Bullseye

Bullseye is a public radio show about what's good in popular culture. With a keen editorial eye, Bullseye sifts the wheat from the chaff, and brings you hot culture picks, in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary creative people and irreverent original comedy.

Bullseye is equal parts funny and fascinating. Whether you're already plugged in to the culture map, or looking for a signpost, Bullseye will keep you on target. More About Bullseye

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Sarah Jessica Parker and Dwayne Kennedy

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Sarah Jessica Parker
Guests: 
Dwayne Kennedy

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images

Sarah Jessica Parker on her HBO show Divorce, the hardest part of being on Sex and the City, and finding distance between herself and the characters she plays

Sarah Jessica Parker began her career on Broadway, quickly moving on to acting in classic films throughout the 80’s and 90’s such as Footloose and LA Story. She is probably best known for her role as Carrie Bradshaw on HBO’s Sex And The City, ending in 2004. Now she’s back on HBO in a new comedic drama called Divorce.
She sits down with Jesse this week to discuss her role on that show, the hardest part about acting in Sex And The City, and how she finds distance between herself and the characters she plays on screen. They also talk about the glory of Thomas Haden Church's mustache.
You can watch Divorce Sundays on HBO.

Dwayne Kennedy

Dwayne Kennedy has been in the stand-up game for about thirty years now, performing everywhere, from Showtime at the Apollo to The Late Show with David Letterman, but he’s still a bit of a comic’s comic.
Listen here for some of his performance at Bullseye with Jesse Thorn live at the Chicago Podcast Festival.

The Outshot: Curtis Mayfield

For this week’s Outshot, Jesse tells us why he listens to Curtis Mayfield when he’s feeling down.

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Colin Quinn, Padma Lakshmi & Sara Schaefer

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Colin Quinn
Guests: 
Padma Lakshmi
Guests: 
Sara Schaefer

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Colin Quinn on his new Netflix special The New York Story, his love of New York, and race based comedy

Comedian Colin Quinn is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, but would probably describe himself first and foremost as a stand-up comic. You might've seen him in Amy Schumer’s TrainwreckThe Cop Show. He loves New York, and has written and starred in five one-man shows that talk about his lifetime spent in the Big Apple.
This week, he sits down to talk to Jesse about his newest one-man show New York Story, that he produced alongside Jerry Seinfeld available on Netflix. They also discuss his time on Saturday Night Live and the right way to joke about race in 2016.


Photo: Ilya S. Savenok /Getty Images

Padma Lakshmi on her childhood in India, Top Chef, and her new book The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices

Padma Lakshmi has gone through many career changes during her time in the public eye. She began her career as a model turned actress, then became a writer, and now hosts TV’s Top Chef on Bravo. She has written two cookbooks, a memoir, and now The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices.
Padma and Jesse talk about cultural differences she had to reckon with growing up between India and the United States, her role on Top Chef, and her new book The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices.


Photo: Twitter

Comedian Sara Schaefer at MaxFunCon 2016

Sara Schaefer is a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and podcast host. She has recorded one comedy album and has appeared on many late night shows. This week, we've included some of her set from last year’s MaxFunCon, a yearly bi-coastal conference that gathers creative and funny people to learn, teach, and most of all have fun. Tickets to MaxFunCon 2017 go on sale this Friday.

The Outshot: Red Oaks

This week, Jesse tells us what is so pleasant about the non-pretentious Amazon series Red Oaks.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jemaine Clement & Jonathan Ames

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jemaine Clement
Guests: 
Jonathan Ames

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Jemaine Clement on Fighting, Flight of the Conchords, and Comic Drama in People Places Things

Jemaine Clement’s upbringing in a small community in New Zealand could have led him to career making cookies or cheese. Instead he found a way to transform his sense of humor into a career making other stuff -- things like music and comedy.
Along with his partner, Bret McKenzie, he is a member of musical comedy duo, Flight of the Conchords which aired as a television show for two seasons on HBO. Clement has also written and produced with McKenzie and other longtime collaborators on movies like What We Do in the Shadows.
Clement join us to talk about working in the comic drama People Places Things, his early comedic influences back in New Zealand, the challenges he faced producing a television show, and how the word “grommet” resulted in his last physical altercation.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Jonathan Ames on Valets, Questing and 'Blunt Talk'

Jonathan Ames is a writer who has earned a reputation for ruthless honesty when writing about his own life and those of his fictional characters. Whether the topic is alcoholism, sexuality or depression, Ames’ books and television projects delve deeply into what it means to be human, with wit and care.
Ames created the beloved HBO show Bored to Death. Now, he's the creator and showrunner of the new Starz show Blunt Talk, featuring Patrick Stewart as cable news host Walter Blunt.
Blunt Talk is in its second season and airs Sunday nights at 8:30 est on the Starz network.
Ames sat down with Jesse to talk about how he came to create his new show, why he's obsessed with the "valet", and why his characters are constantly "questing" with greater purpose.

