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🩺 The dr? is unhinged ⛓️ Uncle Criminal 💵 le dollar bean ☄️ the David Attenborough of Doom 🦎🦛
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Today is Monday, September 25. In case this newsletter is too long…Amy Poehler is a doctor? here, the General Hospital episode that fucked us all up here, Cliffs Notes for The 4-Hour Work Week for You…A Full Blown Job for Your Slave Wage Team! here.
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Named one of Vulture’s The Comedians You Should and Will Know, actress Laci Mosley can currently be seen starring in Paramount+’s hit reboot of “iCarly” and in NBC’s new comedy series, “Lopez vs. Lopez,” opposite George Lopez and his daughter, Mayan Lopez. In film, Laci can be seen in Netflix’s newest comedy “The Out-Laws” opposite Adam Devine, Pierce Brosnan and Nina Dobrev. She is the host of the award winning podcast Scam Goddess.
Describe Scam Goddess in ten words or less.
A funny podcast about scams, robbery, and fraud.
How was the idea of Scam Goddess born? Did you kind of develop the idea on The Daily Zeitgeist?
Scam Goddess in itself is a scam! I wanted to do a comedy podcast and every network told me the market was too saturated and then because of my frequent trips to the Daily Zeitgeist, they had a bit where they asked me what was in my search history and I told them I was always researching scams. Miles Gray actually coined the term “the Scam Goddess.” Gotcha bitch!
Fuck, Mary, Fling off a building: Elizabeth Holmes, Anna Sorokin, Caroline Calloway.
Fuck: Caroline Calloway. Marry: Anna Sorokin. Fling off a building: Elizabeth Holmes.
What’s been the best scam you’ve covered?
Sandy Jenkins, the Fruitcake Con. He buried gold bricks by a lake like a goddamn pirate and I love it!
What makes a scam unfunny? Is there a limit or can they all somehow be comical?
When you are punching down. If you’re stealing from people who are already stealing, I love it. Like big corporations, rich hoarders, nasty human beings - rob em! But if you take from people who need, I don’t fuck with you.
🚨If u only have time for 1 thing🚨
Magnificent Jerk is an audio memoir hosted by Maya Lin Sugarman about the family secrets she discovers when her aunts plop a box of screenplays on her lap. Turns out her late uncle Galen was a leader of a Chinese gang, went to jail, was the author of these screenplays, and one of them turned into a terrible movie in the 90s called Crazy Six, starring Rob Lowe, Burt Reynolds, and Ice-T. Through whispered conversations with her family and other gang members, and a little digging, she’s trying to get to know the uncle she thought she understood. (She temporarily lived with him but had no idea.) It’s a hunt for a complicated person and a connection with a ghost.
✨Read my latest Lifehacker piece 12 Podcasts That Explain the '90.
✨Read about an unarguably awesome podcast pitch in Podcast Marketing Magic.
✨International Podcast Day is coming up on September 30th. We are obviously quite excited for it. Last year, to celebrate it, Tink encouraged folks to take an hour-long break to ‘walkout’ and listen to a podcast. This year, we're walking out again! So pick a podcast to worth walking out for and tag us on Instagram and Twitter when you walkout. Remember to use the #podbreak23!
I am obsessed with podcast Reddit…I thought I’d report on my findings. Do you want this section to continue in the future? Let me know in the comments.
👩💻Redditors chime in about their favorite podcast episodes of all time. Read.
👩💻Redditors recommend one great podcast to anyone they would meet. Read.
👩💻Redditors don’t think that the Oh No, Ross and Carrie episode about The Sound of Freedom was critical enough. Read.
👩💻An episode of PJ Vogt’s Search Engine was finally dropped in the Reply All feed and people are just now discovering it. Read.
👩💻Redditors are into Believable: The Coco Berthmann Story. Read.
👩💻Jason Bateman threw a temper tantrum on Smartless and people are sick of him? Read.
👩💻People are done with The Last Podcast on the Left. Read.
