Bullseye

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani of The Big Sick & Allison Janney

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Kumail Nanjiani
Guests: 
Emily Gordon
Guests: 
Allison Janney

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani on writing a romcom based on their lives

[R]Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani co-wrote the Judd Apatow produced romantic comedy The Big Sick. It's a sweet, hilarious and truthful story about how the two of them fell in love, tossing all of the classic romantic comedy tropes out of the window. Kumail and Emily come from really different backgrounds; Kumail's from Pakistan. Emily: North Carolina. The film tells their story of finding each other after navigating Kumail's family's traditional views on marriage and an illness that almost breaks them apart.

Before Emily Gordon was writing screenplays and making films, she was a therapist, working with mentally challenged individuals. After over 5 years working as a therapist, she realized that she needed to change careers, moving on to writing full time, and contributing to online and print magazines.

Most people know Kumail Nanjiani as Dinesh on Mike Judge's HBO hit, Silicon Valley. He's also been on Broad City, Newsreaders, and voices characters on Adventure Time. He has been a stand-up comic for a long time and in 2013, got a Comedy Central stand up special called Beta Male.

Jesse, Kumail, and Emily talk about what it was like making a movie about their real life relationship, and about the changes that were made from the first draft to the one that we see in cinemas. They also talk about learning to let go of their story to other people in the creative group, and the first time they showed the movie to their parents.

Emily also wrote a self-help book for superheroes called Super You: Release Your Inner Super Hero. Also, don't forget to watch Kumail's Beta Male for a solid 40 minutes of laughter.

Click here to listen to Jesse's interview with Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani!

This segment originally aired in July of 2017

Loic Venance /AFP/Getty Images

The Song That Changed my Life: Director Michel Gondry

There's a certain kind of feeling to the director Michel Gondry's films. A little bit of happiness mixed with sadness. Nostalgia for something that you experienced, or maybe something you wish you had experienced. You may have felt it watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, or Mood Indigo.

For "The Song That Changed My Life", Gondry describes the feeling of saudade and how he felt watching Nico Ferrer perform the song "Le Sud" on a Saturday night.

Michel's currently working on a big new project - it's a TV series called Kidding and it's set to star Catherine Keener, Jim Carrey, Frank Langella and more. It'll be on Showtime later this year.

Click here to listen to this segment on YouTube!

This segment originally aired in 2014

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Allison Janney on her career from Loose Cannon Sitcom 'Mom' to Intimate Drama in 'Masters of Sex'

If you've seen Allison Janney on television lately, it's been in one of two very different roles. On the Showtime series Masters of Sex, Janney played as a somewhat naive, vulnerable 1950s housewife who experiences a breakthrough after many years in a sexless (but not loveless) marriage. Her story is both heartbreaking and hopeful. In the CBS sitcom Mom, she plays Bonnie, a recovering alcoholic who's outrageous, biting, and very funny. Bonnie's been down, but she's making peace with her estranged daughter and getting her life back together. Janney's characterizations are versatile; they allow her to be warm, steely, confident, and thin-skinned by turns. Janney has won Emmys for both roles. She's just been nominated for her first Academy Award ever for her role in I, Tonya, the Tonya Harding biopic.

She spoke to us in 2014 about her early acting days (including auditioning for an intimidatingly handsome Paul Newman), getting comfortable with the inevitable nude scenes for Masters of Sex, and the ways that her mom's background and brother's struggle with addiction gave her insight and empathy for her current roles.

Click here to listen to Allison Janney's interview on YouTube!

The Outshot: Orson Welles and 'Touch of Evil'

Jesse explains why the last Hollywood picture Orson Welles directed, Touch of Evil, tells us so much about Welles as an artist.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on YouTube!

This segment originally aired in 2014

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome of 'Another Period' & The Egyptian Lover

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Natasha Leggero
Guests: 
Riki Lindhome
Guests: 
Greg Broussard aka Egyptian Lover

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Photo Courtesy of Comedy Central

Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome on their Comedy Central television show 'Another Period'

"Another Period" returns to Comedy Central this week. The show is set in Newport, Rhode Island and follows the lives of the Bellacourt sisters at the turn of the 20th century. The format of the show follows the familiar and popular structure of reality tv. It's sort of like "Keeping up with the Kardashians" meets "Downton Abbey." They do what a lot of aristocrats did back then, which is nothing, basically.

