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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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Remembering Colye 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.


Producer and DJ Cut Chemist on the song that changed his life

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. We're joined by DJ and master of the turntable Cut Chemist. Born Lucas McFadden, Cut Chemist is best known for co-founding the iconic underground hip-hop group Jurassic 5. He'll tell us about "Park Bench People" by Freestyle Fellowship. The Fellowship was a boundary-defying underground crew fronted by MC's Myka 9 and Aceyalone. Find...


NBA All-Star Metta World Peace

Missing basketball? Today, we're looking back on our conversation with NBA All-Star Metta World Peace! His larger than life personality often precedes him and has made him one of the most polarizing players in the history of the game. The Queensbridge, New York native talks to Jesse about how his upbringing shaped him as a person and how it impacted the way he raises his own children, what he regrets from his stint playing with the Indiana Pacers and how downsizing his world rescued him....


Comedian Tom Papa

Comedian Tom Papa wants you to focus on the small victories. The little triumphs in everyday life that add up to winning the war against cynicism. His new Netflix special, You're Doing Great! sums up his philosophy perfectly. So you're not killing it like everyone else on Instagram. That's fine! They're not really killing it either. You finally made it out of the house to run that errand you've been putting off all week? Now THAT'S killing it! That approach to comedy seems increasingly rare...


Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator Dan Goor

Maybe you're stuck at home, like the rest us. Maybe you're looking for something to binge, like the rest of us. May we suggest Brooklyn Nine-Nine? You've seen the premise of the police procedural on network television countless times. The cops are good at their jobs. They're quick and witty when it comes to solving crime. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has some of that – but subverts the genre through comedy. It's a deeply warm, deeply funny office sitcom. The police at the precinct care about their...


Boots Riley: The Coup, Sorry to Bother You, and more

We revisit our conversation with the writer-director and rapper Boots Riley. He's a founding member of the legendary hip hop group The Coup. The band's sound is politically-charged with a laid-back funk and has that classic Bay area cadence. His rhymes tell a story of his own life and deal with elements of social justice, poverty, racism. He's more than an artist. He's a long-time activist who uses his talents as a story-teller to move the needle forward in the world. In 2018 he made his...


David Simon

TV writer and producer David Simon is our guest this week. Simon is the force behind some of television's most compelling and critically acclaimed series such as The Wire, Treme and The Deuce. He joins us to talk about his new HBO series, The Plot Against America.


Jason Segel

Jason Segel has had a lot of interesting roles over the years. He got his start on screen in his late teens on the short-lived cult tv show Freaks and Geeks. From there he starred in a bunch of other comedic roles including: How I Met Your Mother, Knocked Up, and Bad Teacher. His writing debut was Forgetting Sarah Marshall. In 2011, he revived The Muppets for a new generation. His latest show is kind of a departure from all that. AMC's Dispatches from Elsewhere follows the lives of a group...


Annette Bening

We're joined by the talented and captivating Annette Bening! She stars alongside Bill Nighy in the new film "Hope Gap." In it, she plays a woman dealing with the wreckage after being blindsided by the sudden end of her thirty year marriage. She'll talk to us about her approach to playing English characters, how she tapped into her "Hope Gap" character to work on her own issues with confrontation avoidance and how motherhood offered a welcome respite to the sometimes alienating life of show...


Will Forte

At long last: Will Forte! The actor, writer, comedian joins us to talk about his new film, Extra Ordinary. In it, Will plays Christian Winter, a washed up American one-hit-wonder living in Ireland who makes a deal with the literal devil for another shot at fame. Rose, played by the hilarious Maeve Higgins, is a driving instructor and a reluctant medium who just might be the only one who can keep their small Irish town safe. Will also chats about what it's like to be both star and showrunner...