Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
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 people listen to in a more perfect world." (Formerly known as The Sound of Young America.)

Actress Sarah Paulson is best known for playing numerous characters on American Horror Story and Marcia Clark on The People v. O.J Simpson.

Sarah sits down with Jesse to talk about working on The People v. O.J., her first big acting job, and dealing with the ups and downs that come with being a working actor. 

Although it was not popular at the time of its release, Shuggie Otis’ album Inspiration Information influenced countless musicians and has been sampled by artists like Digable Planets and J Dilla. Shuggie tells us what went behind making this rock/soul classic.

And Jesse explains why Paul and Gary O’Donovan’s craic interview is one of the best things to come out of Rio Olympics

 

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Lynda Barry is a self-identified "freak", a cartoonist, a writer, and for the last couple of years, she's also been a college professor teaching interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin.

What does that mean? Well, she encourages students to abandon their fears of creating and embrace their work and process.

Lynda Barry’s book The Greatest of Marlys is now available in hardback

Our friends Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson from Pop Culture Happy Hour give us some pop culture recommendations during a live show in Washington, DC.

Jesse heartily disagrees with A.O. Scott's review of the film version of MacGruber. In short: MacGruber exists, and the world is better for it.

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Nikki Glaser is a comedian and host of the Comedy Central series Not Safe with Nikki Glaser.

Nikki sits down with Jesse to talk about developing her Comedy Central show with her boyfriend, even when they were in the middle of a breakup. 

Dave Holmes is a comedian, writer at large for Esquire Magazine, and host of Maximum Fun’s very own podcast International Waters.

Jesse is joined by Dave to talk about growing up gay in the 80s with no real role models to look up to. They also discuss working for MTV, self-acceptance and his new book, Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs. 

Jesse tells us why the Olympics is such a beautiful sports event, even for people that don’t like sports.

 

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Chuck Klosterman has written countless articles for GQ, ESPN, The Washington Post, Esquire, The Guardian and more. His new book, But What if We’re Wrong, examines how the present will be perceived it as the past. What exactly will be thought of as important events to people that are hundreds of years removed from it all? Is it even possible to get every fact correct when writing about the past?

Klosterman sits down with Jesse to talk about how we consume culture, how historians frequently reinterpret historical events, and how writing online and writing for print are fundamentally different undertakings.

Socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell shares with us the best piece of advice he’s ever received.

Jesse talks about Tony! Toni! Toné! and how they successfully merged soul music and hip-hop to create a new type of R&B.

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[r] Keegan-Michael Key talks to Jesse Thorn about creating characters for his sketch show Key and Peele. Plus, Tituss Burgess from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, tells about the time he performed live at the Tony Awards with a malfunctioning microphone.

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Danny McBride is comedic writer and actor who started his career starring in the cult classic comedy, The Foot Fist Way. Although the film went to Sundance and was a modest success, McBride went back to North Virginia to work as a substitute teacher. Danny and frequent collaborator Jody Hill began creating the series Eastbound & Down, which would jumpstart McBride’s career and make him a film and television star.

He has appeared in numerous comedy films, such as Tropic Thunder, 30 Minutes or Less, and Observe and Report. McBride is perhaps best known for writing and starring in the HBO series Eastbound & Down, where he plays disgraced MLB player, Kenny Powers.

McBride sat down with Jesse to talk about about working with Jody Hill, writing for Eastbound and Down, and dealing with people who idolize Kenny Powers just a little too much.

Danny McBride’s new show is called Vice Principals.

Jazz bassist Miroslav Vitouš explains how working with Weather Report on the composition Morning Lake is an experience he will never forget.

Miroslav Vitouš’s new album is called Music of Weather Report.

Jesse talks about the film Hunt for the Wilderpeople and why calling it “twee” is actually a compliment.

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Though most people find it difficult to find anything funny about depression and anxiety, comedian Aparna Nancherla. has used her own struggles with mood disorders to inspire her comedy. A rising star in the comedy world, Nancherla bravely reveals her struggles with depression in a way that makes the experience both relatable and hilarious.

Clams Casino joined Jesse to talk about the influences that lead to his unique sound, and some of the ways he paid his dues coming up in the world of hip-hop production. They also discuss his new album, 32 Levels, and how he developed his relationship with rapper Lil’ B. The two of them have long been collaborators, including on the new album, but didn’t really get to know each other until making of the new record. Clams Casino’s new album is called 32 Levels.

Jesse checks in on the classic movie you should see before going swimming this summer.

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Though she didn’t earn a degree in the sciences, author Mary Roach has a knack for writing about them with insight and wit. Whether she’s describing what happens to the body after death or the many aspects of human sexuality, Roach makes her topics accessible and fun.

Roach has authored half a dozen books including: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, as well as articles for magazines including Vogue, GQ, and National Geographic.

Mary Roach sat down with Jesse about whether shark repellant actually exists, life on submarines and how leaches inspired her to write a book on military science, Grunt.

William Bell is a soul singer and songwriter whose distinctive sound is forever associated with the legendary Stax Records. Along with with performers like Otis Redding, Sam and Duke, Isaac Hayes and the Staple Singers, Bell helped create music that continues to entertain and inspire.

He is famous for his hit songs including  You Don’t Miss Your Water, Private Number, A Tribute to the King and Everybody Loves a Winner. He also co-wrote the classic song, Born Under a Bad Sign which was originally performed by Albert King and later covered by Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Cream and even Homer Simpson.

William Bell joined Jesse to talk about what it was like beginning his musical career while still a teenager, how he returned to his career after being drafted and his new album out on Stax Records, This is Where I Live.

Jesse shares why Tanya Tucker’s voice and classic song, What's Your Mama's Name manages to move him every time he hears it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesse Thorn sits down with comic book author and the designer of Netflix’s Bojack Horseman, Lisa Hanawalt.  He also talks to comic Wyatt Cenac about his upcoming stand up series, Night Train.

 

 

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This week Jesse interviews Rachel Bloom,the star and co-creator the CW show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.  Also, Esperanza Spalding tells us about the song that changed her life.

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