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.)

Look, you're an NPR listener. So we probably don't need to tell you this, but it's been an intense year.  2017 was a lot of terrible and thrilling and amazing things, but it was also a banner year for stand up comedy.

So this year, the Bullseye team put their heads together. Mined the internet for the best in stand up - big names, small names, guests I've talked with before, guests I want to talk with again. You're gonna hear comedy from people like Dana Gould. And Emily Heller. And Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher. And Roy Wood Jr. Say farewell to 2017 with a hearty laugh!

Direct download: EndofYearComedySpecial.mp3
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Light up the menorah, trim the tree, take a walk out in the cool/cold/wet/whatever weather and take it all in: it's the Bullseye holiday spectacular!

We've got Andy Richter, Conan O'Brien's faithful and hilarious sidekick. He says now that he's a father, he finds joy in celebrating Christmas with his family that wasn't really there before. You'll hear holiday etiquette advice from the one and only McElroy Brothers. We'll also talk with Jane Lynch, the star comedian and actor *and* terrific singer. Plus: need a movie recommendation? The Pop Rocket Crew at Max Fun HQ has got you covered.

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Judd Apatow is one of the busiest and most notable behind the scenes guys alive today. Name 10 huge critically acclaimed comedy hits off the top your head - Judd's probably worked on half of them: The Larry Sanders Show, Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, Funny People, The Big Sick, Train Wreck, Girls - it just goes on and on. But now, for the first time in over 25 years, he's back on stage. He's been performing live for the last couple years and now he's got his first ever hour long special. It's called Judd Apatow: The Return and it debuts on Netflix this week.

 

Then, Romesh Ranganathan. He's a British stand up and TV host. And while he might not be a household name stateside, he's looking to change that. Romesh just rented a giant amphitheater in Los Angeles for his big debut - it seats nearly 6,000 people. When we first heard about this in November, he'd sold only 74 tickets. Jesse talks with him about why he's doing it, how his family's past informed his comedy, and what it's like going from crying in a corporate bathroom stall to selling out concert halls in London... and hopefully LA.

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You know JK Simmons, right? He won an Academy Award for his role in the 2015 movie Whiplash. He's that Insurance guy in those ads. He played J Jonah Jameson in the Spiderman movies. Dude puts in work - there are 183 credits on his IMDB page right now and he isn't slowing down. He's starring in the new drama The Bachelors, which is out now. He'll talk with Jesse about all that stuff, plus, the J Jonah Jameson action figure (with Desk Pounding Action™).

 

Then, Solomon Georgio. Solomon's a stand up from Seattle, via Fresno, via St. Louis, Via Sudan and then Ethiopia, where his parents are from. He's appeared on CONAN,The Meltdown with Jonah & Kumail, Comedy Central and more. Solomon's got a really unique presence on stage. Sometimes he's vulnerable and sincere, sure. But then he'll strike a pose and make an outrageous joke about his perfect thigh gap and like magic - you believe him. His debut record - Homonegro Superior, is out now.

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We've got a couple of our favorite recent Bullseye interviews this week, first up: Margaret Cho, from last year. She's made a career of searing and revealing comedy. Lately she's been performing on the street to raise money for the homeless, marrying couples on stage,  too. She also just launched a huge international tour of standup, called "Fresh off the Bloat." It kicked off just last week in Scotland.

 

Then, Lisa Hanawalt, the cartoonist and author. When she was a guest in 2016, she'd just released her book Hot Dog Taste Test. Hanawalt's work is full of child like energy. She's obsessed with animals and also animal-human hybrids. Hanawalt also produces and runs the visual elements of the hit Netflix animated show BoJack Horseman, where people and animals live together in a kind of weird, hyper-real Hollywood.

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First up this week, the one and only Greta Gerwig! You probably know her as an actor - she starred in Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha and a bunch of other indies. She's also been in Oscar contenders like Jackie and 20th Century Women. Now, she's written and directed a film of her own: Lady Bird. And no exaggeration - it's one of our favorite movies from this year.

