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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Robert Smigel and Gillian Jacobs

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Robert Smigel
Guests: 
Gillian Jacobs

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Photo credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Robert Smigel on his film 'The Week Of'

Robert Smigel is probably best known as the voice of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. The creation of Triumph was conceived while Smigel was a head writer at "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" in the late 90's.

Triumph's debut was in a recurring comedy skit about unusually talented dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Triumph performed alongside dog sock puppets who played banjos, some performed magic tricks, and there was even plate spinners. With a cigar in his mouth Triumph closed out the sketch with his now iconic brand of comedy. Over the years, the character has returned to make fun of Star Wars nerds, start feuds with rappers like Eminem at the VMAs, and more recently heckling politicians for a hilarious election special.

Smigel spent decades on Saturday Night Live as a writer, producer, and sometimes even had recurring roles -- he played Carl in the Bill Swerski's Superfans sketches. That's the one where the Chicago sports fans talk about their love of "DA Bears." Robert also the creator of an SNL staple – "Saturday TV Funhouse" – the recurring skit on SNL which features cartoons. Including: The Ambiguously Gay Duo, X-Presidents, and The All-New Adventures of Mr. T.

Now, Robert Smigel's a writer and director. Together with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock he made a new movie called "The Week Of." In it, Sandler plays Kenny, a working class guy from Long Island who can't really afford the wedding he'd like to give his daughter. Chris Rock plays Kirby, a heart surgeon from LA and the father of the groom. Kirby has the money to help out with everything, but Sandler's character has hard a time accepting it.

Robert talks to Jesse about what it's like to be a father, and why he isn't sure his kids will find pleasure in the comedy he does as Triumph much longer. Plus, he breaks down what really happened when he was showrunning "The Dana Carvey" show.

Click here to listen to this interview on YouTube!


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Gillian Jacobs on her new film 'Ibiza'

If you're a fan of Gillian Jacobs, it's probably because of her work in television. For six seasons, Gillian Jacobs played Britta Perry on the hit comedy show "Community." On the surface it was a show about a study group at a community college who are unlikely friends. But in a way "Community" was a television show about television and film conventions. It's full of meta-humor, parodies and messed around with typical television tropes. She also played Mimi-Rose on HBO's Girls. And on Netflix's Love, which just wrapped up its third and final season, she starred as Mickey.

In her latest film "Ibiza," Gillian plays Harper. She's a quiet New Yorker in her early 30s who works at a PR firm. Her life changes when she gets sent on an important work trip to Barcelona, Spain. Harper brings along her two party animal friends - Nikki, played by Vanessa Bayer and Leah, played by Phoebe Robinson. The three friends take a trip to Ibiza, hundreds of miles away from where she's supposed to be. What could go wrong? Well, the film turns into a wild ride.

Gillian tells us why Harper is the first character she's played that is most like her. Plus, she tell us how she found herself in high school theater.

Click here to listen to this interview on YouTube!

The Outshot: Mr. Turner

It's hard to make an interesting biopic about anything. Now, imagine having to make a film based around the last twenty-five years of the life and career of painter J. M. W. Turner. It has to be tough, right? Making brushstrokes and landscape paintings interesting … well, director Mike Leigh nails it with the help of Timothy Spall's portrayal of Turner.

Click here to listen to this segment on YouTube!

Episode 4 - Rabbit Hole written by Jamie Denbo & Kerri Kenney-Silver

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Guests: 
Kerri Kenney-Silver
Guests: 
Jamie Denbo
Guests: 
Craig Cackowski
Guests: 
Alison Rich
Guests: 
Leslie Grossman
Guests: 
Danielle Nicolet
Guests: 
Cedric Yarborough
Guests: 
Gary Anthony Williams
Guests: 
John Ross Bowie
Guests: 
Chris Tallman
Guests: 
Mark McConville
Guests: 
Ed Weeks
Guests: 
Josh Zuckerman
Guests: 
Humphrey Ker

In this episode of Dead Pilots Society, Ben Blacker interviews Jamie Denbo (Yes Man, Daddy's Home, Spy) regarding her dead pilot, Rabbit Hole. You'll also listen to a never-before-heard live table read of Rabbit Hole performed by some of today's funniest comedic actors like:

