Episode Five - Whitney Matheson (USA Today Pop Candy - Freelance Writer)

Saul Colt: [00:00:01] Ok. So I have something that I want your opinion on. You know binge watching and you know consuming a whole show in a day or however you want to describe it. What's your opinion on binge watching him and mine is that I think it's ruined fandom for a lot of people because you know it's like we're all so afraid to spoil anything but I'd love to hear your opinion on binge watching yet.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:00:26] Oh well I love binge watching. I love doing it. But in terms of like thats interesting in terms of fandom because you know like when Lost was on. I wrote a ton about that show and I think some of the most popular things that I ever wrote or like were lost related like in terms of people wanting to talk about it as soon as I remember like as soon as that episode aired like we'd have big discussions and all that stuff. And you're right. That would be very hard to do now because everybody just consumes stuff at their own pace. I think like binge watching it definitely affected the conversation in that way like the timeliness of it and stuff that I don't know another thing that might just be affecting fandom too is that there are so many shows. I mean I I cannot. I feel like I did a great job. Also you know like when I was younger before I had a kid I just like keeping up with everything that people were talking about. And now there are so just so many shows like I'm totally behind on and I'm trying to insert whatever show they're like. I mean even though I may think that I'm all caught up on like everything people are talking about. There's still probably a dozen shows that I'm totally not so I don't know I think like that the volume may be affecting fandom as much as like the act of binge watching something. I don't know what do you think.

 

Saul Colt: [00:01:58] Well that stuff still bubbles to the top like everyone's Crazy Game of Thrones her is crazy about you know Breaking Bad that went in when it was on and stuff like that. But even people like even if there's the one show and whatever that show might be that that you know seems to have caught everyone's imagination and attention. We're still all watching at a different time so to to really sit down and like I don't know how old you are you don't say that. You mean I'm I'm you know just a couple of years over 40 and I remember like must see TV was like appointment television and the next day it was all you spoke about you know at school at work or whatever you would would have Rachel and Ross do or whatever the scenario was and now it's you know if you pay attention to you know Twitter or Facebook really like them on a Sunday night game of thrones you know there's tons of Game of Thrones conversation but it seems like the conversation is mostly around "oh my god" or "can you believe that" and it's not you know specific minutia of this person did this or this person did that. I can't believe you know this or that it's it's it's we speak in vagueatries if that's even a word.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:03:13] Yeah yeah that's true. Yeah I think we're around the same age and even just like from a writer's perspective that is also a challenge too because I feel like well for sure before I started working like I remember and USA today they used to joke about how like you know when like Empire came out or Return of the Jedi came out like you know the big headline on the front page like the Monday after they came out would be like Darth Vader is Luke's father like that. There were no discussions of like spoiling beings or you know you didn't act like tiptoe around certain stuff. And now it is true. Now if you're writing about something like that you are kind of obligated to put like a spoiler warning there or like in the first two paragraphs. Talk about it and like vague text that is that's a challenge too. But yeah a lot a lot of things concerning like how we talk about culture have changed.

 

Saul Colt: [00:04:11] I see you brought it up so me being you know in astute interview or in a transition now. So you're at USA Today. You wrote pop candy for if I had to guess I'd say for five years and you were the pop culture person at USA Today there's like you know you were you were the person that thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people look to you to like almost be told what was cool. Yeah. How did you even get that gig. That's kind of like the dream job. There's there's nothing better.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:04:46] It was a good gig. So I'm going to blow your mind because I actually did it for 15 years. Wow. Yeah. If you don't like it started as a weekly column like in 1999. Yes started it it ran from 1999 to 2014. So yeah pretty crazy I guess the way it started. I started working at USA TODAY right after I graduated college. So I was 21 when I started working there. And when I was in college I've always kind of done the same stuff but when I was in college I had I wrote about entertainment and I also had a column that did pretty well you know for our college newspaper and when I started I started there was doing like you know pretty based like I was working the overnight news shift it was very different. And I was there you know until like 2:00 in the morning but kind of my dream was to move in to entertainment and to kind of great entertainment stuff. So yeah I started doing like a column kind of similar to what I did in college for the Web site. And it did really well and you know over the years it just kind of exploded into this thing that was you know all I did all day every day.

