HBO

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: The Influence of Bob & Ray with David Pollock

| 2 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
David Pollock
Guests: 
Tony Hale
Guests: 
Andrew Noz

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.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

The Comic Chemistry Of Bob & Ray with Writer David Pollock

Your favorite improvising comedians, whether they realize it or not, are descendants of Bob Elliott & Ray Goulding. Their signature satirical sketches, performed equally for their own entertainment as for that of their audience, continually broke new ground in the world of comedy. What started as a simple dream to be radio announcers culminated in a career spanning five decades, performances at Carnegie Hall, and a legacy as two of the funniest radio and television personalities since those job titles came into existence.

David Pollock has written for some of the most important sitcoms of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, including Full House, Frasier, Growing Pains, Cheers, M*A*S*H, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. His new book, Bob and Ray: Keener Than Most Persons, is a detailed history of Bob and Ray, and provides some serious new insight about the comedic duo.

Pollock tells us about Bob and Ray's most hilarious on-air moments, how they invented the concept of comedy in advertising, and the magical chemistry that kept Bob and Ray improvising for over 40 years.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment with your friends.

Andrew Noz Recommends Classic Three 6 Mafia and De La Soul

Our go-to rap critic Andrew Noz shares some of his all-time favorite hip-hop tracks.

First he recommends the menacing Memphis track Victim Of A Driveby (Mask And The Glock) by Triple Six Mafia feat. SOG & Lil Glock, off their 1994 "Smoked Out Loced Out" tape from Prophet Entertainment.

Noz also recommends De La Soul's Ego Trippin Pt. 2, the allusion-filled second single off their 1993 album "Buhloone Mindstate" from Tommy Boy.

Andrew Noz is the columnist for Pitchfork's Hall of Game, and also blogs and Tumblr-s regularly at Cocaine Blunts and Tumblin 'Erb.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment with your friends.

The Frightened Roles of Tony Hale

No character epitomizes Arrested Development's eponymous theme like Buster Bluth. Giving his mom back rubs, dating her best friend, and sucking cigarette smoke from her mouth while she's under house arrest--Buster is an eerie Oedipal manchild to the nth degree.

Similarly in the HBO show Veep, one person in Washington truly enables Vice President Selina Meyer, feeding the ego of an otherwise vestigial political player--her body man, Gary Walsh.

Both characters are played by Emmy-nominee Tony Hale, whose comedic facility with the role of obsequious mama's boy is unmatched.

Tony sat down with Jesse last year to discuss the humor of the behind-the-scenes world of politics, Buster Bluth's comedic inspiration, and the role his faith plays in his acting career. The third season of Veep will air on HBO in the spring of 2014.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment with your friends.

The Outshot: The Throne Of The Third Heaven of the Nations' Millenium General Assembly

In this week's Outshot, Jesse tells the story of a man who secretly spent the last fifteen years of his life building something amazing in a rented garage.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment with your friends.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Christopher Guest & Dan Kennedy

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Christopher Guest
Guests: 
Dan Kennedy
Guests: 
Marah Eakin
Guests: 
Andrea Battleground

Like what you hear? Subscribe to Bullseye in iTunes or your favorite RSS reader, which often contains extended interviews that we just can't fit on the radio.

Already a subscriber? Awesome – and thank you! If you like what you hear, do us a favor and rate and review the show in iTunes. Next to sharing the show with a friend (which is also pretty cool), it's one of the best ways you can help introduce the show to even more folks.

Christopher Guest on Making "Family Tree" and Pitch-Perfect Parodies

Christopher Guest is best known for his faux-documentary comedies: films like This Is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, and A Mighty Wind. His very earliest work was in the theater -- he co-wrote National Lampoon's Lemmings -- and then in the mid-80s, he made a quick foray into television on Saturday Night Live.

Now he's returned to TV with a comedy created for HBO, Family Tree. The show follows wayward thirty-something Tom Chadwick (played by Chris O'Dowd), who digs deep into his family's history after being dumped by his longtime girlfriend. Though Guest's films usually follow a specific subculture (that of dog shows, community musical theater, or the world of heavy metal), Family Tree focuses on Tom, his family, and the many people he meets while trying to dig up genealogical dirt.

Guest joins us to talk about what makes bad music parodies so awful, how to keep from being swayed by film critics' reviews, and the most bizarre reaction to a Hollywood pitch that he's ever received.

Family Tree airs Sunday nights at 10:30pm on HBO.

