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Switchblade Sisters Episode 88: 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' with 'Grown-ish' Writers Melanie Kirschbaum & Alexandra Decas

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Guests: 
Melanie Kirschbaum
Guests: 
Alexandra Decas

Drop Dead Gorgeous

Melanie Kirschbaum started her LA career working for Jeff and Jackie Filgo, and then Vali Chandrasekaran on Modern Family, while Alexandra Decas was with Jonathan Groff on Black-ish. The two met when their bosses were working on a pilot together, and they decided to join forces when they found themselves standing outside of their offices at Disney, bemoaning their crappy Tinder matches. They wondered, presumably aloud, "If Elizabeth Smart has it all figured out — a husband, a career, great hair — what’s our excuse?" So they wrote a one-act play entitled "Smart" to get to the bottom of it, as well as a comedic one-act about 9/11 called "Center of the Universe." After that, they joined the Netflix/Dreamworks show The Boss Baby: Back in Business as staff writers, but then hit some network gold when they were staffed on the critically acclaimed hit show Grown-ish, a spinoff of Black-ish that follows Zoey Johnson as she navigates college life. Grown-ish was just renewed for season 3 and can be seen on Freeform.

The movie that Alex and Mel have chosen to discuss is an important film for Minnesotans everywhere - 1999's Drop Dead Gorgeous. The two of them and April marvel at the fact that this movie is so inappropriate by today's standards - but still so funny! The two writers open up about how their writing process used to be incredibly unorthodox. One of them is outed as a frequent "office cryer." And, of course, the conversation covers something April is very passionate about - the eyebrow styles of the 1990s.

You can see Grown-ish on Freeform.

And if you haven't seen Drop Dead Gorgeous yet, go watch it!

With April Wolfe, Melanie Kirschbaum and Alexandra Decas.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 87: 'Blacula' with 'Jezebel' Director Numa Perrier

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Guests: 
Numa Perrier

Blacula

Born in Haiti and raised in small town USA, Numa Perrier is a Los Angeles-based actor, filmmaker, and artist. Early in her acting career, she landed a recurring role on General Hospital, but now you can see her on SMILF and films including Florida Water, Jerico, In The Morning, and Beautiful Destroyer. An early creator in the digital space, she starred in and was co-writer of the web series 'The Couple' which landed an HBO deal. She later started writing a script for her first feature, which would become Jezebel. That project was accepted into the Tribeca Film Institute "Through Her Lens" incubation program. Now Jezebel is premiering at SXSW 2019. The film follows 19-year-old Tiffany as she deals with her dying mother and tries to make ends meet when her older phone sex operator sister grooms her to become one of the first black webcam girls in the 1990s.

The movie that Numa has chosen to discuss is a classic - 1972's Blacula. She and April go deep on their discussion of William Marshall's intense, Shakespearean portrayal of the eponymous vampire. Plus, they dissect how radical this film was in terms of its portrayal of black men on screen. Numa opens up about the making of her own movie, Jezebel. She gives some great advice on filming and completing a micro-budget film. Plus, she discusses the double standard that low budget black filmmakers face versus their white counterparts.

You can see Jezebel out this fall.

And if you haven't seen Blacula yet, go watch it!

With April Wolfe and Numa Perrier.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 86: 'Black Christmas' with 'Night of the Comet' & 'Chopping Mall' Star Kelli Maroney

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Guests: 
Kelli Maroney

Black Christmas

Kelli first got her big break in daytime TV, both as the evil adolescent Kimberly in Ryan's Hope and then as vengeful Tina in One Life to Live. Her film debut as the ‘Spirit Bunny’ Cindy Carr in Fast Times at Ridgemont High caught a lot of attention, but Kelli achieved her greatest enduring cult popularity with her delightful turn as the endearingly spunky Samantha in the science-fiction end-of-the-world Night of the Comet. She’s especially memorable as the sweet, killer-robot slayer Alison Parks in the entertaining romp, cult classic Chopping Mall, and as Jamie, a strong female survivor in The Zero Boys, as well as many other films.