 

Saul Colt: [00:06:13] I remember like I'm a big fan even to this day and that to blow your mind. So I got the years wrong because I guess you know you remember when it was most important to you have internalized your column. But I actually appeared in your column twice. And it wasn't that you know I was on your radar I don't expect you to remember expected to I am. But I sent you e-mails of links every now and then and twice you were gracious enough may have been a slow news day or what to include you know my nonsense in your column. So so I have to know it was a big day to see something in in USA Today with your name beside it. And I'm sure you know that you know the sentiment was shared by so many people because you know the thing I loved most about you know Pop Candy you covered all the major stuff but you spent a lot of time on the independent stuff and the you know the the. Off the beaten path stuff that you were one of the few people that really gave a spotlight to people who you know I'm going to say deserved it but had no other outlets so you are doing the lord's work there.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:07:25] Now that is an arm thank you that's all very nice. And yes that is that is what I'd like to do more than anything. And that was kind of my secret mission while I was there was to you know cause yesterday. It is a very mainstream publication and you know they cover all of those big popular things. But my interests have always been a little bit more independent and fringe and stuff. And so I was very lucky that I was given the space to to write about that stuff. But yeah I was always my intention was to try. I have a platform and people are going to read what I write it wasn't what I have to say. And I was not going to use it to write about you know gossipy be stuck for. Or you know negative stuff or you know it just made sense to me like OK then i am going to use it to kind of spotlight stuff I love. And maybe something that nobody else is really is really writing about because also when I started there. I mean everything is very you know I mean there weren't like now there are websites there are platforms for everything like there are sites for not only just movies or sites for independent movies there are sites just for comic book movies like everything is so fractured and stuff but. You know when I started that didn't really exist there weren't even really. There was no you know Nerdist there was no like a geek Web site. There was there none of that. So I also just kind of thought there was a real need for people to write about that sort of stuff. And you know

 

Saul Colt: [00:09:07] Our personalities are probably different. And just to ever have an introspective moment where you realize that you kind of were the the person that you knew you were the foundation of all these new Web sites whether whether you look at it that way they look at it that way. But you know you can make a clear tie too. You know when when you know pop candy was was you know shut down and I want to hear you know sort of that story but you know there was no where else for this. So all these other Web sites you know came to be and I'm sure over time they would have happened anyways. But there was a real whole him in sort of the the space when you think of so I came to know you most from from the comic book world. You know the the reason I was in Pop Candy I used to I used to have an indie comic publishing company and we had a bunch of books you covered it a few times. One of our books got you know put in a CBS sitcom that was the link you sort of shared and you said nice things about us. But you know there was you know there's always been places that covered independent comics but not bringing it to such a large audience and so I'm sure other people either picked up the mantle or decided that it was approachable. But have you ever in a quiet moment realized like you know you were kind of Chris Hardwick before Chris Hardwick or whatever you know whatever person you want to describe yourself as.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:10:32] Oh I mean now I don't know. I don't really know. I don't think that I mean maybe when you know I'm still hustling for freelance jobs have had that sense. And yeah. I don't know how to respond, that is a very flattering thing that you've said. Although I do want to know so what is the comic that you had. Tell me what did you publish that I wrote about.

 

Saul Colt: [00:11:00] And so had a publishing company called triple S comics. It was like we just made superhero parody comic books are sort of thesis was if you know Marvel or DC book killed somebody and they returned you know 25 episodes later we would kill people in page 2 and they'd be back by page 13. So we published a bunch of different titles. One was a clip's and Vega. We did danger comics which were kind of a spoof on the old pulps and say you know we revived a couple of books like Zen the bounty hunter which was an old title we tried to sort of bring that back wasn't as successful as we would have liked and you know he did some some work with a Chris Yambar with Mr. Beat show and stuff. So I was you know I was trying to build a business and my goal and obviously this is you know not the right motives. My goal was always to not be a comic publisher but I wanted to be like V.P. of marketing for DC Comics. This was my way of sort of getting in front of them and sort of fell into you know a reasonably successful business. When I look at you know a lot of the you know the other people who are doing indie books at the time just because I grew up in a family business I think I I approached the the business side of it a little bit savvier than maybe some people. And you know perhaps the quality of our books were up to the same level of people who are way better than us. But you know like I was I was always looking for deals like I said you know if you remember the episode of Entourage where they did the Viking Quest episode and they created a San Diego Comic Con in a hotel ballroom and it looked like the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen. But you know like my little company was front and center in that episode because you know I I made sure I was a comic con. I was you know as much as I was trying to move product I was trying to like. Make stuff happen and talk to everybody and you know we were in an episode of CBS Yes Dear. You know Tim Conway was a comic fan. They went to a comic convention and the thing went to my publishing companies booth because you know like we hustled like crazy to make sure that every film producer knew who we were every product placement agent knew who we were like You know we didn't make money like crazy being on these shows we made nothing for being on the shows but like we were on the shows and we were part of the publicity you know vehicle we were on a 30 second the CBS TV commercial where they showed us front and center and you know we saw traffic spike like crazy so indirectly we got paid through you know selling books and stuff like that. But I think I was always just more interested in making this a thing than becoming like the next Frank Miller or something like that.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:13:53] Yeah oh wow great for you but it's not around anymore.

