Maltin on Movies

By Leonard Maltin & Jessie Maltin

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 Jun 28, 2019


Legendary film critic Leonard Maltin and his daughter Jessie are the ultimate movie fans. They love talking about movies, especially with people who share their enthusiasm—from living legends like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Quincy Jones to such contemporary artists as Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Laura Dern, and Bryan Cranston. You’ll meet all kinds of interesting people and hear their recommendations of unsung movies you ought to know.

Episode Date
Revisiting Laura Dern

Laura Dern grew up in show business, the daughter of Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. She has long since carved a niche all her own, with two Oscar nominations under her belt and a lifetime of colorful experiences. From indie films to Jurassic Park, she has great stories to tell and shares them with Leonard and Jessie. Since we spoke to her in 2017 her career has continued to flourish, with a return to Jurassic World and an Academy Award for her blistering performance in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story.

Sep 30, 2022
Revisiting Bruce Davison

We’ve all been watching Bruce Davison for years—tending to his pet rats in Willard in the early 70s, earning an Oscar nomination for Longtime Companion in 1989, defying the X-Men as a Senator in 2000, and making his mark in an endless variety of roles on stage, television and movies—most recently as the villainous senator on Ozark. It turns out he is also a world-class raconteur. Leonard and Jessie were held in rapt attention as he imitated Burt Lancaster, Henry Fonda and a host of others while spinning a series of unforgettable anecdotes. Don’t miss this encore episode from 2017!



Sep 23, 2022
Revisiting Ed Begley, Jr.

We’re reaching back six years to repeat a great conversation with Ed Begley, Jr., one of the most familiar faces in television and movies. He has great stories to match his incredible career, from Best in Show to Ghostbusters and beyond. He tells Leonard and Jessie how he came to be directed by Jack Nicholson, and reveals how Christopher Guest steers his actors through their improvised comedy scenes. This episode was recorded before our prolific guest joined the cast of Better Call Saul and Young Sheldon.

Sep 16, 2022
Revisiting Floyd Norman

In celebration of this weekend’s D23 convention in Anaheim, California, we’re happy to revisit this episode from August of 2018:

Floyd Norman is an official Disney Legend, and so much more: Walt Disney’s first full-time African-American animator, a contributor to such films as Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book, a disciple of Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men, and a story man on such Pixar features as Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc. What’s more, as Leonard and Jessie have learned, he’s a naturally funny man, a great storyteller, and a sweetheart of a guy with an irreverent sense of humor. He’s even the subject of a first-class documentary called Floyd Norman: An Animated Life. Tune in for some great anecdotes and first-hand memories of Walt Disney.


Recorded live at That’s from Disneyland, courtesy of its creators Richard and Nicky Kraft


Sep 09, 2022
Andreas Deja

Andreas was 10 or 11 when he saw Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book and it changed his life. As a boy in Germany he dreamed of working for the studio that captured his imagination so completely… and he made that dream come true. A master animator, he brought King Triton to life in The Little Mermaid, Scar in The Lion King, and Jafar in Aladdin, to name just a few. He never surrendered his pencil, choosing to burnish his skills rather than adapt to computer technology. For most of the last decade he’s been working on an animated film of his own called Moushka. Andreas is that rare artist who has carved his own path and been rewarded for his dedication (and talent). Leonard and Jessie are longtime friends and fans.

Aug 26, 2022
Emmy Nominees for Love, Death & Robots

Meet four of the creative folks responsible for the animated Netflix hit Love, Death & Robots!  In their alternate lives, creator and executive producer Tim Miller directed the big-screen Deadpool and Jennifer Yuh Nelson directed Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3… but this attention-grabbing anthology of animated short subjects has got their juices flowing. The same holds true for supervising sound editors Brad North and Craig Henighan, who treat each episode of the show like a feature film and call on years of experience creating unusual soundscapes. Leonard and Jessie can’t imagine all the work that goes into crafting every installment of this wildly imaginative show.

Aug 19, 2022
Emmy Nominees for Gaslit

“Gaslit” is one of the best miniseries of the past year, and it has been rewarded with Emmy nominations for Kazu Hiro, the gifted Japanese-born makeup artist who transformed Sean Penn into former Attorney General John Mitchell… cinematographer Larkin Seiple, whose credits include this year’s indie darling Everything Everywhere All at Once…sound rerecording mixers John W. Cook II and Ben Wilkins, who articulate why creating authentic sound effects make a crucial difference to the film as a whole and their expert audio colleagues Stefani Feldman and Kevin Buchholz,  Leonard and Jessie value this opportunity to go behind the scenes and talk to such creative collaborators.

Aug 17, 2022
Rick Carter

Rick Carter’s credits as production designer are staggering: Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, A.I., Amistad, Cast Away, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the two that won him Oscars, Avatar and Lincoln, to name just a few. Yet he remains open-minded and recently mentored eight local artists for an amazing installation at the El Segundo Museum of Art, or eSMOA. That’s where Leonard and Jessie sat down with him to discuss his extraordinary career and the exceptional films he’s helped bring to life.


Aug 12, 2022
Martin Short

Show business was always Martin Short’s destination. When he was a boy he wrote TV Guide listings for the variety show he envisioned for himself. Most of his dreams have come true, from television to Hollywood to Broadway. He’s just completed season 2 of Only Murders in the Building for Hulu, costarring his pal Steve Martin and Selena Gomez. If it looks like the stars are having a good time working together, it’s because they are. Both Leonard and Jessie were nervous talking to someone they admire so very much. Their guest was unfailingly thoughtful and good-natured. How could he be otherwise? He’s Martin Short!

Aug 05, 2022
Michael Uslan

Lots of baby boomers read comic books, but only one pursued his love of comics so far that he wound up buying the screen rights to Batman. It took ten years for Michael Uslan to get that first movie made, with Tim Burton behind the camera and Michael Keaton in front, but it was a game-changer for Hollywood. Michael has told his life story in a book, The Boy Who Loved Batman, and now it’s going to be a Broadway show! During the recording of this conversation Jessie realized that Michael and Leonard must have inhabited the same space at one time years ago. Listen in and you’ll learn the answer.

Jul 29, 2022
Paul Walter Hauser

If you’re casting an unconventional character and you need someone the audience will relate to—no matter how strange his story—you might want to call on Paul Walter Hauser. Clint Eastwood did for the leading role in his movie Richard Jewell, Craig Gillespie did for I, Tonya, and Dennis Lehane did for the current Apple+ series Black Bird. (Spike Lee has used him twice—in Blackklansman and Da 5 Bloods.) Jessie has been a fan since the TV series Kingdom, and Leonard is still catching up with this gifted performer’s work.

Jul 22, 2022
Annette O’Toole

Annette O’Toole’s first professional job was dancing with Danny Kaye on his network TV show… and she hasn’t stopped performing since. She’s about to film the fifth season of the Netflix series Virgin River and is brimming with enthusiasm for it. Her credits include six years as Ma Kent on Smallville, an Emmy nomination for playing Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in The Kennedys of Massachusetts, and an Oscar nomination for the song “A Smile at the End of the Rainbow” from Christopher Guest’s A Mighty Wind (which she wrote with her husband Michael McKean). Leonard and Jessie love talking to people like Annette who love what they do—and are so very good at it.

Jul 15, 2022
Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane is the best-selling author of Boston-based crime novels that have translated well to film (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone). His first experience with television was on The Wire, a great show that helped inform his new six-part series called Black Birds, which debuts Friday, July 8 on Apple+. It’s an incredibly gripping drama and Lehane is happy to talk about it with Leonard and Jessie. You’ll learn about the importance of casting not just the leading roles (Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, Ray Liotta) but every person who appears on camera.

Jul 08, 2022
Dean Fleischer-Camp

Leonard and Jessie are unapologetic proselytizers for the new theatrical feature Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. This disarming feature is an outgrowth of a short Fleischer-Camp created with his partner, actor/comedian/filmmaker Jenny Slate that went viral back in 2010 when that was uncommon. Dean explains how he and Jenny dealt with that phenomenon and tried to protect their precious character, who emerges triumphant in this charming and surprisingly emotional film. If you’d like to hear our 2017 conversation with Jenny, just click HERE.

Jul 01, 2022
Revisiting Richard Sherman

Hi everyone… Jessie and I recently helped our beloved Richard Sherman celebrate his 94th birthday. He is a living legend and a bona fide Disney Legend who with his brother Bob wrote songs we all know and love from Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, and Disneyland, to name just a few of his many credits. We spoke to him in 2016 and thought it would be fun to play that episode again. His passion for music and life is inspiring, and we feel very lucky to know him 

Jun 24, 2022
Rose McIver

How is it that Kiwi native Rose McIver is so talented, so versatile, and still so nice? Popular most recently for her appearances on IZombie and the current Ghosts on CBS, she has also worked with Peter Jackson on The Lovely Bones and a host of other TV shows (like Masters of Sex) and films—going all the way back to Jane Campion’s The Piano--sometimes playing American (flawlessly) and other times letting her natural voice be heard. In any event, she’s fun to listen to.

Jun 10, 2022
Alison Pill

With a starring role in the current VOD release All My Puny Tomorrows Alison Pill has a showcase worthy of her abundant talent. That’s no secret to fans who have followed her since her days as a child actress… including many of today’s leading filmmakers, who have cast her in such notable films as Milk, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Snowpiercer, and Hail, Caesar!, to name just a few. And she recently completed a two-year run in Star Trek: Picard. Small wonder that Leonard and Jessie found her to be a smart and engaging conversationalist.

Jun 03, 2022
George Stevens Jr.

Our guest grew up as a privileged son of Hollywood royalty. George Stevens Sr. made such classic movies as Gunga Din, Shane, and Giant, and in time invited his son to join his filmmaking team. But George Stevens Jr. went on to forge his own formidable career in Washington D.C. as founder of the American Film Institute and co-creator of the Kennedy Center Honors. His newly published autobiography My Place in the Sun is filled with great stories from both worlds, some of which he was kind enough to share with Leonard and Jessie.

May 27, 2022
Ron Perlman

In his earliest screen appearances (remember Quest for Fire?) Ron Perlman was buried under a ton of makeup and prosthetics. That’s also how he became the Emmy-winning star of television’s Beauty and the Beast. Since then he’s shown his versatility, especially in his collaborations with the gifted filmmaker Guillermo del Toro like Hellboy and the forthcoming Pinocchio. His new film
The Last Victim, casts him as a weary sheriff in the modern-day West. As Leonard and Jessie quickly discovered, Ron has the soul of a poet and the heart of a movie buff. Wait till you hear him singing the praises of Gary Cooper!

May 23, 2022
Gustav Hoegen
Gustav Hoegen is one of those creative artists whose work is seen by millions of people but whose name and face remains little-known. He is a creature designer who specializes in audio-animatronics. You’ve seen his imaginative designs come to life in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Prometheus, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, all of the recent Star Wars features and now in Hatching, which is now playing in theaters everywhere. Leonard and Jessie were happy to get a peek behind the scenes of contemporary visual effects with a modern master as our guide.
May 06, 2022
Karen Gillan

Karen Gillan first came to prominence playing Amy Pond during two seasons on Dr. Who. Then she was cast as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and her career went into overdrive. She’ll be reprising her signature role in Thor: Love and Thunder and in Volume 3 of Guardians next year. Meanwhile, you can see her play opposite herself in the science-fiction feature Dual, now playing in theaters, and in Judd Apatow’s The Bubble on Netflix. Leonard and Jessie are suckers for anyone with a Scottish accent, but Karen ups the ante with her outgoing personality and upbeat approach to her burgeoning career.

Apr 22, 2022
Brian Cox

His performance as the devilish media baron Logan Roy has helped make Succession must-see television. But Brian Cox has been giving inspired performances for decades, on stage, screen and television; he was the first actor to play Hannibal Lecter in 1986’s Manhhunter. Now he’s gathered his best stories in a candid, witty book called Putting the Rabbit in the Hat. He is also a fanatic about Hollywood’s golden age and a guest programmer for TCM this month. Needless to say, Leonard and Jessie had little trouble finding topics of conversation with the man who names Spencer Tracy as his all-time favorite actor.

Apr 15, 2022
Eddie Marsan

The success of Ray Donovan has introduced Eddie Marsan to a legion of viewers who may not have seen (or recognized) him from the hundred-or-so feature films he’s been in, from Gangs of New York and War Horse to Mike Leigh’s wonderful Vera Drake and Happy-go-Lucky. He is the very model of a modern working actor, ready to take on a new accent and persona with each new assignment…and that’s the way he likes it. Leonard and Jessie are charter members of his fan club and were delighted to find that—unlike some of the nasty guys he’s played on screen—he’s a devoted family man with four children. You can see him right now in The Contractor starring Chris Pine.


Apr 12, 2022
Anthony LaPaglia

Television viewers may know him best for his seven-year run as the star of Without a Trace (or his Emmy-winning appearances on Frasier) but Anthony LaPaglia has had a long and varied career on stage and film. Early credits include 29th Street, Innocent Blood, Betsy’s Wedding, Jessie’s favorite Empire Records and Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam. Now he’s starring in Nitram, a drama about one of the most shocking incidents in Australian history. It’s playing on AMC+ and available in selected theaters and VOD. Anthony is a bright and thoughtful man with a good sense of self: he admits that he had to improve his Australian accent when he went back to film in his home country!


Apr 01, 2022
Neal McDonough

Neal McDonough is one of the busiest actors in show business. Now he is adding “writer” and “producer” to his resumé with a feature called Boon that comes to theaters and VOD on April1st. His talent and work ethic have earned him the respect of men like Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood, so he’s got great role models to follow. From Band of Brothers to Minority Report, Desperate Housewives to Arrow and The Flash, he has built a rock-solid career in front of the camera. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Leonard and Jessie enjoyed meeting Neal, whose wife is now his producing partner—having already produced five children together!

Mar 25, 2022
Suzanne Lloyd

Sue Lloyd was raised by her grandfather, the legendary silent-screen comedian Harold Lloyd—the guy in horned-rim glasses and a straw hat who dangled off a clock on the side of a building in his hit comedy Safety Last. (Her grandmother had been his leading lady on screen.) He introduced her and her friends to his film vault and paved the way for them to protect his movies, which she makes available today at festivals, online, and on home video. Sue has wonderful memories of her privileged upbringing and the people she met along the way. She has even published books of her grandfather’s famous 3-D photography. Leonard and Jessie love stepping into the past with Sue as their guide.

Mar 11, 2022
Ray Wise
Immortalized as Leland Palmer in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (in 1990-91, 2017 and in the 1992 prequel feature), Ray Wise has appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows...and he still loves what he does. He tells Leonard and Jessie that he set his sights on being a professional actor in the fourth grade. That goal was met years ago, with roles on such TV series as Love of Life, The Young and the Restless, 24, The Reaper (as The Devil) and Fresh Off the Boat, along with movies like Swamp Thing, X-Men: First Class and Good Night and Good Luck. He even voiced Commissioner Gordon in the latest Batman animated feature, Batman: The Killing Joke. Ray is a delight to talk to and the living definition of the term “working actor.” His latest feature, now available on VOD, is King Knight with Matthew Gray Gubler.
Mar 04, 2022
Karen Dotrice
To untold millions of people she will always be bright-eyed Jane Banks in the original Mary Poppins (1964). The real-life Karen Dotrice is the mother of three who grew up in a show-business family. Her father Roy was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and her godfather was Charles Laughton! Luckily for us, Karen cherishes the memory of making Poppins and has especially fond recollections of Walt Disney, who lavished personal attention on her and her family while they were in Los Angeles. Jessie and Leonard were tickled pink to engage in conversation with a woman they’ve known and admired for years. (Karen even attended Jessie’s bat mitzvah!)
Feb 25, 2022
Ken Kwapis
On the eve of the hilarious Space Force (starring Steve Carell and John Malkovich) returning to Netflix for Season 2, its director Ken Kwapis joins us to talk about the joy of working with such a talented ensemble, and to review his multifaceted career. He’s just written a smart and useful book called But What I Really Want to Do is Direct (St. Martin’s Griffin), based on his experiences directing such Maltin-favorite features as Sesame Street presents Follow That Bird, The Beautician and the Beast, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants…not to mention multiple episodes of Malcolm in the Middle, The Larry Sanders Show, and The Office. Jessie and Leonard had fun reviewing sometimes-unsung films and shows that bear Ken’s name.
Feb 18, 2022
Adrien Brody

Adrien Brody has written a new role for himself in the indie picture Clean, now in theaters and on VOD. It’s the latest in an ever-growing rogue’s gallery that includes his Oscar-winning role in The Pianist, his recent appearance on Succession, and an appearance as L.A. Lakers coach Pat Riley in an upcoming miniseries. He’s part of Wes Anderson’s elite corps of favorite actors and has played everyone from Salvador Dali to Harry Houdini. Leonard and Jessie enjoyed hearing his take on Spike Lee, Peter Jackson and other filmmakers who have called upon his formidable talent.

Feb 04, 2022
Woody Allen

I have followed Woody Allen since I was a boy, from his heyday as a standup comic to his emergence as one of America’s most original (and prolific) filmmakers, so he is very much a part of my life. At 86 he is as busy as ever. His latest film, Rifkin’s Festival (starring Wallace Shawn and Gina Gershon) opens today in theaters and on VOD. He has another film ready to shoot, a play about to be produced, and a new book of humorous essays called Zero Gravity, all dependent on pandemic conditions. This conversation gave Jessie and me an opportunity to ask about his beginnings as a gag writer while still in high school, his passion for playing New Orleans-style jazz, and his singular work ethic. He was uncommonly generous with his time and typically self-deprecating about his talent.

Jan 28, 2022
Ernest Dickerson

Ernest Dickerson studied cinematography at NYU where, on his first day, he met and bonded with fellow student Spike Lee. They made six memorable films together (including Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X) before Ernest made his directing debut with Juice, which has just been released in a special Blu-ray edition marking its 30th anniversary. He has gone on to direct such striking TV series as The Wire, Treme, Dexter, The Walking Dead and Bosch, to name just a few. Leonard and Jessie have been following his work for years and are delighted to have had a chance to talk to such a grounded and progressive filmmaker.

Jan 14, 2022
Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro is a sorcerer who places no limits on his imagination. His new film, Nightmare Alley, now playing in theaters, is an exquisitely rendered film noir that stands alongside his earlier work (The Devil’s Backbone, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water) with the promise of more to come—like his “take” on Pinocchio. Leonard and Jessie are longtime devotees and are thrilled to share this uniquely eloquent and passionate creator with all of you.

Dec 31, 2021
Lily Rabe

Lily Rabe is a talented actress with superior bloodlines: her mother was the gifted Jill Clayburgh, and her father is playwright David Rabe. But she has carved her own path and proves it yet again as the loving mother in George Clooney’s new film The Tender Bar, now in theaters and soon on Amazon Prime. One of her biggest fans is producer-director Ryan Murphy, who has crafted challenging roles for her in every season of American Horror Story… an offer she admits she can’t refuse. Smart, sensitive and charming, Lily Rabe won over Leonard and Jessie within moments of starting this conversation.

Dec 24, 2021
Corbin Bernsen

Corbin Bernsen achieved stardom over eight seasons on the TV series L.A. Lawand hasn’t stopped working since—on both sides of the camera. His latest film as an actor is The Hating Game, now available on VOD. He grew up in a show-business household; his father was producer-director Harry Bernsen and his mother was Jeanne Cooper, a busy actress and one of the queens of daytime drama. With no illusions he forged a career for himself in movies and television (logging eight seasons on Psych) that’s still going strong. What’s more, he’s still having a good time. Leonard and Jessie enjoyed getting to know him.

Dec 17, 2021
Alice Waters

As the mother of the “farm to table“ movement, Alice Waters has changed the way food is prepared and served in countless restaurants around the world. She opened Chez Panisse 50 years ago in Berkeley, California and is still going strong. She is also a diehard film buff who named her establishment after a character in the timeless Marcel Pagnol movies of the 1930s (Marius, Cesar, Fanny). Leonard and Jessie have gotten to know her as a regular attendee of the Telluride film festival and, through this conversation, enjoyed learning more about her background and philosophy.

Dec 10, 2021
Robert Weide

Robert B. Weide, Bob to his friends, is a rare bird who has studied comedy and also created it, on a very high level. His documentary W.C. Fields Straight Up won an Emmy and Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth was nominated for an Oscar. His latest documentary, Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time, is now playing in theaters and on VOD, and it was forty years in the making. Bob explains why and traces his own impressive career, highlighted by teaming with Larry David to create Curb Your Enthusiasm, which earned him a second Emmy for Best Director. He also wrote and directed a series called Mr. Sloane (starring Nick Frost and Olivia Colman) that deserves to be better known. Full disclosure: Bob is a family friend, and both Leonard and Jessie are fans of his work.

