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Scammers, swindlers, con artists: unethical rogues who should be brought to justice? Or brilliant players in the game of capitalism that can help you get a free mattress? Comedian and author Caitlin Brodnick can’t always decide. Each week, join Caitlin and a special guest as they dive into current and historic scams, from skillful mobsters to Real Housewives fraudsters, from MLMs to YouTube grifters. Together, they’ll explore the thin line between swindle and survival, between fleecing an ea ...
 
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The ‘90s: where $1 million feels like $100 million!!! This week, we’re joined by comedian and Caitlin’s former college roommate Victoria Montalbano. Together, they rewatched the scammy classic Blank Check. The movie, a Blockbuster favorite of millenials, just might have inspired a generation of catfish. Falling madly in love with Karen Duffy and be…
 
Journalist and husband extraordinaire Allen Arthur joins Caity to explore a top cop con job. They discuss the recent scam pulled by former NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins, in which he (allegedly) used around $1 million of his union’s money to fund his grocery shopping and steakhouse dinners. Not only did this special boy …
 
ScamWow’s fan favorite Ellen Haun is back to discuss our beloved Jen Shah. Nothing about this case quite adds up from last season's canceled uber rides to her recent guilty plea, she keeps us guessing. Jen Shah is one of the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City who has lived a life of luxury, and much of that luxury was from a scheme where she sold an…
 
The Muppet Movie took Kermit the Frog and company from The Muppet Show all the way to Hollywood. But beyond the "approximate" story of how the Muppets got together, what does everyone's favorite group of frogs, pigs, bears, and whatevers do with their "rich and famous contracts"? The Great Muppet Caper, that's what. Ryan Luis Rodriguez of The Cooln…
 
Have you ever watched Chrisley Knows Best, because we sure haven’t! But that is not an issue because this reality star scam is so transparent you could write it yourself. Comedian Molly Thomas joins Caitlin to discuss this trainwreck of a family, their go-to scheme, and their fraud conviction... which apparently will be airing on USA Network next s…
 
It's time to play the music. It's time to light the lights. It's time to meet the Muppets on a brand-new Franchise Detours mega-series. For the next eight episodes, we'll be covering every single theatrically released Muppet film, journeying through spanning 35 years of Muppets on the big screen. First up is the story of "approximately" how the Mup…
 
Did your mom collect beanie babies with hopes it would become your 401k? Well so did everyone! And this investment went the way of the tomigachi. Sit back and enjoy this journey through the many lies we’ve told ourselves about millions of plush toys. Becky Chicoine, comedian, and actress, dissects her own personal beanie baby collection. Her mother…
 
Levi and Jackson are back, this time with some sad news about Levi's departure from Campfire. They discuss what Levi's going to be doing moving forward, and what that means for the future of the podcast. Levi's Video He Mentioned: https://youtu.be/c25jjYXlKhU Submit for Community Corner! Follow the link below and set the "Type of Request" as "Commu…
 
Are you a creative engineer who recently lost a job? Are you an unemployed actor? Are you looking to get back at the “man”? Well this is your summer because scam call centers need smart, self-starters, and creatives like you! Writer and comedian Gwynna Forgham-Thrift joins Caitlin to discuss the scam phone calls they receive on a daily basis. Unlik…
 
On its face, Happy Death Day feels very much like a slasher movie spin of 1993's time-loop comedy Groundhog Day. While it is that, director Christopher Landon manages to transcend that premise to create one of the best horror-comedies in recent years and a truly underrated sequel. On this episode, Robert Stewart of Stew World Order joins the show t…
 
For an entire generation, Pee-wee Herman was an integral part of their childhood. The character -- created by Paul Reubens -- made his big-screen debut in Tim Burton's Pee-wee's Big Adventure before landing the award-winning Pee-wee's Playhouse TV series. Now Franchise Detours takes a tour through Pee-wee Herman's "trilogy" of cinematic adventures.…
 
