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People Who Chase Success For Its Own Sake VS Following A Passion And Succeeding As A Byproduct
We kick off the podcast with some comments about Craig Ferguson and his ability to deliver a gripping, touching story about his brush with suicide (during his heavy drinking days) whilst being charming and hilarious. (link below)
Craig is well known for quick whit and ability to charm the female guests on his show, even as a much older man. The guys discuss this and it's merits.
Paul then kicks off by looking into Twinkie and the great American brands. He talks about a very interesting case where the company was failing but a fresh new corporate approach allowed the brand to re surface and thrive. He points out that none of the leaders of that company would be seen dead eating their own product though and asks the question, is that important? They explore the idea of morality in peddling a product/business for success without any attachment in the actual item? We also look how at the qualities you need to be a founder of a business appose to taking Global. Do founders need to stand aside to allow growth and sustainability?
Peter then weaves in the story of Ray Croc (not the founder of McDonalds but the man who took it global) and also the Michael Keaton movie 'The Founder.' No real spoilers (a mini one maybe) but we look at how Ray took it from a small single restaurant into the global beast it is today and the personalty that is required to take such a leap.
We address the usual moves high hitting guys like this make such as cutting out old business partners harshly and divorcing long serving wife for a younger woman. Is this always the inevitable?
As always with Diapers Off the boy banter and go off topic in this energetic, engaging conversation between Peter and Paul.
Link to Craig video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K46P7loICXY
Sacha Dhawan | Episode 66
This week we welcome Sacha Dhawan, successful actor across television, theatre and film. He is a close friend of Peter's and a very thoughtful guest who really tells us about the challenges (often seen at 'The Dark Side') of being a successful actor as well as the joys. He gives us some priceless stories and funny, juicy anecdotes about the stars he has worked with, such as Will Smith and Jeremy Piven.
Peter kicks off informally, and the guys randomly get onto the the topic of IMDB and its importance in the industry. Paul explain how he met the founder (Colin Needham) who will be joining us as a guest soon. Sacha jokes that IMDB is great, but his bio is incorrect.
The guys then get into the challenges between creative selectivity when choosing a job and the ever-growing practical challenges of life (mortgage, money, family) and how he personally manages that. He then opens up about getting into a role and dealing with repeat takes and the realities of working on set. Sacha talks about the power of 'saying no', trusting your gut, and the importance of having a good creative team that understands choices made for long term success rather than short term financial gain.
Sacha then hits us with a GREAT Will Smith story about Will no longer being the number one man in his family when his son Jayden came along. He also gives us some insight into Will's work ethic and what it's like to not only meet, but to work with one of your heroes. Very interesting stuff...
We also get a little heavier, taking a look at the loneliness of being on the road. Sacha shares his Hollywood story “when the cameras stop flashing”, going from super fame to not being able to get someone to take his picture within the space of 9 months.
Having continuity in an Actor’s life is a big theme of this week's show – an issue which many creatives struggle with. Relationships are built on incremental emotional investment, so moving and changing all the time reduces the likelihood of forming long term bonds. We look at this on a larger scale that could apply to anyone, not just artists.
We explore the perception of the famous actor vs the reality and how some actors might be happier not being at the very top and finding greater consistency in the middle echelons.
We finish with some more funny stories and then Sacha gets real about the cultural challenges of being a British Indian actor.
SHORT BIO: Sacha is an actor from Manchester, with successful careers in television, film and theatre in the UK and USA. He has worked and starred alongside Will Smith, James Corden, Jeremy Piven, Maggie Smith, and Brain Cox to name a few. He was in the original cast of the Broadway hit show The History Boys, and more recently starred in Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch as Jimmy, and in Mr Selfridge with Jeremy Piven.
He has been close friend with Diapers Off host, Peter, since they were children.
Scott Capurro | Episode 65
We are joined in the studio by funnyman Scott Capurro, an American comedian of Genoese descent. Scott can be found on the UK morning show, The Wright Stuff, where recently he antagonized a group of disgruntled vegans.
He starts by regaling us with the story of a sacrilege masturbatory tribute to the crucified Son of God and how that got him banned from the Australian comedy circuit. We talk about fat vegetarians, how to never take hecklers personally and why audience members who “can’t find the joke” often feel embarrassed and turn on the comic. Scott was closeted in the 80’s, trying vainly to make jokes about shagging women and machismo. That didn’t go over so well, so he came out.
