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The Banter Blender

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A weekly audio podcast where Ben Mandelker (bside​blog.c​om) banters about TV, food, pop culture, Los Angeles, and whatever else is on his mind. It will be the best time you will ever spend listening to a podcast EVER.

A weekly audio podcast where Ben Mandelker (bside​blog.c​om) banters about TV, food, pop culture, Los Angeles, and whatever else is on his mind. It will be the best time you will ever spend listening to a podcast EVER.
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A weekly audio podcast where Ben Mandelker (bside​blog.c​om) banters about TV, food, pop culture, Los Angeles, and whatever else is on his mind. It will be the best time you will ever spend listening to a podcast EVER.




#115: Local Elections and Voting No on Measure S

Superlady extraordinaire Lisa Timmons (@timmonslisa) joins Ben to discuss local elections in LA: why people should get involved, what they should think about, and what's the deal with Measure S anyway??? (Spoiler: we're both against it). It's a very civic-minded episode, and even if you don't live in LA, hopefully it'll give you things to think about for your neck of the woods!


#114: Catching Up On A Year of Ridiculous Complaints

Oh hello there. 2016 received such terrible reviews that this podcast decided to sit the year out. But when guest Jessica Ogilivie suggested that it was time to record a Banter episode, I realized that yes, it was time to return. Come listen to an hour of petty complaints (the onerous perils of cracking eggs, for instance) and drunken frustrations with political junk. Thanks for still hanging around :)


#113: Deep Dive into Gaming Madness; Also, Champions of Midgard

Just in time for this year's Black Friday spending bonanza, "The Banter Blender" throws down the geeky gauntlet to talk board games for a full hour. Ben Mandelker ( is joined by his gaming buddies Brendon and James as they chat about their favorite games as well as a new title recently reviewed on B-Side Blog, "Champions of Midgard." Here's a rundown of what to expect: 00:00 - Intro, obvs. 02:41 - Game recommendations for Thanksgiving get togethers 08:22 - Getting into the...


#112: Annual Halloween Candy Summit; Plus, Adele, Khloe & Lamar, and La Granja

If it's Halloween, then it's time for "Banter" to get down with some hardcore candy rankings. Every year (or at least starting with last year), we sit down to discuss our favorite candies, and coming back to discuss this very important even are the hosts of the Deep Thots podcast Angie Thomas and David Clark! We get into all the important specifics, and when our sugar rush has passed, we move onto other pressing topics: the new Adele song, Carly Rae Jepsen's lack of respect, and Khloe &...


#111: Bagels, Hollywood, and The Game of Fiasco

Jessica Ogilvie (@jessicapauline on Twitter) joins Ben Mandelker (@bsideblog on Twitter) to discuss a variety of topics. First is the fine art of bagel consumption and the use of the word "shmear." Then Jessica discusses her recent "LA Weekly" cover article about women in Hollywood. Finally, the two recount a recent session of the magnificent game "Fiasco." Come listen!


#110: Summer Movie Wrap Up with Kyle Buchanan

Kyle Buchanan, Senior Editor at New York Magazine's Vulture, returns to look back at Summer 2015 at the American box office. Specifically, Kyle and Ben talk about "Mad Max," "Avengers," "Jurassic World," "Mission: Impossible," and "Ant Man." Plus, talk of Tom Cruise and the decline of the movie superstar. Follow this podcast on Facebook:


#109: Emmy Noms, Caitlyn Jenner's Speech, LA Complex, and Fiasco

The beautiful Angie Thomas (Deep THOTS podcast) joins Ben Mandelker ( to chat Emmy nominations and Caitlyn Jenner's ESPY speech. Did she deserve an award for courage? Also, there's plenty of discussion about "Tangerine," "The DUFF," Andra Fuller of "L.A. Complex," and the raucous game "Fiasco." Welcome back to the Banter Blender!


#108: Louis Virtel Talks About Snapping on Jeopardy and Going Viral

Comic and journalist Louis Virtel ( joins Ben Mandelker (, Watch What Crappens podcast) to tell us everything about his recent appearance on "Jeopardy," which subsequently went viral. From the application process to life atop Reddit, Louis shares the whole experience. After that, it's just an avalanche of banter, most of it pertaining to Madonna, Whitney Houston, Garbage, Annie Lennox, and many more. It's a fun episode, and perhaps the longest one yet. Enjoy!


#107: Avengers! Mad Max! Rachel McAdams! Summer Movies!

Kyle Buchanan (senior editor at New York Magazine's Vulture) returns to "The Banter Blender" to discuss summer movies with Ben Mandelker (@watch-what-crappens). The two talk "Avengers," "Mad Max," "Star Wars," "Trainwreck," "Spy," "Jurassic World," and more. Plus, there's talk of Rachel McAdams and the state of her career. Come listen!


#106: Weight Watchers, Easter Candy, Indiana, and Karrueche Tran

This week on The Banter Blender, Ben Mandelker welcomes back Angie Thomas (the Small Potatoes podcast) to talk about a host of exciting topics. The two take on Easter Candy, Weight Watchers, Indiana's anti-gay laws, jambalaya, Passover foods, and Karrueche Tran (naturally). Plus, there's more chatter about board games such as Jenga and Dead of Winter, and some genial gushing about some of our friends at the top of the episode. Come listen!


