Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

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Bullseye from NPR is your curated guide to culture. Jesse Thorn hosts in-depth interviews with brilliant creators, culture picks from our favorite critics and irreverent original comedy. Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney's, which called it "the kind of show peo…

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    • Nov 30, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
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    • 43m AVG DURATION
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    Listeners of Bullseye with Jesse Thorn that love the show mention: sound of young america, america's radio sweetheart, bullseye, jesse thorne, jesse's, tsoya, hodgeman, jesse thorn's, jordan jesse go, terri gross, jesse is a great, maximumfun, judge john hodgman, hippest, great job jesse, host jesse, jesse always, bob newhart, public radio show, amazement.



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    Latest episodes from Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

    Director Mike Mills

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 46:18

    Mike Mills is a writer and director who's worked in film, TV, and on music videos. He's made the films Beginners and 20th Century Women and his newest movie is called C'mon C'mon. It's a film about the extraordinary burdens of parenthood and the ways it changes parents. It's also about kids and how amazing and resilient they can be, even in the face of serious trauma. Mike talks with us about C'mon C'mon and how the film connects to his personal experiences with parenthood. He also shares that the film features real interviews with kids conducted by Joaquin Phoenix. Plus, he'll talk about the role music plays in his creative process and how he always leaves room in the budget for live musicians on set.

    Joe Pera of "Joe Pera Talks With You"

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 36:58

    Joe Pera Talks with You is one of the quirkiest shows on television right now. Comedian Joe Pera portrays a fictionalized version of himself. He's a soft-spoken, unassuming, kind person. Each episode involves Joe, a middle school choir teacher, guiding viewers through his life in the city of Marquette, Michigan. He talks about the simple things in life. It's quickly becoming one of our favorites here at Bullseye. Joe Pera Talks With You is back for season three. We're revisiting our conversation with Joe from last year, from when he had just wrapped season two. Joe Pera talked about doing comedy at his own pace, sleeping in a twin bed well into his twenties and why he enjoys casting non-actors in real locations. Plus, why he considers falling asleep to be a totally acceptable response to his performances. This interview originally aired in January of 2020.

    Paul Reubens

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 30:14

    This week, we're replaying our 2014 conversation with Paul Reubens, the man behind Pee-Wee Herman. Pee-Wee is, of course, a beloved character among kids who grew up in the 1980s and 90s. He's the star of Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and so many others. Pee-Wee's Playhouse remains a singular achievement in kid's TV. It's a kitschy pastiche of a thousand TV shows that went before it, but it's also much more than that: it's a kaleidoscope of difference, a tribute to the big dreams and big feelings of being a kid. And it's so, so funny. In this interview, Paul tells us about growing up in a circus town, working hard to make Pee-Wee Herman seem real, and why Pee-Wee is a little bit of a jerk — and why that makes him work as a character.

    Paul Reubens

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 32:50

    A special treat from the Bullseye archives: Paul Reubens! The man behind Pee-Wee Herman. Pee-Wee is, of course, a beloved character among kids who grew up in the 1980s and 90s. He's the star of Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and so many others. Pee-Wee's Playhouse remains a singular achievement in kid's TV. It's a kitschy pastiche of a thousand TV shows that went before it, but it's also much more than that: it's a kaleidoscope of difference, a tribute to the big dreams and big feelings of being a kid. And it's so, so funny. In this interview, Paul tells us about growing up in a circus town, working hard to make Pee-Wee Herman seem real, and why Pee-Wee is a little bit of a jerk — and why that makes him work as a character.

    The Song That Changed My Life: Aimee Mann

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 16:48

    The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around, we're joined by Aimee Mann. Aimee is a singer-songwriter whose career dates back to the 80s when she sang in the new wave band Til Tuesday. But odds are you know Aimee for her solo career. She recently released a record called Queens of the Summer Hotel. The songs on the record started when Aimee was working on a stage version of the book Girl, Interrupted. The stage show hasn't happened, but the record is out now. It's somber, delicate and beautiful. When we asked Aimee about the song that changed her life, she took us back to 1972, to the first time she ever listened – really listened – to lyrics in a pop song. The song was Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again (Naturally).

    Drew Magary, author of 'The Night The Lights Went Out'

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 49:29

    Drew Magary is a writer and novelist. He was a longtime columnist at Deadspin. He's written features for GQ, The Atlantic and more. His latest work is a memoir. In December of 2018, Drew collapsed after an award show in New York. In the days and weeks that followed, his life changed profoundly. In The Night The Lights Went Out, Drew recounts his accident and his road to recovery. He chronicles his experience with brain damage and hearing loss, interviews the people who cared for him while he recuperated. The book is harrowing, like you'd expect in a book about traumatic brain injury. Drew talks about his renewed appreciation for life. The book is unexpectedly grounded and funny, too. Jesse Thorn talks with Drew about why after recovering from a catastrophic brain injury, he decided to quit his stable writing job. Plus, what it was like to relearn things he used to do on a regular basis. They get more into the particulars in the interview – as a heads up, things get a little graphic.

