It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Kaitlin Olson & Jeff Chang

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Kaitlin Olson
Guests: 
Jeff Chang


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

Kaitlin Olson on "Sweet Dee" and the Morally Bankruptcy in It's Always Sunny on 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 is currently in its tenth season. It airs Wednesday nights at 10pm on FXX.

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Photo credit: Jeremy Keith Villaluz

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

About ten years ago, Jeff Chang published his book Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. His new book is a sort of follow-up -- it chronicles some of the cultural and racial shifts we've experienced as a nation. It's called Who We Be: The Colorization of America.

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.

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The Outshot: What It Means to Be Superhuman

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

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: 'Boyhood' & The Life of Richard Pryor

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Richard Linklater
Guests: 
Ellar Coltrane
Guests: 
David Henry
Guests: 
Joe Henry
Guests: 
Linda Holmes
Guests: 
Glen Weldon

Boyhood's Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane on Childhood and the Filter of Memory

Thirteen years ago, the director Richard Linklater set out to make a very ambitious film. He wanted to make a movie about childhood and growing up, and he wanted it to actually capture the passing of time in the actors' lives. He cast Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as parents, and an as-yet-unknown seven year old actor named Ellar Coltrane as their son.

Linklater shot the movie bit by bit, over the course of twelve years, and it was released last year in theaters with the title Boyhood. The movie shows a series of moments in a boy's life (and by extension, his parents' lives). He eats dinner with his family, goes bowling with his dad, meets a new stepdad, gets a girlfriend, learns photography, moves away to college.

Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane join us to talk about how the movie was conceived, how Coltrane's life and personality was slowly integrated into his character, and which things stayed the same over twelve years of filming.

Boyhood just picked up several awards at this year's Golden Globes, including Best Director and Best Motion Picture - Drama. It's now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour Takes Us Through 'The Towering Inferno' and 'Parents'

Glen Weldon and Linda Holmes of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast join us to talk about some of their favorite underrated films.

Glen recommends checking out Bob Balaban's dark horror comedy Parents, starring Mary Beth Hurt and Randy Quaid. It's available on Amazon Instant.

Linda suggests going back to watch the 1974 blockbuster The Towering Inferno, which is jam-packed with movie stars and epic disaster scenes. It's available on DVD and VOD.

You can hear Glen and Linda every week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, and check out Linda's writing about TV, books, movies and more on her blog at NPR.org, Monkey See.

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Furious Cool and the Genius of Richard Pryor

When David and Joe Henry set out to write about Richard Pryor, they weren't looking to write a straight-ahead biography. Instead, they produced a poetic and impressionistic portrait of Pryor as a product of the time and place where he lived.

Their book, Furious Cool, explores the cultural landscape of Pryor's life, in addition to the events of his childhood and professional career.

David and Joe Henry join us to talk about Pryor's ascent in the comedy world, some of his most transformative moments, and why he remained so well-loved, even when he behaved atrociously.

Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him is now available in paperback.

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The Outshot: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Why does Jesse love The Gang from Always Sunny so much? It's definitely not because they're good people. He'll explain.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Writer, Actor and Producer David Hornsby

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If you're a fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, then you probably know some of David Hornsby's work, as he's written and produced a number of episodes over the show's seven seasons. Or – you might recognize him from some of his scenes as “Rickety Cricket,” the defrocked priest who is often the butt of the gang's jokes and gets kicked around as a result of their constant scheming. He's created a new animated comedy series Unsupervised, about some surprisingly optimistic teens managing to make their way through life largely, well, unsupervised by any adult figures. Unsupervised premieres this Thursday on FX.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Aisha Tyler, David Hornsby, The AV Club and Jordan Ranks America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Aisha Tyler
Guests: 
David Hornsby
Guests: 
Scott Tobias
Guests: 
Genevieve Koski
Guests: 
Jordan Morris

This week! The AV Club: Scott Tobias and Genevieve Koski of The AV Club bring us their recommendations – the thriller We Need to Talk About Kevin starring Tilda Swinton, in wide release in February, and the award-winning comic fantasy series Locke & Key. (Embed or share)

