TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Bonus: Remembering Monty Python’s Terry Jones

This past week, we lost a talented comic genius: Terry Jones. He was one of the founding members of the legendary British sketch comedy group Monty Python. He co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and directed both Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. Terry was also a well respected medieval historian – in fact, he wrote two books on poet Geoffrey Chaucer. Later in his career, he became a prolific children’s book author. His books were always a bit surreal, witty and charming. He was a hero to many comedy nerds obsessed with Monty Python. We’re taking a moment to remember Terry Jones. When he joined Bullseye (then The Sound Of Young America) nearly 14 years ago he talked about his years with the Pythons. Plus, what it was like when he was given the opportunity to re-edit his cult classic The Saga of Erik the Viking.

Guests: Terry Jones

Transcript

jesse thorn

Hey, Bullseye listeners. It is Jesse. So, we got the unfortunate news, this week, that Terry Jones passed away. Obviously, like any other self-respecting comedy nerd, I grew up obsessed with Monty Python and I also grew up obsessed with a book that Terry Jones wrote, called Fairy Tales—which is beautiful and still in print. And so, for that reason, when I had the opportunity to interview Terry Jones, I was genuinely… terrified. [Laughs.] Like, I—when people ask me, sometimes, if I’m nervous about doing interviews, I say, “No,” and I—that’s generally true. Like, unless I haven’t had the time I’d like to prepare or something like that. I generally feel fine about my interviews, you know. People are people, and so forth. But I vividly remember being in my apartment in Koreatown, where I—from which I recorded this interview—and looking at my finger as I was dialing the phone and realizing that it was actually, literally shaking. [Laughs.] Anyway, this conversation was one of the things that convinced me that I needn’t be nervous about interviews, because Terry Jones was such a brilliant and hilarious, but ultimately lovely and kind man, as well. It was so nice of him to do this interview on my show, when very few people listened to my show. And it is one of the greatest highlights of my career. So, in memory of a great artist and a kind man, my conversation from almost 14 years ago—2006. [The audio swaps to the original interview.] You’re listening to The Sound of Young America. I’m Jesse Thorn, America’s radio sweetheart. My guest on the program, Terry Jones, is a founding member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, as well as an author, a film writer, a director, and right now you’re actually working on reediting the soundtrack for Erik the Viking.

crosstalk

Terry Jones: Yeah! It’s actually rather exciting, Jesse! Jesse: Which was a film made in the mid-80s.

terry

It’s a film I made 16 years ago, called Erik the Viking, and I was never really quite pleased with it—with the edit the way it was. Normally, with films, I’d—in all the Python movies, I’ve always edited hands-on, myself. For some reason, this one, I just—I just sort of let the editor get on with it and I stepped back and it all seemed to be going pretty well. And it was only about ten days—or a week, two weeks—before we were due to open in London that I actually sat down with it and I suddenly realized there was an awful lot I could take out. [Jesse chuckles.] And so, we managed—I managed to get about ten minutes out of it, but by that time, in America they’d already printed 250 copies of the long version. So, that’s what went out, over there. And then, just before Christmas, Sony said they were going to rerelease it on the DVD, and they were going to call it the director’s cut. And I said, “Hey! Wait a minute! You can’t call it the director’s cut, ‘cause, um, well it isn’t my cut!” Even though it’s a shorter version, [stammering], “I could still do an awful lot more to it!” So, I’ve had the great thrill of reediting it and we’re now just doing the sound and I was [inaudible]^, so it’s a triple thrill! I’ve been meaning to do it for 16 years. I’ve been working with the best editor I’ve ever worked with, and he’s my son! [Jesse laughs.] Now what we’re going to do—what we’re calling it, we’re not going to call it the director’s cut, we going to call it the director’s son’s cut. Because, really, he sort of—he changed the scene order and sharpened it up to no end. It’s really—looks really good, now.

jesse

And for a lot of people—I know I worked with my father for a little while, and it was a total disaster. [Laughs.] I have to say.

terry

Well, I don’t know. Bill and I get on very well. So, [laughs] it’s alright.

jesse

It seems like it’s the—it’s the rather rare director’s cut that might be shorter than the original.

terry

Uh, yeah, it’s quite a bit shorter, in fact. I mean, my original cut—I mean, my cut was ten minutes shorter than the—than my editor’s cut. And this is now another, oh, like 25 minutes shorter than the original film.