    Drew Magary, author of 'The Night The Lights Went Out'

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 49:40

    Drew Magary is a writer and novelist. He was a longtime columnist at Deadspin. He's written features for GQ, The Atlantic and more. His latest work is a memoir. In December of 2018, Drew collapsed after an award show in New York. In the days and weeks that followed, his life changed profoundly. In The Night The Lights Went Out, Drew recounts his accident and his road to recovery. He chronicles his experience with brain damage and hearing loss, interviews the people who cared for him while he recuperated. The book is harrowing, like you'd expect in a book about traumatic brain injury. Drew talks about his renewed appreciation for life. The book is unexpectedly grounded and funny, too. Jesse Thorn talks with Drew about why after recovering from a catastrophic brain injury, he decided to quit his stable writing job. Plus, what it was like to relearn things he used to do on a regular basis. They get more into the particulars in the interview – as a heads up, things get a little graphic.

    They Might Be Giants

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 38:45

    At the heart of They Might Be Giants, there are two Johns: John Flansburgh and John Linnell. The two singer/songwriters have been writing and recording together since 1982 — nearly 40 years. In that time, the band's released 22 albums, won two Grammys, and have cultivated a fanbase that is passionate, fun-loving... maybe a little nerdy. Their newest project, BOOK, is a record, but it's also... a book. It's a hardcover collection of photos of the band's longtime home of New York City, by street photographer Brian Karlsson. The photos are set alongside lyrics from the band. The Johns sat down with our correspondent Jordan Morris to talk about their early years, their songwriting process, and their "lost album" — plus, have they heard the crust punk version of Ana Ng? We'll play it for them!

    Sébastien Lifshitz, director of 'Little Girl'

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 51:58

    The documentary Little Girl is a profile of an 8 year old transgender girl named Sasha living in France. The film talks about the resistance Sasha meets from her school, the help she gets from medical caregivers, and the support she receives from her family. Throughout the film, you see how everywhere Sasha goes, she must explain who she is, answer questions, and fight to clarify something so simple and concise. Little Girl shows in very real and plain terms what it's like to be a trans child, to be a part of that child's family, and to raise and love that child. We talk with director Sébastien Lifshitz about the film and what it was like documenting Sasha's everyday life and the unique challenges she's faced with. He tells us what inspired him to make the film and how he got connected with Sasha and her family. He also shares how Little Girl has impacted the people who see it, and what they tell him.

    Dam-Funk on the Giorgio Moroder song that changed his life

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 13:38

    The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around we're joined by Dâm-Funk. He's a modern day champion of funk music. Dâm-Funk's recorded dozens of albums. His army of analog synths captures the funk sound of the late '70s and early '80s. He's perhaps the world's biggest obsessive of the dazzling late-period funk called Boogie. Dam Funk joins us to talk about Chase by Giorgio Moroder. He explains why he felt the song transcended genres, and how it helped him approach his music craft when started making his own tunes. Dâm-Funk's latest record is out now, it's called Above the Fray. He's also the host of the Apple Music show Glydezone Radio, where he spins a mix of hits and obscure finds from his collection.

    Susan Orlean, author of 'On Animals'

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 58:16


    Susan Orlean has been writing for decades. She's the author of the Orchid Thief, The Library Book and is also a staff writer for the New Yorker. This week we welcome her back to the show to talk about her latest book, On Animals. It's a collection of essays about animals and how we live with them. The animals we eat, the animals we call companions, pets, movie stars, and co-workers. She writes about donkeys, dogs, tigers, whales, and so many others. Susan joins us to talk about her new book and humanity's complicated, fascinating history with animals. She also talks about animal actors, and why they are almost always more likeable than human actors. Plus she shares the one animal she wants to pet that she has not had a chance to yet.


    Tamron Hall

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 45:51

    Tamron Hall is a TV veteran: She's host of Emmy Award-winning talk show Tamron Hall. Before that, Tamron worked in news. She had her own show on MSNBC and, for a time, was a host on the Today show. Recently, though, Tamron has taken on an entirely new endeavor: fiction writing. She just published her debut novel called As the Wicked Watch. Tamron Hall joins Bullseye correspondent Jarrett Hill for a conversation not just about the new novel, but on hosting for TV and the unique challenges Black journalists face, even super famous hosts like Tamron Hall.

    Jo Firestone on 'Good Timing,' 'Joe Pera Talks with You' and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 50:34

    Jo Firestone's new comedy special Good Timing is the culmination of months of work from her and a group of senior citizens she taught how to do standup comedy. It also features interviews between Jo and the students and behind the scenes footage from the classes. Jo joins us to talk about the new special, and what she learned when teaching stand-up comedy to senior citizens. She also talks about researching her role as a doomsday prepper on one of our favorite TV shows: Joe Pera Talks With You.

