David Wain and Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch

12th February 2018

Jesse chats with Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch about his latest series of EPs – a trilogy called “How to Solve our Human Problems.” Then, David Wain, comedian and director of the new Netflix film “A Futile and Stupid Gesture” talks about Doug Kenney, the movie’s subject, whose work changed the trajectory of American comedy. And on this week’s Outshot, Jesse walks us through the career of rapper Scarface whose lyrics, more than most rappers, mulls over the fear, rage, and consequences of gang violence.

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Photo: Jesse Thorn
David Wain on his new Netflix film “A Futile and Stupid Gesture”
David Wain got his first big break very early on in his life as a co-founder of the MTV sketch comedy show “The State.” He then went on to direct “Role Models” and the cult classic “Wet Hot American Summer,” but the transition from hit network television show to popular movie director was neither clear nor direct. For a long time after “The State,” Wain was down on his luck – he didn’t have another job and was not being asked to work on anything else. Wain tells Jesse about his time in therapy and how that helped him plan his next move toward filmmaking, which ultimately, led him to where he is today.

His latest Netflix movie “A Futile and Stupid Gesture,” is about the successful, yet tragic life of Wain’s own comedic hero Doug Kenney. Kenney founded The National Lampoon magazine and made the movies “Animal House” and “Caddyshack” – two movies that had huge impacts on fans of comedy everywhere, including Wain.

Click here to hear the interview on YouTube!

Photo: Kmeron via Flickr Creative Commons
Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian on his latest EPs “How to Solve Our Human Problems”
The last installment of indie pop band Belle and Sebastian’s EP trilogy “How to Solve Our Human Problems” is out this week. Stuart Murdoch is the band’s founder and lead vocalist. Belle and Sebastian’s records are on hundreds of top 10 lists and their second album “If You’re Feeling Sinister” is considered by many critics to be one of the best albums of the ’90’s.

Murdoch admits that when he was young becoming a musician was never part of his life plan. His path to founding Belle and Sebastian actually began with an illness. In the 1980’s, Murdoch first discovered his continued struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome. He dropped out of college, spent a lot of time in the hospital, and moved back in with his parents. It was there in the quiet moments that he began to write tunes on his piano. On the suggestion of his doctor, he joined a class for unemployed musicians where he met Stuart David, Belle and Sebastian’s co-founder.

Murdoch also talks with Jesse about his passion for baseball, why many of the songs in the latest EPs are ones your uncle would want to dance to at a wedding, and how his interest in Buddhism and meditation play a part in the overall concept of “How to Solve Our Human Problems.”

Click here to hear the interview on YouTube!

Bob Levey / Stringer / Getty Images
The Outshot: Scarface
And finally, on the Outshot, Houston rapper Scarface has shaped his career by directly facing the trauma and consequences of gang violence, not just the desire for power and fear that fuel it.

Click here to hear the interview on YouTube!

In this episode...

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Guests

  • David Wain
  • Stuart Murdoch

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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