Total SF

A San Francisco culture podcast featuring celebrity guests, non-celebrity guests, personalities from the San Francisco Chronicle and a celebration of Bay Area life. Hosted by culture critic Peter Hartlaub and columnist Heather Knight and recorded on the streets, hilltops, parks and landmarks of San Francisco. The pair's focus on the whimsy and wonder of San Francisco began in 2018 when they rode every bus, train, cable car and street car in the city in one day. They believe in highlighting the eccentric characters, independent bookstores, burger joints and bars that make the bay so great.

TV & Film
Society & Culture
Stephan Pastis interview | Total SF indie books...
"Pearls Before Swine: comic strip artist Stephan Pastis was a lawyer who hated his job before starting the strip 20 years ago. The Santa Rosa resident still feels pressure to perform, which has led to some of his best work — including recent strips tackling the COVID-19 crisis. Pastis also talks with host Peter Hartlaub about co-writing the Disney+ "Timmy Failure" movie, meeting his hero Charles Schulz — and he pays tribute to his favorite independent bookstores.
41 min
Jasmine Guillory interview | Total SF indie boo...
Romance novelist Jasmine Guillory joins host Peter Hartlaub to talk about the five novels she's written in the last three years, including the new one "Party of Two." The Bishop O'Dowd grad and lifetime East Bay resident talks about her love of Oakland, why she like to include food details in her writing and her favorite romantic movie. Guillory and Hartlaub also pay tribute to local bookstores - explaining how listeners can support indies during the pandemic.
42 min
Judd Winick interview | Total SF indie bookstor...
Total SF welcomes Judd Winick, author and former "The Real World" cast member, to talk about the 20th anniversary of his AIDS education graphic novel "Pedro and Me" — and to pay tribute to his favorite Bay Area comic book shops. To kick off Total SF indie bookstore month, Winick talks about his successful new series "Hilo," what kept him and his family in San Francisco and why local book stores are worth fighting for.
52 min
Pandemic reading list and indie bookstore tribu...
Hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight talk about what they've been reading during the shelter in place, and pay tribute to the independent bookstores and comic book shops they hope will survive. Selections include "The Wedding Date" by Jasmine Guillory, "What Unites Us" by Dan Rather and "Cool Gray City of Love" by Gary Kamiya.
35 min
How to create an SF bike utopia, with Lily Jani...
Chronicle theater critic Lily Janiak joins host Peter Hartlaub to talk about her bike-first lifestyle as a critic, and her thoughts about the future of bicycling in San Francisco. With the San Francisco Chronicle's new The Throughline section mapping out a possible biking/walking future, Hartlaub and Janiak suggest a few priorities — and offer listeners help feeling more comfortable biking into the city.
42 min
Chronicle homelessness reporter Kevin Fagan | T...
The San Francisco Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan is once again at the center of the reporting on a new homelessness project, talks about his own experience with homelessness. He also introduces two songs that he's written about the homeless, and recalls his early music career, which included busking in the UK and New Zealand.
43 min
Extra Spicy hosts Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips...
34 min
David Perlman tribute and final interview | Tot...
After last week's death of David Perlman at age 101, host Peter Hartlaub and reporter Kevin Fagan pay tribute to the legendary former Chronicle science writer, who started at the newspaper in 1940 and worked until his 2017 retirement. After the tribute, we play our 2019 interview with Perlman, celebrating his 100th birthday. Perlman talks about his start at the newspaper, how he became a science writer, coverage from the moon landing to the AIDS crisis and his feelings about retirement at age 98.
42 min
Renel Brooks-Moon interview | Total SF flashback
This Total SF flashback is an interview with Renel Brooks-Moon, longtime Bay Area radio personality, and public address announcer for the San Francisco Giants since 1999. Recording on Aug. 13, 2019, Brooks-Moon visited the Chronicle archive, to speak with host Peter Hartlaub about her early years at KMEL (and one year at KFRC with Dr. Donald D. Rose), her work as a Giants PA announcer and the influence of her father Nathaniel Brooks, an educator who in 1968 became the first black principal in San Francisco.
49 min
Audrey Cooper exit interview & "Pursuit of Happ...
