Maximum Fun

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

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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"!

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Katie Couric, Audie Cornish, and Marc Maron

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Katie Couric
Guests: 
Marc Maron
Guests: 
Audie Cornish

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.

This week, we are bringing you interviews from Maximum Fun and the Columbia Journalism Review's new podcast, The Turnaround! Jesse Thorn sits down with some of our greatest living interviewers to bring you raw conversations about journalism, broadcasting, and what it's like to do what they do. You can subscribe now in Apple Podcasts, and catch the first episode on June 22nd!


Photo: Stephen Voss/NPR

Audie Cornish on authenticity in interviewing

Audie Cornish co-hosts NPR's All Things Considered. On NPR, she's often doing live interviews on breaking stories, interviewing reporters and newsbreakers who are on the scene after huge, sometimes really scary events took place. In a world where news moves so quickly, it's gotten easier and easier for hosts like Audie to slip up, maybe get a fact wrong. Honestly, the whole thing kind of terrifies me. But when Audie's covering a breaking story, she's careful, she's unflappable, and prepared.

This week, Jesse sits down with Audie to talk about how she got into broadcasting and the difference between working in broadcasting and print journalism. She tells us what it's like to work at such an established news institution like NPR, and why the word "dispassionate" does not describe her and her fellow broadcasters.

You can listen to Audie Cornish every weekday on NPR's All Things Considered on your local NPR affiliate station.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Audie Cornish!

Marc Maron on how his garage creates intimacy


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Marc Maron is a standup, an actor, and hosts of one of the biggest podcasts ever: WTF with Marc Maron. Recorded out of his garage in Highland Park, Los Angeles, Maron does long, kind of free form conversations with comedians, musicians, actors. He even got Barack Obama to come by. When you listen to WTF, though, you aren't just listening for the guest. Maron has a big personality, and it shows in his interviews - he's not rattling off a list of questions but instead having a really intimate and revealing conversation with his guests. It doesn't always go great, but it always reveals a lot about the guest, even if they aren't into it.

Marc and Jesse talk about what it's like recording his very popular show in his garage, his tactics for getting people to open up to him, and the differences between his stand up and podcast personas.

Marcs podcast WTF with Marc Maron comes out twice a week! He also has a book called Waiting for the Punch coming out this fall.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Marc Maron!

Katie Couric on hosting a morning news show and asking the difficult questions

Katie Couric has worked in TV news for almost 40 years. She's hosted the Today Show, CBS Evening News, and is currently the Yahoo! Global News anchor. Name a super famous person, and she's probably talked with them; from presidents to prime ministers to first ladies and movie stars. Katie is also interested in talking to regular citizens, working on projects like Gender Revolution and Under The Gun. When she's not anchoring or filming documentaries, she's recording and hosting her own podcast.

Katie talks about what it's like to host a morning news show and about the questions that she's embarrassed to ask. Plus, she gives us tips on what to do if you want to get out of a conversation at a party.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Katie Couric!

Pop Rocket: Episode 128 The Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

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

**SPOILER ALERT! KAREN TONGSON REVEALS THE WINNER OF THE 2006 COOK ISLANDS SEASON OF SURVIVOR. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED**

This week on Pop Rocket, the gang talks about the lazy hazy days of summer. The amount of content that is released during the spring months slows down as summer moves on. But what shows did we miss when we were devouring the big springtime hits like The Handmaid's Tale, Big Little Lies and Master of None? Guy talks about the Oprah network soap opera Greenleaf, and his obsession with past seasons of Survivor. Margaret is diving into the true crime genre and watching The Keepers, a 7 part docuseries on Netflix. Karen's love of everything 80's comes through in her recommendation of AMC's Halt and Catch Fire. At the top of the show, Margaret brings up the latest Bill Maher controversy, and the panel have a conversation about gender, race, and the inability for some comedians to create respectful content in 2017. Plus, we get some solid jam recommendations from the gang, just in time for summer.

Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, and Margaret Wappler

Jams:

Margaret Wappler - Inara George - Genius
Karen Tongson - Erasure - Chains of Love
Guy Branum - Little Mix - Shout Out To My Ex

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:
Symone Sanders and Ice Cube on Real Time with Bill Maher

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

Episode 11 - Rollerworld written by Samantha McIntyre

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Guests: 
Jane Levy as Shane
Guests: 
Allison Tolman as Krista
Guests: 
Adam Scott as Cory
Guests: 
Mae Whitman as Janie
Guests: 
Hank Chen as David Lee
Guests: 
Zach Knighton as Jason
Guests: 
Casey Wilson as Lady #1
Guests: 
June Diane Raphael as Lady #2
Guests: 
Nicole Byer as Lady #3
Guests: 
Jack McGee as Grandpa William
Guests: 
Steve Agee as Wizard/The Desk Sergeant

In this episode of Dead Pilots Society, Ben Blacker interviews Samantha McIntyre (Married, Bored to Death) regarding her dead pilot, Rollerworld. You'll also listen to a never-before-heard live table read of Rollerworld 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

We're also having a night of musical pilots at Largo on The Coronet on June 23rd! Don't miss it!

