NPR: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn (Podcast)
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.)

Ed Helms talks about the advice he received from Stephen Colbert when he first started on The Daily Show. He also talks about why he’s behind a new bluegrass festival in Los Angeles. Now, he’s behind a Los Angeles bluegrass festival. But first, Tig Notaro will talk about how her career has changed since she revealed her cancer diagnosis on stage in 2012. Plus, Nick Frost talks about a role that helped people view him as more than Simon Pegg’s best friend. Lastly Jesse tells you about one of the most meaningful songs ever recorded about being black and female.

Direct download: bullseye140930.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:30 AM

[r] Take a listen to Jesse’s interview with the terrific Pharoahe Monch. He was one half of Organized Konfusion. Even though they didn’t sell a ton of records, they were one of the most impactful hip hop duos of the 90s. Jesse asks how Monch maintained a solo career after the group broke up, even after Monch’s passion for monster movies kinda-sorta contributed to the collapse of his record label. In the second half of the show Jesse talks to the 80s rock n’ roll star Huey Lewis. Find out about his pub rock beginnings, his multi-platinum success with Sports, and the time he snuck onto an airplane bound for London. Plus, Coyle & Sharpe will approach an unsuspecting San Franciscan on the street. Music writer Oliver Wang will tell you about two great records: one got him into hip-hop, and the other is a fantastic slice of Northern soul. And Jesse will talk about his favorite part of Antiques Roadshow.

Direct download: bullseye140114b.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:30 AM

First up, Jesse’s conversation with the rapper Bubba Sparxxx. He grew up in rural Georgia and describes himself as a ‘country white boy’. His dad thought a rap career was preposterous. Bubba did it though. Jesse and Bubba talk about the rapper’s career and why it took him seven years to put out his fourth album. Later, Jesse talks to Ian MacKaye. As a member of Minor Threat and Fugazi, he made history in the punk rock world. They’ll talk about the first punk show he ever went to. Plus, Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt will each tell you about a piece of culture SO amazing that they wish they’d made it themselves. A couple of our pals at NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour share two VERY different movies on DVD that you should check out as soon as possible. And speaking of movies -- there’s something really special in theaters right now. We should celebrate it. Jesse will tell you why.

Direct download: bullseye140107b.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:30 AM

Elizabeth Gilbert’s new novel traces the life of a woman living in the 19th century as a botanist. Jesse will ask Elizabeth about what the reaction to ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ has meant to her -- both the good and the not-so-good. Then Jesse sits down with Gillian Jacobs. She plays Britta on the NBC sitcom Community. Plus, Portlandia’s Fred Armisen talks about the album he wishes HE had made; our film critic buddies at The Dissolve pick out a couple of films you’ll want to watch ASAP, and Jesse tells you why a perfect balance between the real and unreal makes one particular video game so enticing.

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Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:30 AM

Stephen Merchant says he didn’t get into comedy to become popular. He did it mostly to please himself. But then, with his buddy Ricky Gervais, he made a  TV show called ‘The Office’ and it changed both of their lives. Jesse and Stephen talk  about how the original version of the immensely popular sitcom was created, and why it was tough for the pair to decide on what to make next. They’ll also talk about Stephen Merchant’s new series for HBO called ‘Hello Ladies.’ Plus, comedy from Myq Kaplan, and Jesse plays the one song that is absolutely, 100% guaranteed to get any dance floor MOVING.

Direct download: bullseye130924.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:30 AM

[r] Stephen Tobolowsky is a veteran character actor. Now he's an author, too, but his book isn't about Hollywood stuff. It's about normal stuff from his life like getting held up at the grocery store, or spending Christmas tripping on acid. Plus, comedian Demetri Martin shares one of his favorite hobbies, we hear some all-time rock picks from music critics at The Low Times, and Jesse talks about how soul-singer Solomon Burke can seriously tear the house down. This episode originally aired in 2012. 


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Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:30 AM

From Bob Newhart to George Carlin, the comedy duo Bob & Ray influenced some of the 20th century’s finest entertainers. Jesse will talk with comedy writer David Pollock about how Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding created that bond with their audience. Pollock’s new book is called Bob & Ray, Keener Than Most Persons. And then, we revisit Jesse’s interview with the Emmy-nominated actor Tony Hale. He's having a pretty good year. He's been in a couple of big television series in recent months -- Arrested Development and Veep. Plus, our go-to rap critic recommends some all-time great tracks, and Jesse tells the true story of a man who spent the last decade and a half of his life secretly building something amazing in a rented garage.

Direct download: bullseye130910.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 6:30 AM

Hear Jesse’s interview with one of comedy’s greatest grumps: Lewis Black. He didn’t become a stand-up until his mid-thirties. Find out why he left the theater for comedy and why he actually considers himself a family comic. The answer will surprise you. Then later, Jesse talks with Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer. They just started their second season hosting a talk show for MTV. They’ve both worked a lot of comedy clubs and comedy theaters for audiences of slightly drunk twenty- and thirty-somethings, so performing for a younger, MTV demographic is a new experience. Plus, Davy Rothbart of Found Magazine shares some of his newest discoveries, and Jesse reveals the TV food show that he actually really likes.

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Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:30 AM

If a director is looking for the perfect guy to play an oblivious, cocky buffoon then Fred Willard is their man. Jesse talks to Fred about his entire career, and finds out why he turned down the lead in the movie Airplane! Then later Jesse talks to David Gordon Green. He’s directed everything from pensive, dramatic movies like All The Real Girls to huge stoner-action comedies like Pineapple Express. His new movie, Prince Avalanche exists somewhere in between. Plus, Pitchfork’s Ian Cohen recommends a couple of great new heavy rock records, we share an episode from Nate DiMeo’s The Memory Palace, and Jesse talks about his favorite Robin Thicke record. Yes. He has a favorite Robin Thicke record. It’s great, too.

Direct download: bullseye130806.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:30 AM

Dive into the empire that Cheers built. Whether it was The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Frasier, or Friends, Warren Littlefield oversaw all of it. NBC was a Thursday night powerhouse in the 80s and 90s. But now? That's all pretty much crumbled. Hear an extended interview with a real-life television executive. His book is called Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV. Plus, Oliver Wang explains how a forgotten Al Green record helped create a new kind of soul music.

Direct download: bullseye130326.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:30 AM