The Tonight Show

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Amy Sedaris and Paul Reiser

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Amy Sedaris
Guests: 
Paul Reiser

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: TruTV

Amy Sedaris On Her New Show: At Home with Amy Sedaris

Amy Sedaris's TruTv show "At Home with Amy Sedaris" is up for an Emmy this year for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, so we're bringing back our interview with her from 2017.

Amy's made a career playing characters - and we say this with absolutely *zero* shade intended - people who are kind of grotesque and weird- the weirder the better! There's Jerri Blank from "Strangers with Candy" - a middle-aged high school student with an overbite, weird highlights, and a penchant for mom jeans. There's also Mimi Kanasis- the crazed, kinda plastic-y, socialite on "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." On "At Home with Amy Sedaris," she pretty much plays herself. She talks with Jesse about how that's a transition out of her normal comfort zone.

Also discussed: rabbits (she has one), monkfish (they smell bad when they're dead), and Girl Scout badges (she has them all!)

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Paul Reiser on Dramatizing The Tonight Show's Golden Days.

Paul Reiser is, of course, a long time stand up. Alongside Helen Hunt, he starred in the hit sitcom "Mad About You." He's great in Amazon's "Red Oaks," Netflix's "Stranger Things," he was in "Whiplash," too. He's also the creator of the Hulu TV series "There's...Johnny!."

It's set in the early 70s, behind the scene of the "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." Reiser knew Carson about as well as anybody could. He dishes on what it was like appearing on his show almost a dozen times, how the show came together, and what it was like following up a hit show like "Mad About You."

The interview originally aired in 2017.

The Outshot: Who Needs Donuts?

Finally, for this week's Outshot: Who needs "Who Needs Donuts?" You need "Who Needs Donuts?"

This segment originally aired in 2017.

The Turnaround with Dick Cavett

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Show: 
The Turnaround
Guests: 
Jesse Thorn
Guests: 
Dick Cavett

In this special, bonus episode of The Turnaround, Jesse speaks to the legendary Dick Cavett, whose eponymous The Dick Cavett Show debuted nearly fifty years ago. Throughout his storied career, Cavett distinguished himself as the consummate interviewer, and has played host to the most interesting and compelling figures of his era--Salvador Dali, Jimi Hendrix, Betty Davis, Groucho Marx, Angela Davis, Katharine Hepburn and more.

Cavett shares what it was like to interview a murderer, how he responded to an expletive-laden piece of hate mail he received and the difficult challenge of maintaining a conversation on camera while dealing with myriad distractions off camera. Before Cavett launched his show, he received a call from Jack Paar, who gave him this piece of advice: “Don’t do interviews...make it a conversation.”
On Friday, January 12th, The San Francisco Sketchfest will pay tribute to Dick Cavett at the Marine’s Memorial Theater. John Hodgman, Lance Bangs and Dave Hill will join Cavett on stage to commemorate his show’s 50th anniversary. Tickets are still available.

Be sure to visit CBS Decades to watch The Dick Cavett Show.

The Turnaround is a production of Maximum Fun in partnership with the Columbia Journalism Review. Visit their website to learn more about their "mission to encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society," and to read edited transcripts of our other Turnaround episodes.

Hosted and created by Jesse Thorn
Produced by Kara Hart and Nick Liao
Thanks to producer Jennifer Marmor for the Dick Cavett special episode
Senior Producer: Laura Swisher
Managing Director: Bikram Chatterji
Music for The Turnaround provided by
Mobius Van ChocStraw.
Special thanks to Kyle Pope and his team at CJR, Darrel Frost, and Emilie Erskine.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Amy Sedaris & Paul Reiser

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Amy Sedaris
Guests: 
Paul Reiser

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

Photo: TruTV

Amy Sedaris on her new show: At Home with Amy Sedaris

Amy Sedaris made a career playing characters - and we say this with absolutely *zero* shade intended - people who are kind of grotesque and weird. The weirder the better. There's Jerri Blank from Strangers with Candy - a middle aged high school student with an overbite, weird highlights and a penchant for mom jeans. Or Mimi Kanasis, the crazed, kinda plastic-y socialite on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, too. But on her new show, At Home with Amy Sedaris, Amy pretty much plays herself. She talks with Jesse about how that's a transition out of her normal comfort zone.

