Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

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: Danny Fields & Judith Light

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Danny Fields
Guests: 
Judith Light

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: Ebet Roberts/Getty Images

Left to Right: Joey Ramone, Danny Fields

Danny Fields on Leaving the Ivy League, Andy Warhol’s Factory, and Managing The Ramones

Danny Fields is a music manager and publicist who was instrumental in signing and promoting some of the biggest names in Punk Rock history.
This week, he and Jesse discuss his decision to leave the ivy league tract, his time in Andy Warhol’s Factory, and what it was like managing The Ramones.


Photo: Mark Coppola/Getty Images

Judith Light Talks Transparent, Jill Soloway, and LGBTQ Rights

Judith Light has had an almost 40 year acting career in which she’s played strong female characters on shows like One LIfe To Live and Who’s The Boss?. She is now continuing in this motif with her tenure on Broadway, winning two Tony Awards for her performances in the last 5 years, starring in a one woman show, and of course her groundbreaking performance in Transparent.
Judith sits down with guest correspondent Keith Powell to discuss her work on Transparent, the cast’s relationship with Jill Soloway, and the famous courtroom scene on One Life to LIve that launched her career.
You can watch Transparent on Amazon and find information about her one woman play here.

The Outshot: Nostalgia and Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some

Jesse talks about Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some as a reflection of the necessity for people to fall into spells of nostalgia, even if just for 90 minutes.

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.

Bullseye: John C. Reilly & Shamir [r]

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
John C. Reilly
Guests: 
Shamir

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.


Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

John C. Reilly: "Freedom and Anarchy" On Set, and Honesty in Acting

John C. Reilly has shown off his talent for comedy in movies like Talladega Nights and Step Brothers. He's also played a number of dramatic roles in movies like Magnolia and Gangs of New York, and was nominated for an Oscar for playing the cuckolded husband in the movie version of Chicago.

For the past few years, Reilly has also produced and starred in a bizarre show called Check it Out with Dr Steve Brule. So why does a movie star have a faux cable-access show that runs in the middle of the night on adult swim?

John C. Reilly tells Jesse why he chose to take on the goofy, open-hearted and blustery Dr. Steve Brule with comedy duo Tim and Eric, his summer of fun working on the set of Boogie Nights, and what he thinks his duties are as an actor.

Check it Out with Dr Steve Brule is currently airing on Adult Swim. Reilly's new movie The Lobster is in theatres now.

Shamir: Adding Light to Darkness With His Music

Shamir is a musician who is really hard to pin down. His countertenor voice adds a distinctive flair to his infectious, sometimes poignant dance music but it’s a quality that’s also led to confrontations with classmates who were unaware of his Taekwondo training.

With his debut LP, Ratchet, Shamir drew inspiration from his life in Las Vegas. Shamir's Vegas had nothing to do with The Strip and instead was dominated by tumbleweeds and the distinctive odor of a hog farm.

As Shamir describes it, “I kind of decided to make my music more danceable and lighthearted to take away from the heaviness of the lyrics. Because why not, why does your music also have to be heavy if your lyrics are?”

Shamir tells Jesse about constructing a creative identity in a city known for producing more entertainers than artists; how his love for country music inspired him; and how his mother’s proclivity for earth magic isn't quite his thing.

Shamir's latest album is called Ratchet. He's currently on tour in the US and Canada. You can find more on his website.

The Outshot: The Limey

Jesse recommends Steven Soderbergh's The Limey, a revenge movie that’s really about the way we all fight with our own past.

Bullseye: Rashida Jones & Ramiro Gomez & Lawrence Weschler

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Rashida Jones
Guests: 
Ramiro Gomez
Guests: 
Lawrence Weschler

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: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Rashida Jones on Growing Up in the World of Celebrity, Absurdist Comedy and Her Youthful Dreams of Becoming a Judge

Rashida Jones was born into a showbiz family, but she didn’t always think she would follow in her famous parents’ footsteps. A love of acting lead to roles in shows like Parks and Recreation and The Office and for movie parts including The Social Network and Celeste and Jesse Forever, the later of which she also wrote. Jones currently stars in the TBS comedy, Angie Tribeca.

Rashida Jones talks with Jesse about playing absurdist comedy dead straight, her early dreams of going to boarding school and how those dreams contrasted with her jarring first impressions of Harvard University. Plus she tells us about her childhood experiences hanging out with Michael Jackson’s llama.

Angie Tribeca is now in its second season on TBS.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Ramiro Gomez & Lawrence Weschler on the Invisible Service Community in Affluent Los Angeles and Negotiating Multiple Worlds

For artist Ramiro Gomez, the world of the haves and the have-nots are one and the same. His work focuses on affluent communities and their dependence on a community of immigrants, who become culturally invisible. The son of parents who were once undocumented immigrants, Gomez’s body of work has included re-imaginings of the paintings of David Hockney, with domestic workers re-inserted into familiar scenes.

Gomez’s new book, Domestic Scenes: The Art of Ramiro Gomez was created in collaboration with Lawrence Weschler. For over twenty years, Weschler served as a staff-writer for The New Yorker and was the two-time winner of the Polk Award. He is the author of several books including True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney and A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Account of Torturers.

Ramiro Gomez and Lawrence Weschler sat down with Jesse to talk about Gomez’s experience as a male nanny, how the work of the painter David Hockney influenced his own art and what it’s like to exist in multiple worlds as a both a man of color and a gay man.

Gomez and Weschler’s book, Domestic Scenes: The Art of Ramiro Gomez is available now.

The Outshot: The Third Man

Jesse explores the fun, artistry and dark irony of the of the classic noir film, The Third Man starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton.

Bullseye: Joe Bataan & Ali Wong

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Joe Bataan
Guests: 
Ali Wong

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.

Joe Bataan Talks about Juvenile Delinquency, Boogaloo and Creating an Early Hip-Hop Hit

Long before he was busy in the sound studio making music, Joe Bataan was a young man getting into trouble on the streets of East Harlem. But after a stint in juvenile detention, he left his life as a gang leader behind and became a band leader instead. Joe Bataan and the Latin Swingers helped bring Boogaloo music into the mainstream.

As well as releasing popular songs in the genre including Gypsy Woman, Bataan also helped to create and coin the term SalsaSoul. Later in his career, he wrote and performed an early hip-hop hit, Rap-O Clap-O. Bataan is featured in a new documentary, We Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo.

Bataan sat down with Jesse to talk about his life as a juvenile delinquent in the streets of New York, how he dealt with the backlash against his musical innovations and how he came to create one of the earliest hits in hip-hop.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Ali Wong Talks Marriage and Money and What It’s Like Performing Thru Her Pregnancy

There are many comedians who use their family life as inspiration for their comedy, but Ali Wong took it a step further when she recorded her latest comedy special while seven and a half months pregnant.

Wong’s comedy is rooted in her willingness to be incredibly frank and honest about her personal life including her relationships, her Asian heritage and the challenges of pregnancy while working as a writer on the hit television show, Fresh Off the Boat.

Ali Wong joined Jesse to talk about being a breadwinner, performing while pregnant and how it feels to talk about painful and personal things like miscarriage in front of a comedy audience.

Ali Wong’s new comedy special, Baby Cobra is available now on Netflix.

The Outshot: Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book

While many rappers are content to explore the harshness of street life in their lyrics, Chance The Rapper is a performer who isn’t afraid to explore the soft and warm memories of childhood. In his new album, Coloring Book, Chance combines beautiful melodies with an open and warm heart.

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