 

Saul Colt: [00:13:57] Now I just you know like like all things you burnout thing I actually end up selling the company so again who's ever heard of selling an independent comic company. We sold the book the characters the you know sort of everything we did. Nothing ever went from there. But you know and we say sell you here of here. You know tech companies now sell for zillions of dollars. You know made like you know 10 15 grand or something. Barely barely. You know beautiful vacation money but to be able to say you know did something sold it didn't dissolve it in nothing. That's kind of interesting. And I don't know. I think it's burned out of comics after a while as like you know you would probably know as well as anybody from being around you know the scene so much it you know it was the best time of my life. The most fun time in life. But it was also really difficult because to have as an independent comic the publisher you're basically like part of the circus so every Thursday I was in a different town had my bridge table at a different comic book convention and you know you're hoping you sell enough books to cover the weekend and hoping that you meet somebody that could maybe like lead to something was like 25 30 weeks of the year in somewhere else. It was always the same people you know you see everybody on Thursday you have dinner you spend the weekend together you say goodbye on Sunday and you say I'll see you next Thursday. So most of my closest friends still to this day are the people I became friends with during the you know my time in comic books but you know it's it's it's so far in my rear rear view window I have barely barely even talk about it anymore. It's it was definitely like a fun time. I have amazing stories and actually I will bore you with the story but I'll transition into something I remember from my days in comic books. People like Frank Miller and Stan Lee and Jimmy Palmiotti and you know like all these people they were the you know the the top of the industry they would give time and they would like teach you and they would know not not you know a ton of time but amount of time that you'd never expect from some of the real leaders of of the craft. And I've always you know share that with people because as I said when people ask me what was the thing that I loved most. Both comic industry and it was really the community because I can't imagine if you're a young actor someone like Ben Affleck is going to give you two seconds and actually encourage you to do better work or or teach you how to do better work. But you know people like oh I can't believe I'm blanking on his name is like one of the greatest artists ever he's passed away. Darwin Cook you know Darwin Cook for like three hours with me one day at a comic convention and he showed me like everything that you know like little tips and tricks to make things easier and better and look you know richer and stuff like that. That's the thing that I love most about the comic industry besides the you know the people who are you know telling great stories and doing cool things. It's the people behind the books were some of the nicest most welcoming open people that I've ever experienced in any of the industries I've worked in before during or after.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:17:20] Yes I totally I absolutely agree with you. I was. That's why I was with someone who I met through comics and now I greatly admire a lot. Yeah all I back community. I guess I never read comics when I was a kid. Honestly I kind of came to comics. I got seriously into comics when I lived in Chicago. That was from like 2002 2003. And it's a great town for comics you know like Chris Ware in Chicago and Lynda Barry in Evanston and Jeffrey Brown like there are so many so many great Quimbys is like a great place to go and find like Indy comics and stuff but and yeah the more I got into it you know the more people you meet. And I agree some of the the kindest most hard working most generous funny people are in the comics industry I love. Oh I'm doing any writing anything down and I feel good. You know when I can write about today I was writing about a comic and I left but when I can write about them and you know hopefully maybe make their work known just another people.

 

Saul Colt: [00:18:37] So I am doing too much talking here. We've got to get back to you. Tell me tell me. You know the end of the column. How did that come to be and you know sort of I remember huge reaction. I'd love to hear your side of it but how you know. Why did the column end.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:18:56] Well yeah it ended in 2014. So you know I was working for. A very of a large media company. And so. And a legacy media company so you know predates the internet and USA Today of course is a print newspaper. So for years leading up to that of course like every other publication or advance rounds of layoffs there had been furloughs and you know. It's tough. It still is very tough. It's time so so yeah. In 2014 I was laid off. And I mean I guess it was it was surprising that at the same time so many of my friends and people I worked with experienced didn't get it. It wasn't altogether shocking. I think that day that I lost my job. So many other people there I want to say it was like 70 something people lost their jobs too. So so yeah that that's what happened. And then it kind of I don't know. And I was able to kind of think about what and I had been thinking about that that I would be able to think about OK what what's next for me what's my next step going to be. Because I had been in you know I'd worked for one place ever since I had gotten out of college.

