Truth Tastes Funny with Hersh Rephun

Hersh Rephun

How do we stay sane, survive, and thrive in today’s world? On the Truth Tastes Funny podcast, writer/comedian Hersh Rephun explores the absurdity of life’s challenges, while engaging with experts who’ve dedicated themselves to finding serious solutions. Each week brings a new story from the fields of personal development, health & wellness, entrepreneurship, arts/entertainment, comedy, advertising, journalism, and more. Professionally, Hersh is a Message Therapist, specializing in “selling the truth,” making reality digestible, often with humor and always with humanity. So, whatever you’re cooking up, add a dash of insight and a spoonful of smiles, cuz the truth tastes funny.

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An Authorized Explorer of Life, Death, and Storytelling: Mike Oppenheim
Today
An Authorized Explorer of Life, Death, and Storytelling: Mike Oppenheim
If you're the slightest bit curious, the first person you should seek out is Mike Oppenheim. The author, essayist, and podcaster has been indulging in adventures of the mind for a while now, and each time he dives under the waters of our consciousness, he emerges with insights and musings that spur us along. Hersh had to have him on TTF, because chaotic times call for curious tourists!  You may know him from his column, The Casual Casuist, from his novels*, or his Coffin Talk podcast...if you don't, get to know him now.Key Takeaways:It's so important to FEEL...far less important to ACTIf you wanna know about life after death, interview someone who's experienced both!Humor finds its way into storytelling for a reasonMore About Mike Oppenheim:In 2006, he started his weekly essay series, The Casual Casuist, which continues to be featured in various newspapers across the country and is in the top 25 of all philosophy essays on Substack.*In 2011, he earned an MFA from Mills College in Creative Fiction with his first novel, Dysfunction. Two years later he published his second novel, Baby Doll: The Book, followed by Too True to be Good in 2017, and The Apology in 2021, and his fifth novel, Ardor, will hit bookshelves in 2022.In 2020, Mike began an episodic TV show, Books Out Loud and a year later began his podcast, Coffin Talk, a weekly show that explores “The Meaning of Death.” Mike also hosts bonus podcasts, Casual Conversations, available for premium subscribers.In his spare time Mike indexes books, eats avocados, facilitates writing workshops, and hangs with his family.Relevant Links:mikeyopp.comMikeyopp.substack.com
An Authorized Explorer of Life, Death, and Storytelling: Mike Oppenheim
Today
An Authorized Explorer of Life, Death, and Storytelling: Mike Oppenheim
If you're the slightest bit curious, the first person you should seek out is Mike Oppenheim. The author, essayist, and podcaster has been indulging in adventures of the mind for a while now, and each time he dives under the waters of our consciousness, he emerges with insights and musings that spur us along. Hersh had to have him on TTF, because chaotic times call for curious tourists!  You may know him from his column, The Casual Casuist, from his novels*, or his Coffin Talk podcast...if you don't, get to know him now.Key Takeaways:It's so important to FEEL...far less important to ACTIf you wanna know about life after death, interview someone who's experienced both!Humor finds its way into storytelling for a reasonMore About Mike Oppenheim:In 2006, he started his weekly essay series, The Casual Casuist, which continues to be featured in various newspapers across the country and is in the top 25 of all philosophy essays on Substack.*In 2011, he earned an MFA from Mills College in Creative Fiction with his first novel, Dysfunction. Two years later he published his second novel, Baby Doll: The Book, followed by Too True to be Good in 2017, and The Apology in 2021, and his fifth novel, Ardor, will hit bookshelves in 2022.In 2020, Mike began an episodic TV show, Books Out Loud and a year later began his podcast, Coffin Talk, a weekly show that explores “The Meaning of Death.” Mike also hosts bonus podcasts, Casual Conversations, available for premium subscribers.In his spare time Mike indexes books, eats avocados, facilitates writing workshops, and hangs with his family.Relevant Links:mikeyopp.comMikeyopp.substack.com
Be Yourself & Tell YOUR Story!: Meridith Grundei
4d ago
Be Yourself & Tell YOUR Story!: Meridith Grundei
