J. Keith van Straaten

Ep. 32: Go Fact Yourself with Guy Branum & Emily Heller

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Margaret Cho, J. Keith van Straaten, Guy Branum, Helen Hong, Emily Heller
Guests: 
Guy Branum & Emily Heller
Guests: 
Margaret Cho, Emily Saliers

In honor of the #MaxFunDrive, Go Fact Yourself presents a special network crossover!

Guy Branum is a comedian and host of the podcast "Pop Rocket". He's also a pop culture savant, as detailed in his book My Life as a Goddess. If you want to know more about the pop culture he loves, you'll have to read the book… but he's happy to provide a glimpse through some of his answers today.

His opponent is a fellow comedian for whom he has a lot of respect (and fear): Emily Heller! You can hear her as the host of the podcast "Baby Geniuses". Her show is all about explaining things. Today she’ll key in on a very important topic: Martha Stewart's barnyard animals.

From personal heroes to classic television to the subtleties of regional coffee pot designs, this episode has it all.

This show is directly funded by our Maximum Fun Members. As part of our annual #MaxFunDrive, you can sign up for as little as $5 a month at maximumfun.org/donate to help support this and other Max Fun shows you listen to AND earn great gifts in the process!

What’s the difference: Coffee/Coughy

What’s the difference between a teapot and a coffee pot?

What’s the difference between phlegm and mucus?


Guy Branum and Emily Heller

Areas of Expertise

Emily Heller: The TV show "Frasier," the musical group Indigo Girls and how to have a good time at Disneyland.

Guy Branum: Academy Award nominees for best actress, the TV show "30 Rock" and grains.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Guy Branum
Emily Heller

With guest experts:

Emily Saliers, Grammy Award winning musician and one-half of Indigo Girls.

Margaret Cho, comedian and actress.

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.

Go Fact Yourself Bonus Episode with Ross Blocher & Carrie Poppy

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Earl Pomerantz, Carrie Poppy, J. Keith van Straaten, Helen Hong, Dr. David H. Bailey

Max Fun Members, this episode is exclusively for you! The hosts of the podcast "Oh No Ross & Carrie!" compete to determine trivia supremacy in a special network crossover edition of "Go Fact Yourself"!

Ross Blocher is known for being an expert in the paranormal… and disproving it. As a member of the Independent Investigations Group, he investigates the paranormal from a scientific perspective. What's he discovered? Not much of the stuff that goes bump in the night holds up.

His opponent is Carrie Poppy. Like Ross, she's also extremely well-educated in the paranormal. But her education actually extends to the degrees that she's earned. And she's all to happy inform everyone about it.

In this episode, we'll learn about mathematics, comedy legends, and the subtleties of men's fashion.

This show is available EXCLUSIVELY to our Maximum Fun Members. To get the chance to listen as well, be sure to take part in the annual #MaxFunDrive and become a monthly member! You can sign up at maximumfun.org/donate to help support this and other Max Fun shows you listen to.

What’s the difference: Hanging on the rod

What’s the difference between a blazer and a sportcoat?

What’s the difference between drapes and curtains?

Areas of Expertise

Ross Blocher: The band The Smashing Pumpkins, The number Pi and the duck-billed platypus.

Carrie Poppy: "The Dick van Dyke Show", "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and farm animals

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Ross Blocher
Carrie Poppy

With guest experts:
Dr. David H. Bailey, author of the book Pi: The Next Generation.

Earl Pomerantz, TV writer whose credits include "The Cosby Show," "Cheers" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

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.

Ep 31: Go Fact Yourself with Greg Fitzsimmons & Shawn Pelofsky

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John Melendez, Shawn Pelofsky, J. Keith van Straaten, Greg Fitzsimmons, Helen Hong, Leslie Kendall
Guests: 
Greg Fitzsimmons & Shawn Pelofsky
Guests: 
Leslie Kendall & John Melendez

Fans of comedy, cars and Howard Stern rejoice: This episode of Go Fact Yourself is sure to delight!

Shawn Pelofsky is a comedian whose special "Stretch It Out" is available now. She’s ready to be quizzed about her favorite things; But she’s also excited to share a personal experience with one of her greatest loves: Bette Midler.

Shawn goes up against comedian Greg Fitzsimmons, who you can hear hosting two podcasts: "Ftizdog Radio" and "Childish." He tells us about why his brief time as an athletic swimmer helped his future career in the entertainment industry.

The show touches on everything from cool janitors to chemistry to presidential prank calls.

What’s the difference: Silent "E"

What’s the difference between silicon and silicone?

What’s the difference between whisky and whiskey?

Areas of Expertise

Greg Ftizsimmons: Classic Mustangs, President John F. Kennedy and antidepressants.

