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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: May, 2020
May 28, 2020

Actress Sian Clifford (Fleabag, Vanity Fair) talks about starring as Diana Ingram, the British woman accused of helping cheat Who Wants to Be a Millionaire out of a million bucks, in AMC's 3-part limited series Quiz.  She recalls her memories of growing up watching Who Wants to Be A Millionaire with her own family and how the game show became a national obsession across the UK (and then all across the world).  She talks about working with Michael Sheen and Matthew McFadden on Quiz, what it felt like to sit in the real Who Wants to Be a Millionaire hot seat, and what she hopes will happen when the Charles and Diana Ingram’s conviction is up for appeal this year.  Plus Sian talks about her Emmy nominated role as Claire in the hit television series Fleabag and her longtime friendship with the shows creator and star Phoebe Waller Bridge.

See Sian Clifford in the three-part miniseries Quiz, premiering Sunday, May 31 at 10/9c on AMC.  Visit www.amc.com for more information.

May 25, 2020

David Frum, former speechwriter and special assistant to President George W Bush, talks about his new book Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy.  He discusses Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, how Trump is encouraging disinformation and dangerous conspiracy theories about this deadly virus, and whether Republicans may finally get on board with voting rights reforms now that it’s a literal matter of life and death.  He illuminates how President Trump’s dangerous pattern of decision making continually makes matters worse for him and the nation and says that Donald Trump is his own "deep state" constantly self-sabotaging his own agenda while well meaning advisors and civil servants desperately try to save Donald Trump from Donald Trump.  David describes Trumpism as a type of affinity fraud, asks what will happen when well-meaning Trump supporters realize that they’ve been duped, lays out Trump’s dark game plan for the 2020 election, and ponders what will become of the Republican party and our democratic institutions when Trump and Trumpism are relegated to the ash heap of history.

 

Order David Frum's book Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow David at www.davidfrum.com or on Twitter at @DavidFrum, and read more of David’s writing in the Atlantic Magazine.  Today's episode was sponsored by the podcast Afternoon CyberTea with Anne Johnson and Black Rifle Coffee Company.  BRCC makes premium, roast-to-order coffee, donated over 30,000lbs of coffee to troops overseas in 2019, and currently employ over 200 veterans. Visit www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick, and use promo code KICK for 20% off your purchase.

May 21, 2020

This is a rebroadcast of a November 5, 2018 interview with Roger Daltrey, founder/lead singer of The Who.  Roger discusses how the hardships experienced by Brits in WWII paved the way for the musical revolution of the 1960s, he recalls what it was like to be the poster-boys for the British “mod” movement (and why he never fully embraced the fad), and he remembers the “utter chaos” of performing at Woodstock. He talks about how he and Peter Townsend pushed each other’s creative boundaries during the making of the first rock opera Tommy, how he managed to resist the drug fueled excess the 60s, and how it led to quite a bit of tension with his bandmates - especially The Who’s famously reckless drummer Keith Moon. Roger also reveals how he processed Moon’s tragic death in 1978, how it led to the band’s breakup in the early 80s, and a how it took a Silicon Valley con man to finally reunite the band.  

Order Roger Daltrey's new book Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow The Who on twitter at @TheWho.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

May 18, 2020

Patton Oswalt recalls coming up as a comedian at the dawn of the alt comedy scene, his first gig in Hollywood as a writer for Mad TV, and his prolific side gig as a script doctor on some of the biggest box-office hits of the past two decades.  He reminisces about his friendship with the owner of LA’s most famous revival cinema and his love of the films of Billy Wilder and Sidney Lumet.  Then Patton discusses his new Netflix special Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything, finding love again after the death of his first wife, and turning 50.  Plus he talks about going to college in that wild party town of colonial Williamsburg, the time he donated to the crowdfunding page of one of his Twitter trolls, and how he got Netflix to build him a house for his new comedy special!

Watch Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything streaming on Netflix beginning May 19.  Follow Patton at www.pattonoswalt.com or on Twitter at @PattonOswalt.

May 14, 2020

Dr. Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, returns to discuss his new book The World: A Brief Introduction. He explains the foreign relations implications of the current pandemic, his concerns that the crisis may lead to more nationalism and isolationism instead of greater cooperation, and what the pandemic might mean for US-China relations. He addresses why terms like "world order" and "globalism" are such hot buttons for many Americans and why the negatives of globalism and trade often overshadow the many benefits. Dr. Haass talks about why we are still struggling to define the current post-Cold War period, and he proposes that the world may need to rethink its ideas about national sovereignty to address problems that know no borders such as COVID-19 and climate change. Then he outlines the most urgent global issues of the 21st Century, the regions of the world that worry him the most, and why he believes that the US might not want to get out of the nation-building business just yet.