We knew that it would be difficult for Hersh to get through 15 episodes of TTF without using a British accent. It took his interview with Meridith Grundei - a passionate and charismatic public speaking and presentation skills coach - to set off that reaction.  As she explains, Meridith created Confidently Speaking, a form of coaching that helps people perform in a safe space so they can analyze and improve upon the experiences. It's really about being yourself, she says, "bringing yourself to the stage" - and leaning into all the flaws and foibles that make us the beautiful humans we are.Key Takeaways:Step into your uniqueness - that's where you'll find your confidenceTED talks must be well-rehearsed in such a way that you can have fun with itReframe how you talk to yourself - know that all stories are validMore about Meridith:Meridith Grundei is an award-winning theatre director, producer, and former Second City improv teacher, who recognized the similarities between performing for audiences on stage every night and presenting to clients/colleagues every day, but the latter didn’t have the right tools to bring their stories to life.So she decided to do something about it.She specializes in presentation and public speaking consultation, individual training and development, and creative team solutions using improvisational theatre techniques to build trust, empathy, and out-of-the-box thinking.11 Years and some change later, Grundei Coaching has helped thousands of individuals and corporations craft engaging presentations and authentic stories to achieve career growth and success.Related Links:www.grundeicoaching.com
DO Try This at Home - "EVERY DAY EXCELLENCE!": Joe Templin
1w ago
DO Try This at Home - "EVERY DAY EXCELLENCE!": Joe Templin
He would've built an atomic bomb as a kid...but his mom wouldn't give him the uranium. True story - and it's not even THE story.  It's merely an episode in the life of Joe Templin,  the Human Kaizen expert intent on inspiring 100 million people to make some positive change in their lives. The hope is for us to commit to self-improvement, one step at a time.The author of the Amazon Kindle #1 New Release "Every Day Excellence" wasn't intent on seizing the day from the day he was born...but he certainly adopted the philosophy the day he died ("I got better.") at the age of 10.  He's gone on to be an ultramarathoner, special needs parent, martial arts champion, polymath, and adherent to the practice of kaizen - from the Japanese word for 'improvement.'LISTEN to this interview, and then read the full bio, if you want to fill in the blanks, because with a man like Joe, each blank is meticulously filled in, and it's more than can be covered in a single conversation.Hersh and Joe do their best, however, and this chat is a noble step on an outsized quest.Key Takeaways:Accomplishment is relative to effort, not specific resultsIt's the former nuns you have to look out forThe family that multitasks together might just be on to somethingRelevant links:www.everyday-excellence.com@edewithjoeMore about Joe:Reformed physicist, financial planner, startup founder and autodidactic polymath best described as a Swiss Army Knife, Joe Templin has invested the past two and a half plus decades to helping others reach their financial potential as a planner, trainer, mentor and creator.Joe has served as a member of NAIFA (the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors) on the local, state, and national level, and including three terms on the NAIFA National Young Advisors Team (YAT) Subcommittee and was honored as one of the 2011 Four Under 40. He is a graduate of the Leadership in Life Institute of NAIFA as well as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is an alum of Johns Hopkins University.Joe earned his CFP® and has written hundreds of review questions for the exam, as well as his CHARTERED ADVISOR OF PHILANTHROPY, CLU, and ChFC designations and qualified numerous times for the Million Dollar Round Table. He has been a business columnist for the Albany Times Union, Adviser Today Magazine, The Ballston Journal, and Insurance News Net. Joe earned his Certified Executive Counselor designation as well as his Certified Master Executive Counselor in 2021.Joe served as the President of the Castle Alpha Tau Foundation for Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and as the Chapter Advisor, and is currently a Vice President of The Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region. He has been a member of The Ancient Order of Hibernians for over 20 years, and is the Lieutenant of the Honor Guard.Templin is the Managing Director of the Unique Minds Consulting Group, LLC, and is the author of “Every Day Excellence”, the Kindle #1 New Release in Professional Development. Joe also co-authored “Do You Want To Make MDRT, Or Not?” with Dr. John Stolk as well as “Choices: Creating a Financial Services Career”.Joe is a Co-Founder and President of The Intro Machine, Inc. an organization dedicated to teaching professionals in a variety of fields how to build an Introduction Based Business. He has spoken all across the US and Canada on ethical business development.
