The Essential Podcasts of The John & Ken Show


Illustration by Daniel Adel

This month Los Angeles magazine writer-at-large Ed Leibowitz profiles John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, the controversial hosts of KFI’s The John & Ken Show, who are under fire from critics after 20 years on the air. Unfamiliar with their work? Leibowitz, who has written about such polarizing figures as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gloria Allred, and Charlton Heston for this magazine, revisits John and Ken’s most heated rants:


March 25, 2012

Talking about Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier who killed 16 Afghan civilians, Kobylt launches into an indictment of U.S. war policy during the past 10 years that is far more emphatic than anything heard on NPR.

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February 6, 2012

A discussion about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele Bündchen, leads to an angry exchange between the hosts on the subject of Kobylt’s racial profiling.

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January 1, 2012

Reviewing Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed tax increases, including some for public education for the poor, Chiampou offers an alternative suggestion: “How about this? Stop having kids if you’re low income.” Kobylt  declares that “you don’t get a benefit from investing in kids when they come from families who don’t give a crap.”

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May 25, 2010

The “Supreme Court of John and Ken” puts “four dirty bastards of the legislature” in the dock for a “trial of the tax traitors.” The defendants are state senate majority leader Darryl Steinberg, former Assembly speaker Karen Bass, then-Republican minority leader Dave Cogdill, and Republican assembly leader Mike Villines—in the form of blowup dolls with their faces.

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ALSO: Read “All the Rage,” Ed Leibowitz’s profile of John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou