Bullseye with Jesse Thorn (NPR)
Bullseye from NPR is your curated guide to culture. Jesse Thorn hosts in-depth interviews with brilliant creators, culture picks from our favorite critics and irreverent original comedy. 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." (Formerly known as The Sound of Young America.)
Alia Shawkat & Mackenzie Crook (6/2018)
Alia Shawkat came by the Bullseye studios and holy moly, what a brilliant, funny human being! You know her as Maeby Fünke from TV's Arrested Development, which just dropped its fifth season. She also leads the TBS series Search Party these days. But Alia just starred in a really interesting film - it's called Duck Butter, and it tells the story of two women who fall in love and decide to spend the next 24 hours together, awake and totally present. Then, Mackenzie Crook. You've seen him before - maybe it was as Gareth on the original UK version of The Office. Or maybe you saw him in Pirates of the Caribbean or Game of Thrones. But his passion project is Detectorists - a three season British show he stars in and create. It's finally come to the states in its entirety via Acorn TV. It's a show about metal detecting, relationships, and the English Countryside and it's one of our favorite things on air. Finally - we know nobody can break the laws of physics. But if we had to pick one person who might be able to, it'd be NFL running back Barry Sanders. Jesse tells you why.
Pamela Adlon & James Acaster (6/2018)
The talents of Pamela Adlon are many. First, she's an incredible voice actress who's worked on literally dozens of shows. You probably know her best as Bobby from King of the Hill, though, where she was brilliant. Then there's her work on live action TV - she starred on prestige shows like Californication and Louie. And now, she co-created and stars in her own show: Better Things, which wrapped up its second season last year. You'll also hear from up and coming comic James Acaster - he's a regular on British TV and he's just now starting to make a splash over here with his hilarious **four hour long** comedy special on Netflix. The outshot is back next week!
Metta World Peace & Cut Chemist (6/2018)
This week, we've got a real treat for you: Metta World Peace! Even for a former NBA All Star and Champion, Metta has a big personality. When he played he had a reputation for hard defense and an unmatched intensity on the court. When it worked, it made him passionate, tough and nearly impossible to get past. But when didn't, things went south easily. He'd play dirty, get into dustups on the court. But World Peace - who was born Ron Artest - is up front about his flaws. And, in recent years, he's become a powerful advocate for mental health care. It's made him one of the most fascinating people in basketball. And it's also part of the reason his new book "No Malice: My Life in Basketball" is so compelling. He talks with Jesse about the new book - his highs, his lows, his childhood growing up in an enormous housing project in Queens. Plus, the time he met Kobe Bryant in a shower. We also have the song that changed Cut Chemist's life, and a deep, touching outshot on the life of Ed Roberts, a pioneering leader in the disability rights movement.
H. Jon Benjamin & Sara Driver (5/2018)
Fans of Bob's Burgers, Archer, Home Movies and Dr. Katz, rejoice! Jesse's talking with the incomparable H. Jon Benjamin this week. With lead roles in some of the most popular comedies of all time, it's hard to call Jon a failure. But he doesn't really mind the label. In fact, he just wrote a book called "Failure is an Option: An Attempted Memoir." In it, he recounts his shortcomings in excruciating detail and how, wouldn't you know it, a lot of those failures opened the door to success: failures in family, in work, in serving fajitas. It's a very self-deprecating, self-aware memoir. And since it's written by H. Jon Benjamin, it's also really, really funny. Then, a talk about the gritty golden days of the New York City art scene with filmmaker Sara Driver. Driver just made a new documentary - it's called "Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat." It's a story about one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century and the art community he came up in. Driver lived in that same community and talked with dozens of other people from New York's art scene to tell a totally unique, hypnotizing story. Finally: the outshot is a little different this week. But it won't leave you hungry!