The movie that Kelli has chosen to discuss is especially prescient because our host April Wolfe just happens to be writing the remake of the film. That's right, Kelli has chosen to discuss the 1974 classic, Black Christmas. She and April discuss Kelli's career in horror, and how Kelli takes great joy from the fact that horror has recently received the respect it has always deserved. She also talks about "embracing her crap" and coming to terms with the fact that she is most remembered for her cult and horror films. But she also elaborates on how honored she is by the support she receives from the fans of her work, and how meaningful that relationship is to her. Plus, she has a great story about how an off-the-cuff line she said while shooting a machine gun became one of Night of the Comet's most famous lines.

If you haven't seen any of Kelli's films, Night of the Comet is a great place to start.

And go watch Black Christmas too, while you're at it.

With April Wolfe and Kelli Maroney.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

The JV Club Ep. 328: John C. McGinley

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Show: 
The JV Club
Guests: 
John C. McGinley

Boys of Summer rolls on as JV sits down with her friend and Stan Against Evil co-star John C. McGinley to yak about lazy susans and big families, endurance in sports and Broadway, and much more, including insight and information on Down Syndrome and the amazing Global Down Syndrome Foundation, which you can check out and support via this link!

Hosted by Janet Varney.

Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Ep 30: Go Fact Yourself with Sasheer Zamata and Samm Levine

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Jay Kogen, J. Keith van Straaten, Samm Levine, Helen Hong, Sasheer Zamata
Guests: 
Sasheer Zamata & Samm Levine
Guests: 
Cat Thomas & Jay Kogen

"The Simpsons," Quentin Tarantino and comedy come together on Go Fact Yourself!

Sasheer Zamata is best known for her roles on "Saturday Night Live" and as the host of the variety showcase Sasheer Zamata Party Time. She’ll tell us about why a very... confusing invasion of her privacy has her so protective of her personal possessions.

Sasheer will go up against actor Samm Levine, who you may know from the Quentin Tarentino film Inglorious Basterds. He’s also in the beloved, but short-lived, TV series "Freaks and Geeks." He’s heard from a lot of fans who say they wish that show hadn’t ended so abruptly. But good news: he’ll share his solution to keeping "Freaks and Geeks" going for just a little longer.

What’s the difference: Space

What’s the difference between a meteor and a meteorite?

What’s the difference between a nook and a cranny?

Areas of Expertise

Sasheer Zamata: Beyonce, the films Kill Bill: Vol. I and Kill Bill: Vol. II and show choir.

Samm Levine: The first three Die Hard movies, poker and "The Simpsons" seasons 3-9.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Sasheer Zamata
Samm Levine

With guest experts:

Cat Thomas, award-winning costume designer for film and television.

Jay Kogen writer for "The Simpsons"

This episode is sponsored by The Big Quiz Thing and the Maximum Fun Jumbotron program.

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

Theme Song by Jonathan Green.
Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher.
The show is edited by Julian Burrell.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Lily Tomlin and Rick Moranis

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Lily Tomlin
Guests: 
Rick Moranis

[r]

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: Greg Gorman

Rick Moranis on growing up Jewish, Canadian comedy, and quitting showbusiness

This week on Bullseye, Jesse brings you some of his favorite interviews from 2013. The first of which is his conversation with Rick Moranis. You know him from Strange Brew, Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Honey I Shrunk the Kids. He is the bespectacled man in argyle socks, who plays nerdy characters with goofy dad jokes. In the late 80's and early 90's, it seemed like he was the star of every family friendly comedy to hit the big screen. But, after his wife passed away in 1991, he quit the movie business, to raise his children. The last time he has been seen on screen was 20 years ago, in Honey We Shrunk Ourselves.

Nearly a decade after pretty much signing out of show business, Moranis returned in 2005 with a Grammy-winning album of original music, Agoraphobic Cowboy. In 2013, Moranis released his second album My Mother's Brisket and Other Love Songs, which is a collection of comedic music inspired by Moranis's Jewish upbringing in Toronto.

