Biggest Problem in the Universe – Episode 99

Transcription courtesy of: Laurie Foster

Today’s show is brought to you by Casper.  Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting and using promo code BIGGEST.

(Biggest Solution theme riff starts)

Today’s show is brought to you by…our own bonus episode!

(Clip starts)

“Dick:  Are you talking about you?

Maddox:  No, I didn’t run away from home.  I did move out pretty abruptly.  Actually, would that count as running away from home? Nah.

Dick: Did you tell them?

Maddox: Uhh….

Dick:  Did you tell your family you were moving out abruptly, or did you just leave?

Maddox:  I think my last words were “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.”  (laughing) And then I got my…

Dick:   (interjects)  I’m running away? (they crack up)  That’s a…you ran away!!


Maddox:  The Voyager’s not 20 BILLION miles away from the sun!!

Dick: Oh, you’d better be right!

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: After LAST month. 

Maddox:  It’s not…I don’t.  I will put MONEY on it that it’s not 20 billion miles…

Dick:  How much money? 

Maddox:  12 bucks.  (laughing)

Dick:  Wait a minute.  Okay.  12 bucks.


Maddox:  I made a rat enclosure that was basically, like, a rat Caesar’s palace.

Dick:  Lil’ fountain?

Maddox: Lot of toys.  Little fountain.

Dick: Little Blackjack.  Little rat Blackjack?

Maddox:  Got a little rat Blackjack. Uh-huh. 

Dick:  Little Bacca-rat?  (they giggle)

Maddox:  Baccarat!!! (laughs)


Dick:  Before the pizza tracker, you just sat in your apartment after you…you didn’t even know if the pizza was coming. 

Maddox: Well, what do you think, they have their ovens synced up with some, like, fucking Wi-Fi thing that’s updating a server all day?!!?

Dick: They just click a button!

Sean:  They push a button!

Dick: Yeah, they push a button on the point of sale system!!  The same thing that prints out what’s on the pizza, and then it updates the system…and then…

Maddox:  I’m skeptical.

Dick: Oh, you’re such a fucking cynic!! (they laugh)  You’re such a cynic!! Oculus Rift, you’ll believe that plugs right into your brain.

Maddox: Yeah.  Yes.

Dick:  But a pizza tracker where you have to PRESS A BUTTON.

Maddox: No.  That’s way out of…(laughs)

Sean:  Man on the moon, yes. 

Dick: Yeah!

Sean:  Pizza tracker, no.

Dick:  No way!!

Maddox:  No way!!

Dick:  Absolutely not!

Maddox:  ‘Cause it just doesn’t seem efficient!! (Dick cracks up)  They’re gonna pay a bunch of workers standing around, pressing buttons all day!!

Dick:  Pressing…but they have to press them anyway!!! (Maddox laughs)

Sean:  It’s the same people making your pizza!!!!


Maddox:  And he was just saving every single paycheck, until he said, “I’m just gonna try to get an apartment and a girlfriend.”  And eventually, he did.  It doesn’t fit the predisposed notion that you have of homelessness.

Sean:  How’s he gonna hang onto the money with a girlfriend?  (Dick cracks up)

Maddox: Yeah.


(Clip ends)

Now available at

(Biggest Problem theme riff starts)

Maddox:  Welcome to the Biggest Problem in the Universe, the show where we discuss every problem in the universe, from Canker Sores to Wanker Sores!  (Asterios and Sean laugh) With over 6 million downloads, this is the only show where you decide what should or shouldn’t be on the big list of problems. I’m Maddox.  With me is Dick!

Dick:  Hey!  What’s up, buddy? (grins)

Maddox:  And Sean, our audio engineer. 

Sean:  Hello.

Maddox:  And welcome back, Asterios!

Asterios:  Hey, everybody.

Dick:  Yeaaaaaah!! You don’t have a drop from Tim Changzzzzz, do you, Asterios?

Asterios:  I need one. I’d LIKE one.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: No, you wouldn’t.

Dick: You would!

Maddox: They’re garbage.  They’re garbage drops, Asterios.

Asterios:  They’re really good.

Dick:  They are really good.

Maddox: Here, I’ll do one.  “ASTERIOS KOKKINOS” and just add a bunch of reverb and distortion to that.  There you go.

Dick:  No, no.  This is how they sound. 

(Sound clip:  “Madoff, yous a bitch!”, laser beam sounds, screaming)

Dick: That sounded better than your version.

Maddox: Like a shitty Duke Nukem.  Anyway, guys.  The big episode 99 before our big episode 100!! (giggles)  Not our anniversary, by the way.  We’re only gonna…

Dick:  (interjects)  Oh, not this AGAIN!! (Maddox laughs)

Asterios:  Is this gonna happen again, really?

Dick:  Fuck you!!

Asterios:  Do you really care this much?

Maddox:  No, no. no.  It is episode 100.

Dick:  Oookay.

Asterios:  Okay.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios:  Good.

Maddox: No, we’re celebrating. 

Dick:  Great.

Maddox:  I was just bustin’ balls, here!

Dick: Great. 

Maddox:  At the Biggest Problem, that’s what we do. We bust balls.  Uh, but speaking of…

Dick:  We also record BONUS episodes that you can download now if you go to the website.

Maddox:  Oh, my gosh!  Fantastic bonus episode.  And Dick, I think this is the first one where we actually may have solved some problems.

Dick:  We solved homelessness.

Maddox: Yes.

Dick:  We solved getting pizzas.

Maddox: Uh-huh.

Asterios:  Okay.

Dick: Getting pizzas in a fun way, though.  (Asterios cracks up) Like not where you’re sitting around with your dick in your hand wondering where your pizza is.  Asterios guffaws.

Maddox: Uh-huh.

Dick:  This is an interactive pizza EXPERIENCE.

Asterios:  Wow!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox:  We solved people who are fucksticks who don’t…who are just dreamers all the time.

Asterios:  Mhmm.

Dick:  Oh, yeah.

Maddox:  Yeah.

Dick:  And we solved…

Maddox:  Nothing.  We solved nothing else.

Dick:  Advert…advertising.

Asterios:  Advertising.  (they talk over each other) 

Maddox:  Nothing more…(laughs)

Asterios:  The great panacea of our time.

Dick: Of everything.  Ads. 

Asterios:  Absolutely.  Ads.

Dick: Ads are the glue that hold our society together.

Asterios:  The reason you’re both in the room right now.

Dick: Ads.

Maddox:  Mhmm.

Asterios:  Advertising.

Maddox: Wrong.  Wrong!  Absolutely not.

Dick:  We got a full house today, by the way.

Maddox:  A large studio audience today.  What’s that, like, 6, 7 people.  This must be a record!

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Must be a record.

Dick:  Okay. 

Maddox:  Candy Randy, we must be blowing his lid right now.  He’d be blowing his lid if he saw this.  (laughs)

Dick: He’s not even here.

Maddox: Not even here!  No.  Alright, guys.  Moving on.  The biggest problem in the universe…

(Sound effect: Drum roll)

Maddox:  …from last week.  Was Road Blockheads. 

Dick: Yeaaaaaaaaah!!

Asterios: Hey!

Dick:  Good.  Fuck them!

(Sound effect: ‘Wrong’ buzzer)

Dick:  Fuck those guys!

Maddox:  Dick’s crybaby problem.

Dick:  Crybaby?!!

Maddox:  Crybaby problem.

Dick:  Man, fuck those guys.

Maddox: That’s what that was.  Followed by Murderers.  Yeah…(stammers) sorry you’re inconvenienced taking your groceries home, but murderers are a bigger problem than one protest that blocked an intersection.  SORRY!!

Asterios: Uh, I’ve never…I’ve been affected by Road Blockheads dozens of times, and I haven’t been murdered once!!  Therefore…

Dick:  (interjects)  There you go!

Asterios:  …road blockheads affects my life more!

Maddox: Prove it! (laughing)

Dick:  Way bigger problem.

Asterios:  I wish I could, but I can’t. (laughs)

Maddox: Yeah.  Followed by Acne, and then dead last, was Junk in the Trunk.  I guess you think that junk in the trunk is a solution, and again, for those who haven’t listened to the episode, we’re not talking about big asses, which I have no problem with.  (Asterios giggles)  We’re talking about literal junk in your literal trunk.

Dick: Right.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick:  I got a comment from Eric Luster.  “If anyone could be a murderer, it would be Sean.”  Jake Jones says he’s moved up to deleting people. 

Sean:  Oh, Jesus Christ.  (Dick laughs)

Maddox:  Mhmm!! 

Dick:  Moving up, buddy.

Asterios:  In one of your drug hazes!!

Dick:  Chris LaRoche says “Maddox used to be a cereal killer.”  ‘Cause you were talking all about cereals.  “Straight up murdering boxes of Shredded Wheat daily.”  (Maddox laughs)  Remember when you would do that?

Maddox: Yeah.  I used to!  Idiots.  Uh, I got a comment from Ricardo Conde.  Conday? Condo.  Condom.  He says, “Sean was probably late because he probably deleted the recording of the gig he was at and they had to do it all over again.”  (laughing)

Dick:  Kind of a long joke.

Maddox: Yeah.  Lot of ball busting for Sean this month.

Sean: Mhmm.

Maddox: How do you like that, Sean? 

Sean:  What’s that guy’s name?

Maddox:  Ricardo Condom.

Sean:  Oh.  (Maddox laughs)

Dick:  Here’s some ball-busting for you, then. 

Maddox: Yeah.

(Voice mail: male voice:  (imitating Maddox, goofy voice)  Uh…hey…hey guys.  I’m Maddox…(Maddox laughs)

Dick: Oh.

“…and…uh…people who disagree with me are lesser minds, and they talk like this.  Uh…Milwaukee is a state.  Dick, go fuck yourself.”)

Maddox: Yeah.  You know what, guys?  Here’s the thing.  (Dick guffaws)  You know what?  Wisconsin has a branding problem, okay!?  When people think Milwaukee’s a state, your state sucks!  That’s how little people know about Wisconsin.  No one knows shit about Wisconsin, except for that fuck-ass TV show about that murderer who, you know, had the cousin, or whatever?  Did that happen in Wisconsin? 

Dick:  What are you talking about? 

Asterios:  He’s talking about Making a Murderer?

Maddox:  Making a Murderer.

Dick:  I dunno where that happened.

Asterios:  I don’t know where that happened.

Maddox: See?  No one knows.  No one knows shit about Wisconsin!!  Why don’t you name your state to Milwaukee?  That’s a more…that’s a name I can get behind.  Okay?

Dick:  Did you think that Milwaukee was a state in the last episode?

Maddox:  Ohhhh, I was just going through M words and Milwaukee came out.  Big deal!

Dick: Oh, this guy’s going through M words, too. 

(Voice mail: male voice:  “Hey, Maddox.  Here’s a list of states that begin with M.  Maine.  Maryland.  Massachusetts.  Michigan.  Minnesota.  Mississippi, Missouri, and Montana.”

Dick: Hmm.  (Maddox belches)

“Huh. You know, that’s really weird, because Milwaukee is not on here.”

Maddox:  Mmm.

“Oh, that’s right.  Because Milwaukee is a fucking city in Wisconsin, you retard!!!”  (they all laugh  “Go fuck yourself.”)

Maddox:  What an asshole idiot!!

Asterios:  I don’t know if we need to…

Dick:  (interjects)  He left off Montgomery, though.

Asterios:  Oh, right, the state of Montgomery, absolutely.

Dick:  Yeah. 

Maddox: Yeah. Uh, that guy’s an asshole and an idiot.  And by the way…does anyone in this room doubt for a second that he wasn’t reading that off a list?!!? 

Dick:  I don’t think he was.

Maddox: He was…of COURSE he…

Dick:  (interjects)  It didn’t sound like he was reading. 

Maddox:  Ohhhhhhh.

Asterios:  It sounded off the dome to me.

Dick: Yeaaaaah!!

Maddox:  No, it didn’t!! You don’t know…you don’t know the first thing about what things sound like when it’s off the dome.  (laughs)

Sean:  Now, you disagree with me!! (Asterios and Maddox laugh)

Maddox: Alright. That guy sounded like an idiot.

Dick: Okay.  Well, these guys do have some valid criticisms of something you said about horror movies.

Maddox: Oh, boy!  I can’t wait to hear this!  More shitting on Maddox!

(Voice mail: male voice:  “Oh, Jesus fucking Christ, Maddox.  You dumb motherfucker!  Dude!  Virgins don’t die in horror movies!!” (Maddox makes dumb laughing sounds)  Sluts die in horror movies!!  The virgins are always the final girl to make it all the way to the end.”

Dick:  It’s true.

Maddox: Cut this voicemail off!  This guy’s full of shit!!

“And they kill the bad guy.  How FUCKING stupid are you?”

Maddox:  This guy’s a moron!

“Jesus Christ.  You call yourself a horror movie fan?!!”  (Dick laughs)

Maddox: Yeah!!


Maddox: Yeah, shithead!!  I was IN a horror movie, okay!? One of the best!

“Dick, go fuck yourself.”)

Dick:  What horror movie were you in?

Asterios:  What horror movie were you in?

Maddox:  I was in a movie called Ooga Booga. (laughs)

Dick: Ohhh, man.

Maddox:  It was a good horr…it was really good.  Uh, (stammers) I was…we were robbed from the Os…the Academy Awards.

Dick:  Oh, Leo ripped you off?

Maddox:  Uh, no.  It was two years ago, I think.  Two years ago, it came out?

Dick: Oh.

Maddox: Uh, not…total snub.  Academy Award snub.  Anyway, shithead!  Uh, yeah.  Virgins do get killed in horror movies!  They’re sacrificed!!  Have you ever fucking seen a horror movie in your life?!  Do you even know what a horror movie is?!

Dick:  I don’t see…I don’t remember virgins getting killed, though, in horror movies.

Maddox: It’s ‘cause you don’t even watch horror movies, what are you talking about?!

Dick:  No, they’re too scary.

Asterios:  Well, sometimes the virgin gets killed last. 

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  I mean, like, you know, sometimes nobody makes it out alive.  But, like, yeah.  Having sex is, like, punishable by murder in those movies. 

Maddox: Well, it depends!  Some..ssome horror movies, they’re killing people who have sex.  Some of them, they’re killing people who don’t have sex.

Asterios:  Mmmmmmmmmm. (skeptical)

Maddox: Either way, sex is involved.

Dick:  Okay.

Asterios:  I don’t…okay.  Wait, but I would like to say this.  At the end of this episode, I would like to listen to that clip from Ooga Booga that you’re in, live on the air.  I think that’d be fun.

Maddox:  Oh, boy.  Alright. Uh…

Dick:  (interjects) Wait, I kinda would, too.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox:  If you guys are good boys and girls, then maybe I’ll play the clip at the end of the episode.

Asterios:  We’re probably not gonna get to hear this, then.

Dick: No?  Not gonna get to hear it.

Asterios:  Okay.  Let’s just move on, then.

Dick:  Alright.  I got one song from Chris Strand. 

Maddox:  Oh, let’s hear it.

