Netflix

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Cristela Alonzo and Stretch Armstrong

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Cristela Alonzo
Guests: 
Stretch Armstrong

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.


Photo: Tommaso Boddi / Stringer

Cristela Alonzo has a new stand-up special on Netflix, Lower Classy

Cristela Alonzo is a veteran standup comedian, actress, writer, and producer. She's also something of a pioneer. You might remember her from the ABC sitcom Cristela, where she was the first Latina to create, write, produce, and star in her own show.

In this week's episode, she talks to Jesse about her formative years growing up in South Texas with an undocumented parent. Hiding from police and immigration raids were daily realities in her small border town. Her family was also desperately poor--she recalls squatting in an abandoned diner.

Down the road, Cristela discovered she had a talent for weaving those tough experiences into comedy gold. That gift is on full display in her new Netflix standup special, Lower Classy, as she takes on difficult topics including racial stereotypes, immigration, poverty, and parenting, all with her trademark smile and laugh. Cristela recalls the long journey that led to the special, and how being a comedian is, for her, about more than simply making people laugh.

Cristela Alonzo's new standup special, Lower Classy, is available to stream on Netflix now.


Photo: John Phillips / Stringer

Stretch Armstrong

Stretch Armstrong is a renowned DJ, record collector, and writer. It's impossible to tell the story of New York rap in the 1990s--what some people consider the Golden Era of Hip-Hop--without at least mentioning The Stretch and Bobbito Show, the influential college radio program that he and Robert "Bobbito" Garcia co-hosted from 1990 to 1998.

In their time, Stretch and Bobbito were among the only FM radio outlets for a generation of New York rappers. MCs like Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious BIG, and Nas. The behind-the-scenes stories from those days are the stuff of hip-hop folklore, and the subject of documentary that came out a little over a year ago, called Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives. It's available to stream on Netflix now.

Stretch, whose real name is Adrian Bartos, also recently co-authored a book. He and Evan Auerbach teamed up to make a visual history of New York City's club scene, called No Sleep: NYC Nightlife Flyers 1988-1999.

The Outshot: "Wells for Boys"

In this week's Outshot, Jesse shares a Saturday Night Live sketch that spoke to him in a particularly magical way. Behold, Wells for Boys:

Pop Rocket Episode 106: Inauguration with Jordan Morris

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Jordan Morris
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

This episode, Jordan Morris of @midnight and Jordan Jesse Go! sits in for Guy while he is away. Jordan and the gang discuss the upcoming Inauguration, the President elect’s difficulty in securing entertainment, and the different media choices that people from different parts of the country consume. They talk about the red/blue divide in terms of the reality TV choices of particular zip codes around the country. Karen tells us why she’s all about “Blackish” this week, and Wynter sets the record straight about the Golden Globes. And as with every week, the panel tells us what their latest jams are.

With Jordan Morris, Karen Tongson, Wynter Mitchell, and Margaret Wappler

Jams:
Jordan Morris - Love In A Void
Margaret Wappler - In Glendale
Wynter Mitchell - Caroline
Karen Tongson - Overkill

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Other Links:
Do Gay People Care About John Oliver?
SNL Inauguration
‘Duck Dynasty’ vs. ‘Modern Family’:50 Maps of the U.S. Cultural Divide

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Pop Rocket: Episode 101 The Crown with Karen Tongson and Chris Schleicher

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Guy, Margaret, Chris and Karen
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Chris Schleicher
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

This episode, Guy and Margaret are joined by two very special guests to talk about Netflix’s most expensive series The Crown. They talk about Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, whether Prince Philip is hot or not, and who has played the best Elizabeth on screen. Have smart phones ruined bathroom meditation? Did the Gilmore Girls reboot live up to expectations? And is Julio Torres leading the way in writing smart comedy about queer experience?(***hint, the answer is a resounding yes***). And as always, the panel will delight you with their latest jams and what they are all about.

That’s My Jam:
Margaret Wappler - Playing Elevator
Guy Branum - Am I The Same Girl
Chris Schleicher - Camelot Finale
Karen Tongson - All Time Low

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Other Links:
Insight Timer
Sorority: The Woods
Jackie
Scott Thompson as Queen Elizabeth II
Fred Armisen as Queen Elizabeth II on SNL
Wells For Sensitive Boys

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Pop Rocket Episode 83: Stranger Things with Linda Holmes and Clinton Trucks

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Guy, Clinton Trucks, Wynter, and Linda Holmes
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Clinton Trucks
Guests: 
Linda Holmes

Guy and Wynter are joined by two special guests, host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour Linda Holmes and television producer Clinton Trucks to discuss the Netflix series Stranger Things! Linda is pretty pumped for the Splash remake, Clint talks about his first D&D experiences, and Guy and Wynter finally find some common ground in a Jam.

Hey! Margaret Wappler's new book, Neon Green, is out now. Go get it! Find it at your local independent bookstore or grab it HERE. She's also on tour to promote it. Check her website for dates and see if she's coming around to your town.

That’s My Jam:

Linda Holmes - Darlene Love – Deep River Mountain High (Live on Letterman)
Clinton Trucks - P.O.S. – Wearing a Bear
Wynter Mitchell - Maxwell – All the Ways Love Can Feel

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell and special guests,Linda Holmes and Clinton Trucks.

Produced by Colin Anderson & Christian Dueñas for MaximumFun.org.

