The JV Club with Janet Varney

Janet Varney and Maximum Fun

Remember what it was like to be an awkward teenager? And remember how some things haven't really changed that much for you since then? Join proud dork Janet Varney as she explores the highs and lows of the bygone years with some of her favorite women as they talk their way through the terrible teens into adult-lescence. Warning: This Podcast Con

All Episodes

It’s the sublime Naomi Ekperigin (the fantastic Couples Therapy podcast, "Broad City”) on this week’s ep of the podcast (episode 389 if you’re keeping track! Zowie!), who reveals her continued perfection as one of the funniest people around. 

Sep 17

67 min

This week brings you a virtual hang with the talented and inspiring Nashville-based musician Zoë Nutt (“How Does it Feel”), who fills JV in on the benefits of a great coach, great family, and great BBQ. Plus! The secret to enjoying a certain marshmallow Easter confection!

Sep 10

79 min

It’s no surprise that JV is once again delighted to have a guest who brings back a conversation to the weird, special dynamic of San Francisco adolescence, in this case with Boy of Summer Josh Levine (Rebel Radio podcast). From teens behaving badly in private ravines to early hiphop, this is a juicy ep not to be missed!Hosted by Janet Varney.Edited by Julian Burrell

Sep 3

80 min

The simply wonderful Nore Davis (Live From the Comedy Trap House) joins JV for The JV Club’s most epic M.A.S.H. game to date! Plus! Nore talks Yonkers, badass aunts, kickass brothers, and what it’s like to record a comedy album over Zoom in the middle of a quarantine. Oh— and if you don’t like listening to JV telling someone how brilliant they are, this episode may not be for you. What are you, nuts? Of COURSE this episode is for you!

Aug 27

87 min

Put this episode somewhere safe, because it’s going to be worth a lot of money someday! To find out why (and in what way this show description is teasing our delightful guest), sit down with the wonderful Ify Nwadiwe to find out about seven-purpose pans, yearbook messages, the many problems of “Candyman" and more!

Aug 20

96 min

It’s the dynamic force that is Baron Vaughn this week on The JV Club! This Boy of Summer talks performing arts high schools at the nation’s Theatre capital… Las Vegas?? Plus! The significant value of a juicy walk-on role and much more!

Aug 13

84 min

If you like this show and would like to support it for as little as $5 a month, go to Maximumfun.org/join and become a Max Fun Member! You’ll earn great gifts, including special bonus episodes of The JV Club.Attention would-be marine biologists! It’s the amazingly funny Colin Mochrie (Whose Line is it, Anyway?), who talks killer whales and kayaks, hypnotism and improv, and a familial silver lining during a tough time. PLUS! Find out who “THE OTHER” is!

Aug 6

72 min

If you love this show and want to support it, visit Maximumfun.org/join to become a member for as little as $5 a month! You’ll earn tons of great rewards including special never-before-heard BONUS episodes of The JV Club!Deviated septums! Pierced septums! Why so much talk about septums? All this and a BUNCH of non-septum-related conversation with the wonderful Adal Rifai (Hello From the Magic Tavern, Hey Riddle Riddle), who continues the “I moved all over the country” trend of recent guests with tales of Circus Circus, Columbus Columbus, and Kewanee Kewanee.

Jul 30

110 min

If you like this show and would like to support it for as little as $5 a month, go to Maximumfun.org/join and become a Max Fun Member! You'll earn great gifts, including special bonus episodes of The JV Club.This week JV is super honored to interview one of her comedy heroes, the wonderful, humble and hilarious Alan Zweibel (“Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier”), who was a writer on the first (and subsequent) seasons of "Saturday Night Live," co-creator of “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” co-writer of “700 Sundays” with Billy Crystal, and much more! 

Jul 23

50 min

Finish up your homework and treat yourself to this week’s episode with our latest Boy of Summer, Open Mike Eagle (What Had Happened Was), who talks with JV about freestyling, endless schoolbus rides, dusty cities and more! If you love this show and want to support it, visit Maximumfun.org/join to become a member for as little as $5 a month! You'll earn tons of great rewards including special never-before-heard BONUS episodes of The JV Club!