Comedian and Producer Dara Katz joins Caitlin to discuss her coverage on the current baby formula shortage. In her recent article for Pure Wow “I Need You to Care About the Baby Formula Shortage” Katz addresses the major problems with this crisis. It involves a cover up, whistle blowers, and babies. You can blame the shortage on supply chains but t…
 
The Summer of Scam Movie of The Week is the iconic Great Muppet Caper. And this week’s guest, performer Chelsey Whitelock, is not only an actor/singer/dancer, but also a muppet expert. The gang’s all here, from Kermit and Miss Piggy to Lady Holiday and Charles Grodin. Caity and Chelsey unpack the actual caper while indulging in 80’s nostalgia and t…
 
This week is Caitlin’s brother Conor’s birthday and what better way to celebrate than to listen to him talk about a super creepy cult/religion/belief system ?! Sit back, relax and learn all about the Hermetic Order of the Gold Dawn, with Conor Brodnick! Music by Conor Brodnick Resources: Aleister Crowley: The Beast in Berlin-Art, Sex, and Magick in…
 
Artist, actress, and filmmaker Angel Yau shares her lifelong journey of pulling the kindest scams you’ve ever heard of. Is loving your family so much that you simply lie to them about your life such a bad thing? Maybe it’s secretly the answer to a peaceful home! The emotional level of these scams pushes us closer to “very special episode” territory…
 
Levi and Jackson are back, this time discussing absurdism and realism and what sets those two styles apart, but also how they can be used together. Oh, and they also talk about One Piece again. Adam's Video on Character Flaws: https://youtu.be/Mf22N9qXOBw Submit for Community Corner! Follow the link below and set the "Type of Request" as "Community…
 
To today's audience, Sister Act must feel like a real relic of the 1990s. A star-driven, fish-out-of-water, pseudo-musical comedy blockbuster!?! Add to that the religious setting, and there's little chance a movie like the 1992 hit starring Whoopi Goldberg would become a full-fledged phenomenon. On this episode, Phoenix Clouden of the Film Code Pod…
 
Comedian and writer Laura Willcox and Caitlin rewatch the iconic movie Hustlers. Though Hustlers and JLo have been celebrated in past episodes, this conversation takes a sharp turn. They discuss rhinestone thongs, economic challenges, and chinchilla coats. Laura and Caitlin roll up their sleeves and get down and dirty to discuss their new manifesto…
 
The Summer of Scam Movies is alive and thriving, and the best actor in this week’s film is dead. And that is where this episode starts. Comedian and artist Suni Reyes joins Caitiln to dive into the beloved 1989 classic, Weekend at Bernie’s. Were the 80’s so coke-addled that to die is to thrive? Even though it was a box office success, Suni and Cait…
 
Levi and Jackson sit down with returning guest Adam Bassett to discuss character flaws, what kind of character flaws work, how many flaws is too many flaws, and so on. Adam's Video on Character Flaws: https://youtu.be/Mf22N9qXOBw Submit for Community Corner! Follow the link below and set the "Type of Request" as "Community Corner Submission." Limit…
 
Fifteen years after Sam Raimi concluded his Spider-Man trilogy, the Evil Dead filmmaker is back in the Marvel family with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But as audiences re-discover just how damn great Raimi is at bringing comic books to life, we're taking a look at perhaps his most misunderstood film, 2007's Spider-Man 3. On this epi…
 
Oh we’re back for part two because this movie can and should haunt us all. The META scam is finally revealed in our Summer of Scam Movie: Never Been Kissed. Sarah Grace Welbourn and Caity can’t quite figure out where they land and might be questioning all their middle school memories. Important questions will be asked: Who is the hero? Would you sl…
 
Were you alive in 1999? Were you also watching every teen romcom you could get your greasy little popcorn fingers on? Have you ever been kissed by a senior citizen? These important questions and more are discussed in today’s episode, as comedian and actor Sarah Grace Welbourn joins Caity to talk about this week’s Summer of Scam Movie: Never Been Ki…
 
