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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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Jun 17, 2019

Senator Tom Cotton recalls the storied history of the Old Guard of Arlington National Cemetery and the rigorous training he went through to become a member of this elite regiment.  He describes what it’s like to perform a military funeral in America’s most hallowed cemetery and how the soldiers of the Old Guard manage to avoid getting choked up.  Senator Cotton shares some of the other ceremonies that the Old Guard performs and how the Old Guard played a pivotal role at the Pentagon in the hours and days following 9/11.  Plus we talk about the special soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier day and night in all kinds of weather, how they deal with unruly children and noisy tourists, and why modern science means there never be another Unknown Soldier.

Order Senator Tom Cotton's book Sacred Duty: A Soldier's Tour at Arlington National Cemetery on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp.com, Kronos, and Soundtrap for Storytellers.

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Dec 17, 2018

Paul Lieberstein (THE OFFICE) talks about his 20 year struggle with crippling back pain inspired his funny and moving directorial debut film SONG OF BACK AND NECK.  He shares how the king of indie filmmaking Mark Duplass convinced him to make the movie himself rather than selling it to a Hollywood studio, how he made something as seemingly mundane as back pain visually interesting on the screen, and the complications that arise when you're directing yourself.  We talk about his nine seasons playing Toby on THE OFFICE and what it was like to do double duty as actor and show runner.  He reveals that NBC initially didn’t think the show would last more than a few episodes and weighs in recent talk of an OFFICE revival.  Plus, he addresses how THE OFFICE’s Michael Scott might fare in the age of Me Too, whether there was more to Michael Scott’s visceral hatred for Toby, and some favorite fan theories including one that suggests that Toby was secretly the "Scranton killer."

Watch Paul Lieberstein's wonderful film SONG OF BACK AND NECK available on Video on Demand, and follow Paul on twitter at @PaulLieberstein.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Espresso Monster, BetDSI.com, Zeel, and Ben Sasse's audiobook Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

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Dec 3, 2018

Trevor Noah talks about his new standup special TREVOR NOAH: SON OF PATRICIA and why he dedicated it to his mom whom he calls “the first comedian that he ever saw” and “most gangster human being you’ll ever meet in your life.”  He discusses growing up in South Africa during Apartheid, the power of humor to fight oppression, and why he believes that hateful words aren’t nearly as important as addressing with the hate itself.  He shares how the 2016 election affected his own vision for THE DAILY SHOW, why the current President reminds him of certain African dictators, and how he deciphers what’s news and what’s nonsense in the age of Trump.  Plus Trevor talks about interviewing President Barak Obama, whether he would be down to do the same with Donald Trump, and the question that he would most like ask the 45th President.

Watch Trevor Noah's new standup special TREVOR NOAH: SON OF PATRICIA now available on Netflix, order his memoir BORN A CRIME on Amazon, and watch THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH every weeknight at 11PM ET on Comedy Central.  Visit www.trevornoah.com for more on Trevor including upcoming tour dates, and follow him on twitter at @TrevorNoah.  Today's episode was sponsored by Human Rights Watch, Espresso Monster, Zeel, and Bombas.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

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Aug 16, 2018

Greg Gutfeld discusses his new book The Gutfeld Monologues: Classic Rants from The Five and how it gave him a unique opportunity troll his own work.  He talks about his political evolution starting out at liberal enclave UC Berkeley, his problem with "mob thinking," and how extremism on both the left and the right led him to Libertarianism.  He recalls his early days working at the Huffington Post with his best buddy Andrew Breitbart and how a prank involving costumed dwarves got him fired as editor of Stuff Magazine.  Then he shares how his quirky little late night show Red Eye became a hit on the unlikeliest of networks by giving Fox News viewers a much needed break from 24 hour politics and stoners an alternative to infomercials.  He reveals how he’s broadening the Fox News demographic one unicorn at a time, how thrash metal helps him bridge the political divide, and how he mostly manages to behave on The Five.  Plus Gutfeld talks about the scourge of British lad culture, cute pet videos, and Fox News’s next big hit...a talk show hosted by a dolphin.

Order The Gutfeld Monologues: Classic Rants from The Five on Amazon or Audible.  Watch Greg on Fox News weekdays on The Five and Saturdays on The Greg Gutfeld Show.  Subscribe Greg's podcast The One with Greg Gutfeld on Fox News Radio, Apple Podcasts, Tune In, Stitcher or wherever you like to listen.  Visit Greg’s website at www.ggutfeld.com and follow him on twitter at @GregGutfeld.  Special thanks to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum for hosting our interview.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Emma and RelentlessMV.

