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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn


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.)

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.)


Santa Cruz, CA




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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Mary Randolph Carter on "The Joy of Junk"

Today we're replaying our conversation with the great Mary Randolph Carter. "Carter," as she's known, is the best-selling author of several books on the subject of "junk." Her latest is called "The Joy of Junk: Go Right Ahead, Fall In Love With The Wackiest Things, Find The Worth In The Worthless, Rescue & Recycle The Curious Objects That Give Life & Happiness." It's all about the beauty and lessons that can be found through the art of thrifting. She's also a creative director at Ralph...


Lin-Manuel Miranda on "Freestyle Love Supreme," "Hamilton" and more

We'll revisit our conversation with the one and only Lin-Manuel Miranda! He's probably best known as the star and creator of the biggest musical in the last 20 years – Hamilton. The award-winning, massively influential musical about the founding father Alexander Hamilton. You'll be able to watch a film version of Hamilton on Disney Plus starting July 3rd. Later that month, the documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme will premiere on Hulu. The film tells the story of the hip-hop improv...


Cartoonist & Graphic Novelist Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang has written a lot of critically acclaimed graphic novels: American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, The Shadow Hero, and the graphic novel series Secret Coders. Four years ago, he won a MacArthur "genius" grant. He also works at DC Comics, home to Superman, among others. He's got two new books out now. Superman Smashes the Klan pits America's favorite superhero against the KKK. The other book, Dragon Hoops is a memoir about his time as a high school teacher in Oakland, following...


Rob McElhenney: Always Sunny, Mythic Quest, more!

Guest host Jordan Morris chats with actor, director Rob McElhenney about his career. Rob's the creator and star of what will soon be the longest running American sitcom of all time— It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It's a show about five friends who are just about the most terrible people you've ever met and their weekly antics as they run a bar in South Philadelphia and try to scam their way out of and into just about every situation imaginable. His latest series is called Mythic Quest:...


Indigo Girls

It's a collaboration that's lasted 35 years now and is still going strong. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers – Indigo Girls! They're the duo behind the songs Closer to Fine, Galileo, The Power of Two, and so many other darling folk rock classics. Amy and Emily have been writing, arranging and performing together since high school. They recorded these quiet, beautiful melodies, usually using pretty simple arrangements: an acoustic guitar, maybe a mandolin or electric guitar added for flourish. The...


Giancarlo Esposito: Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad and Do The Right Thing

We're joined by guest host Linda Holmes for a very special interview with Giancarlo Esposito. Giancarlo plays Gus Fring, the brilliant villain on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. He also played Buggin' Out in Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee's masterpiece. Esposito talks us about the complexity of his characters, his time on The Electric Company and his work on Do the Right Thing. Plus, we'll talk to him about a very difficult time in his life and working through the trauma of racial...


Daveed Diggs: Hamilton, Clipping, Blindspotting and more

This week, we're taking a look back at our interview with multi-talented performer Daveed Diggs. He's an actor of stage and screen appearing in projects including Zootopia and Black-ish. In 2018, he co-wrote, produced and starred in Blindspotting alongside his lifelong friend Rafael Casal. He's also the lead vocalist for hip hop group Clipping. His latest projects include the animated series Central Park and the television adaptation of Snowpiercer. We'll talk to Diggs about his musical...


Doug Jones: The Craziest Day of My Career

The Craziest Day of My Entire Career is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite people about some truly unbelievable stories. This time around, we're joined by actor Doug Jones. He often portrays non-human creatures with the help of visual effects, prosthetics and heavy make-up. You've seen him in The Shape of Water as the amphibian man – and as the terrifying faun with eyes in his palms in Pan's Labyrinth. When we asked him about the craziest day of his entire...


Elisabeth Moss

You know Elisabeth Moss for her roles on Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale. Or maybe you're a West Wing fan and waited with baited breath to see if Zoey and Charlie would end up together. Her new film Shirley is a semi-biographical tale based on the life and work of horror writer, Shirley Jackson. Elisabeth joins us this week to talk about adding Producer to her resume, her fascination with playing women accused of losing their minds, and, of course, her iconic role in the 1991 Hulk Hogan...


