300 episodes

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 www.gofundme.com/kickassnews.

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 www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!

Kickass News Kickass News

    • Politics
    • 4.6 • 2.7K Ratings

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 www.gofundme.com/kickassnews.

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 www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!

    John Cleese on Creativity

    John Cleese on Creativity

    As the actor and writer behind Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and films like A Fish Called Wanda, John Cleese is among the most creative minds in entertainment.  He opens up about his writing process, why he often finds inspiration in the most unlikely of places, and how you can foster creativity in whatever you do.  He explains why overconfidence is the enemy of creativity, where he gets his particular disdain for pompous politicians and feckless authority figures, and why he says that people in charge are always uncomfortable around comedians.  John reveals how he and the Pythons came up with that classic "Dead Parrot" sketch, the curmudgeonly hotel manager who served as the real life inspiration for his character in Fawlty Towers, and the moment when he first realized that he was funny.  Plus he shares why he turned down a Lordship, why believes that Prince Charles will make a good king, and why you couldn't even pay him to have dinner with Prince William.

    Order his book CREATIVITY: A SHORT ANS CHEERFUL GUIDE on Amazon or wherever books are sold, and follow him on twitter at @JohnCleese.

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    • 58 min
    Senator Ben Sasse on Political Division and Breaking w/ Trump

    Senator Ben Sasse on Political Division and Breaking w/ Trump

    Senator Ben Sasse does a deep dive into the societal shifts affecting modern American life and the roots of our political divisiveness.  He talk about the outsized role politics plays in our daily lives, how "polititainment" celebrities like Sean Hannity are fueling dangerous tribalism in America, and how to build a healthier tribe of family and friends instead of political outrage.  He shares recent data that indicates that Americans are feeling increasingly lonely, and explains how the digital economy and smart technology are leading us to pull up our roots and lose our sense of community.  He then reveals how his own family has embraced the idea of a "digital Sabbath" and shares a few of his favorite tips for unplugging and living in the moment.  Plus I ask Senator Ben Sasse if he’s still comfortable with a GOP that has remade itself in President Trump's image.

    Order Senator Ben Sasse's important new book Them: Why We Hate Each Other--and How to Heal on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold, and follow him on twitter at @SenSasse.  

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    • 50 min
    Google's Eric Schmidt

    Google's Eric Schmidt

    Former Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt discusses how former college football coach Bill Campbell mentored him and many of Silicon Valley's greatest visionaries from Jeff Bezos and Larry Page to Marc Andreessen and Steve Jobs.  Eric recalls how he initially reacted when venture capitalist John Doerr suggested that he work with a coach, how Coach Campbell helped shape the relationship between Eric and Google's founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and how the coach talked Eric out of resigning as Google’s CEO in 2004.  He shares how Bill Campbell coached teams more than individuals, and talks about the importance of trust and even love to a company's success.  Eric opens up about his decision to step down as Executive Chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet in 2017 and his next big bet on the positive potential of artificial intelligence.  Plus Eric Schmidt reveals why starting a meeting with some little polite chit-chat isn't just a waste of time and the power of hugs in the workplace.

    Order Eric's book Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. 

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    • 34 min
    Tim Robbins on Defeating Tyranny with Satire

    Tim Robbins on Defeating Tyranny with Satire

    Oscar-winning actor/writer/director/producer Tim Robbins shares how he originally developed his latest project Bobo Supreme as a movie with the director Adam McKay, but he was inspired to adapt his screenplay for an auditory medium when the pandemic shut down film production. He reveals how he managed to record with 35 different actors in 35 different locations simultaneously during quarantine, and how it has given him a renewed appreciation for the radio dramas of Orson Welles and his Mercury Radio Theater.  We talk about taking down tyrants through satire, comedy as a welcome break from our toxic addiction to doom scrolling, and how Tim’s career in Hollywood has given him some insight into the fragile, narcissistic id of Donald Trump.  Tim offers some hopeful speculation on how the movie business may transform in the wake of Covid-19 and what it will take to reopen live theaters such as his own repertory group The Actors Gang.  Plus, how Joe Biden won Tim over, the enduring relevance of his film Bob Roberts, and why you probably won’t see a sequel to that seminal political mockumentary any time soon.

