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!

Society & Culture
News
1
Remembering Gilbert Gottfried Pt 1
49 min
2
Introducing Everything Everywhere
This is a short preview of Everything Everywhere podcast.
13 min
3
Basketball Great Dwayne Wade
Dwayne Wade talks about his basketball career, his 3 NBA Championships for the Miami Heat, and playing for the Redeem Team.
31 min
4
Master Magician David Copperfield
Master illusionist recalls his beginnings as a childhood magician, his very first magic act, and why his early heroes were filmmakers and dancers instead of magicians.  He reveals how he comes up with new ways to astound audiences and the...
38 min
5
Brad Meltzer Returns
Bestselling author returns to talk about his Ordinary People Change the World series of children's books and the importance of giving kids real heroes.  He discusses his latest children's book , why he thinks kids will find Oprah's story...
30 min
6
Bob Woodward and Robert Costa
Acclaimed journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa talk about the candid moment when President Donald Trump privately admitted that he had lost the 2020 election, how Rudy Giuliani convinced him to contest the results, and why Senate leaders in...
45 min
7
Science Writer Mary Roach on Animal Law-Breakers
Mary Roach discusses her new book about the strange things that happen when humans and animals intersect.
37 min
8
Ron and Clint Howard Recall Their TV Childhood
Ron and Clint Howard discuss their early years as TV stars and how their parents still managed to give them a normal childhood.
38 min
9
Masters of Scale Reid Hoffman & June Cohen
Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn, Partner at Greylock, and Host of Masters of Scale Podcast and June Cohen, his producer and Co-Founder and CEO of WaitWhat, discuss their new book .  They talk about the entrepreneurial...
41 min
10
Alexander Vindman on Doing What's Right
Alexander Vindman discusses the infamous Trump-Ukraine call and why he knew he had to speak out.
44 min
11
When Things Go Wrong
Host Frank Supovitz interviews former NFL security head Jeffrey Miller about crisis management.
47 min
12
Legends of the Old West Presents The Pleasant V...
Legends of the Old West Presents Season 18 about the most deadly range conflict in U.S. history.
27 min
13
The 1978 Lufthansa Heist
This is episode one of the new season of Infamous America which is all about the notorious 1978 Lufthansa Heist
29 min
14
Ben Rhodes on Activism vs Authoritarianism
Ben Rhodes, A former White House aide and close confidant to President Barack Obama, discusses what it was like to go from being the ultimate White House insider to reporting on world events from the outside.  He talks about his...
43 min
15
Brad Stone Takes Us Inside Amazon
Bloomberg tech editor Brad Stone discusses the rise of Jeff Bezos and the unprecedented success of Amazon.
45 min
16
Malcolm Gladwell on the Bomber Mafia
Malcolm Gladwell discusses the stranger fiction of the story of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the...
41 min
17
Jon Meacham on the Roots of the Capitol Riot
Historian Jon Meach Talks about the Roots of the Alt-Right, the Death of Truth, and his New Podcast "Fate of Fact."
38 min
18
Alex Gibney on the Crime of the Century
Filmmaker Alex Gibney Reveals How Big Pharma Manufactured the Opioid Epidemic
38 min
19
Airwave Presents: Food with Mark Bittman
Best-selling food writer Mark Bittman shares his love of food including interviews, recipes, cooking tips, and more.
1 min
20
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on Ernest Hemingway
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick come back to the podcast to discuss their new 3-part documentary on .  They share their own memories of the first Hemingway books they ever read, the challenges of getting to the real person behind the...
43 min
21
Comedian Jo Koy
Comedian talks about growing up as a biracial military brat, his mom’s immigrant hustle, and his first taste of the spotlight as a childhood Michael Jackson impersonator.  He recalls selling tickets door to door for his first comedy...
42 min
22
Melissa Bernstein of Melissa & Doug Toys
Melissa Bernstein co-founded the wildly successful toy company .  You might think that this happily-married mother of 6, who has created over 5,000 toys which have sold over a billion dollars, is always chipper and full of positivity, but...
50 min
23
Admiral James Stavridis and Novelist Elliott Ac...
Former commander of NATO and decorated Marine and novelist envision how a naval clash between the US and China in the South China Sea could lead to World War III in their disturbingly plausible work of speculative fiction titled .  They...
31 min
24
A Huge Announcement from Kickass News
It's official!  We're launching a brand new podcast network called this May!  In addition to Kickass News, Airwave will be the new home for many of your other favorite podcasts.  Airwave will also debut over a dozen original...
