Maximum Fun
December 9, 2007 11:57 PM   Subscribe

Maximum Fun! Interviews with all sorts of interesting people. John Hodgman and Henry Rollins, Brendon Small and Peter Molyneux, Terry Jones, Jonathan Katz and Jonathan Goldstein, Patton Oswalt, Elmore Leonard, They Might Be Giants, Ira Glass, and many, many more, from all areas of the arts and sciences and stuff. Something for everyone!

Not only that, but recent archives carry a 'SUPPORTED BY METAFILTER' banner on the top right (the first I've heard of it, at least) and if that's not just tomfoolery, well, it's a crying shame the site has never been linked from here. Situation: rectified. [via This American Life]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken (38 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, you knocked that right out of the park. Internet?
Thanks for the rectification.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:28 AM on December 10, 2007

More or less previously. and here. and here. Is this what you'd call Mefi's own?
posted by one_bean at 12:32 AM on December 10, 2007

Crikey, it's been all over the site, except on the blue (and I never noticed it before). Long overdue, then, if not considered a quintuple-post.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:38 AM on December 10, 2007

Always good to sweep up what's fallen through the cracks. Jesse always has amazing guests.
posted by one_bean at 12:41 AM on December 10, 2007

Jesse's doing good work -- I don't know how he gets such amazing guests.
posted by spiderskull at 12:44 AM on December 10, 2007

Black magic!
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:54 AM on December 10, 2007

Jesse Thorn is also the moderator on the Itunes: Meet the Author episode featuring Stephen Colbert.

Jesse, in case you poke your head in here, what do you think the odds are of getting Kristen Schaal on the show?

What with her being awesome and all...

posted by sambosambo at 4:43 AM on December 10, 2007

Good stuff; never heard of this show, so big thanks. Currently digging the Betty Davis interview.
posted by p3t3 at 4:50 AM on December 10, 2007

Wow - the guests you listed were impressive enough, but when I clicked on the archives I couldn't believe how many others there were that I really want to hear. After just a quick a run through I saw Paul F. Tompkins, Steve Albini, Marty Krofft, Simon Reynolds, They Might Be Giants, Nick Hornby, and countless others. I really like the variety of guests. Big thanks on this - so much for listening to CDs at work this week!
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:02 AM on December 10, 2007

Jesse's style is wonderfully old school.
posted by davebush at 5:11 AM on December 10, 2007

How disappointed am I that that first link isn't actually Hodgman interviewing Rollins or vice versa?

Fairly. Fairly disappointed.

Actually, that's the only episode of this podcast I'd heard previously, and I remember not being very much into Mr. Thorn's style (no offense). Seeing that list of guests makes me think that I should get over it and listen more.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 5:28 AM on December 10, 2007

"I remember not being very much into Mr. Thorn's style"

I think the strength of the show comes from his getting the guests to tell their stories rather than their exchanges or conversations. "The Human Giant" (4/3) and "Steven Wright" (4/19/07) episodes are good examples of that I think.
posted by sambosambo at 5:48 AM on December 10, 2007

I tried to like this but I just hated that whole persona Jesse came off with. It was very off putting to me, or maybe I am just more of a fan of the "Ira Glass understated radio guy"
posted by ShawnString at 5:49 AM on December 10, 2007

Jesse deserves all the success he has coming to him. Even though I am piss poor and generally resistant to pitches, I contribute a big $2 a month to prop him up because I enjoy the shows so much. (Especially "Jordan, Jesse Go!"). I bet he would take your money, too.
posted by veggieboy at 6:14 AM on December 10, 2007

I've been doing a lot of tedious type work at the computer the past year, and audiobook/podcast/comedy listening has really been helping me through. Discovering The Sound Of Young America (and through it, Jordan Jesse Go, it's own archives, and other shows like The Best Show on WFMU) has definitely been one of the biggest (and best) changes in my listening and learning habits this year.