One distinction between the US and UK comedy scenes is that, in the US, comics must single out ethnicities and make fun of them, so that each ethnicity feels represented. Miss a particular black, Indian or hispanic joke and certain audience members feel left out. That’s the difference between Racism and Representation. Scott discusses the Seinfeld Effect, which hit the circuit in the 1990’s. Comics, the world over, started doing bits like, “Cardigans – what’s that all about?” or “Women & Toilet-Paper – what’s that all about?”
Scott shares that 20 years ago, women and gay comics weren’t even invited to college campuses, so he’s happy students have become more sensitive and politically correct: today’s atmosphere is more inclusive. Peter and Scott descend into a political morass before surfacing to talk about Brexit and the changing nature of power: these people think “being white gives them an automatic wild card in the game of Monopoly – but it doesn’t anymore. Your skin color doesn’t help you in the world any longer.” We talk about Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson and an “England for the English” before moving on to San Francisco and London, each forcing astronomical costs of living on its young people. According to Scott, the “Hippie History” of San Francisco is dead and the dream of the “artist in a loft” is long gone.
We talk about Stinson Beach in Marin, with its ominous signs alerting bathers that “Great white sharks breed in these waters.” And, yet, surfers are out every day, on their boards. To a British mind, this is outrageous, but Paul and Scott both attest to the American facility with statistics: you’re more likely to get stabbed at an ATM in London than eaten by a shark in the waters off San Francisco.
Finally, Scott is asked where he’d like to be transported in history as a gay man: post-war NYC. Great social progress, radical liberalism and a music and arts scene, nonpareil. Ending on a political note, Scott predicts we’ll have a gay President before a female one, and, despite his distaste for Trump, he’d gladly work a paid gig at the White House. You can catch Scott at the Soho Theater in February and on The Wright Stuff, weekday mornings.
William Sitwell | Episode 64
If you love food, you’ll love this episode. We are joined by MasterChef judge and editor of Waitrose Food Magazine, William Sitwell. Among his many notable accomplishments, William was the narrator of Michelin Stars – The Madness of Perfection. It’s a fascinating BBC documentary on the competitive nature of modern haute cuisine with lots of great behind-the-scenes action (I’ve seen it twice).
We start by learning of William’s foray into college journalism before he waded into politics in his 20’s. An unlikely turn of events had him writing for Women’s Journal, penning such grippers as, “How to date again in your 40’s.” Asked during the interview for Waitrose Magazine why he felt qualified for the job, William responded, “Well, I eat!” Sitwell, the food writer and critic, was born! We discuss the anatomy of a long lunch – noon to midnight – and how the British version differs from the Continental one. In his recent book, Eggs or Anarchy, Sitwell chronicles the life of Lord Woolton, Minister for Food during WWII.
We learn why Hitler couldn’t find the Ministry when it decamped to Wales and why Britain, with only 40% food security, was increasingly vulnerable to starvation as the war stretched on. Paul learns how staggered rationing works and how such rationing encouraged Brits in the countryside to hunt game.
Sitwell’s earlier book, A History of Food in 100 Recipes, explores the earliest recorded attempts at cooking and baking. The first recipe: hieroglyphic instructions for making Egyptian flatbread. We speculate on the first cooked food – the flame making the meat easier to chew. Also: a detailed recipe for lamb and pork ravioli from 1470 in which the pasta is boiled for as long as it takes to say five Lord’s Prayers.
Finally, we discuss the advent of the London food scene with the Roux Brothers in the early 70’s. They started Le Gavroche in 1967, followed by The Waterside Inn at Bray. Many young chefs came through their kitchen and went on to launch top restaurants of their own: Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing. In a sign of how parochial London was then, one could only get olive oil at a chemist (pharmacy) and its commercial use was cleaning out waxy ears. Today, of course, London is a mecca for chefs and foodies alike and boasts many of the world’s best restaurants. Sitwell admits there is a lack of good provincial cooking in Britain (unlike in rural France and Italy), but says things are improving. And, we touch on why so few women run kitchens today and if that’s likely to change. Enjoy this wonderful exploration of food, history and the good life with William Sitwell. Cheers!