The show was co-created by Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome, they play Lillian and Beatrice Bellacourt respectively. The sisters have a particular obsession with fame and go to great lengths to stir drama and obtain as much stardom as one could in the gilded age. "Real-life" characters often get tangled in the Bellacourts lives like Sigmund Freud and Mark Twain. In one episode, they enlist the help of Harriet Tubman for a lesson on marketing their image. Another episode, sees the sisters get in a literal fist fight with Helen Keller. The show is over the top, subversive, weird and chock full of absinthe references!

Jesse sat down with Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome to talk about embedding history into the show, the guilty pleasures of reality tv, and the time they were guests on the Today Show with a very drunk Celine Dion.

Click here to listen to Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome's interview on YouTube!

Photo: Jesse Thorn

The Egyptian Lover on the early days of LA hip hop and electro

Greg Broussard better known as Egyptian Lover got his start as a DJ for Uncle Jamm's Army, a hip-hop crew based in Los Angeles. In 1984, Uncle Jamm's Army released a 12 inch single via Freak Beat Records. On Side A of that single was: "Dial A Freak." and Side B was : "Yes Yes Yes." Both tracks were produced by Egyptian Lover. The tracks received a lot of local play at huge parties thrown by Uncle Jamm's Army. At one point the venues they were filling up included the Hollywood Palladium and the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

As a solo artist Egyptian Lover has released nine albums, mixing Kraftwerk, Prince, a little bit of G-Funk every now and then, too. His latest, "1984" was released in 2015 on his label Egyptian Empire Records "1984." The official music video for the track "Killin' It" is insane. It reminds us of that Treehouse of Horror episode where Homer gets sucked into the 3rd dimension, and he says everything looks like the movie Tron. But instead Egyptian Lover transports us to his version the 80s -- a total throwback to the aesthetic of the decade, with glossy computer graphics, rectangular prisms, polished sports cars and all!

Jesse talks with the Egyptian Lover about the most iconic instrument in hip-hop: the Roland TR 808, and how the group Kraftwerk helped him meet his wife.

For Egyptian Lover's Spring tour dates click here.

Click here to listen to Egyptian Lover's interview on YouTube!


The Outshot: Detectorists

Finally, for this week's Outshot: television show "Detectorists." It's about a pair of guys with metal detectors, wandering through the English countryside looking for gold. While they don't exactly find the treasures they're looking for they do find out something more meaningful about themselves in the process.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on YouTube!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson & The Go! Team

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Rian Johnson
Guests: 
Ian Parton
Guests: 
Nkechi Ka Egenamba aka Ninja

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Director Rian Johnson on 'The Last Jedi' and working with Carrie Fisher on her last film

The force is strong with this week's guest! Writer and director of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Rian Johnson joins us in the studio to talk about making the blockbuster and putting himself in the head of characters like Luke Skywalker to write a compelling story.

Rian Johnson first broke through as a writer and director with 2005's "Brick." It's kind of a Coen brothers inspired film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film is set in an Orange County suburb, and it's sort of a neo-noir where most of the main characters are high school students. The tone of the film is eerie and dark, the dialogue is quick and snappy, and most important of all -- it's a great detective story.

Before "Brick," he was an editor for the creepy cult film "May," released in 2002. Other writing and directing credits include the sci-fi thriller "Looper," and the heist film comedy "The Brothers Bloom." He also directed a few of the most memorable Breaking Bad episodes.

When Rian sat down with Jesse they spoke extensively about "The Last Jedi." Including what it was like working with Carrie Fisher on her last film, how he received the offer to direct "The Last Jedi," and why he thought it was important that "Star Wars" be funny.

This segment will include some spoilers to the film, but honestly, if you haven't seen "The Last Jedi" by now you are practically asking for spoilers. You have been warned!

