Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke
Margaret Wappler

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Photo by Jesse Thorn

Dick Van Dyke on His Early Years in Television, Worrying Less, and Owning Up to the Worst English Accent in Film History

For over 70 years, Dick Van Dyke has been an entertainer of stage, film and television. His work has garnered him generations of fans as well as numerous honors including a Grammy, a Tony and several Emmy awards.

Though he initially sought out a career in radio, he was soon performing on the stage and on the new medium of television, which included the classic comedy, The Dick Van Dyke Show created by Carl Reiner. Along with his many other television appearances, Dick Van Dyke has starred in films that are still family favorites decades after they were made, including Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Dick Van Dyke joined Jesse to talk about landing the lead role in Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway despite not being a trained singer or dancer, his memories of working with a very young Mary Tyler Moore, his alcoholism and getting sober, and how he maintains a healthy physical and mental lifestyle in his nineties.

Dick Van Dyke’s new book, Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging is available now.

Canonball with Margaret Wappler on Bjork’s Post

Every so often we like to take a closer look at albums that should be considered classics, to find out what makes them great. It's Canonball.

This week we're joined by the pop culture critic and writer Margaret Wappler. She'll talk about Bjork’s 1995 album, Post. This album served as the follow-up to Bjork’s first album, Debut. The album went beyond being a repetition of what she had created before, and served as "a breakout work of feminine emotional electronica".

Margaret Wappler’s essay on Bjork can be found in the anthology Here She Comes Now. Margaret’s novel, Neon Green will be out in July. She can also be heard as our sister-podcast, Pop Rocket.

The Outshot: Ralph Lauren

Jesse will tell you about how Ralph Lauren captures the shared American-ness of Sonia Sotomayor, Jay-Z and Donald Trump. (You can find his video interview for Put This On here.)

Glenn O'Brien on How To Be A Man: Interview on The Sound of Young America

Glenn O'Brien

Glenn O'Brien is the author of How To Be A Man, and the Style Guy columnist for GQ. He also created and hosted TV Party, the seminal new wave television show, and edited Interview magazine in its early days.

The book is a collection of essays on the subject of masculinity: from dandyism (he's in support) to how to handle your old age.

JESSE THORN: It's The Sound of Young America, I'm Jesse Thorn. There's been a recent rash of advice on the subject of how to be a man. It's come from all corners; maybe it's fueled by economic insecurities, maybe it's fueled by social change. Rare among those doing the advising though has been, frankly, much qualification in that area. My guest Glenn O'Brien, however, is flush with such qualifications; he's been the style guide columnist in GQ magazine for a number of years now. He's also had a distinguished career elsewhere in the magazine industry, serving recently as Editorial Director of Brandt Publications which publishes Interview, Art in America, and Antiques, among his many other jobs in magazines. In the early 1980s, in fact, he served as one of the first editors and Art Directors of Interview; a job which came to him through his involvement in Andy Warhol's Factory. He was also the magazine's first music critic.

He wrote the film Downtown 81 with Jean-Michel Basquiat in the early 1980s, but not released until just a few years ago, and he hosted the iconic new wave television program TV Party. His new book is called How to be a Man, but it isn't really a book of advice, it's a collection of meditations ranging from clothes to the utility of celebrity to the best ways to handle ones dotage.

Glenn O'Brien, welcome to The Sound of Young America.

GLENN O'BRIEN: Hi, thanks for having me on.

Click here for a full transcript of this interview, or here to jump to the podcast audio.

William Gibson, author of "Zero History": Interview on The Sound of Young America

William Gibson

William Gibson is a science fiction writer whose works increasingly take place in a realistic present. His latest book, Zero History, is about fashion, authenticity and identity. It's a freestanding third work in an informal trilogy, which also includes Pattern Recognition and Spook Country.

Scott Schuman, The Sartorialist: Interview on The Sound of Young America

Scott Schuman

Scott Schuman is the creator of the street fashion photography blog The Sartorialist. His new book collects some of his favorite photos from the blog. His subjects range from Hasidim on the streets of New York to garment industry insiders in Milan.

Gay Talese: Dressing up for the story.


"It's ceremonious, it's celebratory, it's important."

Legendary non-fiction writer and reporter Gay Talese on being suited & booted. My only disapointment: no discussion of his signature lapel shape.

Muji US - Cardtacular!


Not only has the legendary modern goods store Muji opened an electronic storefront in the US, but they've included their most legendary product: the aluminum card case. At $5.50, it's the finest card case you can buy for less than $100.

They've even included a double card case! Now that's some serious stuff.

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