broadway

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: J.K. Simmons & Solomon Georgio

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
J.K. Simmons
Guests: 
Solomon Georgio

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Photo: Jesse Thorn

J.K. Simmons on his career, musical theater and what it’s like to be made into an action figure

J.K. Simmons never imagined he would work in film or television. In 1978, he graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in music. Many years later he put that degree to use for the Broadway musical revival of “Guys and Dolls” with his portrayal of Benny Southstreet.

His mainstream breakthrough performance didn’t occur until 1997. For six seasons, he played a neo-nazi named Vernon Schillinger on the HBO prison drama “Oz.” The groundbreaking program was the first hour-long drama produced by HBO. It was also one of the most graphic and violent shows on television at the time. In 2015, J.K. Simmons starred alongside Miles Teller in the movie “Whiplash,” directed by Damien Chazelle. His performance earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a ruthless, sadistic jazz instructor.

He's also known for his portrayal of John Jonah Jameson, the editor of the Daily Bugle in the Spiderman. Simmons’ portrayal is bombastic, unrelentless, and one of the best sources of comic relief in that series. It’s a performance that’s not many degrees away from the rage he channeled in “Oz,” but is done with a sort of charm that only J.K. could pull off.

J.K. Simmons stars in the new drama The Bachelors. In it, Simmons plays a math teacher named Bill Palet. Bill just lost his wife, and he's trying to move past it. One day Bill wakes up, and decides it’s time for a big change. Bill and his son, Wes, move out to California where Bill takes a job at a private school. Jesse talks with J.K. Simmons about the new film, musical theater, and of course, the John Jonah Jameson action figure (with Desk Pounding Action™).

Click here to listen J.K. Simmons' interview on YouTube!

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Solomon Georgio on his debut comedy album: Homonegro Superior

Solomon Georgio made his television debut on CONAN in 2015. Since then he has appeared on The Meltdown with Jonah & Kumail, Viceland's Flophouse and Last Call with Carson Daly. His writing credits include contributions to “Adam Ruins Everything” on TruTV and “Spongebob Squarepants” on Nickelodeon.

He’s from Seattle, via Fresno, via St. Louis, Via Sudan and then Ethiopia, where his parents are from. These days he lives in Los Angeles. Sometimes his stand-up is vulnerable and sincere, talking about childhood trauma. But then he'll strike a pose and make an outrageous joke about his perfect thigh gap and like magic - you believe him. It’s that kind of charisma that gives him a unique presence on stage.

Earlier this year he got his own half-hour Comedy Central special. On the same day he released his debut record - Homonegro Superior, one of our favorites this year. Jesse talks with Solomon about his new comedy album, what it was like to come out to his parents as gay and what it was like to come out as a stand-up comedian.

Click here to listen Solomon Georgio's interview on YouTube!

The Outshot: ”Child of the Ghetto” by G. Dep

Finally, for this week's Outshot: Jesse talks about “Child of the Ghetto” by Ghetto Dependent. The record came out in 2001 via Bad Boy Records. One highlight is the track “Everyday,” which relays some of the most realistic portrayals of being broke.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on YouTube!

Bullseye: John Mulaney, Nick Kroll & Airto Moreira

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
John Mulaney
Guests: 
Nick Kroll
Guests: 
Airto Moreira

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

Nick Kroll and John Mulaney talk Oh, Hello, the failure of “Mulaney” and Alan Alda

John Mulaney and Nick Kroll are well seasoned comedians who have made a name for themselves in many different forms of media. The two met at Georgetown University where they became friends and began creating sketch characters together.
Mulaney was a writer on Saturday Night Live for 6 seasons, where he helped developed many of the shows most recognizable characters. He has also worked as a stand-up comedian, leading to the release of three stand-up specials. He created, wrote, and starred in a semi-autobiographical sitcom called Mulaney which ran on the Fox network.
Kroll is best known for his work on FXX’s The League where he plays the character Rodney Ruxin. He began his career as a stand-up comedian, which led to his work as a writer on Chappelle’s Show and Human Giant. He created and starred in Kroll Show, which ran on Comedy Central for two years.
Jesse sits down with Mulaney and Kroll to discuss their new broadway play, Oh, Hello, the downfall of Mulaney, and how they created their favorite alter ego’s, Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland.
Mulaney and Kroll star as George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon respectively in their new show on Broadway called, Oh, Hello.