Embed and Share Christopher Guest on Making "Family Tree" and Pitch-Perfect Parodies

Summer Rock Recommendations from The AV Club: Mikal Cronin's MCII and Vampire Weekend's "Modern Vampires of the City"

Summer's almost here – so why not celebrate with some new music? The AV Club's Music Editor Marah Eakin and Lead Copy Editor Andrea Battleground have a couple albums in mind. Andrea suggests checking out Mikal Cronin's latest album, MCII, a garage-rock record that brings a poppy, melodic twist to the genre. Marah's pick is Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City, the latest record from the New York-based indie rock band that she says is just as much fun coming from your speakers as it is live.

Embed and Share Summer Rock Recommendations from The AV Club: Mikal Cronin's MCII and Vampire Weekend's "Modern Vampires of the City"

Nick Krill of The Spinto Band on "The Song That Changed My Life": "Pueblo Nuevo" by The Buena Vista Social Club

Nick Krill was stuck in a musical rut. He'd been listening to the same records for years, and was happy doing it. But while he was on tour, he heard something that nudged him to branch out again. That song was "Pueblo Nuevo" by The Buena Vista Social Club – a song that got him thinking about rhythm and composition in totally new ways.

The Spinto Band's latest record, Cool Cocoon, was released earlier this year.

Embed and Share Nick Krill of The Spinto Band on "The Song That Changed My Life": "Pueblo Nuevo" by The Buena Vista Social Club

Dan Kennedy on Making His Most Personal Moments Public

Here's something terrifying about the internet: once something's out there, it's out there. Sure, your Facebook and Twitter posts have a handy delete button next to them, but clicking on them is no guarantee that they'll go away forever.

That's something Dan Kennedy's painfully aware of. As a writer, host of The Moth storytelling podcast, and an acerbically brilliant Twitter user, he gets more mileage than most of us do from taking his most personal moments and making them public. But Kennedy's found that this kind of sharing can have its downsides – hence his first novel, American Spirit, which just came out today. The book has a few anecdotes inspired by Kennedy's real life. American Spirit follows Matthew, a fired media executive whose life is falling apart; in fact, things are so bad, he finds himself divorced and living in his car. But in spite of the plot's direness, American Spirit is strangely hilarious and life affirming.

Dan Kennedy sits down with us to discuss how he inadvertently started working on the book long before he sat down to knock out a first draft, the responsibilities that writing non-fiction brings, and why living each day as if it was your last is actually a really terrible idea.

American Spirit was just released today. You can hear Kennedy as the host of The Moth Podcast.

Embed and Share Dan Kennedy on Making His Most Personal Moments Public

The Outshot: "Coney Island"

Ever feel nostalgia for a time or place that you never even experienced firsthand? That's what Jesse felt after watching Ric Burns' documentary Coney Island, a beautiful portrait of America caught somewhere between its past and its future.

Embed and Share Jesse's Outshot: Coney Island

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Armando Iannucci, Billy Bragg

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Guests: 
Armando Iannucci
Guests: 
Billy Bragg
Guests: 
Kyle Ryan
Guests: 
Nathan Rabin

New to Bullseye? Subscribe in iTunes or the RSS feed. You can also find and share all of our segments on our Soundcloud page.


The AV Club Recommends: Desperate Ground by The Thermals and It's A Disaster

AV Club Head Writer Nathan Rabin and Managing Editor Kyle Ryan join us this week to give their pop culture picks. Kyle recommends checking out The Thermals' new album, Desperate Ground, a return to the band's loud, punk rock style. From the world of film, Nathan suggests checking out It's A Disaster, a black comedy on VOD and in select theaters about a group of friends dealing with a divorce and the approaching apocalypse.

Embed or share Recommendations with The AV Club: Desperate Ground by The Thermals and It's A Disaster


Veep Creator Armando Iannucci on Poking Fun at Politics

What does the career trajectory of a lifelong political junkie look like? There are the obvious choices, like a major in Political Science, law school...maybe even a career in politics. But Armando Iannucci took a different path – one that led him to Oxford, an incomplete PhD, and work writing and producing comedy, like his acclaimed political satire The Thick of It and the feature film In the Loop.

Iannucci created a new take on American politics in the HBO comedy Veep. Now in its second season, the show follows a fictional Vice President (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) with lofty ambitions but little actual power. Veep showcases the comedy inherent in the struggle for the political upperhand, the constant panic and exhaustion. Seemingly small gaffes quickly escalate into ridiculous catastrophes. The show's dialogue is marked by careful attention to absurd politi-speak and some especially creative cursing.

Iannucci joins us to talk about the difference between UK and US politics, why he sympathizes with our elected officials, and conducting swearing research in Washington, D.C.