Dec 03, 2021
Joe Pantoliano

Joe Pantoliano is one of those actors who serves as a secret weapon in scores of TV shows and movies. His latest, Hide and Seek, opens today in theaters and on VOD. His credits include memorable roles in Memento, The Matrix, The Sopranos (which earned him an Emmy) and Midnight Run. He has also written two books about his life and philosophy—not bad for a guy who was challenged by dyslexia. He explains how he came to be called Joey Pants while growing up in Hoboken, New Jersey in an unusually thoughtful chat with Leonard and Jessie.

Nov 19, 2021
Revisiting Richard Donner

Ask Jessie or Leonard who their favorite guests have been and they will invariably name the late Richard Donner, who came to our studio in 2018. The man who directed Superman (with Christopher Reeve), The Omen, Lethal Weapon, and The Goonies should need no introduction…but his career began in theater and television and he had many great memories he was happy to share. Is there anyone else who can say he directed episodes of Perry Mason, Get Smart, and Gilligan’s Island? Leonard and Jessie tapped into his prodigious memory for an hour of wonderful anecdotes and observations.

Nov 12, 2021
Talking Toons with Jerry Beck and Mark Evanier

When Leonard feels like discussing vintage animation he calls on old friends like Jerry Beck ( and Mark Evanier ( who never run out of things to say. Mark actually worked for Hanna-Barbera and even shared an office with Tex Avery. Jerry is involved in restorations of other classic cartoon shorts. These three pals wax nostalgic about the cartoon history they inhaled on early television and don’t intend to apologize for it.

Nov 05, 2021
John Ross Bowie

John Ross Bowie is a comedic actor you know from such TV shows as The Big Bang Theory and Speechless (not to mention the newly-hatched Feel Good and Generations). His pet project is a new podcast dedicated to character actors called Household Faces. Leonard and Jessie share his interest in these unsung heroes of films and television… and apparently, they also find the same things funny, based on this rambunctious, talkative hour. P.S. the unstoppable Maltin dogs (Mabel and Logan) make periodic audio appearances in this week’s show.

Oct 15, 2021
Ann Dowd

Ann Dowd is one of today’s foremost character actresses, and finally has an Emmy award to prove it, in recognition of her chilling performance in A Handmaid’s Tale. She fell in love with acting as a girl and set her sights on a stage career; television and movies have helped her reach an even wider audience. Her new movie Mass opens in theaters today… or you can watch her in replays of everything from Freaks and Geeks to Hereditary. Jessie and Leonard have looked forward to this conversation for a long, long time.

Oct 08, 2021
Eddie Muller
Having organized a series of film festivals, rescued little known movies from oblivion, and written eloquent odes to many a forgotten picture, Eddie Muller has earned the soubriquet “the czar of noir.” He now reaches a wider audience than ever on Turner Classic Movies’ Noir Alley and has recently published an expanded edition of his milestone book “Dark City” (Running Press.) Jessie and Leonard always enjoy talking to Eddie, who doesn’t take himself too seriously—and loves what he does. 
Oct 04, 2021
Revisiting Werner Herzog

The world-class filmmaker with the distinctive voice is our esteemed guest today. He’s not intimidating—quite the opposite—as he describes his early life, what drew him to filmmaking, and how he teaches students by throwing them in the deep end of the pool, so to speak. His passion is undiminished after more than fifty years of memorable, provocative films, most recently a series of fascinating documentaries like Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Leonard and Jessie were more than happy to sit at the great man’s feet and listen to him discuss his extraordinary life as a moviemaker. This episode first aired in 2018.

Sep 24, 2021
Hayley Mills Returns

If you’re a baby boomer, you know all about Hayley Mills, the charming young actress who became an overnight star in Pollyanna and The Parent Trap under the tutelage of Walt Disney. Her new autobiography, Forever Young, will hold surprises even for the most devout fan, as Hayley was given access to her files in the Walt Disney Archives, where she made discoveries about herself and her loving but protective parents. Jessie and Leonard are very fond of Hayley and are happy to welcome her back to the podcast after four years’ time.

Sep 17, 2021
Revisiting Billy Bob Thornton 

Billy Bob Thornton is in a class by himself. If you haven’t seen his Amazon series Goliath, just about to launch its fourth and final season, you’re missing a great acting showcase…a perfect follow-up to his unforgettable turn on the first season of Fargo. Leonard and Jessie are longtime fans and delight in talking to him about finding his place in Hollywood, working with the Coen Brothers, playing the President of the United States in Love, Actually, and much, much more. This encore episode originally aired on June 30, 2017.





Sep 03, 2021
Joe Morgenstern

Joe Morgenstern is the age-defying film critic for the Wall Street Journal, a post he has held since 1995. He’s also one of only three film critics to have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Sample any one of his reviews and you will see why he is so highly regarded. An elegant, witty, and knowledgeable essayist, he represents the best of the breed. What’s more, his enthusiasm remains intact after decades of working the same beat. Jessie realizes that she has known him her entire life but this is the first chance she’s had to talk to him at length about his work. Leonard was and remains an ardent admirer.


Aug 27, 2021
R.L. Stine

How many authors get to see themselves portrayed on the big screen? R.L. Stine has—and by the very cool Jack Black, in two movies, based on his phenomenally popular Goosebumps books. Bob has entertained (and scared) several generations of kids—like Jessie—with his scary books for young people, and seems as surprised by their success and durability as anyone in his vast audience. Leonard and Bob rekindled an old acquaintance in the course of this show, with Jessie enacting the role of lifelong fan.


Aug 20, 2021
Revisiting Norman Lloyd

Norman Lloyd was a mere 103 when we recorded this interview in 2018. He lived to be 106…and what a rich life it was. Listen as he talks about people he knew and worked with: Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Jean Renoir, Martin Scorsese. Leonard and Jessie will never forget the day they made this recording and think it’s well worth a reprise.

Aug 13, 2021

In 2018 Al Pacino—yes, Al Pacino—spent an hour with Leonard and Jessie talking about the theatrical release of his long-delayed film of Salome (featuring a young Jessica Chastain) and its accompanying documentary Wilde Salome. If you also want to hear what challenges him as an actor…or stories about the making of The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, and other classics of American film, you won’t be disappointed. Hey, it’s AL PACINO.

Aug 06, 2021
Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette is the talking half of one of the most successful acts in all of show business, Penn and Teller. He is a highly principled purveyor of magic and a great entertainer as well. He and his partner have conquered every conceivable medium and show no signs of slowing down—in Las Vegas or on television. Leonard and Jessie loved getting to spend an hour in the company of someone they’ve admired so long.

Jul 30, 2021
Rahmin Bahrani

Rahmin Bahrani is one of the most gifted filmmakers of our time. He proved this with his first ultra-low-budget features, Man Push Cart and Chop Shop—keen-eyed observational portraits of characters living in the margins of society.  (Both are now available in comprehensive Blu-ray editions from the Criterion Collection). What’s more, he is a recent Oscar nominee for his searing adaptation of the prize-winning novel The White Tiger, which streams on Netflix. He also teaches filmmaking at his alma mater, Columbia University, inspiring a new generation of storytellers. Leonard and Jessie are long time admirers of his work and loved having an opportunity to discuss his remarkable career.

Jul 23, 2021
Jake Johnson

Jake Johnson is a versatile guy who was inspired by the Second City troupe in Chicago, and set out to emulate them, first in New York and then in Los Angeles where he started landing movie and TV roles. Eventually he won a costarring role in New Girl with Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield. Leonard and Jessie discuss how each job—and personal connection—has led to other projects, from the modest indie Safety not Guaranteed to Jurassic World. His co-wrote his newest film, Ride the Eagle, with New Girl director-producer Trent O’Donnell, and you can see it On Demand and in theaters July 30. Jake’s positivity is a tribute to the creative spirit that even a pandemic couldn’t vanquish.

Jul 16, 2021
Thomas Newman

The music you remember from The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, Angels in America, Finding Nemo, 1917, and the James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre was all written by Thomas Newman. His father was the legendary film composer Alfred Newman (who won nine Oscars and composed the 20th Century Fox fanfare). His brother David is also a film composer, and his cousin is songwriter/composer/performer Randy. Thomas admires them all but still managed to find his own “voice.” Leonard and Jessie are unabashed admirers, all the more so after speaking with this gifted but unassuming musical talent.

Jul 09, 2021
Max Casella

Max Casella has been a familiar presence on TV and movie screens since he was a kid, costarring in Newsies and Doogie Houser, M.D. Since then he’s kept busy on Broadway (in The Lion King--as the original Timon), on stage, television (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire) and films, working with everyone from George Clooney to Spike Lee. He costars with Kevin Corrigan and Paul Reiser in the pandemic drama Scenes from an Empty Church, which is now available on Video on Demand. And he appreciates the fans like Leonard and Jessie who have been following his career from the very start.

Jul 02, 2021
Sam Richardson

Sam Richardson’s performance as the clueless but good-hearted Richard Splett on Veep endeared him to a legion of viewers…but he started winning fans before that on The Office, in movies like Horrible Bosses and We’re the Millers, and on The Detroiters, a comedy series he created and starred in with his best friend Tim Robinson. He has the leading role in Josh Ruben’s new comedy feature Werewolves Within (now available on VOD and in theaters) and is lending his voice to such animated shows as Housebroken and Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. Jessie and Leonard are longtime admirers, as you can tell from their conversation with Sam.


Jun 25, 2021
Judd Apatow

The moving force behind so many comedy careers, Judd Apatow has just returned from London where he’s made a movie about shooting a film during the pandemic! It’s the latest move in a unique career. From comedy fan to standup comic to writer, director, producer and mentor, he is one of a kind. His credits stretch from Freaks & Geeks and Girlson television to such movies as The Forty Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, This is 40, Trainwreck and The King of Staten Island. He’s also working on a followup to his terrific book of interviews, Sick in the Head. Jessie and Leonard are unabashed admirers of him and his family (wife Leslie Mann and daughters Maude and Iris Apatow) and enjoyed having the opportunity to talk to him.

Jun 18, 2021
James L. Brooks

From The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Taxi to such movies as Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News and As Good as It Gets, writer-director-producer James L. Brooks has created quality entertainment for decades and has no intention of slowing down. He has served as mentor to the likes of Cameron Crowe and Wes Anderson and continues to work with young talents behind the camera. Oh yes—he’s also produced The Simpsons for the past 30 years. Leonard and Jessie were honored to talk to this multi-award-winning talent about his remarkable career.

Jun 11, 2021
Sarah Finn

Casting directors are the unsung heroes and heroines of the entertainment business. Sarah Finn has cast every single film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (as well as their TV and streaming series) so she has great stories to tell about lobbying for Robert Downey Jr. to star in Iron Man, why she approached Vin Diesel to play Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, and how she overcame a slight obstacle to get Chris Pratt hired to lead that merry band. With a solid background in theater, plenty of non-Marvel movies to her credit,  and boundless energy Sarah is a major creative contributor to every film and TV show she takes on. That’s why Jessie and Leonard are pleased to shine a spotlight on her in this  episode.

Jun 04, 2021
Ben Burtt

Four-time Oscar winner Ben Burtt has crafted and created sounds we all know—from the heavy-breathing of Darth Vader to the pops and squeaks of R2D2, not to mention the voices of WALL-E and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He’s been obsessed with sounds since he was a boy and has never lost that passion, which comes through in everything he does—including this interview with two of his biggest fans, Leonard and Jessie. (Did someone say Wilhelm?)

May 21, 2021
Simon Baker

Since starring in the hit American TV series The Guardian and The Mentalist, Australian-born Simon Baker has returned to his homeland and made two pet projects: the surfing drama Breath (which he also directed and co-wrote) and High Ground, which is now playing in theaters and On Demand. Filmed in remote and spectacular locations, it’s about a culture clash involving Aboriginal tribes and the colonizing forces of the UK—and it’s quite good. It also features the figurehead of Australian cinema, Jack Thompson, in a co-starring role. Simon discussed why these projects mean so much to him in this thoughtful conversation with Leonard and Jessie.


May 14, 2021
Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban’s resumé is filled with milestones: he shares an unforgettable scene with Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy, plays Francois Truffaut’s interpreter in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and is part of the Christopher Guest ensemble (Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind, Best in Show) and the Wes Anderson repertory group (Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel). He writes, directs, and shares an Oscar nomination as a producer of Robert Altman’s Gosford Park. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of a fascinating life and career, which Jessie and Leonard were happy to explore.


May 07, 2021
Richard Kind

Richard Kind is beloved by fans and colleagues alike. A versatile actor and endearing presence on TV shows like Spin City, Mad About You, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, movies including Argo, and A Serious Man, and animated films including A Bug’s Life, Cars, and Inside Out, he has made a lasting impression. He’s also performed on Broadway in such shows as The Producers and accumulated a lifetime’s worth of anecdotes and observations. Leonard and Jessie are among his biggest admirers and had a ball spending an hour in conversation with him.

Apr 30, 2021
Kris Bowers

A onetime piano prodigy is now an Oscar nominee. Having won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition in 2011, Kris Bowers has spread his wings and achieved his goal of becoming a composer for film and television. Among his credits: Green Book, Bridgerton, When They See Us, and the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy. What’s more, his charming short subject, A Concerto is a Conversation, which he directed with Ben Proudfoot, is an Academy Award nominee. (watch it at As you will hear, Kris is engaging, articulate, and equally comfortable talking about Bach and Bugs Bunny.

Apr 17, 2021
Scott Frank

He’s enjoying the success and acclaim he rightly deserves for The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix’s most-watched scripted miniseries), but Scott Frank is not just a flavor of the month. He’s written movies like Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Minority Report, Logan, and our favorite sleeper The Lookout, which marked his directing debut. Scott has a wealth of observations about screenwriting and moviemaking which he shares with Leonard and Jessie, who have belatedly discovered Godless, the exceptional Western miniseries he made for Netflix in 2017. It’s another must-see.

Apr 09, 2021
Mark Harris

His new biography Mike Nichols: A Life is garnering rave reviews, but that’s no surprise. Mark Harris’s other two books, Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back are required reading for anyone who loves films. A native New Yorker, Mark spent many years writing for Entertainment Weekly, which put him on the front lines of pop culture. He continues to cover the film scene for New York magazine. A diligent researcher as well as a fan, Mark has much to say about digging deep in order to tell a good (and accurate) story, as you will hear.

Apr 02, 2021
Revisiting Quincy Jones

Listen up! When Quincy Jones speaks he may be imparting Yoda-like wisdom or talking about his collaborations with Steven Spielberg, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, or Hal Ashby, to name just a few. His film credits range from The Pawnbroker and In Cold Blood to The Color Purpleand the must-see documentary Keep on Keepin’ On. As a musician, arranger, film composer, and entrepreneur he is without peer, and arguably the coolest guy on the planet. It’s been four years since Leonard and Jessie spent a lively hour with him and they still marvel at the experience. Keep On Keepin’ On, is now streaming on Amazon Prime, iTunes and other platforms.

Mar 19, 2021
Thomas Nicholas

If you’re in your 30s like Jessie, you grew up with Thomas Nicholas onscreen. He starred in Rookie of the Year and A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, then—a little older—he appeared the hugely popular American Pie series. He’s led a band for many years and has never forsaken acting, but with the release of Adverse on VOD he officially joins the ranks of producers. Leonard and Jessie enjoyed meeting him and recalling some of the highlights of an enduring career.

Mar 12, 2021
Revisiting Norman Lear

Whatever you may think of the Golden Globes, their voters hit a bull’s-eye when they gave a special award to Norman Lear, the youngest 98-year-old in Hollywood. He could easily coast along on his many accomplishments as a writer, producer, director, and political activist; instead he is engaged in new projects on a daily basis. He also penned a candid, entertaining autobiography called Even This I Get to Experience.


          Jessie and I were privileged to spend an hour with him as he was just settling into his new office suite on the Sony Pictures lot two and a half years ago. He gave birth to such TV series as All in the Family, Maude, and The Jeffersons and was then busily involved in a reboot of One Day at a Time. He’s worked in television since 1950, but no one seems to talk to him about the movies he wrote, produced, and/or directed, like Cold Turkey, or those for which he was a midwife (like The Princess Bride). We relished spending time with this highly amusing, soft-spoken giant—even when he fielded a cell phone call from a political fundraiser in the midst of our interview!

Mar 05, 2021
Dave Karger

A familiar and welcome face as one of the hosts on Turner Classic Movies, Dave Karger has paid his dues as a working journalist for many years. He spent 17 of those years as a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, and has made frequent appearances on The Today Show, E! and Access Hollywood.  Chronicling celebrity culture requires diplomacy and savvy in equal measures, and Dave is more than up to the task. Jessie and Leonard are admirers and welcomed this opportunity to talk to him.

Feb 22, 2021
Revisiting Angela Lansbury

Hi, it’s Leonard Maltin. Jessie and I are taking some time off but we want to share another of our favorite episodes of Maltin on Movies. Whether you know her best as Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, Jessica Fletcher on Murder She Wrote, or the scheming mother from hell in The Manchurian Candidate, you’ll be glad to know that the real Angela Lansbury is alive and well at age 95. She was merely 93 when we recorded this conversation in her lovely Los Angeles home. Enjoy.

Feb 12, 2021
Mel Brooks Encore

Leonard and Jessie spend quality time with the one and only Mel Brooks, who’s as spry as ever and bursting with great stories. He reveals the name of the funniest comedy he ever saw, talks about Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and The Producers, and explains how he and his pal Carl Reiner screen movies together almost every night. You don’t want to miss this one.

Feb 05, 2021
Jon Burlingame and Steven Smith

Two of the world’s foremost authorities on movie music—whom we also count as good friends—join in a buoyant conversation filled with insight and laughter. Jon Burlingame writes for Variety and teaches film scoring at USC; his books include The Music of James Bond. Steven Smith’s latest book is Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood’s Most Influential Composer. Together they represent an unbeatable storehouse of knowledge which they are eager to share with all of us.


Jan 22, 2021
Leslie Iwerks

As the granddaughter of animation pioneer Ub Iwerks and daughter of longtime Imagineer Don Iwerks, Leslie Iwerks automatically earns a niche in film history… but she’s forged a great reputation of her own, with Oscar and Emmy nominations to show for it. Her six-part series The Imagineering Story helped launch Disney+, while her provocative profile of hackers from Macedonia, Selling Lies, earned critical praise this past year. She’s chronicled the history of Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic and pursued a wide variety of topics that pique her interest. Leonard and Jessie are admirers of her work—and her family.

Jan 15, 2021
Ernie Hudson

He’s earned immortality as that guy from Ghostbusters (and you’ll see him in the forthcoming sequel) but Ernie Hudson is everywhere you look: as the star and executive producer of BET’s The Family Business, as Lily Tomlin’s love interest in Netlflix’s Grace and Frankie, and Gary Dourdan’s father in the new movie Redemption Day, opening in theaters today and on VOD next week. He’s been in scores of movies and TV shows, from Oz to The Crow but the nicest thing about this nice (and talented) guy is that he still loves acting.

Jan 08, 2021
Judy Greer

Any actress who would title her book I Don’t Know What You Know Me From:  Confessions of a Co-Star is certain to be fun to talk to and Judy Greer is just that: a versatile actress who’s done a little bit of everything in show business but isn’t jaded or disengaged. She loves acting and relishes each new challenge, from voice acting (as a costar of the hit series Archer) to joining an ensemble of her peers in the new indie drama Uncle Frank. She has an irresistible sense of humor, and Leonard and Jessie had a great time talking to her about her indestructible (and unpredictable) career.

Jan 01, 2021
Devon Sawa

Jessie grew up with such popular movies as Little Giants, Casper, and Now and Then so naturally she’s a fan of their star Devon Sawa. Now in his 40s, he’s the father of two young children and pursuing a career with renewed interest and energy. His latest feature, Hunter Hunter, costarring Nick Stahl, is now playing on demand. Luckily, Devon is aware of his loyal fan base from his years as a child actor and chooses to embrace it. Leonard and Jessie had fun hearing his stories and indulging in a bit of nostalgia.