    The Bullseye Halloween Spectacular: Jamie Lee Curtis, Elvira and Harvey Guillén

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 85:41


    This week: a very spooky Bullseye Halloween spectacular! We've got Jamie Lee Curtis, Harvey Guillén and the one and only Elvira, Mistress of the Dark! Jamie Lee Curtis has had unforgettable roles in a bunch of the Halloween movies, as well as memorable roles in True Lies, A Fish Called Wanda, Freaky Friday and Knives Out. Lately, Curtis has been reprising her first ever acting role: that of Laurie Strode, from the Halloween films. She played Laurie in the 2018 movie Halloween, and she's returning in this year's Halloween Kills. She reflects on her legacy in the Halloween franchise. Then, the iconic horror hostess Elvira, real name Cassandra Peterson, is nearly synonymous with Halloween. She joins us for the latest installment of The Craziest Day of my Entire Career. Finally, Harvey Guillén! He stars in one of our favorite TV shows right now: What We Do in the Shadows. Happy Halloween!


    John Carpenter

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 51:10

    John Carpenter has made an impact on film in two different disciplines. As a director , there's so many memorable movies in his filmography: Halloween, Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, and They Live – to name a few. His work as a composer is just as iconic. Carpenter scored many of his early films – including Halloween. The music he wrote has influenced an entire generation of horror soundtracks. His latest work can be heard in Halloween Kills, the latest installment in the Halloween franchise. It's out now in theaters and the streaming platform Peacock. When Bullseye got the opportunity to talk with Carpenter, we knew just the person for the job: April Wolfe. She was previously a film critic, and former host of the Maximum Fun genre film podcast Switchblade Sisters. These days she's a screenwriter. April takes a deep dive with John Carpenter on various number of his movie projects and film scores including his Apocalypse Trilogy and Assault on Precinct 13. He also breaks down how he first composed the original Halloween theme – you might be surprised to learn bongos played an important role.

    Sonia Manzano on playing "Sesame Street's" Maria and creating "Alma's Way"

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 53:36

    For nearly 5 decades, Sonia Manzano played the part of Maria on Sesame Street. The role came to be during her college years while she was studying acting. She had just gone back home to New York for her first gig, which was a role in an off-Broadway musical called Godspell. While she was there, she auditioned for a part on Sesame Street, and her life changed forever. Now, Sonia has a show of her own called Alma's Way. It is an animated kids series that centers around the show's title character, Alma Rivera. She's a 6 year old Puerto Rican girl living in the Bronx alongside her family, friends and community members. Sonia joins the show to talk about her new PBS Kids series Alma's Way and her many years on Sesame Street. She'll also share what it's like when she meets fans in real life. Plus, she talks about her time performing in Godspell.

    Mac McCaughan: Superchunk, solo records, Merge Records

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 39:24

    In 1989, Mac McCaughan co-founded the band Superchunk. The band was abrasive and vulnerable; Guitars dominated their sound, with Mac's voice sitting low in the mix. The band caught on and became huge. So big, they helped coin the Gen X term "Slacker" with their 1990 hit "Slack Motherf--ker." To release Superchunk's albums, Mac and his bandmates started their own label: Merge Records. Mac is also a solo artist. He's released a handful of albums and EPs under his own name, in a broad range of genres. He's made everything from folk rock to ambient music. His latest record is called The Sound of Yourself. It's a fun pop record that caught the ear of our friend Jordan Morris. They talk about recording an album during lockdown, using samples in songwriting, and what makes a good sax solo on a pop record.

    Photographer Gusmano Cesaretti, and graffiti artist Chaz Bojórquez

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2021 52:30

    The photography book Street Writers: A Guided Tour Of Chicano Graffiti was first published in 1975. To the extent that a photography book can be a cult classic, Street Writers is one. The book featured black and white photographs, mostly portraits, all shot in and around Los Angeles' East side. In Street Writers, you see a lot of young people – teenagers, children, young adults. They're sitting on bleachers, playing in the storm drain, jogging past a liquor store. It was all shot by this young Italian photographer – Gusmano Cesaretti. And pretty much all of Gusmano's photos have one thing in common: graffiti. Street Writers was re-published earlier this year for the first time in decades. Jesse Thorn talked with Gusmano, and Chaz Bojórquez , a veteran street artist and one of the book's original subjects. They'll talk about how the Los Angeles neighborhoods Gusmano photographed have changed. Plus, Chaz on his decades long career as a graffiti artist, and the thrill he gets knowing he's never been caught doing graffiti.

