Bullseye with Jesse Thorn


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 Nov 3, 2018


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.)

Episode Date
Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro League Baseball Museum
This week, we're talking baseball! Jesse talks with Bob Kendrick, the President of the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City. He's here to talk about the importance of Black Americans in shaping modern American baseball, the talent and legacy of the Negro League players, and how he's celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro Leagues. All that and more on this week's Bullseye!
Aug 11, 2020
Remembering Carl Reiner
Today, we're looking back on the life of the great Carl Reiner. He died earlier this Summer. Carl's career in comedy spanned seven decades. He got his start during World War II. Carl did it all – he went on to perform on stage, radio, TV and movies. Alongside Sid Caesar, he performed on the pioneering Your Show of Shows. Carl created the Dick Van Dyke Show, one of the greatest TV shows of all time. He co-wrote and directed Steve Martin's The Jerk.
Aug 07, 2020
'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino
This week, we're re-listening to Jesse's interview with the great Amy Sherman Palladino. She's the creator of the hit television show "The Gilmore Girls" as well as the critically-acclaimed series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Her signature writing style is beautifully verbose with characters often expressing themselves with clever "bslink and you'll miss them" - style zingers that reward those willing to pay extra attention to the dialogue. Her work on Maisel includes all of the above as well as ensuring that everything down to the set decoration is accurate to the era she's depicting. Amy chats with Bullseye about making the decision to leave behind ballet to pursue television writing, pushing forward creatively despite setbacks and the impact her parents had on her career choices. Plus, we make some room to talk about bringing 1960s New York to life.
Aug 04, 2020
Julia Sweeney on "SNL," "Work in Progress," "Shrill"
Maximum Fun's Carrie Poppy (Oh No, Ross and Carrie!) interviews comic actor and writer Julia Sweeney! You probably saw Julia's work on Saturday Night Live in the early '90s alongside Chris Rock, Dana Carvey, and Chris Farley. These days, you can see her on Showtime's Work in Progress. In it, she plays a fictionalized version of herself who has to answer for the damage done by one of her most well known SNL characters: Pat. You can also catch her on the Hulu comedy Shrill. Julia plays Vera, mother to main character Annie. The show talks a lot about body image issues – and how family, especially our parents can sometimes exacerbate those feelings. Carrie Poppy chats with Julia about her work on stage. Plus, her complicated relationship with SNL's Pat and how they fit into Work in Progress. We also get into the type of mother she is in real life in relation to her character on Shrill.
Jul 31, 2020
Director Kelly Reichardt on her new film, First Cow
Today's guest is a revered film director: Kelly Reichardt! Kelly's new film, First Cow, is the story of a loner cook who befriends a Chinese immigrant while traveling across 1820's Oregon and the cow whose milk they hatch a plan to steal. Kelly joins us to talk about how a Floridian ended up making films about the Pacific Northwest, why she's not really interested in show business, and how a person goes about casting a cow! All that and more on Bullseye!
Jul 28, 2020
Katori Hall, playwright and creator of "P-Valley"
FANTI podcast hosts Jarrett Hill and Tre'vell Anderson are taking over Bullseye this week! Next up, Tre'vell's interview with Katori Hall. She's an award-winning playwright. Her most acclaimed work is perhaps The Mountaintop. It imagines Martin Luther King's last night on earth at the Lorraine Motel. These days, she's the creator and showrunner of the new Starz show P-Valley. It's based on a play of hers by the same name. It's set in a place called The Pynk – a strip club in the Mississippi Delta. The show focuses on the people who work in the club: the women on stage, the bouncers, the bartenders, and the boss: Uncle Clifford. Tre'vell Anderson chats with Katori about the show and where it fits into the broad conversation of stripping and sex work. Plus, where she got the idea for the show and embracing the humanity of this often overlooked industry.
Jul 24, 2020
Norm Lewis on "Da 5 Bloods," Broadway and more!
FANTI Podcast hosts Jarrett Hill and Tre'vell Anderson are taking over Bullseye this week! First up, we have Jarrett's interview with Norm Lewis. The Broadway veteran and Tony-award winning actor has appeared in hit shows like Scandal and was the first African American actor to step into the lead role in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. He appears in the new Spike Lee film Da 5 Bloods about a group of lifelong friends and Vietnam vets returning to the country after decades to fulfill a pact. Norm chats with us about creating a realistic portrayal of the impact of PTSD on Black war vets, his work on Broadway and how stage actors are finding new ways to channel their creativity during quarantine. Plus, he talks to us about how a random bar singing contest gave him his start in the creative arts. All that and more on Bullseye!
Jul 21, 2020
Sarah Snook on playing Shiv in HBO's "Succession"
Odds are, you know actor Sarah Snook from her role on HBO's Succession – one of the most acclaimed TV dramas in the last decade. She plays Siobhan Roy, but to her friends and family, it's just "Shiv." She is the youngest child and the only daughter in an ultra-wealthy family. The patriarch, Logan Roy, is the head of a large media conglomerate, Waystar Royco. Succession is a show about ... well, succession. Shiv's brothers feud constantly hoping to be the next to lead the family empire, and at first, she's happy to let her brothers fight it out. But like pretty much every character on Succession, it doesn't take long for the cracks to show. Linda Holmes, the host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, talked with Sarah about what it's like to play one of the most fascinating, complex and confounding characters on television today. Plus, what Sarah hopes Shiv will get to do in Succession's third season.
Jul 17, 2020
Matt Berry on "What We Do in the Shadows," "Toast of London" and more
Actor-comedian extraordinaire Matt Berry is our guest this week! Matt currently stars on the FX series What We Do in the Shadows, a show about a group of vampires living in current-day Staten Island. Matt joins us to talk about playing a vampire, where he got the inspiration for his Toast of London character, and how writing songs from the perspective of a serial killer really boosted his career. All that and more on Bullseye!
Jul 14, 2020
Hardcore Punk band Trash Talk
Trash Talk got their start playing DIY venues in Northern California more than a decade ago. They've since gone on to play their energetic, cutting version of hardcore punk in front of crowds at music festivals like Coachella and Camp Flog Gnaw. The music they play is fast. It's loud. Very aggressive. Think along the lines of Black Flag or Suicidal Tendencies with a bit of thrash metal thrown in. Jordan Morris chats with bassist Spencer Pollard, singer Lee Spielman and guitarist Garrett Stevenson of Trash Talk. They talk about their new EP Squalor and what makes the crowds at the band's shows so different from most punk shows. Trash Talk will be hitting the road once it's safe to do so – but for now Squalor is perfect for a circle pit in your living room if you're looking to let out any pent up rage during quarantine.
Jul 10, 2020
Rose Byrne on "Irresistible," "Bridesmaids" and more
Rose Bryne chooses interesting characters. She was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of "Ellen Parsons"— a ruthless lawyer on the critically-acclaimed law drama "Damages." There's also her role as Helen Harris III in 2011's ensemble comedy Bridesmaids. This year, you can catch her in the political comedy "Irresistible." It's directed by John Stewart and stars Steve Carell. Guest host Jordan Morris chats with Rose about what it was like to work with the former "The Daily Show" host, perfecting the American accent and how Megyn Kelly inspired her role in the film. Plus, she'll tell us what it was like to be in a Star Wars movie!
Jul 07, 2020
Mary Randolph Carter on "The Joy of Junk"
Today we're replaying our conversation with the great Mary Randolph Carter. "Carter," as she's known, is the best-selling author of several books on the subject of "junk." Her latest is called "The Joy of Junk: Go Right Ahead, Fall In Love With The Wackiest Things, Find The Worth In The Worthless, Rescue & Recycle The Curious Objects That Give Life & Happiness." It's all about the beauty and lessons that can be found through the art of thrifting. She's also a creative director at Ralph Lauren! We talk to Carter about how her upbringing shaped her connection to "stuff," her favorite junk journeys and how a trip to The Outer Banks during hurricane season helped prepare her for a career in treasure-hunting. Plus, we'll chat about her experience working with the acclaimed design house.
Jul 03, 2020
Lin-Manuel Miranda on "Freestyle Love Supreme," "Hamilton" and more
We'll revisit our conversation with the one and only Lin-Manuel Miranda! He's probably best known as the star and creator of the biggest musical in the last 20 years – Hamilton. The award-winning, massively influential musical about the founding father Alexander Hamilton. You'll be able to watch a film version of Hamilton on Disney Plus starting July 3rd. Later that month, the documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme will premiere on Hulu. The film tells the story of the hip-hop improv group Freestyle Love Supreme, which he co-founded long before Hamilton fame. And if that wasn't enough – Lin's starring in the HBO show His Dark Materials. It's a fantasy series based on the book by the same name. Lin-Manuel Miranda talks about how his career has changed since Hamilton. We'll also talk about the time he turned down a part in a Marvel movie.
Jun 30, 2020
Cartoonist & Graphic Novelist Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang has written a lot of critically acclaimed graphic novels: American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, The Shadow Hero, and the graphic novel series Secret Coders. Four years ago, he won a MacArthur "genius" grant. He also works at DC Comics, home to Superman, among others. He's got two new books out now. Superman Smashes the Klan pits America's favorite superhero against the KKK. The other book, Dragon Hoops is a memoir about his time as a high school teacher in Oakland, following his school's basketball team. Jordan Morris, in for Jess, geeks out with Gene about Marvel superheroes, DC Comics, and attending comic conventions. They'll also talk at length about the decision to pit Superman against the KKK and how Superman's story mirrors the experience of immigrants in the US.
Jun 26, 2020
Rob McElhenney: Always Sunny, Mythic Quest, more!
Guest host Jordan Morris chats with actor, director Rob McElhenney about his career. Rob's the creator and star of what will soon be the longest running American sitcom of all time— It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It's a show about five friends who are just about the most terrible people you've ever met and their weekly antics as they run a bar in South Philadelphia and try to scam their way out of and into just about every situation imaginable. His latest series is called Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet. It's about the gaming industry and he's re-teamed with a few of his Sunny writing partners. We'll talk to Rob about growing up without a Nintendo in the house, bringing honesty to his projects and how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted his show's production. Plus, we'll chat about some of his favorite games growing up. That's on the next Bullseye!
Jun 23, 2020
Indigo Girls
It's a collaboration that's lasted 35 years now and is still going strong. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers – Indigo Girls! They're the duo behind the songs Closer to Fine, Galileo, The Power of Two, and so many other darling folk rock classics. Amy and Emily have been writing, arranging and performing together since high school. They recorded these quiet, beautiful melodies, usually using pretty simple arrangements: an acoustic guitar, maybe a mandolin or electric guitar added for flourish. The band has a new album that dropped last month, it's called Look Long. Guest host Linda Holmes chats with Amy and Emily about the new record. What it's like to parent during quarantine. Plus, we chat about their eclectic taste in music. Find out which Indigo Girl is listening to Young Thug these days!
Jun 19, 2020
Giancarlo Esposito: Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad and Do The Right Thing
We're joined by guest host Linda Holmes for a very special interview with Giancarlo Esposito. Giancarlo plays Gus Fring, the brilliant villain on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. He also played Buggin' Out in Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee's masterpiece. Esposito talks us about the complexity of his characters, his time on The Electric Company and his work on Do the Right Thing. Plus, we'll talk to him about a very difficult time in his life and working through the trauma of racial profiling.
Jun 16, 2020
Daveed Diggs: Hamilton, Clipping, Blindspotting and more
This week, we're taking a look back at our interview with multi-talented performer Daveed Diggs. He's an actor of stage and screen appearing in projects including Zootopia and Black-ish. In 2018, he co-wrote, produced and starred in Blindspotting alongside his lifelong friend Rafael Casal. He's also the lead vocalist for hip hop group Clipping. His latest projects include the animated series Central Park and the television adaptation of Snowpiercer. We'll talk to Diggs about his musical inspirations, the merits of "corniness" and how Lin Manuel Miranda changed his life. Plus, we'll talk to him about Hamilton, of course! That's on the next Bullseye!
Jun 09, 2020
Doug Jones: The Craziest Day of My Career
The Craziest Day of My Entire Career is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite people about some truly unbelievable stories. This time around, we're joined by actor Doug Jones. He often portrays non-human creatures with the help of visual effects, prosthetics and heavy make-up. You've seen him in The Shape of Water as the amphibian man – and as the terrifying faun with eyes in his palms in Pan's Labyrinth. When we asked him about the craziest day of his entire career, he took us back to 1998 to the set of the film Bug Buster. During filming, he had an unforgettable run in with Randy Quaid. You can check out Doug Jones' latest work on Star Trek: Discovery on CBS: All Access and What We Do In The Shadows on FX Now.
Jun 05, 2020
Elisabeth Moss
You know Elisabeth Moss for her roles on Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale. Or maybe you're a West Wing fan and waited with baited breath to see if Zoey and Charlie would end up together. Her new film Shirley is a semi-biographical tale based on the life and work of horror writer, Shirley Jackson. Elisabeth joins us this week to talk about adding Producer to her resume, her fascination with playing women accused of losing their minds, and, of course, her iconic role in the 1991 Hulk Hogan comedy Suburban Commando.
Jun 02, 2020
Remembering Coyle and Sharpe, groundbreaking comedy duo
This week, we're doing something a little different: looking back on the work of Jim Coyle and Mal Sharpe. Two brilliant comedians, decades ahead of their time. The comedy duo recorded a series of hilarious and bizarre man-on-the-street records in the 1960s. They'd approach people with usually an absurd proposition: let's rob a bank together. Let's give a stranger a child. Let's become one person – all all three of us. Deeply weird and deeply funny questions. Jim Coyle died in 1993. Mal Sharpe died this past March. He was 83. We're taking time to remember the comedy duo by revisiting a couple conversations with Mal Sharpe. The conversations are some of the first celebrity interviews on the show, back when it was called The Sound of Young America. We'll also listen to some classic Coyle and Sharpe vox populi interviews.
May 26, 2020
Tina Fey and Robert Carlock
Hey! It's Tina Fey and Robert Carlock - the legendary co-creating and writing team behind 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, two of the funniest TV shows ever! Tina and Robert join us to talk about their new Netflix special, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs The Reverend, an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure style special episode. Plus: SNL, 30 Rock, and why the teeth are the outside bones! Not the inside bones!
May 19, 2020
Adult Swim's 'Three Busy Debras'
Maybe you're looking for a distraction. Maybe it's a TV show. One that can transport somewhere else. Perhaps it's a world where iguanas are mail carriers, and lawn hedges are trimmed with shaving cream and razors. Three Busy Debras is that place. It's a briliant, bizarre show set in the fictional town of Lemoncurd, Connecticut. We'll chat with the creative minds behind Three Busy Debras: Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari and Alyssa Stonoha. They'll explain what it means to be a Debra, and where they initially got the idea of the Debras. Plus, what it was like to sell out Carnegie Hall.
May 15, 2020
Comedian Eugene Mirman
We're joined by comedian Eugene Mirman! The comedian and writer has opened for comedy duo Flight of the Conchords and played Yvgeny Mirminsky on Adult Swim's Delocated. He is also the voice of "Gene Belcher" on the popular Fox animated series Bob's Burgers. We'll talk about his latest project, a documentary titled It Started as a Joke. It's about Brooklyn's alt comedy scene as well as a personal story about his family. Eugene joins Bullseye to discuss dealing with grief, defining space in his life for silliness and why community is so important to him. All that and more on the next Bullseye!
May 12, 2020
Comedian Nikki Glaser
This week, we're joined by the great Nikki Glaser! Nikki has been a star in the standup community for years, but she's probably best known for her performances on Comedy Central's Celebrity Roasts where her devastating one-liners really get to shine. She joins us to talk about her latest stand-up special Bangin'. Plus, she shares how she's keeping busy during quarantine, how she felt the first time she did standup, and what it's like to be a woman in comedy.
May 08, 2020
Christoph Waltz
We're joined by the great Christoph Waltz! We'll talk about his breakout role in Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino's bonkers World War II action thriller. At the time, Waltz was a relative newcomer to American films. His role as Colonel Hans Landa earned him not only his first ever Academy Award nomination, but also his first Academy Award. Almost overnight, he became an American movie star: The Green Hornet, Django Unchained, the most recent James Bond movies. His latest project is Most Dangerous Game on the mobile streaming platform Quibi. It's a retelling of the classic short story by Richard Connell. We chat about that, dive into his Opera career, how he stumbled into acting, and so much more!
May 05, 2020
Remembering Bill Withers
Bill Withers died last month. He was 81. For Bullseye this week, we look back at our two interviews with the soul singer responsible for such classics as "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean on Me" and "Grandma's Hands." We look back at the life of the man, the myths behind why he left the industry and the soul of the artist. Bill also talked to us about charting his own course to happiness in life.
Apr 28, 2020
Cartoonist Ben Katchor
Cartoonist Ben Katchor is probably best known for his comic strip Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, a comic about small businessman who roams the city capturing pictures of a fading ideal of New York. His newest work is called The Dairy Restaurant. It's an illustrated history of the Jewish restaurants that served as a kind of meatless counterpart to the delicatessen. Ben joins us to talk about the dairy restaurants of his youth, what he calls our "pastoral impulse" to find good food, and the first place he's going once he can break quarantine.
Apr 24, 2020
Ed Helms
It's Ed Helms, everyone! Helms got his start as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Then he was on the Office. Then, a little old movie called The Hangover. Ed Helms joins to chat about how all those projects changed his life. Plus: his latest role as a Detroit Police officer in the buddy cop comedy Coffee & Kareem.
Apr 21, 2020
ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons
We're joined by the always sharply-dressed Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top! He's been the lead guitarist and singer of the band for over fifty years with classic songs like "La Grange," "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs." While the band's current tour dates have been postponed due to current events, their documentary ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas, is available to stream online. The Texas native and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer joins Bullseye to talk about the group's legacy, their blues and psychedelic roots and his keen sense of style. Plus, he'll tell us how a BBQ joint became responsible for that legendary ZZ Top sound.
Apr 17, 2020
Alan Yang on Tigertail, Master of None and more
Director and writer Alan Yang is probably best known for co-creatoring the hit Netflix series "Master of None" and his impressive comedy writing credits on shows like Parks and Recreation. But his newest endeavor, Tigertail – a film he wrote and directed that's loosely based on his family's immigrant experience – breaks from comedy. Alan joins us to talk about "Tigertail," about his childhood growing up in Southern California, and how finding the Harvard Lampoon changed his life.
Apr 14, 2020
Producer and DJ Cut Chemist on the song that changed his life
The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. We're joined by DJ and master of the turntable Cut Chemist. Born Lucas McFadden, Cut Chemist is best known for co-founding the iconic underground hip-hop group Jurassic 5. He'll tell us about "Park Bench People" by Freestyle Fellowship. The Fellowship was a boundary-defying underground crew fronted by MC's Myka 9 and Aceyalone. Find out how the song changed Cut Chemist's idea of what hip-hop could be. When he joined us in 2018, he had just released his first record in over a decade. Die Cut is available now.
Apr 10, 2020
NBA All-Star Metta World Peace
Missing basketbally? Today, we're looking back on our conversation with NBA All-Star Metta World Peace! His larger than life personality often precedes him and has made him one of the most polarizing players in the history of the game. The Queensbridge, New York native talks to Jesse about how his upbringing shaped him as a person and how it impacted the way he raises his own children, what he regrets from his stint playing with the Indiana Pacers and how downsizing his world rescued him. Plus, he'll discuss the infamous NBA brawl dubbed the "Malice at the Palace."
