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Kickass News

Author: Kickass News

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Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more.

Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews.

Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!
430 Episodes
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Actor/comedian Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs, Curb Your Enthusiasm) reveals how Jimmy Durante inspired him to get into comedy as a boy, what it was like rooming with a young Conan O'Brien when he started at Chicago’s legendary improv group Second City, and the time he witnessed one of Larry David’s famous fights with his audience at a comedy club.  He talks about his worst gig as a comedian, why he always goes on stage to a different song, and why not everyone should follow their dream to Hollywood.  Plus Jeff shares how he kicked the sugar habit, what you can order in a catalogue for fat guys, and how he almost got fired from his hit show The Goldbergs. Jeff's new hourlong standup special Jeff Garlin: Our Man In Chicago is available on Netflix starting November 12.  You can also catch Jeff on The Goldbergs and the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm coming in 2020.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Afternoon Cyber Tea podcast and Kendra Scott Jewelry.  Visit www.kendrascott.com and use promo code KICK for 20% off your next order.
Bestselling sports writer Joe Posnanski recalls delving into the rabbit hole of magician Harry Houdini’s legendary life and separating fact from the fiction invented by Houdini and his followers.  Joe discusses the handcuffs that Houdini almost couldn’t get out of, some of the more bizarre things people challenged him to escape, and how Houdini upped the ante with increasingly more dangerous escapes to keep audiences interested.  He explains why many people falsely believe that the magician died performing his most famous trick, and we talk about the secret code that Houdini’s widow Bess used  to try to make contact with him from beyond the grave.  Joe also gives us entre into the world of Houdini superfans from the couple who committed a crime to honor their hero to the mysterious man who calls himself "Houdini’s ghost."  Plus he reveals what it’s like inside David Copperfield’s private magic warehouse in Las Vegas, how Houdini learned from some of the turn of the century’s most bizarre sideshow acts, and his daughter’s favorite Houdini revenge story. Order Joe Posnanski's wonderful new book The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him at JoePosnanski.com or on Twitter at @JPosnanski.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions and Avalara Sales Tax Solutions.  
Golden Globe-winner Edward Norton talks about his film Motherless Brooklyn's 20 year journey to the big screen and what it was like to write, direct, and star in this neo-noir masterpiece.  He shares some of the things he’s learned from working with directors like Milos Forman and Woody Allen.  Edward talks about the real life New York powerbroker who inspired his film’s antagonist, his own grandfather’s crusade for low income housing, and the things that get lost in the service of progress.  Plus we delve into our mutual love of jazz, classic noir detective films, and Manhattan landmarks of a bygone era. Don't miss Edward Norton's new film Motherless Brooklyn now showing in theaters.  Order Stuart Russell's new book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Afternoon Cyber Tea podcast, Invitae, and Purotrader.  Check out www.Purotrader.com and use the promo code NEWS for a chance to win a day at the Porsche Racing Experience in Los Angeles or Atlanta.
Artificial Intelligence researcher Stuart Russell says that machines are probably a long way from achieving the kind of self-awareness portrayed in films like 2001 and The Predator, but he warns the greater danger is that they might obey our instructions too well.  We get into the myriad unintended consequences of AI from the social media algorithms that are actually rewiring our political preferences to how AI that is intended to solve global climate change could go horribly wrong.  He suggests that we will need to rethink the standard model of how people use tools and technology to achieve our goals, and he gives just a few examples of the many ways AI will change our lives for the better if we get it right. Order Stuart Russell's new book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Bayer,  Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, and Belkin.  Visit www.belkin.com and use promo code KICKASS for 30% off all Belkin products.
Actor, comedian, and humorist John Hodgman talks about the strange sense of validation he gets from his airline loyalty program, the perks and perils of hotel living, and the best way to get thrown into Disneyland Jail.  We discuss his memorable appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, how his Daily Show colleague Al Madrigal got him into standup, and his podcast where he mediates minor disputes between squabbling couples.  He recalls his early days as a fancy New York literary agent, the worst book manuscript he ever read, and the writer who became his stalker.  Plus we talk about John’s remarkable skill at gaining entry into all manner of exclusive, and sometimes sinister clubs, from Yale’s secret societies and meetings of the New World Order, to the Church of Scientology’s Flag Land Base and Mar-a-Lago. Order John Hodgman's book Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Be sure to subscribe to the Judge John Hodgman podcast, and keep up with John at www.JohnHodgman.com or on Twitter at @Hodgman.
Chef David Chang