Jan 01, 2021
Cathy Moriarty

Cathy Moriarty achieved immortality when, as a teenager, she was cast in Raging Bull, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. She earned an Oscar nomination for this memorable debut and has never looked back. The mother of three grown children and founder of Los Angeles’ Mulberry Street Pizza restaurants, she’s had a colorful life and enjoys talking about it—as well as promoting But I’m a Cheerleader, a 1999 cult favorite which arrives on Apple TV and other digital platforms this month. Leonard and Jessie had a good time with quintessential New Yorker. 

Dec 11, 2020
Margo Martindale

Margo Martindale is worth her weight in gold—to filmmakers and fans like us. Her presence is reason enough to watch any film or TV show. She’s part of the ensemble of the new indie drama Uncle Frank, and shows once more why she is any director’s best friend. Last year she tackled a real-life character, Bella Abzug, in the miniseries Mrs. America and pulled it off as easily as she has the fictional characters she’s played in Justified, The Americans, The Good Wife and many other projects. Leonard and Jessie are two of her biggest admirers and delighted in getting to interview her. She exceeded our expectations.

Dec 04, 2020
Scott Eyman

The new book Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise is the latest in a long line of superior biographies written by Scott Eyman, a lifelong movie buff and friend of the family. Scott shares his experiences getting to “know” people he never met and capturing their essence, from the contentious director John Ford to the epic-making Cecil B. DeMille…along with Mary Pickford, Henry Fonda, James Stewart and John Wayne. He’s also collaborated with Robert Wagner on three popular books. Leonard and Jessie ask how he manages to get inside these famous figures and make them come to life on the printed page.

Nov 20, 2020
April Wright

April Wright has found her calling as a filmmaker. Her first feature-length documentary, Going Attractions: The Definitive History of the American Drive-In was followed by Going Attractions: The Definitive History of the Movie Palace. Now she’s taken a contemporary turn with a terrific new film called Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story, which is now streaming online via Shout! Factory. Leonard and Jessie wondered what inspired her and how she has managed to stay afloat through good times and bad, taking her movies on the road. Check out her website

Nov 14, 2020
Ryan Kwanten

Sydney native Ryan Kwanten learned his craft while working on the popular Australian TV series Home and Away, racking up 223 episodes. He gained further notice on Summerland    but broke through to stardom on the red-hot HBO series True Blood. He’s seldom idle for long, having costarred in such recent series as The Oath and Sacred Lies, and while he’s now a California resident he still commutes for work. He can currently be seen with fellow Aussie Kodi Smit-McPhee in the futuristic 2067 on Amazon Prime and other streaming services. Leonard and Jessie found Ryan to be a thoughtful actor with an admirable work ethic and an interesting career to look back on.


Oct 24, 2020
Josh Ruben

Leonard and Jessie met the very likable Josh Ruben at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where he was screening his spooky comedy Scare Me, his debut feature which is now playing on Shudder and has been certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. He was hired as a cast member and director by College Humor in 2008 and hasn’t looked back. You’ve seen his work in scores of TV commercials, and you can check out his gift for parody at


Oct 16, 2020
Jeanine Basinger

Leonard and Jessie welcome Jeanine Basinger, perhaps the most influential film teacher of our time. She has shaped the thinking of many of today’s best writers, directors and producers at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Along the way she has written invaluable books like A Woman’s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women 1930-1960, The Star Machine, and most recently The Movie Musical!, to name just a few. Most important, she has been a devoted friend to the Maltin family. It’s a pleasure to welcome her to our podcast.

Oct 09, 2020
Howard Ashman Documentary

Howard: The Howard Ashman Story is a moving documentary by Don Hahn about the incredible man who set the Disney studio on a new course with The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Now available on Disney+, this documentary inspired us to craft an unusual episode of our podcast. We spoke to producer-director Don Hahn, Howard’s longtime life partner Bill Lauch, his sister Sarah Gillespie, the voice of Belle (Paige O’Hara), director John Musker, and Howard’s musical collaborator Alan Menken to offer you an intimate portrait of the gifted man whose life was cut short by AIDS

Oct 02, 2020
Julie Taymor

Millions of people around the globe have experienced the creativity of Julie Taymor in her groundbreaking stage production of Disney’s The Lion King. Her films include the Beatles homage Across the Universe, Frida, and Titus. Now she’s tackled the life and times of Gloria Steinem in The Glorias. She fell in love with theater as a girl growing up in the suburbs of Boston and traveled the world, soaking up different cultures and theatrical techniques using masks and puppetry, which she’s drawn on ever since. Leonard and Jessie avoid current events on this podcast, but listeners should know that Julie Taymor’s conversation is politically charged.


Sep 25, 2020
Matthew Modine

Whether you know him best from Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (just reissued in Ultra-High-Definition) or such memorable films as Birdy, Orphans, Short Cuts, or The Dark Knight Rises or if you just discovered him on Stranger Things, Matthew Modine is a talented and versatile actor who’s been working steadily since the 1980s. What’s more, he grew up in the rarefied setting of drive-in movie theaters, which his father managed. Charming, articulate and easy to talk to, Matthew proved to be a wonderful conversationalist for Leonard and Jessie to engage with.

Be sure to check out the Full Metal Jacket Diary in the Apple iPad App Store!

Sep 18, 2020
Jay Baruchel

Jay Baruchel first caught Jessie’s eye in Almost Famous, which led to him being cast in  Judd Apatow’s short-lived but well-loved TV series Undeclared. That put him in the same orbit as Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Evan Goldberg and other young talents he’s worked with ever since. He made an impression in such movies as Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, which contributed to his ultimate goal: becoming a filmmaker himself. He wrote, directed and stars in Goon: Last of the Enforcers and its sequel. His latest endeavor, Random Acts of Violence is now streaming online. A lifelong movie buff and hockey fanatic, like so many Canadians; he’s also great fun to talk to, as you will hear.

Sep 11, 2020
Tzi Ma

He’s been a familiar face on TV and in movies for decades—Jessie first saw him in Rush Hour—but lately Tzi Ma has come into his own playing fathers in Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, Alan Yang’s Tigertail and Niki Caro’s epic new production of Disney’s Mulan, which debuts today on Disney+. In fact, he grew up on Staten Island and fell in love with the theater, as he tells Leonard and Jessie in a fascinating review of his life and career. This charming man will reach an even bigger audience in the upcoming CW reboot of Kung Fu—where once again he’ll play a father to a female protagonist.

Sep 05, 2020
Matthew Flood Ferguson

What if you loved classic movies and were given the chance to physically re-create Old Hollywood? That’s what happened when producer Ryan Murphy hired Matthew Flood Ferguson as the production designer of his Netflix miniseries Hollywood… and now he’s an Emmy nominee. Leonard and Jessie learn what kind of challenges and decisions Matthew faced while trying to set the stage for a saga set in the golden age of Tinseltown.

Aug 28, 2020
Isabel Sandoval

A talented Filipino transgender filmmaker, Isabel Sandoval has already won acclaim in her native country and at festivals around the globe. Her new film, Lingua Franca, will reach an even wider audience as Ava DuVernay’s Array Releasing is presenting it on Netflix. As actor, writer, director, and editor she is leading a quiet revolution—yet her movie is not part of a crusade. It’s an honest, persuasive story about a hard-working immigrant set in New York’s Brighton Beach neighborhood. Leonard and Jessie responded to it, just as they did its unpretentious creator. We’ll be covering more Array releases in the weeks and months ahead.  @isabelvsandoval

Aug 28, 2020
Jerry Beck

If you’re an animation buff, you should know Jerry Beck…and it’s probable that you do. He is a valued resource—online at and, in classrooms at major universities, and in the content of 15 books, about everything from Looney Tunes to Spongebob Squarepants. He and Leonard met decades ago at Leonard’s animation class in Manhattan and have been close friends ever since. (Jessie has known him her entire life!) Join us for an animated conversation about a subject near and dear to all of us.

Aug 14, 2020
Dave Franco

A likable actor who has built a resumé with and without his brother James’ participation, Dave Franco has now made his debut as a writer-director with The Rental, starring his wife Alison Brie and Dan Stevens. Franco’s career has blossomed steadily over the past decade as he’s appeared in everything from The Lego Movie and Warm Bodies to The Disaster Artist and If Beale Street Could Talk. He’s brimming with enthusiasm and, as you’ll hear, fun to talk to.


Jul 31, 2020
Mark Evanier

Mark Evanier has not only attended every single San Diego Comic-con since its inception, he’s been a vital part of that famous gathering (which is on sabbatical this year)—moderating panels with pals like MAD cartoonist Sergio Aragones, interviewing icons like Ray Bradbury, and more. Mark’s writing career has taken him from comic books to sitcoms and beyond (if you don’t have his book Jack Kirby: King of Comics, you should). Leonard and Jessie are longtime friends and know what a great raconteur he is—as this episode will confirm.

Jul 24, 2020
Emily Mortimer

One of our favorite actresses, Emily Mortimer is currently starring in The Relic, a horror film now playing on VOD and theaters. Add this to a roster of movies and TV shows where she’s always a standout—from Mary Poppins Returns to The Newsroom, Dear Frankie, Lars and the Real Girl, City Island, Lovely & Amazing, her own HBO series Doll and Em, and two for her favorite director, Martin Scorsese: Shutter Island and Hugo. She has stories to share about all of them, as well as her glittery upbringing as the daughter of celebrated author and playwright John Mortimer. (p.s. her daughter enjoys hearing Emily’s voice in the English-language version of Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle. So do we.)


Jul 17, 2020
Nicholas Britell

You hear his striking, Emmy Award-winning music every time you watch Succession. He’s Nicholas Britell and he’s one of the brightest lights in the world of contemporary film and television scoring. His collaboration with filmmaker Barry Jenkins has yielded two Oscar nominations to date—for Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk. A New Yorker through and through, he remains disarmingly unpretentious and was happy to chat with Leonard and Jessie about the music he provided for Whiplash (which he also co-produced), The Big Short and Natalie Portman’s directorial debut, Eve, among others. He’s still got a big career ahead of him. 


Jun 26, 2020
Stephen Chbosky

If best-selling author and filmmaker Stephen Chbosky weren’t quarantined he’d be shooting the movie version of the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen—which we can’t wait to see. Meanwhile, his beautiful film Wonder is a Maltin Movie Club recommendation. Leonard and Jessie welcome him back to the podcast to discuss his wide-ranging career, starting with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and his mentor, screenwriter Stewart Stern, who wrote Rebel Without a Cause and inspired Stephen from the moment they met.


Jun 05, 2020
Animation Part One

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Leonard’s book Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, and we’re going to celebrate by doing a multi-episode deep dive into all things animation. In part one, Jessie asks her dad how he got hooked on cartoons in the first place and how he met so many people who helped invent the medium we all love.

May 11, 2020
Leonard Maltin Day
In this special episode Jessie interviews her father in honor of Leonard Maltin Day in Los Angeles (April 24). He recalls some of his favorite interviews and experiences and answers questions submitted by listeners: who is his favorite actor, actress, director, and what films does he recommend during the current quarantine. You can also view a video of this conversation on Leonard and Jessie’s YouTube channel.
May 01, 2020
Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald is one of the world’s foremost authorities on jazz and pop music. He’s also a quick-witted wordsmith with a fondness for puns. His biography of Nat “King” Cole (Straighten Up and Fly Right) is due this summer, and a revised, expanded edition of Sinatra: The Song is You is one of Leonard’s all-time favorite books on music. What’s more, he and Will have known each other for decades. Jessie says that when they get going, it’s like being at the United Nations without a translator—but great fun all the same.


Apr 17, 2020
Paul Scheer

Actor, comedian, writer, producer and podcaster extraordinaire, Paul Scheer is definitely on a roll. Showtime’s Black Monday is offering him the meatiest acting role he’s ever tackled, alongside his fine work on Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Fresh off the Boat. And he’s still watching and talking about movies on his Unspooled podcast with Amy Nicholson. Whether you know him best from The League, Human Giant, or NTSF:SD:SUV::, you’ll enjoy hearing him tell Leonard and Jessie about his career in comedy.


Mar 27, 2020
Julie Hagerty

Julie Hagerty’s first film was Airplane! and believe it or not, that was forty years ago! She’s been working ever since, most recently as Scarlett Johansson’s mother in Marriage Story. Her roots are in the theater but she has made her mark in such first-class comedies as Albert Brooks’s Lost in America, Noises Off, and What About Bob? She also provides the voice of Lois’s sister Carol on Family Guy. Leonard and Jessie delighted in getting to know this endearing actress and learning about her journey from teenage model to movie stardom.

Mar 13, 2020
John Dykstra

Three-time Oscar winner John Dykstra may go down in history as the man who devised the Light Saber for Star Wars, but that’s just one achievement in a lengthy career in visual effects. In fact, he helped usher in the modern era of fx and has adapted to digital sleight-of-hand…but he misses the scrappy days when he built actual models and then blew them up! His credits range from Spider-man and Stuart Little to Quentin Tarantino’s last four films. Best of all, from Leonard and Jessie’s point of view, he has retained his youthful enthusiasm and is exceptionally articulate about his work. 

Feb 28, 2020
Clancy Brown

With films ranging from The Shawshank Redemption to Starship Troopers and recent TV appearances on The Mandalorian, Emergence, Billions, and The Crown (as LBJ), Clancy Brown is the living definition of a “working actor.” He’s also been the voice of Mr. Krabs on Spongebob Squarepants for more than twenty years! Leonard and Jessie have been after him for many months to appear on the podcast and finally found a day he wasn’t on a soundstage; it was well worth the wait.

Feb 21, 2020
Craig Ferguson

Craig Ferguson is one of the funniest men on the planet, as he proves yet again in his multi-episode web series Hobo Fabulous, a hybrid of stand-up comedy and documentary on the Comedy Dynamics network. It’s no surprise that the former late-night host is a master of conversation, leaving Leonard and Jessie to marvel at his rapid-fire mind. He has significant film credits, as well, not the least being his voice-over work in the How to Train Your Dragon animated features. Be sure to listen if you’re in need of cathartic laughter.


Feb 14, 2020
Peter Weller

Actor, musician, director, renaissance man: Peter Weller is all of these, but he’s best remembered as the star of RoboCop. He’s also a fascinating conversationalist, as Leonard and Jessie were delighted to learn, with stories about such luminaries as Mike Nichols and Otto Preminger.

Feb 07, 2020
Kevin Pollak

Actor, stand-up comic, filmmaker, pioneer podcaster—Kevin Pollak wears many hats, but he’s overwhelmed by the response he’s now enjoying for his supporting role on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. A natural comedian from childhood, he has parlayed his gift for mimicry (and solid acting instincts) into an enduring screen career. Leonard and Jessie are longtime fans and enjoyed spending time with him, even egging him on to do some of his uncanny impressions.

Jan 31, 2020
Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig is riding high on the rave reviews and Oscar nominations for her heartfelt adaptation of Little Women (still playing in theaters). In the midst of awards-season chaos she found time to spend an hour with Leonard and Jessie, to talk about her ever-expanding career—which also includes being mother to an adorable toddler. For a high-profile actress and filmmaker she is refreshingly straightforward about her accomplishments, and extremely likable to boot.

Jan 24, 2020
Alice Maltin

The one and only Alice Maltin makes a long-awaited return to the podcast to share her thoughts about awards season and the past year in movies and television. She’s the real critic in the family—and still Leonard’s favorite moviegoing companion. Leonard and Jessie compare notes with her on films they’ve loved and TV shows that have captured their attention. They don’t always agree 100%, but that’s what makes for good conversation.

Jan 17, 2020
Ted Sarandos

If you wonder how Netflix became the colossus it is today, meet Ted Sarandos, its chief content officer. He’s been there twenty years and set in place the machinery that’s attracted Martin Scorsese, Alfonso Cuarón, Eddie Murphy and other A-listers. Leonard and Jessie wanted to know more about the man behind the curtain and Ted traced his personal saga, from video store manager to the most powerful man in Hollywood. It’s quite a story!

Jan 10, 2020
Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson

Costume designer Sandy Powell has been nominated for 12 Oscars and won three. Christopher Peterson earned an Emmy nomination for Boardwalk Empire. Together they designed the clothing for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman—for the stars as well as the extras, covering several decades. Leonard and Jessie were fascinated to hear their experience on this massive endeavor  and their impressions of Scorsese, who appreciates what the right wardrobe can do for his film—and his actors.

Jan 02, 2020
Paul Ben-Victor

He’s played Mussolini and Moe Howard of the Three Stooges. Paul Ben-Victor is one of those face-is-familiar actors who can embody any kind of character from a street hood to a cop. You can see him right now in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman or you may remember his recurring roles The Wire, Everybody Hates Chris, and Entourage. He’s not used to blowing his own horn, but Leonard and Jessie enjoyed coaxing anecdotes and observations from this lifelong performer who builds and rebuilds houses when he isn’t working on a film or TV show.

Dec 20, 2019
Terry Gilliam

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote completes a quest that has consumed Terry Gilliam for thirty years, but as Leonard and Jessie learned, he bears his burdens lightly. He made his name supplying unique animated sequences for   Monty Python’s Flying Circus and his films include Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Brazil, and The Fisher King. He’s a delightful man with stories to tell (about everyone from Robin Williams to Heath Ledger) and a great outlook on life.


Dec 13, 2019
Beth Grant

You’ve seen her in countless TV shows like The Mindy Project and Oscar-winning movies like Little Miss Sunshine and No Country for Old Men. Beth Grant’s acting teacher once described her as “the salt of the earth” and that’s exactly what she is. Her stories are candid and often hilarious, describing how she prepared for her first-ever sex scene and learned how to act in The Artist by watching Charlie Chaplin. Jessie and Leonard have wanted her as a guest since this podcast began and she was well worth waiting for. 

Dec 06, 2019
Diane Warren

An unparalleled force on the music scene, Diane Warren is the first songwriter in the history of Billboard magazine to have seven hits, all by different artists, on the singles chart at the same time. To list all of her accomplishments could fill a podcast in itself. Leonard and Jessie had fun talking with her about her approach to the art and craft of songwriting, how disappointing it is to lose an Oscar (she’s been nominated ten times—so far), and how keeping her eyes and ears open every day fuels her creative spirit. Along the way you’ll hear stories about everyone from Lady Gaga to Irving Berlin.

Nov 29, 2019
William Fichtner

Having appeared in serious movies from Black Hawk Down to The Dark Knight and TV series like Prison Break, William Fichtner is enjoying the novelty of costarring in a popular sitcom like Mom. He’s also proud of the new movie he wrote, directed and stars in called Cold Brook, filmed on his home turf in upstate New York and now available for streaming online. Leonard and Jessie asked him to trace his journey from waiting tables to becoming a respected “working actor” and he willingly did just that. 

Nov 22, 2019
Samm Levine

Samm Levine is one of the smartest—and nicest—movie buffs we know. It’s been twenty years since Freaks & Geeks hit the airwaves and its reputation only grows—a testament to its creators and cast, including Samm. He’s proud of his work on that series, as well as his long run as sidekick to Kevin Pollak on his weekly chat show. Fans know about his encyclopedic knowledge of movies, which he puts to the test on such popular podcasts as Doug Loves Movies (where he brought Leonard for his first appearance) and Movie Trivia Shmoedown. But how many trivia aficionados can also say they were directed by Quentin Tarantino? Leonard and Jessie asked Samm to describe being on the set with Q and got an unforgettable response.

Nov 15, 2019
Omar Epps

Omar Epps knew he wanted to work in the arts from the time he was a boy and landed his first movie job (in Juice, with Tupac Shakur) when he was just 17. Since then he’s built a reputation as a solid, soulful actor who can fill almost any role, be it a doctor or a prizefighter. His new horror film Trick is playing in theaters and on VOD and an outer space saga called 3022 is coming soon to theaters, on demand and digital November 22nd. Leonard and Jessie were impressed by his dedication to the art and craft of acting, and enjoyed talking to him about his life, his book (From Fatherless to Fatherhood) and such memorable movies as Love and Basketball.

Nov 08, 2019
Greg Proops

Listen up, because Greg Proops talks a mile a minute and is never, ever dull. The quick-witted improv comedian and costar of Whose Line is it Anyway? also hosts a screening series in Los Angeles that takes full advantage of his love for vintage movies. Leonard and Jessie did their best to keep up with Greg when they weren’t laughing out loud.

Nov 01, 2019
James Gray

With Ad Astra, writer-director James Gray has achieved the kind of box-office success his films deserve. He’s worked with Joaquin Phoenix four times, in such ambitious dramas as The Yards and We Own the Night. If you watch The Lost Kingdom of Z or Two Lovers you’ll see why he’s considered one of the finest talents working today. He’s also a movie buff of the highest order. Leonard and Jessie were mesmerized by his eloquence and grand ideas about the art of film in this compelling interview.

