Conan O'Brien

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Joel Kim Booster

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Joel Kim Booster

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Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for New York Magazine

Joel Kim Booster on comedy and acting

Joel Kim Booster is an actor, comedian and writer who has risen in the comedy scene in the last decade. His humor is satirical with a bold confidence that knows when vulnerability is preferred. Joel draws a lot of that vulnerability from his own upbringing. He's Korean-American. He was adopted and raised by a white family in suburban Illinois. His upbringing was conservative and very, very religious.

Growing up home-schooled until the age of 16, Booster would say he lead a pretty sheltered life until young adulthood. It helped, at times, to shield him from some of the more insidious forms of bigotry that could befall a Korean-American gay kid living in a predominately white and abundantly evangelical Christian Midwestern town.

Joel's written for Billy on the Street, Problematic with Moshe Kasher and Netflix's Big Mouth. And as a standup, he's appeared on Conan, Comedy Central's @Midnight and more. These days he's starring alongside Kal Penn in the brand new upcoming NBC sitcom Sunnyside.

Joel talks to Bullseye about his experience growing up in an evangelical household, life lessons through the lens of The Backstreet Boys and how doing stand-up allowed him to find his own lane in comedy. And then challenge it! Plus, he talks about how a changing comedy scene is making room at the table for Asian comics like new Saturday Night Live cast member Bowen Yang.

Put the kids to bed and pick up Joel's album Model Minority here. It's really good.

You can catch him on Sunnyside later this month on NBC.

This interview originally aired in September of 2018.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jay Leno

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jay Leno

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

Jay Leno on the late night wars, and spending decades on The Tonight Show, and Jay Leno's Garage

We're joined by one of the biggest TV hosts in the history of TV hosts: Jay Leno! He'll chat about his career that spans almost 45 years.

He's been spending his time in what could be his retirement working on his TV show for CNBC called Jay Leno's Garage. The show is in its fifth season. It's a lot of fun, especially if you're really into weird , old-school cars. He's still a disarming interview, still charming and still quick on his feet.

By his own admission, Jay says he never got much love from critics. He got cast, more or less, as the villain in the late night battles with Letterman and Conan. He'll open up about those late night wars in this in-depth interview.

Jay also reflects on his childhood and how that's influenced his comedy. From sleeping in alleys on the streets of New York, to hosting The Tonight Show for decades. It's truly a remarkable story, and we hope you'll join us.

Maron Chats with Conan about Roosters

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Our friend Marc Maron was on Conan last night talking about Cuba, Hawaii and roosters that can't tell time.

Baron Vaughn Makes His Conan Debut

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Thank you, crackodactyl!

And thank you, team Coco!

Dog Russell Crowe

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Is Dog Russell Crowe the greatest unaired sketch in Conan history? Or is the the greatest sketch in Conan history BAR NONE?

YUM YUM YUM.

Bill Carter, author of The War for Late Night: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Bill Carter

Bill Carter is the author of two books about the politics and people of late night television, and a media reporter for the New York Times.

His most recent book is The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy, a behind-the-scenes look at the Sturm und Drang of the late night wars over Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and The Tonight Show.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest, Bill Carter, is the national media reporter for the New York Times. He’s also made a name of himself as a chronicler of late night television programming. His first book, The Late Shift, was a best-selling story of the battle between Jay Leno and David Letterman for the Tonight Show. His latest book, The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy, is the story of the improbable second act of that drama in which Leno fought it out with Conan O’Brien for that most coveted of television programs. Bill, welcome to The Sound of Young America, it’s great to have you on the show.

BILL CARTER: It’s great to be with you, Jesse.

JESSE THORN: Bill, tell me why this battle keeps happening. What is it that’s so important about this institution of The Tonight Show?

Click here for a full transcript of this interview.

Will Forte as Ted Turner on Conan

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"THE REEFER MAKES THEM CRAVE THE NEWTONS!"

Every time Will Forte comes on Conan as Ted Turner, I laugh at full volume in my house like an asshole. Full belly laughs. It is the funniest thing on television, and each new iteration gets funnier and funnier.

"WHEN I BOUGHT TBS IT WAS JUST A TRASH BAG FULL OF WRASSLIN' TAPES BEHIND A DAIRY QUEEN!"

"SHADDAP YOU WIG STAND!"

"YOU COULD BOUNCE A QUARTER OFF THAT WOMAN'S ASS, WHEREAS TODAY IT WOULD SINK... LIKE A PENNY IN LAVA!"

Nagging Rabbit Channel

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From Conan

A Tribute to the Slipnutz

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One of the dumbest/greatest things ever.

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