TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: 2022’s End of Year Stand-Up Comedy Spectacular!

Normally, when you tune into Bullseye, you’ll hear interviews with different pop culture creators. This week, we’re breaking the format a bit. That’s because it’s our annual end of year best stand-up comedy showcase! We’re playing you some excerpts from the best stand-up comedy albums of 2022. Our list includes industry veterans and up-and-coming talents you are going to love.

Transcript

jesse thorn

I’m Jesse Thorn. It’s Bullseye.

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“Huddle Formation” from the album Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team. A fast, upbeat, peppy song. Music plays as Jesse speaks, then fades out.

jesse

Normally, when you tune into Bullseye, you hear interviews with pop culture creators like David Letterman or Weird Al or Sudan Archives. This week, we’re not interviewing any of those people! In fact, we are not interviewing anyone. We are playing you excerpts from the best standup comedy albums of 2022. It is a proud tradition, here at Bullseye. And frankly, the less time I spend tell you about it, the more standup comedy we can pack into the next hour. So! Let’s kick things off with Luba Magnus. Luba is a standup living in Toronto, but her day job is in animation. Her work’s appeared on Sesame Street, among other places. Her standup is enthusiastic and warm and weird. And it is also [chuckles] one of the rare standup comedy acts that features botany heavily. Luba has been nominated for Breakout Comic of the Year at Toronto’s I Heart Jokes Awards, among other honors. Let’s kick things off with a bit from Luba Magnus’s album, Baba Luba.

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[The audience cheers and applauds. They laugh often throughout the set.] Luba Magnus (Baba Luba): Oooh, wowieee! [Chuckles.] Thank you! Thank you for being here! Welcome to my braaain! This is—we’re deep in it! This is it! [Laughs.] Oh, we’re gonna have fun. Friends of old, friends of new, hello. I should introduce myself properly. So, my name is Luba. And I know what you’re thinking. That sounds… wet. But Luba, if you must know, is a Ukrainian name. A very beautiful Ukrainian name. It means love. And I don’t speak Ukrainian, but what I do know that in Ukrainian, we call our grandmas babas. So, when I’m a grandma, I get to be called Baba Luba! Yeah, that’s pretty great. “Oh, Baba Luba?” [The audience calls back in unison.] You did it! [Laughs.] You did it together. Now, get out of here! You did a good job! Also, this is my haircut. I walked right into the hairdresser, and I said, “Give me the Conan O’Brien. [Beat for laughter.] And also, a haircut.” I love how this is an audio recording, so the people can’t see my haircut. I could’ve said anything! I could’ve said something much more flattering, like young Conan O’Brien. The thing is, my hair used to be a lot longer. So, when I got it cut short, I got like a lot of nice compliments, but also a lot of compliments that I’m not sure if they’re compliments. Like, a lot of compliments on my bone structure. I did not know that we were so into skulls! I did not know that! It’s like people are saying, “You know, you’re really gonna be turning heads when you’re in a museum!” Like, is that a nice thing? I don’t know. Or like, “What are you doing spending all this money on acting lessons, when you already know that you’re gonna costar in Hamlet?” Like a cute little puppet. Like, [in a Muppet voice] “To be or not be?” Is that how it—is that how it goes? I don’t read. Okay. I have a job. I’m an animator. First of all, [stammering] I like creating something. Okay, here we go. There’s the stutter! [The audience cheers.] First of all, let’s just go—let’s go on—I love how Allison is like, “Oh, she stutters. She’ll like start it over.” I went to Comedy Bar a couple days ago, and someone said, “Oh, I do an impression of you!” I was like let’s hear it! And she was just going, “Uh—buh, uuh—uh?” There weren’t even words! It was just stuttering ‘til like, “Yeah, we might have to do a few takes!” Okay. We’ll start the job one over. I can do that one better. Okay. So, I have a job. Very exciting! I’m an animator. [The audience “ooooh”s.]

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Luba: Very exciting! Yeah, I make cartoons. That’s how I get paid. And it makes sense, because growing up—when everyone else was playing house or playing dress up, I played God! So, that adds up. But a lot of comedians, their side gig is acting. I’ve never really gotten that much into acting. My claim to fame is as a blurry but still unfortunately recognizable extra in a commercial for 7-11. I didn’t get one Slurpee out of it! But it was weird, because people could still recognize me. So, I would hear from friends that I hadn’t seen or heard of in forever, and they were like, “I saw you!” I’m like I wish you didn’t! Then I realized—I was really embarrassed about it, but then I realized that this commercial only played on Sports Network TSN, so it was actually like I was living my dream of haunting all my exes. Yup. Monday night football hits a bit different when it’s sponsored by a woman scorned! Been getting really into mushrooms. [The audience cheers.] Not the drug. Just looking at the ones that pop out of the ground! Mycology, the study of mushrooms! I think it’s super fun and they’re super cute. They’re like the cutest reminder that death surrounds us! So, eat up! You know? But I was really getting into studying about mushrooms, and then I went home one day, and a couple mushrooms popped up in one of my houseplants. And I hated that! Hated that. I live in a small, Toronto one-bedroom. There’s not enough room for me and some fungi! If you heard the thumping at home, that was me hitting my head with the microphone. Okay? [Chuckles.] But um, even worse, these mushrooms that popped up in my houseplant glow in the dark! They are bioluminescent mushrooms in my houseplant! And I am too old for that! I am too old to have anything glow in the dark in my bedroom. I haven’t had anything glow in the dark in my bedroom since I had those like starry night stickers on my ceiling. You know? We know those. Last year. So. I’m too old for it.

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jesse

Luba Magnus. Her debut album is called Baba Luba. It’s available now, from Howl & Roar Records.