Apr 07, 2020
Comedian Tom Papa
Comedian Tom Papa wants you to focus on the small victories. The little triumphs in everyday life that add up to winning the war against cynicism. His new Netflix special, You're Doing Great! sums up his philosophy perfectly. So you're not killing it like everyone else on Instagram. That's fine! They're not really killing it either. You finally made it out of the house to run that errand you've been putting off all week? Now THAT'S killing it! That approach to comedy seems increasingly rare but Tom has made a nearly 30 year career on it. Tom joins us to talk about the moment when he decided to become a comedian, his familial take on comedy, and the resilience of his Nana.
Apr 03, 2020
Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator Dan Goor
Maybe you're stuck at home, like the rest us. Maybe you're looking for something to binge, like the rest of us. May we suggest Brooklyn Nine-Nine? You've seen the premise of the police procedurals on network television countless times. The cops are good at their jobs. They're quick and witty when it comes to solving crime. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has some of that – but subverts the genre through comedy. It's a deeply warm, deeply funny office sitcom. The police at the precinct care about their jobs, they care about each other. The show was created by Dan Goor, along with Mike Schur. These days, Dan's the showrunner of the show. We talk with Dan about the latest season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Plus, why he left working for Conan to work on Parks and Recreation – and why the shift was a struggle at first. You can stream all seven seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, including the new episodes on Hulu.
Mar 31, 2020
Boots Riley: The Coup, Sorry to Bother You, and more
We revisit our conversation with the writer-director and rapper Boots Riley. He's a founding member of the legendary hip hop group The Coup. The band's sound is politically-charged with a laid-back funk and has that classic Bay area cadence. His rhymes tell a story of his own life and deal with elements of social justice, poverty, racism. He's more than an artist. He's a long-time activist who uses his talents as a story-teller to move the needle forward in the world. In 2018 he made his directorial debut with the film Sorry to Bother You. It's a dark comedy that takes on late-stage capitalism, among other issues, head-on. Bootsy returns to Bullseye to talk about Sorry to Bother You, trying to find his style early on as both an individual and as a band member and how the narrative style of his song "Fat Cats, Bigga Fish" inspired his film career. Plus, he'll talk to us about how the very personal song "Underdog" helped him deal with the grief of losing a long-lost friend.
Mar 24, 2020
David Simon
TV writer and producer David Simon is our guest this week. Simon is the force behind some of television's most compelling and critically acclaimed series such as The Wire, Treme and The Deuce. He joins us to talk about his new HBO series, The Plot Against America.
Mar 20, 2020
Jason Segel
Jason Segel has had a lot of interesting roles over the years. He got his start on screen in his late teens on the short-lived cult tv show Freaks and Geeks. From there he starred in a bunch of other comedic roles including: How I Met Your Mother, Knocked Up, and Bad Teacher. His writing debut was Forgetting Sarah Marshall. In 2011, he revived The Muppets for a new generation. His latest show is kind of a departure from all that. AMC's Dispatches from Elsewhere follows the lives of a group of regular people who discover a hidden world. It's mysterious and strange – kinda silly, too. We'll talk with Jason about how he works humor into the tone of a show like Dispatches from Elsewhere. Plus, plenty of chat about Freak and Geeks, and what makes the Dracula song in Forgetting Sarah Marshall work.
Mar 17, 2020
Annette Bening
We're joined by the talented and captivating Annette Bening! She stars alongside Bill Nighy in the new film "Hope Gap." In it, she plays a woman dealing with the wreckage after being blindsided by the sudden end of her thirty year marriage. She'll talk to us about her approach to playing English characters, how she tapped into her "Hope Gap" character to work on her own issues with confrontation avoidance and how motherhood offered a welcome respite to the sometimes alienating life of show business. Plus, we ask her about playing a baddie on "Miami Vice!"
Mar 13, 2020
Will Forte
At long last: Will Forte! The actor, writer, comedian joins us to talk about his new film, Extra Ordinary. In it, Will plays Christian Winter, a washed up American one-hit-wonder living in Ireland who makes a deal with the literal devil for another shot at fame. Rose, played by the hilarious Maeve Higgins, is a driving instructor and a reluctant medium who just might be the only one who can keep their small Irish town safe. Will also chats about what it's like to be both star and showrunner of your own TV series and his self-described "weird" brand of comedy. All that and more on the next Bullseye!
Mar 10, 2020
Jazz vocalist Gregory Porter
We revisit our conversation with Gregory Porter. He's a Grammy winning jazz singer, the pride of Bakersfield California and, until his junior year of college, he was an aspiring football player. When he joined us in 2018, he had recently recorded an album of standards made popular by Nat "King" Cole. He'll tell Jesse about his deeply personal connection to one of America's most iconic voices. Plus, what it was like to grow up in Bakersfield, California and how that's influenced his lyrics. Gregory Porter's new album All Rise is out on April 16th.
Mar 06, 2020
Songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
We revisit our magical conversation with Academy Award winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. They're the husband and wife writing team behind 2013's modern classic "Let it Go" from the animated film Frozen and "Remember Me" from 2017's Coco. The Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony-award winning duo joined Bullseye to share the story of how they first met as well as chat about how they draw inspiration for their song lyrics. Plus, they tell us what date night at the Oscars with their kids is like.
Mar 03, 2020
Cartoonist Lynda Barry, MacArthur 'Genius' Fellow
Lynda Barry is a legend of alternative comics. She's also one of the latest recipients of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. She's written over a dozen books. These days, she's been busy teaching. She's an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. We'll welcome her back on Bullseye to talk about her latest book: Making Comics. The book is sort of an illustrated guide on how to create comics. Some of it's pulled straight from the classroom – things she's been teaching her students for years. At the heart of the book is a belief Lynda has: anybody can draw. Anyone can make comics. Yes, even you!
Feb 28, 2020
Maria Bamford
Comedian Maria Bamford is back! We are thrilled as always to welcome her for another conversation with Bullseye. The stand-up, writer and actor joins us to talk about her two newest projects: the hour-long comedy special, Weakness Is The Brand and talk show, What's Your Ailment?! where she talks with fellow comedians and entertainers like Tig Notaro, Baron Vaughn and Rachel Bloom about how mental health has affected their lives. Maria also chats with us about finding human connection in unexpected ways like meeting Twitter followers for coffee and comedy feedback, dealing with hecklers, the healing power of chicken wings, and how marriage has changed her. All that and more on the next Bullseye!
Feb 25, 2020
Zach Woods, from 'Silicon Valley,' 'The Office,' 'Avenue 5' and more
It's Zach Woods! You may know him best from NBC's The Office where he played the truly dreadful Gabe for three seasons. You've also seen his work as Jared Dunn on the HBO series Silicon Valley. He currently stars alongside Hugh Laurie on the TV show Avenue 5. It's airing now on HBO. Zach talks to Bullseye about what initially drew him to acting, his secret comedy life as a teen taking the train from Pennsylvania to New York and how his anxious personality helped him tap into his latest character's psyche. Plus, he'll share his favorite inspirational RuPaul quote with us. All that and more. Let's go!
Feb 21, 2020
Ben Schwartz on playing Sonic the Hedgehog, Jean-Ralphio, and more
Parks and Recreation's Jean-Ralphio! Star Wars' BB-8! And, now the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog! We're joined by Ben Schwartz. Ben's big break came in 2010 with a small recurring role on Parks and Recreation. Jean-Ralphio was a character who only showed up a few times a year – but he was one of the most memorable characters on the show. We'll chat at length about his role on the show. You can hear his voice work alongside Jim Carrey and James Marsden in Sonic The Hedgehog, the new blockbuster that just hit theaters. We'll chat about his long time fandom of the video game series. Plus, we'll have him describe some truly cursed Sonic the Hedgehog online fan art.
Feb 18, 2020
Huey Lewis on the song that changed his life
The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around, we're joined by a true legend – Huey Lewis. In an era dominated by new wave, glam rock and hair metal Huey Lewis stood out with his bluesy pub-rock. He helped define pop music in the 80's. Huey Lewis and the News had a run of hit singles during the 80's and early 90's. Their most successful album, Sports, was released in 1983. It's one of our favorites here at Bullseye. Huey Lewis explains how Count Basie and Joe Williams' Alright, Okay, You Win helped him visualize his career as a singer. Huey Lewis and the News are back with their first album in nearly a decade. Their latest release Weather is out now.
Feb 14, 2020
Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi! The best ever. Steve joins us to talk about the latest season of his hit TBS show Miracle Workers, now in its second season. The anthology series steps back into the Dark Ages for season 2 with Steve playing a peasant with a name we can't say on NPR. Let's just say he's a guy named after his occupation and he makes his living shoveling the kind of stuff that usually rolls down hill. The show is created by Simon Rich and co stars Daniel Radcliffe with guests appearances by Peter Serafinowicz and Chris Parnell. Steve chats with us about what it's like to play a "Sweatpants god," dying on screen dozens of times, and how his father shaped his career in the civil services as well as acting. Plus, he'll talk to us about trying his hand at stand-up as an eighteen year old kid from Long Island.
Feb 11, 2020
Remembering Jim Lehrer
We're replaying Jesse's 2010 interview with Jim Lehrer, who died last month at 85. He was a giant in the world of journalism – particularly in the world of public broadcasting. Jim hosted PBS' NewsHour. He was an anchor in public broadcasting for well over 35 years. He moderated a dozen presidential debates. When we spoke to Jim in 2010, he shared stories about juggling his job at a bus depot while being a college student and at Victoria College. Plus, the challenges of being the editor of his school's newspaper. He also shared how he got his start in public media.
Feb 07, 2020
Randy Newman: legendary songwriter, Oscar nominee, more
We're revisiting our conversation with the great Randy Newman. He's just been nominated for two Academy Awards, one for the score he composed for Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, and another for the original song he composed for Toy Story 4. It's called "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away." Randy's songbook is a part of the fabric of modern pop culture. He writes pop songs, catchy tunes that can perfectly encapsulate a touching film moment. But he also writes songs that come from a place of darkness. Randy talks about writing songs that tap into his feelings, being inspired to get into writing music for film by his three uncles and meeting Frank Sinatra. Plus, Randy ponders why a guy with seven Grammys hasn't had more hits.
Feb 04, 2020
Joe Pera of "Joe Pera Talks With You"
Joe is the creator and star of Adult Swim's Joe Pera Talks with You, one of our favorite new shows TV. In it, Joe plays a version of himself living in small-town Michigan as a middle-school choir teacher. The show is like nothing else you've seen on television before: brilliant, weird and heart warming. Cross our hearts, hope to die.
Jan 31, 2020
Director Greta Gerwig on 'Little Women'
The brilliant Greta Gerwig joins us for the third time! We'll welcome back Greta to talk about her latest film. It's an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. It's up for six Academy Awards this year, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. Greta talks about her casting choices in Little Women including her surprising choice of Bob Odenkrik as father March. Plus, what the book meant to her growing up, and why she's shocked that her version of the adaptation exists.
Jan 28, 2020
Director Greta Gerwig on 'Little Women'
The brilliant Greta Gerwig joins us for the third time! We'll welcome back Greta to talk about her latest film. It's an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Woman. It's up for six Academy Awards this year, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. Greta talks about her casting choices in Little Women including her surprising choice of Bob Odenkrik as father March. Plus, what the book meant to her growing up, and why she's shocked that her version of the adaptation exists.
Jan 28, 2020
Bonus: Remembering Monty Python's Terry Jones
This past week, we lost a talented comic genius: Terry Jones. He was one of the founding members of the legendary British sketch comedy group Monty Python. He co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and directed both Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Terry was also a well respected medieval historian – in fact, he wrote two books on poet Geoffrey Chaucer. Later in his career, he became a prolific children's book author. His books were always a bit surreal, witty and charming. He was a hero to many comedy nerds obsessed with Monty Python. We're taking a moment to remember Terry Jones. When he joined Bullseye (then The Sound Of Young America) nearly 14 years ago he talked about his years with the Pythons. Plus, what it was like when he was given the opportunity to re-edit his cult classic The Saga of Erik the Viking.
Jan 25, 2020
Susan Orlean, author of "The Library Book"
We're taking a look back at some of our favorite moments from over two decades worth of Bullseye episodes. In 2018, we caught up with journalist and author Susan Orlean. Susan's an accomplished author who's written for The New Yorker for thirty years. Her work has also appeared in Esquire and Vogue. She's the author of 8 books including; Saturday Night, My Kind of Place and The Orchid Thief. Susan chats with us about her most recent book, The Library Book, which is out now in paperback.
Jan 24, 2020
Tony Shalhoub
Now that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is in its third season, we're revisiting our interview with actor Tony Shalhoub. He talks about how he loves acting in Mrs. Maisel's low-tech world and how he relates to his character Abe as a father himself. Jeese also chatted, of course, about the show he played an OCD detective on for seven years, the award-winning series Monk. Plus, Tony talks about the film that inspired him to embark on his creative path as an actor.
Jan 21, 2020
Choreographer Twyla Tharp talks dancing, aging, stirs the pot
Twyla Tharp has moved her whole life. She dances - she's danced and choreographed professionally for 55 years now. She exercises. And now, she has a book. "Keep it Moving" is a manifesto on living your life with purpose and vigor, which Tharp has in spades. Seriously, she's one of the most insightful, hilarious, brilliant and sassy guests we've ever had on the show. She's a legend in the world of dance. She also kind of makes fun of Jesse's dog, and chides him for not moving enough.
Jan 17, 2020
Rob Huebel, Star of Medical Police
Rob Huebel joins us to talk about his new series Medical Police - the spin-off of his old show Children's Hospital, which ran for seven seasons on Adult Swim. He's a talented comic actor who has appeared on MTV's Human Giant and on Amazon's critically-acclaimed series Transparent. Rob sits down with Jesse to talk about where he gets his sense of humor from, what it's like playing jerks with a heart of gold and how he got his start in improv. Plus, he'll talk to us about his favorite types of silly comedies. All that and more on a all-new Bullseye!
Jan 14, 2020
In Fabric's Marianne Jean-Baptiste
In Fabric's Marianne Jean-Baptiste joins us to talk about her role in Peter Strickland's bizarre thriller. Marianne is an acting veteran. She's starred in varied works, from acclaimed dramas like Secrets & Lies, to long-running FBI shows like Without a Trace. Marianne chats with us about the difference between feature and series acting, and how her role in In Fabric reconnected her with her passion for the process. Plus, she'll tell us about the time she read a newspaper for 45-minutes as part of an audition.
Jan 10, 2020
Tanya Tucker: Country legend, Grammy nominee
Tanya Tucker is an award-winning country star who has been making music since she was just a kid! She rose to fame in the 70s with hits like "Love's the Answer" and her debut single "Delta Dawn." Her latest album is titled "While I'm Livin" and it's her first collection of original music in over 15 years. It's a lot more personal than some of her previous records with songs written that reflect her life. Tanya Tucker talks to Bullseye about how she approaches songs she's been singing since she was a teen, traveling on the road with her family and turning down the romantic advances of one Mr. Elvis Presley! Yep, the one and only! Plus she tells us about the time her father won the money to pay for her demo tape in a fortunate game of keno. All that and more on the next Bullseye!
Jan 07, 2020
Remembering cartoonist Gahan Wilson
We lost an incredibly talented cartoonist last year, Gahan Wilson. For more than 50 years, his twisted single-panel cartoons have appeared in magazines like Playboy and The New Yorker. His work always had this really distinct tone. Wilson's take on the macabre is loopy, dark and strange. There were monsters. Sometimes aliens. Maybe a pirate. To remember his life, his work and his impact we are revisiting Jesse's interview with Gahan from 2010. In it, he talked about the arc of his career and using childhood fears as inspiration. He also talked about his contributions to the National Lampoon.
Jan 03, 2020
Remembering Caroll Spinney, the voice and spirit of Big Bird
We're taking a moment to look back at a past Bullseye guests we lost this year, Caroll Spinney. He was Big Bird's puppeteer for 50 years, but he was so much more than the literal man inside the costume. Caroll was the voice and spirit of the iconic character many of us grew up watching.
Dec 31, 2019
End of Year Stand-Up Comedy Special 2019!
It's our favorite time of the year: the end of it! We're celebrating 2019 with excerpts from some of the best stand up comedy records of 2019. You'll hear material from Roy Wood Jr, Pete Holmes, Cristela Alonzo, Sara Schaefer, so many more. Enjoy, and Seasons Greetings from all of us at Bullseye!
Dec 24, 2019
Holiday Special! Feat. the Monkees' Micky Dolenz, McElroy Brothers and more!
Get ready for a bonanza of holiday cheer! This week, we're listening back on the Bullseye holiday special from last year. Micky Dolenz of The Monkees talks about the band's album Christmas Party. The group recorded it with a cavalcade of hit-makers like Rivers Cuomo, Peter Buck of REM and more. And that's not all! We also get some advice from the McElroy Brothers (hosts of My Brother, My Brother and Me and The Adventure Zone) about holiday conundrum. Plus, soul singer Sy Smith — she tells us about the holiday song that changed her life.
Dec 17, 2019
"The Kingmaker" filmmaker Lauren Greenfield on interviewing Imelda Marcos
Imelda Marcos is one of the most notorious figures in recent history, and she's the subject of Lauren Greenfield's new documentary The Kingmaker. It's an intimate profile of the former Philippine first lady as well as a critique on plutocracy. Lauren tells us how she got access to interview Marcos and about her other films: Generation Wealth and the brilliant Queen of Versailles.
Dec 13, 2019
Rebecca Sugar
Hey! It's the brilliant animator, writer and songwriter Rebecca Sugar! Creator of the wildly popular Steven Universe. She's earned six Primetime Emmy Award nominations for the series and is the first non-binary woman to independently create a series for Cartoon Network. Rebecca discusses the inspiration behind the show, creating femme characters and dealing with fan feedback. Plus, Jesse and Rebecca talk about some of their favorite cartoons growing up!
Dec 10, 2019
Kathryn Hahn
Join us as we dig in the archives and revisit our conversation with Kathryn Hahn. You've seen her in comedy films like Step Brothers, the Anchorman movies, and many more. These days you can catch her on HBO's Mrs. Fletcher. But when Hahn joined us a couple years ago she starred in Amazon's I Love Dick, based on the Chris Klaus book by the same name. Hahn and Jesse talk about the inherently feminist space that I Love Dick inhabits, and the deeply complex character that Kathryn plays on the show. She talks about working with Jill Soloway, and the special and deeply creative environment that Soloway creates on set.
Dec 06, 2019
Watchmen's Tim Blake Nelson
Dig into the archives with us as we revisit our conversation with the great actor Tim Blake Nelson! Currently, he's starring in the brand new, critically acclaimed HBO show Watchmen. On Bullseye, he talks to us about growing up in Tulsa (where Watchmen is set), working with the Coen brothers and the time he got into acting because his mom yelled at him.
Dec 03, 2019
Chef Alice Waters
Alice Waters is a chef, an activist and a best-selling author. She is the founder of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, a restaurant that sources ingredients from local farmers and producers and is widely credited with being the genesis of today's sustainable food movement. She cares deeply about the way that we eat and has dedicated much of her life to ensuring children receive nutritious and flavorful school lunches. She also works to educate kids on how food is made. Alice stops by Bullseye to talk to us about when it first occurred to her that she would like to cook for a living, receiving her first French cookbook and the most challenging meal she's ever tried to cook. Plus, she'll tell us about the one food she's not too crazy about.
Nov 29, 2019
Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda is the star and creator of the biggest musical this century has seen: Hamilton. These days, he's got another show on Broadway: Freestyle Love Supreme. It's an improvised hip-hop performance where the performers get their prompts from the audience. He's also starring in the new HBO show His Dark Materials. It's a fantasy series based on the book by the same name. Lin-Manuel Miranda talks about how his career has changed since Hamilton. We'll also talk about the time he turned down a part in a Marvel movie.
