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Bullseye : About

Airs Saturdays at 1PM on AM 820 and Sundays at 6PM on FM 93.9

Bullseye is a public radio show about things that are awesome. Each week on the show, host Jesse Thorn, "America's Radio Sweetheart," hosts in-depth discussions with personalities from the world of entertainment & the arts. Think of it like Conan O'Brien on public radio, or "Fresh Air," but more fun.

The program is carried on public radio stations around the country, and was the first public radio program west of the Mississippi to podcast. It has received plaudits from publications like Time Magazine (which called it "Pick of the Podcasts") and Salon.com. It also was honored by the iTunes editorial staff as a "classic" Best of iTunes selection. Since July of 2007, the show has been distributed by Public Radio International.

Produced by
http://www.maximumfun.org/shows/bullseye

Latest Stories from Bullseye

Last updated: Thursday, April 24 2014 05:21 AM

Bootsy Collins

Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:30 AM

[r] As a member of James Brown's band, The J.B.'s, Bootsy helped create the revolution that was funk.  Later, Bootsy joined forces with a very different kind of funk legend: George Clinton. In an extended interview, Jesse will talk to Bootsy...

Steve Coogan & Kevin Kerrane

Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:00 AM

Steve Coogan’s resume is long and varied, but Alan Partridge has been a constant. Coogan talks about how the character has taken on a life of its own over the past twenty years. Kevin Kerrane talks with Jesse about his classic baseball scouting...

Jason Schwartzman & Russell Simmons

Tuesday, April 08 2014 02:00 PM

It's been awhile since 'Rushmore', but Jason Schwartzman will always remember the advice that Bill Murray gave him on-set. Jesse and Jason will talk about the first time he met Wes Anderson, what it was like to help write 'The Darjeeling Limited' and...

Rick Moranis & Mary Roach

Tuesday, April 01 2014 07:00 PM

[r] Rick Moranis was a movie star. Strange Brew; Ghostbusters; Spaceballs; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids... and then, he quit. Find out why he doesn't regret leaving show business to raise his children. Then later, Jesse talks to Mary Roach. Her book...

RuPaul & Terry Crews

Tuesday, March 25 2014 09:30 AM

Check out Jesse's conversation with the most famous drag queen in the world. RuPaul will talk about being inspired by Bugs Bunny and Monty Python, and about his time in Atlanta's underground music scene. Then Terry Crews of Brooklyn Nine-Nine will...

John C. Reilly & Kristen Bell

Tuesday, March 18 2014 09:30 AM

John C. Reilly is a guy with tremendous range. More than almost anyone. Reilly stars in a bizarre show called Check it Out! with Dr. Steve Brule. Why does a movie star have a faux cable-access show that runs in the middle of the night on adult swim?...

George Clinton & Christian Acker

Tuesday, March 11 2014 09:30 AM

George Clinton is the 72-year-old master of funk. He paid his dues in the mainstream -- singing doo wop and writing for Motown. Then, with Parliament-Funkadelic he developed a look and a sound that was like nothing else before it. Later Christian...

Neil deGrasse Tyson & Lily Tomlin

Tuesday, March 04 2014 10:30 AM

[r] Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson chases the unexplored secrets of the universe and then tells Jesse why he shouldn't be scared of space. He's the host of the new version of Carl Sagan's Cosmos. Then, Jesse talks with actor and comedian Lily...

Andy Daly and Willie Colon

Tuesday, February 25 2014 10:30 AM

Andy Daly is a very pleasant looking guy, in a sort of all-American, unthreatening way. He’ll talk to Jesse about how he used that image to surprise people on his new TV show. Later, Jesse talks to the influential bandleader Willie Colon about...

The Pointer Sisters

Tuesday, February 18 2014 10:30 AM

R&B stars Ruth and Anita Pointer will talk about the records that inspired them and the country song that earned them a Grammy, but mostly, they’ll have a lot of fun remembering all the great hits they had. The composer Bobby Lopez will talk...