Dick: It’s about you, Sean.  Again.

Maddox:  Oh, I know this.

Sean:  Oh, I can’t wait.

(Clip starts:  Dick’s voice reading Sean’s letter: “Dear guys, I can’t take the pressures…”

Dick:  That’s me.

“Of this dog-eat-dog world anymore.  So I’m moving to rural China…”

Dick:  Is that how I sound?

“…to be an ass farmer.” 

Song starts, male voice singing:  “I got a late-night craving…”  (sexy beat starts)

Dick:  Ohohoho!!

“I’m gonna farm some ass and weeeeeeeeeeed.”

(Maddox and Asterios laugh)

“With weed and ass, I’ll plant my seeeeeeeeeeeed.”  (they all crack up)

Sean:  My songs are always the best!!

“Are you a weed and ass man?”

Dick:  Yeah! He’s great!!

“Who are we kidding?  Of course you are!  No matter what asses you like….”

(ambient) “Chineeeeeeeese.”  (they all crack up) 

“Don’t worry about getting caught, ‘cause all evidence will be deleted.”

(Dick laughs loudly)

“Some come down to Sativa Sean’s Weed and Ass Farm, where things don’t just get weird…they get fucked.”)  (they all laugh)

Dick:  That’s a good ad.

Maddox: Yeah.  Great ad.

Sean:  Who was that?

Dick:  Chris Strand.

Sean:  That was really good!

Maddox:  Chris Strand.

Asterios:  That was REALLY good.

Maddox:  He…he did the real shitty Bags of Sand song.  (Dick laughs)  And then he did a real funny Dick Masterson Small Face Song.  And now the Sean song.

Dick:  Uh, I don’t remember the Small Face Song.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick:  Did we play it on the show?

Maddox: Mhmm.

Dick:  Oh shit, alright.

Maddox: I got it right here.

Dick: Well, we’ve all heard it.

Maddox:  Alright. (they all crack up)

Dick:  I’ve got one more…I have one more thing I gotta read.  A fan sent me a care package.  Um…from Joe.  “Dick, I know it’s odd for a grown man to be giving another grown man he doesn’t even know a gift.” He’s right.  “But I wanted to thank you for getting me in shape.  About a year ago, I heard you talking about lifting on the podcast, and for some reason, I started doing it too.  I’ve lost about 30 pounds and put on some muscle.  Thanks.  If only the podcast was around before I got married, I’d most likely be getting more tail.  Oh well.  Vote up Time Travel.”

Sean:  And a hotter wife.  (they giggle)

Asterios:  Well, look, if she started lifting, this wouldn’t be a problem!

Dick: Oh, good luck!!  (Maddox laughs)

Asterios:  I’m just saying!

Dick:  If you figure out the solution to get your wife in the gym, you win the bonus episodes forever!

Asterios:  I just want a swole wife.  Is that so hard?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick:  “I almost packed some Fireball in here for Maddox, but purchasing it would be fucking embarrassing.  Thanks, Dick.”)  (Asterios guffaws)

Maddox: What an asshole!  I bet that guy’s still fat!  That guy sounds like a real fat son of a…wait, what do you got there?

Dick:  Oh, nope. Not sharing this gift with you, then!! 

Maddox:  What…

Dick: It’s Masterson straight rye whiskey.

Maddox:  Wowwwwwwww.

Dick:  A very tasty whiskey!!

Maddox: Did you know that that was a real thing? Masterson’s?

Dick:  No, I didn’t know that.  Never heard of it.  I can’t wait to crack it open.

Maddox:  Pop a taste…

Dick:  (interjects)  I’m not putting it in your Kombucha!!

Maddox:  It’s not Kombucha, shithead!!!

Dick:  Wha….it’s purple.

Maddox: It’s not purple!!!

Dick:  What is it?!

Asterios:  It’s Grape Kool-Aid!!! And you’ll treat it as such!

Maddox: It’s nothing!! You know what? It’s just raw cranberry juice, okay?!  It’s delicious!

Dick:  (giggles)  I’m not mixing this wonderful rye with cranberry juice.

Maddox:  Whatever.  I don’t give a SHIT!

Dick: Anyway.  Thank you, Joe!

Maddox: I’m over it.

Dick: Thank you, Joe.

Maddox:  Thank you for nothing, Joe!!

Dick: Okay.

Maddox:  Enjoy your ugly wife.  (they all crack up) 

Asterios:  Well done.

Dick: Good luck. 

Asterios:  Well done, sir.  (they giggle)

Maddox:  I got one last comment from Joe.  (Dick cackles) Joe Attilo Caruso.  He says, “After Maddox’s car was broken into, he always carries an empty dummy car with him everywhere he parks.”  (they giggle)  I wish.  That’s a brilliant idea.

Dick:  That’s pretty good.  I got this…a doctor sent me a GIANT email about ADHD.  You remember we talked about…

Maddox:  Ohhh.

Dick:  …you brought in ADHDD.

Maddox: Yes.  Ugh.

Dick:  I dunno what…the second D was a typo, I think.

Maddox: No, it wasn’t.  It was diagnosis.  That was my problem.  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Diagnosis.  The Diagnosis part was the problem.

Dick: Oh, okay.

Asterios:  All I heard was Attention and then I just zoned out.  (jokes)

Maddox: Okay.  (giggles)  Hold on, Asterios.  I haven’t used this in a while.

Dick: Hey, wait a minute.

(Sound effect: Ba-dum ching)

Asterios:  Yessssssss.  (Maddox laughs)

Dick:  I also got one…

Asterios:  Still got it!

Dick:  …one about bits.  So…it’s a big email.  Let’s see.  He said, “First of all, the examples you used to describe ADHD in the show were incorrect.” This guy’s a doctor! “The disorder isn’t merely a function of fidgeting and not being able to pay attention.” He says, “In real life, when children walk into the ER or his family practice with parents, they fail at grade school because they can’t pay attention long enough to learn the basic requirements to pass.  They affect the function of the class on a daily basis…” Bla, bla, bla.  “Their problems occur both at home and at school, to the point where they can’t even sit still to watch movies or TV shows, or even read a book.” He says, “Ultimately, these children can’t function in society, and parents aren’t…”  He’s basically disagreeing with you.  “Parents aren’t qualified to diagnose ADHD…”

(Sound effect: Baby crying, screaming)

Dick: Yeah.  “Having said all this, the disease is overdiagnosed…”

Maddox:  Yeah, that was…

Dick:  “And there are many instances where the parents fake illness in their children to…” So I guess he’s agreeing with you.  I don’t know.

Maddox: Yeah.  So having said…

Asterios: (interjects)  Well, aren’t they both…oh, sorry.

Maddox:  Go ahead.

Asterios:  Well, I mean, aren’t they both true?  Aren’t, like…I think we all know parents that, like, overdiagnose their own kids and ascribe problems their kids don’t have.  You know…as, like…instead of admitting that maybe they need to work harder as parents.  You know, maybe their kids just have a personality that they don’t quite comprehend, or maybe they just kinda don’t wanna put the work in, and they don’t wanna admit their kids are lazy.  But at the same time, I feel like there’s a lot of people that go undiagnosed.  A buddy of mine, he’s getting mar…his wife’s pregnant, so they went to the doctor.  And…in Arizona, like, the screen both the husband and the wife for medical problems.  And they were like, “Yeah, your wife’s fine.  You’ve got ADD.”  Like, you have a serious case of ADHD.

Dick:  Whoa.

Asterios:  He’s, like, 31.  And I’ve always thought he did.  I’m like, “This guy can’t focus.  This guy can’t get anything done.  He’s angry all the time.”  I don’t think that’s the only problem that he has, but I just thought that that was cool that, you know, at age 31, he could walk out of a hospital and hopefully get a better life for himself.

Maddox:  Mmm.

Sean:  Wait, why did they pick that up in the screening? What kind of screening was this?

Asterios:  It was a Psych screening.

Dick:  He threw an ultrasound.  (Asterios cracks up)

Maddox:  Yeah. 

Asterios:  And then he started screaming for Ritalin.  He said, “I need Ritalin now.”  And so…

Dick:  Yeah.

Asterios:  Those were two kinda giveaways.

Maddox:   You know, so, Dick…I read that doctor’s email.

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox: I was taking a shit.  And that’s about as much respect as I have for that email.

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: And I was reading it, and I was like, “Okay.”  Lemme wipe my ass and I’ll go to my computer.

Dick: With your phone.

Maddox:  Yeah. (they laugh)  Like gr…you know how you get that stuff in there between grout? 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Between my butt cheeks.

Dick:  Trowel?

Maddox:  Yeah, it’s like a trowel in my butt.

Dick:  Alright.

Maddox: Anyway, so…

Asterios: Mhmm.  (scared)

Maddox:  I went to the b…

Dick: (interjects) Go on.

Maddox: I went to my computer…(giggles)

Asterios:  No, let’s hear more about what you did to your ass crack!!!  (Maddox laughs)

Maddox: Uh…let’s just say…

Dick:  (interjects) As you refute this DOCTOR’s email.  (Asterios and Maddox laugh)

Asterios:  Exactly!

Maddox: Let’s just say it was glued together……….with poop.

Asterios: Okay. Alright.  (Maddox giggles)

Dick:  So then what did you do?

Maddox:  So I got up with my poopy ass…(they laugh)

Asterios: Uh-huh.  Yup. 

Maddox: No, but seriously, I wipe well. (Asterios cackles)  Um, so I went to my computer and I sat down…

Dick:  I find that kinda hard to believe.  You’re a hairy guy.

Maddox: Yeah!!  Well…believe it, buddy! You wanna see…you wanna take a look? 

Dick: No, thank you.

Maddox:  Spotless!!

Dick:  I could get a good look at a butcher’s ass by taking his…well, you know the rest.  (they all laugh) 

Maddox: You could EAT off of my ass, it’s so…it’s so clean down there.

Dick:  WHAT did you do then?!!?

Maddox: Oh, yeah.  So anyway…back to the doctor’s email.  I looked up on the CDC’s website, ‘cause I knew I read this before.  I linked to eight different studies, guys.  Go back to that article. The website on the problem for that episode.  And I link to eight different articles.  Like, pages and pages of research I did.  And I…again, after that doctor sent that email, I went to the CDC’s website, and it said, of course. Just like I said in the episode, that parents often diagnose their kids with ADD and they just go to the doctor. There’s no way…there’s no actual screening they do.  It’s just, like, a bunch of tests they do…some quizzes they give, SOMETIMES.  Some doctors give quizzes, some don’t.  It’s like totally up in the air.  There’s no…it doesn’t seem like there’s any kind of standard for this diagnosis.  And it’s way overdiagnosed!!!

Dick:  Hmm.  Yeah, okay.  (Maddox belches)

Asterios:  Well…I totally understand that.  I mean, who…as opposed to, like, being a good parent who takes care of their kid, wouldn’t it be easier to just give ‘em a pill?

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios:  That makes them do what you tell them?  I totally buy that.  At the same time, you know medicine changes over the course of years and decades.  My father’s best friend was mentally challenged, but because they were in Greece in the 1950’s, their solution was to lock him a closet and beat him with a stick until his grades improved and he behaved.

Dick:  Hmm.

Asterios:  Like…that’s how you treat it! Mentally challenged people in the 1950s in Greece.  They don’t do that anymore, because our understanding of these mental illnesses changed.  And so, you know…as science progresses, there’s gonna be some overdiagnosing, and there’s gonna be some underdiagnosing.  I mean, people always talk about autism being way too overdiagnosed these days.  But back then, if you were autistic, they were just, like, “You’re a fucking retard!”  Like, you know?  Neither…

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios:  (interjects) Neither are great.  It’s…that’s how science works.

Dick:  That explains what happened Angelo’s mom.  She’s from Greece.

Maddox:  Oh, boy.

Dick: Probably got locked in a closet. 

Asterios: Poor thing.

Dick:  And beat up with sticks.

Maddox: Dick.

Dick:  What? 

Maddox: Hating on Angelo’s mom!  Poor thing.  Yeah, poor m…we…I like Angelo’s mom.  I think she’s great.

Dick:  Alright.  Let’s do some problems.

Maddox: Yeah.  I got a big problem, guys!  Big problem this week.  Facebook Video!!  Yeah.

(Sound effect: ‘Ding!’)

(Sound effect: Clapping)

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick: I do hate videos.  (Maddox chuckles)

Asterios:  I don’t like Facebook Video.

Maddox:  I don’t like Facebook.  And I don’t like Facebook videos. 

Dick: Mmm.

Maddox:  Guys, I am so…first of all, I’m so fucking tired of opening up Facebook and going to my News feed, and having just video after video after video load, because Facebook is tinkering with their EdgeRank algorithm, and forcing videos into your news feed, because they know that the real money these days, online, is in video advertising, because that’s a captive audience that’s watching your ad.  And Facebook’s next step is to put ads on these videos that they keep shoving down our throats.  That are autoplaying on our news feed, that slow down your browser, that distract you.  That are annoying.  And also…what, Dick?  You look like you’re thinking, here.

Dick: Well, ‘cause I’ve seen some pretty funny videos on Facebook recently.

Maddox: Yeah.  You…you mean you’ve seen some videos stolen from YouTube and posted on Facebook.

Dick:  I don’t care how they got there.

(Asterios laughs)

Maddox: Great.

Dick: They’re funny!

Maddox:  I mean, yeah.  (stammers) Sure, okay.  Sure.  I don’t know…I don’t know where this bike came from.  It just fell off the back of a truck, I guess.

Dick:  Yeah.  How much is it?  (they laugh) 

Sean:  Maddox…like you wouldn’t take a bike that fell off a truck!

Dick: Yeah. (grins)

Maddox: No, I wouldn’t t…I wouldn’t take…wait.  If it actually fell off a truck, Sean.  But that’s not really how it fell…

Dick: (interjects) You wouldn’t buy something stolen?

Maddox: No.  Generally not.

Sean:  I know the expression.

Dick:  Well, someone’s gonna buy it. 

Maddox:   Well, it’s…

Dick:  (interjects)  Why not you? 

Maddox:  It’s gonna be some unscrupulous character.  It’s not gonna be me.

Dick:  Well.

Maddox:  I’m not going to support that.  In fact, one time in Chicago, some guy came up to me and wanted to sell me an iPhone or an iPod, one of the two.  And he came to the wrong guy, obviously. 

Dick: Oh, boy.

Maddox: I don’t like these pro…yeah.

Dick:  “Listen, sir.” (they all crack up)  “I wouldn’t even buy this if it wasn’t stolen!” (whiny)

Sean:  Yeah, he’ll probably pay you to shut up!! (Maddox laughs)

Maddox:  So this guy came up to me trying to sell me this crappy, inferior Apple product that doesn’t have as many features…

Dick: Mhmm.

Maddox:  …as the other products that have been on the market for YEARS.  And…(they all laugh) 

Dick: This guy.  You’re definitely not a cop, ‘cause you’re retarded! (Maddox and Asterios laugh)

Asterios:  Oh, my God! (laughing)

Maddox: So, he tries to sell me this thing, and I kept shooting him down. I’m like, “Guy, listen, you came to the wrong dude.  I don’t buy this kind of stuff.”