🎙️When I saw the title Say More with Dr? Sheila, I thought…oops! A typo! It is not a typo. Dr? Sheila is not a doctor. She is Amy Poehler. (“For legal reasons, Dr? must be said in the form of a question.”) This is an improvised comedy show where Dr? Sheila lets you be a fly on the wall in her couples therapy sessions (think Where Should We Begin? with zero expertise) while she takes people with relationship issues and then messes them up even more. (In episode one, she plays a round of OJ-inspired “if you did it” about cheating, which reveals truths about “Beth” and “Ryan” that they definitely didn’t want to know.) Episode two has the best baked-in ad I’ve ever heard. Couples include the voices of Fred Armisen, Kate Berlant, Rachel Dratch, John Early, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson,Jason Mantzoukas, Maya Rudolph, Paul Scheer, and many more. Listen here.
🎙️In Retrospect is officially here! To kick things off, Susie Banikarim and Jessica Bennett unravel the story of General Hospital’s Luke and Laura. This was news to me: they’re the beloved soap couple whose wedding was such a huge cultural moment that it drew more viewers than an actual royal wedding (twice) and Princess Diana sent them champagne when they got married. Sweet, right? But their relationship started with a rape. Why did we love Luke so much, and what did that teach a generation of people about sex and relationships? I’ve always wanted to start a podcast called “How the 90s Fucked Me Up.” This is kind of that. Listen here.
🎙️I started Hooked on Freddie without reading anything about it. It’s fun to live life on the edge sometimes, isn’t it? This was a good one to surprise myself with. I was assuming it’d be about an orphaned boy who befriends a captive dolphin, Freddie, at an ailing amusement park. But it turns out it’s about (spoil alert: stop reading if you would like to be surprised like me) an animal rights activist who went balls to the wall in protecting a dolphin who becomes the main attraction in the north-east of England, and what happens when he is accused of “wanking it off” by the owner of the Flamingo Land dolphinarium. (Boy was I wrong!) We’ve got sex, scandal, an adorable dolphin that upends a community, and a host, Becky Milligan, who remembers is happening. This is a story that has been hiding from us, a story 30-years in the making. Listen here.
🎙️I love Blair Braverman. She isn’t a podcaster, but she’s done so many cool things that I’ll allow it. She is a writer and adventurer who put herself on Naked and Afraid, and (in her spare time?) is a long-distance dogsledder who has completed some of the toughest sled dog races in the world, including the Iditerod. (Here’s an opportunity to plug one of my favorite niche podcast, Iditapod.) She’s been guest on some of my favorite episodes of You’re Wrong About. And her husband is Quince Mountain, the Iditarod's first transgender dog musher, who was also on Naked and Afraid. I want to hang out with them but I’m sure they’d want to do something scary and they’d find me terribly uncool. If there are two things I really hate, it’s being naked in public and afraid. It was a blast getting to know her better on Born To Love. Ellie Kemper and Scott Eckert’s vibes are a lot. At one point Ellie shrieks “you are such an unusual person!” and she’s right. Blair lives in the now, is happy in the most uncomfortable, grueling moments, or sitting on a beach. Carrying her dogs up mountains, or watching their ears bop up and down for five hours from the back of her sled. Listening to her talk about dog sledding and her dogs was therapeutic. I loved hearing about how when she’s sledding, the dogs’ mental and physical health are top priority. She’ll do anything, even if it’s at the detriment to herself, to make sure they are safe, rested, and happy. They get more sleep than she does on these runs. When they’re out for the night, she’s busy taking care of them. I promise you this episode will remind you to be optimistic and excited about the world, and to take more adventures. Listen here.
🎙️Short Cuts has been a favorite of mine for what feels like forever—there are specific episodes that I revisit, but I can say with confidence that every single one of them is too beautiful to miss. A new season has launched and the first episode in it is a doozie. First, you should know, Imaginary Advice is my favorite podcast, and while Ross has recently become a father, the feed has been silent. I have missed him. I was thrilled to see him on this episode of Short Cuts called Signal to Noise, which initially had me worried because it is about Ross losing hearing in one of his ears, something that would impact his ability to make new, inventive things for me to listen to. But with Ross, the lines between truth and fiction are always blurred, and I am hoping this is one of those cases. It’s not about his hearing, I don’t think. I think it’s about the hallucination that is having a new born. It’s followed up with a story about grief from Liza Yeager, and a piece about a musical instrument built from the remnants of a house fire, from Fil Corbitt of The Wind. Listen here.
