On the eve of Consumer Electronics Show 2017, Randall Kennedy and Joe Wilcox discuss the event that Joe likens to a room of 10,000 screaming kids, each trying to out-yell the other for attention. That’s the media mayhem that has kept him away from the annual tech pilgrimage in Las Vegas since 2008. “You couldn’t drag me there for any amount of money”, he says early in Episode 92.
Among their CES topics: Acer’s $9,000 laptop; the perfect Chromebook for over-weight hoarders; VR porn; drones dropping dead (from short battery life); fido trackers; BlackBerry’s last life; and the great Google privacy scam (you got none). … Frak That! Ep. 92: ‘CES 2017’
After a long Holiday break, in Episode 91, Randall Kennedy and Joe Wilcox begin the new year by suggesting what resolutions politicians should make for 2017. Joe says that the outgoing president, Barack Obama, should shut his yap and stop acting like a “spoiled brat”. Democrats lost the election, and Obama should stop behaving like the kid carrying his ball from the playground in a tantrum. President-elect Donald Trump must be allowed to fail or succeed without interference. Obama “should just stay the frak out” of the way.
Randall disagrees. Obama has pledged to stick around Washington, D.C., where he should, “please, continue to open your mouth. Be obnoxious. You’re just harming your party’s brand permanently, and I’m perfectly happy with that”. … Frak That! Ep. 91: ‘Political Resolutions’
On Dec. 14, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump summoned a dozen Silicon Valley CEOs to a summit at his self-named hotel in New York City. Joe Wilcox calls it a meeting with the “King”, while Randall Kennedy makes allusions to “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and riding the “Wonkavator” to the top of Trump Tower.
The two agree that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reminds of an insurance salesman. “They don’t look happy at all to be there”, Randall says of Bezos, sitting next to Alphabet CEO Larry Page. Episode 89 is dedicated to these fearless supporters of Hillary Clinton and opponents to all things Trump. … Frak That! Ep. 89: ‘The Wonkavator’
For Episode 85, Joe Wilcox presents Randall Kennedy with the Frak That! equivalent of “Truth or Dare”—meaning: Nothing daring for being wrong. Joe asks his cohost to guess whether popular myths found on urban legend-busting site Snopes are false or not. Like:
Woman increased her IQ to 220 by drinking sperm for a year.
Doctor strangled a baby born alive during an abortion (and prosecuted for it).
Actress Betty White quote says don’t “grow some balls” but a vagina instead.
KFC stopped using Kentucky Fried Chicken because of the unhealthy connotations associated with “fried”.
The day after American Thanksgiving, Randall Kennedy and Joe Wilcox discuss what they are grateful for in 2016. Joe begins Episode 83: “If not for fake news, we might have a different President of the United States, and there would be nothing, absolutely nothing, interesting to read on the Internet. This fake news stuff is just so good, and the other stuff is sooo boring—except for our podcast, but you don’t read that, you listen”.
Way, way later in the podcast, when talking about archeology, Joe brings up fake news again. “Imagine archeologists of the future, trying to understand our society, our culture, and they discover a treasure trove of fake news. What kind of mistakes could they make about what things were really like here in the 21st Century”. Of course Randall has an answer, and he identifies their source: “The ultimate arbiter of all things truthful—that news source of record for the 21st Century—the Onion.com!” They would understand, for example, “that half of us were abducted by aliens at one time in our lives”. … Frak That! Ep. 83: ‘Give Thanks!’
Gobble, gobble, and Happy Thanksgiving, ye Americans. For Episode 82, Randall Kennedy and Joe Wilcox hand out their first Turkey Awards—extemporaneously, without any preparation. Joe has one he believes “devout atheist” Randall will appreciate. Hint: “I’m God”.
Florida residents get three different Birds—one gent for answering: “Is it possible to run myself over with my own car?” Amazingly, yes, says Randall. Joe awards a Turkey to a Floridian who shoots people in the leg when they overstay their welcome. Like they can LEAVE after being wounded in the limb. … Frak That! Ep. 82: ‘Turkeys of the Year’
After a 10-day break, which Joe Wilcox attributes to the “Trump trauma”, he and Randall Kennedy return to catch up on the news that’s unfit to print. Joe begins Episode 81 by giving his cohost BBC’s fake news quiz. Which stories are true? Which are false?
Among the news reports that absolutely had to be false, but wasn’t, according to the Beeb: “A man in Edmonton, Canada was allowed to board a flight after a pipe bomb found in his bag was confiscated by airport security. A security guard at Edmonton International Airport even tried to hand the bomb back to the passenger, CBC News reported. The teenage passenger claimed to have forgotten the device was in his bag after making it with a friend for fun some months before. Canadian Air Transport Security Authority said several officers involved had been suspended”. … Frak That! Ep. 81: ‘Fake News’
Randall Kennedy and Joe Wilcox discuss the November 8th Presidential election that both call “historic”. Donald Trump’s victory isn’t the “landslide” that Randall previously predicted; that is by actual count. But it is a landslide of stunning support across an electorate among states expected to go to Hillary Clinton but went to The Donald.
The two podcasters dedicate entire Episode 80 to their assessment of the election. They have some advice for President-elect Trump: Keep tweeting. Use Twitter to stay personal and approachable to Americans and through clear communication keep both Houses of Congress working for the people who elected him, and also those who opposed him (and likely still do). … Frak That! Ep. 80: ‘Aftermath’
Joe Wilcox kicks off the Episode 76 Halloween Edition by spotlighting tricksters—for example, FBI director James Comey tricking Hillary Clinton into thinking the e-mail investigation was over, “while treating Donald Trump to an October surprise”. In a change of pace, that’s about all the political talk between Joe and cohost Randall Kennedy.
From there the discussion bounces through an eclectic range of topics, including: favorite comedians; best horror movies; classic scary scifi films; styles of collecting Halloween candy; declining NFL viewership; dental hygiene; and why germs are your friends.
Both men are big fans of Danny Boyle-directed “Sunshine”, which released in 2007. But Randall says it’s a “great movie ruined by a bad third act”—referring to the out-of-nowhere character who “for 7 years I have spoken with God”.
Randall obsesses about the new Westworld episode’s now-infamous “epic orgy scene”. He predicts that “after this week’s episode, it’s never gonna have a problem attracting viewers again because there’s going to be a line of people waiting for the next episode to see how far they will go this time”.
Joe repeatedly baffles Randall by the number of films or TV shows he has never seen, and to which there is no interest—like “Conan the Barbarian”, “The Matrix”, or “Seven”.