Chronicle editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper returns to Total SF after her surprise announcement that she'll take over as editor of public radio powerhouse WNYC. Hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight talk to Cooper about her first time in San Francisco, her move to New York and the editor submits to Knight's lightning round. And the trio break down one more movie together, "The Pursuit of Happyness," the story of a homeless man struggling to raise his son and become a stockbroker in 1980s S.F.
51 min
Rev. Megan Rohrer interview | Total SF in Exile
Fresh off their appearance on "Queer Eye" Season 5, Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer joins Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight. They talk about Rohrer's first time visiting San Francisco, ministry at a distance during COVID-19 and what it's like working as an SFPD Chaplain and with the homeless in these uncertain times. Rohrer also talks about their visit to the "Queer Eye" set, and completes Heather's lightning round.
40 min
Hunter and Alexis Pence interview | Total SF in...
San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence and "Let's Get Lexi" creator Alexis Pence join Total SF to talk quarantine life, walk-up songs, best SF cheeseburgers and make a special announcement — Hunter and Alexis' latest Pineapple Labs coffee has partnered with the San Francisco Chronicle Season of Sharing fund, with proceeds from their June coffee going to the fund. The coffee and mug are available at
41 min
The lost Jeffrey Tumlin episode | Total SF in E...
38 min
"Contagion" breakdown, with Audrey Cooper & Hea...
Total SF breaks down "Contagion," The Steven Soderbergh film was not considered a San Francisco classic (or even an S.F. movie) when it came out in 2020, but it has become iconic for its clairvoyance of the coronavirus pandemic. Hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight are joined by Chronicle editor Audrey Cooper, and they talk about how a Chronicle desk got in the movie, the short life span of Gwenyth Paltrow and what the movie got right and wrong.
42 min
SF quarantine house draft, with Heather Knight ...
Hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight make a round-by-round draft of the San Francisco residents they'd want in their quarantine house, battling each other for Marc Benioff, Hunter Pence and a few other surprises. Hartlaub and Knight also recap their first virtual movie night, "Inside Out," which brought #SFRuinsPizza to the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter.
31 min
Total SF "Inside Out" movie night pre-show | To...
Hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight talk about their fifth Total SF Movie Night #5, a Saturday 4/25 screening of "Inside Out" with pizza and pillow fort making challenges. They also talk about keeping things ;positive in San Francisco, and Heather's big column writing award.
23 min
The 5 greatest SF movies, with Heather Knight |...
Hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight reunite to rank their five favorite San Francisco movies to watch while sheltering in place — this is a happy podcast and all of the movies are funny, action-packed or inspiring. They also talk more about their first virtual Total SF event, an "Inside Out" virtual movie night at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 25.
34 min
What the hell do we do with our kids? | Total S...
Hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight reunite to talk about some more good news in San Francisco, commiserate over the recent school closures, and share ideas for what to do with kids in the coronavirus era. They also announce their first Total SF event since shelter in place, an "Inside Out" virtual movie night at a date TBD.
30 min
Chronicle health reporter Erin Allday | Total S...
Host Peter Hartlaub interviews San Francisco Chronicle health reporter Erin Allday, who has been at the center of the newsroom's coronavirus coverage. Part of the Total SF "Meet a Chronicle Colleague" series during the health crisis, Allday talks about how she fell in love with journalism, when she first heard about the virus and how it's impacting her life — in and out of the newsroom.
37 min
The all happy news episode, with Heather Knight...
Hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight podcast together for the first time since the coronavirus crisis forced San Francisco Chronicle reporters to work from home. Hartlaub and Knight share some "good news" stories that they've come across. And they continue a new Total SF feature, "Things I took for granted," talking about the things we'll embrace most when the crisis is over.
30 min
Chronicle photographer Jessica Christian | Tota...
39 min
Warriors beat writer Connor Letourneau | Total SF
The first episode of Total SF in Exile - recorded in host Peter Hartlaub's living room in the work from home era — is an interview with San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Connor Letourneau. This "meet a Chronicle colleague" episode features Connor talking about how he got into journalism, his favorite things in Alameda and what it's been like covering the Warriors in the coronavirus era.
