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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

0:00/0:00
Video player is in betaClose