Brandon Bird

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Nick Offerman, The Birthday Boys, Brandon Bird

Nick Offerman
The Birthday Boys
Brandon Bird
Linda Holmes
Glen Weldon

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Nick Offerman Talks Mustaches, Woodworking, and Luck

Nick Offerman is a man accustomed to being recognized. As Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, he sports one of the most revered moustaches in recent television history.

It would be easy to conflate Offerman with Swanson. They’re both masculine, moustachioed men with a penchant for carpentry, but Offerman is quick to distinguish himself from his civil servant counterpart. He credits the writers of the show for giving Swanson possession of larger-than-life quirks, such as the ability to ingest mountains of bacon or guzzle moonshine by the jug. Offerman, however, has a much more relatable story to tell.

He grew up in small town Illinois and studied theatre in college before performing in several Chicago-based theatre and improv companies. He joins us to talk about his rural roots, why woodworking has remained an important part of his life (and not an affectation), and the public perception of Ron Swanson as the personification of manliness.

Nick Offerman's new book of essays is Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living. You can also catch him on the sixth season of Parks and Recreation, airing now.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour Talks Movies and Comics

Linda Holmes and Glen Weldon of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour stop by to recommend a couple of their current favorite things.

Linda recommends 12 Years a Slave, a film about the true story of a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and directed by Steve McQueen, tells the story of a man thrust into a life of injustice he doesn’t deserve. And as Linda explains, it's more than just an "important" movie.

The movie is in theaters on October 18.

Glen recommends the new comic Sex Criminals, written by Matt Fraction with art by Chip Zdasky. It may have a racy title but, at its heart, it’s the classic coming of age story about a girl who discovers that by doing the deed, she can stop time.

You can hear Glen and Linda weekly on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, and find Linda's writing on NPR's Monkey See blog.

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Brandon Bird's "Lazy Sunday Afternoon"

Brandon Bird on Painting, Mr. T and Learning How to Make Art

Brandon Bird is a painter, but the purpose of his work isn't to capture the light dancing across a lake. Or to make a broad point about society. The point of his art is to make people laugh.

Brandon tells us about the day he became an artist, and how he went from making fan art to creating something really special.

His new activity book, Brandon Bird's Astonishing World of Art, includes Law and Order SVU valentines, a page where you can draw Nicolas Cage a new hairstyle, and a painting of Peter Dinklage as Wolverine (among many other things).

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Comedy Sketch Group The Birthday Boys Asks: "What if Seven Morons Were Doing That Thing?"

The Birthday Boys' work is silly. Really silly. They're a group of seven comedians, and their sketch comedy is warm, almost never obscene or profane, sort of uniquely American. Not too long ago, they caught the eye of comedy superstar and Mr. Show co-creator Bob Odenkirk. He's now the executive producer, cast member and an addition to the writer's room on their new television show for IFC.

Group members Jeff Dutton, Tim Kalpakis and Chris VanArtsdalen join us to talk about why they commit to the silliness, what makes a good sketch and how one of their idols became creatively involved in their first TV series.

The Birthday Boys premieres on October 18 on IFC.

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The Outshot: Michael Palin

You probably know him from hamming it up for Monty Python in the ‘70s, but since then Michael Palin has released a steady stream of travel documentaries. Jesse talks about Michael Palin and why he’s everything good about British colonialism.

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Alumni Newsletter: Week of November 27, 2012

  • Our own Graham Clark, co-host of Stop Podcasting Yourself, has launched my favorite web series of 2012 to-date: “Graham Clark Wilderness Man”. This is must-see internet.
  • Eugene Mirman has announced that his first hour-long standup special, Eugene Mirman: An Evening of Comedy in a Fake Underground Laboratory will premiere on Comedy Central at midnight on Dec. 14th. Rumors are suggesting that it will include a theremin. If you’re in NYC, he’ll also be hosting a free simultaneous watching event / celebration at Bell House in Brooklyn.
  • The State Department recently invited party-rocker Andrew WK to perform at the US Embassy in Manama. He quickly announced on his own website that he would be a “cultural ambassador” who would unite the human race “with love and partying.” But, sadly, it was not to be. The State Department, shortly after reviewing his “entire body of work” rescinded the invitation. Andrew tweeted later that he believed the trip had been cancelled solely "because I'm too party."
  • Louis CK will release his fourth HBO special in early 2013. It will be filmed at one of the stops on his current tour. Good news for you folks without cable: he will eventually make it available as a $5 download from his website.

  • Your long wait is over: here is Brandon Bird’s T-mas Card for 2012. Fa la la la la, Fool!
  • Saddest comedy news of this holiday season: Wyatt Cenac is leaving the Daily Show. His last appearance will be on December 13th - the show’s last edition for this year.
  • Happiest news: Both Key and Peele and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell have been renewed for another season.
  • Bonus news: Hodgman on both 30 Rock AND the Daily Show this evening. Stay in. Make popcorn.

Brandon Bird in Your Pocket


I'm happy to announce that, in exchange for a rather modest portion of your worldly fortune, you may now obtain protective covers that will permit you to carry the delightful artwork of Brandon Bird on your iphone, in your pocket, near your heart.

Lucky, lucky you.

TSOYA Classics: Brandon Bird (January 31, 2007)


Brandon Bird's paintings place minor celebrities into bizarre situations, which often combine ridiculousness with banality. For this TSOYA Classic, we take a look back at Jesse's conversation with Bird, as they discuss his realistic pop art style. Bird talks about the role of humor in art and the things he believes are missing from modern art. Bird has worked on paintings of Christopher Walken, Edward Norton, and the Law and Order television show, among others.

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Brandon Bird's Paint-by-Number kit Giveaway

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And we have our winners! Thanks to Zachary, Joe, Vivienne, Patrick, Rhiannon and everyone else who entered.

Brandon Bird offered to give away 5 of his Paint-by-Number kits to MaxFun fans! This kit allows you to recreate three incredible masterpieces. You can take a look at these awesome kits at Brandon's website. Get started early on your holiday shopping!

    Here are the rules for the giveaway:
  • Send your name and mailing address to
  • The first five (5) entries will receive one of Brandon Bird's Paint-by-Number kits

And listen to a past episode of The Sound of Young America with Brandon Bird.

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