Dick: Uh-huh.

Maddox:  and by “this kind of stuff”, I mean Apple products.  (laughing)  I don’t…I don’t touch this stuff.  It’s awful.  I don’t want it.  And he thought it was a negotiating tactic.  So he kept dropping his price lower, and lower, and lower, and every time I kept trying to walk away from the guy, I’m like, “Really, man. I mean, that’s a good deal.  Even the offer that you first came to me with was like $100.  I’m like, even that was a good deal.  I just don’t want it.”  And by the end of it, it was like $30 and he was about to budge to $25, and had he budged to $25…(Asterios laughs)  I would have still said no and walked away. But he was so disappointed.  He felt like he was a bad negotiator, which he was.

Dick: He is!! (laughs)

Maddox: ‘Cause he’s selling Apple products.

Dick: Well…

Maddox: That’s the lesson. That’s the takeaway there. 

Dick:  Alright.

Asterios:  So I have a question about your problem.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Now, it seems like there’s two minds in this room.  You’re not talking about sharing a video to Facebook.  You’re talking about Facebook Video advertising.  In-platform, Facebook video usage, correct?  Or incorrect?

Maddox: Yeah.  Where it shows up in the news feed automatically.

Asterios:  Mmmm…no.

Dick:  That’s just, like, people’s videos.

Maddox: No, I’m not talking about…no, no. no.  No, it’s not.  I’m not talking about people who upload their own videos to Facebook.

Asterios:  Right.

Maddox:  That’s native content that you have made, that you’re uploading to Facebook.  Fine!

Dick:  What’s Facebook video?

Asterios: Yeah. What do you mean?

Maddox: Facebook video.  So…it’s the way that Facebook…that people on Facebook share videos online.  So here’s how it…here’s how it usually happens. 

Asterios: Okay.

Maddox: Some morning zoo radio show.  Huhuhuhu!!!  They’ll go to YouTube, they’ll find a funny clip.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox:  And then they’ll just take it and watermark it with their stupid morning radio station.  Right?

Dick: Oh.

Asterios:  Okay.

Maddox:  They’ll upload it to their channel and then…people will…their listeners and fans will think that, “Well, this is a funny video.  I’m gonna click share!”

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  Mhmm.

Maddox:  And they click share on their news feed, and it just shows up, and it just racks up millions of views!

Dick: Mhmm.

Maddox:  Or…does it?  Nobody really knows for sure, because Facebook cheats with their view algorithm.

Asterios:  Mmm.  (intrigued)

Dick: They inflate their numbers?

Maddox:  Uh-huh!  Oh boy, do they!!

Dick:  You…do you have any proof of that? 

Maddox:  I sure do!

Asterios:  I have proof of it as well.

Maddox: Yeah.  Let’s hear it.  What do you got, Asterios?

Dick: You have proof of it?

Asterios:  Yeah.  It’s just…so, you know, Facebook wants to charge as much as possible for its advertising, obviously.  You know, you’re an ad man.  Like, so what Facebook does is, they set all their videos to autoplay.  And I’m talking about advertising only.  I’m not talking about, like, a YouTube video of, like, a camel farting, or something.

Maddox:  What are you talking about?

Asterios:  Which, by the way, is great.  I mean, let’s say Coca-Cola makes a 15-second digital ad, and they put…and it’s Facebook native.  So…the moment you open up Facebook on your phone, and you scroll past this video, it starts to play.

Maddox: Right.

Asterios:  After ONE second, it counts as a view.  So…

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  So they charge Coca-Cola millions and millions of dollars for all these views that, like, don’t really exist.  They’re these phantom views, because you just kept scrolling and scrolling.  So what they’ve done is…they’ve made Facebook more annoying, by having it autoplay all this content I don’t want to see, slowing down my phone, costing me data, because I…you know.  I don’t have unlimited data.  I’ve got a cap.  So it starts to play this video, you know, god forbid it’s not muted. Then all of a sudden I’m listening to this thing I didn’t ask for.

Dick:  Mhmm.

Asterios:  So Facebook can get richer.  It’s just…it’s like a big scam, and I think it’s stupid.

Dick:  Hmm.

Maddox:  It is a big scam.  I have here an article, Asterios.  I don’t think it’s 1 second, I think it’s 3, from everything I’ve read, but this article…

Asterios:  (interjects) It used to be 1.  Maybe they increased it to 3 to be cool.  But…I still think 3 is stupid.

Dick:  Well, their ROI probably sucked. 

Asterios: What?

Dick:  Everyone was probably getting shitty ROI.

Maddox:  They are, yeah.

Asterios:  They absolutely were.  And so a lot of adverti…like, you know.  I can’t name them, but a fairly big client was, like, “We are no longer advertising on Facebook video until they fix this.”

Maddox:  Oh, it’s awful.

Asterios:  Yeah.  They straight up said, “No Facebook video spends.  You can spend on Twitter, you can spend on YouTube, but you can’t spend on Facebook until they stop cheating.”

Maddox: Right.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  And it took…and until enough companies do this, Facebook is gonna continue to cheat.  1 second or 3 seconds is not that much different.  It’s still shitty.

Maddox: It’s really shitty.  I have an article here from Medium.  It’s called, “Theft, Lies, and Facebook video”.  And this guy talks about how Facebook is inflating their numbers.  He says, “Facebook counts the view at the 3-second mark, whether or not the viewer has even turned on the sound.  In the midst of a precipitous decline in retention, at that moment, 90% of people scrolling the page are still watching, according to Facebook.  The silent animated GIF.  But by 30 seconds, when viewership actually should be claimed, only 20% are watching.”  So 90% of people are being counted, but only 20% of people are actually watching the content.  And it’s…there’s this graph that shows the Facebook retention rate.  It is…ABYSMAL.  If YouTube videos got this kind of retention rate, YouTube would be in the gutter.  This is absolutely awful.

Asterios:  Now you could say, “Who gives a shit?”  Who gives a shit if a giant corporation is ripping off another giant corporation?  I think that’s fair.  It’s just fucking annoying to me when, like, you know.  I’m just trying to see pictures of my niece.  I’m on the bus.

Dick: Myeah.

Asterios:  Like, I’m upset.  I’m opening up Facebook and all of a sudden, some flashing bullshit video with a dancing Coke can, or whatever, pops on.  It’s just an annoying way to experience content.

Dick: It is annoying. 

Asterios:  That’s it.  That’s the problem, in my mind.

Dick: Yeah.  It’s pretty annoying.

Asterios:  It’s annoying.  Yeah.

Maddox:  Well, also, Dick, you said at the top.  Uh, “Who cares, it’s funny?”  But the thing is, when it’s stolen, it’s stolen from people like me.  I am…

Asterios: (interjects) Well, that’s a different problem.  If you wanna…and by the way, I apologize for cutting you off there. Um, if you wanna talk about content thieves, that’s different.

Maddox:  Well, no, no.  This is the majority of the content on…no one is creating Facebook native content.  This is all stolen content!  There’s maybe like 5% to 10% of people are creating…and these are big websites that are creating content native to Facebook, but it’s all stolen shit!  One of the worst, notorious content aggregators on Facebook right now is this guy named “SoFlo Antonio”.

Asterios:  Mhmm.

Maddox: Um, there’s this big…again, H3H3 productions did a big thing about them, but…SoFlo Antonio was stealing everyone’s videos, right?  And under the guise of Fair Use, he’d record a 3-second bumper at the top of it.  (Asterios chuckles)  He would say, “Hey guys, here’s how I look when I’m driving a car.”  And then he’d cut to someone else’s viral vine video.

Asterios: Uh-huh.

Dick: Hmm.

Maddox: It’s like, “No, shithead, that’s a different person! You had nothing to do with this content, and by the way, that’s the same joke they’re making!  You’re just stealing their content and throwing your shitty fucking watermark on it!!”  And Facebook is starting to roll out ads.  They’re starting to experiment with ads on this platform.  They’re trying to monetize videos, right?  To compete with YouTube.  So…they went to SoFlo Antonio, believe it or not, as one of the first people they wanted to monetize for content.  His STOLEN-ASS content from fucking YouTube!  And he…there’s…this rabbit hole goes so deep.  They even found out that this SoFlo guy created a second shadow puppet account that he was crediting for the content that he took, right?

Asterios:  Nice!

Dick: Oh, that’s pretty smart.

Asterios:  That’s really clever.

Maddox:  Well, he got caught.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: Um, so…

Asterios: (interjects) But it worked for a while.

Dick: He used two accounts.

Asterios:  I mean, he made money for a while, clearly.  It’s like…that’s all…like, every scam ends. 

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  But if you could keep the money, great!

Dick:  Is there any repercussions for any of these people?  Everyone’s just stealing each other’s shitty content, like, all day, reacting to whatever…

Maddox:  N…that’s the thing, Dick.

Dick: Driving their car.

Maddox: That’s the thing.  Facebook…when Facebook first started out…I would find my stolen content on there, a lot.  And I would just file a takedown notice.  I would say, “Hey guys…either..”  I would first reach out to the creator.  I’d say, “Hey, please take this down.  You didn’t credit me, you stole it from me.”  Etc, etc.  And sometimes it’s innocuous.  Sometimes people say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t steal it from you, I saw it on this other website that stole it from you.”  I’m like okay, fine, whatever.  Take it down.  Or credit me, either way.  Um, ‘cause for small-time creators, like, people who are small to mid-level, it really hurts your bottom line.  It really hurts you!!  Because this content is just aggregated out there, without any credit!  Without any click-throughs, and without growing your personal brand!  And as someone who’s not a content creator, who doesn’t create content on YouTube, you guys wouldn’t understand this.  But for me, I…I do a LOT on YouTube, and I work REALLY hard on my videos.  And I pay money out of my pocket to hire an editor to work on my videos.  And I pay for produced clips.  I pay for stock photos.  And I pay for stock videos.  And I license images, and sound effects, and graphics, and music, and EVERYTHING.  And for me…for someone like me to then have to sit there and watch some shithead, Morning Radio Zoo profit off of my hard work, is really intolerable.  It's really hard to stomach!

Dick: They’re stealing your videos, with your face?

Maddox: Oh, yeah. 

Dick:  Talking to the camera?

Maddox:  Sure! Absolutely. They’ll even do it on YouTube, but at least YouTube has built into its system some way to take that stuff down.  If someone is just stealing your content.  I mean, people will do it with anything popular.

Dick:  Why isn’t there a huge lawsuit for this?

Maddox:  Well…

Asterios:  I think it’s kinda like…

Dick:  (interjects)  Why isn’t there, like, a big class-action lawsuit with all these creators who are always complaining about this stuff?

Asterios:  I think it’s…I mean, you probably know more about this than I do, but I think, like, it’s like…well, what law are you breaking?  I bet there’s a lot of inter-state commerce at play.  You know, it’s like…you ever hear, like, if someone steals your identity, it’s, like, really hard to fucking take them to court? 

Dick:  No, I didn’t know that.

Asterios:  Because, like, yeah.  Like..

Dick:  (interjects) ‘Cause how are you gonna prove it’s you?!

Asterios:  Exactly!!

Dick:  It’s like if there’s a robot of you, right?

Asterios: Mhmm.

Dick: Like, the judge is not gonna know which is the real you.

Asterios:  No, what they do is, like, the fake you and you will, like, swap positions a bunch…

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  And then you’ll be like, “It’s me!”  “No, it’s me!” and, you know.  It always…it’s pretty funny.

Dick:  Yeah.

Asterios:  Yeah.  But I mean, you know.  A lot of it is interstate commerce.  Like, if someone steals Maddox’s video that he made in California, in Iowa, there’s a problem there.  Well, you know, what court has jurisdiction? Well, what law did you break?  Did you break a law in California, but not in Iowa?  Well, the guy’s in Iowa, what are you gonna do, extradite him to California?  Bla, bla, bla

Dick: Ehhh.  Internet makes no sense.

Asterios:  All this shit sucks! Yeah.  It sucks!

Maddox:  No, you break…you break copyright laws.  This is essentially another Viacom.  What’s happening…like, Viacom originally…the whole reason YouTube has the DMCA takedown and they have automatic content ID, is because of Viacom.  Viacom brought a 1-billion dollar lawsuit, I believe, against YouTube, a long time ago.

Dick:  There you go.

Maddox: Yeah.  And it was a big lawsuit, and YouTube told the judge, I think, in that case.  I think they may have settled, or they let it go, they dropped the case.  But they essentially said, “Look, we are protected under the Safe Harbor Act”.  I think the Safe Harbor act online means that if you’re a large content…I guess, host, right?

Asterios:  Host, yeah.

Maddox:  And people upload a lot of content, it’s impossible to police them all, right? 

Asterios:  Yeah.

Maddox: So…you’re protected under Safe Harbor, but…

Dick: Hmm.

Maddox:  The judge said, “Well, that’s not good enough, because there are ways you can prevent some of this.  There is content ID technology, and that’s why Google developed this content ID technology. “ to assuage the Viacoms of this world.  And there’s no reason…look.  Facebook has some of the most sophisticated face detection software in the world.  They can do content matching anytime, anywhere they please.  They’re just not doing it. 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox:  Because they want to artificially inflate these numbers.

Dick: That sucks.

Maddox:  And this…yeah.  This Medium article goes on.  It says, “This might seem like it’s a victimless crime, but it fundamentally values the number one metric of online video, which is the watch rate and the retention time.”  The view is the thing that everyone talks about, and it’s the thing that creators sell to advertisers in order to make a living.  Applying that word to something that is far less valuable is going to be extremely disruptive to creators.  Ad agencies and brands are confused enough without Facebook muddying the waters and calling something a view when it isn’t one.

Dick:  Well, I saw this thing…on YouTube.  Um…I don’t remember what the guy’s name was, but his schtick is he’s got two little figures talking to each other, and one guy has, like, a big nose, and the other one has a big chin.

Asterios:  Okay.

Maddox:  Grade A Under A. 

Dick:  Is that it?

Maddox: Yeah!  Grade A Under At.

Dick:   He did this big video about how so much content theft goes on on YouTube, and the guys who steal the content will be huge guys.  They’ll get ALLLLLLLLL the money from all the views.  And then YouTube will shut them down and just not…and not give all the money to the guy whose video they determined it was.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios:  Yeah.

Dick:  They’ll just let the guy keep the money. It’s like, well…is that their…are they the cops, here?  They’re just, like, taking the money and keeping it?  Who the fuck is…who’s holding these people accountable for this stuff, nobody? 

Asterios:  Well, it’s funny, because YouTube is both the platform and the advertiser.  You know, with YouTube AdSense.  Like, what’s the gap between content and payment, like, 3 months?  Or is there a cap on it?  Like, after you break $50?  At what point do you get paid for your YouTube video?

Maddox:  Well, I am with an MCN called FullScreen.  Fullscreen is the largest MCN out there.  And MCN stands for multi-channel network.  And I believe the cap is $50 or $100 that you have to accrue in revenue for them to pay out, and then the payment is once every 30 days.

