Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

NPR
934 episodes

About

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.)
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27 May 2022

Claudia O'Doherty

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Claudia O'Doherty is, as you are about to hear, an extremely funny person. She is from Sydney, Australia. Some of her work includes serving as a writer on Inside Amy Schumer and a regular part on Netflix's Love. Claudia has her own brand of comedy that I guess one could describe as "cheerfully deranged." Sort of a kindler, gentler Adult Swim bizarreness. Her latest project is called Killing It. It is a sitcom streaming on Peacock summed pretty neatly in the tag line: "Class, capitalism and one man's quest to achieve the American dream." Claudia O'Doherty joins Bullseye to talk about her work on Killing It. She also talks with us about how she got into comedy and the Australian comedy scene. Plus, she reveals to us what the Australian term for "slide" is – like the playground toy you slide down.
17 May 2022

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey

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Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey will be forever linked together – thanks to one show: The Office. Angela and Jenna were strangers when the show started, but soon formed a friendship that has lasted long after the show wrapped. Together they recently released a book. The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There is both a celebration of the show and a memoir of a friendship. It dives deep into behind the scenes stories from the show. Angela and Jenna join Bullseye to talk about seeing the show through a new lens and becoming geeks for The Office while researching their rewatch podcast: Office Ladies. They'll reflect on how the show changed their lives, the first time they ever worked together on set and so much more.
13 May 2022

Three Busy Debras

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In a time where there is a lot going on in the world, it is nice to have a break every once in a while. To find something silly, something weird and something that can transport you somewhere else completely. Perhaps to a place where iguanas are mail carriers, one where ATMs sprout from the ground in the city park and lawn hedges are trimmed with shaving cream and razors. Lemoncurd, Connecticut, is one such place. It is the fictional setting for the Adult Swim show Three Busy Debras, which is sublime, bizarre and a little disturbing. The show is well into its second season and it is just as weird and funny as ever. In 2020, the stars of the show joined Bullseye to talk about the new Adult Swim series and its truly eccentric and hilarious antics. They also explained what it means to be a Debra, and where they initially got the idea of the Debras. Plus, what it was like to perform at Carnegie Hall and why they still think about the venue's seating chart.
10 May 2022

Remembering Gilbert Gottfried

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Gilbert Gottfried died last month. The standup comedian and actor was 67. To millennials of a certain age, he was an iconic voice actor: Iago in Aladdin, Kraang Subprime in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the voice of Aflac Duck commercials. We're taking a moment to remember Gilbert's life by revisiting our conversation from 2017. At the time, he joined us to talk about the documentary Gilbert, which profiled the life and work of the comic. In this conversation, Gilbert talked about what it was like to star in a documentary about his life, and why he struggled watching parts of the film. Plus, we dive into some of the Twitter jokes that got him into trouble over the years. This conversation also features segments that were previously unaired including Gilbert's thoughts on his early career, and he expands on finding jokes from the worst possible situations.
06 May 2022

Legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter

NPR
Ron Carter is a legend in the world of jazz. His work as a bassist has appeared on thousands of recordings, and has the world records to prove it. In a career that spans over five decades, he's won three Grammys – and he's worked with folks like Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel and A Tribe Called Quest. Ron takes us back to when he first picked up an instrument, the cello; and how he eventually found the bass. We'll also talk about the time he played bass for A Tribe Called Quest on Low End Theory – and how he gave them the business about their foul language.
03 May 2022

Alan Alda

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Alan Alda has been performing for over six decades. He played the iconic role of Hawkeye in M*A*S*H , was Arnold Vinnick on The West Wing and starred in several other memorable roles over the years. He has also had parts in a number of films and performed on Broadway. Alda is also an almost-journalist, a communicator and an interviewer. For almost thirty years now it has been his second career. First on television in the PBS series Scientific American Encounters and now on his podcast, Clear+Vivid . One listen to Clear+Vivid and you can tell that Alda has found his passion as a podcast host. Alan Alda joins Bullseye to talk about Clear+Vivid and dives into some of the different guests he has had on the show. He also shares what it was like when M*A*S*H, the television show that gave him his big break, came to an end. Plus, he talks about his years performing improv.
29 April 2022

Paul Feig on "Minx," "Welcome to Flatch" and making gin

NPR
Paul Feig created TV shows like Freaks and Geeks, movies like Bridesmaids, Unaccompanied Minors and Spy. He's directed episodes of 30 Rock, The Office, Mad Men and more. He's basically a legend, and he keeps plenty busy. He helped produce the new HBO show Minx – it's a period comedy about the first women's erotic magazine. He also helped make the newest Fox sitcom Welcome to Flatch, a mockumentary-style show based on the British sitcom This Country. It's set in the town of Flatch, Ohio, and explores the lives of its residents. We'll talk with Paul about his new work and his career making all your favorite shows – plus, Paul Feig makes gin! He'll tell us all the secrets of gin making.
26 April 2022

Molly Shannon

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We welcome a true "Superstar" on the latest episode, the one and only Molly Shannon! She's one of the greatest comic actors ever. Shannon just wrote a book. It's called Hello, Molly: A Memoir. In the book, Molly Shannon shares her life story. She writes about her time on Saturday Night Live, but also her childhood. Shannon's mother, younger sister and cousin died in a car accident when Molly was four years old. Her father, who survived the crash and raised Molly, was driving under the influence. The book is harrowing and hilarious, heartbreaking and heartwarming. Shannon talks with Jesse Thorn about the new book. Plus, what it took to bring Mary Katherine Gallagher to SNL – she explains why it was anything but easy.
22 April 2022

Courtney B. Vance

NPR
Courtney B. Vance started acting in college. He went to Yale drama school, where he met his future wife Angela Bassett. He starred in the debut performance of August Wilson's Fences, first at the Yale repertory theater in 1985, then later on Broadway in 1987. Since then, he has gone on to work on the big and small screen, too. He has had parts on shows like Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The People v. O.J. Simpson, and Lovecraft Country. His latest project is the AMC series 61st Street, which Vance executive produced and stars in. He joins the show to talk about his acting career on both the stage and screen. He also talks about what it was like taking on the role of a lawyer again in the new series 61st Street. Plus, he talks with us about what it was like working alongside the legendary James Earl Jones in the iconic play Fences.