Nov 26, 2019
Tim Heidecker: The Craziest Day of My Career
The Craziest Day Of My Entire Career is a segment where we let some of our favorite people tell us the wildest stories from their long and storied time in showbiz. This time it's Tim Heidecker, a comedian, actor and creator of intricate worlds in which he often plays a fictionalized version of himself. One of these alter-Tim's is Special Agent Jack Decker, a spy that could easily be the illegitimate spawn of Trump and Chuck Norris. He'll tell us about a time when this character for his show Decker was just a little too on the nose, just a little too close for comfort.
Nov 22, 2019
Rosie Perez
Rosie Perez is one of the most fascinating people we've had on Bullseye. A native of Bushwick, Brooklyn, she's performed on stage and screen. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in 1993's Fearless, had iconic parts in White Men Can't Jump and Do The Right Thing. She's been a host on ABC's The View, served as Grand Marshal for the International Boxing Hall of Fame and as if all of that weren't enough, she was a powerhouse choreographer for In Living Color and is responsible for helping to bring hip hop to the living rooms of middle America. We talked to Rosie about her difficult childhood, surviving past trauma and why she'll always have a soft spot for the suburbs. Plus, she'll tell us why she prefers the New York hustle and bustle over sunny Los Angeles. Rosie speaks with us from the heart and we're so happy to have her on the show.
Nov 19, 2019
Will and Grace's Megan Mullally
Megan Mullally is a comedy legend known for playing eccentric characters. She got her big break playing perhaps her most over-the-top persona, the martini-toting socialite Karen Walker on the groundbreaking show Will and Grace. Mullally won an Emmy for this role in 2006. On Bullseye she talks to us about how she developed her character Karen, her not-so usual upbringing, and oddly enough, how it was to win an Emmy Idol with Donald Trump.
Nov 15, 2019
Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker has got this knack for taking huge figures from history and portraying them as complex, fascinating, sometimes really fragile people. You've seen him as the star of countless great movies for over thirty years now. He has won plenty of awards including an Academy Award for best actor for his role as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. When we spoke last year, he portrayed Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the film The Forgiven. Forest chats with Jesse about getting to know Archbishop Tutu as a character and a friend over the years. Plus, hot takes on box-office flop Battlefield Earth! This interview originally aired in March of 2018
Nov 12, 2019
Antonio Banderas
Antonio Banderas joins us to talk about his latest project with Pedro Almodóvar — Pain and Glory, a touching and beautiful confessional about living with chronic pain. Banderas plays a director who much like Almodóvar is crippled by his maladies. The film debuted at Cannes Film Festival where Banderas won the award for Best Actor. Banderas talks to Bullseye about his childhood in Spain, connecting with people through pain and reuniting with Almodóvar. Plus, we find out how he learned the lines to Mambo Kings, before he became fluent in English.
Nov 08, 2019
"The Lighthouse" Director Robert Eggers
Robert Eggers is a filmmaker who's made a name for himself making beautiful horror films that linger with you. Long after you've left the theater. His 2015 film The Witch premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to near-universal acclaim. His latest film, "The Lighthouse" stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as 19th century sailors. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has since received rave reviews. Eggers talks to Bullseye about the joys of research down to the finest historical detail, about the uniqueness of the New England landscape and provoking questions in his films. Plus, we find out what scares him the most.
Nov 05, 2019
Soprano Renée Fleming
Known as "America's Diva," Renée Fleming has performed in venues all over the world, singing in acclaimed productions of operas composed by Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Dvorak and more. She's tackled the world of opera, jazz, country and just about every other music genre. Lately, she's been working on stage in musicals. Her latest, "The Light in the Piazza" just wrapped up in Los Angeles, with productions in Chicago and Sydney on the horizon. Renée talks to Bullseye about managing acoustics, growing up in a musical home and not only cultivating her talent but her image, too. We talk to her about the mental preparation that goes into singing the National Anthem while 50 million people watch from home as Black Hawk helicopters fly overhead.
Nov 01, 2019
Comedian Josh Gondelman
We're joined by comedian and admitted "Nice Guy" Josh Gondelman. Josh is a Peabody and Emmy award winning writer for his work on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He's currently senior staff writer and producer for Showtime's popular new show Desus & Mero. His new book, Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results is a collection of personal essays about the value and drawbacks of being a nice person. Its self-deprecating. It's honest. It's very very funny. Josh Gondelman joins us to talk about his stand-up career. He'll chat about realizing the difference between being a nice person and being a good person, tweeting out millennial Seinfeld references and crafting the perfect roast joke. Plus, we'll talk about intent versus impact in the world of comedy.
Oct 29, 2019
NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez
He's one of the greatest tight ends in history, but it wasn't always easy. Growing up, Tony Gonzalez was bullied constantly. His first year in the NFL was so tough he almost called it quits. And throughout his career, he never really felt like he could stand up and address his whole team. He's very open about his struggles and sacrifices. Tony's got a new podcast where he invites people in business and entertainment to talk about the often difficult journey to success. It's called Wide Open. It's a show about becoming the best version of yourself – what he calls "leveling up." We'll talk about his new podcast, wretched middle school days, and he'll open up about his time in the NFL.
Oct 25, 2019
Satirist and director Chris Morris on "The Day Shall Come"
Lately, Chris Morris has been basing a lot of his absurdist comedy on real life world events. His new film, The Day Shall Come, is kind of a farce about terrorism and the FBI's efforts to fight it. The film tells a complex and often bizarre story that is almost entirely based on real things that happened in the counter terrorism world. Chris Morris joins us to talk about his new movie. He'll chat about reading court transcripts, talking with journalists, even attending trials to really understand what goes on at the Bureau. Plus, we'll talk about his other brilliant works of satire The Day Today and Brass Eye.
Oct 22, 2019
The Righteous Gemstones' Edi Patterson
Edi Petterson is an actress and comedian. She's a veteran of the Groundlings sketch group and we can not stress this to you enough: she is super funny. She currently co stars alongside Danny McBride, John Goodman, Walton Goggins and Adam Devine on HBO's The Righteous Gemstones where she plays the hilarious Judy Gemstone. We talked to Edi about losing herself in improv, playing John Goodman's daughter and her experience with megachurches. Plus, she talks to us about being introduced to horror films at an early age. Maybe too early? Don't miss this episode!
Oct 18, 2019
John Leguizamo
John Leguizamo is a super-famous actor who's been in well over 100 movies and TV shows. He's also a writer whose created and starred in a handful of powerful, hilarious one-man shows over his career. His latest, A Latin History for Morons, is now on tour across the country. John talks to Bullseye about creating works of art from a sometimes painful past, about fighting for Latinx representation in Hollywood and about the comedians who've inspired his craft.
Oct 15, 2019
Clipping's Daveed Diggs: noise rap, Hamilton & Sesame Street
Let's start taking bets for the next person to EGOT: that is, the next person to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony award. Our money is on Daveed Diggs. He's already got a Grammy and a Tony for his fantastic work on the Broadway smash hit Hamilton. So, he's halfway there! Diggs has one of the most varied resumes in entertainment. He's an actor on the small screen. You've seen him on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Get Down, Black -ish and Sesame Street. He's a writer, too – he co-wrote the screenplay for Blindspotting, a movie about violence and gentrification in Oakland, his hometown. He also co-stars in the film. And, if that wasn't enough he's a very talented musician as a member of the rap group Clipping. Diggs joins us to talk about Clipping's new record, his various acting roles, and of course, Hamilton. Let's go!
Oct 08, 2019
Taylor McFerrin
Taylor McFerrin is a gifted musician who got his start as a beatboxer, making beats and producing tracks for others. He's also made music as a keyboardist, a DJ and a composer. The son of vocalist Bobby McFerrin (yes, the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" singer), Taylor grew up with a comprehensive understanding of song construction and an ear for melody. Taylor joins us to talk about his love of the process of making music, what we still have to learn from jazz music and to talk about his new album "Love's Last Chance." Plus, we'll talk to him about his work with Robert Glasper. Don't miss our chat with the talented artist.
Oct 04, 2019
Peter Sarsgaard
Peter Sarsgaard is an enigmatic actor who has appeared in over 60 different roles in films like An Education, The Magnificent Seven and Green Lantern. He got his start in film back in 1995 when he appeared in Dead Man Walking. From there he has obtained critical acclaim for his roles in films such as Boys Don't Cry as well as Kinsey. In 2004 he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in Shattered Glass as journalist Charles Lane. Peter's new film is called The Sound of Silence. Peter talks to us about his career, his approach to acting and his love of the game of soccer. Plus, Jesse and Peter dig deeper into the film's study of sound and its impact on human emotion.
Oct 01, 2019
Tobacco is the nom de guerre of electronic musician and composer Tom Fec. Tom also founded the music collective Black Moth Super Rainbow. In both projects, the music he makes is rich and layered, but kind of dirty and unsettling, sometimes, too. He works with a lot of vintage synthesizers and records on older equipment. On this episode, he talks with Jesse about his history in music - from noodling around with synths and guitars and a four track to working with Aesop Rock on his latest project - called Malibu Ken. He'll also explain why he avoided interviews and stayed anonymous for so long, and why that changed.
Sep 27, 2019
Freddie Gibbs
Critically acclaimed rapper Freddie Gibbs joins Bullseye to talk about his music career. He was born and raised in Gary Indiana - the birthplace of the Jackson 5. Gibbs grew up seeing his neighborhood change for the worse in a lot of ways. People were in poverty and times could be described as desperate. As a young adult, Gibbs used that pain to spark an impressive rap career. He creates stories of a past and present he feels very fortunate to have escaped. Gibbs talks to us about his career, his collaboration with Madlib and he even talks to us about a very trying time in his life. Plus, he'll tell us why he starts every live show with a prayer!
Sep 24, 2019
Comedian and writer Joel Kim Booster
Joel Kim Booster is a writer and comedian. He's written for "Billy on the Street," "Problematic with Moshe Kasher" and Netflix's "Big Mouth." And as a standup, he's appeared on Conan, Comedy Central's "@Midnight" and more. These days he's starring alongside Kal Penn in the brand new upcoming NBC sitcom "Sunnyside." Joel joined Bullseye to talk about his unique upbringing, his approach to comedy and why Asian-American representation matters. Plus, Joel explains the science behind playing the "hot idiot."
Sep 20, 2019
Dev Hynes of Blood Orange
Dev Hynes, the recording artist behind Blood Orange, joins Bullseye to talk about his music career. Being born in a place called Essex, approximately 30 miles outside London, was kind of the ideal place for a future critically acclaimed songwriter. Close enough to the big city to make it out to the cool shows and record stores. Far enough away that you can have like... a band. Hynes talks to us about his early love of soccer, how his creative process differs when collaborating with other artists and creating his own work and why he sees the similarities between his hometown and a certain Jersey Shore cast. Plus, he'll tell us what it's like to wake up to 4 missed calls from Diddy!
Sep 17, 2019
Comedian Matt Braunger
The Craziest Day of my Entire Career is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite people about some truly unbelievable stories. This time around, we're joined by the great comedian and podcaster Matt Braugner.
Sep 13, 2019
Jay Leno
Stop what you're doing, turn off the kitchen sink, pull over the car... our guest is Jay Leno! He'll look back on a comedy career that's stretched almost 45 years. Jay's one of the biggest TV hosts in the history of TV hosts. A guy who, by his own admission, never got much love from critics. He got cast, more or less, as the villain in the late night battles with Letterman and Conan. He'll open up about those late night wars in this in-depth interview. He'll also reflect on his childhood and how that's influenced his comedy. From sleeping in alleys on the streets of New York, to hosting The Tonight Show for decades. It's a remarkable story, and we hope you'll join us.
Sep 10, 2019
Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch
Since their debut, Belle and Sebastian records have made it on literally hundreds of top ten lists.Their second album, 1996's "If You're Feeling Sinister," is routinely called one of the best albums of the 90s. Founder, Stuart Murdoch joins Bullseye to talk about retro pop music, how meditation changed his music and songwriting. Plus, Jesse and Stuart talk about the great game of baseball. If you didn't know, Stuart's a Mets fan.
Sep 06, 2019
David Oyelowo, from 'Don't Let Go,' 'Selma,' and more
David Oyelowo is an incredibly versatile actor. Classically-trained, he got his start at the Royal Shakespeare company in London. From there, he took parts on British TV and in movies like The Help and Jack Reacher. But, his breakthrough role was his work as the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay's 2014 film Selma. David's latest movie is Don't Let Go which was just released. It's a supernatural thriller that melds elements of murder-mystery with that of a police procedural. The film premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. In it, David plays a man in a rush against time to save his family. He's quite good in it. But, then again, David's good in everything. Catch our chat with the acclaimed actor!
Sep 03, 2019
I Wish I'd Made That: Nick Offerman
Artists, musicians, and filmmakers are often inspired by what they see or hear. Sometimes that thing is so great, they tell us they wish they made it themselves. It happens so often we made a segment about it called I Wish I'd Made That. Nick Offerman joins us this time around. Nick's probably best known as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation. When we asked him if there was any TV show, movie or album he wish he made, Nick said he leaves all that to the professionals. Instead, Nick tell us about the greatest guitar he ever held in his hands: The Gibson J-200.
Aug 30, 2019
Julio Torres on 'My Favorite Shapes,' 'SNL,' and 'Los Espookys'
Julio Torres has created some of our favorite sketches for Saturday Night Live in recent memory. His sketches on the show are a little different than standard SNL fare. It's not the in-your-face humor about politics or the need for cowbell, but it's a little dreamy and magical. Julio recently released his first comedy special on HBO, 'My Favorite Shapes.' It's a little sideways from what you'd expect from a comedy special. Julio talks about ... his favorite shapes. The shapes have lived lives you'd never quite expect, but really, the shapes help us learn more about Julio. He's also one of the creators of the new HBO show, Los Espookys. In the show, a group of friends who turn their love of horror films into a business. Think the gig economy for spooky events. We're big fans of Julio, and we're thrilled to share this conversation about Julio's recent success!
Aug 27, 2019
Justin Simien, creator of "Dear White People"
Justin Simien is a writer and director to watch out for in the next decade, but maybe you should pay attention to his work this decade, too. His breakthrough film, "Dear White People," came onto the scene and made space for black voices, unapologetically. His Netflix series of the same name is in its third season and is streaming now. Justin Simien joins us to talk about his experience navigating college life as a black queer kid and how that experience helped shape some of the characters on "Dear White People." Plus, we'll talk to Justin about his new horror movie that just wrapped as well as his self-described obsession with the genre of musicals.
Aug 23, 2019
Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator of 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' and 'Gilmore Girls'
Amy Sherman-Palladino has worked on some of the most unique programs to be ever greenlit for the TV screen. You've seen her work on Gilmore Girls. For three seasons, she was a writer on Roseanne, and wrote some really iconic episodes. Her latest work can be seen on Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Amy Sherman-Palladino joins us to talk about what she learned working on Roseanne in her early 20's, and how that experience helped her create Gilmore Girls. Plus, did you know the Gilmore Girls pitch kind of happened by chance? Of course, we'll take some time to talk about Mrs. Maisel , too!
Aug 20, 2019
The Egyptian Lover, hip-hop pioneer
We'll chat with the one and only Egyptian Lover. Born Greg Broussard – he's a DJ, a producer, a rapper sometimes, too. He came up with Uncle Jamm's Army, a hip-hop crew that featured promoter and DJ Rodger Clayton, Ice-T, and has shared the bill with acts as big as Run-DMC back in the day. As a solo artist he's released 10 albums, mixing Kraftwerk, Prince, a little bit of G-Funk every now and then, too. He talks with Jesse about the early days of LA hip-hop and electro, what a 10,000 person dance party looks like and how he bonded with his future wife over a Kraftwerk record. The ultimate meet cute! This interview originally aired in January of 2018.
Aug 16, 2019
Eugene Levy from "Schitt's Creek," "American Pie" and more
Eugene Levy is hands down one of the funniest people in history. The Canadian-born actor and funnyman got his start in the world of improv when he joined Chicago's Second City. His first big break was on the Canadian sketch show SCTV, where he played a variety of roles. He later began collaborating with fellow improv mockumentarian Christopher Guest. Eugene joins Bullseye to talk about the very funny SCTV sketch that inspired Saturday Night Live's Norm McDonald and his work on all eight of the American Pie movies. You read that right. Eight! Plus, he'll talk to us about what it's like working with his son Dan on their hit show Schitt's Creek, now in its fifth season.
Aug 13, 2019
Eugene Levy from "Schitt's Creek," "American Pie" and more
Eugene Levy is hands down one of the funniest people in history. The Canadian-born actor and funnyman got his start in the world of improv when he joined Chicago's Second City. His first big break was on the Canadian sketch show SCTV, where he played a variety of roles. He later began collaborating with fellow improv mockumentarian Christopher Guest. Eugene joins Bullseye to talk about the very funny SCTV sketch that inspired Saturday Night Live's Norm McDonald and his work on all eight of the American Pie movies. You read that right. Eight! Plus, he'll talk to us about what it's like working with his son Dan on their hit show Schitt's Creek, now in its fifth season.
Aug 13, 2019
Psychedelic bedroom pop musician Cuco
The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around, we're joined by the musician Cuco. He got his start making music in his bedroom. He combines dreamy synths, catchy hooks and a bit of jazz trumpet to create a sleepy psychedelia vibe. So where did he get his psychedelic bedroom pop sound? Cuco explains how Tame Impala's Feels Like We Only Go Backwards helped him visualize his career in music, and how the song helped him navigate life in high school.
Aug 09, 2019
Jeff Goldblum
There's no one else on the planet quite like Jeff Goldblum. He came onto the scene over four decades ago with the role of "Freak #1" in the 1974 revenge fantasy Death Wish. Since then, he's appeared in countless films, television and theater productions including; Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Portlandia, The Fly and as everyone's favorite chaos mathematician in Jurassic Park. Chances are, he's a part of one of your favorite movies. Jeff joins us to talk about his new film, The Mountain, his iconic past roles and his latest role as a new father.
Aug 06, 2019
Lesley Manville from 'Mum,' 'Another Year,' and more
British actor Lesley Manville is truly a master of her craft. You might know her work with the brilliant director Mike Leigh. She starred in some of his best movies like Secrets & Lies, All or Nothing and Another Year. She's had a long and successful career overseas – and she's finally breaking through in the states. In 2017, she portrayed Cyril in Phantom Thread. The stunning performance earned her an Oscar nomination. Lesley joins us to talk about starring in the BBC sitcom Mum, and how she almost had a career as an opera singer. Plus, she'll also talk about what it's like working with director Mike Leigh, and how she gets in character employing his unique improvisational style.
Aug 02, 2019
E-40, Bay Area rap legend
When it comes to hip-hop from the Bay Area, E-40 is quite possibly the greatest of all time. His distinctiveness has kept him relevant for three decades now, from mob music in the 1990's to hyphy slaps in the aughts to new music today. E-40 joins us to talk about his new record, Practice Makes Paper. We'll pull up some deep cuts from R&B singer Saint Charles, who 40 more intimately knows as his Uncle Chuckie. Chuckie was a huge inspiration for E-40 growing up. E will also take us to the root of his passion for music. Plus, he'll talk about his college days at Grambling State University. Did he win the school's talent show? Only one way to find out. Listen up!
Jul 30, 2019
Filmmaker Aviva Kempner
Baseball week at Bullseye continues with filmmaker Aviva Kempner. She'll talk to us about her documentary The Spy Behind Home Plate. The film follows the life of catcher-turned-World War II spy Moe Berg, quite possibly the smartest man to play baseball. Moe played baseball back in the era of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, learned Sanskrit at the Sorbonne, and took some of the earliest known photos of Tokyo.