Rise and Shine: Aryeh Rephun of Aryeh & Co
Aug 2 2022
Rise and Shine: Aryeh Rephun of Aryeh & Co
The mantra of Aryeh & Co is that "the quality of your dreams is never compromised." The Truth Tastes Funny credo is "Laugh. Survive. Thrive." And in this episode, the two philosophies meet, in the form of a conversation between Hersh and Aryeh Rephun. While father and son have gone into completely different businesses, they share a knack for working closely with clients to craft something special. In Aryeh's case, it's high-end jewelry with meaningful, personal expressions. Increasingly, his clients are coming to him with their own designs,  and his team is rising to the challenge of making those visions a reality.   Apologies for the background chatter, but this is as close as some listeners will come to the hallowed halls of the Diamond Dealers Club, midtown Manhattan's maximum-security business center (made famous in films from Marathon Man to Uncut Gems).  More About Aryeh:In under five years, Aryeh has built a reputation as a go-to bespoke jeweler in NYC, creating pieces for a bevy of loyal clients and a growing number of high-profile names, including Prince JDC, and Noreaga. In a feature story, REVOLT magazine said that when looking for a partner they could trust in making custom pieces - including for Diddy himself - they knew Aryeh was “the man for the job.” DotCom Magazine included Aryeh & Co. on its Impact Company of The Year List For 2021, for making a difference as a privately owned company in “an incredibly unique” year. Related Links:
Licorice...and Good Things Will Follow: Gary Rose
Jul 27 2022
Licorice...and Good Things Will Follow: Gary Rose
You will dig this episode if you:know anything about the heyday of music videosknow nothing about music videos, periodwant to be successful in businesswant to be successful as an individualhave an oral fixationCEO/Executive Producer/Photographer/Entrepreneur Gary Rose is Hersh’s guest on the podcast, and today the guys chart Gary’s path from broadcasting to producing music videos, and then producing over two thousand commercials (working with directors like Todd Phillips and Christopher Guest) including work for both the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards, through the successful launch in 2021 of KICSTICK, a licorice root product that became an oral substitute when Gary kicked his lifelong nicotine habit. He’s now writing a movie dealing with teens and the current fentanyl crisis. It’s all about balance: Gary has worked with the world’s biggest advertisers - ATT, Coke, BMW, Budweiser, General Motors, Levi’s, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nissan, and Pepsi, among them -  and photographed the Mud People of the Papua New Guinea Highlands. He served as President of the AICP/West Board of Directors, becoming a founding trustee member of the Producers Health and Benefit plan, producing hundreds of hours of content and winning the Cannes Lion Grand Prix, among many other awards - and been on Safari in Africa, gotten up close and personal with the dragons of the Komodo Islands, photographed Great White sharks in the Isle of Guadalupe, and snapped a tortoise in the Galapagos named Lonely George (the last of his species). He dove over 150 feet into the Blue Hole in Belize, and emerged as an entrepreneur, trading cigarettes for refined 100% natural nicotine-free licorice root. Key Takeaways:Be curious. Love learning. Repeat. Licorice - and good things will followPlease help preserve sharks and the world's oceans
Did YOU Study Freud at 8 Years Old?: Dr. Nakia Hamlett
Jul 7 2022
Did YOU Study Freud at 8 Years Old?: Dr. Nakia Hamlett
In pursuit of his daily dose of sanity in today's world, Hersh sits down with clinical psychologist Dr. Nakia Hamlett (of Complex Psychology), who helps organizations and individuals create safe spaces through communication. Nakia has been interested in human behavior since she was a child reading about Anastasia's conversations with Freud, and now brings people together in pursuit of safe, honest dialogue. Her chat with Hersh spans social engagement, DEI, African American mental health, and yes, Nakia's certainty at 8 years old that she would become a clinical psychologist...Key Takeaways:Don't force the issues: If you create a safe space for humans to interact, they will naturally engage regarding their differences.Acknowledging sadness is more important than "leaning into" it.Instead of measuring the distance remaining between ourselves and our goals, try measuring the accomplishments thus far!Dr. Hamlett Says it Best:"In my work as a clinical psychologist, more than ever I seek to understand how we, as humans, innovate in our relationships with ourselves and others. We’ve been conditioned to think and behave in ways that ignore the beautiful complexities and possibilities of our humanity! Even more fascinating to me, as of late: The tech people are figuring out how to make robots amazing sentient beings but yet most humans function on autopilot! Go figure!"Link to Dr. Nakia Hamlett's FREE Leadership Masterclass:
A Professional Caveman Looks at 2022: Mark "Merriwether" Vorderbruggen, Ph.D.
Jul 1 2022
A Professional Caveman Looks at 2022: Mark "Merriwether" Vorderbruggen, Ph.D.