    Mark Mothersbaugh: The Craziest Day of My Entire Career

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 1, 2021 14:28


    Mark Mothersbaugh doesn't need much of an introduction. He's a composer who's worked in TV and film for almost 40 years now. And, of course, he's also the co-founder and frontman of Devo, the beloved new wave/post-punk band. The band got its start in Ohio in the early 1970s, and had hits like 1980's Whip It. And they're touring again! So we figured we'd reach out to Mothersbaugh for a segment we call The Craziest Day of my Entire Career, and boy oh boy, did he deliver! This story has it all: celebrities, disco, wild miscommunication, Andy Warhol. You should also know that there's some drug use and descriptions of violence in this segment. Mark is still scoring movies and TV shows — you can hear his music in the upcoming movie Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, which also stars former Bullseye guests Kathryn Hahn and Steve Buscemi.


    G Perico

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2021 61:44

    G Perico is a gangster rapper from Los Angeles. That puts him firmly in a tradition stretching from Ice T and the DOC in the 80s through Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg in the 90s and on to hitmakers like The Game and YG in the 21st century. Listen to one of his tracks, and it's hard not to hear the echoes of thirty-some years of records about cruising, barbecuing and throwing gang signs in the streets of LA. He talks about his lived experiences in his music. He raps about the LA he grew up in from cookouts and car shows. And where there is always danger around the corner. G Perico broke through in 2016 with his project **** Don't Stop. That record established him at the vanguard of LA street rap. In the five years since, he has recorded nine albums. This includes four he has released this year, with the latest being called Play 2 Win. He joins Bullseye and reflects on his upbringing, the music he listens to, and embracing his imperfections. He also talks about his creative process and his love for writing. Plus, he talks with Jesse about the people in his life that influenced his signature hair style.

    The Song That Changed My Life: Buddy Guy

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 24, 2021 16:50


    The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around, we're joined by guitarist Buddy Guy. Buddy is one of the greatest blues guitarists alive today. From his home studio in Chicago, Buddy took us back to his childhood in Louisiana. He explains how John Lee Hooker's song Boogie Chillen' encouraged him to learn the guitar in his early teens. Plus, he shares a story about getting to meet his hero, John Lee Hooker; and becoming friends with him, too. Check out Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase The Blues Away on your local PBS station or on PBS.org.


    Jessica St. Clair and Dan O'Brien

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2021 51:12

    Jessica St. Clair is a comedy writer and actor. Alongside Lennon Parham, she created and starred in the comedy series Playing House, which aired for three seasons on USA. Dan O'Brien is her husband of 15 years and works as a poet and playwright. He is also a former Guggenheim fellow whose work has shown off-Broadway and in London. Jessica and Dan have experienced and survived cancer together. They both had separate diagnoses and different treatments. A few years back, Jessica was diagnosed with breast cancer, and shortly after Dan was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. It was an intense and freighting time for both of them and as they have recovered, it has inspired their work. They join Bullseye to talk about Dan's new book Our Cancers and the year and half of being treated for cancer that inspired it. Jessica and Dan also talk about how their battles with cancer affected their child, their relationship, and their careers.

    I Wish I'd Made That: Nick Offerman

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 17, 2021 13:11


    Artists, musicians, and filmmakers are often inspired by what they see or hear. Sometimes that thing is so great, they tell us they wish they made it themselves. It happens so often we made a segment about it called I Wish I'd Made That. The one and only Nick Offerman joins us this time around. Nick is probably best known as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation. When we asked him if there was any TV show, movie or album he wishes he made, Nick said he leaves that to the professionals. Usually, our guests pick a movie or a TV show they love. But, Nick decided to channel his love of woodworking and tell us about the greatest guitar he ever held in his hands: The Gibson J-200.


    Remembering Michael K. Williams

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2021 50:40

    Actor Michael K. Williams died earlier this month. He was 54 years old. He was best known for playing Omar Little on The Wire. Michael began his career in entertainment first as a dancer in New York, then an actor with a handful of walk-on credits. By the time he auditioned for The Wire he was in his mid-30s. When Jesse Thorn talked with him in 2016, he was starring in a show called Hap and Leonard. When we heard the news about Williams' passing, we went into the archives to listen back to our conversation. There's some stuff you might've heard in the past, a lot of stuff you haven't.

    David Byrne

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2021 55:49

    David Byrne! The one and only. The founder of the Talking Heads talks with Jesse about his latest project American Utopia, and his return to playing live music. He also shares some of the music he's been listening to lately and tells us about where he learned his iconic dance moves. Plus, he'll tell us why his very different brain powers his art.

    Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2021 65:00


    Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have been working together for 40 years, producing some of the biggest R&B records of all time. In their four decades of working together, the fedora-wearing giants of R&B music have written and produced over 40 top-ten hits. They've worked with Prince, Babyface, Usher, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and more — the list goes on and on. All that producing hadn't left them a lot of time to write songs of their own, but lucky for us, that's changed. This past July they released their first ever album as recording artists. It's called "Jam & Lewis, Volume 1," and it sure was worth the wait. It features vocals from a bunch of their collaborators: Mary J. Blige, Boys II Men, Morris Day and more. The music legends join Bullseye to talk about the new album, the hits they contributed vocals to, and the jaw-dropping synthesizer work they do on the Janet Jackson single "Love Will Never Do."


    Rostam on the Paul Simon song that changed his life

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2021 16:35

    The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around we're joined by singer songwriter Rostam. He got his start as a member of Vampire Weekend. He produced the band's first three records, including some of their biggest hits. He's since left the band but keeps busy producing. He collaborated on a record with Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen in 2016, followed that up with his solo debut, and produced the acclaimed Haim record Women in Music Pt. III. Rostam joins us to talk about The Coast by Paul Simon. Rostam explains how the song helped him visualize and produce the first Vampire Weekend album. Plus, he'll shares a story about the time he met Paul Simon when the band performed on SNL. Rostam's second solo album Changephobia is out now.

    Ted Lasso's Hannah Waddingham

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2021 50:58


    Hannah Waddingham stars alongsie Jason Sudekis in Ted Lasso. She plays team owner Rebecca Welton in the series. Hannah joins guest host Linda Holmes of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour to chat about her role in Ted Lasso. Plus, she talks about her years of performing in theater, her iconic part on Game of Thrones, *and* what it's like to perform in an award-winning musical when a mouse is stuck in your dress.


    Uzo Aduba: In Treatment, Orange is the New Black and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 20, 2021 40:50

    Uzo Aduba first rose to fame playing a character known as Crazy Eyes. It was on Orange Is the New Black, a part of the first class of original TV shows on Netflix. Crazy Eyes, whose real name is Suzanne, was one of the many prisoners in the women's correctional facility the show focused on. Aduba won two Emmys for her portrayal of Suzanne, one for comedy and the other for drama. Since Orange is the New Black, Aduba has gone on to even bigger and better things. She played Shirley Chisolm in the Hulu miniseries Mrs. America. She's performed on Broadway. And, recently, she's starred in the HBO series In Treatment. So we're thrilled to have Uzo Aduba on the show, and just as excited to Tre'vell Anderson, the writer and host of FANTI, interviewing her.

    Bonus: Remembering Zumbi, of Zion I

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2021 9:08

    Zumbi, born Steve Gaines, made up half of the Oakland duo Zion I, who were stalwarts of the Bay Area hip-hop scene for decades. Zumbi died at 49 and what follows is an appreciation of his art and music. Jesse shares some words about Zumbi and we play a clip from Zion I's 2009 live performance at SF Sketchfest.

    Sam Richardson

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2021 44:29

    On the latest episode we welcome back Sam Richardson! His breakthrough role came in HBO's Veep. The political satire starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus where everyone is terrible, mean, incompetent, and they all hate each other. Everyone, except Sam's character, the cheerful, incorruptible Richard Splett. Sam is also a writer. With the help of Saturday NIght Live alum Tim Robinson, they co-created and starred in Detroiters, a show about two buddies working for an advertising firm in Detroit. Sam Richardson has a brand. He typically plays cheerful, friendly characters who are usually so nice they end up getting in their own way. Recently, he's been trying different kinds of roles. He has the lead role in horror comedy Werewolves Within, and he starred alongside Chris Pratt in the sci-fi action film The Tomorrow War. He joins Jesse Thorn to talk about branching out, Detroiters, and what it was like growing up between the United States and Ghana. Plus, they'll discuss some of his funniest bits from Tim Robinson's sketch comedy show I Think You Should Leave.

    Aidy Bryant on Shrill, Saturday Night Live, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 13, 2021 49:25

    Odds are, you probably know Aidy Bryant from Saturday Night Live. She's been on the cast now for almost a decade. She's been on the cast now for almost a decade. On the show she's done killer impressions, sang on a handful of memorable SNL songs, and starred in numerous skits. For the last few years, Bryant has also starred in and written for her own show: Shrill. The show follows her character Annie, a struggling young journalist who is determined to change her life without changing her body. It just wrapped up its third and final season on Hulu, and it has earned Bryant an Emmy nomination for best lead actress in a comedy series. She's also up for best supporting actress in a comedy series for her work on Saturday Night Live. Guest host Tre'vell Anderson chats with the Emmy-nominated actor about Shrill and her personal connection to her character in the show. She also shares the fun way she found out about her Emmy nominations. Plus, she looks back on some of her favorite moments from both Shrill and Saturday Night Live.