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Jul 2, 2018

The Simpsons's longest-serving writer/producer Mike Reiss celebrates the 30th anniversary of the longest running show in TV history and shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family.  He talks about his early days writing for the Harvard Lampoon and why Lampoon alums make up half the writers rooms in Hollywood.  He recalls working on The Tonight Show, how his only meeting with Johnny Carson was just like being a guest on his show, and a Carnac joke taught him that there’s just no science to comedy.  He discusses coming on board the first episode of The Simpsons, why Fox had little faith in the first primetime cartoon since The Flintstones, and why The Simpsons became a cultural phenomenon right out of the gate.  He reveals that Simpsons characters are just bad impersonations of old movie stars, how the writers add special guest roles into the script just to meet their childhood heroes, and Mike shares a few of favorite celebrity guests and some of the ones that got away.  He talks about the fans' love/hate relationship with the show, some of the crazier conspiracy theories swirling around The Simpsons, and the show's complicated relationship with Seth McFarlane's Family Guy.  Plus Mike Reiss tells me which countries have actually banned and even sued The Simpsons and how his own popular children's book got boycotted by the Texas Board of Education.

Order Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons on Amazon or Audible. Watch The Simpsons every Sunday night on Fox and follow Mike Reiss on Twitter at @MikeReissWriter.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Michelin Premiere Tires and Dollar Shave Club.

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Apr 5, 2018

Actor Ed Helms (THE OFFICE, THE HANGOVER) talks about playing Ted Kennedy's best friend in CHAPPAQUIDDICK, why the Chappaquiddick incident is an often forgotten chapter in America’s modern political history, and how making the film led him to reassess his own ideas about "Camelot."  He also reveals how the Kennedy damage control team used the moon landing to distract from the scandal, ponders Chappaquidick’s place in Ted Kennedy’s larger legacy, and wonders how the scandal might have played out differently in the age of 24 hour news and social media.  Ed Helms talks about working with fellow comic Jim Gaffigan on the film, mining the Kennedy story for moments of dark comedy, and mastering the notoriously tricky Massachusetts accent.  He also discusses his own politics, gleefully recalls exposing hypocrites and bad guys as a correspondent on The Daily Show, remembers his start in entertainment as a cocky sarcastic voiceover guy, and explains why he says it's good to be "a fool at life."

CHAPPAQUIDDICK opens in theatres tomorrow Friday April 6.  Follow Ed Helms on Twitter at @edhelms, check out his website for bluegrass lovers at www.thebluegrasssituation.com and visit his own bluegrass band the Lonesome Trio at www.thelonesometrio.com.  Today's episode was sponsored by AppRiver, Adiamor Jewelry, and Grasshopper.

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Nov 16, 2017

Paul Reiser and Jeff Sotzing discuss their new show There's...Johnny!, a funny and heartwarming coming of age series set amid the backstage antics on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  They talk about bringing Carson to a new generation of TV viewers, meticulously recreating the look of The Tonight Show for There's...Johnny!, and building each episode around some of Johnny Carson's most iconic television moments.  Paul recalls his first appearance on Carson, Johnny’s impeccable sense of comedic timing, and his generosity to young comics like himself.  Jeff shares memories of his uncle Johnny and his time working on The Tonight Show including being there for Carson’s final episode.  Plus the antics of the legendary Pat McCormick, the time Johnny Carson foiled an extortion plot, and Tony Danza as the oh so cool Tonight Show producer Freddie deCordova.

Season 1 of There’s...Johnny! is available on Hulu November 16. Keep up with Paul at www.paulreiser.com or on Twitter at @PaulReiser, and visit www.johnnycarson.com for memorable clips and other fun stuff from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex and Grasshopper.   Please take our new listener survey at www.podcastlistener.com/KICK.  

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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.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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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.

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Aug 21, 2017

Comedian Al Madrigal (The Daily Show, I'm Dying Up Here) talks about exploring the dark side of the 70's stand-up comedy boom on his new Showtime series, why he’s resisted being pidgeonholed as a latino comic, and why he thinks white guys actually have it tougher in comedy.  He discusses his audition for The Daily Show, and faking a border crossing as a field correspondent.  Plus seafood as revenge, why you might want to avoid cilantro for the next 4 years, and Al Madrigal on Donald Trump and the border wall.

