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The Official Hacks Podcast

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This is the official podcast of the Max series Hacks. In each episode Hacks creators Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by a guest from the show's cast or crew to unpack each episode of the Emmy®-winning comedy series. Learn more about the goings on of the writers' room, on set antics, and the work behind creating the world that Deborah and Ava inhabit. The Official Hacks Podcast is produced by Max Podcasts and Pineapple Street Studios.

19 Episodes
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The HBO Max series “Hacks” is back with a new season and a new companion podcast! In each episode Hacks creators Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky will be joined by a special guest host (Susie Essman, Luenell, Angela Gibbs, Margaret Cho, D’Arcy Carden, Hannah Einbinder and others) to unpack each episode of Deborah and Ava’s hijinx. Listeners will hear stories from the show’s writer’s room, on set and the world of stand-up and entertainment that inspired the show. The first podcast episode drops on May 12th, after Hacks airs on HBO Max. The official Hacks podcast is produced by HBO Max and Pineapple Street Studios. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In the first episode of the Hacks Official podcast, Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky joined by guest host Hannah Einbinder, who plays Ava. They recap the season’s first episode that picks up right where season one left off, with Ava biting her nails over her drunken email that could land her in Deborah’s vengeful grasp. The group discusses collaborating as a three person showrunner team, Jean Smart’s love of Christmas, Hannah’s improvisation on set and what it was like to shoot the episode’s major fight scene. Hannah and the showrunners will explore the choices they made that set Las Vegas’s oddest comedy duo up for a season of hard lessons, strange locations, exciting cameos and a few stand-up sets that don’t exactly go as planned.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode of the Hacks Official podcast Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined with guest host D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place, Broad City). D’Arcy is a longtime best friend and collaborator of the team and together they share their origin story. The team talks about how they decided when and how to reveal the contents of Ava’s infamous email, rich people’s love for litigation, Jean Smart’s Hacks singing debut and “sad Kayla” among other behind-the-scenes moments that bring the show to life. D’Arcy also pitches the showrunners on a big character arc for a small child.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode of the Hacks Official podcast Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by guest host Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Broad City). They discuss the bravery of going on tour, the inspiration for that souped-up tour bus, and answer, “Who the heck is Pete Wentz?”. They also reveal what Laurie Metcalf brought to the character of Weed and the origin story behind her obsession with fast food. Listeners find out why Jean Smart jumped into the dumpster and how she harbored a secret desire to be standup herself. Plus Susie shares stories from her life as a comic and a fascinating insight into why she thinks women make better standups than men.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode of the Hacks Official podcast Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by guest hosts Angela Gibbs (On My Block, This is Us) and Luenell (The Rock, A Star is Born) who play Marcus’s Mom and her friend Loretta. Angela and Luenell share their reaction to finding out they were cast together, mishaps on set with Marcus’s new puppy and the real-life challenges of performing on a cruise ship. They also learn how the team plucked Hannah Einbinder as Ava out of a 400-person casting pool and Luenell shares experiences from her own standup career. They also share insights on what Hacks adds to the conversation about gender and sexuality and their appreciation for the show’s strides toward more inclusive casting. Plus, they’ll pitch an idea that involves the two of them getting into mischief with Marcus left to pick up the pieces.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode of the Hacks Official podcast Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by guest host Margaret Cho (30 Rock, All-American-Girl), who makes a cameo as herself in episode 4 of the show. They discuss competitiveness and sexism in stand-up, what makes talented comedians give it all up and unpack the mother-daughter dynamic between Ava and Deborah. Plus, Margaret shares why Joan Rivers once gave her the silent treatment and some stories from being a road comedian. We’ll also learn about a dark joke that didn’t quite make it into Deborah and Ava’s pool scene.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode of the Hacks Official podcast Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by guest host and Hacks superfan Rosie O’Donnell. They talk about motherhood, aging, and what went into shooting Deborah’s intimate bedroom scene. Rosie recounts her first stand-up set, and why she stepped away from her popular daytime talk show. Plus, she shares the unsolicited advice that she gave Hannah Einbinder via Twitter DM. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode of the Hacks Official podcast Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by guest host and Hacks fan Wanda Sykes. They talk with her about life on the road, learn Wanda’s origin story as a comic, and Wanda’s ideas for future episodes. They also bond over the painful Hollywood pitch process and pre-pitch nerves.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode of the Hacks Official podcast Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by guest host and Hacks star Jean Smart. They talk about the high stakes for Deborah and Jimmy of shooting the comedy special in the finale. They also discuss the thinking behind Deborah firing Ava at the end of the season. Jean opens up about finding childhood idols in Phyllis Diller and in Jane Goodall. She also shares secret insights into Deborah’s backstory. At the end, Jean pitches a kidnapping for a future episode. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
“Hacks” is back with season 3, and so is the Official podcast! In each episode, Hacks creators Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky will unpack the making of the show with a special guest from the cast and crew (Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Pat Regan, Kathleen Felix-Hager, J. Smith-Cameron, and others). Listeners will hear stories from the writers’ room, on set, and the world of comedy that inspired the show. The first podcast episode drops on May 2nd, after Hacks airs on Max. The Official Hacks Podcast is produced by Max and Pineapple Street Studios. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In the first episode of The Official Hacks podcast, Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by Jean Smart, who plays Deborah Vance. They talk about stepping back into Deborah’s heels, and her relationship with Ava. Then Hacks writer/actor Pat Regan joins the hosts to recap the episode, talk about why it was a tricky one to write, and Helen Hunt’s guest star turn. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by guest Mark Indelicato, who plays Deborah’s long-suffering assistant Damien. They talk about filming at Television City, that Carrot Top cameo, and the world of late night TV.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by Hacks writer/actor Joe Mande. They talk about Ava establishing boundaries, the rules of roast comedy, and Kaitlin Olson’s tour de force performance as DJ Vance. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by returning guest Jean Smart, who plays the one, the only, Deborah Vance. They talk about meeting your heroes, pickleball, and why you should ask for what you want.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by the Hacks Director of Photography, Adam Bricker. They talk about shooting outdoors, generational views on climate change, and what you should yell when you need help.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by Kathleen Felix-Hager, the show’s Emmy-award winning costume designer. In unpacking the episode they discuss Kathleen’s real-life inspiration for Deborah, Ava’s class hang-ups, and Christina Hendricks as a kinky Republican. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by fan favorite Rose Abdoo, who plays house manager Josefina. They recap the episode and discuss Rose’s history in comedy coming with Second City. Then, actor J. Smith-Cameron (Succession) joins the pod to talk about her guest turn as Deborah’s estranged younger sister Kathy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this episode Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by Carl Clemons-Hopkins and Johnny Sibilly, who play Marcus and Wilson. They recap the episode, unpack their characters’ progressive friendship, Marcus’s backstory, and the nature of fandom. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In this final episode, Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky are joined by Ava Daniels herself, Hannah Einbinder. In unpacking the season finale they discuss Ava’s personal ambitions, the pressures of late night, and that final scene. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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