 

Then, Lee Unkrich. For over 20 years now, he's been one of the leading creative voices at Pixar. He worked on Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, a bunch more. He directed Toy Story 3, probably the darkest and most affecting of the movies in that series.  Now, he's directed Coco, the newest Disney / Pixar movie. Set in Mexico, Coco is a story wrapped up in the Mexican day of the dead - dia de muertos. He'll talk with Jesse about the making of Coco and lots more, especially his time working on Silk Stalkings, the classic 1993 erotic police procedural on USA.

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Hey Bullseye fans! We have a special bonus treat for y'all today. We're gonna give you a look at Heat Rocks, the brand new music podcast here at Maximum Fun. It's an interview show that dissects classic, canonical urban and soul albums and the people who love them.

This time, join writer Oliver Wang and music director Morgan Supervisor Morgan Rhodes as they interview tech blogger (and avid Prince fan) about the Purple One's all-time classic "1999."

You can find out more about Heat Rocks at heatrockspod.com or just search "heat rocks" in your favorite podcast app. 

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Two legends this week: first up, Amy Sedaris. Amy's made a career playing characters - and we say this with absolutely *zero* shade intended - people who are kind of grotesque and weird. The weirder and grosser the better - take Jerri Blank on Strangers with Candy or Mimi Kanasis on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, too. But on her new show, At Home with Amy Sedaris, Amy pretty much plays herself. She talks with Jesse about how that's a transition out of her normal comfort zone. Also discussed: rabbits, monkfish, and girl scout badges!

 

Then, the great Paul Reiser the legendary standup and actor. He's also the creator of a brand new TV series, it's called There's Johnny and it's premiering this week on Hulu. It takes place in the early 70s, behind the scene of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Reiser knew Carson about as well as anybody could and dishes on what it was like appearing on his show almost a dozen times.

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Look, you probably know who John Hodgman is already. He's been on the Daily Show, This American Life, Adventure Time, way more stuff. Here at Maximum Fun he's the judge on the Judge John Hodgman Podcast. John's also written four books. His latest is Vacationland, and it's a pretty big departure. It's kind of a meditation on aging and the world we live in today. It's about fatherhood and adolescence and how to accept that at some point in your life, there's gonna be more road behind you than ahead.

 

Then, Tig Notaro. The comedian's brilliant TV show One Mississippi is back on Amazon for a second season. She joins Jesse to talk about her start in comedy, how she incorporates autobiography into plot points, and the importance of having an all-female writing staff on the show.

 

Finally: Surprise! An outshot about a tiger painting.

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For five seasons, Stephanie Beatriz has starred on the hit fox show Brooklyn Nine Nine. She plays Detective Rosa Diaz, easily the toughest cop in the precinct - she's brave, she's serious, she rides a motorcycle. Now, she stars in a new film - a drama called The Light of the Moon. It's a nuanced, touching and realistic look at the trauma left in the wake of a brutal sexual assault.

After that: Griffin Dunne! He's an actor. You might've seen him on the new Amazon series I Love Dick, or as the lead in the Scorsese classic After Hours. He's also a director, and his latest film focuses on the writer Joan Didion, who happens to be his aunt. He talks with Jesse about the decision to make the film, her legacy in the world of journalism and how he mustered up the courage to ask her some pretty tough questions.

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Good October to you, boys and ghouls! It's a very special Halloween Spooktacular edition of Bullseye!

 

First we have Cassandra Peterson, the woman behind Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. She'll talk with Jesse about where her iconic character came from, her childhood growing up in the midwest and what it's like to have a pinball game bearing your likeness.

 

Then, a very special visit from comedian Andy Daly (Review, Reno 911, Silicon Valley), with the song that changed his life: the Monster Mash.

 

Plus spooky and ooky movie recommendations from the team at Maximum Fun's Who Shot Ya podcast, and Jesse recommends a Halloween song that's so good… it'll give you chills! Mwahahahaha!

