Mel Brooks

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Carl Reiner & Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Carl Reiner
Guests: 
Kate Mulleavy
Guests: 
Laura Mulleavy

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Carl Reiner on His Time in The Army, His Relationship with Mel Brooks, And on His Memoir

Comedy legend Carl Reiner has been doing comedy since World War II. He's the creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show, one of the greatest TV shows of all time. Carl also co-wrote and directed one of Steve Martin's most successful shows, The Jerk. And as expected, his best friend is no one other than Mel Brooks. Get this: they watch Wheel of Fortune when they hang out.

Carl is also a prolific writer with nearly 20 book titles to his name. Still writing at the age of 95, he recently released a memoir, Too Busy to Die, about his journey to who he is today.

Carl invited Jesse to his home to talk about his time in the army and his memoir.

You can find Carl Reiner's memoir on Random Content.

And you can check out Carl's screen credits on IMDb.

Click here to listen to Carl Reiner's interview on YouTube!

Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images

The Mulleavy Sisters on Their Fashion Company, Rodarte, and Their New Venture into Filmmaking

Kate and Laura Mulleavy are fashion designers who grew up in Northern California and graduated from UC Berkeley. Kate and Laura blew up after they designed just ten pieces in their parent's kitchen. They made the cover of Women's Wear Daily, and they got a face to face meeting with Anna Wintour.

In 2005 they founded Rodarte, their clothing brand. Acclaim has followed since. Kate and Laura won the CFDA award for womenswear designers of the year. And they even helped design costumes for the movie Black Swan.

Now, Kate and Laura have directed their first-ever movie, Woodshock, starring Kirsten Dunst.

The sisters join Jesse to talk about directing a movie and running a fashion company.

You can keep up with Kate and Laura's fashion company on their website.

Click here to listen to Kate and Laura Mulleavy's interview!


Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

The Outshot: Dead Prez's Hip-Hop

In this week's Outshot, Jesse talks about how Dead Prez created the most urgent sound hip-hop ever produced.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on Dead Prez's hit song, "Hip-Hop"/!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Mel Brooks and Directors of "The Source Family"

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Mel Brooks
Guests: 
Maria Demopoulos
Guests: 
Jodi Wille
Guests: 
Andrew Noz

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Hip Hop Recommendations from Andrew Noz: Juice by Chance The Rapper and Picacho by Young Thug (feat. Maceo)

Andrew Noz joins us to provide some recommendations from the world of hip hop. First, he talks to us about Chance the Rapper's self-proclaimed lyrical challenge, as evidenced in Juice, a track off his latest mixtape, Acid Rap. And what if Lil Wayne stayed off the beaten pop music path? It might sound like Young Thug's weirded-out track, Picacho.

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

Embed and Share Hip Hop Recommendations from Andrew Noz: Juice by Chance The Rapper and Picacho by Young Thug (feat. Maceo)


Mel Brooks catching up on the present in between takes of History Of The World: Part I. (Photo by Pamela Barkentin Blackburn.)

Mel Brooks Takes Down Hitler (and Makes a Few Wonderfully Bad Jokes Along the Way)

It's hard to imagine what American comedy would look like without Mel Brooks. With a sharp eye for parody, a seemingly infinite supply of gags, and enough destruction of the fourth wall to make a postmodern novelist blush, his work has set the tone for countless comedy TV shows and films. It's hard to imagine SNL's relentless TV parodies without Your Show Of Shows (which Brooks wrote for alongside Sid Caesar back in the 50s), The Simpsons without his filmography full of sly pop-culture references, or the careers of Airplane! creators Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker without Brooks' shameless love of (self-admittedly) awful jokes.

A new PBS American Masters documentary, Mel Brooks: Make A Noise, explores the life and career of the EGOT winner and man behind The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and so much more. Brooks talks to us about fighting in World War II (where he managed to even make a few Germans laugh), the genius of Gene Wilder, and that time Sid Caesar dangled Brooks out the window of a Chicago hotel room.

PBS's American Masters documentary Mel Brooks: Make A Noise premieres Monday, May 20. Check with your public television station for local listings. A box set from Shout! Factory with over ten hours of rare and exclusive footage was also released late last year.

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Directors Maria Demopoulos and Jodi Wille on The Source Family, LA's Most Famous Hippie Cult

The Source Family fit the conventional image of a typical hippie cult in a lot of ways – assuming, of course, that there is such a thing as a typical hippie cult. You could point to the commune, the long hair, the Jesus-y robes...not to mention occasional hits of what they called "sacred herb". Dig deeper, though, and it becomes clear that there was plenty that separated the Source Family from stereotypes.

The group was just as unique as their leader, a man who called himself Father Yod. He was a former Marine, stuntman, jujitsu expert who founded the Source Family alongside a highly successful vegetarian restaurant. Out of the back of that restaurant, the family sold recordings of their regular jam sessions, which became the stuff of psychedelic rock legend. Perhaps most unlike your average cult leader, Father Yod was not particularly attached to any particular ideology – not even his own. In direct violation of his own commandments, Yod married thirteen wives, a move which both alienated a number of family members and caught the LAPD's attention. This caused the Source Family to flee to Hawaii, which ultimately resulted in the group's demise.

We're delving further into LA's most famous hippie cult with the help of Maria Demopoulos and Jodi Wille, the directors of a new documentary called The Source Family. They discuss the group's run-ins with celebrities (and law enforcement), why Father Yod once told his followers to cut their hair and get jobs, and whether or not they would have joined the group, if given the chance.

The Source Family is in limited nationwide theatrical release. For information about screenings at a theater near you, check out the film's website.

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The Outshot: Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson

This week, find out why Jesse's been spending a lot of time with Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson, a home-tome that gracefully runs the housekeeping gamut from sections titled "Administering Insurance Policies" to "Privacy, Sex, and the Constitution".

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Alumni Newsletter: September 6, 2011

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