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jesse

I’m Jesse Thorn. It’s the Bullseye end of year standup spectacular. Next up, the man, Roy Wood Jr. You probably know Roy as one of the correspondents on The Daily Show, where he has worked since 2015. He also currently hosts two Comedy Central podcasts. On Roy’s Job Fair, he talks with regular people about their jobs. That means museum curators, postal workers, teachers, and also comedians who talk about their jobs before they got into comedy. And then, there is the podcast Beyond the Scenes, which takes a deeper look at topics covered on The Daily Show. Roy is also a prolific touring standup who never stops writing jokes. They’re all great. He’s absolutely one of the best there is. His latest album is called Imperfect Messenger. Here’s a bit from it.

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[The audience laughs often throughout the set.] Roy Wood Jr. (Imperfect Messenger): You gotta watch out for these folks. Recognize the signs in the people that you care about. Check on them. ‘Cause there’s some people out there, the only way they know how to feel good is to make themselves feel bad. Happiness is such a foreign concept to them, that the moment that happiness even remotely presents itself, they’ll self-sabotage it. We all been there. You gotta recognize these people who make themselves feel bad. You know who they are in your circle. It’s the people in your phone that don’t do nothing but watch documentaries. You gotta check on these people. Them documentary people, there’s something wrong with them. And I’m not attacking you. If that’s your crab leg, hey, enjoy your crab leg. But here’s the thing. Here’s the thing with them documentaries. The problem with you documentary people is that you all watch like eight, nine of them in a row and then keep recommending them to us. Recommending and recommending and rec—“Have you seen the documentary about the—” NO! I ain’t watched the last five you told me to watch! I know the world [censored] up; I don’t need to hear narration over a documentary every time. And I’m not saying don’t watch documentaries. I love a good documentary, but after two documentaries, I had to watch me the Paw Patrol movie to balance. You need leverage to be watching all them documentaries in a row! You know them documentary people; they’re never in a good mood. You know the problem with you documentary people is that y’all don’t like—you gotta be more excited when you’re pitching it. Y’all are never—you’re never upbeat. You know, I would watch a documentary if you came to me, “Hey, man! I saw a great documentary about the end of the world! It’s a good documentary!” But that’s not how y’all come to us. Y’all come to us all cryptic. [Malevolently.] “I just saw a documentary about the thing, and they found two fingers inside the tire of the car. Then, they traced the fingers back to a whopper. Ouugh, yeah. Mmm-mm.” All I’m saying, if you’re gonna watch a couple documentaries, man, you gotta break it up. Watch a Fresh Prince rerun. Do something else. Respectfully. I don’t know you, but respectfully. [Chuckles.] It's the same thing with civil rights movies. Same thing. Same thing with civil rights movies. I’ll watch them. I’ll watch a civil rights movie. But you can’t watch too many civil rights movies; it’ll alter you. You know. Matter of fact—matter of fact, I think all these streaming—like, all these streaming services, they should—Black people shouldn’t be allowed to watch more than two a year. Just to help keep us calm, for our own mental health. You should not be—‘cause you know what they do. Like, you watch one slavery, and then the algorithm shows you 12 more slaveries to choose from. You cannot watch 12 slaveries in a week and be normal! You’d be walking around work madder than [censored]. Two slavery, max. Like that’s—like, after you watch a second slavery, like a prompt should just come up on the screen. “Hey, dog, that’s enough. You good, bro. You caught up. Just watched your two slaveries, there. Keep it moving, man. Do you know there’s a Paw Patrol movie? Let me get you the Paw Patrol movie real quick.”

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jesse

Roy Wood Jr.—his standup album, Imperfect Messenger, is out now. Here’s some trivia. Before The Daily Show, Roy was a big radio DJ in Florida and Alabama. We talked about that during his Bullseye interview a few years back, which was a real favorite of mine. Find it on the Bullseye page at MaximumFun.org.

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jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. Next up, Jen Kirkman. Jen is a veteran standup comic, a great standup comic. She was also a contributor to this show many years ago. She used to write essays about her life in Los Angeles when this show was called The Sound of Young America. On Chelsea Lately, she was a regular panelist. She was also a regular on At Midnight and Drunk History. In 2022, she released her fifth standup record, called Ok, Gen-X. Here’s a bit from it.

