Bullseye

Bullseye is a public radio show about what's good in popular culture. With a keen editorial eye, Bullseye sifts the wheat from the chaff, and brings you hot culture picks, in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary creative people and irreverent original comedy.

Bullseye is equal parts funny and fascinating. Whether you're already plugged in to the culture map, or looking for a signpost, Bullseye will keep you on target. More About Bullseye

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Netflix's 'Norsemen' co-creators Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jon Iver Helgaker
Guests: 
Jonas Torgersen

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: Netflix

Netflix's Norsemen co-creators Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen

WARNING: There's some talk about sexual assault in this conversation. Nothing graphic, just some discussion of the use of it in comedy, in the abstract. If you're sensitive to these kinds of topics, we figured we'd give you a heads up.

Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen join us to discuss their hit Norwegian show Norsemen. It's a sitcom about vikings. It has a particularly Norwegian sense of comedy. Deadpan but brutal. It's set around the year 790 AD. Throughout the series we see the villagers and vikings deal with daily life. The vikings pillage. The vikings fight amongst themselves. They sacrifice slaves.

The jokes are great. Sometimes it's straight-faced like The Office, sometimes they play it big and absurd like Monty Python. Except, the violence is real, and their actions have real consequences to the storyline. And at the heart of the show, modernity is closing in on them. New inventions. New norms. Pillaging towns doesn't pay like it used to.

Jon and Jonas will give us a behind the scenes look at the show. Plus,
they'll explain Taco Friday: the latest food craze in Norway. The first two seasons of Norsemen are available to stream on Netflix now.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: John Turturro

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
John Turturro

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: Robin Marchant / Getty Images

John Turturro on 'Do the Right Thing,' 'The Big Lebowski,' his new film 'Gloria Bell' and more

Acting legend John Turturro joins us to chat about his latest project Gloria Bell. It's a movie about a relationship between two people who've both already been through a lot. Turturro plays Arnold, a retired Navy officer. He stars opposite Julianne Moore, who plays Gloria.

It's filled with both the highs and lows that come with new relationships. They're both divorced. And things are especially complicated for Arnold. His adult children still turn to him for money. Gloria, on the other hand, is more free-spirited and for the most part is independent from her family. She's never really had a reason to settle down. She works a regular nine to five, and spends her nights at clubs around Los Angeles dancing to Earth, Wind and Fire and Anita Ward.

It's a love story that's messy and nuanced. The performances from both Turturro and Moore are touching, emotional and engrossing. Turturro will tell us how he nailed down the subtleties and complexities of playing a character that might seem like an average joe. Plus, he'll share stories from his time working on some true classics – Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing and the Coen Brothers The Big Lebowski.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Roy Wood Jr

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Roy Wood Jr

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: Rich Polk/Getty Images

Roy Wood Jr. on writing jokes and working on "The Daily Show"

Roy Wood Jr. is a comedian. You've probably seen him as a correspondent on "The Daily Show." He's done comedy pretty much his entire life, but he majored in broadcast journalism and for a while, it was looking like that was gonna be his career. He was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and first got his start in radio, working at a handful of stations. Sometimes he wrote, sometimes he produced or reported, but at heart, Roy's always been a standup, doing his act whenever he found the time.

In 2010, he finished third on NBC's "Last Comic Standing," which is when his career took off - he got his own radio show, got acting roles, started getting booked in bigger venues. He soon released his stand-up comedy album called "Father Figure," which made a bunch of top 10 lists for 2017. This year, Roy released his new one-hour stand-up special called Roy Wood Jr: No One Loves You on Comedy Central which accompanies his digital album and features original sketches based on his act.

Roy talks with Jesse about the difficulty of writing original jokes, gang colors, and how being on the Daily Show has given an opportunity to share some of his bolder takes on politics and race.

This interview originally aired in April of 2018.

Click here to listen to Roy Wood Jr.'s interview on YouTube.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Bill Hader

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Bill Hader

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: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Season 2 of Barry premiers March 31

You know Bill Hader from his time on Saturday Night Live. He was kind of an impressions guy - he did a mean Vincent Price. His most famous character was Stefon, from the Weekend Update sketches. He left the show in 2013 and went on to perform in movies like Trainwreck, Inside Out and the smash hit Sausage Party. Along with Fred Armisen, he also starred in the IFC show, Documentary Now!.

His latest project is an HBO TV show called Barry, which enters its second season later this month. Hader stars as the show's title character, Barry Berkman. Barry's an ex-marine, turned low rent hitman in Ohio, turned aspiring actor in Los Angeles. Bill tells Jesse about working as a production assistant when he first came out to Los Angeles, the influence his parents had on his taste in film, and the struggle he had to project his voice.

This interview originally aired in April of 2018.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jena Friedman

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jena Friedman

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: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Jena Friedman On Writing For The The Daily Show And Breaking Into The Stand-Up Comedy World

WARNING: This interview contains discussions about difficult subjects including sexual assault and miscarriage. If you're sensitive to these kinds of topics, we figured we'd give you a heads up.

Jena Friedman's a comic, a filmmaker, and a writer. She created and hosts a show on Adult Swim. It's called Soft Focus. It's really funny, just like her all of her comedy, but it also talks about some very difficult, sometimes painful topics.

She got her start writing for Late Show with David Letterman. Then moved on to the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart where she was a field producer, producing some of the shows best pieces with folks like Samantha Bee and Al Madrigal. Her segments covered the news of the day with a satirical edge.

Now on her new show, Jena's in front of the camera and the segments can get very, very uncomfortable. She interviews an eccentric billionaire, surrounded by his armed guards. She talks with an ex-cop who was caught plotting to kidnap and eat his wife. She submits male gamers to a VR simulation of unwanted sexual contact.

