Outshot

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Ellie Kemper & Flying Lotus

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Ellie Kemper
Guests: 
Flying Lotus

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Photo: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Ellie Kemper on her career as a comedic actress, wrestling with privilege, and her Emmy-nominated role in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

[r] Ellie Kemper first achieved breakout success as Erin Hannon on the NBC sitcom The Office. Her turn as the happy-go-lucky office receptionist was popular with fans and critics alike and showcased her gifts as a comedic actress. Those talents have since been leveraged on the big screen in box office hit films like Bridesmaids and 21 Jump Street.

Now she plays the title character in the Netflix Original series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a role for which she recently earned her second straight Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Actress. Despite the show’s dark premise -- Kimmy Schmidt was held captive by a cult leader for years in an underground bunker -- the show plays it all for laughs as she tries to rebuild her life in New York City. Her years of isolation have left her ignorant of many cultural touchstones, but she pushes through with an enthusiasm and tenacity that is both endearing and hilarious.

Ellie joined Jesse in 2016 to talk about her early experiences of living and working in New York, mining material from her time at Princeton and her self-consciousness about privilege.

Catch all the episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. The show was recently renewed for a fourth season.

Listen to Jesse's 2016 interview with Ellie Kemper.

Flying Lotus on his aunt Alice Coltrane, J Dilla, and more

Flying Lotus is a critically acclaimed music producer whose sound lies somewhere between progressive hip-hop and dance music. In 2010, Jesse spoke to him about his unique style and his remarkable musical lineage -- his aunt was the great jazz pianist Alice Coltrane. FlyLo also tells Jesse about how his mother convinced him to submit music to Cartoon Network's [adult swim], and the influence of the late hip-hop producer J Dilla on his music.

You can find out what Flying Lotus is up to next at Flying-Lotus.com. You can also watch his 2016 film Kuso on iTunes, or wherever else you rent your films.

Listen to Jesse's 2010 interview with Flying Lotus.

Photo: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

The Outshot: Remembering Phife Dawg

Jesse fondly remembers Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest as a "big brother" figure in hip-hop.

Listen to Jesse's Outshot on the late rapper Phife Dawg.

Bullseye: Alfred Molina and Louie Anderson

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Alfred Molina
Guests: 
Louie Anderson

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 by Jesse Thorn

British actor Alfred Molina on portraying director Robert Aldrich in Feud: Bette and Joan and playing bad guys

This week Jesse sits down with British actor Alfred Molina to talk about his starring role in the FX series Feud, which tells the story of the rivalry between actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford during the making of the film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? He plays legendary director Robert Aldrich, for which he's earned an Emmy nod.

Alfred Molina grew up in England, and as the son of immigrants from Spain and Italy, he didn't always feel fully at home there. He tells Jesse that he was even told to change his name when he got his start in acting.

Alfred has a particular knack for being able to capture your attention in whatever project he's in, even when he's playing unlikeable characters, including villains. He talks to Jesse about his approach to playing unsavory people, whether it's a backstabbing guide in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dr. Octopus in Spiderman 2, or a crazy drug dealer in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights.

Be sure to catch Alfred as Robert Aldrich in the FX series Feud: Bette and Joan. You can also find out what he's up to on Twitter.

Listen to Jesse's interview with Alfred Molina.

Photo by Jesse Thorn

Comedian Louie Anderson on playing Christine Baskets in the FX series Baskets, family, and standup

Also this week: a visit from comedian and actor Louie Anderson. Louie's been doing standup for close to thirty years. Outside standup, he's had a long career in film and television. He had his own cartoon on FOX in the mid-'90s, appeared in Coming to America and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and he even hosted Family Feud for a few years. Louie's also written three books, one of which is a collection of letters to his late father.

Lately, Louie's career has taken a slightly different turn. In the FX series Baskets, he plays Christine Baskets, the mother of a hapless rodeo clown named Chip Baskets, who's played by Zach Galiafianakis (Zach spoke to Bullseye about playing Chip Baskets in 2016). You could say he's performing in drag, but he plays the role completely sincere, injecting it with humor, sweetness, and vulnerability. The result is something that borders on magical.

Family looms large in Louie's comedy and work. Christine Baskets is loosely based on his late mother, Ora Anderson, whom he says was the glue that held his family together during his difficult childhood in St. Paul, Minnesota. Louie talks with Jesse about the passing of his younger brother and the effect it had on him. They also talk about Louie's perceptions of his own career, including his comedy style and on-screen appearance.

Find out the latest with Louie, including his latest projects and standup dates, at LouieAnderson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Listen to Jesse's full interview with Louie Anderson.

The Outshot: The Thomas Crown Affair

Faye Dunaway. Steve McQueen. Sex chess. These are a few of Jesse's favorite things in the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair.