Offhand, I recommend the very recent Steve Albini interview, the interview with Tom Scharpling, the interview with Sam Cooke's biographer (and if I had time to think about it, so many others).
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:33 AM on December 10, 2007

Oh yeah, and Phil Spector's biographer as well. Great stuff. All available on that archives page, I'm pretty sure. Some on iTunes.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:35 AM on December 10, 2007

Oh man, I sure do love The Best Show on WFMU. I will track down the Maximum Fun episode with Tom Scharpling asap. Maybe that'll get me on board here.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 6:45 AM on December 10, 2007

2or3whiskeysodas -

The weirdest/best thing about the interview with Scharpling is that he's calling in to TSOYA over the phone - and despite the fact that I've listened to countless Best Show's, he sounds like a completely different person to me. A combination of his phone voice being different from his "real voice" and a little bit of him dropping the on-air persona. Jesse Thorn called into The Best Show earlier this year and managed to sound pretty much just like himself, but his voice has this kind of classic "radio voice" quality.

Also check out the podcast interview of Scharpling AND Wurster (in the same room, no less!) from .
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 7:09 AM on December 10, 2007

Yeah, not a big fan of the interview style of Mr. Thorn, but any chance to hear Dr. Katz fire off soft jokes is welcome.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:11 AM on December 10, 2007

Thanks! It is indeed MeFi's own... I've been a lurker at MeFi for a long time, and I guess a member for a pretty long time now, too. And Metafilter is indeed an underwriter on the show, as of a few weeks ago, so thanks to Matt and MeFi for helping pay my rent :). If you happen to have a golden heart and a succesful business you want to get out the word about, you know who to call :).

W/R/T Kristen Schaal, she is indeed great, and I was really dissapointed after she was in the pilot of Mad Men that she didn't turn up when they went back to the phone room in a later episode. Have you ever seen Kurt and Kristen? I've only seen online video, but everyone I know in NY says they're the greatest. Tougher for me to book people in NY lately, since being distributed by PRI I am obliged to avoid phone interviews.

I totally understand if you're not into my style. Not neccesarily for everyone. I try and get my guests engaged and keep the focus on them.

(Though look down on this page and you'll see that Ira is :). Great honor to get that from a real personal hero. Still can't believe it.)

Let's see... loose ends...

Tom Scharpling is a really really nice guy, and much shy-er when not on the radio. I seriously love that guy. And I reccomend AST Radio, too, if you're a comedy nerd like me. Matt hasn't done any lately, he's been focusing his energy on Never Not Funny, which is also pretty fantastic. That said, there is a TSOYA with Scharpling *and* Wurster, though they are on the phone.

And veggieboy, thanks for plugging the donations :). I don't work for anyone, the show is really mine and I really produce it in my apartment in LA, so the donations are really what allows me to replace equipment that breaks and buy food and whatnot.

And if people here have Qs about the show or anything, I'm happy to answer them.
posted by YoungAmerican at 10:43 AM on December 10, 2007

Everything is available on the archives page, and the last 99 shows are in iTunes. That's all iTunes will show. If you want the convenient trickle of iTunes rather than the inconvenience of web downloads (or streams), there's also TSOYA Classics, which is shows that have fallen off the iTunes feed. There are also torrents of 2005 shows and 2004 and earlier on a torrent site called MySpleen. If you need an invite to that site, email me and mention your mefi handle. Oh, and you can use this handy link for the page in iTunes, with all our podcasts.

posted by YoungAmerican at 10:49 AM on December 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Small world. I was just listening to the Albini interview during my commute.

I tried to like this but I just hated that whole persona Jesse came off with. It was very off putting to me, or maybe I am just more of a fan of the "Ira Glass understated radio guy"

It's the opposite for me. I dig his style precisely because he doesn't have that nasal This-American-Life-type voice. He has an actual, honest-to-god radio voice!

(Hi, YoungAmerican! Keep up the good work!)
posted by brundlefly at 11:19 AM on December 10, 2007

This is why I love MetaFilter. I'd never heard of TSOYA -- I think I have a new favorite podcast. Just downloaded Ira Glass, TMBG, Bob Odenkirk, Steven Wright, Mara Bamford, Julie Snyder, Mike Nelson, Chris Elliott, Henry Rollins, Patton Oswalt, now listening to Marc Maron.
posted by McLir at 11:22 AM on December 10, 2007

The Sound of Young America is a great podcast and it's the only one I listen to religiously. (And by that, I mean I light red candles and ritually slaughter a small animal and drink its blood).

