29 episodes

Join reader-comedians Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim for a fun, digressive trip through the Kurt Vonnegut canon. It’s a book club, a comedy show, and a cavalcade of smart, entertaining segments. Discover Vonnegut works you’ve never read! Rediscover your Kurt favorites! And cure the terrible disease of loneliness by going on a K.V. appreciation deep dive with a friendly karass of your fellow listeners.

Kurt Vonneguys Alex Schmidt & Michael Swaim

    • Comedy
    • 4.9 • 304 Ratings

Join reader-comedians Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim for a fun, digressive trip through the Kurt Vonnegut canon. It’s a book club, a comedy show, and a cavalcade of smart, entertaining segments. Discover Vonnegut works you’ve never read! Rediscover your Kurt favorites! And cure the terrible disease of loneliness by going on a K.V. appreciation deep dive with a friendly karass of your fellow listeners.

    The Writer's Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five

    The Writer's Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five

    Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, the original Kurt Vonneguys, are back to break down the new nonfiction book 'The Writer's Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five'! If this isn't nice, what is?

    The book is written by Tom Roston, and published by Abrams Books: https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/writers-crusade_9781419744891/

    Vonneguys news: this is our last episode of this new run. Thank you all so much for re-forming this karass for another round of Vonne-joy.
    Enjoy Michael's new show 'Like Razorblade Pie' at Small Beans: https://www.patreon.com/SmallBeans
    Enjoy Alex's show 'Secretly Incredibly Fascinating': https://linktr.ee/sifpod

    SEGMENTS:
    Franken-Time (00:02:35)
    Summary Time (00:13:10)
    The Meat (00:36:15)
    Tom Rosto-grades (01:07:25)
    Related Reading (01:10:30)
    Vonnegut News (01:17:35)

    LINKS for Related Reading:
    'The Things They Carried' by Tim O'Brien: https://www.arts.gov/initiatives/nea-big-read/things-they-carried
    "Ahab’s gift: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and the meaning of pain" by Xi Chen: https://hekint.org/2020/06/23/ahabs-gift-herman-melvilles-moby-dick-and-the-meaning-of-pain/
    The Autobiography Of Mark Twain: https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520267190/autobiography-of-mark-twain-volume-1

    LINKS for background about this book:
    'Kurt Vonnegut: Letters', edited by Dan Wakefield: https://bookshop.org/books/kurt-vonnegut-letters/9780385343763
    Tom Roston's website: https://tomroston.com/
    'The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World: The Twin Towers, Windows on the World, and the Rebirth of New York' by Tom Roston: https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/most-spectacular-restaurant-in-the-world_9781419737992/
    'I Lost it at the Video Store: A Filmmakers' Oral History of a Vanished Era' by Tom Roston: https://books.google.com/books/about/I_Lost_it_at_the_Video_Store.html?id=TpzmsgEACAAJ
    Review from Kirkus Reviews: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/tom-roston/the-writers-crusade/
    Review from Publishers Weekly: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4197-4489-1

    Full spreadsheet of Alex & Michael's "Vonnegrades" plus other grades: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1F2juhwV4ia1MzdQC8krE0yiV9e7rdrpkbMguGL037uo/edit?usp=sharing

    Homepage for the Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library: http://kvml.org/
    Their next annual 'Night Of Vonnegut' is April 10th, 2022.
    Kurt Vonnegut's 100th birthday would've been November 11th, 2022.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time

    Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time

    Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, the original Kurt Vonneguys, are back to break down the new documentary 'Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time'! If this isn't nice, what is?