 

Saul Colt: [00:20:30] Do you recall what the reaction was when you know the announcement was about the column at least I'm like you know the pop culture world that I saw people were like rioting in the streets this was important to them.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:20:45] Yes I do remember that and a lot of that my husband told me because I was not really looking at that stuff. But it was very surprising and very moving to me. The number of people who said things and sent me messages and posted things and friends of mine who offered me like freelance work like you know the next day after like it was it was a very emotional time. I also had a baby at home my daughter was like a year and a half to get it. But yeah it was very overwhelming. And honestly like I still get I'm still very touched like I still get emails and I still get messages and stuff. All these years later which is crazy and wonderful.

 

Saul Colt: [00:21:44] So it's funny. And I I heard some speak the other day and they say that, i am going to butcher the quote so I'm paraphrasing but essentially it was. You remember people at whatever age you met or whatever age they made an impression of you so like you know to me Your bigger than life figure who has her finger on the pulse of pop culture. So like you know years past you've done so many other things and you know you've you've sort of you've moved on. But like I will always think of you as like that. That place and time and the impact you had on me and so many people around me. So it's not surprising that you still get letters like you know when when I was sat down and drew up you know my dream list of people I wanted to interview on the show and really the only barometer to the bar to get on the show is like either I love you or I find you fascinating and you know it's not going to say I love you because I don't know you that well. But man you're fascinating. So you were on that list from like really the earliest kind of days because you know like you were such a bigger than life figure to a subculture and. And you know and you don't see that many people sort of penetrate through to subcultures. No I'm fascinated by subcultures I love you know sort of being a part of them and thing. But I think that you know if you can really make a dent in the subculture they're usually like depends obviously what the subculture is I can't speak for you know some of the edgier ones but definitely comic books or pop culture these people are going to be loyal forever to you and if you really have shown you know a fair amount of kindness and fairness to them they they don't tend to turn on you unless you know you kill off their favorite character or something like that. So I had and I'm rambling but it's not surprising that people still hold you in such a high regard because I certainly do.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:23:50] Yeah yeah. It's so nice yeah. I recently started just a couple of weeks ago. I was like well I'm going to start I'm back. I would. Well we'll probably get to aspire lived in Tennessee for a little while now I'm back in New York and so he's like well I'm here I might as well start something so I just started it's like e-mail newsletter. I was like I don't know if he Petric really care or whatever but it was going to make me feel good to like write every week and do that. And I've been amazed at the number of people who have been interested in it and given like you know sent me nice messages about it and yeah because yeah you won at least I wondered you know are people even going to remember who I am because it's been a little while since then in the middle of things. But yeah everybody's been super nice.

 

Saul Colt: [00:24:41] I asked myself Are people like I remember who I am day. So it's I think it's normal. You're doing something cool with your new with your new sort of newsletter you set up a phone line. And it reminds me and I do and ask you if you were inspired by this remind me of. They might be giants dial a song service.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:25:01] Oh my god. Yeah. Yeah. I laughed. Loved. I was saying it still exists too which is amazing. Yeah I just started I don't know I I got to a point I guess after I came back to New York I thought well I'm just going to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks and I'm just going to put a ton of stuff out there because if I don't I'll just sit in my apartment and worry will people like this and not put anything up there. So one of the things I did was I started a phone line and every day I record a different voicemail on it with some sort of it's usually like a recommendation like a good movie I've seen or a good comic book I've read or whatever. Sometimes it's weirder than that. And then people can leave me messages and they can say you know you can say whatever you want you can leave me a recommendation you can whatever. So yeah. And what people are calling from all over and it's yeah they're great messages and some of them are really touching and others are super funny. So it was just just an experiment because really I don't how often do we talk on the phone these days and not enough I say I agree.

