Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

United States

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.)

Episodes

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.

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 stopy 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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