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Kickass News

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!
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Now displaying: September, 2017
Sep 28, 2017

Presidential speechwriter David Litt reflects on his political coming of age in the Obama White House, fiction vs. reality on The West Wing, and his sometimes nemesis in the White House research department.  He talks about President Obama's sense of humor, writing for the White House Correspondents Dinner speeches, and self-deprecation as a political tool.  Plus, he shares some of the jokes that DIDN’T make it into the President’s speeches.

Order David Litt's book Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years on Amazon or download the audio version on Audible.
Follow David on Twitter at @DavidLitt and check out some of his more recent shenanigans at www.funnyordie.com.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex.  Please take a minute to take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Sep 26, 2017

The Improv's legendary founder Budd Friedman and entertainment writer Tripp Whetsell talk about their new book The Improv: An Oral History of the Comedy Club That Revolutionized Standup.  Budd discusses how much of The Improv was a happy accident and shares memories of comics like Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Andy Kaufman, and others.  Tripp discusses how The Improv invented the comedy club, the infamous LA comedy club wars between Budd and The Comedy Store's Mitzi Shore, and some of his favorite comedians who you might not have heard of yet.

Order Budd and Tripp's book The Improv: An Oral History of the Comedy Club That Revolutionized Standup on Amazon.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex.  Please take a minute to take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Sep 21, 2017

Lesley Stahl celebrates the 50th season of 60 Minutes and her 26th season as host/correspondent on the show.  She shares stories from her 45 years at CBS including how the young reporter beat out the other networks as the first to report on Watergate scandal, the time she broke the news that Ronald Reagan had picked George H.W. Bush as his running mate (and no one believed her), and her impressions of the three U.S. Presidents she covered during her time as CBS White House correspondent.  She discusses some of her more interesting interviews for 60 Minutes including the first post-election sit-down with Donald Trump, the incident when Nicolas Sarkozy stormed off in the middle of a taping, and the time she ticked off an angry drunk Boris Yeltsin.  Plus Lesley Stahl shares fond memories of Don Hewitt, Mike Wallace, and Andy Rooney.

The 50th season of 60 Minutes kicks off with special anniversary episode this Sunday, September 24, at 6/7 Central on CBS.  For more information, visit www.CBSnews.com and order Lesley Stahl’s charming memoir Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting on Amazon.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and Credit Associates.  Please take a minute to take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Sep 18, 2017

Tennis player Maria Sharapova shares the remarkable story of how her father brought the six-year-old Maria from Russia to Florida with only $700 in his pocket and an unwavering faith in his daughter’s dream.  She talks about the first time she watched the Williams sisters practice as a kid, and a locker room moment that has defined the rivalry between Serena Williams and her.  She reveals what went through her mind when she learned that she had failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open, what she did during her subsequent 15 month suspension, and how the experience changed her mind about retiring from tennis.  Plus Maria Sharapova talks about her dramatic comeback at last month’s US Open, the fuss over women tennis players who grunt, and why she wouldn’t even be playing tennis if it weren’t for the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Order Maria Sharapova's book UNSTOPPABLE: MY LIFE SO FAR on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible.  Visit Maria Sharapova's website at www.mariasharapova.com and follow her on Twitter at @MariaSharapova.  

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and Credit Associates.  Trade global stock indexes, commodities, forex, even economic numbers – All from one account and always with limited risk at www.Nadex.com.  Credit Associates can settle your credit card debt for a fraction of what you owe without debt consolidation or bankruptcy.  For free information, call 1-800-500-0351.

Please take a minute to take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Sep 14, 2017

Acclaimed documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (The Civil War, Baseball, The War) discuss their epic 10-part film The Vietnam War which airs 9/17 on PBS.  They discuss how the Vietnam War continues to evolve 40 years later, the ways their own perceptions have changed since they were young people growing up in the turbulent 1960’s, and how hindsight has given birth to some humbling and surprising epiphanies among those who fought on both sides.  They ponder if some of the lessons of Vietnam have changed America for the better, they share what Vietnamese audiences have had to say about their film, and the man behind the acclaimed miniseries that re-examined the American Civil War weighs in on the Confederate statue controversy.

Episode 1 of The Vietnam War airs Sunday, September 17 at 8/7 Central on PBS.  For more information, visit www.PBS.org or at www.kenburns.com.  Follow Ken and Lynn on Twitter at @KenBurns and @LynnNovick

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and Credit Associates.  Trade global stock indexes, commodities, forex, even economic numbers – All from one account and always with limited risk at www.Nadex.com.  Credit Associates can settle your credit card debt for a fraction of what you owe without debt consolidation or bankruptcy.  For free information, call 1-800-500-0351.

