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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Roy Wood Jr. and Peter Serafinowicz

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Roy Wood Jr.
Guests: 
Peter Serafinowicz

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Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images

Roy Wood Jr. on writing jokes and working on "The Daily Show"

Roy Wood Jr. is a comedian. You've probably seen him as a correspondent on "The Daily Show." He's done comedy pretty much his entire life, but he majored in broadcast journalism and for a while, it was looking like that was gonna be his career. He was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and first got his start in radio, working at a handful of stations. Sometimes he wrote, sometimes he produced or reported, but at heart, Roy has always been a stand-up, doing his act whenever he found the time.

In 2010, he finished third on NBC's "Last Comic Standing," which is when his career took off - he got his own radio show, got acting roles, started getting booked in bigger venues. Last year, Roy released his stand-up comedy album called "Father Figure," which made it on to many top 10 lists. He also just kicked off a national tour that will continue over the rest of spring and summer.

Roy talks with Jesse about the difficulty of writing original jokes, gang colors, and how being on "The Daily Show" has given him an opportunity to share some of his bolder takes on politics and race.

Click here to listen to Roy Wood Jr.'s interview on YouTube.


Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Peter Serafinowicz on his new role on the TV series "The Tick"

Peter Serafinowicz is a British actor and comedian with a varied career in entertainment. He's been on a bunch of British TV shows - "Spaced," "I'm Alan Partridge," and "The IT Crowd." He did voice work as Darth Maul in "The Phantom Menace." He's also a music video director, a brilliant impressionist, and a screenwriter. Together with Robert Popper, he created the comedy series "Look Around You"- a parody of those boring educational documentaries kids watch in school.

Now, he's got a lead role. He's starring in the Amazon series "The Tick" as the Tick. It's a new live-action superhero comedy about a giant muscle man in a blue suit with antennas on his head. He's got super strength. It's almost impossible to hurt him, but he's kind of dumb and bumbling, too. His sidekick, an accountant named Arthur, is the only one who can really keep him grounded.

Peter talks to Jesse about writing dialogue that is essentially meaningful but sounds nonsensical and the most important lessons he learned from great impressionists like Mike Myers and Phil Hartman.

The first season of "The Tick" is available to stream now on Amazon. It just got picked up for a second, which should premiere next year.

Click here to listen to Peter Serafinowicz's interview on YouTube.


Photo: www.uni-watch.com

The Outshot: Uni Watch

If you ever found yourself falling in love with a team because of their goofy logo, Uni Watch is the blog for you. It's a whole website dedicated to all things sports uniforms and where the intersection of athletics and aesthetic is big news.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on Uni Watch on YouTube.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Simon Amstell and Brian K. Vaughan

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Simon Amstell
Guests: 
Brian K. Vaughan
Guests: 
Jordan Morris
Guests: 
Erik Adams
Guests: 
Claire Zulkey

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All-Time TV Favorites: Spaced and Twin Peaks

We're joined by AV Club Assistant TV Editor Erik Adams and contributor Claire Zulkey for some all-time favorite TV picks. Claire recommends checking out Spaced, a lightning-fast, pop-culture-tastic British sitcom from the brains behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Erik's pick is the mysterious, funny, and very surreal Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost's series about a small town with big secrets.

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Simon Amstell on provoking Jermaine Jackson, his shamanic quest to find peace, and television fame

This interview originally aired December 2012.

Years before he became famous in Britain for skewering celebrities on Popworld and Nevermind the Buzzcocks, Simon Amstell's childhood ambition was to be on TV. And unlike most kids with dreams of TV stardom, he made it a reality -- but found it less fulfilling than he had hoped. Comedian, writer and TV host Amstell joins us this week to share his experiences in the entertainment industry, including navigating the delicate line between crafting clever comedy and bullying his celebrity guests as a TV host, writing and starring in Grandma's House, a sitcom with parallels to his own life, and seeking enlightenment on a Shamanic quest in South America.

