A Life Creating Comedy: David Mirkin

As a creator, writer, director and producer of television and film, Dave Mirkin has made quite an impact.

He’s been behind some of the biggest television comedies both from the standpoint of audience and in terms of the impact on the culture of television comedy and entertainment.

From The Larry Sanders Show to The Simpsons and Newhart, Dave takes us through a bit of his world as it emerges through a robust career.

He talks about his good friend Carrie Fisher and their adventure together on a cruise ship filled with the best and the brightest from the arts and technology.

J.Elvis Weinstein joins Mark for this conversation along with comedy writer, Laura House.

Mark starts the show with a 3 minute update from last week’s story on the police in L.A. and a community outreach young cadet program that has ended up in an arrest of an officer and cadets.

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Dennis Rodman’s In Korea, Sports Gamblers, Pot Dealers and a Cheerleader Turned Top Primatologist

The show starts with Mark and an LAPD tale ripped from the headlines.

Then, political analyst Michael Shure stops by for THE FAST 15 with some extra time spent on stories of illegal gaming and even an Angela Merkel sighting.

Then, writer, comedian and performer, Laura House http://www.laurahouse.com/ sits in with Mark as they speak with a radio reporter turned podcaster, Jo Kwon (from KFI radio in L.A.)

The crew talks about pot (the focus of this season of Jo’s podcast) and Jo’s podcast generally which is called, Jo Kwon Reporting.

Finally, a former NFL cheerleader who is now a leading primatologist and expert on Madagascar, Mireya Mayor, stops in with husband , Phil Fairclough, who produces wildlife shows for television and film.  It’s just a brief visit but enough to get a picture of the vanishing magical habitat that is Madagascar and why it’s a tough fight to save it.

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What do Biff Henderson’s Golf Cart of Death, Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman Have in Common? Spike Feresten

Comedy writer, producer and host, Spike Feresten is involved in many things…He was a writer/producer on both Seinfeld and David Letterman’s show.  He also had his own successful late night talk show on FOX-TV.

How and why that show went away is a story that Spike shares on this episode.

Spike also co-wrote Bee Movie, the Jerry Seinfeld film that was a huge success.  He talks about the process of writing that film and thinking through the bizarre world of a bee, or at least the bees in the movie.

This episode was recorded at Mark’s home which is up the road from Spike’s.  The two neighbors meet though on the wild roads of L.A. as is discussed in this episode.

Michael Shure begins the episode with THE FAST 15, 15 minutes of politics and other items.  This week, Mark apologizes to Michael for diminishing Michael’s NHL fan status.

The two also talk London terrorism, animals and Wonder Woman (the Jewish superhero).

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Actress Dana Delany on the Magic and Craziness of Hollywood… Plus, The President Gets Back From His Foreign Trip

Dana Delany rocketed to fame on China Beach, landed on People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People issue TWICE, both in 1991 and 2011 (and she comments on how ridiculous that whole thing is on some level).

Dana has starred in some of the highest profile movie and television projects of the last 25 years.

Promoting those projects, the randomness of events associated with decisions on what projects to take on and and be part of is something Dana talks about.

The group talks about Dana’s trip to Vietnam during the time she’s starring in China Beach, a television show about the Vietnam war.  And Mark mentions that he’s just returned from a trip there but the group makes fun of him and his trip.

We get to the insane, hormonal shoot that was TOMBSTONE.  Plus, she also gets into the film EXIT TO EDEN directed by Garry Marshall in which she starred.

The episode begins with THE FAST 15: POLITICS AND MORE with Michael Shure, who has just returned from 2 weeks covering Washington in Washington DC.

Shure isn’t bothered by Trump pushing his way past other NATO leaders for a photo opp.  He IS bothered by Jared Kushner’s back channel attempt to communicate with the Russians BEFORE the incoming administration is in power and Jared’s lying on the disclosure form about his Russian meetings at Trump Tower. Finally, Michael makes a pitch for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.

Heather Ankeny and Josh Weinstein join Mark Thompson for the conversation with Dana Delany.

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It’s The Economy, Stupid! Finally, A Noted Economist Visits the Show

Tyler Cowen is a noted economist and professor at George Mason University in Washington.  He has published many books on economics and our culture.

His latest is:

The Complacent Class: The Self Defeating Quest for the American Dream 

His book breaks down this moment in time in economic terms.

We are not as inventive, entrepreneurial, versatile, daring or even productive as past generations.  But within this cultural and economic moment in time there ARE members of society who take chances and make positive economic change happen.

J. Elvis Weinstein (Josh) and Heather Ankeny join Mark Thompson for this conversation.

You can buy Tyler Cowen’s books by clicking here.

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