John Oliver

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: John Oliver & Arsenio Hall

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
John Oliver
Guests: 
Arsenio Hall
Guests: 
Tim Simons
Guests: 
Rhea Butcher
Guests: 
Ricky Carmona

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John Oliver on 'Last Week Tonight', American Positivity and a Love Story That Began at the RNC

Though John Oliver is English, he's probably best known now for being part of an American cultural institution -- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He served as the show's "Senior British Correspondent" for seven years before he was tapped to guest host last summer. Stewart went off to shoot a documentary, and Oliver filled in as host for eight weeks, to great critical acclaim.

It was an audition of sorts, and Oliver got the part. He was offered his own weekly show on HBO, which began airing just a few weeks ago. Last Week Tonight provides Oliver his own platform to talk and joke about everything from the death penalty to climate change to the Indian general election.

He joins us to talk about his love for American positivity, his tone and approach for Last Week Tonight, the unique challenges of doing news satire and the signature field pieces of The Daily Show, and the romantic story of how he met his wife at the Republican National Convention.

Oliver's show Last Week Tonight airs on HBO Sunday nights at 11pm. He also co-hosts The Bugle podcast with Andy Zaltzman.

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Wham Bam Pow Recommends: Cloud Atlas and Back to the Future Part II

Ricky Camona and Rhea Butcher of the movie podcast Wham! Bam! Pow! join us to talk about two of their all-time favorite movies, both about how individual people, their actions, and the universe are all tied up together.

Ricky recommends the ambitious 2012 adaptation of Cloud Atlas. Rhea recommends a movie that didn't need to reinvent the wheel to be successful -- the sequel Back to the Future Part II.

For more recommendations from Wham! Bam! Pow!, subscribe to their podcast and never watch a boring movie again!

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The Part: Tim Simons on 'Veep'

If you’re an actor, you know this: Getting cast in your first role is a huge challenge. But even then, it’s sometimes YEARS before an actor lands a role that really gets their career moving in the direction they’d like. That’s The Part.

When Tim Simons moved to LA to pursue acting, he auditioned a lot. He went in for movies, TV shows, commercials. He read his scripts and character descriptions very carefully -- and maybe stuck to the script just a little too much. But around that same time he also had a gig behind the scenes at a commercial casting company. While on the job, he saw a lot of other people audition and realized that the successful people were comfortable being themselves. They didn't always need to shoehorn themselves into the words on the page.

Simons talks to us about making acting choices and the creative freedom he's experienced as a result.

His character Jonah has a new job and story arc on this season of Veep. It airs Sunday nights on HBO.

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Arsenio Hall on Carving Out a Late Night Niche

When it came to late night television, Arsenio Hall changed the game. In 1989, he took over a talk show contract originally given to Joan Rivers, and brought new life and new faces to the late night scene.

The Arsenio Hall Show had a spontaneous, fun-filled, party atmosphere, interview guests from Tupac to Madonna, and a signature audience chant. But in 1994, Hall ended the show, and he was mostly out of the spotlight for almost twenty years.

Hall returned with a new incarnation of the show last fall, and it's just been picked up for a second season.

Hall talks about how he decides to ask "that question" of interview guests, how a dinner party appeal from Diddy helped inspire his comeback, and finding a new place for himself in the late night arena.

You can find out when The Arsenio Hall Show airs in your area on the show's official website.

Looking for that Vine of Jesse attacking Arsenio? Click here!

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The Outshot: PWRFL Power's "Baby Tiger"

This week Jesse shares a beautiful, charming song that you probably haven't heard before. It's tough to find on CD; but, that’s ok because we’re going to play the whole thing for you.