Oct 25, 2019
Justin Long

Yes, he’s a Mac. Justin Long is also a talented actor and a full-time cutup, as Leonard and Jessie learned when they recorded this episode before a live audience at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. He’s been in countless movies and TV shows, from Galaxy Quest to Idiocracy, lent his voice to Alvin (of Chipmunk fame) and a variety of characters on King of the Hill. He’s played George Harrison (in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) and worked for Kevin Smith. Each gig triggers a funny story in this especially lively episode.

Oct 18, 2019
Jai Courtney

This rugged Aussie has made a splash in such popular movies as Jack Reacher, A Good Day to Die Hard, the Divergent series, Terminator: Genysis, and Suicide Squad (as Captain Boomerang). But he’s a serious drama student who tackled Shakespeare’s Macbeth on stage in Melbourne not long ago. He’s also quite likable and willing to share his experiences working opposite some of the biggest names in show business. You can see his latest film, Semper Fi, on VOD right now. Leonard and Jessie were impressed with Jai and more than happy to spend an hour with him.  

Oct 11, 2019
Seth Green

Seth Green is still young but he’s been a familiar face (and voice) for more than thirty years, believe it or not. He played a young Woody Allen in Radio Days and Dr. Evil’s son in the Austin Powers movies before winning a young generation of fans (like Jessie) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He’s voiced Chris Griffin on Family Guy and Leonardo on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and won three Emmy Awards for creating and producing the long-running animated series Robot Chicken. He has now made his feature directing debut with Changeland, which is now available on VOD. Leonard and Jessie were impressed with how young he was when he understood the business of show business—and pleased to see how much he still enjoys it.

Oct 04, 2019
William Sadler

William Sadler is one of those actors everyone knows even if they can’t quite think of his name. He’s played everything from the Grim Reaper in the BILL & TED movies (with a reunion film just completed) to the U.S. President in IRON MAN 3 (and AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.). He was a sheriff on ROSWELL and Tommy’s father on the last season of POWER. But many of his best stories come from his years of work on the stage—and they are hilarious. Leonard and Jessie enjoyed every minute they spent with him on stage at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.

Sep 27, 2019
Danny Huston

A versatile actor and filmmaker, Danny Huston is the son of the legendary John Huston and has wonderful stories to share. He’s built a considerable career of his own, with such films as Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, Children of Men, Marie Antoinette, 21 Grams, Birth, The Constant Gardener, and Wonder Woman to his credit. He’s also the star, writer and director of The Last Photograph, which is now available on VOD. Leonard and Jessie were utterly charmed by Danny and you will be, too.




Sep 20, 2019
Fred Willard

Fred Willard is a man for all seasons. He’s been making people laugh from the time of Johnny Carson and Ed Sullivan to the present day, now turning up regularly on Jimmy Kimmel Live playing everyone from the ghost of George Washington to Donald Trump’s father. He’s unforgettable in Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman and other Christopher Guest movies and has earned Emmy nominations for recurring roles on Everybody Loves Raymond and Modern Family. Leonard and Jessie have known him and his family for years and cherish their friendship with one of the funniest men alive. Listen and you’ll learn about his approach to comedy and his laudable work ethic.

Sep 13, 2019
Ken Burns

The man who changed television programming with his landmark PBS series The Civil War is back with Country Music, a captivating eight-part, 16-hour saga you don’t want to miss. Ken Burns has become America’s storyteller and we couldn’t ask for a more eloquent or passionate historian. Leonard and Jessie have known him for years on a social basis but this is the first time they’ve ever sat down for an hour of conversation about his magnificent work. It’s a treat to hear him speak on any subject that moves him.

Sep 06, 2019
Simon Callow

A celebrated actor and man of the theater whose films include Amadeus, Shakespeare in Love, and Four Weddings and a Funeral, Simon Callow is also a master biographer, having written a great book about Charles Laughton and a magnum opus on Orson Welles which has extended to four volumes! And yes, he was also the bad guy in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Charming and witty, he regaled Leonard and Jessie with stories from his extensive career and will do the same for you.

Aug 30, 2019
Caleb Deschanel

Master cinematographer Caleb Deschanel earned the first of six Oscar nominations for The Black Stallion, and the latest just last year for the brilliant German film Never Look Away. Since then he’s ventured into the newest form of storytelling, virtual reality, to shoot The Lion King. But his best stories aren’t about craft—they’re about life lessons he’s learned since attending film school at USC with the likes of George Lucas. Leonard and Jessie sat spellbound as Caleb regaled them with priceless anecdotes: tune in and hear for yourself.

Aug 23, 2019
Phil LaMarr

Jessie fell in love with Phil LaMarr during his long run on MADTV, but that’s just one of hundreds of credits on his resume. He’s a charter member of The Black Version, a hilarious show at Los Angeles’s Groundlings Theatre and one of the busiest voice actors around. You’ve heard him on The Family Guy, Futurama, DC Super Hero Girls, Bojack Horseman, and scores of other animated shows and movies. He’s also appeared onscreen in Veep, Get Shorty, and Pulp Fiction, to cite just a few highlights. He has great stories to share, and Leonard and Jessie were especially blown away by his uncanny impressions. Have you ever heard anyone imitate Chris Rock and Don Cheadle?

Aug 16, 2019
Ava DuVernay

A born storyteller and natural entrepreneur, Ava DuVernay has achieved many milestones: the first black woman to be named Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival (for Middle of Nowhere), the first to have a feature nominated for Best Picture (Selma), and the first to pilot a big-budget blockbuster, A Wrinkle in Time. She created the hit series Queen Sugar and directed the powerful Netflix miniseries When They See Us. How she found time in her schedule to chat with Leonard and Jessie we’ll never know, but they discovered that aside from her great achievements, Ava is equally happy to talk about her early inspirations and lifelong love of movies.

Aug 09, 2019
Lesley Manville

Most people know Lesley Manville for her Oscar-nominated performance as Daniel Day-Lewis’s sister in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread or her many films for British filmmaker Mike Leigh including Secrets & Lies, Topsy-Turvy and Another Year. She’s also the star of the irresistible TV comedy Mum, which just launched its third and final season on BritBox. Leonard and Jessie are unabashed fans of the show and enjoyed discussing it and Lesley’s wide-ranging career in theater, film and television.


Aug 02, 2019
Brent Spiner

Forever to be remembered as Lt. Commander Data on Star Trek: the Next Generation and other treks to follow, Brent Spiner is a versatile actor and performer with notable Broadway credits—and two fervent fans in Leonard and Jessie, who saw him play John Adams in a masterful revival of 1776. He’s happy to discuss all facets of his career, from musical theater to his memorable role in Independence Day. Even longtime fans may learn things they didn’t already know about Brent in this delightful chat.

Jul 26, 2019
Alanna Ubach
If you’re like Leonard and Jessie, you’ve been watching Alanna Ubach for years—even if you don’t know her name. She’s currently costarring in Euphoria and still winning praise for her portrayal of the matriarch in Disney’s animated Coco. But that just scratches the surface of this talented actress’s career... from Legally Blonde to Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. The secret of her long term success? She’s never turned down a part! She’s also great fun to talk to.
Jul 19, 2019
Drew Carey

One of Cleveland’s finest sons, Drew Carey is comedy’s long-distance runner. A former Marine, he burst on the national scene as a contestant on Star Search in 1988 and hasn’t stopped since. The Drew Carey Show enjoyed an extraordinary nine-year run on ABC, matched by the improv hit Whose Line is It Anyway. He’ll soon be starting his twelfth season as the host of The Price is Right. We don’t know how he made time to join us but we’re awfully glad he did. Drew is a great conversationalist, as you’ll hear for yourself. 

Jul 12, 2019
Greg Kinnear

After more than twenty years onscreen, with an Oscar nomination to his credit (for As Good as It Gets) Greg Kinnear has made his directing debut with a likable film called Phil, which opens in theaters and online this week. Leonard and Jessie ask him what inspired him to move behind the camera, and also touch on highlights of his career—from working opposite Jack Nicholson to playing JFK in a major TV miniseries. He’s got a lot of good movies under his belt, like You’ve Got Mail, Nurse Betty, Auto Focus, and Little Miss Sunshine, to name just a few…and a story to go with each one.

Jul 05, 2019
George R.R. Martin

The prolific author behind Game of Thrones is also a lifelong movie buff and invited us to interview him at his very own theater, The Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico. George and Leonard compared notes about starting out as a fan and contributing to fanzines, back in the pre-Internet era. (For more on this, go to George went on to teach writing and enjoyed success as a novelist before moving to Hollywood, where he spent a decade working in television. Ultimately he returned to his roots as an author, little dreaming that his novels would inspire one of the most elaborate and successful television shows ever produced. George is a great conversationalist and was a gracious host to Leonard and Jessie; you can join them vicariously by listening in.

Jun 28, 2019
Helen Slater

Helen Slater won the role of Supergirl in 1984 fresh out of New York City’s High School of the Performing Arts. Now she’s playing Melissa Benoist’s mother in the newest incarnation of Supergirl on the CW network. In between she’s had many experiences in and out of show business which she was only too happy to share with Leonard and Jessie (who fell in love with her in The Legend of Billie Jean). Our favorite: a memorable conversation with costar Peter O’Toole.

Jun 21, 2019
Alan Tudyk

Alan Tudyk is a gifted actor and a familiar face who achieved cult status as a costar of Joss Whedon’s Firefly and its follow-up feature-film Serenity…but he’s also become the man of a thousand voices. If you’ve seen Wreck-it Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, or even Rogue One: A Star Wars Story you’ve heard his facility with accents, dialects, and the ability to embody colorful characters. He also stars in one of Leonard and Jessie’s favorite unsung movies, Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil. Alan is only too happy to demonstrate his vocal talents during our hilarious interview. Angelenos can currently see him onstage in Mysterious Circumstances at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood.

Jun 14, 2019
Tracy Nelson

Tracy Nelson made a deep impression on a youthful audience in the 1980s TV series Square Pegs and is still acting today. She’s also part of show business royalty: her father was Ricky Nelson, her grandparents were Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, and her maternal grandparents were football star-turned-sportscaster Tom Harmon and leading lady Elyse Knox. (Yes, that means her cousin is Mark Harmon.) Tracy is proud of her heritage and Leonard and Jessie were only too eager to soak up all that history

Jun 07, 2019
Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne is one of the brightest lights in American filmmaking, a brilliant social satirist and observer with Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt, Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska and Downsizing among his credits as director and writer (usually with his longtime collaborator Jim Taylor). He started, as Leonard did, by collecting 8mm prints of silent comedies with Charlie Chaplin, and has never lost his passion for cinema, as you’ll hear in this compelling conversation with Leonard and Jessie.

May 31, 2019
Jeff Ross

Jeff Ross is best known as the Roastmaster General, reigning king of insult humor, but there’s much more to this talented comedian. Leonard and Jessie met him in 2005 when he made a terrific documentary called Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Movie about entertaining our troops in Iraq. Now he’s acting on the new season of Sneaky Pete and using his producing skills—and sense of showmanship—to introduce a new series on Comedy Central called Historical Roasts. He’s a smart guy who has earned every bit of his success. Be aware that this episode includes some raunchy and highly irreverent remarks.

May 24, 2019
Jacki Weaver

Americans first became aware of Jacki Weaver when she played the matriarch of a crime family in the Aussie import Animal Kingdom in 2010. Her chilling performance earned her an Oscar nomination and “overnight” recognition outside her homeland, where she’s been working on stage, screen and television for decades. She nabbed another Academy Award nomination as Robert De Niro’s wife in Silver Linings Playbook and hasn’t had an idle moment since. Her newest release is POMS with Diane Keaton. Leonard and Jessie were delighted to spend an hour in the company of this bright, spirited woman who’s enjoying life to the fullest.  

May 17, 2019
Don Hahn

Had Don Hahn just produced Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King he’d have earned a place in movie history—and our hearts. But over several decades he’s done so much more: writing books (like Before Ever After and Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Disney’s Magical Mid-Century), directing documentaries (like Waking Sleeping Beauty) and keeping Disney history alive. Not bad for a guy who started out as a messenger on the Burbank studio lot. Don is self-deprecating and funny but his love for Disney is true-blue, as Leonard and Jessie can attest.

May 10, 2019
Angie Dickinson

Angie Dickinson has lived an amazing life--and she’s far from done. Knowing and working with the likes of Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, and John F. Kennedy is just a starting point for our candid, wide-ranging discussion with the ageless actress. From a beauty pageant winner she worked her way up to leading lady and never missed a beat. Leonard and Jessie sat, wide-eyed, at her well-worn professional poker table for this memorable episode.

May 03, 2019
Dave Foley

Dave Foley is a busy comedic actor and stand-up performer, but even after thirty years is still cherished as one of the Kids in the Hall. That rowdy comedy troupe made a lasting impression, as did Dave’s five-year stint on the much-loved TV series, Newsradio. Our guest has yet another indelible claim to fame as the voice of Flik in Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. Leonard and Jessie were delighted to learn that Dave is also a student of comedy, past and present, which allowed all three to geek out together on their favorite topic.

Apr 26, 2019
Kevin Brownlow

Kevin Brownlow is the superhero of film historians, with an Oscar to prove it. Now you can hear his “origin story.” Fifty years ago his book The Parade’s Gone By offered a vivid portrait of the silent film era and its glories, influencing a generation of movie buffs and scholars (including Leonard). He held Leonard and Jessie spellbound as he recalled his first encounters with this medium and how he tracked down actors and directors who were still alive to tell their stories. Kevin’s own career is the stuff of legend by now, and we’re delighted that he was willing to share some of his amazing adventures with us.

Apr 19, 2019
Kate Flannery

You probably know Kate Flannery as Meredith, the resident drunk who made a lasting impression over nine seasons on The Office, but she’s had the show-business bug all her life. She now tours the country with Jane Lynch, singing her heart out, and keeps her comedy chops honed in an act called The Lampshades. Leonard and Jessie were among the people she waited on at a popular Beverly Hills restaurant where she had the chance to observe good and bad behavior among the Hollywood elite. Kate’s got great stories—and a wonderful laugh.

Apr 12, 2019
Paula Poundstone

Paula Poundstone is one of the funniest women on the planet, and a longtime favorite of Leonard’s. She’s heard regularly as a panelist on the popular NPR show Wait…Wait, Don’t Tell Me and now presides over her own very funny podcast quixotically called Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone (co-hosted by Adam Felber). Join us as she expounds on everyday matters, the wide net she casts on her new “comedy field guide to life” and—oh, yes—movies.

Apr 05, 2019
Henry Winkler

Heyyyy… it’s Henry Winkler, the nicest man in show business. He’ll always be remembered as the Fonz but he has a new feather in his cap: an Emmy Award (his first!) for playing Bill Hader’s acting teacher on the delightfully dark HBO comedy series Barry. Henry is also a masterful storyteller and held Leonard and Jessie in rapt attention, recalling early days working with Sylvester Stallone in The Lordz of Flatbush and, more recently, writing a series of popular children’s books about a boy with dyslexia (like Henry) named Hank Zipzer. He has a way of putting people at ease and this hour flies by.

Mar 29, 2019
Winnie Holzman and Paul Dooley

Winnie Holzman and Paul Dooley are an amazing show-business couple. She created the TV series My So-Called Life and wrote the book for the Broadway musical Wicked, just for starters. He’s acted in every medium known to mankind, was a favorite of director Robert Altman, created The Electric Company and is currently playing James Brolin’s “father from Hell” on the TV series Life in Pieces—in his 90th year. They’re wonderful to watch (and listen to) because they love and support each other so beautifully. Leonard and Jessie have been fans for years and are eager to share their infectious good spirits with all of you. 

Mar 22, 2019
Marc Maron and Lynn Shelton

Marc Maron has nothing to prove as a stand-up comic or as a podcaster, but he’s still stretching his wings as an actor. He’s terrific in director Lynn Shelton’s entertaining new movie Sword of Trust, which just debuted at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. That’s where Leonard and Jessie talked to them both before an enthusiastic audience at Esther’s Follies. Lynn explains how she combines scripted material and improvisation. Marc is in top form and that’s about as good as it gets!  

Fair warning: you’ll hear more f-bombs than usual in this episode.

Mar 15, 2019
Harvey Guillen

Harvey Guillen is about to make waves! He’s one of the stars of What We do in the Shadows, the new FX series based on the hilarious Kiwi movie that debuts this weekend at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Jessie has known Harvey since they were teenagers. She and Leonard have watched with awe as he has built a solid career by a combination of talent and hard work. Hearing his story of starting from scratch as a kid and earning his success is positively inspiring.

Mar 08, 2019
James Roday

You probably know him best as the star of TV’s Psych, or you’re watching him on the new series A Million Little Things. But James Roday has a solid background in theater and has earned his wings as a writer and director. His newest project is called Treehouse, a segment of Hulu’s horror anthology Into the Dark that debuts tonight. Leonard and Jessie were charmed by this quietly funny guy who is as thoughtful as he is talented. 

Mar 01, 2019
Brad Bird

This fast-paced episode might be titled “The Young Brad Bird Chronicles,” as the director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Oscar nominee forThe Incredibles II tells us about his first visit to the Disney studio—at the age of 11. He returned three years later with a home-made animated cartoon, and eventually he was mentored there by legendary animator Milt Kahl. He wound up pitching ideas to Steven Spielberg and helping create the look of The Simpsons before moving to Pixar and beyond. Brad’s energy is infectious, and Leonard and Jessie can’t wait to share their conversation.

Feb 22, 2019
Jonah Ray and Deanna Rooney

She is an actor, artist, writer and animator. He is an actor, comedian and writer. You may recognize Jonah Ray and Deanna Rooney from the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 revival. Los Angeles residents may know Jonah best as the longtime host (with Kumail Nanjiani) of The Meltdown, a weekly showcase that was home to every top stand up comedian in the country (and eventually became a tv show that aired on Comedy Central.) Together they make a fun and fascinating couple.

Feb 15, 2019
Dale Dickey

Dale Dickey is another of those valuable character actresses who makes every film and TV show better—like Leave No Trace, which reunited her with director Debra Granik, who cast her so memorably in Winter’s Bone opposite Jennifer Lawrence. You’ve seen her in Hell or High Water, Breaking Bad, True Blood, I Am the Night—any film or TV show that needs someone unquestionably real. Leonard and Jessie are fans and enjoyed getting to know Dale, who left Tennessee to make her way in show business. Her memory of meeting Jack Nicholson for the first time on the set of The Pledge is just one highlight.

Feb 08, 2019
Mitzi Gaynor

Mitzi Gaynor was just a teenager when she came to Hollywood. She wound up starring with Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, dancing with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor, and headlining The Ed Sullivan Show with The Beatles. Her movies include There’s No Business Like Show Business, Les Girls and South Pacific—and that’s just a fraction of her career. How many people can say they worked with Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein? Leonard and Jessie had great fun with this playful, ever-youthful woman who caught the tail end of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Feb 01, 2019
Shea Whigham

He’s one of those actors you know and value even if you don’t know his name. Shea Whigham is an asset to every film and TV show he’s in, from Boardwalk Empire to True Detective, American Hustle to The Wolf of Wall Street. He’s not accustomed to talking about himself, but Leonard and Jessie are longtime fans and he obliged us with perceptive stories about breaking into show business and working with master filmmakers like Martin Scorsese. Once you get to know him you’ll want to watch how much he brings to such current films as The First Man and Vice.

Jan 25, 2019
Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Phil Lord and Chris Miller are the hottest team in Hollywood  with Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse earning awards, box-office bucks and rave reviews. There’s even Oscar buzz surrounding their ground-breaking animated feature. But these longtime best friends have never rested on their laurels, from the moment they made their first short subjects in college through their baptism of fire as sitcom writers. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs established them in the animation world and The Lego Movie cemented their reputation as innovators who think WAY outside the box. Leonard and Jessie had a great time talking to this awesome duo.

Jan 18, 2019
Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe is that rare actor who can appear in a blockbuster like Aquaman at the same time he’s starring in a cerebral biopic about Vincent Van Gogh, At Eternity’s Edge. He’s open to all kinds of experiences, contributing voices to Finding Nemo and The Fantastic Mr. Fox and working with a cast of first-time actors in last year’s knockout The Florida Project, which earned him his third Oscar nomination. Leonard and Jessie wondered what drew him to acting in the first place, and learned why he loves taking on challenges in his work. Listen along to one of the most compelling and versatile actors on the planet.

