Welsh musician and composer John Cale moved to New York during the mid 1960’s. Instantly becoming part of the experimental music scene, along with Lou Reed, he was one of the founding members of seminal band Velvet Underground. He left the band in 1968 and since then has released dozens of albums. One of his most successful albums Fragments of a Rainy Season, originally recorded live during his 1992 tour, has just been reissued.
This week, John tells Jesse about his time in Velvet Undergound, working as a producer for The Stooges and Patti Smith, and who his favorite hip-hop artist is.
You can find more information about the reissue of Fragments of a Rainy Season here.
TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are two of the most successful improv artists to ever exist. Both veterans of Chicago’s prestigious improv school Second City, they met in 2002 and had an instant connection that is very rare to find in an improv partner.
This week, Jesse sits down with the pair at the first ever Chicago Podcast Festival to discuss their improv methods, their road to longform improv, and why they never left Chicago, and why stand-up would be easier than improv
Solo Project of musician Jason Narducy who has played with everyone from Superchunk to Bob Mould. Here is his set from Bullseye live at the Chicago Podcast Festival.
Find more information and music here.
Sarah Jessica Parker began her career on Broadway, quickly moving on to acting in classic films throughout the 80’s and 90’s such as Footloose and LA Story. She is probably best known for her role as Carrie Bradshaw on HBO’s Sex And The City, ending in 2004. Now she’s back on HBO in a new comedic drama called Divorce.
She sits down with Jesse this week to discuss her role on that show, the hardest part about acting in Sex And The City, and how she finds distance between herself and the characters she plays on screen. They also talk about the glory of Thomas Haden Church's mustache.
You can watch Divorce Sundays on HBO.
For this week’s Outshot, Jesse tells us why he listens to Curtis Mayfield when he’s feeling down.
Comedian Colin Quinn is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, but would probably describe himself first and foremost as a stand-up comic. You might've seen him in Amy Schumer’s TrainwreckThe Cop Show. He loves New York, and has written and starred in five one-man shows that talk about his lifetime spent in the Big Apple.
This week, he sits down to talk to Jesse about his newest one-man show New York Story, that he produced alongside Jerry Seinfeld available on Netflix. They also discuss his time on Saturday Night Live and the right way to joke about race in 2016.
Padma Lakshmi has gone through many career changes during her time in the public eye. She began her career as a model turned actress, then became a writer, and now hosts TV’s Top Chef on Bravo. She has written two cookbooks, a memoir, and now The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices.
Padma and Jesse talk about cultural differences she had to reckon with growing up between India and the United States, her role on Top Chef, and her new book The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices.
Sara Schaefer is a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and podcast host. She has recorded one comedy album and has appeared on many late night shows. This week, we've included some of her set from last year’s MaxFunCon, a yearly bi-coastal conference that gathers creative and funny people to learn, teach, and most of all have fun. Tickets to MaxFunCon 2017 go on sale this Friday.
This week, Jesse tells us what is so pleasant about the non-pretentious Amazon series Red Oaks.
Jemaine Clement’s upbringing in a small community in New Zealand could have led him to career making cookies or cheese. Instead he found a way to transform his sense of humor into a career making other stuff -- things like music and comedy.
Along with his partner, Bret McKenzie, he is a member of musical comedy duo, Flight of the Conchords which aired as a television show for two seasons on HBO. Clement has also written and produced with McKenzie and other longtime collaborators on movies like What We Do in the Shadows.
Clement join us to talk about working in the comic drama People Places Things, his early comedic influences back in New Zealand, the challenges he faced producing a television show, and how the word “grommet” resulted in his last physical altercation.
Jonathan Ames is a writer who has earned a reputation for ruthless honesty when writing about his own life and those of his fictional characters. Whether the topic is alcoholism, sexuality or depression, Ames’ books and television projects delve deeply into what it means to be human, with wit and care.
Ames created the beloved HBO show Bored to Death. Now, he's the creator and showrunner of the new Starz show Blunt Talk, featuring Patrick Stewart as cable news host Walter Blunt.
Blunt Talk is in its second season and airs Sunday nights at 8:30 est on the Starz network.
Ames sat down with Jesse to talk about how he came to create his new show, why he's obsessed with the "valet", and why his characters are constantly "questing" with greater purpose.
Our takeaway? ALWAYS BE PREPARED.
Growing up in the Calvinist church, Paul Schrader didn't see a movie until his late teens. Since then, he has more than made up for it, writing, producing, and directing influential films such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Affliction.
Willem Dafoe, having worked on 7 films in the past with Schrader, trusts his film-making style and sensibility. Dafoe's Hollywood breakout role was in the 1985 film To Live and Die in L.A., and has starred in many other beloved films such as Platoon and the Last Temptation of Christ.
This week, Schader and Dafoe sit down with Jesse to discuss their new film, Dog Eat Dog. They discuss Schrader’s childhood, his earlier screenplay and directorial premieres and Dafoe school’s Jessie on acting and how he gets into character when portraying psychotic characters.