Kezia Noble | Episode 63
We are joined today by Kezia Noble, leading female dating coach for men. We had her on before - Episode #18 - and she’s back with a vengeance (and not a little good advice). She loved the episode in which we discussed “Where Party Girls Go to Die” and so, naturally, we start there. Kezia is appalled that young women today aspire to no greater heights than Instagram, and hold the botox-lipped, sex-kitten look to be the pinnacle of achievement. These young women are facing a ticking time bomb, she asserts, because they’re not developing any durable qualities or skills. Kezia shares that at 7 years old, she discovered her idol: Alexis Colby from Dallas. Alexis was brash, rich, and slept around. She was in control - the big boss. Another idol from Kezia’s day, Madonna, took mediocre talent and through hard work and grit sculpted it into a billion-dollar franchise. These women had what it took to succeed in a man’s world. Paul contrasts those aspirations with the celebrity infatuation that grips young girls today. They seem to abandon their own journeys to pursue the unattainable life of someone like Kim Kardashian. Such lack of foresight is dangerous, leaving many ageing party girls frustrated and bitter. At least “I was that girl with a back-up plan,” concedes Kezia. As women age-out of the party scene it might take a painful truth whispered by a girlfriend to let them know it’s time to bow out gracefully, their looks having deserted them on the dance floor. Paul asks if such honesty is welcome. “Never!” says Kezia. She’ll only get jealous and obsess on those words throughout the night. Better to focus on giving men advice. And so, we do just that, asking Kezia to tell us the 3 Things Men Do Wrong. After all, she’s coached thousands of guys since 2006, so she ought to know what mistakes they make. And she does. 1) Approach Anxiety. We sometimes euphemistically call them “butterflies” but these gnawing stomach spasms will hold you back. Kezia prescribes her mind management technique which focuses a man’s mind on the girl’s imperfections. 2) Fear of Conversation Failure - oh boy, this is a biggie. Kezia refuses to get too technical on this one, saving the best parts for her Residential Course, but she says it works for both introverts and extroverts. What attracts women to men is the trinity of i) a strong reality ii) consistency & iii) certainty in action - all of which we discuss in detail 3) Failure to Sexually Escalate, causing a Lapse into the Friend Zone. Many of us have been there and Kezia gives us her foolproof remedy: “5 Steps to Freedom.” Over the course of the hour, you’ll hear why Kezia dresses provocatively, why positive affirmations in the dressing room of a strip club don’t work and why “you should be really fucking scared if she only meets you for coffee.”
Why Dates Go Wrong | Episode 62
In a bit of Podcast Verité the guys break the 4th wall as they launch into a discussion of Why Dates Go Wrong. Meandering, Paul admits to his continued astonishment at being married; he thought of it as something “other people do.” Instead of the marriage stereotypes emblazoned on boardwalk t-shirts - “Game Over” - Paul has found he loves having a playmate to come home to at night. This anticipates a section later in the podcast, in which Paul claims that open communities evaporate by 40; a single, 42-year-old guy has nowhere to go. In their discussion of first date follies, the guys talk about key attributes of a “successful dater”: calm, pragmatic, stoic, not proud, thick-skinned. Paul talks about his days in NYC as a rigid, unyielding dater who reduced “degrees of freedom” to devastating effect. Peter and Paul discuss the perils of the 2nd date and joke that it should be eliminated altogether; more earnestly, they wonder which areas in ourselves we can accept and which we need to improve. Somehow, they get on the topic of frivolous youth and wonder if the iconic billionaires of today have cast a pall over people’s 20’s - a theme we discussed in The Billionaire Bust Up | Episode 14. Later, Pete tells us the #1 Problem in modern dating is too much choice and adds a personal note, joking he’s been the victim of a sympathy date but also that he likes to underperform in the early days to keep expectations in check. Paul is worried about the lack of relationship skills out there among young singletons - one girl Pete knows refuses to date an inexperienced man, saying she doesn’t want him to make his first mistakes on her. Paul understands the Achilles Heel of Mr. Single, dating machine extraordinaire: the inability to properly service a relationship. The transition for Paul was tough, at times, and he finally learned first-hand why IKEA is like kryptonite to single men. Paul pitches his upcoming e-book, On Marriage, and explains his take on the 5 Steps to the Altar: dating, courtship, cohabitation, engagement and marriage. Finally, the guys get nostalgic for youthful spontaneity and Pete worries that logistics will crowd out romance in his future relationships.
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There is *NOTHING ELSE* like this out there anywhere. The hosts have great chemistry together and really delve into the questions that are important to being a man in this day and age. Forget touchy-feely stuff though. This show is all about humor and edge. Women will also find the astute observations and discussion entertaining too.
FHM, GQ magazine might be good for fashion or the latest gadgets but they don’t look at the fundamental questions of what it means to be a man these days and how to navigate through that sometimes tricky road that is life.
Destined to become one of the greats. I cannot recommend it enough.
Really amusing and hilarious podcast. Highly recommended!
Essential listening for men and millenials
A very insightful, smart and funny podcast series from two guys who are not afraid to uncover the secrets of relationships, love and life. One of the best podcasts out there.