Jan 11, 2019
Bill Prady

Creating, executive producing, and writing The Big Bang Theory would be enough for most people’s résumés, but Bill Prady is not a one-hit wonder. He spent many years working with the Muppets, and wrote their unforgettable Disney theme park attractions Muppet*Vision 3D and Honey I Shrunk the Audience. He also spent years writing and producing such shows as Caroline in the City, Dharma & Greg and Gilmore Girls. Beyond his credits, Bill is a pop culture guru and a delightful conversationalist, as Leonard and Jessie quickly discovered. No 3-D glasses are required to enjoy this episode.

Jan 04, 2019
Ben Barnes

Most Americans encountered British actor Ben Barnes for the first time as Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia series. He’s been working ever since, as viewers of The Punisher and Westworld can attest. What Leonard and Jessie didn’t know was that he’s a talented musician, which he tries to incorporate into his roles, and that he loves doing accents—rarely playing an Englishman. He’s intelligent, funny, forthcoming and a real charmer, as you’ll hear for yourself. 

Dec 28, 2018
Armie Hammer

He gained fame for his stunt casting as the Winklevoss Twins in The Social Network, but he’s earned respect for his talent in such films as Nocturnal Animals, Call Me By Your Name, and Sorry to Bother You. He can currently be seen opposite Felicity Jones in On the Basis of Sex. But with all that, and a notable family history, Armie Hammer is charming, articulate, and cheerfully self-deprecating. Leonard and Jessie had fun talking to him at this year’s SCAD Savannah Film Festival.

Dec 14, 2018
Chloe Grace Moretz

At the age of 21, Chloe Grace Moretz is a show-business veteran, having worked professionally since the age of 5. When she was 19, she lost her sense of identity and walked away from her career, with the blessings of her business manager (who happens to be her brother). She is incredibly articulate, and doesn’t take herself or her profession too seriously… yet she can wax poetic about the many characters she’s played, in films like Kick-Ass, Hugo, Dark Shadows, Let Me In, and Carrie. You can see her now in Suspiria and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Leonard and Jessie interviewed her at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival and had a ball, hearing stories about Tim Burton, Julianne Moore, and Martin Scorsese, among others. We think you’ll enjoy listening in.

Dec 07, 2018
Joseph Mazzello

The little boy who scored such a success in the original Jurassic Park is all grown up now—and playing Freddie Mercury’s British bandmate John Deacon in Bohemian Rhapsody. Jurassic costar Richard Attenborough was so impressed with his young costar that he cast him in his moving drama Shadowlands. Director Steven Spielberg liked him so much that he wrote a letter of recommendation when Joe wanted to learn filmmaking at USC. Leonard and Jessie weren’t immune to his charms, either. He’s a bright young man who has his feet on the ground as he forges the next chapter of his rather remarkable career. He offers straight talk with a smile on his face, which is pretty hard to resist.

Nov 30, 2018
Topher Grace

Most people remember Topher Grace from his star-making role on the popular comedy series That 70’s Show, but this year he showed us a darker side playing KKK kingpin David Duke in Spike Lee’s Blackklansman. Not that he hasn’t been serious before—in Traffic and Spider-man 3, to name just two examples. Leonard and Jessie were delighted to find an engaging interviewee with a wealth of experiences in show business—and a wonderful way of talking about them.

Nov 23, 2018
Angela Lansbury

Angela Lansbury sailed away from war-torn England when she was 15, earned two Oscar nominations before she was 20, and is still going strong at the age of 93. She’s as bright and thoughtful as ever, discussing her amazing stage and screen career on both sides of the Pond. Whether you love her as Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, or as the voice of Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, you’ll be captivated by the conversation Leonard and Jessie had with Dame Angela in her Los Angeles home.

Nov 16, 2018
Ryan Coogler

From college grad student to director of Creed and Black Panther in a short span of time, Ryan Coogler has kept his feet on the ground. He relies on his wife Zinzi Evans and former USC classmates who form the core of his working team. From his debut feature, Fruitvale Station, through his latest box-office smash, he has found ways to make each film personal to his own experience.  Leonard and Jessie are unabashed boosters of this talented filmmaker and loved having a quiet, intimate conversation with him amidst award season tumult.

Nov 09, 2018
Dennis Miller

He’s won five Emmy Awards and is a longtime radio host and political pundit. But guess what? Dennis Miller is also a diehard film buff who revels in watching Turner Classic Movies. Jessie was blown away as Leonard and Dennis started comparing notes on favorite films and the people in them. He’s the same sharp-witted comic he’s always been, but this time the focus is on movies. Excelsior!

Nov 02, 2018
Norman Lear

At 96 it’s fair to call Norman Lear a living legend. He gave birth to such TV series as All in the Family, Maude, and The Jeffersons. Instead of living in the past he’s reinventing it, supervising a reboot of One Day at a Time, just for starters. He’s worked in television since 1950, but no one seems to talk to him about the movies he wrote, produced, and/or directed, like Cold Turkey or those for which he was a midwife (like The Princess Bride). Leonard and Jessie relished spending time with this highly amusing, soft-spoken giant—even when he fielded a cell phone call from a political fundraiser in the midst of our interview!

Oct 26, 2018
Michael Angarano

We’ve watched Michael Angarano grow up on screen; he’s been acting since the age of 5. He worked with Meryl Streep at age 12 (in Music of the Heart), got to improvise with Frances McDormand in Almost Famous at 13, then joined the cast of Will & Grace as Sean Hayes’ son in his early 20s. He’s a likable,  unpretentious guy who credits his family for helping him navigate the often-treacherous waters of show-business. Jessie and Leonard had a great time talking with him about his youthful experiences and more recent successes like a running part in The Knick. Coming soon: his debut as writer and director.

Oct 19, 2018
Werner Herzog

The world-class filmmaker with the distinctive voice is our esteemed guest today. He’s not intimidating—quite the opposite—as he describes his early life, what drew him to filmmaking, and how he teaches students by throwing them in the deep end of the pool, so to speak. His passion is undiminished after more than fifty years of memorable, provocative films, most recently a series of fascinating documentaries like Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Leonard and Jessie were more than happy to sit at the great man’s feet and listen to him discuss his extraordinary life as a moviemaker.

Oct 12, 2018
Boyd Holbrook

He’s playing a hero in The Predator right now, but Boyd Holbrook has been a chameleon-like presence in TV shows and movies like Narcos, The Big C, Gone Girl, A Walk Among the Tombstones, and Logan, just for starters. Along the way he’s had valuable experiences with Gus Van Sant, Liam Neeson, and a host of others. Leonard and Jessie were  so impressed by his stories, candor, and genuine passion for all things expressive and artistic. 

Oct 05, 2018
Jonah Hill

Get ready to meet a new Jonah Hill—a serious writer-director who has poured his heart and soul into his debut feature film, mid90s, which is playing the festival circuit and opens in theaters in late October. After several years of writing and research (and input from such august filmmakers as Martin Scorsese), he is unveiling his “baby” to the moviegoing public. That’s what brought him to Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas where Leonard and Jessie spoke to him before a live audience. Just as he progressed from broad comedy to Oscar-nominated performances onscreen, he’s tackling something new and exciting in this latest adventure.

Sep 28, 2018
Norman Lloyd

Still hale and hearty at 103, Norman Lloyd is one of the few men on the planet who can speak first-hand about Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese…and even Amy Schumer. (He was in Trainwreck.) He set out to be an actor, and earned immortality as the man who dangles from the Statue of Liberty in Hitchcock’s Saboteur but proved to be even more useful behind the scenes, ultimately becoming a producer on his weekly television series. If you watched TV in the 1980s you probably saw him as Dr. Auschlander on St. Elsewhere. He has been a fixture in show business for ninety years and shows little sign of slowing down. He held Leonard and Jessie in his grip and it’s likely you, too, will fall under his spell.

Sep 21, 2018
Chuck Lorre

Not since Norman Lear has one man had an impact on television comedy as great as Chuck Lorre. He has created, co-created, or produced and written such long-running hits as The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Dharma and Greg, Mike and Molly, and Young Sheldon, to name just a few. Leonard and Jessie found him to be candid in discussing the nuts and bolts of steering these wildly popular series. If you like smart TV, chances are you’re watching at least one of his shows. Now you can hear from the man behind the curtain.

Sep 14, 2018
David Arquette

Scion of a multi-generational show business family (and the youngest of five siblings), David Arquette has worked as an actor, writer, director, and producer. Listeners of a certain age will always associate him with the Scream series. He won Leonard and Jessie’s heart with an impromptu pantomime performance he gave at a recent Buster Keaton-related ceremony. David is a delightful conversationalist, recounting show business lore and reviewing his own wide-ranging career.

Sep 07, 2018
Catherine Hardwicke

A free spirit and a formidable talent, Catherine Hardwicke started out as a production designer, working with some of the top directors in the business (Richard Linklater, David O. Russell, Cameron Crowe) before taking the plunge herself. Her debut film was the impressive Thirteen, which she wrote with costar Nikki Reed. Since then she’s made all kinds of movies, from personal projects like Lords of Dogtown to the smash hit Twilight. Leonard and Jessie loved talking to this creative, outgoing woman and learning about her journey.

Aug 31, 2018
Floyd Norman

Floyd Norman is an official Disney Legend, and so much more: Walt Disney’s first full-time African-American animator, a contributor to such films as Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book, a disciple of Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men, and a story man on such Pixar features as Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc. What’s more, as Leonard and Jessie have learned, he’s a naturally funny man, a great storyteller, and a sweetheart of a guy with an irreverent sense of humor. He’s even the subject of a first-class documentary called Floyd Norman: An Animated Life. Tune in for some great anecdotes and first-hand memories of Walt Disney.

Recorded live at That’s from Disneyland, courtesy of its creators Richard and Nicky Kraft

Aug 24, 2018
Peter Facinelli

If you’re a certain age, you probably first saw Peter Facinelli in films like Can’t Hardly Wait and Dancer, Tex. Pop. 81. A decade later he won even more fans as Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the phenomenally popular Twilight movies. He spent seven seasons as another medico, Dr. Cooper, on the TV series Nurse Jackie. Now he’s making his feature directorial debut with Breaking and Exiting, playing in theaters and on VOD beginning today. Leonard and Jessie learn that he’s an actor who loves a challenge, and is proud of his Italian roots (especially his mother’s cooking). 

Aug 17, 2018
Colin Hanks

A likable actor with excellent bloodlines, Colin Hanks has built a busy career for himself in such films as Orange County, King Kong, W. and TV series like Roswell, The Good Guys, Fargo and the current Life in Pieces. Now he’s exploring new avenues as a documentarian with two first-rate features under his belt: Tower Records: All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records and Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends). What’s more, he’s a great conversationalist, as Leonard and Jessie learn in this latest episode.

Aug 10, 2018
Joe Dante

Director and film buff extraordinaire Joe Dante and Leonard go back a long, long time—to their teens, in fact—and  enjoy swapping stories about early inspirations, moviegoing adventures in New York City, Joe’s move to Hollywood, his first big breaks, and events leading up to casting Leonard as himself in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Jessie learns some things she never knew before in this entertaining episode.

Aug 03, 2018
RZA, Kat Graham, Shameik Moore

RZA is a hip-hop icon, music producer, actor and director. Leonard and Jessie sat down with him at the San Diego Comic-con to discuss his upcoming heist movie Cut Throat City (set in New Orleans during the chaos of Katrina) with two of his talented cast members. Articulate and fun to talk to, RZA’s enthusiasm is infectious. It’s easy to see how a cast and crew would respond to him.

Jessie and Leonard flesh out their interview with observations on that one-of-a-kind event known as Comic-con.

Jul 27, 2018
Kelly Macdonald

Kelly Macdonald became an overnight sensation when she made a memorable screen debut in Trainspotting some twenty years ago. She hasn’t looked back since, doing exceptional work in such films as Gosford Park, Nanny McPhee, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and as the voice of Merida in Pixar’s Brave. Her newest film, Puzzle, gives her a rare leading role and a great showcase for her talent. Leonard and Jessie are unabashed fans and were delighted to find Kelly as unpretentious and fun to talk to as they hoped.

Jul 20, 2018
Bobcat Goldthwait

If you remember Bobcat Goldthwait’s “extreme” standup-comedy persona, it might be difficult to reconcile with his career as a prolific TV and movie director. He’s made some great films like World’s Greatest Dad with his pal Robin Williams, and Call Me Lucky, a compelling documentary about one of his mentors, comedian-turned-activist Barry Crimmins. Now he’s presiding over an unpredictable anthology series on TruTV called Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters. Leonard and Jessie were delighted to meet the real guy behind the comic mask and the creative force behind so many interesting TV and movie projects.

Jul 13, 2018
Logan Marshall-Green

With two drama teachers for parents it isn’t surprising that Logan Marshall-Green grew up in and around the theater. But it was television shows like 24 and The O.C. that got him noticed, and the small screen has continued to offer him great opportunities, as in Quarry and Damnation. He’s just as effective in movies like Prometheus, The Invitation, Spider-man: Homecoming and the current release Upgrade. Logan is articulate and charming, as Leonard and Jessie were happy to discover in their animated conversation.

Jul 06, 2018
Paul Williams

Paul Williams is a master storyteller: Oscar and multiple-Grammy winner, actor, hit-maker, composer of everything from “The Love Boat” theme to the immortal “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie. He’s as busy as ever, costarring in this season of Goliath with Billy Bob Thornton and serving as president of ASCAP, the performers’ rights organization. He’s also a raconteur, and you’ll hear about everything from Orson Welles to Phantom of the Paradise. Leonard and Jessie are still recovering from the experience of spending time with this exceptional man.


Jun 29, 2018
Mia Wasikowska

Mia Wasikowska became an instant star in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland eight years ago and hasn’t stopped working since—in a variety of challenging and rewarding parts. Among her credits: The Kids are All Right, Jane Eyre, Only Lovers Left Alive, the underrated Tracks, and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. Her latest, now playing in theaters, is Damsel, costarring Robert Pattinson. Leonard and Jessie had a great time talking to this talented actress and budding director. She loves her work and doesn’t take herself too seriously. By the way, she still calls Australia home.

Jun 22, 2018
Gillian Jacobs and her Ibiza partners

Jessie and a friend needed cheering up one evening and watching the lighthearted girlfriend comedy Ibiza on Netflix was just the ticket. Gillian Jacobs, of Community, Girls and Love joins us for a buoyant conversation with the film’s writer (Lauryn Kahn) and director (Alex Richanbach ), both veterans of sketch comedy and Funny or Die. Their enthusiasm and team spirit are engaging and inspiring, as you’ll hear for yourself.

Jun 19, 2018
Rick and Veronica Baker

In honor of Fathers’ Day, Leonard and Jessie invited another father-daughter duo: seven-time Oscar winner Rick Baker, master of makeup whose credits range from The Exorcist and Star Wars to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and his daughter Veronica, who grew up in a kind of wonderland and is now pursuing her own creative ideas at D.C. Rick’s stories of getting started and finding the right mentors are inspiring and fun to hear…along with Veronica’s memories of growing up Baker (especially on Halloween).

Jun 15, 2018
With over 7.4 million subscribers and over 2.1 billion views, the CinemaSins (comprised of Barrett Share, Jeremy Scott and Chris Atkinson) have carved out a substantial niche for themselves on YouTube and in the Twitterverse reminding folks that “No Movie is Without Sin.” They’re devoted cinephiles and some of he nicest guys around. Leonard and Jessie got to hang out with them in their hometown of Nashville (and record an episode of their podcast). It’s our very first crossover!
Their podcast is called Sincast presented by CinemaSins, you can listen to the episode we recorded with them HERE
Jun 08, 2018
Chaz Ebert

Chaz Ebert is a force to be reckoned with. A strong, loving partner to her late husband Roger, she maintains his website as well as his annual film festival, now known as Ebertfest, in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. That’s where Leonard and Jessie persuaded her to play hooky for an hour of candid and uplifting conversation.

Jun 01, 2018
Natalie Dormer

If she didn’t catch your eye in The Tudors, where she played Anne Boleyn, or the last two Hunger Games movies, you likely know Natalie Dormer from her four-year run as Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones. Now, this talented actress has made her writing and producing debut on a film called In Darkness. She also plays the starring role! As if that isn’t enough, she’s the lead in the new miniseries remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock. Leonard and Jessie are glad she found time to chat for an hour: she’s articulate and amusing, as you will hear for yourself.

May 25, 2018
Mark Duplass

The Duplass Brothers have become a valued brand name as writers, producers, directors, actors and now authors, with an outstanding new book called Like Brothers. Mark discusses the intimacy of his relationship with his older sibling, the perils of collaboration, and the often painful lessons he and Jay learned on their way to achieving their goal: complete independence. Leonard and Jessie interviewed him in the attic of their headquarters, a spacious four-story house where they have shot and edited movies, while giving a helping hand to young up-and-comers who deserve a break.

May 18, 2018
Alia Shawkat and Miguel Arteta

Alia Shawkat has been acting since she was 9 years old, but when she worked with director Miguel Arteta on the sleeper Cedar Rapids he sensed that she had things to say and suggested they collaborate on a screenplay. The resulting film, Duck Butter, is now available on demand. Leonard and Jessie explore their careers in film and television, from Alia’s long-running role in Arrested Development to Miguel’s exceptional films like The Good Girl and Beatriz at Dinner in this free-flowing, candid conversation.

May 11, 2018
Ashley Bell, John Michael McCarthy III, and Roddy Tabatabai

Actress (and long-ago schoolmate of Jessie’s) Ashley Bell has made an impressive directorial debut with Love & Bananas. It’s a fascinating documentary about elephant rescue in Southeast Asia, made with the cooperation of a remarkable woman named Lek Chailert. She is the Mother Theresa of pachyderms, a miracle worker you really ought to meet. Ashley and her team join Leonard and Jessie for a dynamic discussion of their film, which is now playing in theaters. Check their website and learn more at

May 09, 2018
Chris O’Dowd

Since Americans discovered him in Bridesmaids Chris O’Dowd has enjoyed a busy trans-Atlantic career, appearing on such popular shows as Girls here and Moone Boy (which he created) in England. His fans across the pond already knew how funny he was from the hilarious sitcom The IT Crowd. By now it’s no secret that he is equally at home in comedy and drama, like the new indie release Love After Love with Andie McDowell. Leonard and Jessie enjoyed Chris’ wit and charm as they discussed his multifaceted career.

May 04, 2018
Patton Oswalt

Stand-up comic, actor, voiceover specialist, author…Patton Oswalt wears many hats and wears them well. Whether you know him from The King of Queens or Ratatouille, a video game, solo comedy special or a cartoon series, he’s always sharp-minded and original. He’s also a great conversationalist, which made an hour fly by for Leonard and Jessie. (This episode was recorded before the recent revelation that his late wife’s true-crime book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark led to the arrest of a serial killer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay area for more than a decade.)

Apr 27, 2018
Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan is one of the most successful and best liked comedians in the country. He’s also a best-selling author and moonlights as an actor. Leonard and Jessie discover that acting was always on his agenda in this conversation recorded at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Listen as he engages a live audience without seeming to lift a finger. That’s a great comic talent.

Apr 20, 2018
Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm was so good on television’s Mad Men that some people still associate him with the enigmatic character he played, Don Draper. But he’s shown his versatility in a number of interesting films (like the new release Beirut) and revealed his flair for comedy, even hosting Saturday Night Live. He’s fun to talk to, as Leonard and Jessie can confirm—serious when the subject demands it and gloriously goofy when the mood strikes him. In other words, a perfect guest.

Apr 13, 2018
Ike Barinholtz

Whether you know him from MadTV, The Mindy Project, or movies like Neighbors, it’s likely that Ike Barinholtz has made an impression on you: he’s a naturally funny guy who projects sweetness and goofiness in equal measure. He costars in the new theatrical release Blockers, which gives him another chance to show his human side along with his comedy chops. Leonard and Jessie had a good time talking to Ike as he checked his iPhone to see if his wife was about to give birth to their third child! (She considerately held off until we finished recording.)

Apr 06, 2018
Al Pacino

Al Pacino—yes, Al Pacino—spends an hour with Leonard and Jessie talking about the theatrical release of his long-delayed film of Salome(featuring a young Jessica Chastain) and its accompanying documentary Wilde Salome. If you also want to hear what challenges him as an actor…or stories about the making of The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, and other classics of American film, you won’t be disappointed. Hey, it’s AL PACINO!

