Today is #MaxFunDay!

I’m proud to be the owner of Our shows are owned by their creators, given to all without restriction, and supported by folks like you, who pay for them voluntarily. Your support helps us grow and refine our shows, pay our people and turn down gross ads.

Today, we’re launching our first ever one-day pledge drive, #MaxFunDay. Our goal is 1000 new donors, so we can pay all of our podcasters, and especially the new shows we’ve added to the network in the last year. We’ve got a ton of bonus episodes that are just for donors. In addition, for every new donor at the $10/month, we’re helping the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank give 20 meals to people in need this winter.

Most of our hosts are participating in video chats and Reddit AMAs today, and we’ll be tweeting, Tumbling and Facebooking up a storm. All the info is at

If you’re not a donor, please give. If you are, please help spread the word. Tag your tweets #MaxFunDay, your Tumblr posts MaxFunDay, and share on Facebook. It makes an enormous difference.

Jordan, Jesse, Go!
    Two friends from college trap an unsuspecting guest in a nightmare recording box somewhere in Los Angeles. Everyone has a lovely time.
    That’s about it. A simple formula that leads to some major happiness.
    And they’ve had missteps, of course. They’ve unknowingly offended some people, they’ve been insensitive, they’ve mistakenly said that certain baseball players are retired. But they’re kind enough to apologize for it or leave it in the past rather than drag it out.
    And they’re also not afraid to go to some deeper places. One episode (I believe it was “Bone Manor” with Maria Thayer,) included more than a half hour examining the fears and dreams of the boys as creators (I think Maria gets a word in as well). We learn a lot about career disappointments, uncomfortable encounters, creative exploits gone well and the joys of becoming an adult.
    And there’s always a dick joke. Always.
    It’s also a show that cares a lot about its listeners. There are momentous occasions, when listeners call in when something great happens to them that they just need to share with someone. These guys helped raise $3000 so a Canadian Pentathlete could afford a new laser gun for the olympics! And then they all went to the Olympics together! And the follow up interview (in Ep 244, “Hashtag Friend Zone with Jason Mantzoukas”) is super fascinating!
    I once read a review of this show that summed it up perfectly. Now, I can’t find the review, so I’ll sum up the review: JJGO is the sound of two men growing up. The silly, profane sound of growing up. It makes me want to keep trying to create. It makes me want to go hang out with my friends. God help us all, it kind of makes me want a baby someday.
    Oh, you better run. Put some JJGo on your iPod first. Olympians train that way, you know.

“When we did MaxFunCon for the first time, I knew we’d get some great comedians and teach some great classes, and I figured that people would like our performances. But the part I didn’t realize–and what turned out to be the most important part–was people’s relationships with each other. That was absolutely the essential, central characteristic of it. Rather than going to a music festival, it’s the interchange, it’s the feeling of being in a community rather than in a binary relationship that really comes from having a network rather than simply having a show.”

- Jesse Thorn (x) 

It’s MaxFunDay and you should support Maximum Fun!

#MaxFunDay 2012

It’s been a very long time since I owned a TV.  In the good ol’ days, that meant that nearly all of my entertainment and news came straight out of the radio, in my case, WNYC.  (I’m talking like, the pre-Hulu, pre-Netflix streaming days, if you can recall such a thing.) I downloaded episodes of This American Life via Audible.  My options were … limited. Some nights, I found myself listening to Danny Stiles, despite my irrational hatred for him. I call these “the dark ages.”

Then, sometime around 2007, I decided to check out after hearing The Sound of Young America on WNYC. I listened to Jordan, Jesse, Go! It was really weird and goofy, but hell, it was still better than listening to Danny Stiles.

Since then, I’ve watched in awe as Jesse Thorn has grown his old college radio show into a new media empire. I’ve watched The Sound of Young America evolve into the excellent Bullseye. I never miss an episode of Jordan, Jesse, Go! I’m thrilled with the new programming he continues to add, most recently The Memory Palace and RISK! And, I can feel satisfied that I too, am a part of this community via my monthly contributions.

