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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, 2020
Sep 28, 2020

John Lithgow shares some of his favorite poems from his new book Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown: Verses for a Despotic Age and how a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most famous song inspired him to express his political voice through rhyme and verse.  He reveals that he originally wanted to go into fine art instead of acting, how his poetry books have returned him to his childhood love of drawing, and why the motley cast of characters around Donald Trump serve as endless sources of inspiration for his humorous illustrations.  We also discuss his magnificent turns as Roger Ailes and Winston Churchill on screen, how this classically trained actor was convinced to play an alien on the hit sitcom Third Rock from the Sun, and how Twilight Zone: The Movie has made him every flight attendant’s favorite star.  We talk about his series of books and albums for children, we dig into his dark poem about the President’s deadly mishandling of the Coronavirus, and John ponders whether might he one day want to star as Trumpty Dumpty himself.  

Order his book Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown: Verses for a Despotic Age on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Be sure to check out some of John's celebrity video readings of Trumpty Dumpty on Youtube and follow John on Twitter @JohnLithgo.  Today's episode was sponsored by Freeform's new series Kal Penn Approves This Message, now streaming new episodes on Wednesdays on Hulu.

 

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Sep 24, 2020

Based on James Comey's memoir A Higher Loyalty, The Comey Rule is a two night television event that is written/directed by Oscar-nominee Billy Ray and stars Emmy-winner Jeff Daniels as the embattled FBI Director.  They join me on the podcast to open up about their own initial anger at James Comey over the 2016 Hillary Clinton probe and why they want to set the record straight about the man behind the two most controversial investigations of the 21st Century.  Jeff reveals what attracts him to roles that define what it means to be an American, why he’s not afraid of projects that take a political stand, and what it was like to sit across the table from actor Brendan Gleeson as President Donald Trump.  Billy recalls his extensive conversations with the real James Comey, the rule that governed every single decision that Comey made, and what Billy learned from his additional year’s worth of interviews (including one with a powerful Trump ally).  They also discuss their race to finish The Comey Rule in time for the 2020 Presidential race and how they convinced Showtime to move up the premiere date to just 5 weeks before the election.  Plus Jeff and Billy say they hope Donald Trump’s supporters will at least hate-watch The Comey Rule and they're totally prepared for inevitable angry tweet from President Trump himself.

The Comey Rule airs Sunday, September 27 and Monday, September 28 at 9 PM ET/PT only on Showtime.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the new series Kal Penn Approves This Message now streaming on Hulu.

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Sep 21, 2020

Oscar-nominated actor Richard Jenkins talks about his prolific career as one of Hollywood’s most reliable character actors and achieving fame later in life on the hit HBO series Six Feet Under.  He talks about some of his favorite films including Step Brothers and The Shape of Water, how director Guillermo del Toro gives actors a whole bible of background information on their characters, and the difference between working with the Coen Brothers and the Farrelly Brothers.  Richard discusses his role as a working class man in rust belt Michigan in The Last Shift and what the film has to say about racial injustice, income inequality, and finding common ground during these political divisive times.  He also talks about his role as a shameless grifter in Kajillionaire, how the film redefines the traditional family, and what it was like to battle a never-ending deluge of bubbles for the movie!

Kajillionaire and The Last Shift both open in theaters this Friday, September 25, 
and Kajillionaire will come out on Video-On-Demand beginning October 16.  Today's episode is sponsored by the new podcast What's Ahead with Steve Forbes, the new Freeform series Kal Penn Approves This Message, and V-Thrive, The Vitamin Shoppe brand of vitamins and supplements.

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Sep 17, 2020

The past 5 years have been an amazing ride for actress Carrie Coon with a near constant string of excellent performances in some of the best film and television of the past decade including The Leftovers, Fargo S3, The Sinner S2, Gone Girl, and The Post.  Now she says quarantine is the longest period of time that she has spent in her own house and it may be the first opportunity she has had to process the incredible leap that her career has taken over the past half-decade.  She tells me that the pandemic feels a lot like revisiting her time on the apocalyptic series The Leftovers and that fans of the show still tell her that her performance helped them through their own personal tragedies.  Carrie reveals how a certain brand of midwestern stoicism informs her roles in The Leftovers and Fargo and that even directors are constantly surprised by her upbeat, easy-going demeanor when they finally meet her in-person.  She talks about going blonde for her new movie The Nest, how the film explores the shifting power dynamics of a marriage, and she opens up her own unique relationship with her husband actor/playwright Tracy Letts. Plus Carrie gives a preview of her forthcoming HBO series The Gilded Age and a few of her favorite quarantine movie recommendations.

Carrie Coon and Jude Law star in The Nest, which opens in theaters Friday September 18 and Video-On-Demand starting November 17.  You can also follow Carrie on Twitter at @CarrieCoon.

