The Daily Smile with Nikki Boyer

Nikki Boyer returns to Payne in the Pod to speak with Mary Payne about her new podcast, The Daily Smile. Best known for her work on the Dying For Sex and Straight Talk with Ross podcasts, Nikki’s latest podcast brings listeners new episodes every weekday morning highlighting uplifting stories from quarantine. the-daily-smily-podcast

A Must-Listen During Quarantine

Nikki and her colleagues at Wondery were already in discussions for creating The Daily Smile podcast when the coronavirus pandemic struck in March. As the world entered quarantine, Nikki and her colleagues believed it was the right time to bring people uplifting stories amid the pandemic.

Launched in May, The Daily Smile features daily episodes that tell feel-good and family-friendly stories to brighten your day. In each episode, Nikki tells stories of how people have turned pain, sadness, and grief into optimistic experiences. Mary Payne notes that this podcast isn’t all about sugar-coated happiness, but instead tells real stories that balance negative and positive aspects of life.

The Daily Smile’s first batch of episodes have included stories on the “real life Golden Girls,” a romance sparked by a drone delivery, and new pen pals. Nikki and her team are always searching for new uplifting stories to tell. If you have a story you wish to share, you can send an email to

The Latest From Dying for Sex

Mary Payne and Nikki also talk about the enormous success of Nikki’s hit show, Dying for Sex (check out Mary Payne’s previous interview with Nikki on this podcast). Nikki is overwhelmed by the number of listeners reaching out to her who resonate with Molly’s story. Moving forward, Nikki is working to publish a book based on the podcast. 

You can catch up on all of the Payne in the Pod episodes, here. Become a patron to receive even more exclusive content from Mary Payne including in-depth conversations that you won’t find anywhere else!

Podcast Recommendations:

Armchair Expert

Dr. Death

Julie: The Unwinding of a Miracle

Find Nikki at: 

Insta: @nikkiboye

Twitter: @nikkiboyer

By the Book with Kristen Meinzer

Kristen Meinzer is an overachiever. She currently hosts three podcasts, has authored three books (including a book on podcasting), and regularly delivers lectures and keynote addresses. In this episode, Kristen speaks with Mary Payne about her podcast, By The Book, in which she and her co-host, Jolenta Greenberg, experiment with different self-help books.kristen-meinzer

By The Book

Kristen and Jolenta are former co-workers living in New York City. Kristen is a culture critic and Jolenta is a comedian. In 2017, they decided to combine their talents and perspectives to create the By The Book podcast. Over the course of six seasons, Kristen and Jolenta have read and completed two-week trials on over 50 self-help books.

Kristen notes that some of the most helpful themes distilled from their self-help trials have included gratitude, living in the moment, and self-love. She notes, however, that many books are unhelpful, especially those written by upper-class white males who are disconnected from the largely female audience of self-help books.

In a recent season, Kristen and Jolenta focused exclusively on the first-edition of books written over 50 years ago. The results were hysterical–and demonstrated the drastic way our values have changed over the decades. Some of these older generation self-help books included “How To Win Friends And Influence People” and “The Joy of Sex.”

Spin-Offs From By The Book

In 2019, after receiving messages from listeners requesting more hands-on interactions, Kristen and Jolenta created the We Love You (and So Can You) podcast, in which they prescribe self-help guidance to guests. In this makeover-type show, Kristen and Jolenta use their self-help knowledge to develop a two-week “self-love trial” for guests, who make audio diaries of their experiences.

Kristen and Jolenta also recently published a book called How To Be Fine, which distills their lessons learned from their self-help journey of the By The Book podcast.  

A Host of Other Podcasts

Kristen has also co-hosted several previous podcasts, including When Meghan Met Harry (which celebrates the monumental Royal Wedding), Lisa, Sandra, and Kristen Go to the Movies, and Movie Date.

Currently, Kristen and Newsday film critic, Rafer Guzman, host Movie Therapy, in which they “prescribe” movies for listeners facing certain issues or challenges. This podcast has picked up steam in recent months, with listeners having more free time to watch movies during these COVID times. 