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You know Gilbert Gottfried, right? That comedian with the crazy loud voice who tells gross, sometimes kind of tasteless jokes. He was the voice of the Aflac duck at one point, too.

There's really two Gilbert Gottfrieds, though - there's that guy, and there's the pretty quiet guy who has a wife and two kids and, you know, picks up paper towels on the way home or whatever. Now, he's talking about all of that. He's the subject of a new documentary, it's called Gilbert. He talks with Jesse about the process of revealing his private side on camera for the first time.

Then, a deep discussion about Catholicism, love, and privilege with filmmaker Maggie Betts. Her debut film, Novitiate, tells the story of nuns-in-training in the mid 20th century as their lives and society were in total upheaval.

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First up: Amy Ryan. You've seen her as Beadie Russel on The Wire, in The Office, Gone Baby Gone, a bunch more. She's starring in the new movie Abundant Acreage Available too. She'll talk with us about all that stuff, plus, how she convinced her family it was cool to skip college and give acting a real go.

Then, Shea Serrano. He's a writer. He's covered basketball, music and more for ESPN, Vice, the Ringer, and more. And he took kind of an unusual path to making a career out of it. Born and raised in Texas, Serrano was originally a teacher who'd write in his spare time. He only started writing full time a little over two years ago. His new book is a hot one - it's called Basketball and Other Things, it's beautifully illustrated, and it's out now.

Finally: some beautiful words about the baseball team with the worst record this year.

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This week's Bullseye takes you inside the home of the one and only Carl Reiner. A true legend in comedy - Reiner's been in the game since World War Two. Alongside Sid Caesar, he performed on the pioneering Your Show of Shows. He's best friends with Mel Brooks. Reiner also created the Dick Van Dyke Show, wrote Steve Martin's The Jerk and much more. Now, at 95, he's published his 18th book: it's called "Too Busy to Die." Indeed!

Then, Kate and Laura Mulleavy. If you don't know them by name, you've seen their work: the two co-founded Rodarte, one of the most innovative and desirable clothing labels out there. The Mulleavy sisters aren't content to stay put in fashion, though - they just wrote and directed Woodshock, a heady, awe-inspiring film starring Kirsten Dunst.

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A dynamite pairing this week! First, Rapper Open Mike Eagle talks about growing up in Chicago, his slow and steady rise to success and his undying love for professional wrestling.

Then, Paula Poundstone. You know her as a legendary standup, as a voice actor, too, probably. But I mean, this is NPR. So you know her as Paula Poundstone from Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me, right? We brought her on to talk about the movie she loves so much she wishes she made it: 2011's Bridesmaids.

Finally: an outshot about a baseball card and a word we can't say on NPR.

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Two Bullseye classics this week. First up: Judy Greer. You've seen her as Kitty Sanchez in Arrested Development, as Cheryl Tunt on Archer, in Jurassic World, a bunch more. She's one of the most successful co-stars in Hollywood. It stands to reason. She’s a gifted actress, she’s funny, she’s beautiful, but she still looks like a real human being you might know in real life. She talks with Jesse about her roles on screen, how she came to terms with being a co-star, and what it's like being recognized constantly on the street.

 

Then, Ice-T, from 2012.  He's been acting for over 25 years and he was a pioneer of West Coast hip-hop in the early 80s.  His breakthrough on screen was in 1991's New Jack City, and he spent the last dozen years or so solving crimes on Law and Order: SVU. He's an MC and as the frontman of the metal band Body Count he's released more than a dozen albums in his 30 year music career. At the time, Ice had just directed Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, a documentary about hip-hop's origins. Ice talks with Jesse about the good old days of rap, where it's headed now, and how he ended up writing bars for the one and only Mr. T.

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Two Bullseye classics this week! First up: Jesse's 2014 conversation with The Pointer Sisters, one of the biggest R&B groups ever, about their rise to stardom and struggles to stay together as a family. Then, his 2011 interview with funk bass legend Bootsy Collins. Bootsy talks to Jesse about his career as one of pop music's greatest bass players. Also discussed: how'd he end up playing with James Brown? How'd he keep George Clinton down to earth? And where'd he get those dope star glasses? Twinkle twinkle, baby bubba!