When Hersh launched TTF, he committed to engaging fellow truth-seekers with diverse points of view, in pursuit of answers, and having some laughs in the process. He delivers - and so does Mark "Merriwether" Vorderbruggen, Ph.D. Key Takeaways:To human better, we can GET OUTSIDE, and ENGAGE with nature, because so many answers are there...and it's nicer than our basement.Some outcomes may be inevitable (just look at Beer), but science is ultimately our friend.Hersh may have six degrees of Kevin Bacon, while Merriwether has more useful Degrees from universities, but when it's 100 degrees outside, who doesn't appreciate air conditioning?? What started out as a career in chemistry with a focus on natural products morphed into becoming an internationally-recognized expert in edible and medicinal plants. This in turn led “Merriwether” to realize that a lot of modern health issues is because the modern world doesn’t give our prehistoric bodies the mental and physical inputs we evolved to need. He now tries to lure people into including simple but effective caveman activities into their lives to give them back their ancestral strength. His background in medicinal chemistry gives him unique insight into the workings of our bodies, leading to his “Go Wild – Get Healthy” mantra.Find out more about Merriwether and his Medicine Man Plant co: Facebook: @medicinemanplantcoInstagram: @mmplantco
What Follows Grief? The Epiphany Process: Jenetta Barry
Jun 22 2022
What Follows Grief? The Epiphany Process: Jenetta Barry
Today’s episode carries a trigger warning as this interview contains an in-depth discussion of suicide, grief, and mental health issues. I know this can be distressing, so please consider before listening. If you or someone you know are struggling emotionally, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)Jenetta Barry, Founder of The Epiphany Process and its non-profit, World Jenny's Day, is renowned for having helped many people through crisis. To hear her story - honestly, just to hear her voice, with its wise and soothing tone - is to understand her impact on so many in the wake of her own tragic loss, the suicide of her 16 year old daughter Jenny after they had an enormous argument. In this interview, Jenetta explains how - following an excruciating period of grieving - she went on to study and research accurate ways to get through her extreme grief and loss...and to help young people shift their mindset away from judgment.Since then, she's been able to impart to others the knowledge that she gained through walking the walk and talking the talk, and has been able to help thousands of people worldwide through application of her Epiphany Process.Not long after her loss, Jenetta realized that Jenny had died on the 10th of October which is World Mental Health Day, and so we now have World Jenny's Day where Theatre and the Arts are used to creatively shift limiting conversations around depression, suicide and effective solutions.The overall theme of the day itself is to celebrate Mental Health Wellness.Key Takeaways:Grief is not a black hole; rather, it is the beginning of a processWe should examine our emotions, not just experience themThe tools for healing may lie in the gifts we naturally possessRelated links:www.theepiphanyprocess.comwww.worldjennysday.com
A Black Christian and a White Jew Walk Into a Podcast: Barry Queen
Jun 16 2022
A Black Christian and a White Jew Walk Into a Podcast: Barry Queen
Hersh is a white Jew from Miami who's never been to Fiji. Barry is Black, and raised in the Christian faith, and just returned from those magnificent islands in the South Pacific. That's one take on the conversation between Hersh and his guest, Barry Queen Jr., a wealth advisor and, in a world rife with uncertainty, the guy you can count on. The two talk about the bond between client and advisor, and the kind established by Barry and his close friends Ari and Ali, whose podcast, "The Jew, The Muslim, and The Other Guy," (at 23:00 in our show) goes deep into race, religion, and more. Key Takeaways:Trust is what's established when you ask the difficult questions, and the other person answers them honestly.An open heart is infinite.Comedy, at it's most useful, takes place in a safe space...so it's worth the effort to build one.Content Warning: The first 20 minutes of this podcast contains brief mentions of mature subject matter such as suicide, abuse, and violence, so please consider before listening.A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and resident of Pasadena, California, Barry has enjoyed serving the role of a Wealth Advisor to families and individuals across the country over the last 13 years. Barry knew the promises of entrepreneurship, but learned to appreciate the value of sound financial planning after his father lost his business. When his father lost his business, unfortunately, he lost himself.Barry’s mission in life is that he would honor a proverb he recites to himself written by prominent Quaker missionary Etienne de Grellet du Mabillier, “I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”Find Barry
If You’re Gonna Be ANTI, Be Anti-AGE! 100M Steps with Martin Pazzani
Jun 13 2022
If You’re Gonna Be ANTI, Be Anti-AGE! 100M Steps with Martin Pazzani