Asterios:  Yeah. I mean, they have all the information.

Dick:  Right.

Asterios:  Like…it seems like it would be super easy for…you know.  Just create a gap.  Create a 30-day or 60-day lag in the payment, and then determine whether or not this person actually created their content.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  If there was, like, a DMC takedown against it, or Maddox, who’s like, you know.  You’re a YouTube partner.  You know, you shoot stuff at the YouTube space all the time.

Maddox: Right.

Asterios:  Like, they know who you are.  If you find out that someone’s stealing your content, God, you’d think they’d make it easy.

Dick:  Ahh, somebody’s gotta sue the fuck out of ‘em.  That’s the only thing that’s gonna change this.

Maddox: But the difficulty here is, Dick…is that YouTube is a blessing and a curse, because it has democratized distribution.  Now anyone with a good idea and enough time…

Asterios:  A fucking iPhone!

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: Well, or a better phone, which is on the market for years…(Sean and Asterios laugh) with better resolution and they’re waterproof.  They have better image stabilization technology.

Dick:  All the smartest nerds use it.  (Maddox chuckles)

Asterios:  Mhmm.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  Mhmm.

Maddox: Anyway, so anyone can create content and upload it to YouTube now.

Sean:  And that’s the problem!

Maddox: No, well, it can be.

Dick:  Yeah, it is a big problem, isn’t is, Sean?!

Asterios:  Yeah, there’s no gatekeepers!!

Maddox:  It can be, Sean!

Asterios:  Riff-raff’s getting through the gate over here!!!

Maddox: It can’t…

Asterios:  (interjects) What used to not be entertainment, like a man standing still, screaming about something…now gets watched by hundreds of thousands of people! (they chuckle)  There used to be a way to stop this!!!

Dick: Yeah. (Asterios sighs)

Maddox:  So there are all these…

Dick: (interjects)  I agree.  (they laugh)  Somebody sends me a YouTube video, nothing on Earth will make me watch that fucking thing. 

Asterios: (laughs)  I know!!!

Maddox: Yeah, fuck you, Dick! You watch YouTube videos!!

Dick:  Gimme a summary.

Maddox: You know what? No joke.  All joking aside.  I consume more YouTube content than actual TV content these days.

Dick:  Mmm.

Maddox:  I watch YouTube way more than I watch TV.  There’s certain YouTube creators…I finally found some YouTube creators online who I…consistently like their content. In fact, Dick, you mentioned one of them.  Grade A Under A.

Dick: Mhmm.

Maddox:  Is a great YouTube channel.  If you guys haven’t seen it, check it out.  Grade A Under A.  It’s this guy who does these rants in this really heavy British accent.

Dick: Yeah.  I dunno what ethnicity he is. 

Maddox: Yeah. He’s in the UK. Uh, he was a math teacher.  His…his identity is still kinda mysterious.  But his content is pretty solid.  And then there’s a bunch of people on YouTube now who are essentially doing…they’re almost like slightly visual podcasts.

Asterios: Yeah!

Maddox:  So I’ll go to their channels and I’ll watch them, and they’ll throw some content on there.  Um…some visual content as well.  But it’s pretty entertaining content.  Anyway.  Because you have all these new people coming up.  They’re mid to large-size channels, and by mid to large size, I mean anywhere from, I dunno. Anywhere from, like, 100,000 to a million subscribers.

Asterios:  Okay.

Maddox: Uh, to give you an idea.  Now, their channels are big, and they’re making money.  They’re making a living off of their YouTube channels; however, they’re not big enough to be this huge corporate entity that will then go to Facebook and say, “Take down our content or we’re gonna sue you.” That’s what the problem is, today.  A lot of these content creators are just…they’re big, but not big enough to do anything about it.

Dick:  You need an Erin Brockovich. She took on the WHOLE government.

Maddox: Yeah?

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  Remember that scene where she served those other lawyers water? 

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: I’ve never seen it.

Asterios: And they were like, “Oh, this water’s delicious.”

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  “Where is this water from?”  And she’s like, “I peed in the water.  I’m Erin Brockovich, water pisser.”

Dick:  Yeah. 

Asterios:  And they were like, “Oh my God, no!!!!”

Dick:  (interjects) And (inaudible) was like, “How’d you get all this stuff?”  And she’s like, “They’re called boobs, Ed.”  (they laugh)

Asterios:  That was a great scene, too.

Dick:  That was a great scene, too.

Asterios:  Let’s talk more about Erin Brockovich.

Dick: Yeah.  So you gotta sue these guys.  You.  You, file a lawsuit against ‘em.  Fuck ‘em.

Maddox:  Well…a lot of times, in order to have a lawsuit against a company and for it to stick, you have to prove damages.

Asterios:  You…I can prove your damages!!

Maddox:  Well, sure. 

Asterios:  Like, this is money that you can prove could have gone to you, because you look at…if a guy got 200,000 views on your content, let’s see who monetized that at SCALE.  Well, you know, what’s 200,000 views if you don’t have an AdSense deal? What is it, like, 10 cents per thousand, or something?

Maddox: No.  It’s actually…it’s…so, YouTube, on average…

Asterios:  Yeah.

Maddox:  Depends on your MCN.  Depends on a lot of different things.

Asterios:  For, like, a normal person.  Not for someone that has a deal.  You know?

Maddox:  Uh, no.  I think for a normal person, it is about $1.50 for a thousand views.

Asterios:  Yeah.  So if someone has 200,000 views, $1.50 each, let’s do some math.  Okay, put a pause in here, for the podcast.

Maddox:  For a hundred…

Asterios:  (interjects) And I’m gonna calculate her, I’ll be back in two days.

Maddox:  Asterios, it’s like 175.  That’s how much you’d be making.

Asterios:  That’s $175 goddamn dollars that’s been taken out of your pocket, I can prove your damages!!

Maddox:  Right.  But then, you have to…first of all, you have to prove that would have been monetized.  You have to prove that you would have had that equivalent number of views on YouTube.  I mean, you could make the case.  But then, at the end of the day, the lawsuit costs time and money. If I’m gonna be embroiled in some lawsuit that’s gonna last me weeks or months of my time, those are weeks and months of productivity that I have lost.

Dick:  Well, not YOU. 

Asterios:  You need Full Screen to do it !!

Dick:  You need Erin Brockovich!  Yeah.

Asterios:  You need Erin Brockovich to team up with Full Screen. 

Dick: Not you.  It’s a class action.  Everybody teams up.

Asterios:  Exactly.  And you’ll get a lot of PR out of it, like when Adam Corolla went after those podcasting patent trolls.

Maddox:  Mmmm. Yeah.

Asterios: It raised his profile in the industry.

Maddox:  That’s true.

Dick: This happens every time there’s a new technology, though.  Like, there was…at the turn of the century, wasn’t that stupid…that bullet to the moon movie?  Widely ripped off?  Like, this kind of piracy seems to be rampant every time there’s a new technology.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios:  That’s absolutely true. 

Maddox:  Well, it sucks, and it hurts small and medium-sized creators.  It actually does affect our bottom lines.  It sucks to see our content stolen.  And also, here’s one of the most insidious side effects of Facebook video.  It has changed the way people are producing content online.  Now, I’ve turned off Facebook video.  I highly recommend everyone do this.

Asterios: Ohohoo.  I love this.

Maddox:  Go to your settings in Facebook, and there’s a setting, thank God, that lets you turn off autoplaying videos.  And since I’ve done that, I’ve seen hardly any videos in my news feed.  I love it.

Dick: Hmm.

Maddox: Um, however, I will go to news sites and I will click play on their news article and I’ll notice some weird phenomenon happening.  There’s no words.  There’s nobody saying anything.  It’s just playing some weird music track, and then it’s showing a bunch of subtitles on the screen, and I thought, “Oh, of course, because they’re creating content now FOR Facebook.”  They’re creative Facebook-native content.  Some of these news channels.  With no words, no dialog, no sound effects, nothing but just a music track playing and then a bunch of subtitles, because they know that the Facebook native player doesn’t play sound.

Dick: So they leave it off, for someone to click on, on the sound?

Maddox:  They don’t even do any sound design anymore. Everything has subtitles on it.  So all the content you’re gonna consume from now on is going to be giant, blocky-text subtitles, because of Facebook video.

Asterios:  It’s now a best practice when you’re creating a digital ad, to have subtitles on it. 

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  Because you imagine that it’s on Twitter, it’s on Facebook. No one’s gonna turn the sound on.  We still wanna…you know, we want to try to capture attention, so it has subtitles on it. 

Maddox: It’s…

Asterios:  (interjects) That doesn’t bother me that much.

Dick:  Yeah, me neither.

Asterios: Who cares?

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox:  Well, I’ll tell you who cares, is because you have limited screen real estate, and if you have to use some of that time…first of all, it takes time to produce those subtitles, and it takes time to sync them up, and then you have to have everything completely transcribed.  And then that just adds to your production time!  It’s a lot of extra work that I don’t want to have to do because of fucking Facebook!  If you want to watch my video, watch it in the way I intended it to be seen, don’t watch it with fucking subtitles on!  If you want to watch it with subtitles, then, you know.  Download a fucking movie and you can watch it with subtitles all day long, but don’t make ME change the way I product content and do extra work because of your SHITTY format.

Sean:  Yeah, he’s an artist, for fuck’s sake! (Dick laughs)

Dick: Just like John Lennon.  (Sean laughs)

Maddox:  I hate John Lennon!

Dick: To get that reference, you gotta get our BONUS episode!!

Maddox: Oh, man, I went on a good John Lennon rant for all those haters. (chuckles)  Check it out, 1:33 on the website.  Um, oh, one final note, I guess.  I’ll just end on this with a Facebook video.  They’ve also changed the way that people click on videos.  So…normally, the way you click on a video to pause it on YouTube is what? You just click the video again, right?

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox:  That pauses the video.  Facebook has started to change that, so it no longer pauses the video; however, what it does is it enlarges the window.  No, Facebook!  I don’t want to enlarge the fucking window, you dipshits!!

Dick: Hmm.

Maddox:  I want to PAUSE the fucking video so I can move on with my life!!

Asterios:  That’s really funny.  (laughs)  That Facebook is just, like, instead of allowing you to stop the thing that’s annoying you, it…

Dick:  (interjects)  Makes more of it.

Asterios: Yeah. It pretends that it doesn’t know that.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios:  And it just makes it take up your whole goddamn phone.  That’s great.

Maddox:  I hate it so much.

Asterios:  I love you, Mark Zuckerberg!  You’re a huge asshole and I love you!

Dick: Take him to bed?  Mark Zucker…do you love him that much, or?

Asterios:  Well, it would have to be a comfortable mattress.

Dick:  I hope so!  Today’s show is brought to you by Casper. (Maddox chuckles) Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting and using promo code BIGGEST.  Casper is an online realtor of premium mattresses, you guys.  Mattresses can often cost well over $1500.

Asterios: Mhmm.

Dick:  But Casper mattresses cost between $500 for a twin-size mattress, $600 for a twin XL, $750 for a full-size, $850 for a queen size…guess how much a king size is? 

Asterios: How much?!

Dick: Did you notice the pattern?  $950 for a king size mattress.  Maddox has one, he loves it.  He’s got…I can see them from here. There are three women in his bed right now.

Maddox:  MHMM. 

Dick:  One of them is sleeping, so you know it’s a good bed. It’s not…it has nothing to do with Facebook videos.  (Asterios cracks up)

Asterios:  And you know it’s a good podcast, because one of them is sleeping!! (laughs)

Maddox:  Always a good sign.  It’s a GOOD mattress and a bad podcast. That’s how you know that Casper mattresses are comfortable.  (laughs)

Dick: Anyway.  Get $50 off by going to and using promo code BIGGEST.

Asterios:  If you don’t mind me asking, just…hey, ladies!  How comfortable is that bed?  Shout out how comfortable that bed is!!

(Ladies in background:  “So comfortable!”  “Really comfortable.”  “Very comfortable.”)

Asterios:  Alright…

Dick:  Really comfortable and super comfortable.

Asterios:  Scream that sexier, please!!

(Ladies in background:  “SO COMFORTABLE!! OHHH!” (sexy))

Maddox: Okay.  Alright.

Dick:  It moved.  (Asterios and Maddox laugh) Alright, Asterios.  What’s your…what’s your problem?

Asterios:  My problem this week is Political Satire!!

Dick: Oh, good.  Yeah.

Asterios:  Political Satire!  I see…Maddox wincing?

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick:  I hate political satire.

Asterios:  I also hate political satire.

Maddox: Why?  Why?

Dick: So much. So much.

Maddox: Why do you…

Asterios:  (interjects) Well, you know what?!

Dick: It’s so smu…go ahead.

Asterios:  I’ll prove it with stats, okay?

Maddox: Okay.

Asterios:  I’ll prove it with stats.

Dick: No.

Maddox: Let’s hear this.

Dick:  Prove it with shouting.

Sean: NOW Maddox is interested.

Asterios: Alright. Right.  Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush impression closed 0 Guantanamo Bays!!! (Dick and Sean laugh)

Maddox: Huh. 

Dick: Really?

Asterios:  Uh, 0 Trump supporters were convinced to change their vote after watching SNL’s hilarious Racists for Trump sketch.  And 0 Democrats stopped loving Michael Moore after the scene in the movie An American Carol, where a nuclear bomb destroys everything but Michael Moore’s giant ass.  Can you believe it?

Dick:  I can’t believe it.  (grins)

Maddox: Nope.

Asterios:  It’s true!  These are stats!!

Dick: Well, wait a minute. Wait a minute. How many Trump supporters…

Asterios: Uh-huh.

Dick:  Switched to Bernie because of Make Trump Drumpf Again?

Asterios:  Ohhh.  Ugggggggh.

Dick:  The Drumpf hashtag….surely the Drumpf hashtag was SO eviscerating and SO destructive.

Asterios:  I know.

Dick:  To the man’s political…to his policies.

Asterios:  Yup.

Dick: To the…to unwavering support of millions of Am…

Asterios:  Uh-huh.

Dick: Surely, a hashtag did SOMETHING!!

Asterios:  Well…lemme tell you, my slacktivist-loving friend!

Dick: Yes!

Asterios: Uh, the Make Donald Drumpf Again segment…

Dick: Right!

Asterios:  …of the Jon Oliver show, Last Week Tonight. Is officially the most-watched piece of content in HBO history.

Maddox: Yeah!

Dick:  Is it really?!

Maddox: It’s…

Asterios:  (interjects) It was just…I read about it today, in USA Today.  It is the video clip that has been watched the most out of ANYTHING HBO has EVER MADE!!!  The last episode of the Sopranos…the scene where the naked chick walked through some fire to get her goddamn dragons!!!  Everything!!

Dick: Yeah.  (annoyed) 

(Sound effect: ‘Ding!’)

Asterios:  However…

Maddox:  Yeah!!

Asterios:  How many Trump supporters no longer support Trump because they found out his name was Drumpf?

Dick: (giggles) Absolutely not.

Maddox: No…(stammers)

Asterios:  Fucking none!!

