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 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 Thanks for listening!

Society & Culture
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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