Click here to listen to Rian Johnson's interview on YouTube!

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons:
Kmeron

Ian Parton & Ninja of The Go! Team on their new album 'Semicircle'

Jesse talks with Ian Parton and Ninja of The Go! Team. They're the band that made the Bullseye theme song -- "Huddle Formation."

Formed in the year 2000 in Brighton, England, the band's basically the brainchild of Ian Parton. He recorded a lot of the band's first record in his parent's kitchen and released it as "Thunder, Lightning, Strike." A classic Go! Team track has a lot of influences: hip hop, marching band music, noise rock, 70s soul. A lot of the songs are sample based but they still sound live and fresh. One of Ian's longest running collaborators is the MC Ninja, born Nkechi Ka Egenamba. She's sung and rapped on every Go! Team record.

Ian tells Jesse about his creative process, and what it was like writing the smash hit "Roudou Sanka" by Japanese pop group Momoiro Clover Z. Ninja discusses what it was like when she first heard The Go! Team, and how she brings the music to life on stage.

The Go! Team will be touring this Spring, and their new album "Semicircle" will be released on January 19. For more information visit their website.


The Outshot: Sylvester

Finally, for this week's Outshot: singer-songwriter Sylvester. Jesse tells us about the life of a disco, rhythm and blues, and soul singer with a fabulous stage presence. "Mighty Real" was Sylvester's signature hit. The song was about authenticity. It's hard to imagine him bringing anything but realness.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on YouTube!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Errol Morris & Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Errol Morris
Guests: 
Merrill Garbus

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Errol Morris on his new Netflix "hybrid" documentary series 'Wormwood'

Errol Morris is a legendary filmmaker with dozens of tv and film credits. In 2004, his film "The Fog of War" won an Oscar for best documentary film. Perhaps Morris is best known for his unique interview style, and his invention of the interrotron, which allows his subjects to see him while they are being filmed straight on. And of course, he is known for yelling questions off screen to his subjects.

Morris has a way of painting portraits of people in his films that's incredibly vulnerable. A perfect example of this is his first documentary "Gates of Heaven" released in 1978. It’s a film about pet cemeteries, and the connection people feel to their deceased pets. The documentary told through interviews of pet owners, and it's unnarrated. Some of his films, like "The Thin Blue Line" try to find objective truth. That film ultimately helped secure a innocent man's freedom from prison.

His films are nuanced, they're funny, they're tragic, and always fascinating. His latest project is a six-part miniseries for Netflix called "Wormwood." The series explores the CIA LSD experiments in the late 1950's, and the effects on a man named Frank Olson, a CIA employee and biochemist, who inexplicably jumped out a window to his death from a New York Hotel room in 1953. The story is mostly told through interviews of Frank’s son, Eric, who's worked for years to uncover the truth. The series is kind of a departure for Errol's signature style -- it blends dramatic reenactments and real life interviews.

Errol sits down with Jesse and they discuss the nature of truth, camera angles, and his new documentary, "Wormwood."

Listen to Errol's interview on YouTube!

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons:
Jason Perss

Song That Changed My Life: Merrill Garbus of the band Tune-Yards

Merrill Garbus of the band Tune-Yards on the song that changed her life -- "Moliva" by Johnny Clegg. Tune-Yards will be touring this Spring, and their new album "I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life" will be released on January 19. For more information visit their website.

Listen to this segment on YouTube!

The Outshot: The Commitments

Finally, for this week's Outshot: "The Commitments." Jesse tells us about a film his father and stepmother loved. Jesse never saw the film as a teenager. Few weeks ago, Jesse bought the VHS tape at a thrift store, and it turns out his dad and my stepmother had every right to love the 1991 film "The Commitments."