 

Saul Colt: [00:26:19] I agree, One of the things that I said. We're Facebook friends. Whatever that means. But so I I voyeuristically know what's going on with you. Really one of the things I've always really found super cool that you know you've kind of documented like your childhood or you know at least from a pop culture standpoint you know kind of remember when you posted this it might have been recent or might have been like a year ago I'm really bad with like timelines but it was almost like you found a whole bunch of things from like there were concert tickets and you were going through your diary and you're talking about things like Robert Smith and all these things and Morrissey and stuff. So one like you what. What sort of compelled you to document the stuff or that was just you know what you were as a kid but you know like the sharing I think is so cool and I'm curious what sort of comments you get back from it.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:27:17] Yeah. Well most of that came out of the fact that over the summer I moved from a large home in Tennessee where I had all of my stuff out and accessible to this tiny apartment that I currently live in Brooklyn. So in that process like I put a bunch of stuff in storage and I was so I was going through like my whole life essentially trying to figure out what was going to come of what I was going to stay. And so yeah in that process when I come across like my movie ticket stubs from reality bites or you know stuff like that if it makes it make me happy. So I was thinking why not. Share and see what other people have to say. And yeah usually people react really well some people are stunned that I've kept all of that stuff. And I haven't kept everything but honestly yeah I did keep all I have most of my concert tickets and movie stubs and all of that. All that stuff. All right I have obsessive diaries from when I was little. And yeah I held on to all of it and it is of value although right now a lot of it's in storage.

 

Saul Colt: [00:28:34] You said I'm sure you're familiar of like a museum of ice cream and all these sort of like pop up museums that have become kind of in vogue in the last little while. We need you the curator museum of like the late 80s early 90s.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:28:50] I would totally do that although I mean ive got some thoughts all knows now some of me and I know what you think. There are no real live musicians like that museum and then you get out of there and it's like what I learned I learned nothing but I've taken many healthy life.

 

Saul Colt: [00:29:11] Their instagram like locations they're there. I don't know what the word I'm looking for but it's their validation devices of some kind that you got in. You took your pictures like I haven't been on. So I'm I'm sort of giving my little get off my lawn sort of view of it. I think it's genius. The people behind them. I've I've read everything I could find on the museum of ice cream because the the the process they went through to basically you know they've made a million dollars off this thing. And it's you know they put very little money into it. It's it's almost a disposable item because like it's literally three rooms and it's just they invite people to come take pictures they take pictures that you know creates the desire for more people to come and spend their 30 dollars to get in and take pictures and it's it's really the purpose to go is to be seen and take pictures which you know I think it's a commentary it's a larger discussion on sort of where we are a society that these things are doing as well as they are. But you know it's like I find that you know as I get older I'm not getting grumpier but I just find less things are designed for me. So I search harder to find the things that make me happy and go out and like the idea of going to one of these things it's not for me and that's OK because I think I am sane enough are grounded enough to know that life doesn't need to be for me it's just like. But I do scratch my head at a lot of the stuff and like wonder just how they are as successful as they are as I was in New York last Friday and I walked by a museum of illusion and it's literally the same thing it's three rooms a couple sight gags and you know just you know basically take picture take pictures take pictures and when your business model is just have people take pictures to make other people jealous to come and take more pictures. You got to wonder how long these things can last. But you know I don't think that think long term that things can get in get out and come up with the next idea.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:31:22] I mean it blows my mind because it's not like I mean the those places are in New York City like there is there are so many places where you for free can walk around and take the most the coolest most interesting photograph. Well I don't I don't know why anything is like to pay that much money like you're in New York. Like look around just walk around New York.

 

Saul Colt: [00:31:50] Ok. Where else can you get a picture of yourself in dirty sprinkles like that.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:32:00] All right. I know bad it but oh man. I mean museum. No real reason to go anywhere.

 

Saul Colt: [00:32:08] So we kind of glossed over it but what have you been up to the last little while like what were you doing in Tennessee.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:32:17] Well I guess so after after I lost my job I got I had no time to think about what do I want to do next. And I met with a bunch of people and yeah there were a lot of possibilities and and one thing that came up was that there was an opportunity to be a journalist in residence at in Tennessee down in Tennessee at Middle Tennessee State University which is just outside Nashville in Murfreesboro Tennessee. And everything about it sounded really exciting and perfect to me because the last thing I wanted to do you honestly was to go back and do the same thing like you know I didn't really want to go back to sitting in a cubicle all day and cranking out like 10 stories and you know that whole thing. And not to mention No I had a small child that I would love to see more of. So yeah we move down there and talk. It was great. And just for three years great experience taught journalism. They gave me the freedom to develop courses. So you know I created stuff like freelancing course and a pop when I did reporting a pop culture course. And the dean of the college dean of the College of Media and Entertainment it's very kind of unique place there is Ken Paulson who is the former editor of USA Today I worked with him years ago. And we he also loves comics by the way. We worked together really well. So the whole thing it was just like the perfect experience not to mention bonus. My husband's originally from that area. And so when we were down there you know my daughter's grandparents are there all of her cousins are there. So it was it was great and it gave me two things that I had never had in my adult life before really which were space so I had a house I had space to walk around and then I had time. So you know I had the bonus of you know a lot more time to spend with my daughter. Time to write on my own time. So yeah can't and can't complain about it a bit it

