1. High in the Rockies

    June 30, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today from the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival!

    We went out in a “blaze” of glory, and met a cool dude named “Sticks.” and THEN:

    Dr. Aaron Carroll was out at Aspen Ideas, so it was only right that the Indiana University professor of pediatrics, YouTube sensation, New York Times Upshot contributor and author join us for a few hours as we navigated today’s top stories and a sea of great guests.

    Christie Hefner was the CEO and Chairman of Playboy Enterprises for 20 years, now she’s the chair of Hatch Beauty and director of the Action Fund at the Center for American Progress. She, Pete and Dr. Carroll discussed sex, sexism and feminism in the 21st century.

    Lawrence Krauss is a Theoretical Physicist and Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, and we love having the New York Times bestselling author on whenever we hit town for Aspen Ideas because he does such a great job of making us feel small, insignificant, and the opposite of smart. Today’s lesson: gravitational waves!

    Hour three kicked off with a great little comedy writers panel, with Travon Free (former Daily Show, now of Bill Simmons’ HBO series Any Given Wednesday) and Katie Rich (SNL’s Weekend Update). Pete, Travon and Katie talked about diversity in the writer’s room, the demands of cranking out an endless amount of jokes, and the state of affairs in America 2016. It was a hilarious time, you should definitely check it out.

    Finally, we closed out this year’s Aspen Ideas broadcast with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. the Governor called in a few weeks ago to promote his new memoir, but we NEEDED to grab him in person while we were here in Aspen. Pete and the Gov. Hickenlooper talked about what Aspen Ideas brings to the state, Colorado’s legal marijuana decision, and more.

    It was a great week, and we hope you enjoyed it. Have a happy 4th of July everyone, and let’s meet back here on Tuesday.






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  2. It Haass to Be You

    June 29, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today from the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival!

    We made a LOT of jokes at the expense of the Illuminati, but also:

    Washington Editor-at-Large for The Atlantic (who are the ones who put on Aspen Ideas, FYI), Steve Clemons joined Pete to discuss politics but also the terror attack in Istanbul. If you remember, Steve was on his way out of Brussels when the ISIS attacks happened there earlier this year.

    Next, we welcomed comedian and actor Maz Jobrani, who co-wrote, starred in and produced the recent comedy, “Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero.” Maz’s comedy makes much of his Iranian heritage, and his visits to the show are always as informative as they are fun.

    Joining Maz in the second hour was David Litt, the Funny or Die! Washington D.C. chapter Head Writer and Producer who, at 24, joined President Obama’s White House staff as a speechwriter. David really shed some light on the business of speechwriting, and the President’s natural inclination toward humor.

    Hour three turned into yet another Magical Aspen Powerhouse Panel, as Jeffrey Goldberg, national coreestpondent for The Atlantic, and Richard Haass, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, joined Pete to pick apart US foreign policy, the election, Brexit and so much more.


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  3. DeRay of light

    June 28, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today from the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival!

    We said goodbye to Buddy Ryan and hello! to a ton of guests:

    CNN’s Exec. Editor of Politics, Mark Preston, showed up in Aspen so he joined us for the top of the show and helped make fun of some headlines.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant, Jose Antonio Vargas, joined us to discuss immigration in America, Donald Trump’s scary policies and the organization he founded, DefineAmerican.com.

    The Atlantic’s senior editor of science, technology and health, Ross Andersen, joined Pete in the SiriusXM Insight broadcast tent to talk the future of space exploration, the chance of life on other planets, and what the tech landscape could look like in the near, and distant, future.

    Marc Levin is the Policy Director for Right on Crime and Director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Pete and Marc discussed criminal justice reform from opposite political sides, finding the common and uncommon ground between them.

    Then…THEN! Who happened to be walking by and took some time to sit down and visit with Pete? None other than Pete’s old friend and at-one-time channel mate, film producer and author Tom Shadyac. Tom and Pete caught up for a minute and Tom told us what brought him out to the Aspen Ideas Festival.

