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.)

Hari Kondabolu talks about the distinct advantages and disadvantages of being a stand up comedian who's also a former social activist and organizer. Director Jake Kasdan talks about the strategy involved in making a movie called Sex Tape. Carolyn Kellogg recommends some of her favorite westerns. Jesse tells you about Harvey Pekar, a man who made the mundane and everyday feel special.

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Nat Faxon talks about going from bit parts to starring roles, and what it was like to meet George Clooney. Mimi Pond talks about the sex, drugs and profanity she encountered while working at a diner in the 1970s. She put together a graphic novel about all of it. Werner Herzog reveals his origin story. Mark Frauenfelder shares some new culture recommendations. Jesse tells you about The Beach Boys’ Smiley Smile.

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[r] Fred Willard talks to Jesse about why he plays a cocky buffoon all the time, and why he turned down the lead in Airplane! Dave Tompkins talks about how the vocoder went from a military encryption tool to a musical instrument. Eleni Mandell reveals the Tom Waits song that changed her life -- but it’s not the one she meant to hear. Todd Martens recommends a couple of all-time favorites from Wilco and Material Issue. Lastly, Jesse will tell you about Elliott Gould as a noir hero in Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye.

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Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone are both creative and romantic partners. They’ll talk about their most recent collaboration, the new movie Tammy. Then Jesse will talk to another family that’s working together: The Sklar Brothers.Randy and Jason Sklars' stand-up comedy special is called What Are We Talking About?  Plus, culture picks from the folks at NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, Davy Rothbart from FOUND Magazine, and Jesse talks about his favorite, crazy-eyed player on the San Francisco Giants.

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Category:general -- posted at: 11:30 AM

Jesse talks to the man inside the Big Bird suit. Caroll Spinney has been Big Bird since the beginning in 1969. He’s actually Oscar the Grouch, too. Spinney will talk about why he’s stayed connected to the world of Sesame Street for so long. Then later, comedian Ian Edwards talks about going from fast-food employee to professional comedian. Plus, some recommendations for great old movies and the reason why Randy Newman’s ‘I Love L.A.’ is ironic but also kind of not ironic.

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Max Greenfield plays Schmidt on the FOX sitcom New Girl. He'll talk about why it’s the role he was really meant to play. But first, Jesse talks to the music critic Carl Wilson. He wrote a book about a Celine Dion album, but more than that the book is about why we like what we like and hate what we hate. Then later, Moby will talk about the punk song that changed his life, the L.A. Times’ book critic Carolyn Kellogg will share a some new fiction and non-fiction you should check out, and Jesse will tell you about the perfect music for riding low and slow.

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Jesse talks with the comedian Nick Thune. For a long time he didn’t talk much about his personal life on stage. That's been changing recently. They’ll talk about that and his new special Folk Hero. Then Jesse talks to the rapper Vince Staples. As a teenager, he got jumped into a gang in Long Beach, where he’s from. He didn’t expect to become a rapper, and he doesn’t think street life is anything to brag about. We’ll talk about his life and newest mixtape. Then, Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell explain why In The Court of the Crimson King was a blueprint for prog rock.  And lastly, Game of Thrones just overtook The Sopranos as HBO’s biggest show of all time. Jesse loves it, but doesn’t care how it ends. He’ll explain.

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[r] Maybe you’ve seen Luis Guzman in more movies than anyone else, or maybe it just seems that way. On this episode, Guzman talks about his journey from New York social worker to prolific Hollywood character actor who lives in Vermont. Then later, David Rees talks about why he dedicated himself to the craft of artisanal pencil sharpening. Plus, Pitchfork’s Ian Cohen talks about a heavy record from last year that has already made his best-of-all-time list. And Jesse says that rap isn’t poetry, but that it can be just as densely packed with meaning and allusion. He’ll play a Jay-Z verse that proves it.

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Jenny Slate had a rough first night on Saturday Night Live, but she hasn’t been sweating it since. Things have worked out pretty well. Marcel the Shell has millions of views on YouTube, and she’s even got the lead in a new upcoming movie about a stand up comic dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. It’s called Obvious Child. Later, Loren Bouchard, the creator of Bob’s Burgers, will explain how he pieced together the animated show’s theme music. Plus, the folks at NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour will tell you about a movie-to-TV adaptation that's actually worth watching, and a great new graphic novel. Lastly, Jesse will tell you about the one time he actually believed that live theater was better than just going to the movies.

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Two late night hosts! Jesse talks to John Oliver about why it's sometimes weird to make jokes about American politics when you're a Brit, and how he got used to living in New York. Then Jesse sits down with one of the most iconic late night hosts ever: Arsenio Hall. He'll explain why he's back after almost 20 years. Plus, the folks from Wham Bam Pow will talk about why you should go back and watch 'Cloud Atlas' and 'Back to the Future 2'. Tim Simons, the actor you might know as Jonah on HBOs 'Veep', will explain how he got The Part. Lastly, Jesse will tell you about a charming song that's tough to find on CD. But that's OK because we're going to play the whole thing for you.

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