George Saunders, Chris Gethard, and DJ Jazzy Jeff

On this week’s episode of Bullseye, Jesse sits down with comedian and TV show host Chris Gethard to talk about his new HBO special. Writer George Saunders stops by to talk about his latest novel Lincoln in the Bardo. Legendary producer DJ Jazzy Jeff tells us abut the song that changed his life and Jesse tells us why Graceland is the perfect album for middle age.

Episode notes

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Photo: Jesse Thorn

Chris Gethard on mental health and the importance of failure

Chris Gethard hosted the The Chris Gethard Show for 6 years. It aired first on New York City public access, then later on the Fusion network. You might’ve also seen him on Broad City or Don’t Think Twice, the Mike Birbiglia movie that came out last year.

Chris is also a standup. His latest special, which was produced with Judd Apatow, is called Career Suicide and is kind of a one man show. Career Suicide, specifically talks about alcoholism, depression, and death.

Chris and Jesse talk about his HBO special, and why he’s looking forward to taking a break from talking about mental health issues.

Career Suicide premiere’s May 6th on HBO.

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The Song That Changed My Life, with DJ Jazzy Jeff: Funkadelic’s Knee Deep

Jeffrey Townes is a DJ, record producer and actor from Philadelphia. But you probably know him better as DJ Jazzy Jeff, the producer and collaborator to Will Smith’s Fresh Prince. Growing up in Philly in the late 70s, Jazzy Jeff remembers the song that changed his life. It’s Funkadelic’s Knee Deep.

You can stream his new album Chasing Goosebumps now, and see him on tour this year.

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George Saunders on humor, death, and choosing positivity

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan / ZUMA Press

George Saunders is a writer. His short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, GQ, McSweeney’s and more. His 2013 book, a short story collection called Tenth of December, was a finalist for a National Book Award. His latest is called Lincoln in the Bardo – it’s his first novel, ever. A lot of his work is funny, but where his other stories focused on absurdity and consumerism, Lincoln in the Bardo goes back to the 19th century, it’s almost historical fiction.

In his conversation with Jesse, George talks about his process for writing his first novel, and combating the urge to insert jokes into scenes that are too emotional. They talk about whether he’s afraid of death, and about that time he was almost died in a plane crash.

You can find Saunders’ new book Lincoln in the Bardo in stores and online now.

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The Outshot: Paul Simon’s Graceland

Paul Simon’s 1986 Graceland is the perfect record for middle age.

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In this episode...

Producer
Associate Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow
Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Guests

  • George Saunders
  • Chris Gethard
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

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People

Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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