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Tim Gunn of Project Runway and more talks fashion, surviving trauma and more. Even some hot couture takes on the American political landscape! Then, singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton talks about his latest work - a dystopian concept album and companion graphic novel - both called "Solid State."

 

Finally: Did you know Norm MacDonald gave one of the funniest Comedy Central Roasts ever? And it wasn't even a roast, really?

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Joining us this week is actor Wallace Shawn, whose many film credits include roles in The Princess Bride, the Toy Story films, and My Dinner with Andre. An accomplished playwright and author, Wallace talks to Jesse about his recent book, a long essay titled "Night Thoughts."

But first: a visit from Canadian comedian and director Jay Baruchel. Jay talks about directing "Goon: Last of the Enforcers" and explains what makes the Canadian comedic sensibility so unique. Plus, English singer-songwriter Nick Lowe recalls the 1950s country and western song that changed his life. Finally, Jesse praises a story-driven video game that captures the loneliness and ambiguity of our lives.

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This week, two of our favorite Bullseye guests. First up: Ellie Kemper, star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. If you haven't seen it, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has a pretty unusual premise. A woman emerges from a mid-western bunker. She’s been held captive there by a cultish kidnapper. She and her fellow captives are national news. So, she moves to New York, the one place she can think of where no one will care. The mix of characters and dense, super joke filled pace has earned Kimmy love from critics and a bunch of Emmy nominations - Ellie's up for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series this year.

 

Then, Flying Lotus. Jesse talked with the musician back in 2010, he'd just released his third record, Los Angeles. Born Steven Ellison, he was at the head of a burgeoning beatmaking scene here in LA that would eventually leave a huge, lasting impact on pop and hip hop. Over the course of five records, dozens of collaborations, FlyLo has created lush, kind of psychedelic soundscapes. It's a little disorienting sometimes, but it's always gripping. Now, Ellison's directed his first ever film. It's called "Kuso," and it's probably one of the most intense, and frankly gross, movies to come out in the last few decades.

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This week, two Emmy nominated heavy hitters. First up: Alfred Molina. Talk about auspicious starts: Alfred Molina's first American film role was as the "Throw me the idol, I'll throw you the whip" guy in the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Since then, he's had over 150 parts. That includes unforgettable roles in movies like Coffee and Cigarettes, Boogie Nights, and yes - even Spider-Man 2. He just got an Emmy nomination for his role on Feud: Bette and Joan.

 

Then, Louie Anderson, the legendary standup and former TV host. His role as Christine on the FX show Baskets just earned him his second Emmy nomination. When he plays Christine, he's in drag, sort of, but there's no camp to it, no winking at the camera. He takes the part seriously, plays Christine funny when she's funny, plays her sad when she's sad. He says that's due in part because the role is played in tribute to his own mother.

 

Finally: Faye Dunaway. Steve McQueen. Sex chess. These are a few of Jesse's favorite things… in the 1968 film the Thomas Crown Affair.

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This week Jesse talks with the great singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco about her new album Binary, and how it's changed her writing process. What you might not know is that she also jammed with Prince. Also, a conversation with actor Aidan Gillen, who you might know as Littlefinger on Game of Thrones and Tommy Carcetti on The Wire. He plays a lot of ambitious, sometimes cagey characters. Finally, Jesse recommends a classic Randy Newman song that reveals the empty promises of fame and adulation.

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[r] This week, two of Bullseye's greatest hits. First up: Rick Moranis. At one point, he was a movie star: Strange Brew, Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and then - he quit. We'll talk about why he doesn't regret leaving show business to raise his children.


Then Jesse talks with the great Lily Tomlin about her storied career. She's been in comedy since the 60s, a bunch of movies and TV shows. She's starring in Grace and Frankie on Netflix, too, which just earned her *another* Emmy nomination.

