League Star Jason Mantzoukas Shares His Favorite Podcasts and Why He’s Not on Social Media

Plus, what he’s watching on TV

Headshot of Emma Bazilian


Age 42

Claim to fame Stars as Rafi on The League (final season returns to FXX on Sept. 9); co-host of the How Did This Get Made? podcast; appears in the upcoming film Sleeping With Other People (in theaters and VOD Sept. 11)

Base Los Angeles

What's the first information you consume in the morning?

The first thing I do is turn on the Howard Stern Show. If Howard's not on, I'll listen to Morning Edition or something on NPR. It's very important to me that the first thing I do in the morning is listen to something.

So I've heard that you don't use any social media.

That is true.

How have you managed to do that?

[Laughs] I mean, people always ask me to [join social media], for a job that wants me to promote something or stuff like that, but nobody's ever been able to make me do it. Although that would be amazing—I would love to see somebody tweeting under duress. [Laughs] But from the very beginning, when IM-ing first became a thing, I was like, "Why? What's this about?" And then there was Friendster, and I didn't do Friendster, and that turned into MySpace, and I didn't do MySpace, and then Facebook, and I didn't do Facebook. They just didn't interest me. And then Twitter and Instagram came along, and those were even less compelling. I completely understand social media as a method of promotion and digesting information, but it just seems like a colossal waste of time to me, and there's a million other ways I'd rather waste my time.

Do you ever just browse Twitter or Instagram as an outsider?

Sort of. If something is blowing up on Twitter or somebody posts a picture that everyone is talking about, then I'll go look at it. Of course, vainly, if it's an episode of The League that I wrote, then I'll go on Twitter and see what people are saying about it.

What's your favorite app?

On my phone, I use Instapaper to save articles I don't have the time to read. I use Feedly as an RSS reader to blaze through the news, Overcast and Downcast for podcasts, and I really like the NPR One app.

What podcasts do you listen to?

Lately, I'm really liking 99% Invisible, Note to Self and Alec Baldwin's WNYC podcast, Here's the Thing. I feel like I listen to stuff that's either NPR-based, like the ones I mentioned, or comedy, like Comedy Bang! Bang! or WTF [with Marc Maron]. I also like this podcast called Don't Get Me Started that Will Hines and Anthony King do. They interview comedians about something they're really passionate about. People will go on to talk about everything from One Direction to government surveillance.

What TV shows do you watch?

Currently I am watching Mr. Robot on USA, which I think is amazing. Review on Comedy Central is terrific. I also watch a lot of survival shows. I'm obsessed with Dual Survival and Life Below Zero. Oh, and I watched Chef's Table on Netflix, which was really exceptional. And Rick and Morty on Adult Swim is really funny. It's a high-concept sci-fi show with really dumb jokes.

What's on your reading list?

That's where it gets a little iffy. I haven't read a book in quite some time. I read a lot of comic books and graphic novels. I just read Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley and This One Summer, which was a beautiful graphic novel by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki. Right now I'm reading this great comic book series called Black Science by Rick Remender that's drawn by Matteo Scalera. I'm trying to remember if I read anything more substantial lately, but I really haven't. It's been a summer of lazy comic book reading.

This story first appeared in the Sept. 7 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@adweekemma emma.bazilian@adweek.com Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.