Comedy Central

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Open Mike Eagle

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Open Mike Eagle

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Rapper Open Mike Eagle on taking career advice from his wife.

You could call Open Mike Eagle a rapper on the rise. But it's been a long, steady, unique rise. He was born in Chicago, moved to LA later on. For the first part of his adult life he was a teacher - he actually didn't release his first album until he was almost 30.

In his rhymes there's humor, which you see a lot in rap. But it's weirder, kind of self-deprecating at times, too. His first album, "Unapologetic Art Rap” was a great example of that.

Alongside Baron Vaughn, Mike co-stars in a new Comedy Central show called
”The New Negroes.” It's sort of a variety show - combining live stand up with original music videos Mike made with other artists.

When Bullseye talked to Mike in 2017, he'd just released a record called “Brick Body Kids Still Daydream.” His latest record - ”What Happens When I Try to Relax” - is out now.

Mike talked to Bullseye about why he used to call his music “art rap,” and why it was a lot harder to be weird in hip-hop back in the day.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Roy Wood Jr

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Roy Wood Jr

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: Rich Polk/Getty Images

Roy Wood Jr. on writing jokes and working on "The Daily Show"

Roy Wood Jr. is a comedian. You've probably seen him as a correspondent on "The Daily Show." He's done comedy pretty much his entire life, but he majored in broadcast journalism and for a while, it was looking like that was gonna be his career. He was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and first got his start in radio, working at a handful of stations. Sometimes he wrote, sometimes he produced or reported, but at heart, Roy's always been a standup, doing his act whenever he found the time.

In 2010, he finished third on NBC's "Last Comic Standing," which is when his career took off - he got his own radio show, got acting roles, started getting booked in bigger venues. He soon released his stand-up comedy album called "Father Figure," which made a bunch of top 10 lists for 2017. This year, Roy released his new one-hour stand-up special called Roy Wood Jr: No One Loves You on Comedy Central which accompanies his digital album and features original sketches based on his act.

Roy talks with Jesse about the difficulty of writing original jokes, gang colors, and how being on the Daily Show has given an opportunity to share some of his bolder takes on politics and race.

This interview originally aired in April of 2018.

Click here to listen to Roy Wood Jr.'s interview on YouTube.

Everything's Coming Up Simpsons Ep. 176: The Front w/ Matt Ingebretson

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Guests: 
Matt Ingebretson

In "The Front" Bart and Lisa ghostwrite a great Itchy and Scratchy episode, and we also check in on "The Adventures of Ned Flanders." We're joined by Matt Ingebretson of Comedy Central's "Corporate" to discuss impostor syndrome, the writing biz, and the genius of the Simpsons kid logic.

Episode 34 - Birthright written by Joel Kim Booster

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Guests: 
Joel Kim Booster as Joel
Guests: 
Keiko Agena as Sarah Kim
Guests: 
Guy Branum as Guy
Guests: 
Tawny Newsome as Sonia
Guests: 
Lucy Davis as Esther Kim
Guests: 
Alice Wetterlund as Nancy
Guests: 
Atsuko Okatsuka as Marcy 
Guests: 
Carla Cackowski as Janet
Guests: 
Craig Cackowski as Gay Cop/Driver
Guests: 
Will Choi as Mark/Finance Bro/Drug User/Chip Hearts
Guests: 
Irene Tu as Ruthie

Our dead pilot this month is Birthright written by Joel Kim Booster (Comedy Central, Conan). We recorded this one live from SF Sketchfest! Birthright is based in part on Joel’s real life. This outrageous and raw pilot centers on Joel Miller. Adopted by white, Midwestern evangelical parents, Joel "knew he was gay before he knew he was Asian". When he has a falling out with his adoptive parents, he goes in search of his birth mother. He assumes she is in Korea, but finds that the truth is way more interesting...

Before the table read, listen to Ben interview Joel about what he learned during his many rounds of development on this pilot for both Fox and Comedy Central. 
  
Come catch our live show at Dynasty Typewriter on February 10th at 2pm. We'll be reading scripts from Billy Finnegan (Grace & Frankie), Colleen McGuiness (30 Rock) and Johanna Stein (Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny)!

Our cast so far includes Noel Wells (Master of None), Nichole Bloom (Superstore), David Walton (New Girl), Mo Collins ( F is For Family), Brad Morris ( Seeking A Friend For The End of The World), Ian Gomez (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), and more!!