Mar 30, 2018
Bill Hader

One of the funniest performers around, Bill Hader is also a movie savant, as knowledgeable as he is enthusiastic. Now he’s starring in an HBO series called Barry that allows him to fulfill a lifelong dream to direct. Leonard and Jessie interviewed him in front of a live audience at South by Southwest and had a ball, as you will tuning in.

Mar 23, 2018
Josh Hartnett

An overnight success in films like The Faculty and Halloween H20, Josh Hartnett has moved beyond being a teen heartthrob and proved that he’s a long-distance runner. He’s worked on Broadway and London’s West End and is choosing interesting film projects like the indie Oh Lucy! that’s now playing in theaters. Incredibly bright (and likable), he shares stories of working with everyone from Warren Beatty to Harrison Ford in this enjoyable chat with Leonard and Jessie. We even talked about our mutual interest in jazz.

Mar 16, 2018
Jimmi Simpson

Jimmi Simpson has carved a niche for himself as a young character actor who doesn’t shy away from playing weird, wacky parts. You may remember him as Lyle the Intern with David Letterman, or that guy on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. You may be watching him right now on Westworld or Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. The only thing his portrayals have in common is that they are memorable. Leonard and Jessie discover the bright, articulate man behind these “out-there” characters in a lively and engaging conversation.

Mar 09, 2018
Pete Hammond

Pete Hammond is the must-read columnist for Deadline Hollywood and the best Oscar handicapper in town. He’s also Leonard’s pal, since their days together at Entertainment Tonight, and Jessie’s godfather. He hosts screening series and more q&a panels than anyone can count. How did a lifelong movie fan carve this kind of career for himself? Listen and see how passion, knowledge and determination can spell success. In a business where bad behavior gets headlines, Pete is truly one of the Good Guys. Stay tuned and you’ll hear his predictions for this year’s Academy Awards.

Mar 01, 2018
Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele proved himself a brilliant sketch comedian long ago, but he’s made a remarkable transition to Oscar-nominated filmmaker with his knockout debut feature Get Out. Soft-spoken, articulate and admittedly shy, he is pursuing a lifelong dream of making movies—the kind that inspired him when he was young. Leonard and Jessie are delighted to have him as a guest in the final run-up to the Academy Awards.

Feb 23, 2018
Phil Rosenthal

The Emmy-winning creator of Everybody Loves Raymond is a pretty lovable guy himself. Phil Rosenthal is a writer, producer, author, and host of an irresistible Netflix series called Somebody Feed Phil in which he travels the globe bonding with people over food. Leonard and Jessie share his enthusiasm for that subject, but he’s also a major movie buff (with particular fondness for Stanley Kubrick) and a delightful guest.

Feb 16, 2018
Dylan McDermott

We’ve all been watching and enjoying Dylan McDermott for years. In the hilarious new Fox TV series L.A. to Vegas he gets to exercise his comedy chops as Captain Dave and is having the time of his life. Leonard and Jessie are fans of the show and talk to him about it and other highlights of his rich career: being on Broadway in a Neil Simon hit for a solid year, working with Clint Eastwood, being directed by Jodie Foster, and much, much more.

Feb 09, 2018
Richard Donner

The man who directed Superman (with Christopher Reeve), The Omen, Lethal Weapon, and The Goonies should need no introduction…but Richard Donner’s career began in theater and television and he has many great memories he’s happy to share. Is there anyone else who can say he directed episodes of Perry Mason, Get Smart, and Gilligan’s Island? Leonard and Jessie were happy to tap into his prodigious memory for an hour of wonderful anecdotes and observations.

Feb 02, 2018
Giancarlo Esposito

The role of Gus in Breaking Bad (and its prequel, Better Caul Saul) has made Giancarlo Esposito world-famous, but he’s been acting since he was 8 years old—on Broadway, in films and television. Some of us first took notice of him in Spike Lee movies like Do the Right Thing and Mo’ Better Blues. His newest film, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, has just opened in theaters. He describes himself as a chameleon but as Leonard and Jessie learn, he is also an extraordinarily charismatic man with a refreshingly positive outlook on the acting profession.

Jan 26, 2018
The Nelms Brothers

The writers and directors of the new sleeper Small Town Crime pay a visit, following their costar Clifton Collins, Jr. last week. Ian and Eshom Nelms have such energy and enthusiasm it’s no wonder actors like John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, and Danny Glover are willing to work with them…not to mention Octavia Spencer, who helped pull their new cast together. Leonard and Jessie find it heartening that genuinely nice, un-cynical guys like these can still get movies made. Small Town Crime opens in theaters today and is also available on VOD.

Jan 19, 2018
Clifton Collins Jr.

Clifton Collins Jr. costars in the new movie Small Town Crime and is featured on HBO’s Westworld, but his credits are all many and varied: major features like Traffic, Babel, Capote, and Star Trek, episodes of TV series like Alias and Ballers, and a memorable cameo in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. He draws inspiration from his grandfather, Pedro Gonzales Gonzales, a lifelong entertainer who was under personal contract to John Wayne. In this colorful and unpredictable conversation Leonard and Jessie learn how he prepares for a role and makes it his own.

Jan 12, 2018
Robert Patrick

Robert Patrick had to overcome his first great success as T-1000 in Terminator 2. It’s the only way people could picture him, at first. But he beat the stereotype and hasn’t stopped working since: in memorable roles like Johnny Cash’s father in Walk the Line and on such hit shows as The Sopranos, True Blood, and (currently) Scorpion. He’s played opposite Melissa McCarthy and been directed by Clint Eastwood. What hasn’the done? Leonard and Jessie have fun talking with Robert about his prolific career.

Jan 05, 2018
Mark Evanier

Pop culture guru, comedy and animation writer, Jack Kirby biographer, and all-around good guy Mark Evanier joins Leonard to talk about one of their favorite subjects: Laurel and Hardy. Having grown up watching Stan and Ollie on television every day, they find it hard to imagine a generation that doesn’t know and love the great comedy team. Perhaps they will inspire you to revisit, or introduce yourself to, this timeless duo.

Dec 29, 2017
Alonso Duralde

Alonso Duralde, the savvy and articulate film critic for The Wrap, joins Leonard and Jessie for a survey of the movie year 2017. They don’t always agree, but Alonso makes his case for some films Jessie and Leonard don’t care for, and vice versa. As the author of the book Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas, our guest also weighs in on some of his favorite films of the season.

Dec 22, 2017
Bill Pullman

Bill Pullman is one of the most familiar faces in movies and TV—and one of the most welcome. To some, he’ll always be the kick-ass President in Independence Day. Others might name While You Were Sleeping or Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs. Leonard and Jessie run through his amazing résumé, right up through Sinner, Battle of the Sexes, and his latest movie, which opens today in theaters and Video on Demand: The Ballad of Lefty Brown. It’s a rare starring role for an actor who always delivers the goods.

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Dec 15, 2017
Stephen Chbosky

Stephen Chbosky is that rarity: a popular novelist who directed the screen version of his best-selling book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He has now followed that success with a beautiful adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder. It won’t take long to figure out why he’s done so well: his enthusiasm is palpable, whether he’s talking about the moviemaking process or naming some of his favorite films for Leonard and Jessie.

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Dec 08, 2017
Mark Mothersbaugh

From the themes for The Rugrats and Pee-wee’s Playhouse to the score to Thor Ragnarok, Mark Mothersbaugh has composed the soundtrack of our lives for the past thirty years. The cofounder of Devo is a talented artist who never intended to make music a career. Now he builds his own fanciful instruments! Leonard and Jessie visited his studio to talk about music, movies, and his long collaboration with Wes Anderson, among other things. What fun!

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Dec 01, 2017
Sean Baker

The man behind The Florida Project (one of the year’s best movies) joins Leonard and Jessie for a candid look at his career, which began on public-access television in Manhattan. His last feature, Tangerine, caused a stir because it was shot entirely on iPhones…but it’s the content, not the cameras, that makes these movies so good. (His latest was photographed on 35mm film.) Sean shares the story of his “overnight” success and explains why he thanks Spanky McFarland and the creators of the Little Rascals at the end of The Florida Project.

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Nov 24, 2017
Dee Rees

Six years ago, a film called Pariah (2011) heralded the arrival of a major new voice in American cinema. Dee Rees has fulfilled that promise with her ambitious new release Mudbound, based on the best-selling novel about two Southern families in the 1940s—one black, one white. It opens in theaters and on Netflix today. Leonard and Jessie spoke with the talented writer-director at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival.

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Nov 17, 2017
Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater is one of the most talented—and unpredictable—filmmakers working today. His new release, Last Flag Flying, is one of his best, but it bears little resemblance to Dazed and Confused, Before Sunset, Waking Life, or his epic Boyhood. What is crystal clear in his conversation with Leonard is that he loves movies and enjoys making them—small or large, mainstream or indie. And as you’ll hear, he also enjoys talking about movies.

Nov 10, 2017
Alfred Molina

For fanboys he will always be Doc Ock in SPIDER-MAN 2. He made an unforgettable big-screen debut in the opening scene of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK opposite Harrison Ford...and he hasn’t stopped working since, on stage, film and television. He’s played almost every nationality, but he’s a Brit, as you will hear, and a man of great good humor who is happy to share stories from his long career with Leonard and Jessie.

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Nov 03, 2017
Melissa Leo

Oscar-winning actress Melissa Leo inhabits every character she takes on, from Mark Wahlberg’s mother in The Fighter to the hard-boiled owner of a comedy club in the current series I’m Dying Up Here. In her new movie The Novitiate she’s in top form as a Mother Superior who has devoted forty years to the church. As Leonard and Jessie learn, Melissa discovered acting as a little girl and has never lost her love of pretending. She just does it better than most of us.

Oct 27, 2017
Elijah Wood

A lifetime in front of the camera hasn’t left Elijah Wood jaded or cynical. His enthusiasm and positive outlook are downright inspirational, as Leonard and Jessie can attest after spending time with him (and a live audience) at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. You’ll hear how he was cast as Frodo in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, how he recorded the voice of Mumble in Happy Feet, why working with Nicolas Cage was a dream come true and much, much more.

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Oct 20, 2017
Gilbert Gottfried

Gilbert Gottfried is one of the funniest comedians alive. A revealing and intimate new documentary called Gilbert shows another side of the busy performer, who is also a loving husband, father, and brother. Leonard and Jessie caught up with him at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, where a live audience inspired and energized both the hosts and their guest. Get ready for a blast of TV nostalgia, as well as a look back at Gilbert’s career highlights, from Beverly Hills Cop II to Aladdin. A word of caution: there were no holds barred as far as Gilbert was concerned.

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Oct 13, 2017
Keith Carradine

Keith Carradine’s career has taken him from Broadway to the Academy Awards (where he won an Oscar performing his own song “I’m Easy” in Robert Altman’s Nashville) and beyond. He was in the first season of Fargo and is currently playing the President of the United States opposite Tea Leoni in Madam Secretary on CBS. He also comes from a notable acting family and has many stories to share with Leonard about growing up with his colorful dad, John Carradine.

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Oct 06, 2017
Vince Vaughn

Moviegoers fell for Vince Vaughn the moment they saw him in Swingers. That was twenty-one years ago and he's still going strong, tackling a dramatic leading role in Brawl in Cell Block 99. It debuted at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, and that's where Leonard and Jessie interviewed him before a live (and lively) audience. Whether you think of him as that guy from Old School and Wedding Crashers or appreciate his smarts and versatility, you'll enjoy this delightful conversation.

Sep 29, 2017
Traci Hines

Traci Hines is living a dream come true: she has taken her love for Disney icons ranging from Ariel to Pinocchio and created videos in which she transforms herself into those characters. She has parlayed her fan-based passion into a career and received the ultimate compliment—the blessings of the Disney company itself. Leonard and Jessie know this for a fact: they saw her fan following at this summer’s D23 convention. She’s irresistibly likable, as you’ll learn in this episode.

Sep 22, 2017
Matt Walsh

If you watch Veep you know why Matt Walsh has been nominated for two Emmy awards: he’s simply hilarious as Julia Louis-Dreyfuss’ bumbling press secretary. He’s also a co-founder of Upright Citizens Brigade, which completes his comedy credentials—along with appearances in The Hangover and the remake of Ghostbusters. Leonard enjoys a wide-ranging conversation with Matt about his beginnings, influences and experiences.

Sep 15, 2017
Patricia Ward Kelly

When a young, bookish scholar met Gene Kelly years ago she had no idea who he was. Then they fell in love and she got to know the man and his career better than anyone else on earth. Today Patricia devotes herself to keeping his memory alive, and performs a heart-rending one-woman show about Gene Kelly as she knew him. Leonard and Jessie learn some things they never knew in this intimate conversation about the peerless entertainer.

Sep 08, 2017
Mel Brooks Encore

What better way to celebrate the holiday weekend than by revisiting our wonderful conversation with the one and only Mel Brooks. Great stories, many laughs!

Leonard and Jessie spend quality time with the one and only Mel Brooks, who’s as spry as ever and bursting with great stories. He reveals the name of the funniest comedy he ever saw, talks about Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and The Producers, and explains how he and his pal Carl Reiner screen movies together almost every night. You don’t want to miss this one.


Sep 01, 2017
Richard Kraft

Richard Kraft fell in love with movie soundtracks as a kid, pursued his heroes, and wound up representing Danny Elfman, Jerry Goldsmith, and other titans of film music. Now he produces concerts and shows around the world with his notable clients. He loves what he does and his enthusiasm knows no bounds, as you’ll hear when he talks about his world-class collection of Disneyland memorabilia.

Aug 25, 2017
Steven Weber

Steven Weber has been on Broadway, London’s West End, and everywhere in between. He costarred on the popular TV series Wings, worked for Mel Brooks in Dracula—Dead and Loving It (and on stage in The Producers), and has appeared on every television show imaginable. He’s also a movie lover of the first rank and a great storyteller, to boot. Leonard and Jessie never run out of topics with a guest like this.

Aug 18, 2017
Molly Quinn

Molly Quinn has won a well-deserved fan following for her performance as Nathan Fillion’s daughter on the long-running TV series Castle… but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As you’ll hear, she’s a poised, articulate  young actress with a bright future ahead of her and a serious love of movies. Wait to hear Leonard and Jessie’s reaction when she talks about Mae West!

Aug 11, 2017
Traverse City Film Festival

Leonard and Jessie took their show on the road and broadcast for a live audience at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. Their conversation ranges far and wide; one hot topic is the critic’s quandary of swimming against the tide, when everyone seems to like a film more than you do. Audience members chime in with questions, as well, in this lively hour of movie talk.

Aug 04, 2017
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has become world-famous on the wildly popular Game of Thrones, but as you’ll learn, his seemingly overnight success has been more than twenty years in the making. (He costarred with Mick Jagger and a little-known Jude Law in Bent back in 1997.) Leonard and Jessie discover a hard-working, self-effacing actor with a great sense of humor and a ready supply of anecdotes about his experiences making movies around the globe.

Jul 28, 2017
Jenny Slate

Jenny Slate is smart and funny in equal measure. She’s made her mark on television (on shows ranging from SNL to Parks and Recreation), movies (the award-winning Obvious Child), the Internet (with her creation Marcel the Shell with Shoes On) and even the New York Times best-seller list (thanks again to Marcel). Leonard and Jessie discuss her new movie Landline and a wide range of topics relating to comedy, careers, and real life.


Jul 21, 2017
Bruce Davison

We’ve all been watching Bruce Davison for years—tending to his pet rats in Willard in the early 70s, earning an Oscar nomination for Longtime Companion in 1989, defying the X-Men as a Senator in 2000, and making his mark in an endless variety of roles on stage, television and movies. It turns out he is also a world-class raconteur. Leonard and Jessie were held in rapt attention as he imitated Burt Lancaster, Henry Fonda and a host of others while spinning a series of unforgettable anecdotes. Don’t miss this episode!

Jul 14, 2017
Alice Tlusty

Meet the third member of the Maltin Triumvirate: Alice. Wife of Leonard, mother of Jessie, she is an outspoken, lifelong movie fan and has played a key role in Leonard’s life for the past 42 years as both booster and critic. When she was growing up in the Bronx she never dreamed she would wind up in Hollywood, meeting so many people she grew up watching from afar. Leonard and Jessie decided it was time to share her inimitable personality with their listeners. Enjoy!

Jul 07, 2017
Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton is in a class by himself. If you haven’t seen his Amazon series Goliath, you’re missing a great acting showcase…a perfect follow-up to his unforgettable turn on the first season of Fargo. Leonard and Jessie are longtime fans and delight in talking to him about finding his place in Hollywood, working with the Coen Brothers, playing the President of the United States in Love, Actually, and much, much more.

Jun 30, 2017
Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Mary Elizabeth Winstead just delivered a knockout performance as a femme fatale on this season of Fargo, but for many fans she’ll always be Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. As Leonard and Jessie discover, she doesn’t mind at all. She has a knack for choosing cool projects like 10 Cloverfield Lane and Swiss Army Man…and shares stories of her experiences on those films and working with the inimitable Quentin Tarantino.

Jun 23, 2017
Kumail Nanjiani and Ray Romano

Kumail Nanjiani has parlayed his success as a stand-up comic into an acting career, notably on Silicon Valley. Now he and his wife Emily have written a movie that was the runaway hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, The Big Sick. Everybody knows (and loves) Ray Romano, who plays the father of Kumail’s girlfriend. Leonard and Jessie ask the two comedians to compare their experiences in the standup world and learn how they made the transition to acting…but it’s clear that being funny comes naturally to both of them.


Jun 15, 2017
Miguel Arteta and Mike White

Director Miguel Arteta (Chuck and Buck, Cedar Rapids) and writer-actor Mike White (School of Rock, The Good Girl) are longtime friends and collaborators with many experiences to share—and a new film opening in theaters starring Salma Hayek, Beatriz at Dinner. Leonard and Jessie hear what they have to say about working with everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Martin Scorsese in this entertaining conversation.

Jun 09, 2017
Nick Kroll

Nick Kroll is on a roll: the hit Broadway show he performed with John Mulaney, Oh, Hello, is coming to Netflix. Kroll Show helped build his reputation as a chameleon-like sketch comedian. He’s provided animated voices for such movies as Sing, Sausage Party, and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie… and made his big-screen dramatic debut in Loving. Somehow he found time to chat with Leonard and Jessie about his multifaceted career—and his comedy heroes.

Jun 02, 2017
The Death of VHS--and a Lifetime of Movie Formats

Leonard’s recent post at about the death of vhs—and what we’ve lost in the process—inspired him and Jessie to discuss the parade of movie and video formats they’ve enjoyed over the years. From 8mm film (yes, film) to Betamax tape and beyond, it’s likely you will relate to at least one facet of this wide-ranging conversation. (P.S. You’d better listen to this episode soon; it only exists in a digital format and who knows how long that will last?)

May 26, 2017
Michael Giacchino

Michael Giacchino is the hottest—and arguably the nicest—composer in Hollywood. He got his start scoring video games and went on to earn an Oscar for Pixar’s Up. He’s provided the music for The Incredibles, Star Wars: Rogue One, Star Trek, Jurassic World, Zootopia and countless other movies (including the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes and Spiderman: Homecoming). But as Leonard and Jessie can affirm, his talent is matched only by his enthusiasm and sense of humor. And you’ll never guess what he listens to when he’s driving around L.A.!

May 19, 2017
Christopher Meloni

Christopher Meloni is an incredibly busy guy: he’s playing comedy on the big screen in Snatched while costarring on Underground and a new season of Hot Wet American Summer on TV. Then there are those Law & Order: SVU reruns. Leonard and Jessie learn why he works so hard: he loves what he does. Although he’s completely down-to-earth, Christopher is quite eloquent about what acting has meant to him. You’ll come away impressed…and you’ll even learn how he wound up in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

May 12, 2017
Michael Connelly

Best-selling author Michael Connelly is that rare bird: a writer who is fully involved in the TV adaptation of his work. Based on his hard-hitting, deeply researched novels about an LAPD detective, Bosch is now in its third season, and is the top-rated show on Amazon. Michael is also a good storyteller in person, as you’ll hear for yourself. Leonard and Jessie talk about his movie influences and his past experiences with Hollywood.

May 05, 2017
Baron Vaughn

Actor and standup comedian Baron Vaughn was Leonard’s original co-host on the podcast. He returns to the fold to talk about his roles on Grace & Frankie and the reboot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 as well as a new documentary that’s close to his heart: Fatherless. Baron has a knack for being able to be serious one moment and silly the next. Jessie and Leonard are suckers for this, and you may find yourself reacting the same way.