Today's podcast was sponsored by V-Thrive, the Vitamin Shoppe brand of quality vitamins, supplements, & more.  Learn more/order at www.vitaminshoppe.com/PODCAST or visit The Vitamin Shoppe store near you.

 

 

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Sep 14, 2020

For more than 25 years, actors and musicians Jack Black and Kyle Gass have been performing as the rock satire band Tenacious D.  They’ve toured around the world, recorded Grammy-winning albums, started a music festival, made a tv show, made a movie, then made an animated movie, and now they’ve even put out a new graphic novel.  Today Kyle and Jack join me on the show as we get into how they’ve managed to outlast the lifespan of most bands and how satirizing rock bands has led to their playing with everyone from Metallica to Kid Rock.  They reveal how Bob Odenkirk and David Cross gave them their first big break, how their movie The Pick of Destiny went from an initial box-office failure to cult film status, and their dream cast for a Tenacious D musical on Broadway.  They discuss what was like to voice every single character and hand draw every frame of animation for their second film Post-Apocalypto, how the movie and now graphic novel of Post-Apocalypto address everything from toxic masculinity to Donald Trump, and how being the self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Band” gives them a little insight into Trump’s narcissism.  Plus the time Kyle had to go on stage with partial facial paralysis, Jack gets a stalker in the middle of our interview, and Kyle shares memories of his brief stint as a census taker.

Order their new graphic novel Post-Apocalypto on Amazon or order a signed copy at www.tenaciousd.com.  You can also follow the guys on Twitter at @JackBlack and @GassLeak.  

Today's episode was sponsored by the new podcast What’s Ahead with Steve Forbes.  On What’s Ahead, financial legend Steve Forbes sits down with today’s leading business, economic, and cultural minds everyone from CEOs to scientists to celebrities to give listeners a better grasp of what’s coming, as well as sharing his own perspectives on the day’s most pressing issues.  Check out What’s Ahead with Steve Forbes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Sep 10, 2020

As Official White House Photographer under Ronald Reagan and then Barack Obama, Pete Souza was an eyewitness to the unique and tremendous responsibilities of being the most powerful person on Earth.  Now he's the subject of a new documentary film titled The Way I See It.  Pete discusses the life of a White House photographer and what it was like to go from being a journalist on the outside looking in to being at the President’s side all day, every day.  He talks about the delicate balance between getting the shot and knowing when to back off, what it was like to watch President Obama’s two daughters grow up and to watch history in the making, and how even he sometimes got a little choked up on several occasions.   He explains his decision to go from being a "fly on the wall" to a very public and outspoken critic of Donald Trump, he compares the two most famous photos of the Obama and Trump Presidencies, and shares the Instagram post that earned him the nickname “the king of shade.”

The Way I See It will open in theaters on Friday, September 18 and will be followed by a premiere on MSNBC on Friday, October 9 at 10PM Eastern.  Keep up with Pete at www.petesouza.com and follow him on instagram and twitter at @PeteSouza.  Today's episode is sponsored by Mutual Mobile. Mutual Mobile is a product design and development company that has designed and built mobile and web apps powering many of the Fortune 500 companies and high growth startups in the world today.  If you have design or development needs, schedule a free 30 minute consultation with Mutual Mobile at www.mutualmobile.link/kick to get started.




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Sep 7, 2020

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 delivery apps are disrupting the restaurant industry, and what that means for chefs.

Keep up with David at www.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.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com for more interesting stuff, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod or on Facebook.

 

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Sep 3, 2020

Dr. David Eagleman is creator/host of PBS's The Brain, a professor of neuroscience at Stanford University, and CEO/founder of Neosensory, a company that builds the next generation of neuroscience hardware.  He overturns science's traditional understand of brain plasticity and explains how the mind is able to constantly adapt to suit different circumstances.  He shares how a child can still function with half his brain missing, how babies start modeling the world from the moment they are born, and what happens if babies are deprived of that opportunity in their first months and years.  David also discusses why our 16-year-old self and our 40-year-old self are like entirely different people, why we lose brain plasticity as we age, but how areas of the brain age at different rates.  He reveals what neuroscience can contribute to criminal law, how his company NeoSensory is able to help deaf people hear through their skin, and how Elon Musk’s Neuralink technology may help overcome other injuries, but probably won’t turn you into a super-intelligent cyborg.  Plus David talks about what it’s like to be a science consultant for HBO’s Westworld.

Order David Eagleman's book Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow David at eagleman.com or on Twitter at @davideagleman.  Today's podcast was sponsored by V-Thrive, the Vitamin Shoppe brand of quality vitamins, supplements, & more.  Learn more/order at www.vitaminshoppe.com/PODCAST or visit The Vitamin Shoppe store near you.

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