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This Week Live

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They Might Be Giants launch their tour this week with Jonathan Coulton opening. They have by far the most appearances of any performer on this week's list including: And here's what all of our other MaxFun favorites will be up to this week:
  • Andy Kindler will be in San Francisco at the Punch Line on Sept. 13th and 14th;
  • Ben Folds will be in Minneapolis, MN at the Orchestra Hall on Sept. 17th and in Milwaukee, WI at Veterans Park on Sept. 18th;
  • Bill Burr will be at the Funny Bone in Columbus, OH on Sept. 10th and 11th;
  • Blitzen Trapper will be playing the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR on Sept. 9th; Music Millenium in Portland, OR on Sept. 12th; and Easy Street Records in Seattle on Sept. 13th;
  • Brian Posehn will be at Ottos Nightclub in Dekalb, IL on Sept. 9th and at the Cubby Bear in Chicago, IL on Sept. 10th;
  • Chris Tucker at Sheas Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY on Sept. 9th, at Citi Performing Arts Theater in Boston, MA on Sept. 10th, and Chicago Theater in Chicago, IL on Sept. 16th;
  • Das Racist will perform at Bowery Ballroom in Brooklyn on Sept. 12th;
  • Dave Atell will be performing at Helium in Portland, OR on Sept. 15th through the 17th;
  • Demitri Martin will be performing Sept. 16th at the Orpheum in Phoenix, AZ and Sept. 17th in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts;
  • Devo will be at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR on Sept. 16th and Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, WA on Sept. 17th;
  • Doug Benson will be at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls, SD on Sept. 9th and at the Rialto Theater in Tucson, AZ on Sept. 10th;
  • Gary Hustwit will be premiering his latest film, Urbanized, at the Tortonto International Film Festival on Sept. 9th, 11th and 16th;
  • Hannibel Burress will perform September 8th-10th at the Arlington Drafthouse,in Arlington, VA and September 14th - 17th at Comedy Off Broadway in Lexington, KY;
  • The Hold Steady will perform Sept. 23rd in Philadelphia, PA at the Popped! Music Festival;
  • Jackie Kashian will be at Kirkland Laughs in Kirkland, WA Sept. 15th - 17th;
  • John Oliver will be at the Pantages Theater in Minneapolis, MN on Sept. 24th;
  • Kyle Kinane will perform at the Comedy Club on State in Madison, WI on Sept. 8th, 9th and 10th;
  • Marc Maron will spend Sept. 8th - 10th at Zanies in Nashville, TN;
  • Ray Romano will be at the Mirage in Las Vegas Sept. 16th and 17th;
  • Steven Wright will perform on Sept. 10th at Fox Theatre at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, CT and September 17th at the Meadowbrook Music Festival in Rochester Hills, MI;
  • Ted Leo will spend Sept. 10th in Portland, OR at the Backspace Cafe;
  • Todd Barry will make a rare west coast appearance on Sept. 16 and 17 at the Improv in Los Angeles, CA, and he will be joined by Tig Notaro on the 16th;
  • Two Kids One Hall (Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson) will perform at Cobbs in San Francisco Sept. 15th - 18th.
  • The Daily Show Correspondents Explain Our Political Parties

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    I always go through withdrawal when The Daily Show is on hiatus. Last week, however, the show's correspondent team (John Oliver, Jason Jones, Samantha Bee, Wyatt Cenac and Aasif Mandvi) provided a soothing relief for my deprivation in the form of a web series that purports to explain the core philosophies underlying various political parties and movements, including the Democrats, Republicans, Socialists and Tea Partiers. It really hit the spot.

    The Daily Show returns to its regular schedule this evening.






    Comedy Podcast The Bugle Takes on News Corp. from the Inside

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    According to British comedian and author Andy Zaltzman, when the British tabloid The News of the World was accused of wrongdoing in the now infamous phone-hacking scandal, the paper "did not just cross the line . . . it drove through the line in a high-speed tank, reversed back over the line, picked it up, taped the line back together, headbutted it, released the line into the woods, ran after it, kidnapped it, chained it to a radiator in its dungeon, fed it half a slice of stale bread and a glass of water every day, and whacked the line round the kneecaps with a baseball bat before releasing it and saying, 'Right, line, I never want to see you anywhere near one of my articles again, comprende?'"

    That's a quote from the July 10th 2011 edition of the topical British comedy podcast The Bugle. The Bugle is hosted weekly by Zaltzman and Daily Show correspondent John Oliver. As a popular new satire program, it wouldn't ordinarily be surprising to hear the hosts make scathing jokes about the almost-too-shocking-to-be-real hacking scandal and subsequent shuttering of The News of the World. But it was certainly a bold move for a podcast that is presented by a paper that is actually part of the News Corp. empire. "In full disclosure," says Oliver during the show, "this podcast is presented by The Times of London - a sister paper of The News of the World. But more of an older, more mature, less slutty sister than its tear-away, shameful, dirty younger sibling who has repeatedly brought disgrace upon the whole, admittedly flawed, family."

    While many Murdoch-owned publications downplayed news of the scandal's most appalling allegations, the Bugle refused to hold back. For example, at one point during the show Zaltzman jokes that his grandmother-in-law got a telegram from the queen for her 100th birthday and that he hacked into it as per "company policy." Later, Oliver tells Zaltzman to "[d]elete your emails, Andy -- quick!"

    To learn more about The Bugle, check out this summary of the show from our own Podthoughts column. You can also find the show on itunes.

    And if you've been hiding in a cave all summer and missed out on hearing the details of the hacking scandal, you can catch up quickly by watching this clip wherein John Oliver (at his other job) provides an impressively concise and scathing summary of the key allegations to date.

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