 

Saul Colt: [00:34:41] Was. And you're back in New York now. And you mentioned that you're looking for freelance stuff like what. What's kind of the dream job right now.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:34:51] I don't know Saul. That's it I'm trying to figure out yes or freelancing now I'm not teaching I'm although I'm. Possibly open to doing some teaching. So yeah I want to get back. To to writing more and so I feel it's a bunch of different places. Some of it is you know published stuff for different sites and then some of it is more like an like a PR or even like consulting type position. So I don't know and then I also started some stuff myself so I don't know what like the I guess the ultimate dream is just to make it work financially because it is pretty hard. My cost of living is I'm no longer at a Tennessee cost of living space. But yeah I don't know I guess what I've started it would be nice if I could kind of expand what I'm doing on my own which currently in that newsletter all that stuff that I'm I'm doing on my own is it's free so at some point. If I could you know turn that into not I don't expect to make a ton of money but if I could turn it into doing something. Where I spend the majority of time my time doing that I would be amazing.

 

Saul Colt: [00:36:12] This cool thing is I am going to give you some stuff that I'm really digging right now. And I'm curious if they're on your radar and what you think. And then I'd love to hear get some recommendations from you of some stuff we should be listening to watching or reading any of that stuff because I I still believe that you know you're the barometer of good taste if that's the right word. So think of this as a speed round we'll start with television. Did you watch the leftovers.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:36:47] Oh my gosh yes. I love the leftovers. That was incredible.

 

Saul Colt: [00:36:52] Yeah is so so different and so unique it was brilliant. Ok. Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad. Which Side Are You On.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:37:04] What do I have to pick one that I prefer. I don't. Oh my goodness.

 

Saul Colt: [00:37:08] Have you been watching Better Call Saul?

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:37:10] Yes of course.

 

Saul Colt: [00:37:12] I mean I think it's better you think it.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:37:15] Thats so funny somebody else the other night was telling me was also making me today and was telling me a better call Saul was better. Oh it's really tough because they're both so good that they're both so. Different.

 

Saul Colt: [00:37:30] But I think that's probably why I'm I think better call saul is better is it like both are you know they're almost like both once in a in a generation. Television shows and it's fascinating to see that they're the same characters and the quality is just so high. But there's something about taking the violence out of Better Call Saul the violence of Breaking Bad and really letting the characters run the story as opposed to you know having this thing that you could always fall back on if you needed to kill 10 minutes and I don't know I just maybe it's the fact that I know where it's going. And I have to pay way more attention to see when you know the ending already. You can really like watch everything come together. But I'm I'm big and I'm digging better call saul like more than Breaking Bad and I was all in on Breaking Bad. It's it's it's kind of an interesting thing.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:38:32] Oh yeah I do. And I will say there are so few shows now that like because I don't you know cable I just Netfilx and You know a million other like many different form that Better Call Saul the the very few that like immediately the next morning I am dying. You know I'm not going to like Wait Till The End the season and binge all that I want to see it right then.

 

Saul Colt: [00:38:58] And a throw throw a lesser known one. Have you seen the show the imposters.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:39:05] No. No. What is the imposters.

 

Saul Colt: [00:39:08] Highly highly recommend it. It's I don't know what network is on. I watched it off of netflix so I don't know where it originated from. It's done now but it's in know one of these is probably basic cable because the budget wasn't enormous on this but great show. So essentially what it is is there's this woman who's a con man a con woman or a con person whatever you call people nowadays. This woman would go in basically marry people and steal all their money and it was just a rinse and repeat thing. And the premise of the show was you know the first two episodes she's doing her thing. She gets all her money out and then the last three people that she's like basically ruined their lives all find each other and they're determined to find her. And she's already on to her next thing and basically get all their money back. So it's this weird. Like really well done. I wouldn't call it a buddy roadtrip thing but it's like three misfits trying to outsmart the brilliant you know con person. And I don't know for some reason I was all in on this thing. It connected with me.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:40:22] Ok. Oh good. All right. I'm writing it down. All right good tips.

 

Saul Colt: [00:40:27] Did you watch Claus.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:40:30] No. What is that.

