Series 25: For The Love LIVE! | Episode 02
Laughter, Our Escape Hatch from the Dumpster Fire: Live with The Popcast’s Knox McCoy & Jamie Golden
In the next stop of the For the Love Live Tour, our TV soulmates return! Knox McCoy and Jamie Golden of the ever delightful show, The Popcast, come back to tell us about more things that entertain but do not matter (and a few things that actually do!). Jen dives into Knox and Jamie’s back story and how they met on the internet back before our parents were on Facebook and people still asked Jeeves a question from time to time—plus they dish on their best business advice for people who want to start their own podcast. The trio talks about all things under the pop culture sun, like how to create a dream Hallmark movie, why Ariel is a garbage princess and why Ursula the Evil Sea Witch is Jamie’s personal hero. Plus, of course, the best TV you need to be bingeing right now! They also fill us in about their other podcast, The Bible Binge (it’s like if People Magazine told Bible stories) and how God can be found in pop culture —and how humor can be healing because, as Jamie says, “Sometimes you just need an hour to escape the dumpster fire.”
Jen: Hey, guys, Jen Hatmaker here, your host of the For the Love Podcast. Welcome to the show.
I am super pleased to bring you another episode from the road when we taped our very first For the Love Live Tour. It was such a blast. Oh, I have such good memories from those cities, from those rooms, from those guests. If you made it out for that first tour, then you know what I’m talking about. And if not, just wait until the next one, because it is a trip to get to do one of my very favorite things, which is talking to interesting and fascinating people, with all of you in the background, carrying all your energy to us on the stage and to your sisters in the audience. I mean, it’s hard to duplicate. I love it so much, and I’m super happy to be able to share this tour with you through your earbuds. Yay! Yay, yay, yay!
Okay, listen, you need to know that I am the biggest fan of our next live tour guests. They were actually on the show during our For the Love of TV series , where we talked about really serious things like Friday Night Lights and movies we hate—excuse me, Love, Actually, thank you. And we basically lived our lives as TV soulmates right there for you to hear. The same absolutely held true for the live tour event as well.
I adore Knox McCoy and Jamie Golden. And you do, too. They are the curators of some fabulous pop culture content on their podcast, appropriately named The Popcast. It’s just, it’s a huge show, and beloved. And if you love them, and if you love that episode, buckle up, because we just had so much fun. Well, first of all, we cast and designed our perfect Hallmark movie. Like on the spot, we just started riffing. It was hilarious. And we talk a little bit about the genius of Succession, and The Cranberries, and why Jamie thinks Ariel from The Little Mermaid is a garbage princess. Okay, so if that’s not enough to make you want to just listen to this next episode, I don’t know what it is. We had the most fun. This is the most delightful conversation. Ahh, these two! I’m a fan for life.
I’m so pleased to welcome back to the show knox McCoy and Jamie Golden of The Popcast.
Jen: I adore, adore my guests tonight. If you are just having a day, and you have a deep seated need to hear someone’s take on Robert Pattinson, okay? His stunning career trajectory. If Apple TV+ is worth your cash dollars or not, if this is your pressing issue, if you need a rousing debate on the merits of a second season of Friday Night Lights—season two, I have thoughts—or if you just need to hear a grown man wheeze with glee, I am here to tell you that I’m going to deliver tonight, because we have Knox McCoy and Jamie Golden of The Popcast. I know. So fun!
They are also For the Love Podcast alumni. We had them on last year for the For the Love of TV series, because I’m like, “Who can I talk to about trash TV shows? Jamie, can you come on this show?” They were perfect. I want to tell you something about that episode. If any of you listened to that episode on my podcast, let me just tell you: those two are pros and they saved the day. That was such a nightmare of a recording. I’m in a janky hotel room, and none of my equipment was working. I was using borrowed equipment. Knox could not hear me, but Jamie could. So, Jamie could hear my voice, Knox couldn’t, and so she would sort of translate and he would answer based on the mood. I’m just telling you that we pieced that mess together, and it was a gold episode. They did it. They were the pros who saved the game.
Real quick, before they come out: if you’re new to them, Knox and Jamie are the hosts of a podcast called The Popcast. Real clever. And this is their mantra: they educate you on the things that entertain but do not matter. I like it. So, they break down all the different facets of pop culture, the movies and TV shows we need to be watching, the music we need to be listening to, the celebrities and their wild rises and fall, and the ones that are imploding. They break down new words in the Urban Dictionary, one of the best segments that they do, hilarious.
I’ll ask them about it tonight, they have a whole second podcast called The Bible Binge, which might not be what it sounds like. They say, “Imagine if your Bible 101 class was taught by People Magazine.” Okay, so we’ll talk about that. We’ll talk about what they’re writing, what they’re doing, what they’re putting out into the universe. They are fun. We’re going to laugh tonight. You guys, please help me welcome Knox and Jamie from The Popcast.
Jamie: That was so nice.
Jen: Oh well, you’re adorable.
Knox: I heard we’re the Melinda Gates of pop culture. That’s what I heard.
Jamie: We’re just like Brené Brown, but different.
Jen: Yes, that’s exactly what I said, you heard correctly.
Jamie: Thank you.
Jen: Okay, thank you for being here. Thank you for doing this.
Jamie: We’re so excited.
Jen: You’re so cute, and you’re so fun. Now, you have a lot of listeners in the crowd.
Jamie: Thank you.
Knox: Yeah, okay. So, 2019’s been a very busy year. We’ve done live shows. We’ve got our podcast. We’ve got The Bible Binge. We’ve done three seasons of that. Probably the biggest thing is last summer, I moved from Chattanooga—my wife, my three kids, we all moved from Chattanooga—to Birmingham to try to take the business to the next level. And we’re still adjusting. And I think for the company, the biggest adjustment has been because we’ve never worked together, you know, like in real life, except for live shows. And then I moved to Birmingham, and suddenly we’ve got to learn how to work in an office together.
Jen: Oh, yeah.
Knox: There’s a lot of like introvert-extrovert energy.
Jen: I want to hear more about that.
Knox: You know?
Jamie: Because see, he asked, like, he asked, “Would it be okay if I moved to Birmingham?” And I was like, “What?”
Knox: “Do I have your permission to move to Birmingham?”
Jamie: “I don’t understand? You’re going to come here and we’re going to be in the room?” And then we rented an office. We all kind of gathered.
Jen: It’s very grown up.
Jamie: Very grown up.
Knox: White boards, et cetera.
Jamie: White boards, et cetera.
Jen: Oh, sure.
Jamie: And then one day, I was sitting in the office, and Knox had a desk, and our COO, Erin, had a desk, and I had a desk. And Knox, at the end of the day, he started unplugging his monitor. And I was like, “Hey, what are you doing with your monitor?” And he was like, “Oh, I rented another office.” And he just left.
Jen: Oh, my gosh.
Jamie: I don’t know that he was going to tell me. I don’t know that he was going to tell me.
Jen: He just wouldn’t have been there the next day.
Jamie: Yeah. He would have just had a clean desk, and we would have been like, “Okay.” But now we put a TV on it, and Erin and I have lunch TV time.
Knox: It’s [an] upgrade.
Jamie: And now we figured out that his Enneagram 5-ness needs to be away from the aggressive three and eight.
Jen: I understand this.
Jamie: Or three and seven. He has to have some time away from us. And now, we figured it out.
Knox: So, it works. Now we have three offices, so we can all go and be by ourselves if we want to.
Jen: That sounds like a dream of mine.
Knox: It really is, yeah.
Jen: So, I’m a big loud boisterous three, but I’m an introvert.
Jen: So, the idea of “Let’s all work together from our separate corners,” sounds amazing.
Jamie: And then come together.
Knox: Yeah. We’ll be talking, and I’ll be like, “Ha, ha, yeah, right. I’m going to go in here for a minute.”
Jamie: He’ll just disappear.
Jen: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Knox: Just disappear.
Jamie: He’s in an office, and he’ll just be walking around the building. We’ll see him out the window, and we’re like, “Oh, he’s on one of his walks again.”
Knox: An introvert walk.
Jamie: Trying to recharge.
Jen: Yeah, no, I appreciate that. Sometimes we just have to walk away from the people that are all talking.
Jamie: Are you suggesting that someone in our team might never shut up?
Jen: I don’t know.
Jamie: I don’t know. Listen, guys, I do like to read tweets out loud to people. So, every time I’m on Twitter, I’m like, “You guys, have you seen Manhelen?”
Knox: Listen, we came up with a term, my wife actually coined it, it’s called over-exaspergasper. And that’s when you’re just doing your life and someone goes, “Gasp!” and it’s like, “Who’s dead? What happened?”
Jen: Oh, yes.
Jamie: I do that a lot, because I’ll be on my phone, and I’ll be like, “Gasp!” And they’re like, “Is everything okay?” And I’m like, “Sephora’s having like a flash sale.”
Knox: Okay, yeah. That’s great. We love that, but was it worth the gasp?
Jamie: Yeah. But sometimes I have to go like, “No, seriously, guys.”
