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Bullseye : About

Airs Saturdays at 1PM on AM 820 and Sundays at 9PM on 93.9FM and NJPR

Jesse Thorn cuts through the weeds of pop culture, with irreverent comedy, in-depth interviews and a keen eye for what’s worth knowing about.

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

Latest Stories from Bullseye

Last updated: Monday, December 22 2014 02:45 PM

Holiday Special 2014

Tuesday, December 16 2014 10:30 AM

The Bullseye Holiday Special returns for 2014! Music expert Mitchell Kezin talks about his new documentary called Jingle Bell Rocks! It dives into the world of alternative and underground Christmas music. Bill Corbett (the veteran writer and performer...

Chris Rock and John Cleese

Tuesday, December 09 2014 10:30 AM

Two comedy giants this week. First, Jesse talks to Chris Rock about what it was like to become one of the world’s best stand-up comics in the 1990s. Rock’s got a new movie out. It’s called Top Five. Then, Jesse sits down with Monty...

Bob Odenkirk

Tuesday, December 02 2014 10:30 AM

Jesse sits down with a cult comedy icon to talk about why Mr. Show influenced an entire generation of new comedians. Bob Odenkirk’s new book of humor fiction is called A Load of Hooey. He’s also got a new stand-up comedy album out....

Mavis Staples

Tuesday, November 25 2014 10:30 AM

[r] Mavis Staples is one of the greatest singers of our time -- a gospel, soul, and R&B vocalist known for her deep, rich voice. She began as the lead singer of The Staple Singers, a family gospel group formed by Pops Staples and several of his...

Paul Reubens, Aasif Mandvi and Kimbra

Tuesday, November 18 2014 10:30 AM

Paul Reubens created Pee-wee Herman. Jesse sits down with Reubens to talk about growing up in a circus town, Reubens’ early appearances on The Gong Show, and the plans for a new Pee-wee Herman movie. Jesse also talks with Aasif Mandvi. A...

Judge John Hodgman Special

Tuesday, November 11 2014 10:30 AM

 We break format this week to bring you the Judge John Hodgman Special. Maybe you know John Hodgman from his appearances on The Daily Show, or as the PC from the Mac vs. PC ads. But did you know he's also a fake judge on the internet? On his...

Sergio Mendes and The Pogues’ James Fearnley

Tuesday, November 04 2014 10:30 AM

For a time, Mendes was probably the most famous Brazilian musician in the world. Mendes will talk to Jesse about why bossa nova has such a universal appeal. Jesse will also talk to James Fearnley. He plays accordion for The Pogues. Fearnley will talk...

Elvis Mitchell and Bob Edwards

Tuesday, October 28 2014 09:30 AM

[r] Hear interviews with two of the best interviewers in the world. First up is Elvis Mitchell. He hosts KCRW’s The Treatment. He and Jesse will talk about their mutual love for the movie Pootie Tang.  He’ll also explain why he was...

Live with Dan Harmon and Rob Corddry

Tuesday, October 21 2014 09:30 AM

This episode was taped live in the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Dan Harmon joins talks about why he was fired and then re-hired from his sitcom Community, and reveals what might be in store for the future of the show. Actor Rob...

DJ Quik

Tuesday, October 14 2014 09:30 AM

DJ Quik was a house producer for Death Row Records and helped develop the G-funk sound. A lot of times those records were dramatic narratives about gangbanging. He’ll talk about how that drama spilled into real-life and about how he had to...

tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus and John Darnielle

Tuesday, October 07 2014 09:30 AM

Merrill Garbus layers vocals with drum loops and ukulele as the creator of tUnE yArDs. She’ll talk about why she turned away from classical music as a kid, and you’ll hear some songs from her new album. It’s called Nikki Nack. Then...

Ed Helms, Tig Notaro and Nick Frost

Tuesday, September 30 2014 09:30 AM

Ed Helms talks about the advice he received from Stephen Colbert when he first started on The Daily Show. He also talks about why he’s behind a new bluegrass festival in Los Angeles. Now, he’s behind a Los Angeles bluegrass festival. But...