Jul 26, 2019
Filmmaker Aviva Kempner
Baseball week at Bullseye continues with filmmaker Aviva Kempner. She'll talk to us about her documentary The Spy Behind Home Plate. The film follows the life of catcher-turned-World War II spy Moe Berg, quite possibly the smartest man to play baseball. Moe played baseball back in the era of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, learned Sanskrit at the Sorbonne, and took some of the earliest known photos of Tokyo.
Jul 26, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik, authors of 'The MVP Machine'
It's baseball week here at Bullseye and best-selling authors Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik are stepping up to the plate. They're the writers behind the book, The MVP Machine: How Baseball's New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players. The book looks at how previously cast aside players are transforming themselves into All-Stars. And, they'll talk to us about how players aren't the only ones changing the game. And even if you're not into baseball, we promise there are some lessons to take away!
Jul 23, 2019
Chuck Klosterman
Chuck Klosterman has written tomes of the written word for GQ, ESPN, The Washington Post, Esquire, The Guardian, and plenty more. In 2014, he joined us to talk about I Wear the Black Hat, which examined villainy through pop culture figures like Batman, Kanye West and LeBron James. In 2016, he talked about his book: But What if We're Wrong, which examined how the present will be perceived in the future. But this time around, Chuck joins us to tell us about the craziest day of his career. Trust us, this is one story you don't want to miss! Klosterman's latest book Raised in Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction is out now.
Jul 21, 2019
Author and journalist Jeff Chang
Jeff Chang is a journalist and music critic with an emphasis on hip-hop music and culture. His work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Village Voice, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Spin, and many more. Jeff Chang returns to Bullseye to talk about his latest project, "We Gon' Be Alright." It was originally a book released back in 2016. Recently, it was turned into a web series by Indie Lens Spotlight. The series deals with some really tough questions about race in America with no easy answer, the current state of racism since Trump became President, where Asian-Americans fall when it comes to discrimination. It's a look at the state of race relations in America today. And, what he'd like to see people do about it.
Jul 19, 2019
Comic and actor J.B. Smoove
*A heads up to listeners, this episode contains many censored expletives throughout the interview.* J.B. Smoove is without a doubt one of the funniest people we've ever had on Bullseye. He got his start in television as one of the stars of Def Comedy Jam in the mid-90's. In the early aughts, he became a writer on Saturday Night Live. But, he's probably best known for his role as Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm. J.B. joins us to talk about his time on SNL. We'll hear about a few of his favorite sketches that never made it to air. He'll also talk about his work on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and why he always goes to an audition in character. Plus, he'll tell us about the time he told Howard Stern, and we quote: "You can't eat spaghetti on an open patio." Join us to learn exactly what he means!
Jul 16, 2019
Ahmed Gallab from the band Sinkane
Bullseye guest host Shereen Marisol Meraji, host of NPR's Code Switch, talks with the musician Ahmed Gallab. You might know Ahmed as the man behind the band Sinkane. Ahmed and Shereen discuss his latest album, growing up in the U.S. as the son of immigrants and how he connects his Sudanese roots to his music. Sinkane's latest album is titled Dépaysé and is available now.
Jul 12, 2019
Tales of the City's Garcia
Guest Host Shereen Marisol Meraji, host of NPR's Code Switch, chats with actor Garcia. Garcia plays Jake Rodriguez on 'Tales of the City' on Netflix, a part-remake part-sequel to the TV miniseries you might remember from the 90's. Garcia and Shereen discuss their first breakout role, being pigeonholed as a trans character in Hollywood and how their chosen family led them to acting.
Jul 09, 2019
Washington Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle
Pitcher Sean Doolittle is the closer for the Washington Nationals, and no, it's not The Closer you're thinking about. Sean's been called one of the most interesting players in baseball. He'll talk about his unorthodox path to the major leagues, starting out as a first baseman, recovering from serious injuries and then pivoting to closing out games on the mound. Sean's also known as one of the nicest guys in MLB. He's used his platform as a baseball player to raise awareness about a number of issues: He's worked with veteran groups, spoken out publicly for LGBT rights, and hosted a Thanksgiving dinner with Syrian refugees. This interview was recorded in 2017, back when Sean was at spring training with the Oakland A's.
Jul 05, 2019
Edie Falco
This week, we're revisiting our conversation with Emmy-award winning actress Edie Falco. She's best known for her roles in The Sopranos, Oz and Nurse Jackie. When she spoke to us in 2018, she had just starred in the movie Outside In. Edie talks to Jesse about landing her first acting gig — which she started the day after she graduated from acting school at SUNY Purchase. Plus, Edie tells us why she thinks comedy isn't for her, and what it was like to work with James Gandolfini for nearly a decade on The Sopranos.
Jul 02, 2019
Linda Holmes, pop culture critic and author of 'Evvie Drake Starts Over'
Linda Holmes is a pop culture critic and host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. She just released her debut novel, Evvie Drake Starts Over. It's about love and loss and the choices we make that sometimes require us to start from scratch. Linda joins the show to talk about her start in writing and how the game of baseball contains a great lesson on the importance of perseverance.
Jun 28, 2019
Joe Talbot, director of 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco'
Joe Talbot is the director of The Last Black Man in San Francisco. It's a beautiful film about a guy named Jimmie and his desire to reclaim a San Francisco house built by his grandfather, many moons before tech booms rolled in and massive amounts of money changed the city. Joe talks about gentrification, his thoughts on authenticity in the Bay Area and the best reaction to a movie Jesse has ever heard.
Jun 25, 2019
Filmmaker and actor Sara Driver
Director Sara Driver refined her craft during New York's indie filmmaker boom in the late 1970s-1990s. Her directorial debut came in 1981 with You are Not I, a film about a young woman who escapes a mental institution during the chaos of a pileup. We revisit our conversation with Driver from 2018 where she discussed her docmentary, Boom For Real. It tells the story of a young Jean-Michel Basquiat and the New York arts community around him. Sara currently appears in Jim Jarmusch's latest zombie flick, The Dead Don't Die.
Jun 21, 2019
H. Jon Benjamin
H. Jon Benjamin is the voice behind some of television's most beloved animated characters. He's the voice of titular character "Bob" in Fox's heartwarming sitcom Bob's Burgers. He also plays Sterling Archer in FX's Archer, which just premiered its 10th season this past spring. Revisit our conversation with the actor as he talks about his book, his work on so many great TV shows and the beauty of fatherhood.
Jun 18, 2019
Wallace Shawn
Who comes to mind when you think of a character actor? Sure, there are a lot of good ones, but there's no one quite like the great Wallace Shawn. On screen, he's had over 180 credits! You've seen him in films like Clueless, The Princess Bride and My Dinner with Andre. He's also had regular roles on Gossip Girl and Crossing Jordan. Wallace is also an Obie award-winning playwright and the author of several books. When he joined us back in 2017, he had just written Night Thoughts, an extended collection of essays touching on topics like politics, morality, and privilege. Plus, he'll talk frankly about how the movie business has changed since he started acting some 40 years ago. You can hear him as the voice behind Rex in Toy Story 4 later this month.
Jun 14, 2019
Filmmaker and writer John Waters
We're revisiting our conversation with John Waters! You might know him as the director and writer of classics like Pink Flamingos, Hairspray and Cry-Baby, but even though he hasn't made a movie lately, he keeps pretty busy. He's done a ton of live performances, released a few compilation albums, and he just released his memoir and seventh book, Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder. When he joined us in studio, John talked about Make Trouble, a book based off of his commencement speech at the Rhode Island School of Design 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. Plus, he'll tell us about the fabulous Commes de Garcon shirt he wore to the recording. His memoir, Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder, is out now.
Jun 11, 2019
Comedian Kulap Vilaysack on her 'Origin Story'
Kulap Vilaysack is an actor, comedian, showrunner, and director. She just directed her first feature length film, Origin Story, about her family's journey to the U.S. and finding her biological father in Laos. It's a film about dealing with family secrets, empathizing with difficult parents, and connecting with brand new ones. We talked to Kulap about facing her family's darkest secrets and finding healing through the pain.
Jun 06, 2019
Game of Thrones' John Bradley
We're back with John Bradley who played Samwell Tarly on a tiny little show called Game of Thrones for eight seasons. The HBO program recently had its series finale which was the network's most-watched program of all time! John talks about performing on one of the biggest TV shows in history and how his perceived weaknesses made him the perfect actor for his character's arc.
Jun 04, 2019
Kathe Kollwitz, a founding member of feminist art collective The Guerilla Girls
If you go to an art museum: contemporary, encyclopedic, local... odds are most of the art displayed was made by white men. Even if you leave out the renaissance painters and the Dutch Masters. It's still not that common to see a solo show by a woman or a person of color these days. This was even more true in the mid-80s. Some of New York's most prominent galleries showed less than 10% of women artists. Others were showing no women at all. In 1984, an art collective known at The Guerilla Girls drew attention to issues of discrimination and representation in galleries and museums all over the world. The group demonstrated in front of museums with placards and picket lines. And they wore gorilla masks while doing it. Jesse talks to a founding member of The Guerilla Girls, who goes by Kathe Kollwitz. She'll reflect on the origins of the group, anonymity in the art world, and what the group means now more than 30 years later.
May 31, 2019
Veep's Timothy Simons looks back on seven years of Jonah Ryan
Veep is a show full of despised, incompetent and unlikable characters. And is there anyone less likable, more incompetent than Jonah Ryan? Played by Timothy Simons, the tall, petty and mercurial Jonah went from a lowly white house staffer to New Hampshire's least popular members of Congress to long-shot presidential contender. Simons explains why thick skin doesn't always protect you from all of Veep's famously devastating insults. Plus, how being a dad has impacted his acting career and knowledge of elementary school handball.
May 28, 2019
The Last Poets
The Last Poets are a groundbreaking collective with a sound that merges spoken word with jazz and hip hop. They came on the scene in the late sixties with a message of unity, social justice, and empowerment. Their message included frank lyrics about all that was wrong with their world and all that could be done to make it better. They're the godfather's of hip hop

Two of the groups original members Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan have a new album out called Transcending Toxic Times. It fuses spoken word with jazz rhythms and hip hop. It's wonderful.
May 24, 2019
Tuca & Bertie Creator Lisa Hanawalt
Lisa Hanawalt is a cartoonist, writer, and author of four brilliant books, including Hot Dog Taste Test, My Dirty Dumb Eyes and her latest book, Coyote Dog Girl. You may be familiar with her work on the popular animated Netflix series BoJack Horseman where she's a producer. Hanawalt is the creator of the new show Tuca & Bertie. It's an animated series on Netflix about two Anthropomorphic bird women. They live in Bird Town. Tuca is a toucan. She's outgoing and fun, but kind of a mess, too. She doesn't really have a solid job. Bertie, her best friend, is a songbird, kind of a homebody, a little shy and deferential. The show is breathtakingly drawn and totally surreal. Lisa talks to us about how intuitive creating Tuca & Bertie was at times, deciding what to ground in reality and where to take flight and why she should be allowed to ride Martha Stewart's pony.
May 21, 2019
The Tick creator Ben Edlund
The Tick is one of the strangest, most compelling superheroes ever. Creator Ben Edlund has lived with the character for over 30 years now. The Tick has been a comic book series, an animated TV show, a video game, and a live action TV show. Now, The Tick is back with another live-action TV show on Amazon. The Tick is kind of this giant man in a blue suit with antennas on his head. He's got all the classic trappings of a superhero: strength, speed, invincibility. But he's also kind of a dope. Edlund joins us to discuss how his relationship with the character has changed over three decades. Plus, why he feels the latest revival nails the strange, odd tone in ways the other projects haven't. Writing compelling and grounded superhero stories is hard to pull off in a post-Dark Night world ... if you haven't met The Tick by now you're in for a treat!
May 17, 2019
Saturday Night Live's Paula Pell
So many of the sketches Paula Pell has written for Saturday Night Live are stone-cold classics. There's the Culps, Ana Gasteyer and Will Ferrell's bizarre pop music duo. The Spartan Cheerleaders. The Tony Bennett Show. Remember when Justin Timberlake brought us on down to Omeletteville? We have Paula Pell to thank for a lot of wonderful and hilarious work on SNL. Paula pulls back the curtain and discusses some of her more controversial work on the classic program. Pell also joins us to talk about her latest project: Wine Country. She co-stars alongside SNL alums Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, and Rachel Dratch. Sincerely, one of the funniest people we've ever had on the show. Don't sleep on this one!
May 14, 2019
David Crosby
David Crosby: Remember My Name which premiered at Sundance. Then, Jesse talks about the eclectic stylings of Ray Barretto's album Acid. ]]>
May 10, 2019
Wanda Sykes
This week, a favorite from the archives: Jesse's conversation with world-class comedian Wanda Sykes. She's a legend in the comedy world and her ability to tackle pop culture and the political spectrum with equal agility has earned her many accolades. She's also had many scene-stealing roles as an actor in shows like Black-ish, Broad City and Curb Your Enthusiasm. She's been nominated for nine Emmy awards and she won one for her writing on The Chris Rock Show. We just got word that Wanda will be starring in a special 90 minute live performance of "All in The Family," the groundbreaking Norman Lear sitcom. It airs later this month on ABC - she'll be playing Louise Jefferson.
May 07, 2019
Cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty on "MacDoodle Street" and more
We're thrilled to share our conversation with cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty. We're huge fans of his children's book – "Who Needs Donuts?" Mark's wonderfully illustrated book tells the story of a kid in a cowboy suit who's bored with his family. He hitches up his wagon and heads out for the big city in search of donuts. After a wild adventure he realizes there are things far greater than donuts. It's a charming and hilarious book for kids. And, trust us, adults will love it, too! Mark Alan Stamaty gives us the scoop on his new anthology collection and how his childhood influenced his work. Plus, where he gets the silly ideas for his stories and illustrations like rhinos on the subway wearing fancy hats or shark-shaped cars!
May 03, 2019
A.P. Bio creator Mike O'Brien
Have you seen "A.P. Bio?" It's one of the funniest network sitcoms out these days and its latest second season is going strong on NBC. The show tells the story of a disgraced Harvard Philosophy professor (played by Glenn Howerton of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") who finds himself teaching Advanced Placement Biology at a high school in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Mike O'Brien created the show, and he joins Jesse to talk about the show's new season. Plus: his own childhood in Toledo, and explains some of the baffling questions the writers room had about his hometown. Like, truly baffling.
Apr 30, 2019
Open Mike Eagle
This week: the great Open Mike Eagle! He's a rapper and TV host: Alongside Baron Vaughn, Mike co-stars in a new Comedy Central show called "The New Negroes". It's sort of a variety show - combining live stand up with original music videos Mike made with other artists. When Bullseye talked to Mike in 2017, he'd just released a record called "Brick Body Kids Still Daydream." His latest album - "What Happens When I Try to Relax" - is out now.
Apr 26, 2019
Laurie Metcalf
Jesse talks with one of the greats: Laurie Metcalf. You definitely know Laurie from from Roseanne. For 9 years she played Jackie, on the hit TV show. She's now starring in The Conners, the new Spinoff. She's also an Academy Award nominee for her work alongside Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird, the fascinating, beautiful coming of age film directed by Greta Gerwig. These days, Laurie's been working a lot on Broadway. She's been nominated for a bunch of Tony's and won 2017's Best Actress award for her role in A Doll's House part II.
Apr 23, 2019
Was 1999 the Best Movie Year Ever?
Brian Raftery writes for GQ, Wired and Rolling Stone, among others. He just wrote a really interesting book. He called it "Best Movie Year Ever" and in the book's 300 pages, Brian makes the case that one of the most interesting and memorable years in cinema history... was 1999. The year that saw the release of Office Space. Rushmore. Three Kings. Being John Malkovich... you get the point. It's a great read, tons of interviews and insight into a year that not just saw a bunch of classic movies but changed the way studios marketed them. Listen to this one for a fascinating conversation about film!
Apr 19, 2019
Avantdale Bowling Club
What follows is one of our favorite interviews we've recorded this year. Seriously. It's with an artist you probably haven't heard of. His name's Tom Scott. He's from New Zealand. He's been a rapper there for about 10 years now, he's one of the biggest role players in the small, burgeoning scene there. Last year he created the group Avantdale Bowling Club and released a self-titled record for the group. It combines jazz with hip-hop in the same way Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly did. It's lush and beautiful like Pharoah Sanders or Alice Coltrane. Tom's rhymes are deeply personal and affecting and honest. It's one of our favorite albums of the year. Don't miss this one!
Apr 16, 2019
Mike Leigh
This week, Jesse talks with the director Mike Leigh. He isn't that well known. He's never made a blockbuster. He's been nominated for seven Academy Awards and hasn't won any. He doesn't work with super famous actors, either. He likes it that way. His films are honest. And real. And touching. Maybe you aren't familiar with Mike Leigh, but: trust us. This is a fascinating, funny and poignant conversation about filmmaking that will leave you wanting more.
Apr 08, 2019
Apollo 11 Director Todd Douglas Miller
Todd Douglas Miller directed Apollo 11, the new documentary. It compiles thousands of hours of footage from the moon landing into one brilliant, compelling narrative feature. There's no narration. No interviews. All images and voices from the mission and the run up to it. Some of the footage you've seen, but a lot of it you haven't. A lot of breathtaking 70 millimeter shots in Apollo 11 have never been released to the public until now.
Apr 05, 2019
It's a strange thing, to be famous, right? Like, really really famous. Famous like Khalid, the singer. He's sold millions of albums. Hundreds of millions of plays on streaming apps. Odds are, there are people right now listening to his music within ten miles of you. People who, right now, constantly check his Instagram for updates. He deals with it in stride, though: making brilliant music and trying to touch the heart of every fan at his shows. He's today's guest on Bullseye, and we're thrilled to have him on. He talks with Jesse about growing up an army brat, acclimating to newfound fame and how they both have an undying mutual love of Sade.
Apr 02, 2019
Pavement's Stephen Malkmus on the song that changed his life
Every now and then, we bring you a special segment called The Song that Changed My Life - it's a chance for musicians we love to dish on the song that made them who they are today. This time: Stephen Malkmus, the former frontman of Pavement. The band's been called one of the best acts from the 90s. They recorded so many songs that capture the decade perfectly: Cut Your Hair. Range Life. Stereo. Malkmus has kept on since the band broke up in '99 - dropping 8 records between then and now. His latest is called Groove Denied and it's kind of a departure for him: a little less like The Fall, a little more like New Order or Kraftwerk. When we asked him about the song that changed his life, though. He didn't talk about any of those bands. Instead, he threw us kind of a curveball: Captain & Tennille.
Mar 28, 2019
PEN15's Maya Erskine & Anna Konkle
Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle created an star in the brilliant new show PEN15, on Hulu. It's show about middle school. Or, I guess this is more accurate: it's about middle school you might have actually experienced. It's set in the year 2000 and it captures the era perfectly: N*SYNC songs, lip gloss, bebe tanks and all. But PEN15 digs deeper into what it means to be 12 or 13. It's a scary, weird, uncertain time. And nobody really knows what they're doing. It's a show about kids that definitely isn't for kids - sex and menstruation come up a bit, and we'll talk about that in this interview, too. Don't miss this one - just like their show, Maya and Anna are fascinating, hilarious and profoundly insightful.
Mar 26, 2019
Norsemen creators Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen
A heads up, first: There's some talk about sexual assault in this conversation. Nothing graphic, just some discussion of the use of it in comedy, in the abstract. If you're sensitive to these kinds of topics, we figured we'd give you a heads up. It's with Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen, creators of the hit show Norsemen. It's a sitcom about vikings, set around the year 790 AD. Throughout the series we see the villagers and vikings deal with daily life. The vikings pillage. The vikings fight among themselves. They sacrifice slaves. The jokes are great, absurd but delivered bone dry. And the violence is real, and their actions have real consequences. And at the heart of the show, modernity is closing in on them. New inventions. New norms. Pillaging towns doesn't pay like it used to. Jon and Jonas will give us a behind the scenes look at the show. Plus, they'll explain Taco Friday: the latest food craze in Norway.