Charlie Wilson from The Gap Band

Tuesday, February 11 2014 10:30 AM

[r] Charlie Wilson made hits in the 80s as the frontman of The Gap Band. In the 90s, he was homeless on the streets of LA. Then he turned it all around. In this extended interview, Jesse talks with Charlie Wilson about his astonishing career with The...

The Creators of ‘Trophy Wife’ and ‘Achewood’

Tuesday, February 04 2014 10:30 AM

Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern’s sitcom Trophy Wife is wrapping up its first season on ABC. They’ll talk about the real life events that inspired the show. Chris Onstad, creator of the online comic Achewood, will talk about why he...

Jean Grae & Mike Royce and Kevin Biegel of ‘Enlisted’

Tuesday, January 28 2014 10:30 AM

The rapper Jean Grae is Jesse’s first guest this week. She’s been working her tail off this past year. She’s got a new LP, a new EP, a new audiobook and a new web series. Later in the show Jesse will talk to Mike Royce and Kevin...

Jessica Walter & Nicholas Dawidoff

Tuesday, January 21 2014 10:30 AM

Lately, Jessica Walter is known for playing the icy mother figure. After all, she was Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development and is the voice of Mallory Archer on the animated series Archer. But her career stretches back more than 50 years with roles...

Pharoahe Monch & Huey Lewis

Tuesday, January 14 2014 10:30 AM

[r] Take a listen to Jesse’s interview with the terrific Pharoahe Monch. He was one half of Organized Konfusion. Even though they didn’t sell a ton of records, they were one of the most impactful hip hop duos of the 90s. Jesse asks how...

Bubba Sparxxx and Ian MacKaye

Tuesday, January 07 2014 10:30 AM

First up, Jesse’s conversation with the rapper Bubba Sparxxx. He grew up in rural Georgia and describes himself as a ‘country white boy’. His dad thought a rap career was preposterous. Bubba did it though. Jesse and Bubba talk about...

Best Comedy of 2013 Special

Tuesday, December 31 2013 10:30 AM

Take pity on our poor intern Brian. We sat him down in front of a computer with a stack of comedy CDs as high as an elephant’s eye. He sifted through hours of hilarious stand-up specials and narrowed them down to the very best. Now we’re...

Mel Brooks & Aimee Mann

Tuesday, December 24 2013 10:30 AM

[r] It’s hard to imagine what American comedy would look like without Mel Brooks. Jesse talks to Brooks about about fighting in World War II (where he managed to even make a few Germans laugh), working with Gene Wilder, and that time Sid Caesar...

2013 Holiday Special

Tuesday, December 17 2013 10:30 AM

[r] This holiday season, listen back to Jesse’s interview with Ronnie Spector. As the lead singer of the Ronettes, she recorded some of the most iconic Christmas music ever made. Then later, hear Jesse’s interview with Fred Schneider. You...

Jack Black and Bun B

Tuesday, December 10 2013 10:30 AM

Jack Black will talk to guest host Susan Orlean about which came first, the acting or the music. He'll also talk about why he'd like to work with David Lynch and why he almost didn't take the part in High Fidelity. Then, we’ll revisit...

Henry Bushkin Talks Johnny Carson

Tuesday, December 03 2013 10:30 AM

Who WAS Johnny Carson? Guest host Mike Pesca will talk to Henry Bushkin about just that. He was Carson’s longtime lawyer and fixer. Carson even once called Bushkin his best friend. And Johnny didn’t make friends easily. Then later, we...

Big Boi and Catherine O'Hara

Tuesday, November 26 2013 10:30 AM

[r] Actress Catherine O’Hara talks about her start with the Second City’s SCTV, blockbuster success with Beetlejuice and Home Alone, and her perfect encapsulation of comic absurdity in Christopher Guest films like Waiting for Guffman and A...

Brett Gurewitz and Jimmy Pardo

Tuesday, November 19 2013 10:30 AM

Guest host Jordan Morris is back to talk with Brett Gurewitz. Not only is he a founding member of Bad Religion,  he also owns the juggernaut independent punk label Epitaph Records. Jordan asks Brett about his career with Bad Religion and the...

