John Waters and Andy Kindler

We got John Waters in the studio (he wore a beautiful Commes de Garcon shirt, btw). John has a new book out, it’s a transcript of a commencement speech he gave to RISD students in 2015. Jesse talks with him about Little Richard, trigger warnings, and how the film industry tried (and failed) to make the King of Trash compromise his work.
Then, Andy Kindler stops by. Andy’s a terrific stand up and hosts the latest season of the Hulu series Coming to the Stage. Since 1996, Andy’s also given a speech at the Just for Laughs Festival – it’s called the State of the Industry. For about an hour each year, Andy basically puts comedians and the entire industry on blast – popular targets include Jay Leno, Ricky Gervais, and lazy journalists. It’s made him one of the funniest and sincere truth tellers in comedy. His newest album is a never before released recording of his original 1996 address.

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Photo: Jesse Thorn
John Waters on writing, death, and trigger warnings
John Waters is a director who hasn’t made a movie in over a decade, and he doesn’t really plan to make any more. He’s directed some absolute classics like Pink Flamingos, Cry-Baby and probably most notably Hairspray. But even though he’s not making movies he’s keeping busy – he’s done a ton of live performances, released a few compilation albums and he’s a published author, too. He’s written about half a dozen books, his latest is called Make Trouble. It’s an illustrated transcript of a commencement speech he gave in 2015. He’s also an actor – he played director William Castle in the latest season of FX’s Feud, he even had a cameo in one of those Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.

This week, John and Jesse talk about how he keeps the motivation to work, even after he has achieved so much in his career. They talk about trigger warnings, and John tells Jesse why he was never interested in school.

His new book Make Trouble is available now.

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Photo: Jesse Thorn
Andy Kindler on comedy writing, hack stand-ups, and staying funny while angry
Andy Kindler is a stand up comedian. He’s also kind of the ombudsman for comedy. Every year since 1996, Andy’s taken the stage at the Just for Laughs Festival to give what he calls the State of the Industry speech. Andy gets in front of a giant crowd of stand-ups and industry types and basically puts them all on blast. And it’s given Andy a reputation as being sort of a comic’s comic. Of course, it’s also really, really funny – it gets a huge crowd every year.

Andy and Jesse talk about the hardest part of giving that State of the Industry speech- staying funny while being angry. They also talk about hack comedians of the 1980’s and 90’s and racism in the industry. Plus, Andy blesses us with very accurate impressions of some of your favorite comics.

You can watch Coming To The Stage on Hulu now. And there are still tickets available for this years Just for Laughs Festival where you can see Andy deliver his State of the Industry speech.

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In this episode...

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Guests

  • John Waters
  • Andy Kindler

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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Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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