Jamie: “Guess who’s just been outed as a creeper?”
Jamie: And then…
Jamie: …that might have been last week. It’s fine.
Jen: I mean, it just happens.
Jamie: It just happens.
Knox: Right. Tough week. Tough week, yeah.
Jen: It’s on the regular. The news cycle’s a dumpster fire.
Jen: Tell us a little bit about your book?
Knox: Okay. Yeah, so tomorrow is actually the one-year anniversary of The Wondering Years coming out. So, that’s really exciting. That came out, thank you.
Jen: Good job, you.
Knox: So, I did that, and then my editors were like, “So now you need to do your second,” because I had a two-book deal, and they were like, “You’ve got five months to do it. The clock starts now.”
Jen: Oh, sure.
Knox: So, do that. I rode the train from Birmingham to New Orleans a lot, and wrote, and got it done. It’s called All Things Reconsidered. It’s about deconstructing your beliefs, understanding why you believe them.
Jen: Yeah. That’s some heavy lifting.
Knox: There’s some stuff about you’ve reconsidering Big Bird, because I don’t think he’s as nice as you think he is.
Jamie: That’s a theory.
Knox: That’s serious.
Jamie: I mean it’s a theory. It’s one theory.
Knox: And then I talk about casual stuff like heaven, hell, creation, stuff like that.
Knox: It’s an easy hang.
Jen: Yeah. I don’t even know why you needed five months. Okay, when does that one come out?
Knox: June second.
Jen: Nice, well done, you.
Jen: So this is a little bit like a homecoming for you, ma’am?
Jamie: It is. I love Atlanta.
Jen: Talk about Atlanta, because you have been here, you have experiences here. Is this where your Pop Culture Renaissance was birthed in your lovely, young heart?
Jamie: It really was, because I went to Emory University. Go, Eagles! What? Okay, nobody. It’s fine.
Jen: It’s fine. It was a low simmering woo.
Knox: Yeah. Note for the audio, it was there.
Jamie: It was there.
Knox: You couldn’t hear it.
Jamie: See, I went to Emory because I grew up in rural Alabama, where I graduated with ninety-two people in my senior class. The most diverse person in my class was Barbara, who was Catholic.
Jen: Oh. Woo.
Knox: Very diverse.
Jamie: That was the diversity, so my mom was like, “You need to meet some people.” So, I came to Atlanta. I lived in Dickey Dorm, and one of the things that was so funny about my freshman dorm is everybody was really different. People were from Maine and from Arizona.
Jen: Woo, exotic.
Jamie: I didn’t even know. It was very exotic. But I had a girl, Amy, who was from Connecticut. She was always like, “I’m from the tri-state area,” and I was like, “Oh, okay, I don’t know.” I’m from Alabama, where I was the smartest person in Corner, Alabama. And I was the dumbest person at Emory.
Jen: Oh, that’s hard.
Jamie: But Amy was pre-med in anatomy, and she came up to me one day very sincerely, and asked me, “Hey, is there incest in your family? We’re studying incest.” And I was like, “Oh, is this what people think of Alabama?”
Jen: Oh, yes.
Knox: But answer the question, Jamie.
Jamie: To my knowledge, our tree does fork at every branch.
Jen: Yes, yes, yes.
Jamie: To my knowledge, to my knowledge.
Jen: Oh, girl, yes.
Jamie: I had Heather Whitestone, who was Miss America, and she was deaf. That’s her outstanding trait.
Jen: Oh yeah. That was mind bending.
Jamie: Yes, her and Andre Agassiwere on my wall.
Jen: Oh, Andre.
Knox: That’s a good combo. I like that.
Jen: That’s interesting.
Jamie: I wanted to be her, and I wanted to be with him.
Jen: Sure, yeah, yeah.
Jamie: So it all happened here.
Jen: Here in the ATL.
Jamie: My first cappuccino was at Café Intermezzo.
Jen: Now you get a woo, woo.
Knox: You’ve won them over.
Jamie: Because it’s so good, yeah.
Jen: Keep dropping the things until they pick one up. Okay, so for people who are new to it, can you talk for just a minute about The Popcast, and I’m very interested in a “You Raise Me Up” exercise, and I would love to hear from each of you: what do you think your partner brings to this endeavor? Okay.
Jen: We’re nice. We are nice here in the South.
Jamie: Oh yeah.
Jen: We act nice.
Knox: We’ll see if we can drive that into the ditch. We’ll see what happens.
Jen: Okay, that’s fine.
Knox: So The Popcast, we were spiritually born about six years ago. We were street legal about three years ago. We didn’t use music that you would call copyright legal.
Jen: That’s tricky.
Knox: It’s tough. So we did our paperwork, and now we’re good. We say it’s a show dedicated to things that entertain but don’t matter.
Jen: I approve.
Knox: We call it a deep dive into the shallow end of the pool, and what we think is we’re unique in that we both have the spiritual gift of being able to talk about stupid things intelligently.
Jamie: Yes, yes, yes.
Knox: And I think that is a spiritual gift.
Jen: Sure it is.
Knox: The disciples didn’t get that gift.
Knox: Somebody had to get it. So welcome to us, man.
Jamie: Us, right here.
Jen: Image of God.
Jamie: Thank you.
Jen: It’s very broad.
Jamie: We also have The Bible Binge, which you mentioned. Thank you for saying that, because we were like, “Should we try something holy?”
Knox: Literally everyone in our lives were like, “No!”
Jamie: “No, guys.”
Jen: “Don’t do it. Do not do that.”
Jamie: We sent the pilot episode to six people, people who teach at seminaries, people who edit Bible studies, and people who run She Reads Truth, and they were all like, “Um…”
Knox: There were four interventions.
Jamie: Right, and we were like, “Cool, cool, cool. We’re going to do it anyway.”
Jen: Uh-huh, sure.
Knox: Thank you!
Jen: That’s the way I do, too.
Jamie: So we recapped The Bible as if it were a movie or a TV show. We are in our seventh season.
Jen: That’s pretty amazing.
Jamie: It is. The theme of this season is weird stuff God made people do.
Jen: I know you’ve already done it, but give us a fragment of it.
Knox: Well, I think we led off with my favorite story in The Bible, Balaam and the Donkey. I love a sassy donkey.
Jen: Who doesn’t?
Jamie: Who doesn’t love a donkey?
Knox: When I read that, I was like, “I’m a Christian, like, how do we do this? Let’s put it in writing. Okay? Let’s go.”
Jamie: And then your episode that just came out is Ananias and Sapphira, who withheld some of their money for the Lord. [And we have a] Bible scholar who always reviews our episodes to find out what we got right.
Jen: Like a theology check?
Jamie: It’s called Gentle Rebuke, and she checks us, checks our tone. And she was like, “I think Peter might’ve murdered them,” and we were like, “What?! Peter murdered them?” I think the best part of our show is that Knox casts all the characters with celebrities. So Ananias and Sapphira were of course Nick Lacheyand Jessica Simpson.
Jen: No brainer.
Knox: It’s right there. I’m just interpreting.
Jen: Yeah, no, right.
Jamie: I know.
Jen: Remind everybody, because you’re so great together, why is this a thing? How do you know each other? How did you meet? How were you like, “Let’s be funny and talk about dumb things together?”
Knox: Sure, sure, our mission statement. Like I said, we were both blogging. I was blogging. Jamie had a blog.
Jen: What were you blogging? What were you blogging?
Knox: I was a creatively frustrated and unexpressed writer, so I thought, The fix for this, obviously, is to write 5000 word recaps of Bachelor episodes. That’s normal, and I don’t need therapy.
Jen: Sure, sure. As you do.
Knox: As one does. Absolutely. So I would spend a lot of time on those. I think Jamie came across it somehow, and started reading those. We ended up in a writing forum, because that was a thing back then.
Jen: Oh sure. You’re right.
Knox: Then we went to a blog conference—try explaining that to your friends and family, like, “I’m going to go to a blog conference. This is great. This is going to work out.”
Jamie: Yeah, like, “I’m going to meet strangers from the internet.”
Knox: Well, all the introverts are going to get together in public and not talk, and it’s going to be great.
Jen: Right, definitely going to increase revenue, so don’t worry about it, guys.
Knox: So I met Jamie there, and met some other people there who wanted to get into podcasting. I was like, “That sounds stupid. I’m not going to do that.” But I did, and those were terrible shows. And then, my whole thing was I wanted to write a book. That was my reason for being. I was like, I write Bachelorrecaps because I want to write a book. I’m an extrovert, and I talk to people because I want to write a book, not because I want to talk to them. I want to write a book.
Jen: Right. They’re a means to an end. Yes.
Jen: You know that I do.
Knox: Of course you do. So she had daughters, Lennon and Maisie. In one of her first episodes, Jamie was just dunking on Maisie. She was like, “Why are you coming in here with a bad falsetto?”
Jamie: Listen, if you’re going to sing, you need to know how to sing.
Jen: I concur.
Jamie: And keep your clothes on. I see your Instagram. Keep your clothes on.
