John McFee from the Doobie Brothers called in to talk about their current tour and plans for a new album. We also discussed his former band Clover, who backed Elvis Costello on his debut album, and what it’s like to still be “the new guy” in the band after 40 years.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Paget Brewster joined the show to talk about her new movie The Witch Files. Did she get to shadow any actual witches and/or witch hunters to prepare for her role? We also discussed Criminal Minds and working with Paul F. Tompkins on The Thrilling Adventure Hour. Plus: an inside look at the making of a Drunk History segment.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Sex Pistols and PiL legend John Lydon returned to the show to discuss a new documentary, The Public Image is Rotten, as well as his upcoming show at Thalia Hall in Chicago on October 22nd. John also shared his thoughts on music streaming, self-funding a band, and making sweater vests cool.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Adam Carolla returned to the show for a chat about his new channel on Pluto TV, Chassy, which will feature documentaries, feature films and tv shows exploring all things motor machinery. We also discussed his collection of Paul Newman’s racing cars and reminisced fondly about “Sunday, Sunday, Sundays” with Nitro-burning funny cars. Plus: the return of Crank Yankers?Follow @bigwakeupcall
Comedy Bang! Bang!’s Scott Aukerman joined our prestigious 10-Timers Club when he called in as a special guest for our 8th Anniversary and 1800th show. After giving us the heartiest of congratulations, Scott talked about the history of Comedy Bang! Bang! and gave us an exclusive look at the making of an episode! Highlights of the interview are below, followed by the full audio of our chat.
Ryan Gatenby: I’m so happy my next guest could join us for The Big Wakeup Call’s 8th Anniversary and 1800th show. He’s making his 10th appearance, which means he’s now been a part of .56 percent of all of our shows. Host of Comedy Bang! Bang! and other podcasts, it’s Scott Aukerman. Hi, Scott!
Scott Aukerman: Hi, Ryan. So glad I could be on less than one percent of your shows.
Ryan: Scott, how many podcasts do you have now? You’ve got Comedy Bang! Bang!, there’s one about R.E.M., you’ve got one about three-ways…
Scott: I mean, they’re all about three-ways when you really think about it. Yeah, I have three podcasts coming out a week, but I think some of them are going to end, but Comedy Bang! Bang! is the main one, yeah.
Ryan: Is it hard to come up with crowd-pleasing catch phrases for multiple podcasts, then?
Scott: It really is. I mean, I think the catch phrase we have for the R.E.M. is “This is good, uh, rock and roll music.” I mean, that’s craftsmanship right there. That takes a while to figure out how to get the entire world saying that. But yeah, basically I go into every show trying to figure out what would look good on a t-shirt, and I just try to execute after that.
Ryan: Scott, we are beginning our 9th year of The Big Wakeup Call; you are now in year 10 of Comedy Bang! Bang! ?
Scott: Yeah, it’s not the 10th anniversary, technically, but after the 9th anniversary you go into year 10, so I guess you’re right.
Ryan: You started that off — you were doing that on the radio.
Scott: I did, much like yourself — assuming this is a radio show — I was on Indie 103.1 for a year, and then I just decided to put it out myself.
Ryan: Were you like a regular radio show? Were you taking requests and giving away tickets to caller number 9?
Scott: Well, usually it was caller number 8, but everything else was pretty spot on. We were doing traffic on the 1′s. It was a pretty standard format. In fact, if you listen to the archives, the first year of Comedy Bang! Bang! is basically just a drive-time radio show.
Ryan: Oh, I can’t. I don’t have a premium subscription to Stitcher.
Scott: Oh, that’s far too bad, and I have so many free ones I’m willing to give away. Unfortunately, I don’t have those codes in front of me currently.
Ryan: Does it help you directly if I get a new website or buy stamps or try on some glasses or order a mattress?
Scott: It really does. I think doing all of them at the same time as well as maybe eating some Hello Fresh — I think all of that at the same time on the same day, my show would be incredibly profitable. So yeah, any of those things. They don’t even have to be from one of my sponsors. Just doing those things — wearing glasses. Anyone who wears glasses helps the show out.
Ryan: Scott, over the past decade, there have been some very successful, critically acclaimed podcasts that have run out of steam after a few dozen episodes. Is it through sheer force of will or just a drive to succeed that you’ve been able to keep going for so long?
Scott: Are you talking about Serial running out of steam? Is that what you’re trying to say?
Scott: That’s very backhanded of you. I don’t know. I want to keep doing it as long as I keep having fun doing it, and I am having fun doing it, so I’m going to keep doing it.
Ryan: Scott, how long does it take you to produce an episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! ? From booking your guests, you have to arrange their flights and hotel accommodations, and you’ve got to get them their per diems. Then you’re writing, rehearsing, dress rehearsing, giving notes, recording, editing — it sounds like a very complicated process.
Scott: Well, a typical episode is about 80 minutes, and we try to record it in 40. We talk twice as fast, and then we slow it down for the actual podcast. So, yeah, in addition to everything that you’re talking about, it’s probably a 6 month process beginning to end.
Ryan: Scott, it is always a pleasure to have you on The Big Wakeup Call, and thanks for calling in today.
Scott: Ryan, congratulations on 8 years. May there be another couple of months of this thing. Whatever you can squeeze out of it.
Rick Wilson, seasoned Republican political strategist, infamous negative ad-maker, and columnist for The Daily Beast, called us up to chat about his new book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever. Immediately after this interview, we learned that the guy who listens to our show and gets mad every time the slightest negative thing is said about Trump was found to have internally combusted. Sorry not sorry.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Bill McCormick dialed us up from the World News Center to chat about getting his name & photo in the paper (surprisingly, not a mug shot.) Things are going to start happening for him now! We also discussed Bill being a furry guy (but not a Furry, though he does write Furry fiction). Plus: Christopher Robin (a sweet, subversive movie), Captain Marvel vs. Shazam,and Aquaman‘s concentric circles.
Lawrence O’Donnell, host of The Final Word on MSNBC, called in to talk about a new edition of his 1983 book DEADLY FORCE: A Police Shooting and My Family’s Search for the Truth. We discussed how his father represented the widow of the victim, how police shootings were virtually ignored the 70s, and what parallels can be drawn between then and now.
TV legend Marc Summers called in to talk about the reboot of Double Dare! We discussed the legacy of the original show, why aging Gen-Xers like me continue to have such a fondness for show (and how many of us now have kids old enough to be contestants), and how he became a part of the 2018 edition.
New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger called in to talk about his his new book The Perfect Weapon: War Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age. We discussed how security struggles to keep up with technology, how the iPhone truly changed the world, and whether or not he had to write the book longhand or on a manual typewriter to protect the manuscript.Follow @bigwakeupcall