Levi and Jackson sit down and discuss what the necessities are for a hero in a story, and talk about some examples that seem to deviate from the usual path. Submit for Community Corner! Our old submission form died with the old Campfire site, so right now, we have a workaround. To submit, follow the link below and set the "Type of Request" as "Comm…
 
In the pantheon of superhero sequels, Spider-Man 2 is arguably among the best of its kind. Two years after Sam Raimi finally brought the webslinger to theaters, he aimed even higher with deeper themes, a more visually ambitious villain, and a tighter focus on character relationships. On this episode, Josh Bell of Awesome Movie Year joins the show t…
 
This week, comedian and writer Janie Stolar joins Caity to discuss a scam rooted in the most iconic con of all: The American Dream. No matter what your thoughts and feelings are on that picture-perfect lifestyle, the pressure still manages to seep into our daily lives. Do I have a car and two kids and a great IRA by the time I’m 30? Isn’t owning a …
 
The Summer of Scam Movies starts strong with this week’s scam movie of choice: The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Hysterical comedian and writer, Corinne Caputo joins Caitlin this week to explain this film, or do their best to try. While discussing many scams inside and around this movie, they cover prosthetic cheeks, puppets,and the men Tammy should be havin…
 
It's time for Levi and Jackson to give updates on their stories! Levi is making his way through the dreaded 2nd Act slog, while Jackson has finally figured out what his plot needed. Submit for Community Corner! Our old submission form died with the old Campfire site, so right now, we have a workaround. To submit, follow the link below and set the "…
 
In 2002, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was just a glimmer in Kevin Feige's eye. And Sony entrusted Sam Raimi -- director of the Evil Dead franchise -- with bringing Marvel's most famous and beloved superhero to the big screen. In that way, Spider-Man is very much a testament to its time. On this episode, The Lady-Wan of Screen Run helps us swing ri…
 
This week is about actions we can take to help others. Caitlin has gathered a ton of resources for supporting and donating to people in or fleeing Ukraine. She has combed through organizations and charities to find the ones that will directly benefit those in need. Has the fear of scammy charities or misused funds prevented you from giving? Now you…
 
In this episode of Conversations Around the Campfire, Jackson and Levi are joined by Brent Lambert from FIYAH magazine to discuss speculative fiction, how he got started in writing, and talk about his upcoming novella along with other projects he is working on. Follow Brent Lambert on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrentCLambert Check out FIYAH! http…
 
If the first Mad Max gives audiences a glimpse of the last vestiges of civilization, 1982's Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior takes them full-on into George Miller's Wasteland in one of the most celebrated action films ever. On this episode, film critic Sara M. Fetters joins the show as we talk about how Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior builds on its predeces…
 
Mad Max rewrote the rules when it came to action movies back in 1979. And with each sequel, George Miller continued to raise the bar higher. So naturally, Mad Max: Fury Road is the culmination of all that came before it. On this episode, filmmaker and music producer David Snyder joins the show as we talk about how Miller once again redefined a genr…
 
George Miller started the Mad Max franchise as an indie filmmaker. But by the third film, Hollywood was ready to enter the Wasteland with Mel Gibson's title character facing off against music icon Tina Turner. On this episode, Megan Kearns of Spoilerpiece Theatre joins the show as we talk about Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. We'll discuss how the mov…
 
Sit down and grab a cozy beverage and cuddle close with Caity and her special guest, her sister, McKenzie Brodnick! Join two sisters having the best time ever so you might need to slow down to 1/2x because the JOY is coming at ya FAST! And thanks to our incredible listeners we have more scams to pack in one episode then ever before. Caity reads you…
 
Do you know what isn’t resolved yet? Caitlin’s credit card debt!! But Producer Cait comes to the rescue this week to share all the tips, tricks, and phone numbers you need to help you get out of credit card chaos. Which organizations can you turn to for help, and what scams are keeping you in debt? And how does someone go from being 35K in debt to …
 