jesse

So, Monty Python’s Flying Circus is coming back to television—or at least to non-cable, to broadcast television, here in the United States. And it’s gonna be distributed in April by PBS, for the first time. Although, it was—when it originally ran on US television, it was run on—primarily on PBS stations. [Terry agrees.] This is, like, 30 years later, now. Does it ever feel totally normal that this—that this creation that you participate in 30 years ago has this amazing staying power?

terry

Well, it does—does make life seem very short, you know? [Laughs.] But it’s—it’s surprising. I mean, I must say, I never—I think we all thought, when we were making the film—or the TV shows, we—I think we all thought, “Well, we’re gonna do the funniest thing around, at the moment.” But we didn’t expect people to be still looking at it in 30 years’ time. In fact, we didn’t think it would be technically possible. Because, when we actually started in ’69, the first shows—you really couldn’t—there was no home video machines. So, you—you know—we didn’t expect that people would be able to watch it at will, though. And we were very lucky to actually get it, because they nearly—the BBC nearly wiped the programs. In fact, if it weren’t—if it hadn’t been for that, we—what happened was, in those days they, after a couple of years, they would automatically wipe comedy programs. That means, you know, erase them. And the—our editor in the BBC phoned me up and said, “Hey, they’re gonna—they’re going to erase the Python—the Python in a month’s time.” So, we smuggled the tapes out of the BBC and recorded them onto the only domestic video that was just coming onto the market. It was a Phillips thing. It was a very—called a VCR. You couldn’t play them, now. [Jesse chuckles.] And for a long time, I thought those were going to be the only evidence of these shows! And they were sitting my cellar. But then, thanks to you chaps in the states, the BBC suddenly changed its mind and then they started selling these shows to America. So, we were saved.

jesse

What place did you imagine Python having in the, you know, the comedy firmament when you first—when it was first created? I mean, what was your—what was your goal with it, then?

terry

Well, I think we—the goal was just to be funny, really. We just thought we could do the—do the funny stuff and also try and do something that was different to where we’d gone before and had a different—a different shape and I think I was very concerned to break up the kind of formats of television comedy. In those days, you know, you either have a half-hour comedy, a situation comedy, or else you’d have sketches. And they’d be—sort of—have beginnings, middles, and ends. Or you’d have quickies, which would be—sort of—30 seconds of the one joke. And so, we were trying to break that up a bit.

jesse

One of the interesting things about the Python television series was the way that all of the sketches were linked together, which is not typical in television sketch comedy. And you mentioned the not having beginnings, middles, and ends—I think those lengths kind of get you out of the requirement of always having to have beginnings, middles, and ends. And particularly ends, which can be quite difficult in sketch comedy.

terry

Exactly, yes. [Laughs.]

jesse

But [chuckles] at the same time, I mean, it imposes a whole other—imposes a whole other requirement. I know when I interviewed Bob Odenkirk, who created the sketch comedy series Mr. Show, and they decided to do that very same thing with links between sketches. And he told me that about halfway through the first season, they realized what a horrible mistake that was, because they spent about as much time trying to think of links between sketches as they did actually writing comedy.

terry

Yeah. Well, like, ‘cause we’re lucky. I mean—I mean, the idea of doing—having that show with the—that flowed like that, really came out of an animation that Terry Gilliam had done for a TV show that Mike Palin, Eric Idle, and I were doing with Terry Gilliam called Do Not Adjust Your Set. It was a children’s show. And Terry’d done this, he said, “I’ve done this animation. It’s sort of train of consciousness and it doesn’t really mean anything. It just goes from one thing to another.” And I was thinking—when we were trying to think about what shape the show would be, I suddenly remembered Terry’s elephant cartoon. It was called Elephants. And I thought, “Well, you could do that throughout the whole show.” So, of course, we were lucky in having Terry there to actually do link for us. And it—when—I mean, links were pretty easy for us, actually. [Chuckles.]

jesse

How did you—I mean, how did you sell this whole idea? I mean, how did you convince the powers that be that this—you know, I mean it’s a very odd television show, let’s face it.