🎙️On If Books Could Kill, Michael and Peter tackle Tim Ferris’ The 4-Hour Work Week, which really should be called “4-Hour Work Week for You…Full Blown Job for Your Slave Wage Team!” It’s an insightful look into Tim’s unhinged thinking—I have never read this book before, so my eyes were popping to hear about every time Tim seemed unaware of what “risk” means for most people, openly admitted to exploiting his team of “assistants,” or delegated literally everything to them, including his therapy sessions. (Tim, if you’re reading this, therapy is not where you should be cutting corners.) His whole ethos seems to be to upload the grind to someone poorer than you. It sounds like satire. Making fun of this book is no heavy lift, but Michael and Peter’s roast is just what this book needs. Listen here.
🎙️Outside/In made a special episode for their 250th episode that went back 250 million years to “The Great Dying,” before dinosaurs, when iguana/hippo-like things roamed the earth (creatures who “looked like 8-year-old drawings,”) that, thanks to a volcanic eruption in what is now Russia, was a steamy hot humid Pangea pre-Atlantic Ocean. I was taking so many notes and dreaming what this world looked like (it really helps that the guest on the episode, Michael Benton, sounded like the “David Attenborough of Doom.”) It all sets the scene to discuss disaster movies and what, if anything, we can learn from them. Disaster movies are bigger and stupider than they ever were before, maybe that’s because anything too subtle is too much like real life. We can get that shit on TikTok. Happy 250 episodes, Outside/In! Listen here.
🎙️Linguists Alexia Fawcett and Kendra Calhoun came to ICYMI to share their presentation “They edited out her nip-nops: Linguistic innovation as textual censorship avoidance on TikTok,” which is all about how algospeak, or the way people edit their words on social media to avoid getting banned, is leaking into culture and real life conversations. (I love girlies who come prepared with slides.) I am sitting back watching this happen with delight and fascination, but people opposed to adopting words like “unalived” “seggs” and “le dollar bean” into their vocabularies are concerned. (Btw the URL for the presentation is easy to remember and hilarious, in case you ever need it in a pinch: tinyurl.com/ledollarbean.) Listen here.
🎙️Seraphina Malina-Derben started podcasting when she was seven, won an award at eight, and has relaunched her podcast Seraphina Speaks. It’s a podcast about social norms from a kid’s perspective, tackling all the questions kids have, but not as adults would address them. Seraphina is brilliant (literally…she is 2E, Twice Exceptional) which gives her a unique perspective into how and why we all experience the world the way we do. The show is family-friendly, but it comes out with a bold little episode about pubic hair, something I would have been too embarrassed to ask about when I was Seraphina’s age. (She also has an equally fascinating episode about pajamas coming up.) It’s great to see someone so young on mic, and this feels like a show really brought to you by her. Seraphina is speaking to kids and to people who want to tap into who they used to be and the strange things that used to puzzle them, and possibly still do. Listen here.
🎙️AI for Humans is technically about artificial intelligence, but I think I might put it in the comedy category. Former Tonight Show showrunner Gavin Purcell and Attack of the Show host Kevin Pereira breakdown the latest advancements in AI and machine learning in a really fun way. You might (might) know some of this stuff (but honestly, I think a podcast on the latest AI advancements is needed) but the content here is unique and fresh. For example: in one episode, Gavin and Kevin play judges as two AIs try to hash out their issues in Small ClAIms court. They’re bringing sillyness to AI, and spoon feeding stuff all creatives really ought to know in a unique way. Listen here.