Mar 22, 2019
John Turturro
John Turturro's an acting legend. Lots of directors have actors they like to work with. Turturro's a favorite of both Spike Lee and the Coen Brothers. Starting from "Do The Right Thing," he's appeared in nine of Spike's films, four from the Coens. He can play tough. Devious. Vulnerable. Brooding. Weird. He's never not himself, but no two roles are ever the same. He talks with Jesse about his latest film, "Gloria Bell." It's directed by the Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio, kind of an English language remake of his breakthrough 2013 film "Gloria." It's a story about relationship from two people in late middle age. Its messy, nuanced, and the performances from both Turturro and Moore... just keep you transfixed.
Mar 19, 2019
Comic and Daily Show Correspondent Roy Wood Jr.
Another favorite from the Bullseye archives this week. This time: Roy Wood Jr.! He's a comedian. You've probably seen him as a correspondent on "The Daily Show." He's done comedy pretty much his entire life, but he majored in broadcast journalism and for a while, it was looking like that was gonna be his career. He was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and first got his start in radio, working at a handful of stations. Sometimes he wrote, sometimes he produced or reported, but at heart, Roy's always been a standup, doing his act whenever he found the time. Roy talks with Jesse about the difficulty of writing original jokes, gang colors, and how being on the Daily Show has given him an opportunity to share some of his bolder takes on politics and race.
Mar 15, 2019
Bill Hader on Barry, Saturday Night Live and more
We're replying some favorites from the Bullseye archives this week! Today, we're excited to bring you Bill Hader. You know him from his time on Saturday Night Live. He was kind of an impressions guy - he did a mean Vincent Price. His most famous character was Stefon, from the Weekend Update sketches. He left the show in 2013 and went on to perform in movies like Trainwreck, Inside Out and the smash hit Sausage Party. Along with Fred Armisen, he also starred in the IFC show, Documentary Now. His latest project is an HBO TV show called Barry, which enters its second season later this month. Hader stars as the show's title character, Barry Berkman. Barry's an ex-marine, turned low rent hitman in Ohio, turned aspiring actor in Los Angeles. Bill tells Jesse about working as a production assistant when he first came out to Los Angeles, the influence his parents had on his taste in film, and the struggle he had to project his voice.
Mar 12, 2019
Jena Friedman, comedian & host of Adult Swim's Soft Focus
WARNING: This episode contains some discussion of difficult topics. We cover sexual assault, miscarriage, violence against women and more. If you're sensitive to these kinds of topics, we figured we'd give you a heads up. Our guest is Jena Friedman. She's a comic, a filmmaker, and a writer. She created and hosts a show on Adult Swim. It's called Soft Focus. It's really funny, just like her all of her comedy, but it also talks about some very difficult, sometimes painful topics. It's satire that cuts deep. Jesse talks with her about the show, about her earlier work on the Daily Show, and her practice of incorporating hard to talk about stuff into her comedy.
Mar 08, 2019
Actor Stephen Root on Barry, Office Space and more
Has Stphen Root, the actor, had a million parts? It's not a million, right? Ok. It's 236. Still: wow! Root is is the kind of character actor that can take even the most basic, dreary TV show or movie and light it up. One or two scenes with Stephen in it, say a by the book police procedural or a saccharine sitcom, and that's all you'll talk about. He'll joins us to discuss some of his most memorable roles: He'll tell us why his voiceover role in "King of the Hill" was one of his favorite gigs. Plus, he'll tell us how he got the part in his most recent project HBO's "Barry," and how he helped flesh out his character's role.
Mar 05, 2019
Bonus: Katie Nguyen & Roseblood Live!
Two very special bonus tidbits for you this week - live comedy and music from Bullseye's recent show at the Listen Up Festival in Portland Oregon. You'll hear comedy from the great Katie Nguyen - who's performed at festivals all over the place and has written for the New Yorker. Then, music from the band Roseblood. The band's fronted by Kathy Foster, who also played in The Thermals and All Girl Summer Fun Band.
Mar 03, 2019
Simpsons writer, Fast food reviewer Bill Oakley
Aurora Borealis! In your kitchen! May I see it? It's a very special Bullseye with Bill Oakley, the veteran TV writer. He worked on Futurama, Portlandia, and some of the greatest Simpsons episode of all time. Including... you guessed it! Steamed hams! The classic Simpsons bit turned ubiquitous, weird and postmodern meme. Bill's also taking up a new career: reviewing fast food on Instagram! We talk about all that and more from the stage at the Listen Up Festival in Portland, Oregon.
Mar 01, 2019
Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker & Filmmaker Lance Bangs
Bullseye is a show about the creative process. And how artists' lives affect the work they make: their loved ones, friends and family, too. But what about when two artists - two genuine creative geniuses - are married to each other? Corin Tucker, the singer and guitarist of Sleater-Kinney has been with her husband Lance Bangs for over two decades. Earlier this month, they joined Jesse to talk about how they mix music, movies and love... and how they spent this past Valentine's Day. They couldn't even get a table at the Cheesecake Factory! This interview was recorded on stage at Revolution Hall in Portland Oregon as part of the first annual Listen Up Festival.
Feb 26, 2019
Oscar nominated filmmaker Nicole Holofcener
Filmmaker Nicole Holofcener, one of our favorites, is up for an Academy-Award nomination. It's for the adapted screenplay. and won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film "Can You Ever Forgive Me?." We'll revisit our conversation with Nicole – when she stopped by we talked about another one of her recent projects, "The Land of Steady Habits." She'll also discuss her childhood growing up among Hollywood royalty.
Feb 22, 2019
Director Debra Granik of "Leave No Trace" and "Winter's Bone"
Happy Tuesday! This time, we're listening back to our 2018 conversation with filmmaker Debra Granik. In 2010, she wrote and directed "Winter's Bone," the acclaimed drama that launched Jennifer Lawrence's career and was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Now, the long awaited follow-up is available to stream on Amazon. It's called "Leave No Trace" and it's been met with similar acclaim. She and Jesse talk about the new film, about the pitfalls of calling an artist a "genius" and her first ever paid movie gig: shooting weddings!
Feb 19, 2019
Artist Barbara Kruger
Dream interview alert! Today: Jesse talks with Barbara Kruger. Kruger is a fascinating and profoundly influential artist. She works in big, bold text usually in white font over ribbons of red. The text is usually superimposed over black and white photos, usually of people. The messages say stuff like "YOUR BODY IS A BATTLEGROUND," "WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER HERO," or "DON'T BE A JERK." If all that doesn't ring a bell yet, you can find thousands of samples of her work on the internet. Maybe the fonts and colors remind of you something: the Supreme logo? That Instagram Stories filter? It all started with Barbara Kruger. Jesse talks with Kruger about why she dropped out of art school, how she found footing in the contemporary art world, and what she's trying to communicate these days in her work.
Feb 15, 2019
Composer and Producer Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther, Childish Gambino)
Every now and then we like bring you a segment we call to the Song That Changed My Life. It's a chance to find out what makes some of our favorite musicians the person they are today. Stepping up this time: Ludwig Göransson. Maybe you don't know him by name. But you've heard almost certainly heard his work. He was in Sweden and moved to the States in 2007. And before long, he started working in TV shows and movies as a composer. One of his first was Community. It was actually on the set of Community where he met Donald Glover. The two became friends, then, when he found out Glover could sing and rap, collaborators. Göransson's been the principal producer on all of Glover's Childish Gambino records. He actually just scored several Grammy awards for the song "This is America" by Glover. He's scored some pretty big films, too: Fruitvale Station, Creed, Venom... and Black Panther. The music he wrote for Black Panther is up for the Academy Award for Best Original Score at this year's Oscars. So we asked Ludwig, this brilliant composer and hip-hop producer, to tell us about the song that changed his life. His pick? Enter Sandman by Metallica.
Feb 14, 2019
Adam McKay on Vice, Second City and more
Adam McKay has had a pretty eclectic career. He started in sketch comedy first as a founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade, then as a writer on Saturday Night Live. He studied at Second City, too, so throw that in there. Then, movies: He collaborated with Will Ferrell to make some stone cold comedy classics: Anchorman, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights. Lately, though, his work has been more serious. Topical. Political. A few years back, he wrote and directed The Big Short, which deconstructed and explained the 2008 financial crisis. He helped create the HBO show Succession - a drama about a family that owns a colossal American media empire. Now there's Vice, his latest movie, which is the story of former Vice President Dick Cheney. It's playing in theaters now and is up for eight Academy Awards. The common thread with McKay's work is that it's never boring, never forced. He'll take an extremely dumb joke and frame it in a way that's so clever and compelling that you just lose it. He'll find a way to explain credit default swaps that are so entertaining and engrossing that you forget you're learning about... credit default swaps. In this conversation, Adam tells Jesse how he manages to keep his films fresh, funny and weird, and also shares some of the more reckless tales in improv comedy from his time in Chicago.
Feb 12, 2019
Killer Mike on his new show Trigger Warning, Run the Jewels and more
Ladies and germs... Killer Mike! It's been more than a decade since Killer Mike joined us on Bullseye. These days, he's busier than ever. Along with El-P, he's one-half of Grammy nominated duo Run the Jewels. Together they've put out three great albums – with a fourth on the way later this year. Now, he's got his very own Netflix series, "Trigger Warning with Killer Mike." Killer Mike joins us to talk about the new show. Plus, how he ended up becoming friends with legendary comedian and activist Dick Gregory, and what it was like hitting the road campaigning with Bernie Sanders.
Feb 08, 2019
John David Washington of "BlacKkKlansman" and "Ballers"
Jesse talks with John David Washington, star of the critically acclaimed film BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee. Before John David Washington was an actor, he was lacing up the pads every week for a career in professional football. He traveled the globe from Sacramento to Dusseldorf, Germany trying to make it work. It seems fitting, then, that when he took up acting, his breakthrough role was the portrayal of an NFL player on HBO's "Ballers." He joins us to chat about his role in BlacKkKlansman: a compelling and complex look at the life of the first black police officer and detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department, and his undercover journey to expose David Duke and the KKK.
Feb 05, 2019
Tituss Burgess of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Jesse talks with Tituss Burgess, actor from "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "30 Rock" and more. On UKS, Tituss plays a struggling, needy and desperate Broadway actor. He's transparently conniving and manipulative, but he's also sweet, charming and super lovable. He shows his tough past, his lonely circumstances and he's a real friend to Kimmy. That warmth comes from Tituss Burgess. Burgess was himself a struggling Broadway actor many moons ago, living in a basement apartment in Harlem, just like his character on TV. The last episodes of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" are now available on Netflix.
Feb 01, 2019
Carol Kane from "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Jesse talks with legendary character actress Carol Kane about the last season of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and her 45-year career in the biz. Carol started acting in 1971 and pretty quickly landed big roles. One of her first films was in the Mike Nichols drama "Carnal Knowledge." She'd later work on other classics like "Annie Hall," "Dog Day Afternoon," and was even nominated for a best actress Oscar for her part in the 1975 film "Hester Street."But ultimately, Carol found her home in comedy — something she never expected she'd do coming up. She appeared on "Taxi" as the wife of Latka, Andy Kaufman's character. She was in "The Muppet Movie," "The Princess Bride," "Scrooged," and lots more.On "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," Carol plays Lillian, long-time New Yorker and Kimmy's landlord. The last six episodes of UKS just dropped on Netflix by the way, and what a lovely run it has been.
Jan 29, 2019
Jez Butterworth
Jez Butterworth is a veteran of both stage and screen, he's written about a dozen films along with his seven plays. You can see the wisdom that only experience can bring in action during "The Ferryman," his latest play that's now on Broadway. A younger playwright might have the same grand vision as Butterworth did for the production, but would they have the finesse and thoughtfulness to make it work? "The Ferryman" will be running in New York until July 7th and if you're in a position to do it, go see it!
Jan 25, 2019
Tony Shalhoub of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and more
If you're in Hollywood, the stereotype goes that you're either a character actor or a *star*. A character actor shows up in a couple scenes for about five minutes, and, even in that small moment, they make the film. Tony Shalhoub has done that plenty of times. While a star, of course, is someone you can build an whole movie or TV show around. They're relatable, usually charming, sometimes vulnerable. Tony Shalhoub does that all the time, too. Tony Shalhoub of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Monk" and more sits down with Jesse Thorn to discuss his long career on the big and small screens.
Jan 22, 2019
Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Stephanie Beatriz
A warning about this episode, which originally aired in 2017: the second half of this interview contains some honest and frank talk about sexual assault. Stephanie Beatriz stars in Brooklyn Nine Nine as Detective Rosa Diaz - easily the toughest cop in the precinct - she's brave, serious, and rides a motorcycle. The sixth and newest season just premiered at its new home: NBC! Stephanie also starred in the 2017 movie The Light of The Moon. She plays Bonnie, a young woman living in Brooklyn with her boyfriend. Towards the beginning of the film, she goes through a vicious sexual assault, and the movie tells the story of the aftermath of that event - its effect on her work life, relationship, and even mundane daily decisions - like whether or not she wears headphones when she's walking off the subway. It's brutal to watch, but it's also nuanced, realistic, and really touching. We'll talk about all of that and also how she and her Dad cemented their father-daughter bond by watching Seinfeld:
Jan 18, 2019
Elvis Costello
We've got a favorite from the Bullseye archives to kick off the week: Elvis Costello. Costello grew up surrounded by music. His mother ran the record section of Selfridges, and his father was an accomplished working musician. As Costello describes in his memoir, Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink, he didn't intend to make music himself, but felt eventually drawn to it. The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and record producer has enjoyed a long career, working on his own and collaborating with other musicians like Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney, and Annie Lennox. Elvis Costello joins Jesse to talk about his father's career and love of music, why Alzheimer's in his family inspired him to write the book, and who knows him by his birth name, Declan McManus.
Jan 15, 2019
Karyn Kusama, Director of "Destroyer"
Jesse talks to Karyn Kusama, one of the most unique voices in film right now. She just directed the new film "Destroyer," it's a dark crime drama, told in mostly flashbacks. Karyn discusses why it's important to portray complex female characters in film and media. She also talks at length about "Jennifer's Body," which she directed in 2009. It was very funny and very scary. She'll tell us about the look book she drew inspiration from, and why she thinks the film struggled to find an audience when it was first released. Plus, how she finds pleasure in horror movies. And, sure, a lot of people find pleasure in horror films, but Karyn's answer will still surprise you.
Jan 11, 2019
Chris and Bridey Elliott on "Clara's Ghost"
Chris and Bridey Elliott are father and daughter. Chris is, of course, Chris Elliott. The guy who starred in Cabin Boy and Something About Mary. Who's currently a regular on the TV show Schitt's Creek. Tons more. Bridey, his daughter, wrote and directed a new movie called Clara's Ghost, which you can buy or rent now. It's a family collaboration: Bridey also stars in the movie, along with Chris, her sister Abby, and her mother Paula. And it's also kind of a horror movie? Listen to see what we mean. Jesse and the Elliotts talk about the film, family dynamics, and why Chris Elliott did an impression of Marlon Brando dancing around a bunch of bananas on Letterman.
Jan 08, 2019
Hasan Minhaj & Sharon Horgan
Happy near year! Two favorites from the Bullseye archives this week. First up: Hasan Minhaj, from 2016. He'll talk about his work as a standup and as a correspondent on the Daily Show. Plus: what it was like growing up Muslim after September 11th, and his weird experience covering at the Republican National Convention. Then, another 2016 favorite: Sharon Horgan. She's the brilliant co-creator and star of the TV series Catastrophe, which is available to stream now on Amazon. She talks with Jesse about getting past the awkwardness of writing (and then having to film) sex scenes with her co-star, the challenge of showing the evolution of a relationship before and after having kids, and why she likes playing a character who can sometimes come off as a jerk. Finally: Jesse talks about the enduring legacy of Prince.
Dec 31, 2018
End of year stand-up comedy special 2018!
The Bullseye team has taken on the terrible task of finding the best of the best comedy albums and bringing them to you in a nice little end of year package. Our list includes industry veterans, newcomers and lesser know talents you are going to love. Enjoy, and Seasons Greetings from all of us at Bullseye!
Dec 25, 2018
Bullseye Holiday Specatcular! Monkees, McElroys and more!
Get ready for a bonanza of holiday cheer from Bullseye this week! Micky Dolenz of The Monkees taking about the band's new album "Christmas Party." The group recorded it with a cavalcade of hit-makers like Rivers Cuomo, Peter Buck of REM and more. You'll hear from Christmas movie expert Alonso Duralde - he'll tell you why and how to watch the 37 Christmas movies that the Hallmark Channel produced this year. 37! And that's not all! We also get some advice from the McElroy Brothers (hosts of My Brother, My Brother and Me and The Adventure Zone) about holiday conundrums, and last, but certainly not least, soul singer Sy Smith tells us about the holiday song that changed her life.
Dec 17, 2018
Jason Mitchell & Karina Longworth
We're kicking things off with the brilliant and lively Jason Mitchell this week! Jason's an actor - a really great one. He's been in a lot of acclaimed movies and TV shows. In the acclaimed 2017 movie "Mudbound" he played a world war two veteran returning home in Mississippi. In "Straight Outta Compton," he sort of stole every scene as Eazy-E. He stars in the new movie "Tyrel" - a tense, unsettling comedy/drama about race, machismo and an awkward guys trip to the Catskills. Then: Karina Longworth! She's the host of the terrific podcast "You Must Remember This." She's a writer and historian who specializes in the history of Hollywood's golden age. She digs deep into records and newspaper clippings to find nuanced, fascinating stories about people from that era both famous and forgotten. She's also a published author with five books to her name - her latest is called "Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood." Finally: one of the best years of Jesse's life was spent rolling objects into a ever-growing sticky ball, to please his father, the King of the Cosmos.
Dec 10, 2018
Remembering Ricky Jay
Ricky Jay died last month. He was 72. Ricky was a writer. And an actor. And a magician. One of the greatest sleight of hand performers ever, actually. He could throw a playing card almost 200 ft at 90mph. He could pierce a watermelon with the Jack of Hearts. He was also about as close as anyone could get to being a regular on Bullseye. So we were all devastated to learn of his passing. This week, we're remembering his career: his performances in films like Boogie Nights and Magnolia, on TV shows like Deadwood. His confounding and thrilling magic act. And his great books: Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women, Cards as Weapons, Matthias Buchinger: "The Greatest German Living" - just to name a handful. We'll miss you, Ricky.
Dec 04, 2018
Billy Eichner & Ali Wong
This week we're pulling two favorites out of the Bullseye archives. First on the docket: Billy Eichner! He's an actor and comic and host of the hit comedy game show Billy on the Street - where he and a camera crew accost random New Yorkers with questions about Hocus Pocus, Meryl Streep and more. Yes, it sounds great. If you've seen it, you know it's even better. Then, we revisit Jesse's 2016 chat with Ali Wong. She's an acclaimed stand up comic. At the time, she'd just released Baby Cobra. It was her debut hour long special and she recorded the entire thing while 7 months pregnant. 7 months! She talks with Jesse about her standup act, her new motherhood and how her relationship with her mom has changed. And finally, for The Outshot: a story about a man who invented a brand new genre of music just by stripping other instruments away.