We're reading pilots from Harry Elfont & Deborah Kaplan (Can't Hardly Wait, Josie and the Pussycats) and Emily Kapnek (Suburgatory, Selfie)!

Ticket link: http://www.largo-la.com/event/1489666-

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Kathryn Hahn and David Letterman biographer Jason Zinoman

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Kathryn Hahn
Guests: 
Jason Zinoman

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: Matt Winkelmeyer / Stringer

Kathryn Hahn on her new Amazon series, I Love Dick

Kathryn Hahn is an actor and has been in comedy films like Step Brothers, the Anchorman movies, and a bunch more. She's also starred in the NBC series Crossing Jordan and was also on Parks and Recreation, playing Jennifer Barkley, the political consultant.

Lately, she's been working a lot with the writer and director Jill Soloway. She was in her 2013 film Afternoon Delight, she plays Raquel the rabbi on Amazon's Transparent, and now she's starring in another Amazon series called I Love Dick, based on the Chris Klaus book by the same name.

Hahn and Jesse talk about the inherently feminist space that I Love Dick inhabits, and the deeply complex character that Kathryn plays on the show. She talks about working with Jill Soloway on many of her most recent projects, and the special and deeply creative environment that Soloway creates on her sets.

You can catch Hahn in I Love Dick on Amazon now.

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Jason Zinoman on "The Last Giant of Late Night", David Letterman

Jason Zinoman is a writer and a critic covering comedy over at the New York Times. He also writes for Slate and Vanity Fair. He's got a new book out - it's called Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night. More than a biography of David Letterman, it is about one of the funniest TV hosts of all time and why so many people are fascinated with him.

Jason and Jesse talk about the span of David Letterman's career, from parodying regional radio on his college radio station, to his time working as the weekend television weatherman, to his late night show segments that appealed to really basic comedic instincts in the audience (i.e. "Dropping Stuff off a 5 Story Tower" and "Stupid Pet Tricks" and "How many Guys in Spider-Man Suits Can Fit Into a Jamba Juice").

Jason's book Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night is out now.

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The Outshot: Concrete the Superhero

Jesse tells us about Concrete, one of the saddest and most honest superhero comics he's ever read.

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

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Carol Kane and Chris Fairbanks

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Carol Kane
Guests: 
Chris Fairbanks

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

Carol Kane on her childhood, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and auditioning

Carol Kane is a veteran actress. She began her career in 1971 and landed some pretty heavy roles - one of her first films was in the Mike Nichols drama Carnal Knowledge. Later on, she'd work on other classics like Annie Hall and Dog Day Afternoon. She was even nominated for a best actress Oscar for her part in the 1975 film Hester Street.

She eventually found her home doing comedy, something she never expected she would do growing up. She appeared on Taxi as Simpka, the wife of Andy Kaufman's character on the show. She was in the Muppet Movie, The Princess Bride, Scrooged, and so many others. Her current project is Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt where she plays Lilian, Kimmy's landlord.

She and Jesse talk about her childhood, and the special school she went to that allowed actors time to audition. They also talk about many of her projects over her expansive career- The Princess Bride, Taxi, and of course Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Plus, she tells Jesse that after all of these years, she still gets nervous auditioning.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 3 in it's entirety is on Netflix now!

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

Chris Fairbanks live at MaxFunCon

Chris Fairbanks is a standup comedian, he's appeared on Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Comedy Central. Alongside April Richardson, he also hosts the tv show Almost Genius on TruTV. His standup is really unique. It is kind of improvised, really surreal, and contains lots of quick two line jokes.
Last year, we were lucky enough to host Chris at MaxFunCon, which is an annual gathering in the woods organized by Maximum Fun, and we've got a bit of his set from that show for you this week!

Check out Chris' album Fairbanks! which was released in 2010 and is an absolute classic. You can also still get tickets to MaxFunCon East which is happening this September in Pennsylvania.

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

The Outshot: The Larry Sanders Show

Jesse tells us about the HBO metasitcom from the late 90's, The Larry Sanders Show.

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