    Today’s show ended with a bang when circumstance created one heck of a panel discussion: former RNC Chairman and current SiriusXM host Michael Steele, National Correspondent for The Atlantic James Fallows, and activist, protestor and educator DeRay McKessen all joined Pete for a no holds barred discussion on crime, race, and politics.




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  4. U OK, UK?

    June 24, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    We voted to leave the European Union, then immediately regretted it.

    Dr. Aaron Carroll joined Pete in-studio for the entire show today, since he’s in town to see Hamilton. Normally, Dr. Carroll hides out at Indiana University as a Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research.  Read Dr. Carroll’s writings at the New York Times, and buy his books.

    CNN Executive Editor of Politics, Mark Preston joined us in hour one to help break the news of the day on the UK and EU madness and the AMERICAN politics of the week. Catch Mark’s new show, “Politics Inside Out” on POTUS 124 Saturdays at 9am East.

    Journalist, documentary filmmaker and SiriusXM host, Perri Peltz, joined Pete to preview the Aspen Ideas Festival, where both Pete and Perri will be broadcasting their shows from next week.

    Then, the very fun and funny comic Tom Segura joined us in-studio to hack apart Brexit, Donald Trump’s trip to Scotland, Florida and fatherhood.

    Before we closed the show and the week out with Dr. Aaron Carroll, Pete spent a few minutes discussing the UK’s Brexit vote with Hugh Evans of Global Citizen. Hugh shared his concerns over the vote, and its potential consequences.

    Ok! Well! Have a great weekend! When we speak to you next, it will be from Aspen, Colorado! Stay safe.




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  5. Pawnographic Material

    June 23, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    We pawned our hockey card collection so we could pay off our cellular data plans, then:

    Phillip Bump covers politics for The Fix blog at the Washington Post, and he joined us this morning to cover everything from the Presidential Election to the gun control battle in the House of Representatives.

    Bill Ayres founded Why Hunger in 1975 along with musician Harry Chapin, and ever since he’s been devoted to ending hunger amongst America’s neediest communities. For the last several years Pete, and SiriusXM at large, have joined Bill in that fight, taking part in charity auctions and hosting benefits for the organization. Mr. Ayres joined in hour two to discuss Why Hunger’s latest projects.

    At the start of hour three, we got firsthand insight into the Democrat sit-in on Capitol Hill, as Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) joined us on the phone. Democrats in the House of Representatives decided to act out and stand up, in an effort to push House Republicans to move the needle on gun control, and Rep. Huffman gave us the Democrats side of the story.

    Finally, Les and Seth Gold from the TruTV series “Hardcore Pawn” joined us in-studio to discuss the show, entering its tenth season, and the nature of the pawn business.



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  6. Going Ape

    June 22, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    So far Congressional Dems have staged both a filibuster AND a sit-in to try and move the needle on gun control.

    Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Daily Beast columnist, David Cay Johnston, joined to discuss his latest columns and the continuing Donald Trump traveling sideshow.

    Speaking of Trump…Rolling Stone contributing editor and author of some of the best books in the sins of the financial industry, Matt Taibbi, joined us at the top of hour two to discuss the campaign trail, but also the time he almost bought an APE.

    SNL alumni and star of the new Cameron Crowe produced Showtime series, Roadies, Finesse Mitchell, stopped by to talk about the comic’s life on the road, politics and the bonkers SNL 40th Anniversary party.

    Finally, we checked in with SiriusXM POTUS channel 124 host and White House Correspondent, Jared Rizzi, who had the mildly unfortunate honor of attending Donald Trump’s speech this morning in SoHo NYC.



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  7. $1.3 Million Reasons to Quit

    June 21, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    We learned Donald Trump’s campaign has less available cash than Ben Carson’s, and then:

    Daily Beast EIC and regular CNN contributor, John Avlon, joined us for his near-weekly look at politics thru the lens of the Daily Beast. We looked at Trump’s financials, the Senate vote against gun regulations and Democratic reaction.

    The Supreme Court had an interesting monday, with a decision on the boundaries of police using evidence obtained in unlawful searches. Dahlia Lithwick joined us from Slate.com, where she walks the SCOTUS beat. Pete and Dahlia talked about the Supreme Court decision and Justice Sotomayor’s fiery dissenting opinion.