terry

[Laughs.] Well, I think it would be very difficult to do that now, I have to say. But in those days, the BBC was a kind of totally different sort of organization. It wasn’t interested in, you know, how much money it could make and how big the audience was going to be. I mean, it was concerned at size—audience size—but it trusted—it was a much more anarchic organization. It trusted—it’s the producers, you know. The producers were the top dogs. They’d been selected, they’d been trained. And the BBC—the people running the programming—trusted the producers. And I have to say, we—they wanted to do something with John Cleese. John wanted to work with Mike and me and we went along to a meeting of the program planners, kind of thing, and there’s all these guys in suits sitting round the table. And they say, “Well, you know, what the—what’s this program going to be about?” And we sort of said, “Well, we don’t really know.” They said, [disdainfully] “Oh. Um. Well, is it gonna have music in?” And we said, “Weeell, we don’t know!” They said, “Well, who’s it gonna be aimed at?” And we said, “Well, we don’t know!” They said, “Well, what’s it gonna be called?” And we said, “Well, we don’t know!” So, they all looked at each other and all went, “Mm, dear, dear, dear. Well, look, we can only give you 13 shows.” [Laughing.] You know? I don’t think—I can’t see that happening, nowadays.

jesse

Do you think that an idea of what the show was—I mean, above and beyond simply funny—evolve during the process of making it? Do you think that it has a certain idea or a certain aesthetic that binds it together?

terry

Uuh, well I think that the aesthetic, in terms of just the sort of—the sum total of the six of us and our comic sensibility, I guess—so, I suppose that kind of holds it together. But I don’t know, we—I mean, at the time we were just trying to make every show totally unpredictable. So, the fact that, you know, the word Pythonic has now entered the—I think it’s in the Oxford English Dictionary, now, [laughs] means that we totally failed. [Jesse chuckles.] Yeah, we were—we were trying to surprise everybody every week, with—but obviously [laughing] we didn’t succeed!

jesse

You’re listening to The Sound of Young America. I’m Jesse Thorn, America’s radio sweetheart. My guest is Terry Jones, an author, writer, director, and founding member of Monty Python. Now, Terry, you co-directed with Terry Gilliam the Holy Grail film, and you directed the two Python films that came after that. [Terry confirms.] These all—these all came out after the initial run of the—of the series. What led you into the film arena? And I know And Now for Something Completely Different, which was a, kind of, an omnibus of sketches film had come out during the series. But why did you go into features?

terry

Well, I—personally, I never really liked television. [Jesse laughs.] I always wanted to get into films and do films!

crosstalk

Jesse: But why—why— Terry: And Now for Something Completely Different was a bit—I thought was a bit disappointing, ‘cause it was just the TV sketches.

terry

I must say, I was very keen to do a film. And after that—I think And Now for Something Completely Different didn’t really do much business. So, John wasn’t terribly keen and sort of had to be cajoled into the idea of doing the Holy Grail—of doing Holy Grail. But—and then it was very uncomfortable or unpleasant doing it. But once we did—done it, and that was successful and made money, then it became a bit easier to persuade the others to do Life of Brian. [Laughs.] But it was really film, is what I’ve always wanted to do.

jesse

Was that because of just kind of a general snobbishness? Or was that because that there were specific things about film that you could do—or specific qualities of film—that you could utilize that you couldn’t do on television?

terry

Well, I think—A) I think, basically it’s the big screen. I mean, I just love the big screen. And I’ve never—I’ve always found the television screen a bit too containing, a bit too cramped. But also, I think there is the fact that you can actually spend more time in the feature film. You know, you can actually do things and perfect things and try and make things work—which, you don’t have time on television. I mean, you know, the demands of television are such that you’re churning out material. And although we did take time on the—on the Python shows. I mean, when we were editing the shows, we might—Ian McNorton, who is the director, would—he’d sort of think, “Well, we can get away with two hours of editing.” And I’d turn up in the morning and we’d spend the entire day editing. [Laughs.] Because we, you know, you can improve things so much. Actually, talking about editing—the, I mean the—even then, even spending a whole day editing the show wasn’t enough. And when we came to do these—the Personal Best of Python, we’ve done these DVDs which I think are going up on PBS, which are our kind of personal pick. And it was a great opportunity to reedit the actual TV shows. And things like—in my choice, there’s one about the killer joke. That’s a joke that’s so funny that it’s a—people die laughing. And so, they get used as a weapon in the war. That lasted—it was nine and a half minutes, when it went out on television. And I was able to get it down to six minutes, you know. I cut out three and a half minutes, and without losing a single joke. And it’s now much more how I imagined when we wrote it.