 

Saul Colt: [00:40:32] Claus is Claus is crazy. This is. This is not for everybody but I liked it. It has a breaking bad tie in. What was the FBI guy breaking bad I can think it was name. But anyways Claus's basically these all these women who run a nail salon in in like you know low low income part of Florida. They're they're laundering money for the Dixie Mafia through their nail salon. And it's you know it's like what you could imagine it's high jinks it's crazy it's it's you know like every stereotype about Florida thrown into one you know for women sort of taking control of situations it's it's ridiculous but deliciously watchable and when I say it's ridiculous to set the bar on this show. There was a guy in the hospital who who like you know life support the whole deal his wife has sex with him in the hospital it's not gratuitous. I think it ran on on A&E or something like originally or TNT. There's no nudity or anything like that. But you know simulated sex and she brings him back to life. So that's the level of maturity of the show but likely as a guilty pleasure. I I was into that one as well.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:41:55] Good point. OK. Yeah I like shows like that that are kind of like Candy you know from what I present to an ex like I do you watch her. I'm really into Riverdale a lot. Deal had having that right. Do you like my current you know guilty pleasure. Like I really should not be thinking about Jughead that much.

 

Saul Colt: [00:42:18] Seen them the season three I think just like started a few weeks ago when I was all in on the first two and I think it's great. It's Yeah. Specially as someone who you know spend some time in comics and kind of like like I'm meet George Ghadeer who you know wrote for Archie forever and created Sabrina the Teenage Witch. And he almost worked for my comic companies so you know Archie and all that stuff you know is a special sort of like spot for me seeing it as it's depicted where every dude has washboard abs nobody wears shirts and everybody's like Someone dies every 20 minutes. It's delicious. I don't know there's any other word for it because it's such a departure from you know what I guess the tried and true perception of it is that yeah I agree it's great.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:43:13] Ok tell me tell me some other stuff I want. Yeah I want more recommendations.

 

Saul Colt: [00:43:17] I've got some music here for you. So one of my favorite bands right now if Pop Candy still existed I would be emailing you saying you should be spreading a spotlight on these guys. You should check out a band called the kickback. I don't know if you've heard of them so great and I don't even know how to describe it. But indie band you know they're kind of like you know one break away from having a break if that makes any sense out of Chicago. They toured they opened for Bush for a little while so they've had like a little bit of commercial success but really really great band. They might be giants. But you know who I am. I've been listening to a lot of. And it's it's more comedy than music. But you know Bridget Everett. Oh yeah I'm like I'm all in on Bridget ever right now. She she makes me laugh like she's great. Do you know the band tuxedo. Have you heard tuxedo.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:44:25] Now tell me.

 

Saul Colt: [00:44:26] So it's Meyer Hawthorne and Myra Hawthorne and Jake one I think is his name so it's basically mine. Hawthorne is no longer doing Meyer Hawthorne music or maybe does both but they started like an electric boogie disco like band and they've put two albums and I love it it's like this. It reminds me of of Niles Rodgers chic where every song only has like seven lyrics and they repeated over and over and over but it's completely it's it's bubblegum like you. I think there's just really good and I should check it Tuxedo.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:45:06] I'm great. OK. Well you got comics reading pony comics. Here the first guest who's ever ask me anything. I'm finally in my element. Yeah. You know what I don't read that many comic books anymore it's kind of sad. I don't know if it's it's like I was chewed up and spit out or anything. I really only read stuff from like friends of mine so one of my closest friends is a guy named Josh Fialkov enough you know I love Josh with every pore of my body so I read anything he puts out bunker you know Elks run you know. What did he put out a little while ago. That was really great. I'm blanking on it to do now. I feel awful but I read anything Josh puts out. I know I I pretty much stick to like the stuff of my friends.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:46:10] Yeah you've got like that seems cool because you know some good people you've got you've got friends you're putting out amazing stuff.

 

Saul Colt: [00:46:18] Josh is super talented.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:46:22] Yeah I feel like I'm trying like I'm getting back into comics just because now I'm around and there's simply amazing like stories and com bookshops here where I can find stuff that I couldn't hide in Middle of Tennessee. But yeah I feel like music might be that for me like I fell into mostly I still looking like mostly the stuff I listen to when I was 15 years old how to like a lot of it. Like yeah because I don't know like OK why I don't want to listen to a band that's trying to be like REM I just want to listen to REM you know to introduce my because my daughter sticks so you know I can introduce my 6 year old to all sorts of stuff. So yeah. Mind you that's the one thing that I've fallen off the cliff and I listen to pod. And that's one of my goals. I listen to podcasts like ten times more than i listen to music. Like if I'm walking rap I'm usually listening to a podcast.

