Neil Berkeley

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Gilbert Gottfried and Filmmaker Maggie Betts

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Gilbert Gottfried
Guests: 
Maggie Betts

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Gilbert Gottfried on his career in comedy, losing gigs, and the new documentary Gilbert

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has been entertaining the world since he was 15 years old. His roles include being a cast member on season 6 of SNL, an accountant in Beverly Hills Cop II, and voicing the parrot Iago in Aladdin, the classic Disney cartoon.

Gilbert has a reputation for pushing boundaries in comedy. On stage he plays sort of a character - he squints his eyes, screams at the top of his lungs, and his material usually hovers between tasteless, dumb, and more often than not: really, really, funny.

But the real Gilbert is sensitive, quiet and friendly. And it's that Gilbert Gottfried that's featured in the new documentary. It's called Gilbert, directed by Neil Berkeley. In the movie, Gilbert opens up about his second life we don't know much about: his wife and kids, his childhood, his successes and failures.

You can keep up to date with Gilbert Gottfried on his website.

You can also catch Gilbert Gottfried on his podcast Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast!.

Listen to Jesse's interview with Gilbert Gottfried!

C Flanigan/FilmMagi

Maggie Betts on her new film Novitiate

So far, Maggie Betts has directed only three films. A documentary, a short, and now her first-ever narrative feature, Novitiate, which hits theaters October 27. The film follows a group of women training to be nuns in 1964 a time when Catholic church was at a crossroads: society was changing, attendance was down, and the church responded to all that by executing a bunch of reforms, some popular, some not so much.

An interesting fact about Maggie is that she grew up with the Bushes. Her dad was good friends with George W. Bush, she was roommates with his daughter Barbara.

Maggie talks to Jesse about what inspired her to make Novitiate, and not needing permission to make movies.

Watch the trailer for Novitiate here.

Listen to Jesse's interview with Maggie Betts!

The Outshot: 1998 Out of Sight

In this week's Outshot, Jesse points out how Out of Sight created the George Clooney that we all know.

Listen to Jesse's Outshot on Out of Sight!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Antibalas, Beauty is Embarrassing, and Brent Weinbach

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Martin Perna
Guests: 
Jordan McLean
Guests: 
Wayne White
Guests: 
Neil Berkeley
Guests: 
Alex Zalben
Guests: 
Brian Heater


A panel from Gabrielle Bell's The Voyeurs

Comics with Alex Zalben and Brian Heater

Brian Heater and Alex Zalben return with more of their favorite comics. Brian recommends Gabrielle Bell’s collected diary comics in The Voyeurs. Alex Zalben suggests you check out The Manhattan Projects: Volume 1, which begs the question -- what if the creation of the atomic bomb was a cover for even more sinister and weird activities?

Brian Heater is the founder of indie comics site The Daily Cross Hatch and the new comics contributor at BoingBoing. Alex Zalben writes about comics for MTV Geek and hosts NYC’s Comic Book Club Live. He’s also currently Kickstarting a new mystery comic called Detective Honeybear.

(Embed or share these comics recommendations)


The Afrobeat Stylings of Antibalas with Martín Perna and Jordan McLean

The Nigerian band leader Fela Kuti had a vision for a new kind of music that would synthesise traditional African rhythms, highlife and pop music and American jazz and funk. He decided to sing in pidgin English, so the music could be understood and enjoyed throughout Africa. The music became known as afrobeat, and Fela is widely celebrated as a pioneer of the form.

Martín Perna and Jordan McLean continue in Fela’s tradition with their NYC-based afrobeat orchestra Antibalas. Perna founded the band in 1998 and was joined by lead trumpeter McLean and a host of other musicians to create a sound reminiscent of both Fela’s Africa 70 and Eddie Palmieri's salsa-fusion group Harlem River Drive.

Their new album is the self-titled release Antibalas.

Perna and McLean discuss the virtues of the bari sax, a pan-American sound, and the Broadway production of Fela!.

(Hear and share a longer cut of this interview with Antibalas!)


Comedian Brent Weinbach Relays Some Acting Tips

Brent Weinbach does stand up comedy, but his past records have included lots of tracks recorded without an audience -- alone, in a studio. His particular brand of weird, brooding and often dark comedy earned him an Andy Kaufman Award just a few years ago.

His new album, Mostly Live, was recorded at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles and has more audience interaction. In fact, he gave one lucky audience member a short impromptu acting lesson.

(Embed or share this comedy with Brent Weinbach)


Punk Rock Puppets, Southern Roots and Pee-wee with Wayne White and Neil Berkeley

Wayne White's name may not ring a bell with you, but his artwork likely would. You may have been of the age to regularly watch Pee-wee’s Playhouse on Saturday mornings in the late 1980s and early 90s, when he designed sets and puppets for Pee-wee’s amazing and kitschy playhouse. Or maybe you’ve seen the visually striking music videos he worked on for The Smashing Pumpkins and Peter Gabriel. Eschewing the idea that people should “do one thing, and do it well,” White has experimented throughout his career with animation, puppetry, set design and fine art.

Neil Berkeley befriended White when they worked together in design and wanted to showcase White's cultural impact. He’s made his directorial debut with a documentary about White’s life and artwork called Beauty is Embarrassing.

White and Berkeley talk to us about deconstructing puppetry, White’s Southern roots, and the backstage world of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

Beauty is Embarrassing is in select theaters nationwide and rolling out throughout the fall; you can find a theater near you on the film’s site.

BONUS AUDIO: Hear a longer cut of this interview, with more talk about White’s childhood influences and puppetry inspiration HERE!


The Outshot: LiveLoveA$AP

Self-released mixtapes often end up consisting of the dregs of an artist's work. If you’re looking for a mixtape that’s carefully crafted, Jesse suggests LiveLoveA$AP by A$AP Rocky.

(Embed or share The Outshot: LiveLoveA$AP)

Is there a mixtape that’s stuck with you? Jump over to the MaxFun forum and suggest it as your own Outshot.

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