You can catch up on all of the Payne in the Pod episodes, here. Become a patron to receive even more exclusive content from Mary Payne including in-depth conversations that you won’t find anywhere else!

Podcast Recommendations:

Trashy Divorces

What A Creep

Spectacular Failures

Find Kristen at, where you can find her books, podcasts, and social media platforms.

Murderous Minors with Simone (AKA Warbaby)

The Murderous Minors podcast occupies a unique niche in the podcasting world. It tells the complex, heartbreaking stories of children who commit terrible crimes. Mary Payne speaks with Simone (AKA Warbaby), the host of Murderous Minors, about her experience telling these stories and how she thinks our society can help children before they commit crimes.murderous-minors

A Warbaby Turned Podcast Host

The daughter of two Vietnam vets, Simone was born into a military world (thus, the “Warbaby” nickname). For over a decade, she followed the “military/defense” path by working in the aerospace industry before becoming a pastry chef. Over the course of her diverse career, she always had a love for writing. And as a mother, she is fascinated with true crime stories from a parent’s perspective.

In 2017, Simone brought together these interests and talents to create the Murderous Minors podcast, which has released over 60 scripted episodes that tell the stories (and backstories) of kids who kill. These episodes look into the “why” of these murders and tell the victims’ stories. 

Why Children Murder

People are often shocked and appalled when they hear stories of children who murder. Simone is not. Children do crazy things because their brains are not fully formed and they do not think through the consequences of their actions. 

Simone notes several common factors tying together the children in the Murderous Minors podcast cases:

  • Separation from mothers at an early age;
  • Domestic violence victims or witnesses; and
  • Behavioral warning signs prior to the crime.

What Can Be Done

Simone and Mary Payne discuss how parents and other adults can help prevent these awful cases. Simone stresses that adults must be more involved in childrens’ lives and provide better guidance. Involved parents and mentors are also more alert to behavioral warning signs. 

Simone also urges reform for the juvenile justice system and rehabilitation programs. There must be a better, more uniform way across all US states for authorities to give these children an opportunity for success once they return to normal life.

You can catch up on all of the Payne in the Pod episodes, here. Become a patron to receive even more exclusive content from Mary Payne including in-depth conversations that you won’t find anywhere else!


Podcast Recommendations:

Minds of Madness


Generation Why

True Crime Garage

Southern Friend True Crime

Case File


American Scandal

Business Wars

Pod Save America

Find Murderous Minors on any podcast platform (including Apple Podcasts)

The Shrink Next Door with Joe Nocera

Joe Nocera’s move to The Hamptons a decade ago had a most unexpected twist. The New York journalist’s quiet Long Island neighborhood became the center of one of the most bizarre and jaw-dropping stories in the podcast world. 

In this episode, Mary Payne speaks with Joe about his experience creating The Shrink Next Door, which follows the doctor-patient relationship of Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf and Martin “Marty” Markowitz.the-shrink-next-door

Something Strange in The Hamptons

Joe is a long-time journalist who has worked for several esteemed publications, including Esquire, GQ, Newsweek, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, and now Bloomberg News. In 2010, while Joe was working for The New York Times, he bought a summer home in The Hamptons. In a strange series of events, Joe met his next-door neighbor’s groundskeeper, named Marty. Soon after, however, Joe learned that Marty actually owned the house, but had his life taken over by Dr. Ike Herschkopf, his therapist of 30 years. Joe later learned that Ike had assumed control of Marty’s business, had ruined his family relationships, and had even become the head of his household.

Over the next few months in 2010-2011, Marty’s sister, Phyllis, returned to the house to rescue Marty from his homemade prison. Marty eventually kicked Ike out and subsequently filed legal complaints about Ike’s abusive psychiatric practices. 

La Familia

Joe’s curiosity about the drama next door prompted him to begin a nearly two-year effort to write an investigative story about Dr. Ike Herschkopf. Over the course of his research, Joe found that Marty was not Ike’s sole victim — Ike had taken over the lives of several other patients. 

During Ike’s career, he convinced patients to cut ties with their families, bring him into their business operations, and to put aside millions of dollars in their inheritance for Ike and his family. Ike created a cult-like group of patients, isolating them from their loved ones, making them dependent upon him, and pressuring them to join his social circle. 