Shawn Pelofsky: Howard Stern, the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" and gay culture.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Greg Fitzsimmons
Shawn Pelofsky

With guest experts:

Leslie Kendall, chief historian of the Petersen Automotive Museum.

John Melendez comedian and author of the book "Easy For You To Say".

This episode is sponsored by CA Trusts.

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.

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.

Ep 29: Go Fact Yourself with Scott Thompson and Jenny Yang

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Dylan Sittig, J. Keith van Straaten, Scott Thompson, Helen Hong, Jenny Yang
Guests: 
Scott Thompson & Jenny Yang
Guests: 
Dylan Sittig & Peter Winkler

It's a collision of comedians on this episode of Go Fact Yourself!

Scott Thompson is known for being part of the famed comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall. How did he become a part of such a well-regarded group of funny people? Let's just say that it all started with a table full of donuts. He'll explain the rest.

Scott faces off against comedian Jenny Yang. Growing up, she thought that she was destined for a career in political activism. But through a long road that included lobbying and poetry readings, she became a comedian and TV personality on the E! Network show "Busy Tonight".

In this episode, we'll learn about timeless movie stars, city planning and the expansive network of UCLA alumni.

What’s the difference: On the Water and Under the Ground

What’s the difference between a cruise ship and an ocean liner?

What’s the difference between a casket and a coffin?

Areas of Expertise

Jenny Yang: LA city planning, social justice leaders and Taiwanese food.

Scott Thompson: James Dean, the show “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and condiments.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Jenny Yang
Scott Thompson

With guest experts:

Dylan Sittig, community-focused urban and environmental planner for the city of Los Angeles .

Peter Winkler, author of the book The Real James Dean: Intimate Memories from Those Who Knew Him Best.

This episode is sponsored by Scott Langteau's new children's book Sofa Boy 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.

Ep 28: Go Fact Yourself with Felicia Day and Elliott Kalan

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Alan Rachins, Felicia Day, J. Keith van Straaten, Elliott Kalan, Helen Hong, Veronica Cartwright
Guests: 
Felicia Day & Elliott Kalan
Guests: 
Veronica Cartwright & Alan Rachins
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

It’s a trivia mix of film, TV and the internet this week on Go Fact Yourself with two of the creative forces behind Netlfix's “Mystery Science Theater 3000!”

Elliot Kalan is a newly published children’s author of the book Horse Meets Dog. He’s also the host of fellow Maximum Fun podcast The Flop House. The show is all about discussing bad movies, but Elliott’s made sure that that never impacts his love of great films… even if he can only watch them on his iPad these days.

Facing off against Elliott is actress Felicia Day. She’s most known for creating and starring in the online series The Guild. She’ll tell us all about some of her favorite topics and explain some of things she’s learned as she navigates motherhood.

In this episode, we'll learn about 90’s sitcoms, classic films and the everlasting star-power of dinosaurs.

What’s the difference: Intention and Prevention

What’s the difference between “purposely” and “purposefully”?

What’s the difference between “cease” and “desist”?

Areas of Expertise

Elliott Kalan: Dinosaurs, Alfred Hitchcock, and Abraham Lincoln.

Felicia Day: The TV show “Dharma and Greg”, the board game “Settlers of Catan,” and baking cookies.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Elliott Kalan
Felicia Day

With guest experts:

Veronica Cartwright, actress who has had roles in films like Alien and The Birds.

Alan Rachins, actor who’s had roles in series such as “L.A. Law” and “Dharma and Greg.”

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.

Ep 27: Go Fact Yourself with Cara Santa Maria and Glen Weldon

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Brian Firkus, Glen Weldon, J. Keith van Straaten, Cara Santa Maria, Helen Hong, Christopher Marley
Guests: 
Cara Santa Maria & Glen Weldon
Guests: 
Brian Firkus & Christopher Marley
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

Happy National Trivia Day! Let’s celebrate with a collision of journalists who also host podcasts!

Cara Santa Maria is the host of the podcast Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria. She’s also a science communicator and there’s a chance that her proficiency in STEM will lead her to victory in this trivia battle.

Her opponent is Glen Weldon, panelist on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He’s written the book on Batman and Superman (literally) but will that knowledge be enough to guide him to victory?

In this episode, we’ll learn about fashion, drag queens and art with deceased creatures.

What’s the difference: Top and Bottom

What’s the difference between a shirt that is “button-up” and “button-down”?

What’s the difference between “below” and “under”?

Areas of Expertise

Cara Santa Maria: Hold ‘em poker, the artist Christopher Marley and the Olive Garden menu.

Glen Weldon: Wine tasting, Rupaul’s Drag Race and Catherine O’Hara.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Cara Santa Maria
Glen Weldon

With guest experts:

Christopher Marley- international artist.

Brian Firkus- actor, singer and embodiment of drag-queen Trixie Mattel.

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.