Jena constantly pushes boundaries in her work. It's political, it's deadpan, kind of abrasive, too. She has a talent in finding the darkest flaws in our world and talking about them in a way that cuts very deep.

In this conversation, she also gets candid about why women still have a hard time breaking into the stand-up comedy world.

You can watch both of Jena Friedman's Soft Focus specials on Adult Swim.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Stephen Root

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Stephen Root

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

Stephen Root on HBO's 'Barry,' 'King of the Hill,' 'Newsradio' and more

Character actor Stephen Root joins us to discuss some of his most memorable roles. He's been in over 200 films since he got his start in the late '80s.

Stephen works in a lot of acclaimed films and TV shows. There's "Office Space," where he played the meek, mumbling, stapler-obsessed Milton. Then there's "Newsradio," where he played billionaire Jimmy James, a role he'll talk about at length in this interview. His most recent work can be seen on HBO's "Barry." On the series he plays Fuches, a hitman's screwball boss.

Odds are you've seen his work in "Get Out," "O Brother Where Art Thou," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," or "King of The Hill." Stephen voiced a bunch of parts on "King of the Hill," and it's some of our favorite work of his. He's probably most famously for voicing Bill, Hank Hill's kinda sad neighbor. He'll tell us why this voiceover role was one of his favorite gigs. Plus, he'll tell us how he got the part in HBO's "Barry," and how he helped flesh out his character's role.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Bonus! Roseblood & Katie Nguyen LIVE!

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Katie Nguyen
Guests: 
Roseblood

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: Courtesy of Casey Campbell Photography

A Live Performance by Roseblood

Roseblood is fronted by Kathy Foster who's also played in The Thermals and All Girl Summer Fun Band.

Roseblood is Kathy's first formal solo project. She's a really talented songwriter.

Listen up to hear the world premiere of their new song "Running Wild."

Roseblood is working on their debut album right now. To find out about that and show dates click this: Roseblood.


Photo: Courtesy of Casey Campbell Photography

Stand-Up Comedy with Katie Nguyen

Katie Nguyen is a Portland-based stand-up. She's written for The New Yorker, performed for Live Wire, and appeared at festivals like SF Sketchfest, Bridgetown and more.

Here's her set recorded live from Revolutionary Hall in Portland, Oregon.

If you live in Portland, you can see her every week at Ford Food & Drink, she hosts a night there called "Earthquake Hurricane."

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Bill Oakley

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Bill Oakley

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: Courtesy of Casey Campbell Photography

The Simpsons Writer Bill Oakley On His Crowning Achievement and Reviewing Fast Food on Instagram

Bill Oakley's a veteran comedy writer for TV. He's worked on Portlandia, Futurama, The Cleveland Show and Disenchantment.

He wrote for The Simpsons between 1992 and 1998 - the golden years.

Together with his partner Josh Weinstein, Bill made some stone cold Simpsons classics:

Remember when Malibu Stacey got a new hat? The time The Simpsons went to Australia? Or how about the time baby Maggie shot Mr. Burns?

All those episodes were co-written by our Bill.

In this episode, Bill tells Jesse about what he feels is his crowning achievement on The Simpsons and writing reviews for fast food on Instagram.

You can see Bill's latest work on the Netflix show Disenchantment. He's a writer and executive producer for the series.

If you want to see more of Bill's fast food reviews, find him on Instagram, his handle is @thatbilloakley.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Corin Tucker and Lance Bangs

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Corin Tucker
Guests: 
Lance Bangs

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: Courtesy of Casey Campbell Photography

Sleater Kinney's Corin Tucker & filmmaker Lance Bangs On Mixing Up Marriage, Music, Movies

Corin Tucker is a rock legend. She sang and played guitar for Sleater Kinney and a bunch of other projects. These days she's also collaborating with REM's Peter Buck in the new band Filthy Friends.

Lance is a renowned director who works mostly in music videos and comedy. He’s worked with Nirvana, Odd Future, Jen Kirkman, Hannibal Buress just to name a handful. He's also been very involved with the Jackass movies and TV shows. If you've ever seen them do something on film that was so gross it made the cameraman puke that cameraman was probably Lance.

Lance and Corin tell Jesse about how they spent the last Valentine's Day and how they make their marriage and careers work after nearly two decades.

Academy Award nominated filmmaker Nicole Holofcener

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Nicole Holofcener

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: Charley Gallay / Getty Images

Writer and director Nicole Holofcener on her new film: 'The Land of Steady Habits'

Filmmaker Nicole Holofcener recently received an Academy-Award nomination for best adapted screenplay and won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film "Can You Ever Forgive Me?." We'll revisit our conversation with Nicole – when she stopped by we talked about another one of her recent projects, "The Land of Steady Habits."

Nicole is probably best known for her films "Friends with Money" and "Enough Said." She's also worked on TV shows like "Parks and Recreation," "Orange is the New Black" and "Sex and the City."

Nicole's projects are intimate and always feature strong female leads. For the first time, her movie centers on a man. "The Land of Steady Habits" is about a middle-aged, retired finance guy, named Andres played by Ben Mendelsohn. Anders is going through kind of a late midlife crisis. He just left his wife, Helene, played by Edie Falco. And his relationship with his adult son is drifting away – Anders is losing him to drug use. It's safe to say that Anders has trouble figuring out where he fits in these days.

Nicole will tell us how she adapted the novel by Ted Thompson into this very poignant film, and why she felt this was an important story to tell. Plus, she'll reflect on her childhood – when she moved to Los Angeles as a early teenager she couldn't believe that the guys on the Metro bus would be exactly like the jerks on the New York subway.

Listen to this interview on YouTube!