Remembering Coyle and Sharpe, groundbreaking comedy duo

This week, we're doing something a little different: looking back on the work of Jim Coyle and Mal Sharpe. Two brilliant comedians, decades ahead of their time. The comedy duo recorded a series of hilarious and bizarre man-on-the-street records in the 1960s. They'd approach people with usually an absurd proposition: let's rob a bank together. Let's give a stranger a child. Let's become one person – all all three of us. Deeply weird and deeply funny questions. Jim Coyle died in 1993. Mal...


Tina Fey and Robert Carlock

Hey! It's Tina Fey and Robert Carlock - the legendary co-creating and writing team behind 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, two of the funniest TV shows ever! Tina and Robert join us to talk about their new Netflix special, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs The Reverend, an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure style special episode. Plus: SNL, 30 Rock, and why the teeth are the outside bones! Not the inside bones!


Adult Swim's 'Three Busy Debras'

Maybe you're looking for a distraction. Maybe it's a TV show. One that can transport somewhere else. Perhaps it's a world where iguanas are mail carriers, and lawn hedges are trimmed with shaving cream and razors. Three Busy Debras is that place. It's a briliant, bizarre show set in the fictional town of Lemoncurd, Connecticut. We'll chat with the creative minds behind Three Busy Debras: Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari and Alyssa Stonoha. They'll explain what it means to be a Debra, and where...


Comedian Eugene Mirman

We're joined by comedian Eugene Mirman! The comedian and writer has opened for comedy duo Flight of the Conchords and played Yvgeny Mirminsky on Adult Swim's Delocated. He is also the voice of "Gene Belcher" on the popular Fox animated series Bob's Burgers. We'll talk about his latest project, a documentary titled It Started as a Joke. It's about Brooklyn's alt comedy scene as well as a personal story about his family. Eugene joins Bullseye to discuss dealing with grief, defining space in...


Comedian Nikki Glaser

This week, we're joined by the great Nikki Glaser! Nikki has been a star in the standup community for years, but she's probably best known for her performances on Comedy Central's Celebrity Roasts where her devastating one-liners really get to shine. She joins us to talk about her latest stand-up special Bangin'. Plus, she shares how she's keeping busy during quarantine, how she felt the first time she did standup, and what it's like to be a woman in comedy.


Christoph Waltz

We're joined by the great Christoph Waltz! We'll talk about his breakout role in Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino's bonkers World War II action thriller. At the time, Waltz was a relative newcomer to American films. His role as Colonel Hans Landa earned him not only his first ever Academy Award nomination, but also his first Academy Award. Almost overnight, he became an American movie star: The Green Hornet, Django Unchained, the most recent James Bond movies. His latest project is...


Remembering Bill Withers

Bill Withers died last month. He was 81. For Bullseye this week, we look back at our two interviews with the soul singer responsible for such classics as "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean on Me" and "Grandma's Hands." We look back at the life of the man, the myths behind why he left the industry and the soul of the artist. Bill also talked to us about charting his own course to happiness in life.


Cartoonist Ben Katchor

Cartoonist Ben Katchor is probably best known for his comic strip Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, a comic about small businessman who roams the city capturing pictures of a fading ideal of New York. His newest work is called The Dairy Restaurant. It's an illustrated history of the Jewish restaurants that served as a kind of meatless counterpart to the delicatessen. Ben joins us to talk about the dairy restaurants of his youth, what he calls our "pastoral impulse" to find good food,...


Ed Helms

It's Ed Helms, everyone! Helms got his start as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Then he was on the Office. Then, a little old movie called The Hangover. Ed Helms joins to chat about how all those projects changed his life. Plus: his latest role as a Detroit Police officer in the buddy cop comedy Coffee & Kareem.


ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons

We're joined by the always sharply-dressed Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top! He's been the lead guitarist and singer of the band for over fifty years with classic songs like "La Grange," "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs." While the band's current tour dates have been postponed due to current events, their documentary ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas, is available to stream online. The Texas native and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer joins Bullseye to talk about the group's legacy, their blues and...


Alan Yang on Tigertail, Master of None and more

Director and writer Alan Yang is probably best known for co-creatoring the hit Netflix series "Master of None" and his impressive comedy writing credits on shows like Parks and Recreation. But his newest endeavor, Tigertail – a film he wrote and directed that's loosely based on his family's immigrant experience – breaks from comedy. Alan joins us to talk about "Tigertail," about his childhood growing up in Southern California, and how finding the Harvard Lampoon changed his life.