Maximum Fun

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Lily Tomlin and Rick Moranis

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Lily Tomlin
Guests: 
Rick Moranis

[r]

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: Greg Gorman

Rick Moranis on growing up Jewish, Canadian comedy, and quitting showbusiness

This week on Bullseye, Jesse brings you some of his favorite interviews from 2013. The first of which is his conversation with Rick Moranis. You know him from Strange Brew, Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Honey I Shrunk the Kids. He is the bespectacled man in argyle socks, who plays nerdy characters with goofy dad jokes. In the late 80's and early 90's, it seemed like he was the star of every family friendly comedy to hit the big screen. But, after his wife passed away in 1991, he quit the movie business, to raise his children. The last time he has been seen on screen was 20 years ago, in Honey We Shrunk Ourselves.

Nearly a decade after pretty much signing out of show business, Moranis returned in 2005 with a Grammy-winning album of original music, Agoraphobic Cowboy. In 2013, Moranis released his second album My Mother's Brisket and Other Love Songs, which is a collection of comedic music inspired by Moranis's Jewish upbringing in Toronto.

Jesse and Rick talk about his first job selling hockey programs in the nosebleed section, SCTV and the ironic outcome of his famous nose-thumbing at Canadian content laws, and his decision to be a stay-at-home father.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Rick Moranis!

Lily Tomlin on being someone else... in her own way

Lily Tomlin is a comedic actress if there ever was one. She has incredible rang, whether she's playing a precocious six-year-old on Laugh-In or a pill-popping sixty-six year old on HBO's Eastbound & Down, Lily inhabits her roles in a way that few performers can. She was nominated for an Oscar for her 1976 performance in Nashville, as well as being awarded the Mark Twain Prize for humor back in 2003.

Back in 2013 when Jesse and Lily spoke, she had just appeared in the Tina Fey led and Paul Weitz directed movie Admission. This was 2 years before a resurgence in her career, which would earn her recognition in Grandma, her first lead in a film in 27 years, and a Golden Globe nomination for the Netflix series Grace and Frankie.

Lily talked to Jesse about shaping her role in Admission, the moment that she decided she wanted to be a professional actor...and yes, a certain YouTube-famous confrontation (link NSFW) with I Heart Huckabees director David O. Russell.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Lily Tomlin!

The Outshot: Chance The Rapper's Acid Rap

Jesse tells us about Chance The Rapper's 2013 mixtape Acid Rap.

Click here to listen to Jesse's outshot about Acid Rap!

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Dolly Parton and Steve Coogan

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Dolly Parton
Guests: 
Steve Coogan

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.


Dolly Parton on Business and Sacrifice

[r] This week, Jesse is sharing some of his favorite Bullseye interviews, the first of which is his conversation with Dolly Parton in 2012. Parton grew up poor in the mountains of Tennessee and was one of 12 children. She knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a singer, and when she turned 18, she moved to Nashville to follow that dream. Since then she has achieved every milestone a musician can in their career. She's won nine Grammy Awards, has has 25 hits topping the Billboard Country charts, and has even been nominated twice for an Academy Award.

Parton joins us this week to discuss some of these sacrifices, how they have affected her life, and how she feels about them now. She also shares stories from her childhood and relates the story behind one of her most well-loved songs, "I Will Always Love You."

Dolly's latest album Pure & Simple was released last year. She also is featured on a song on Kesha's new album Rainbow which drops August 11th.

Steve Coogan: "Dumping My Dysfunction" into Alan Partridge and Seeking Humanity in Comedy

The English actor, comedian and writer Steve Coogan got his start as a brilliant impressionist. He was beloved by audiences for his pitch-perfect impressions, and put his voice talent to good use on the satirical puppet show Spitting Image. But Coogan wanted more for himself, and began developing his own characters. While working on the radio current affairs parody On The Hour with Armando Iannucci and Chris Morris, he created his most enduring character to date -- the awkward, know-nothing sports desk reporter, Alan Partridge.

Coogan has now spent two decades off and on with Alan Partridge, as he's been fleshed out and moved from radio, to television, to film. He is also known for his The Trip series, which he films alongside fellow comedian Rob Brydon. He's won several awards throughout his career, notably a BAFTA for writing the screenplay for the 2014 Academy Award-nominated film Philomena.

He and Jesse spoke back in 2014. They talked about his early days as an impressionist, the increasing emotional complexity and dynamism of his character Alan Partridge, and seeking humanity in his comedy.

The third installment of the Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon The Trip series, The Trip to Spain is out August 11th.

The Outshot: Owney The Dog

Finally, Jesse takes us to our nation's capital, inside the National Postal Museum to learn about a taxidermied dog named Owney.

