00:00:00 | 3:02:50




What it means for California if Kevin McCarthy becomes House Speaker 7 MIN, 22 SEC

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced today that he plans to leave Congress at the end of this year. Ryan’s decision opens a leadership vacuum as Republicans head into the midterm elections. One of the top contenders for Ryan’s seat is Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from Bakersfield.

Sarah Wire, LA Times (@sarahdwire)

Pros and cons of a new bill on setting health care prices in California 9 MIN, 21 SEC

In California, a new bill would allow the state to set prices for healthcare, including doctor’s appointments, surgery and hospital stays. Those prices would be based off Medicare rates and would be determined by an independent commission. Democratic Assemblyman Ash Kalra from San Jose introduced the bill Monday. We hear the pros and cons.

Dr. Theodore Mazer, California Medical Association
Richard Scheffler, UC Berkeley

What it's like to house a homeless person in your backyard 7 MIN, 32 SEC

LA City and County officials are encouraging homeowners to build tiny houses in their backyards and rent them to a homeless person. The county will give people a $75,000 loan to do that. Then after 10 years, the loan is forgiven, and the homeowner has presumably increased the value of their property with that extra unit. Something similar has already happened in Seattle, where a charity-based program housed its first homeless person in someone’s backyard in October. We speak with one of the owners of that backyard.

The construction of Bobby's home in Kim Sherman
and Dan Tenenbaum's Seattle backyard.

Bobby with Kim Sherman and Dan Tenenbaum. 

Bobby in front of his new house. 

Bobby hugging Kim Sherman.

Kim Sherman, housing a now formerly homeless man in a new house in their backyard

L.A. County wants to help build guest houses in backyards — for homeless people
Would you house a homeless man in your backyard? This couple said yes

'Wild, Wild Country' and the cult that moved to Oregon 15 MIN, 18 SEC

The new Netflix series “Wild, Wild Country” follows Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a guru who had a following in the small Indian city of Puna. He wore long robes and talked about the power of meditation. But unlike traditional gurus, he loved money, sex and cars. In 1981 he and his followers migrated to a tiny town in Oregon, and started to build a new city called Rajneeshpuram. Residents of the neighboring town were not pleased. Panic spread about the so-called terrorist sex cult. The story got crazier from there, involving poison, voter fraud and sex parties.

A scene from "Wild Wild Country." Credit: Netflix. 

Chapman Way, director, “Wild, Wild Country”
Maclain Way, director, “Wild, Wild Country”

Remembering Comedy Store owner, Mitzi Shore 8 MIN, 55 SEC

Mitzi Shore, owner of the Comedy Store, passed away at age 87. The Comedy Store was a proving ground for a long list of big-time comics: Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, Garry Shandling, Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock and more. Comedian Tom Dreesen also performed at the Comedy Store and shares his memories of Shore.

Tom Dreesen during his first appearance on The Tonight Show
in the 1970s. Photo courtesy of Dreesen. 

Tom Dreesen, actor and comedian


Images of Bobby with Kim Sherman and Dan Tenenbaum courtesy of Kim Sherman.

Madeleine Brand

Gina Pollack
Sarah Sweeney
Michell Eloy
Amy Ta
Christian Bordal
Quinn O'Toole
Yael Even Or

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand


Latest From KCRW

View Schedule


View All Events


Player Embed Code