Embed or share Veep Creator Armando Iannucci on Poking Fun at Politics


The Song That Changed My Life, with Billy Bragg: Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'"

Billy Bragg performs politically-minded folk music with a punk rock edge, songs with a tone and attitude somewhere between Woody Guthrie and the Sex Pistols. But what led to him developing his voice as an artist?

As Bragg explains, one of the most pivotal moments in his life happened during his lunch break at a record store. He put on a record that changed his life: Bob Dylan's folk anthem The Times They Are A-Changin'.

Billy Bragg is currently touring the US. You can find dates and tickets through his website.

Embed or share Billy Bragg on "The Song That Changed My Life": Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'"


Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Tapping Into Frustation for Seinfeld and Veep

Most of us first knew Julia Louis-Dreyfus from her Emmy-winning role as Elaine on Seinfeld. Elaine flailed, fought, and danced her way into our hearts as the friend to "losers" Jerry, George and Kramer. But Louis-Dreyfus first arrived in entertainment fresh off her college comedy sketch group, as a repertory player in the Dick Ebersol-helmed cast of Saturday Night Live.

After Seinfeld, she went on to anchor several sitcoms, including The New Adventures of Old Christine, with delightful guest appearances on shows like Arrested Development and 30 Rock. Her career has now taken her to a different cast of skewed characters on HBO's Veep.

On Veep, Louis-Dreyfus plays Selina Meyer, Vice President of the United States. Though the vice-presidency is a prestigious position, Meyer's day-to-day work is less than impressive. Her staff members claw at each other for power and prestige. She suffers awkward encounters with the media and consistent snubs from the President (a running gag on the show is Selina's off-hand question, "Did the President call?" The answer is usually no).

Julia Louis-Dreyfus joins us to talk about the similarities she's discovered between show business and politics, the boys' club that was SNL in the 80s, and a certain terrible dance that still haunts her to this day.

Veep airs on HBO on Sundays at 10/9 PM central.

Embed or share Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Channeling Rage into Seinfeld and Veep


The Outshot: Threat by Jay-Z

Rap isn't poetry – it's its own thing. But, like poets, many of the best rappers imbue their lyrics with layers and layers of meaning. Need proof? Jesse suggests a close listen to Jay-Z's "Threat".

Embed or share Jesse's Outshot: Threat by Jay-Z

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Tony Hale, Nicholas Stoller, Comic Book Picks, and Kasper Hauser

| 1 comment
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Tony Hale
Guests: 
Nicholas Stoller
Guests: 
Alex Zalben
Guests: 
Brian Heater
Guests: 
Kasper Hauser



Comics with Alex and Brian

Our comic book experts return this week for another round of pop culture picks from the world of graphic novels. Alex Zalben is a writer and a host of the show Comic Book Club. Brian Heater is a journalist and Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Cross Hatch, which highlights alternative comics. Alex recommends Brandon Graham's inventively absurd series King City, while Brian's pick, Goliath, by Tom Gauld, tells the tale of David and Goliath from the big guy's point of view.

(Embed or share Alex and Brian’s Comic Book Recommendations)

Actor Tony Hale

Tony Hale is a comic actor best known to audiences as the precocious man-child Buster Bluth, from the cult hit FOX sitcom Arrested Development, but Hale had been working in commercials and doing theatre in New York long before his big break. His latest role sees him playing "body man" (think: bag-boy) to Julia Louis-Dreyfus's Vice President of the United States on the new HBO comedy series Veep, from the mind of brilliant British satirist Armando Iannucci.

Tony sits down with us to discuss the humor of the behind-the-scenes world of politics, how he famously sold a lot Volkswagons to the tune of Styx's "Mr. Roboto", and returning to the role of Buster when Arrested Development picks up again later this year for a fourth season. Veep airs Sunday nights at 10PM on HBO.

(Embed or share this interview with Tony Hale)

Kasper Hauser News Update

We here at Bullseye feel a moral obligation as a public radio show to provide you with some news content, so to get you caught up on all the top stories you've never heard of (as they're entirely made up), here's the latest from our fake news team: the San Francisco-based sketch comedy group Kasper Hauser.

You can catch Kasper Hauser live later this week, performing alongside the honorable judge John Hodgman at Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco on Sunday, April 29th.

(Embed or share this Kasper Hauser News Update)

Writer-Director Nicholas Stoller

Nicholas Stoller is a writer and director of both film and television, whose breakout hit was the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Though his other film credits include Get Him To The Greek and 2011's The Muppets, Stoller has established himself as something of a master of the romance movie, as his films strike a delicate balance between uproarious comedy and real heartfelt character moments. His latest film The Five-Year Engagement finds him re-teaming with frequent collaborator Jason Segel and captures much of the same tone that made their first film together such a success.