Tom Bissell and Greg Sestero Talk About "The Room"

Tuesday, November 12 2013 10:30 AM

Guest host Jordan Morris sits down with actor Greg Sestero and journalist Tom Bissell. In 2003, Greg co-starred in a movie called “The Room”. Its stilted dialogue, weird plot points and bizarre aesthetics turned the movie into a cult hit....

Bill Hader, June Diane Raphael and The Internet

Tuesday, November 05 2013 10:30 AM

Take a listen to our show taped live at KPCC’s Crawford Family Forum! Bill Hader reveals some of his favorite characters that never made it onto SNL, talks about what it felt like to say goodbye to Stefon, and then storms out of the room...

Elizabeth Gilbert, Gillian Jacobs and Fred Armisen

Tuesday, October 29 2013 09:30 AM

Elizabeth Gilbert’s new novel traces the life of a woman living in the 19th century as a botanist. Jesse will ask Elizabeth about what the reaction to ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ has meant to her -- both the good and the not-so-good. Then...

Bill Withers

Tuesday, October 22 2013 09:30 AM

[r] Tune in for a rare interview with the soul legend Bill Withers. He retired from the music industry in the mid 1980s and, with a few exceptions, has stayed out of the public eye for more than 20 years. He and Jesse will talk about why he enlisted...

Nick Offerman and The Birthday Boys

Tuesday, October 15 2013 09:30 AM

Nick Offerman plays Ron Swanson on Parks & Recreation. Swanson is one of the most beloved characters on TV… known for his love of meat, his hatred of big government, and his healthy mustache. Jesse also talks to a few of the members from...

Nicole Holofcener, Jane Espenson, Brad Bell

Tuesday, October 08 2013 09:30 AM

Nicole Holofcener has written and directed five films. The fifth, her newest is called ‘Enough Said’. It's a sweet and sharp movie starring Julia Louis Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini. The movie looks at a bunch of life-stuff -- the...

Junot Diaz and Carrie Fisher

Tuesday, October 01 2013 09:30 AM

Junot Diaz has a book of short stories out now in paperback. It’s called ‘This Is How You Lose Her.’ Junot’s book is new, but the protagonist Yunior isn’t. This is the third time the Pulitzer Prize-winning author has...

Stephen Merchant, Co-creator of The Office

Tuesday, September 24 2013 09:30 AM

Stephen Merchant says he didn’t get into comedy to become popular. He did it mostly to please himself. But then, with his buddy Ricky Gervais, he made a  TV show called ‘The Office’ and it changed both of their lives. Jesse and...

Actor Stephen Tobolowsky

Tuesday, September 17 2013 09:30 AM

[r] Stephen Tobolowsky is a veteran character actor. Now he's an author, too, but his book isn't about Hollywood stuff. It's about normal stuff from his life like getting held up at the grocery store, or spending Christmas tripping on acid. Plus,...

The Influence Of Bob And Ray With David Pollock

Tuesday, September 10 2013 06:30 AM

From Bob Newhart to George Carlin, the comedy duo Bob & Ray influenced some of the 20th century’s finest entertainers. Jesse will talk with comedy writer David Pollock about how Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding created that bond with their...

Jon Mooallem & Elmore Leonard

Tuesday, September 03 2013 09:30 AM

When it comes to sharing the planet with other animals, you might think that we humans are just screwing it all up. Ruining everything. Hogging all the resources. But what if it’s a little more complicated than that? What do the stories we tell...

Prodigy of Mobb Deep

Tuesday, August 27 2013 11:30 AM

[r] First, an interview with the rapper and author Prodigy, one-half of the seminal hardcore hip hop duo Mobb Deep. He'll talk about why his naturally shy demeanor was taken for weakness, selling crack cocaine when he was barely in middle school, and...

Lewis Black & Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer

Tuesday, August 20 2013 09:30 AM

Hear Jesse’s interview with one of comedy’s greatest grumps: Lewis Black. He didn’t become a stand-up until his mid-thirties. Find out why he left the theater for comedy and why he actually considers himself a family comic. The...

Kumail Nanjiani & Lake Bell

Tuesday, August 13 2013 09:30 AM

First up on the show is an interview with Kumail Nanjiani. He has come a long way since we had him do stand up on our show a few years ago. He just put out his first comedy special, Beta Male. He just got a role in Mike Judge’s new HBO show....