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[The audience laughs often throughout the set.] Jen Kirkman (Ok, Gen-X): So, guys, I wanna help you out. You ever have a woman friend tell you something that happened that she says is sexist, and deep down you’re like, “I don’t see how it was.” [Chuckles.] I’m gonna give you a tool, and this is gonna actually be fun. It’s a game you can play silently in your head, coming to you, weeknights at 7PM. It’s called Would a Cis-Het Man Say This to Another Cis-Het Man? And it’s a great gameshow, and it's weird, because the answer is always no. But—so, I’ll give you an example. So, this is a real-life story. I’m in an elevator on the road. I have a gig and I have a suitcase and it’s filled with books, ‘cause I was gonna sell copies of my book after the show. And I don’t know if women relate to this, but when you’re getting in an elevator, you don’t wanna get in with a guy you don’t know and you don’t wanna get in with a group of guys that know each other. Both very scary. But I will get on an elevator with a guy and another guy who don’t know each other. Because they are never gonna act creepy to a woman in front of each other, if that makes sense. ‘Cause they don’t know if the other guy’s gonna back him up or not. So, they’re gonna act normal. And I’m like I feel safe. Now, this is the game I have to play at every elevator stand. And so, when I check in at 3PM, I go to the little elevator zone, and by 2AM I get to my room after I let—you know, all the guys pass through. And so, I get on the elevator with these two gentlemen. We’re all strangers and we’re all looking at our phones and not speaking like normal [censored] people in society should. Now, one of the guys gets off the elevator and I’m like [censored], I’ve gotta ride up alone with this other guy five more stops. And like, how bad could it be? I forgot sexism only takes a second. [Someone in the audience groans “oh no” loudly.] So, uh, the doors shut, and this guy looks at me. He goes, “Pretty big suitcase you got there.” And I’m just like ugh, god, I don’t wanna talk. You know? As women, we’re trained to just automatically be like weeeh! You know? “Yeah it’s big. [Trails off into a mumble.]” But sometimes you don’t wanna talk to someone! Man, woman, dog, cat, I just don’t wanna [censored] talk! So, I’m not gonna! And he goes, “You must be an over packer.” And I’m like ugh! [Beat.] And I wanted to be like it’s filled with [censored] books I wrote! He goes, “Must be an over packer.” And then he goes, “But seriously, how long are you really staying? Are you really gonna wear all those outfits in there?” [Frustrated sound.] And the doors open. I don’t say anything. I was so proud of myself. And I get off the elevator and he goes, “Get over yourself, honey!” And the doors shut. And I’m like aha! So, I told a guy friend that story. He goes, “That ‘get over yourself, honey’ was super sexist.” He goes, “But I don’t think it was sexist up until then. I think he was just being nice. Making conversation.” [Someone in the audience yells “nooo”.] And I’m like okay, time for America’s favorite gameshow! [Sings a few notes of a prospective opening song.] Would a Straight Guy Say This to Another Straight Guy in an Elevator? The answer is always no! So now, let’s [sings an ascending scale] play the game again. Three guys in an elevator! One guy with a big suitcase. One guy gets off the elevator. Elevator doors shut. One, straight, cis male says to the other straight, cis male, “Pretty big suitcase, there.” You know that’s never gonna happen! “You must be an over packer.” Aaaalright, buddy. That’s where that guy’s getting punched. Because that is when the other guy gets afraid that there’s some homosexuality going on, and he’s homophobic, which is steeped in sexism, which is steeped in transphobia, which is steeped in homophobia. It’s a big cycle. So, no! That was gendered or sexist, the thing that happened in the elevator. But anyway, I give you permission. Take that game, play it at home. Play the home version. Tweet me. Tell me if you ever have to play it. It’s my favorite thing. When guys tweet me and go, “Oh my god, I played the game in my head. You’re so [censored] right, it’s just like—it’s a thrill. It’s my gift to the world.

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jesse

The great Jen Kirkman, from her standup album Ok, Gen-X.

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jesse

We’ve got more of this year’s end of year spectacular to come. Stay with us. It’s Bullseye, from MaximumFun.org and NPR.

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Music: Cheerful rock music. Jordan Crucchiola: I’m Jordan Crucchiola, the host of Feeling Seen, where we talk about the movie characters that make us feel seen. Marissa Flaxbart: And I’m the show’s producer, Marissa. Jordan, you’ve interviewed so many directors, actors, writers, film critics. And I like to play this little game where I take a sip of coffee every time someone says, “That’s such a great question.” Speaker 1: That’s such a fabulous question. Marissa: Or they tell you how smart you are. Speaker 2: I think that you are rather brilliant. Jordan: And of course, the big one is: Jordan & Marissa: [In unison.] When they cry unexpectedly. Jordan: Yes, yes, yes. Speaker 3: Jordan, I don’t wanna cry on your podcast. Speaker 4: I wasn’t expecting to cry! Speaker 5: I mean, it makes me kind of wanna cry. Jordan: Feeling Seen comes out every Thursday on MaximumFun.org. Listen already. What are you waiting for?! Marissa: Jordan, that’s such a great question. [They laugh and the music fades out.]

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Thumpy rock music.

jesse

Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. If you’re just joining us, we are replaying excerpts from some of the best standup comedy albums of the year. We listened to all of them. I think we may have literally listened to every standup comedy album of the year. We’re bringing you the best of the best. Next up, Steven Michael Quezada. Along with doing standup, he’s an actor. He’s probably best known for playing DEA agent Steven Gomez on Breaking Bad. That was Hank’s partner. This year, Quezada released The New Mexican, his very own standup album. Here’s a bit from the beginning.

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[The audience laughs often throughout the set.] Steven Michael Quezada (The New Mexican): What’s uuup!? Yeeeeah! Right on! Right away, hey, where are my Mexicans at? [A single voice shouts loudly and is cheered on by the rest of the crowd.] Two of us! That’s it. Right. Hey, let me tell you something. The wall didn’t chase us away. They at work. [Someone in the crowd boos.] Oh, now we can’t work?! You sound—that guy sounded like—I was just in the south. I won’t even tell you what state. Right? This guy yells at me. He goes, “That’s right! And we’re gonna make you Mexicans build the wall!” I go, “Right away, you’re giving us jobs and complaining.” Right? And that’s what I said. Mexican steal jobs? Let me tell you, I grew up in the hood, bro. Never did I go to my cousin’s house and say, “Hey, what’s up, Chachi!?” And he goes, “Hey, hey, come over here, bro. Hey, me and Chuy, we went out last night, bro. And we stole three jobs, bro.” And I’m like, “Really? You got three jobs? What’d you get, bro?” Like, “Well, look, I got a farm worker. We got a roofer. And a concrete finisher.” I go, “Bro, you didn’t steal those jobs, bro. They left those out for you to take.” I tell him, “Call me when you get a good one, like a CEO or a manager.” You know? He’s like, “Oh, bro, you can’t steal those jobs. They got alarms on those ones.” So, you know, alright. Let’s get this out of the way. I wanna get this out of the way. Breaking Bad fans in the house? [A large swell of cheers.] Nice! [Chuckles.] Good for you. Sucked for me, bro. I’m telling you, it sucked. I’m from the hood, bro. I didn’t know I was gonna grow up and play a DEA agent on—I can’t go to no more parties in the hood, bro! I show up to a party, they’re like, “Hey! HEY! You can’t come in here, bro. You’re a DEA, bro.” I’m like, “Nah, dude, I’m not a DEA, man. I’m an actor.” “Nope! I’ve seen you on TV.” And I’m like, [clears throat] “Dad. Hey, it’s Christmas and [censored], bro. You know, I brought the kids, man. Come on.” Now, we know, right, Breaking Bad, best TV show ever written. Right? [The audience cheers.] Yep. Thanks to the ending of Game of Thrones, we’re still number one! They almost had it, right?! Wasn’t that good?! We were like, [inaudible]. And then came the ending, we went, “Ooh.” We texted each other going, “We’re still number one.”

