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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: December, 2019
Dec 30, 2019

Dr. Phil McGraw says that some of his guests still surprise him even after 2000+ episodes of his #1 daytime talk show The Dr. Phil Show.  He recalls how losing a football game in junior high school inspired him to go into psychology, what it was like to go into practice with his father, and why he eventually decided to go from getting into the minds of his patients to getting into the minds of juries as a trial consultant.  He explains how that put him into contact with Oprah Winfrey, how he convinced her to move her entire TV operation to Amarillo, Texas for 3 months during the famous mad cow beef trial, and why he was initially hesitant when Oprah first invited him to come on her show.  He discusses his belief that problems are complex but solutions are often fairly simple, but he also says don’t be fooled by the magic of television and his easy going manner.  He says hours of research and peer review by America’s top doctors go into every single episode of The Dr. Phil Show.  He shares a little relationship advice from his 42 years of marriage, how his wife Robin is the "Dr Phil to Dr Phil" who always keeps him in check, and why Robin still sits in the audience of every taping of his show.  Then Dr Phil discusses how his podcast Phil in the Blanks is a welcome chance to interview interesting people without the pressure of having to solve their problems, why he desperately wants to get O.J. Simpson on the show, and why he's planning to enter the popular true crime genre for his next project.  Plus why he never volunteers advice to his friends, what he would say if he was mediating the government shutdown negotiations, and he weighs in on the prospect of an Oprah for President campaign in 2020.

Subscribe to Dr. Phil's podcast Phil in the Blanks on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify, and visit www.drphilintheblanks.com for more information and upcoming guests.  The Dr. Phil Show airs weekdays and you can go to www.drphil.com to find your local listings.  Follow Phil McGraw on Twitter at @DrPhil.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Dec 26, 2019

Actor/director Tim Robbins discusses why his classic political mockumentary BOB ROBERTS is more relevant now than ever.  He says Harvey Weinstein reminds him of the shady operators he knew growing up in New York’s Greenwich Village, he recalls studying real studio execs for his role in Robert Altman’s THE PLAYER, and he remembers Altman's mentoring Tim's leap from actor to director.  He discusses how he funded his first play while he was still a struggling actor, how his play THE NEW COLOSSUS is putting personal faces to the immigration issue, and why he’s using The Actors Gang to bring theatre into California prisons.  Plus Tim opens up about turning 60, weighs in on the current struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, and recounts the time he heckled Henry Kissinger outside of a famous celebrity restaurant.

Visit www.theactorsgang.com for tickets or to learn more. See Tim in Alan Ball’s excellent series HERE AND NOW with a subscription to HBO, HBO GO, or HBO NOW.  Keep up with Tim at www.timrobbins.net or on twitter at @TimRobbins1.  

Dec 23, 2019

For three days in November, 1943, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in Tehran, Iran and made decisions that would change the course of World War II.  It's the subject of a new book by Fox News' Bret Baier titled Three Days at the Brink: FDR's Daring Gamble to Win World War II, and today Bret Baier shares how his latest book fits into his Three Days in History trilogy, why the Tehran Conference was so crucial to Allied victory, and how it also set the stage for the Cold War.  He reveals why Stalin held all the cards going into Tehran, how FDR managed to use Stalin's eavesdropping to his advantage,  and why Roosevelt had to risk hurting Churchill’s feelings in order to make a deal.  He also discusses how lots and lots of alcohol greased the wheels of diplomacy among the three leaders, similarities between the personal diplomacy styles of FDR and President Donald Trump, and some key leadership lessons from those three days in Tehran.  Plus this beltway insider weighs in on the mood in Washington as Congress moves forward with Impeachment.

Special thanks to The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum and the Ronald Reagan National Defense Forum for hosting our interview.  Order Bret Baier's book Three Days at the Brink: FDR's Daring Gamble to Win World War II on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Also check out the other books in his Three Days trilogy Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission and Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire.  Watch Special Report with Bret Baier five days a week on Fox News and follow him on Twitter at @BretBaier.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which wants to remind you not to drive drunk or high this holiday season.

Dec 19, 2019

Ash Carter and Sam Kashner discuss their new book about the EGOT-winning director Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Birdcage).   They talk about his early years as one of the founders of the improv group that would become Second City, the story of how Nichols joined up with Elaine May to make comedy history, and how the creative differences that broke up Nichols and May opened the door for Mike Nichols to direct for Broadway and Hollywood.  They reveal how the first time director got the nerve to stand up to movie mogul Jack Warner during the filming of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, why Nichols originally wanted to cast Robert Redford in The Graduate, and how Orson Wells tried to usurp him as director on Catch-22.  They share stories of Nichols’ courtship and marriage of news anchor Diane Sawyer, his lavish life, his many friendships, and a lesson in how to go out in style.

