Episode 94: Zachary R. Wood

As president of his college group "Uncomfortable Learning," Zachary R. Wood attempted to bridge the gap between dissenting views by inviting controversial speakers to campus and was shut down by student protests. Now a recent graduate, and a new author of the memoir, Uncensored, he opens up about his abusive childhood with a schizophrenic mother, and the pressure he felt to constantly strive for perfection as a son, student, and black man.

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Episode 93: Tina M. Tchen

The former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and leader of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund talks about her time at the White House and her childhood growing up in 1960s Ohio as the daughter of Chinese refugees. With a sense of humor and positively Tchen gives her take on the current administration, the importance of diversity of thought and representation in politics, as well as her lifetime commitment to tackling issues related to corporate compliance, ethics, and equality.  

Episode 92: Jay and Mark Duplass 

In a very funny, touching, and creatively inspiring interview, the filmmakers discuss their incredibly close brotherly bond, how they never doubted success would happen, even though it took almost two decades to achieve, and how they had to learn how to quit each other in order to find the space to have their own lives.

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Episode 91: Carl Zimmer

The author of 13 books about evolution, neuroscience, biology, and most recently heredity, as well as the weekly “Matter” science column in the New York Times, discusses his accessible style of science storytelling, answering Michael’s burning questions on his recent book She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, science in schools, genomes, and whether there is a gene to make you a successful podcaster. 

Episode 90: Saru Jayaraman

The co-founder and president of ROC, Restaurant Opportunities Center United, Saru Jayaraman has devoted her career to improving the lives of restaurant workers. Her activism through legislation, initiatives, and conversation as well as her two books, have raised the awareness and made significant improvements, of some of the appalling conditions of the workers who make and serve the food in the places millions of Americans like to eat.  

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Episode 89: Dan Pfeiffer 

One of President Obama’s longest-serving staffers, first as Communications Director then as Senior Advisor, Dan Pfeiffer discusses present-day politics through the unique lens of his experience, which he also details in his new book, Yes, We (Still) Can. From what motivates Mitch McConnell, to his work as a pundit on CNN, Pfeiffer is one of the few who might be able to answer Michael’s question, “What the fuck is happening right now?”

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Episode 88: Giada De Laurentiis

The Food Network star, bestselling cookbook author and now restaurateur tells Michael how her success all grew organically from her passion for cooking and not from a great ambition to be famous. But famous she is, and she now finds her life is a push and pull struggle when it comes to taking new risks, like deciding to open her first restaurant after years of being a television star, and what those risks cost her.

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Episode 87: David Cross

The multi-talented actor, comedian, writer, and director sits down with Michael to discuss his journey from his first stand up performance as a teenager in Atlanta to his many memorable roles on Arrested Development, Mr. Show with Bob and David, and more. The two colleagues dive into a heartfelt conversation about the unsteadiness of working in Hollywood,  the ways in which men can support #MeToo and #TimesUp, and navigating the volatile world of Twitter.

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