Chef David Chang

2019-10-2400:51:41

Chef David Chang shares that he originally wanted to be Tiger Woods not Wolfgang Puck, and he eventually got into cooking because he hated his job in finance.  He recalls learning in some of the best kitchens in New York and Tokyo, then rebelling against New York’s fine dining establishment, and how struggling to get Momofuku off the ground shaped his success.  Dave talks about his new Netflix series Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, smoking weed and touring Vancouver with Seth Rogen for the show, and exploring the mysteries of Marrakech with Chrissy Teigen.  Plus he talks about his love/hate relationship with the California food scene, customers who Instagram their food, how food delivery apps are disrupting the restaurant industry, and what that means for chefs. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is now available on Netflix.  Keep up with David at momofuku.com or on Twitter at @DavidChang, and be sure to subscribe to his podcast The David Chang Show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, and Belkin.  Visit www.belkin.com and use promo code KICKASS for 30% off all Belkin products.
Ambassador Susan Rice has been at the table during the most pressing international crises of the past 30 years and she discusses it in her new memoir Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For.  She talk about her family’s unique American story and how playing peacekeeper during her parents troubled marriage made her grow up fast but also prepared her for a life in international diplomacy.  She recalls her baptism of fire when she joined the Clinton administration and immediately got thrown into the deep end with back-to-back crises in Somalia and Rwanda.  She describes the US Embassy bombings in 1998 as the hardest day in her career, her contentious relationship with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and how she became the public face of the 2012 Embassy attack in Benghazi.  Plus she speculates on what might have motivated President Trump to suddenly pull out of Northern Syria, she says Vladimir Putin is a creep and a pig, and she talks about her famous moves on the dance floor. Order Susan Rice's book Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, the Invitae Genetic Test, and the TRTL Travel Pillow. 
Governor John Kasich shares some of the stories of every day Americans doing great things that inspired his latest book to write the book It's Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change.  This two-time Presidential candidate says that the actions of ordinary people matter way more to this country than whose occupying the White House.  He talks about the importance of breaking free of political echo chambers, and shares what kind of news outlets make it into his own daily newsfeed. We talk about his uncanny abilities as a political prognosticator, and why he’s staying out of the Republican presidential primary (at least for now). Plus John Kasich on thinking about eternity, what he’d like his obituary to say about him, and the meditative power of playing golf. Order his new book It’s Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Look for him regularly as a political contributor on CNN, and keep up with him at www.johnkasich.com or on Twitter at @JohnKasich.  Todays episode was sponsored by Kronos HR solutions, Purple Mattress, Belkin, and Purotrader.  
Blackstone Co-founder, CEO, and Chairman Stephen Schwarzman shares lessons for how to think about ambition and scale, risk and opportunities, and how to achieve success through the relentless pursuit of excellence.  He talks about his middle class beginnings as the son of a linen salesman in Philadelphia, getting paired with a literal Nazi for a roommate at Yale University, and his own version of a summer at sea - working on Scandinavian shipping boats.  He reveals how a famous statesman convinced him to go into business instead of politics and how he was completely unqualified for his first job in finance.  He recalls how he took $400,000 in 1985 and turned Blackstone into an investment firm that today manages over $500 billion, and how he capitalized the fund just days before Black Monday.  He shares how an early loss completely changed how Blackstone evaluates risk, why the firm jumped into real estate at a time when no one was buying or selling, and how the company weathered the 2008 financial crisis.  Plus Stephen Schwarzman discusses his his friendship with President Donald Trump, his efforts to backchannel trade negotiations between the US and China, and why the Chinese know him by the nickname “Farmer Blackstone.” Order Stephen Schwarzman's book What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions. 
Dave Asprey talks about his plan to live to 180 and his new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever.  He opens up about a traumatic health crisis that got him interested in health and longevity as a teenager and his battle with early cognitive decline that set him on a path to hacking the human brain. He shares the one food that he never ever eats, the benefits of periodic fasting, and how he manages to feel more rested on less sleep. We talk about the importance of light, gut health, and even jaw alignment to our wellness. Plus he describes some of the more cutting edge treatments that he’s tried from stem cell injections to blood transfusions, including a couple that he wished he hadn’t tried, and he reveals why Russians may have the inside track on hacking longevity. Order Dave Asprey's new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subcribe to his podcast Bulletproof Radio on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, and keep up with him at www.bulletproof.com or on Twitter at @BulletproofExec.  Today’s episode was sponsored by TRTL the world's most comfortable travel pillow.  Visit www.trtltravel.com and use the code KICK for 20% off.
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Comments (48)

