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Podcast: The Chris Farley Show authors Tom Farley Jr. and Tanner Colby


Chris Farley burned brightly as a comic actor, rising quickly to enormous fame as a television and movie star. Unfortunately, he also crashed and burned. Writer Tanner Colby and Farley's brother, Tom Farley, have collaborated to tell Chris' story through the words of those who knew him in the book "The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts." We talk with Tom and Tanner about the life of this gifted and troubled comic.

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If you enjoyed this show, try these:
Belushi with Tanner Colby and Judith Belushi-Pisano (MP3)
New York Stories with Bill Hader and Roz Chast
Two Sides of a Coin with Dave Attell and Michael Showalter

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: alt.NPR


"Edgy" and "NPR" aren't terms you'd normally hear in the same sentence. "Edgy" and "alt.NPR" aren't terms you're going to hear bandied around together either, but NPR's podcast-only programming is a step in the right direction: the one leading to a transfusion of vital new lifeblood into public radio's rigid arteries, clogged over decades by conservatism of programming — ironic for an institution so tied in the public consciousness to liberalism — and a self-reinforcing feedback loop of audience expectations. (NOTE: The opinions expressed in Podthoughts are not necessarily those of, but I do know that Jesse's no more thrilled by A Prairie Home Companion than I am.)

We're thinking Podthoughts about three alt.NPR podcasts this week. First, B-Side Radio [iTunes link]. The key to this show is that This American Life is side A. Modulo a nuance or two, the programs share a format: a few "real people," sometimes the producers of the show itself, share stories, each related to a theme. The most obvious differences between B-Side and Ira Glass' juggernaut is that B-Side comes out monthly rather than weekly, contains (on the average) more stories per minute, and covers topics of slightly less consequence. That's not necessarily a bad thing — TAL's production tends to inflate the importance of its stories, which makes me cringe — but one must be in a certain state of mind to appreciate a cop who impersonates Fat Elvis on the side [stream], Mexican teen moms [stream] or video game nerds [stream]. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't puzzled as to why B-Side appears to have no higher aspiration than to be the junior varsity version of public radio's hippest, youngest show — average listener age: a spry 47! — but that modest ambition is more than enough to satisfy public radio addicts like you and me.

What Would Rob Do? [iTunes link] is a biweekly examination of "life's most trying dilemmas" from Rob Sachs, a producer and director on Tell Me More. It's a slightly less focused affair than it sounds: the dilemmas in the purview of Rob's assistance include staining your shirt (useful!), clogging a friend's toilet (useful!), getting trapped in an elevator (still pretty useful!), and, uh, auctioneering. A better title might be Who Would Rob Consult?: since his own knowledge seems unsuited to address any of these situations, Rob interviews experts to get the answers, as when he rings up Michael "Let's Get Ready to Rumble!" Buffer for advice on coming up with a catchphrase. This reduces Rob's own role to that of a goofy middleman, peppering his delivery of the information with an occasional corny remark, but he gets better at it every time. His conversations with whichever co-host happens to be around (sometimes Jordan, Jesse, Go! guest Mike Pesca) used to sound uncomfortably stiff and scripted, but they've become much more delightfully off-the-cuff with time.

Brini Maxwell strikes me as very much a Maximum Fun sort of homemaking guru, in that she's (a) satirical, but somehow simultaneously sincere and (b) a man in drag. The character gained traction on Manhattan public access television, segments of which program are available as a a vidcast, and then spent a couple years on the Style Network. Her current podcast project, alt.NPR's Brini Maxwell's Hints for Gracious Living [iTunes link], provides about five weekly minutes on the finer points of, most recently, making stew, making cheese, making friends who eat brunch, and making furniture (or at least talking to those who do). Unlike most forms of entertainment involving drag, Brini's show is both practical and not loaded with bad disco. Though the program's content runs thin at times, Brini's imitation of the late-50s through early-70s lifestyle aesthetic hits dead-on.

Stay tuned — more coverage of alt.NPR podcasts is on the way in a future installment of Podthoughts.

[Direct all correspondence to colinjmarshall at gmail. Podthoughts discussion thread available here.]

TSOYA is Live! in New York on Saturday Afternoon


The Sound of Young America is Live! in New York City on Saturday afternoon as part of Sketchfest NYC.

We're so happy to have Ze Frank, Jay Smooth, Pangea 3000 and Dawn Landes to entertain you.

Tickets are available now, so buy yourself some.
And tell a friend!

Ep. 64: In Front of the Mayor

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Jordan joins Twitter, and much is discussed, including brand loyalty and shame.

* Follow Jesse and Jordan on Twitter
* What was your most embarassing moment?
* Vote in March of Time Madness!


* Review the show on iTunes.
* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Have personal questions for Jesse and Jordan? Call 206-984-4FUN and tell us what they are!
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.

Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.

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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

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Rev. Al Green on Letterman


Watch through the end, and note that Al Green and David Letterman are in love.


Thanks to BV for hooking this up.

Program note for pre-pledge donors.


If you are a current monthly donor at $5, $10 or $20 per month, AND you started your donations BEFORE the most recent pledge drive, we'd like to send you a shirt to thank you for your continued support.

Please email your shirt size and mailing address to chris at by MONDAY, and we'll get you on the list for a shirt. Include your PayPal email if it's different from your regular email.

If you received an email from Chris and replied to it already, don't worry about this, you only have to get us your info once.

Thank you.

The Sound of Young America Posters SOLD OUT


My abysmal photography skills can't do justice to our stunning new Sound of Young America art print posters. As you can see, they depict a wild carnival scene, with a young couple and their adorable child enjoying some midway maximum fun. Looks like the gentleman has already won the lady a handsome teddy bear.

Each poster is individually hand-numbered in a limited edition of 100, and signed by yours truly. Every 14"x22" poster features unique variances in printing -- these are printed by a real carnival advertising company, who still run their shop like it was 1962. The posters are printed on heavy card stock, and are most certainly suitable for framing.


Making Popcorn in Your Microwave


The microwave popcorn industry is a hustle.

Here's how to make popcorn in your microwave:

Go to the store, and spend a dollar to buy a thing of brown paper lunchbags. Also buy a bag of popcorn.

Put a handful of popcorn in the bag, and add a little canola oil if you want (if you don't have spray canola, you can toss the kernels in a bit of canola before you put them in the bag). Fold over the top of the bag. Put it in the microwave, and microwave it for about two minutes (depends on your microwave).

You now have popcorn to eat, which is a healthy and tasty snack. And if you want, you can put weird shit on it like mustard powder or real butter or whatever you like.

And it'll cost like ten cents a "pop."


Nobody does gentle mockery like Mr. Dave Hill

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Celebrity field correspondent Mr. Dave Hill can say the meanest things in the world... AND HE ALWAYS SEEMS NICE. This is a superpower I would like to have. It is the perfect superpower for VISITING THE COMIC CONVENTION.

Wyatt Cenac's Daily Show Debut

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Friend of MaxFun Wyatt Cenac made his debut as a Daily Show correspondent last night, and he did a great job! Not as great as the big closer in his standup act, but that's because nothing could be that great. Except for the genuine article of course.

In other news, he's had a beard for a while now, and that's pretty great, too.


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