    The documentary is by co-directors Robert B. Weide and Don Argott. Here's its website and how to watch: https://www.vonnegutmovie.com/

    Vonneguys news: we're still returning once more, in 2022, for an episode about 'The Writer's Crusade' by Tom Roston. Find out more about that book here: www.abramsbooks.com/product/writers…_9781419744891/

    SEGMENTS:
    Franken-Time (00:02:15)
    Summary Time (00:26:00)
    Highlight Reel (00:37:57)
    Vonne-MEH (00:56:30)
    The Meat (01:03:55)
    Robert B. Weide-grades (01:17:15)
    Related Reading (01:22:45)
    Vonnegut News (01:35:07)

    LINKS for Related Reading:
    'Life Itself' documentary: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2382298/
    'Meeting People Is Easy' documentary: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195909/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
    'Too Funny To Fail' documentary, streaming on Hulu: https://www.hulu.com/movie/too-funny-to-fail-the-life-death-of-the-dana-carvey-show-c6c29995-0c40-4442-aed6-156bd11e2d9e
    'The Brothers Vonnegut' by Ginger Strand: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374536534
    'The Century Of The Self' documentary series: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0432232/

    LINKS for background about this documentary:
    Library Of America interview with Robert B. Weide: https://www.loa.org/news-and-views/1917-kurt-vonnegut-at-100-with-robert-weide
    transcript of the "Why a duck?" scene in 'The Cocoanuts' (1929): https://www.marx-brothers.org/whyaduck/info/movies/scenes/whyaduck.htm
    IMDb listings for Robert B. Weide: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004332/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
    IMDB listings for Don Argott: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0034531/?ref_=tt_ov_dr
    'Kurt Vonnegut: Letters', edited by Dan Wakefield: https://bookshop.org/books/kurt-vonnegut-letters/9780385343763
    'The Brothers Vonnegut' by Ginger Strand: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374536534
    Review from RogerEbert.com: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/kurt-vonnegut-unstuck-in-time-movie-review-2021
    Review from Variety: https://variety.com/2021/film/reviews/kurt-vonnegut-unstuck-in-time-review-robert-b-weide-1235115093/
    Review from NPR: https://www.npr.org/2021/11/17/1056477983/kurt-vonnegut-unstuck-in-time-remains-faithful-to-the-authors-spirit
    Review from the Los Angeles Times: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2021-11-18/review-kurt-vonnegut-unstuck-in-time-robert-b-weide-don-argott

    • 1 hr 37 min
    Slaughterhouse-Five (graphic novel)

    Slaughterhouse-Five (graphic novel)

    Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, the original Kurt Vonneguys, are back to break down the new 'Slaughterhouse-Five' graphic novel! If this isn't nice, what is?

    The graphic novel is by writer Ryan North and artist Albert Monteys. Publisher page: https://shop.boom-studios.com/collections/slaughterhouse-five

    Also here's a link to a *VIDEO VERSION* of this podcast episode (it's the same audio, plus some photos of what we're talking about): https://youtu.be/5BghQzkY0iE

    Vonneguys news: we're returning once more, in 2022, for a new episode about 'The Writer's Crusade' by Tom Roston. Find out more about that book here: https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/writers-crusade_9781419744891/

    SEGMENTS:
    Franken-Time (00:03:55)
    Plot Time (00:24:55)
    Kurt Blurt Redux (00:43:45)
    Recurring Characters Redux (00:51:45)
    Kurt Cameo Redux (00:58:05)
    VonneWHAT Redux (01:00:30)
    The Meat (01:04:20)
    Ryan North and Albert Monteys-grades (01:17:25)
    Related Reading (01:21:25)
    Vonnegut News (01:26:00)

    LINKS for Related Reading:
    'Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth' by Chris Ware: https://bookshop.org/books/jimmy-corrigan-the-smartest-kid-on-earth/9780375714542
    'Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards' by Jim Ottaviani and Big Time Attic: https://bookshop.org/books/bone-sharps-cowboys-and-thunder-lizards/9780966010664
    Quote from Tennessee Williams: https://www.themarginalian.org/2018/07/30/tennessee-williams-love/
    'Synedcoche, New York' (2008 movie): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0383028/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