Comedian and Actress Aisha Tyler: Aisha Tyler stars as Lana Kane, one of the super-spies of FX's animated series Archer. She talks about living the real-life version of Fame in high school, funneling her experiences as an outsider into performance and comedy, and the challenges of getting the tone just right when voice acting. You can catch her on CBS's The Talk, her podcast Girl on Guy, or on Archer, which airs new episodes beginning this Thursday. If you want more on Archer, check out our interview with Adam Reed. (Embed or share)

Jordan Ranks America: Comedian Jordan Morris spends his time ranking what's hot in America right now, so perhaps you can spend your time a little more productively? (Embed or share)

Writer, Producer and Actor David Hornsby: If you're a fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, then you probably know some of David Hornsby's work, as he's written and produced a number of episodes over the show's seven seasons. Or – you might recognize him from some of his scenes as “Rickety Cricket,” the defrocked priest who is often the butt of the gang's jokes and kicked around as a result of their constant scheming. He's created a new animated comedy series Unsupervised, about some surprisingly optimistic teens managing to make their way through life largely, well, unsupervised by any adult figures. Unsupervised premieres this Thursday on FX. For more on It's Always Sunny, check out our interview with Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney here. (Embed or share)


Joel (David Hornsby) and Gary (Justin Long) of Unsupervised

And The Outshot: Jesse describes a perfect moment - one of the best cold opens of one of his favorite sitcoms. (Embed or share)

You can subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or the RSS feed -- stay tuned for next week's Bullseye!

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Alumni Newsletter: August 9, 2011

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  • Marc Maron is releasing his fourth CD today on Comedy Central Records. "This Has to Be Funny" is available as a CD or mp3 download. (BTW, for long-time Maron followers, that's his cat Boomer on the cover). Recently, Marc gave the keynote address at the annual Just for Laughs festival in Montreal. (You can find the text and the audio here). The speech is a moving commentary on the importance of continuing to believe in yourself, and continuing to do good work, even when times are hard. It sends an important message to creators everywhere: Never give up.
  • Congrats to the team behind "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia"! FX recently picked up two more seasons of "Sunny" which will make it the longest-running live-action comedy on basic cable. The show will return to your screens on September 15th and later this fall our Canadian listeners will be able to join in the fun as the network plans to launch FX Canada on November 1st.
  • Speaking of FX, we're also getting excited about the upcoming season premiere of the quick-witted animated spy comedy "Archer" featuring TSOYA alums Chris Parnell and H. Jon Benjamin. The network will air the first three episodes of the third season in mid-September reserving the rest until early 2012. If you haven't been following the adventures of Sterling Archer, you're missing some of the fastest and cleverest dialogue on television. You can check out the first season on Netflix, but I recommend buying the DVD of that season as it features some very funny and unusual bonus materials.
  • The movie "30 Minutes or Less" featuring Jesse Eisenberg, Nick Swardson and TSOYA alum Aziz Ansari will be released on August 12th.
  • Kids in the Hall alums Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson are touring comedy clubs around the nation with a new show called Two Kids, One Hall. The show, which will feature stand up and sketch elements, as well as an appearance by favorite classic character Buddy Cole, will tour for about three months. Their next performances will be August 11th - 13th at the Punchline in Atlanta. If you want to know when the show is coming to your town, you can check out their tour dates here.
  • In order to build anticipation around the upcoming new Dr. Who episodes that will begin airing on August 27th, BBC America is releasing a series of Who-themed specials featuring a diverse plethora of TSOYA alums including Chris Hardwick, Reggie Watts, and Scott Adsit. The first special, "Doctor Who: Best of the Doctor", will air on Saturday, August 13 at 9/8c.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Rob McElhenney
Guests: 
Glenn Howerton

Rob McElhenney had a short film idea. He roped his friends into helping him film it, and soon it was a sitcom pilot. They took that pilot to FX, and the result was It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. McElhenney, who stars on the show as Mac, is our guest on The Sound, along with one of the buddies he roped into the whole affair, Glenn Howerton. Howerton plays Dennis, and along with their third co-conspirator, Charlie Day, helps write and produce the show.

McElhennye and Howerton talked to us about creating the show without a budget - only a few cameras and some digital video tape. They also explain why people love a set of characters who consistently behave like rude, cruel children. Also: Danny DeVito Limoncello is discussed.

The show returns for FX for its sixth season on September 16th.

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