Bullseye: Lisa Hanawalt & Wyatt Cenac

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Lisa Hanawalt
Guests: 
Wyatt Cenac

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.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Lisa Hanawalt on BoJack Horseman, Food Obsessions and Martha Stewart’s Horse

Lisa Hanawalt enjoys exploring the strange ins and outs of her world using words and illustrations. Her penchant for drawing anthropomorphized animals to represent characters, including herself, reveals a childlike playfulness, even while exploring adult themes.

Her illustrations and writing have appeared in numerous print and online publications including McSweeney’s, Vanity Fair and the New York Times. In 2010, she earned the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Comic for her work on her first comic series, I Want You.

Her work can also be seen on Netflix’s Bojack Horseman, where Hanawalt serves as production designer and producer. She can also be heard on the Maximum Fun podcast, Baby Geniuses, which she co-hosts with Emily Heller.

Lisa Hanawalt sat down with Jesse to talk about her work on BoJack Horseman, her latest book of stories and illustrations and her fascination with Martha Stewart’s horse.

Lisa Hanawalt’s latest book is Hot Dog Taste Test


Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Wyatt Cenac on Stand-Up Comedy and Creating Space for Diverse Voices

Wyatt Cenac is a stand-up comedian and writer who is best known as a former correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. On the program, Cenac’s segments often explored issues of politics and society from a black perspective and with a sharp satirical bite.

Cenac served as a writer and voice actor on King of the Hill as well as making appearances on other television shows including Inside Amy Schumer, BoJack Horseman and Maron.

Wyatt Cenac joined Jesse to talk about his new stand-up show, Night Train and the importance of providing a space for alternative voices in comedy.

Night Train is available now on Seeso.com.


Photo: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

The Outshot: The Knuckleball

Jesse talk about the mystique and the power of baseball’s knuckleball.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Maria Bamford & Wanda Sykes

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Maria Bamford
Guests: 
Wanda Sykes

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.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Maria Bamford on Finding the Comedy in Mental Illness

Maria Bamford is a stand-up whose comedy is equal parts confessional and surreal. Using events from her own life, including her struggles with mental illness, she finds comedy in the painful and absurd, infusing both with an infectious joy that has endeared her to fans around the world.

You might know Maria from her roles on shows like Arrested Development, Comedy Bang Bang, Maron and Louie. She found wider national fame during the 2009-2010 holiday shopping season when she appeared as a super-enthusiastic shopper in a series of Target commercials.

Maria sat down with Jesse to talk about her own experiences as a patient of various Los Angeles mental health facilities, finding love and how wanting to work less proved to be a good career move.

Her new show, Lady Dynamite will be available for streaming on Netflix from May 20th. You can find out more about her upcoming tour dates at MariaBamford.com.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Wanda Sykes on Life After the NSA and The Freedom to Be Herself on Stage

Wanda Sykes is a comedian and an actor with an incredible force of personality. Her distinctive voice both as a writer and a performer has earned her success on stage, television and film. She’s been nominated for seven Prime-Time Emmy Award including a win for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special for her work on The Chris Rock Show.

The Curb Your Enthusiasm star joined Jesse to talk about transitioning from a career with the NSA to stand-up comedy, coming out “accidentally” during a rally against California’s Proposition 8 and why she believes that Bob Hope may have been a super spy.

Jesse was especially excited to talk with Wanda about one of his favorite characters in film, Biggie Shorty from the Louis C.K. directed, Chris Rock produced blaxploitation parody, Pootie Tang (or as we had to refer to it on NPR, “shmooty shmang”).

Wanda Sykes is beginning her tour this month which includes recording dates for her next comedy special.

Sykes is performing two shows at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles this Saturday, May 21st. The shows will be filmed for her Epix special out later this year. It's called What Happened…Ms. Sykes? Find out more at WandaSykes.com.

The Outshot: Black Moth Super Rainbow

Jesse talks about his affinity for the music of Black Moth Super Rainbow - an experimental band that declined a request to appear on Bullseye to promote their 2009 album, Eating Us.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Ellie Kemper & Glen Weldon

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Ellie Kemper
Guests: 
Glen Weldon

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.


Photo: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Ellie Kemper was introduced to the popular consciousness through her role as Erin Hannon on the NBC sitcom, The Office. Her portrayal of the office receptionist was popular with both fans and critics and showcased her talent and skills as a comedic actress. These talents have also been showcased on the big screen in films including Bridesmaids and 21 Jump Street.

Now, she plays the title character in the Netflix Original series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Despite the show’s dark premise which involves her character being abducted by a cult leader and sequestered in a bunker, the show plays it all for laughs as her character tries to rebuild her life in New York City. Her years of isolation leave her ignorant of many social touchstones, but she pushes through with an enthusiasm and tenacity that is both endearing and hilarious.

Ellie Kemper joined Jesse to talk about her early experiences of living and working in New York, mining material from her time at Princeton and her self-consciousness about privilege.

The second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is available this Friday on Netflix.


Photo: Faustino Nunez

Glen Weldon on the Lasting Popularity of Batman in Pop and Geek Culture

For almost 80 years, Batman has changed and evolved to mean something to different generations of fans. Whether his characterization was that of the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader or the campy character of sixties television, Batman has become a lasting icon of popular culture.

In his new book, The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture, author Glen Weldon moves beyond the chronological history of the character. He explores how fans of the various iterations of the character on radio, film, television and the comics have made the character a reflection of their own self-identity, be they straight or gay, cool or geek.

Glen sits down with Jesse to talk about why Batman fans both hate and love the 60s television series, why the character of Robin is so important to Batman’s mythology and how the character also serves as a symbol of gay culture.

Glen Weldon’s book The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture is available in bookstores everywhere.


Photo: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

The Outshot: Remembering A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg

Jesse fondly remembers Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest.

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