In this episode of Conversations Around the Campfire, Jackson and Levi discuss how other forms of media could potentially influence your approach to writing, particularly the new FromSoftware videogame Elden Ring! Check out Ben's first book! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09316JBPZ Check out Story Tips: https://youtu.be/wunWday8NGQ Worldbuilding Magazi…
 
Trigger Warning: This episode covers sexual assault, consent, and sexually explicit situations. This week Caitlin and comedian Molly Thomas continue the conversation about con artist Frank Abagnale. Their conversation in part one focused on the scams and lies told by the Catch Me If You Can author, and quickly to the effect his scams and stories mu…
 
This week comedian Molly Thomas joins Caitlin to discuss liar extraordinaire Frank Abagnale. Remember the book and hit movie Catch Me if You Can? Turns out most of it is fake and we can’t trust anything this scammer has proudly reported. He conned people into thinking he conned people. It’s a nesting doll of cons! Molly brings copious notes about f…
 
In this episode of Conversations Around the Campfire, Jackson and Levi discuss how mental health can affect your writing, how your writing can affect it, and their own personal methods for taking care of their mental health. Also, Levi would like to apologize for pitching a tik tok idea towards the end. In retrospect, that may not have needed to ma…
 
Welcome to all of our new listeners! On today’s very special episode, the incredible Kate Spencer, from the award-winning podcast Forever35, is our guest. We briefly discuss the Netflix hit, The Tinder Swindler but then the conversation takes a turn to run the gamut from Kristen Stewart’s Oscar nomination, Olestra chips, and the weaponization of ro…
 
New York State probably won’t email you a holiday card or ask you to share a stimulus opportunity with 10 of your family members to get paid. Journalist Rommel Ojeda from Documented digs into a story (co-reported with Telemundo) about how scammers target immigrants with fake government benefits in WhatsApp chat groups and chains. Caity’s husband an…
 
This episode we had Adam Bassett on to talk about worldbuilding! Adam is one of the Campfire team members and former Editor-in-Chief of Worldbuilding Magazine. We discuss his new series, Story Tips, as well as what makes good worldbuilding along with some of our favorite examples! Check out Story Tips: https://youtu.be/wunWday8NGQ Worldbuilding Mag…
 
Investigative journalist and VICE contributor Sarah Berman joins Caitlin this week to talk about Keith Raniere and NXIVM. Sarah has been at the forefront of this story since the beginning, but she’s here to discuss another surprising side to the saga for the first time. It’s creepy, it’s convoluted, it's acapella. It’s also the subject of an episod…
 
A fake boarding school that wanted to be a high school football powerhouse??! What could go wrong? This week, journalist and Caity’s husband Allen Arthur brings a scam hot off the ESPN broadcast! That’s right, even Disney can get in the scam game. Allen covers the fraudulent school and sports program, Bishop Sycamore. He'll talk about the fake scho…
 
Levi and Jackson are back! This time, they're talking about how to give and receive feedback. If you're writing a book or just trying to become a better writer, you have to get feedback from others. It can be a difficult process, though. Who should you ask? How do you give notes without hurting someone's feelings? How do I get the most out of the f…
 
Before we leave for a quick break, the prince is giving a ball! Brandy and Whoopi and Whitney really said "Let's make an untouchable version of Cinderella" and the world hasn't been the same since. We love this rendition because it's wonderful, but it's also wonderful because we love it! Follow us on social media @ChowdyMedia on Facebook, Instagram…
 
This week is the 2nd half of our Crypto, shmipto, bipto episode. This episode is about NFTs and how to make them, sell them, and become obsessed. Are NFTs the new answer to financial stability as an artist? Do you trust yourself with a digital wallet? And can your automatic password be actually a foreboding sign to: STOP AND WALK AWAY! Sabra and St…
 
What a lovely day it is as we jumpstart a brand-new mega-series. Back in 1979, George Miller essentially invented the modern action movie with the original Mad Max. Now it's time for us to enter the Wasteland. On this episode, Jackson Smith of Nightfall Entertainment joins the show as we talk about how Mad Max's vision of the post-apocalypse change…
 
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