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
Abby McEnany's Work in Progress
Abby McEnany discusses her start in Chicago’s improv scene and how her one woman show turned into her new Showtime series .  She reveals how Julia Sweeney’s Saturday Night Live character “Pat” made her life a living hell for a...
45 min
Andrew Marantz on Embedding with the "Deplorables"
Andrew Marantz, a staff writer for the , talks about his experience embedding with the so called "Deplorables," and how he got a rare insider's glimpse into the pundits, trolls, and provocateurs who drive the conversation on the alt-right....
66 min
Master of Suspense Dean Koontz
Master of suspense recalls the literary agent who said he'd never be a bestselling author and how he defied expectations with fourteen #1 New York Times Bestsellers.  He discusses his new collection of six short suspense stories for...
50 min
Mo Rocca Honors History's Forgotten Figures
CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and humorist Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries but he says that not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves.  He's attempting to right those wrongs with his podcast and his new book ....
56 min
Alex Gibney on Putin's Public Enemy #1
Oscar and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker discusses his new film and what it was like to profile Russia's billionaire oil oligarch turned political activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky.  He talks about the parallel rise of Mikhail...
38 min
Senator Sherrod Brown Talks Senate History, Imp...
reveals how he first learned about the rich history of his desk in the U.S. Senate and how he grappled with some of the contradictions and controversies of the men who sat there before him.  We discuss the singing cowboy turned one term...
33 min
Malcolm Nance on Trump, Ukraine, and Russia
As the Ukraine scandal continues to heat up, MSNBC intelligence expert  explains why US support for Ukraine is in our own national interest, what Rudy Giuliani is getting from being the President’s bag man to Ukraine, and how Paul...
48 min
Lawrence Lessig on Solving "Unrepresentativenes...
Harvard Law Professor discusses the fundamental issue that he says underlies many of our current political problems - "unrepresentativeness."  He offers some creative prescriptions for how to cure America’s unrepresentativeness...
45 min
Mitch Albom on the Little Girl Who Changed His ...
Bestselling author returns to the podcast to talk about how he came to run an orphanage in earthquake ravaged Haiti, how recent political instability in Haiti has led to some frightening encounters for the kids, and the hardest part about...
35 min
Jeff Garlin Finds Joy in Comedy
Actor/comedian Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs, Curb Your Enthusiasm) reveals how Jimmy Durante inspired him to get into comedy as a boy, what it was like rooming with a young Conan O'Brien when he started at Chicago’s legendary improv...
49 min
Joe Posnanski on Harry Houdini's Enduring Magic
Bestselling sports writer recalls delving into the rabbit hole of magician Harry Houdini’s legendary life and separating fact from the fiction invented by Houdini and his followers.  Joe discusses the handcuffs that Houdini almost...
60 min
Edward Norton Talks Noir, Jazz, and Lost New York
Golden Globe-winner Edward Norton talks about his film 's 20 year journey to the big screen and what it was like to write, direct, and star in this neo-noir masterpiece.  He shares some of the things he’s learned from working with directors...
43 min
Stuart Russell on Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence researcher says that machines are probably a long way from achieving the kind of self-awareness portrayed in films like 2001 and The Predator, but he warns the greater danger is that they might obey our instructions too well....
51 min
John Hodgman on Secret Societies and Marginal C...
Actor, comedian, and humorist talks about the strange sense of validation he gets from his airline loyalty program, the perks and perils of hotel living, and the best way to get thrown into Disneyland Jail.  We discuss his...
50 min
Chef David Chang
Chef David Chang shares that he originally wanted to be Tiger Woods not Wolfgang Puck, and he eventually got into cooking because he hated his job in finance.  He recalls learning in some of the best kitchens in New York and...
51 min
Susan Rice Dishes Some Tough Love
has been at the table during the most pressing international crises of the past 30 years and she discusses it in her new memoir .  She talk about her family’s unique American story and how playing peacekeeper during her parents...
48 min
John Kasich on Empowering Everyday Americans
shares some of the stories of every day Americans doing great things that inspired his latest book to write the book .  This two-time Presidential candidate says that the actions of ordinary people matter way more to this country...
38 min
Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman on What It Takes
Co-founder, CEO, and Chairman shares lessons for how to think about ambition and scale, risk and opportunities, and how to achieve success through the relentless pursuit of excellence.  He talks about his middle class beginnings as the son...
45 min
Dave Asprey on Hacking Longevity
talks about his plan to live to 180 and his new book .  He opens up about a traumatic health crisis that got him interested in health and longevity as a teenager and his battle with early cognitive decline that set him on a path to hacking...
45 min
Neil deGrasse Tyson Answers Your Questions
Astrophysicist discusses some of his favorite letters from fans on a diverse array of topics from Pluto and Bigfoot to race and religion.  He shares touching personal letters from his cousin wondering about her deceased father’s...
55 min
Ryan Holiday on the Power of Stillness
Bestselling author  discusses his new book , how he became the leading modern proponent of Stoicism, and why many people today misunderstand what it means to be a Stoic.  He says ancient Greeks and Romans were every bit as distracted as...
49 min
Jeannie Gaffigan on Humor and Healing
Jeannie Gaffigan reveals how she went from a perfectly normal life to being rushed into surgery for a pear-sized brain tumor over the coarse of an Easter Weekend, why things got worse just when she thought she was in the clear, and how she...
46 min
America's Actress Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep is arguably the greatest actress of this or any generation.  She has starred in more than 60 films, won 3 Oscars, and received a record setting 21 nominations.  Entertainment reporter Erin Carlson discusses Streep's illustrious...
45 min
Brad Meltzer on History's Heroes
New York Times bestselling author  grew tired of his kids’ obsession with reality TV and people who were famous for being famous so he began to write children's books about real heroes from history.  He talks about the newest...
40 min
Scott Aukerman Talks Between Two Ferns
Scott Aukerman is the co-creator of hilariously awkward talk show with Zach Galifianakis.  He talks about expanding the Ferns universe for how he and Zach improvised the entire film, and what it was to direct his hero David Letterman....
44 min