jesse

I read something very interesting in an interview that you did shortly after the premier of Spamalot, which was the Broadway musical that Eric Idle adapted from Holy Grail—which was that, as wonderful as it was, one of the things that you seem to think that it lost—from the film—was the kind of darkness and grotesquery. Which, of course, isn’t, you know, it’s pretty hard to put grotesquery on the Broadway stage. [Terry agrees.] Tell me a little bit about how this middle ages setting for Holy Grail and this kind of dark, death-filled world was conducive for making jokes.

terry

[Laughs.] Well, you know, our original script for Holy Grail—half of it was set in the middle ages and half of it was set in the modern day. And it sort of banged backwards and forwards. It just happened that I was, sort of, working on the book on Chaucer at the time and Iker was pretty keen on setting it in the middle ages. And so, uh, to my surprise everybody agreed to go along with it. So, you know, any setting is going to be a—is going to be conducive to making jokes. You know, it’s just—and—but the great thing is, trying to create a real environment that you can then do silly things in.

jesse

Both Holy Grail and Life of Brian are very much period pieces and very much come from these, kind of, big, important cultural myths. Like, really capital letter ‘M’, central Myths to western culture. Why choose those two, like, really huge topics first time out for a feature film from a series that had been—you know, a series of sketches that were, you know, maybe—like—about class, but you know, pretty slight?

terry

Well, I think it’s the same reason, really—it’s easier to do something within the context that looks serious and that people knows about already. It gives you, though, the carte blanche to do—to play off against that world that everybody recognizes. So, I think it’s the same thing, really, as doing silly things with men in bowler hats and moustaches. [Jesse chuckles.] You just create a world that people recognize and accept as being a real-ish world or a real world. And then you can do silly things in it. And I think that’s what we were doing. And I don’t think, in either case, were we particularly parodying the styles—I mean—of, you know, like we don’t think we were parodying the Arthurian legends. I think we were actually taking the Arthurian legends in Holy Grail and actually enjoying doing silly things within the terms of reference of those legends. And then—which is sort of slightly different from actually making fun of those kinds of films.

jesse

You’re listening to The Sound of Young America. I’m Jesse Thorn, America’s radio sweetheart. My guest on the program is Terry Jones. So, you were actually—you’re actually writing your first book, which is Chaucer’s Knight, at the same time that you were making Holy Grail, or at least preparing to make Holy Grail. What was it—what was it about that middle ages world that got you excited to do—to do comedy in that world?

terry

Well, I think—originally—it was that—it was the boring bits of Chaucer that got me interested.

crosstalk

Terry: Because I couldn’t believe that Chaucer— Jesse: You mean—doesn’t that mean Chaucer? [Laughs.] Terry: —who writes such funny stuff, in some place, would have written these very boring, dull pieces.

terry

Which is what we were being told he did. So, I was trying to explain these 30 lines about the knight in the prologue to The Canterbury Tales, and trying to work out what he was actually talking about. And in order to try and find out what he was talking about, I had to start reading about the time and try to find out a bit more. And to my utter amazement, I found myself getting sort of dragged in to, sort of, late 14th century military history. [Laughs.] Which is not something I thought I would be interested in. [Jesse chuckles.] But then you know, you find that its history is vital! It’s like, you see the same people going about—going on—the context is different, because they’re the same people taking power, seizing power, holding onto power, and using the same techniques that people are using, today. And that’s—it’s really in a way how I—made me become more political.

jesse

Do you think—do you think that any of your—any of your comedy was political?

terry

Um, [blows air through his lips] it wasn’t really, no. It was always kind of—it kind of always shied away from politics. And it’s more kind of about, you know, sort of people and—you know—human foibles, I think. So, if it’s—if it’s satirical in any way, it’s satirical in the old sense of being a sort of satire on mankind rather than on any individuals, nowadays, and party politics.

jesse

I think maybe cause you’re—maybe because you’re British and maybe because you ran on PBS, maybe because of glancing references to literature and philosophy—Monty Python in the United States has a reputation as being very intellectual humor. Which, I don’t know, personally I don’t know if I’ve ever really bought into that. How do you feel about that? About having that reputation?