Please take a minute to take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Sep 11, 2017

Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison discusses her bold initiative to create a starship capable of transporting humans beyond our solar system.  She talks about the cooperation that will be necessary across all scientific fields, the logistical and biological hurdles to be overcome in order to make extended human space travel feasible and safe, and why it's important for longterm "moonshot initiatives" to inspire the next generation.  Plus the first astronaut to appear on Star Trek shares her childhood love of the show and the real science behind it.

Visit Dr. Mae Jemison at www.DrMae.com and follow her on twitter at @MaeJemison.  To learn more about 100 Year Starship, visit www.100YSS.org and follow them on twitter at @100YSS.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and Credit Associates.  Trade global stock indexes, commodities, forex, even economic numbers – All from one account and always with limited risk at www.Nadex.com.  Credit Associates can settle your credit card debt for a fraction of what you owe without debt consolidation or bankruptcy.  For free information, call 1-800-500-0351.

Please take a minute to take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Sep 7, 2017

Actor, writer, director Danny Strong talks about his new movie Rebel in the Rye about the life of author J.D. Salinger.  He discusses the challenges of portraying a man who spent so much of his life out of the public spotlight, the autobiographical aspects of his novel Catcher in the Rye, and why this film is probably the closest we will ever get to a Catcher in the Rye movie.  Plus, Danny reveals how a young video clerk named Quentin Tarantino stoked his early love of film, and we talk about Danny's big screen adaptation of the musical Guys & Dolls.

Rebel in the Rye opens in theatres tomorrow Friday, September 8,
and his show Empire returns for a 4th season on September 27 on Fox.  Follow Danny Strong on Twitter at @DannyStrong.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Credit Associates.  Credit Associates can settle your credit card debt for a fraction of what you owe without debt consolidation or bankruptcy.  For free information, call 1-800-500-0351.

Please take a minute to take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Sep 5, 2017

Actor Bryan Cranston recalls a difficult childhood and the two year road trip that changed his life.  He shares some of his adventures before acting including traveling as a carny, catching shoplifters as security guard, and the time he ended up a suspect in a murder investigation.  He talks about getting a crash course in comedy from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, landing the role of a lifetime on Breaking Bad, and how he built one of the most iconic characters in the history of television.  Bryan Cranston also gives some advice for aspiring actors, reveals how his life has changed since "Walter White," and why he loves making small talk with old people.

Order Bryan Cranston's bestselling memoir A Life in Parts on Amazon or download the audiobook at www.audible.com.  Bryan Cranston stars in Last Flag Flying which opens in theatres November 3.  Follow Bryan on Twitter at @BryanCranston.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Hello Fresh.  HelloFresh is the meal kit delivery service that makes cooking more fun.  Go to www.hellofresh.com and enter promo code KICK30 when you subscribe for $30 off your first week of deliveries.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take a minute to take our listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK. Support the show by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Sep 1, 2017

Today's episode is a rerun of my interview acclaimed astrophysicist, author, and a highly popular science communicator Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Today Dr. Tyson talks about his new #1 New York Times Bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and why he wants to make science accessible and understandable for all.  He shares his thoughts on how movies and television portray science.  He reveals just how rapidly the universe was born and why the debate over the big bang theory vs intelligent design really shouldn’t be a debate at all because as he says “science doesn’t care about your opinion.”  Plus we talk about Einstein’s thought experiments, wormholes, what’s in the dark areas of the night sky, how to gain a “cosmic perspective” of the universe, and whether Pluto can ever work its way back into Dr. Tyson's good graces.  We'll be back with new episodes next Tuesday after Labor Day starting with guest Bryan Cranston.

Order Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson's new bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry on Amazon or download the audio version for free with a special offer for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews.  Subscribe to his weekly StarTalk podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts or visit www.startalkradio.net.  You can also learn more about Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Hayden Planetarium at www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson and follow him on Twitter at @neiltyson.

Today’s episode is sponsored by ResumeWritingSucks.com and On the Media.  Tailor your resume for the job of your dreams for free at www.resumewritingsucks.com.  On the Media is the weekly podcast hosted by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield that investigates how the media shapes our world view.  Subscribe to On the Media on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and take a minute to take our listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK. Support the show by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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