37 min
The San Franciscan magazine co-founders Erica M...
The new magazine The San Franciscan put out its second episode, and Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight invited co-founders Erica Messner and Amanda Legge on to discuss their endeavor. They talk about their love of S.F. that inspired the magazine, that stunning Sutro Tower cover and the surprisingly cool conversation they had with the New Yorker's intellectual property lawyers.
26 min
Kari Byron interview, with Jenny Buccos
Total SF welcomes co-host Kari Byron, the former "MythBusters" host who talks about San Francisco, her former job at The Chronicle, Muni, bike lanes and (most of all) her new project Crash Test World. Hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight are also joined by ProjectExplorer founder Jenny Buccos, who is teaming up with Byron on "Crash Test World," which will be on Discovery in September. (Episodes available at
37 min
Herb Caen tribute, with Gordon Harvey
Gordon Harvey lives in Alabama, but his heart is in San Francisco. The history professor created the Twitter account Herb Caen Daily (@HerbCaenDaily), sharing famous quotes from the legendary Chronicle columnist. In town to research a book on bike messengers, Harvey joins hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight to pay tribute to Caen and the city that the columnist loved.
38 min
SF Gay Men's Chorus members Chris Verdugo and M...
Gay Men's Chorus executive director Chris Verdugo and 18-year member Michael Tate visit the San Francisco Chronicle, to talk about the Chorus' past, present and future with hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight. The chorus is in the middle of Season 42, with several concerts including Penned in Pink at Davies Symphony Hall on March 26.
35 min
Van Mission, East Cut and other fake SF neighbo...
29 min
Vilaska Nguyen on comedy, being a public defend...
Vilaska Nguyen is an attorney in the S.F. Public Defender's office and stand-up comedian. He also is announcing his candidacy for District 7 supervisor, to replace Norman Yee. Nguyen joins hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight to talk about how Jeff Adachi inspired his comedy, why he lives in San Francisco and face the SF City Insider lightning round.
37 min
Western Neighborhoods Project hops in an SF tim...
36 min
Tom Tolbert on his first years in the Bay Area,...
KNBR host Tom Tolbert joins host Peter Hartlaub to talk about his first memories of San Francisco, and how a kid who grew up near Long Beach made the Bay Area his home. The former Warriors forward recalls when he realized a radio career might be a possibility, and his first day working with KNBR legend Ralph Barbieri. Hartlaub and Tolbert, both Alameda residents, share their opinions of island living. And Tolbert shares some memories about 7-foot-7 teammate Manute Bol.
46 min
A tribute to "Bullitt," with Heather Knight and...
As The Big Event becomes Total SF, we pay tribute to the movie "Bullitt," the Steve McQueen classic with arguably the greatest car chase in history. Host Peter Hartlaub is joined by Chronicle columnist Heather Knight and friend of the show Eric Kingsbury to talk about the San Francisco locations, why the movie has aged well and the horrible scene where Bullitt steals a San Francisco Chronicle.
45 min
"Roll Over Easy" radio hosts Chris Bunting and ...
"Roll Over Easy" is a popular radio show and podcast on the online radio station, where hosts Christopher Bunting and Luke Spray spread joy and San Francisco love every Thursday at 7:30 a.m. In their first interview since The Big Event became Total SF, hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight talk to the pair about how they met, their favorite S.F. things and what (if anything) pisses them off. Produced by Peter Hartlaub. Theme song "The Tide Will Rise" by the Sunset Shipwrecks. Cable car bell-ringing by Byron Cobb
36 min
The Big Event podcast becomes Total SF
Peter Hartlaub is joined by Heather Knight to explain The Big Event podcast's transition to Total SF. All the old The Big Event episodes will remain and the general vibe of the podcast won't change, but we're doubling down on bringing you the best Bay Area characters and stories. Produced by Peter Hartlaub. Music is "The Tide Will Rise" by the Sunset Shipwrecks with cable car bell ringing by Byron Cobb.
11 min
Shea Serrano on his journalism start, favorite ...