The Turnaround: Anna Sale

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Show: 
The Turnaround
Guests: 
Anna Sale

New to The Turnaround? Subscribe in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get two new interviews a week through August 15th.

Anna Sale is the host of WNYC Studio's Death, Sex, and Money. As she puts it, her show is about "The things we think about a lot, and need to talk about more." Anna sits down with celebrities like Kevin Bacon or Mahershala Ali, but more often than not she's talking to someone you've never heard of. She is interested in the stuff that sometimes gets skipped over in other interviews. The downfall before the success, and poverty before the wealth.


Photo by Amy Pearl

Before Death, Sex & Money Anna was a political reporter for 9 years. She worked for news outlets like CNN and MSNBC, covering elections and talking to voters and elected officials alike. She was interested in learning why people vote the way that they do, which was one of the inspirations for her show. Since its debut in 2014, Death, Sex, & Moneyhas been on all sorts of "Best Of" lists, and Anna herself won a Gracie Award for best podcast host in 2016.

Anna and Jesse talk about her past career covering politics and elections, and how her decade doing that work aids her in the kind of interviewing that she does now. They get into how to ask really sensitive questions without it feeling exploitative, and why it is important to talk about the hard or shameful parts of a person's life.

New episodes of Death, Sex & Money come out every other Tuesday. You can listen and subscribe here.

The Turnaround is a production of Maximum Fun in partnership with the Columbia Journalism Review. Visit their website to learn more about their "mission to encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society," and to read edited transcripts of our other Turnaround episodes.

Hosted and created by Jesse Thorn
Produced by Kara Hart and Nick Liao
Senior Producer: Laura Swisher
Managing Director: Bikram Chatterji

Music for The Turnaround provided by Mobius Van ChocStraw.

Special thanks to Kyle Pope and his team at CJR, Darrel Frost, and Emilie Erskine.

Episode 13 - My Cousin Thor written by Ira Ungerleider

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Guests: 
Hayes MacArthur as Thor
Guests: 
Tony Cavalero as Knud/Stavros
Guests: 
Kyle Bornheimer as David
Guests: 
Anna Camp as Taylor
Guests: 
Ted Cohen as Chase
Guests: 
Jamie Denbo as Isabella/Doreen
Guests: 
Valerie Azlynn as Inger
Guests: 
Ira Ungerleider with stage directions

In this episode of Dead Pilots Society, Andrew Reich interviews Ira Ungerleider (Angie Tribeca, Friends) regarding his dead pilot, My Cousin Thor. You'll also listen to a never-before-heard live table read of My Cousin Thor performed by some of today's funniest comedic actors.

For more Dead Pilot Society episodes, please subscribe to the podcast! Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram , on Twitter, and visit our website at deadpilotssociety.com

Pop Rocket Episode 133: The Fat Episode

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

This week the gang talks about body diversity, and fatness in particular, in the media. The idea for this show came from a thread in the Pop Rocket Facebook group, and because there were so many varying opinions on the topic, they knew that they had to cover it on the show. The gang gets real about their personal experiences with weight, and how that has affected how they see weight in the media. They talk about how race, class, and weight intersect, and how the media moralizes fat people in order to make them redeemable in the media consumers mind. They also talk about weight in the age of Instagram, the Kardashians, and unattainable body standards, which Wynter thinks is worse now than ever. Karen pseudo-recommends the new Naomi Watts led Netflix series Gypsy, Wynter talks about the new Marti Noxon film To The Bone and Guy and Margaret talk about the return of Game of Thrones. Plus we hear what the panel is listening to this week.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Margaret Wappler, and Karen Tongson.

Jams:

Wynter Mitchell - Calvin Harris feat. Future and Khalid
Margaret Wappler - Belinda Carlisle - Heaven is a Place on Earth
Karen Tongson - Icona Pop - Girls Girls
Guy Branum - Olivia Gatwood - Ode to the Women on Long Island

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani of The Big Sick and Terrace Martin

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Emily Gordon
Guests: 
Kumail Nanjiani
Guests: 
Terrace Martin

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

Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani on writing a romcom based on their lives

Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani co-wrote the Judd Apatow produced romantic comedy The Big Sick. It's a sweet, hilarious and truthful story about how the two of them fell in love, tossing all of the classic romantic comedy tropes out of the window. Kumail and Emily come from really different backgrounds; Kumail's from Pakistan. Emily: North Carolina. The film tells their story of finding each other after navigating Kumail's family's traditional views on marriage and an illness that almost breaks them apart.

Before Emily Gordon was writing screenplays and making films, she was a therapist, working with mentally challenged individuals. After over 5 years working as a therapist, she realized that she needed to change careers, moving on to writing full time, and contributing to online and print magazines.