Around 2012, after nearly two years of investigative work, The New York Times decided against running Joe’s story. Years later, Joe collaborated with Bloomberg’s podcast team and Wondery to produce the story in podcast format. The show debuted in May 2019.

Where Are They Now?

Today, Joe still lives next door to Marty and his sister, Phyllis, in The Hamptons. Marty is now free from Ike’s grip and is enjoying several new hobbies, such as looking over his chicken coup and raising honeybees.

In 2019, the New York Department of Health took up Marty’s complaint about Dr. Ike’s ethical behavior. It is now reviewing whether or not to remove Ike’s psychiatric license. However, throughout the entirety of Joe’s investigation and during the current legal proceedings, Ike has denied all allegations of ethical wrongdoing. He remains a practicing therapist today.

The Shrink Next Door to Hit the Big (Apple) Screen

In April 2020, Apple TV announced that it would create an 8-10 episode series based on The Shrink Next Door podcast. The lead show writer for the series is Georgia Pritchett, with Will Ferrell playing Marty and Paul Rudd playing Ike. Mary Payne will give listeners more details about this new series as they come available! 

You can catch up on all of the Payne in the Pod episodes, here. Become a patron to receive even more exclusive content from Mary Payne including in-depth conversations that you won’t find anywhere else!

Podcast Recommendations:

Running From Cops

Dirty John

Find Joe at:

Twitter: @opinion_joe

Find The Shrink Next Door at Wondery. And stay tuned for “The Shrink Next Door” TV Series on Apple TV!

So Bad It’s Good with Ryan Bailey

Mary Payne speaks with Ryan Bailey about his hysterical new podcast, So Bad It’s Good. Mary Payne admires Ryan’s ability to dive deeply (and humorously) into Reality TV shows and other areas of pop culture–but tries to get him to cut back on his 4-5 hour episodes! ryan-bailey

Ryan’s Journey to the Podcasting World

Ryan has always loved pop culture. He was obsessed with movies and TV as a kid, and later moved to LA to pursue a career in acting. He still lives in LA today as an actor (including appearances in past hit shows The Office and How I Met Your Mother) and an acting coach.

Ryan made his debut in the podcast world with Realizing Stuff with Kara and Ryan, a show in which he and his friend Kara would recap Keeping Up With The Kardashians (which, Ryan notes is a terribly produced and boring show). He then created his own podcast, So Bad It’s Good, in late 2019 that looks at all things pop culture.


The Making of So Bad It’s Good

So Bad It’s Good episodes are well-produced, detailed, and hilarious. Each weekly episode is usually 4-5 hours long, with time stamps to allow listeners to skip to their favorite content. The episodes involve outside interviews and Ryan’s own musings on recent Reality TV seasons and other other pop culture developments (including any opportunity to express his disdain for Jax Taylor of Vanderpump Rules). Ryan’s hard work hosting and producing the show is paying off with a loyal and growing audience after only six months.

Mary Payne loves Ryan’s podcast, but gives him some advice on how to shorten episodes. She suggests splitting the weekly episodes into two-part episodes (each two hours long). However, Ryan plans to keep producing longer episodes for now to give more content to all quarantined listeners, and will look into evolving his format at a later time.


A Must-Follow Twitter Account

Mary Payne first discovered Ryan on Twitter. His account offers endless entertainment and he has an impressive list of followers. Some of his most notable followers are Monica Lewinsky (a close personal friend), DJ James Kennedy and Raquel Leviss, Steven Ray Morris, Dave Holmes, and Spencer Pratt. He is also followed by two TV Show accounts: Watch What Happens Live and Entertainment Tonight. Be sure to follow Ryan for the latest gossip and some comic relief!

You can catch up on all of the Payne in the Pod episodes, here. Become a patron to receive even more exclusive content from Mary Payne including in-depth conversations that you won’t find anywhere else!

Podcast Recommendations:

The Daily


WTF with Marc Maron

Find Ryan at:

Twitter: @ryanbailey25

Instagram: @sobaditsgoodwithryanbailey