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
Michael Stuhlbarg Enters the Unsettling World o...
Actor (Boardwalk Empire, The Shape of Water) discusses his new film about the complicated marriage of horror writer Shirley Jackson and literary critic Stanley Heyman, how Heyman influenced Shirley Jackson’s work, and how the filmmakers...
35 min
Lisa Napoli Celebrates 40 Years of CNN
On the 40th Anniversary of , journalist  discusses the founding and "wild west" early years of the upstart network that set out to change how the news gets delivered and consumed.  Lisa reveals that few people to took Ted Turner...
49 min
Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
Former Surgeon General Dr. says America is facing a loneliness crisis.  He discusses the many physical and mental impacts of feeling lonely and reveals that chronic loneliness is just as bad for you as smoking and obesity.  He opens up...
39 min
Sian Clifford on the Million Dollar Quiz Show H...
Actress (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 .  She recalls her memories of growing up...
29 min
David Frum on Surviving the "Trumpocalypse"
, former speechwriter and special assistant to President George W Bush, talks about his new book .  He discusses Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, how Trump is encouraging disinformation and dangerous conspiracy theories about this...
53 min
The Who's Roger Daltrey
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...
43 min
Patton Oswalt on Comedy, Classic Films, and Tur...
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...
33 min
Dr. Richard Haass Explains the World
Dr. Richard Haass, president of the , returns to discuss his new book . 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...
48 min
General Stanley McChrystal on Leadership
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...
48 min
Peter Bogdanovich and TCM's Ben Mankiewicz
Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz talk about TCM's new podcast .  Ben reveals that he was initially nervous to meet Peter because of a longstanding controversy involving Ben’s grandfather, Orson Welles,...
50 min
Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz
(Silicon Valley) and (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 , and how they still get a kick out of trying to make...
43 min
Comedy Writer Alan Zweibel
Comedy writer starting his career selling jokes for seven dollars apiece to the last of the Borscht Belt standups, some of the old comedians who are still using the same material that he wrote for them 40 years ago, and his very first...
58 min
Wagner Moura on Diplomats and Drug Lords
Wagner Moura discusses how his first career as a journalist informs his acting, what it was like to play ruthless drug lord Pablo Escobar on Netflix’s , and how he gained (and then lost) all of that weight for the role.  He talks...
36 min
Nathan Lane Finally Gets a Stunt Double!
Nathan Lane talks about why his fans always think he’s Jewish, how his older brother inspired him to get into acting, and some of roles he’s played on Broadway in shows like from Guys and Dolls to The Producers.  He laments the that the...
45 min
Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry
Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry talk about their new film , and how the filmmaker's own nightmare experience with a couples counselor inspired the movie.  Alicia shares memories from Clueless, and stories from working with playwright...
38 min
Larry the Cable Guy
Comedian talks about the origins of his popular character "," his education in southern redneck culture while going to college in Florida, and how Larry went from being a bit he did on talk radio shows to a wildly popular stage act....
46 min
Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee on the Promise/Peril o...
is a Pulitzer Prize-winning best-selling author and a doctor at the forefront of cancer and genetic research.  He talks about a new two-part documentary that he and Ken Burns produced for PBS titled .  He discusses the fascinating...
34 min
Dr. David Kessler Talks Processed Foods and Pan...
Former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler discusses how his own battle to control his weight helped inspire him to write a book about the health dangers of processed foods.  He explains the difference between how our bodies digest fast carbs...
43 min
Vincent Cassel on Westworld S3's Dystopian Future
Actor Vincent Cassel (Ocean's 12, Black Swan, Jason Bourne) talks about joining the cast of one of his favorite TV series , playing a reclusive billionaire with a dark view of humanity, and how his character attempts to make order out of...
29 min
Tom Pelphrey Joins Netflix's Ozark
Actor Tom Pelphrey talks about playing Laura Linney's brother in Season 3 of Ozark and what it’s like to work with Jason Bateman as a director.  He also discusses his upcoming role as legendary Hollywood director Joseph Mankiewicz in...
35 min
Newt Gingrich Reports from Italy's COVID-19 Crisis
Former Speaker of the House reports on the Coronavirus crisis from Italy, where his wife Callista serves as U.S. Ambassador the Vatican.  He offers some lessons for America from Italy’s early failure to stop the spread, some tips from...
27 min
Vice's Jesse Angelo and Isobel Yeung
Vice Media’s President of Global News and Entertainment Jesse Angelo and Vice reporter Isobel Yeung discuss the move of Vice's flagship television program from HBO to Showtime.   Isobel talks about her groundbreaking coverage of the...
41 min
Neurotic Filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld
Director Barry Sonnenfeld (The Addams Family, Men in Black, Get Shorty) talks recalls his first gig out of film school as a cameraman for adult films, working with Joel and Ethan Coen on their debut picture Blood Simple, and why you never...
47 min
Pod Save America's Dan Pfeiffer
's Dan Pfeiffer says it's not just enough for Democrats to defeat Donald Trump in 2020, but they have to defeat Trumpism in the long-run.  He recalls witnessing some of the early signs of Trumpism when he was White House Communications Director...
46 min
The 1000 Voices of Hank Azaria
Hank Azaria talks about his 31 seasons on , a few of the 150 plus characters he’s played on the show, and some of the classic movie stars who inspired some of his popular voices for .  Hank reveals how he came up with his distinctive...
35 min