135 episodes

Living in America these past few years has been like living in a movie—a mashup of Blade Runner, A Clockwork Orange, and Idiocracy, that is. The never-ending pandemic, the routine mass shootings, the climate literally and figuratively on fire; the economy first battered by recession, then ravaged by inflation; an angry electorate, armed to the teeth and addled by conspiracy theories, as our democracy teeters on the brink, with Donald Trump still working overtime to push the whole thing off a cliff. On Hell and High Water, John Heilemann — host of Showtime's The Circus, co-author of Game Change, and national affairs analyst for MSNBC — explores this apocalyptic-seeming moment with seminal figures in politics, entertainment, business, tech, the media, and beyond. The conversations are deep, rich, and bracingly real, but also hopeful, as Heilemann and his guests grapple with the fact that, to quote Bob Dylan, “Everything is broken,” and try to figure out how to fix it … together.


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Hell & High Water with John Heilemann The Recount

    • News
    • 4.8 • 198 Ratings

Living in America these past few years has been like living in a movie—a mashup of Blade Runner, A Clockwork Orange, and Idiocracy, that is. The never-ending pandemic, the routine mass shootings, the climate literally and figuratively on fire; the economy first battered by recession, then ravaged by inflation; an angry electorate, armed to the teeth and addled by conspiracy theories, as our democracy teeters on the brink, with Donald Trump still working overtime to push the whole thing off a cliff. On Hell and High Water, John Heilemann — host of Showtime's The Circus, co-author of Game Change, and national affairs analyst for MSNBC — explores this apocalyptic-seeming moment with seminal figures in politics, entertainment, business, tech, the media, and beyond. The conversations are deep, rich, and bracingly real, but also hopeful, as Heilemann and his guests grapple with the fact that, to quote Bob Dylan, “Everything is broken,” and try to figure out how to fix it … together.


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Killer Mike, Part 2

    Killer Mike, Part 2

    Michael Santiago Render, aka Killer Mike, is one of the most vital figures in the worlds of both hip hop and progressive activism. Best known as one half of the acclaimed rap duo Run The Jewels, Render gained notoriety in the political realm as a prominent backer of Bernie Sanders and a fierce advocate for Black economic empowerment. In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, Render delivered a tearful televised plea to protestors not to torch his beloved home city of Atlanta; the video went viral and earned him a new legion of admirers around the country. A few days later, Run the Jewels released its fourth album, “RTJ4”, which captured the anger, despair, and calls for racial justice echoing from coast to coast and was widely hailed as the dystopian soundtrack of 2020. In this first-ever two-part episode of Hell & High Water, Heilemann and Render discuss race and police violence, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Georgia's outsized role in the 2020 election, Ice Cube, Kanye West, Dave Chappelle, and much, much more. 


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    • 43 min
    Killer Mike, Part 1

    Killer Mike, Part 1

    Michael Santiago Render, aka Killer Mike, is one of the most vital figures in the worlds of both hip hop and progressive activism. Best known as one half of the acclaimed rap duo Run The Jewels, Render gained notoriety in the political realm as a prominent backer of Bernie Sanders and a fierce advocate for Black economic empowerment. In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, Render delivered a tearful televised plea to protestors not to torch his beloved home city of Atlanta; the video went viral and earned him a new legion of admirers around the country. A few days later, Run the Jewels released its fourth album, “RTJ4”, which captured the anger, despair, and calls for racial justice echoing from coast to coast and was widely hailed as the dystopian soundtrack of 2020. In this first-ever two-part episode of Hell & High Water, Heilemann and Render discuss race and police violence, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Georgia's outsized role in the 2020 election, Ice Cube, Kanye West, Dave Chappelle, and much, much more.
    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Adam Scott

