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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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The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn

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The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn

Maximum Fun and Columbia Journalism Review

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The Turnaround is a new series about our greatest living interviewers, hosted by Jesse Thorn and produced by Maximum Fun and The Columbia Journalism Review. Featuring conversations with prominent interviewers about their careers and their craft, the show is a perfect resource for a new generation of storytellers and journalists. You'll hear Jesse speak with Larry King, Terry Gross, Werner Herzog, Audie Cornish, and so many more!
 
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W. Kamau Bell, a comedian and host, directed a new documentary series. It's called We Need To Talk About Cosby. It's about Bill Cosby – who he is, what he's done, and how we deal with that. It's a complicated, difficult topic. One that intersects with the fabric of the American entertainment system, with race, the justice system, the MeToo movement…
 
The Righteous Gemstones just kicked off its second season on HBO, and that's good news. It's a comedy about the Gemstones, a family of pastors and owners of a massive megachurch with hundreds of thousands of followers. The show centers around Dr. Eli Gemstone (John Goodman), the patriarch, who's been preaching on TV for decades; he's played by John…
 
Alfred Molina started his acting career almost 40 years ago. First on British TV and a couple of movies later on. Since then he's gotten over 150 roles. He's responsible for a bunch of other unforgettable scenes, in films like Boogie Nights, Chocolat and Magnolia. He played Dr. Octopus in Spider-Man 2 and has now reprised the role for Spider-Man: N…
 
Just before Christmas this past year, the writer Joan Didion died. She was 87. Didion rose to fame for her journalism – she immersed herself in stories. In the late 60s, she broke through with Slouching Towards Bethlehem. In her career she covered a bunch of different topics – counter culture, war, immigration. She also wrote a handful of novels, a…
 
Glynn Turman is a brilliant actor who's lived an extraordinary life. His first big role was at 12, in the original Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun alongside Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Louis Gossett Jr. He's played mayor Clarence Royce on The Wire and Doctor Senator on the most recent season of Fargo. Just the other week he portrayed Mo…
 
Winston Duke was born in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to Brooklyn when he was nine. He studied acting at Yale and went on to work mainly in TV during his early twenties. He did not break into movies until he was thirty. That first movie role was M'Baku in 2018's Black Panther. He followed that up with an appearance in Avengers Infinity War, then w…
 
Living legend John Cameron Mitchell joins us on the latest episode. He's directed the movies Shortbus and Rabbit Hole, acted on shows like Shrill and Girls. But he's probably best known for his iconic work is the cult hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It's a story about queerness, about identity, about the threads rock and punk music shares with other…
 
Odds are, you know Sarah Snook for her role on Succession, the latest Zeitgeist-y TV drama on HBO. Sarah plays Siobhan Roy. But to her friends and family, it's just "Shiv." Succession follows the Roy family. They own a giant conservative media conglomerate called Waystar Royco; the family's patriarch, Shiv's father Logan Roy, is aging and can't run…
 
Benedict Cumberbatch is pretty much one of the biggest actors around. In 2010, he got the title part on the BBC's modern day Sherlock Holmes reboot, just called Sherlock. He plays Dr. Strange in the Marvel movies, including the brand new Spider Man: No Way Home. He is also in the brand new western called The Power of the Dog, which is playing in th…
 
It's that time of year again! Our annual end of year best of stand-up comedy showcase is here! The whole team here at Maximum Fun combed through dozens and dozens of albums to bring you some of the best. In a year that was extraordinarily difficult for stand-up comedy, that meant that some comedians got creative. We have albums recorded before the …
 
The Bullseye Holiday Spectacular is here! We are revisiting some of our favorite Holiday interviews with different guests from over the years. First, we kick things off with Ronnie Spector. She talks with us about her work with The Ronnets and her fond love for Christmas music. We are then joined by singer/songwriter Sy Smith, who shares which clas…
 