Dick: How many of those fucking hats did they sell to retards?

Asterios: Yeah!

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  Exactly.

Maddox:  What are you talking about…

Dick:  (interjects)  30,000.

Maddox:  Donald Trump, the Make America Great Again hats? (laughing)  (they all talk over each other)  But here’s the thing, Asterios.  Um, that clip that you’re talking about…

Asterios: Yes.

Maddox: Which I highly recommend everyone watch.  It’s really well done.

Asterios:  It’s VERY funny!

Maddox:  It’s very funny.

Asterios:  That’s not my problem with it.

Dick: It’s only funny if you support that political side.

Maddox: No it’s not, you blowhard!  You can laugh at things that make fun of your POSITION.  I laugh at things that make fun of things that I believe in, all the time!!  I…(stammers) brought in a comment at the top of this episode making fun of my wallet thing!  I mean, come on!  You gotta get over yourself!

Asterios:  Mhmm.

Maddox: Look, funny is funny regardless, right?  If it’s funny, I’m gonna laugh at it.  I don’t care what political side it’s coming from.

Asterios:  And honestly, I agree with that.  One of the reasons I started lis…one of the reasons that I really liked this show, was I was like, “There’s two really hilarious conservatives who are just yelling about all these policies that I disagree with, but they’re fucking hilarious!”  Now I’m sorry to call you both conservatives.  I know that you have different words for your political positions.  (Maddox chuckles) But, like…as a huge, flaming Liberal from New York, I was like, “These two conservatives are hysterical!”  That being said, my problem with political satire in the year 2016…(Dick starts laughing) is that it preaches to the choir.

Dick: Yeah!

Asterios:  It doesn’t…it’s not a mechanism for persuasion. It’s a mechanism for essentially reinforcing the opinion you already had when you clicked PLAY.  Because a conservative isn’t gonna watch anything Jon Oliver makes.  And a Liberal wasn’t gonna vote for Trump in the first place!  The only reason this content exists is ‘cause it’s monetizable entertainment!! You know?  It exists so that Slate, on Monday morning, can put out a little piece that’s like, “Jon Oliver EVISCERATES DONALD TRUMP!!!”

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  With DEVASTATING takedown!!  And it’s like, “No, he’s got more delegates than ever.  He’s more powerful than ever before!”  (grins)  You know?  And so the Breitbarts of the world can be, like, “Can you believe this limey Brit is making fun of a huge hero, Donald Trump?”  And everybody makes money, and nobody’s opinions are changed.

Dick: No.

Asterios:  And nothing is fixed!! 

Dick: It’s built to turn YOU into a hype machine for HBO. 

Asterios: Yeah!

Maddox: No…(skeptical)

Dick: It’s built to be a hashtag, because you are stupid and have no opinions.  (Asterios laughs) You could not make these WITHERING criticisms on your own, so you just jump on board Jon Oliver! You suction onto one of his crooked teeth…(Asterios laughs)  and just start repeating whatever he says!

Asterios:  His teeth are VERY...let’s not make fun of the man’s teeth.  He’s got perfect teeth! (laughing)

Maddox: Well, you guys…

Dick: It’s…

Asterios:  Well, we’ve been yelling a lot.  I want to hear what you have to say. 

Maddox: You guys…

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: I’m sorry.

Maddox:  You guys are saying a lot of pretty words.  I like your words a lot.  (Sean giggles) These are good. They’re big.  They’re tremendous words.  Really good.

Asterios: They’re yuge!!!

Maddox:  They’re huge…they’re yuge words. 

Dick:  Smiling as though it’s a joke.  (Asterios laughs)

Maddox: I’m sorry…

Dick: (interjects) It’s only funny if you hate Trump!!

(Sound effect: ‘Wrong’ buzzer)

Maddox:  I’m sorry…no it’s not, you blow…like, you can laugh at yourself.  You can laugh at things that are genuinely funny.

Dick: Mhmm.

Maddox:  That’s all I’m saying. But here’s the thing, Asterios. If this were the case…

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox: That only people who watch political satire are watching it to reaffirm their point of view, then there would be no such thing as conservative authors going on The Daily Show, or conservative authors going on the Colbert Report.  Or Jon Oliver…well, Jon Oliver doesn’t really have guests on his show, but…

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox:  There’s a thing in the publishing industry.  This phenomenon called the Colbert Bump, or the Stewart Bump.

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox: And that’s when authors, conservative OR liberal, go on these shows, both…they all see bumps in their book sales. Now, you cannot tell me that it’s only one political party watching this content, because political satire is the one thing that transcends your political point of view. Now if…(stammers) things like…

Dick: (interjects) I don’t think Asterios is saying that.

Maddox: Well, things like Breitbart and things like Drudge Report and MSNBC, or Fox News, whatever.  They are preaching very much to the choir.

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox:  And people who consume their content are very staunchly conservative, but political satire SPECIFICALLY is something that transcends lines, because…

Asterios: (interjects) It should!  I just don’t think it does in 2016.

Dick:  It should, it doesn’t.  No.

Asterios:  I agree that in the days of Tammany Hall, when, like, the political cartoon essentially took down a crooked establishment in New York, like, yeah.  Political satire had an effect.  Even in the 1970s, when, you know, fucking Chevy Chase is falling off a ladder and calling Gerald Ford a bumbling asshole.  Like, the whole country was, like, “Yeah, that guy is a bumbling asshole.”  Yeah, I agree that it used to, but the specific thing that you were saying about, like, a conservative author going on the talk show portion of a show that’s watched by a million people…

Dick: Mhmm.

Asterios:  And getting more book sales? Well, it’s like, “Well yeah.  If that guy went on the Today Show, they’d probably see a bump in their fucking book sales too, because millions of people watch The Today Show.”  I mean, that’s PR.

Maddox: No, the Today Show is apolitical.  You’re talking about…supposedly, right? That…people would say that Jon Stewart’s show, when he was on Comedy Central, was Liberal.

Asterios:  It was.

Maddox: It was liberal leaning.

Dick: It was.

Maddox:  It was liberal leaning, and same with Colbert Report.  They would say that the Colbert Report was liberal learning.

Dick: Mhmm.

Asterios:  Yeah.

Maddox:  Right?  So you wouldn’t expect a bump in conservative author’s books from a liberal audience.

Dick: Why not?

Asterios:  Why wouldn’t they pick up the opposition’s book just to be informed? 

Maddox:  Well, then you’re undermining your own argument here!!

Asterios:  No…

Dick: Not at all.

Asterios:  Honestly, we’re discussing two different things. I’m talking about comedic content that is…that is political satire.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: I’m talking about when SNL has a guy go on change and be like, “I’m Trump, bump-a-dump-a-doo. I’m stupid.”

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  “I eat poop.” Like, that sucks.  I’m not talking about…William Crystal!

Dick:  (interjects) But that’s the conversation we’re all having now!  Is Drumpf!  Is how stupid his hair is!!! 

Asterios: Yeah, exactly.

Dick: That’s the political conversation!  Nevermind that whoever’s president could set the direction of the country for 50, 100 years by picking three Supreme Court justices! His hair is stupid!!

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: That’s why!  A bird flew onto Bernie’s podium!! (Asterios laughs) That’s why!!! 

Asterios:  Yeah.  Hillary Clinton talks like a robot! Oh, she doesn’t know how to relate to people!!!

Dick: And we’ve got a generation of people who are PROUD that this is where they get their political opinion!

Asterios: Absolutely true.

Dick: From Jon Oliver!

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: How many fucking…adults!!  Voting adults! Say, “Oh, I get my news from comedians.”

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: “Not from the news or from politicians.” You know what that says?! You have a shitty attention span and you don’t want to pay attention to what matters!

Asterios:  Yeah!  That you need the sugar…

Dick: (interjects) You want bite-sized, Happy Meal-sized treats that immediately vindicate every little impulse you have, and you don’t have to think for a second! What’s wrong with Trump? His name used to be Drumpf!! (Asterios laughs) That’s it! You nai…go buy a hat, you stupid seal!”

Maddox:  From a fucking 10-minute video, you took a 5-second blurb, and that’s all you got from it!!!! Talk about people who…

Dick:  (interjects) That’s all you were supposed to take from it!!

Maddox: No, it wasn’t!  No, it wasn’t, shithead!! That video was so informative and so well-done!!

Dick: Oh, it was HORRIBLY done!!

Maddox:  No, it absolutely was.

Dick: It was HORRIBLY done.

Maddox:  All you took from it…you’re sitting here  chastising people who get their information in bite-sized pieces because they don’t have an attention span, yet all you can hone in on is Drumpf.  Yeah, that was a 5-second joke at the tail end of a brilliantly-done segment.

Dick: People have dissected that video better than me.

Maddox: J…Jon…

Dick:  (inaudible) have torn it apart!  It was all horseshit!!

Maddox:  No, it wasn’t!  No, it wasn’t!!

Dick: If it wasn’t horseshit, it would have been two-sided!  It was all 100% against Trump!  It was just built for that fucking audience! Nobody is that one-sided!  It couldn’t possibly be the case where you build a perfect video against one person! Like, you couldn’t do that against Hillary, and she’s the Devil!! (Asterios cracks up)  There’s good and bad.  If you’re gonna actually be…like, if you’re pretending to be a fucking journalist, these FUCKING comedians like Jon Oliver…they act like journalists, but when you bust them for having NO journalistic integrity, cherry picking everything and giving you an incredibly biased view of an event or a person, like Trump, they just say, “Well, we’re just comedians.”  “Well, we’re just comedians.” Like, yeah, but you’re acting like a fucking journalist, you prick!! (yelling)

Asterios: Wow!!!

Maddox: But Dick…all he did…

Dick:  (interjects) That’s what he’s doing!

Maddox: No, all he did…he’s not a journalist, and he’s not pretending to be.

Dick: Oh, yes he is.

Maddox: No, he’s not!  No, he’s not!  It’s a comedy show…

Dick:  Right.

Maddox:  And that’s why political satire SPECIFICALLY is important, because it cuts through the political discourse! People are not gonna be going to NewsMax from the left, and people are not going to be going to MSNBC from the right!  They’re not interested in that.  They just want to reaffirm their world view! However, a comedy show is the ONE fucking hope that we have! The one fucking hope that someone is gonna click on it just to be entertained for a few minutes and get a laugh, and MAYBE learn a thing or too.  Yeah, some people are gonna be staunchly conservative or staunchly liberal in whatever opinions they have of the world.  Of course!  But Jon Oliver is not doing this under the pretense of being a journalist!!  He’s doing a comedy show!

Dick: Oh, he knows he is!!

Asterios:  Well, okay, listen.  Whether…look.  Personally, I disagree that Jon Oliver is presenting himself as a journalist.  I think he’s presenting himself…

Dick:  (interjects) Behind a news desk in a suit?

Asterios:  It’s a parody.  I mean, Weekend Update was a parody of the news.

Dick:  Until it wasn’t! Until Jon Stewart started giving GIGANTIC speeches in Washington, DC, about returning to…what was his thing?!  Return to reason?

Asterios: Yeah, the return to civility.

Dick: Oh, yeah.  That’s a…what a hilarious name!

Asterios:  Look.   I know that comedians dabble in politics.  I mean, for Chrissakes, we have a…Al Frankin is a senator.

Dick: Al Frankin.

Asterios:  But I don’t want to parse it…I mean, honestly, that’s not my problem with it.  My problem isn’t that, like, they say they’re comedians when it’s convenient, and they say they’re newsmen when it’s convenient.

Dick:  Mhmm.

Asterios:  Yeah, I mean, that does happen, but whatever.  If it’s funny, it’s funny.  My problem is that political satire is now hypertargeted.  If you see Jon Oliver, if you see Trevor Noah, if you see Stephen Colbert in…(stammers) in Facebook, you’re not gonna click it.

Dick: Nope.

Asterios:  Because you’re like, “These guys are all fucking liberals, they’re in the tank for Hillary, they’re in the tank for Bernie.”

Maddox:  Asterios, what evidence do you have for any of this? You’re saying that no one…like, it’s not persuading to anyone, and NOBODY’s clicking through…here’s the thing.

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox:  There is a certain point, right?  Even with my own content.

Asterios:  Yeah.

Maddox:  Where when my content breaches a certain threshold of viewers, all bets are out the window.  For example, I produced a little parody of the stupid meme that was floating around a couple of months ago.  And…my version of it got, like, at least 34 to 40 million views. 

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox:  And after a certain point, I’m no longer preaching to my audience. I’m no longer reaching my audience.  I’m reaching an audience I never intended to.  I started reaching mothers and grandmothers and daughters and grandparents and people who would NEVER read or consume my content, were coming to my page and sending me hate mail.  Because they were…that was reaching a huge, huge audience. Now, there’s a point where this Jon Oliver clip has to have penetrated the other side.  Now there’s…I don’t see any evidence to suggest that it’s so targeted that only liberals are watching Jon Oliver, etc, or only conservatives are watching a conservative satirist, if you can find one.

Asterios:  There isn’t one. 

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: No.

Asterios:  I mean, there’s what’s his name.  The guy that hosted Update in the 90’s, who after 9/11…

Dick:  Dennis Miller.

Maddox:  Dennis Miller, yeah.

Asterios:  There’s Dennis Miller.

Dick: But he’s not a satirist.

Maddox: He tried to be, yeah.

Asterios: Well, no.  He goes…I mean, he has a stand-up special on Netflix, like, where the opening joke is, like…what’s the name of the current governor of California, Jerry Brown?  Where he’s like, “Mah, Jerry Brown sticks, boop-boop-bee-doo.  Waah.  Charlemagne.  Jerry Brown.”  (Dick chuckles)  Like, he tries, you know.

Dick:  Yeah.

Asterios:  And the reason he is a conservative stand-up comedian is because he can make money at it.  He can sell tickets to conservatives, you know?  That’s…

Dick: (interjects) Well, you don’t think he is?

Asterios:  I KNOW he’s a co…I…absolutely.

Dick: Oh, okay.

Asterios:  Because he’s a 9/11 conservative. He’s one of those guys that, like, shit their pants after 9/11 and was, like, “I’m a conservative now. I’m scared I’m gonna die.”

Dick:  I did, but it was a coincidence. (Asterios guffaws)

Asterios:  Well…I don’t wanna…we’ve discussed your pants in…I don’t wanna bring up your pants. Well, here’s what I’ll say about the Make Donald Drumpf Again thing.  If it did have an effect on every voter, then I don’t think Trump would be as strong as he is. 

Maddox: It doesn’t.

Asterios:  That’s the most…I’m sorry?

Maddox:  No, you’re right.  It doesn’t. 

Asterios:  Yeah.  I mean, this is the most popular piece of content in the history of Home Box Office, a giant corporation owned by a bigger corporation. We’ve all seen this content.  And…is it gonna change the way any of us vote? Like, I was not gonna vote for Trump before.  I’m not gonna vote for Trump now.

Maddox: Yeah, but..

Asterios: (interjects) I feel better that I saw some Tru…the reason I think current political satire is useless, is that it’s sort of outrage porn in a different form!