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[r] This week, we've got two of Bullseye's greatest hits: First up, the one and only Dolly Parton! The legend of stage and song talks with Jesse about her impoverished childhood, how she's dealt with fame over the years and the songs that can still make her cry.

 

Then, Steve Coogan. You've seen him in the Night at the Museum movies, maybe Philomena and his The Trip series. But if you're a comedy fan you probably know him best for one character: Alan Partridge. He's done the Alan Partridge character for 20 years now and is gearing up to another TV series around the feckless but charming sports host.

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"The Big Sick" has been out in theaters for a while, and already it's getting a lot of buzz. Critics rated it 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and Emily Gordon are married and co-wrote the movie, which tells the true story of their courting years.

 

Plus, Terrace Martin! The hip-hop producer and jazz musician who's worked with YG, Herbie Hancock, Snoop and Kendrick goes in depth with Jesse about growing up in South Central LA, California's jazz community and how you make a track that'll rattle car doors all over America.

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We've got a special bonus Bullseye for you this week! Tavi Gevinson, editor of Rookie Magazine, actress, podcast host and much more. Jesse interview Tavi in front of a live audience at this year's MaxFunCon.

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[r] This week, we're bringing you a couple of Jesse's favorite past interviews. First up: Vince Staples! The Long Beach rapper is a legend nowadays, with his two critically acclaimed records Summertime '06 and Big Fish Theory. Vince came into the Bullseye studios back in 2014, when he had just a couple mixtapes to his name. Even then at 20, Vince was brilliant, funny and brutally honest.

 

Then we go way back - back to 2009, when Jesse recorded the show out of his apartment in LA. The guests? The Trailer Park Boys, Canadian comedy legends. John Paul Tremblay, Robb Well and Mike Smith play Julian, Ricky and Bubbles, respectively. In a rare feat of comedic ninjutsu, they talk with Jesse *entirely* in character.

 

Finally: Winter is coming, but who cares? Jesse tells you why Game of Thrones is about the journey, not the destination.

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Hey y'all! This week, we have Beth Ditto joining us. The former lead singer with Gossip, talks about growing up gay and punk rock in Searcy, Arkansas, and paying a dollar for her first kiss with a girl in a lesbian kissing booth called Homo-A-Gogo in Olympia Washington.

 

Plus, Ernest Dickerson, who directed Juice, maybe Tupac's best film, and also was director of photography on all of Spike Lee's movies up through Malcolm X.

 

Finally, we're here to say it because it's true: Car Talk was the best public radio show ever. Don't @ us.

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What an episode this week! We have New York's very own A$AP Ferg in the house. He and Jesse talk about his love for Madonna, how going to an arts high school changed his life and how being a part of a collective like A$AP Mob can make calling yourself a solo artist kind of challenging.

 

Then, Jonathan Katz joins Jesse. He's the creator and star of the animated series Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. He's also one of the funniest people we've had on - he's got a joke ready for everything. Like, since about 1996, he's been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. Does he have a joke about that? Of course he has a joke about that.

 

Finally, what's the best Prince album? The Princiest among Prince records? Jesse makes the case for Sign O' The Times, and gets about 6 songs stuck in your head as a result.

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This week, we're giving you a sneak peek into The Turnaround, Jesse's new podcast. The Turnaround brings you interviews with some of the best interviewers out there. You'll hear why Marc Maron can't stand letting strangers in house. We've got Audie Cornish, too. she hosts NPR's All Things Considered talking about how she manages to sound as smart as she does during intense, live interviews. Plus: Katie Couric. Name a famous person, especially a politician, odds are Katie Couric's interviewed them: George Bush, Jimmy Carter, Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton, many more. How does she do it? Take a listen to find out!

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[r] Big Boi's sold more than 50 millions records as a solo artist and as half of Outkast, maybe the greatest hip hop group of all time. With their 1994 debut Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Big Boi and Andre 3000 introduced one of rap's most distinctive voices: Street-minded, but just as willing to travel to the stars as to stay on the corner.