Author and journalist Shea Serrano visits the San Francisco Chronicle to give his origin story as a writer, and talk about and his new book "Movies and Other Things." On Serrano's first visit to S.F., host Peter Hartlaub also asks him about his favorite San Francisco movies and stories of Mexican grandmothers.
49 min
Paula Poundstone on bike messenging, "M*A*S*H" ...
Paula Poundstone returns for her annual end-of-year trip to the San Francisco Chronicle archive. During the recording, right before her New Year's Eve show, Poundstone talks to host Peter Hartlaub about her year as a San Francisco bike messenger, shares some Comedy Day in the Park memories and talks about her love of the TV show "M*A*S*H" when she was a broke traveling comic.
49 min
Wendy Tokuda interview — memories of KPIX, Dave...
50 min
The greatness of "Sister Act," and a case for "...
39 min
Byron Cobb interview — SF Cable Car Bell Ringin...
38 min
Introducing ... your new 49 Mile Scenic Route
Announcing the finish of the #TotalSF reboot of the 49 Mile Scenic Drive, the 81-year-old route with the seagull signs that needed an update. Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub talk about what they included, what they left out and why.
36 min
Pacifica Taco Bell tribute, with Paolo Lucchesi
32 min
Joey Avery and Andrew Orolfo interview — rising...
37 min
Scott Sampson interview — new Cal Academy direc...
25 min
Marc Benioff interview — on values, S.F. and hi...
38 min
49 Mile Makeover IV: Overrated Twin Peaks, with...
21 min
Leslie Sbrocco interview — The Big Event flashback
40 min
Best and worst Warriors jerseys all time, with ...
36 min
Total SF: Warriors president Rick Welts intervi...
28 min
KFOG radio tribute, with Peter Finch, Renee Ric...
50 min
Marine World Africa U.S.A. tribute — The Big Ev...
44 min
49-Mile Makeover III: What should stay and go o...
41 min
49-Mile Makeover II: Heather & Peter argue, mee...
31 min
"The Rock" tribute — SF Cinema Greatest of All ...
39 min
John Travolta interview — on fandom, history an...
28 min
Chuck Prophet interview — on music, SF and salu...
43 min
Renel Brooks-Moon interview — SF Giants public ...
49 min
49-Mile Makeover Part I: Scenic drive needs a r...
49 min
Dwight Clark tribute, with Brian Murphy, Matt M...
45 min
Ear Hustle co-hosts Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor
35 min
Sony Metreon 1999 tribute, with John King and P...
43 min
Will Durst interview — on San Francisco, and hi...
34 min
Apollo 11 moon landing tribute with David Perlman
36 min
Golden Gate Park roller skating tribute, with D...
45 min
Dan the Automator interview — on living in S.F....
44 min
Adam Savage interview — The Big Event flashback
46 min
Jerry Rice interview — The Big Event flashback
28 min
Jonas Rivera interview — "Toy Story 4" producer...
Jonas Rivera interview — "Toy Story 4" producer and Oakland A's superfan
38 min
Oracle Arena tribute, with Ann Killion and Demi...
33 min
Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails interview — "The La...
40 min
Taron Egerton interview — "Rocketman" star talk...
23 min
Total SF Live! with Amanda Guest, Emily Silverm...
72 min
Penelope Houston interview — the Avengers singe...
52 min
"The Game" tribute — SF Cinema Greatest of all ...
47 min
Leah Garchik interview — Chronicle columnist on...
37 min
Kaseem Bentley interview — San Francisco comedi...
49 min
Art Spander interview — sports writer has cover...
39 min
The Bands We Follow — The Avett Brothers, with ...
Chronicle sports columnist Ann Killion talks with host Peter Hartlaub about her favorite band, living in Marin and how she became a journalist
42 min
Total SF: Tribute to the Richmond District, wit...
Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight record a The Big Event/San Francisco City Insider crossover podcast at the Balboa Theatre
32 min
Michael Pritchard interview — SF comedian rejec...
Comedian Michael Pritchard had a chance to be the next Robin Williams, be he chose to work with troubled kids and the homeless
45 min
"So I Married an Axe Murderer" tribute, with Au...