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jesse

Steven Michael Quezada from his new album, The New Mexican.

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jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. My next guest on this year’s standup comedy spectacular doesn’t need much introduction. It’s Tig Notaro. Tig is a Grammy and Emmy nominated comedian. She starred in the great comedy show One Mississippi, which was based in part on her own life. This year, she did something a little bit different. She put out a standup special on HBO that was fully animated. Then, she released that special as an album. Now, what does it mean to release an animated album? I’m not entirely sure. You’ll have to ask MC Skat Kat. But what matters here, of course, is that [chuckling] it was Tig Notaro, so it was hilarious.

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[The audience laughs often throughout the set.] Tig Notaro (Drawn): Do you guys know the comedian Jenny Slate? [The audience cheers.] I was just curious. I’ve known Jenny for years. She’s not like my best friend, but we had each other’s numbers, and she texted me and said, “Hey, I’m moving to LA. Do you wanna have tea?” And I said, “I’m not feeling very well. I’ve been in bed. I should probably be better in a couple of days. Let’s get in touch then.” Jenny said, “Feel better.” She texted me in a couple of days, “How you feeling, Tig? Wanna have tea?” “Jenny! Turns out, I have pneumonia now. I can’t have tea, but when I’m feeling better, absolutely. We’ll grab tea.” Jenny texts me, “How you feeling?” “Oh my gosh, Jenny, I’m in the hospital. I have developed a disease that’s eating my digestive tract. Can’t have tea.” And she was like, “Oh my god.” And she said, “I’m going to Boston to get married this weekend. Um. I will check back in with you when I’m back.” And I was like, [chuckling] “Okay. Well, congrats.” I mean, I wasn’t even invited to her wedding. You know? But like, she’s moving to LA. She wants to grab coffee. Sure. She gets back to town and she’s like, “Hey, just seeing how you’re doing.” “Jenny, I am now out of the hospital, but my mother has had a terrible accident, and I have to go take her off life support.” She’s like, “Oh my god!” “Yeah, I’m so sorry. I just—I’m sorry!” [Laughs.] “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.” But like poor Jenny Slate. I mean, okay, I’m sure there were like 20 people that she was like, “Hey, I’m moving to town. Let’s get tea.” She got caught up in my swirling hell and had to keep checking in with me. And now, every time—I’m like, “Oh my god, what am I gonna tell Jenny!? “Jenny, I’m feeling a lot better. You know. I’m gonna come through this. We will have our tea, but I’ve just gotta pull myself together a bit.” She checks in again, and I was like, “Oh. My god. Jenny.” [Laughs.] “I have cancer.” And she was just like, “What is going on?!” Like every time she contacted me, I was like—it got worse and worse and worse and worse.

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jesse

Tig Notaro from her album, Drawn. Tig also hosts an interview podcast called Don’t Ask Tig, where she just interviewed another one of my faves, James Adomian. Go take a listen to Tig in any form. Oh! Tig’s one of the greats. What a lady.

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It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. Our next comic on our end of year standup comedy spectacular is Courtney Gilmour. Courtney is from Ontario, Canada. She has appeared on the CBC show, Human Resources, and made the finals for the most recent season of Canada’s Got Talent. Her debut standup album is called Let Me Hold Your Baby. Courtney also has a congenital disability. She was born with no forearms and just one leg. Which I mention because, as you’re about to hear, it often makes its way into her act. Let’s listen.

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[The audience laughs often throughout the set.] Courtney Gilmour (Let Me Hold Your Baby): Thank you so much for coming. This is my album taping. This is exciting. I’m just so excited that you’re here. We’re recording an album! My head’s popping off. Thank you so much for being here! This is so good! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you! [The audience cheers.] When I decided to do an album, a lot of people reached out and they gave me some hot tips and some pointers. And the number one was like, “Okay, so you’re putting out an album for audio. So, like try to be mindful. Try not to do too much visual stuff.” [Laughs.] And so, I’m like okay, cool. [Cackles.] With that said—with that said, we have decided the name of the album. Okay? And I’m gonna tell it to you here, okay? The name of the album, though, is called Let Me Hold Your Baby. Now—[beat for laughter] now, listen! Now, listen! Listen to me, now! You’re laughing, because you can see me! I’m right in front of you! And that’s funny. There are people listening to this in the ether in the future, and they’re like, “Yeah, why wouldn’t you let her hold the baby? Like, what are we—? What do you mean? What’s the problem? Are we taking a woman’s right away to hold the baby now?! Is that what we’re doing?” No, no, no. As most of you can tell just by the sound of my voice, I don’t have hands. Um. [Chuckles.] It’s true. I don’t know. I don’t have hands. It’s fine. It’s fine. Is it fine? Is it cringe? I don’t know. It’s fine. I don’t have hands. I mean, here’s the thing. I do wanna hold your baby. I do! I can—I can do it! I can do it! Like, let me do it. You know? It’s funny that the people who are worried about me not having hands and holding their baby are the same people who routinely drop their phones in toilets. And I’m just saying, me personally, I have never even cracked my screen! But good luck putting your baby on rice. I mean, I don’t know. I tell people, you know, there’s nothing to feel bad about. I’m just like you. We have more in common than you think, you know? Me, an arm amputee, I live in my own apartment. I have my own cat. I have 47 bananas in my freezer right now. Right? That I’m never gonna make banana bread with. We’re post-pandemic. If you haven’t made the banana bread, it’s not happening. You’re not—admit defeat. I like—I’ll hold your baby, but I don’t wanna talk to your kid. Is that bad? I don’t wanna talk—kids make me uncomfortable. I have to just admit this to myself. I don’t—they make me uncomfortable. I never know what to say to them. Kids always know what to say to you, though. That’s true. They got lots to say, lots of questions. I have a lot of children in my family. And you know, they’re cute, but family gatherings—they’re meeting me for the first time, right? So, their first words to me usually, once they start talking, “Where are your hands, Aunt Courtney?” Perfectly normal question. I get it. They wanna know. “Where are your hands?” The thing is, though, I freeze and I never know the right answer and how to explain it to a child. So, every time they ask, I’m just like, “Aah. They’re in my purse, sweetie!” [Laughs.] “Can you help me find them?” And then I give her my purse. She starts rummaging through it. I’m like this is a messed-up tradition we’ve started here, but kind of cute though, you know? Every Christmas, I give her the purse. I’m like this is the year. This is your year. You’re gonna find the hands! It was cute when he was a baby. You know, it was cute when she was a toddler. She’s 12 now. You know? It’s like—I think I’m giving her massive anxiety that she still hasn’t found—I’m afraid I’m gonna come home for Thanksgiving one of these years, and there’s gonna be a pair of bloody, dismembered hands on the table. She’d be like, “I found them. This is over.” Like what—?

