The Office

Episode 41 - Sterling written by Dan Sterling

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Guests: 
Nat Faxon as Philip Sterling
Guests: 
Hannah Simone as Scarlett Lacy
Guests: 
Malcolm Barrett as Jack Winthrop
Guests: 
Jon Cryer as Lloyd Foote/Grebs/Harting
Guests: 
Felicia Day as Faye/Norah O’Donnell
Guests: 
Nichole Bloom as Shelby/Fox News Anchor
Guests: 
Daniel David Stewart as Mitch/Bartender

We're back to business as usual in this month's Dead Pilots Society episode. Our dead pilot is Sterling, written by Dan Sterling (The Sarah Silverman Program, The Office, Girls, South Park, The Interview, Long Shot). Sterling is about a TV news producer whose life is turned upside down when he is paired up with a beautiful, loose-cannon reporter. Andrew sat down with Dan to talk about his impressive career: Getting the job running The Daily Show after hitting it off with Jon Stewart at a Comedy Central Emmy Party, despite never having worked in late night...The decade long journey from his script Flarsky to Long Shot... Writing The Interview and getting caught in the middle of an international diplomatic firestorm, and why the writer is the only one who doesn't get a bodyguard... How Sterling was partly inspired by his working relationship with Sarah Silverman... and much more!

For more Dead Pilots 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

Switchblade Sisters Episode 98: 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' with 'The Office' and 'Maniac' Writer Caroline Williams

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Guests: 
Caroline Williams

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Caroline Williams is a screenwriter originally from Atlanta, Georgia. In 2008 she created the ABC series Miss Guided starring Judy Greer and Chris Parnell, about a high school guidance counselor who must relive her unpopular high school days when another old classmate joins the faculty and staff. From there, Caroline went on to write for The Office, Modern Family, Up All Night, BoJack Horseman and others including, most recently, Arrested Development and Maniac for Netflix. In addition to television, Ms. Williams has written on studio features and directed short films, and she’s currently setting up her feature directorial debut. She is also married to fellow filmmaker Drew Goddard, Oscar nominated writer of The Martian and director of Cabin in the Woods and Bad Times at the El Royale.

The movie that Caroline chose to discuss can be found in the video store under "dreamy" - that would be Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock. She and April explore the makings of a good mystery and how sometimes things are better left unexplained. Caroline elaborates on the importance of writing structure - by both knowing when to follow it and when to stray. And she also talks about the joy of being able to direct something she has written.

You can see Caroline's work all over the place.

And if you haven't seen Picnic at Hanging Rock, you simply must!

With April Wolfe and Caroline Williams.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 83: ‘Shaun of the Dead’ with ‘Broad City’ writer and comedian Naomi Ekperigin

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Guests: 
Katie Walsh
Guests: 
Naomi Ekperigin

Shaun of the Dead

Naomi Ekperigin is a stand-up comedian, writer, actress, and podcaster (gotta be a multi-hyphenate these days!). She was born and raised in Harlem, New York, and studied Film and English at Wesleyan University, where she and guest host Katie Walsh made student films together, and she also started her comedy career, doing improv. After college, she toured with the National Theater for the Deaf, and started stand-up in New York in 2007. She has a half-hour stand up special on Comedy Central, and she’s also appeared on HBO’s Two Dope Queens, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and she has written for Broad City, Difficult People, Great News, and Mrs. Fletcher. You can find Naomi doing stand up around town in LA and New York, and she co-hosts the monthly standup show Couples Therapy in LA at the Virgil, the first Saturday of every month, with her fiance Andy Beckerman, and Couples Therapy is also a podcast, where she and Andy talk about relationships and play sets from their live show.

Naomi chose the 2004 ZomCom Shaun of the Dead, written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, who also directed the film. She and Katie delve into what makes this “a perfect film”, analyzing the film’s use of visual jokes, pacing, and character development. Katie asks Naomi what the parallels are between the writing and humor on Shaun of the Dead and Broad City.

Plus, Ekperigin has given a lot of thought to how she would handle herself in a zombie apocalypse, and shares her thoughts on what weapons she’d carry, as well as the best clothing for survival.

