Bullseye with Jesse Thorn (general)
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.)

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.

Direct download: Bullseye171121v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19pm EST

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. 

Direct download: BullseyeHeatRocks1117.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09pm EST

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.

Direct download: Bullseye171114.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:49pm EST

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.

Direct download: Bullseye171107v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:28pm EST

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.

Direct download: Bullseye171031.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:54pm EST

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!

Direct download: Bullseye171024.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38pm EST

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.

Direct download: Bullseye171017v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:23pm EST

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.

Direct download: Bullseye171010.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30pm EST

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.

Direct download: Bullseye171003.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:52pm EST

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.

Direct download: Open_Mike_Eagle__Paula_Poundstone.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:01pm EST