Listen to Jesse's Outshot on the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Ani DiFranco and Game of Thrones' Aidan Gillen

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Guests: 
Ani DiFranco
Guests: 
Aidan Gillen

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Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Ani DiFranco on her new album Binary, meeting Prince, and more

This week Jesse hosts singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco. Ani moved out of her mom's house at 15 years old, just after she started writing her first songs. At the start of her career as a solo artist, she played house shows, dingy venues, and slept on couches. She eventually started a record label, Righteous Babe, which she releases her music through as well as artists like Andrew Bird, Arto Lindsay and Sara Lee.

Ani has a huge following of incredibly passionate fans. She's sold millions of records and has won awards and acclaim from critics. Perhaps more than any other singer, Ani DiFranco is defined by her independence.

On her latest record, Binary, she kind of sets that label aside. The record features collaborations with people like Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, Maceo Parker, Gail Ann Dorsey, and much more. At its heart, it's an album about relationships, and she says it's changed her approach to writing.

Click Here to listen to Jesse's interview with Ani DiFranco!

Photo: HBO

Aidan Gillen on playing Littlefinger in Game of Thrones

Also on the show this week is actor Aidan Gillen. You might have seen him on HBO's The Wire as Mayor Tommy Carcetti. He also starred on the original British version of Queer as Folk.

If you're one of the millions of people watching Game of Thrones right now, you'll know him as Lord Petyr Baelish, or Littlefinger. Even on a show like Game of Thrones, with its dozens of complex, messy and fascinating characters, Littlefinger stands out. Since the show's debut, Gillen's character has allied himself with maybe half the cast, only to betray almost all of them. And after seven seasons on TV's most violent show, nobody's killed him yet. When Aidan plays Littlefinger, it's really fun to watch. He's cunning, opaque and devious, but he's sincere when it counts.

Aidan talks to Jesse about his various roles, and what it was like to work with the playwright David Mamet.

Click Here to listen to Jesse's interview with Aidan Gillen!

Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Image

The Outshot: Randy Newman's "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear"

Jesse tells us about an old song of Randy Newman's that reveals a jaundiced view of fame and popularity.

Click here to watch Randy Newman's performance of the song.

Click Here to listen to Jesse's outshot on Randy Newman!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Lily Tomlin and Rick Moranis

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Bullseye
Guests: 
Lily Tomlin
Guests: 
Rick Moranis

[r]

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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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Bullseye
Guests: 
Dolly Parton
Guests: 
Steve Coogan

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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.

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

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

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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!

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

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Bullseye
Guests: 
Vince Staples
Guests: 
The Trailer Park Boys

[r]

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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: Neko Case & Herb Alpert

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Bullseye
Guests: 
Neko Case
Guests: 
Herb Alpert

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Photo credit: Katie Stratton/Getty Images

Neko Case on Self Determination, Loss, and Life on the Farm

Neko Case has been producing exceptional music as a solo artist as well as a collaborator with the indie-rock band, The New Pornographers. Her work has not only revolved around rock, but also the genre of country music.

Case recently released a retrospective vinyl box set, Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule which collects her music from throughout her career, including some out-of-print and hard to find titles.

Neko Case sat down with Jesse, and told us why she cringed when listening to one of her early songs, how the loss of her parents shaped her personally and creatively, and how living on a farm in Vermont improves her life as artist.

Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule is available now.


Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Herb Alpert on Discovering, Losing and Redisovering His Musical Voice

Herb Alpert is most famous for the music he created with his band, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The title song of his first album, The Lonely Bull was not only a hit, but was the first album released by A&M Records, which he co-founded with his partner Jerry Moss.

His musical career has spanned over 5 decades and his roles have included him serving not only as a musician, but also a producer. His work with artists have included collaborations with The Carpenters, Liza Minnelli and Janet Jackson. He has also earned numerous awards including 9 Grammys, a Tony and an 2012 National Medal of Arts award.

Herb Alpert joined Bullseye to talk about his brief career as a film actor, how difficult emotional times helped him to become a better musician and how insecurity can persist even when an artist knows he or she is creating something special.

Herb Alpert's most recent album Come Fly With Me is available now.


photo credit: Slavin Vlasic/Getty Images Entertainment

The Outshot: Danny Hoch’s Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop

Danny Hoch's Jails, Hospitals and Hip-Hop began as a one-man-show which explored the multi-cultural and multi-lingual world of New York during the rise of hip-hop culture. A version of his play was released as a film in 2000.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Matt Braunger & Margaret Atwood

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Matt Braunger
Guests: 
Margaret Atwood

Our WORLD TOUR OF SEVERAL AMERICAN CITIES kicks off next week in Los Angeles on Friday, November 13 with William H. Macy, Chicano Batman and Baron Vaughn - get your tickets now!

Plus check us out in Boston, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Philly and DC with guests Barney Frank, Mission of Burma, Tavi Gevinson, David Cross, John Hodgman, Joel Hodgson, Ray Suarez, Dan Deacon and more. It's all at BullseyeTour.com. Don't miss it!

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.