Knox: So it was like picking on kids, I don’t know…
Jamie: She was in fourth grade.
Knox: This is fun, though, so let’s see what happens.
Jamie: And see, his goal was to write a book, and my whole objective with my internet life, my focus was getting free stuff from companies sent to my house.
Jen: Oh yes.
Jamie: And I was like, “How do I get free stuff sent to me?” And he was like, “I think that could happen if we had a podcast.” He didn’t know that.
Knox: I didn’t think that. I just needed it to happen.
Jamie: He just told me that, and I was like, “Okay, well I want to do it then.” So here we are.
Jen: All right, listen. I respect those values. What’s the best thing that you got sent to your house?
Jamie: Well, I got a Peloton bike.
Jamie: I know.
Knox: Listen, we both did. How many times did we ride it?
Jamie: I rode it one time. It was a very meaningful experience with Micah, who rode me through San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge area.
Knox: Did you do the curvy ride down the hill?
Jamie: Well, he was like, “We’re going uphill now,” and I was like, “No.”
Knox: “No, we’re not, Micah.”
Jen: “No, we’re not.”
Jamie: “We’re not doing that.”
Jen: “Maybe you are, Micah. Bye.” Also worth noting is that in the commercials, with no exceptions, their Pelotons are in beautiful atriums with floor-to-ceiling windows, overlooking the mountains.
Knox: Looking over Millennium Park or whatever.
Jamie: It is.
Knox: And they’re the sexiest person who ever lived.
Jamie: They don’t need to do one minute of exercise.
Knox: They don’t. They don’t. It’s ridiculous.
Jen: It’s frustrating. Everyone’s bikes are really in their stinky garage, and it’s gross to look at them on it. You know what I mean?
Jamie: I should’ve moved a ring light into the room and had a ring light on me while I was biking.
Jen: Oh yeah. Well it couldn’t have hurt.
Jen: I would love to hear you guys talk about—Jamie and I did a panel together at a blog conference, I mean technically…
Jamie: Yeah, no, it was.
Jen: …it was technically a blog conference. Even last year, in 2018, the Year of our Lord, those are still happening, but now it’s mostly influencers. It’s on the coattails of a long term blog conference, but now everybody just has beauty YouTube channels.
So we’re there, and we did a panel on podcasts, and I loved hearing you talk, Jamie, because she’s not just a pretty face. You guys went for this stuff. You quit your jobs. You bet on yourselves. You figured out a business that was still really kind of young and undeveloped, so we’re all just throwing stuff against the wall. We don’t know if our podcasts are going to work.
So I would love to hear you talk about that decision and what it was like, the risks that you took, what you learned through that, because you’re building a little empire on things that don’t matter, and I respect it.
Knox: Yeah, I think we got to a point where we were like, “This is fun. I think this is good.” We both have other jobs. Jamie had a whole Paul on the Damascus Road [moment], like, God told her to quit her job.
Jen: Oh yeah, I love that story.
Knox: That was just a side to that. We got to the point of, like, if this is going to be a thing, we’ve got to treat it and take it seriously. So we set some goals, we hit those goals. You know, it’s almost like we’ve had tiers, and the first one was, Can you do it consistently? And then it was, You need to quit your job. I was writing bad Christian screenplays for an online company, and I was looking for a reason to quit. I was like, I think God said something. I’ll go with it, like we’ll figure it out.
Jen: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Knox: I heard an echo. Let’s go forward. Last summer was the big we’re having some success, forward momentum [moment], and it was like if we’re really going to take this to the next level, I need to move. Let’s make this serious. Let’s get an office. Let’s do a white board thing, whatever, spreadsheets, et cetera.
Jamie: And see, I’m an Enneagram seven, so when he was like, “I’m going to move there,” I was like, “Whoa.” Commitment is not my gifting, and he was like, “We’ve been doing this for five years,” and I was like, “But it’s still new.”
Knox: She’s like, “Don’t box me in, though. I don’t know.”
Jamie: Like, “Don’t trap me here.” But I like that, because we treated it like it was a job before it was our full-time job, and that was hard because that meant a lot of hours and a lot of work and a lot of early mornings. I’ve just woken up, I’m in pajamas, we’re Skyping, we’re on Google Hangout doing these recordings. But I think that’s the key with any side gig that becomes a main gig, is that you have to treat it as your main gig, even though that’s really, really hard when you’re starting out. Because then, eventually, all of that hard work can lead to more hard work and more even longer hours, but it’s the only thing you’re doing now. You’re not having to write the screenplays.
I was working with sweet adoptive families. It was just great work, but I didn’t have really great insurance, and now, I can go to the eye doctor and it’s amazing.
Knox: And now we really still don’t have great insurance, but…
Jamie: No, but I can afford better insurance.
Jen: Yes, exactly.
Jamie: Thank you, Obama!
Jen: Listen, ride that tail all the way to the eye doctor.
Jamie: That’s right.
Jen: Yeah, you can get adult braces if you want to.
Jamie: Oh my gosh. That’s next. That’s next.
Jen: So did you have to sort of re-tool the way that you approached work in general? Because this is a different kind of job. It’s not like the kind of job that either of you had, where you go to a place and you do the thing. Do you do office hours? How in are you here?
Jamie: Our COO is here, and I already know Erin is like, “They do not. Yeah, they do not do office hours.”
Jen: Yeah, where’s Erin? There she is. Yeah, big shout out to Erin, because she is a mega-player in The Popcast world. Thank you for all you do.
Jamie: I know. She’s fantastic.
Jen: You do all kinds of stuff, girl. Let’s talk about pop culture, because some people—I’m guessing nobody in this room—think that pop culture is just a throw away thing, right? Why build a career around it? Here today, gone tomorrow, everything’s out of the news cycle immediately. You do have to move fast, you two, for sure. But why do you think pop culture is fun? Why do you think it matters? Why do you think it keeps working because it is? Why does this keep landing for people?
Knox: I think it’s like you said, there’s been this historical bad branding with it, so for any time we engage with it, we think, This is bad, this is trashy. There are components of pop culture that really are [trashy], but to me, it’s a language of the people, and we all like to pretend that we’re fluent in the Apocrypha, and we should talk about that, but we’re not. We’re fluent in Friday Night Lights Season Two.
Jamie: Straight up.
Jen: Yeah we are.
Jamie: So scary.
Knox: Why don’t we talk about why Landry could’ve never landed Tyra? We all know that’s true, right? So it’s like it’s a thing where people connect.
Jamie: And why did they murder people? Why did they murder people?
Knox: Well, because he was a bad guy right? That made sense. Not.
Jamie: Oh yeah, that’s right. No, that’s true.
Knox: But I think it gets a bad rap, because it deals in the secular, and I think you can’t make the leap of, Well, if it’s secular, well, God cannot be there, right? But it’s like, No, you’re talking about God, so He can be wherever He wants.
Jamie: That’s right. God’s not dead.
Jen: That’s what they say.
Jamie: God’s not dead.
Knox: That should be a movie.
Jen: Be a bestselling book or something.
Jamie: And I think for us, the kind thing that our audience has done—because there was still a part of me for a long time who was like, Oh no, no, no, you have to be in ministry. You have to go work for a church, or you have to go back to the nonprofit with the adoptive family. That’s the only place you can really do legacy work. And then what was happening was our listeners would—very kindly and unsolicited—send us messages and say, “I’ve had the worst week, and just listening to you say phrases from Urban Dictionary has been a way to lighten my load.” And we were like, “Oh, so this can be something different. When the world’s a dumpster fire, we can be an hour where you get to escape the dumpster fire.”
Knox: If you’ve listened to us, you’ve heard it before, we’ve said our big thing is humor breaks down walls so truth can enter. So you can laugh, we can have a good time, and then, there’s a trust. There’s an equity there, where if we have something we really care about and feel strongly about, you’ll hear it, and you won’t be dismissive of it. There can be an actual conversation there.
Jen: I remember early on in my career when—I have always loved humor, loved it like you guys, even a student of it. [When I was growing up], my classroom was SNL. That’s where I learned timing and comedy and physical comedy, just all of it, and have always been so drawn to it. And then when I steered the ship into ministry waters, the service waters, I remember thinking, because I always liked to be funny, What a throw away quality. In fact, it’s kind of an impediment that all my colleagues can come into a room and really be taken seriously, because they know about the Apocrypha, and I’m wanting to tell real, real dumb jokes. I’m wanting to do monologues. I’m wanting to never exaggerate any stories but just tell it as they are, as they happened.
It took me a while to figure out, Wait, humor counts, and it serves people, too. And if we have to only be serious and sober-minded all the time, I just want to be taken out.
Jamie: No, exactly.
Jen: I’ve lived forty-five years. That’s enough.
Knox: Just put it down.
Jen: Just put it down. I don’t find that at all. I find that especially now, when the world is just a pile of diapers, right?
Knox: Yeah, on fire.
Jen: It’s burning.
Knox: Also on fire, yeah.
Jen: It’s also on fire. I think humor has even a more prominent place right now as a balm, as a relief, as a release, in every possible way. So I love what you do, and I think it absolutely matters and counts. Don’t listen to what your haters say. You don’t have any haters. I just said that.