2 min
25
Walter Isaacson on the Next Scientific Revolution
Bestselling author Walter Isaacson (Jobs, Leonardo DaVinci) shares how Nobel Prize-winning scientist Jennifer Doudna and her collaborators blazed a trail in a field dominated by men and turned a curiosity of nature into an something that will...
38 min
26
Comedian Howie Mandel
Howie Mandel talks about making his first comedy special in 20 years, his childhood growing up in Toronto, and how the show Candid Camera inspired him to pull an elaborate prank that got him expelled form high school. He shares how "winging it" the...
52 min
27
The Egyptian Indiana Jones Dr. Zahi Hawass
is the former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities and Director of Excavations at Giza, Saqqara, the Bahariya Oasis, and the Valley of the Kings. He is often referred to as “the real Indiana Jones, and some of his major finds include the Tombs of...
35 min
28
Mark Bittman on Our Complicated History with Food
James Beard Award-winning food writer and #1 bestselling author Mark Bittman offers a panoramic view of how the frenzy for food has driven human history to some of its most catastrophic moments, from slavery and genocide to our current...
41 min
29
Director Lee Daniels on Jazz Icon Billie Holiday
Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) talks about his latest film  and how the 1971 movie Lady Sings the Blues inspired him to go into entertainment.  He reveals that he always has a personal connection to each of his...
38 min
30
Gayle Lemmon on the Women Who Beat ISIS
Journalist and author talks about the women who fought ISIS in Syria.  She discusses how the female fighters of Kobani helped to deliver the first blow to the previously unstoppable forces of the Islamic State and how that victory...
38 min
31
Jared Diamond Explores Nations in Crisis
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, scientist, and renowned polymath Jared Diamond reveals that many of the factors in how individuals cope with personal crises can also predict how countries survive national crises.  He profiles six nations in...
44 min
32
Comedian Tom Papa
In this age of insurmountable consumption of media where bad news travels fast from all directions, comedian  wants to remind us to take care of ourselves, embrace who you’ve become, and absorb the beauty of life in his new...
49 min
33
True Crime Documentary Filmmaker Joe Berlinger
True crime documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Paradise Lost) discusses his new Netflix docu-series that deconstructs the mythology and mystery surrounding infamous locations in contemporary crime....
37 min
34
David Mamet Talks Jazz, Gangsters, and Noir
In this 2018 interview with David Mamet, the Pulitzer-winning writer/director discusses how the old gangster stories he heard as a child inspired him to write .  He talks about his love of classic noir and hot jazz, and dislike of social...
34 min
35
Zackary Drucker and Jay Duplass
Jay Duplass and Zackary Drucker discuss their new docu-series The Lady and the Dale about the rise and eventual fall of automaker and trans trailblazer Elizabeth Carmichael.  We talk about Carmichael's three-wheeled car that claimed to...
41 min
36
George C. Wolfe on Bringing a Blues Icon to the...
Five-time Tony Award-winning director talks about his acclaimed new motion picture , the legacy of the original the original , and what went into transforming Oscar-winner Viola Davis into this larger than life icon. He discusses what the Chicago...
42 min
37
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
In this 2017 interview, basketball legend talks about his 50 year friendship with the "Wizard of Westwood" .  He says was more concerned with his players’ grades than with winning basketball games, he shares some of the wisdom that imparted,...
31 min
38
Ocean Explorer Robert Ballard
is the famed ocean explorer responsible for some of the greatest undersea discoveries including the RMS Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and John F. Kennedy's WW II boat PT-109.  Today Dr. Ballard reveals that he was actually on a...
48 min
39
Bulletproof Founder Dave Asprey on the Benefits...
Bulletproof founder talks about his latest book .  He discuss why diets and New Year's resolutions never work, the difference between fasting and dieting, and why science is just starting to take intermittent fasting seriously....
45 min
40
Six Degrees of Mike Rowe
has handled some of the toughest and most disgusting jobs during his nine seasons as host of Discovery's .  Now he's putting that same work ethic to work to prove once and for all that everything in the world is connected for his series ....
43 min
41
Ryan White on the Bizarre Murder of Kim Jong-Nam
Documentary filmmaker (, ) talks about his new film about the murder of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un's half brother Kim Jong-Nam.  He recounts how Kim Jong-Nam was killed in broad daylight with the deadly VX nerve...
41 min
42
Director Bryan Fogel Unravels the Jamal Khashog...
Academy Award-winning director  () discusses his gripping new documentary thriller about the 2018 execution of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul.  He discuss how Jamal Khashoggi went from...
41 min
43
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright fled fascists during her childhood and faced them down as Secretary of State, and today she comes on the podcast to warn that fascism is once again on the rise.  She shares how her own refugee experience during World War II and...