Apr 28, 2017
Film Festivals

Leonard and Jessie discuss film festivals they’ve recently attended—large and small—and the phenomenon they represent for filmmakers and moviegoers alike. From the TCM Classic Film Festival to hometown events in San Luis Obispo and Sonoma, California, you’ll learn the ins and outs of these cinematic gatherings. Along the way they recommend some movies worth watching that you can now find online to create your own festival at home.

Apr 21, 2017
J.K. Simmons

You all know J.K. Simmons: he’s the Oscar-winning actor who browbeat Miles Teller in Whiplash. He’s Ellen Page’s father in Juno. He’s costarred in such TV series as Oz and The Closer and sells insurance on the side. And for twenty years he’s been the voice of the yellow M&M in those TV commercials. In real life, he’s a hard-working actor with years of experience and lots of great stories. You’ll share Leonard’s interest in this engaging professional who loves what he does.

Apr 14, 2017
Hayley Mills

Hayley Mills was earmarked for stardom by Walt Disney more than fifty years ago. She endeared herself to a generation of fans in such unforgettable films as Pollyanna and The Parent Trap. Meeting this charming and unpretentious woman you’d never know she was friendly with the Beatles or came from British show-business royalty. Leonard and Jessie try to remain nonchalant as they chat with the nicest living legend imaginable.

Apr 07, 2017
Kevin Feige

Kevin Feige rules the Marvel Cinematic Universe—but the President of Marvel Studios wears his crown lightly. A real movie lover and comic fan, he can hold his own with the fanboys while simultaneously juggling multimillion dollar productions. He attended USC because that’s where his cinematic heroes went to school and remains loyal to his alma mater, visiting Leonard’s class on a regular basis. Jessie and Leonard don’t have to prod him to talk about any of these things--it's his passion. That's what makes him perfect for the job.

Mar 31, 2017
Dax Shepard

Dax Shepard has loved cars since he was a kid. Now he gets to race and crash them as the director, writer and star of CHIPS, the new movie that teams him with Michael Peña in a rousing reprise of the vintage TV series. Leonard and Jessie go into high gear with the star of TV’s Parenthood—and creator of the unappreciated feature Hit and Run—in this entertaining episode.

Mar 24, 2017
Live at SXSW with Nick Offerman and Brett Haley

The eloquent Nick Offerman leaves his much-loved Ron Swanson character behind as he costars with Sam Elliott in the new movie The Hero. Leonard and Jessie interview him and writer-director Brett Haley at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, where the film debuted. A live audience didn’t let a steady downpour of rain dampen their enthusiasm.

Mar 17, 2017
Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright is the ultimate fanboy-turned-filmmaker. He has parlayed his love and knowledge into a thriving career, from Shaun of the Dead to Scott Pilgrim and The World’s End, with Baby Driver on its way to theaters soon (after a sneak preview at South by Southwest). He’s as articulate as he is passionate, and shares his enthusiasm for movies with Leonard and Jessie.

Mar 10, 2017
Quincy Jones

Listen up! When Quincy Jones speaks he may be imparting Yoda-like wisdom or talking about his collaborations with Steven Spielberg, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, or Hal Ashby, to name just a few. His film credits range from The Pawnbroker and In Cold Blood to The Color Purple and the must-see documentary Keep on Keepin’ On. As a musician, arranger, film composer, and entrepreneur he is without peer, and arguably the coolest guy on the planet. Leonard and Jessie are clearly in awe.

Mar 03, 2017
Melanie Lynskey

From her amazing debut in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures to her long run on the TV sitcom Two and a Half Men, Melanie Lynskey has created unforgettable characters. Her latest is in the Sundance Grand Jury prize-winner I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, which debuts today on Netflix. Leonard and Jessie discover that Melanie is as engaging in person as she’s always been onscreen…and you’ll hear the Kiwi accent she’s so good at disguising.

Feb 24, 2017
Scott Adsit

You know his face from 30 Rock and Veep, among countless other TV shows and movies. You may also know him as the voice of Baymax from Big Hero 6. Now meet Second City graduate Scott Adsit, improv actor supreme and longtime movie buff. Leonard and Jessie learn about his career and his long association with animation, as voice actor and producer, in this interesting chat.

Feb 17, 2017
Alicia Malone

You’ve seen her on Fandango, Screen Junkies, and the new Filmstruck channel. Alicia Malone is a savvy film lover who came to L.A. from her native Australia and wound up with a full agenda of dream jobs talking about movies. Leonard and Jessie learn how her father introduced her to classic films and set her on this rewarding path.


Feb 10, 2017
Best Classic Films

Leonard and Jessie asked you—our listeners—what films you consider to be classics. That’s the springboard for this week’s conversation about films that have stood the test of time, from the 1930s and 40s and even the 1980s. Everyone’s list is personal, of course. See how many you’d put on your list of all-time classics.

Feb 03, 2017
The 2017 Oscars

Oscar season is in full swing, so Leonard and Jessie weigh in on this year’s nominees. They also discuss (and recommend) a number of films and performances that were overlooked. We think you’ll come away with at least a few movie tips you’ll want to check out.

Jan 27, 2017
Stephen Tobolowsky

Stephen Tobolowsky is one of the most recognizable men on earth, now appearing in two first-rate TV shows, Silicon Valley and One Day at a Time...but he's also an author, podcaster, and consummate storyteller. He even made a successful concert movie using Kickstarter funds this year. Leonard and Jessie talk with him about his indelible role in Ground Hog Day, his unusual connection with David Byrne and the Talking Heads, the perils of actors' auditions, and much, much more.

Jan 20, 2017
John Landis

John Landis is never dull, as anyone who has heard him speak can verify. Leonard and Jessie enjoy a wide-ranging conversation with the versatile filmmaker behind National Lampoon's Animal House, Trading Places, Thriller, and An American Werewolf in London, to name just a few. Subjects range from the current Oscar fare to working with music legends like Cab Calloway (in The Blues Brothers). Fasten your seat belt for a jam-packed episode.


Jan 13, 2017
Allan Arkush

Allan Arkush directed the enduring cult favorite "Rock 'n' Roll High School," but that's just the tip of the iceberg. He studied with Martin Scorsese at NYU, earned his professional stripes working for Roger Corman, and directed great TV series like "St. Elsewhere" and "Moonlighting" long before cable came along. He's still going strong and has wonderful stories to share with Leonard and Jessie.

Jan 06, 2017
Michael Feinstein

When Michael Feinstein moved from the Midwest to Los Angeles he landed a job with the legendary Ira Gershwin. Nice work if you can get it! Since then he’s become an ambassador of American popular song—as a singer, pianist, conductor, archivist, and mentor to young talent. He discusses his exceptional career and pinpoints some favorite movie musicals in this week’s conversation.

Dec 23, 2016
Amy Adams

With five Oscar nominations under her belt and two terrific new movies (Arrival and Nocturnal Animals) Amy Adams could be forgiven for having an outsized ego…but that’s not the case. She’s charming and down-to-earth, as you’ll hear when Leonard and Jessie discuss her exceptional career. Want to hear about working opposite Meryl Streep—or playing a slut in her debut movie Drop Dead Gorgeous? Tune in to this lively conversation.

Dec 16, 2016
Drew Friedman

Meet Drew Friedman: cartoonist, caricaturist, illustrator and pop culture connoisseur. Jessie tries to referee as Drew and Leonard trade stories about oddball movies and actors they admire (from the cast of Ed Wood movies to George Jessel) in this lively conversation. If you’re already a Friedman fan you may want to contribute to a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary about him at

Dec 09, 2016
Viggo Mortensen

He’ll always be Aragorn to some loyalists, but Viggo Mortensen is a versatile actor who won well-deserved praise for this year’s sleeper Captain Fantastic. He’s also an artist, musician, publisher and moviegoer, as Jessie and Leonard learn in a wide-ranging and amusing conversation.

Dec 02, 2016
Joel Edgerton

Joel Edgerton is one of the most versatile actors of his generation. Currently costarring in Loving, he’s amassed a formidable list of credits in a short span of time, from The Great Gatsby to Exodus: Gods and Kings. He’s also proven himself as a writer and director. Leonard and Jessie discuss his wide-ranging career, the actors he admires most, and exchange movie recommendations.

Nov 18, 2016
Laura Dern

Laura Dern grew up in show business, the daughter of Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. She has long since carved a niche all her own, with two Oscar nominations under her belt and a lifetime of colorful experiences. From indie films to Jurassic Park, she has great stories to tell and shares them with Leonard and Jessie.

Nov 11, 2016
Patty McCormack

Can it be sixty years since little Patty McCormack starred in The Bad Seed and earned an Oscar nomination? You won’t believe it, either, when you listen to Leonard and Jessie chat with this delightful woman who has spent her life in show business. She even starred in an indie movie called Mommy as a psychopath whose daughter discovers she is a “bad seed” grown up!


Oct 28, 2016
Richard M. Sherman

Odds are you’ve been singing and humming Richard Sherman’s songs for most of your life. He and his brother won two Academy Awards for Mary Poppins and spent ten years writing songs for a variety of Walt Disney endeavors—including “It’s a Small World.” But Richard doesn’t live in the past: he’s as busy as ever, as you’ll hear in this lively conversation with Leonard and Jessie. He also discusses his famous father and what it was like growing up in Hollywood.


Oct 21, 2016
Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston stops by for an engaging and enlightening conversation about his latest movies, the unexpected momentum of his career in recent years, and his modus operandi for keeping his feet on the ground. Leonard found him funny, thoughtful, and candid—and so will you.


Oct 14, 2016
Bruce Campbell

It’s been years since Bruce Campbell made his reputation in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies, but now he’a back in Ash vs Evil Dead and having a blast! Leonard and Jessie caught up with him at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX before an enthusiastic audience!


Oct 07, 2016
Tim Burton

The one and only Tim Burton joins Leonard and Jessie in a live conversation from Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, following the premiere of his new movie Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children. Tim remembers the pride of seeing his prize-winning monster-movie posters on the garbage trucks of Burbank, California, shares some parenting experiences, and discusses some of his more memorable movie moments.


Sep 30, 2016
Ed Begley, Jr.

Ed Begley, Jr. is one of the most familiar faces in television and movies—and has great stories to match his incredible career, from Best in Show to Ghostbusters and beyond. He tells Leonard and Jessie how he came to be directed by Jack Nicholson, and reveals how Christopher Guest steers his actors through their improvised comedy scenes.

Sep 23, 2016
Carl Reiner

This week, Leonard and Jessie meet another comedy legend: Carl Reiner, creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show, partner of Mel Brooks’s 2,000 Year Old Man, director of such hit movies as The Jerk, and a true television pioneer alongside the great Sid Caesar. Carl is still active (and funny) at age 94 as an author and performer. He even graces us with some of his hilarious Shakespearean giberish!

Sep 16, 2016
Chaplin and Keaton

Hard to believe, but after 100 years there are still discoveries to be made involving two of movie’s most towering figures. Leonard and Jessie exchange observations about Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, with suggestions of where you can go to find rare footage and valuable information.

Sep 09, 2016
Edgar Ramirez

Currently starring with Robert De Niro in Hands of Stone, Edgar Ramirez is steadily building an international reputation as an actor of great strength and versatility. It turns out he is as charming and articulate as he is talented. Leonard and Jessie fall under his spell and talk about his many roles, ranging from Jennifer Lawrence's husband to the notorious Carlos the Jackal.

Sep 02, 2016
Robert Forster

John Huston launched his film career; Quentin Tarantino rescued it with Jackie Brown, which earned him an Oscar nomination. Robert Forster has spent years in front of the camera working alongside Marlon Brando and other greats. What’s even more impressive is his work ethic, which he explains in eloquent terms. Leonard and Jessie also get his reaction to some of their favorite “unsung” Forster films.


Aug 26, 2016
Mel Brooks

Leonard and Jessie spend quality time with the one and only Mel Brooks, who’s as spry as ever and bursting with great stories. He reveals the name of the funniest comedy he ever saw, talks about Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and The Producers, and explains how he and his pal Carl Reiner screen movies together almost every night. You don’t want to miss this one.


Aug 19, 2016
Phil Proctor

As cofounder of Firesign Theater, Phil Proctor influenced several generations of comedy fans. (One of them was Steve Jobs.) Younger people may know him better as the voice of Howard Seville on The Rugrats. He’s still going strong, providing voices for video games, animated movies like Toy Story and Monsters Inc., and costarring in the YouTube comedy series, “Boomers on a Bench.” There’s nothing Phil hasn’t done in show business; he and the Firesign gang even wrote the first psychedelic rock Western, Zachariah, back in 1971. There’s no shortage of great stories when Phil starts talking to Leonard.

Aug 12, 2016
Charles Phoenix

Our guest is Charles Phoenix, the Ambassador of Americana: part stand-up comic, part pop culture curator, and full-time purveyor of fun. His lectures, videos, and weekly e-mail blasts celebrate the joys of life in the 50s and 60s, including moviegoing (with drive-ins a specialty). Jessie and I are great fans and had a great time talking to this effervescent fellow. Check out his site at


Aug 05, 2016
Live at SDCC with Doug Benson

Leonard and Jessie welcome Doug Benson in a live-audience podcast from the San Diego Comic-Con. Doug and Leonard share notes on some of their favorite films from the current crop, with some timely suggestions on what to see. Then Jessie serves as quizmaster when the two big-league film nerds play Doug’s own creation, The Leonard Maltin Game.

Jul 29, 2016
Clare Kramer

This week Leonard and Jessie welcome fan favorite Clare Kramer, best known for her roles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Bring It On. She's used that notoriety to become an entrepreneur as the cofounder of Geek Nation. She shares stories about her career and recommends some films you may have missed.

Jul 23, 2016
Roseanne Barr and Eric Weinrib

Leonard Maltin and his daughter Jessie welcome the always-outspoken Roseanne Barr and Eric Weinrib, director of the new documentary Roseanne for President! The conversation ranges from the comedienne's presidential run in 2012 to her favorite performers when she was growing up. Eric, whose past adventures with Ken Kesey and Hunter S. Thompson prepared him for almost anything, explains how his long association with Michael Moore led to this collaboration with Roseanne.

Jul 15, 2016
Kevin Pollak

The one and only Kevin Pollak is a wonderful character actor who has recently experienced what it's like behind the camera as a director. Kevin joins Leonard to talk about all the lessons he learned directing his first indie comedy The Late Bloomer. He also tells us why his roles in Deterrence, The Usual Suspects, and Avalon are important to him. Plus, Christopher Walken makes an appearance.

Jun 29, 2016
British Films with Danielle Hope

Leonard and his daughter Jessie are joined by British actress and singer Danielle Hope to talk about their favorite British actors (including Dani’s mentor, Michael Crawford) and films over the years, including the current release Genius with Colin Firth and Jude Law, the 2014 family comedy Paddington, and the works of the brilliant Mike Leigh.

This episode is sponsored by Blue Apron.

Jun 22, 2016
82 Kate Micucci

The talented Kate Micucci (of the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates) joins Leonard to talk about her costarring role in the new Mike Birbiglia film Don't Think Twice, which comes to theaters in July. They also discuss people who have inspired Kate in her acting career (including Cloris Leachman and Anjelica Huston), and some of her favorite films, including Searching for Bobby Fischer and While You Were Sleeping.

Jun 15, 2016
81 Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin joins Leonard from New York City through the magic of the internet to chat about the joy of doing his podcast "Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin," his memories of working in Tim Burton's modern classic Beetlejuice, and the tradition of staying up late watching classic films on television with his father when he was young. Plus, Alec recommends some of his favorite unsung movies.

Jun 08, 2016
80 Horror Comedy with Dana Gould

Traveling troubadour of comedy Dana Gould returns to join Leonard to talk about practical effects vs. special effects, Don Knotts in hysterical comedy-horror film The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and the 1943 horror film I Walked with a Zombie from producer Val Lewton. Plus, Dana tells us about his new comedy-horror series Stan Against Evil based on his father.

Jun 01, 2016
79 Listener Questions with Jessie Maltin

Jessie Maltin is back to answer some listener questions addressed to Leonard including: his thoughts on Lost in Translation, the future of the Disney treasures, which classic films he would introduce to a younger audience, and much more. Plus, Leonard recommends some sleepers that are currently in theaters such as the Italian-French erotic-thriller A Bigger Splash starring Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes.

May 25, 2016
78 Films From the 80's with Samm Levine

Actor, comedian, and fellow movie lover Samm Levine is back to join Leonard for a discussion of films of the 1980s: the box-office hits, enduring favorites, and titles we’ve all forgotten. They also discuss remakes, what it means for a movie to be considered a classic, and the pre-computer & post-cellphone eras in film.

May 18, 2016
77 Susan Sarandon
77 Susan Sarandon by Earwolf
May 11, 2016
76 Joe Dante

Filmmaker and film lover Joe Dante (Gremlins, Matinee) joins Leonard to talk about writing for the horror/science fiction film magazine Castle of Frankenstein, going from creating trailers to making a feature film of his own, and his classic and cult movies based web series Trailers From Hell. Plus, Joe recommends some unsung favorite films such as John Farrow’s 1948 film noir The Big Clock.

May 04, 2016
75 Paul Scheer

The multi-talented Paul Scheer of How Did This Get Made? joins Leonard to talk about his podcast unearthing gems like the Village People's Can't Stop the Music, wearing out the VHS tapes of movies he recorded as a kid, and the ground rules for doing a remake. Plus, Paul recommends some of his favorite films from the golden age of Hollywood including the 1934 comedy-mystery The Thin Man.

Apr 27, 2016
74 Gilbert Gottfried

Comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried joins Leonard and Baron to talk about growing up in New York watching old movies on late-night TV, doing impressions of Humphrey Bogart as he started doing stand-up at the age of 15, and how his lifelong passion for old movies has informed his comedy. Plus, Gilbert recommends some unsung movies you should seek out, including 1968's The Swimmer starring Burt Lancaster.

Apr 20, 2016
73 Cate Blanchett Movies

This week, Leonard and Baron discuss the works of the extraordinary Cate Blanchett and focus on three films in which she disappears into her role: the great Notes On a Scandal, a movie that got a bum rap when it was released, and the Sam Raimi directed supernatural thriller The Gift.

Apr 13, 2016
72 From Ed Wood to O.J.: Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski

Screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski have a terrific skill writing movies about real people in their films Ed Wood, Man on the Moon, and Big Eyes—not to mention The People vs. O.J.. They join Leonard this week to discuss how they went from writing Problem Child to biopics, adding their own life experience into their writing, and why their Robert Ripley & Marx Brothers projects never got made. Plus, they recommend some underrated films that have influenced them.

Apr 06, 2016
71 More True Stories with Jessie: LIVE from SXSW

Recorded live at South by Southwest 2016, Leonard, Baron, and Jessie discuss three movies based on True Stories: the 2011 Richard Linklater comedy Bernie starring Jack Black, a semi-biographical sports drama that you should avoid, and Errol Morris' unpredictable 1997 documentary Fast, Cheap & Out of Control.

Mar 29, 2016
70 Meet Midnight Special's Jeff Nichols

Filmmaker Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud) joins Leonard to discuss his terrific new sci-fi chase film Midnight Special, which is best appreciated on a theater screen. Jeff explains why he continues to shoot on film, how he began his collaboration with Michael Shannon, directing child actor Jaeden Lieberher, and making the moviegoing experience special. He also reveals which movies have influenced him as a fan and a filmmaker.

Mar 22, 2016
69 Live at SXSW with Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass
Recorded live at South by Southwest 2016, comedian, storyteller, filmmaker Mike Birbiglia and storyteller Ira Glass join Leonard, Baron, and Jessie to discuss Mike's new film which is produced by Ira, Don't Think Twice. It tells the story of the friendship between members of a New York improv group that is put to the test when their lease is up and one of them lands a TV show. Plus, Mike and Ira recommend a couple of films that you should revisit.
Mar 16, 2016
68 Meet Indie Film Hero John Sayles

Filmmaker John Sayles joins Leonard and Baron to talk about how he came to make his first feature, Return of the Secaucus 7, as well as The Brother from Another Planet, Eight Men Out, Matewan, and other indie milestones. He also discusses directing music videos with Bruce Springsteen, his process working with actors, and two of his favorite sleepers.