It's been more than a decade since the last Outkast record, but Big Boi's stayed active pretty much that entire time. He's released three solo albums, collaborated on a couple others. His latest is coming out this month. It's called "Boomiverse" and it's got appearances from Snoop Dogg, Killer Mike, Adam Levine and more.

Then, we hear from Catherine O'Hara. The actress and comedian starred in Beetlejuice, Home Alone, hit Christopher Guest movies like Best In Show and Waiting for Guffman. She's brilliant, charming and funny, as always.These interviews originally took place in 2013.

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This week, Jesse talks with Kathryn Hahn. She's starring in the new Amazon series I Love Dick, which also features Kevin Bacon and Griffin Dunne. The show was created by Jill Soloway, a writer Hahn's been working with a lot lately - she's also in Transparent, Soloway's other Amazon show.

 

Then, Jesse talks about the greatest TV host of all time: David Letterman. New York Times' Comedy Critic Jason Zinoman has a brand new biography on Letterman. In it, Zinoman gives us more than just Letterman's life story - it's critical examination of what made a host like Letterman so brilliant.

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This week, Jesse sits down with actor Carol Kane. They talk about her career that spans 45 years and her newest project - "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," which is now in its 3rd season on Netflix. We hear some live comedy from Chris Fairbanks and Jesse tells us why the meta-sitcom The Larry Sanders Show is one of the most real things on TV, ever.  

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As a linebacker from Flint Michigan, Terry Crews was picked by the LA Rams in the 11th round of the 1991 NFL Draft. In 1996, he played his last season ever for the Eagles. Then, he took up acting - he starred alongside Ice Cube in the Friday After Next, played Chris Rock's Dad on Everybody Hates Chris. Now he plays Sergeant Jeffords on FOX's Brooklyn Nine Nine.

Now, his latest role is in Sandy Wexler. It's the new Adam Sandler comedy on Netflix. He talks with Jesse about the film, his time in the NFL and how he overcame a devastating addiction to pornography.

Then, Jesse talks with the fascinating Amber Tamblyn. She's an actress and a published poet. In her latest film, Paint It Black, she's making her debut as a writer and director. The movie explores the aftermath of death from a really compelling and human perspective.

This week's Outshot? Gap Band IV. The Sixth album by the Gap Band. Wall to wall bangers, we swear.

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We got John Waters in the studio (he wore a beautiful Commes de Garcon shirt, btw). John has a new book out, it's a transcript of a commencement speech he gave to RISD students in 2015. Jesse talks with him about Little Richard, trigger warnings, and how the film industry tried (and failed) to make the King of Trash compromise his work.


Then, Andy Kindler stops by. Andy's a terrific stand up and hosts the latest season of the Hulu series Coming to the Stage. Since 1996, Andy's also given a speech at the Just for Laughs Festival - it's called the State of the Industry. For about an hour each year, Andy basically puts comedians and the entire industry on blast - popular targets include Jay Leno, Ricky Gervais, and lazy journalists. It's made him one of the funniest and sincere truth tellers in comedy. His newest album is a never before released recording of his original 1996 address.

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This week, Jesse talks with standup and author Moshe Kasher about his new TV show: Problematic. Like a lot of shows nowadays it's got a comedian taking on issues of the day, interviews with newsmakers, plenty of snarky jokes. But instead of John Oliver style polemic takedowns, Kasher takes a cue from legends like Phil Donahue - exploring uncomfortable issues with a genuine inquisitiveness.

Then, Felicia Day of the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 tells us about the inspirational power of The Mighty Boosh - the surreal British TV comedy.


Finally, Brother Ali. He's a rapper based out of Minnesota. There, he's part of the Rhymesayers collective - a label he shares with Aesop Rock, Dilated Peoples, and Atmosphere. For the first part of his career, he focused a lot on making protest rap - speaking truth to power, that kind of thing. His latest record is called All The Beauty In This Whole Life. On it, he takes a refreshing, positive spin on life.