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Terry Crews, Jessica St. Clair & Lennon Parham

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Terry Crews
Guests: 
Jessica St. Clair
Guests: 
Lennon Parham

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Terry Crews on addiction, physical fitness, and why he works so much

[R] Terry Crews is the kind of performer that has his hand in all different facets of the entertainment industry. He starred alongside Ice Cube in the Friday After Next, played Chris Rock's Dad on Everybody Hates Chris, and he played the president in Idiocracy. Now he's Andy Samberg's co-star on Brooklyn Nine Nine as Sergeant Jeffords. He was also the screaming muscle man in all those Old Spice ads. But, before all that, Terry was a football player from Flint, Michigan - like not just high school and college - he played on four NFL teams over 5 years. He was picked by the LA Rams in the 11th round of the 1991 NFL Draft, and in 1996 he played his last season ever for the Eagles.

Terry and Jesse discuss football, and the culture that surrounds the player in training and on the field. They discuss what life was like for Terry after leaving the NFL, and how that time shaped his relationship to fitness. They also discuss his childhood, his relationship to success, and why he works so much.

Listen to Terry Crews' interview on YouTube!

This segment originally aired in May of 2017.

Canonball with Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell: King Crimson’s 'In The Court of the Crimson King'

Every so often we like to take a closer look at albums that should be considered classics, to find out what makes them great. It's Canonball.

No one says The Rolling Stones don’t belong in the pop music canon. But what about Genesis? Or Yes? What about the prog rockers? The music wasn’t down and dirty, and the songs weren’t pop-radio short. Sometimes they were downright long. But prog has always had its loyalists.

This week Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell, the editors of the prog rock anthology Yes Is The Answer: (And Other Prog Rock Tales), explain why the King Crimson album In The Court of the Crimson King is a classic, and how it laid the foundation for a whole genre. They’ll explain how these classically trained musicians mixed flutes, horns, blues riffs, and synthesizers to create this face melting album.

Listen to this segment on YouTube!

This segment originally aired in June of 2014.


Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham of 'Playing House': Improv in the writers' room, and showing realistic friendships on television.

Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham play best friends on TV, and if their on-screen chemistry seems real, it is. They met doing improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and have been writing partners ever since. They co-created and star in Playing House, a sitcom about female friendship that's more reminiscent of Lucy and Ethel than it is Carrie Bradshaw's gang.

Playing House follows Emma and Maggie, two women who have been friends forever. Maggie stayed in their hometown, got married, and is expecting a baby. Emma has been professionally ambitious, closing business deals in Shanghai, and hasn't been back to visit for what must be years.

Parham and St. Clair join us to talk about the marathon improv sessions that produce the show's jokes, and their real-life friendship.

You can watch *every episode* of Playing House on USA's website.

Listen to this interview on YouTube!

This interview originally aired April of 2014.

The Outshot: The Gap Band

Finally, for this week's Outshot: The Gap Band. Jesse tells us about a chart-topping album with a lot of funk and soul, The Gap Band IV.

Listen to Jesse's Outshot on YouTube!

This segment originally aired in May of 2017.

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: End of Year 2017 Comedy Special

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Show: 
Bullseye

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

It's that time of year again! The Bullseye team listened to hours of comedy from the past year and picked the absolute best for you to enjoy in one convenient episode. There was a lot of great stuff this year. Our list includes industry veterans, newcomers and lesser know talents you are going to love. This was no easy task -- please let us know who else should have made the cut @Bullseye or on Facebook!

Like what you hear? Click through to learn more information on these comedians. For your convenience links to buy their albums have also been provided below:

Dana Gould - Mr Funny Man
Kate Willett - Glass Gutter
Josh Gondelman - Live at Max Fun Con East
Roy Wood, Jr. - Father Figure
Jackie Kashian - I Am Not The Hero Of This Story
Shane Torres - Established 1981
Myq Kaplan - No Kidding
Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher - Back to Back
Dave Anthony - Hot Head
David Gborie - Live at Max Fun Con West
Joel Kim Booster - Model Minority
Chris Gethard - Career Suicide
Janelle James - Black and Mild
Solomon Georgio - Homonegro Superior
Cristela Alonzo - Live at Max Fun Con East

Judge John Hodgman Special Bonus Episode: Jesse Thorn Interviews John Hodgman

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Judge John Hodgman sat down with Bailiff Jesse Thorn for NPR's Bullseye with Jesse Thorn to discuss his newest book Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches. The interview won't air for another few days but we are delighted to share an extended version with our JJHo listeners now. We hope you enjoy it!