    Finally, we were joined by Eric Bates, Editor of The New Republic. After a shift in ownership and refocused direction, the 100 year old bastion of liberal ideals uses the July/August issue to look at why modern Democrats are finding it hard to come together in this Presidential election year.



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  8. Kid Power

    June 20, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    We talked about Donald Trump’s supermodel weekend, and then:

    CNN’s Chief Business correspondent, Christine Romans, joined us to recap the past week in headlines and give up-to-the-minute confirmation of Corey Lewandowki’s ouster from atop Trump Tower.

    The very funny and talented Natasha Leggero joined Pete again, with 100% less video chat, to talk about marriage, family, comedy and the upcoming second season of Comedy Central’s “Another Period.”

    Caryl Stern is the President and CEO of the US Fund for UNICEF, and she came on the show this morning to introduce us to the Kid Power initiative: Purchase a UNICEF Kid Power wristband at any Target store, put it on, and go for a walk! With every step, you get closer to securing nutritious food for a deserving child somewhere in the world. It’s a great way to teach children charity while getting them active.

    Finally, we caught up with Dean Obeidallah to discuss his brand new daily show, following Stand Up! every day at noon East here on Insight 121. Essentially, it’s Dean’s great weekend show, just one hour shorter, and five days a week. Wait, really that makes it 3 hours longer, just spread out more. Oh boy, now my brain hurts. I’d better lay my head down on this desk for a bit.



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  9. ObamaBot 5000

    June 17, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    After we smashed the notion that President Obama wasn’t a Manchurian Candidate-type automaton programmed to smash America into a million little Muslim pieces…

    CNN Executive Editor of Politics, Mark Preston, joined us to wrap up the week in politics and election madness.

    In hour two, Mic News’ Editorial Director, Slade Sohmer, joined us to discuss the horrific shooting in Orlando and to add insight into its impact on the LGBTQ community. Slade is a political knowledge-bomb and always a great guest.

    Hour three kicked off with a discussion about the future of technology and society with author and co-founder of WIRED magazine, Kevin Kelly. His new book, “The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future,” is blowing minds and making smart people across the nation nod in agreement.

    Finally, we discussed the odd quirks of our nation’s HIIPA laws with NYU professor and founding head of the Division of Bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, Arthur Caplan. For the uninitiated (i.e. me until this segment), HIIPA is a law passed to protect an individual’s privacy when it comes to medical records and information. This gets sticky when friends and loved ones and life partners who are not directly related to the patient (in a way that certain state deems legally agreeable) are barred from any information or access. Rough stuff.

    Have a great weekend. Talk to you Monday.





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  10. Cleveland, you’re on the air.

    June 16, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    We picked up a few of @KingsThings.

    That’s right, TV and radio legend, the suspendered-one himself, the great Larry King joined us in-studio in the first hour. We learned a few things about Larry’s life, his career, his relationship with Muhammad Ali and his thoughts on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, both of whom he knows in equal measure.


    Hour two brought the return of Peter Kiernan, former Senior Partner at Goldman Sachs who left it all in 2000. Now a New York Times bestselling author, Peter and Pete enjoy sparring on the hot issues facing the world, which is primarily, especially now, terrorism, global politics, finance and big industry. Plus, some calls from you smart so and so’s.

    Imogen Lloyd Webber is a broadcaster, People NOW royal family correspondent, and Senior Editor at Broadway.com (and she certainly knows a few things about theater…) but she is now the author of a the helpful new book, “The Intelligent Conversationalist: 31 Cheat Sheets That Will Show You How to Talk to Anyone About Anything, Anytime.”

    We finished today’s show with a replay of the great conversation Pete had last week with food writer, Michael Pollan, on the tenth anniversary of his influential “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”



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  11. Orlando, Orlando

    June 15, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    First, we empathized with the terrible week the people of Orlando, Florida have been put through.

    Then, we brought nuance to the conversation surrounding Islam, faith, radicalism and terror that’s sprung up since last weekend’s shooting. For that, we relied on Brookings Institution Senior Fellow for Middle East Policy and author of “Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World,” Shadi Hamid.