For over 30 years now, Yeardley Smith has voiced Lisa Simpson, one of the most iconic characters of all time. She is also an on-screen actor and a co-host on the true crime podcast Small Town Dicks. When we asked Yeardley about the craziest day of her career, she took us back to 1986, before podcasts and before the Simpsons. It was a big part in a …
 
On the latest episode of Bullseye we're joined by Houston rapper Maxo Kream. Maxo's had a tough life, and he's not afraid to put that on wax. He's been in and out of jail, along with many other members of his family. When hurricane Harvey hit Houston a few years ago, many of them lost their homes. He's also lost friends and relatives to gun violenc…
 
If you know actor Hiam Abbass from one thing, it's probably Succession. Abbass plays Marcia, Logan Roy's wife. On a show famous for its craven, manipulative, sometimes frightening characters, Marcia dominates the lineup in all three categories. Most recently, though, Hiam's performed in a new movie - it's called Gaza, Mon Amour. It's Palestine's su…
 
Mike Mills is a writer and director who's worked in film, TV, and on music videos. He's made the films Beginners and 20th Century Women and his newest movie is called C'mon C'mon. It's a film about the extraordinary burdens of parenthood and the ways it changes parents. It's also about kids and how amazing and resilient they can be, even in the fac…
 
Joe Pera Talks with You is one of the quirkiest shows on television right now. Comedian Joe Pera portrays a fictionalized version of himself. He's a soft-spoken, unassuming, kind person. Each episode involves Joe, a middle school choir teacher, guiding viewers through his life in the city of Marquette, Michigan. He talks about the simple things in …
 
A special treat from the Bullseye archives: Paul Reubens! The man behind Pee-wee Herman. Pee-wee is, of course, a beloved character among kids who grew up in the 1980s and 90s. He's the star of Pee-wee's Playhouse, Pee-wee's Big Adventure and so many others. Pee-wee's Playhouse remains a singular achievement in kid's TV. It's a kitschy pastiche of …
 
The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around, we're joined by Aimee Mann. Aimee is a singer-songwriter whose career dates back to the 80s when she sang in the new wave band Til Tuesday. But odds are you know Aimee for…
 
Drew Magary is a writer and novelist. He was a longtime columnist at Deadspin. He's written features for GQ, The Atlantic and more. His latest work is a memoir. In December of 2018, Drew collapsed after an award show in New York. In the days and weeks that followed, his life changed profoundly. In The Night The Lights Went Out, Drew recounts his ac…
 
At the heart of They Might Be Giants, there are two Johns: John Flansburgh and John Linnell. The two singer/songwriters have been writing and recording together since 1982 — nearly 40 years. In that time, the band's released 22 albums, won two Grammys, and have cultivated a fanbase that is passionate, fun-loving... maybe a little nerdy. Their newes…
 
The documentary Little Girl is a profile of an 8 year old transgender girl named Sasha living in France. The film talks about the resistance Sasha meets from her school, the help she gets from medical caregivers, and the support she receives from her family. Throughout the film, you see how everywhere Sasha goes, she must explain who she is, answer…
 
The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around we're joined by DāM-FunK. He's a modern day champion of funk music. DāM-FunK's recorded dozens of albums. His army of analog synths captures the funk sound of the late '70s…
 
Susan Orlean has been writing for decades. She's the author of the Orchid Thief, The Library Book and is also a staff writer for the New Yorker. This week we welcome her back to the show to talk about her latest book, On Animals. It's a collection of essays about animals and how we live with them. The animals we eat, the animals we call companions,…
 
Tamron Hall is a TV veteran: She's host of Emmy Award-winning talk show Tamron Hall. Before that, Tamron worked in news. She had her own show on MSNBC and, for a time, was a host on the Today show. Recently, though, Tamron has taken on an entirely new endeavor: fiction writing. She just published her debut novel called As the Wicked Watch. Tamron H…
 
Jo Firestone's new comedy special Good Timing is the culmination of months of work from her and a group of senior citizens she taught how to do standup comedy. It also features interviews between Jo and the students and behind the scenes footage from the classes. Jo joins us to talk about the new special, and what she learned when teaching stand-up…
 
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