Also discussed: rabbits (she has one), monkfish (they smell bad when their dead), and Girl Scout badges (she has them all!)

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Paul Reiser on dramatizing the Tonight Show's golden days.

Paul Reiser is, of course, a longtime standup. Alongside Helen Hunt, he starred in the hit sitcom Mad About You. And he's been acting a lot lately, too - he's great in Amazon's Red Oaks, Stranger Things, he was in Whiplash too. He's also the creator of a brand new TV series, it's called There's Johnny and it's premiering this week on Hulu.

It's set in the early 70s, behind the scene of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Reiser knew Carson about as well as anybody could and dishes on what it was like appearing on his show almost a dozen times, how the show came together and what it was like following up a hit show like Mad About You.

The Outshot: Who Needs Donuts?

Finally, for this week's Outshot: Who needs "Who Needs Donuts?" You need "Who Needs Donuts?"

Kathleen Madigan on The Tonight Show

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Kathleen Madigan delivered a sharp political set on The Tonight Show Wednesday night.

Dick Cavett, Talk Show Host and Author: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Dick Cavett

Dick Cavett is best known as a talk show host who spoke with (and listened to) some of America's most celebrated entertainers. With a playful yet sophisticated wit, he hosted The Dick Cavett Show, which aired on ABC and on PBS from the late 60s to the early 80s and won several Emmys. His past also includes stints writing jokes and working with Jack Paar and Johnny Carson at The Tonight Show. He currently contributes to the New York Times' Opinionator blog.

In his newest book, Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets, he tells some of his best stories about his time as an interviewer and host.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest on the program is one of the great talk show hosts of all time, Dick Cavett. He won three Emmy awards for his shows; both on ABC, and on PBS. These days, he spends a fair amount of his time as a blogger-columnist for the New York Times. Some of his favorite pieces written for The Times have now been collected in Dick Cavett’s Talk Show. I learned in the book that I would be remiss to introduce him without also mentioning that he was State Pommel Horse Champion of the great state of Nebraska.

DICK CAVETT: Absolutely.

JESSE THORN: Mr. Cavett, welcome to The Sound.

DICK CAVETT: Gosh, thank you for that.

Click here for a full transcript of this interview.
Click here to download or stream the audio of this interview.

Bill Carter, author of The War for Late Night: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Bill Carter

Bill Carter is the author of two books about the politics and people of late night television, and a media reporter for the New York Times.

His most recent book is The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy, a behind-the-scenes look at the Sturm und Drang of the late night wars over Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and The Tonight Show.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest, Bill Carter, is the national media reporter for the New York Times. He’s also made a name of himself as a chronicler of late night television programming. His first book, The Late Shift, was a best-selling story of the battle between Jay Leno and David Letterman for the Tonight Show. His latest book, The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy, is the story of the improbable second act of that drama in which Leno fought it out with Conan O’Brien for that most coveted of television programs. Bill, welcome to The Sound of Young America, it’s great to have you on the show.

BILL CARTER: It’s great to be with you, Jesse.

JESSE THORN: Bill, tell me why this battle keeps happening. What is it that’s so important about this institution of The Tonight Show?

Click here for a full transcript of this interview.

Andy Richter Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Andy Richter

Andy Richter is best known as sidekick to Conan O'Brien, on both Late Night and The Tonight Show. He's also a successful comic writer and actor. His acclaimed series Andy Barker, PI and Andy Richter Controls the Universe are both available on DVD. He's also headed out on tour with Conan O'Brien's "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television" tour, which begins April 12th in Eugene, Oregon.

Andy talked with us about his early days, touring with The Real Brady Bunch and eventually falling into the sidekick's chair on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He talks about why he left that show, and why he rejoined Conan for The Tonight Show, and about what it was like to man a sinking ship after the staff of Tonight found out they were being pulled from the air.

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