Jul 16

71 min

Attention, astronauts! Or at least chorale competition-hopefuls who visit the Kennedy Space Center! Pull up an earbud for this chat with the delightful Harvey Guillén (“What We Do in the Shadows”), and find out just what makes Harvey so delightful… and what historical mystery his M.A.S.H. game allows him to solve for us all!

Jul 9

66 min

From a recording made in early May, it’s our latest Boy of Summer, Andy Daly! One of the nicest and funniest folks in comedy chats with JV about beautiful beignets, hilarious hawkeyes, and his new album ‘Four More Sweaters: Monsters Take Your Questions’… and oh yes, MORE!

Jul 2

74 min

Max Fun Podcast Crossover Alert! It’s the delightful Tre’vell Anderson (Fanti), who indulges JV’s Model U.N. fascination, talks current events (wow, what a month June has been!), and about finding your way to yourself.

Jun 25

73 min

JV sits down with her first Boy of Summer! It’s comedian, writer, actor and Emmy Award-winning producer Dwayne Kennedy (United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell), who talks about his own experience growing up in the Chicago area, a love of illustrations and comics, and a bit about what it’s like to be a veteran writer for shows that have long had the same kinds of unflinching conversations the nation is having with itself right now about race in America. You can get Dwayne’s new comedy LP “Who The Hell is Dwayne Kennedy” HERE! 

Jun 25

67 min

In order to both address issues very much in our country’s focus this week, as well as to honor Breonna Taylor’s birthday (last Friday June 5th- she would have been 27), JV gets the opportunity to talk with the wonderful Colin Miller (Undisclosed podcast), a lawyer and professor who is working with Breonna’s family’s legal team to address the No-Knock Warrant aspect of the case. It’s a super impassioned, informative and hopefully ultimately useful conversation- thanks for listening! 

Jun 11

71 min

Amid everything happening this week, Janet decided not to post a new show as regularly scheduled.

Jun 4

2 min

It’s a special three-hander! Six-hander? Triple header? Whether any of that accurately describes this week’s episode in slang, JV welcomes both Kaitlin Huwe and Stephanie Erb ( the duo behind the Therapy With Pami podcast) for a chat about growing up in one place vs. moving all over, and all the things that come with both. Top hats! Frizzles! Bread, bread, bread!

May 28

80 min

Dig into a delicious bowl of pasta for this L.A.-to-Chicago convo this week with super cool “Divergent” series author Veronica Roth (and her latest- Chosen Ones), as she and JV talk music: Emo! Christian metal!; teen brains: Depression! Anxiety!; and oodles more.

May 21

69 min

Palate expanders! Herbst appliances! Malocclusions! All this and more (including things that aren’t orthodontist related!) in this week’s episode with the awesome Lauren Lapkus (Netflix’s The Wrong Missy) whose high school in Evanston surely missed the boat when it left Lauren out of the school plays. Vengeance!

May 14

68 min

Across-the-Pond alert! JV has the pleasure of conversing with the delightful Sinéad Burke (As Me with Sinéad) for a chat spanning ye olde Atlantic ocean, with topics including activism and the fashion world, the glory of a gyoza, and the imagination-activating wonders of the Hammer Museum.

May 7

78 min

This week’s winner of “person JV would most like to hug if hugging were a thing” is this week’s podcast guest, the wonderful Amy Dallen ("The DC Daily" on the DC Universe service), whose teenage self navigated her high school years at a “boarding school for nerds.” Celebrate the joy of comic books and anime and a hat-tip to one of Christmas’ weirdest candies!

Apr 30

78 min

JV does some mild geeking out on one of her podcast heroes, Amber Hunt (from the show "Accused"), which mostly manifests itself in JV’s meandering non-questions in an in-the-moment attempt to make herself sound smart. But because Amber is gracious and awesome, turns out, this conversation is dope! 