38 min
44
Comedy Writer Bess Kalb Buries 2020
After eight years as a comedy writer on , recently wrote and produced a new comedy special that "eulogizes" the year 2020.   is available on Amazon Prime Video beginning 12/30.  Bess comes on the podcast to talk about her own trials and...
38 min
45
Joel McHale Rings in the New Year
(, ) shares his excitement for his first time co-hosting a New Years Eve special and how he’s looking forward to relentlessly roasting his pal  for a full three and half hours on .  Joel reveals why he and Ken just can’t quit each...
31 min
46
Loudon Wainwright III and Vince Giordano Celebr...
is best known as a folk singer and songwriter, but now he is lending his unique interpretation to the music of the great American songbook on a new album that he recorded with big band bandleader .  They talk about their deep affection for...
48 min
47
Hilary Swank and Deon Taylor Revive Noir
Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank and filmmaker Deon Taylor talk about their new film and their love of classic film noir directors from Alfred Hitchcock to Brian Depalma. Hilary explains what drew her to finally play an antagonist on...
28 min
48
Michael Eric Dyson on Reckoning with Race in Am...
Bestselling author, professor, and leading public intellectual talks about his decision to address race in America through a series of letters to black martyrs, why we all know the name George Flloyd, but we might not know the name Elijah McClain,...
42 min
49
Jon Hamm on Mad Men, SNL, and the Luck of the I...
talks about making his first trip to Ireland for his new movie , filming in the ancestral hometown of President-elect Joe Biden, and why he was blissfully relieved that he didn’t have to attempt an Irish accent.  Jon recalls his...
36 min
50
The Doors Drummer John Densmore
In his more than 50 years in music, drummer  has played with and gotten to know some of the greatest musicians of our time, from Janis Joplin and Paul Simon to Ravi Shankar and Willie Nelson, as well as some inspiring...
42 min
51
My Podcast with André
Acclaimed actor, writer, and theatre director André Gregory joins me on the show to talk about his unusual life from his Jewish father’s possible collaboration with the Nazis and his mom’s affair with Errol Flynn to the...
41 min
52
Chef Magnus Nilsson
In 2019, Chef Magnus Nilsson closed Fäviken, his one-of-a-kind Michelin-starred restaurant in remote Sweden at the peak of its success.  He shares how Fäviken became one of the top restaurants in the world, how the industry it was a...
49 min
53
Matthew McConaughey on Catching Life's Greenlights
is an Academy Award-winning actor, but he is also a poet, philosopher, husband and father of three, global traveler, writer, occasional orchestra conductor, and passionate student of life.  Today he shares some of things he's learned about...
53 min
54
Astronaut Scott Kelly
This is a rerun of my interview with astronaut Captain Scott Kelly.  He talks about his year on the International Space Station, including how it pushed his body the limit, why the hardest physical test was re-adjusting to life on...
40 min
55
Preview of Get Wired Podcast
We’re doing something a little different today.  Instead of a regular episode of KickAss News, we wanted to share a clip from our friends over at the podcast.   is produced by Wired and hosted by senior writer Lauren Goode....
1 min
56
Joe Scarborough Discusses Harry Truman's Lastin...
I talk with Joe Scarborough, host of on MSNBC, about our mutual affection for the politician dismissed as the “strange little man” from Missouri, why Harry Truman couldn’t even get respect from his own wife and mother-in-law, and how...
50 min
57
Oscar-winning Director Steve McQueen
Director won an Academy Award for Best Picture for telling the dramatic true story of a free African-American who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in his film Twelve Years a Slave.  Now he’s addressing a form of racial oppression...
32 min
58
The Mindhunter John Douglas
Legendary FBI criminal profiler talks about some of the 5000 cases with which he has been involved and his chilling face to face encounters with the worst monsters in recent memory from Edmund Kemper to Ted Bundy.  He reveals why he...
60 min
59
David Sedaris Returns
returns to the podcast to talk about his pre-election anxiety, his lifelong blackout of all social media, and the time he got bullied while testifying before the British House of Commons.  He discusses what it was like the comb through 25...
37 min
60
Michael Riedel on Broadway's Recent Past and Un...
New York Post theatre columnist shares his thoughts on Broadway's uncertain future, what New York theatre may look like whenever it emerges from the pandemic, and some hopeful lessons from Broadway’s dramatic recovery in the wake of the...
47 min
61
Stacey Abrams on Counting Every Vote
With Joe Biden taking a razor thin lead in George and a run-off election expected to decide who controls the Senate, many credit with making sure that every vote gets counted and likely delivering Georgia for the Democrats.  Today's episode is a...