Jamie: Oh no, they’re there.
Knox: Oh, we got them.
Jamie: Meghan is out that.
Knox: Chad and Brad are out there.
Jen: Why is it always Meghan?
Jamie: Chad and Brad and Meghan, always waiting.
Knox: It’s okay.
Jamie: Always mad.
Jen: They’ve got thoughts, man.
Jamie: They have so many feelings, and an iPhone. It’s true.
Jen: Yeah, I believe they’re in my DMs.
So every week on the show, you guys give what you call green lights, which are your stamps of approval on a movie, on a TV show, a human person, whatever it may be. So I would like to hear a handful of your green lights of late. What are you saying yes to? And then, this is a big question, but we’re almost at the end of the year. If you had to pick your best green light for 2019, the one you were like, “This is my offering to the people, let them get their money’s worth,” what would you put into their lives? Okay, how about you go first, Knox?
Knox: Okay. I’ll say the book is The Dearly Beloved. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve read all year. It was sent to us by a friend, Annie B. Jones, by the Bookshelf in Thomasville. I think she’s here.
Jen: Did you write it? Oh, you just sent it?
Jamie: She owns an independent bookstore in Thomasville, Georgia.
Jen: That is cute.
Jamie: Isn’t that cute?
Knox: It’s the most impossibly cool bookstore.
Jen: Do you carry any Jen Hatmaker books? I’m just asking for a friend.
Knox: It talks about two couples, the men are ministers. They’re co-ministers, and it deals with faith and doubt and questions and sorrow. It’s really, really good. My favorite thing of the whole year, and I want you to tell me if you’ve seen it, and this is for the future of our friendship, this is important how you answer, it’s The Peanut Butter freakin Falcon.
Jen: I have it. I bought it.
Knox: Did you really?
Jamie: Okay, good.
Knox: I’m a big Shia LaBeouf fan.
Knox: I know. Big news, spicy take, but it’s just the sweetest, coolest movie.
Jamie: It’s wholesome.
Knox: If you would’ve told me there was going to be a movie about an aspirational pro wrestler and you would cry in it, I’d be like, “I don’t know,” but I did. But I did. It’s good.
Jen: Yeah, yeah.
Jamie: That’s good. Okay, my book would be Recursion by Blake Crouch. It’s very sci-fi, creepy, weird. There are some sessy times in it, so I love that. That book is fantastic. It’s being adapted into a movie, so it’s very cinematic in nature. My favorite TV show would be the second season of Fleabag. Have you seen it?
Jen: Oh, so fabulous.
Jamie: And the second season. Skip the first.
Jen: Like a real marvel.
Jamie: Yeah, yes, the real marvel. Don’t watch the first season, and I know that some of you are like, “I’m an Enneagram 1, so I am going to have to watch that, like I am going to have to do it.” But find it within you to skip it. The Hot Priest is everything you’ve dreamed of, everything you’ve dreamed of. Sessy times in that, too. And then, my movie would be, no, I want one with sessy times. Let’s see. No, I’ll go purist this time.
Jen: Okay, all right.
Jamie: But I would say my favorite movie this year was The Farewell, which was a story about a woman whose grandmother has cancer, but no one has told her that she has cancer. And so she heads back home for a wedding, and all the family is trying to trick and making sure she doesn’t know she has cancer, because it’s one last family wedding, it’s one last family experience. It was a This American Life episode, true story. It’s a great movie, and what’s so great is they were like, “She only has three months to live.” They have this magical time, and to this day, she’s still living.
Jen: This is true?
Jamie: It’s a true story, yeah.
Jen: I’m shook.
Jamie: It’s the context of is it better to know? Is it better not to know? It’s a beautiful family movie. There’s no sessy time unfortunately, but it’s fantastic.
Knox: Not a sexy topic, so that’s a tough one.
Jen: It’s not. What’s it called again?
Jamie: The Farewell.
Knox: It played in the south for thirty minutes and it was gone.
Jamie: Yeah, I saw it that one time.
Knox: You’re going to have to dig in on that one.
Jen: Okay, so I am thrilled. I know that you are thrilled. We are coming up upon our most hallowed time of the year, sacred—I feel like I’m comfortable saying sacred.
Knox: Yes, you should be.
Jen: You know, Oscars season.
Jamie: Oh my gosh.
Knox: Of course.
Jen: TV and awards season.
Jamie: You guys.
Jen: I’m interested in your takes. I’m interested. What are you looking forward to? What are your predictions?
Jen: Who are you here for? Who are you not here for?
Jen: Just let us have it. You are a portal into the things to care and not care about.
Jamie: Yeah, so I am just going to be at the theater three times a week. It’s my favorite time of year, just with popcorn and sitting there and every trailer and going to get more popcorn and more butter. I love it.
Jen: I do, too.
Jamie: Obviously coming up, just this month alone, we have some really great movies coming out. We have the fantastic Won’t You Be My Neighbor.
Jamie: Beautiful Day.
Jamie: So I’m excited about that, even though it’s Tom Hanks, and I have conflicted feelings about Tom Hanks.
Jen: Oh, I don’t want to hear that.
Jamie: I know. I know. No one does.
Jen: I don’t want to hear that.
Jamie: No one ever does.
Knox: Tom Hanks, an actor…
Jen: I’m going to edit that out if you say it.
Jamie: We deleted the Hanksgiving episode that we did one year.
Jen: You deleted it?
Jamie: We deleted it. It’s fine.
Jen: Because of the hate it gave you?
Jamie: So many people.
Knox: It was just us screaming at each other for sixty minutes, because she said things like, “I don’t know. Drew Barrymore is better than Tom Hanks.”
Jen: I don’t…that doesn’t make sense.
Knox: How do you reason with that?
Jen: That doesn’t make sense.
Jamie: She’s talented. That’s fine.
Jamie: And then I’m most excited this fall for Little Women, the remake of Little Women.
Jen: Oh yes. Oh, that’s good.
Jamie: With Saoirse Ronan.
Jen: Amazing cast with Saoirse, yes.
Jamie: Saoirse and Timothée Chalomet. We’re very excited about him, because he’s sexy for someone who’s so frail.
Jen: Oh, hmm. Yeah.
Jamie: I loved him as Laurie, so that’s what I’m looking forward to the most.
Knox: I think 1917 is coming out. That looks really good. It’s like British war stuff, whatever. It’s fine. It’s going to be good.
Jamie: You are not?
Jen: It scared me.
Jen: I had a nightmare.
Jamie: Rebel Wilson as a cat, it’s just a situation.
Jen: I don’t know.
Knox: After you see that movie, you die seven days later.
Jen: Yes. I’m not saying you’re wrong.
Jamie: Yeah. And then it’s The Popcast with Jamie and Jen. Congratulations.
Knox: That was quick.
Jen: I’m here to step in.
Knox: Wow. Okay.
Jen: We miss you.
Jamie: We can’t mourn forever.
Jen: Yeah, right. We’ve got to pay Erin’s salary.
Jamie: That’s right.
Knox: Got to move, yeah.
Jen: For crying out loud. Yes, yes, these are good takes. I like it.
Jamie: I know. I think the Oscars, I think Shia LaBeouf, he has a movie coming out, Honey Boy, that he wrote and directed and stars in, and it’s about his own father. Lucas Hedges plays Shia LaBeouf as a child, so I’m really interested to see, I think he will get a lot of Oscar buzz. We both just saw Parasite.
Jen: I didn’t see that.
Jamie: It’s a Korean foreign film. It just came out. It is bonkers good.
Jamie: And I don’t even like to read my movies. I do not like subtitles, and it was so fantastic.
Knox: Yeah, all subtitles. I’m trying to think, because I think Honey Boy will get some Oscar buzz. I think Peanut Butter Falcon will. I really do. This is the year that they’re talking about End Game maybe getting some Oscar buzz.
Jamie: Yeah, that we’d actually get a superhero film…
Jamie: …in the mix.
Knox: We’ll see.
Jen: Okay, this is an important question. This is important to me, also potentially indicative of a future friendship, so consider your words is all I’m saying.
Knox: Right, okay, sure, yes.
Jen: I don’t know if you don’t know this about me, but I am not sorry—I’m zero percent apologetic—100 percent devoted to every one of them, the Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas Movies, every one of them.
Jen: All. Zero impunity, everybody gets in the pool.
Jen: I would make an hour and a half or any one of them. I’m interested in you applying your creative mindset. You’re both really, really smart and kind of mean.
Knox: Okay. I’ll take that as a compliment. Thank you.
Jamie: Yeah. Thank you so much.
Jen: Yeah, no, I meant that. Yeah.
Jamie: That’s so sweet.
Jen: If you could design and cast a Hallmark Movie, who would be in it, your dream cast? Why did they make the cut? And what’s the trouble? Is it the local inn? Is it the bakery?
Jen: Is it a condo developer coming in?
Jamie: Right. Yeah.
Jamie: So do you understand Hallmark movies?