Ep 26: Go Fact Yourself with Lea Thompson and Sandeep Parikh

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Ellen Greer, J. Keith van Straaten, Lea Thompson, Helen Hong, Sandeep Parikh
Guests: 
Lea Thompson & Sandeep Parikh
Guests: 
Dan Shaughnessy & Ellen Greer
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

Nerdy media of the past and present collide on this edition of Go Fact Yourself!

Lea Thompson is an actress, perhaps best known for her role in the classic Back to the Future series. But lately, she’s developed a reputation for losing reality TV competitions to such illustrious names like Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong and Alfonso Ribiero. But she’s ready to end that trend on this show!

Competing against Thompson is Sandeep Parikh, star of the series The Guild. Growing up, he worked really hard to learn about things that would help him fit in and make friends. Luckily, that helped him gain knowledge that could help him win today's game.

In this episode, we’ll learn about classic Hollywood movies, baseball and the color green.

What’s the difference: Green

What’s the difference between “jealous” and “envious”?

What’s the difference between a grove and an orchard?

Areas of Expertise

Sandeep Parikh: The Boston Red Sox, Hindu Mythology, and the film The Princess Bride.

Lea Thompson: Roseville Pottery, designing houses and the film Harold and Maude.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Sandeep Parikh
Lea Thompson

With guest experts:

Dan Shaughnessy, sports columnist for the Boston Globe.

Ellen Greer, actress who’s appeared in more than 100 projects across movies, television and theater.

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.

Ep. 25: Go Fact Yourself with Wil Wheaton and Anne Wheaton

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Owen Rubin, Wil Wheaton, J. Keith van Straaten, Anne Wheaton, Helen Hong, Gene Lewin
Guests: 
Wil Wheaton & Anne Wheaton
Guests: 
Gene Lewin & Owen Rubin
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

It’s the very first couple-edition of Go Fact Yourself!

Wil Wheaton is an actor, writer and geek-culture legend. He’s been in everything from Star Trek: The Next Generation where he starred as the character Wesley Crusher, to his YouTube series TableTop. He’s glad to come onto the show and answer trivia questions about his interests; but he also is eager to prove that he knows these subjects well enough to stump the hosts too.

Competing against Wil is Anne Wheaton, author of the children’s book Piggy and Pug, which is as adorable as the title makes it sound. The book also reflects her background as an animal lover, which has shown in her professional life as well as her personal one. Anne also happens to be married to Wil.

In this episode, we’ll learn about secrets from classic arcade games, musical theater and how Anne and Wil met and fell in love.

What’s the difference: High or Low

What’s the difference between “altitude” and “elevation”?

What’s the difference between “less” and “fewer”?

Areas of Expertise

Anne Wheaton: 1980’s Arcade games, Atari 2600 video-games and puns.

Wil Wheaton: 1980’s Arcade games, Atari 2600 and baking sourdough bread.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Wil Wheaton
Anne Wheaton

With guest experts:

Gene Lewin, owner of Vintage Arcade Superstore.

Owen Rubin, game designer who helped make classic arcade games for Atari.

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.

Ep 24: Go Fact Yourself with Jordan Morris and Alison Rosen

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Gloria Loring, Alison Rosen, J. Keith van Straaten, Jordan Morris, Helen Hong, Dr. Mairin Balisi
Guests: 
Jordan Morris & Alison Rosen
Guests: 
Gloria Loring & Dr. Mairin Balisi
Guests: 
J. Keith van Straaten & Helen Hong

Go Fact Yourself has returned to Los Angeles!

Jordan Morris is a podcasting savant. For years he has endeared himself to listeners as one of the hosts of the Max Fun podcast Jordan, Jesse Go!. But these days, he’s getting more attention for the sci-fi/comedy show Bubble, which wrapped up its initial season (spoiler alert: he’s going to tease the future of the series in this episode).

Completing our pair of podcasting guests is Alison Rosen, host of Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend. She’s also the author of the book Tropical Attire Encouraged (and Other Phrases That Scare Me). She’s got a reputation of being very funny in her work, but also very warm in a way that encourages people to share personal insights with her. But that’s not what makes her successful. What is? Well… she’ll explain

In this episode, we’ll learn about the Harlem Globetrotters, sweet treats and prehistoric poop.

What’s the difference: Feast or Famine

What’s the difference between “ice cream” and “gelato”?

What’s the difference between “to deny” and “to deprive” when referring to food?

Areas of Expertise

Jordan Morris: The Simpsons, the La Brea Tar Pits, and the 90’s third-wave ska revival.

Alison Rosen: In vitro fertilization, The Facts of Life, and analogies.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong
Jordan Morris
Alison Rosen

With guest experts:

Dr. Mairin Balisi, National Science Foundation postdoctoral research fellow.

Gloria Loring, singer and actress.

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.

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