Nov 26, 2018
Tim Blake Nelson & Mary Randolph Carter
Tim Blake Nelson is a master of his craft: a character actor with over 80 credits to his name. Roles in films as diverse as The Incredible Hulk, Minority Report and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Coen Brothers classic. You remember him: Tim played Delmar in that one - the lovable prison escapee who mistakes John Turturro's character for a toad. His latest role is in another Coen bros film: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. He plays Buster, the star in the first of the film's six vignettes. Then, Mary Randolph Carter. Carter, as she's known, has worked high up at Ralph Lauren for decades - she's a creative director there. That's her day job. In her free time, she collects stuff. She calls it junk. And she's got a lot of junk. She's written tons of books on the topic of junk: antique shops, collections, personal stories, photographs. She talks with Jesse about her books, her decidedly un-minimal design philosophy and her unique, sometimes tragic upbringing. Finally, for the Outshot: Jesse tells you about the power of Police Squad's decidedly un-fancy comedy.
Nov 19, 2018
Maura Tierney & Michael Kupperman
First up this week: Maura Tierney! You know her from her time on the hit drama ER - she played Abby. She's currently on the Showtime series The Affair, as well. And, here's a personal favorite of ours: She also starred on the sitcom Newsradio as Lisa, the ambitious reporter and producer. Her latest role is in the film Beautiful Boy, where she stars alongside Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet. Then, Michael Kupperman. He's a comics artist and writer whose work usually comes off as surreal, silly and always hilarious. Not so much with his latest work, though. He made a touching, fascinating graphic memoir about his father. It's called "All The Answers." Michael's dad is Joel Kupperman - who, for a brief period in the 40s and 50s, was one of the most famous people in the nation. Joel spent almost his entire childhood and adolescence on TV as a "quiz kid," answering trivia questions for prizes. Finally, for the outshot: Jesse tells you about the last great album Sly Stone ever recorded.
Nov 13, 2018
Kamasi Washington & Simon Rich
This week, we're dedicating almost an entire episode to one of our favorite musicians: Kamasi Washington! Kamasi is a saxophonist and composer. In the studio, he's played sax and arranged for hitmakers like Kendrick Lamar, Ryan Adams, Snoop Dogg - and that's just naming a handful. On his own, he's a visionary bandleader with over half a dozen solo records to his name. He broke through in 2015, with his three hour long instant classic "The Epic" - a record that found its way to a bunch of top ten lists and renewed a fiery debate in the music world: can a guy like Kamasi, not yet 40, revive jazz and turn it into a young person's game again? He and Jesse talk about his time playing sax in bands, as a composer and bandleader, and his nearly unbeatable Street Fighter II skills. We'll close out this week's show with a treat: a short story from the one and only Simon Rich! He's been a writer for SNL, the New Yorker and much more. He just put out a terrific new short story collection called "Hits and Misses." The outshot is back next week!
Nov 05, 2018
Steven Yeun & Sawbones
First up this week: Steven Yeun! Fans of The Walking Dead know and love Steven for his time on the show as the beloved Glenn Rhee. Lately, though, he's taken on some even more thrilling roles. Last year, he starred in the Netflix hit Okja. Earlier this year he played Squeeze, the union organizing rabble rouser in the hit Sorry To Bother You. And now Steven's starring in a beautiful, engrossing new film called Burning - it's South Korea's entry into the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year. Then, join Jesse as he embarks on a gross, strange and hilarious overview of weird medical history: Trepanation! Humors! Bad surgery! The guides on our tour? Justin and Dr. Sydnee McElroy, husband and wife hosts of the MaxFun podcast Sawbones. They just wrote a new book based on the podcast and have loads of great, gory info. Just in time for Halloween! Finally: Jesse tells you about the person who inspired him to take up radio.
Oct 29, 2018
Eric Idle & Blood Orange's Dev Hynes
Two brilliant Brits on this week's Bullseye! First up this week, a conversation with comedy pioneer and Monty Python founding member Eric Idle! Eric's entered a reflective moment in his career now that Monty Python turned 50. He's written a memoir about his life. It's called "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography." Then, Blood Orange's Dev Hynes. The singer and multi-instrumentalist is also a producer who has worked for artists like Solange Knowles, Kylie Minogue, and Carly Rae Jepson to name a few. His latest album is "Negro Swan." Finally: Janet Delaney's photo collection of people in San Francisco, playing out their roles in the everyday drama of public life.
Oct 23, 2018
Susan Orlean & Gregory Porter
First up this week, a guest we're always thrilled to welcome: Susan Orlean! One of the greatest writers around. You might know her from Saturday Night, Rin Tin Tin or the Orchid Thief - the book that was turned into the Academy Award nominated film Adaptation. She has a new book. It talks about the history of public libraries in the US and a catastrophic fire that almost destroyed one of the nation's largest. The title? The Library Book! It drops this week. Then a conversation with Gregory Porter. He's a Grammy winning jazz singer, the pride of Bakersfield California and, until his junior year of college, an aspiring football player. He recently recorded an album of standards made popular by Nat "King" Cole, and he'll tell Jesse about his deeply personal connection to one of America's most iconic voices. Finally: sometimes you don't need much to make a great comedy sketch. Just a simple premise and about seven hot dogs. Or more. Yeah, actually... probably more than seven hot dogs.
Oct 15, 2018
Sarah Jessica Parker & Chris Gethard
Two favorites from the Bullseye archives this week. First up: Sarah Jessica Parker, from 2016. A fascinating, probing interview that covers her time on Divorce, Sex and the City, LA Story, even Square Pegs, her first ever starring TV role! Then, Chris Gethard. He's of course the host of the cult hit Chris Gethard show on TV. He's an actor, too - he played Ilana Glazer's boss on Broad City, among other roles. When they talked last year, Jesse and Chris went over one of his most compelling, personal projects he's ever taken on: a one man show called Career Suicide. Chris' show is a frank, specific and profoundly touching look at mental illness and how he succeeded in showbiz in spite of it. Finally: want to hear the sound of Dad-hood? Bring in the horns and fretless bass!
Oct 08, 2018
Tenacious D & José James
So, y'all: Tenacious D. Tenacious D! We spend 40 minutes with Tenacious D this week. We talk with Jack Black and Kyle Glass about the band's early days in clubs and making quick cameos in films. We talk about their new animated series - Post Apocalypto - which is hilarious. We talk about Jesse's fandom of the band - which spans decades and even led him to put up a show poster for the band in the MaxFun Bathroom. This is easily one of our favorite conversations of 2018. But then: even more great stuff! Jazz singer José James will go deep on the life-changing power of Al Green's Love & Happiness. And instead of the outshot, you'll hear a really affecting, compelling bit of standup from comic Ted Alexandro.
Oct 01, 2018
Swamp Dogg & Joel Kim Booster
It's a rare honor for a guest to be on Bullseye three times, but Swamp Dogg deserves it. He's a psychedelic soul singer with a career that's now spanned six decades. He's been singing soul and R&B since he was 12. Back then he was Little Jerry Williams and his first single featured his mom on drums. He adopted the name Swamp Dogg in the early 70s and put out a bunch of stone cold classics: Total Destruction To Your Mind, Rat On!, Cuffed, Collared & Tagged. On his latest record, Swamp collaborates with some extremely of-the-moment indie talent to create a wild left turn: it's called Love, Loss & Auto-Tune, and it's out now. Then, Joel Kim Booster. Joel's a writer and comedian. He's written for Billy on the Street, Problematic with Moshe Kasher and Netflix's Big Mouth. And as a standup, he's appeared on Conan, Comedy Central, @Midnight and more. He's also one of the most exciting new comics around. He talks with Jesse about his evangelical, adopted upbringing, his stage persona (which, according to Joel, is "hot idiot"), and why he can't stand to listen to his old material.
Sep 24, 2018
Nicole Holofcener & Lodge 49
This week, we're thrilled to welcome Nicole Holofcener back on the show - probably one of the most underrated filmmakers around. Her movies are quiet, sort of understated. The protagonists are complex, flawed people, usually women. She's worked with some great actors, too. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini in "Enough Said." Frances McDormand in "Friends with Money." Catherine Keener in just about everything she's made. Her latest film was just released on Netflix. It's called "The Land of Steady Habits." And for the first time, her movie centers on a man. We'll talk about that, plus her childhood growing up among Hollywood filmmaking royalty. Then, have you heard of this show, Lodge 49? It's kind of a comedy / drama set in Long Beach, California. It's kind of hard to say what it's about, but some of the themes include: secret orders (like the Masons), quarter life crises and the stagnating aerospace economy in Long Beach, California. It's funny, weird and disarmingly honest, which is why it's been a hit here at MaxFun HQ. Jesse talks with Jim Gavin, the creator, and Peter Ocko, the showrunner.
Sep 18, 2018
Amy Sedaris & Paul Reiser
We're replaying two recent favorites 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 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, Paul Reiser - the legendary standup and actor. You've seen him on Mad About You, Red Oaks and Whiplash and more. He also created the Hulu show There's Johnny. 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.
Sep 10, 2018
Boz Scaggs and Maeve Higgins
This week: Boz Scaggs. The one and only! The hitmaker behind "Lido Shuffle" and "Lowdown" and so much more talks with Jesse about his more than five decade career in music. Lately, like a lot of rockers his age, his work has steered more towards the basics: some blues, some covers here and there, lots of stripped down instrumentation. But behind all that has been a commitment to atmosphere and production - music with an aesthetic that's dark and unsettling in one moment, then in another tender and loving. You know, the kind of thing that makes Boz Scaggs... Boz Scaggs. It's all on his latest record - "Out of the Blues" - which is out now. Then, Maeve Higgins. She's a comic, a podcast host and a memoirist, very well known back home in Ireland. She moved to the New York City in her early 30s. And, yes, like a lot of comics, she worked her observations about America and New York into her set. But she probed deeper. She thought about what lead her to make the move. What it says about her. What it's like being in this strange, amazing city thousands of miles away from home.
Sep 04, 2018
Guy Branum & Emily Lordi
A favorite from the Bullseye archives this week. First up: Comedian, writer, and podcast host Guy Branum recently wrote a book called "My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir through (Un)Popular Culture." It's a collection of personal essays. Kind of a combination of memoir and manifesto that covers his childhood, college, his early days as comic. It's also got his opinions on football movies, politics, and which city has the hottest guys (It's Los Angeles, btw). We're revisiting our conversation with Guy from last year where he sat down with Jesse to discuss his truTV series Talk Show The Game Show. Then, academic and writer Emily Lordi, author of the 33 ⅓ book Donny Hathaway's Live tells us why she thinks the classic Hathaway live performance deserves to be added to the canon of all time great albums. Then, Jesse tells us about why he loves the Errol Morris ESPN documentaries: It's Not Crazy, It's Sports.
Aug 27, 2018
W Kamau Bell & Mike Pesca
This week, we've got another Emmy-nominated guest - W.Kamau Bell! He's known for his stand-up comedy. But he might be even more beloved for the television shows he's hosted. "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell," was kind of a hybrid between a political satire show and a talk show. But unlike, say, "The Daily Show" Kamau wasn't inclined to be the star. Rather, he let his guests do that. Kamau just asked questions - both funny and serious ones. That made the show really special. W. Kamau Bell's, "United Shades of America," airs on CNN and is up for three Emmys. He'll tell us why he's particularly proud about the series. Then, we'll talk to Mike Pesca about his newest book: "Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History". It's a collection of essays from over 30 different writers - people like Robert Siegel, Nate DiMeo, Jesse Eisenberg and more. They all ask hypothetical questions about the most pivotal moments in sports history... and what would have happened if things had gone differently. Pesca also talks about what it was like working for NPR as one of two sports reporters and about the time he was the guest host of "Wait Wait.. Don't Tell Me!" (including the outcry he received for having Kim Kardashian-West on that program). And finally, for this week's Outshot, Jesse breaks down "Aretha Live at the Fillmore West" and why the San Francisco-recorded live album might be the perfect showcase for the late Queen of Soul.
Aug 20, 2018
Megan Mullally & Tracee Ellis Ross
It's Emmy season! Bullseye brings you two talented, fascinating Emmy nominees this week. First up: Megan Mullally! One of the best in the game. Like, maybe you're a fan of Parks and Recreation. She played Tammy, the ex-wife of Ron Swanson. She's a kind of menacing, toxic seductress. Or maybe you saw her on Childrens Hospital, or 30 Rock, or heard her on Bob's Burgers (she plays Gayle). But, she's best known for her role as Karen Walker on the groundbreaking sitcom Will & Grace. She was just nominated for what could end up being her *third* Emmy for her role on the show. Then, a special treat: Karen Tongson, professor and panelist on our sister show Pop Rocket, talks with the one and only Tracee Ellis Ross. Tracee is nominated in the best actress category for her role on ABC's Blackish - she plays Rainbow Johnson (aka Bow) on the show. She and Karen go deep into her work acting and directing Blackish. Plus, her relationship with her mom... Diana Ross. Diana Ross! Finally, Jesse tells you about one of the most charming people who ever lived. And she's got a book and documentary to prove it.
Aug 13, 2018
Jonathan Gold & Beth Ditto
This week, we'll remember Jonathan Gold by revisiting our conversation with him. Jonathan's work in food criticism was legendary. In 2007, his work earned him a Pulitzer. To this date, he's still the only food critic to ever earn that honor. When he joined us in 2011, he discussed the one food fear he just couldn't overcome, and how he discovered Los Angeles and the world – one meal at a time. Plus, he threw shade at the burritos from the Mission District in San Francisco. We'll also revisit our conversation with Beth Ditto from last year. Beth is singer of the band Gossip. Beth talks about the process of creating her solo album, and about her time fronting Gossip. She'll also open up about her queer identity and what it was like setting up punk shows in her small Arkansan town. You can catch her on the road this summer opening for Sam Smith. And finally, Jesse explains how Sly and the Family Stone made a perfect album, even as they slowly disintegrated as a group.
Aug 06, 2018
Randy Newman
"Who is your dream interview?" you might ask Jesse Thorn, or another public radio host. And for Bullseye, here is your answer: Randy Newman! Randy's career spans over half a century. He's written music for films (duh), but has also revealed himself to be an artist of the highest caliber on his solo records. His music is beautifully written, funny, dark and unmistakably American. Jesse dives deep into Randy's roots - how a family of musicians and jokesters gave him a love for classic American music and comedy. They'll also talk baseball, run-ins with the two Franks (Sinatra & Jr.), and why he has trouble coming to terms with some of his most critically acclaimed music. This is a real deal all-timer, folks. Finally, for the outshot: enough about rock music! Jesse talks about the terrifying, awesome wonder of Levitated Mass, a sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Jul 30, 2018
Debra Granik & Johan Miranda
This week, we want to introduce you to a new comic: Johan Miranda. He lives in Los Angeles, was raised in San Francisco. When he was three years old, he and his parents traveled to the US on a tourist visa - and they haven't left since. Johan is one of the approximately 700,000 people covered under the US Government's DACA policy (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). A DREAMer. And as immigration rhetoric has ramped up, Johan's status in this country has grown even more uncertain. He's got a new one man show to talk just about that - it's called "Why Johan Miranda Should Be Deported" and it's debuting in Los Angeles on July 27. Then, after that: a conversation with Debra Granik. In 2010 she wrote and directed "Winter's Bone," the acclaimed drama that launched Jennifer Lawrence's career and was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Now, the long awaited follow-up is in theaters. It's called "Leave No Trace" and it's been met with similar acclaim. She and Jesse talk about the new film, about the pitfalls of calling an artist a "genius" and her first ever paid movie gig: shooting weddings! Finally: a tribute to Joe Pera. A comedian who will help you buy a tree. Or go to sleep. Or learn about iron.
Jul 23, 2018
Bo Burnham and Won't You Be My Neighbor's Morgan Neville
This week, we've got April Wolfe holding things down in the host chair. April is a film critic and panelist on the Maximum Fun podcast Who Shot Ya. She also hosts her own show here at MaxFun - it's called Switchblade Sisters. Every week on Switchblade Sisters, April talks with a female filmmaker about a different genre film - horror, cult, western, all kinds of stuff. What follows is a fascinating and refreshing discussion on theory and craft in filmmaking. This time on Bullseye, you'll hear April talk with Bo Burnham. Bo's one of the original Youtube celebrities - before Justin Bieber, before Rebecca Black, even before Leave Britney Alone! But he's turned that career from novelty into a diverse and really funny body of work - standup specials, albums, TV shows. Now he's gone behind the camera and created his first movie - it's called Eighth Grade. It's a funny and sincere coming of age story told from the POV of an Extremely Online 13 year old girl. You'll also hear a touching interview between Jesse and Morgan Neville. The Academy Award winning documentary director just made a new film that looks into the life of Fred Rogers — Mister Rogers. And finally: April will tell you about the filmmaker and actress who made a brilliant, extremely real movie... and then stopped.
Jul 16, 2018
Heat Rocks Special! Jay Smooth, Meshell Ndegeocello, & Vernon Reid
We're doing something a little different this week: you're about to hear three of our favorite interviews from Heat Rocks, one of our sister shows here at company Maximum Fun. Heat Rocks is a music podcast about passion. It's hosted by Oliver Wang, a veteran hip-hop writer, and Morgan Rhodes - she's a music supervisor who's worked closely with Ava DuVernay. Each week, Heat Rocks brings you a conversation with a guest about the album that shaped their lives. Morgan and Oliver have talked with people like Cut Chemist, Ishmael Butler, Ann Powers and more. Expect deep, compelling conversations about R&B, Soul, Jazz, Hip-hop and more. Oliver and Morgan use each record as a jumping off point to talk about its history, its context, and why we care about it. This week you'll hear from Jay Smooth, the radio DJ and commentator, singer/songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello and Vernon Reid, founder of Living Colour.
Jul 09, 2018
Bonus! Bubble's Jordan Morris & Nick Adams
Hey all! Just popping in to give you a special treat this Thursday. You've probably heard about it already, but Maximum Fun - the company that makes Bullseye, Judge John Hodgman and more - just produced its very first scripted series. It's called "Bubble," it's sort of a sci-fi sitcom and we're all *extremely* proud of it. The show follows four twenty-somethings working the same side hustle to make ends meet. They're contract workers for an app called Huntr. The app hires people to kill the monsters that occasionally slip through the town's protective barrier. On this special bonus episode of Bullseye, you'll hear Jesse talk with creator Jordan Morris and writer/producer Nick Adams. It's a discussion not just about the show but about cities, why people live in them, and the insane lengths some of us will go to just to stay. Give it a listen and, if you haven't already, subscribe to Bubble! You'll be glad you did.
Jul 05, 2018
George Clinton & Cristela Alonzo
We're listening to some of our favorite interviews from Bullseyes past this week, and we've got a couple doozies. First up: the living legend, the master of funk music, Dr. Funkenstein himself: George Clinton, from 2014. The impact he's had on modern music is so huge that he's almost more myth than actual person nowadays, but Clinton's life story is a fascinating one: starting in doo-wop, moving on to Motown, and then creating his own genre from scratch: funk. He'll talk about that, his struggle with drug addiction and some of his best wild stories from Parliament Funkadelic's early days. Then, Cristela Alonzo, from last year. She's a veteran standup comedian and actress. You might've seen her on the ABC sitcom Cristela - she was the show's creator, star, she also wrote and produced it. Alonzo was actually the first latina ever to do all that on one TV show. She's been working on her standup act more lately, and it's really great. Cristela mixes political humor with her own life story (including her time spent living in an abandoned diner) to a hilarious and really endearing effect. She's also starring on the new Maximum Fun podcast Bubble, which you should check out if you haven't already. C'mon! And, finally: Jesse tells you about an SNL sketch that he connects with on a profound, deep level. And - since you're a Bullseye listener - we bet you will, too.
Jul 02, 2018
Boots Riley
So much of Bullseye is about what we think is great in culture today. And, for our money, one of the most compelling creative forces around is a guy named Boots Riley. For the first few decades in his career, Boots fronted the Coup. The Coup are a catchy, deeply political rap group from the Bay Area. Then, Boots had a movie idea. One that took 6 years to realize. He called it Sorry To Bother You - maybe you've seen the trailer already. Boots wrote and directed it, and it's set to hit theaters July 6. The movie is almost too wild to describe - it talks about telemarketing, race and monsters and so much more. In a deep, fascinating discussion with Jesse, he talks about the movie, the evolution of the Coup, politics and poverty and so much more. This one's an all-timer! Then, a tribute to the idea of serendipity, as evidenced in a surprising and infectious Max Roach record from the 70s.
