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Go Fact Yourself

Author: MaximumFun.org

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Twice a month, host J. Keith van Straaten and co-host Helen Hong bring together the smartest celebrities they know and make them look dumb...and then smart again! Recorded before a live audience in downtown Los Angeles, this game show features comedians, actors and musicians answering arcane questions on topics they claim to be experts in. But don't worry, if they slip up, there are real experts on hand to give us the facts!

If you're in the Los Angeles area and would like to be in the audience for a podcast taping, get your free ticket at gofactyourpod.com!
47 Episodes
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Whether you’re in the mood to surf some waves or binge some TV, this episode of Go Fact Yourself is for you! As an actor, Quinn Cummings saw success at an early age. She was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the film The Goodbye Girl. It was a great experience, but one that put a bit of a strain on her relationship with her mother… and her hair. She’ll explain. Quinn can be heard on the podcast "Quinn Cummings Gives Bad Advice". Like Quinn, Greg Behrendt also has experience giving others advice, especially with relationships. He’s written several books about love, including He’s Just Not That Into You and serves as a private life coach. What exactly are his qualifications? Just a 30-year comedy career, multiple books on the New York Times bestseller list and the fact that he survived cancer (twice). The guests will compete to answer trivia questions about surf music, animated Netflix shows and their respective expertise on cats and dogs. This episode is sponsored by Spencer Marks’ new science-fiction novel Living History. Go to livinghistorynovel.com and enter the promo code "HELEN" to purchase the book for a discount and to have it personally autographed. What’s the Difference: wasted What’s the difference between liquor and liqueur? What’s the difference between trash and garbage? Areas of Expertise Quinn Cummings: High fashion, the Netflix series "Bojack Horseman" and domestic cats. Greg Behrendt: Surf music, dog shows and Dots candy Appearing in this episode: J. Keith van Straaten Helen Hong Quinn Cummings Greg Behrendt With guest experts: Mike Hollingsworth, Emmy-nominated producer and supervising director of "Bojack Horseman." Dean Torrence, one half of the surf-music duo Jan and Dean. 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 Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan theater at The Center For Inquiry in Los Angeles. Theme Song by Jonathan Green. Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher. The show is edited by Julian Burrell. Go to gofactyourpod.com for information and tickets to the next recording of Go Fact Yourself!
It’s another helping of Go Fact Yourself in Chicago, now more delicious and savory than ever! Peter Sagal is the host of the NPR program "Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!" But his experience with trivia shows goes all the way back to when he was a contestant on "Jeopardy"… and quickly found himself in the negative dollars. That doesn’t mean he’s bad at trivia; he’s just bad at pressing buttons. He’ll tell us about that and why he’s so dedicated to disrupting the narrative of Chicago deep-dish pizza. Opposite Peter is author Rebecca Makkai. Her book The Great Believers earned her the distinction of being a finalist for the Pulitzer prize. It’s a truly special accomplishment -- but she had an even bigger dream as a child: teaching dogs how to talk. The guests will discuss the local food scene, whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich and, yes, a lot of discussion about the windy city. What’s the Difference: The Windy City What’s the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon? What’s the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning? Areas of Expertise Peter Sagal: Chicago food culture, James Cameron movies and running Rebecca Makkai: The film Clue, the state of Vermont and the furnace girl murder of Lake Bluff, Illinois Appearing in this episode: J. Keith van Straaten Helen Hong Peter Sagal Rebecca Makkai With guest experts: Gov. Madeleine May Kunin, author, ambassador and three-term governor of Vermont. Bob Schwartz, Senior Vice President of Vienna Beef and author of the book Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog. 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 Sleeping Village in Chicago. Theme Song by Jonathan Green. Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher. The show is edited by Julian Burrell. Come to our next live tapings in Los Angeles on Sunday, October 13 -- Go to gofactyourpod.com for FREE tickets!
