show episodes
 
The Next Best Thing is a mix between The Tonight Show, Howard Stern and Rachel Maddow. Hosted by Jonathan B. Lerner, episodes touch on everything from current events & politics, to pop culture and the arts. Occasional guest interviews feature interesting people from all walks of life. Show draws comedy from recent news stories, political figures and prominent celebrities, as well as from aspects of the show itself! Airs LIVE every Monday night from 10-Midnight on Radio Free Brooklyn!
 
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show series
 
Chuck Schumer has been a steady, loyal Democratic soldier for what, 94 years at this point? More than that, he seems like a nice, sweet old man. You know who isn't a nice, sweet old man? Anyone who has ever gotten things done as the Senate Majority Leader. In this episode, Jonathan reviews a recent, long-form interview Chuck Schumer did with Rachel…
 
HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher is back, baby! After going on hiatus for 2-3 months, one of the best, smartest political talk shows around kicked off season 19 with an absolute sack of shit. That's right--the jokes weren't funny, the interview was infuriatingly superficial, and at times it felt downright awkward! Unlike some on the "regressive left…
 
On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump rode down an escalator in New York City, stood before a crowd of (mostly paid) admirers , and announced he was running for President. Everyone laughed, no one took him seriously, and life has NEVER been the same. On November 3rd, 2020, for seemingly the first time EVER, his luck ran out. Donald Trump, America's most f…
 
The Korean family, how it functions and what it looks like, has fundamentally changed over the course of the past decades. The traditional extended family model has given way to the nuclear family and its variants; and Korean society has become more diverse with inter-ethnic marriages more common now than ever before. These changes are not only com…
 
Dan Zimberg is a singer, actor, activist, and die-hard Bernie Sanders supporter. In 2016, he couldn't get himself to vote for Hillary Clinton, so he went 3rd party. Jonathan is bound and determined NOT to let that happen again. In this episode of The Next Best Thing, they work towards finding common ground, keeping their eyes on the prize, and gett…
 
Jonathan welcomes his old friend, and fellow Kansas Citian, David Bradley Isenberg back to the show to discuss Black Lives Matter, the recent protests and demonstrations in response to George Floyd's tragic murder, and the 2020 Presidential election. Spoiler alert: they don't quite see eye-to-eye on ANY of them! And that turned into a fiasco in and…
 
For nine and a half years, Jonathan Larson worked as a waiter at the Moondance Diner in New York City. His life-long dream was to be a successful musical theatre composer, and he worked tirelessly to make it happen. He won some awards, and the respect/encouragement of Stephen Sondheim, but by 1990, Larson had ZERO shows produced. At almost 30 years…
 
Mike Cannon is a New York City based comedian and a delightful human being. He's currently a regular guest on several Sirius/XM Radio shows, including The Jim Norton and Sam Roberts Show, and You Up? with Nikkie Glaser, and hosts The Irish Goodbye Podcast with fellow comedian, Mike Feeney. Jonathan sat down with Cannon in February 2020 to discuss h…
 
On February 28th, 2020, former Vice-President Joe Biden's Presidential campaign was on the edge of collapse. The once front-runner had failed to stand out at the debates, was struggling to raise funds, and had yet to win a single primary. It was the end of the line...until, of course, it wasn't. Within a week, thanks to a decisive win in South Caro…
 
On January 21, 2020, the New York Times reported that a man in Washington State, said to be in his 30's, had contracted the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. It was the first confirmed case in the United States. Since then, the virus has spread like wildfire, and is now a worldwide pandemic. Life in the United States has changed in ways no…
 
Jonathan chats with Mike Welch, former sports talk radio host and current actor/comedian, who calls in from sunny West Hollywood, California, to discuss the pain and anguish they've both known as lifelong fans of the Kansas City Chiefs, who will face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. It's the Chiefs first Super Bowl appearance since 1970, …
 
Marc Weinstein has been an investment banker, produced his own successful music festivals, is a yoga instructor, and currently works in venture capital. Listeners will recognize him, though, as the music consultant heavily featured in the Netflix documentary, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. He and Jonathan chat a bit about what life w…
 
Jonathan opens the show by bringing people up to speed on all of the impeachment happenings, and the impending doom of Democracy. THEN, on a much happier note, he is joined by comic, writer, and co-founder of Awf Magazine, Griffin Leeds! They chat about how they both went to Indiana University, the comedy scene in NYC, and Griffin's monthly show, T…
 
Jonathan tells the story of his miserable Friday, spent driving a van full of people to and from Connecticut, before going over some of the best Christmas movies of ALL time, and doing a reading of classic Christmas story, The Gift of The Magi. Cuddle up by fire, roast some chestnuts, and enjoy this Holiday edition of The Next Best Thing!…
 
Obstructing Justice, profiting from the Presidency, advocating political and police violence, abuse of power, attacking the free press, violating campaign finance laws. What do all of these things have in common? Two things: they are all generally understood to be "impeachable offenses," and they are all things Donald Trump managed to do within the…
 