If you haven't seen it yet, go watch Shaun of the Dead

With Katie Walsh and Naomi Ekperigin.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Netflix's 'Norsemen' co-creators Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jon Iver Helgaker
Guests: 
Jonas Torgersen

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: Netflix

Netflix's Norsemen co-creators Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen

WARNING: There's some talk about sexual assault in this conversation. Nothing graphic, just some discussion of the use of it in comedy, in the abstract. If you're sensitive to these kinds of topics, we figured we'd give you a heads up.

Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen join us to discuss their hit Norwegian show Norsemen. It's a sitcom about vikings. It has a particularly Norwegian sense of comedy. Deadpan but brutal. It's set around the year 790 AD. Throughout the series we see the villagers and vikings deal with daily life. The vikings pillage. The vikings fight amongst themselves. They sacrifice slaves.

The jokes are great. Sometimes it's straight-faced like The Office, sometimes they play it big and absurd like Monty Python. Except, the violence is real, and their actions have real consequences to the storyline. And at the heart of the show, modernity is closing in on them. New inventions. New norms. Pillaging towns doesn't pay like it used to.

Jon and Jonas will give us a behind the scenes look at the show. Plus,
they'll explain Taco Friday: the latest food craze in Norway. The first two seasons of Norsemen are available to stream on Netflix now.

Check out this interview on YouTube!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Alia Shawkat and Mackenzie Crook

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Alia Shawkat
Guests: 
Mackenzie Crook

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 Fury/Getty Images

Alia Shawkat on her new film 'Duck Butter'

This week, Alia Shawkat swings by the Bullseye studio! You probably know Alia from her role as Maeby Fünke on "Arrested Development." It's a role she's had on and off since she was 14. You can check her out on the fifth season of the series, which was recently released on Netflix.
These days she stars in "Search Party" on TBS. She's also the star of the new film "Duck Butter," which she co-wrote with Miguel Arteta.

In the film, Alia plays Naima, an aspiring actress living in Los Angeles. Naima is reserved and clever, but when it comes to dating she's vulnerable and naive. After a bad audition Naima meets a woman named Sergio (Laia Costa) at a nightclub. They hit it off and decide to spend the next 24 hours together awake and totally present - to get all relationship stuff over with: the sex, the fights, all the ups and downs. Together, the two make for a movie that's modest, intimate and really sweet. You can buy or rent it from pretty much any online platform and, starting July 1, you can stream it on Netflix, too.

Alia talks about writing "Duck Butter," and how she relates to Naima. We'll also talk about what she's learned over the years working on "Arrested Development," and why hanging out with the cast always feels like a high school reunion. Plus, she'll talk frankly about the strip club her father owns, and the short documentary she made about the family business.

Check out this interview on YouTube!


Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Mackenzie Crook on the new season of 'Detectorists'

Earlier this year, we told you why Detectorists is such an amazing show. This week, creator and star of the show Mackenzie Crook will talk about the third and final season of the series, which can be streamed now on Acorn TV.

If you've seen the original version of "The Office," then you probably know Mackenzie Crook for his role as Gareth. He's the office dope -- very awkward, and doesn't really get social cues.

Mackenzie will talk with Jesse about his time on "The Office," and what it was like to get an intentionally terrible haircut from a posh Soho hair stylist for the role of Gareth. And he'll give us a behind the scenes look at "Detectorists." The whole nine yards -- how the idea came to be, getting killer b-roll of insects and frogs, and the complicated world of using metal detectors.

Check out this interview on YouTube!


Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Outshot: Barry Sanders

Jesse will tell us why Barry Sanders is one of the greatest running backs of all-time.

Listen to this segment on YouTube!

Episode 23 - The Money Pit written by Justin Spitzer

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Guests: 
Ben Feldman as Walter
Guests: 
Felicia Day as Anna
Guests: 
Steve Agee as Benny
Guests: 
Natalie Morales as Margot
Guests: 
Jenny Wade as Realtor
Guests: 
Mark McConville as Furniture Delivery Man
Guests: 
Jason Ritter as Restaurant Delivery Man
Guests: 
Khary Payton as Noel
Guests: 
Andrew Reich with stage directions

In this episode, Ben Blacker interviews Justin Spitzer (Superstore, The Office) regarding his dead pilot, The Money Pit. You'll also listen to a live table read of The Money Pit, performed by some of today's funniest comedic actors.

