depression

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: George Saunders, Chris Gethard, and DJ Jazzy Jeff

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
George Saunders
Guests: 
Chris Gethard
Guests: 
DJ Jazzy Jeff

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Chris Gethard on mental health and the importance of failure

Chris Gethard hosted the The Chris Gethard Show for 6 years. It aired first on New York City public access, then later on the Fusion network. You might've also seen him on Broad City or Don't Think Twice, the Mike Birbiglia movie that came out last year.

Chris is also a standup. His latest special, which was produced with Judd Apatow, is called Career Suicide and is kind of a one man show. Career Suicide, specifically talks about alcoholism, depression, and death.

Chris and Jesse talk about his HBO special, and why he's looking forward to taking a break from talking about mental health issues.

Career Suicide premiere's May 6th on HBO.

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The Song That Changed My Life, with DJ Jazzy Jeff: Funkadelic's Knee Deep

Jeffrey Townes is a DJ, record producer and actor from Philadelphia. But you probably know him better as DJ Jazzy Jeff, the producer and collaborator to Will Smith's Fresh Prince. Growing up in Philly in the late 70s, Jazzy Jeff remembers the song that changed his life. It's Funkadelic's Knee Deep.

You can stream his new album Chasing Goosebumps now, and see him on tour this year.

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George Saunders on humor, death, and choosing positivity

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan / ZUMA Press

George Saunders is a writer. His short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, GQ, McSweeney's and more. His 2013 book, a short story collection called Tenth of December, was a finalist for a National Book Award. His latest is called Lincoln in the Bardo - it's his first novel, ever. A lot of his work is funny, but where his other stories focused on absurdity and consumerism, Lincoln in the Bardo goes back to the 19th century, it's almost historical fiction.

In his conversation with Jesse, George talks about his process for writing his first novel, and combating the urge to insert jokes into scenes that are too emotional. They talk about whether he's afraid of death, and about that time he was almost died in a plane crash.

You can find Saunders' new book Lincoln in the Bardo in stores and online now.

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The Outshot: Paul Simon's Graceland

Paul Simon's 1986 Graceland is the perfect record for middle age.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Maria Bamford & Wanda Sykes

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Maria Bamford
Guests: 
Wanda Sykes

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Maria Bamford on Finding the Comedy in Mental Illness

Maria Bamford is a stand-up whose comedy is equal parts confessional and surreal. Using events from her own life, including her struggles with mental illness, she finds comedy in the painful and absurd, infusing both with an infectious joy that has endeared her to fans around the world.

You might know Maria from her roles on shows like Arrested Development, Comedy Bang Bang, Maron and Louie. She found wider national fame during the 2009-2010 holiday shopping season when she appeared as a super-enthusiastic shopper in a series of Target commercials.

Maria sat down with Jesse to talk about her own experiences as a patient of various Los Angeles mental health facilities, finding love and how wanting to work less proved to be a good career move.

Her new show, Lady Dynamite will be available for streaming on Netflix from May 20th. You can find out more about her upcoming tour dates at MariaBamford.com.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Wanda Sykes on Life After the NSA and The Freedom to Be Herself on Stage

Wanda Sykes is a comedian and an actor with an incredible force of personality. Her distinctive voice both as a writer and a performer has earned her success on stage, television and film. She’s been nominated for seven Prime-Time Emmy Award including a win for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special for her work on The Chris Rock Show.

The Curb Your Enthusiasm star joined Jesse to talk about transitioning from a career with the NSA to stand-up comedy, coming out “accidentally” during a rally against California’s Proposition 8 and why she believes that Bob Hope may have been a super spy.

Jesse was especially excited to talk with Wanda about one of his favorite characters in film, Biggie Shorty from the Louis C.K. directed, Chris Rock produced blaxploitation parody, Pootie Tang (or as we had to refer to it on NPR, “shmooty shmang”).

Wanda Sykes is beginning her tour this month which includes recording dates for her next comedy special.

Sykes is performing two shows at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles this Saturday, May 21st. The shows will be filmed for her Epix special out later this year. It's called What Happened…Ms. Sykes? Find out more at WandaSykes.com.

The Outshot: Black Moth Super Rainbow

Jesse talks about his affinity for the music of Black Moth Super Rainbow - an experimental band that declined a request to appear on Bullseye to promote their 2009 album, Eating Us.

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