Knox: Well, let me ask this, because I want to understand. I want to get in your world.
Jen: Okay, I’m here. I can be your tutor.
Jamie: Listen. Right.
Knox: So help me understand the text a little bit.
Jamie: So there’s a woman.
Jen: Okay, yeah.
Jamie: She’s from a big urban area.
Jen: Virtually always New York City.
Jamie: New York City. She works on Wall Street.
Jamie: Because she’s smart and blonde.
Knox: Wears a lot of black, probably.
Jamie: Right, she is serious about her job.
Jen: She’s about to make partner.
Jen: That’s important.
Jamie: That’s exactly right.
Jen: She’s so close.
Jamie: She’s so close.
Knox: Let me ask, is that the name, About to Make Partner?
Jen: It could be.
Jen: It hinges on a presentation.
Jamie: And then she’s going to have to go back to her hometown.
Jen: That’s right.
Knox: Which is where?
Jamie: That’s either a farm or a Main Street. Those are the two options.
Jen: Yes. It’s probably in Vermont.
Jamie: It’s in Vermont.
Jamie: And then there’s a guy who didn’t graduate from high school.
Knox: Because he’s dumb?
Jamie: She has an MBA from Harvard.
Jen: She does.
Jamie: No, not because he’s dumb, because he just cares so much about the community.
Jen: He took on his dad’s local hardware store.
Jamie: That’s right.
Knox: That’s it, and now he makes sand glass from lightning striking the beach kind of stuff?
Jamie: It’s just like Sweet Home Alabama.
Knox: No, I got it. I think I got it now.
Jen: That’s it.
Jamie: That’s right.
Jamie: That’s the movie.
Jen: He’s spectacularly beautiful and every single boy character looks identical. They’re all the same person.
Knox: You’re right.
Jen: He’s a little gruffy.
Jen: With a sweater, and that’s the end of it.
Jamie: He always stops for pets. He always stops for children, and he gets down on their level.
Jen: He does.
Knox: That’s how you know they love him.
Jen: Yeah, he does that. That’s important to know that. And also, when it comes to children, he is raising his niece alone.
Knox: Oh my gosh.
Jen: His sister died.
Jamie: Not because she’s abusive or neglectful.
Jen: No, no, she died. She died of a stroke early.
Knox: Early? Early stroke, that’s a tough one.
Jamie: Early strokes are the worst.
Jen: Nobody saw it coming, but he is raising her daughter who’s seven and precocious.
Jamie: So there’ll be a scene where they go to her grave.
Jen: Yeah. That’s right.
Jamie: Yeah, there’ll be a scene where they go to her grave.
Knox: Okay, who is the guy from This is Us, the not good actor on This is Us?
Jen: I’m not interested in this take.
Jamie: Oh, I’m sorry. It’s Justin Hartley.
Jen: Yeah, that’s right.
Jamie: He plays Kevin.
Knox: Okay, that’s the guy.
Jamie: That is the guy.
Jen: That’s the guy. Yeah.
Knox: That’s good? Okay.
Jen: That’s one hundred percent the guy.
Knox: High-powered lawyer who is one presentation away from making partner.
Jen: That’s right.
Knox: I’m thinking Gretchen Wieners, from Mean Girls.
Jamie: Oh, Lacey Chabert.
Jen: Oh, that’s good.
Jamie: She’s all right.
Knox: Whose father was the inventor of toaster strudels, don’t forget.
Jamie: Toaster strudels. Yes, she’s already been in Hallmark movies, too.
Jen: I’m sure she has.
Jamie: She has experience.
Jamie: That’s the other thing. Actors can’t be in Hallmark movies if they’ve won an award for acting.
Jen: I think it’s written in the contract.
Jamie: That’s right. You know it.
Jen: It’s written in the contract.
Jamie: In your heart, you know that I’m right about that.
Knox: Are Hallmark movies like the Dancing with the Stars of movies?
Jamie: Yeah, I feel like Dancing with the Stars is too nice.
Knox: Too nice?
Jamie: It’s too nice.
Jamie: I feel like the people who are in Hallmark movies are all, like, Margot Robbie‘s sister.
Jen: Uh-huh, yeah, or it was a former member of the cast of Full House.
Jen: Any one of them.
Jamie: Yeah, any of them.
Jen: Any one of them.
Knox: Who was not problematic, whatever.
Jen: No. No.
Jamie: No, none of them. Aunt Becky’s fine.
Jamie: When she gets out of prison, she can come back. She can make a comeback.
Jen: She’s going to rebound.
Knox: It’ll be good for her.
Jen: She’s going to rebound.
Knox: She can play herself in the movie, the Hallmark movie.
Jen: She could. That’s good. Now you’re on.
Knox: We’ll call it The Hard Evidence.
Jamie: The Hard Evidence.
Jen: Yes, also, if you’re lucky, there’s a Santa Claus character.
Jamie: Oh yes.
Jen: It’s a Santa Claus prototype.
Jen: Sometimes it’s actually Santa.
Jen: Sometimes it’s Santa-like.
Jamie: So it’s Wilford Brimley, who’s just the uncle that’s wise.
Jen: Yes. Exactly.
Jamie: But retired.
Jamie: And just likes to fish.
Knox: But he doesn’t have diabeetus in this situation? Okay.
Jamie: No, he’s maintained his sugars. He’s done good.
Jen: Yeah he has. He really has. Do we have any titles? Can we float any?
Jamie: Well, it always has to be either the name of a song or a name of a movie that they just tweaked. So it’s like Beauty and the Feast.
Jen: Oh yeah.
Jamie: Because it’s about a caterer.
Jen: Yeah, yeah.
Jamie: You know?
Jen: Murder She Baked. Yes.
Jamie: Yes, that’s exactly right. No, that’s a perfect name.
Jen: Yeah, exactly.
Jamie: I just think it’s so amazing that we are just like, “Ohhhh, I’m so excited.”
Jamie: We’re like, “You know what, I want to watch thirty-eight bad movies.”
Jen: That’s right.
Jamie: It’ll be under my weighted blanket.
Jen: I have not one, not two, but three adult sleepovers planned for that activity alone.
Knox: That’s fantastic.
Jamie: Gosh, that’s magical.
Knox: That’s really committed.
Jamie: That’s magical.
Jen: Thank you.
Knox: Good for you.
Jen: I’m winning. Thank you.
Jamie: Yes, what an honor to be your friend. So good.
Jen: Yes, I knew that you would see it that way.
Jen: Okay, so let’s see. We have wrapped up a lot of important business, obviously. I hope that you feel edified and really enlightened, but I would like to do a little rapid fire.
Jen: Okay. I don’t know if this is universal.
Jamie: Okay. No, it is.
Jen: Could you follow?
Jamie: I didn’t know if we needed to do jazz and then a dance.
Knox: Some jazz, yeah do a little riff.
Jamie: I was ready.
Jen: Yes. Okay, here’s the first one, I’m interested in hearing what either song or artist or album you have on repeat right now, that you love. Like, I’m wearing everybody out with this. I did that, for example, a couple years ago. I went to the CMAs, and that was the first time I ever saw Chris Stapleton. Remember when he performed with Justin Timberlake?
Knox: Oh yeah.
Jamie: He’s so good.
Jen: Do you remember that? I almost lost consciousness. I then listened to Chris Stapleton for one solid year with no nuance.
Jamie: No break.
Knox: No breaks, yeah.
Jen: Yeah. No breaks. Do you have anything like that that you’re like, “I’m loving this right now?”
Jamie: I get that way, where I [just repeat things] over and over again. I will not be ashamed for loving Taylor Swift, and I love Lover. I love Lover on a repeat. I picture myself in that manic pixie daydream that she lives, and so, I love that. I also love a band called Penny and Sparrow.
Jen: Oh yeah.
Jen: Oh nice, yes.
Knox: On our way, when we do live shows, we have a habit of listening exclusively to Kanye songs.
Jen: Just to fire you up?
Knox: Just to fire [us up].
Jamie: Not the Jesus stuff.
Knox: No, not the Jesus stuff.
Jen: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
Knox: Not the Jesus stuff.
Jen: Yeah, the dirty stuff.
Jamie: Right, right.
Knox: A lot of bad, white people rapping.
Jamie: “Stronger,” “Power,” “All the Lights.”
Knox: Yeah, really good.
Jen: I like that. That’s good hype music. Okay, this is so in your wheelhouse. What’s the last TV show or series that you binged, that you powered through like a real champion?
Knox: I caught up on The Good Place, and I really like it.
Jen: Oh yeah, it’s so cute.
Knox: I’m doing The Morning Show right now, Apple TV+.
Jen: Oh, I haven’t started that yet. Are any of y’all watching that?
Knox: Yeah. It’s like everyone agrees that it’s probably not great, but it’s fun to watch a weird wreck of stuff happening. You know?
Jen: Okay. Yeah.
Jamie: I just don’t understand why Reese Witherspoon can be from the South and have a horrible southern accent. Because she’s Bradley Whitford, justice, blah blah blah.
Knox: Look, it is a lot of…
Jamie: I don’t understand what she’s doing.