    LINKS for background about this graphic novel:
    ComicsBeat.com interview with Ryan North: https://www.comicsbeat.com/interview-adapting-slaughterhouse-five-with-ryan-north/
    Publisher interview with Ryan North and Albert Monteys: https://youtu.be/BU5xv4AhoCc
    Article about Albert Monteys leaving 'El Jueves' over censorship: https://www.thelocal.es/20140606/spanish-comic-censored-jueves-king-joke/
    Image Comics page for the 'Solid State' graphic novel by Jonathan Coulton, Matt Fraction, and Albert Monteys: https://imagecomics.com/comics/series/solid-state
    Vox.com article citing new Dresden statistics: https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/3/31/18287062/slaughterhouse-five-50th-anniversary-kurt-vonnegut
    January 2018 'Dinosaur Comics' strip that quotes 'Slaughterhouse-Five': https://qwantz.com/index.php?comic=3236
    August 2021 news from Deadline.com on Noah Hawley's adaptation of 'Cat's Cradle': https://deadline.com/2021/08/noah-hawley-cats-cradle-not-moving-forward-at-fx-tca-1234814354/
    Review from The AV Club: https://www.avclub.com/slaughterhouse-five-is-a-near-flawless-adaptation-that-1845419158
    Review from Polygon: https://www.polygon.com/comics/2020/9/15/21438090/slaughterhouse-five-comic-graphic-novel-kurt-vonnegut-ryan-north-albert-monteys
    Review from MonkeysFightingRobots.co: https://monkeysfightingrobots.co/review-slaughterhouse-five-is-a-perfect-graphic-novel-adaptation/

    LINK to a Google Sheet with all of Alex and Michael's past Vonnegrades: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1F2juhwV4ia1MzdQC8krE0yiV9e7rdrpkbMguGL037uo/edit?usp=sharing

    • 1 hr 33 min
    A Man Without A Country

    A Man Without A Country

    Franken-Time (00:01:20)

    Essay Time (00:04:25)

    VonneART (00:05:10)

    Ad Time (00:40:25)

    Kurt Blurt (00:54:05)

    Recurring Characters Update (01:09:40)

    Kurt Cameo (01:09:55)

    VonneWHAT (01:10:15)

    The Meat (01:13:25)

    VonneGRADES (01:18:45)

    Related Reading (01:21:25)

    Vonnegut News (01:26:25)

    • 1 hr 30 min
    God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

    God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

    Cosmologut (0:00:50)
    Vonne-Interviews (0:07:00)
    Kurt Vonnegut reading Mary Ainsworth interview (0:14:45)
    Vognettes (0:26:05)
    Kurt Blurt (0:59:50)
    Recurring Characters Update (1:05:50)
    Kurt Cameo (1:06:00)
    VonneWHAT (1:06:45)
    The Meat (1:09:00)
    VonneGRADES (1:15:45)
    Related Reading (1:17:20)

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Bagombo Snuff Box

    Bagombo Snuff Box

    Franken-Time (00:01:10)
    Intro Time (00:08:15)
    Creative Writing 101 (00:13:45)
    Story Time (00:20:45)
    Coda Time (01:30:45)
    Kurt Blurt (01:40:35)
    Recurring Characters Update (01:41:05)
    VonneWHAT (01:42:40
    VonneGRADES (01:46:45)
    Related Reading (01:51:10)

    • 1 hr 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
304 Ratings

304 Ratings

Jeff Guindon ,

Good stuff

This podcast got me excited about reading again

Puffy C ,

Good podcast tainted by unrecognized bias

Really well done and entertaining, I’m just not sure they understand everything that Vonnegut was trying to say. I started with the episode on Slaughterhouse Five, and the discussion of the book was well done but when they tried exploring some of the deeper meanings it was clear they didn’t really get some of it. The segment where they try to discuss sexism and racism was pretty cringey only because they view it through an extreme leftist lens. Anything that wasn’t positive about women was sexist and anything that wasn’t positive about people of color was racist, even though there was nothing inherently sexist or racist about any of the examples. Yeah, that’s a current problem that goes far beyond this podcast, just something to be aware of since it undermines their credibility and it detracts from the podcast. With a little more research and a little less bias this would be just about ideal.

just a vonnegut fan! ,

The new DOC

I wanna hear your views on the new Documentary out soon!!!!

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