Order Dr. Richard Haass's book The World: A Brief Introduction on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Learn more about the Council on Foreign Relations at www.cfr.org and follow Richard on Twitter at @RichardHaass. Today's episode was sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee Company.  BRCC makes premium, roast-to-order coffee, donated over 30,000lbs of coffee to troops overseas in 2019, and currently employ over 200 veterans. Visit www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick, and use promo code KICK for 20% off your purchase.

May 11, 2020

General Stanley McChrystal talks about the myths and reality of leadership.  He shares how he came to reassess the legacy of his military hero General Robert E. Lee in the aftermath of Charlottseville, how he personally learned that the man at the top often gets credit he doesn’t deserve, and why leaders aren’t always judged by their results.  He discusses a 15th century Chinese admiral who has become the symbol for that country’s global ambitions, why he didn’t realize that Coco Chanel was a real person, and one leadership flaw that he shares with Walt Disney.  He reveals why he decided to include his former enemy in combat Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the book, and what it was like to get into the dark mind of the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader.  This episode is a rebroadcast of an interview that originally aired on November 19, 2018.

Order General McChrystal's book Leaders: Myth and Reality on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

May 7, 2020

Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz talk about TCM's new podcast The Plot Thickens: I'm Still Peter Bogdanovich.  Ben reveals that he was initially nervous to meet Peter because of a longstanding controversy involving Ben’s grandfather, Orson Welles, and Citizen Kane.  Peter shares stories about his friendships with Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, John Ford, and many others, and how their advice kept him from making some rookie mistakes when he eventually got to sit in the director's chair himself.  He remembers making his first movie for Roger Corman with horror icon Boris Karloff, how he tricked the government of Singapore into letting him film the movie Saint Jack, and the scene that earned a 9-year-old Tatum O’Neal an Oscar for Paper Moon...but only after 2 days of shooting and 25 grueling takes!  Peter discusses envy and success in Hollywood, his relationships with Cybill Shepherd and Dorothy Stratten, and how he managed to finish his favorite film They All Laughed in the wake of Stratten’s tragic murder. Then Ben Mankiewicz talks about the films of Edward G. Robinson, the passion that his fans have for Turner Classic Movies and the films of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and why he hopes (and indeed predicts) that moviegoers will eventually return to theaters when the Coronavirus finally subsides.  Plus Peter does impressions of everyone from Cary Grant to Jimmy Stewart, recalls some of the famous movies that he turned down, and the time he got his ass kicked by the real Hell’s Angels on set!

Subscribe to The Plot Thickens: I’m Still Peter Bogdanovich on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Learn more at www.theplotthickens.tcm.com.  Follow Ben Mankiewicz on twitter at @BenMank77 and see him host some of the greatest films of all time every week on Turner Classic Movies.  While you're at it, go back and watch some of Peter Bogdanovich's terrific films starting with my personal favorites The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up Doc, They All Laughed, and Saint Jack.

Today's episode was sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee Company and Demand Justice.  Black Rifle Coffee Company sells delicious premium roast-to-order coffee, employs 200 Veterans, and donates tens of thousands of bags of coffee to troops overseas and medical workers on the front lines of the pandemic.  Go to www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick to order and use promo code KICK for 20% off.  Demand Justice is fighting the politicization of the Supreme Court and protect every American's right to vote in the 2020 Election.  Visit www.demandjustice.org/kick to learn more and support voting rights.

May 4, 2020

Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Rec) talk about their improv training at Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade, the fateful day they joined forces to become the improv team of Middleditch & Schwartz, and how they still get a kick out of trying to make each other crack up on stage.  They reveal what it’s like to make-up a 45 minute play as they go along, how they keep as many as 20 characters straight (and even switch characters during a performance), and what happens when one of them ends the sketch, but the other one keeps on going.  Then they discuss the transition from doing a performance that exists entirely in the moment to recording them for all eternity for their new Netflix specials.  Plus Middleditch and Schwartz talk about their obsession with Daniel Day Lewis, the night they played Carnegie Hall, and more.

Their three completely improvised comedy specials Middleditch & Schwartz are now streaming on Netflix.  Follow Thomas on Instagram at @Tombini, follow Ben on Twitter at @RejectedJokes, and visit their website www.middleditchandschwartz.com.  Today's episode was sponsored by Demand Justice.  Visit www.demandjustice.org/kick to learn more and support voting rights in 2020.

 

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