Author and screenwriter Nick Hornby made his name with books like High Fidelity and About A Boy. His new novel, Funny Girl is about a British actress starring in a 1960s sitcom. Hornby talks with Jesse about old TV comedy, personal ambition and sitting on a couch next to Adam Sandler. Later, character actor Luis Guzmán tells about the role that changed his life, Pachanga in Carlito’s Way. Plus Jesse enthuses about the 1995 film noir, Devil in a Blue Dress, explaining why it’s so important that Easy Rawlins is “buying in”. Show notes
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In the late 1970s, Bill James started writing "The Baseball Abstract," a new kind of baseball annual. James used statistical analysis to study baseball's conventional wisdom, and often found unexpected results. The first Abstracts were hand-mimeographed and mailed by James himself, but by the early 1980s, James was at the forefront of a new movement, which he called sabermetrics, that argued for objective analysis of the game. James and his cohorts were often derided by baseball insiders, but today James is an employee of the Boston Red Sox, and his ideas have helped transform how baseball teams are run. James also runs billjamesonline.net and has just released his first in a new series of annuals, The Bill James Baseball Goldmine. Discuss this episode on the forum! Download This Show (MP3)