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jesse

Courtney Gilmour from her debut standup album, Let Me Hold Your Baby.

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jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. Next on the special, Kristal Adams. Kristal is a standup comic and writer. She lives here, in Los Angeles, where we make our show. She’s worked on shows for Amazon and Netflix and been named Comedian of the Week on Maximum Fun’s very own The Jackie and Laurie Show. Which, by the way, is a great place to learn about standup comedy and how it works and where it comes from and who is funny out there on the road right now. Anyway, Kristal Adams. Her debut standup album came out this year. It’s called Ain’t I a Wombat?. Let’s listen.

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[The audience laughs often throughout the set.] Kristal Adams (Ain’t I a Wombat?): One thing about me—and this is a very controversial statement in comedy. It’s actually true of a lot of comedians. They won’t—they will not tell you. But I’m gonna tell you guys, ‘cause I’m chill. M’kay? Um, the thing I’m gonna tell you is that I grew up with some moneyyyy. Alright? Can you handle iiit? Yeeeah. I had a lot of really great Christmases, mostly ‘cause I got everything I wanted. Uh. It’s pretty tight. It’s pretty tight. [Laughs.] I just love it. The money’s gone now. Okay? You can like me again. [Someone in the audience falls apart so loudly it causes other audience members to laugh.] I did grow up with money, but the weird thing is that I used to wish that I was poor. I know, like a sicko. [Laughs.] I did! I used to wish that I was poor, because Disney tricked me into thinking it was fun! [Laughs.] I saw Aladdin! He had a whole [censored] monkey! I’m like, “Is this poverty? Sign me up!” [Laughs.] But the real reason I wanted to be poor is because I wanted to be famous. Hear me out. I don’t really remember, but in the ’80s, every famous Black person grew up poor. Okay? That was their story. Like, it was almost like—I thought it was a formula. I thought the only way to be a famous Black person was that you had to be poor as a kid. Right? It was like poverty + time = Oprah. And I was like, “Well, I guess I have to be poor to be famous.” I didn’t know what our finances were! I was ten. I had to get to the bottom of it. I asked my mom. I was hopeful, too. I asked my mom. I was like, “Mom, are we poor?” And at the time, we were in our jacuzzi. Um. I’m gonna be honest, I could not hear her over the bubbles. Um. We were wearing our pearls. You know. It was too—it was too luxurious of a time to ask. [Chuckles.] Should’ve waited ‘til high tea.

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jesse

Kristal Adams, from her debut album, Ain’t I a Wombat?. You can find Kristal on Twitter, @TheDarkKristal. Kristal spelled with a K.

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jesse

We’ve got more of this year’s end of the year standup comedy spectacular to come. Stay with us.

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Music: Bright, lively piano. Hal Lublin: [In an old-timey radio host voice.] Hal Lublin here with breaking news on a revolutionary form of entertainment: professional wrestling! [The bell dings. A distant crowd cheers.] For more, we go our correspondent, Danielle Radford. Danielle Radford: Professional wrestling is the craze that’s sweeping the nation! Featuring fisticuffs and colorful costumes! Hal: But who can help us make sense of this world of body slams? Lindsey Kelk has the answer. Lindsey Kelk: Sources tell us of an amazing podcast called Tights and Fights, filled with discussions of the absurdity of professional wrestling, plus all the sincerity and hilarity that you can shake a stick at! [Chanting and cheering from the audience.] Danielle: Listen to the Tights and Fights podcast every week! Lindsey: Find it on Maximum Fun or wherever you get your podcasts. Hal: Aaand your old-timey radio! [The crowd cheers as the music fades out.]

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jesse

Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. If you’re just joining us, we are changing things up a bit. Normally, we spend this time interviewing artists. Instead, we are playing some of the year’s best standup comedy. And next up is Katrina Davis. Katrina recorded her comedy hour, Figuring It Out, at the Tribeca Film Festival, which was pretty bold for a comic recording their first record. Katrina lives here in Los Angeles, where she is host to the very funny Valley Girl Comedy Night. But she originally hails from Florida. And as you’re about to hear, she does not want to hear a word about that state from the haters. Let’s listen to a little bit of Katrina Davis’s debut album, Figuring It Out.