    Adam Scott

    In which John Heilemann talks with actor Adam Scott, best known for his roles in beloved sitcoms including Parks and Recreation and The Good Place. Heilemann and Scott discuss his latest role in Severance, the new Apple TV+ sci-fi series directed by Ben Stiller; why the comedy veteran was eager to take part in the psychological drama; and how the backdrop of Covid-19 and the Trump presidency contributed to the dystopian nature of the show. They also reflect on Scott’s career – from his decade-plus as a struggling actor, his breakout role in Step Brothers, and his penchant for playing wanton a******s to hilarious effect – and look ahead to Scott’s highly anticipated return as Henry Pollard in the forthcoming reboot of the cult comedy classic STARZ series Party Down.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Jon Meacham

    Jon Meacham

    In the aftermath of the Democratic Party's successful showing in last week's midterm elections, John Heilemann welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham, author of the recent presidential biography, And Then There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle. Heilemann and Meacham, a friend of President Joe Biden, discuss Biden's buoyant mood after the midterms and how he'll determine whether he'll run again in 2024; Meacham's belief that Americans voted to support Democrats over Republicans in key swing states because they dislike having rights taken from them; that the ability of Democrats to put democracy on the ballot was a key determinant in their favor; how Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania's next governor, has become an an ascendant political star; and why presidents and vice presidents never have close relationships. They also talk about Ron DeSantis' recent deeply narcissistic political ad and why his anti-woke message may not play well on the national scene if he tries to be the Republican's presidential nominee in two years; debate Donald Trump's chances of becoming president again; and weigh the potential for election chaos if Republicans don't support the rational rule of law in 2024.
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    • 1 hr 13 min
    Joe Scarborough

    Joe Scarborough

    With Election Day upon us, John Heilemann welcomes Joe Scarborough, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, to talk through the big themes, large lessons, and lasting takeaways from the 2022 midterm campaign. Heilemann and Scarborough discuss the high degree of uncertainty around the outcome of the contests for control of Congress and 36 governships across the country, and why these midterms might not produce the kind of resounding wave favoring one party or the other; the importance of the Hispanic vote in determining the final results and why Republicans have been able to capture a larger share of these voters; how Barack Obama in the election's final days put on a master class in messaging that Democrats would do well to learn from, and why Joe regards Michigan state senator Mallory McMorrow and Pennsylvania attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro as two the party's most promising rising stars. S Scarborough also explains why he'll never return to his one-time home in the Republican Party (which he describes as "irredeemable") and Donald Trump will never (and can never) win another election.


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    • 1 hr 17 min
    Jordan Klepper

    Jordan Klepper

    John Heilemann welcomes The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper on the eve of his new election special, Jordan Klepper Fingers the Midterms -- America Unfollows Democracy, which premieres on November 1, and on the heels of of his turn as a guest host on Heilemann's Showtime series The Circus. Heilemann and Klepper dig into the all-important Pennsylvania Senate race and the eagerly awaited, much-discussed debate last week between John Fetterman and Dr. Oz; Klepper's comedy heroes, from British icons such as Monty Python, Chris Morris, and Steve Coogan to his Daily Show forerunners Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and Samantha Bee; his career on The Daily Show, including his trademark interviews with MAGA voters at Trump rallies; his new special, and how the election denialism he encountered in places such as Michigan and Arizona fed his fear that the midterms could be the beginning of the end for American democracy. Klepper also explains why he sees Bob Dylan (yes, Bob Dylan) as a comic genius— and the first verse of his song Highway 61 Revisited as the greatest joke in the history of rock lyricism.
    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
198 Ratings

198 Ratings

SAULR2010 ,

Absolutely 💯 Fantastic Listen

Still fascinated you are a hardcore WU-Tan fan!!!! Your interviews with guest from the hip hop & rap community are always the best👍

Merlin's M ,

Brilliant episode- maybe best ever

The just-issued two part episode with Leibovitch and Miller was superb: devastatingly honest, quick- witted exchanges with two authors who have deservedly lit up the best seller lists. Having read both of their books, I can attest to the fact that John’s keen questioning and hallmark sense of dark humour added so much value to what they had to say. Another great contribution from one of the best podcasts out there.
Merlin’s M

Boughen ,

Shorter the intro, the better

Much prefer the shorter intros

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