Apr 23

70 min

This week JV e-visits with acclaimed novelist and poet Rebecca Dinerstein Knight (“Hex”) for a chat about envy, love, eyebrows, mac and cheese, and the myth of living large in the West Village. Be well and be kind to yourselves, wonderfuls!

Apr 16

66 min

It’s the other charming half of the delightful Max Fun pod “Can I Pet Your Dog?”, Renee Colvert! With a chew about catching up with stay-at-home technology, screaming and crying in musicals, and being mad at the thing you loved. Stay safe out there, Janetors! 

Apr 9

74 min

Major Surprise Kindred Spirit Alert! JV and Houston-based actor, author, activist and podcaster Stephanie Wittels Wachs (Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss) meet for the first time and drill down into some deep sh*t without wasting any time whatsoever. What follows is an intense, funny, emotional and honest gab between two new friends.

Apr 2

106 min

As another week of shelter-in-placing passes, JV has a long-distance couch hang with the very cool musician and human being Patrice Pike (Sister 7, Pike & Sutton) to talk art, music, her rad non-profit Step Onward, and the perfect hot fudge sundae! Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Mar 26

81 min

It’s an Arizona-thon! Sedona-native Alexis Preston (from the "Can I Pet Your Dog?" podcast on the Max Fun Network) and Tucson-native JV swap tales of two cities and a few others besides, each from the quarantined safety of their couches, complete with occasional dog-terruptions. Sending love in these strange times and hoping this episode makes you smile! Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Mar 19

73 min

After the obligatory “are you going to infect me with coronavirus but seriously what is happening in the world right now” opening conversation, JV and the truly awesome comedian Atsuko Okatsuka discuss being uprooted from Tokyo to West LA without knowing you’re never going back, the power of ranch dressing, and #garagelife. Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Mar 12

72 min

In honor of the 8th anniversary of the JV Club, it's a rerun of the first episode! Christina Hendricks chats about small towns, the fierce passion of Celine Dion, and the importance of special effects in high school stage productions of Agnes of God.

Mar 5

63 min

This week, JV and comedian and writer Ellington Wells do some tarantula performance art, talk about what constitutes a “thin” town, how to make your own creativity Absolutely Fabulous. Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.  

Feb 27

72 min

Take a deep dive into underwater civilizations… and into the adventurous life of the very talented actor/comedian/writer Nalini Sharma! Find out if gemstones protect you from harm! Think about what belongings you’d save from a fire! Find out that you might surprise yourself if you actually had to do just that! Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Feb 20

91 min

Put down that Stephen King book and enjoy to this episode of The JV Club with the awesome Keisha Zollar (Netflix’s “Astronomy Club”), whose history of multiple moves and a challenging health situation in her teens made her the badass she is today! Plus! Find out what the one and only Abraham Lincoln had to say to Keisha during their in-depth conversation!  Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Feb 13

65 min

Maybe a record-breaking length for a single episode? And this conversation with comedian Nori Reed is worth every minute! Join Nori and JV for a deep-dive into subjects from the silly to the heartbreaking, with lots and LOTS of g-o-l-d GOLD! Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Feb 6

106 min

Make some room at your lunch table for comedian Helen Hong (Go Fact Yourself) and delight in stories of potato knishes, disappearing rabbits, and someone who actually loves “Cats." Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Jan 30

80 min

The delightful Jamie Loftus (The Bechdel Cast) joins JV to talk real-life SORTING HOUSES (!), band instrument hierarchy, Algebra-Hacky Sack-Juggalos. Also, I had to look up how to spell “hacky sack” but already knew how to spell “juggalo,” which means something but who knows what. Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Jan 23

73 min

Allie Goertz, the other half of the Round Springfield podcast, joins JV for a chat about regional accents that aren’t what they seem, cheddar cheese powder, and what it’s like to move all the way to “LA City!” Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Jan 16

80 min

Today! Discover the one time you should trust strangers with candy (okay, yes, we are talking about the tv show) in this episode with Max Fun friend and podcaster, Julia Prescott! (From the "Round Springfield" podcast) Plus: Hot Topic Goth, Ska and much more! Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Jan 9

