Episode for October 7, 2022

Episode 698: Christian Finnegan & Ophira Eisenberg and Professor Leila Talani on Italian Politics

Hello and thanks for reading the show notes!!! You guys are so damn cool. Today’s show was posted Friday morning because I was hanging out with some over 60 listeners at our virtual hangout last night! You missed a good one if you weren’t there. Sign up now and join us next week. Today I jump right in to another thoughtful and hilarious conversation with Christian and Ophira and then welcome an Italian PhD political scientist to talk about what the hell is happening in Italy and I learned a lot. So lets do this! 
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Ophira Eisenberg is a Canadian-born standup comedian and writer. She hosted NPR’s nationally syndicated comedy trivia show Ask Me Another (airing on 400+ stations) where she interviewed, joked, and played silly games with some of the biggest and funniest folks in the world. 

Lauded as “hilarious, high risk, and an inspiration,” Ophira filmed her comedy special Inside Joke, when she was 8½ months pregnant. The show’s material revolves around how she told everyone that she was never going to have kids, and then unexpectedly found herself expecting at “an advanced maternal age.” Inside Joke can be found on Amazon and iTunes, along with her two other comedy albums, Bangs!and As Is.

She has appeared on Comedy Central, This Week at The Comedy Cellar, Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, HBO’s GirlsGotham LiveThe Late Late ShowThe Today Show, and VH-1. The New York Times called her a skilled comedian and storyteller with “bleakly stylish” humor. She was also selected as one of New York Magazine‘s “Top 10 Comics that Funny People Find Funny,” and hailed by Forbes.com as one of the most engaging comics working today.

Ophira is a regular host and teller with The Moth and her stories have been featured on The Moth Radio Hour and in two of The Moth’s best-selling books, including the most recent New York Times Bestseller Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible.

Ophira’s first book, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamyi s a comedic memoir about her experiments in the field as a single woman, traveling from futon to futon and flask-to-flask, gathering data, hoping to put it all together and build her own perfect mate.

She is also sought after as a brilliant interviewer and moderator, and has interviewed dozens of celebrities, writers, and actors.

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ophira graduated with a Cultural Anthropology and Theater degree from McGill University. She now lives in Brooklyn, NY where she is a fixture at New York City’s comedy clubs

Christian Finnegan  is an American stand-up comedian, writer and actor based in New York City.
Check out Christian’s new Substack Newsletter! What is New Music for Olds?

This newsletter has a very simple premise: You don’t have time to discover new music. I do. Here’s what I’ve discovered.

Finnegan is perhaps best known as one of the original panelists on VH1‘s Best Week Ever and as Chad, the only white roommate in the “Mad Real World” sketch on Comedy Central‘s Chappelle’s Show. Additional television appearances as himself or performing stand up have included “Conan”, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”, “Would You Rather…with Graham Norton”, “Good Afternoon America” and multiple times on The Today Show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and on History‘s I Love the 1880s. He hosted TV Land’s game show “Game Time”. As an actor, Finnegan portrayed the supporting role of “Carl” in the film Eden Court, a ticket agent in “Knight and Day” and several guest roles including a talk show host on “The Good Wife“. In October 2006, Finnegan’s debut stand up comedy CD titled Two For Flinching was released by Comedy Central Records, with a follow-up national tour of college campuses from January to April 2007. “Au Contraire!” was released by Warner Bros. Records in 2009. His third special “The Fun Part” was filmed at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on April 4, 2013 and debuted on Netflix on April 15, 2014.

Leila Simona Talani has been Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of European and International Studies since 2014. She became editor of the Palgrave series on the Politics of Migration and Citizenship in 2020. In 2022 she founded the Centre for Italian Politics @ EIS of which she is the director.

In 2017 she was awarded a visiting Professorship at the Kennedy School of Government of the University of Harvard. She was also appointed Jean Monnet Chair of European Political Economy by the European Commission in 2012.

She was previously at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and in the department of European studies of the University of Bath. From November 2000 until September 2001, she held the position of Associate Expert for the United Nations Regional Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention based in Cairo working on irregular migration from the Middle East and Northern Africa to EU countries. In the academic year 1999-2000 she taught ‘The political Economy of European Integration’ at the European Institute of the London School of Economics where she had previously held a research and teaching fellowship for the academic year 1998-1999.

Leila was awarded a PhD with distinction at the European University Institute of Florence in 1998.

She is the author, among other titles, of: The IPE of migration in The globalization era (Palgrave 2022); The political Economy of Italy in the Euro (Palgrave 2017), The Handbook of the International Political Economy of Migration (Edward Elgar, 2014-2017); The Arab Spring in the Global Political Economy(Palgrave, 2014), Dirty Cities: towards a political economy of shadow dynamics in global cities (Palgrave, 2013), European Political Economy (Ashgate: 2013), Globalization, Migration and the future of Europe(Routledge 2011), and From Egypt to Europe (I.B.Tauris, 2010).


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