It’s the first episode of Go Fact Yourself from Chicago! Two-time Peabody Award winner Bill Kurtis is a news anchor with one of the most famous voices in television and radio. You may have heard him as the scorekeeper for the program "Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!", but he’s also known for his narration in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. He’ll explain how that role changed his life forever and share other stories from his extensive career. Bill will compete with his fellow broadcaster and fellow Peabody Award winner Sarah Spain, host and contributor for ESPN. She’s often seen on the sports debate show "Around the Horn." She’ll tell us how she crafts an effective argument on the show and how she’s battling the negativity that comes with being a woman in the sports industry. Also, doggies! The guests will answer questions about war veterans, improv comedy characters and the windy city. What’s the Difference: Cubs & White Sox What’s the difference between a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout? What’s the difference between stitching and darning? Areas of Expertise Bill Kurtis: Frank Sinatra’s big band music, World War II in Okinawa and the prairie Sarah Spain: Rescue dogs, 90’s "Saturday Night Live" characters and grammar. Appearing in this episode: J. Keith van Straaten Helen Hong Bill Kurtis Sarah Spain With guest experts: Julia Sweeney, actor and comedian who’s appeared in four seasons of "Saturday Night Live." John Ullinskey, WWII veteran who served aboard the USS Arikara and participated in the D-Day Invasion and the Battle of Okinawa 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 Sleeping Village in Chicago. Theme Song by Jonathan Green. Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher. The show is edited by Julian Burrell.
This episode of Go Fact Yourself features quick wits and facts about hit flicks! Jena Friedman is a comedian and longtime contributor to television, perhaps her best known work was as a producer on "The Daily Show." She’ll talk about how she was so dedicated to her work on the show that she was willing to risk her life if it meant getting the shot that she needed. Jena’s new series "Soft Focus" is on Adult Swim. Jena’s opponent is Jack O’Brien, co-host of "The Daily Zeitgeist" podcast. Before that, he was the co-founder of Cracked.com. How did he turn the website into such a success? Well, he decided to take everything that worked about the original Cracked magazine… and completely ignore it. He’ll explain. The guests will take a deep dive into the lore of the Jaws franchise, the history of comedy and why it is never a good idea to take a bath at a funeral. What’s the Difference: Emergency What’s the difference between a fire engine and a fire truck? What’s the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic? Areas of Expertise Jena Friedman: The TV show "Ghostwriter," the history of improv and the ebola virus. Jack O’Brien: The film Jaws 2, the film Rocky IV and Wu-Tang Clan solo records from 1993 to 1997. Appearing in this episode: J. Keith van Straaten Helen Hong Jena Friedman Jack O’Brien With guest experts:
C’est l’heure pour un nouvel épisode de Go Fact Yourself*! (In case your French is a little rusty: It’s time for a new episode of Go Fact Yourself!) Jim Beaver is an actor who’s known for his roles in TV shows like, "Breaking Bad," and, "Justified," where he’s earned a reputation as a "tough guy"-type who’s usually associated with guns. He’s also done a lot of research on major Hollywood figures from other eras. He’ll explain why he didn’t let the technological limitations from his youth get in the way of his research of actor John Garfield. Jim Beaver can be seen in the final season of "Supernatural". Jim will face off against Erica Rhodes, who’s currently tearing it up on NBC’s "Bring The Funny" and who had a memorable turn on "Modern Family". She’s been involved in show-business since she was 10 as a voice on the radio-drama "Prairie Home Companion". Erica’s newest comedy album is "Sad Lemon" and she’ll explain how she settled on the title after a little crowdsourcing. The guests will discuss classic musicals set in France, American traitors and the finer aspects of going Dutch. What’s the Difference: Going Dutch What’s the difference between Holland and The Netherlands? What’s the difference between a levee and a dike? Areas of Expertise Jim Beaver: Benedict Arnold, movies based on Raymond Chandler novels and "Adventures of Superman" Erica Rhodes: The film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, philosopher Friedrich Neitzsche, and the poet William Wordsworth. Appearing in this episode: J. Keith van Straaten Helen Hong Jim Beaver Erica Rhodes With guest experts: Dr. Stephen Brumwell, award-winning author of several books on American history. Dr. Betsy Bogart, singer and Film Studies teacher at UCLA. 