Most people know Kumail Nanjiani as Dinesh on Mike Judge's HBO hit, Silicon Valley. He's also been on Broad City, Newsreaders, and voices characters on Adventure Time. He has been a stand-up comic for a long time and in 2013, got a Comedy Central stand up special called Beta Male.

Jesse, Kumail, and Emily talk about what it was like making a movie about their real life relationship, and about the changes that were made from the first draft to the one that we see in cinemas. They also talk about learning to let go of their story to other people in the creative group, and the first time they showed the movie to their parents.

You can find The Big Sick in theaters nationwide. Emily also wrote a self-help book for superheroes called Super You: Release Your Inner Super Hero. Also, don't forget to watch Kumail's Beta Male for a solid 40 minutes of laughter.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani!


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Terrace Martin on Jazz, Hip-Hop, and working with Kendrick Lamar

Terrace Martin is a musician and producer. He is from Los Angeles' Crenshaw District and grew up in a jazz household, with both of his parents being musicians. He picked up the saxophone at a young age, his talent for the horn leading him all the way through arts high school to California Institute of the Arts. After deciding college wasn't for him, he went on tour with some big acts and began producing for people like Snoop Dogg and YG. Terrace was heavily involved in Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, producing many songs on the album including the hit "King Kunta."

Terrace and Jesse talk about his views on hip-hop and jazz, and why working with Kendrick Lamar is so important to him. They talk about the differences between releasing solo albums and working within a band. Finally, we find out why Terrace roamed from neighborhood to neighborhood as a teenager with his MPC 3000 drum machine.

Terrace's new record label Sounds of Crenshaw Records put out Terraces 6th studio album last year called Velvet Portraits and The Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 by his band The Polyseeds this month.

The Outshot: All Creatures Great and Small

What's the book that claims to be, and actually is, bursting with love? James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot about All Creatures Great and Small!

Pop Rocket Episode 132: The Big Sick

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell

**This episode contains spoilers**

This week Guy, Margaret, and Wynter talk about The Big Sick, the new romantic comedy from Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani which tells the story of how they met and fell in love. Because because the film is based in tragedy, with Emily falling into a coma in the middle of the film, some people are hesitant to call it a romantic comedy. But not our panel! They discuss how the usual tropes of a romantic comedy get flipped around, and how those changes allow for a more candid and interesting story. They also discuss why brown men falling for white women on screen is problematic, but maybe not in the case of The Big Sick.Guy talks about why he's all about this season of Big Brother, and Wynter tells us why we should forget about all of the other iterations of Peter Parker and go see the Tom Holland led Spider-Man: Homecoming. Plus, the "Song of the Summer" thread is live in the Facebook group and the panelists aren't too happy with the nominations.

Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, and Margaret Wappler

Jams:

Guy Branum - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber - Despacito
Margaret Wappler - Toro Y Moi - Girl Like You
Wynter Mitchell - Rockell - In A Dream

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Other Links:
I'm Tired of Watching Brown Me Fall In Love With White Women Onscreen

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Vince Staples and The Trailer Park Boys

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Vince Staples
Guests: 
The Trailer Park Boys

[r]

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


Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Vince Staples on Growing Up in Long Beach, Gang Culture, and 'Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2'

This week, we present some of Jesse's favorite past interviews. First up this week is Vince Staples. Vince is the legendary young rapper from Long Beach, with two critically acclaimed albums to his name, Summertime '06 and Big Fish Theory. Vince Staples came into the Bullseye studios back in 2014, when he had just a couple mixtapes to his name. But even back then at 20 years old, Vince was brilliant, funny and brutally honest. Vince is older now, and at 24, his music is more club focused, collaborating with producers like SOPHIE and Flume on his new record Big Fish Theory.

Staples talks to us about growing up, the inside joke of 'Shyne Coldchain', and why a life of gang banging seemed like fate.

His newest album Big Fish Theory is out now.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Vince Staples!

The Trailer Park Boys in character

Ricky, Julian and Bubbles are the stars of the Canadian documentary-style sitcom The Trailer Park Boys. Until the show's final episode in 2011, the show tracked their charming inability to make anything of themselves. It started as a movie, in 1999, a mockumentary that followed a handful of Canadian ex-cons living in a trailer park in Nova Scotia. From that movie, it grew into a kind of empire - a TV series that lasted 11 years, TV specials, live shows, and movies. All the way through, it followed three guys: Julian, played by John Paul Tremblay who is kind of the de facto leader. And Ricky, played by Robb Wells - the sort of bumbling Ringo of the group. And finally Bubbles, played by Mike Smith, who lives with a bunch of cats.