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[The audience laughs often throughout the set.] Katrina Davis (Figuring It Out): Thank you all so much for being here. This is so fantastic. I’m so excited. I am in an especially good mood today, ‘cause I just got the AC in my car fixed. I did not have air conditioning in my car for five years. I don’t know if anyone has not experienced cool air for that period of time, but when you get it back, that [censored] is luxurious. Like, I just have a whole new appreciation for things. I do get happy over small things. I did once get happy because I saw someone getting a pizza delivered to them. Like, I was at the stop sign, and I saw the delivery guy going up the stairs to the house, and I just said out loud to myself, “Oh, [censored] yeah, they can’t even see it coming.” Like, you never—you never get to be a part of raw joy like that. It was like a fifth of a wedding. It felt so good. I’m from Florida. Shut up. Here’s my thing with Florida being like such a hack premise for jokes: where do y’all think all those shiesty [censored] came from? Felons don’t fall from the sky. Like, some of those people didn’t have a full set of teeth when they got to us. And I just feel like we’re taking a lot of blame that isn’t ours. Like, every fun uncle from the ’70s that owed someone too much money left their 90-degree angled state to come to our poor peninsula and now I’m getting all the heat. Like, it’s not—Florida’s to America what Australia is to Great Britain. Like, if you—these are your monsters. Like, if you—if you don’t like what you see when you look at Florida, don’t look in the mirror. I’m so sorry. But I do feel like we have more reasons to be that fun. Like, we have water that doesn’t freeze on three sides. You try keeping a clean record with that much bikini season. Like, it’s just not gonna happen. I just feel like Wisconsin would be cooler if the Great Lakes weren’t so uptight. Plus, it’s really hot. Which, like I know that we all know that when temperatures rise, people make quicker decisions, and violent crimes increase. And I feel like we should have an asterisk on our death toll based on that information alone! Like, it’s 80 before you open your eyes for like four months of the year. And like, New York will have a heat wave and murder rates go up, and everyone’s like, “Ah, the hustle and bustle of the city!” Like, I feel like—I do realize ways that I am desensitized like to my Florida-ness and the Florida Man stories that come up. ‘Cause I saw one, one day, that said, “Man Walks Into Florida Liquor Store With an Alligator” and my first thought was whatever, it was probably a baby gator. And I know that that is not a normal reaction, but also I was right. Uuum. Like, you can’t leave it in the car. Like, he had—it wasn’t a—it was like a teen. I’ll give you that. It was like a teen gator. And he walked in. But it also had tape around its mouth, and y’all don’t know that, but those alligators are for petting. If an alligator has tape on his mouth, you can totally pet it. They will bring it to your elementary school to let you learn about it. But I do think that our desensitization to life threatening things may have also had a hand in how we dealt with covid as a state. I think. And I’m only saying that because of how my family and friends handled the first hurricane that they had when I moved to LA. I was like very concerned for everyone, ‘cause I wasn’t home. So, I was like sending out mass like text messages and calls. And I text my dad, ‘cause he was home by himself, and I was like, “Hey, Dad. The hurricane is supposed to hit in a couple days. You have everything ready to go?”

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Katrina: And he goes, “Yup! Got everything packed up. Birth certificates, hats, bowling balls.” Hats was second! Like, that can’t be what we’re doing. And then, I call my best friend, and she has a daughter. And she lives where I used to live when I lived in Jacksonville, which floods super-fast. And so, I was like, “Do you have like sandbags or anything in case everything floods?” And she just texts me back, “Nah, dog. That hurricane can catch these hands.” So, I’m not surprised at how we’ve handled this at all. But I don’t think that it was just particular states or people behaving in certain ways. We’re all gross, I feel like. The one thing that I hope stays from the pandemic is people being like 10% less nasty. Because right before everything shut down, I was in a coffee shop, and I was sitting there like writing or whatever. And a guy came by, and he was sweeping the floor, and then he just picked up the broom and started bussing all of the tables with the broom from the ground. [The audience reacts with horror and disgust.] Yes! Exactly. Thank you. The most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen someone do in my whole life. Lost my mind. But you know when you see something so insane that you wanna make sure other people see it so it’s not a mirage? I started looking around. I was like, “Does anybody else see what this dude is—?” Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows that broom has no origin. No one knows where that broom ever came from. It came with the building. No one’s ever bought a new broom for a restaurant. It’s literally The Sisterhood of the Traveling E. coli, and you’re just dragging it across a table where people put their babies and food and everything. Like, that store could’ve been a front for laundering money, and they could’ve tortured snitches in the back and chopped off their fingers. They would’ve swept up those fingers with that same broom. Like, what are you doing?! So, I went up to the cashier before I left, and I was like, “Hiii. I don’t wanna embarrass him, but could you please tell that young man to never buss a table with a broom again?!” And she went, “Oh my god! I have to tell him not to do that aaall the time.” All the time?! All the time. All the time is more than three times. That’s horrifying! So, I haven’t connected all the dots, but I want him arrested. I feel like he’s a part of this somehow.

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jesse

Katrina Davis from her debut standup album, Figuring It Out. You can also catch Katrina on her podcast, Podvant-Garde. It’s an art history show that looks into the lives of some of the weirdest and most fascinating artists in painting, sculpture, and mixed media.

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jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. You’re listening to our 2022 end of year standup comedy spectacular. Next up is Josh Gondelman. He’s a killer standup, also a writer. He wrote for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He won a Peabody and an Emmy for his work on that show. He was senior staff writer and producer for Showtime’s Desus & Mero. He’s also written two books, the latest of which—Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results—came out in 2019. Very funny book. Josh, in fact, is one of the funniest and sweetest dudes around. He has several standup albums under his belt. Here’s a bit from his latest, People Pleaser.