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  We all like to feel outraged about something. Back when Stewart was on the Daily Show…

Dick:  (interjects)  It’s snark porn!!

Asterios:  …it’s, yeah!!

Dick: (interjects) It’s not don’t get outraged, you just have this smug sense of self, like, “I’m that clever.  That’s right.  That guy’s that clever, and he thinks that?  I hate Trump, too, I’m that clever.”

Asterios: Yeah, “And then I’m gonna go to a party later that night and I’m gonna spit out John Stewart’s opinion.  And I’m gonna feel better about it!

Dick:  Yeah.

Asterios:  It’s a way to arm each…and look.  This is just my opinion.  I feel like it’s a way to arm each side with talking points.  That, like, reinforce their positions.  I feel like it’s a way to state what you think in a more clever way.  For example, when John Stewart…John Stewart had a year-long campaign against Fox News.  Every night, you could  tune in and watch OUTRAGEOUS Fox News clips.  Clips of Fox News correspondents on Fox and Friends, like, saying the dumbest things in the world, and I watch that, I’m like, “Haha.  I don’t watch Fox News.  I’m smarter than that.”  (Dick laughs)  Like, but here’s the problem….here’s my pro…and I’m sorry, I know you w…would you…I can take a break if you want to talk.  I’m sorry.

Maddox: Yeah, I wanna say something.

Asterios:  Sure.

Maddox:  Here’s the thing.  As someone who is a professional satirist, it’s my job to write satire.  My whole entire career.

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox: I have gotten notes, my whole entire career, from people who come to my website, and they say, “Maddox, I can see through your writing and I can see the message you’re trying to say here, but you say it in such a way that’s sarcastic and caustic and abrasive.  Why don’t you clean up your act and clean up your language so that people will take you more seriously?”  And I write back to them with so much anger and vitriol, because they don’t GET what I’m doing.  They’re…the way that I speak, and the way that I present my material reaches an audience that academics don’t.  People who are coming to my website are 13-year-old kids, 15-year-old kids, kids who are dejected.  Kids who don’t have a connection…kids who don’t feel connected in society.  Kids who might also feel like shit’s kinda fucked up and they want to read the information that I’m providing to them, in a way that speaks to them.

Asterios:  Mhmm.

Maddox: I’m speaking to a certain audience and I’m cutting through the same bullshit.  Like, you could take essentially the arguments that I make on my website.  A lot of ‘em are very academic.  And then take out the cuss words and the funny images and things like that, and make it a very dry academic paper, and then who’s gonna read it?  Fucking academics!

Asterios:  I don’t…I don’t have a problem with your content.  I like your content.

Maddox: No, but, but, but…to come full circle here, right?

Asterios:  Yeah.

Maddox:  So…just like I produce content that cuts through and reaches people that would never be reached by this message, that’s exactly what political satire can do when it’s done best.  And that Jon Oliver clip, Dick, I’m with you 100%.  Jon Oliver is biased as shit. I’ve seen some of his segments…

Dick:  (interjects) The whole fucking company is!!

Maddox:  Well, I’ve seen some of his segments where he’s…like, Jon Oliver will do this thing where he’ll present an argument for something.  And…he knows.  His researchers…you can pick up on it if you listen carefully, but his researchers have found the counterargument, because he did this recently, I think, on this water debate.  And he’ll address the counterargument by dismissing it in a very clever way.  He’ll present it. He’ll say, “Well sure, X, Y, and Z is true, but…” and then he’ll give his rebuttal.

Dick:  (interjects) But it’s 2016!

Maddox:  No, no, no, it’s never like that.  It’s more like…you know, “But…” and then he’ll present his other side of the argument.

Dick: Mhmm.

Maddox: But without really addressing the root cause of the objection to it. Now, I’m able to…to see that bias in his presenting and his material.

Asterios:  Mhmm.

Maddox:  And in spite of that, he still does some good material.  Now, with the Trump piece that we’re talking about, this Drumpf piece?

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: He went into detail about Trump’s policies and why they would never work. Like, Trump’s wall?  His absurd wall that he’s suggesting?  Saying that it’s only gonna cost something like that 22 billion dollars? Like, yeah…well, no.  Trump originally estimated 2 billion, and then slowly crept up his estimation to 12 billion, and now they’re saying that…people are actually taking him seriously, because he’s an actual candidate now.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: Um, they’re saying, “Well, it looks like his wall is gonna cost around 22 billion per year for maintenance.”

Asterios:  It’s not gonna cost that, ‘cause Mexico’s gonna pay for it. 

Maddox:  Oh, of course.

Asterios: So don’t worry about those numbers.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios:  But, look.

Dick: Yeah, but that’s a joke. Why is it a joke?

Asterios:  Well, he…

Dick: (interjects)  Like, he is…

Asterios:  (interjects) ‘Cause that’s something Trump said.  Trump said, “I’m gonna make Mexico pay for it.  I mean, that’s his position.”

Dick: It’s a good idea. 

Asterios:  If you can do it.

Dick: Well, sure!  (Asterios laughs) How much fucking money do they have flying into Mexico every year!?  Threaten to stop it!

Asterios: I dunno.  If your neighbor…

Dick:  (interjects) Stop giving ‘em foreign aid!

Asterios: I’m…you know what?  I don’t wanna discuss this. (giggles)  I’m not gonna get into an argument about Trump’s candidacy.

Dick: Yeah, the point is it’s not…like, it’s not INSANE!

Maddox: Yeah, well, it is…(they all yell over each other) 

Asterios: What if your neighbor came to you and told you to build a wall?! (laughs)

Dick: That happens!  That is a real thing that happens!!

Asterios:  Would you be happy to?! Would you shell out money for the wall, or would you spend the money…

Maddox:  Guys…

Asterios:  …that you were gonna spend on the wall, on a lawyer to tell that guy to go FUCK HIMSELF?!?!

Dick: It depends whose dog was fucking up someone’s lawn…walls get build.

Asterios:  Fair enough.  Okay. Okay…

Maddox: (interjects) Are you out of your fucking mind!?  Mexico’s an important trade partner!  We do business back and forth!  That’s BILLIONS of dollar.  Trillions of dollars we’re talking about.

Dick:  Hah.  We do business ONE way.

Maddox:  No, absolutely not.

Asterios:  Did you…

Maddox: (interjects) They buy our oil…we sell them products.  Vice versa.  It would be chaos! (Dick groans)  And first of all, let’s acknowledge…

Dick: (interjects) Aren’t you ever curious as WHY none of these people want to close the border?  Why none of the politicians want to close the border?

Maddox: Because…Dick, did you watch…

Dick:  (interjects)  It only helps businesses. 

Maddox: Dick, did you…

Dick:  It only helps big businesses. 

Maddox:  Did…what, to keep the borders open?

Dick:  To have free labor coming in!

Asterios:  Guys, we’re talking about political satire here, please!!

Maddox: Hold…hold on.

Dick: Yeah.  Stop talking about politics.

Maddox: Hold on.  (laughs)

Asterios: Yeah, exactly! Look…here’s what I’m gonna say.  Like, alright.  You watched that whole Donald Drumpf Again segment.  I did too, I watched the whole thing.  I thought it was great!  It taught me a lot of stuff about Donald Trump’s past that I think is hilarious, and blablabla…I wasn’t gonna vote for Donald Trump to begin with…

Maddox: (interjects)  I know, but that’s YOU.

Asterios:  …and I’m not gonna vote for him now…well, that’s what I’m saying!  It’s me!  What I’m saying is…the current state of political satire is polarized, because people…

Dick: (interjects) It’s NOT satire.

Asterios:  It’s not satire, it’s preaching to audiences that consume.

Dick:  Yeah.

Asterios:  Now, I’m sorry.  I just kinda wanna get the rest of this out.

Dick:  Go ahead.

Asterios:  Like…so John Stewart’s marquee issue is this.  It’s getting…it’s getting relief to 9/11 first responders.  Like…I know people who worked at 9/11 for months and years, and they are sick now because of it, and sometimes they get $10.  Like, sometimes they get nothing.

Dick: What do you mean, sometimes they get $10. From who?

Asterios:  For…from the 9/11 commission of New York. It’ll send them a survey every year that’s like, “So how’s your breathing?  So, are you dead yet?  Do you have cancer yet?”  Like…

Dick:  They’ll get $10 from that.

Asterios:  And then wrapped up in that survey, and I’ve seen it, is a $10 bill.

Dick:  Oooof.  (groans)

Asterios:  It’s like, “Here’s $10 for your trouble.  Thanks, the 9/11 commission, aka the people that told you that it was safe to work at 9/11 because they didn’t want to cause a national panic.”  Now, that is John Stewart’s marquee issue.  John Stewart wants the Congress to pay for the healthcare for 9/11 first responders.  That’s great, right?

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  Now, imagine John Stewart went on the Daily Show every single night and spent 5 minutes a night talking about 9/11 first responders.  You’d get bored of it.  You’d be, like, “This isn’t funny. I’ve seen this before.”

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  “I’m gonna see who else is up against John Stewart.”  That’s the problem with current political satire being monetized.  IT doesn’t encourage…it doesn’t encourage actual, deep thought.  It doesn’t encourage deep dives into issues, and it doesn’t encourage real change, because one week I’ll be watching Jon Oliver, and he’ll be talking about highway robbery, you know, the phenomenon where cops, if they find money, they can claim it?

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  And then I’ll be watching that, I’ll be like, “Oh, my God! Highway robbery’s terrible! This is awful! I’m outraged! Someone’s gotta do something about this!”  And next week, he’ll be like, “Miss America, it’s Sexist.”  And I’ll be watching that, and I’ll be like, Miss America’s sexist! Oh, my God!  Can you believe how sexist this is?!

Dick: Yeah. Why aren’t there any men?!

Asterios: I’m not…exactly! (Sean laughs) Hot dudes, like myself. Like all of us.

Dick: Yeah. What the hell.

Asterios:  So the thing is, the current state of political satire is entertainment only.  It is NOT meant to create political change!  If it was…I would appreciate it!

Sean:  Jesus Christ!

Asterios:  If it was, I would totally agree with you.  I think that you’re a satirist that goes out there and changes people’s minds.  But I think that you’re in the vast minority.  I think most of these people, it’s entertainment.  It’s comedy with a different name. 

Sean:  I don’t think anybody’s mind is changed by any of this.

Maddox:  Okay. Well…

Dick:  (interjects) Any of what?

Sean:  Any of this political satire.

Maddox:  Political satire.

Dick: Any…yeah. 

Sean:  Yeah, it just reinforces it.

Dick:  Do you agree with the what he’s saying, because it’s all the ti…it’s relentlessly hitting you, and because it’s monetized, it necessarily seeks the lowest common denominator?  Like it’s a hashtag.  It’s not, like, a pithy statement on Trump.  It’s a fucking hashtag about his name.

Maddox: Okay…two things.

Asterios:  Sure.

Maddox:  Look, I agree. The Drumpf thing…is obviously just trying to get under Trump’s skin, because he does seem like he’s pretty thin-skinned with a lot of things.

Dick:  You think it’s…see, again, you’re supporting the satirization element when we’re saying it’s a marketing ploy.

Maddox:  Well, (stammers)

Dick:  (interjects) It’s not…that’s not targeting Trump.  It’s targeting shitheads on Facebook who just say “Drumpf, Drumpf, Drumpf, Drumpf, Drumpf” all day like it’s funny.

Maddox: Of course. It’s an element of promoting the show.  But…specifically Jon Oliver, because it’s not advertisement.  It’s not sponsored by advertisement, it is a monetized platform, HBO.

Asterios: Mhmm.

Maddox: People are paying for that content.  So I do trust that the corporate influence on that satire is…is minimal, except for HBO, of course, which is left…

Dick:  (interjects) Which is 100%.

Maddox:  Which is left-leaning.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: Of course.  I mean, HBO…

Dick:  (interjects) The corporate  influence on HBO is 100% from HBO. 

Maddox:  Well, H…

Dick:  (interjects)  Whereas anybody else, you get your advertisers, and your main mothership, like, a lot of different corporations pull you one way or the other.

Maddox: Um, HBO does not…uh…once you have a show on HBO, I know people who’ve worked on HBO shows.  Uh..a bunch of my friends have. And once you are creating a show for HBO, they don’t give you direction on the show itself. You are a creator, they respect your autonomy for the most part.  They’re not telling Jon Oliver what to call…however, they are hiring Jon Oliver in the first place.  They’re hiring Bill Maher in the first place.  So they’re hiring…

Dick: (interjects)  And the showrunners, probably.

Maddox:  Yeah, they’re hiring left-leaning…

Asterios:  David Javerbaum. 

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  Who’s a guy from the Daily Show.

Maddox: They’re hiring left-leaning creators.  I totally get it.  That’s fine.  But as far as pure satire goes, you would find it in a place like Jon Oliver’s, because it’s a monetized platform that people are paying for.  No external corporations outside of that.  Uh, that’s not to say that he’s not biased.  Of course he’s biased.  He’s presenting a point of view.

Asterios: Yeah!

Maddox: But I think that by simply dismissing him as being a liberal, or dismissing a conservative for being conservative, without really looking at what they’re saying, is a huge ad hominem attack.  You’re not really divesting much of your time or energy to looking at what they’re saying.  And a long time ago…

Dick:  (interjects) Who’s doing that?

Maddox:  A lot of people.  A lot of people.

Asterios:  People do that with my comedy all the time.

Maddox: Oh, yeah.

Asterios:  People tweet at me all the time and say, like, “I think you’re funny, but all this liberal stuff you post really turns me off. I’m gonna unfollow you.”

Dick:  Mmm.

Asterios:  And it’s like, “Well, what about my jokes?  Do you wanna pay attention to my jokes?  Oh, I’m sorry I like Bernie.”

Dick: That’s tough, though! (sighs)  It’s tough to get hit with both! Like, you just get sick of it after a while.

Asterios:  If someone’s sick of my comedy, that’s okay.

Dick: It’s not the comedy!  It’s the political stuff they get sick of.  That’s what I’m saying.  I understand.

Maddox:  Look, generally speaking, I don’t do a lot of political stuff.  On my website, I think in the entire span I’ve done it, I’ve published a few articles here and there about political stuff, and it’s usually one per, like, four years or something like that.

Dick: Okay.

Maddox: I did one on Clinton a long time ago.  I did one on Bush.

Dick: Which one?

Maddox:  Bill.

Dick: Bill.

Maddox:  I did one on Bush, and then I did one on Hillary Clinton, too.

Asterios:  And you did…you had Trump flying through space in the KKK mask being put onto him as he flew into the sun.

Maddox: Yeah. Which is fair.  Um…(laughs)

Asterios:  And unbiased!! (they laugh) 

Dick:  Downvote it to hell!!  By the way.

Asterios:  It was great!  I loved it!! (laughs)  I loved it so much!!

Maddox: You know what?  You know what?  I put that out there.  It’s kind of a soft release. I’ve never really promoted it anywhere.  I did that for a couple of reasons.  I wanted to see how videos would get shared organically on YouTube without any of my influence.

Dick:  Mhmm.