terry

Well, I think it was a bit of a blind that we were putting up, really. ‘Cause, you know, ‘cause it mentions Kierkegaard or something like that. But, basically, the jokes are really pretty stupid and it’s pretty silly stuff. But, again, it’s like using intellectual furniture, just like using the Arthurian legends or men in bowler hats. You—you know, you take something that looks very straight and then it’s easier to do silly things within that context. But I certainly think we never thought about, “Oh, well people will never—never have heard of Hobbs, Thomas Hobbs, or René Descartes.” And so, we just sort of assumed that everybody would know about what we’re talking about. And if they didn’t, well, too bad.

jesse

After having had, you know, the popularity of Python stay at a relatively continuous level for the last 30 years or so—maybe even growing—do you get a feeling for what kind of—what kind of people really appreciate the humor that you did?

terry

Um—no, I mean, I guess I didn’t know really, at all. I mean, we certainly found that we appealed more to men, in this country appealed more to men than to women and—so we never really got groupies when we were [laughing] going around doing the tours.

jesse

That must have been a disappointment.

terry

Yes, I know, it was a—[laughs] it was also rather, you know, sort of these young, spotty men in actuality. [Jesse laughs.] It wasn’t my taste, at all! So, but it’s—I don’t know, it’s—but I mean, [stammering] the one thing was, it was always—the first reactions we really got, when the show first went out on BBC—I mean, for about four weeks, we just seemed to be doing this show in limbo. Nobody—we had an audience in the studio, but apart from that, we weren’t getting any reactions at all. [Jesse chuckles.] We didn’t know whether people were liking it or what. And then we started getting letters in from the—from kids, at school, and things like that. And the school kids that really, you know, started—were the first fans of the show.

jesse

When was the show running, at the time?

terry

It was—it on about—I think it was generally about half nine, ten o’clock, something like that on—I think it was BBC1, actually. Everybody thinks it was BBC2, but I think it was—it may have been half ten on BBC1, something like that. Usually, I think it was a Thursday or Friday night thing.

jesse

Can we do another five minutes or so? Is that okay?

terry

Yeah, sure. Yeah, then—oh god, yes, I really—[laughs] I’m sorry, I’m so sort of involved in these—we’re re-dubbing at the moment. We just got the—we’re just putting new noises on under the film and it’s getting very exciting. [Jesse laughs.] The film is quite different. It’s really interesting.

jesse

It’s funny to think of the idea of adding in sound elements as being exciting, I think.

terry

[Laughs.] Well, it is! It’s like, you know, we’ve gotta—we had these characters called the dog soldiers and they’re sort of—the film was designed by Alan Lee, who—it was the first time he’d ever thought about doing films, actually. He was doing—a book illustrator, who I knew and who I’d worked with. And I said then, “Oh, he’ll be ideal to sort of do the design for Erik the Viking. Of course, he’s—he went on from there to do Lord of the Rings—all three episodes. I mean, he—so, he’s like, now kind of a top film designer. But he designed these—this headgear for these—which are these huge, long skeletons and heads for these dog soldiers on this boat. And they never really looked terribly frightening. So, what we’ve been doing is we’ve been putting growls on them, and now they suddenly look frightening! You know. [Jesse chuckles.] You say, “Oh! God, yeah, they really are scary!”

jesse

One of the things that you’ve done a lot in the 30 years or so since Python, or the 20 years—25 years, I guess, since the last Python film, is children’s entertainment. A lot of people, I think, get into children’s entertainment when they have kids of their own. Was that the case for you?

terry

Yeah, I started writing books for kids when my daughter was five. And I thought, “Oh great, I can read her fairytales, now.” And I bought the Brothers Grimm for her and I started reading—I think it was Snow White, actually—and she gets to the end of this story and in the original version, which I was reading, the wicked stepmother is punished by being made to put on red-hot iron slippers and dance until she falls down dead! I thought, “I can’t read this to my—! My little daughter’s meant to go to sleep think, ‘Oh, I’m so glad they tortured that old lady to death!’” And I thought, “Well, I can’t read this sort of stuff.” So, I—the next day I sort of set out and started writing my own fairytales. And then when I had—my son arrived, then I had to—I had to write something for him, so I wrote The Saga of Erik the Viking. So, it’s kind of—kind of nice. But so the book of Erik the Viking was written for Bill and then I noticed—I hadn’t realized, I’d forgotten that the film is actually dedicated to him. And so—and here he is sort of, like, sixteen years later, he gets his chance to have his own say about the film! [Laughs.]