Jun 25, 2018
Alia Shawkat & Mackenzie Crook
Alia Shawkat came by the Bullseye studios and holy moly, what a brilliant, funny human being! You know her as Maeby Fünke from TV's Arrested Development, which just dropped its fifth season. She also leads the TBS series Search Party these days. But Alia just starred in a really interesting film - it's called Duck Butter, and it tells the story of two women who fall in love and decide to spend the next 24 hours together, awake and totally present. Then, Mackenzie Crook. You've seen him before - maybe it was as Gareth on the original UK version of The Office. Or maybe you saw him in Pirates of the Caribbean or Game of Thrones. But his passion project is Detectorists - a three season British show he stars in and create. It's finally come to the states in its entirety via Acorn TV. It's a show about metal detecting, relationships, and the English Countryside and it's one of our favorite things on air. Finally - we know nobody can break the laws of physics. But if we had to pick one person who might be able to, it'd be NFL running back Barry Sanders. Jesse tells you why.
Jun 18, 2018
Pamela Adlon & James Acaster
The talents of Pamela Adlon are many. First, she's an incredible voice actress who's worked on literally dozens of shows. You probably know her best as Bobby from King of the Hill, though, where she was brilliant. Then there's her work on live action TV - she starred on prestige shows like Californication and Louie. And now, she co-created and stars in her own show: Better Things, which wrapped up its second season last year. You'll also hear from up and coming comic James Acaster - he's a regular on British TV and he's just now starting to make a splash over here with his hilarious **four hour long** comedy special on Netflix. The outshot is back next week!
Jun 12, 2018
Metta World Peace & Cut Chemist
This week, we've got a real treat for you: Metta World Peace! Even for a former NBA All Star and Champion, Metta has a big personality. When he played he had a reputation for hard defense and an unmatched intensity on the court. When it worked, it made him passionate, tough and nearly impossible to get past. But when didn't, things went south easily. He'd play dirty, get into dustups on the court. But World Peace - who was born Ron Artest - is up front about his flaws. And, in recent years, he's become a powerful advocate for mental health care. It's made him one of the most fascinating people in basketball. And it's also part of the reason his new book "No Malice: My Life in Basketball" is so compelling. He talks with Jesse about the new book - his highs, his lows, his childhood growing up in an enormous housing project in Queens. Plus, the time he met Kobe Bryant in a shower. We also have the song that changed Cut Chemist's life, and a deep, touching outshot on the life of Ed Roberts, a pioneering leader in the disability rights movement.
Jun 04, 2018
H. Jon Benjamin & Sara Driver
Fans of Bob's Burgers, Archer, Home Movies and Dr. Katz, rejoice! Jesse's talking with the incomparable H. Jon Benjamin this week. With lead roles in some of the most popular comedies of all time, it's hard to call Jon a failure. But he doesn't really mind the label. In fact, he just wrote a book called "Failure is an Option: An Attempted Memoir." In it, he recounts his shortcomings in excruciating detail and how, wouldn't you know it, a lot of those failures opened the door to success: failures in family, in work, in serving fajitas. It's a very self-deprecating, self-aware memoir. And since it's written by H. Jon Benjamin, it's also really, really funny. Then, a talk about the gritty golden days of the New York City art scene with filmmaker Sara Driver. Driver just made a new documentary - it's called "Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat." It's a story about one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century and the art community he came up in. Driver lived in that same community and talked with dozens of other people from New York's art scene to tell a totally unique, hypnotizing story. Finally: the outshot is a little different this week. But it won't leave you hungry!
May 29, 2018
Geena Davis & Jack Handey
For over a decade, actress Geena Davis has been spearheading an institute that gathers the numbers on gender balance on-screen. On this week's episode, she shares her fascinating take on what they do with all their findings plus, some heartwarming stories about how her work has shaped the way her children think about TV and film. Then, writer and humorist, Jack Handey of SNL's "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey" offers an explanation as to why the voice of Deep Thoughts might be a psychopath, but definitely not insane. And finally, for this week's outshot: Jesse thinks about the lasting amusement found in a 20-year old website. Welcome. To Bullseye. Welcome to Bullseye. Anything is possible at Bullseye. Welcome to you, who are at Bullseye. Welcome!
May 21, 2018
Robert Smigel & Gillian Jacobs
This week, writer and director Robert Smigel breaks down what really happened when he was showrunning "The Dana Carvey" show. Plus, he'll talk about so much more including his time on SNL, and his new movie "The Week Of" on Netflix. And probably his best known creation: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Then, Gillian Jacobs. You know her from her roles on "Community", "Girls," and "Love." She'll be in two upcoming films: "Life of the Party" and Netflix's "Ibiza." She keeps busy, but after working so hard these past few years, she tells Jesse why she's taken some time off for a little self-care.
May 15, 2018
Neko Case & Thao Nguyen
This week, two great musician interviews from the Bullseye archives. First up: Neko Case. It's hard to think of a singer/songwriter more beloved in the alt country / indie rock world Case inhabits. Her work - about half a dozen solo albums and a long list of collaborations with artists like New Pornographers and kd lang - has thrilled critics for decades now. She and Jesse talk about her transition from drummer to singer and guitarist, her move to a farm in Vermont, and more. Then, Thao Nguyen. Her band, Thao and the Get Down, Stay Down, have been making pop music with a bold, confessional bent for a while now. She and Jesse talk about artistic growth, nurturing relationships with estranged parents and her most recent record - 2016's A Man Alive. Both Thao and Neko are embarking on a big nationwide tour this Summer - find links to dates on the Bullseye page at MaximumFun.org!
May 07, 2018
Roy Wood Jr. & Peter Serafinowicz
This week, we're talking with two *very* funny people. First: Roy Wood Jr. Roy's a correspondent on the Daily Show these days, but the road he took to get there is fascinating. Roy produced, wrote and hosted on a grab bag of different radio shows, first in his hometown of Birmingham, AL, then in Los Angeles. He's also a standup with his own weird, kind of brilliant form of truth-telling. Don't miss this one. Then, actor/director/writer Peter Serafinowicz. He's got a starring role on Amazon's The Tick but Lord alive, what a career he's had! He's a music video director, co-creator of some of England's weirdest (and funniest) comedy shows - he also did the voice of Darth Maul in the phantom menace. Remember that? Finally, if you ever found yourself falling in love with a team because of their goofy logo, have we got a blog for you!
May 01, 2018
Special: The Wire!
Don't sleep on this one. It's a celebration of one of the best shows ever: The Wire! First, you'll hear a vintage Bullseye interview (recorded live to tape in the apartment back in '08) with two of the show's most beloved stars: Wendell Pierce, who played Det. Bunk Moreland, and Andre Royo, who played Bubbles. Royo and Pierce talk about the slow response the show got at first, the love they get now and the painstaking efforts Simon and co took to make sure the show got Baltimore right. Then, author Jonathan Abrams. He just wrote a brand new book about the Wire - it's called "All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire." Abrams interviewed cast and crew and writers to unveil a nuanced, fascinating look inside on of the greatest TV dramas of all time. The Outshot will return next week. Spot on!
Apr 24, 2018
Edie Falco and Hunter Pence
Emmy Award winning actress Edie Falco and San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence are our guests on this week's show. Edie Falco is a brilliant, charming person. She's best known for her roles in "The Sopranos" and "Nurse Jackie." These days, she's been getting a lot of movie work: she's starring opposite Jay Duplass in the new movie "Outside In," which is out now. Then, Hunter Pence. He joined the San Francisco Giants in 2012 and helped bring the team two world series victories. He's a beloved member of the team known for a wacky and kind of inexplicable playing style. Also, he wears high socks. What's not to love! Finally, for this week's outshot: The Netflix British television comedy "Toast of London." Which might be too weird to watch. But still: watch it!
Apr 16, 2018
Eugene Levy, Kay Cannon & Alexander Payne
Comedy nerds, rejoice! This week Jesse talks with Eugene Levy - the SCTV vet, co-creator of great Christopher Guest movies and American Pie star. Levy just wrapped up season 4 of his terrific CBC series Schitt's Creek. He talks about working with his son, who co-created the show with him, plus lots of great stories from SCTV's good old days! But first: legendary director Alexander Payne. One of the most charming and stylish dudes around. He talks about Downsizing, his latest film. Plus: writer and director Kay Cannon tells us about the Craziest ******* Day of Her Entire Career and Jesse tells you about the pathos and beauty behind the lost bird posters that used to dot San Francisco's Mission District.
Apr 09, 2018
Andrew W.K. & Bill Hader
This week, two Max Fun favs. First up: Andrew W.K.! He just released a new album: You're Not Alone. It's his first in almost a decade. You're Not Alone has that same classic Andrew W.K. of inspirational party rock - sometimes delivered in song, sometimes in spoken word. And Andrew reveals a lot of himself in the record, too. He talks about all that with Jesse, plus why he welcomes any and all Mr. Rogers comparisons. Then, Bill Hader. Of course, you know him from his time on Saturday Night Live. He was kind of an impressions guy - he did a mean Vincent Price. But his most famous character was Stefon, from Weekend Update. You remember Stefon, right? He left the show in 2013 and took up acting - he stars alongside Fred Armisen on IFC's Documentary Now! His latest project is a TV show called Barry, out now on HBO. Hader stars as the show's title character, Barry Berkman. Barry's an ex-marine, turned low rent hitman in Ohio, turned aspiring actor in Los Angeles. And finally, Van Morrison doesn't really like to perform live, but that didn't stop him from making a perfect live album. Jesse tells you about it on this week's Outshot.
Apr 02, 2018
Padma Lakshmi & Laurie Kilmartin
Two more classics from the Bullseye archives, y'all. First: pack your knives and listen up! Padma Lakshmi, host of TV's Top Chef, stops for a chat. She literally wrote an Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs - like, literally that's the title of the book. She's got spice recommendations for Jesse, plus she talks about her fascinating childhood spent bouncing between New York and Chennai. Then: how do you make a joke about death? How about an entire standup special? Well, you just do it. Conan writer and comedian Laurie Kilmartin made a show (and later, album) called 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad, which is about exactly what the title suggests it is. She's also the author of the new book "Dead People Suck: A Guide for Survivors of the Newly Departed." Finally, Jesse recommends a Simpsons episode that tells you everything you need know about the Bay Area tech boom.
Mar 26, 2018
Forest Whitaker & Armando Iannucci
This week, some heavy hitters! First, Forest Whitaker. He's of course the star of *countless* great movies. He's got this knack for taking huge figures from history and portraying them complex, fascinating, sometimes really fragile people. He played Charlie Parker in Bird, won an Academy Award for playing Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. Now, he's starring as Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the new film The Forgiven. He talks with Jesse about getting to know Archbishop Tutu as a character and a friend over the years. Plus, hot takes on Battlefield Earth! Then, Armando Iannucci. He's a brilliant comic writer - he created Veep, In The Loop, The Thick of It. And in all of those projects, he's found most of his material in the vain, ambitious and insecure people who run democracies - UK cabinet ministers in The Thick of It, presidential wannabes in Veep. His latest project is called "The Death of Stalin" and it's about, well, Stalin. How do you make a comedy based on a guy like that? Listen to find out! Finally, Jesse tells you about The Coup, a group that puts a human side to hard line, radical political rap.
Mar 19, 2018
Rachel Bloom & One Day at a Time
This week we're bringing you two of our favorite interviews from the Bullseye vault. First, Rachel Bloom, creator and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the hit CW musical romantic comedy. She talks about the show's roots, overcoming social anxiety and what it's like to go be suspended mid-air on a giant pretzel. Then, Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce, co-creators of Netflix's One Day at a Time. They collaborated with TV legend Norman Lear to create a late-teens version of his classic sitcom. Mike and Gloria talk about the show's creative process, the value of diversity and the excitement (and drudgery) of having a Quinceañera. Finally, you ever feel like a silly movie? Like the kind where critically acclaimed vocalist Seal gets attacked by a pack of wolves? Well, have we got a flick for you!
Mar 12, 2018
David Oyelowo & Heather Graham
Two great actors on this week's show! First up: David Oyelowo. He cut his teeth at the Royal Shakespeare company in London. Had smaller parts on British TV and in movies like The Help and Jack Reacher. He broke though when he starred as Martin Luther King in Selma, the Oscar nominated biopic. Now, he's starring in Gringo, a new THC-tinged action comedy. Oyelowo talks about his love of acting, being nearly killed by Tom Cruise in a car and his terrific bit part on HBO's the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Then, Heather Graham. You probably know her for her iconic roles in Boogie Nights, Swingers, Drugstore Cowboy and more. These days she's working behind the camera. She directed and wrote Half Magic - a comedy about love, sexism, spirituality, and Hollywood. Finally, for this week's outshot: need a gritty detective movie with heart? Jeff Garlin's Handsome has you covered.
Mar 05, 2018
The Breeders' Kim Deal & Raoul Peck
First up, a Bullseye fav: Jesse chats with Kim Deal of The Breeders about their new album "All Nerve," which drops this week. Also discussed: the Pixies' breakup, best Italian restaurants for live music in Dayton, Ohio, advancements in personal amplification technology in live music. Then, Raoul Peck. The director of "The Young Karl Marx" talks about bringing the personal story of the writer of "The Communist Manifesto" to life. Plus: how to make a narrative film about one of the most consequential philosophies in recent history. Finally, on this week's Outshot, Jesse talks about the work of Curtis Mayfield on his brilliant, underrated debut solo record "Curtis."
Feb 27, 2018
Laurie Metcalf, Kristen Anderson Lopez & Robert Lopez
It's an Academy Awards spectacular! First: Jesse talks with the amazing Laurie Metcalf. She's up for the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in the great Lady Bird. It's her first ever nomination! Laurie's a sincere actor's actor. She was a founding member of the legendary Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago. On the hit TV sitcom Roseanne, she played Jackie, Roseanne's sister. She's also starring in an upcoming Broadway rendition of Edward Albee's Three Tall Women. Then, two Oscar winners: Kristen Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez! Together they wrote the song "Remember Me," from the hit Disney film Coco. Before that, Kristen and Robert wrote the songs for Disney's Frozen - including the Academy Award winning "Let it Go." They talk with Jesse about how they met, how they collaborate and keep a happy marriage and how Robert is one of only 12 people to win an Emmy, a Grammy, and Oscar and a Tony. That's right - we got an EGOT in the house!
Feb 20, 2018
David Wain & Belle and Sebastian
First up, a favorite here around the Bullseye office: David Wain! He's a comedy legend, an actor, too. And he just directed the new Netflix film "A Futile and Stupid Gesture." He and Jesse talk about Doug Kenney, the movie's subject, whose work changed the trajectory of American comedy. Then: break out the 8mm cameras and the oversized sunglasses! It's time for Belle & Sebastian. Jesse talks with frontman Stuart Murdoch about their latest series of EPs - a trilogy called "How to Solve our Human Problems." Also: Baseball. Turns out Stuart is Glasgow's biggest Mets fan! Finally, on this week's outshot, Jesse walks us through the career of rapper Scarface whose lyrics, more than most rappers, mulls over the fear, rage, and consequences of gang violence.
Feb 13, 2018
"Corporate" & Mimi Pond
First up: Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman. They created and star in the brand new Comedy Central show "Corporate." Look. Technically, Corporate is a workplace comedy. But it's so much darker, weirder and universal than that. The show follows the lives of Matt and Jake, two junior executives in training at Hampton Deville, a hopeless megacorporation. They have just enough power and money to keep working there, but not enough to make any real impact in the company. The show tackles themes like the capitalism, art, suicide, and even the meaninglessness of life. They join Jesse in the studio to chat about getting the shows tone right, what it was like pitching the show to a corporation, and why they cast Lance Reddick, who played Cedric Daniels on The Wire to play the CEO of Hampton Deville. Plus, they talk about how magic mushrooms helped them write some of the episodes — you don't wanna miss that! Plus, cartoonist and writer Mimi Pond tells us about the craziest day of her entire career. And finally, Jesse tells us about "Understanding Comics" by Scott McCloud — a comic book about understanding comic books. If you've never picked up a comic book before this is a good place to start, obv.
Feb 05, 2018
The Big Sick, Allison Janney & Michel Gondry
One Bullseye episode. *Four* Oscar nominees! First up: Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani. They co-wrote "The Big Sick" and you probably heard about it already - the Academy just nominated it for Best Original Screenplay. They're two fascinating, sincere and brilliant people, and the film is a unique, hilarious and subversive take on modern romance. Jesse talked with them earlier this year. Then, the hits keep coming. Director Michel Gondry talks about the song that changed his life. Oscar-nominated actress Allison Janney (West Wing, I, Tonya, Mom) talks about how Paul Newman helped jump start her career. And Jesse tells you about the last movie Orson Welles ever directed.
Jan 29, 2018
Another Period & The Egyptian Lover
Have you heard of Another Period? It's a series on Comedy Central with a brilliant, simple premise: it's a reality show set in the gilded age - like the Keeping up with the Kardashians meets Downton Abbey. It's really fun to watch - over the top, subversive, weird and chock full of absinthe references! Its stars and co-creators are Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome and they talk with Jesse about the show, which is entering its third season this week. Then, the one and only Egyptian Lover. Born Greg Broussard he's a DJ, a producer, a rapper sometimes, too. He came up with Uncle Jamm's Army, a hip-hop crew that featured promoter and DJ Rodger Clayton, Ice - T, and shared the bill with acts as big as Run-DMC back in the day. As a solo artist he's released 9 albums, mixing Kraftwerk, Prince, a little bit of G-Funk every now and then, too. He's about to kick off on a world tour with dates in Berlin, Cape Town and Long Beach. He talks with Jesse about the early days of LA hip hop and electro, what a 10,000 person dance party looks like and how he bonded with his future wife over a Kraftwerk record. The ultimate meet cute!
Jan 22, 2018
Rian Johnson & The Go! Team
Buckle up, y'all, we've got a dynamite lineup! First off: Rian Johnson, writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is discussed in extensive detail (don't say we didn't warn you). Besides directing a film in one of the biggest franchises in history, Rian's created the acclaimed movie Brick - kind of a Coen Bros inspired film noir starring teenagers in Orange County. He also wrote and directed the sci-fi thriller Looper, and a few of the most memorable Breaking Bad episodes, too. Then, the Go! Team. Formed in the year 2000 in Brighton, England, the band's basically the brainchild of Ian Parton. He recorded a lot of the band's first album in his parent's kitchen and released it as Thunder, Lightning, Strike - a solid record. On that album you'll find the track "Huddle Formation" - AKA the Bullseye theme song. Their newest album just dropped - it's called Semicircle. Finally: can you be super glamorous and deeply real at the same time? Of course you can, just ask Sylvester.
Jan 16, 2018
Errol Morris & Tune-Yards
Fresh New Year, fresh new Bullseye! This week, legendary director Errol Morris. He's the kind of filmmaker that gets shown in film school all the time. He's contributed that much to the field of documentary making. Morris has a way of painting portraits of people in his films that's incredibly vulnerable. A perfect example of this is his first documentary "Gates of Heaven" released in 1978. It's a film about pet cemeteries, and the connection people feel to their deceased pets. Some of his films, like "The Thin Blue Line" try to find objective truth. That film ultimately helped secure a innocent man's freedom from prison. His latest project is a six-part miniseries for Netflix called "Wormwood." The series explores the CIA LSD experiments in the late 1950's, and the effects on a man named Frank Olson. The story is mostly told through interviews of Frank's son, Eric, who's worked for years to uncover the truth. The film is kind of a departure for Errol's signature style — it blends dramatic reenactments and real life interviews. Plus, Merrill Garbus of the band Tune-Yards tells us about the song that changed her life. And for this week's Outshot: The 1991 film "The Commitments."