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Jesse talks about life and death with George Saunders, the brilliant author of the new novel Lincoln in the Bardo. But first, Chris Gethard comes by. He hosts Fusion's The Chris Gethard show and stars in Career Suicide, a one-man show debuting this week on HBO. Plus: DJ Jazzy Jeff tells us about the song that changed his life - it's a good one, too.

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This week's Bullseye has a lot of heavy stuff. First up: Phil Elverum. Elverum's career dates back over 20 years, first as the Microphones and later Mt. Eerie. He's produced ambitious, beautiful records that mix genres like folk, noise, death metal, shoegaze and more. In 2016, though, his life took a tragic turn: his wife, Genevieve, died of pancreatic cancer, leaving behind a toddler. On his latest record, A Crow Looked At Me, Elverum takes grief and loss head on.

Then, Werner Herzog, legendary German film director talks about sitcoms, getting shot, and his newest film: the strange, thrilling Salt & Fire.

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[r] First things first: the one, the only Julia Louis-Dreyfus! After a run of 9 years on Seinfeld, one of the greatest TV comedies of all time, she's now entering her sixth season as Selina Meyer on the hit HBO show Veep. Plus, Armando Iannucci, Veep's creator. And Billy Bragg, the folk punk legend, tells us about the song that changed his life.

Direct download: Bullseye170417.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:54pm EDT

Guy Branum, comic and beloved host of MaxFun's own Pop Rocket is on TV now! He's hosting the brand new TV series Talk Show the Game Show on TruTV. Guy talks with Jesse about growing up gay in a rural California town, working on TV and the pleasure of calling out prejudiced athletes on TV. Plus, professor Emily Lordi makes the case for why Donny Hathaway Live is a classic album.

Direct download: Bullseye170410.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21pm EDT

Guess what! With opening day this week, Bullseye is bringing you its first ever Baseball special! Jesse talks with Oakland A's relief pitcher Sean Doolittle about recovering from injuries, getting called up to the majors and the weird path it took him on: starting out as a first baseman, then pivoting to closing out games on the mound. Plus, Tabitha Soren of MTV fame has a new career: photography. She just published a new book that follows the a draft class of ball players over the course of 15 years. Plus: Red Sox organist Josh Kantor on the song that changed his life.

Direct download: Bullseye170403.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:08pm EDT

This week, NPR's Linda Holmes sits in for Jesse Thorn. We kick things off with Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy. The three brothers have a brand new TV show called My Brother, My Brother and Me based on their podcast of the same name. Then, Gina Prince-Bythewood the writer/director behind Love and Basketball and The Secret Life of Bee's talks about her newest project - Shots Fired, a fascinating, poignant TV drama on Fox she co-created with her husband.

Finally, don't ever, not for one second, think you can't carry a tune. Linda tells you all you have to do is listen to the crowds at a Pete Seeger show and everyone there can sing like angels.

Direct download: Bullseye170328.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm EDT

Jesse talks with Paul Shaffer, David Letterman's former bandleader and the co-writer of the disco smash "It's Raining Men." They'll talk about his work on SNL and his role in co-founding the Blue Brothers. Plus,  how weird it feels when a thing like the Late Show, something you worked on every day for almost half of your life suddenly comes to an end. Then, children's author Javaka Steptoe, talks about his Caldecott winning book "Radiant Child."


Plus, British documentarian Louis Theroux on the craziest day of his career, and Jesse has some real talk about John Wick 2: it's the best six bucks he's ever spent. No contest.

Direct download: Bullseye170321.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:49pm EDT

This week, comic Wyatt Cenac sits in for Jesse Thorn, and it's a hell of a lineup: Sam Richardson of HBO's Veep stops by to talk about his new Comedy Central show Detroiters. Plus, Syd tha Kyd of the bands The Internet and Odd Future has her first ever solo album - it's called "Fin" and it just came out last month. She tells Wyatt about how the record got made, and why she is in no rush to meet her idols. Finally, for this week's Outshot, Wyatt recommends the weird, hilarious and profound Blaxploitation film "The Thing with Two Heads."