Mar 09, 2016
67 Sports Movies
Leonard and Baron return this week to talk about three Sports movies: the delightful 1992 film A League of Their Own, a star-studded turkey that you can skip, and a 40-year-old Motown sleeper called The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.
Mar 02, 2016
66 Foreign Films with Jessie
This week Leonard and his daughter Jessie shine on a light on some unsung foreign films worth seeing. They recommend three spectacular sleepers: Mariana Chenillo's Mexican drama Nora's Will, Susanne Bier's Danish film Brothers, and Nimród Antal's Hungarian comedy–thriller Kontroll.
Feb 24, 2016
65 Meet Lenny Abrahamson, director of ROOM
Lenny Abrahamson, director of the critically acclaimed Room, which earned Brie Larson an Oscar nomination, joins Leonard, Baron, and Jessie to talk about the letter he wrote to persuade novelist Emma Donoghue to adapt it for the screen, his love of Laurel & Hardy, and one of his favorite sleepers, Margaret (2011) with Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, and Mark Ruffalo.
Feb 16, 2016
64 Wedding Movies with Jessie
Leonard is joined this week by his newlywed daughter Jessie! In celebration of this momentous occasion, they take a look at some of the great marriages in movies. From 1998's Polish Wedding to 2006's Confetti, Leonard and Jessie discuss which wedding movies you'll absolutely adore and one you should avoid.
Feb 10, 2016
63 2016 Oscar Nominees
Inspired by the 2016 Oscar Nominees, Leonard and Baron discuss the movies of two actors and one filmmaker: Brie Larson in the tremendous Short Term 12, a turkey from Sylvester Stallone, and a sleeper by the name of Win Win from Spotlight director Tom McCarthy.
Feb 03, 2016
62 Grae Drake, Senior Editor of Rotten Tomatoes
Leonard is joined by his ReelzChannel partner, the irrepressible Grae Drake, Senior Editor of Rotten Tomatoes. Grae recalls some of her unique press junket experiences, which include getting her own Bond Girl name from Dame Judi Dench and leaving Dustin Hoffman speechless. They also discuss two favorite films of 2015 that aren’t part of the Oscar conversation: 99 Homes and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Jan 27, 2016
61 Doug Benson of Doug Loves Movies
Doug Benson loves movies more than you. Doug's podcast "Doug Loves Movies" has even given Leonard Maltin street cred thanks to the popularity of "The Leonard Maltin Game." Doug joins Leonard this week to discuss his lifelong love of movies and one of his recent favorites, Bone Tomahawk starring Kurt Russell.
Jan 20, 2016
60 Tales of Showbiz
New Year greetings from Leonard and Baron! On the first new episode of the year, they discuss three movies inspired by Tales of Showbiz: the wildly ambitious Tim Robbins film Cradle Will Rock, David Mamet's most lighthearted work State and Main, and a turkey that is regarded as one of the worst movies ever made.
Jan 13, 2016
59 Dana Gould, comedian and Simpsons writer
Dana Gould, comedian/Simpsons writer/die-hard movie buff joins Leonard and Baron to talk about what lead to his love of horror films, the incredibly wide range of references on The Simpsons that you would either get or not get, and one of his favorite sleepers, Carnival of Souls (1962) directed by Herk Harvey.
Dec 30, 2015
58 Christmas Movies with Jessie
Holiday Greetings from Leonard and his daughter Jessie! We all know the quintessential Christmas movies but what are some of the other Holiday gems that have fallen by the wayside? From Elf to The Santa Claus, Leonard and Jessie discuss which films you must see this Holiday season.
Dec 23, 2015
57 True-Life Stories
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three movies based on True-Life Stories: the 2013 drama Tracks starring Mia Wasikowska (an adaptation of Robyn Davidson's memoir of the same name), a musical biopic told in an unconventional way, and Bobcat Goldthwait's documentary Call Me Lucky which chronicles the life and work of comedian/activist Barry Crimmins which you should definitely seek out.
Dec 16, 2015
56 Special guest Scott Cooper (“Black Mass”)
Scott Cooper, the writer-director of Crazy Heart, which earned Jeff Bridges an Oscar, and this year’s Black Mass with Johnny Depp joins Leonard to talk about his lifelong love of movies, how he makes actors feel at ease, and one of his favorite sleepers, Funny Bones (1995) with Oliver Platt and Jerry Lewis.
Dec 08, 2015
55 New York Movies
Leonard and Baron are back this week to discuss three movies set in New York: the delightful 2009 release City Island, a major league movie that they think is not so hot, and 1994's Fresh, a genuine sleeper.
Dec 02, 2015
54 The Greg Proops Film Club
The Smartest Man in the World, Greg Proops joins Leonard this week to discuss his wide-ranging interest in movies, which he screens in front of a live audience at Cinefamily in Los Angeles. They'll also talk about one of Greg's personal favorites, Don Siegel's 1973 crime thriller Charley Varrick, starring Walter Matthau.
Nov 25, 2015
53 Broadcast News (w/ Samm Levine)
You know him and you love him from Freaks and Greeks, Inglourious Basterds, and his notoriously celebrated appearances on Doug Loves Movies, Samm Levine joins Leonard this week to discuss his lifelong love of movies and one of his particular favorites, James L. Brooks' Broadcast News.
Nov 18, 2015
52 Storytime with John Landis
The man who directed National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is also one of Hollywood’s most avid and knowledgeable film buffs. John Landis joins Leonard and Baron this week to talk about a wide variety of subjects, from Don Rickles to Fred Astaire. He also reveals one of his favorite unsung horror movies of the 1930s.
Nov 11, 2015
51 Animated Cartoons (w/ Jerry Beck)
Jerry Beck of is one of the world's leading experts on Animated Cartoons. This week Jerry joins Leonard to talk about growing up with cartoons, recent animated shorts from Disney and Pixar, and three must-see animated features: Disney's Teacher's Pet, Surf's Up, and Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues.
Nov 04, 2015
50 Halloween Films
That frightening time of year is upon us and this week Leonard and Baron work up the courage to discuss three terrific films perfect for the Halloween season: a modern classic 28 Days Later, Guillermo del Toro's masterful Pan's Labyrinth, and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, a clever film that mixes humor with horror.
Oct 28, 2015
49 Philip Seymour Hoffman Films
This week, Leonard and Baron discuss the remarkable Philip Seymour Hoffman and focus on three films from his unbelievable career: the exceptionally great film Charlie Wilson's War, a definite dud in which he's actually very good in, and a sleeper worth checking out called A Late Quartet.
Oct 21, 2015
48 Chicken Soup Movies
Leonard and Baron respond to Jessie Maltin's concept of naming "chicken soup" movies: films that make you feel better when you’re sick, and others that you might discover when you’re housebound. Examples range from Marx Brothers comedies to 10 Things I Hate About You.
Oct 14, 2015
47 Baseball Movies (w/ Fred Willard)
If you haven't seen Fred Willard's face you have been living under a rock for the past 35 years. Fred joins Leonard and Baron this week to talk about his career from his time performing at Second City in Chicago to his work in many hilarious Christopher Guest films. Fred also discusses his love of baseball movies which include The Pride of the Yankees, Field of Dreams, and Clint Eastwood's Trouble with the Curve.
Oct 06, 2015
46 Superheroes For the Generations (w/ Jessie Maltin)
Who is your Batman—Michael Keaton, Christian Bale, Adam West? Leonard and his daughter Jessie talk about the movie heroes we’ve all grown up with, and why we’re attached to the ones we saw first…from Superman to James Bond.
Sep 29, 2015
45 LA Movies: LIVE from LA Podfest 2015
Recorded from the 2015 Los Angeles Podfest, Leonard and Baron discuss LA Movies: the 2006 true-crime period film Hollywoodland, a true-crime turkey also released that very same year, and a brilliant sleeper by the name of King of California. Plus, they take questions from the live audience!
Sep 23, 2015
44 Broadway Danny Rose (w/ Phil Rosenthal)
Phil Rosenthal, creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond” and the new PBS series “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” joins Leonard this week to discuss Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose: a hilarious film that showcases the low end of New York show business.
Sep 16, 2015
43 More Funny Ladies
Finally, a sequel as good as the first! This week Leonard & Baron discuss the many great performances by Catherine O'Hara, Madeline Kahn, and Melissa McCarthy, as well as Baron's new theme song!
Sep 09, 2015
42 Back to School
School is back in session and this week Leonard and Baron discuss three films that deal with school life: the terrific social satire Election, a movie with a likable cast that is unapologetically bad, and the breath of fresh air that is 2004’s Saved!
Sep 01, 2015
41 Adventures in Moviegoing (w/ Jessie Maltin)
Leonard and Jessie Maltin are back this week to talk about many facets of moviegoing: accepting a movie for what it is and not for what it isn’t, the experience of seeing a movie with an engaged audience at a film festival, and discovering a wonderful movie sometimes by luck.
Aug 26, 2015
40 From Small Screen To Silver Screen
Transferring hit TV shows to the big screen isn’t a new idea. This week Leonard and Baron discuss three films that have received this treatment: 1991’s dark and twisted The Addams Family, two unfortunate turkeys, and the underrated (and star-studded) SNL film Coneheads.
Aug 19, 2015
39 Stranger Than Fiction
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three documentaries that are well worth your time and will make you cry: Jesse Moss’ The Overnighters, Crips and Bloods: Made in America, and an inspiring film about two remarkable people separated in age by more than 60 years.
Aug 12, 2015
38 Funny Ladies
Baron and Leonard are reunited once again! Inspired by leading ladies Amy Schumer & Melissa McCarthy, they discuss three films that feature funny ladies: Whoopi Goldberg in the crowd pleaser Sister Act, Lily Tomlin in The Late Show, a sleeper from 1977, and a stinker from one of everyone’s favorite female comics. (p.s. it wasn’t her fault).
Aug 03, 2015
37 Music in Film (w/ Jessie Maltin)
Leonard and Jessie Maltin are back this week and this time they are answering your questions about music in film! What’s the best music score? Which film has the best soundtrack? What are some unknown musical movie gems? Tune in to find out!
Jul 29, 2015
36 Movie Walkouts, Alan Smithee Films and Beyond!
Leonard returns along with his daughter Jessie Maltin to answer all your questions! What was Leonard’s first (and second) experience walking out of a movie? What is the best Alan Smithee film? If you can only watch movies from one decade which will it be? Tune in to find out!
Jul 22, 2015
35 The Great Unknowns (w/ Jessie Maltin)
Baron is joined once again by the globe-trotting Jessie Maltin as they discuss actors who fill major roles in major motion pictures constantly but aren't names known by "your mom."
Jul 10, 2015
34 The Q&A (w/ Jessie Maltin)
This week Baron and special guest Jessie Maltin answer some listener questions addressed to Leonard & Baron including: favorite film of all time, favorite film composers, if they have ever changed their opinion of a film upon a second viewing, and much more.
Jul 03, 2015
33 Behind the Scenes
This week Leonard and Baron welcome Leonard’s wife Alice to sit in with them as they discuss three excellent documentaries that take you behind the scenes of movies in different ways: Casting By, a celebration of the casting profession and casting pioneer Marion Dougherty, Lost in La Mancha which follows Terry Gilliam's doomed attempt to get his film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, off the ground, and It's All True: Based on an Unfinished Film by Orson Welles, the story of a notorious Orson Welles project about South America that was never completed.
Jun 24, 2015
32 Films That Left A Lasting Impression (w/ Jessie Maltin)
Inspired by Father’s Day, Leonard’s daughter Jessie Maltin returns to discuss the movies that her dad shared with her growing up—and Leonard explains why he chose the classics. Plus, Baron explains how movies as diverse as Amadeus and the Muppets opened him up to a world of great movies.
Jun 17, 2015
31 Cartoons for Grownups
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three films that prove cartoons aren’t always intended for children: the first animated feature ever submitted by France as its official entry for the Oscars, 2007’s Persepolis, a stop-motion animated sleeper from Australia, and a stinker from one of the medium’s true innovators. (Hey, nobody’s perfect…)
Jun 10, 2015
30 Movie Remakes
Every rule has exceptions, and while Leonard and Baron have reservations about many remakes of older films, this week they spotlight a couple they love! They praise the breathless, incredibly funny His Girl Friday, lament that the latest RoboCop was hamstrung from the beginning by a terrible script, and recommend a remake of a spooky Swedish thriller.
Jun 03, 2015
29 Page To Screen
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three films adapted from books; two that are great, and one that’s just grating. They’re captivated by the many grace notes of the John Irving adaptation “The Cider House Rules,” and appalled by the bloated, lugubrious “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” before recommending a classic from the 30’s that takes you to a remote, exotic land.
May 27, 2015
28 Women Behind the Camera
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three movies made by women: Love & Basketball, written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, a reimagining of a popular TV show that’s not worthy of its director or star, and a compelling sleeper written and directed by Dee Rees called Pariah.
May 19, 2015
27 Femme Force
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three movies featuring female duos of all stripes! After praising the debut film of a famed directorial duo, they advise listeners to steer clear of the shrill caricatures that populate The Other Woman, and check out the haunting musical sister act Hilary & Jackie.
May 13, 2015
26 Generation to Generation
While Baron is on assignment, Leonard welcomes a special guest-co-host, his daughter Jessie Maltin to discuss the movies that made a deep impact on them in their formative years. Tune in to hear which films changed the game for both Maltins from generation to generation.
May 05, 2015
25 I'm With The Band
This week, Leonard and Baron sing the praises of movies about (fictional) musicians and bands. First, they celebrate Christopher Guest’s faux folk singers in A Mighty Wind, then blast a Broadway rock musical that shouldn’t have left the stage. Finally they recommend a sleeper called Still Crazy—a treat for music lovers and Anglophiles alike.
Apr 28, 2015
24 Stars Directing Themselves
Inspired by Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner, Leonard and Baron discuss three films in which a director also is the star of the film. Ed Harris’ outstanding film Pollock, a turkey from Kenneth Branagh, and Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming’s wonderful sleeper The Anniversary Party.
Apr 22, 2015
23 Buddy Movies
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three films that fall under the umbrella of buddy movies: Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in the classic Midnight Run, a prequel of a buddy movie that shouldn’t have been made, and Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor in I Love You Phillip Morris, a movie you might have missed. Plus, Leonard shares a story about how he managed to land an interview with De Niro when Midnight Run was about to be released.
Apr 15, 2015
22.5 Bonus: Interview w/ Stephen Tobolowsky
Cue the digital fanfare! In a first ever Bonus Episode, Leonard & Baron sit down with Stephen Tobolowsky to discuss acting, writing, storytelling, having your scenes cut from movies, the benefits of heated hallways, and of course, whether or not Godzilla was a documentary."
Apr 10, 2015
22 Leading Ladies
This week Leonard and Baron discuss three films with interesting women in them: Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, and Minnie Driver in An Ideal Husband, Charlize Theron in a film they both can’t stand, and Passion Fish, a sleeper starring Mary McDonnell and Alfre Woodard.
Apr 08, 2015
21 Comedy: A Serious Business
Leonard and Baron are back to discuss three films revolving around the world of stand-up comedy: Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, a great comedian’s semi-autobiographical saga that doesn’t quite add up, and a sleeper with a hell of a Punchline.
Mar 31, 2015
20 Morgan Freeman Films
This week, Leonard and Baron discuss the inimitable Morgan Freeman and focus on three films from his long career: Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone, another film that even this great actor couldn’t salvage, and a sleeper worth checking out called The Magic of Belle Isle.
Mar 17, 2015
19 Nicole Kidman Films
This week Leonard and Baron recognize the great Nicole Kidman by discussing 2010’s Rabbit Hole, which earned her an Oscar nomination, another movie with a great cast that didn’t come together (for many reasons), and 2004’s Birth, a most unusual sleeper worth checking out.
Mar 10, 2015
18 Robot Films
Inspired by the release of Chappie, Leonard and Baron discuss three films based around robots. The original sharp and pointed Robocop, a remake worth forgetting, and a striking sleeper called Robot & Frank that you should seek out.
Mar 03, 2015
17 Black History Films
In celebration of Black History Month, Leonard and Baron discuss three significant films. Spike Lee’s monumental film Malcolm X, a turkey about the Tuskegee Airmen that was made with all good intentions, and a sleeper that dates back just over 30 years called The Brother from Another Planet.
Feb 25, 2015
16 Films from Past Oscar Winners
Continuing with the Oscar theme, Leonard and Baron discuss the movies of past Oscar winners: Emma Thompson’s knockout performance in Primary Colors, Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman in a very strange movie they don’t recommend, and Denzel Washington in truly inspiring story you should seek out.
Feb 18, 2015
15 Who Didn’t Get Nominated
Leonard and Baron discuss three worthy individuals who were not nominated for an Oscar this year:  David Oyelowo of Selma, who’s equally good in another film about the Civil Rights movement, Ralph Fiennes of The Grand Budapest Hotel in an unfortunate turkey, and a sleeper from the great writer/director Mike Leigh, who brought us Mr. Turner this past year.
Feb 11, 2015
14 2015 Oscar Nominees Pt. 2
In part two of their 2015 Oscar nominees conversation, Leonard and Baron discuss three more films from this year’s contenders: Keira Knightley in the charming musical Begin Again, a movie about magic that sadly dropped the ball, and a sleeper from Norwegian director Morten Tyldum, who gave us The Imitation Game.
Feb 03, 2015
13 2015 Oscar Nominees Pt. 1
Inspired by this year’s Oscar Nominees, Leonard and Baron discuss the movies of two actors and one filmmaker: the movie that put Eddie Redmayne on the map, Reese Witherspoon in a sequel that probably shouldn’t have been made, and a sleeper from filmmaker Richard Linklater’s catalog. Tune in next week for part two!
Jan 28, 2015
12 Liam Neeson
Inspired by the release of Taken 3, Leonard and Baron praise the versatile Liam Neeson by discussing A Walk Among the Tombstones, another high-profile film that turned out to be a dud, and a sleeper that means a lot to them both.
Jan 21, 2015
11 Julianne Moore
Inspired by her brilliant performance in Still Alice, Leonard and Baron pay tribute to the fearless Julianne Moore by discussing The Kids Are All Right, along with a rare clunker and a sleeper that no fan of this actress should miss.
Jan 13, 2015
10 Movie Musicals Pt. 2
In part two of their Movie Musicals conversation, Leonard and Baron discuss three more interesting choices:  the Irish musical Once, with its Oscar-winning song, a historically bad sequel that shouldn’t have happened, and a student film from the creators of South Park that’s well worth seeking out.
Jan 06, 2015
9 Movie Musicals Pt. 1
Inspired by the year-end release of Annie & Into the Woods, Leonard and Baron discuss three movie musicals: the cult classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch, another film that made the transition from Broadway to the big screen in a most unfortunate way, and a sleeper about a singing group that is close to Baron’s heart. Tune in next week for part two!
Dec 31, 2014
8 Food Movies
In celebration of the New Year, Leonard and Baron tackle three enjoyable Food movies: the incredible animated Pixar film Ratatouille, a romantic comedy revolving around two chefs in New York, and a sweet movie about two Italian brothers who own a restaurant in the 1950s.
Dec 24, 2014
7 Holiday Movies
In the spirit of the holiday season, Leonard and Baron discuss three Holiday films: the classic Black and White film Miracle on 34th Street, a Christmas movie that doesn’t hit the bullseye, and a continental sleeper that you must put on your list. Along the way, they’ll spread some holiday cheer as they talk about other Christmas classics.
Dec 17, 2014
6 Animated Features
Triggered by the release of the new DreamWorks animated feature Penguins of Madagascar, this week Leonard and Baron discuss three other feature-length cartoons: a Disney classic that will make you cry, a big CGI movie that looks great but doesn’t do a good job of storytelling, and a unique, wonderfully wacky sleeper called A Town Called Panic.
Dec 10, 2014
5 Sequels
Inspired by the release of Horrible Bosses 2, Leonard and Baron return this week to talk about sequels: the good, the bad, and the ugly. They’ll explain why they don’t like the idea of sequels in general, before citing a notable exception, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. They also discuss a terrible sequel (complete with a bad subtitle), and a horror/slasher sequel that’s improbably good given its pedigree.
Dec 03, 2014
4 Breakthrough Performances
Inspired by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, this week Leonard and Baron look back at the breakthrough performances of three remarkable actors: Jennifer Lawrence's performance in a stark film that is compelling to watch, a stellar career that had an interesting start on the big screen, and one film that made a star overnight. Along the way, they discuss the promised breakthroughs for actors that didn’t happen.
Nov 26, 2014
3 Comedians Get Serious