Schitt's Creek

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Eugene Levy

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Eugene Levy

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Photo:Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Eugene Levy on improv comedy and "Schitt's Creek."

Eugene Levy is hands down one of the funniest people in history.

The Canadian-born actor and funnyman has been a part of so many of our favorite moments from television and film. You know him from SCTV where he usually played the incredulous straight man who somehow still made you giggle with glee to some of the cast's sillier characters. The Canadian-born Levy got his start in the world of comedy when he joined The Second City. There, he perfected his craft in improvisation, opting to work within an ensemble than alone on stage as a stand-up.

His film credits include such classics as Splash, A Mighty Wind and Waiting for Guffman. He's collaborated numerous times with fellow improv mockumentarian Christopher Guest. Most notably in the hilarious comedy Best in Show And who could forget his work in 1999's American Pie?

Levy joins us to talk about his amazing life in television and film. We'll hear about the very funny SCTV sketch that inspired Saturday Night Live's Norm McDonald and he'll talk about working on all eight of the American Pie movies. You read that right. Eight! Plus, he'll talk to us about what it's like working with his son Dan on their hit show Schitt's Creek, now in its fifth season.

He was recently nominated for an Emmy for lead comedy actor. This is his first Emmy nomination in 36 years! We'e sure his son couldn't be prouder.

This interview originally aired in April of 2018.

Pop Rocket Ep. 206 Pop Culture Resolutions for 2019

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Tara Jepsen, Guy Branum, Karen Tongson
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Tara Jepsen

Guy Branum is back for our first episode of 2019! Sadly, Margaret couldn’t join us because #health and Wynter was busy being a jet setter.

This week, the panelists share their pop culture resolutions for 2019, and own up to resolution fails from the past year.

Writer and comedian Tara Jepsen joins us in studio and Guy is awed by the combined power of her and Karen’s “lesbian efficiency.”

If you're curious about what Guy has been up to these past couple months, he catches us up. Spoiler alert (though not really): He consumed a lot of theater. In particular, he saw Matthew Lopez’s seven-hour, two-night play The Inheritance, and had LOTS of opinions about it.

From “learn more commercial jingles” to “master a new recipe a month,” the panel reveals an ambitious list of resolutions they may or may not be able to stick with for an entire year.

All Abouts

Karen is all about Bird Box the new Netflix thriller starring Sandra Bullocks.

Tara is all about hating a bootleg recording of a recent standup set by disgraced comedian Louis C.K..

Guy is all about The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez, which is loosely based on Howard's End.

Call to Action
Inspired by one panelist’s resolution to learn more commercial jingles, we are asking Rocketeers to call in and sing their favorite jingles on the Pop Rocket voicemail. We want to hear those jingles that will forever be lodged in your brain.

That's My Jam

Guy: Janet Jackson -Together Again

Tara: Hey Jellie - Going Back

Karen: Labi Siffre - Watch Me

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, and Tara Jepsen.

Did you know that you can now call and leave voicemails for the show? You can! If you want to comment on an episode, give us any feedback or just call to get advice from a panel member, the number is: (530) 237-4108

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

If you haven't already, follow us on Instagram.

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Alexander Payne, Kay Cannon, and Eugene Levy

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Alexander Payne
Guests: 
Kay Cannon
Guests: 
Eugene Levy

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: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for BF

Filmmaker Alexander Payne on his film 'Downsizing'

Alexander Payne is an accomplished writer and director. He's won two Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay for the films "Sideways" and "The Descendants." His other films have been nominated for tons of awards, too -- "About Schmidt," "Nebraska," and "Election." His films are known for their satirical nature, dark humor and usually include some sort of existential crisis. His latest film "Downsizing" is no exception.

The movie centers on Paul and Audrey, an average couple from Omaha, played by Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig. In an effort to combat overpopulation and global warming, people can be shrunk down to about five inches. But things don't go exactly as planned for the couple.

Jesse sat down with Alexander Payne to talk about his love of silent films, what it was like to achieve success for his thesis film shortly after graduating college, and how he bonds with his six-month-old through film. Plus, he'll tell us about his favorite sequence in "Downsizing," and why he loved directing the challenging eight minute scene.


Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

The Craziest Day Of My Entire Career: Kay Cannon

Kay Cannon is a brilliant and hilarious writer. You know her work -- she wrote all three of the Pitch Perfect movies. Before that, she spent five years on "30 Rock," first as a writer and then as a supervising producer. Kay then went on to work on Fox's "New Girl" and she also created the Netflix original series "Girlboss."

Her directorial debut, "Blockers" is in theaters now. In the film, three teen girls make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. Their parents, played by Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz and John Cena, will do everything they can to stop them.

Kay Cannon tells us about the craziest day of her entire career, which starts on the Golden Gate Bridge, takes a scary private plane flight in a private jet and ends in an awkward meeting with John Cena.


Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Eugene Levy on working with his son on 'Schitt's Creek'

Eugene Levy is probably best known for his role as Noah Levenstein in the "American Pie" franchise. Noah is the nerdy, oftentimes clueless dad of Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs). Noah's efforts to help Jim navigate puberty often result in embarrassing and awkward situations for Jim. The film series spans eight films, and Eugene is the only actor to appear in all of them.

He first got his start in improv comedy. He was a founding member of SCTV - the pioneering sketch comedy show that helped launch the careers of Rick Moranis, John Candy, Catherine O'Hara, and many, many more.

Recently, he's been reunited with Catherine O'Hara in the sitcom "Schitt's Creek." The show was created by Eugene and his son, Dan Levy. Eugene plays Johnny Rose, the patriarch of a socialite family that lost their fortune. Johnny and his wife Moira, played by Catherine, head to the last place they can call their own: the backwoods Canadian town Johnny bought as a gag gift the year before. Together the family pieces their life back together.

Eugene sits down with Jesse and talks about what it was like to work with his son on "Schitt's Creek," and why he almost turned down his iconic role from "American Pie."


Photo: SFMOMA

The Outshot: Rigo 23’s “found lost bird” posters

And finally, Jesse tells us about a recent visit to the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. He describes the lost bird posters collected by Rigo 23 in the 1990's from the Mission District in San Francisco. The posters reflect the lives of the people who posted them, but also serves as a reminder of a community that no longer exists.

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