Fab Feb 14

In this week’s visit from the World News Center, Bill McCormick and Ryan Gatenby discuss the history and historical myths surrounding Valentine’s Day.  Topics:  How martyrdom led to a celebration of romantic love, how a Hershey’s in Japan puts you firmly in the friend zone, and a lighthearted look at celebrations of Valentine’s Day around the world.  Plus: a Chaucer diversion, Ryan is arrested for playing Cupid, and Japanese lingerie shops.


Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern visited the show for a third time, and on this visit we discussed his new MSNBC series “What’s Eating America,” a travel show that connects the links between food and politics.

Mark L. Altman

Mark Altman returned to the show for a chat about his new book “Nobody Does It Better: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of James Bond.”  We discussed our favorite and least favorite Bond films and theme songs, and speculated on future portrayals of 007.

Edward J. Larson

Edward J. Larson called in to chat about his new book “Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership.

Sewing Stringy Surgical Stitches From Sanitary Skin Cells

On this week’s episode, Bill McCormick and Ryan Gatenby begin with the latest coronavirus developments.  People are pretty nervous about it, so maybe playing coronavirus pranks in the name of social media fame might not be an awesome idea. Next is a discussion of a story on how yarn made from human skin could soon be stitching up wounds.  Plus: How to smoke 340 cigarettes a day, trying to cure the flu with sock potatoes, and Ryan becomes a J. Crew model.

Jake Brennan

Jake Brennan, host of the popular “Disgraceland” podcast, returned to the show to talk about his new podcast series “27 Club,” featuring members of rock community who died at age 27. Series 1 will focus on Jimi Hendrix.  We discussed the other members of the club (including why Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones is usually overlooked), music rights for podcasts, and cool potential 27 Club merch.  Plus: a special shoutout to Chelsea Ursin of the “Dear Young Rocker” podcast, of which Jake is an executive producer.

Dan Crohn

Stand-up comedian Dan Crohn called in to talk about his appearance on a new compilation comedy album, “Valentine’s Day is for Suckers.”  Dan also has a solo comedy album called “It’s Enough Already.” We discussed whether or not a comedy show is good for a first date, dealing with second show Friday, the Boston and Chicago comedy scenes, and how teaching 4th graders has provided him with almost endless material.

Happy Fun Coronavirus Chat

On this week’s episode, Bill McCormick and Ryan Gatenby discuss the latest information available regarding the coronavirus crisis, including some of the myths involved (it has nothing to do with beer, it doesn’t turn itself away at a national border, and a football helmet face mask will not protect you).  Also: wash your bleeping hands, don’t inhale sneezes, and cocaine is not a coronavirus killer (nor does it turn all of the coronavirus’s bad feelings into good feelings).

Michael Seth Starr

Michael Seth Starr is author of the new book “Shatner,” one of the few third-person biographies of the legendary actor.  Michael discussed what inspired the book, why Shatner declined to cooperate and blocked him on Twitter, and how Shatner has remained a force in the industry for seven decades.

Chelsea Ursin

Chelsea Ursin is the host of the great new podcast “Dear Young Rocker.”  It’s an audio memoir of growing up a loner and finding a home in music, including a segment on letters she’d write to her younger self.  Despite our being a generation apart, I relate to so much of her story as a fellow creator/writer/nerd/musician.