Photo: Jesse Thorn

Arito Moreira talks percussion, Jazz Fusion, and Miles Davis

Airto Moreira is a Brazilian born Jazz percussionist and drummer. He has worked as a professional musician since the age of 13, moving to New York in the late 1960’s where he helped develop the “Jazz Fusion” genre of music.
He sits down with Jesse to talk about Brazilian percussion methods, his move to America, and his experience playing with Miles Davis and other great Jazz legends.

The Outshot: Desiigner’s “Tiimmy Turner”

Jesse talks about Brooklyn based rapper Desiigner’s newest single “Tiimmy Turner.” The track combines melody, rapping, and auto-tune to create a very unique Southern Trap record.

Judge John Hodgman Episode 266: Exit, Stage Fright

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Guests: 
Andrew from JJHo Episode 151: Sic Semper Dramatis

If you want to purchase a Kung Pao Finance Factory t-shirt, inspired by last week's episode, TIME IS RUNNING OUT! You may purchase a t-shirt here, through June 22!

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Tom brings the case against his friend Trinity. Trinity longs to be discovered and believes she was “born for the theater.” Despite her enthusiasm for theater and performing, she refuses to try community theater. He thinks she should get over her fear and go for it. Who's right? Who's wrong?

This week, with Expert Witness Andrew from Judge John Hodgman Episode 151: Sic Semper Dramatis!

EVIDENCE

Submitted by Tom

Click here to watch the video of Trinity singing "Proud Mary" at Karaoke!

Thank you to Trevor Haworth & Eli Dennewitz for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.

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Tickets for the Judge John Hodgman: Live Justice tour of the Northeast and London are on sale now and selling out quickly! Check out the right hand side of this page or JohnHodgman.com/tour for details!

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Andrew Rannells, Jim Lehrer, and Thao Nguyen

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Andrew Rannells
Guests: 
Jim Lehrer
Guests: 
Thao Nguyen
Guests: 
Josh Modell
Guests: 
Scott Tobias

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to the show in iTunes or via the RSS feed, or check out our SoundCloud page to share any or all of these interviews or recommendations!

The AV Club Recommends: 'Beyond the Hills' and Atoms for Peace's 'Amok'

The pop culture luminaries at the AV Club return to recommend some of their favorite new releases. Josh Modell suggests a listen to the new album Amok from Atoms for Peace, a supergroup featuring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Scott Tobias recommends a new Romanian drama, Beyond the Hills. The movie enters limited US release on March 8th.

Josh Modell is the AV Club's Managing Editor and Scott Tobias is the site's Film Editor.

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Andrew Rannells on Broadway Life and Beyond

When he was a kid growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, Andrew Rannells never pictured his face beaming out to millions of television screens. He loved acting, but his future was on the stage. The most realistic way to make it big? Broadway.

Now, he's garnered a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Elder Price in the Broadway run of The Book of Mormon and made his way to TV, co-starring in The New Normal on NBC and popping up as a regular on HBO's Girls.

Andrew talks to us about growing up gay in Nebraska, finding his characters' voices for The Book of Mormon and The New Normal -- and how to avoid uncomfortable moments when
filming nude scenes.

The New Normal airs Tuesdays at 9:30 / 8:30c on NBC. A new episode, "Rocky Bye Baby", airs this evening.

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Thao Nguyen on The Song That Changed My Life: "You've Really Got a Hold On Me"

Thao Nguyen fronts the folk-pop band Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. The band's new album, We The Common, has an intense and spirited sound. The songs feature rhythmic guitar, taut drums, and Nguyen's clear and passionate vocals.

Thao remembers when music became important to her and the song that changed her life -- Smokey Robinson's "You've Really Got a Hold On Me."

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down head out on a cross-country tour this week. Find their tourdates and more information here.

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Jim Lehrer on His Days Down at the Bus Depot and a Changing Media Landscape

Jim Lehrer anchored the Newshour on PBS for more than three decades and remains its executive editor to this day. He's also moderated twelve presidential debates and in 2011 he wrote a memoir about those experiences called Tension City. Yet another hat that Lehrer wears is that of a novelist. He's written 20 of them, the most recent of which is a charming mystery called Super.

Lehrer talks to us about his early job at a bus depot, the benefits of producing media on a tight budget, and the role public broadcasting ought to play in the future.

[This interview originally aired in May, 2010]

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The Outshot: Mike Judge's 'Extract'

Jesse suggests a look at his favorite Mike Judge creation. It's not Beavis and Butthead, and it's not Office Space. It's a low-key workplace comedy starring Jason Bateman, called Extract.

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