Geena Davis & Jack Handey (5/2018)
For over a decade, actress Geena Davis has been spearheading an institute that gathers the numbers on gender balance on-screen. On this week's episode, she shares her fascinating take on what they do with all their findings plus, some heartwarming stories about how her work has shaped the way her children think about TV and film. Then, writer and humorist, Jack Handey of SNL's "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey" offers an explanation as to why the voice of Deep Thoughts might be a psychopath, but definitely not insane. And finally, for this week's outshot: Jesse thinks about the lasting amusement found in a 20-year old website. Welcome. To Bullseye. Welcome to Bullseye. Anything is possible at Bullseye. Welcome to you, who are at Bullseye. Welcome!
Robert Smigel & Gillian Jacobs (5/2018)
This week, writer and director Robert Smigel breaks down what really happened when he was showrunning "The Dana Carvey" show. Plus, he'll talk about so much more including his time on SNL, and his new movie "The Week Of" on Netflix. And probably his best known creation: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Then, Gillian Jacobs. You know her from her roles on "Community", "Girls," and "Love." She'll be in two upcoming films: "Life of the Party" and Netflix's "Ibiza." She keeps busy, but after working so hard these past few years, she tells Jesse why she's taken some time off for a little self-care.
Neko Case & Thao Nguyen (5/2018)
This week, two great musician interviews from the Bullseye archives. First up: Neko Case. It's hard to think of a singer/songwriter more beloved in the alt country / indie rock world Case inhabits. Her work - about half a dozen solo albums and a long list of collaborations with artists like New Pornographers and kd lang - has thrilled critics for decades now. She and Jesse talk about her transition from drummer to singer and guitarist, her move to a farm in Vermont, and more. Then, Thao Nguyen. Her band, Thao and the Get Down, Stay Down, have been making pop music with a bold, confessional bent for a while now. She and Jesse talk about artistic growth, nurturing relationships with estranged parents and her most recent record - 2016's A Man Alive. Both Thao and Neko are embarking on a big nationwide tour this Summer - find links to dates on the Bullseye page at MaximumFun.org!
Roy Wood Jr. & Peter Serafinowicz (4/2018)
This week, we're talking with two *very* funny people. First: Roy Wood Jr. Roy's a correspondent on the Daily Show these days, but the road he took to get there is fascinating. Roy produced, wrote and hosted on a grab bag of different radio shows, first in his hometown of Birmingham, AL, then in Los Angeles. He's also a standup with his own weird, kind of brilliant form of truth-telling. Don't miss this one. Then, actor/director/writer Peter Serafinowicz. He's got a starring role on Amazon's The Tick but Lord alive, what a career he's had! He's a music video director, co-creator of some of England's weirdest (and funniest) comedy shows - he also did the voice of Darth Maul in the phantom menace. Remember that? Finally, if you ever found yourself falling in love with a team because of their goofy logo, have we got a blog for you!
Special: The Wire! (4/2018)
Don't sleep on this one. It's a celebration of one of the best shows ever: The Wire! First, you'll hear a vintage Bullseye interview (recorded live to tape in the apartment back in '08) with two of the show's most beloved stars: Wendell Pierce, who played Det. Bunk Moreland, and Andre Royo, who played Bubbles. Royo and Pierce talk about the slow response the show got at first, the love they get now and the painstaking efforts Simon and co took to make sure the show got Baltimore right. Then, author Jonathan Abrams. He just wrote a brand new book about the Wire - it's called "All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire." Abrams interviewed cast and crew and writers to unveil a nuanced, fascinating look inside on of the greatest TV dramas of all time. The Outshot will return next week. Spot on!
Edie Falco and Hunter Pence (4/2018)
Emmy Award winning actress Edie Falco and San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence are our guests on this week's show. Edie Falco is a brilliant, charming person. She's best known for her roles in "The Sopranos" and "Nurse Jackie." These days, she's been getting a lot of movie work: she's starring opposite Jay Duplass in the new movie "Outside In," which is out now. Then, Hunter Pence. He joined the San Francisco Giants in 2012 and helped bring the team two world series victories. He's a beloved member of the team known for a wacky and kind of inexplicable playing style. Also, he wears high socks. What's not to love! Finally, for this week's outshot: The Netflix British television comedy "Toast of London." Which might be too weird to watch. But still: watch it!