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

For more Dead Pilot Society episodes and information about our live shows, please subscribe to the podcast!
Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and Twitter, and visit our website at deadpilotssociety.com

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Swamp Dogg and Joel Kim Booster

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Swamp Dogg
Guests: 
Joel Kim Booster

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: David McMurry/Courtesy of Swamp Dogg

Swamp Dogg: On His Musical Upbringing, New Album, and Six Decade Career

Singer/songwriter and three-time Bullseye guest Jerry Williams is best known by his recording name Swamp Dogg. He started in show business as a kid. He put out his first song at the age of twelve with his mom playing drums. Then, in the 60s, he was a record company man. He worked A&R, produced bands, and wrote a few R&B hits.

He adopted the name Swamp Dogg in the early 70s and put out a bunch of classics: "Total Destruction To Your Mind," "Rat On!," "Cuffed, Collared & Tagged."

His music is straightforward soul with a hilarious psychedelic lens.

These days, more and more people are getting hip to Swamp's music. His old LPs have been reissued and he's still making music! He's closing in on two dozen albums now, and just put out a new one called "Love, Loss and Auto-Tune."

Swamp Dogg tells Jesse about what's it's like to for him to still be performing today and, a time he was mistaken for being a white musician.

Click here to listen to Swamp Dogg's interview on YouTube.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Joel Kim Booster: On His Stage Persona, Defying Stereotypes, and Growing Up in A Conservative Christian Home

A quick warning: This next segment features some frank talk about sex. If that isn't the kind of thing you want to hear, just a heads up.

Joel Kim Booster is a writer and comedian. He's written for "Billy on the Street," "Problematic with Moshe Kasher," and Netflix's "Big Mouth." As a standup, he's appeared on Conan, Comedy Central, @Midnight and more.

He's Korean American and was adopted and raised by a white family in suburban Illinois. His upbringing was conservative and very, very religious - he was homeschooled until he hits his teens, and came out to his parents about being gay in his late teens.

In this interview, he talks to Jesse about his "hot" and "dumb" stage persona, his hopes for the afterlife, and the feedback he gets from other Asian American entertainers and his Asian American followers.

Joel's comedy album is called "Model Minority." You can find out the latest about Joel on his website: I hate Joel Kim.

Click here to listen to Joel Kim Booster's interview on YouTube.


Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Outshot: Simon Rodia's Watts Towers

In this week's Outshot, Jesse talks about the masterwork of a four-foot-ten-inch tall, 42-year-old, barely literate, Italian immigrant who wanted to make something big.

Click here to listen to The Outshot on YouTube.

Everything's Coming Up Simpsons Ep 134: My Sister, My Sitter w/ Sean O'Connor

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Guests: 
Sean O'Connor

This week, Sean O'Connor returns to talk about another one of his favorite episodes – My Sister, My Sitter. In the episode, Lisa takes up babysitting. She does such a good job for everyone in Springfield that Marge and Homer ask her to babysit Bart. Things don't end pretty. Sean recounts a gruesome babysitting story of his own. Plus, he talks about what it's like to be a dad, and why letting other people watch your kids is terrifying. Check out Sean's work on the "Late Late Show with James Corden" and Comedy Central's "Hood Adjacent" for which he serves as executive producer and head writer. His latest writing can also be seen on Netflix's "Hilarity for Charity."

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman of 'Corporate' and Graphic Novelist Mimi Pond

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Matt Ingebretson
Guests: 
Jake Weisman
Guests: 
Mimi Pond

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Photo: Jesse Thorn

Jake Weisman and Matt Ingebretson on their new Comedy Central show 'Corporate'

Technically, the new Comedy Central show Corporate is a workplace comedy. But it's so much darker, weirder and universal than that. The show follows the lives of Jake and Matt, two junior executives in training at Hampton Deville. Every character on the show is a little depressed and angry about working for a soul-sucking giant multinational corporation. Matt and Jake have just enough power and money to keep working there, but not enough to make any real impact in the company. Corporate goes beyond your standard office comedy and dives into deeper themes like the capitalism, art, suicide, and even the meaninglessness of life. Corporate has a great supporting cast including Lance Reddick, Anne Dudek, Aparna Nancherla, and Baron Vaughn. Deadpan humor and satire is tough, but Corporate really nails it.

Jesse sat down with co-creators and stars of Corporate Jake Weisman and Matt Ingebretson to talk about getting the shows tone right, what it was like pitching the show to a corporation, and why they cast Lance Reddick, who played Cedric Daniels on The Wire to play the CEO of Hampton Deville. Plus, they talk about how magic mushrooms helped them write some of the episodes -- you don't wanna miss that!