Maddox: And as of this recording, I believe it has over 100,000 views.  So it’s done really well on its own, organically.

Asterios:  Cool. 

Maddox:  And…the votes are…are pretty down.  (Asterios cracks up)  And when I published that video, I lost something like, 300, 400, subscribers that day.  I thought, “Well, adios, bitches!”  And…I noticed that big drop.  But then the following week, I gained 5000% subscribers, which is the biggest bump I’ve received since that video.  So, go fuck yourselves people.  This is the message there.  But, um…as far as changing people’s minds, Asterios.  ‘Cause all I heard was from you and Sean is…”I think it’s not having an effect.”  “I think it’s not persuading people.” I was curious if any kind of political message or any kind of argument presented online has ever persuaded anyone.  So I posed that question to my audience on Facebook awhile ago.  I asked a simple question.  I said, “Has an argument you’ve ever read online ever persuaded you?”  And…um…I would say about two thirds of the comments were from people who said yes, they were persuaded by an argument they read online.

Sean:  Well, but satire?

Maddox: Yeah.  Some of ‘em were satire, Sean. Of course.

Sean:  Okay. Because sure.  Anybody can be…when you have a different point of view put forth, yeah, you’re supposed to consider it, I mean, if you’re being intellectually honest at all.

Dick:  You’re describing a human.

Maddox: Yeah.

Dick: Yeah.

Sean:  But I don’t know about satire.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox:  Guys…

Sean:  But sure, I’ve had things online change my mind.

Maddox: Guys, the biggest lie…the biggest, uh…deceit that we are fed today is that there is this two-side philosophy.  There’s the political (I think he means liberal) and conservative side, and we have to pick one or the other, and both are diametrically opposed.  It’s not true. Both sides want a good life for everyone.  Both sides want to have happiness.  Both sides want what’s best for this country.  You have to believe that.  You have to believe that the other side wants what’s good for this country.  And if you start at that place, then you can start to look at things with an open mind and consider other possibilities, rather than thinking that they are bad or necessarily evil, or bigots, or racist, or, you know, left-leaning liberal cucks, or whatever you want, whatever these stupid labels are.

Dick:  Yeah, but you’re the one that called Trump a bigot.  You are the one that called Trump a racist.

Maddox: Dick, I do not have a problem with conservatives.  I do not have a problem with liberals.  I do have a problem with Trump.  Trump is NEITHER.  Trump is an authoritarian.

Dick:  But you called him a bigot and a racist!

Maddox:  ‘Cause he IS.  I genuinely believe he is.

Dick:  You just…you just said how everybody has to imagine that every…both sides are coming to make America better and to help everyone, and in the next sentence, you say, Donald Trump, who’s a billionaire, who has no fucking…no need to run for President, is a bigot and a racist because he says people doing illegal things should not be allowed to DO those illegal things!

Maddox:  That’s not what he said.  He said…

Dick: (interjects) That’s what he said!

Maddox:  No…no.  You’re saying it in a better way.  You’re saying it more eloquently than Trump.

Dick:  Which would not give me percentage points in the polls!  It’s too smart!

Maddox: Well, yeah, but…Trump’s own political advisor.  His top political advisor recently stepped down from the job, and said…she came out and she said, “Guys, this was all a joke.  Trump never intended to become President.  He wanted to become second place with a 12% vote.”  That’s what she said.

Dick:  That’s SO sad that you would just take that at face value from a woman who just lost her job and who has, by her OWN admission, started the campaign NOT to win.  She started to do her job to fail.  That was her goal.

Maddox: That’s what she said!

Asterios: Hey, is there a stun gun in the room, or something?

Dick: Yeah. Yeah.

Asterios:  I’m trying to talk about political satire, here, and how it doesn’t effect change in its current form.  If you think about someone like…I guess the last guy that you would say was even and on the level was Jay Leno, because conservatives and liberals both watched him.

Dick:  It’s true.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios:  And, like, you know.  He would make fun of Bill Clinton being a cheater, and he would make fun of George W. Bush for being an idiot.  But he didn’t change anybody’s mind.  He was just making jokes.

Maddox:  But you don’t know that, Asterios.

Asterios:  You know…

Maddox:  (interjects) You’re not saying…you’re not bringing any evidence to the table.  I appreciate…(stammers) like, you know, you’re trying…

Asterios:  (interjects) Well, lemme ask…

Maddox:  (interjects)  It’s very dismissive. It’s very, like, pessimistic. 

Asterios:  Well…well, I guess I’ll ask this.  And I will ask it honestly.  And if you guys want time to think about it, we can pause the recording, as this is live.

Dick: We don’t do that.  Just immediately answer, before you’re done talking. 

Asterios:  Fair enough! What was the last piece of political satire that changed your mind?

Dick:  Political satire?  Wow.

Asterios:  Yeah.  The last piece of political satire.  And I’m gonna think about this, too.  Like, the last piece of political satire where I was, like, “Oh.”

Dick:  Here are the ones that stick out for me.  Dana Carvey’s Ross Perrault.  Right?

Asterios: Okay.

Dick:  That was a big one.

Asterios:  How did it change…

Dick:  (interjects)  Oh, no, no.  I’m just naming political satire pieces to try to, like, crack my memory…

Asterios:  Oh, sure!

Dick:  …of what the fuck’s political satire.

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick:  Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush.

Asterios:  Really funny.

Dick: It was very funny.

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick:  But it made me like him even more.

Asterios:  That’s what a lot of people say about it.  (laughing)

Dick: Right?!  Yeah!!!

Asterios:  About Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush.

Dick:  Horatio Sanz says that, that SNL gave him the second election, or gave him the election.

Asterios:  Right.

Dick: Yeah.  I can’t think of it.  What other political satire pieces have there even been?

Asterios:  Well, I mean, SNL is the big one, because SNL is a show that, like, you have to think about it for a minute to know that it’s in the tank.

Dick: Futurama.  Robot Nixon!! Do you remember that one?

Asterios:  Makes me like Nixon more!!! (laughing) Like, it’s like “Barrrrrrooooooo, Nixon Bux!!”

Dick:  It made me think about the process, though, how in the future, it’s just…it’ll get more and more and more towards the center, where you have literally a clone running against another clone.  That was the future.

Asterios:  But I thought that anyway. He’s talking about the episode where John Jackson runs against bitter rival Jack Johnson.

Dick:  Yeah, Johnson.  It was a clone.

Asterios:  But it’s like…

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  But if you’re gonna tell me that, like, it’s a two-party system and it’s kind of rigged, then I already believe that.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: Futurama didn’t teach me anything new.  I love Futurama, Futurama’s hilarious!  But…eh.  You know.  What did Futurama teach me? That Nixon’s crooked? No shit, Sherlock!  The guy’s a literal criminal! (grins)  Like, yeah, okay!  But let’s…I mean, honestly, I think…

Dick: (interjects) I thought that was good satire, though.  I can’t say what it taught me…

Asterios:  (interjects)  Of Nixon?!

Dick: Of the whole process! 

Asterios:  Of Waterg…oh, okay.

Maddox: Have…(stammers) have you ever read anything, uh, Dick, or Asterios, say, political in nature, maybe a meme or something.

Dick: That’s all I read.

Maddox:  Okay.  Well, have you ever read anything that persuaded you or changed your mind?

Dick: Of course!

Asterios:  And…(stammers) and I guess, and again, like, we’re talking about political satire, not, like, a meme that makes me think that, like, oh, maybe welfare’s bad.  Or maybe gun control’s good, or blablabla.  I’m like…I’m talking about the political satire in 2016. I’m talking about your Colberts.  I’m talking about your John Stewarts.

Dick: Mhmm.

Asterios:  Like, I’m not talking ab…I’m not…my problem isn’t Unchangeable Minds.  Like, my problem is political satire and how it’s ineffective.  It’s entertainment. And, like, it exists purely to be monetized.

Maddox: I…I disagree.  I think that…

Asterios:  That’s okay.

Maddox:  I think that political satire…I think that it’s a very cynical view to think that political satire only exists to be monetized.  I think that there are people who are genuine creators, like myself, who create satire that isn’t monetized…

Asterios:  (interjects) But you don’t create much political stuff, you said so yourself.

Maddox:  Yeah, I don’t.  I don’t create much political stuff, but I do create a lot of satire, and a lot of it isn’t monetized.

Dick: But that’s his point.  Is that…

Maddox:  (interjects)  Political satire?  But there is political satire out there that isn’t monetized. It’s basically most of my Facebook friends who write political satire.  Uh, they’re not monetizing it, they’re just doing it ‘cause they’re getting a laugh!

Dick: Are you sure that’s satire?

Maddox: I know satire when I see it.  I don’t need a satire tag.  (grins)

Dick: Well…

Asterios: L…I mean, you know.  I guess we could talk about the Onion.  I mean, the Onion, I believe it’s very left-leaning.  It started out a bunch of guys in the state of Milwaukee.  And then eventually they moved to New York, and then now they’re in Chicago, so they go from liberal to liberal to liberal place.  (Maddox chuckles)

Maddox:  Fuck you, Asterios.  (laughing)

Sean: It slipped right by for a minute.  (Maddox chuckles)

Maddox:  I was like, yeah, the state of Milwaukee.  Good state. (grins)

Asterios:  But, I mean..(stammers) the Onion has never really changed my mind and I’ve been reading it since I was a kid.  In interned at the Onion when I was 17.

Dick: Well.

Asterios: It’s like, yeah, when they call George W. Bush an idiot, I’m like, “Yeah, I think that guy’s dumb.” You know?

Maddox: Yeah, but…(stammers)

Dick: (interjects)  I had to stop reading it as it got more political?

Asterios: Why?

Dick: ‘Cause, like, it’s just not…like, I do think it’s only funny if you have their political leaning at some point.

Maddox: Oh, come on!!!

Dick: It’s like, well.  It’s just…like, I know what’s funny.  It’s like, well that’s not funny anymore. 

Asterios:  And I’ll say this.  I feel like political satire at this point is just…it’s just the specifics of the joke.  It’s not the joke itself.  A nerd comedian will go, like, “Blablabla, is as stupid as Jar Jar Binks!” and a feminist comedian’ll go, like, “Blablabla, is as stupid as a man!”

Dick: Mhmm.

Asterios:  And a political comedian’ll go, “Blablabla, is as stupid as Donald Trump!”  Or, like, “Is as robotic as Hillary Clinton!” or “Is as old and out of touch as Bernie Sanders!”  it’s just a different punchline. It’s just a way for stupid people to think they’re watching something smart.

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox:  Do you agree with that, Dick?

Dick: Yeah, that’s why I couldn’t read the Onion anymore.  It was no longer smart.  It was just, “Hey, look at me.”

Maddox: Okay, Dick.

Dick:  “Look at how snarky you wish you were.”

Maddox:  Alright. What’s your problem, Dick?  (giggles)

Dick: Um, well, my problem’s a big one, too.  This is gonna be a long episode.  (they all chuckle)  This affects way more people than political satire.

Maddox: Yeah.  Oh yeah?

Dick:  Banging your funny bone.

Maddox: Pff. (laughing)  That’s a hot date!

Asterios:  What?!  (grins)

Dick: The funny bone?  Have you heard of it?

Asterios: No, what’s the…what are you…what do you mean, funny bone?

Dick: Well, it’s not funny, and it’s not a bone.  It’s a bundle of nerves in your elbow.  I’m pretty sure.  (Asterios laughs)

(Sound effect: Canned laughter)

Maddox:  That’s kinda funny. (laughing)

Dick:  Look. It’s the reverse of an orgasm. (Asterios cracks up, Maddox chuckles) 

Maddox: You mean, cum goes into your elbow? Like, what happens?

Dick:  It’s…I’m being way more metaphorical than that.

Maddox: Yeah?

Dick: It’s the reverse…imagine an orgasm.

Maddox: Done!

Asterios:  Great.

Maddox: Doin’ it right now.

Dick:  Inverted.

Asterios:  Uuuuuuuugh.

Dick: That’s banging your funny bone. 

Maddox: That’s a…the inverted…the sound it makes in my mind is “Fffffffff” (draws in breath quickly)  (laughing)

Dick: Horrible…horrible sound. You gotta get everything.  The feeling…(Maddox laughs) the release.  The feeling that you get with an orgasm, the buildup, all happening in reverse time, when you bang your funny bone.

Asterios:  Oh, God, you’re right.

Dick: It’s all squeezing into your body.  The tension’s getting greater and greater. You gotta work it out slowly.  It could never go away. That’s the feeling you get when you bang…it happens to men AND women.

Asterios:  It’s a universal problem.

Dick: It’s a universal problem. Look. Where’s the…where do you want to get hit on your body?  Where’s the worst place? Your balls, right?

Maddox:  Your balls!

Asterios: Absolutely.

Dick: Not for women. (Asterios gasps)  It’s the one thing we have in common.  The great equalizer is the banging the funny bone, right?

Asterios:  Mmmm.

Maddox:  Is it?  Huh!  Lemme think about that.  I guess…uh…

Dick: Would you rather get punched, or bang your funny bone?

Maddox: Pu…bang my funny bone.

Dick:  I would rather get punched.

Maddox: Punched, yeah.

Dick:  Really?  (skeptical)

Maddox: Mhmm.

Dick: Be honest. Think about it.

Maddox: Yeah. (laughs)

Asterios:  Let’s do both to him right now!!

Dick:  Let’s give is a real AV test!

Asterios:  And see which one hurts more!!

Maddox: You know…what about the Three Stooges thing, where you take two fingers and you’re comin’ towards someone’s eyes.

Dick:  Mhmm.

Maddox:  That affects both men and women!

Asterios: Yeah, but I…

Maddox: (interjects)  Why didn’t you bring that in? (laughs)

Asterios:  But I have that..the fin hand defense. 

Dick: Yeah, that’s easy to defend.  You can’t protect your funny bone, ‘cause you can’t…what are you gonna do?  Walk ar…you can’t grab…you can’t protect both elbows at the same time.

Asterios: No.

Maddox: Elbow pads, bro!!

Dick:  See?  Look!  No, Sean, your funny bone is exposed!!

Sean:  Uh-uh.

Dick:  Yes!  It is.  I will bang that funny bone. (Asterios laughs)

Maddox: Bang Sean’s funny bone!

Dick:  Sean…you don’t even know where your fucking funny bone is, you idiot!  (Sean laughs)  (they all laugh)

Maddox: Sean’s grabbing his ankles. He’s bending over. (laughing)

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: You know what?

Dick:  Assume the position.

Maddox: Yeah. (grins)

Asterios:  I’ve gotta say…this funny bone problem, I think is actually a much bigger problem than political satire.

Dick:  (laughs) It’s a WAY bigger problem.

Asterios:  As if this were a brokered convention, I officially give all votes…

Dick: Yes! (laughing)

Asterios:  That would’ve reached political satire…to the funny bone!

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: I’m throwing in my lot with Dick!

Dick: Thank you. Make Funny Bones Great Again.

Maddox:  Dick, I…I have…(Asterios cackles loudly)…I looked up funny bone here. It says it’s the part of the elbow over which the ulnar nerve passes?