Anna Faris and Otis Brown III

Tuesday, September 23 2014 09:30 AM

  Anna Faris’ break may have come with Scary Movie, but she’s had a long career since then. She’ll talk to Jesse about her roles on The House Bunny and her current starring role on the CBS sitcom Mom. Later, Jesse talks to the...

Maria Bamford and George Saunders

Tuesday, September 16 2014 09:30 AM

[r] The writer George Saunders talks about his early creative challenges, the slight constant pressure of capitalism, and Tenth of December, his new book of short stories. Maria Bamford explains why she filmed her new comedy special in front of an...

Todd Glass and Raffi

Tuesday, September 09 2014 11:30 AM

Todd Glass has been a comic for 30 years but he’s only been out of the closet for about two. He’ll talk to Jesse about why he waited until his late 40s to come out. Todd Glass has a new book out -- it’s called The Todd Glass...

Chuck Klosterman

Tuesday, September 02 2014 11:30 AM

Chuck Klosterman’s newest collection of essays is called I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains. What does it mean to be a modern villain? Why is society so hung up on anti-heroes? For that matter, how would we react if Batman were a real...

George Takei and Damian Abraham

Tuesday, August 26 2014 09:30 AM

George Takei will talk about how he went from a prisoner at a Japanese-American internment camp, to the guy playing Sulu on Star Trek, to a leading marriage equality activist. Then Jesse will talk to Damian Abraham. He’s in the band F***ed Up....

Dum Dum Girls’ Dee Dee Penny, Jodorowsky's Dune & Matt Fraction

Tuesday, August 19 2014 09:30 AM

In the mid-70s Alejandro Jodorowsky attempted to bring Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel to the screen. The ambitious space opera would have pre-dated Star Wars, but Jodorowsky's version of Dune was never filmed. The documentary’s...

Ishmael Butler, Allison Janney, Michel Gondry

Tuesday, August 12 2014 11:30 AM

Ishmael Butler talks to Jesse about the birth and death of Digable Planets and the new record from Shabazz Palaces. Then Allison Janney talks about her Emmy-nominated work on Masters of Sex and Mom. Plus, Michel Gondry talks about the song that...

Elizabeth Gilbert and Daryl Hall

Tuesday, August 05 2014 09:30 AM

[r] Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest novel is called The Signature of All Things. It traces the life of a woman living in the 19th century as a botanist. But it’s actually a really fun adventure story. She’ll talk about it, and about the...

Lewis Black, Syl Johnson & Annie Hart

Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:30 AM

[r] 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...

Hari Kondabolu & Jake Kasdan

Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:30 AM

Hari Kondabolu talks about the distinct advantages and disadvantages of being a stand up comedian who's also a former social activist and organizer. Director Jake Kasdan talks about the strategy involved in making a movie called Sex Tape. Carolyn...

Nat Faxon, Mimi Pond & Werner Herzog

Tuesday, July 15 2014 11:30 AM

Nat Faxon talks about going from bit parts to starring roles, and what it was like to meet George Clooney. Mimi Pond talks about the sex, drugs and profanity she encountered while working at a diner in the 1970s. She put together a graphic novel about...

Fred Willard & Vocoders with Dave Tompkins

Tuesday, July 08 2014 11:30 AM

[r] Fred Willard talks to Jesse about why he plays a cocky buffoon all the time, and why he turned down the lead in Airplane! Dave Tompkins talks about how the vocoder went from a military encryption tool to a musical instrument. Eleni Mandell reveals...

Melissa McCarthy & Ben Falcone and The Sklar Brothers

Tuesday, July 01 2014 11:30 AM

Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone are both creative and romantic partners. They’ll talk about their most recent collaboration, the new movie Tammy. Then Jesse will talk to another family that’s working together: The Sklar Brothers.Randy and...

