchtime-at-the-job-site ethos, except sometimes Goebel's little kids will wander into the room and ask Dad when he's going to be done. Oh, and Goebel teaches Sunday school sometimes.

Since this is the King of TV's podcast, it's only to be expected that the best and worst of lineups past and current come up frequently, but this is by no means a show primarily about television. Your Podthinker doesn't even own a television and can still find plenty to engage with. The guys toss around opinions about all forms of media, the Most Important Election EverTM, Bruce Willis' daughter, the term "butterface" and the vagaries of the comedy world. Whether a listener will like the show comes right down to whether they like Goebel and his coterie and consider their rough-hewn straight talk to be just what the world needs, or whether they think the crew's deeply unsavory and representative of everything wrong with the world. But either way, it's pretty hard to argue with how funny it is when Jim "mashes up" two pop culture concepts (e.g., the Monkees and Monk or American Idol and an actual car idling), acts out the combination and makes Paul and the guest guess what he's doing.

Vital stats:
Running since: June 2006
Duration: 45m-1h45m
Frequency: just about weekly
Archive available on iTunes: way too little

[Freelance podthinker Colin Marshall asks if you've paid your respects to David Foster Wallace. If you ask him at colinjmarshall at gmail, he'll say he has. Suggest a podcast for Podthoughts here, or submit your own podcast for the next by-Max-Funsters column here.]

Preliminary Schedule


Scroll to June 12-14th, 2009 to check out the preliminary schedule for MaxFunCon!

The Best of Radio Lab


I just got back from the Public Radio Program Directors convention here in Los Angeles. Lucky for you, my trip around the convention floor scored an awesome prize for you guys.

I nabbed three copies of "Behaves So Strangely: The Best of Radio Lab (Volume One)." As you might know, Radio Lab is one of my favorite shows on radio (and podcast), and I'm proud to share a timeslot with the program on WNYC. It's so fantastic. You can listen to my interview with Jad and Robert, the hosts, here.

If you want to WIN one of these CDs, which are promo-only, and you're a MaxFun donor, email your address to Casey the Intern at He'll pick three winners on Monday.

One way or the other, I urge you to check out Radio Lab, which is one of the 10 best things ever.

E-40 f. Turf Talk Got Rich Twice

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"Drug terminology, corner talk that's all I know / California mentality, ask about me pimp: I go!"

After that awful first single with Akon, I'm getting excited about 40 Fonzarelli again. It'd be nice to get a verse from Turf, though, speaking of that go.

Attention All Donors! Brian Wilson Wants to Give You His New Vinyl.


To all donors: we have a nifty contest for you. We recently came in possession of some copies of the new Brian Wilson record, "That Luck Old Sun," on special edition 180 gram vinyl. But not only that, we also have 7" vinyl singles of Brian Wilson's "Midnight's Another Day." We have decided that the nice thing to do would be to give them away as a package to the wonderful donor's of All you have to do is answer the following question:
What album took Brian Wilson 37 years to complete, and was finally released in 2004?

E-mail your answers to

Attention Again: We have selected the winners and they will be notified as soon as we figure out how many vinyls we can send out. Thanks for entering. You guys are so smart.

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