Knox: It’s Reese screaming at people, which is my love language.
Jen: Okay. Oh, that moves you?
Knox: It does.
Knox: In an emotional way, not inappropriate like Jamie.
Jen: Okay. Yeah.
Jamie: My favorite thing that I’ve binged recently are two things that are very different. One is Succession, on HBO. I loved Succession. It ticked all the boxes of crazies, and I love that Kieran Culkin, Macaulay’s younger brother, could have a comeback like this. It’s really good.
Knox: So good.
Jamie: It’s a fantastic one. It’s NSFJM—Not Suitable for Jamie’s Mom—because she’s dainty.
Jen: Okay, yeah.
Jamie: And then Derry Girls.
Jen: Oh, it’s precious.
Jamie: Gosh, such a good show.
Jamie: We did try it back stage. We were like, “We get to talk about Derry Girls.” I was like, “I wonder if I could do an Irish accent?”
Jen: Let’s have a try.
Jamie: So we pulled up a video of Madeline, who is a vocal coach, who did a video on how to speak with an Irish accent.
Jen: You did a little tutorial back here?
Jamie: We did.
Jamie: So she was like, “Your i‘s…” In America, our i’s are like right, so i, and then in Ireland, they’re like, arghhh.
Knox: Do it confidently.
Jamie: (trying desperately hard to use an Irish accent) I’m from Ireland.
Knox: See I did it, and mine sounds like Merida from Brave.
Jamie: You do yours.
Knox: I was like, (also trying desperately hard to use an Irish accent . . . but it’s Scottish) “I’ll be shooting from me own hand!”
Jamie: That’s not good either.
Knox: That’s not Irish. That’s Scottish.
Jamie: We’re not great. I’m not great, but Derry Girls, if you have the closed captioning on, it’s so good.
Jamie: Because you’re like, “Now I understand what they’re talking about.”
Jen: You have to have the closed caption on.
Jamie: And it has that sweet nineties soundtrack—Cranberries, Sarah McLachlan, so good.
Jen: Okay, those are awesome. By the way, my daughter, Sidney, listens to all that music. Do you know how young adults right now are really cool, where we were just basic? We were so basic at that age just listening to Top 40, and Sydney has a Cranberries playlist. She was born in the year 2000.
Knox: I listen to Hoobastank not ironically.
Jen: Yeah, that’s my point.
Knox: But they are ironically listening to it again.
Jamie: Sister Hazel was, like, my favorite band.
Jen: Yeah, exactly. It’s frustrating, actually, how sophisticated this generation is. They’re going to have so little to regret, and it upsets me.
Jamie: I know. Gosh, I have so many hairstyles to regret, so many fashion choices to regret, so many boys to regret.
Jen: Right, obviously, yes.
Jen: Yes, I know.
Jamie: I’m jealous.
Jen: Okay, how about this? When you’re either having an awesome day or a terrible day, maybe this is the exact same answer, what’s the food you reach for? This is the food I want to make myself feel good in my heart?
Knox: I order a BLT—no L, no T, heavy on the B. And I do that, Jen, because unless you say it like that, they don’t think you’re serious about the B.
Jen: I for sure would not.
Knox: And you’re always serious about the B. Bacon sandwich.
Jamie: We need a shirt that says that: “Serious about the B.”
Knox: Always serious about the B, yeah.
Jen: I have a follow-up question.
Jen: Because that feels upsetting. Is it on white bread? Surely.
Knox: It’s on sourdough with a little bit of olive oil, little bit of butter, put in the pan.
Knox: Yeah, yeah. That’s right. Don’t dismiss him.
Jen: A bacon sandwich.
Knox: No, a BLT—hold the L, hold the T.
Jamie: No, it’s a bacon sandwich.
Knox: No, not like that.
Jen: And your aversion to the L and the T is just simply that it’s just superfluous?
Knox: Gone. Yeah.
Jen: Okay, just we don’t have time for that.
Knox: Completely gone.
Jamie: Unnecessary. We don’t even need it. Yeah.
Jamie: Okay, so I, as an Enneagram seven, comfort food is every meal. I eat what I want. But if I’m going to really have the bad day, I’m either going to get a milkshake—extra large, add that whip, hold that cherry. I don’t want any indication of fruit.
Jen: Sure. That’s not what you’re there for.
Jamie: I want it to be intense.
Jamie: That’s right. Or I go to the local Mexican restaurant and I’m like, “I want a double portion of queso, double chips,” and they’re like, “Do you need two sets of silverware?” “No.”
Knox: Party of solo.
Jamie: Party of sadness, just me. And that is my legit favorite thing.
Jen: Texas does a thing with our queso in which we put in chorizo and tomatoes and avocado. What’s your take on that?
Jamie: Well, I do love yellow queso, which is famous in Texas.
Jen: Yes, I thought that’s all there was.
Jamie: No, I know. White queso, thin and runny.
Jen: Oh no, really?
Jamie: Just the saddest, where you can drink it like sweet tea. So good. Drink a little, put some chips in, drink a little.
Knox: Yeah, I want to dig into that.
Jamie: So good. When I was in Atlanta, when I was in college, our Thursday night was we would go to Rio Bravo.
Jen: Oh, mm-hmm. That keeps working.
Jamie: Yes, it does work.
Knox: Yeah, it does. So smart.
Jamie: We would order waters with lemon, and then we would add Sweet ‘N Low to make lemonade. They had fresh tortillas, so we would get $2.99 queso, which was unlimited, and then we would get seventy-five cent tortillas, and we’d just be like, “Keep bringing them, John!”
Knox: Yeah, another round of tortillas please.
Jamie: That’s right, and we’d share one big margarita.
Jen: You gamed that system. John loved you guys. I bet they fought for your table.
Jamie: Oh gosh, we tipped John so generously. We probably were the worst and left him a tract and $1.
Jen: Oh, I want to believe that’s not true.
Jamie: It’s like $2, John, eternity.
Knox: But an eternal life, yeah. Here’s the Romans Road, John.
Jen: Okay, when you think specifically about the work that you are doing, do you have a person that—I don’t know if it’s necessarily that you aspire to be like this person, but they’re something of a north star—like, “This is somebody, I’m watching their career, I’m watching their style, I like the way they’re doing this, I like the way they’re moving about their work in the world” that either of you are looking at?
Knox: I live my life like WWSLB? What would Shia LaBeouf do? So that’s a big one for me.
Jen: Oh, that was real. Yeah.
Knox: It’s really authentic. Love his vibe. Professionally, since it’s a weird space, you don’t have a lot of territory forged, so it’s hard to know who to replicate.
Jen: Uh-huh, that’s true, actually.
Knox: I don’t know if you’re familiar with Bill Simmons, he does The Ringer Podcast Network.
Knox: I’ve followed him for eighteen years.
Knox: He’s a writer. He writes books, writes content online, does podcasts, does videos. I love that. I love being able to do all those different things.
Jen: Yeah, that’s a great answer.
Jamie: For me, my heart’s mentor is Ursula from The Little Mermaid.
Jen: Is that right?
Jamie: Because I would never pick Ariel. She’s a garbage princess who gave up her voice for a man who played the flute. Get out of here. I’m not doing that.
Knox: A man who played the flute who had a sheep dog.
Knox: In a coastal town. I didn’t see a herd. What’s happening here?
Jamie: Why do you have a sheep dog?
Knox: Doesn’t make sense.
Jamie: But I like her. She’s confident. She wears that lipstick like she’s a boss.
Jen: She did.
Jamie: She understands contracts.
Jen: Oh, yeah.
Jamie: She makes them. She does business.
Knox: All about that paperwork.
Jamie: And you know what it took to kill her? A ship.
Knox: A boat.
Jamie: Right in here.
Jen: That’s true.
Jamie: That’s what I want to aspire to. You just do your business, you don’t care what people think. You try to entertain. You try to sing well, if you will.
Jen: She could sing.
Jamie: She could sing like a boss, and I just think she saw that redhead and was like, “Cold, dead heart. Gotta get rid of her.”
Knox: I like if your enemies want to kill you, it’s going to take an aircraft carrier. I like that energy.
Jen: Yeah, I do too.
Jamie: That’s right. Meghan can’t kill me in the DMs.
Jamie: You better bring a ship, Meghan.
Jen: We eat Meghans for breakfast.
Jamie: That’s exactly right.
Jen: Okay, we’ve got one last question, so get your questions ready because it’s about to be your turn. You guys have already answered this for me the first time you were on the show, but this is what we ask everybody, of course, and it can be whatever you want. You can answer this however.
Jen: What’s saving your life right now?
Knox: I would say two things. Number one, watching the University of Texas struggle to beat bad college football teams.
Jen: That’s not nice.
Jamie: That seems so aggressive.
Knox: Listen, I like that it was like, “Texas is back.”
Jen: That was so weirdly specific and awful. Yes.
Jamie: I feel like you came for her specifically.
Knox: I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’ll say AirPods, because I can put them in and not listen to anything, but no one will approach me.
Jen: Right. This is the truest…
Knox: Yeah, next level.
