Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Lemonada Media’s founders reflect on a standout first season
At the outset of Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus from Lemonada Media, Hollywood legend Jane Fonda recalled the sudden revelation she had on the eve of her 59th birthday: that she was entering her life’s third and final act.
“You know how important third acts are,” Fonda, now 85, told host Julia Louis-Dreyfus early on in the episode. “They can make sense out of the first two, right? They’re very important — it’s kind of a legacy that you’re going to leave behind.”
Right out of the gate, Wiser Than Me attracted a massive audience on Apple Podcasts, spending 29 days straight as the No. 1 show in the U.S. overall — a feat that has yet to be topped in 2023.
Apple is proud to celebrate Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus with the Apple Podcasts Award, a recognition given each year to honor a show that demonstrates quality and innovation in podcasting. The show’s popularity and accolades are a testament to its refreshingly authentic approach to amplifying the voices of older, wiser women — a demographic not often centered in mainstream culture — and encouraging intergenerational listening.
Over the course of the show’s 10-episode debut season, accomplished actor and comedian Louis-Dreyfus employs her signature wit to mine priceless nuggets of advice from women who have lived long enough and well enough to truly have perspective on it all.
Beginning a new chapter of her own at 62, the first-time podcast host brings personalities like singer Darlene Love, 82, and author Amy Tan, 71, to the microphone for far-ranging conversations that evoke laughter, tears, and just about every emotion in between.
“All of these women have demonstrated how to live a life,” Louis-Dreyfus says of her guests. “That doesn’t mean they didn’t make mistakes, but there’s something about being older where perhaps you feel not as protective in terms of sharing. And so I’ve taken advantage of the intimacy that offers. That availability to be real and to be open is a great gift.”
A big part of Wiser Than Me’s appeal is Louis-Dreyfus’s willingness to be playful and stretch the bounds of the typical interview-podcast format, explains Stephanie Wittels Wachs, cofounder and chief creative officer of Lemonada Media, the podcast’s home network. “Julia never wants to have a typical conversation,” she says. “She wants to play and weave and bob, and do all the fun things that you expect from something unexpected.”