Kerri Kenney-Silver as Dame Delilah, Craig Cackowski as Roy, Betsy Sodaro as Sarge, Alison Rich as Penny, Leslie Grossman as Mary, Danielle Nicolet as Crystal, Cedric Yarborough as Lou, Gary Anthony Williams as Carl, John Ross Bowie as John/Albert, Chris Tallman as Sako/Fireman #2/Biker, Mark McConville as Butch/Boy #2, Ed Weeks as Fireman #1/Biker #3, Josh Zuckerman as Boy #1/Guy, Humphrey Ker as Biker #2, and Jamie Denbo as Carmey, Lynn, Boy #1, Candy, and stage directions.

For more Dead Pilot Society episodes, please subscribe to the podcast! Make sure to like us at www.facebook.com/deadpilotssociety, follow us on Instagram @deadpilotspod, on twitter www.twitter.com/deadpilotspod, and visit our website at www.deadpilotssociety.com.

Come see Dead Pilots Society Live @ SF Sketchfest 2017:

SF Sketchfest 2017 Tickets: http://sched.co/8wMJ

Tickets for the Dead Pilots Society live show at The Largo on February 4th, 2017 are on sale NOW! Buy them here: http://www.largo-la.com/event/1404688

Episode 3 - Wunderland written by Amanda Lund & Matt Gourley

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Guests: 
Amanda Lund
Guests: 
Matt Gourley
Guests: 
Kiernan Shipka
Guests: 
Rich Sommer
Guests: 
Skylar Astin
Guests: 
Natalie Morales
Guests: 
Steve Agee
Guests: 
Craig Cackowski
Guests: 
Noah Galvin
Guests: 
Laraine Newman
Guests: 
Maria Blasucci
Guests: 
Marc Evan Jackson
Guests: 
Arturo Del Puerto
Guests: 
Ben Feldman
Guests: 
Matt Gourley

In this episode of Dead Pilots Society, Ben Blacker and Andrew Reich interview Amanda Lund (Co-creator, Ghost Ghirls, Goosebumps) & Matt Gourley (Podcasts: Superego; I Was There Too) regarding their dead pilot, Wunderland. You'll also listen to a never-before-heard live table read of Wunderland performed by some of today's funniest comedic actors like:

Amanda Lund as Jane, Kiernan Shipka as Young Blond Girl/Kelsea, Rich Sommer as Peyton, Skylar Astin as Juan Pablo, Natalie Morales as Boleyn, Steve Agee as Petite Keith/Security Guard, Craig Cackowski as Narrator/Policeman/King Strudel/Driver, Noah Galvin as Teenaged employee (Gary), Laraine Newman as Kelsea's Mom, Maria Blasucci as Hippie Mom/Tera Kaltenbach/Olivia, Marc Evan Jackson as Bruce, Arturo Del Puerto as Corporate Stiff/Brad, Ben Feldman as George Doyle, and Matt Gourley reading stage directions.

For more Dead Pilot Society episodes, please subscribe to the podcast! Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram @DeadPilotsSociety, on twitter @deadpilotspod, and visit our website at deadpilotssociety.com. Thanks for listening!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Elizabeth Gilbert, Gillian Jacobs, Fred Armisen

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Elizabeth Gilbert
Guests: 
Gillian Jacobs
Guests: 
Fred Armisen
Guests: 
Keith Phipps
Guests: 
Nathan Rabin

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.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

Elizabeth Gilbert on Curiosity, Writing "The Signature of All Things" & Life After "Eat, Pray, Love"

If you know of the writer Elizabeth Gilbert, it's probably from her 2006 memoir, Eat Pray Love. Gilbert's book -- about travel and love and re-gaining confidence and a sense of self -- spent years atop the bestseller list, inspired a movie starring Julia Roberts, and saddled Gilbert with a certain kind of fame.

Gilbert was already an accomplished novelist, biographer and journalist when that happened. But the massive success of Eat, Pray, Love necessarily transformed Gilbert's creative life.