This interview was recorded back in 2009 when Jesse was recording the show from his apartment in Los Angeles. Julian, Robby, and Bubbles do the entire interview in character. They tell Jesse how the success of their show has made it harder to engage in illicit activities. They also talk about their various stints in jail, and some of the perks of their job.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with The Trailer Park Boys!

The Outshot: Game Of Thrones

Winter is coming, but who cares? Jesse tells you why Game of Thrones is about the journey, not the destination.

Click here to listen to Jesse's outshot about Game Of Thrones!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Beth Ditto and Ernest Dickerson

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Beth Ditto
Guests: 
Ernest Dickerson

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: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Beth Ditto on Going Solo

Beth is a singer and songwriter. She was born and raised in Searcy, Arkansas and moved to Washington State out of high school and made a name for herself as the singer in Gossip.
The band first broke through in the early 2000s, coming up with dance punk groups the Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, and Liars. But Gossip was different, they were fun, proudly queer, and female led. Gossip broke up last year, and in the wake of all that, Beth Ditto has released her first ever solo record called Fake Sugar.

In conversation with Jesse, Beth opens up about her childhood, from setting up punk shows in her small Arkansan town to her move to Olympia, Washington after high school. Beth talk about the process of creating her new solo album, and about her time fronting Gossip.

Beth's new album Fake Sugar is available now.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Ernest Dickerson on his 1992 film Juice

Director Ernest Dickerson is best known for his 1992 film Juice which launched the acting careers of people like Omar Epps, Queen Latifah, and Tupac Shakur. But before all of that, he attended New York University for film, where he met classmate Spike Lee. When he graduated, he worked on music videos for Bruce Springstein and Anita Baker, eventually collaborating with Spike Lee on some of Lee's most iconic films. Dickerson has also spent a lot of time working on television such as The Walking Dead, Law & Order, and The Wire.

Dickerson tells Jesse what it is like navigating the film space as an African-American man. They talk about his career working on his personal projects, and his collaborations with Spike Lee.

You can buy Dickerson's Juice which turned 25 this year.

Click here to listen to Ernest Dickerson's interview on YouTube.

The Outshot: Car talk

Jesse tells us why he thinks Car Talk is the best public radio show ever. What do you think? Leave a comment if you like, but you're wrong if you disagree. Just saying!

Click here to listen to and share this hot take on Youtube!

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: A$AP Ferg and Dr. Katz

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
A$AP Ferg
Guests: 
Jonathan Katz

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

A$AP Ferg on how to form a successful hip-hop collective

Rapper and fashion designer A$AP Ferg was born Darold Ferguson and grew up in Harlem's Hamilton Heights neighborhood. Together with A$AP Rocky, A$AP Bari and many more, he established himself as one of the best MCs in the New York hip hop collective A$AP Mob. In 2013 he released his first solo record, Trap Lord, which included the hit single "Shabba", which hit #7 on the Billboard hot 100. Ferg has spent the last couple of years cultivating a sound that's totally unique, touching on genres like trap, house, soul and dubstep. He's achieved this by working with artists like the girl group Haim, Bone Thugs N' Harmony, Missy Elliott, and more.

A$AP Ferg and Jesse talk about how attending an arts high school fueled his creativity and allowed him experiences he wouldn't of otherwise had. They talk about the beginnings of A$AP Mob, and the death of his dear friend and A$AP Mob co-founder A$AP Yams.

A$AP Ferg's latest album Always Strive and Prosper is out now, and has a new mixtape called Still Striving coming out in August. And don't forget to check out his clothing line Traplord.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with A$AP Ferg!


Photo:Michael Fein

Jonathan Katz on Dr. Katz Professional Therapist

Jonathan Katz is best known for Dr. Katz Professional Therapist, his animated hit TV series from the 1990's that aired on Comedy Central where he voiced Dr. Katz. It was one of their weirdest animated TV shows on air at the time. Katz took the saying, "stand up is therapy for comedian's" and made a whole show based around it, having a whole host of characters on the show played different comedian's in his circle, all to be seen by Dr. Katz. Since the show went off the air in 1999, Katz has kept writing and doing standup.

Jonathan tells Jesse what it was like working with Robin Williams, when he was on tour with his then popular TV show Mork & Mindy. They talk about how he created Dr. Katz Professional Therapist, and the revival of that show in audio form. Plus, they talk about multiple sclerosis, and how it has affected his stand-up career.

Jonathan's Dr. Katz: The Audio Files is available on Audible now.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Jonathan Katz!

The Outshot: Prince's Sign O' The Times

Jesse makes a case for why the now 30 year old Sign O' The Times is Prince's most essentially Prince album.

Click here to listen to Jesse's outshot on Prince's "Sign O' The Times"!

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