Dave Itzkoff

robinNew York Times culture reporter, best-selling author, and Twitter superstar Dave Itzkoff dialed into the show to talk about his new book Robin: The Definitive Biography and Untold Story of Robin Williams. We discussed why fans felt such a connection to Robin, how he dealt with a rocket-like ascent to fame from comedy clubs to Mork and Mindy, his struggles with substance abuse, and how the public side of Robin Williams differed from the private side.

JoJo Siwa

jojoNickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa joined our show to talk about her life and career and upcoming performance at Nickelodeon Slimefest in Chicago, coming to Huntington Bank Pavilion June 9th and 10th.  Jojo discussed her anti-bullying campaign, how she stays grounded with family support, and promoted her new single out June 1st.

Bret Baier

3 days in moscowFox News Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier called in to talk about his new book Three Days In Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire.  We discussed the Reagan-Gorbachev relationship, why Reagan is revered by the GOP for being tough on Russia yet supports a president who both defends and praises Putin and if a Reagan-like approach would work today.

Kari Byron

35068849Kari Byron joined our three timers  club (though her first solo appearance) to have a chat about her new book Crash Test Girl.  We discussed her career-long proximity to explosives, applying the scientific method in non-scientific settings, how she is also the book’s illustrator. Plus: a complete catalog of our injuries.

Brynn Cartelli

brynnBrynn Cartelli, winner of NBC’s “The Voice,” called in for a chat about how her life has changed since being named the winner just a couple days ago.  We discussed her relationship with the amazing Kelly Clarkson, her plans for her debut album, and how her midwestern roots help keep her grounded.

Kate Walsh

kate walshKate Walsh called in to chat about season 2 of her critically-acclaimed series “13 Reasons Why,” which returns to Netflix on Friday.  Kate revealed all spoilers for the new season (which unfortunately could not be included on the podcast version for legal reasons — sorry!), gave us an update on her health (following surgery to remove a thankfully benign brain tumor) and talked about the joys and challenges of turning 50.

Steven Hyden

twilightRock journalist Steven Hyden called in to discuss his new book Twilight of the Gods: A Journey to the End of Classic Rock.  We discussed the Classic Rock upbringing of Gen X’ers, why Lennon-McCartney will be discussed like Mozart, 90s bands becoming the new classic rock.  Plus: we share our love of Styx: Behind the Music. 

Michael Bolton

boltonMusic legend Michael Bolton called in to talk about a special documentary film, Michael Bolton Presents American Dream: Detroit, which will be in theatres for one night only on Tuesday, May 15 from Fathom Events.  We discussed his love of the Motown sound, why other great music coming from Detroit should not be overlooked,  and the cultural importance of a city on the rebound. Plus: a special shoutout to a member of The Big Wakeup Call’s 9-timers club, Scott Aukerman!

Denise and Katie Austin

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 11.49.34 AMFitness legend and AARP Wellness Ambassador Denise Austin called in along with her daughter, fitness expert Katie Austin, to discuss the “Fit & Fun Health Challenge,” the first annual walking challenge from AARP.   I need Denise and Katie to call me every morning to get me pumped up.  Their energy is contagious, even over the phone.

Rita Coolidge

coolidgeIt was great to have the chance to catch up with the great Rita Coolidge as she called in to talk about her new solo album, “Safe In the Arms of Time,” featuring her original tunes, collaborations with Keb’ Mo’, Stan Lynch and Chris Stapleton, and a special composition from Graham Nash.