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 is coming to Chicago! Join us on August 9 & 10 at Sleeping Village. Visit gofactyourpod.com for tickets and details. Our patented mind-control techniques compel you to hear this episode of Go Fact Yourself! Jamie Kennedy is a comedian and actor. He’s spent most of his life working in film and television with some big names like Frank Oz and David O. Russell. But how did he decide that he wanted to spend his life in Hollywood? It all goes back to his minor background role in a classic Robin Williams film. Jamie Kennedy can be seen in the upcoming film Ad Astra. Jamie will face off against a frequent collaborator of his: comedian Melissa McQueen. These days, she’s known for wearing sequins and sparkly outfits while performing on comedy stages across the country. But she’ll tell us about how she used to work to help other people perform on stage… as a karaoke KJ. The guests will chat about government secrets, child-actors and the value of passing on deceased relatives' clothing. What’s the Difference: Impostors What’s the difference between "duplicate" and "replicate?" What’s the difference between a robot and an android? Areas of Expertise Jamie Kennedy: The MK Ultra conspiracy, pacemakers and lyrics to the Big Bopper song "Chantilly Lace." Melissa McQueen: Lyrics from the Hall & Oates album Rock & Soul Part 1, the film The Royal Tenenbaums and The Pizzagate Conspiracy. Appearing in this episode: J. Keith van Straaten Helen Hong Jamie Kennedy Melissa McQueen With guest experts: Brian Dunning, science writer and host of the award-winning "Skeptoid Podcast". Grant Rosenmeyer, producer and actor who’s appeared on Broadway, film and television. 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 is coming to Chicago! Join us on August 9 & 10 at Sleeping Village. Visit gofactyourpod.com for tickets and details. Cristela Alonzo is a comedian and former guest on Go Fact Yourself. This week, she’s stepping in as the co-host! Her new book "Music to My Years" will be out in October. Jessica McKenna is known for the podcast "Off Book" where she and her co-host Zach Reino improvise a full musical with special guests… even if the guests aren’t totally aware of what’s going on when they first join the program. Jessica is also a voice-artist who’s cornered a very specific portrayal: scrappy ten-year-old boys. She’ll explain what’s behind her expertise. Jessica will face off against someone who also knows a lot about musicals: actor Anthony Rapp. He was part of the original cast of Rent and now stars on the CBS show "Star Trek: Discovery." You could say he’s a pretty accomplished guy, but he’ll tell us about his formative years where he got some unsolicited advice from legendary stage actor Yul Brynner. The guests will also discuss American presidents, contemporary films and denim jackets. What’s the Difference: Pay me back What’s the difference between "loan" and "lend?" What’s the difference between a charge card and a credit card? Areas of Expertise Jessica McKenna: American Presidents, the musical Hamilton and Christmas & Christmas movies Anthony Rapp: The Coen Brothers movies, the Chicago Cubs baseball team from the early 2000’s to the present and the Mass Effect video-game series. Appearing in this episode: J. Keith van Straaten Cristela Alonzo Jessica McKenna Anthony Rapp With guest experts: Rory O’Malley, Tony Award-nominated actor who's performed in the stage shows Hamilton and The Book of Mormon. Stephen Park, actor who’s known for his performances in the films Fargo and Do the Right Thing. Helen Hong, comedian and actress who appeared in the film Inside Llewyn Davis and who’s the regular co-host of Go Fact Yourself! 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.
