Episode 68: Laurie Metcalf

Widely recognized as one of America’s best actresses, the Emmy Award-winning star of Rosanne delves into a fascinating conversation about her genuine passion for the stage, creating characters and bringing a script to life.  In this engaging episode, the Steppenwolf alum talks about her celebrated career as a leading lady--from the first time she made an audience laugh to her mesmerizing performances in Horace and Pete and A Doll’s House Part 2, for which she recently won a Tony Award for best actress.

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Episode 67: Ina Garten

In 1978, Ina Garten took a huge risk and left her job as a budget analyst in the White House to pursue her dream working with food. She packed her bags, moved to the Hamptons, bought a specialty food store and "The Barefoot Contessa" was born. In this enlightening and charming episode, the down-to-earth Food Network star shares her story of “jumping into the pond” by teaching herself to cook and run a business with no experience, when she knew it was time to leave, and she dishes about the challenges she faced along the road to becoming a bestselling cookbook author and TV star.

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Episode 66: Doug Stanhope

Doug Stanhope is considered the comedian’s comedian for his precise writing and insightful, often cynical, and controversial social and political comedy. He’s also known for his use of drugs and alcohol. In this episode he talks to Michael about his work, fans, and they get into a fascinating conversation on how he uses booze and pills to help him through his crippling social anxiety - it’s so bad he can’t be around people or perform on stage without self medicating (and yes, he openly drank throughout this interview).

Episode 65: Cecile Richards

The president of Planned Parenthood talks to Michael about how she got started in activism and organizing and what it was like growing up in conservative Texas as the daughter of two outspoken liberals. She also delves into the important work Planned Parenthood is doing today for women’s health in spite of the opposition from those who oppose birth control and abortion, just two of the many services they offer, and how she deals with people who disagree.

Episode 64: Pamela Paul

In a must listen episode for any person who loves to read, the editor of The New York Times Book Review is talking with Michael about writing, criticism and most of all, reading. Her new book, the memoir My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues chronicles her life through all the books she’s read, tracing her life through high school and college, in her travels from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, through her failed first marriage and her current life as a mother, wife and the editor as arguably one of the most important book reviews in the world.