The Outshot: The ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ Incident

Our takeaway? ALWAYS BE PREPARED.

Bullseye: Willem Dafoe, Paul Schrader & David Crosby

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Willem Dafoe
Guests: 
Paul Schrader
Guests: 
David Crosby

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Paul Schrader - Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer /Getty Images


Willem Dafoe - Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Paul Schrader and Willem Dafoe talk their new film Dog Eat Dog, Schrader’s childhood, and Dafoe’s acting ethos

Growing up in the Calvinist church, Paul Schrader didn't see a movie until his late teens. Since then, he has more than made up for it, writing, producing, and directing influential films such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Affliction.
Willem Dafoe, having worked on 7 films in the past with Schrader, trusts his film-making style and sensibility. Dafoe's Hollywood breakout role was in the 1985 film To Live and Die in L.A., and has starred in many other beloved films such as Platoon and the Last Temptation of Christ.
This week, Schader and Dafoe sit down with Jesse to discuss their new film, Dog Eat Dog. They discuss Schrader’s childhood, his earlier screenplay and directorial premieres and Dafoe school’s Jessie on acting and how he gets into character when portraying psychotic characters.


Photo: Jason Merrit/Getty Images

David Crosby on The Byrds, CSN, his recovery from drugs, and his new album Lighthouse

Thirty years ago, David Crosby was one of the biggest rock stars in the world, being a part of two game changing and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted bands Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Byrds. Decades after his depart from playing with bands, he continues to play music on his own.
In conversation with Jesse, David discusses his transition into music, his addiction and recovery from drugs, and his latest album Lighthouse.

The Outshot: Ray Baretto’s Acid

This week, Jesse recommends Ray Barretto’s inaugural album Acid as an album that had much ambition and achieved so much at a time when the music on it was still new to the American aural palette.

Bullseye: Patton Oswalt & "Fresh Off The Boat"

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Patton Oswalt
Guests: 
Nahnatchka Khan
Guests: 
Randall Park

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

There was a period of time in the mid to late 1990s when Patton Oswalt spent most of his waking hours indoors. He'd be in a TV writer's room all day, make his way to the movie theater for a film or two, and then hit the stand up stage before going to sleep. Then he'd get up and do it all over again.

His movie obsession was supposed to teach him how to be a filmmaker and create better art, but he found he was missing out on life, and art was no substitute.
Oswalts memoire Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life Through and Addiction to Film is out now.
His Emmy winning stand-up comedy special Talking for Clapping can be seen on Netflix.


Photo: ABC/Bob D'Amico

Fresh Off the Boat is the first network sitcom about Asian-Americans in a long time, and that's a big deal. The creative team behind the show, including memoirist Eddie Huang, showrunner Nahnatchka Khan and star Randall Park have publicly grappled with that blessing and burden. How do you retain the specificity of the Tawainese-American experience and provide that to a group of Americans who are hungry for mass-market representation, and also make a show that's big-tent enough to welcome hundreds of millions of Americans who don't know what bao are?

We're joined by Nahnatchka Khan and Randall Park to talk about trying to achieve those goals, how they see their own American experiences, and how to write a sitcom dad who's not dumb.

Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on ABC.

Jesse explains how Sly and the Family Stone made a perfect album, even as they slowly disintegrated as a group.

Bullseye: Norman Lear & Riz Ahmed

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Norman Lear
Guests: 
Riz Ahmed

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Norman Lear talks his childhood, his 1970’s sitcoms, and writing for an all black cast

Norman Lear is a Hollywood legend who is responsible for cultivating an entire genre of television: the American Sitcom. After serving time in the U.S. Army during WWII, Lear began a career in Public Relations, eventually turning his sights to television production. During the 1970’s, he had some of the most successful TV shows running, including All In The Family, Maude, and The Jeffersons. After his tenure creating sitcoms, he went on to work on movies and writing.

You can find the upcoming PBS documentary about his life, Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You here.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Riz Ahmed on his hip-hop group Swet Shop Boys, Brexit, and his part in the upcoming Star Wars film

Riz Ahmed is a British actor who has been in many notable films including Chris Morris' and Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler. But he seems to be gaining more attention this year as he breaks through into larger roles such as the latest Jason Bourne film and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. All while he has been cultivating his acting career, he also is a very busy hip-hop artist, releasing a solo record this year called Englistan under the name Riz MC as well as being one half of Swet Shop Boys with Das Racist veteran Heems. His work as a musician is often times critical of political and social structures in place, and makes reference to racial inequities in our society.

Swet Shop Boy’s new album Cashmere can found here.

The Outshot: Blunt Talk

This week, Jesse talks about why if you like strange, weird, yet insightful TV, Starz’s Blunt Talk is the show for you.