Jen: I just forgave you.
Knox: Galaxy brain, yeah.
Jen: I just forgave you for that…
Knox: Thank you.
Jen: …very demonic thing you said about the University of Texas.
Jamie: I am aging, and I don’t like it. So I care a lot about skincare, because I’m on a Nana Plan 2020. I’m trying to meet a grandfather and hook up.
Knox: You want to explain that a little more for people?
Jamie: Nana Plan 2020 is just to meet a grandfather, be a nana to the grandchildren, but his wife is dead because she had one of them strokes early.
Knox: Yeah, an early stroke.
Jamie: Early stroke.
Jamie: That’s right. But one of the things about aging is eventually—I don’t know if you’ve experienced this—I have always slept on my stomach, and now when I wake up, there are lines all across my face that do not bounce back quickly.
Jen: They don’t. It takes a minute.
Jamie: It takes a hot minute, and so, I’ve been sleep training at age forty-four.
Jamie: Like a baby. Y’all, I got this pregnancy pillow.
Knox: Wow, a lot of happening here.
Jen: This is a lot of information.
Jamie: Y’all, it’s like a velvet U-shape. And look, I am on my back now. It’s like nope, my pregnant sleep pillow has solved all my problems, and I didn’t have to have a baby.
Jamie: Bonus. Yes.
Jen: You are telling me that you went to all that effort and energy for vanity, is what you’re saying?
Jamie: Oh, a hundred percent.
Jen: Yeah, okay. I respect it.
Jamie: Yeah, no. I do everything for vanity.
Jen: Okay, good.
Jamie: That’s my mission in life.
Jamie: You know how other people are like, “the gospel and poverty?” Vanity.
Jen: Okay. All right. We’ll just know where we stand with you. That’s all. It’s fair. Just telling your truth.
Jamie: Telling my truth and sharing it with all of you.
Knox: That’s right.
Jamie: So, go get you a pregnancy pillow, and you can sleep train as well.
Jen: Okay. So, first of all, we reserve the right to not answer any questions that you ask.
Jamie: Oh, okay.
Jen: We do.
Knox: I like that.
Jen: We reserve the right to be like, “Pass.” If you behave, we are very interested in answering anything you want to know, so come at us. Hi.
Question Asker #1: Hi. Oh, is it working? Can you hear me?
Jen: There it is.
Question Asker #1: Okay. I’m so excited y’all are here. This is so great. I’ve been thinking about this the whole time, I’m sweating so hard right now as it is freezing here. Okay. Thoughts on this, you’re invited, all three of you, here’s a question to think about.
Question Asker #1: You have been invited to an old-fashioned potluck at a church. You are there to impress. What is the meal that you’re bringing?
Jen: It’s important. This is important.
Jamie: It is important.
Jamie: So I’m going to bring something from a restaurant.
Jen: That feels right.
Jamie: But I’m going to put it in a ceramic dish with a JBG on it.
Question Asker #1: Of course.
Question Asker #1: That’s how you do it.
Jamie: Kind of mess it up a little bit. Yeah, because that’s how you bring your A game, is let other people do it.
Jen: Yeah, that feels right.
Knox: That’s good.
Jen: That feels right.
Knox: What you have described sounds like a very social situation with a lot of small talk, so I will be sick that day, and I will not be there. So that’s how we do that.
Jen: I’m going to reserve the right to have a little rotation of answers, and it’s going to involve a casserole dish. It’s going to involve butter, probably cheddar, maybe some sort of cream cheese.
Jamie: All the B.
Jen: On the top will be some combination of either crushed Ritz crackers or potentially crushed potato chips.
Jamie: Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord.
Knox: Yeah, let’s build that layer.
Jen: I’d like the option to play with that a bit, but it’s going to be around 1200 calories a slice.
Question Asker #1: Bring your stretchy pants, right?
Jen: Very loosely involved will be a vegetable, but it’s just…
Jamie: Like a potato.
Jen: Yeah, like a potato, right.
Knox: Chip, yeah.
Jen: So I hope you enjoy our potluck.
Question Asker #1: I’m excited. Thank y’all.
Jamie: Thank you.
Question Asker #2: Hello. Okay, so I love you guys a lot, even though you definitely sidestepped Season One of Fleabag, but I’m going to forgive you. It’s fine. We won’t talk about it.
Jen: Yep, there’s grace in the room.
Knox: Thank you.
Question Asker #2: Yeah, it’s okay. But I have a question. This is more of your process when you’re deciding what topic to cover. How would you go from Jamie’s Top Seventy-Five Red Shades of Sephora’s Lipsticks to Knox’s The Top Ten Tom Brady Smiles?
Question Asker #2: How would you merge that into one topic for The Popcast?
Knox: Top Twenty.
Jen: First of all, a whiteboard is involved.
Question Asker #2: Yeah, obviously.
Jamie: You asked us. We didn’t say our one nice thing about each other, so I will say something nice about Knox now. Everybody pay attention.
Jamie: So Knox is a really good producer. He produces the show, and he makes the list, and he’s good at it.
Jamie: Does that feel right? Is that what you told me to say?
Knox: That is the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me. Thank you.
Jamie: Is that what you told me to say?
Jamie: So he’s really good at—because listeners will send in topics all the time—taking that and going, “Okay, what can we do with that, can we not?” Or we see things in the news. For example, we have a new episode tomorrow, and our episode tomorrow—because our most downloaded episode of all time is The Enneagram—we talked about it in a really clinical, academic way. So tomorrow is Enneagram at the holidays and how you can deal with it at the holidays. So that was a way to go, “Okay, people like this. How can we use this again and talk about it in a different way?” So that’s how that works.
Knox: Yeah, and I think we kind of try to follow a certain formula of how we want to present a broad, accessible idea. We want to make it a little more intimate and weird, and then the third stage is, “Let’s get buck wild strange with this and have a lot of fun and take it in a direction you didn’t expect.” And that’s usually kind of how we orient our episodes.
Jen: Yeah, that was a great question.
Question Asker #2: Oh thank you.
Question Asker #3: So this is for Jen, although Knox and Jamie, I love you guys.
Knox: Thank you.
Question Asker #3: One of my very favorite things is when you get on Instagram and talk about all the crap you pulled out of your fridge for dinner.
Jen: Thank you.
Question Asker #3: My people have been fed on that for a very long time, so thank you.
Jen: You’re welcome.
Question Asker #3: Has anyone from any of those food networks approached you about a food show, and would you do it? I would watch it.
Jen: That’s cute. Thanks for saying that. Let’s just say…
Jamie: Uh oh.
Jen: Let’s just say that I’m just pulling some levers, and doing some things, and having some conversations.
Jamie: Uh oh, okay. Very fun.
Knox: Are we talking Murder She Baked up in this? Yeah. I like it.
Jen: Everyone’s just ripping it.
Jamie: Okay, all right.
Jamie: You were testing it.
Question Asker #3: Murder She Roast.
Jamie: With a focus group. It’s pretty good.
Jen: Yeah, I loved food. This is why I started structuring this podcast—I love so many things, and it’s sincere. Like, everything. When I talk about food, it’s my favorite thing.
Question Asker #3: That’s obvious.
Jen: When I’m talking about Jesus, it’s my favorite thing. And I will talk about Matthew McConaughey 1997, it’s my favorite thing.
Question Asker #3: Yes, my favorite thing.
Jen: Right, so I like the freedom to be able to love what I love, whether it fits a thing or not. So I really sincerely love food, and so, we’ll just see about that. But thanks for asking.
Knox: That’s a really good question. Yeah.
Jamie: Oh, very interesting. We’ll spread that rumor. Let’s go. Let’s go.
Question Asker #4: When you guys decided that you were going to start a podcast, were people behind it? Did you know what you were getting into? How did you get direction on which way to go? That’s one question, and the other one is, when you started asking people to be on your podcast, how did you make that happen?
Knox: We’ll do the first part. When we started, [we had] no idea what we were doing.
Jen: Yeah, same.
Knox: No idea how to structure it. I think the overarching principle was, “Let’s do what we like and what we think is funny and entertaining, and then we’ll build out from that.” I think really quickly we were like, “Oh, we should end with recommendations, and do green lights and red lights.” And we did yellow lights, and that was too much, so we cut that out. So it was kind of a little bit of inspiration by what we like and also just trial and error, experimenting a little bit.
Jen: I’m the only one up here that has guests on show. At the beginning, I simply exploited my friendships. I just called in favors.
Question Asker #4: Right, right, who knows who.
Jen: There was absolutely no reason for you to spend an hour of your life being on my show. I don’t even know if it’s going to work. We don’t even know if anybody’s listening yet. I don’t know how to work this microphone. Like, I don’t even know if it’s going to actually get recorded. It’s actually important. But I’ve done some stuff for you, now it’s your turn.
Question Asker #4: Right, right, right.
