NPR: 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.)

The Bullseye Holiday Special returns for 2014! Music expert Mitchell Kezin talks about his new documentary called Jingle Bell Rocks! It dives into the world of alternative and underground Christmas music. Bill Corbett (the veteran writer and performer from RiffTrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000) talks about his new graphic novel called Super-Powered Revenge Christmas. And there’s another exciting Christmas comic out this year:  TheFlash Gordon Holiday Special: 2014. Jesse will talk to its authors, The Daily Show writers Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy and their pal Stuart Wellington. Lastly, Jesse reveals his one true holiday tradition.

Direct download: bullseye141216.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:30 AM

Two comedy giants this week. First, Jesse talks to Chris Rock about what it was like to become one of the world’s best stand-up comics in the 1990s. Rock’s got a new movie out. It’s called Top Five. Then, Jesse sits down with Monty Python member John Cleese. They’ll talk about his early life and about what Cleese really thought about the recent Python reunion. Cleese’s new memoir is called So, Anyway. Plus, we ask Scott Aukerman what piece of culture he wishes he had made. His answer? Twin Peaks. Lastly, Jesse tells you about a TV show that lets people just be people.

Direct download: bullseye141209b.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:30 AM

Jesse sits down with a cult comedy icon to talk about why Mr. Show influenced an entire generation of new comedians. Bob Odenkirk’s new book of humor fiction is called A Load of Hooey. He’s also got a new stand-up comedy album out. It’s called Amateur Hour. We’ll feature some of it on our year-end Best Comedy of 2014 Special. Plus, the historian, author and DJ Rickey Vincent will tell you about why Parliament’s Mothership Connection ended an era and then started a new one. Lastly Jesse tells you about a song that makes him feel like a better world is possible.

Direct download: bullseye141202.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:30 AM

[r] Mavis Staples is one of the greatest singers of our time -- a gospel, soul, and R&B vocalist known for her deep, rich voice. She began as the lead singer of The Staple Singers, a family gospel group formed by Pops Staples and several of his children. The Staple Singers achieved several hits with "Respect Yourself", "I'll Take You There" and "Let's Do It Again". They also became a musical voice of the American civil rights movement with their protest music. Jesse will ask about how Staples balanced her gospel roots with a career in popular music and about what is was like working with Curtis Mayfield and - yes - Prince. Plus, the McElroy brothers from My Brother, My Brother and Me join us to answer listeners’ pop culture questions.

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Category:general -- posted at: 10:30 AM

Paul Reubens created Pee-wee Herman. Jesse sits down with Reubens to talk about growing up in a circus town, Reubens’ early appearances on The Gong Show, and the plans for a new Pee-wee Herman movie. Jesse also talks with Aasif Mandvi. A longtime correspondent for The Daily Show, Mandvi has a new memoir out. It’s called No Land’s Man.

Plus, avant-pop artist Kimbra talks about the song that changed her life, and Jesse tells you about why Steve Reich helps him hear things differently.

Direct download: bullseye141118.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:30 AM

 We break format this week to bring you the Judge John Hodgman Special. Maybe you know John Hodgman from his appearances on The Daily Show, or as the PC from the Mac vs. PC ads. But did you know he's also a fake judge on the internet? On his podcast Judge John Hodgman, he hears disputes from real people all over the world via Skype and tells them who's right and who's wrong. And Jesse Thorn is the bailiff. We'll hear two court cases: in the first, a shy teenager files suit against her pushy dad. In the second, two friends spar over ill-mannered ponies. Then, Judge Hodgman will issue a few snap judgments.

Direct download: bullseye141111.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30 AM

For a time, Mendes was probably the most famous Brazilian musician in the world. Mendes will talk to Jesse about why bossa nova has such a universal appeal. Jesse will also talk to James Fearnley. He plays accordion for The Pogues. Fearnley will talk about mixing traditional Irish folk with punk music. He’ll also talk about when he knew that lead singer Shane MacGowan’s hard-drinking ways had gone too far. Then later you’ll hear comedian Brent Weinbach’s set from MaxFunCon. Lastly Jesse will talk about tell you about a great new thing on adult swim: What if Jesus lived in America, in 2014? In Compton? Well on this show, he does.

Direct download: bullseye141104b.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30 AM

[r] Hear interviews with two of the best interviewers in the world. First up is Elvis Mitchell. He hosts KCRW’s The Treatment. He and Jesse will talk about their mutual love for the movie Pootie Tang.  He’ll also explain why he was arrested on the Canadian border with Cuban cigars and 15 thousand in cash. Then, hear Jesse’s conversation with broadcasting icon Bob Edwards. He was the host of Morning Edition when it started in 1979. He’ll explain why he stuck with public radio for decades. He’ll also talk about what NPR was like at the very, very beginning,  Plus, Damian Kulash from the band OK GO talks about the song that changed his life. And Jesse tells you about the time when no place on Earth boomed like Coney Island.

Direct download: bullseye141028.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30 AM

This episode was taped live in the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Dan Harmon joins talks about why he was fired and then re-hired from his sitcom Community, and reveals what might be in store for the future of the show. Actor Rob Corddry talks about growing up as the ‘golden child’ what it’s like being on-set with Michael Bay. Plus, you’ll hear stand-up comedy from Andy Kindler and Steve Agee and music from Sara Watkins and members of the Watkins Family Hour.

Direct download: bullseye141021.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30 AM

DJ Quik was a house producer for Death Row Records and helped develop the G-funk sound. A lot of times those records were dramatic narratives about gangbanging. He’ll talk about how that drama spilled into real-life and about how he had to remove himself from that lifestyle. He’ll also talk about how he samples, his studio equipment and his awesome, awesome hairstyles over the years. It’ll be fun. Then, you’ll hear stand-up comedy from Cameron Esposito’s brand new album. It’s called Same Sex Symbol. Lastly Jesse will talk about why you should go and get SkyMaul 2: Where America Buys His Stuff.

Direct download: bullseye141014.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30 AM