Bullseye: Armando Ianucci, Sharon Horgan, Josie Long & Romare

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Armando Ianucci
Guests: 
Sharon Horgan
Guests: 
Josie Long
Guests: 
Romare

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Armando Iannucci on The Thick of It & Veep, the writing process, and the humor in Stalinism

Armando Iannucci is a legendary comedy writer originally from Glasgow, now residing in London. He created hit shows such as The Thick of It and its offspring Veep. He developed the celebrated character, Alan Partridge, and wrote the screenplay for the 2009 political satire film In The Loop . He has won countless Primetime Emmy and BAFTA Awards, and has worked with some of comedy's greatest actors.
This week, Armando and Jesse sit down to talk about writing The Thick of It, working with renowned actors such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Peter Capaldi & Jeffrey Tambour, and how he found humor in Stalinism for his upcoming film The Death of Stalin.


Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Josie Long Performs

Josie Long is a British comedian who started stand-up at a young age, winning one of England’s most prestigious comedy awards at the age of 17. She has toured with legendary comedian Stuart Lee, and has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe regularly over the past 10 years.
She performed a live stand-up set for Bullseye Live in London. Her latest BBC 3 short TOP TEN: Opinions That May Or May Not Have Got Me Dumped (Josie Long) is a good summary of Josie's comedic sensibility.

Sharon Horgan discusses Divorce, Catastrophe, and writing about relationships

Sharon Horgan is a British comedy actor, writer, and producer. These skills have been used in tandem on many of her projects, most notably Catastrophe and Pulling. Her upcoming HBO show Divorce stars Sarah Jessica Parker.
Sharon and Jesse discuss the differences between Catastrophe and Divorce, writing about sensitive topics, and the autobiographical nature of her projects.


Romare Performs

Romare is a London based electronic music artist on the Ninja Tunes Label. His new album Love Songs: Part 2 will be released November 11th.

The Outshot: Devin the Dude

Jesse talks about the modesty in Houston rapper Devin the Dude’s songs.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn at the Chicago Podcast Festival

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Date: 
11/17/2016 - 19:00
Show: 
City: 
Chicago
Venue Name: 
The Promontory

Don't miss Bullseye with Jesse Thorn, live at the Chicago Podcast Festival! The show is November 17th at 7 PM, and tickets are on sale now! Lady to Lady will be opening, and Bullseye guests include Improv comedians TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi, standup Dwayne Kennedy and Jason Narduci of the band Superchunk and his new project: Split Single. For more information, check out chicagopodcastfestival.org.

Bullseye: Cameron Esposito, Rhea Butcher & Jeff Garlin

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Cameron Esposito
Guests: 
Rhea Butcher
Guests: 
Jeff Garlin

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo:

Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher talk LGBTQ representation, working together, and Take My Wife

Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher are Los Angeles based comedians, actors, and producers. Both hailing from the Midwest, Rhea is from Akron, Ohio and Cameron Chicago, Illinois, which is actually where they met 5 years ago. Cameron and Rhea have since moved to Los Angeles, gotten married, and have made a name for themselves in the LA comedy scene, hostin a weekly stand-up show called Put Your Hands Together .
Cameron, who has been in the business about 10 years longer than Rhea has released 3 comedy albums and has appeared on a number of late night talk shows. Rhea released her debut comedy album this year and has since made her first appearance on Conan .
This week, Jesse sits down with Cameron and Rhea to discuss their new show Take My Wife , working together, and LGBTQ rights.
You can find their new show Take My Wife on the SeeSo network

Jeff Garlin on the Worst Day of His Career

Comedian Jeff Garlin tells us about the worst night of his entire career.

The Outshot: The Taking of Pelham 123

Jesse tells us why The Taking of Pelham 123 is just too much fun to pass up.

Bullseye: Kaitlin Olson & Jeff Chang

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Show: 
Bullseye

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Kaitlin Olson on "Sweet Dee" and the Morally Bankruptcy in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Kaitlin Olson plays Sweet Dee on the long-running sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Dee is the only female member of "The Gang", a bunch of depraved, self-centered pals who run a bar. The Gang is constantly looking for ways to get rich quick, humiliate their enemies, get out of work, and prove once and for all the talent, charisma and brilliance they hold to be self-evident. In an unusual move for a solo female character, Dee doesn't serve to counterbalance the guys' bad behavior -- she absolutely matches their pace.
Olson talks to us about creating a more fully-fleshed character for Dee, how she came to comedy, and how she ended up dating (and marrying) her showrunner.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia just began its eleventh season. It airs Wednesday nights at 10pm on FXX.


Photo: Jeremy Keith Villaluz

Jeff Chang on Art, Race, and How Diversity Now Means "Them"

Jeff Chang talks to us about what "diversity" means to us today, the struggle for artists to defy racial categorization, and how and why corporations embraced multiculturalism.

Jeff Chang’s newest book- We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation- is an exploration of the current unrest abound in the United States through a series of essays.

The Outshot: What It Means to Be Superhuman

Jesse also tells us about the life and legend of Andre the Giant.