Jen: And then eventually, the show built up enough capital that we could pitch it to people who did not know who I was or what the show was, and be like, “Look, people listen to it. Okay, don’t be dumb. It’s an hour. You could be in your pajamas and record on your phone.” So that’s been fun. Now we’ve got this great traction to invite all kinds of people. So now I’m like, “Sky’s the limit.” I genuinely feel like, “Let’s just make a list.”
Question Asker #4: Yeah, who is somebody that you would say, “This is who I really want to have on my show?”
Jen: I would love…
Question Asker #4: Yeah, your love-love list.
Jen: I would strike the arms of Jesus immediately after if I could interview Tina Fey.
Question Asker #4: Oh, that would be a good one.
Jamie: Oh that would be so good.
Question Asker #4: Cool.
Jen: Yep, that’d be it. I’d like that to be my last breath on earth.
Jamie: That would be fantastic.
Jen: Thanks for coming on, Tina. Stroke.
Knox: Death, yeah.
Jamie: Murder She Baked. It’s so good.
Question Asker #4: Thank you so much.
Knox: That’s what I like so much about your show, is a lot of interview shows especially, you get the same kind of guests in a different way. And I look up and you’ve got Dan Carlin. That’s Hardcore History. I just listened to four hours of him talking about Japan, and he’s on your show, and I like that it’s really what I want to talk about.
Jen: Thank you. That’s a nice thing to say.
Knox: It’s really good.
Question Asker #5: Hi. I have a question that draws on Jen’s parenting advice, and your guys’ pop culture advice. I have six kids, three to fourteen. My favorite part of the day is when they go to bed and my husband and I can watch TV.
Question Asker #5: But Jen, I’ve seen you comment or post things about binge watching Gilmore Girls or Lost. My question is what age do you know that they’re ready to take on that kind of TV watching? We’re pretty conservative. Disney shows aren’t always cool with us. And then where would you guys start? Knox, what’s one of the first shows you want to binge watch with your kids kind of thing?
Jen: Well, you’re giving me way too much credit. Okay? Like, that’s a thing I’m keeping my eye on. At some point, I’m just like, “Just let it all work out.” Because we save for their therapy.
Knox: And it’s going to happen.
Jen: Yeah, this is something to work on in their twenties.
Jamie: That makes sense.
Jen: And so we did find the medium-wholesome shows that we love powering through with the kids, Lost being one of them. Brandon and my sons watched Lost absolutely around the clock, beginning to end, in two weeks one summer.
Knox: What are you talking about?
Jamie: Holy moly.
Jen: Do the math.
Jamie: That’s crazy.
Knox: Oh my gosh.
Jamie: That’s awesome.
Jen: Do the math on the hours. They never even left. They never left the living room.
Jamie: No they didn’t.
Jen: They’d get up in the morning. It was just a real marvel to watch.
Jamie: That’s impressive.
Jen: Yes. And then Sydney and I did Gilmore, adorable. And so I think there’s just—How old’s your oldest?
Question Asker #5: Fourteen.
Jen: Oh yeah. I mean, I don’t think you need to sit down together and watch The Conjuring, but you know, there’s a lot of cute stuff. Don’t be afraid to go backwards a hair. Some of these right around the 2000s, that was a fun time for TV shows. I missed everything right there, because I was having too many babies. So I had to go back and watch it in retrospect, but that’s the way we bond honestly. Sydney and I powered through Downton Abbey one Christmas break. I’m just telling you, expand your mind. Let the TV help raise the children, okay?
Knox: Yeah, that’s true.
Jamie: That’s the pull quote, yes.
Jen: I mean, look at you!
Knox: Look how I turned out.
Jamie: You seem fine.
Knox: Yeah. But you know, with my kids, what we watch together is Survivor.
Jen: Oh, yea, that’s good.
Knox: And it’s good because there’s some strategy. There’s some real world stuff. There’s different world views, diverse people, and you get to talk about that. You get to watch that. And reality TV usually is a little tough, but I think that’s a really good one.
Jen: So is The Voice. I’d add that in the reality TV mix.
Knox: That’s a good one. And now, with Disney+, the back log is immense, so you can find some really good stuff.
Jen: That just dropped, right?
Jamie: Today, yeah.
Jen: I appreciate your energy, turning your parenting towards binge watching television.
Jen: I feel like this is your trajectory, and it only gets worse.
Knox: That’s right.
Juliana (Question Asker #6): Hey, y’all. I’m Juliana. One thing that the four of us have in common is that we love SNL.
Knox: Yes, we do.
Juliana (Question Asker #6): So I would love to know who your favorite host ever is?
Jen: Hmm, host?
Juliana (Question Asker #6): I know, big question, maybe a top three. And then if you could pick somebody to host that hasn’t hosted, who would you pick?
Jamie: Man, I do actually love Justin Timberlake as a host. He’s very fun. And then I would say somebody for me that hasn’t—I don’t think Shia has hosted.
Knox: He has.
Jamie: He has, oh okay.
Knox: That was a test, and I passed. Don’t even.
Jamie: Oh, you’re welcome. I would like to see somebody not an actor or an actress. I want to see Chrissy Teigen host SNL because you know that’s going to be an adventure.
Jen: I want to see that. I’d like to see the bleeps try to get ahead of her.
Knox: Oh gosh.
Jamie: What a gift.
Knox: Like a thirty minute delay.
Jen: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Knox: In the Olympics, we talk about the Olympic athletes, and how they’re competing, and they’re doing amazing, but I don’t know how amazing. So I want a regular person swimming alongside Michael Phelps so I can be like, “Whoa.” So I want a regular person to host SNL so I can be like, “Whoa, that’s really good. I’m impressed.”
Juliana (Question Asker #6): Like Knox McCoy? Like you?
Jamie: Yeah, like Knox McCoy. That’s exactly right.
Knox: If you want to see someone vomiting non stop on themself on live TV, let’s book that. Yeah.
Juliana (Question Asker #6): Love it.
Jen: I’m gonna say this real quick, but we’re going to get through y’all’s questions and then we’ve gotta be done, and we’ll have to answer them quick.
Jen: Okay, I would say that my favorite hosts are usually any time an old cast member that comes back and hosts.
Jamie: That’s good.
Knox: That’s good.
Jen: That’s just my favorite. There’s a special magic there. That’s their stage. That was their history. It’s a whole new cast now. Steve Martin, you know, he doesn’t even know who these young people are, but something about having that sort of SNL royalty among the current cast, I cannot get enough of it.
Knox: Like John Mulaney when he comes back, it’s always so good.
Jen: Yeah, as a writer, exactly.
Question Asker #7: Hey. Okay, so you guys all talk about the Enneagram. Is that how you say it? For those of us who do not know what our number is, what do you recommend as far as a book? Is there a website? Do we have to go to a weekend conference to find out what our number is?
Jen: Nerd alert, up here. Well, what do you say?
Jamie: Well, I always tell people I think The Road Back to You is a good primer, Ian Morgan Cron and Susanne Stabile. I like Your Enneagram Coach. She has a good free course, I mean, a free test, that you can take, although tests are not always conclusive, but those are the easy places.
Question Asker #8: Okay, so I’ve only been listening to you all for a short bit of time, but I’m that kind of person that I had to go back to the beginning, because I can’t just start where you’re at, because I don’t understand anything. So I’m in 2016 right now.
Jamie: What a dark season.
Knox: Thoughts and prayers for you right now.
Jamie: Heavy Ts and Ps.
Question Asker #8: My question is it’s hilarious to me to hear y’all talk about things that happen, like one episode you talked about how they should really make a TV show about the Archie characters. And I’m dying laughing.
Jamie: Yeah, and we said it should be dark.
Question Asker #8: And I’m dying laughing. I’m like, “That happened.” Do y’all ever go back?
Knox: No. I have the memory of—what’s the Ellen DeGeneres [character] from Nemo?
Jen: “Just keep swimming.”
Jamie: Dory. Dory.
Knox: I have the memory of Dory, so I don’t know…
Jamie: We literally record on Monday to release on Wednesday, and by Thursday, when people tell us quotes, we’re like, “Who said that? Who said that?”
Knox: Who said that? Yeah.
Jamie: What happened?
Jamie: But we like it when listeners tell us, because we do a predictions episode every year, and he’s very good at predicting weird stuff, and that was one of them.
Jamie: It’s a weird skill set that you can’t monetize in any way.
Knox: You can’t.
Question Asker #8: Kylie Jenner, y’all were like, “She’s going to be into something. Something’s going to happen with Kylie Jenner. I bet she’s going to get pregnant or something,” and I was like, “Called it.”
Knox: She’s going to grow lips, probably. That’s what we said. Got that one. Yeah.
Question Asker #8: Thanks.
Question Asker #9: Hey. Love you all three. I just have a favor [to ask] from Jamie. Will you just say, “Let’s do some lights?”
Jamie: Aww, let’s do some lights. Thank you.
Jen: It’s that familiar territory.
Jamie: I know.
Jen: Okay. We, the three of us, want to thank every one of you for coming out on a Tuesday—how dare you, it’s freezing—and spending this evening with us. Thank you for coming.
Jamie: Thank you.
Jen: Thank you for bringing your people. It was our delight to be with you tonight.