35 min
62
Tim Heidecker Is on a Mission to the Moon
 talks about his new comedy series , collaborating with fellow comedy geniuses John C. Reilly, Fred Armisen, and Jonathan Krisel on the show, and what it was like to visit NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and SpaceX headquarters as part of their...
39 min
63
Legendary Newsman Dan Rather
Legendary newsman Dan Rather talks about his 60 year career and how his travels and conversations have given him a “wide shot” of the American experience and the values that unite us.  He condemns recent attacks on some on those values...
41 min
64
Lenny Kravitz Reveals How He Found His Voice
Grammy-wining musician shares how his parents' biracial marriage and very different personalities fostered what he calls his "gemini soul," how his mom, actress Roxy Roker from TV's The Jeffersons, inspired the artist in him, and how he and...
39 min
65
Peter Frampton Comes Alive
Rock legend  talks about the making of that seminal rock album Frampton Comes Alive! and the story of his famous guitar that he nicknamed "The Phoenix."  He recalls learning to play guitar by ear when he was a boy, growing up with...
38 min
66
John Cleese on Creativity
As the actor and writer behind Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and films like A Fish Called Wanda, is among the most creative minds in entertainment.  He opens up about his writing process, why he often finds inspiration in the most unlikely...
58 min
67
Google's Eric Schmidt
Former  chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt discusses how former college football coach Bill Campbell mentored him and many of Silicon Valley's greatest visionaries from Jeff Bezos and Larry Page to Marc Andreessen and Steve Jobs.  Eric recalls...
34 min
68
Tim Robbins on Defeating Tyranny with Satire
Oscar-winning actor/writer/director/producer Tim Robbins shares how he originally developed his latest project as a movie with the director Adam McKay, but he was inspired to adapt his screenplay for an auditory medium when the pandemic...
44 min
69
99% Invisible's Roman Mars on How People, Polit...
host discusses his new book why it’s taken him a decade to finally write a 99% Invisible book , all of the thought that this design fan put into the look of his first book, and some of the secret publishing considerations that determine...
44 min
70
H.R. McMaster Looks at America's Greatest Chall...
Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster served in the US Army for 34 years and then as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump.  He discusses what it was like to take over that job in the chaotic period following the firing of his...
47 min
71
John Lithgow Takes on Trump with Rhyme and Verse
John Lithgow shares some of his favorite poems from his new book  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...
45 min
72
Jeff Daniels and Billy Ray on Capturing the Rea...
Based on James Comey's memoir A Higher Loyalty, 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...
40 min
73
Actor Richard Jenkins Discusses His Long Path t...
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...
42 min
74
Actress Carrie Coon Is Riding a Hot Streak
The past 5 years have been an amazing ride for actress with a near constant string of excellent performances in some of the best film and television of the past decade including , S3, S2, , and .  Now she says quarantine is the longest period...
43 min
75
Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D
For more than 25 years, actors and musicians Jack Black and Kyle Gass have been performing as the rock satire band .  They’ve toured around the world, recorded Grammy-winning albums, started a music festival, made a tv...
43 min
76
Former White House Photographer Pete Souza
As Official White House Photographer under Ronald Reagan and then Barack Obama,  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...
32 min
77
Neuroscientist David Eagleman on Our Ever-Chang...
is creator/host of PBS's The Brain, a professor of neuroscience at Stanford University, and CEO/founder of , a company that builds the next generation of neuroscience hardware.  He overturns science's traditional understand of brain plasticity...
47 min
78
Jon Meacham Remembers Civil Rights Hero John Lewis
Pulitzer-winning historian recalls his 30 year friendship with the late Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis.  Meacham describes as an almost Biblical arc to John Lewis's life, and how Lewis’s Christian faith informed his...
35 min
79
Erin Brockovich Is Still Fighting the Good Fight
20 years after the film raised awareness about water contamination, the real talks about how her that movie changed her life, the moment when she realized that she had to stand up for the citizens of Hinckley, California, and her outrage...
47 min
80
Greg Gutfeld Is Your Reluctant Self-Help Guru
Before was a Fox News star and a New York Times bestselling author, he was a self-help writer for health magazines who had no idea what he was talking about. Now, after years of experience, he finally feels qualified to guide people on the journey of...
28 min
81
Adam Carolla Takes on Cancel Culture and Hashta...
takes on cancel culture and hashtag heroes.  He explains why he has given up on apologizing to people, why he’s standing by his friend Jimmy Kimmel during the late night show host’s blackface controversy, and why he believes that people...