    Jonathan Majors

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2021 43:30

    Jonathan Majors has been acting professionally for just under five years now. He's done theater, TV, and starred in movies. In that short amount of time, he's become one of the most captivating performers in Hollywood. He was in two of our recent favorites: Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods and Joe Talbot's The Last Black Man In San Francisco. On screen, he's charismatic and charming when the role calls for it, and he can turn to vulnerable and broken almost instantly. He's the kind of actor that just helps take the story to the next level – he has a sort of magnetic quality. Watching him, you can easily lose yourself and forget about other performers. Recently, Majors earned an Emmy nomination for his work on HBO's Lovecraft Country. Jonathan Majors joins us to talk about Lovecraft Country, and reflects on being the child in a family of veterans. Plus, he'll dive into acting theory and craft – and he gets into it, really into it.

    Alice Waters, chef and activist

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 6, 2021 33:41


    50 years ago, in Berkeley, Calif., a restaurant called Chez Panisse opened its doors. It wasn't super buzzy at the time. The chef, Alice Waters, hadn't opened a restaurant before. The night they opened, they had a lot of friends helping out, but were short on silverware. They served a four-course menu that cost just under $4. Chez Panisse eventually became known as one of the finest restaurants in the country, if not the world. But what made the place important is that Chez Panisse was one of the first restaurants to champion local, seasonal, sustainable food. If you read up on the history of today's sustainable food movement, Alice Waters' name is all over it. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Chez Panisse's opening, we're replaying our interview with Waters from 2019.


    Kamasi Washington

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021 54:16

    We're revisiting our conversation with Kamasi Washington, one of the greatest living saxophone players. In the studio, he's played saxophone and arranged for hitmakers like Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Run The Jewels, Snoop Dogg – and that's just naming a handful. On his own, he's a visionary bandleader with over half a dozen solo records to his name. He broke through in 2015, with his three hour long instant classic The Epic – a record that found its way to a bunch of top ten lists. These days, he's getting back to playing live music. With a handful of shows on the horizon all over North America this fall. Kamasi Washington talks about his time playing sax in bands, as a composer and bandleader. Plus, he'll reflect on one of his first major gigs with Snoop Dogg and collaborating with Kendrick Lamar on To Pimp A Butterfly. Of course, we also dive into his nearly unbeatable Street Fighter II skills. This interview originally aired in November of 2018.

    Busy Philipps

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 30, 2021 44:42

    Busy Phillipps has well amassed over 60 credits on the big and small screen. Her first big break came when she was just 20 years old on the acclaimed and influential TV show Freaks & Geeks. She followed that up with an appearance on Dawson's Creek and went on to star in several more TV shows and films. Her latest project is Girls5Eva, which was created by Meredith Scardino and is executively produced by Tina Fey. It's a comedy series about a fictional girl group that had a handful of smash hits right at the turn of the millennium. Think equal parts Spice Girls and N'Sync. Busy Philipps joins guest host Jordan Morris to talk about Girls5Eva, the resurgence of Freaks and Geeks in the age of streaming, and the moment she realized she wanted to make a career out of acting. Plus, she takes a Spice Girls quiz to see what group member she is.

    Tom Scharpling

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2021 48:40


    For over 20 years, Tom Scharpling has hosted The Best Show. It aired on the New York public radio station WFMU until around 2013, and now it's a podcast. Tom's also a comedy writer who's worked on shows like Monk, What We Do in the Shadows and HBO's Divorce. As a voice actor, he's appeared on the Cartoon Network shows Steven Universe and Adventure Time. On the latest episode, we talk with Tom about his new book It Never Ends: A Memoir with Nice Memories, and hosting The Best Show for more than two decades. Plus, Tom tells us why C3PO, the fussy golden Star Wars robot, is one of the worst fictional characters of all time. Heads up: There is going to be some very serious talk about mental illness, including Tom's experience with electroconvulsive therapy. We thought we'd let you know.


    Andrew McCarthy

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 23, 2021 48:40


    The Brat Pack, as you might know, is a term for a group of 8 or so actors who starred in about a dozen movies in the 1980s. There's Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, a bunch of others — and Andrew McCarthy. But McCarthy always kind of pushed back on the label of being a Brat Pack actor — he wasn't really into the whole nostalgia thing. Eventually, though, something changed. He even wrote a book about it. Brat: An 80s Story is a memoir that looks back on an era that changed his life forever. Andrew stopped by the show for an interview with guest host Julie Klausner, the writer and actor. He talks about coming to terms with the Brat Pack label, what his kids think of Weekend at Bernie's — and how he feels about being labeled a dreamboat. We'd like to hear your thoughts on Bullseye! To take a short, anonymous survey, go to npr.org/podcastsurvey.