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[The audience laughs often throughout the set.] Josh Gondelman (People Pleaser): I kinda just got to see family for the first time in almost a year and a half. After I was vaccinated, I went to go home and visit my parents, see some other relatives and friends. I got to have lunch with my 97-year-old great aunt, which is amazing. [The audience cheers.] Yeah! Chances are, you might have met her. She’s been around a while! So. I assume that’s what the applause was. She’s wonderful. And, if you have the chance to hang out with somebody that has that kind of life experience, you gotta jump on that. I mean, not literally. You’ll crush her bones to dust. But you’ve gotta seize that opportunity, because there’s so much family history and life experience in a person like that. And with a healthy 97-year-old, they’re gonna have a confidence that’s like aspirational, and you’re not gonna see it anywhere else on earth. My great aunt walks around all day like she just won an Oscar on top of Mount Everest. That’s just her all day long, just unbeatable swagger, oxygen tank. That’s her whole deal. The hubris comes out in different ways. We were out at lunch. We finished the meal. The waiter comes over. He says, “Can I interest you in dessert? I have one dessert special to offer. It’s a slice of pumpkin pie.” And my great aunt looks him right in the eyes—grown man—and says, “We’ll have some grapes for the table.” And the waiter says, “Grapes?!” And she goes, “For the table.” And the waiter walks out of the room, presumably to quit is what I thought was happening. He’s like, [dejectedly] “Oh boy. Better go back to law school like my dad keeps saying.” He comes back two minutes later with three giant bowls of grapes for the table. There weren’t even grapes on the menu at this restaurant. Such is the power of 97-year-old self-esteem. My great aunt just thought about grapes, said the word grapes, manifested grapes into her life. And why wouldn’t she behave like that? Why wouldn’t she? When you’re 97, you don’t have a lot of time to go a bunch of different places asking for the stuff they advertise. When you’re 97, you go where people bring you. You tell the nice folks there what you want in your life, and you make it their problem for a while! Just like, “Oh, dessert? Yeah, I’d like some grapes for the table. Also, stamps, hard candy, batteries, and my cholesterol medication. I’m 97, and you’re my concierge to the universe right now. So. Make it quick, ‘cause I have Jeopardy set to DVR, but I don’t know what that means. So, I have to watch it live.” As I mentioned, I’ve been with my wife for seven years, married for four. It’s the best. I love it so much. I love her so much! That’s the important part, right? Yeah! That’s the important part. Just growing together over the years is so wonderful. I think people give marriage a bad name sometimes. They talk trash about it. But even the little things, like after seven years with the same person, I now have all these incredibly strong opinions about topics I know nothing about. ‘Cause my wife has thoughts, and she shares them with me, because communication is the bedrock of a strong relationship. And I love and trust her, so now her opinions are also my opinions. And what a joy to know something without ever having to learn it.

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Josh: Here’s an example. Have I ever listened to an entire album by recording artist Fiona Apple? Sadly, no, I’ve never had the pleasure. But do I deep in my heart believe that Fiona Apple is a genius? Yeah, absolutely that’s something I think. No doubt about it at all. Mm-hm! Yeah! Why wouldn’t I? Here's how far I’ll take it. If you don’t think Fiona Apple is a genius, I think you’re sexist. That’s something I believe in my heart. I can’t prove that in any way; that’s just a trust fall into my wife’s brain. It’s so great being together a long time with the same person. Seven years. Our friends have started to become friends with one another. Our families are merging into this one, loving family. And I now have all these enemies I’m still meeting for the first time! ‘Cause my wife has people she doesn’t care for. They don’t disappear just ‘cause we got together. Now, everywhere I go in the world, I just meet new people to hate like it’s The Legend of Zelda. Showing up at unfamiliar buildings, fighting with people I’ve never seen before over reasons I’m learning in the moment. I’ll be at a work function with my wife. I’ll be like, “Oh, that couple over there, they seem so sweet. I was talking to them. They seem great. We should have brunch sometimes.” My wife’s like, “Nuh-uh. In 2007, she told me my haircut was fascinating.” And I say, “Well, I hope her car flips over on the way home.” And she says, “I love you too.” Because that’s part of what love is, right? Her enemies are my enemies. I mean that sincerely. That was in my wedding vows. I’m not remotely joking about that part. ‘Cause I feel like if you’re gonna make a vow, make it a vow, right? Revenge! That’s a vow. You can enforce it with a sword. Richer, poorer, sickness, health, that’s nice. But I’ll extend those courtesies to my landlord, if we’re being honest.

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jesse

Josh Gondelman, from his standup album People Pleaser. When he’s not buying—let’s say all-purpose flour—on the dark web, he’s a must-follow on Twitter. @JoshGondelman.

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jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. We’re almost to the end of this year’s standup comedy special. One more comic before we go: the great Maeve Higgins. Maeve is a star in Ireland, where she’s a newspaper columnist and she hosted a television show, called Maeve Higgins’ Fancy Vittles. That’s 100% for real. She’s also performed all over the world, including at the Edinburgh Fringe, where she is a fixture. But she’s now a resident of the United States. If you listen to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, you’ve probably heard her as a panelist on that show. We are big fans of all of her work and of her, personally, here at Bullseye. She was great in a really charming comedy horror film, called Extraordinary, that our producer, Jesus, is a total fanboy of. I’m right there with him. It’s a great movie. Really delightful. Has Will Forte as a kind of like evil prog-rock guy. It’s a joy. Anyway. I’m getting offtrack. Here's a bit from Maeve Higgins’ latest standup album, A Very Special Woman. It’s her first album in over a decade, and it was well worth the wait.

