Lily Tomlin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Davy Rothbart

Episode 64

2nd April 2013

There’s no mistaking actress Lily Tomlin. Even when the part is small, she’s never lost in the background. In fact she almost steals the show in the new Tina Fey movie. It’s called Admission. Jesse talks to Tomlin about her storied career. Then astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson chases the unexplored secrets of the universe and then tells Jesse why he shouldn’t be scared of space. Plus, FOUND Magazine’s Davy Rothbart is constantly discovering the amazing notes and photos that other people have left behind. He returns to the program to share a few of his latest favorites.

Episode notes

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Television with The AV Club: Happy Endings and Suburgatory

Erik Adams and Claire Zulkey from The AV Club join us this week to talk about what you should be watching this spring. Erik’s pick is Happy Endings, a great sitcom from ABC with undeservedly less-than-great ratings. And speaking of ABC sitcoms: Claire’s recommendation is Suburgatory, a single-camera sitcom about a couple of Manhattanites who make the big move upstate.

Embed or share The AV Club’s TV recommendations: Happy Endings and Suburgatory


Lily Tomlin on Being Someone Else… In Her Own Way

Lily Tomlin has a remarkable range as an actress and comedian. Whether she’s playing a precocious six-year-old on Laugh-In or a pill-popping sixty-six year old on HBO’s Eastbound and Down; whatever character she plays, Lily inhabits her roles in a way that few performers can.

Now, she appears in the new film Admission, playing a tough second-wave feminist mom to an uptight college admissions officer played by Tina Fey. Though she may not have as much screen time as Fey, Tomlin made the most of the role (and insisted on the proper accoutrements, including a fake tattoo of founding feminist Bella Abzug).

Lily talks to us 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.

Admission is in theaters now.

But wait! There’s more! Click here for an extended interview with Lily Tomlin for talk about how she develops her characters, coming out of the closet as a performer, and why her main priority as a comedian isn’t getting laughs. And don’t forget to share this one with your friends – it’s too good to keep to yourself!


Lost and Found with FOUND Magazine’s Davy Rothbart

FOUND Magazine co-creator and editor Davy Rothbart is back again to share more pieces of lost and found ephemera: receipts, notes, and letters with stories behind them that we can only imagine…or laugh at.

Davy’s new book of personal essays is called My Heart Is an Idiot. FOUND Magazine is on its eighth issue and posts new finds all the time on their website. If you’ve got a cool find, be sure to share it with them.

Embed or share Lost and Found with FOUND Magazine’s Davy Rothbart


Neil DeGrasse Tyson on The Universe and the Path of Most Resistance

When Neil DeGrasse Tyson was a kid, he had a plan: he wanted to be an astrophysicist. But the adults around him had other plans. They thought he’d make a great athlete. But Neil stuck to his guns, and now he’s one of the most famous astrophysicists in the world – heck, one of the only famous astrophysicists in the world.

But how did he persevere? Or, to use his words: why was it that he took the “path of most resistance” when there were plenty of other, easier paths around him? Ultimately, it was his passion for the universe itself that kept him going.

Neil joins us to talk about why he thinks the universe is more awesome than anything else…and to maybe try to help Jesse get over his fear of outer space.

Neil is the host of StarTalk, director of the Hayden Planetarium and the author of Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, out now in paperback.

Embed or share Neil deGrasse Tyson on the universe


The Outshot: Opening Day

This week, the big thing on Jesse’s mind is baseball, specifically opening day – not just for the excitement of the game itself, but for the new beginnings it brings.

Embed or share Jesse’s Outshot: Opening Day

Special thanks this week to Jalen Warshawsky and No Color for providing the music played during our pledge breaks. You can find those songs and more at the Free Music Archive.

In this episode...

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Guests

  • Lily Tomlin
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Davy Rothbart
  • Erik Adams
  • Claire Zulkey

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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