    Singer-Songwriter Liz Phair on her New Album "Soberish"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2021 51:16

    Look at just about any "greatest albums of all time" list and you'll usually see Liz Phair's 1993 record Exile in Guyville. The album put her on the map as a singer-songwriter. The production was no thrills and the songwriting was personal at times and tongue-in-cheek at others. It inspired a bunch of bands and artists such as Courtney Barnett, Foo Fighters, and even Olivia Rodrigo. She followed that up with a number of great records including her self-titled album in 2003, which was her first ever major label record. On the album she collaborated with writers and producers that had previously worked with Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne. The album polarized writers at the time. While some thought it was a fun Summer pop album, others dismissed it as trivial. With her fans, though, it confirmed something they'd known for a long time. That Liz Phair won't be boxed in. She just released her first new album in over a decade. It's called Soberish. It's great and she continues to push boundaries on the project. She joins guest host Louis Virtel to talk about the new record, her friendship with Alanis Morissette and getting ghosted by Laurie Anderson. Plus, she looks back on the time she almost met Joni Mitchell.

    Remembering Gift of Gab

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 16, 2021 31:18

    We're remembering the life of rapper Gift of Gab, who died last month at just 50 years old. Gab was the co-founder and MC for the legendary Northern California hip-hop group Blackalicious. If you're a serious hip-hop head, you know them; If you're not, you might recognize him for the tongue-twisting track Alphabet Aerobics. He could go toe-to-toe with anyone, and he knew it. Sometimes you wonder how he managed to breathe, never mind think. He was a battle rapper and a philosopher — a virtuoso. In this episode, we'll revisit a 2005 interview with Gab and DJ Chief Xcel, from back when this show was called The Sound of Young America. Then, the return of the Outshot: Jesse talks about what Gift of Gab meant to him, and what it's like to lose a hero. Lastly: We'd like to hear your thoughts on Bullseye and other NPR podcasts! To take a short, anonymous survey, go to npr.org/podcastsurvey.

    Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2021 32:06


    Melissa McCarthy has played some unforgettable parts, like in Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy. She met her husband, Ben Falcone, when they were members of the Groundlings theater in Los Angeles and have been performing together on stage and screen for almost 20 years now. Together the two have made five movies now. Their latest collaboration is the Netflix film Thunder Force, a superhero comedy which was released earlier this year. We're taking a moment to revisit Melissa and Ben's conversation from 2014. They'll talk about their high school days, including Melissa's goth phase, their fateful meeting in the Groundlings, and what it was like getting Kathy Bates to play a role that was literally written for her.


    John Waters: I Wish I Made Pasolini's Salò

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 9, 2021 17:24


    Content Warning: this segment contains some graphic descriptions of torture, sex and violence. It's an interview with John Waters for a segment we do called I Wish I'd Made That. In this episode, the director behind Hairspray, Crybaby, and Pink Flamingos. He stops by the show to talk about the 1975 film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom which is directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The release of Salò was controversial and some might say it is one of the most upsetting movies ever made. John Waters, whose films have earned him the title of "The Pope of Trash," has been a longtime fan of Pasolini's work. So, it is no surprise that he chose to talk about this film.


    Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2021 53:16


    Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger keep busy with various projects in show business. They're parents, too. The celebrity couple don't get much one-on-one time together. In their podcast Did You Get My Text with Meredith and Patton they take a break from their busy lives as actors to talk about all the text messages, memes and random stuff they sent each other each day. Along the way, they get into serious stuff: relationship issues, friendships and loss. On the latest episode of Bullseye – Patton and Meredith discuss parenting, the joys of being nerdy and their new podcast. Plus, we get into their virtual meet cute – they texted for months before they heard each other's voices. Heads up: This interview has plenty of jokes, but we also get into some more serious topics like dealing with grief. In 2016, Patton lost his first wife, true crime writer and journalist Michelle McNamara suddenly. We thought we'd give you a heads up.


    Wendy and Lisa

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2021 70:57

    We're dedicating this week's show to music duo Wendy and Lisa. Together they recorded some stone cold classics with Prince's band The Revolution: Purple Rain, Raspberry Beret, Kiss, When Doves Cry and more. These days, they're known for their work composing scores for TV and movies: Heroes, Dangerous Minds, Crossing Jordan, and Nurse Jackie. Their latest composing credits can be heard on Cruel Summer, the new teen thriller from Freeform. Wendy and Lisa talk with us about their 40-plus year partnership, and their Emmy award-winning work as composers. They'll reflect on their childhood friendship, and the work their fathers contributed as members of The Wrecking Crew. And of course, what it was like to collaborate with Prince, and work on some of his most iconic records.

    Canonball: Writer Aaron Carnes on third-wave ska

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 25, 2021 17:20

    Canonball is a segment on Bullseye that gives us a chance to take a closer look at albums that should be considered classics, to find out what makes them great. This time, the writer Aaron Carnes tells us why Crab Rangoon by MU330 deserves to join the canon of great pop records. Aaron is a music journalist who just wrote In Defense of Ska, which, well, does what it says on the tin: It champions not just the critically acclaimed, punk-adjacent two-tone bands of the late '70s and '80s, or the pioneering Jamaican bands from the '60s, but ska's third wave as well. That means Reel Big Fish, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and more. Aaron tells Bullseye about Crab Rangoon by MU330. He puts the album in the context of the entire third-wave movement, and explains why the album shows ska music can be more complex and serious than you might think.