jesse

You’ve worked in this kind of fairytale and fantasy world a lot, since—in the past 20 years or so. I mean, you mentioned your book Fairy Tales, which actually—I have to say—I’m 24 and my mom used to read me from that book when I was—when I was, you know, however old it is that your mom reads you from that book. [Terry laughs.] Five? Four? Five? I was born the year the book came out. But you’ve worked very extensively in that field and I mean—I think to a certain extent, you know, everything that’s connected with the myths of the middle ages is deeply connected to the world of fantasy. [Terry hums an agreement.] What do you think is appealing for you about that—about that world?

terry

Well, I’ve always liked fantasy. I don’t know why it is, it’s just what—that’s how I am. I’ve always enjoyed the world of the fantastic. Or world one-remove from reality. Maybe it was growing up in the ‘40s, in the—‘cause I was born in 1942, so my childhood was spent in the ‘40s, in England, when it was pretty rough. You know. There was nothing much in the shops and we were suffering from the aftereffects of the second world war. And it was pretty austere, in fact. And maybe—maybe that was it. Maybe it was easier to escape into the world of Rupert the Bear and the world of animals and imaginary worlds than to live in the real world. And certainly, I’ve always—that’s always been my, you know—I found it easier to understand an imaginary world than I—than to understand the real world.

jesse

One of the credits on your resume that, as I was reading about you this past week, I didn’t know, was that you wrote the screenplay for the film Labyrinth, which was a Jim Henson film. A Jim Henson children’s fantasy film, from the mid-1980s. How did you—how did you get involved in that project?

terry

[Laughs.] Well, it was very odd, actually! I was actually thinking about doing a film of Erik the Viking, at the time. And I started to go, “Well, I—” I thought somebody like Jim Henson would be the person to sort of get involved in doing the ambly monsters and things!” So, I got his number and I phoned up his secretary, his assistant Jill. And she said, “Well, funny, love, he was trying to get a hold of you!” [Laughs.] “’Cause he’s got this thing, Labyrinth, and we was wondering whether you’d be interested in writing the screenplay for.” So, instead of him getting involved in Erik the Viking, I got roped into Labyrinth.

jesse

Did you—what was it like working with him? Did you—did you have—

terry

Oh, he’s a lovely man. He’s—he was—he was a really, really nice, good man to work with. And I was working with him and Brian Froud, who is a wonderful artist and who really—most all the images in Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, they’re really all out of Brian’s head, actually. He did all of the concept design and how we worked on Labyrinth was they’d all—they were ready about six months or three months into production. They’d got all these puppet and things, but they didn’t have the script or the story, really. And so, I took a lot of Brian’s drawings and then wrote a screenplay just, sort of, you know—every time I came to a new scene, I’d just thumb through his drawings and see, “Oh, that’s a nice character. I like him. There’s a old man with a hat which has a duck on the top, so the duck talks. Obviously he’s having an argument with the duck, all the time. So, it was really—it was really quite fun, actually, to interact off stuff that was already there, like that.

jesse

In a certain way, a lot of the stuff in your career, a lot of the fiction has been interpretive—whether it’s, you know, it’s a—you know, it’s reinterpreting Arthurian legend or, you know, the kind of legends about Vikings, for Erik the Viking, or this kind of thing.

terry

Yeah. I’d say that’s—I say that’s true, really. I mean, I’ve been—I think there’s this thing about working within a context that’s recognizable that’s sort of—it’s quite fun. I mean, the last thing I did was The Wind in the Willows—again, which was an adaptation of a book. So—but it gives you a context to work within and it’s—that’s quite fine. I mean, not that I don’t want to make my own things. I’m actually sort of trying to get time to write—finish writing a book that I’m in the middle of, which I think could make a good movie, as well. So, I’m dying to get back to that, really.

jesse

What’s the nature of the new book?

terry

It’s called Evil Machines, and it’s about—well, that’s what it’s about, really! So, at the moment it’s a book of short stories, but they all turn—towards the end you realize they’re all connected. Of course, some won’t be like that at all. We’ll have to take the end story, really. But it’s quite fun. It’s a world in which, you know, people and machines all talk to each other all the time and the machine’s always undermining the man—[laughs] human beings.

jesse

Well, Terry, I know you have to get back to your son and get back to your work there.

terry

Very good.

jesse

It was a—it was a real pleasure having you on the show.

terry

Well, it was very nice to talk to you Jesse. All the best!

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.

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People

Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

How to listen

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