42 min
82
Jim Belushi Wants to Heal the World
is a man of many talents, actor, singer, dancer, and now legal cannabis farmer.  He shares how he’s using cannabis to combat the opioid crisis and heal vets suffering from PTSD, how high school football might have led to his...
42 min
83
Jeffrey Toobin on the Investigation of Donald T...
CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin talks about his new book .  He discusses why this was the hardest book he’s ever written, and how he managed to gain access to a number Robert Mueller’s lead investigators (including a few...
41 min
84
CNN's Jim Sciutto on How Trump Takes on the World
CNN's chief national security correspondent and anchor of discusses the Nixon-era origins of the so-called "Madman Theory" and how it applies to President Trump’s unpredictable approach to foreign policy.  He reveals that the...
45 min
85
Ambassador Susan Rice
 is currently at the top of Joe Biden's shortlist for Vice-President.  It's not hard to see why.  She established a good working relationship with Biden during the Obama Administration, and she has been at the table during the most...
44 min
86
Paul Begala on How to "Fire" Donald Trump
Paul Begala, former strategist to Bill Clinton and CNN political commentator offers a game-plan for how Democrats can beat President Trump in November.  He starts be admitting what he didn’t understand about Donald Trump in 2016  and...
45 min
87
The Today Show's Al Roker
returns to the show to tell stories from and his early days in local television including how he annoyed his way into his first gig as a TV weatherman, some of his worst on-air flubs, and what he loved about doing those quirky,...
34 min
88
Marketing Master Guy Kawasaki
Silicon Valley icon recalls his childhood in Hawaii, his start in the jewelry business, and how his skills at jewelry sales came in surprisingly handy when he became chief evangelist for Macintosh. He talks about personally witnessing the genius and...
40 min
89
Oliver Stone on Writing, Directing, and Survivi...
Oscar-winning writer/director (Platoon, Wall Street, JFK) discusses why he dropped out of Yale and volunteered to go fight in Vietnam, some of the horrors that he witnessed during that war, and how the black soldiers in his platoon opened...
44 min
90
Jennifer Palmieri Declares Independence from a ...
Jennifer Palmieri served as the former Communications Director to President Barack Obama and then for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.  She spent most of her career advocating for herself and for other women from "within the...
47 min
91
Max Brooks Talks Sasquatches and Survival
Max Brooks (World War Z) discusses what a fictional Sasquatch massacre can teach us about the perils of eco-utopianism, what happens when man encroaches on nature, and those people who still refuse to wear a mask in public.  Max says people in...
41 min
92
Ambassador John Bolton
Ambassador John Bolton reveals what he witnessed during his 17 tumultuous months as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump.  Bolton shares how he reacted to Trump’s eagerness to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, why the...
23 min
93
Mythbusters' Adam Savage
(, ) talks about building a working prototype of Marvel’s Iron Man suit for his series  and what it was like to fly around with tiny jet engines strapped to his forearms.  He discusses how Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson helped him...
51 min
94
Andrew Zimmern on Expanding Your Palate
host of on talks about how he became the man who’ll eat anything and some of the weirdest foods he’s tried over the years.  He reveals some of the strangest delicacies that turned out to be surprisingly good and whether he’s...
45 min
95
Remembering Carl Reiner
This Monday June 29, the world lost comedy legend Carl Reiner at the ripe old age 98.   In his honor, we’re sharing a conversation that I had with Carl in 2017.  He talks about working with Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, making The 2000...
41 min
96
Sir Michael Caine
Sir Michael Caine has starred in over 100 movies and won two Academy Awards, and today he shares stories and advice from his remarkable career.  He reveals why he never believed in taking advice from older movie stars, why he never wanted to...
32 min
97
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says that America overuses (and often MIS-uses) the military to achieve its strategic goals while neglecting other (and often better) non-military options.  He discusses how Congress and the last 5...
45 min
98
Director Peter Medak on the Mad Genius of Peter...
Director Peter Medak looks back on his filming of the famously disastrous Peter Sellers movie Ghost in the Noonday Sun for his new documentary .  He discusses emotional toll that working with Peter Sellers took on him, why he thought that he...
33 min
99
Father's Day Special with Mike Birbiglia
Comedian discusses his new book including the seven reasons he originally never wanted to be a parent, the lies couples tell themselves when they decide to have a baby, and the scourge of parents who try to push babies on other people....
47 min
100
Malcolm Gladwell Explores the Overlooked and Mi...
 (, , podcast) talks about growing up in a Mennonite community in Ontario, Canada, his brief flirtation with conservatism in his youth, and how his father’s boundless curiosity inspired him to always ask questions.  We delve...
42 min