You can catch Bullseye With Jesse Thorn every week right here at Maximum Fun, or wherever you download podcasts. Vacationland is available in stores now. Visit bit.ly/painfulbeaches for more information.

--

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Open Mike Eagle and Paula Poundstone

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Open Mike Eagle
Guests: 
Paula Poundstone

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Open Mike Eagle on his unconventional path to becoming an emcee, Chicago rap, and getting laid off

You could call Open Mike Eagle an up-and-coming rapper, though his rise has been anything but typical. Mike currently lives and makes his living in Los Angeles, but he was born in Chicago. He was a teacher for the first part of his adult life, and he actually didn't release his first album until he was almost 30.

Mike's known for crafting humorous and clever rhymes, which isn't altogether uncommon in rap. But his style is weirder, left of center, and even self-deprecating at times. For example, the first album he released was titled "Unapologetic Art Rap."

Things are looking up for Mike these days. Mike's latest album dropped a couple weeks ago, called Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. Outside of rap, he co-hosts Tights and Fights, a wrestling podcast on Maximum Fun. Also, he and comedian Baron Vaughn just got their own Comedy Central show that's currently in development, called "The New Negroes."

You can stream and buy Mike's album on Bandcamp.

Click here to listen to Open Mike Eagle's interview on YouTube!

Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

I Wish I'd Made That: Paula Poundstone on Bridesmaids

Also, Paula Poundstone joins us to talk about a movie she wishes she made.

Paula's been doing standup comedy since 1979. She's appeared on pretty much every talk show, has had recurring roles on TV and a bunch of specials. And you almost definitely know her voice from the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!

These days Paula's keeping busy with a bunch of new projects. She hosts a new NPR podcast called Live from the Poundstone Institute where she interviews experts and academics in front of a live studio audience. She also has written a new book called The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness. In it, she tries pretty much every trick in the book to live a happier life, including taekwondo, reorganizing her house, and driving a fancy new car.

We asked Paula if there was any TV show or movie she wishes she made, and she was ready with an answer: 2011's smash-hit comedy, Bridesmaids.

Check out Paula's new podcast, Live from the Poundstone Institute on NPR One or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Click here to listen to Paula Poundstone talk about Bridesmaids!

The Outshot: 1989 Billy Ripken Baseball Card

In the world of baseball card collecting, some of the most rare and highly coveted cards are those with printing errors. In this week's Outshot, Jesse talks about an error card to top them all: a 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card, number 616.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jonathan Coulton and Tim Gunn

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jonathan Coulton
Guests: 
Tim Gunn

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Photo by Jesse Thorn

Jonathan Coulton on his new album Solid State, and using humor in songwriting

This week Jesse talks to singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton. About 12 years ago, Jonathan decided to quit his job as a computer programmer to pursue a full-time career in music. And he did so by starting maybe one of the most ambitious songwriting projects ever: he decided he would write, record, and release one song every week for an entire year.

That project, called Thing a Week, was a runaway success. And while the novelty of the project eventually wore off, he gained a huge following of fans smitten by catchy and humorous songs of his like "Code Monkey," "RE: Your Brains," and even an acoustic cover of "Baby Got Back" so popular that the TV show Glee ripped it off. His career took off, leading to opportunities like writing songs for the popular Portal video games, and landing a gig as the house musician for the NPR quiz show Ask Me Another.

There's always been an underlying sadness and tragedy in some of Jonathan's music, funny songs included. Those themes come to the fore on his latest album, Solid State, which came out this year. It's kind of a dystopian concept album about the future of the internet, with songs about cat photos and trolls. He also just put out a companion graphic novel book with the same title.

Jonathan tells Jesse that even though he owes his career to the Internet, sometimes he actually hates it. As he gets older, he has increasingly mixed feelings about effects of Internet culture on our lives and relationships, an ambivalence that pervades his latest record. He also plays a couple tunes!

Learn more about Jonathan's music and where he's playing next on his website.

Listen to Jonathan Coulton's interview and in-studio performance!