    Episode 1 of Bobo Supreme debuts today, October 8 on Patreon.  Visit www.bobosupreme.com or www.patreon.com/timrobbinspresents to listen.  Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimRobbins1.

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    • 44 min
    99% Invisible's Roman Mars on How People, Politics, and Pandemics Impact Design

    99% Invisible's Roman Mars on How People, Politics, and Pandemics Impact Design

    99% Invisible host Roman Mars discusses his new book why it’s taken him a decade to finally write a 99% Invisible book The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design, all of the thought that this design fan put into the look of his first book, and some of the secret publishing considerations that determine everything from how many units get returned to whether a book gets sold by Costco.  We talk about the baseball player who became synonymous with stairs to nowhere and other architectural elements that have outlasted their usefulness, how the lost art of neon tube bending is making a comeback, and how residents, local governments, and more affect the look and character of a neighborhood.  For instance, Roman shares how taxes have impacted the shape buildings throughout history, and the role that design plays in making our public spaces safer and our cities more pedestrian friendly during the current pandemic.  Plus we talk about creepy dolls, librarians on a power trip, the beautiful hideousness of city flags, and San Francisco's love/hate relationship with the TransAmerica pyramid.

    Order Roman's his book The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design.  You can listen to 99% Invisible wherever you listen to podcasts or at www.99percentinvisible.org.  Follow Roman and the show on Twitter at @RomanMars and @99piorg, and be sure to check out the whole lineup of Radiotopia podcasts at www.radiotopia.fm.  Today's episode is sponsored by Kestra Financial.

     

     

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    • 44 min
    H.R. McMaster Looks at America's Greatest Challenges to Come

    H.R. McMaster Looks at America's Greatest Challenges to Come

    Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster served in the US Army for 34 years and then as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump.  He discusses what it was like to take over that job in the chaotic period following the firing of his predecessor Michael Flynn, how studying LBJ's mistakes during the War in Vietnam made him even more determined to provide the current Commander-in-Chief with straight-forward, unvarnished policy advice, and why he believes that some others in the White House might not have had the same lofty motivations.  He talks about the value of empathy in national security and some of the biggest challenges America faces from an emboldened China that is taking advantage of the Covid crisis to advance it’s own agenda to a Russia that he says is determined to drag America down with it.  He he explains why the war in Afghanistan is really a one year war fought over and over 20 times, why he believes that his departure from the Trump Administration was partly the result of a social media smear campaign by Russian cyber-trolls, how the National Security Council put a strategy in place for a global pandemic (and what went wrong).

    Order his new book Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World.  Today's episode was sponsored by Freeform's new series Kal Penn Approves This Message, now streaming new episodes on Wednesdays on Hulu.

     









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    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
2.7K Ratings

2.7K Ratings

Jada sons ,

This is great.

This is fantastic podcast! The host is always very well-informed and asks the questions I would want to know of his fascinating guests.

Maxcraft430 ,

I do like kickass news

And I found this podcast through Community News with Paul and Sasha podcast. I wish you would have them on your show and think you’re the interviewer who could get to the bottom of who they really are. Would be funny and interesting at least. I like the variety of guests you have.

SingeVert ,

More like Kickass Snooze, amiright?

Just kidding. Mathis is a pretty good interviewer. It's a good show--nothing groundbreaking or unmissable. But man, could it possibly have a more inapt name? It's anything but kickass--so sleepy it makes Teri Gross sound like Jim Cramer. And it's not news! There's very little timely or news-worthy--good interviews with interesting people, which is something I like, but it ain't news.

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