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Comedy Central

Matt Braunger on Class Clowning, Trying Even if You Fail, and Teenage Rapping

Actor, writer and stand-up comedian Matt Braunger always knew that he wanted a life in comedy. He was so sure of this career path that he never seriously considered a backup plan. It was, as he puts it, comedy or die.

Thankfully, it’s been the former and his observant sense of humor is on full display in his latest comedy special, Big Dumb Animal. Along with being a cast member on the final season of the sketch comedy show, MADtv, he’s acted on numerous television shows including the United States of Tara and Pushing Daisies. He’s also made appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman, the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and Chelsea Lately.

Braunger joins Jesse to talk about playing the dumb, clueless husband in television commercials, how he’s worked to be less negative and enjoy the present moment, and why it’s so important to try (even if you fail).

Big Dumb Animal is available now for streaming on Netflix.

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Margaret Atwood on Sex in 'The Heart Goes Last', Childhood Brutishness and Shakespeare

Canadian-born author and poet Margaret Atwood has had an extremely successful career as writer, despite, as she relays to us, the fact that she was not the most memorable or exceptional English student. Her work includes the novels Cat’s Eye and The Handmaid’s Tale as well as many volumes of poetry, and often deals with feminism and politics.

Her latest novel, The Heart Goes Last is a dark comic take on the near future, where lawful people are imprisoned and the lawless are free. The narrative was first introduced to readers in serial form on the website Byliner, and takes on its full shape as a novel which explores issue of sexuality and sexual politics.

Atwood spoke with our contributor Guy Branum to discuss why she believes a novel is an opportunity to share an experience rather than a pulpit from which to preach, delves into her favorite aspects of Shakespeare, and shares her favorite version of her own origin story as a writer.

The Heart Goes Last is available now.

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The Outshot: The Sound of the Apocalypse

In 1977, the country of Jamaica was in economic and social turmoil. Only 15 years after it gained its independence, the country was experiencing difficulties that some believed were signs of the coming apocalypse, specifically on the date of July 7, 1977, the day the two sevens would clash. Jesse shares how the voice of hope came in the form of Joseph Hill, the frontman of a reggae band called Culture.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Steve Coogan & Kevin Kerrane

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Bullseye
Guests: 
Steve Coogan
Guests: 
Kevin Kerrane
Guests: 
Hari Kondabolu
Guests: 
Andrew Noz

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

The English actor, comedian and writer Steve Coogan started out 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 and back again. Alan has become a very important part of his life, although as Coogan says, Alan is "like a relative that you’re very fond of but you only want to see at Christmas and holidays. You don’t want to live with them." He's now brought the character to the big screen, with Alan as a regional radio deejay who accidentally gets roped into a hostage situation at his station.

Coogan has also acted in a number of movies and television shows in England and abroad, including The Trip, Night at the Museum, Tropic Thunder and 24 Hour Party People. He also recently co-wrote, produced and starred in the drama Philomena, which garnered several Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

He joins us this week to talk about his early days as an impressionist, the increasing emotional complexity and dynamism of his character Alan Partridge, and seeking humanity in his comedy.

Alan Partridge is now in theaters and on VOD. Philomena is out on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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Andrew Noz on All-Time Favorite Tracks: Organized Konfusion and Ice-T

Hip hop critic Andrew Noz digs way back in the catalogs of past Bullseye guests Pharoahe Monch and Ice-T to recommend some of his favorite tracks.

He suggests taking a listen to the amazing technical performances in Organized Konfusion's "Bring It On", and revisiting a poetic early track from Ice-T, "High Rollers".

Andrew Noz is the columnist for Pitchfork's Hall of Game and blogs at Cocaine Blunts. You can also find him on Tumblr.

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Photo by Zac Wolf

Hari Kondabolu Asks, What Happened to Weezer?

Weezer’s first album came out TWENTY years ago. The comedian Hari Kondabolu has been a fan since the beginning.

Hari's new stand up comedy album is called Waiting for 2042.

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"Sinister" Dick Kinsella

Who Won? Who Lost? Who Cares? It's All in How You Play the Game: Kevin Kerrane on the World of Baseball Scouting

Over thirty years ago, in 1980, Kevin Kerrane entered a world of unusual characters. "Jocko" Collins, "Sinister" Dick Kinsella, Cy Slapnicka. They were baseball scouts -- men who drove from game to game and town to town looking for fresh and undiscovered talent. They watched the players intently, but they didn't care who won or who lost. They were looking to see how an individual player runs, walks, and throws, and picturing how that talent might parlay to the major leagues. Kerrane renders these men and their stories in vivid detail in his classic history of baseball scouting, Dollar Sign on the Muscle.

The book fell out of print over the years, so Kerrane went back into the field in 2013 to provide a look at scouting in its current iteration.

Kerrane talks to us about some of the legendary scouts, the particular language and vernacular of the baseball scout, and the balance between old-school qualitative and new-school quantitative analysis of players.

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The Outshot: Owney, a Very Special Dog

Jesse shares his love for Owney, the Mascot of the Railway Mail Service.

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