Kurt Andersen

Kurt Andersen is a writer and the host and co-creator of Studio 360 (and of the new occasional radio variety show Kings County).

His latest novel True Believers, according to Jon Robin Baitz's review in Vanity Fair, "is beautifully drawn," "a great American novel." The Washington Post calls it "a big, swinging novel...full of witty insights" with "plenty to keep us entertained," and The San Francisco Chronicle considers it "fiendishly smart, insightful and joyously loopy." Booklist says it's "an ambitious and remarkable novel, wonderfully voiced" with "spellbinding suspense, and according to The Winnipeg Free Press its "genre grafting" is "an unmitigated success."

His previous novel, Heyday, a New York Times bestseller, won the 2008 Langum Prize for the year's best work of American historical fiction. His earlier novel, Turn of the Century, was a national bestseller that Times reviewers called "wickedly satirical," "outrageously funny" and "the most un-clichéd novel imaginable," and that The Wall Street Journal called a "smart, funny and excruciatingly deft portrait of our age."

He is also the author of Reset, a book-length essay about the history and consequences of the 2008-09 financial crisis and recession, and of The Real Thing, a book of humorous essays. He has written and produced prime-time network television programs and pilots for NBC, ABC, and HBO, and co-authored Loose Lips, an off-Broadway theatrical revue that had long runs in New York and Los Angeles.

He is a regular contributor to Vanity Fair, The New York Times, New York and Time.

Andersen began his career in journalism at NBC's Today program and at Time, where he was an award-winning writer on politics and criminal justice and for eight years the magazine's architecture and design critic. Returning to Time in 1993 as editor-at-large, he wrote a weekly column on culture. From 1996 through 1999 he was a staff writer and columnist ("The Culture Industry") for The New Yorker, and from 2004 through 2009 wrote a column ("The Imperial City") for New York.

He was also a co-founder of and Very Short List, editorial director of Colors magazine, and editor-in-chief of both New York and Spy magazines, the latter of which he co-founded.

He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and is a member of the boards of trustees of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Pratt Institute. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn.

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Kurt Andersen appears in the following:

30 Years Later, A Trump Fixation Lives On

Friday, September 30, 2016

Kurt Andersen, host and co-creator of Studio 360, has had a fixation with Donald Trump that goes back to the very first issue of Spy, the satirical magazine he co-founded 30 years ago.


The Golden Record Remastered: A Cosmic Mixtape

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Watch our celebration of The Golden Record's 40th anniversary with Studio 360's Kurt Andersen, writer Maria Popova, Science Friday's Ira Flatow and WQXR's Terrance McKnight. 


The Short-Fingered Vulgarian!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Spy magazine called Donald Trump a "short-fingered vulgarian" in the 80's and it still really, really annoys him. Spy colleagues Kurt Andersen and Susan Morrison discuss. 
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Trump's Deal-Making Confidence, From 1989 to Now

Friday, April 15, 2016

Donald Trump once boasted that he'd make a great negotiator with the Soviet Union because "it would take an hour and a half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles."

Comments [1]

How Shakespeare Came Alive for Me — and Stays Alive Today

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Shakespeare shouldn’t be lost on anyone, but how much should the text be changed?


This Week in Trump: Give Donald a Hand

Friday, March 04, 2016

A small, small hand, according to Rubio.

Comments [5]

A New Symbol for Southern Pride?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Hear about the latest in the Studio 360 "Redesigns" series -- a replacement for the confederate flag.

Comments [19]

Kurt's Five Lessons of Comedy

Monday, July 13, 2015

Before he was our host, Kurt Andersen co-founded the pioneering humor magazine Spy. Here are his suggestions for finding the funny.
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Tony Bennett: Gentleman, Singer, Doodler

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

When Kurt Andersen interviewed Tony Bennett, the singer left him with a surprise parting gift: a portrait he had sketched of Kurt while they were talking.
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Comments [1]

The Neil Patrick Harris Oscars: A Big Night for the Underdogs

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Birdman" won best picture, Patricia Arquette won best supporting actress, and Neil Patrick Harris didn't totally disappoint in his first shot at hosting the Academy Awards. 
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Comments [8]

The Greene Space


Thursday, January 29, 2015

8:00 PM

Thurs, Jan. 29 | Join Studio 360 in The Greene Space for the world premiere of a rock opera based on The Book of Revelation written and composed by singer songwriter Mike Doughty.

The Greene Space


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

9:30 PM

Wed, Jan. 28 | Join Studio 360 in The Greene Space for the world premiere of a rock opera based on The Book of Revelation written and composed by singer songwriter Mike Doughty.

The Greene Space


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

7:00 PM

Tues, Jan. 27 | THIS PERFORMANCE IS CANCELED- Please join us for the rescheduled performance on Thurs, Jan. 29 at 8PM. Join Studio 360 in The Greene Space for the world premiere of a rock opera based on The Book of Revelation written and composed by singer songwriter Mike Doughty.

So Long, Colbert. It Was Nerve-Wracking Fun to Join You.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Stephen Colbert has officially laid his blowhard character to rest. Brian, Kurt Andersen and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian—all former Report guests—discuss the show's impact.

Comments [27]

Kurt Andersen: Growing up with Mike Nichols

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kurt Andersen remembers growing up with Nichols and May and The Graduate and finally meeting legendary director Mike Nichols as an adult.
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25 Years in 25 Days (1989): Don't Have a Cow

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Brian Lehrer Show looks back on 1989 and the first broadcast of The Simpsons with Kurt Andersen.

Comments [14]

Carla Bruni: A Chanteuse Of 'Little French Songs'

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Soundcheck guest host Kurt Andersen talks with the former First Lady of France about her fourth album, Little French Songs, released earlier this year -- and she performs a bilingual ...

Comments [3]

How Modernity Began 100 Years Ago

Monday, June 30, 2014

The year 1914 is most often associated with the start of World War I, but it was also a year of incredible social and artistic change. Animation was invented, blues music went mainstr...

Comments [1]

Studio 360's 1914 Blues Challenge: Listener Submissions

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Soundcheck host John Schaefer sits with Studio 360's Kurt Andersen and Marc Anthony Thompson (a.k.a. Chocolate Genius) to listen to listener-recorded covers of "Yellow Dog Blues" as p...


Reggie Watts Plays Live; Studio 360's Blues Challenge; Maya Angelou Remembered

Thursday, May 29, 2014

In this episode: Comedian, actor, and one-man band Reggie Watts joins us to talk about the new season of the IFC talk show Comedy Bang! Bang! Plus, hear him rigs up his loop pedals and mics for an impromptu set in the Soundcheck studio.

Then: Our friends at Studio 360 recently launched the “1914 Blues Challenge” which for the past few weeks, asked listeners to record a 100-year-old W.C. Handy classic, “Yellow Dog Blues.” Host Kurt Andersen and the contest’s judge, musician Chocolate Genius, join Soundcheck to review some of the submissions they’ve received so far.

And: Soundcheck host John Schaefer reflects on the life and legacy of poet and civil rights icon Maya Angelou, who died yesterday at age 86.

Comments [1]