Batman has always been Jonathan's favorite superhero of all time. So naturally, then, the JOKER is his favorite villain of all time. With so many iterations of this character that people love to hate, Joaquin Phoenix had much to live up to. Did he rise to the occasion? Was he better than Jack Nicholson, or Heath Ledger? Is it silly to compare them,…
 
Making "best of" lists will almost always get you in hot water. In 2015, Rolling Stone published their 100 best songwriters of all time. Despite including many of the modern greats, such as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Kanye West and Joni Mitchell, there were also some obvious omissions...and people were not…
 
A graduate of Lehigh University, Brian Tyler Cohen moved to Los Angeles to be an actor and writer, and has been doing plenty of both! The former managing editor of Occupy Democrats, he now spends most of his time offering political commentary and analysis on his YouTube channel. Brian stopped by the Radio Free Brooklyn studio recently to chat with …
 
Jake Williams is a YouTuber, and the creator of Bright Sun Films. With over 600,000 subscribers, his channel hosts various shows, like Abandoned, Cancelled, and Bankrupt. He joins Jonathan to talk about how he went from posting gaming videos as a teenager in Canada, to making professional, mini-documentaries as a young adult...in Canada. Check out …
 
Losing a parent is truly a unique form of pain, grief and loss. Our parents guide and protect us. They take care of us when we're sick, pick us up when we fall, and provide unconditional love. No matter how old you are, no one is ever truly ready to lose a parent. This is the first of what we're hoping to be a series of conversations Jonathan has w…
 
A native of Staten Island, Lauren Hartnett is a Gun Rights activist, an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor, and the founder of the Girls Got a Gun organization. She and Jonathan don't agree on much when it comes to guns, but they were bound and determined to find some common ground. Did they succeed? You be the judge. Catch The Next Best Thing LIVE,…
 
Leaving Neverland, a new HBO documentary, tells the story of two men: Wade Robson and James Safechuck. They accuse Michael Jackson of having sexually abused them for years, beginning when they were respectively about 7 and 10 years old. Jackson faced several allegations that he molested young boys during the latter part of his career, and this docu…
 
Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan. To some, those names mean nothing at all. To others, they represent the absolute WORST of the American Presidency. That is, at least, until Donald Trump came along. Join Jonathan, and guest Christo Grabowski, as they discuss all of the God-awful U.S. Presidents, and how Donald Tr…
 
Between January 2017 and April 2018, the number of jobs in the newspaper industry declined from around 46,000 to 39,000 across America. To put that in perspective, there are 76,416 seats at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs. If every single person currently working for an American newspaper were to congregate there, the stadium woul…
 
Everyone loves a good conspiracy. James Earl Ray initially confessed to killing Dr. Martin Luther King on April 4th, 1968, as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, but he would later recount his confession and did so until his death in 1998. Loyd Jowers owned and operated a tavern below the rooming house where James Earl Ray was staying, a…
 
His work is challenging, exhilarating and powerful to watch and to perform. More than just the intricate scores and difficult vocals, Stephen Sondheim musicals are unique in their subject matter. From exploring the issues of contemporary life, marriage and relationships in “Company,” to injustice, murder and revenge in “Sweeney Todd,” he's spent hi…
 
Billy Magnussen is a very busy guy. When he's not starring in blockbuster films, like Into the Woods, Bridge of Spies, Ingrid Goes West, Game Night, and the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disney's Aladdin, you can catch him on Netflix in Maniac, or on CBS All Access in Tell Me a Story. He's also a veteran of the Broadway stage, who, in 2012, wa…
 
Shamanism has a long tradition on the Korean peninsula and describes a set of ethnic religions and practices. It remains in practice to this day, yet shamanism and the role it plays in Korea have changed significantly over time. In particular, the pre-colonial and colonial era saw a drastic shift in the position it enjoyed within the Korean society…
 
James Higgins is a music director, pianist, arranger, and sound designer with 30 years of international experience. RFB fans may recognize him as the accompanist/collaborator from A Night of Dreams, presented in May of 2018. He stopped by to chat with Jonathan about his current project, Me The People: Fire & Fury edition, playing most Tuesday night…
 
Once upon a time, winning a debate came down to one thing: cold, hard facts. Whether the topic was US Foreign Policy or "who was better: Tom Brady or Joe Montana," it didn't matter. Whoever came prepared with more facts and evidence always won the day. Sadly, those days are over...Living in our current "facts don't matter" society, winning a debate…
 
According to Gallup, about 8 million Americans claim to have had a near-death experience (NDE), and many of them regard it as irrefutable proof of an afterlife. Skeptics insist those are merely anecdotal, and easily explained away by the biochemistry of the dying brain, pumped up by morphine and stress. The truth is, though, NO ONE knows for sure. …
 
An excellent horror movie is truly one of the hardest films to make. That's why there are so few of them. If you glanced at what's come out in the past 20 years, you might think that what makes a movie scary is the amount of diced body tissue flying around the screen. Shock value has its place, but what really unsettles isn't blood and gore, it's t…
 
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