76 min

Doughnuts, Cigarettes, and Hot Sauce, Oh My! It’s a rerun of the episode with Emily Gordon (The Indoor Kids), chock-full of fond remembrances of first kisses, My So Called Life, and the once-pervasive Manic Panic hair dye, the use of which apparently makes you a communist. This week’s bonus: Theories on how hot dogs got their name. This episode first aired in 2013. Hosted by Janet Varney. Produced by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun

Jan 2

84 min

Hello Calga-reeeee! Find out what that last sentence means, as well as how comedian and writer Amanda Brooke Perin handles JV’s oh-so-personal, prying questions about the weather in Alberta, on this tell-all episode of The JV Club! Hosted by Janet Varney. Produced by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Dec 2019

65 min

Get out your Rydell High letterman/woman’s jacket and/or pomade up your hair for this chat with author and storyteller Courtenay Hameister (Author of the new book Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things) who be-bopped all across these United States and even over the Pacific Ocean for a childhood of Army-Bratting… with plenty of energy left over to experience some juicy panic and anxiety in her adult years! Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun

Dec 2019

78 min

Tensions are high as the final two contestants of Burning Love (Janet and Abigail Spencer) face off to discuss counterculture of surfing, discovering Barbra Streisand, the rush of a flea market find, and the emotional magnetism of the City of Angels. This interview originally was originally published in 2017. Abigail's new show "Reprisal" is now streaming on Hulu. Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Dec 2019

73 min

It’s a podcast spanning the whooooole wooooooorld! JV lolls on her bed on the phone, staring at the ceiling like a proper teen, with guest  Alice Fraser (“Savage”) who cover female friendships in all their highs and lows and much much more! Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Dec 2019

67 min

It’s a healing of old wounds as Rizzo and Sandy come together at last in the spirit of forgiveness. Or, it’s JV’s dear friend, actor and writer Danielle Weeks (“Baby Love”), who comes over to reminisce about their shared junior high experiences in Tucson, complete with a certain musical they performed in the school cafeteria. Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Nov 2019

73 min

Surely this is the most mime-and-clowning-heavy episode of The JV Club to date, thanks to award-winning comedian DeAnne Smith, who gamely humors JV’s ongoing enthusiasm for the subject. Plus! Jodie and Joni worship, surprise cherry pie, and much more. Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Nov 2019

75 min

It’s not just anyone who gets featured in an Amy Grant music video, y’all. So load up your baked potato and delight in the joy that is Susan Yeagley (“Parks and Rec”) and her tales of the wonders of Nashville and surrounding areas. Including an upside-down country music legend! Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun

Nov 2019

80 min

FINALLY! A conversation about the Winchester Mystery House. But there’s more! The charming Sarah Enni (who you can also hear on the “First Draft with Sarah Enni” podcast) and her fellow chatterbox JV rove all over topics including staying interested in life, the deliciousness of cheese, and JV’s nickname for sheep in New Zealand. Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun

Nov 2019

84 min

This week on the podcast the luminous Lillie Mae, musician extraordinaire, is freshly back from her tour with Robert Plant (yes, that Robert Plant!) and sits down with JV to talk mobile homes in the truest sense, pet deer and pigs, and the beautiful simplicity of the perfect potato.  Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Oct 2019

65 min

Water towers! Grain elevators! Hair bands! Surprise and delight await you in this week’s episode of the podcast, as the simply wonderful Kari Wahlgren ("Rick and Morty," a million other things) hikes up a dirt mound and claims her place in the world! Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.  

Oct 2019

80 min

From ballet slippers to leather studs, this week’s guest Rebecca Knox (“Orange is the New Black”) has deep teenage roots in music… in part thanks to crying when she couldn’t get into a concert. So treat mouth to a crunchy salad and your ears to this episode! Hosted by Janet Varney. Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Oct 2019

60 min

Comedian Katie Compa ("Hard Pass”) joins JV for a chew about Swedish culture, “mean girl” friendships and the mysterious spelling of “Bamf.” Hosted by Janet Varney Edited by Julian Burrell for Maximum Fun.

Oct 2019

67 min

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