Direct download: Bullseye170314v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:03pm EDT

[r] Jesse sits down for an in-depth conversation with Danny McBride. McBride co-created and stars in the hit HBO series Eastbound and Down and the newer Vice Principals, which is getting picked up for a second season later this year. McBride says that if you like the characters he plays because you relate to them, you probably missed the joke. Then, legendary jazz bassist Miroslav Vitous tells us about the recording session he’ll never forget. Finally, Jesse tells you why Taika Waititi’s movie about two guys killing pigs in the wilderness is twee - and why that’s a compliment.

Direct download: Bullseye170307.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm EDT

Guest host Ray Suarez talks with Desus Nice and The Kid Mero - the Twitter legends and hosts of the Bodega Boys podcast have a new show on Viceland. Plus, we go deep into the world of science and film editing with legendary movie sound man Walter Murch!

Direct download: Bullseye_170228.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:07pm EDT

[r] Zach Galifianakis talks about fame, unlikable characters and his FX series, Baskets, now in its second season. Michael K. Williams reminisces on his dance career, playing Omar on The Wire and his starring role in the TV drama Hap and Leonard. Plus, Jesse remembers a rapper's powerful reflection on his own mortality.

Direct download: Bullseye170221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:02am EDT

Jesse talks with with Pete Holmes - the star of the new HBO show Crashing. Then, Mike Mills, writer and director of the Oscar nominated 20th Century Women.

Direct download: Bullseye170213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:45pm EDT

Jesse talks with Cristela Alonzo. She starred in the ABC show Cristela, and now she's got a great new stand up special on Netflix called Lower Classy. Plus, Stretch Armstrong, co-host of the legendary hip hop radio show Stretch and Bobbito, which gave rise to a generation of New York rappers.

Direct download: Bullseye170206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:17pm EDT

Writers Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce talk about how the two teamed up with Norman Lear to make a brand new reboot of Lear's classic sitcom One Day at a Time.


Plus, Todd Mayfield, Curtis Mayfield's son shares a new book about his father.

Direct download: Bullseye170131.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:23pm EDT

Laurie Kilmartin is a standup, she also writes for Conan O'Brien. On her new special, 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad, she talks about the loss of her father in a totally honest, touching, and funny way. Plus, comedians Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi on their new TV show, Throwing Shade and the Simpsons episode that tells you everything you need to know about the tech bubble.

Direct download: Bullseye20170124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:55pm EDT

[r] Jesse sits down with guitarist and singer Corin Tucker to talk about Sleater-Kinney, anxiety dreams, and having to work a second job while on tour. He’ll also talk to to the veteran comic and actor Tom Arnold. Arnold will tell Thorn about working with Roseanne Barr, and how he's coped with the ups and downs of his career.

Direct download: Bullseye_170116_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

This week, we are delighted to bring you a special presentation of The Judge John Hodgman Podcast. Today, you’ll hear two Judge John Hodgman cases. 

Our first case is Grand Theft Risotto. Mike brings the case against his mom, Maribeth. He says Maribeth knowingly took her daughter-in-law's recipes for a family cookbook and passed them off as her own. Maribeth says that the attribution was implied and there was no wrongdoing.

Our next case: Assault and Hey Batter Battery. Naomi files suit against her husband, Spencer. She’s embarrassed by his loud and incessant heckling at baseball games.

 

Direct download: Bullseye_JJHoSpecial_170109.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT

[r] Jesse Thorn sits down with legendary musician Bill Withers to talk about growing up in West Virginia, working in the music industry and why he wouldn’t dance onstage. Plus comedian and writer Joe Randazzo joins Jesse to discuss his book Funny on Purpose: The Definitive Guide to an Unpredictable Career in Comedy.

Direct download: Bullseye_170116.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01am EDT