LIVE SHOW ALERT! Come to our next one on 3/11! We’ll be reading dead pilots by:

Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein (Never Been Kissed; He's Just Not That Into You)
Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi (Ride Along; The Invitation)
Elizabeth Laime (Totally Laime; Totally Married; Totally Mommy)

Location:
Dynasty Typewriter at The Hayworth
2511 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Ticket link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dead-pilots-society-tickets-42799302867?aff...

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

Episode 17 - Tuned written by Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont

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Guests: 
Daniel Strauss as Nate
Guests: 
Allison Tolman as Penny
Guests: 
Retta as Olive
Guests: 
Jim O’Heir as Arlen/Dr. Singh
Guests: 
John Ross Bowie as Glenn
Guests: 
Kate Flannery as Deena
Guests: 
Tawny Newsome as Jennica/Female cop/Patient/Nurse/Crowd
Guests: 
Maria Blasucci as Natalie Morales/Other driver/Patient/Nurse/Crowd
Guests: 
Matt Micucci as Oscar/Scott/Penny’s date/New Yorker/Patient/Nurse/Crowd
Guests: 
Joel Spence as Doorman/Ken/Hal/New Yorker/Ned/Cab Driver
Guests: 
Christina Kirk as Bonnie
Guests: 
Janina Gavankar as Tina/New Yorker/Patient/Nurse/Crowd
Guests: 
Andrew Reich with Stage directions

In this episode, Ben Blacker interviews Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont (Mary + Jane, Can’t Hardly Wait) regarding their dead pilot, Tuned. You'll also listen to live table read of Tuned, performed by some of today's funniest comedic actors.

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

Come to our next live show on 11/12 starring Patton Oswalt and David Koechner in scripts by Rob Schrab and Adam McKay & Chris Henchy. Ticket link: http://www.largo-la.com/event/1551266-dead-pilots-society-starring-los-a...

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Amy Ryan & The Ringer's Shea Serrano

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Amy Ryan
Guests: 
Shea Serrano

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 Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Amy Ryan on her leading role in Abundant Acreage Available and being a character actress

First up is actress Amy Ryan. You've seen her as Beadie Russel on The Wire, as Holly on The Office, in movie like Gone Baby Gone, and a bunch more stuff. She's now starring in the new movie Abundant Acreage Available. She sits down with Jesse to talk about all those roles, and growing up as an aspiring actress in Queens, New York -- including the time she convinced her family it was cool to skip college and give acting a real go.

Watch a trailer for Abundant Acreage Available, out now.

Listen to Jesse's interview with Amy Ryan!

Photo by StockX

The Ringer's Shea Serrano on hip-hop, basketball, and following his writing dreams

Next up is the writer Shea Serrano. He's covered basketball, music and more for ESPN, Vice, The Ringer, and more.

Born and raised in Texas, Shea was originally a middle school teacher who'd write in his spare time. Though he only started writing full time a little over two years ago, he now has a huge legion of followers on social media, a New York Times bestseller in The Rap Yearbook, and an AMC television show in development that's based on the same book.

His new, beautifully illustrated book is called Basketball and Other Things, and it's out now.

Listen to Jesse's interview with Shea Serrano!

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Outshot: Losing in Baseball

In this week's Outshot, Jesse argues that losing in baseball isn't so bad. It's actually kind of comforting.

Listen to Jesse's Outshot on losing in baseball!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Ellie Kemper & Glen Weldon

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Ellie Kemper
Guests: 
Glen Weldon

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: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Ellie Kemper was introduced to the popular consciousness through her role as Erin Hannon on the NBC sitcom, The Office. Her portrayal of the office receptionist was popular with both fans and critics and showcased her talent and skills as a comedic actress. These talents have also been showcased on the big screen in films including Bridesmaids and 21 Jump Street.

Now, she plays the title character in the Netflix Original series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Despite the show’s dark premise which involves her character being abducted by a cult leader and sequestered in a bunker, the show plays it all for laughs as her character tries to rebuild her life in New York City. Her years of isolation leave her ignorant of many social touchstones, but she pushes through with an enthusiasm and tenacity that is both endearing and hilarious.

Ellie Kemper joined Jesse to talk about her early experiences of living and working in New York, mining material from her time at Princeton and her self-consciousness about privilege.