A tribute to the 1993 movie "So I Married an Axe Murderer," from box office bomb to classic, with Audrey Cooper, Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight
36 min
Total SF: Neighborhood theater tribute, with He...
Adam Bergeron, proprietor of the Balboa and Vogue theaters in San Francisco, joins Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight to talk about city theaters past and present.
38 min
Soleil Ho interview - new San Francisco Chronic...
Soleil Ho talks about her first month on the job, anonymity, and what comes next, with Paolo Lucchesi and Peter Hartlaub
40 min
Total SF: Best and Worst Muni Lines, Part 1
Heather Knight and MC Allen help Peter Hartlaub break down the bus lines of San Francisco
45 min
Jesse Thorn interview - with Lee Thorn and Kevi...
"Bullseye" host and Maximum Fun podcast network owner Jesse Thorn is joined by his father, activist Lee Thorn
59 min
Tribute to S.F. Snow Day 1976 - History and Sto...
The last snow in San Francisco was Feb. 5, 1976. Bill Fox, Bill Van Niekerken and host Peter Hartlaub discuss that day.
43 min
My First Car - Chronicle Storytelling, with Liz...
Chronicle reporters Lizzie Johnson and Susan Slusser and host Peter Hartlaub talk about how their first automobiles helped shape their lives.
41 min
Total SF: The Total Muni Baby Interview
Total Muni Fan Connor Skelly and his baby Finn are riding every Muni line - inspired by Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight's Total Muni 2018
30 min
David Perlman interview - Happy 100th Birthday ...
A conversation with San Francisco Chronicle science writer emeritus David Perlman, who worked at the paper from 1940 to 2017
37 min
Burrito Stories, Part II, with Burrito Justice ...
An afternoon of burrito history and storytelling (but no actual burritos) in The Big Event podcast studio
48 min
Paula Poundstone interview - Paula returns to T...
Comedian Paula Poundstone returns to The Big Event in advance of her New Year's Eve show
43 min
Adam Savage interview - "Mythbusters Jr." and l...
TV host and maker Adam Savage talks about living in San Francisco and his return to the "Mythbusters" franchise.
45 min
"The Princess Diaries" - SF Cinema GOAT with Ke...
Kevin Fagan, Tony Bravo and host Peter Hartlaub pay tribute to the greatness of the SF film "The Princess Diaries."
42 min
Barry Jenkins interview - "If Beale Street Coul...
"Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins talks about his new film "If Beale Street Could Talk," and his eight years in San Francisco.
30 min
Leslie Sbrocco interview - "Check, Please! Bay ...
TV host and wine consultant Leslie Sbrocco joins host Peter Hartlaub to talk about "Check, Please! Bay Area Kids" on KQED.
39 min
Total SF: Cable car gripman Val Lupiz interview
Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub interview their cable car friends Val Lupiz, Jeremy Whiteman and Frank Zepeda
29 min
Jerry Rice interview - "In Search of Greatness"
Jerry Rice joins host Peter Hartlaub to talk about "In Search of Greatness," the new documentary that features Rice and other elite sports achievers.
27 min
Burrito Stories: An afternoon of S.F. burrito h...
Host Peter Hartlaub and guests Audrey Cooper and Paolo Lucchesi discuss the Mission-style burrito in San Francisco.
36 min
Rami Malek interview: "Bohemian Rhapsody" with ...
The stars of the new Queen biopic come to The Big Event archive studio to talk with host Peter Hartlaub about the band and the movie.
30 min
Total SF: Night of the Living Deadline Hallowee...
The Chronicle's Tony Bravo, Heather Knight and Jill Tucker join host Peter Hartlaub to decide on an S.F.-themed Halloween costume to build in the newsroom.
34 min
“Inside Out” – SF Cinema GOAT with Audrey Coope...
Chronicle editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper and San Francisco columnist Heather Knight join host Peter Hartlaub to pay tribute to the Pixar film “inside Out.”
37 min
Total SF: Tourist traps we like, Part II
San Francisco columnist Heather Knight and food editor Paolo Lucchesi join host Peter Hartlaub to get ready for Sept 26 – Tourist Trap Day in San Francisco.
21 min