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Tim Gunn on Project Runway, and what our clothes say about us

Next up this week is Tim Gunn from Lifetime's Project Runway! If you can believe it, the show just started its 16th season last month. If shows like Top Chef brought haute cuisine into America's living rooms, Project Runway did the same with fashion.

Alongside host Heidi Klum, Tim's a teacher and mentor on the show. He guides aspiring designers on their path to stardom with his intelligence, compassion, and sense of humor. Even when he has to get tough on his students, he still comes across as thoughtful and winsome.

Even though Tim's won an Emmy for his work on Project Runway, he's far more than a television personality: he's got a brilliant mind for fashion. He taught design at the New School for 25 years, and was a department chair for five of those years. Tim talks to Jesse about the relationship between architecture and fashion, and the powerful messages that our clothes send to others. He argues that dressing well is something that everyone should be thinking about, not just fashion hounds. He also talks about those early years of working on Project Runway, and why he was initially skittish about being on TV.

Learn more about Project Runway, now in its 16th season.

Listen to Jesse's interview with Tim Gunn!

The Outshot: Norm MacDonald's "Roast" of Bob Saget

Jesse's never cared much for Comedy Central roasts, except for one. In this week's Outshot, he remembers Norm MacDonald's subversive performance at Bob Saget's roast in 2008.

Listen to this week's Outshot !

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Wallace Shawn, Jay Baruchel & Nick Lowe

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Wallace Shawn
Guests: 
Jay Baruchel
Guests: 
Nick Lowe

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Jay Baruchel on directing Goon: Last of the Enforcers, starring in Undeclared, and Canadian humor

This week Jesse talks to Canadian comedian and director Jay Baruchel. You've probably seen Jay in some great comedies like the FXX show Man Seeking Woman and Judd Apatow's Undeclared. He also starred in the How to Train Your Dragon movies as the voice of Hiccup.

This year, Jay directed his first ever feature length movie. It's called Goon: Last of the Enforcers, and it's the sequel to Goon, a movie he co-starred in a few years ago. The movie tells the story of an enforcer named Doug Glatt who's played by Seann William Scott.

Jay talks to Jesse about his love for hockey and the important function that violence plays in the Goon movies. He also shares a bit about his experience on the set of Undeclared and how it shaped him as a comedian. Plus, Jay drops some knowledge about his home and native land: specifically why Canadians are well represented in American comedies, and misconceptions about Montreal, his hometown.

Goon: Last of the Enforcers comes to theaters and VOD on September 1. You can pre-order it on iTunes now.

Listen to Jesse's conversation with Jay Baruchel!

Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for SAG Foundation

Wallace Shawn on acting and his latest book, Night Thoughts.

Also this week, the character actor Wallace Shawn. On screen he has over 180 credits, including films like Clueless, The Princess Bride, My Dinner with Andre. He's also had regular roles on Gossip Girl and Crossing Jordan. You probably also know him as the T-Rex from the Toy Story movies.

Wallace is also an Obie award-winning playwright and the author of several books. His latest is called Night Thoughts, an extended of essays touching on topics like politics, morality, and privilege.

You can find Night Thoughts on Amazon or your local bookseller.

Listen to Wallace Shawn's interview!

Photo: GARI GARAIALDE/AFP/Getty Images

The Song That Changed My Life: Nick Lowe on "Fatback Louisiana, USA"

English singer-songwriter Nick Lowe recalls the indelible mark that the 1950s country and western song "Fatback Louisiana, USA" by Tennessee Ernie Ford left on him as a young boy growing up on a Royal Air Force base.

Nick Lowe is gearing up to tour the Midwest and East Coast this fall. Find out if he'll be playing near you on his website, NickLowe.com.

Hear Nick Lowe talk about the song that changed his life!

The Outshot: The story-driven gameplay of Firewatch

Jesse praises Firewatch, an adventure game that combines gripping narrative and well-written dialogue to make for a deeply human experience.

Firewatch is available as a download on Windows, Mac, Linux, Playstation 4 and XBOX One.

Listen to Jesse's Outshot on Firewatch!

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