The second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is available this Friday on Netflix.


Photo: Faustino Nunez

Glen Weldon on the Lasting Popularity of Batman in Pop and Geek Culture

For almost 80 years, Batman has changed and evolved to mean something to different generations of fans. Whether his characterization was that of the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader or the campy character of sixties television, Batman has become a lasting icon of popular culture.

In his new book, The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture, author Glen Weldon moves beyond the chronological history of the character. He explores how fans of the various iterations of the character on radio, film, television and the comics have made the character a reflection of their own self-identity, be they straight or gay, cool or geek.

Glen sits down with Jesse to talk about why Batman fans both hate and love the 60s television series, why the character of Robin is so important to Batman’s mythology and how the character also serves as a symbol of gay culture.

Glen Weldon’s book The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture is available in bookstores everywhere.


Photo: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

The Outshot: Remembering A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg

Jesse fondly remembers Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Tig Notaro, Ed Helms & Nick Frost

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Tig Notaro
Guests: 
Ed Helms
Guests: 
Nick Frost

Do you live in Los Angeles? Know someone who does? Come see Bullseye with Jesse Thorn LIVE on Wednesday, October 15th at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Featuring conversation with Dan Harmon (Community, Harmontown), music from Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek, Watkins Family Hour), comedy from Steve Agee (New Girl, The Sarah Silverman Program) and Andy Kindler (Maron, Letterman) and more! Get your tickets now!


Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

"I Have Nothing to Lose Now": Tig Notaro on Life and Stand Up Comedy After Cancer

In 2012, the stand up comic Tig Notaro had a famously bad year. She caught pneumonia, which snowballed into C. Diff. She and her girlfriend broke up. Her mother passed away unexpectedly. And then, she learned she had breast cancer.

You're probably familiar with what came next. Notaro headed out to a stand up gig in Los Angeles, at the Largo. But she didn't feel right performing her usual set. She decided to open up like she had never before. Hours after she received the diagnosis, she went on stage and said to the audience, "Hello, I have cancer."

She took the audience through the pain she had experienced over the last few months. It was still in her deadpan style, with jokes and stories that were brave and sometimes uncomfortably funny.

Notaro is in remission now, and she's continued to perform stand up, write and record her podcast Professor Blastoff. She's headed off on a new national stand up tour, called Boyish Girl Interrupted.

She talks with Jesse about how she decided to approach that set at the Largo, why cancer and tragedy made her more open to the world, and telling her "bee joke" after an emotionally intense set.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this interview.


Valerie Macon/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The Part: Nick Frost on Humanizing Greed & Excess in 'Money'

Becoming an actor isn’t easy. Getting cast in your first role is a huge challenge. But even then it’s sometimes YEARS before an actor lands the role that changes everything. It's The Part.

The English actor Nick Frost is known for playing the everyman: goofy, kind, good-hearted men who are easy to love, like his characters in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

So why did he take a role as the greedy, hedonistic ad director John Self in the BBC adaptation of 'Money'? Well... he'll explain.

Frost voices the henchman Mr. Trout in the new animated movie The Boxtrolls, which is in theaters now.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this interview.


Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Ed Helms: From The Daily Show, to The Hangover, to... Bluegrass?

Ed Helms is an A-list comedy star these days. He starred in the mega-successful Hangover trilogy, and on NBC's The Office for seven seasons. And before that, he caught a break as a correspondent on The Daily Show, where his cohort included Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert.

But like most folks in show business, he started out low on the totem pole -- working as a barker for comedy clubs, handing out fliers to people walking by, begging them to come inside.

Helms talks to Jesse about his very early career, how Stephen Colbert helped him both professionally and personally, why he thinks The Hangover doesn’t deserve its reputation as a "bro movie", and why of all things, he started a bluegrass festival.

Helms is currently shooting the new National Lampoon's Vacation movie, in which he stars as Rusty Griswold. If you live in Los Angeles, you can find him hosting the 2014 LA Bluegrass Situation on October 10th and 11th.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this interview.


Hutton Archive/Getty Images

The Outshot: Nina Simone's "Four Women"

Jesse talks about one of his very favorite singers, Nina Simone, and "Four Women".

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this segment.

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