🎙️Earwolf Presents is a newly re-launched feed in which each month Earwolf produces and distributes a new limited series by rising podcast talent. (One series was The Girl God Experience, hosted by Grace Freud and April Clark, which has since been turned into its own show.) Currently running is The Disappearance of Dickie Donnelly, about an adorable little boy named Dickie Donnelly, who once fell off of a roller coaster and into a JanSport backpack held by a kidnapper. The Disappearance of Dickie Donnelly is Dickie’s investigative podcast to try to track down his parents. Created and hosted by comedian and actress Lisa Gilroy (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jury Duty,) this show is a true-crime spoof that lets us hear Dickie interrogate lost children, his child therapist, and his own kidnapper in order to understand how to thrive as a kidnapped child, and get to the bottom of his own little mystery. Start here.
🎙️Play On Podcasts, which brings us Shakespeare plays like we’ve never heard them before…with original music composition and the voices of extraordinarily gifted artists…just released episode 1 of Othello. Mfoniso Udofia’s unsparing translation of Shakespeare’s cruelest tragedy unmasks the ravages of prejudice and racism with unflinching honesty, revealing a world where bodies can be dispossessed by the meanest of minds. This podcast is beautiful, and I wish it had been around when I was struggling through Hamlet in High School. It should be taught in classes. Listen here.
🎙️I love you!
📦 From the Archives 📦
[From April 27, 2020] I LOVE Remember Reading?, a show from Harper Collins that is a triumphant ode to the best books from our childhoods. If they have an episode about a book you loved when you were young, listen to it. You will love that book even more. But if there’s an episode about a book you specifically did not love when you were young (I have always been a Secret Garden hater!) LISTEN ANYWAY. This sweet Secret Garden conversation with Bridge to Terabithia’s Katherine Paterson and Sara Pennypacker (Pax and Here in the Real World,) about secret places and quiet, slow language providing comfort to shy kids made me want to pick up The Secret Garden and give it another try. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever *read* The Secret Garden. I think I’ve just seen the 1993 film, which traumatized me, because I saw it at a birthday party that ended badly. Don’t get me started. It’s a long story and I don’t come out very good in it.
From the Desk of Tink
Today we’re talking to Simone Polanen, host of Not Past It and Past Perfect, a trivia show that travels through time. Prior to NPI, she produced for TV and podcasts on shows like The Nod, StartUp, and Reply All. She writes a culture newsletter called HIGHBROW/LOWBROW about everything from chick flicks to art house film to concertos to Kpop. In her free time, she writes and directs short films about the anxieties of girlhood. Simone physically lives in Brooklyn but mentally lives in 2004. Follow her on Twitter.
Describe the show in ten words or less: Fun, goofy, nostalgic trivia for hot girls and their communities
Who is it for? Other than hot girls and their communities? Hmm... I'd say trivia fans, folks looking for a 35-min break in their day to just have fun for once in their gosh dang lives, my dad, people who've stored random pop culture facts in their heads for years waiting for an opportune moment to unleash their knowledge. Each episode covers a different decade -- starting with the 1980s, heading up to the 2010s and beyond -- so it's perfect for people who love history and pop culture nostalgia (was anybody else obsessed with the VH1 I Love The... series?). Plus, with other podcasters, writers and comedians competing, it's just a good time all around.
Which episode to start with? While you *could* jump in with any episode and have a blast.com, a wise woman (Julie Andrews) did once say that the very beginning is a very good place to start. That way, you can follow along with the drama that inevitably comes along with a multi-round trivia tournament.
Favorite listener interaction: When my dad texted me about the podcast -- not to congratulate me but to inform me that he crushed at answering the trivia.
Dream guest: Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang from the Las Culturalistas podcast. Bowen, I saw you on the subway one time and idk, call me a dreamer but I feel like that means something.
Dream partnership: Listen, I don't know if this is what you are asking exactly, but we drew a lot of inspiration from 90s-era educational entertainment for kids -- I'm talking The Magic School Bus, Carmen San Diego, Legends of the Hidden Temple (okay, maybe that one's not so educational). So the absolute DREAM would be to partner with game designers, animators, TV writers, and anyone else who could help us expand this trivia show from its current iteration as an audio-only podcast and adapt it into various forms of media all with the same goal: to marry play and learning. You're never too old to act like a kid!
If I could force one person in the world to listen to my podcast it'd be…Whoever owns the Game Show Network because, sister, have I got a HOT NEW show for you!