Fred Willard & David Gordon Green

Tuesday, August 06 2013 09:30 AM

If a director is looking for the perfect guy to play an oblivious, cocky buffoon then Fred Willard is their man. Jesse talks to Fred about his entire career, and finds out why he turned down the lead in the movie Airplane! Then later Jesse talks to...

Writer Fran Lebowitz

Tuesday, July 30 2013 09:30 AM

[r] A conversation with the New York cultural authority Fran Lebowitz. Find out why she was expelled from high school, why she waltzed into a publishing office barefoot to submit her first manuscript, and why she's had writers block for more than...

Comedy group Kasper Hauser & David Rakoff

Tuesday, July 23 2013 09:30 AM

A lawyer, a writer, a psychiatrist, and a theater professor got together to write a humor book about earning your MBA on the toilet. The group is called Kasper Hauser. Rob Baedeker and James Reichmuth talk about how they balance comedy with full-time...

Rick Moranis and Booker T. Jones

Tuesday, July 16 2013 09:30 AM

Rick Moranis was a movie star. Strange Brew, Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Honey I Shrunk the Kids. And then he quit. We'll talk about why he doesn't regret leaving show business to raise his children. And find out why he's returning to the public eye...

Nathan Rabin and Benjamin Nugent, author of American Nerd

Tuesday, July 09 2013 09:30 AM

You'd be hard pressed to find two music groups with more divergent sounds than the jam band Phish and the horrorcore rap duo Insane Clown Posse. But they've got something in common. Each of them has a deeply passionate following, and each of them has...

The Directors of "Doin' It In The Park" and Mary Roach

Tuesday, July 02 2013 09:30 AM

Delve into the culture of pickup basketball this week, and find out why each of the hundreds of courts in New York City is a unique experience. Jesse will talk with Bobbito Garcia and his co-director Kevin Couliau about their new documentary...

Lemmy and Jackson Publick

Tuesday, June 25 2013 09:30 AM

[r] Who is Lemmy? Well he’s the singer for Motörhead and he’s revered by metal fans around the globe. Jesse talked to Lemmy in person a couple of years ago at SxSW and you’ll hear that amazing conversation later in the show. But...

Paul Feig and Ophira Eisenberg

Tuesday, June 18 2013 09:30 AM

Director Paul Feig talks about being a child magician, an actor and stand-up, and what finally drove him behind the camera to direct film and television. Plus, he’ll talk about his new movie The Heat, his last movie Bridesmaids, and why he likes...

Charlie Wilson from The Gap Band

Tuesday, June 11 2013 09:30 AM

Charlie Wilson made hits in the 80s as the frontman of the Gap Band. In the 90s he was homeless on the streets of LA. Then, he turned it all around. Jesse talks with Charlie Wilson about his astonishing career with The Gap Band and his later...

“Weird Al” Yankovic and Geoffrey Nunberg

Tuesday, June 04 2013 09:30 AM

[r] “Weird Al” Yankovic is a master of parody music and one of the all-time bestselling accordionists. He and Jesse talk about Yankovic’s multi-decade career. Plus, Bullseye’s rap contributor Andrew Noz talks about some his...

Christopher Guest & Dan Kennedy

Tuesday, May 28 2013 09:30 AM

Christopher Guest talks about the origins of his signature style of parodic filmmaking. He’ll also talk about why music pops up in his movies so much. Guest explored folk music in A Mighty Wind and community musical theater in Waiting For...

Nile Rodgers

Tuesday, May 21 2013 09:30 AM

Nile Rodgers played guitar on the new Daft Punk single, but decades before that he launched a string of hits with the group Chic, including "Le Freak" and "Good Times", and went on to become a songwriting and producing superstar.  He was behind...

Mel Brooks and The Source Family

Tuesday, May 14 2013 09:30 AM

Jesse talks to Mel Brooks about his unparalleled career -- from writing for Sid Caesar on television in the 1950s to working with Gene Wilder on The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein in the 60s and 70s. Then later, Jesse talks to the...