Go Jesse!
posted by ColdChef at 11:27 AM on December 10, 2007

Here I am, gushing like a schoolgirl.
posted by ColdChef at 11:28 AM on December 10, 2007

Just so you know, my on-air voice is my real voice, not an affectation. Just as Ira's is his real voice. I don't have an A+ radio voice, but at least a B+ I'd say :). My favorite is my former employer Sedge Thomson.
posted by YoungAmerican at 11:37 AM on December 10, 2007

As Jesse said, I love the show so much that I'm helping underwrite it, so you'll hear the occasional plug for MeFi on the podcast/radio show.

I personally love Jesse's style and think it feels like a hipper version of Terry Gross. I'm actually not much of a fan of Ira Glass but that's both the sound of nasally voice and I think he tries too hard and it comes off a little too precious when you're trying to turn everything into a radio drama.

Of the past episodes, I'd say the Bob Odenkirk one was the most depressing, because I have so much admiration and respect for the guy but in the interview he sounded like a washed up boxer saying I coulda shoulda done this and that and I'm doing online comedy videos which is just as good, I swear! Please someone buy my scripts! I love Bob's work so much and think he's a gifted comedian and writer but man did he sound down in the dumps.
posted by mathowie at 11:37 AM on December 10, 2007

God, I totally thought that about Odenkirk, too! It was sad.

Jesse is my favorite interviewer, period. He lets people talk, for one, without interrupting every 5 seconds. And he doesn't have a lisp or an adenoid problem, so he's one up on pretty much all the NPR/PRI/TAL folks right there.

His other podcast, Jordan, Jesse, GO! is freaking hilarious, and very different and more casual than TSOYA.

Poor Jesse - I stalk you all over the internet.
posted by tristeza at 12:10 PM on December 10, 2007

My god, I can't believe I've never hear this! That Rollins interview was tops!

I'm giddy that I have all this to wade through!

Thank you for making it Jesse!

Thank you for posting it Stavros!
posted by lumpenprole at 3:40 PM on December 10, 2007

Yeah... mad props to Jesse for consistently putting out quality stuff. Jordan, Jesse, Go! is also awesome (check out the one with Andrew WK, for instance), as is his host of other projects, including the Kaspar Hauser podcasts.
posted by ph00dz at 5:06 PM on December 10, 2007

I'm also a fan of TSOYA & Jordan, Jesse, Go! I found them a few months ago, & I've been listening to a podcast a day on my way to and from work. Great stuff, Jesse!
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 8:51 PM on December 10, 2007

Thanks lumpenprole, ph00dz and f.e.g!

(a gentle reminder that it's all supported by donations ;) )

Also: Andrew WK is the greatest guy in the WORLD.
posted by YoungAmerican at 10:07 PM on December 10, 2007

Count me in too, Jesse-- TSOYA has been one of my favorite podcasts. It seems like yesterday that I heard this show almost three years ago and have been listening on a regular basis ever since. I'm also happy to hear that I'm not the only person who thought that Odenkirk interview was kinda depressing, too. I was cooking during that program and remember wincing a few times during the interview. It's also interesting to see how many fans TSOYA and The Best Show have in common-- two of the best radio shows going for sure.

Since this has bothered me from the first time I heard the show, I may as well ask ... is there any chance the theme music might get revamped?
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 1:49 AM on December 11, 2007


I think the last couple episodes have featured a newer recording of the same theme music, and the lyrics have been changed so as not to reference the "boy detective." I assume this is because Jordan, the boy detective, is now part of Jordan Jesse Go and not TSOYA.

It uh... it feels really weird and nerdy that I even thought about this / actually actively hunted around for a while trying to figure out what "bar detective" (as I originally heard it) meant in the lyrics.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 7:01 AM on December 11, 2007

Oh, and thanks for the myspleen tip, YoungAmerican! I've hunted and pecked my way through a lot of TSOYA classics on itunes but I'll have to grab those torrents. Looking forward to the Scharpling and Wurster one, especially.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 7:03 AM on December 11, 2007

I'll have to check it out, SmileyChewtrain (little behind on my pcasts).

I only bring it up because the show's lead-in (music + "America's Radio Sweetheart") has always made me cringe. Either way, love the show!
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 7:57 AM on December 11, 2007

Yeah, last few months have new recording of the song (though the song remains the same). It's about 20 seconds instead of about 45 seconds, and the reference to Jordan has indeed been excised.
posted by YoungAmerican at 11:38 AM on December 12, 2007

The theme song is totally sweet. I woke up this morning singing it to myself, which shows my mental DJ approves. High praise indeed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:54 PM on December 12, 2007

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