Welsh musician and composer John Cale moved to New York during the mid 1960’s. Instantly becoming part of the experimental music scene, along with Lou Reed, he was one of the founding members of seminal band Velvet Underground. He left the band in 1968 and since then has released dozens of albums. One of his most successful albums Fragments of a Rainy Season, originally recorded live during his 1992 tour, has just been reissued.
This week, John tells Jesse about his time in Velvet Undergound, working as a producer for The Stooges and Patti Smith, and who his favorite hip-hop artist is.
You can find more information about the reissue of Fragments of a Rainy Season here.
TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi are two of the most successful improv artists to ever exist. Both veterans of Chicago’s prestigious improv school Second City, they met in 2002 and had an instant connection that is very rare to find in an improv partner.
This week, Jesse sits down with the pair at the first ever Chicago Podcast Festival to discuss their improv methods, their road to longform improv, and why they never left Chicago, and why stand-up would be easier than improv
Solo Project of musician Jason Narducy who has played with everyone from Superchunk to Bob Mould. Here is his set from Bullseye live at the Chicago Podcast Festival.
Find more information and music here.
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.
For this week’s Outshot, Jesse tells us why he listens to Curtis Mayfield when he’s feeling down.
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.
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.
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.
This week, Jesse tells us what is so pleasant about the non-pretentious Amazon series Red Oaks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Riz Ahmed is a British actor who has been in many notable films including Chris Morris'
Swet Shop Boy’s new album Cashmere can found here.
This week, Jesse talks about why if you like strange, weird, yet insightful TV, Starz’s Blunt Talk is the show for you.
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
Comedian Jeff Garlin tells us about the worst night of his entire career.
Jesse tells us why The Taking of Pelham 123 is just too much fun to pass up.
Hasan Minhaj is a Senior Correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and is currently touring with his one man show Homecoming King. A native of the Sacramento area, his comedy is characterized by a mix of political and satirical comedy.
This week, he and Jesse sit down to discuss his one man show, stand up comedy in other countries, and the current political climate in the United States. Plus, Hasan knows a lot about sneakers.
Hasan is currently on tour with his show Homecoming King.
Margaret Wappler is journalist, columnist, pop culture critic, short story writer, podcast host , teacher, and now a novelist.
Margaret and Jesse talk about her new novel Neon Green, how she took care of her ill father as a teenager, the writing process, and the 1990’s.
You can find Margaret’s book here.
This week, Jesse talks about non-people of color still not getting the plight of people of color’s everyday reality.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Jesse recommends Steven Soderbergh's The Limey, a revenge movie that’s really about the way we all fight with our own past.
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.
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.
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.