Watch Al Madrigal’s standup special Shrimpin' Ain’t Easy and his series I’m Dying Up Here with a subscription to Showtime or Showtime Anytime.  Listen to his podcast and other hilarious shows on the All Things Comedy podcast network at www.allthingscomedy.com or wherever you get your podcasts.  For Al Madrigal’s live standup dates and other fun stuff, visit www.almadrigal.com, and follow him on Twitter at @almadrigal.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Jun 8, 2017

The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper talks about his new Comedy Central special Jordan Klepper Solves Guns.  He reveals what enflames the passions on both sides of the gun debate, and he says Americans really aren’t so far apart on the issue of gun safety.  In fact, he shares some surprising data on where rank and file NRA members stand on things like background checks.  Plus he talks about brining his gun-owning cousin Pete on the program, embedding with the Georgia militiamen, and covering Trump Rallies for The Daily Show during the 2016 election.

Don’t miss Jordan Klepper Solves Guns on Sunday, June 11 at 10PM Eastern on Comedy Central.  For information visit www.comedycentral.com and follow Jordan Klepper on Twitter at @JordanKlepper.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Apr 13, 2017

Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor at The Economist discusses his book Megatech: Technology in 2050 including the best ways to predict tech trends, which sector will most benefit from technology in the 21st Century,and why some are predicting that Moore’s Law may finally be running out of steam. He reveals how 3D printing may bring manufacturing jobs back to the US, how your next car might be sewn together, and why Google glasses might be poised to make comeback. Plus Daniel Franklin talks about how his 3 decades at The Economist have shaped his world view and what he sees as the role of the magazine that extolls globalism, free trade and immigration in the face of the current populist revolt. Click below to listen.

Order Megatech: Technology in 2050 on Amazon and subscribe to The Economist at www.economist.com.  Follow Daniel Franklin on Twitter at @EconWorldIn.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Apr 10, 2017

Bassem Youssef is the political satirist described as the "Jon Stewart" of Egypt and host of Fusion TV's Democracy Handbook with Bassem Youssef. Today he shares how he went from being a doctor to the host of the most popular show in the history of Arab-language television during one of the most tumultuous chapters in Egypt’s history. He talks about the Egyptian military's absurd claim that they had invented an "AIDS curing machine" and the time he had to explain to government interrogators why people were laughing at his show. He also discusses his disappointment at many Egyptian protesters who he says simply traded Islamist fascism for military fascism, he reveals some of the tensest moments behind the scenes of his show, and remembers the heartbreaking day he fled Egypt for good. Plus, Bassem Youssef says he's feeling a disturbing degree of de ja vu as he covers the presidency of Donald Trump.

Order Bassem Youssef's new book Revolution for Dummies: Laughing through the Arab Spring on Amazon or download the audio book for free with special promotion for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews. Check out his show Democracy Handbook with Bassem Youssef on Fusion TV. For more information www.fusion.net. Follow Bassem Youssef on Twitter at @BYoussef.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Mar 6, 2017

Best-selling crime writer Patricia Cornwell discusses her investigation into the true identity of the most infamous serial killer of all time. She claims that a famous artist led a double life as Jack the Ripper, and she shares the clues in his paintings, letters, and conversations as well as forensic evidence that implicate him as the Whitechapel killer. She debunks the accepted Ripper timeline and body count, she talks about the frustrating incompetence of the original Scotland Yard investigation, and she shares what the art world has say about her controversial theory.

Order Patricia Cornwell’s book RIPPER: THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER SICKERT on Amazon or you can download the audio version at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews.com. Visit Patricia Cornwell’s website at www.patriciacornwell.com and follow her on Twitter at @1pcornwell.

Today's podcast is sponsored by GoDaddy, Texture, and Home Chef. Visit www.godaddy.com and enter our promo code "KICK30" to get 30% off a new domain.  Get access to over 200 magazines with a 14 day free trial from Texture at www.texture.com/KICKASS.  Get $30 in free meals from Home Chef at www.HomeChef.com/KICKASS.

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

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Nov 28, 2016

The former White House Press Secretary and co-host of The Five on Fox News Channel says if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.  She talks about her new book called Let Me Tell You about Jasper...How My Best Friend Became America's Dog and how pets can bridge political divides between humans.  She also talks about her time as White House Press Secretary, the post-election vibe at The Five, how her dog Jasper became a social media celebrity, and her ideas for the next White House dog.  