 

Saul Colt: [00:47:24] Me too. So it will tell me some podcasts. I feel like I'm in a rut with podcasts. I go like I listen to maybe like six or seven and I've listened like everything. But like I'd love some new podcasts.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:47:40] Well I noticed that like the 30 for 30 part has just started its new season do you ever. I am not a sporty person whatsoever but I devour those. But the podcast is great and its all different stuff than the 30 for 30 documentaries. Over the summer. Yeah. Like have you listened to that very very podcast.

 

Saul Colt: [00:48:01] I havent and Ive seen every one of the documentaries but I haven't checked out the piko so I'm writing that down yet.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:48:09] So that they just start a new season and like over the summer they presented the multipart podcast called Bikram about Bikram  yoga and kind of the controversy behind it which is a very good.

 

Saul Colt: [00:48:24] Also I was going to say like I don't do big career have. I've read a lot of lot of stuff. Tell me about the controversy the dude who created it like has either like sexually assaulted or made him crazy like nefarious situations with like all these trainers or something like what. What's the deal with Bikram.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:48:44] Yeah that's pretty much it. So you hear you know interviews with people who it interacted with him. It is fascinating and creepy and is kind of weird because I listen to it not too long after I watched while world country that the documentary series on Netflix. And their interesting companion as far as your creepy creepy docs go. But yeah that rain over the summer. So 30 for 30 good podcasts. Somehow listening to I mean there's I also getting there are some of the same ones that are like I have to listen to every week. I love who charted is like my all time favorite podcast. Probably always will be a I listen to that every week as I was. Sometimes I listen to like the heavyweight podcast hosted by Jonathan Goldstein and gimlet podcast that's back with the new season. I also like podcasts that kind of have seasons and can give you a little bit of a break from listening. What else I should look online. I use stitcher to listen to stuff and I forget how many thousands I get when you pull it a bit shows you how many thousands of hours I've listened to. Hush I don't know what to say. What else do you think. I wasn't at the best show every week. I usually listen to a podcast incentive for live on. Oh I noticed like A24 has a pod cast where they like they're actors in their films. . There's a recent one with Fred Armisen and Jason Schwartzman that sounds kind of cool. Anyway yeah not too many too many.

 

Saul Colt: [00:50:41] So yeah I'll trigger a trade for that. Their logo tends to pop up on a lot of the stuff that I'm interested in. Hey you know I forgot to ask who you are. You're in Tennessee for a while. I could be getting my American geography completely wrong and is going to sound ridiculous when I ask. But I can ask it anyways. Did you ever see Wayne White walking around.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:51:04] Oh I well he lives in California. It's interesting when I was there. He had that year long chat. He's from well he he's from Chattanooga and we already see from BELBUCKLE I can't it's been years since I've seen the documentary. But there was a huge like a yearlong exhibit happening white exhibit happening in Chattanooga Tennessee which is like about 90 minutes from where I was living so it was amazing at the Art Museum the hunter museum they have down there. There is a fantastic exhibit with like you know drawings of Conkey and like. I mean it was. It had everything it had Peewee stuff it had music video stuff it had like his paintings and it was it was super cool so I did see a lot of Wayne White while I was down there. Yeah but not him personally.

 

Saul Colt: [00:52:01] That's cool. I say I'm I'm I'm out of questions. You have been incredibly generous with your time and amazing. This was really neat. I appreciate you doing this.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:52:13] Now this is so fun. Thank you for asking me to do it. I really appreciate it. I mean there's nothing i'd rather talk about and like comic books and podcasts.

 

Saul Colt: [00:52:23] So we end every show and I know this is backwards. Tell people who you are and how to get in touch with you and how to follow you and all that good stuff.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:52:33] Oh OK. So I'm Whitney Matheson and please yes get in touch with me. I'm on Twitter at Whitney Matheson. I'm on Instagram at THEWhitneyMatheson because there's another Whitney Matheson who is  a Canadian man we won't talk about. And then my website is Whitney Matheson dot com. If you go there you can sign up for my free newsletter which goes out every Friday.

 

Saul Colt: [00:53:00] Awesome. Thank you so much for doing this and I appreciate it.

 

Whitney Matheson: [00:53:03] Oh yeah. Anytime.

 

saul colt