But today is #MxFunDay, and Jesse Thorn doesn’t care about my money today, he cares about inspiring 1,000 new listeners to become contributors. So if you listen to even one MaxFun program, just that one time and you didn’t think it was terrible, I’m asking you to  give. Because when you give, you give artists and creatives the opportunity to take risks and try something new. Also, when you join today, MaxFun will donate meals to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank for every new member. Come on, don’t make me Ira Glass guilt trip you here.

But #MaxFunDay is bigger than me, and bigger than Jesse Thorn, and bigger even than all the sexual things I’d like to do to Jordan Morris’s springy locks; this is about you and your commitment to independent media. Even if you are not a member of MaxFun Nation, please take a moment today to consider all of the independent media you consume and whether you are doing what you can to support the people who make the things you love.

Here’s the link again to become a member of Maximum Fun: Join

Stop Podcasting Yourself
    Ever wonder what humor is like in Canada? Turns out, it’s a lot like humor in the US, just pronounced slightly differently. It’s also a bit gentler, though no less ridiculous.
    This is a more structured “two hosts and a guest make funny for 90 minutes” podcast. And by structured, I mean there is no excuse for not wandering down a funny path every few minutes. But there are segments: “Get to Know Us” catches you up on everyone’s doings. And that generally takes awhile because there’s bound to be a ridiculous story or two in there that gets everybody going. Then there might be some sponsorship business to take care of. Then comes the wonderful mess that is “Overheards”– wait, sorry, it’s time for “Celebrity Birthdays”.
    No, shut up Dave. It’s time for “Hulk Hogan News”.
    (These are just segments from recent episodes, mind you. Their catalog is more than 200 episodes strong and I’m only just digging in now. Segments might be skipped, and the ones rotated in are one-shots and, in one memorable case, Dave babbling almost incoherently for five minutes. “Get to Know Us” and “Overheards” are probably the only permanent ones).
    "Overheards" is really the signature segment of the show. Guests share theirs, hosts share theirs, and then listeners call or write in theirs. If you can’t guess what “Overheards” means…look, man, I just can’t help you. How long have you been on the internet?
    This show is on the positive side whenever it can be. The hosts are sweet, funny guys who clearly put their guests at ease. It’s like an aurora borealis for you ears, maybe. I’ve never seen it before. Do they have that in Vancouver or is it too far south? Whatever. Metaphor stays.
    Also, the Hulk Hogan news theme has the unique ability to calm unhappy babies (video evidence). AND, Graham paints with his beard for charity. You can’t argue with that, folks.


The amazing, giddy childishness of Jordan, Jesse, Go!

The funny, witty gab-fests of Stop Podcasting Yourself.

The harsh, unfeeling, Hamurabian justice of Judge John Hodgman.

These are three of thousands of reasons to become a monthly MaxFun donor.

If you’re not already a Maximum Fun donor, consider it - these shows are great and for a piddly amount of money you can enjoy the smug satisfaction of keeping them going.

It’s like you’re Robert Evans without the gravely voice or the raw sexuality - you’re a producer when you donate!

If you want to be More Powerful Than Ever, go to and donate. It’s ten bucks a month, you’ll never miss it.