Thirty years ago, David Crosby was one of the biggest rock stars in the world, being a part of two game changing and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted bands Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Byrds. Decades after his depart from playing with bands, he continues to play music on his own.
In conversation with Jesse, David discusses his transition into music, his addiction and recovery from drugs, and his latest album Lighthouse.
This week, Jesse recommends Ray Barretto’s inaugural album Acid as an album that had much ambition and achieved so much at a time when the music on it was still new to the American aural palette.
There was a period of time in the mid to late 1990s when Patton Oswalt spent most of his waking hours indoors. He'd be in a TV writer's room all day, make his way to the movie theater for a film or two, and then hit the stand up stage before going to sleep. Then he'd get up and do it all over again.
His movie obsession was supposed to teach him how to be a filmmaker and create better art, but he found he was missing out on life, and art was no substitute.
Oswalts memoire Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life Through and Addiction to Film is out now.
His Emmy winning stand-up comedy special Talking for Clapping can be seen on Netflix.
Fresh Off the Boat is the first network sitcom about Asian-Americans in a long time, and that's a big deal. The creative team behind the show, including memoirist Eddie Huang, showrunner Nahnatchka Khan and star Randall Park have publicly grappled with that blessing and burden. How do you retain the specificity of the Tawainese-American experience and provide that to a group of Americans who are hungry for mass-market representation, and also make a show that's big-tent enough to welcome hundreds of millions of Americans who don't know what bao are?
We're joined by Nahnatchka Khan and Randall Park to talk about trying to achieve those goals, how they see their own American experiences, and how to write a sitcom dad who's not dumb.
Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on ABC.
Jesse explains how Sly and the Family Stone made a perfect album, even as they slowly disintegrated as a group.
Norman Lear is a Hollywood legend who is responsible for cultivating an entire genre of television: the American Sitcom. After serving time in the U.S. Army during WWII, Lear began a career in Public Relations, eventually turning his sights to television production. During the 1970’s, he had some of the most successful TV shows running, including All In The Family, Maude, and The Jeffersons. After his tenure creating sitcoms, he went on to work on movies and writing.
You can find the upcoming PBS documentary about his life, Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You here.
Riz Ahmed is a British actor who has been in many notable films including Chris Morris'
Swet Shop Boy’s new album Cashmere can found here.
This week, Jesse talks about why if you like strange, weird, yet insightful TV, Starz’s Blunt Talk is the show for you.
Armando Iannucci is a legendary comedy writer originally from Glasgow, now residing in London. He created hit shows such as The Thick of It and its offspring Veep. He developed the celebrated character, Alan Partridge, and wrote the screenplay for the 2009 political satire film In The Loop . He has won countless Primetime Emmy and BAFTA Awards, and has worked with some of comedy's greatest actors.
This week, Armando and Jesse sit down to talk about writing The Thick of It, working with renowned actors such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Peter Capaldi & Jeffrey Tambour, and how he found humor in Stalinism for his upcoming film The Death of Stalin.
Josie Long is a British comedian who started stand-up at a young age, winning one of England’s most prestigious comedy awards at the age of 17. She has toured with legendary comedian Stuart Lee, and has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe regularly over the past 10 years.
She performed a live stand-up set for Bullseye Live in London. Her latest BBC 3 short TOP TEN: Opinions That May Or May Not Have Got Me Dumped (Josie Long) is a good summary of Josie's comedic sensibility.
Sharon Horgan is a British comedy actor, writer, and producer. These skills have been used in tandem on many of her projects, most notably Catastrophe and Pulling. Her upcoming HBO show Divorce stars Sarah Jessica Parker.
Sharon and Jesse discuss the differences between Catastrophe and Divorce, writing about sensitive topics, and the autobiographical nature of her projects.
Romare is a London based electronic music artist on the Ninja Tunes Label. His new album Love Songs: Part 2 will be released November 11th.
Jesse talks about the modesty in Houston rapper Devin the Dude’s songs.
Don't miss Bullseye with Jesse Thorn, live at the Chicago Podcast Festival! The show is November 17th at 7 PM, and tickets are on sale now! Lady to Lady will be opening, and Bullseye guests include Improv comedians TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi, standup Dwayne Kennedy and Jason Narduci of the band Superchunk and his new project: Split Single. For more information, check out chicagopodcastfestival.org.
Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher are Los Angeles based comedians, actors, and producers. Both hailing from the Midwest, Rhea is from Akron, Ohio and Cameron Chicago, Illinois, which is actually where they met 5 years ago. Cameron and Rhea have since moved to Los Angeles, gotten married, and have made a name for themselves in the LA comedy scene, hostin a weekly stand-up show called Put Your Hands Together .
Cameron, who has been in the business about 10 years longer than Rhea has released 3 comedy albums and has appeared on a number of late night talk shows. Rhea released her debut comedy album this year and has since made her first appearance on Conan .
This week, Jesse sits down with Cameron and Rhea to discuss their new show Take My Wife , working together, and LGBTQ rights.
You can find their new show Take My Wife on the SeeSo network
Comedian Jeff Garlin tells us about the worst night of his entire career.
Jesse tells us why The Taking of Pelham 123 is just too much fun to pass up.