    NBA Hall of Famer: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2021 41:08


    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. A NBA Hall of Famer, six-time MVP, nineteen-time All-Star, and of course, the master of the skyhook shot. He excelled at basketball in high school, went on to play college ball at UCLA, and was drafted first overall in the NBA where he played for twenty-one seasons. Since retiring from basketball he's written books, columns, and even worked as a writer for Veronica Mars. He's also an outspoken advocate for social justice and his most recent project is the documentary film Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America. We talk with the NBA legend about this new documentary, playing alongside Magic Johnson, and his roller disco days. Plus, he'll also share why he was never able to play a game of Double Dutch as a kid.


    Will Forte: MacGruber, SNL and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 18, 2021 40:53

    If you know Will Forte from one thing, it's probably Saturday Night Live. He was a cast member for eight years, playing characters like MacGruber. He also starred in and created the hit TV show Last Man on Earth, and had parts on 30 Rock and a bunch of other comedies. Plus there was the Academy Award-nominated Nebraska, in which he starred alongside Bruce Dern. When we talked to Forte last year, his movie Extra Ordinary had just come out. It's a horror-comedy set in Ireland where ghosts are real, and they can haunt just about anything — homes, processed cheese, a piece of gravel — and they're easy to miss. Unless you have the gift of second sight. He tells us about making Extra Ordinary, the mixed reception MacGruber received and trying to stay healthy during a grueling work schedule.

    Antonio Banderas on "Pain and Glory," "Mambo Kings" and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2021 46:10

    Award-winning actor Antonio Banderas is probably one of the most versatile, charming and handsome actors out there today. You've probably seen him in "Zorro," "Philadelphia," "Desperado," or maybe heard him in "Shrek" – he played the voice of Puss in Boots. His latest project is "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard," which comes out in theaters this week. When we last spoke with him, he had just starred in the Pedro Almodóvar directed film "Pain and Glory." We revisit our 2019 conversation with the extraordinary actor to discuss "Pain and Glory." Plus Banderas talks to Bullseye about his childhood in Spain, connecting with people through pain, and reuniting with director Pedro Almodóvar. He'll also talk about how he learned the lines to "Mambo Kings," before he became fluent in English.

    Ryan O'Connell on Netflix's 'Special'

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 11, 2021 49:28

    Content warning: This interview contains some explicit language and graphic, frank talk about sex that some listeners might be sensitive to. Ryan O'Connell is the creator and star of the Netflix show Special. It's a semi-autobiographical sitcom about Ryan's own life – his experience as a gay man, and coming to terms with his identity as a disabled person. Ryan has cerebral palsy. It's a congenital disorder that can affect someone's movement, muscle tone, or posture. For Ryan, that means it manifests mainly as a limp. Season one of the show tackles Ryan coming to terms with his disability. In the latest season Ryan learns to become more accepting of himself. The show's depiction of disability on screen is groundbreaking. It shows the intersection of disability and sexuality in a way that is rarely ever seen on screen. And it does it in a way that is funny, lighthearted and relatable. Public radio veteran Ray Suarez interviews Ryan on the latest episode of Bullseye.

    City of Ghosts creator Elizabeth Ito

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2021 50:19

    City of Ghosts, the children's show on Netflix, is a bit hard to explain. It's animated in 3-D, and the characters — mostly children — look kind of like Wii avatars. It's set in Los Angeles, and the backgrounds are real places that thousands of people encounter here every day: Koreatown subway stations, Venice skate parks, East LA restaurants and so on. It's framed like a documentary, hosted by a group of kids called the "Ghost Club" who get reports of ghosts in the city, go to find them and, once they do, sit down to interview them. And despite the name, City of Ghosts isn't scary or alienating — it's the opposite. It's warm, inviting and illuminating, and it gives viewers of all ages a better idea of the world around us without sacrificing our capacity for imagination. It's a difficult balance, but the show's creator, writer and animator Elizabeth Ito, does it beautifully. She joins Bullseye to talk about making children's TV that adults can enjoy, capturing the feeling of her hometown of Los Angeles and the time she saw a ghost.

    Comedian Chris Gethard on the time he got Diddy to play the UCB theater

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2021 24:49


    The Craziest Day of my Entire Career is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite people about some truly unbelievable stories. Stepping up to the plate this time around is longtime standup comedian Chris Gethard. When we asked Chris about the craziest day of his entire career, he shared with us the jaw-dropping, completely true story of the time he got Diddy to come play at the UCB theater.


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