Podcast Episodes

Mike Phirman

His mom has been married 8 times, his father 4.   How’s that for a good place to start?  In addition to performing with Chris Hardwick as the comedy/music duo Hard n’ Phirm, Mike also performs solo.    He’s really talented and also really nice.  Really, really nice.   That’s right.  Full on people pleaser.  Mike and Paul get into the fear of disappointing loved ones, strangers and fans.   Also a little post interview excerpt from the great Ram Dass, regarding a man and a dolphin that will move you to tears or creep you out.  Or both.

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Alycia Schlesinger

Even though Alycia has a Masters in Spiritual Psychology, her raw experience in a chaotic home has been the “gift” that has really allowed her to understand the dynamics of her own self-hatred, fear, and low self-esteem. She shares how facing that pain allowed for the eventual transformation to it being an experience that gives her life purpose.   An especially powerful episode (for Paul at least) as Alycia played a part in one of the most transformative days in his life.   They also discuss Victor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning and John Bradshaw’s book Healing the Shame that Binds You.

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Nathan Rabin

The author, cinephile and head writer of The Onion’s A.V. Club talks with Paul about his deeply painful childhood and a seemingly endless series of rejection.  Foster homes, mental institutions, kidnapping by a mother who ultimately had no interest in him and a fear-off that includes a phrase we may never hear again: “I’m afraid I ruined Weird Al’s Easter.”

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Kulap Vilaysack (Voted #5 Ep of 2011)

You’ve seen her on The Office and I Love You Man, and you’ve heard her as the co-host of the podcast Who Charted?  Kulap talks about her chaotic upbringing by immigrant Laotian parents and the battle today to overcome the memories that haunt her.   They discuss her involvment in a little known therapy called the Grinberg Method and what she does today to find peace.

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Teresa Strasser (Voted #1 Ep of 2011)

Adam Carolla’s former sidekick comes guns blazing to the fear-off.  Holy shit she brings it.  This one gets dark.  From her being vanquished by a stepmother at age 3 to seriously considering suicide earlier in the year. Touching and funny.  She is also the author of the critically-acclaimed pregnancy memoir Exploiting My Baby.   Paul made a mistake when he uploaded the first version of this interview.  Though an editing error, a reference to another female guest (with a book), sounded like Paul was talking about Teresa.   Hopefully this version clears that up!   Apologies to T for the mixup.

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Hank Adams

Prostitution, alcoholism, fetishes, swinging, abandonment and being stabbed by a bayonet.  Handyman Hank Adams has experienced them all.  Paul’s friend has to literally pause to count how many stepdads he has had.

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Paula Newman

Part-time actor, friend and meditation teacher talks with Paul about her life being profoundly affected by her painful English upbringing, Hitler and Back to the Future.   They also discuss the importance of Vedic meditation and the Body Ecology Diet.

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