Jesse and Rick talk about his first job selling hockey programs in the nosebleed section, SCTV and the ironic outcome of his famous nose-thumbing at Canadian content laws, and his decision to be a stay-at-home father.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Rick Moranis!

Lily Tomlin on being someone else... in her own way

Lily Tomlin is a comedic actress if there ever was one. She has incredible rang, whether she's playing a precocious six-year-old on Laugh-In or a pill-popping sixty-six year old on HBO's Eastbound & Down, Lily inhabits her roles in a way that few performers can. She was nominated for an Oscar for her 1976 performance in Nashville, as well as being awarded the Mark Twain Prize for humor back in 2003.

Back in 2013 when Jesse and Lily spoke, she had just appeared in the Tina Fey led and Paul Weitz directed movie Admission. This was 2 years before a resurgence in her career, which would earn her recognition in Grandma, her first lead in a film in 27 years, and a Golden Globe nomination for the Netflix series Grace and Frankie.

Lily talked to Jesse about shaping her role in Admission, the moment that she decided she wanted to be a professional actor...and yes, a certain YouTube-famous confrontation (link NSFW) with I Heart Huckabees director David O. Russell.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Lily Tomlin!

The Outshot: Chance The Rapper's Acid Rap

Jesse tells us about Chance The Rapper's 2013 mixtape Acid Rap.

Click here to listen to Jesse's outshot about Acid Rap!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Zach Galifianakis and Michael K. Williams

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Zach Galifianakis
Guests: 
Michael K. Williams

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

Zach Galifianakis on Unlikeable Characters, Sudden Fame and Facing “Heartbreaking” Criticism on Public Radio

[r] Zach Galifianakis is an actor, writer and stand-up comedian whose humor isn’t for everyone. His comedic observations and characterizations in television and film have made him a unique voice that some people love and others love to hate.

Galifianakis is probably best known for his roles in The Hangover films and in the Between Two Ferns web series. But he's also been in a lot more, from Up in the Air, to Birdman to Bored to Death. He's now the star and co-creator of the FX series, Baskets, currently in its second season. In the show, he plays a clown who can't keep up with the tuition or his classmates at his French clowning school, and returns to his hometown of Bakersfield, California to work in a rodeo.

Galifianakis sat down with Jesse to talk about creating a show that revolves around a mean and unlikeable character, how he contended with the sudden fame that came with The Hangover and what it’s like be dissed on public radio.

Baskets airs on Thursday nights at 10 pm on FX.


Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Michael K. Williams on His Club Kid Days, Breaking Ground with The Wire and Why a Pop Song Touches Him So Deeply

Michael K. Williams is an actor and dancer who broke out in the role of Omar Little on HBO’s The Wire. His characterization of a criminal “with a code” made the show a favorite among critics and viewers, one of whom was President Obama.

He was a club kid turned professional dancer, and later turned to acting. His resume includes everything from Boardwalk Empire to Twelve Years a Slave to Inherent Vice. He currently co-stars in the new Sundance TV series, Hap and Leonard, which begins its second season in March.

Williams sat down with us to talk about his memories of being a New York club kid, the difference that playing Omar made in his life and others and the opportunity that led him to realize that being a performer could be a career, rather than just a job.

The second season of Hap and Leonard begins airing on March 15.

The Outshot: Gravediggaz’s Poetic

Jesse remembers the poignancy of the late rapper Poetic, who detailed his harrowing fight with cancer in one of his final songs.

