Mister Rogers

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Bo Burnham and Won't You Be My Neighbor's Morgan Neville

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Bo Burnham
Guests: 
Morgan Neville

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Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Bo Burnham: From Youtube Celebrity to Writing and Directing His First Movie

Guest host April Wolfe sits in for Jesse this week. April's a film critic and panelist on the Maximum Fun podcast "Who Shot Ya." She also hosts her own show here at MaxFun - it's called "Switchblade Sisters" where she talks with female filmmakers about movies.

First up: April sits down with Bo Burnham.

You may have come to know Bo Burnham through his latest standup act "Make Happy," which debuted on Netflix in 2016. Maybe you've seen even him act in "The Big Sick," "Parks and Recreation" or "Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous"- his show on MTV. Or maybe you knew Bo way back when, over ten years ago as one of the original YouTube hitmakers. Before Justin Bieber, before Rebecca Black, before Leave Britney Alone, Bo became internet famous back in 2006, when he set up a camera in his bedroom and started belting out songs like "My Whole Family Thinks I'm Gay" and "Welcome to YouTube."

Today, the comedian and musician can now add filmmaker to his credit. He wrote and directed the new film "Eighth Grade." It's a movie that, in a lot of ways, rejects the medium that got him famous.

The movie follows Kayla, a thirteen-year-old wrapping up her last week of middle school. She's quiet, like a lot of 13-year-olds. She's a little awkward, like a lot of 13-year-olds, too. And like pretty much every 13-year-old today, she's extremely online. She snaps, she texts, she runs a Youtube channel nobody watches.

And through Kayla, "Eighth Grade" tells us a story that's both uniquely 2018 but also totally universal - a movie about identity, school, and the human condition.

Bo talks with April about the message he hopes the movie will carry and why he thinks "Eighth Grade" is the only project he's worked on that he can enjoy watching.

Click here to listen to Bo Burnham's interview on YouTube.


Photo: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Samsung

Director Morgan Neville on the Timeless Lessons of the Late Fred Rogers of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood"

Morgan Neville is a documentary filmmaker. His latest is "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" - a documentary about the late Fred Rogers - Mister Rogers.

Maybe you already heard about it - it's the documentary out now that made your mom cry. And if you go see it, you'll probably cry, too. "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" is an honest portrait of one of the kindest, most sincere people to have ever lived.

For the first decade in his career, almost all of the movies Morgan made focused on musicians - people like Iggy Pop, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash. His breakthrough came in 2013 - with "20 Feet from Stardom." It's a touching, really human portrait of the lives of backup singers.

Since then, he's branched out. He covered William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal's televised debates in 2015's "Best of Enemies." He worked on the Netflix food series "Ugly Delicious," too.

Morgan tells Jesse about how Fred Rogers' lessons can make us better people today and also, you'll hear how Mr. Rogers made even Jesse cry!

Click here to listen to Morgan Neville's interview on YouTube.


Photo: Courtesy of Foundation for Filmmakers

The Outshot: "Wanda" by Barbara Loden

In this week's Outshot, April talks about how frustrating it is to see a movie so good, so fully realized and to find that the director only made one in their lifetime. "Wanda," written and directed by the late Barbara Loden and released in 1971, is such a film.

"Wanda" tells the story of a simple Pennsylvania woman who drifts through life, not good at much, so she's just stopped trying. We meet her when she bums some bus fare from a friend to get to court. Her husband asked for a divorce, and Wanda... well, she can't really argue with his assessment that she's a bad wife and mother.

Click here to listen to The Outshot on YouTube.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Andrew W.K. and Bill Hader

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Andrew W.K.
Guests: 
Bill Hader

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: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Andrew W.K. on his new album "You're Not Alone"

Rock musician Andrew W.K. is beloved not only for his bombastic, maximalist metal and transformative live performances but also for his work as a motivational speaker. If you ever go to one of his speaking engagements, whether or not you're a fan of rock music, you will feel an honest connection to him.

He just released a new album called "You're Not Alone." It's his first in almost a decade. It's got a message of inspiration - sometimes delivered in song, sometimes in spoken word and Andrew reveals a lot of himself in the record, too. This month he kicks off a huge tour with dates all over the world.

Andrew talks with Jesse about being compared to Mister Rogers, what he has been doing since his last album, and why sometimes he feels like Sisyphus - a character from Greek mythology forced to forever to roll a boulder up a mountain only to see it fall back down every time he reaches the top.

Click here to listen to Andrew W.K.'s interview on YouTube.


Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Bill Hader on his new HBO TV series "Barry"

You know Bill Hader from his time on Saturday Night Live. He was kind of an impressions guy - he did a mean Vincent Price. His most famous character was Stefon, from the Weekend Update sketches. He left the show in 2013 and went on to perform in movies like "Trainwreck," "Inside Out," and the smash hit "Sausage Party." Along with Fred Armisen, he also starred in the IFC show "Documentary Now!."

His latest project is an HBO TV show called "Barry." Hader stars as the show's title character, Barry Berkman. Barry's an ex-marine turned low rent hitman in Ohio, turned aspiring actor in Los Angeles.

Bill tells Jesse about working as a production assistant when he first came out to Los Angeles, the influence his parents had on his taste in film, and the struggle he had to project his voice.

Click here to listen to Bill Hader's interview on YouTube.


Photo: www.vanmorrison.com/music

The Outshot: Van Morrison's live album "It's Too Late to Stop Now"

Van Morrison doesn't really like to perform live, but there certainly was a time when he was great at it and it's on tape. "It's Too Late to Stop Now" was Van Morrison's first live record. He taped it across three months of touring in 1973. It's partly the totally revolutionary stuff he was making in the early 70s and it's partly a fond, almost nostalgic goodbye to the great songs he sang with his first band, Them, in the 60s.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on Van Morrison's "It's Too Late to Stop Now" on YouTube.

Pop Rocket: Episode 134 We're Podcasting for Two!

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

It’s a very special episode of Pop Rocket. We throw Margaret Wappler a baby shower before she takes an extended leave of absence to become a mother. There were games, tears, laughter, joy and even a guest appearance by One Bad Mother’s Biz Ellis.

The gang talk about their favorite lullabies, share what tv shows affected them the most as a child, and Margaret reveals how she would stage her pregnant photo shoot. Plus, Karen brings in an old school Summer Jam, Guy and Margaret are still gaga for Game of Thrones (no spoilers), and Wynter is in love with Ready Player One.

We all love you and wish you the best, Margaret!

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

That’s My Jam:

Margaret Wappler - REM - Untitled (Track 11)
Karen Tongson - Flo Rida - My House
Wynter Mitchell - Brandy - Baby
Guy Branum - Demi Lovato - Sorry Not Sorry

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 Hartfor MaximumFun.org.

Other Links:
Charlotte: no no no
Ready Player One trailer
Cindy Crawford on W Magazine

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