Vernon Shoemaker

Unbelievable. The police were practicing non-violence. Unbelievable, like that.

Nov 5th
Reply

YESH

So narcissistic!

Oct 12th
Reply

YESH

Such a wonderful episode! Rushdie makes a light hearted yet interesting conversationalist.

Oct 12th
Reply

Jeff Root

awesome

Oct 8th
Reply

Chris A

this guy is a jerk

Sep 7th
Reply

cassandra cochran

yikes

Aug 11th
Reply

Thomas Zarod

Wolff is stammering like a child caught in a lie.

Jun 11th
Reply

Dan Thornhill

McCain was a man of the people. Not! He was not the man he was touted to be. His Dad was an Admiral in the Navy. I have read he wasn't that great of a pilot. He crashed planes and had a hand in some of his fellow crew members dying.

May 3rd
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Jeff Root

Would you believe that this guy (Ben Mathis) runs a film production company that specializes in GOP campaign advertisements? That surprised me. Jack Mcgoff is barking at the wrong guy... I like the pod. And the weird music. Thx

Apr 27th
Reply

jack mchogoff

please let Stacy Abrahams run for president! that racist ghetto lady is a gift to the Republican party.

Mar 30th
Reply

jack mchogoff

still listening to this podcast for news...... I don't think this guy know the true definition of new vs opinion journalism? this week he brings on a comedian to give (news).

Mar 17th
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jack mchogoff

ok, his interview has disproven the existence of ghosts. this is not news, total bullshit opinion......

Mar 10th
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jack mchogoff

total bullshit podcast. this is not news, liberalism is a mental disorder.

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

keyword. IMPACT INVESTING..... this is the stupidest woman I've ever heard, I'm guessing she's a renter in a very overpriced apartment in San Francisco?

Mar 10th
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jack mchogoff

the coast foundation..... WTF

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

where do you find these dipshit people to interview?

Mar 10th
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jack mchogoff

total fake news. did you actually mention Michelle Obamas book. WTF......

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

then one minute later she says, "I feel..." when talking of facism. Total opinion, not news. not a bad listen but definitely not news. I'm good to listen to all the rest of the podcasts. BTW, not a trumpster. just pointing out fake news. this opinion journalism.

Mar 10th
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jack mchogoff

the show starts out, "Madeline Albright believed....." this is not news. feelings don't equal news. interesting listen but definitely not news. been needs to learn what actually counts as news. I'll school you ben. facts = news..... this is opinion not news.

Mar 10th
Reply

jack mchogoff

then he said I felt. one minute later the interviewer said, "did you feel...." this not news.

Mar 10th
Reply
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