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[The audience laughs often throughout the set.] Maeve Higgins (A Very Special Woman): I just started seeing somebody. Yeah! [The audience cheers.] Yeah, I mean it’s kind of strange to talk about. You know, ‘cause it’s like—it sounds a little bit delusional. You know. “I just started seeing someone. Yeah. I did, yeah. He’s over there. He’s by the window. Do you see that man in the rocking chair? Why is he crying? I just started seeing him. Maybe he’s the one!” [Demonically.] The one! Beelzebub! The one to rule them all, Satannn! [Chuckles.] I already have my dream proposal. Yeah! So, LISTEN UP. Okay. My dream proposal would happen actually on my deathbed. So, it’s quite sad, but yeah. I know. I just think it would be so romantic. I mean, it would be an empty gesture, really, but a very romantic one. And I think as well it’s—you know, it’s important. It would give me something to focus on other than my own demise. You know? And that’s so important, isn’t it? Busy brain, happy girl! Busy brain, happy girl! That’s one of our sayings. And it would give me things to do. You know, I could drag myself to dress fittings, and even if I had like terrible wasting disease, that would actually be—for a bride? That’s actually good. You know? The dressmaker would be like, “Well done! Absolutely fantastic weight loss this week! Every one of your bones is jutting out of your skin. You’re gooorgeous!” I would go to a florist. You know somebody would obviously bring me there in a wicker wheelchair. I would just point. You know. [With a death-rattling rasp.] “Them.” Some carnations. And I would make sure to die before the wedding day. I’m a frugal girl. [Playfully.] Honey, believe me, that’s what guys like. Oh, you—if you’re frugal, they can’t get enough of you! And also, that would save a lot of money, right? ‘Cause I would combine the wedding and the funeral. So, I think I would have a catholic funeral, just because I put in the time as a child. And the priest—you know, he would have to focus on how great I was. That’s customary. And he’d also—like, I think this is gonna be very moving for people. He might even do an impression—not an impression in a cruel way, but like he might tell them what I said to him, which was, [rasping] “I just wanna be a bride.” Sooo. I’ll have flower girls, and I think they’ll wear like black puffball dresses. And they will make sad faces as they scatter. They’ll scatter lily petals, obviously, up the aisle. And my little stiff hands—they’ll be quite stiff, of course—but they will have French manicure. Beautiful. Isn’t that so elegant? And you know, that’s the thing. ‘Cause I like having my nails done, but I don’t really like getting manicures. It’s something that I can’t really get used to. It’s a very service industry heavy kind of a feeling when I go in there, ‘cause it’s like, yes, I live in America. I exploit people all the time. But I’m just not used to like holding hands with them while I’m exploiting them. So, it’s hard for me. And I will be buried in a wedding dress. My hair will be in a—I wanna say chignon. And the mortician will have set my face into like a really blissed out smile. I’ll be eyes open. And I’ll definitely have a veil. That will be the one that my tearful fiancé just like lowers over my face before they clamp the lid on the coffin. And I think the coffin will obviously be ivory colored. Duh! [Chuckles.] And then, my parents will give speeches. Well, just my father, actually. I’ll keep it traditional. And during his speech, I think he might let slip that I was indeed his favorite child. So, I just hope that—you know—I will get that in the afterlife. I will get that confirmation. I am my mother’s favorite. I know I’m my mother’s favorite child, because she would say to me ever since I was a small child, “Maeve, it is your mental health I’m worried about the most.” [Chuckles.] So, I think my fiancé will close proceedings. And you know, his voice will be shaking, but like he will manage to keep it together. He’ll tell everybody that I was—you know—a genius in the kitchen, firecracker in the bedroom, able washerwoman in the laundry room. He’ll go through all the different rooms. And then, then he’ll probably collapse, honestly. He’ll physically collapse just because it’s so unfair! It’s like my special day and I’m dead! And you know, he’ll just be sooo devastated. But! He’ll have to hop up again! Because I will have left strict instructions for him to carry the coffin alone. [Chuckles.] I just think—I just think if he loves me enough to want me as his wife, he’ll love me enough to come up with a system of ropes and pulleys to get my boxed-up body from the altar to the graveyard. Thank you.

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jesse

The wonderful Maeve Higgins. Her album is called A Very Special Woman. She also had another book come out earlier this year. It’s called Tell Everyone on This Train I Love Them.

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jesse

That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye is created from the homes of me and the staff of Maximum Fun, in and around greater Los Angeles, California. I happen to actually be in our office, on MacArthur Park, today. And I noticed that they were taking down the cyclone fences that have surrounded that park for, gosh, it feels like years now. I don’t know if it’s because we just got a new city council person. Eunisses Hernandez is our new city council person. But regardless of the reason for the season, we’re glad not to have to look at cyclone fences and that everyone can use our beautiful park. Our show is produced by speaking into microphones. Our senior producer is Kevin Ferguson. Our producers are Jesus Ambrosio and Richard Robey. Our production fellows at Maximum Fun are Tabatha Myers and Bryanna Paz, who just started this week. Welcome, Bryanna! Nice to have you here. We get booking help from Mara Davis. Special thanks to the staff of Maximum Fun who helped listen to all these comedy albums this time around. Probably the most difficult task they will ever have to do in a job. That’s everyone on the Bullseye team, plus Daniel Baruela, Bikram Chatterji, Marissa Flaxbart, Kira Gowan, Gabe Mara, Jennifer Marmor, and Valarie Moffatt. It’s nearly everybody. Our interstitial music is by DJW, also known as Dan Wally. Thank you, Dan. Our theme song is “Huddle Formation”, written and recorded by The Go! Team. Thanks to them and Memphis Industries for sharing it with us. Bullseye is on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Find us in all of those places. Give us a follow. We will share with you all of our interviews. And I think that’s about it. Just remember: all great radio hosts have a signature signoff.

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Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

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