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United States

The gap between being inspired and entertained just got smaller. Join New York Times bestselling author Kelly Corrigan as she choreographs big-ideas conversations with some of the creative thinkers and artists who define our time. Corrigan and her guests meander with insight and humor toward that inevitable moment when you think, “Exactly!”

Episodes

Mary Roach: Is It Good to Know More?  

Does it deaden your sex life to participate in a sex study? That’s just one of the questions host Kelly Corrigan tosses out to best-selling author Mary Roach in a quest to find out whether it’s really better to know more about everything. No topic is off limits as Roach and Corrigan roam through sex and death, oysters and martinis, and meeting the “Other” with an open heart. Along the way, they discover just a few of the ways human life can have meaning. Mary Roach is an award-winning science writer who has produced nothing but bestsellers since she hit the scene with “Stiff” in 2003.

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Nicholas Kristof: How Do We Change the World?  

The greatest human kindness amid the worst human atrocities—that’s what Kristof says he’s witnessed in more than three decades as a reporter around the globe. Kristof could have every reason to be cynical, but he believes in the value of every act of compassion, no matter how small. Probing the nature of hope with host Kelly Corrigan, Kristof offers a grounded, rationale view of the vast realm of human potential.

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BJ Novak: Why Does Dark Comedy Work?  

A skeptical outlook on everything fosters an honest recalibration of how things really are versus how people think they are, says the author and actor from The Office, and that creates comedy. Novak and host Kelly Corrigan dish on Hollywood and dig into how dark comedy can bring people face-to-face with an ugly truth. His response speaks to the close ties between what makes us laugh, what makes us cringe and what makes us weep. The surprise comes in Novak’s insight into the visceral nature of comedic truth. Novak is a comedian, actor and writer known for his work in “The Office,” where he was also an executive producer, and in films like “Inglorious Basterds” and “Saving Mr. Banks.” His book of short stories, “One More Thing,” was published by Knopf last year.

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Anne Lamott: How Do We Forgive One Another?  

How do we forgive the people we don’t like? Writer Anne Lamott doesn’t pretend she knows the answer to one of the toughest questions humanity faces, but, then, it turns out she kind of does. Lamott and host Kelly Corrigan drop wisdom as they trade stories about compassion, empathy, growing older and doing love. Through it all spill the honesty, hilarity and transparent self-awareness that have made both women best-selling authors.

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Walter Isaacson: How Does Innovation Happen?  

Innovation is not a solo act, says the founder of the Aspen Institute and biographer of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein. Isaacson confesses that even many biographers participate in the mythology of the lone inventor, struck by a bolt of lightning. But that’s not how it really is, he tells host Kelly Corrigan, as they range over everything from how Ada Lovelace prefigured the personal computer to how to cultivate our imagination.

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Jason Segel: What’s the Secret to Being Great?  

Optimistic, pragmatic and multi-talented, actor and screenwriter Jason Segel is convinced that every person has moments of magic, when possibilities from the future nudge our hearts. Segel and host Kelly Corrigan talk about choosing to stick to something when you aren’t very good at it. For anyone who imagines taking flight, Segel is air under your wings.

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Margaret Atwood: What Does the Future Hold?  

Funny and insightful, the iconic novelist muses on visions of learning, work and women’s lives a century from now, and tells tales of growing up in the wilderness of Canada where there was literally, she says, nothing there. Atwood and host Kelly Corrigan trade stories on what no one tells new mothers, and try to figure out what bioengineering means for humanity. Few people writing today have Margaret Atwood’s depth of perspective and devilish sense of humor. She’s written 53 books in about as many years, which means she has thought through just about everything. From first to last, Atwood’s directness and humanity leave you with a sense of peering into a future both dark and hopeful.

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Matt Nathanson: Where Does Optimism Come From?  

If you thought you were the only person with a demonic inner critic, musician Matt Nathanson is here to assure you that, not only do we all face down the naysayer, there may even be a role for pessimism. Host Kelly Corrigan and Nathanson trade stories about what keeps them chipping away at making art, and offer up a survival manual for arguing with a spouse. Hint: it involves a 5-year-old.

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John Cleese: What Is Creativity?  

Creativity requires a space where nothing much is happening, says the iconic British comedian. Cleese offers his recipe for getting out of ruts, defines humor, and serves up some ingeniously bad behavior, leaving host Kelly Corrigan both dumbfounded and delighted. And the moment when Corrigan thought, “Exactly” is reassuring to all of us.

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