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.)

Kaitlin Olson plays Sweet Dee on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. She’ll talk about morally broken comedy characters and whether it’s a good idea to fall in love with the creator of your TV show. Later Jesse talks to Jeff Chang. About 10 years ago he wrote Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. It won the American Book Award in 2005. His new book is called Who We Be: The Colorization of America. In some ways, it's a follow up to the last one. It's about how art in America shapes, and is shaped by, race. Plus, Jesse tells you about one real-life superhero who he finds astonishing: Andre the Giant

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This week’s guest is the sleight-of-hand master Ricky Jay. He was one of the first guys performing magic at comedy and rock clubs in the 60s and is now one of the most renowned illusionists in the world. Jay is the subject of a new documentary. It’s called Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice. Later on in the show the jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer will reveal the song that changed his life and Jesse will tell you about the record cover he found on eBay that opened up a whole new world.

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Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane talk to Jesse about the unique process of filming Boyhood over the course of 12 years. The movie just won Best Director and Best Motion Picture - Drama at the 2015 Golden Globes. Then, Joe and David Henry will talk about the career of Richard Pryor. They were working on a screenplay about the late comedy legend. The movie hasn’t happened but they used their research to pen an impressionistic biography called Furious Cool. Plus, the folks from Pop Culture Happy Hour share some all-time favorite movie picks and Jesse tried to find what (if any) redeeming qualities belong to the main characters on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

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[r] Archer is back! To celebrate, we share Jesse’s interviews with voice actors Jessica Walter and H. Jon Benjamin. Walter shares a cold hard truth about Flipper.  H. Jon Benjamin talks about his days recording Dr. Katz in a kitchen pantry. Plus, find out how L.A. glam-punks The Runaways found their sound on the other side of the Pacific Ocean and hear a bit of the album where Prince became Prince.

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Get ready for the funniest episode of Bullseye this year. We present selections from the best comedy albums of 2014. This special episode of the program includes chunks from Bob Odenkirk, Cameron Esposito, Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Hannibal Buress, Sarah Silverman, Hari Kondabolu and many, many, many more.

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[r] Nick Offerman plays Ron Swanson on Parks & Recreation. Swanson is one of the most beloved characters on TV… known for his love of meat, his hatred of big government, and his healthy mustache. Then, Jesse interviews Dolly Parton about the sacrifices she made for her astounding career and how she feels about them now.  Plus, Billy Bragg shares the song that changed his life and Jesse explains why you should watch Thief starring James Caan.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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[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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