Puppeteer Caroll Spinney, filmmaker Dave LaMattina and comedian Ian Edwards

Tuesday, June 24 2014 09:30 AM

Jesse talks to the man inside the Big Bird suit. Caroll Spinney has been Big Bird since the beginning in 1969. He’s actually Oscar the Grouch, too. Spinney will talk about why he’s stayed connected to the world of Sesame Street for so...

Carl Wilson, Max Greenfield and Moby

Tuesday, June 17 2014 11:30 AM

Max Greenfield plays Schmidt on the FOX sitcom New Girl. He'll talk about why it’s the role he was really meant to play. But first, Jesse talks to the music critic Carl Wilson. He wrote a book about a Celine Dion album, but more than that the...

Nick Thune & Vince Staples

Tuesday, June 10 2014 11:30 AM

Jesse talks with the comedian Nick Thune. For a long time he didn’t talk much about his personal life on stage. That's been changing recently. They’ll talk about that and his new special Folk Hero. Then Jesse talks to the rapper Vince...

Luis Guzman

Tuesday, June 03 2014 11:30 AM

[r] Maybe you’ve seen Luis Guzman in more movies than anyone else, or maybe it just seems that way. On this episode, Guzman talks about his journey from New York social worker to prolific Hollywood character actor who lives in Vermont. Then...

Jenny Slate, star of 'Obvious Child'

Tuesday, May 27 2014 11:30 AM

Jenny Slate had a rough first night on Saturday Night Live, but she hasn’t been sweating it since. Things have worked out pretty well. Marcel the Shell has millions of views on YouTube, and she’s even got the lead in a new upcoming movie...

John Oliver & Arsenio Hall

Tuesday, May 20 2014 11:00 AM

Two late night hosts! Jesse talks to John Oliver about why it's sometimes weird to make jokes about American politics when you're a Brit, and how he got used to living in New York. Then Jesse sits down with one of the most iconic late night hosts...

Judy Greer & Richard Ayoade

Tuesday, May 13 2014 11:30 AM

The reason you might not be able to place Judy Greer is because she never really plays the lead. She's come to terms with that, and she's had supporting roles in a slew of great stuff. Jesse will ask her about 'Arrested Development', 'Archer', and her...

George R.R. Martin & E from Eels

Tuesday, May 06 2014 09:30 AM

[r] The author of A Song of Ice and Fire series sits down with John Hodgman for a conversation about Martin's comic book inspirations, his relationship with his fans, and why he likes to kill off so many of his characters. Then later Jesse talks to...

Jim Rash, Bob Saget & the creators of 'Playing House'

Tuesday, April 29 2014 11:30 AM

Jesse will talk to Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham about how their USA show 'Playing House' came together. We'll also hear from Bob Saget. You know him. 'Full House'. But he'll tell you himself: Danny Tanner is actually the role that changed...

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...

Huey Lewis and Phone Phreaking with Phil Lapsley

Tuesday, May 07 2013 09:30 AM

Jesse talks to Huey Lewis about his pub rock beginnings, his multi-platinum success with the album Sports, and how he wrote songs for movies like Back to the Future and Pineapple Express. He also talks about the time he snuck onto an airplane bound...

Simon Amstell and Brian K. Vaughan

Tuesday, April 30 2013 09:30 AM

We revisit Jesse’s interview with the delightful stand-up comic Simon Amstell. On TV, he prods at the powers that be and has even caused a few walk-offs. But despite the escapades, Amstell spends much of his time on stage and off looking inward,...

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Armando Iannucci and Billy Bragg

Tuesday, April 23 2013 09:30 AM

We’re talking Veep this week with the HBO comedy’s showrunner, Armando Iannucci, and its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Iannucci talks about geeking out on American and British politics and recreating them on-screen. Then, Louis-Dreyfus talks...

Shane Carruth (Upstream Color) and Rodney Ascher (Room 237)

Tuesday, April 16 2013 09:30 AM

Jesse talks to the director Shane Carruth. His new movie Upstream Color has almost no dialogue, involves a kind of abstract science fiction premise, but keeps you fully engaged. Then Jesse talks to Rodney Ascher, who directed Room 237. It’s a...