Gilbert has returned to fiction with her first novel in thirteen years, entitled The Signature of All Things: A Novel. She spent several years researching for the book, which adventures of Alma Whittaker, a 19th century botanist who studies moss. The book shines with Alma's curiosity for life and science and the struggle of self-discovery.

Join us for an extended conversation with Gilbert, including talk of "dirty words" from the 19th century which didn't make the radio edit.

She'll talk about why she chose to write a "great moss novel", how she chose to write her heroine Alma (homely, brilliant, and moneyed), and how she dealt with the fame that her memoir bestowed on her.

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The Dissolve Talks about All-Time Favorite Movies: "Real Life" and "To Be or Not to Be"

This week, a look back at some favorite films. Staff writer Nathan Rabin and Editorial Director Keith Phipps of film site The Dissolve join us to talk about some of their all-time favorite films.

Nathan recommends Albert Brooks' 1979 satire Real Life, a prescient look at documenting "real life" in pre-reality television times.

Keith recommends the 1942 Ernst Lubitch classic To Be or Not to Be (Criterion Collection), starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard.

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"I Wish I'd Made That": Talking about Kraftwerk's "Computer World" with Fred Armisen

We often talk to artists about their influences -- the movies, music, and art that inspired them creatively. Some of that stuff is so good and so perfect that they sometimes wish they’d made it themselves.

So we're introducing a new segment that's just about those things. We're calling it "I Wish I'd Made That."

This week, we're talking to eleven-season cast member of Saturday Night Live and the co-creator of Portlandia, Fred Armisen.

We caught up with him just a few weeks ago at Tenacious D's Festival Supreme. He had just performed as his British punk alter-ego Ian Rubbish (alongside Bow Wow Wow's Leigh Gorman on bass, Blondie's Clem Burke on drums and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols on guitar).

Armisen talked to us about Computer World, the 1981 release from the German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk.

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Gillian Jacobs on Surviving Juilliard and the Unique Challenges and Joys of Working on NBC's "Community"

Gillian Jacobs may never know what it’s like to play the ingenue. As an actress, she has an energy that’s hard to pin down, but it’s anything but naive. After a tough stint at Juilliard's acting school, Jacobs pursued a career in film and television, often being cast in dark, gritty roles. However, in 2009 her career took a sudden lurch in the opposite direction when she was cast in a very different role.

You probably know her as Britta Perry, the confident and outspoken student opposite Joel McHale’s self-involved lawyer-turned-study group leader Jeff Winger on Community. Britta is exceptionally eager, mostly to the vexation of her peers who often voice their displeasure at her stances on social issues. Her friends often describe her as "the worst", but she's ever-confident in her own identity.

When Jacobs signed up for the role in Community, all she knew was that Joel McHale had been cast in it, but she soon realized that it would be a very unique and ambitious show.

In this extended conversation with Jacobs, we'll talk about why she didn't fit in at Juilliard, her big break on Community, and get a peek behind the scenes on a beloved but aggrieved network show.

Jacobs co-stars with Ken Marino in the new movie Bad Milo!, available now on VOD, and plays Britta on NBC’s Community. The show's fifth season premieres in January.

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The Outshot: Grand Theft Auto V

Jesse tells us why a perfect balance between the real and unreal makes Grand Theft Auto V so enticing.

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Danny Pudi, Actor and Comedian from NBC's Community: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Danny Pudi

This week, actor, writer and comedian Janet Varney is guest hosting for Jesse! Janet is one of the hosts of the long-running segment Dinner and a Movie on TBS, a writer for the DVD commentary series Rifftrax, and is one of the co-founders and producers of SF Sketchfest (an amazing celebratory festival of comedy in San Francisco).

Danny Pudi is an actor and comedian best known for his role as the pop culture-obsessed Abed Nadir on the NBC show Community. He talks to us about working on a show that's as much fun to shoot as it is to watch, connecting his Indian and Polish heritage to others through mustaches, and working improv comedy into a scripted show (among other things!). Community returns with its season premiere on September 22nd at 8/7c.

Donald Glover: Standup Comedy on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Donald Glover

Standup comedy from Donald Glover. Glover is a star of NBC's Community, and a member of the sketch comedy group Derrick Comedy. Their film, "Mystery Team," will be released on DVD May 25th.

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