Jan 09, 2018
Terry Crews, Jessica St. Clair & Lennon Parham
Two Bullseye favorites from the archives this week. First: Terry Crews. A linebacker from Flint Michigan, Terry 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 Brooklyn Nine Nine. Lately he's been in the news for taking speaking out against sexual harassment of all kinds - he says he was a victim himself. Then, Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham, from 2014. The two co-created and starred in the show Playing House on USA, a favorite of ours here. It just wrapped up its third and final season last year. Male friendship is well represented in comedy, really, really well represented, but female friendship - not so much. And when we do see female friendships, the characters are sort of rote - there's always the same 3 or 4 characters, you know? On Playing House, Parham and St. Clair framed it differently. Their characters are less Carrie and Miranda and more Laverne and Shirley. You can actually imagine them being friends. Plus, calling all prog rock fans! This week Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell, the editors of the prog rock anthology Yes Is The Answer: (And Other Prog Rock Tales), explain why the King Crimson album In The Court of the Crimson King is a classic, and how it laid the foundation for a whole genre.
Jan 02, 2018
End of Year Comedy Special!
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!
Dec 26, 2017
The Bullseye Holiday Spectacular!
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.
Dec 18, 2017
Judd Apatow & Romesh Ranganathan
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.
Dec 12, 2017
JK Simmons & Solomon Georgio
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.
Dec 04, 2017
Margaret Cho & Lisa Hanawalt
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.
Nov 27, 2017
Greta Gerwig & Pixar's Lee Unkrich
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.
Nov 21, 2017
Bonus! Heat Rocks: Anil Dash on Prince's 1999
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.
Nov 18, 2017
Amy Sedaris & Paul Reiser
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.
Nov 13, 2017
John Hodgman & Tig Notaro
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.
Nov 06, 2017
Stephanie Beatriz & Griffin Dunne
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.
Oct 30, 2017
Halloween Special with Elvira, Andy Daly & more!
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!
Oct 23, 2017
Gilbert Gottfried and Maggie Betts
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.
Oct 16, 2017
Amy Ryan & Shea Serrano
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.
Oct 10, 2017
Carl Reiner & Kate and Laura Mulleavy
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.
Oct 02, 2017
Open Mike Eagle & Paula Poundstone
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.
Sep 25, 2017
Judy Greer & Ice-T
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.
Sep 18, 2017
The Pointer Sisters & Bootsy Collins
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!
Sep 11, 2017
Tim Gunn & Jonathan Coulton
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?
Sep 05, 2017
Wallace Shawn, Nick Lowe & Jay Baruchel
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.
Aug 28, 2017
Ellie Kemper & Flying Lotus
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.
Aug 21, 2017
Alfred Molina & Louie Anderson
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.
Aug 14, 2017
Ani DiFranco & Game of Thrones' Aidan Gillen
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.
Aug 08, 2017
Lily Tomlin & Rick Moranis
[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.
Aug 01, 2017
Dolly Parton & Steve Coogan
[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.
Jul 25, 2017
Kumail Nanjiani, Emily Gordon & Terrace Martin
"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.
Jul 17, 2017
Bonus: Tavi Gevinson
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.
Jul 14, 2017
Vince Staples & The Trailer Park Boys
[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.
Jul 10, 2017
Beth Ditto & Ernest Dickerson
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.
Jul 03, 2017
A$AP Ferg & Dr. Katz
What an episode this week! We have New York's very own A$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.
Jun 26, 2017
Katie Couric, Marc Maron & Audie Cornish
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!
Jun 20, 2017
Big Boi & Catherine O'Hara
[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.
Jun 12, 2017
Kathryn Hahn & Jason Zinoman
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.
Jun 06, 2017
Carol Kane
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.
May 29, 2017
Terry Crews & Amber Tamblyn
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.
May 22, 2017
John Waters & Andy Kindler
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.
May 15, 2017
Moshe Kasher, Felicia Day & Brother Ali
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.
May 08, 2017
Chris Gethard, George Saunders, & DJ Jazzy Jeff
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.
May 01, 2017
Werner Herzog & Mount Eerie's Phil Elverum
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.
Apr 24, 2017
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Armando Iannucci and Billy Bragg
[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.
Apr 17, 2017
Guy Branum
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.
Apr 10, 2017
Baseball Special with Tabitha Soren & Sean Doolittle
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.
Apr 03, 2017
My Brother, My Brother and Me & Gina Prince-Bythewood
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.
Mar 27, 2017
Paul Shaffer, Javaka Steptoe & Louis Theroux
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.
Mar 20, 2017
Sam Richardson & Syd of The Internet
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."
Mar 14, 2017
Danny McBride & Miroslav Vitous
[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.
Mar 06, 2017
Desus & Mero, Walter Murch
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!
Feb 28, 2017
Michael K Williams & Zach Galifianakis
[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.
Feb 20, 2017
Pete Holmes & Mike Mills
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.
Feb 14, 2017
Cristela Alonzo & Stretch Armstrong
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.
Feb 06, 2017
One Day at a Time & Todd Mayfield
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.
Jan 31, 2017
Laurie Kilmartin and Throwing Shade
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.
Jan 23, 2017
Corin Tucker & Tom Arnold
[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.
Jan 17, 2017
Bullseye's Judge John Hodgman Special
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.
Jan 10, 2017
Bill Withers & Joe Randazzo
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.
Jan 03, 2017
End of year best comedy special
Wrap up 2016 with a much needed laugh - it's Bullseye's proudest annual tradition - the End of Year Best Comedy Special. You'll hear some of the year's best standup: Maria Bamford, W. Kamau Bell, Cameron Esposito, and much more.
Dec 26, 2016
Holiday Special with Jane Lynch and Andy Richter
On a brand new Bullseye Holiday special, Jesse talks with Andy Richter about how to love Christmas after getting burned by it. Plus, actress Jane Lynch stops by to share her new album of swingin' Christmas music.
Dec 19, 2016
Pedro Almodovar and Sleigh Bells
Jesse talks to Pedro Almodóvar, the Spanish filmmaker about Julieta, his newest film. Plus, Alexis Krauss from the band Sleigh Bells on the song that changed her life and the hypnotic, enchanting power of old paintings of cows.
Dec 12, 2016
John Cale & TJ and Dave
Jesse talks with John Cale, the musician and producer, about his time in the Velvet Underground, producing artists like the Stooges and Patti Smith, and his latest record. Plus, comic improv legends TJ and Dave and new music from the band Split Single.
Dec 06, 2016
Sarah Jessica Parker & Dwayne Kennedy
Jesse talks with Sarah Jessica Parker about her long, dynamic career, including her star roles in Sex and the City and the new HBO series Divorce. Plus, comedy from the legendary Dwayne Kennedy and music from the one singer we should all turn to when we're feeling down.
Nov 28, 2016
Padma Lakshmi & Colin Quinn
Jesse talks to Colin Quinn about his time on Saturday Night Live and his new Netflix special, New York Story. Padma Lakshmi, host of Top Chef, model and author takes us deep into the world of spices and herbs. Plus, standup comedy from Sara Schaefer and more.
Nov 21, 2016
Jemaine Clement & Jonathan Ames
Comedian Jemaine Clement tells Jesse about growing up in New Zealand, being mixed race, and his time as a member of Flight of the Conchords, the hit HBO comedy duo. Then, TV writer and novelist Jonathan Ames joins the show. Ames is the mind behind the new Starz' series Blunt Talk and HBO's Bored to Death.
Nov 15, 2016
Willem Dafoe, Paul Schrader & David Crosby
Actor Willem Dafoe and writer / director Paul Schrader tell Jesse about their new movie, the gritty and wild Dog Eat Dog. Then, Jesse talks with the legendary singer songwriter David Crosby, of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash. He'll talk about dating Joni Mitchell and turning his life around after prison.
Nov 08, 2016
Patton Oswalt & Fresh Off The Boat
Comedian Patton Oswalt tells Jesse about the years he spent almost completely indoors - pitching failed sketches in writers rooms, going to the movies, and standing on stage every night. Later, Randall Park and Nahnatchka Khan, from ABC's Fresh Off the Boat talk about how the hit sitcom about a first generation Taiwanese American family came to be. Plus, Jesse talks about the Sly and the Family Stone record you absolutely need to hear.
Nov 01, 2016
Norman Lear & Riz Ahmed
Norman Lear, the Godfather of American sitcom, tells Jesse why he decided to make All In The Family and how he drew stories from his own life and those of his writers to bring real issues to TV comedy shows. Later, the star of HBO's The Night Of and the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One, Riz Ahmed explains why the British Asian experience made hip-hop so important to him as a kid and we hear some of his new Swet Shop Boys album, Cashmere. Plus Jesse explains why Blunt Talk his his favorite weird show on TV right now.
Oct 24, 2016
Armando Iannucci & Sharon Horgan
Interviews with Veep creator Armando Iannucci and the writer behind Sarah Jessica Parker's new HBO show, Sharon Horgan. Plus stand-up comedy from Josie Long and live music from Romare. Recorded live at the London Podcast Festival.
Oct 17, 2016
Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher, Jeff Garlin
Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butler met at a comedy night in Chicago five years ago. Rhea was new to comedy and still had a day job. Cameron had been a working comedian for almost a decade. They hit it off, fell in love, moved to LA, got married and started a stand up night called "Put Your Hands Together". Last year they were asked by the Seeso network to make a stand up series based on "Put Your Hands together". It ended up morphing into the show they made, a sitcom called "Take My Wife". The show mirrors their lives in almost every way. Cameron and Rhea sit down with Jesse to talk about the good and bad of making a show based on your lives and marriage. Although he is probably best known for his role on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jeff Garlin has a very prolific career. He came in to tell us about the craziest night of his career for our new segment "The craziest @#$% day of your career". Jesse tells us about a movie with a beautiful lack of ambition. The taking of Pelham 123.
Oct 10, 2016
Kaitlin Olson and Jeff Chang
Kaitlin Olson plays Sweet Dee on the long-running sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Dee is the only female member of "The Gang", a bunch of depraved, self-centered pals who run a bar. The Gang is constantly looking for ways to get rich quick, humiliate their enemies, get out of work, and prove once and for all the talent, charisma and brilliance they hold to be self-evident. In an unusual move for a solo female character, Dee doesn't serve to counterbalance the guys' bad behavior — she absolutely matches their pace. Olson talks to us about creating a more fully-fleshed character for Dee, how she came to comedy, and how she ended up dating (and marrying) her showrunner. Jeff Chang talks to us about what diversity means to us today, the struggle for artists to defy racial categorization, and how and why corporations embraced multiculturalism. Chang's newest book- We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation- is an exploration of the current unrest abound in the United States through a series of essays. Jesse also tells us about the life and legend of Andre the Giant.
Oct 03, 2016
Danny Fields & Judith Light
Danny Fields is a music manager and publicist who was instrumental in signing and promoting some of the biggest names in Punk Rock history. This week, he and Jesse discuss his decision to leave the ivy league tract, his time in Andy Warhol's Factory, and what it was like managing The Ramones. Judith Light has had an almost 40 year acting career in which she's played strong female characters on shows like One LIfe To Live and Who's The Boss?. She is now continuing in this motif with her tenure on Broadway, winning two Tony Awards for her performances in the last 5 years, starring in a one woman show, and of course her groundbreaking performance in Transparent. Judith sits down with guest correspondent Keith Powell to discuss her work on Transparent, the cast's relationship with Jill Soloway, and the famous courtroom scene on One Life to LIve that launched her career. Jesse talks about Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some as a reflection of the necessity for people to fall into spells of nostalgia, even if just for 90 minutes.
Sep 26, 2016
Hasan Minhaj and Margaret Wappler
This week, Jesse sits down with Hasan Minhaj, comedian and Senior Correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. They discuss stand up comedy in other countries, the current political climate in the United States, and his one man show Homecoming King. He also talks to Margaret Wappler, a journalist, columnist, pop culture critic, short story writer, podcast host , teacher, and now novelist. Margaret and Jesse talk about her new novel Neon Green, how she took care of her ill father as a teenager, the writing process, and the 1990's. And Jesse talks about the look on former NFL star and current analyst Randy Moss' face while his colleague Trent Dilfer gave his thoughts on the player protests going on in the NFL right now.
Sep 19, 2016
Spike Lee & High Maintenance
Jesse sits down with acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee. He tells us about how addiction is made explicit in his movie, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, how he really feels about Larry Bird and about his own very serious addiction.... to Air Jordans. Jesse also talks to Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair. Katja is a casting director who previously won an Emmy for her work on 30 Rock; Ben Sinclair is an actor. The two are a married couple, and created the webseries High Maintenance. The show follows a New York City marijuana delivery guy as he visits his various clients. MTV2's Wonder Showzen looked like a kids' show. But it wasn't. It really, really, wasn't. Jesse tells us why Wonder Showzen is his favorite TV satire of the past decade.
Sep 12, 2016
Felicity Huffman & Anthony Michael Hall
While actor Felicity Huffman is probably best known for her tenure as Lynette Scavo in Desperate Housewives, she has played many beloved characters throughout her career as an actor. From Dana Whitaker in Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night to Bree in Transamerica, Huffman now is starring inAmerican Crime, ABC's Emmy nominated series. Jesse sits down with Huffman to discuss her preparation for her varied roles in American Crime, her relationship with William H. Macey, and how motherhood has affected her acting career. Huffman is nominated for an Emmy for her work on American Crime. Anthony Michael Hall is most known for the films that he made with John Hughes in the 80's such as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Since then, he has worked on many projects, ranging from science fiction series The Dead Zone to indies like his newest film Natural Selection. Here, Hall and Jesse talk about his time working as a teen actor and the celebrity he acquired at a young age, his relationship with John Hughes, and his later in life career. He can be seen in his new movie Natural Selection. In this week's Outshot, Jesse talks about the function on "the game" in a comedy sketch, and how it works in one of his favorite sketches.
Sep 05, 2016
Nick Kroll and John Mulaney & Airto Moreira
John Mulaney and Nick Kroll are well seasoned comedians who have made a name for themselves in many different forms of media. Jesse sits down with Mulaney and Kroll to discuss their new broadway play, Oh, Hello, the downfall of Mulaney, and how they created their favorite alter ego's, Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland. Mulaney and Kroll star as George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon respectively in their new show on Broadway called, Oh, Hello. Airto Moreira is a Brazilian born Jazz percussionist and drummer. He has worked as a professional musician since the age of 13, moving to New York in the late 1960's where he helped develop the "Jazz Fusion" genre of music. He sits down with Jesse to talk about Brazilian percussion methods, his move to America, and his experience playing with Miles Davis and other great Jazz legends. Jesse talks about Brooklyn based rapper Desiigner's newest single "Tiimmy Turner." The track combines melody, rapping, and auto-tune to create a very unique Southern Trap record.
Aug 29, 2016
Sarah Paulson & Shuggie Otis
Actress Sarah Paulson is best known for playing numerous characters on American Horror Story and Marcia Clark on The People v. O.J Simpson. Sarah sits down with Jesse to talk about working on The People v. O.J., her first big acting job, and dealing with the ups and downs that come with being a working actor. Although it was not popular at the time of its release, Shuggie Otis' album Inspiration Information influenced countless musicians and has been sampled by artists like Digable Planets and J Dilla. Shuggie tells us what went behind making this rock/soul classic. And Jesse explains why Paul and Gary O'Donovan's craic interview is one of the best things to come out of Rio Olympics
Aug 22, 2016
Lynda Barry & Pop Culture Happy Hour
Lynda Barry is a self-identified "freak", a cartoonist, a writer, and for the last couple of years, she's also been a college professor teaching interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin. What does that mean? Well, she encourages students to abandon their fears of creating and embrace their work and process. Lynda Barry's book The Greatest of Marlys is now available in hardback Our friends Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson from Pop Culture Happy Hour give us some pop culture recommendations during a live show in Washington, DC. Jesse heartily disagrees with A.O. Scott's review of the film version of MacGruber. In short: MacGruber exists, and the world is better for it.
Aug 15, 2016
Nikki Glaser and Dave Holmes
Nikki Glaser is a comedian and host of the Comedy Central series Not Safe with Nikki Glaser. Nikki sits down with Jesse to talk about developing her Comedy Central show with her boyfriend, even when they were in the middle of a breakup. Dave Holmes is a comedian, writer at large for Esquire Magazine, and host of Maximum Fun's very own podcast International Waters. Jesse is joined by Dave to talk about growing up gay in the 80s with no real role models to look up to. They also discuss working for MTV, self-acceptance and his new book, Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs. Jesse tells us why the Olympics is such a beautiful sports event, even for people that don't like sports.
Aug 09, 2016
Chuck Klosterman & W. Kamau Bell
Chuck Klosterman has written countless articles for GQ, ESPN, The Washington Post, Esquire, The Guardian and more. His new book, But What if We're Wrong, examines how the present will be perceived it as the past. What exactly will be thought of as important events to people that are hundreds of years removed from it all? Is it even possible to get every fact correct when writing about the past? Klosterman sits down with Jesse to talk about how we consume culture, how historians frequently reinterpret historical events, and how writing online and writing for print are fundamentally different undertakings. Socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell shares with us the best piece of advice he's ever received. Jesse talks about Tony! Toni! Toné! and how they successfully merged soul music and hip-hop to create a new type of R&B.
Aug 01, 2016
Keegan-Michael Key & Tituss Burgess
[r] Keegan-Michael Key talks to Jesse Thorn about creating characters for his sketch show Key and Peele. Plus, Tituss Burgess from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, tells about the time he performed live at the Tony Awards with a malfunctioning microphone.
Jul 26, 2016
Danny McBride & Miroslav Vitous
Danny McBride is comedic writer and actor who started his career starring in the cult classic comedy, The Foot Fist Way. Although the film went to Sundance and was a modest success, McBride went back to North Virginia to work as a substitute teacher. Danny and frequent collaborator Jody Hill began creating the series Eastbound & Down, which would jumpstart McBride's career and make him a film and television star. He has appeared in numerous comedy films, such as Tropic Thunder, 30 Minutes or Less, and Observe and Report. McBride is perhaps best known for writing and starring in the HBO series Eastbound & Down, where he plays disgraced MLB player, Kenny Powers. McBride sat down with Jesse to talk about about working with Jody Hill, writing for Eastbound and Down, and dealing with people who idolize Kenny Powers just a little too much. Danny McBride's new show is called Vice Principals. Jazz bassist Miroslav Vitouš explains how working with Weather Report on the composition Morning Lake is an experience he will never forget. Miroslav Vitouš's new album is called Music of Weather Report. Jesse talks about the film Hunt for the Wilderpeople and why calling it "twee" is actually a compliment.
Jul 19, 2016
Aparna Nancherla & Clams Casino
Though most people find it difficult to find anything funny about depression and anxiety, comedian Aparna Nancherla. has used her own struggles with mood disorders to inspire her comedy. A rising star in the comedy world, Nancherla bravely reveals her struggles with depression in a way that makes the experience both relatable and hilarious. Clams Casino joined Jesse to talk about the influences that lead to his unique sound, and some of the ways he paid his dues coming up in the world of hip-hop production. They also discuss his new album, 32 Levels, and how he developed his relationship with rapper Lil' B. The two of them have long been collaborators, including on the new album, but didn't really get to know each other until making of the new record. Clams Casino's new album is called 32 Levels. Jesse checks in on the classic movie you should see before going swimming this summer.
Jul 12, 2016