#104: Measles, Bruce Jenner, 'American Sniper,' and Bagels

This week on "The Banter Blender," Angie Thomas ("All the Way") joins Ben to chat about the usual grab bag of topics: the measles outbreak in CA, Bruce Jenner's possibly trans journey, the controversy surrounding American Sniper, and, of course, the best bagels in Los Angeles. Come listen! And remember to like the podcast on Facebook:


#103: Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Modern Board Game Culture

"The Banter Blender" is back! Ben Mandelker ( and guests Jessica Ogilvie and Drew Staten kick off the new year by diving into the world of modern board games: Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and others. The group discusses what makes these games fun, how they got hooked, and what makes for a great tabletop experience. Be sure to follow The Banter Blender on Facebook:


#102: Halloween Candy Roundup, Ebola Nurse, and Pumpkin Spice Mania

This week on "The Banter Blender," Angie Thomas ("All The Way" podcast)and David Clark join Ben Mandelker ( to rehash the Halloween weekend that was. This means bantering extensively about candy and costumes (and a little Annie Lennox, for some reason). Then it's on to more pressing topics: should "the Ebola nurse" quarantine herself? Should people shop at Trader Joe's? And when will pumpkin spice madness ever stop? It's a super fun, super-sized episode. Come listen!


#101: Special Guest Ryan Cabrera

Musician Ryan Cabrera drops by "The Banter Blender" to discuss his new song, his Ryan Gosling tattoo, his hair, his career, and of course his time on "The Hills." It's a boatload of fun; so come on in and listen!


#100: Damian Holbrook on "Gotham," "Scorpion," and Trolling the iPhone in a Samsung Commercial

This week, we're joined by Damian Holbrook (TV Guide Magazine) who recently gained notoriety after his snarky Twitter dig at the new iPhone wound up in a Samsung commercial. We talk about how that happened, what the response has been, and how Damian is dealing with the onslaught of iPhone fanboys. Then it's on to Fall TV. We discuss some of the most talked-about shows, starting with "Gotham," then "Scorpion" and then of course "The Mysteries of Laura." Lots of fun stuff here. Come listen!...


#99: Ray Rice, Taylor Swift, Joan Rivers, and 'Utopia'

Writer Jessica Ogilvie (Playboy) returns to the podcast to discuss the latest events in a summer of craziness. We start with Ray Rice and the larger question of can bad behavior ever be forgiven? This leads to discussion of Chris Brown and Michael Vick before eventually landing on the most pressing debate of our time: Team Taylor vs. Team Katy. Yes, the Taylor Swift / Katy Perry feud is addressed with the gravitas it deserves, and then it's on to Fox's new reality experiment, "Utopia." Trash...


#98: All About "Barefoot Contessa"

Calling all "Barefoot Contessa" fans. This week's "Banter Blender" is devoted 100% to Ina Garten — from her recipes to her friends and everything in between. Ben Mandelker ( and Andrea Nawalanic hash it all out as they share their favorite meals, their fondest memories, and some of their most honest criticisms about the Food Network superstar. Along the way, there's also stern criticism of Food Network's current direction and also talk of Sandra Lee and The Pioneer Woman. If...


#97: Revisiting 'Guardians of the Galaxy.' Also, Kit Kats, Peanut Butter Cups, and Israel

'The Banter Blender' is working at full speed. This week, Ben Mandelker ( is joined by his friend David Clark to discuss a wide array of topics, including their reactions to both "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Lucy." Plus, the two wax poetically about the oft overlooked sitcom "Gimme a Break." This somehow leads to discussion of Kit Kats and Peanut Butter Cups. Also in the mix this week: Israel on Facebook, spiteful apple pie purchases at Burger King, and Robin Williams. Come...


#96: Inside Comic-Con 2014 and an Early Look at 'Guardians of the Galaxy;' Guest Host Kyle Buchanan

This week on "The Banter Blender," Kyle Buchanan (senior editor, "Vulture") returns to talk movies. First, Kyle takes us inside last week's annual San Diego Comic-Con to describe what the experience is actually like. Kyle then shares some of the best things he saw, including an extended preview of the new "Avengers" sequel. Then it's on to summer movies. First up: "Guardians of the Galaxy." Kyle has warm words to say about this upcoming Marvel release. Then we tackle "Lucy," "Snowpiercer,"...


#95: World Cup, TV, and "Romancing The Stone"

Lisa Timmons joins Ben Mandelker ( again for a rousing go at the Banter Blender. The two manage to broach all sorts of topics: the World Cup, personal training, Special K cereal, neighbor etiquette, "Orange is the New Black," "Game of Thrones," "Romancing the Stone," and Billy Ocean. It's a classic Banter with Ben and Lisa situation. Come listen! And if you're looking for a good website deal, we have a new promo for GoDaddy. Use the code 199banter at checkout to get a new .com...