Danica McKellar

Danica McKellar stars in a new Lifetime movie, “Mommy, I Didn’t Do It,” which premieres January 1st at 8/7c.  It’s the sequel to the hit 2013 Lifetime movie “The Wrong Woman.”  Danica talked about how her character grew from the first film to the second, the stellar cast that returned for the second movie, and why she continues to strive to be a role model for young, smart girls.

Sean Astin

Sean Astin starred in my all-time favorite Movie (“The Goonies,” of course), and will be featured in Season 2 of “Stranger Things.”  His latest project is a fun new series, “Unlocked: The World of Games Revealed,” which explores the impact of video games on culture, science, and more.   We shared a few Goonies memories and talked about everything from Atari to virtual reality.  “Unlocked” is now available on video on demand, including iTunes.

Ramin Djawadi

Ramin Djawadi composes the original score for “Game of Thrones,” and therefore is one of the first people on the planet to see each completed season!  We discussed his work in creating the themes, moods and atmosphere for the show through his music, as well as “The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience,” touring arenas beginning in February.

Peter Engel

Peter Engel was the executive producer of “Saved By The Bell” and shares many stories from his long showbiz career in “I Was Saved By the Bell: Stories of Life, Love and Dreams That Do Come True.”  We discussed why the show still resonates with the generation who grew up with it (and why the current generation relates to it as well) and how it was the first show to address real, basic teenage issues.   Peter also shared a fascinating story about almost being the producer of a late night talk show starring John Lennon!

Mary Lane Haskell

Mary Lane Haskell stars as the lovely & sweet Miss Moody in Dolly Parton’s “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” which airs again December 23rd at 8CT on NBC.   We discussed how she approached the character, setting herself in that time period (and playing an “old maid” at age 26), and the force-of-nature incredible awesomeness of Dolly Parton. (including her My People Fund which is helping those who lost their homes in the Great Smoky Mountains wildfires.)

Bill McCormick on Godzilla, Power Rangers, and Breaking the Laws of Physics

World News Center bureau chief Bill McCormick shared news about new movie versions of Godzilla and the Power Rangers before leading a discussion on Tabby’s Star, warp bubbles, and breaking the laws of physics.

Saffron Burrows

It was a pleasure to chat with Saffron Burrows about  her award-winning series “Mozart In the Jungle,” which returns for Season 3 this Friday on Amazon Prime Video.  We discussed how she learned the cello for this role, the accuracy of symphony musician interaction depicted in the program, spending time in Chicago, and why we’re both awake at 4 in the morning.

Kari Byron and Tory Belleci

Kari Byron and Tory Belleci returned to The Big Wakeup Call to talk about their new Netflix series, “The White Rabbit Project.”  We discussed the concept of the show, why Kari repeatedly slapped Tory in the face, whether or not we’ll see Tory going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, and what we could see when they release a “wacky bloopers” reel.

Curt Menefee

Curt Menefee called in to talk Bears football, Fox NFL Sunday, and his new book “Losing Isn’t Everything,” where he writes about the other side of triumphant sports moments.  We discussed Craig Ehlo, Calvin Schiraldi and more.



Laurence Juber

Laurence Juber is a Grammy Award-winning guitarist who was also a former member of Wings.  His newest release is the Christmas LP “Holidays and Hollynights,” recorded with the Laurence Juber Trio.  We discussed his early influences on guitar playing, recording in the Capitol Records studio, and whether or not he played on a recently leaked Wings track.