Simon Amstell returns to the US in early May to perform his stand-up special, Numb, along the west coast. You can find tour dates and more info about Simon at his website.

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Jordan Morris ranks America's stuff

This segment originally aired December 2012.

In this era of constant hustle and bustle, who can keep up with what's HOT and what's NOT in these United States? Fortunately, expert stuff-ranker Jordan Morris joins us this week to fill us in and set us straight.

Jordan Morris co-hosts the podcast Jordan, Jesse, Go!. You can follow him on Twitter at @Jordan_Morris.
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Brian K. Vaughan on creation, from babies to universes

This segment originally aired December 2012.

Brian K. Vaughan has the kind of strange and epic vision that's made for science fiction and fantasy. He's written award-winning comic book series like Ex Machina and Y: The Last Man, and helped craft otherworldly storylines for several seasons of Lost.

His works are notable for their intimacy and beautiful, meticulously crafted characters, despite grandly epic settings. His most recent comic book series, Saga, is a prime example: Vaughan presents a fundamentally domestic story of parents trying to give their child a good life, backed by a colossal, galactic war. He joins us this week to share why he enjoys storytelling on a grand scale. Vaughan also explains why writing stories about lesser-known comic characters -- like Marvel's weird wildman Ka-Zar -- can be preferable to writing about the big names like Spiderman, and he tracks how fatherhood has affected his writing.

Volume One of Saga is available in bookstores and digitally at Comixology. Volume Two is available for pre-order; it will be released on July 9.

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The Outshot: The Dirtbombs' "Ultraglide in Black"

This segment originally aired October 2012.

Rage, garage punk, and R&B. The Dirtbombs' music has it all, and Jesse suggests you check out their album Ultraglide in Black.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Chris Gethard, Lawrence Weschler, AV Club TV Picks and MBMBaM!

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Chris Gethard
Guests: 
Lawrence Weschler
Guests: 
Erik Adams
Guests: 
Claire Zulkey
Guests: 
The McElroy Brothers


The AV Club

This week's culture picks come care of the The AV Club's Claire Zulkey and Erik Adams, who dig deep to select some of their all-time favorite TV series. Claire recommends the pop culture infused British sitcom Spaced, which launched the careers of its stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, as well as director Edgar Wright. Erik meanwhile suggests you go back and revisit David Lynch's eerily atmospheric foray into television mystery, Twin Peaks, assuming you've already seen it. If not, both Spaced and Twin Peaks are now available to own on DVD, as well as for online streaming via Netflix Instant.

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Comedian and author Chris Gethard

This week on the show we revisit some of our favorite interviews of 2012. Comedian Chris Gethard talks about booking megastar P. Diddy at a tiny theater in New York, using both mania and depression to shape his comedy, and confronting Internet trolls in person. His most recent book is called A Bad Idea I'm About to Do. (Originally aired the week of January 10th, 2012)

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Pop Culture Advice with My Brother, My Brother and Me

Brothers by all accounts, and experts by some – Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy of My Brother, My Brother and Me offer offer solutions to listeners' pressing pop culture problems. This week the brothers wonder whether parents should introduce Justin Bieber, Star Wars, and Ke$ha to their children. (Originally aired the week of January 10th, 2012)

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Entering the Uncanny Valley, with writer Lawrence Weschler

Jesse talks with a master of creative nonfiction, Lawrence Weschler, about the dangers of humans' bias toward narrative, and why the CGI faces in movies never look quite right. Weschler's newest book is Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative. (Originally aired the week of January 10th, 2012)

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The Outshot: @FakeCivilWar

And The Outshot: The Civil War, reimagined in 140-character bursts. Jesse talks about one of his favorite Twitter accounts, @FakeCivilWar. (Originally aired the week of January 10th, 2012)

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You can subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or the RSS feed -- stay tuned for all new content on next week's Bullseye!

BONUS AUDIO from this week! Lawrence Weschler talks to Jesse about the incredible and unusual Museum of Jurassic Technology in LA.

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