Click here to listen to this interview on YouTube!

Photo: Jagrap via Flickr Creative Commons

The Craziest Day Of My Entire Career: Mimi Pond

Mimi Pond is a cartoonist whose work has appeared in the National Lampoon, the LA Times, and the New York Times. For almost a decade she had a regular full page comic in Seventeen Magazine. She's also a television writer. Mimi wrote one of the most iconic episodes of the Simpsons ever made: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire." In that episode, Homer doesn't get a Christmas bonus from Mr.Burns and Homer gets a job at the mall as Santa to pay for holiday expenses. The episode introduced us to the Simpson's family dog, Santa's Little Helper. That episode also introduced the world to the Simpsons -- it was the first episode of The Simpsons to air on television. Mimi's also written for Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Designing Women.

Before all that, Mimi worked at a handful of diners in the 70's as a waitress. She's written two graphic novels loosely based on her time as a server. The first was "Over Easy" in 2014 and the most recent is "The Customer is Always Wrong." We asked her to tell us about the craziest day of her career, and she had a lot to say about one particular dinner shift when the head cook disappeared.

Mimi Pond's book "The Customer is Always Wrong" is out now.

Click here to listen to this segment on YouTube!

The Outshot: 'Understanding Comics'

Finally, for this week's Outshot: "Understanding Comics" by Scott McCloud. It's a graphic novel about understanding comic books that assumes you know nothing about comics. If you've never picked up a comic book before this is a good place to start.

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

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: J.K. Simmons & Solomon Georgio

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
J.K. Simmons
Guests: 
Solomon Georgio

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

J.K. Simmons on his career, musical theater and what it’s like to be made into an action figure

J.K. Simmons never imagined he would work in film or television. In 1978, he graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in music. Many years later he put that degree to use for the Broadway musical revival of “Guys and Dolls” with his portrayal of Benny Southstreet.

His mainstream breakthrough performance didn’t occur until 1997. For six seasons, he played a neo-nazi named Vernon Schillinger on the HBO prison drama “Oz.” The groundbreaking program was the first hour-long drama produced by HBO. It was also one of the most graphic and violent shows on television at the time. In 2015, J.K. Simmons starred alongside Miles Teller in the movie “Whiplash,” directed by Damien Chazelle. His performance earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a ruthless, sadistic jazz instructor.

He's also known for his portrayal of John Jonah Jameson, the editor of the Daily Bugle in the Spiderman. Simmons’ portrayal is bombastic, unrelentless, and one of the best sources of comic relief in that series. It’s a performance that’s not many degrees away from the rage he channeled in “Oz,” but is done with a sort of charm that only J.K. could pull off.

J.K. Simmons stars in the new drama The Bachelors. In it, Simmons plays a math teacher named Bill Palet. Bill just lost his wife, and he's trying to move past it. One day Bill wakes up, and decides it’s time for a big change. Bill and his son, Wes, move out to California where Bill takes a job at a private school. Jesse talks with J.K. Simmons about the new film, musical theater, and of course, the John Jonah Jameson action figure (with Desk Pounding Action™).

Click here to listen J.K. Simmons' interview on YouTube!

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Solomon Georgio on his debut comedy album: Homonegro Superior

Solomon Georgio made his television debut on CONAN in 2015. Since then he has appeared on The Meltdown with Jonah & Kumail, Viceland's Flophouse and Last Call with Carson Daly. His writing credits include contributions to “Adam Ruins Everything” on TruTV and “Spongebob Squarepants” on Nickelodeon.

He’s from Seattle, via Fresno, via St. Louis, Via Sudan and then Ethiopia, where his parents are from. These days he lives in Los Angeles. Sometimes his stand-up is vulnerable and sincere, talking about childhood trauma. But then he'll strike a pose and make an outrageous joke about his perfect thigh gap and like magic - you believe him. It’s that kind of charisma that gives him a unique presence on stage.

Earlier this year he got his own half-hour Comedy Central special. On the same day he released his debut record - Homonegro Superior, one of our favorites this year. Jesse talks with Solomon about his new comedy album, what it was like to come out to his parents as gay and what it was like to come out as a stand-up comedian.

Click here to listen Solomon Georgio's interview on YouTube!

The Outshot: ”Child of the Ghetto” by G. Dep

Finally, for this week's Outshot: Jesse talks about “Child of the Ghetto” by Ghetto Dependent. The record came out in 2001 via Bad Boy Records. One highlight is the track “Everyday,” which relays some of the most realistic portrayals of being broke.