    Next, we got our facts straight about the role of the media, politics and marathon running with CNN reporter and anchor, Tom Foreman.

    Comic and actress Judy Gold joined us at the end of hour two. If you haven’t seen her on stage or listened to her podcast, you’ve likely seen her on FX’s “Louie” or “Broad City” on Comedy Central. Judy is currently performing in “Taming of the Shrew” here in NYC for the Shakespeare in the Park series.

    Finally today, we spent hour three getting a Libertarian perspective on the political issues that have sprung up around the Orlando shooting with editor-in-chief-turned-editor-at-large of Reason Magazine, Matt Welch. Pete and Matt unpacked the Libertarian view of the Second Amendment, plus Gary Johnson’s candidacy and so much more. Definitely grab it on-demand.




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  12. AR-15

    June 14, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    We both focused on and tried to take our minds off of the shooting in Orlando.

    Georgia St. University ConLaw professor and great friend to Pete and everyone here at the show, Eric Segall, joined us in the first hour to look once more at the legal battle over the right to own, and the right to restrict, firearm possession and purchase.

    Hour two brought us two great comics and one full hour of great and fun conversation. Kyle Grooms has appeared on Chappelle’s Show, Inside Amy Schumer and more. Joe Matarese appeared on Letterman, Chelsea Lately and hosts his own podcast. Both men are always touring around, and PLEASE check them out when they come to your town. So good.

    Finally, we spent an hour with the great Barry Ritholtz. BloombergView columnist, money manager, author and brains behind the Big Picture Blog, Barry brings a fresh, wise perspective to many issues, today it just happened to be America’s love affair with guns and assigning blame after mass shootings.




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  13. The Day After

    June 13, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    We took some time to think about…and talk about, the horrific shooting at Orlando, FL gay club Pulse over the weekend. Joining us in that discussion:

    Dr. Aaron Carroll, Director of Indiana University’s Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research and a contributor to New York Times’ Upshot. Dr. Carroll unpack some of the math behind gun violence and the push prohibiting physicians from asking their patients about gun ownership.

    Dean Obeidallah, comic, Daily Beast and CNN Contributor and SiriusXM Insight host, who discussed the tragedy from a Muslim perspective and previewed a one-hour special on the Orlando shooting he hosted immediately following our show, at 12 noon.

    Joe Sudbay, LGBT activist and frequent fill-in host for Michelangelo Signorile and Ari Rabin Havt over at SiriusXM Progress, who gave us insight to the history of discrimination and violence against the gay community and the layers of devastation can have.

    Then, we spent our third hour with TV talk show legend and friend of the show, Dick Cavett. Pete and Dick reflected on the shooting in Orlando, discussed the current state of politics, and shared memories of Muhammad Ali, who made 14 appearances on Cavett’s shows over the years.


    Miss the show? Listen to some of our favorite interviews here.

  14. Trumpable

    June 10, 2016 by MelStar1

    Today on Stand Up!

    CNN Legal Analyst and former US Attorney for the District of Columbia, Laura Coates, joined us to go over all the wrong involved in the Stanford rape case verdict and the upcoming trial-by-judge in the Baltimore PD/Freddie Gray case.

    Grover Norquist joined Pete at the top of hour two to discuss the election year, and his tepid support of Donald Trump.  Norquist is President of Americans for Tax Reform, a surprisingly powerful group in DC circles. He’s *also* a great guest, mostly because he and Pete couldn’t be farther away on most issues.

    Then, we talked BEES! with Dennis vanEngelsdorp, bee expert, TED Talk veteran, and asst. professor at the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources at University of Maryland. Bees are oogy, sure, but they’re also vital to our chain of survival. Love a bee, y’all.

    For the final hour of today’s show, we asked one great comic and one great comic and Insight 121 host to join us in-studio and kiss the week goodbye. Jessica Kirson is one of Pete’s oldest NYC comic friends and you’ll be able to catch her in the upcoming Robert DeNiro film, “The Comedian.” John Fugelsang needs no introduction or description, he’s just great plus you already know him because you listen to his show every day at 2p East here in SiriusXM Insight 121.




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