Maura Tierney and Michael Kupperman

First up this week: Maura Tierney! You know her from her time on the hit drama ER – she played Abby. She’s currently on the Showtime series The Affair, as well. And, here’s a personal favorite of ours: She also starred on the sitcom Newsradio as Lisa, the ambitious reporter and producer. Her latest role is in the film Beautiful Boy, where she stars alongside Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet.
Then, Michael Kupperman. He’s a comics artist and writer whose work usually comes off as surreal, silly and always hilarious. Not so much with his latest work, though. He made a touching, fascinating graphic memoir about his father. It’s called “All The Answers.” Michael’s dad is Joel Kupperman – who, for a brief period in the 40s and 50s, was one of the most famous people in the nation. Joel spent almost his entire childhood and adolescence on TV as a “quiz kid,” answering trivia questions for prizes.
Finally, for the outshot: Jesse tells you about the last great album Sly Stone ever recorded.

Episode notes

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Photo: Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

Maura Tierney on her career and her starring role in the new film ‘Beautiful Boy’

Maura Tierney is probably best known for her time on the hit drama “ER.” She played Abby Lockhart. Her character was introverted, sarcastic and a bit self-destructive, but when it came to her patients she always showed warmth and compassion. Her role was complex and nuanced, which is uncommon for a soap opera. She’s currently on the Showtime series “The Affair.”

She also starred on “Newsradio” as Lisa, the ambitious reporter and producer. Lisa was the kind of person who kept a tight schedule and always had her eyes on her life-plan. She was also the kind of person who could perform complex mathematical calculations in her head. Her character was incredibly intelligent, kind of an overachiever and at times very funny.

She’s currently starring in an acclaimed drama: “Beautiful Boy,” which just hit theaters. It’s a story about the difficult and frustrating nature of addiction. It stars Timothée Chalamet as Nic, a college age kid struggling with a drug habit. Maura plays Karen, Nic’s step mom. “Beautiful Boy” is as unique as it is realistic: addiction is a complicated thing. It brings some people closer together, drives others away, it has ups and downs.

This week, we’ll chat about these roles and look at the rest of her career, which spans several decades. Plus, she’ll explain why she starred alongside Jerry Orbach in the 1991 film “Dead Women in Lingerie.” We’ll play a clip from the movie, and you can bet she shrieked in horror that we were able to dig that up.

Check out this interview on YouTube!


Photo: Simon and Schuster

Michael Kupperman on his new graphic memoir ‘All The Answers’

Michael Kupperman is a cartoonist, writer, and he’s one of our favorites at Bullseye. His comics have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Believer Magazine. A lot of his stuff is surreal, and a little silly. For his latest book he gets serious and very personal. In “All The Answers” he explores his father’s time as a world famous TV Quiz Kid.

Back in the 40s and 50s, when people were still figuring out how television worked, there were “quiz shows.” TV programs where hosts would ask contestants trivia questions, and if they kept answering right, they’d stay on the show. Michael’s dad; Joel Kupperman, managed to stay on for almost a decade. And it all happened when he was a kid.

When he grew up, Joel pretty much left TV. And he didn’t talk about it much, not even with his family. And when he did, it wasn’t usually positive. Michael got the sense that this was a pretty dark chapter in his Dad’s life. So Michael did some of his own research. He went through old tapes, talked to family members. It’s a fascinating portrait of his father, and a really moving read.

His father never talked much about his childhood. So Michael learned a lot of surprising things about his father later on in life on his own. He’ll describe what it was like to discover that his father had once performed with the Marx Brothers. Plus, he’ll explain why he had an easy time drawing his father in the book, but struggled to draw himself.

Check out this interview on YouTube!


The Outshot: Sly and the Family Stone 1973’s ‘Fresh’

Finally, Jesse explains why “Fresh” was the last great album by Sly and the Family Stone ever recorded.

Check out this segment on YouTube!

In this episode...

Producer
Associate Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow
Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Guests

  • Maura Tierney
  • Michael Kupperman

About the show

Bullseye (formerly known as The Sound of Young America) is a weekly celebration of the best of arts and culture. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring listeners in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

The show is carried by public radio stations around the country, and was the first public radio program west of the Mississippi to podcast. It has received plaudits from publications like Time Magazine (which called it “Pick of the Podcasts”) and Salon.com. It was also honored by the iTunes editorial staff as a “classic” Best of iTunes selection. Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please email producer@maximumfun.org. Follow @Bullseye on Twitter and join the Bullseye Facebook group.

People

Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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