Order their book Life isn't everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow Sam and Ask on Twitter at @SamKashner and @Psmithjourno.  Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches.  Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at www.oris.ch/kick.

Dec 16, 2019

Craig Ferguson talks about his new limited series Hobo Fabulous, why he wanted to do a rockumentary-style show about his US comedy tour, and how he's ready to take a long break from the road after a 2 month American bus tour. Craig recalls that he never watched a late night television show in his life before taking over The Late Late Show on CBS, what it was like working with David Letterman as a producer, and how doing the show 5 nights a week for 10 years made him fall out of love with show-business.  He says that late shows have become all about viral clips and clicks on the internet instead putting on a show for the tv audience and that he wouldn’t want to do a late night show in today’s politically charged environment.  We also discuss his decision to become a US citizen more than 10 years ago, the one state in the US that won’t grant him honorary citizenship, and why he’s still paying taxes in the US although he's now returned to his native land of Scotland.  Plus we talk about Groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons, the Scottish production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, and Craig’s breakout role as "Bing Hitler."

All six episodes of Hobo Fabulous are available now on the Comedy Dynamics Network, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Comcast, Spectrum, Dish and other platforms.  Visit www.comedydynamics.com for more information.  Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches.  Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at www.oris.ch/kick.

Dec 12, 2019

Abby McEnany discusses her start in Chicago’s improv scene and how her one woman show turned into her new Showtime series Work in Progress.  She reveals how Julia Sweeney’s Saturday Night Live character “Pat” made her life a living hell for a while and how she convinced Julia to join the cast of her new show.  Abby talks about her perennial problem of getting misgendered in the women’s restroom, why the 51 year old sometimes feels like a "square" in the younger gay and transgender community, and why she avoids all social media.

Abby's show Work in Progress airs Sundays At 11pm ET/PT on Showtime.  Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches.  Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at www.oris.ch/kick.

Dec 9, 2019

Andrew Marantz, a staff writer for the New Yorker, talks about his experience embedding with the so called "Deplorables,"
and how he got a rare insider's glimpse into the pundits, trolls, and provocateurs who drive the conversation on the alt-right.  He recalls his strange relationship with a right wing media influencer who is able to manipulate America’s political conversation, spread conspiracy theories, and even put words in the mouth of President Trump.  He also discusses how Silicon Valley’s laissez faire libertarianism opened the door hate-mongers and conspiracy theorists, how social media algorithms actually promote that type of content, and why he says it’s time for tech leaders to stop hiding behind the 1st Amendment.  Plus Andrew describes how Reddit is now cracking down on hate speech, the bizarre story of the neo-nazi who is married to a jewish woman, and the pitiful demise of right wing gadfly Milo Yiannopoulos.

Order Adam's book Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Read Andrew Marantz regularly in The New Yorker and follow him on twitter at @AndrewMarantz.  

Dec 5, 2019

Master of suspense Dean Koontz recalls the literary agent who said he'd never be a bestselling author and how he defied expectations with fourteen #1 New York Times Bestsellers.  He discusses his new collection of six short suspense stories for Amazon, why creating an antihero with no memory and no identity appealed to him, and those stories have to say about the blessing and the curse of technology in our lives.  Dean reveals the meticulous research that goes into his writing, how much of himself he puts into his books, and why his love of dogs always seems to make it into his work.

Nameless, collection of short stories by Dean Koontz is available for free to Prime and Kindle Unlimited members.  Keep up with Dean at www.deankoontz.com and on twitter at @deankoontz.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions.

Dec 2, 2019

CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and humorist Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries but he says that not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves.  He's attempting to right those wrongs with his Mobituaries podcast and his new book Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving.  We discuss celebrities who died on the same day,  historical figures who were eclipsed by the actors who played them in the movies,  and the old debate over whether famous people die in pairs or threes.  Mo tells the stories of lesser known figures like Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy,  the original Siamese twins Ang and Chang, and the world’s first fashion influencer.  Plus we cover the unceremonious sendoff of founding father Thomas Paine, how Lawrence Welk proved it’s hip to be square,  and famous rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike.

Order his book Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to the Mobituaries podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen.  You can also catch Mo on CBS Sunday Morning and follow him on twitter at @MoRocca.  Today's episode was sponsored by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally's new podcast In Bed with Nick and Megan, Kendra Scott Jewelry (use promo code KICK for 20% off), and Invitae genetic testing.

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