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

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Moshe Kasher, Brother Ali, and Felicia Day

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Moshe Kasher
Guests: 
Brother Ali
Guests: 
Felicia Day

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

Moshe Kasher on his new Comedy Central show Problematic

Moshe Kasher has been a stand-up for the last 16 years. You've seen him on The Tonight show with Jimmy Fallon, Conan, and Chelsea Lately.

Now, he's got his own TV show. Problematic with Moshe Kasher is on Comedy Central right now. Like a lot of shows nowadays it has a comedian taking on issues of the day, talking with newsmakers. He's explored cultural appropriation on the show, technology, and Islamophobia, to name a few. But there's something really intriguing in the show's format. He talks with experts and everyday people and the result is this really frank and insightful conversation.

Moshe also had a pretty rough childhood. He grew in Oakland and got kicked out of a bunch of schools and did hard drugs for a while. He talks about that in his autobiography, Kasher in the Rye.

Moshe and Jesse talk about the rough parts about growing up in the Bay Area. He is candid about what he is learning in the transition between doing stand-up and hosting a television show. Finally, he tells us why he thinks a diverse representation of disabled people is lacking in the media, and why he is so keen to take on controversial issues on his new show.

You can watch Moshe's new Comedy Central TV show Problematic Tuesdays at Midnight and his autobiography Kasher and the Rye is out now.

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Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Felicia Day on The Mighty Boosh

Felicia Day is a comedian, she's an actress, she's kind of a legend in the worlds of comedy and nerdy stuff. She had a recurring spot on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, worked with Wil Wheaton, she's also created and starred in her own web series called The Guild.

She tells us how with the weird British TV series The Mighty Boosh helped heal her with laughter, when she really needed help.

Felicia currently is starring in the anticipated reboot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

Photo: Daniel Yang

Brother Ali on his new album and why he's choosing beauty over resistance

Brother Ali is a rapper based out of Minnesota. He's part of the Rhymesayers collective - a label he shares with Aesop Rock, Dilated Peoples, and Atmosphere.

For the first part of his career, he focused a lot on making protest rap. His latest record is called All The Beauty In This Whole Life. And on it, he focuses on a lot more positive stuff. And he does it with a real honesty and openness at the same time. Ali talks about his faith a lot - he's been a Muslim since he was 15. He also talks about his albinism - and how having no pigment in his skin presented a ton of totally unique challenges growing up.

He and Jesse talk about what it was like growing up albino, and how that has affected his racial politics. He tells Jesse what it's like to have a black son in 2017, and why he's chosen to focus his music on love rather than protest in these tumultuous times.

His new album All The Beauty in This Whole Life is out now.

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The Outshot: In The Night Kitchen

Jesse recommends the kids book In The Night Kitchen for children, or adults, who need to remember why dreams are so important.

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Episode 2 - Only Child written by John Hodgman

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Guests: 
John Hodgman
Guests: 
Janet Varney
Guests: 
John Ross Bowie
Guests: 
Abe Chabon
Guests: 
Mark Gagliardi
Guests: 
Josh Malina
Guests: 
Adam Savage
Guests: 
Sage Ryan
Guests: 
Hal Lublin
Guests: 
Ben Acker
Guests: 
John Roderick
Guests: 
Samantha Sadoff
Guests: 
Abby Wait

In this episode of Dead Pilots Society, Ben Blacker interviews John Hodgman (The Daily Show, Pitch Perfect 2, Married, Ragnorak) regarding his dead pilot, Only Child.This episode was recorded live from San Francisco Sketchfest 2016. Along with John's interview, you'll also listen to a never-before-heard live table read of Only Child performed by some of today's funniest comedic actors like:

John Hodgman as John Hodgman, Janet Varney as Bridget and Mom, John Ross Bowie as Dad, Abe Chabon as Miles, Mark Gagliardi as Ed, Simon, and Basoonist, Josh Malina as Alex and Dr. Horchow, Adam Savage as Paul, Sage Ryan as Tim Fitch, Hal Lublin as Coach Mac, Ben Acker as CJ, John Roderick as Dr. Mister, Samantha Sadoff as Tina, and Abby Wait as Posie. Stage directions read by Andrew Reich.

For more Dead Pilot Society episodes, please subscribe to the podcast! Make sure to like us at www.facebook.com/deadpilotssociety, follow us on Instagram @deadpilotspod, on twitter www.twitter.com/deadpilotspod, and visit our website at www.deadpilotssociety.com. Thanks for listening!

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