It’s Go Fact Yourself…. IN SPAAAAACE! Or at least with a lot of discussion about space, plus tons of comedy and trivia! Gaby Dunn is the author of the book Bad With Money and the host of the podcast of the same name. That makes her something of an authority on personal finance. And her findings on commerce are supported by some conspiracy theories that are equally insightful. Opposite Gaby is comedian Dwayne Perkins! His star has risen in recent years with him getting his own comedy special. That success has earned him a lot of love from his peers… and just a hint of resentment as well. You can find Dwayne on the podcast Movie Night. Our guests will talk about money, sitcoms and iconic supporting actors. What’s the Difference: Colors What’s the difference between purple and violet? What’s the difference between a tint and a shade? Areas of Expertise Gaby Dunn: The TV show “Law & Order: SVU,” The OJ Simpson Trial, NASA’s Apollo Missions. Dwayne Perkins: Jay-Z lyrics, The TV show “Seinfeld,” Flavors of tea. Appearing in this episode: J. Keith van Straaten Helen Hong Gaby Dunn Dwayne Perkins With guest experts: Amy Shira Teitel, space flight historian, author and YouTuber. Larry Thomas, Emmy-nominated actor who’s appeared on the TV shows “Scrubs,” “Arrested Development” and “Seinfeld.” 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.
Are you a true fashionista? Are you surrounded by the lore of classic comics? Do you just want to laugh and learn some great trivia? Whether you check one or all of those boxes, this episode of Go Fact Yourself is for you! Mindy Sterling is an actor who’s perhaps best known for her role in the Austin Powers films. She’s also had several TV roles, earning her two Emmy nominations! The only problem was that those two nominations happened in the same year… and in the same category. You can find Mindy on Twitter and on Instagram. Mindy will face off against author and humorist Dylan Brody! Dylan has made a career out of being funny. But he’ll explain why that’s changed in that profession as he got older. These days, he’s also interested in helping other people overcome their creative barriers to make what they’ve always wanted. To learn more, go to his website. Our guests will discuss their passions, kitchenware and the finer points of telling jokes as a grown-up. What’s the Difference: Home on the Range What’s the difference between an oven and a range? What’s the difference between a deer and an antelope? Areas of Expertise Mindy Sterling: How to put on makeup, decorating your apartment and "Project Runway." Dylan Brody: Nikola Tesla, Korean Martial Arts and the John Byrne/Chris Claremont era "X-Men" comics. Appearing in this episode: J. Keith van Straaten Helen Hong Mindy Sterling Dylan Brody With guest experts: Kentaro Kameyama, fashion designer who won season 16 of "Project Runway." Chris Claremont, New York Times bestselling author and writer of the bestselling comic book issue of all time. 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.  
Dolphins and music and sports, oh my! It’s a brand new episode of Go Fact Yourself! Margaret Cho is a comedian and actress, known for her role in "30 Rock" as Kim Jong-il, for which she received an Emmy nomination. Margaret is also heavily tattooed, but she’ll explain why she’s ready to slow down the body art now that she only has space on her bodies that would be painful. You can find her tour schedule on her website. Margaret will face off against fellow comedian and actor Jamie Kaler! He rose to prominence for his role in the TBS series "My Boys." He’s also a former Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He’ll explain why the punctuality he developed as a Navy man was a poor preparation for a career in Hollywood. Jamie can be found in the YouTube series "Dads in Parks" and the "Father Time" podcast Our guests will reminisce about their careers and answer trivia questions about marine life, basketball and celebrities from the ‘80s and ‘90s. What’s the Difference: Something fishy What’s the difference between a seal and a sea lion? What’s the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise? Areas of Expertise Margaret Cho: Korean revenge movies, YouTube beauty wars and The Beach Boys Jamie Kaler: The Dirty Harry film series, the basketball player Larry Bird and potty training. Appearing in this episode: J. Keith van Straaten Helen Hong Margaret Cho Jamie Kaler With guest experts: Gary Holland, longtime high school basketball coach, whose players included Larry Bird. Gary Griffin, keyboardist, vocalist and music producer who’s played with The Beach Boys. 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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