If you enjoyed today’s podcast, then you can order Dana Perino's book Let Me Tell You about Jasper...How My Best Friend Became America's Dog on Amazon or you can download the audio version for free at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews.  Watch Dana Perino on The Five weekdays on Fox News and subscribe to her podcast called Perino and Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What on iTunes or GooglePlay.  Visit her at www.danaperino.com and follow her on Twitter at @DanaPerino.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Nov 1, 2016

Celebrity Chef Mario Batali (host of The Chew) comes on the show to celebrate America’s favorite regional dishes and talk about his new book Big American Cookbook: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA. We talk about the history of our regional cuisines and how they evolved from popular “Old World” recipes brought over by our immigrant forefathers. We discuss the amazing diversity of barbecue, the age-old debate over New England clam chowder vs. Manhattan clam chowder, and where he thinks the next big culinary scene is about emerge. He discusses the origins of his love for cooking, how he maintains quality and consistency when operating 26 different restaurants around the world, and why it's not the end of the world if you can't buy “locally grown and organic."  Plus proper pickling/preserving and other helpful tips.

Order Chef Mario Batali’s Big American Cookbook: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA on Amazon. You can watch his show The Chew every weekday on ABC, visit his website at www.mariobatali.com for all kinds of other fun stuff, and follow him on twitter at @mariobatali.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Jul 22, 2016

Today I talk to prominent Republicans who say Donald Trump doesn’t speak for them. My guests include GOP political operatives like Stuart Stevens, who was the lead strategist behind Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, and Tim Miller, who served as communication director for the Jeb Bush campaign and the leading anti-Trump SuperPAC. I also talk with conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg of National Review and former Republican Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman. Plus Kendal Unruh, founder of the Free the Delegates movement encourages voters to vote their conscience.

You can follow today's guests on Twitter at Stuart Stevens @stuartpstevens, Jonah Goldberg @JonahNRO, Governor Christine Todd Whitman @GovCTW, Tim Miller @TimODC, and Kendal Unruh @ConscienceVoter.  Order Stuart's novel THE INNOCENT HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR on at www.stuartstevens.com, on Amazon or get the audiobook at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics.  You can read Jonah Goldberg’s articles at www.NationalReview.com.  Keep up with Governor Whitman at www.christiewhitman.com and support her efforts to get a third party on the ballot at www.BetterforAmerica.com.  You can support Tim Miller's www.ourprinciplespac.com and www.americarisingpac.org as well as Kendal Unruh's Free the Delegate movement at www.freethedelegates.com

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Jul 8, 2016

Dana Loesch is the host of Dana on Glenn Beck's The Blaze TV and the nationally syndicated radio show The Dana Show: The Conservative Alternative.  She has a new book called Flyover Nation: You Can't Run a Country You've Never Been To, and on today's podcast, she stands up for the good folks of the so-called "flyover states" and corrects misperceptions and media portrayals of the hardworking people in middle America.  Dana talks about what matters in Flyover Nation, including issues like gun control, manufacturing jobs, and religious liberty.  We discuss what it is that Trump voters in Flyover Nation are so angry about and the irony of the blue collar Americans choosing a rich New Yorker to represent the interests of the common man.  Plus, Dana really, really likes Walmart!  

If you enjoyed my conversation with Dana Loesch, then order her new book Flyover Nation on Amazon or you can download the audio version of her book for free through a special trial offer just for our listeners from Audible.  You can find out more about Dana including stations and showtimes for her syndicated radio show The Dana Show on her website at www.DanaLoeschRadio.com, and subscribe to The Blaze TV to watch her show Dana every weekday.  Follow Dana Loesch on Twitter at @DLoesch.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Jul 5, 2016

Glenn Beck hosts the third highest-rated radio talk show in America - The Glenn Beck Program, and he is the founder of www.theblaze.com.  He's also the author of 7 #1 New York Times Best-Sellers.  Today we talk about how Orson Wells inspired Glenn Beck's an early love of radio and why he went the independent route when he left Fox News to found The Blaze.  He shares his worries over recent incidents of people taking the law into their own hands, he reiterates his gravest concerns about Donald Trump, and he makes an impassioned appeal for GOP delegates to vote their conscience at the upcoming convention.  Glenn Beck also discusses why he will most likely be voting for the Libertarian candidate for President, and he makes the case for a Libertarian approach to federal government, drugs, and foreign entanglements.

If you enjoyed my talk with Glenn Beck then visit www.theblaze.com where you can sign up for a free 14 day trial of The Blaze TV.  You can also go to www.glennbeck.com to find out more about Glenn and which radio station broadcast The Glenn Beck Program in your area.  Check out his best-selling books on Amazon and follow him on Twitter at @glennbeck.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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