Dick: Ugh. UGH!

Maddox:  A knock on the funny bone…

Dick:  Even saying it!!

Asterios: It hurts!!!

Dick:  Making my nerves hurt!!

Asterios: Stop saying it!!

Maddox:  A knock on the funny bone may cause numbness and pain along the forearm and hand.

Dick: May cause pain. Who…who wrote this?!

Maddox:  And then the second definition is, “A person’s sense of humor as located in an imaginary physical organ.” (laughs)

Dick: What, someone wrote that? 

Maddox: Yeah, that’s the first definition that comes up.

Dick: That Wikipedia?

Maddox: Yeah. (grins)

Dick:  Look, guys.  It’s proof that there’s no God.  I think we can all…(background laughter)

Asterios: Absolutely.

Dick:  Everyone says that the ear is proof that there’s a God. 

Asterios: Yeah.

Dick: Funny bone is proof that there’s no God.

Asterios:  Why would God hate…unless he HATES us!!  Unless God made a creature purely to suffer.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  That’s possible.

Dick:  Then God is the Devil.

Maddox: You know, if you…

Asterios:  (interjects) Absolutely!!

Maddox: If you…

Asterios:  (interjects)  And the Devil’s the SuperDevil!!! (laughing)

Maddox: (laughs)  If you actually think about the, uh..the funny bone and how much pain it causes people.  Uh…it really puts a lot of comedy club names in context.  Doesn’t it?

Asterios: Mhmm.

Dick: Yeah, they are all painful.

Maddox: They are pretty painful.

Dick: That’s the last place I ever want to get invited.  Is to a comedy club.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios: Oh, my God.  I will find any excuse not to go to a comedy club.  And I’m a stand-up comedian who performs at them. (they laugh) 

Maddox: What…

Dick: (interjects) Do you invite people to your shows?  Do you feel bad?

Asterios: No. 

Dick:  Yeah.

Asterios:  I would never do that.  And I tell my girlfriend all the time…you don’t need to come see this.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: You can stay home.  And then she goes, “Do you not want me at your show?”  And I’m like, “No, that’s not what I’m saying.”

Dick:  “No, you don’t understand!”

Asterios:  “I’m trying to protect you!!”

Maddox: Yeah. 

Sean:  “I’m just saying you’ll be a better person for not coming.”

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  Yeah.  You could do literally anything with that time and it would be more productive.

Dick: It’’s so weird, because when Sean and I used to play music…I would invite everyone.

Asterios:  That’s different.

Dick:  We would invite everyone…well, that’s what I’m saying is so funny about it.

Asterios: Yeah!

Dick:  ‘Cause then you start performing comedy, and you’re like, “Oh, please don’t come.”  (Asterios cracks up)  Like, you don’t have to come. I’m sorry in advance.

Asterios: Yeah. You’re doing me a huge favor. In order to get people out to comedy shows, you have to, like, be, like, “There’ll be free beer there.”

Maddox: Uh-huh.

Asterios:  “And we’re all gonna hang out later and smoke weed.”

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios: You have to, like, you have to promote the non-comedy show parts of the comedy show.  (Dick laughs)

Maddox:  Alright, guys, what…

Dick: (interjects) And a little comedy show might break out…(stammers) don’t worry about that.

Asterios:  Yeah, ugh.  (stammers) (giggles)

Maddox:  What’s more inconsiderate?

Asterios: Sure.

 Maddox: Posting political satire on Facebook.  ‘Cause I agree it’s annoying. 

Asterios: God, yes!!

Maddox: It’s super annoying.

Asterios:  JESUS.

Maddox: What’s more inconsiderate? Posting political satire, or inviting your friends to a comedy show WHERE there is a cover? 

Asterios: Ohhhhh, that’s a real Sophie’s choice.

Dick:  Oh, yeah the covers are bad.

Maddox:  Yeah, what’s worse? What would you hate more?  I think that’s…that’s a toss-up for me. 

Dick:  (inhales)

Maddox:  You might as well pa…if someone gave me an option to pay them 5 dollars to not post political satire or anything on Facebook?  I would take that option, I think.

Asterios:  You know what I’ve done a lot?  I’ll buy a ticket to someone’s show and I won’t show up. I’ll buy a ticket online, I’ll give ‘em the 5 dollars, and that’s it!

Maddox: You’re guilted into it!

Asterios:  And it’s just, like, “Okay!  They help make their number at the door.”

Dick: Oh, God.

Asterios:  Because, you know, everyone’s trying to make their number at the door.

Maddox: Yeah.

Asterios:  So they can get paid. And I don’t have to watch a comedy show!  Everybody wins!

Dick: Win-win.

Maddox: Ahh.  That’s not…that’s pretty good, Asterios.

Asterios: Yeah. That’s why I like it when people buy my comics and just throw them away.  (Dick giggles)  (Maddox laughs) It’s great. It’s awesome! 

Dick: Yeah, you do…what makes you look like a bigger asshole? Posting political satire, or inviting people to your comedy show? 

Maddox:  Yeah, I dunno.

Asterios:  I know. It’s inviting people to your political comedy show!!  That’s the worst thing you can do to your friend. Come out…like, Laughing Liberally!

Maddox: Ohhhh.

Asterios:  Come out and watch Laughing Liberally. Or a Conservative Chucklefest!!  (laughs)

Maddox: I got one worse.

Dick:  I like that! It sounds good.

Asterios:  Oh, let’s go!! (they laugh)

Maddox:  A one-man…a one-man or one-woman show.  Like in a one-woman sh..

Asterios:  Ohhhhhh.

Maddox:  Oh, my gosh. There’s so many of ‘em these days.  It’s just like, “Hey, come out to my one-woman show.” It’s like, well, what do you mean?

Asterios: Uggggggh.

Maddox: What are we gonna do?  It’s like…are you kidding me?  I gotta sit here and watch you for, like, an hour?  Just talking on stage about…

Dick:  A one-woman show? 

Maddox: Your vagina?  Like what are you doing?  And it’s always about their vagina. It’s always, like, gross shit, too.

Asterios: Yeah. Bad.

Sean:  Every time I…every time I hear about a one-man or one-woman show…I just picture that scene from the Big Lebowski. (Asterios cracks up)

Maddox: Oh, yeah.

Asterios:  Where he goes to see his landlord?!

Sean: Yeah, his landlord, and he’s dressed up like fucking Nero or somebody.

Maddox: Yeah. 

Sean:  Prancing around on a chair.

Maddox:  It’s a Mazorkski…Pictures in Exhibition I think  is the piece that plays during it.

Dick: Ohoho…

Asterios:  Oh, my God.

Dick: Boy. 

Maddox: Yeah. (laughs)

Dick:  Let’s end on that.  (mutters)  (Maddox giggles)

Asterios:  Hey?!

Maddox:  Ladies?!  (laughing)

Asterios:  Well, guys, my problem has been po…

Dick:  (interjects)  Wait a minute.  (grins)  I’ve got a…

Asterios:  Oh, sorry.

Dick: I’ve got a sound effect for that.  What you just witnessed there.

(Sound clip: Maddox: I’m…you know,(scoffs)  I’m a writer.)

(They all crack up)

(Sound clip: Maddox: I’m…you know,(scoffs)  I’m a writer.)

Dick:  Have you heard this one?! (grins) 

Asterios:  Yeah, I love it!!

Dick:  It’s a ring tone!

(Sound clip: Maddox: I’m…you know,(scoffs)  I’m a writer.)

Maddox: It’s a good ring tone.  I like it. 

(Sound clip: Maddox: I’m…you know,(scoffs)  I’m a writer.)

(Maddox laughs)

(Sound clip: Maddox: I’m…you know,(scoffs)  I’m a writer.)

Dick:  Alright.

Maddox:  Ah, it’s great.

Sean:  I love the…(scoffs) 

Dick: Yeah. That’s the best part. (grins) (Asterios cackles)

Sean: You know, you fucking idiots. (scoffs)  I’m a writer. 

Dick:  I can’t even TELL you how much of a writer I am.

Sean:  This fucking song!!

Maddox: You know what? You know what, guys?

Sean:  What, you’re not gonna say it?

Maddox: No.  I don’t want you to do that anymore, ‘kay?  ‘Cause I’m gonna trademark that. That’s me…you’re not allowed to do that.

Dick: Oh.

Maddox: You have to pay me royalties if you say that.

Dick: What?   I’m a writer?

Maddox: That’s my trademark.  Yeah.  Don’t say it!! (laughs)

Asterios: You know, I have a book…I have a book coming out in October, actually.

Dick:  What is is?

Asterios:  Is it gonna come out before your book!?  (grins)

Dick:  Yes!

Asterios: When the fuck is your book coming out!?

Maddox: You know what, Asterios?!  It’s comin’, alright?  Don’t worry about it.

Asterios: Alright!  Sure.

Dick:  What percentage are you at?

Maddox:  I…(stammers) I’m at a high percentage. A big one. It’s good. (imitating Trump) (Asterios laughs)

Dick: Yeah.

Maddox: It’s big.  (laughing)

Asterios:  It’s a yuge number!!

Maddox: It’s a yuge number! It’s tremendous. It’s tremendous percentage.  The best percentage.  Alright. (laughs)  You got anything else, Dick? (giggles)

Dick:  …….No.  That’s all I’ve prepared for the funny bone.  (Maddox giggles)

Maddox: Guys…guys…(they all crack up) Guys, apologies to Dick. Dick does actually bring in longer, bigger problems sometimes, and we run out of time, so he brings in these backup problems.  So thank you!

Dick:  Well, I know when we have a guest, I wanna give the guest a lot of time to talk about their problem.

Maddox: Yeah.

Sean:  And you know Maddox is gonna take the first 50 minutes anyways.

Dick: Well, I suspect he might, yes.  (Asterios cracks up) 

Maddox:  Well…you know?

Asterios: Yeah, whenever anybody’s like “I’m so tired of these Dick Masterson short, relatable problems that are hilarious.  How come he didn’t spend 20 minutes reading a bunch of stats?”

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  Talking about bullshit!

Dick: Sorrrrrry.

Asterios:  Oh, sorry you got entertained on this comedy show, jackoff!!

Maddox:  Oh, the audience is incorrigible. There’s nothing…I don’t know.  I don’t know what they fucking want. We’ve brought in shows where Dick and I, we had a really good time.  We had a blast.  And people were like, “This is the worst fucking show I’ve ever heard!”  (Dick cracks up) 

Sean: You’ll never please everyone.

Asterios: Yeah.

Maddox: No!

Asterios:  I had to stop reading…

Maddox:  (interjects)  They’re just a bunch of crybaby bitches.

Asterios:  I had to stop reading all of it. It was too upsetting.  It was…

Dick: (interjects) Oh, yeah. You really got thr…you really got into it with some of those guys.

Asterios: Yeah.  Oh, absolutely.  And I realized, like, I’m angry about other things in my life.

Dick: Yeah.

Asterios:  And I’m putting this energy into screaming at strangers!  Like, I’m not gonna go on the Reddit anymore! 

Dick: I’m almost a bum!

Asterios: My life is immeasur…yeah, exactly!  And my life is immeasurably better for not doing that.

Dick: Ohhh.

Maddox: Hey, you know what else will make your life better? Turn off autoplaying videos on Facebook!

(closing riff starts)

Maddox:  My problem this week was Facebook Video!

Asterios:  My problem this week was Political Satire!

Dick: My problem was Banging Your Funny Bone.  (Maddox giggles)

Asterios: See you next Tuesday for Episode 100!!!!!!


Dick: Oh, shit!  That’s right!!! Randy said we were supposed to heavily promote that all episode. (grins)

Maddox: Woops. (laughing)

Asterios:  Yeah, I think people can count to 100!

Dick: What?

Sean:  I said we just did.

Dick: Oh, yeah.  Okay.

Maddox: Yeah, there it is.  It’s pretty…

Sean: (interjects)  There you go, Randy!

Maddox: Yeah, real…(they laugh)

Dick:  Alright, I’ve got a ton of voicemail from Weird Matthew McConaughey.

Maddox: Oh, boy.

Asterios: Yay!

Dick: I’m just gonna go on a run.

Maddox: Well, save some of ‘em for 100.

Dick: He always…he leaves like six voicemails every week. (giggles)

Maddox: Yeah.  I’ve listened to them too, and it sounds like he’s getting progressively drunker and drunker.

Dick: Yeah! It’s great.  (grins)

Asterios: Love this man.

(Voice mail: Weird Matthew McConaughey: “Yeaaaaaah. So, uh…my girlfriend’s parent’s van got broken into on the way back from Alabama one time…(Maddox giggles)

Dick:  Sorry, I just have to sum that up.  My girlfriend’s parents’ VAN got broken into.

Maddox: Okay.  I’m following.

“It stopped at like, I dunno. It was, like, a gas station, or a motel or some shit.  (Maddox snorts)  Came back out…all the fucking Christmas presents were gone.  I’m like, “Who fucking steals kids’ presents?  And it was one of those fucking full-sized vans with, like, the window shades and shit.”

Maddox:  A rape van. That’s what you call ‘em.  (They laugh)

Asterios:  A CANDY van!!!


Dick:  Always the rape jokes on the Casper episodes. (they crack up) Okay, this one’s a pretty good insight.  I agree with him on this one. Maybe this is a problem we should have brought in.

(Voice mail: Weird Matthew McConaughey:  “You know how in movies…they always make, uh…getting a blowjob and doing something else look cool. (they laugh)

Dick: It’s true.

“But really……it’s not.  Because you can’t concentrate.  And I was thinking…new season of Trailer Park Boys dropped.  Wouldn’t it be cool just to get your dick sucked the whole time?  (they all laugh) Just kill your time, watching Trailer Park Boys, you just roll a fat one…(Maddox giggles) you smoke…

Dick: Three things, now!

“and then you just get some bitch to suck your dick for like…”

Maddox: I feel like he’s asleep and this is just like his mouth talking his thoughts.

“…just until you’re tired, or whatever.”

Asterios: Yeah.

“But then…I’m like…wow, shit hold on.  (phone rings in background) (they all crack up)”)

Maddox: What, did his phone ring while he was on the phone?!

Dick:  I don’t know, but he called back to finish the story.

Maddox: Okay. Of course, yeah.  I gotta hear this.

(Matthew McConaughey calls back)

“Anyway…”  (they crack up)

“Like…I wouldn’t enjoy Trailer Park Boys or the blowjob as much if I was enjoying them separately.” 

Maddox: Oh.  Very philosophical.

“The joint goes good with either one. That’s kinda the cool thing.  But I think what made it so cool was the blumpkin, ‘cause…(Maddox snorts) I mean, what’s better than fucking knocking two things out at once, right?  Problem is, is no one wants to give ‘em.”  (they all laugh)

Asterios:  THAT’S the problem!!

Dick: That’s the problem. 

“That’s the world’s biggest problem right there.”

Maddox: Yeah.  No one wants to give you a blumpkin.

Dick: Not Enough Blumpkins.

Maddox: Yeah.  (giggles) 

Asterios: Dear God!