Happy Holidays!

Below, some great year-end wrap-ups and holiday episodes, on the latest podcast summaries.

I’ve been thinking about the “Satire & Activism” episode of  Before You Leap with Harry Shearer, talking about Le Show. I taped my conversation with Harry just after xmas in 2013. The episode also features Paul Krassner talking about co-founding the Yippies, his friendship with Abbie Hoffman, and much more. Also with comedian Negin Farsad and The Onion writer Brian Janosch.

On Judge John Hodgman, why doesn’t Julian like the built-in grill in his outdoor kitchen (and why are he and Simone so cagey about their robot-human experiments)? Sometimes cooler embers burn in a person’s heart, even if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But is it functional, or madness? The Judge schools Julian on barbecue vs grilling, gives him a pop quiz, and orders him to buy Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto.

On the Savage Lovecast, why Dan was wrong when he fretted about Black Lives Matter protesters targeting Bernie and Hillary, and why some Chicago cops (and higher ups) need to lose their jobs. And Dan says remember Saul Alinksy and a shitty airport protest. A 29 year-old loves her new webcam job – should she tell her parents? Finally, a woman can driver was sexually assaulted by a drunk passenger, and after pressing charges, finds out the guy got a slap on the wrist – what can she do?( I’m surprised by Dan’s response, and hope to hear more (maybe from other listeners) next week). A woman’s Dad fucked a 26 year-old, and now she’s 26 – does that mean he’s an incest-craving perv? On “What You Got,” Dr. Justin Lehmiller asks, does monogamy mean you’re less likely to get an STD? Then Robby Soeve from Reason.com gives a shocking update on the case of the teen who was arrested for sexting his girlfriend. And more calls.

In the movie-mini of Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, Gilbert recommends the Peter Sellers flick After the Fox. Gilbert sings the theme song – will he star in the remake? Frank suggests the original Miracle on 34th Street, which he says is a perfect movie. On GGACP, it’s a look back on some of the greats we lost this year: Allan Asherman, author of many StarTrek books, talks about the late great Leonard Nimoy. Also, Frank plugs Shatner’s upcoming book on his 50-year friendship with Nimoy. The boys sadly just missed talking with comedian Jack Carter. The late and very sexy Laura Antonelli. The guys wish they’d have had the chance to talk with Laugh In announcer Gary Owens, who was also the voice of Roger Ramjet (the guys sing the theme song, not to be missed). The late horror actor Christopher Lee – he knew what stabbing someone really sounds like! Theodore Bickel who played Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof was also a great character actor in many films and TV.  The late Wes Craven, horror maven and nature lover? Yes, it’s true. A hilarious recap of the guys’ day with the late Joe Franklin, and lots more.

On Bullseye, it’s the hilarious Best Comedy Albums of 2015 episode! Get links to all the albums on the Bullseye website. Kyle Kinane – pistachios are already an old man’s snack. Why was Emily Heller wearing an oregano necklace? Ron Funches seems calm, but he’s actually a volcano that could murder us all! Sara Schaefer tells how girls learn to change clothes in gym class without showing any skin. She is not changing names, because he is not innocent. Hampton Yount – I wanted to hurt something you loved. Drennon Davis and Karen Gilgariff have a song about Goths! Mike O’Brien from SNL, with SNL buddies Bill Hader and Jason Sudekis, do hilarious basketball play-by-play. Eddie Pepitone says this wine tastes like a car full of clowns. Sheng Wang wonders why people like cornucopias – stuff is always falling out of them. Guy Branum on the advantages of being a gay man in America. Aziz Ansari says we’re all laughing because you’ll probably get divorced. Eugene Mirman wonders if comedy is tragedy plus timing. Eliza Skinner – babies are like heroin, but they don’t fold like cats. Matt Braunger on taking chances, like guys who hit on women from across a room-they’re like a unicorn with a tiny brain. “The whole bus laughed so hard we met each other.” Wayne Federman tried snow skiing for the first time. The ski lift – who invented this death machine? Beth Stelling’s Mom needs a new phone, but how much time does she have left (on her plan, you monsters!)

On Le Show, It’s the Year in Rebuke! With Karzai Talk, Brian Williams Misremembers, Clinton Something: The Pre-Candidacy Years, Harry’s duet with Hillary, it’s “Two Devices.” And more original music, including Harry’s offer to write Trump’s campaign theme song.

On Unfictional, a new neighbor moves in to an already sketchy neighborhood. Just google “meth, drugs and ice.” Then, stories of the deep, from a world-record free-diver. Then, the gangster Mickey Cohen had a lot in common with Monk, the TV detective. Who knew?

Neil Strauss, author of The Game, an investigation into pick-up artists, and the new book The Truth, talks to Marc on WTF. Marc knew Neil when he was a nebbish Jewish writer hanging around the comedy scene. Neil does a little blow, but keep the psychedelics away from him! Neil talks about working with Marilyn Manson on The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, and with Jenna Jameson on How to Make Love Like a Porn Star. Marc is ok with sex – but it’s a slippery slope, right? How Neil got into the pick-up scene and turned it into a book – he was like Donny Brasco, or a reality show. The guys have a deep talk about parents, childhood and relationships. Check it out.

On Risk!, a woman’s boyfriend is good on paper – just lousy in real life. Then, a homeless Santa on the bus gives a weird puppet show. Then, on the island, no one is living an ambitious dream – everyone is just working to live. And you don’t really ever miss Red Bank, NJ. Last, a holiday story or a graphic sex story – you decide.

On The Moth, holiday stories! What happens when your buttoned-up, hyper-organized Dad goes bankrupt? A curse is lifted and a woman seeks her mate for Hannukah. At Sing Sing prison, a correctional officer learns the difference between the house slave and the field slave. And xmas in the emergency room – where you find out who your real family is.

Doug Loves Movies has guests Noel Wells, Thomas Middleditch and Zack Perlman. Noel thinks she’s doing a good job on Master of None – and people love it! Thomas has a hoodie in his prize bag, and a life-lesson spoiler alert. Doug Loves Musicals, Whose Tagline Is It, and more.

Snap Judgment looks back on some of their best stories. James Judd was an outcast nerd – would winning the 5th grade book report challenge change all that? And what does watching soaps for his Mom have to do with it? You can learn a lot of stuff from the Young and the Restless that you’ll never learn in elementary school. Then Joshua Walters gets a lesson in porn, from his Nana! Joyce Lee has a love poem, sort of, Glynn tells about taking refuge, until it’s time to chase thunderstorms,  and one of my all-time favorite Snap stories from the amazing Shannon Cason. Check out his website and hear more of Shannon’s Homemade Stories.

On Story Collider, science writer Tom Levenson has a touching story of adoption, uncertainty, and irrevocable choices.

On Only a Game, it’s the best of 2015. Bill’s poem for his idol, Willy Mays. Skiing a historic trail. Baseball in San Quentin, a half-century old tradition. Chris Herron gets sober, after leaving the NBA. Mike Tollin talks about his terrific new documentary for HBO, Kareem: Minority of One, and his previous sports documentaries on Hank Aaron and one featuring a young Donald Trump (Bill knew he was a jerk even way back then!). A former NHL enforcer says hockey is better off without players who drop the gloves at the drop of a glove, and a couple find a sweater at the thrift store that Packers’ fans might die for.

Plus, Radio Lab has two year-end episodes with samplings of some of the best, most-downloaded episodes, and On the Media uncovers the way the media covers bogus health studies.

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