Nick joins us to discuss the problems plaguing the romantic comedy genre, what goes into making a comedy set piece really work, and what sets Jason Segel apart as a comic actor. The Five-Year Engagement opens in theaters this Friday, April 27th.

(Embed or share this interview with Nicholas Stoller)

The Outshot: Bill Cunningham New York

For the Outshot this week, Jesse examines the often superficial fashion world and finds a stunningly sincere and emotional portrait of a man. The man is New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, and the film is Richard Press's biographical documentary Bill Cunningham New York.

Seen a documentary yourself that deserves a few more eyes on it? Give it some love by visiting the MaxFun forum and picking your own Outshot.

(Embed or share this Outshot on Bill Cunningham New York)

Subscribe to Bullseye in iTunes or the RSS feed!

BULLSEYE: Chris Lilley, Creator of HBO's Angry Boys

| 0 comments

Chris Lilley, the Australian comedian and showrunner, talks about his new series Angry Boys. The show pushes boundaries with his faux-documentary of characters in different stages of life and scenes of adolescent torment. Lilley plays six characters, occasionally side by side, a natural continuation of his work in the acclaimed Summer Heights High. You can catch Angry Boys on HBO on Sunday nights.

Interview with Chris Lilley, Creator of HBO's Angry Boys by Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: The AV Club, Dan Deacon, Downton Abbey and Chris Lilley

| 3 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Hugh Bonneville
Guests: 
Dan Stevens
Guests: 
Joanne Froggatt
Guests: 
Chris Lilley
Guests: 
Dan Deacon
Guests: 
Tasha Robinson
Guests: 
Josh Modell

This week! The AV Club: Tasha Robinson and Josh Modell of The AV Club join us to recommend the thriller Contagion, out on DVD, and Daniel Handler's new novel Why We Broke Up. (Embed or share)

Dan Deacon with "The Song That Changed My Life": Baltimore-based musician Dan Deacon talks about why a player piano composition by Conlon Nancarrow changed his life and the way he made music. (Embed or share)

Downton Abbey: Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens and Joanne Froggatt from the totally unstuffy costume drama Downton Abbey talk about the peerage system, upstairs and downstairs love affairs that make us swoon, and the show's bridge between the old customs and modernity. The second season of the show begins airing January 8th on PBS's Masterpiece. (Embed or share)

Chris Lilley, Creator of Angry Boys: Chris Lilley, the very funny Australian comedian and showrunner, talks about his new series Angry Boys. The show pushes boundaries with his faux-documentary of characters in different stages of life and scenes of adolescent torment. Lilley plays six characters, both male and female and occasionally side by side, in sort of a natural continuation of his work in the acclaimed show Summer Heights High. You can catch Angry Boys on HBO on Sunday nights. (Embed or share)

The Outshot: And we close with The Outshot -- Jesse's pick for this week, the anthem "F--- 'Em" from Bay Area rapper E-40. (Embed or share)

You can subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or the RSS feed -- stay tuned for next week's Bullseye!

Andy Daly on The Life & Times of Tim

| 1 comment

An enthusiastic fan has put together this awesome clip montage of Andy Daly on The Life & Times of Tim. Andy is one of the funniest people in the world, and Tim is an under-appreciated show. Enjoy!

Artie Taking Care of Business

| 1 comment

Artie, the producer of The Larry Sanders Show, takes care of business. I've always wished I could have an Artie on my team. One of the most amazing characters in television history, and a testament to the astonishing talent and skill of Mr. Rip Torn.

Steve Dildarian's "Angry Unpaid Hooker"

| 0 comments

This short film, which is very NSFW, was the genesis of HBO's "The Life and Times of Tim."

OH!

WHAT A COINCIDENCE!

I'M INTERVIEWING THE CREATOR OF SAID PROGRAM ON MY LIVE SHOW SATURDAY IN SAN FRANCISCO?

AND TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW?

Larry Sanders on DVD

| 2 comments

I've spent the bulk of my non-working time the last few days devouring the DVD box set of The Larry Sanders Show. It's probably my favorite TV show, ever... brilliantly funny and powerful in every way. Some of the best acting you'll see on TV, anywhere, anytime, and some of the best writing, too.

The box set has some great extra features, as well. Among other things, you can watch Garry Shandling kick the shit out of Alec Baldwin in the boxing ring, and hear Shandling argue over jokes with Judd Apatow. Once again, the folks at Shout! Factory have come through with a wonderful collection that goes above and beyond my expectations.

If you're on the fence about buying this, come down. It's time to pull the trigger. This is pretty much the best $100 you can spend on entertainment.

Syndicate content