Big Boi from OutKast and Catherine O'Hara

Tuesday, April 09 2013 09:30 AM

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...

Lily Tomlin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Davy Rothbart

Tuesday, April 02 2013 09:30 AM

There’s no mistaking actress Lily Tomlin. Even when the part is small, she’s never lost in the background. In fact she almost steals the show in the new Tina Fey movie. It’s called Admission. Jesse talks to Tomlin about her storied...

NBC’s Must See TV with Warren Littlefield, former NBC executive

Tuesday, March 26 2013 09:30 AM

Dive into the empire that Cheers built. Whether it was The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Frasier, or Friends, Warren Littlefield oversaw all of it. NBC was a Thursday night powerhouse in the 80s and 90s. But now? That's all pretty much crumbled. Hear an...

Simon Rich and Bill Burr

Tuesday, March 19 2013 09:30 AM

Simon Rich is an absolutely hilarious writer. He sits down with Jesse, and says that he doesn't write about the way love happens, he writes about the way love feels. Rich has a new book out -- Last Girlfriend on Earth. Plus, we revisit an interview...

Moshe Kasher and Lateef the Truthspeaker

Tuesday, March 12 2013 09:30 AM

Alex Zalben and Brian Heater offer up some of their all-time comics favorites. The comedian Moshe Kasher talks about his amazing memoir, rapper Lateef the Truthspeaker reveals how jazz scat changed his life, and Jesse talks to the directors of...

Aisha Tyler and Bilal

Tuesday, March 05 2013 10:30 AM

Nathan Rabin and Marah Eakin from the AV Club talk about a couple of their all-time favorite albums from Warren Zevon and Fleetwood Mac, respectively. Aisha Tyler -- who stars as Lana on Archer, the animated spy show on FX -- talks about living a...

Andrew Rannells, Jim Lehrer, Thao Nguyen

Tuesday, February 26 2013 10:30 AM

The actor Andrew Rannells talks about growing up gay in Nebraska, his role in The Book of Mormon, and how to avoid uncomfortable moments when filming nude scenes. Public broadcasting legend Jim Lehrer discusses the benefits of working on a tight...

Boots Riley, Roman Mars and Steve Agee – Recorded at SF Sketchfest!

Tuesday, February 19 2013 10:30 AM

The Coup's Boots Riley talks about using lyrics to battle capitalism coporatism, police brutality and injustice. Roman Mars, host of 99% Invisible, traces his journey from wunderkind PhD student to public radio producer to crowd-funded podcaster....

Maria Bamford and George Saunders

Tuesday, February 12 2013 10:30 AM

The writer George Saunders talks about his early creative challenges, the slight constant pressure of capitalism, and Tenth of December, his new book of short stories. Maria Bamford explains why she filmed her new comedy special in front of an...

W. Kamau Bell, Mike Birbiglia and Eleni Mandell

Tuesday, February 05 2013 10:30 AM

W. Kamau Bell, host of Totally Biased, calculates the gentrification sweet spot. Singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell's life is changed by a Tom Waits song, even though it wasn't the one she meant  to hear. Plus comedian Mike Birbigilia makes a movie....

Nick Kroll and Billy Eichner

Tuesday, January 29 2013 10:30 AM

Jesse talks to Billy Eichner, who quizzes bewildered New York pedestrians on the topics that are nearest and dearest to his heart: Britney Spears, Meryl Streep and Madonna. But first, Nick Kroll talks about his new sketch series Kroll Show, and why...

Jeff Bridges, Bernie Glassman and H. Jon Benjamin

Tuesday, January 22 2013 10:30 AM

It may not be the movie that won Jeff Bridges an Oscar, but The Big Lebowski is still one of the actor's favorites. Bridges joins Zen master Bernie Glassman to talk with Jesse about the Dude in all of us. Then, H. Jon Benjamin talks about voicing the...