My Brother, My Brother and Me
    “The McElroy brothers are not experts, and their advice should never be followed.”
    But that’s no reason not to listen to three brothers, separated by geography and united in Skypeland, dole out advice to question seekers ‘round the globe. Both those who are looking for guidance (in the form of listener submitted questions) and those who don’t know that their ignorance or nuttiness is being mocked (in the form of Yahoo! Answers).
    The listener submitted questions can actually yield some good. Somewhere between the initial reactions to the question and the goofs, there’s some decent advice. There’s some stuff that’s straight from the heart that will catch you totally off guard. And then they’ll make some horse related joke and go right back on track.
    You can’t keep these guys from a good horse joke.
    Yahoos, on the other hand, need only a lot of preposterous answers. Like, trains of thought you could never imagine and have a lot of difficulty following. But if ever a question deserved that sort of answer, it’s one asked to Yahoo! users.
    They will go off on tangents. They will use funny voices. They will make references to things that you just barely remember. And, combined into one think-tank, they can conjure up some things that David Lynch wouldn’t touch. And yet, you may walk away from each episode a better person than you were before.
    But you probably shouldn’t count on that.
    Now, these boys have spoiled us all with a lovely sampler, so I don’t need to bother thinking of highlights. It’s 13 minutes of goofy bliss from their early episodes. If you follow the link onto YouTube, you’ll find even more highlights from their more recent archives. Enjoy the madness.

Don't be scared. It's over

I’m starting to think that I’ve done more harm than good with this spam. Probably shouldn’t have tagged all of them with MaxFunDay. I hope I didn’t scare off any new donors or make anyone upset :( Anything I said that sounded mean was meant in good fun. My writing isn’t great and I don’t know if everything read as it should have.

Finally, a word from my oddly twisted heart:
    Friends, you should listen to MaxFun. If you already listen, you should donate to MaxFun. I do both because…well, have you looked at the rest of my entries tonight?! This is a hardworking bunch of folks who love what they do and love to share it with the world. If not for donations from appreciative listeners, there’s a real good chance they would no longer exist.  
    And I know that my life would be a lot less colorful, and a little more lonely, without them.

    If you think that’s pathetic, please cram it.
    Basset hound to follow. Thanks for putting up with me.

Throwing Shade

    This is the only way I can absorb a lot of political news without ending up in a corner, rocking gently back and forth while petting an invisible dog. I am far too busy  being entertained and informed to be horrified.
    As you well know, I lean quite far to the left. And two of my biggest concerns are rights for ladies and gays. So having a show were the hosts “take a weekly look at issues important to ladies and gays and treat them with much less respect than they deserve” is both a siren song and a warning sign. But I have good news, fellow godless hippy feminizes! If you’re skeptical of a show that uses feminist and gay news stories as comedy fodder, there’s no need for worry. There are some very earnest conversations and serious thoughts expressed in every segment along with the jokes. The laughter comes from personal stories and honest feelings regarding the issue at hand. We’re not laughing at the pain, but laughing through it. As a family. Or something.
    Bryan and Erin are a tremendous duo. It’s hard to imagine that they don’t have a script going into this, but we should all be glad that they don’t. It’s hard to imagine them getting into half the stuff they do if they did not have the luxury of taking tangents in a friendly conversation.
    It’s a lot like having a talk with my close friends, except that Bryan and Erin are exceptionally filthy as well. I mean, my friends can be dirty, but my GOD have these two set a high bar. This is the dirtiest podcast I’ve ever listened to, so be careful where you take it.
    I wish I could give you a bunch of highlight episodes, but it’s tough going through all these longer podcasts and refreshing my memory on each goof. Think of this as a time to take the self-guided tour– slow down, take in the exhibits at your own pace, and laugh as hard as you want because those suckers who bought the audio tour can’t hear a blessed thing.

The Memory Palace
    Do you want to learn about something interesting and obscure during your coffee break, but still have a couple minutes on either end of the break to exchange pleasantries with coworkers? Then have I got a podcast for you! The bite-sized Memory Palace episodes usually clock in at under 10 minutes a piece, and they’re chock full of intellectual and audio goodness.
    It’s a simple concept: Nate tells bizarre and nearly forgotten true stories. No guests, just Nate and some well timed music and audio cues. It’s clear that he puts a lot of effort into each script and delivers them impeccably. It’s always a good choice, be it an amusing story (“Secret Kitty,” if you can get past the animal experimentation, is wonderfully absurd) or depressing one (“400 Words for 79th Street” just about killed me).
Even if you leave the break room sniffling, you know it’s been time well spent.