Bullseye: Felicity Huffman & Anthony Michael Hall

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Felicity Huffman
Guests: 
Anthony Michael Hall

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

Felicity Huffman talks American Crime, Motherhood, and William H. Macy

While actor Felicity huffman is probably best known for her tenure as Lynette Scavo in Desperate Housewives, she has played many beloved characters throughout her career as an actor. From Dana Whitaker in Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night to Bree in Transamerica, Huffman now is starring in American Crime, ABC’s Emmy nominated series.
Jesse sits down with Huffman to discuss her preparation for her varied roles in American Crime, her relationship with William H. Macey, and how motherhood has affected her acting career.
Huffman is nominated for an Emmy for her work on American Crime.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Anthony Michael Hall talks Teen Stardom, John Hughes, and Playing the Geek

Anthony Michael Hall is most known for the films that he made with John Hughes in the 80’s such as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Since then, he has worked on many projects, ranging from science fiction series The Dead Zone to indies like his newest film Natural Selection.
Here, Hall and Jesse talk about his time working as a teen actor and the celebrity he acquired at a young age, his relationship with John Hughes, and his later in life career.
He can be seen in his new movie Natural Selection. More information can be found here http://www.naturalselectionthefilm.com/

The Outshot: Comedy Sketch

In this week's Outshot, Jesse talks about the function on "the game" in a comedy sketch, and how it works in one of his favorite sketches.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Margaret Cho & Whit Stillman

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Margaret Cho
Guests: 
Whit Stillman

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

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

Margaret Cho has always found a way to make her life inform her art. With her work as a stand-up comedian, an actor and a singer-songwriter, she has used the events of her life, both good and bad, to inspire her. 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, 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.

Margaret Cho sat down with Jesse to talk about beginning her career during the 90s 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's also out on tour this May and June.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Whit Stillman on Jane Austen, the Importance of Language and Being Inspired by 'Elf'

Whit Stillman is a writer-director who makes comedies of manners. With his films Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco, the director often explores the world of young upper-class adults who are struggling to find their way in the world both at home and abroad. The films were each made on modest budgets and received praise from critics; his very first film, Metropolitan, garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.

His latest film Love and Friendship is adapted from Lady Susan, an unfinished novella by Jane Austen. The movie explores the familiar comedic tropes of Austen’s work including class, sexuality, deceit and manipulation.

Whit Stillman joined Jesse to talk about his love for Jane Austen, the importance of language in his films and how the comedy of Will Ferrell infiltrated his new period piece.

Whit Stillman’s new film Love and Friendship is in theaters this week.

A Criterion collection of his first three films (Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco) are now available in special box set edition.


Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Outshot: Draymond Green

Jesse sings the praises of a basketball scrapper who may not get all the fame, but is no less deserving of the glory.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Geena Davis & Louis C.K.

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Geena Davis
Guests: 
Louis C.K.

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. To turn a light on gender disparity in Hollywood, she created the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a research-based organization that was created to educate and influence change in the entertainment industry. 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 to talk 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.

The Bentonville Film Festival takes place in Bentonville, Arkansas this week. Tickets are available to the public.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Louis C.K. on Producing a Show in Secret and Paying for It Out of His Own Pocket

Louis C.K. may be known to most as a stand-up comedian, but he's also a writer, an actor, an editor and a producer who thrives when he is creating on his own terms. And that’s what he has been doing with his comedy specials and television shows, including his Emmy-award-winning FX series, Louie.

Louis C.K. has succeeded not only by becoming one the world’s funniest comedians, but by reinventing how an artist succeeds creatively and financially. His direct-to-fan sales of his concerts and videos via his website have proven incredibly successful and have inspired other comedians and artists to offer their content directly to consumers.

He used this model of distribution to release his latest television show, Horace and Pete which features an ensemble cast including Steve Buscemi, Alan Alda, Jessica Lange and Edie Falco. The show, set in a run-down Brooklyn bar, borrows elements from both film and stage plays, to create a unique experience for both the audience and the actors. CK produced the show in complete secrecy, and didn’t leverage pre-press marketing and press junkets to promote the show.

Louis C.K. sat down with Jesse to talk about why he chose to pay for Horace and Pete using his own money, challenging himself as an actor and what inspired him to come up with the family name for the title characters.

All ten episodes of Horace and Pete are available now from Louis C.K.’s website.

The Outshot: Zombo.com

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

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