Are you too old to climb Mt. Everest? Not if you start now! And it’s not only mountain climbing that keeps you in shape, mentally and physically, it’s the outdoors. As Hersh points out, a guy named Noah spent two years building an ark - and lived to be 950! In this episode, he discusses the real fountain of youth with Martin Pazzani, author of international best seller Secrets of Aging Well: GET OUTSIDE, a TED Speaker, Founder of an innovative brain fitness startup, and a mountaineer who has hiked and climbed 100,000,000 uphill steps across 7 continents, over 50 years.Having done time in the corporate world, Martin now is a serial entrepreneur, focused on longevity and anti-aging techniques, and he’s on a mission to reinvent the fitness business as upstream preventive healthcare and in so doing radically change the trajectory of aging.Key Takeaways:“Retirement” is fiction - staying engaged and active is the key to aging wellThe Healthcare industry wants to keep you as a client until you die a slow, costly death. There is an alternative!Hersh was not a smartass when he and Martin worked together, and Martin was not an a**hole Related Links:www.getoutside.onlinewww.pazzani.com Martin PazzaniMartin Pazzani is a former corporate Chairman & CEO, the author ofinternational best seller "Secrets of Aging Well: GET OUTSIDE"; a TEDSpeaker; Founder of an innovative brain fitness startup; and amountaineer who has hiked and climbed 100,000,000 uphill stepsacross 7 continents, over 50 years. His background is in in big company marketing and strategy (Heublein/Diageo, Bally Total Fitness, Crunch Fitness), MadisonAvenue advertising agencies (Foote, Cone and Belding Worldwide andDDB Worldwide), and CEO in the commercial music business (EliasMusic). He’s also the Co-Founder of a luxury craft tequila brand, Tearsof Llorona, and soon several luxury craft bourbon brands.He has many years in the fitness business studying innovation,competitive strategy, and customer experience. Now as a serialentrepreneur, he’s focused on longevity and anti-aging techniques, andhe’s on a mission to reinvent the fitness business as upstreampreventive healthcare and in so doing radically change the trajectory ofaging.
When Truth Hurts, Who Gives a Tuck? Gary S. Berger, MD, FACS
Jun 13 2022
When Truth Hurts, Who Gives a Tuck? Gary S. Berger, MD, FACS
Can plastic surgery repair a broken self-image? Is it too late for Hersh to have his dream procedure, and take off 20 years? Hersh talks with Gary S. Berger, MD, FACS, a Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and Medical Director of Park 71 Plastic Surgery. Selected as a “BEST DOCTOR” in Manhattan, the Bronx and Westchester by Better Living Magazine for several years and listed as one of America’s Cosmetic Doctors by the renowned Castle Connolly organization, Gary is beloved as much for his compassion as for his singular skill. He’s an honorary police surgeon of the New York City Police Department, and after a devastating earthquake hit the island of Haiti in 2010, he traveled with a surgical mission to Port au Prince to perform emergency reconstructive surgery on the victims.  Key Takeaways:Don’t have liposuction performed by an eye doctor! The size of your augmentation may be determined by geography (Hello, MIAMI!)Friendship keeps you young: look at these guys!Related links:Park 71 Plastic SurgeryAbout Dr. BergerFor over twenty years, Dr. Gary Berger has had a thriving practice on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, specializing in the full range of cosmetic and reconstructive Plastic Surgery procedures. Dr. Berger is Board Certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and is the Medical Director of Park 71 Plastic Surgery, an outpatient ambulatory surgical facility adjacent to our Manhattan location. In the thirty years since Dr. Berger began his medical training, he has become known for his skill, compassion and dedication to his patients. Dr. Berger works closely with each patient to develop an individualized plan of treatment. He believes that informed and educated patients will have an enhanced understanding of their surgeries. An initial consultation with Dr. Berger will review all aspects of a procedure in depth, using both photos and diagrams, in a relaxed and informational setting.Dr. Berger is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.Dr. Berger’s contributions and availability to his local communities are well known. After many years treating police officers and their families, Dr. Berger was sworn in as an honorary police surgeon of the New York City Police Department in 2013. After a devastating earthquake hit the island of Haiti in 2010, Dr. Berger traveled with a surgical mission to Port au Prince to perform emergency reconstructive surgery on the victims. Please click here to view a short video blog of their experiences.Dr. Berger received his medical degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. After finishing an internship in General Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center, and a three-year residency in General Surgery at Beth Israel Medical Center, Dr. Berger was then chosen to complete a fellowship in the prestigious Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center and was Chief Resident in his second year there..Dr. Berger is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and spent many years as the Director of the Plastic Surgery Clinics at Montefiore Medical Center. By imparting his knowledge to them, Dr. Berger helps the next generation of plastic surger