culture

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Matt Braunger & Margaret Atwood

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Matt Braunger
Guests: 
Margaret Atwood

Our WORLD TOUR OF SEVERAL AMERICAN CITIES kicks off next week in Los Angeles on Friday, November 13 with William H. Macy, Chicano Batman and Baron Vaughn - get your tickets now!

Plus check us out in Boston, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Philly and DC with guests Barney Frank, Mission of Burma, Tavi Gevinson, David Cross, John Hodgman, Joel Hodgson, Ray Suarez, Dan Deacon and more. It's all at BullseyeTour.com. Don't miss it!

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.

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Comedy Central

Matt Braunger on Class Clowning, Trying Even if You Fail, and Teenage Rapping

Actor, writer and stand-up comedian Matt Braunger always knew that he wanted a life in comedy. He was so sure of this career path that he never seriously considered a backup plan. It was, as he puts it, comedy or die.

Thankfully, it’s been the former and his observant sense of humor is on full display in his latest comedy special, Big Dumb Animal. Along with being a cast member on the final season of the sketch comedy show, MADtv, he’s acted on numerous television shows including the United States of Tara and Pushing Daisies. He’s also made appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman, the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and Chelsea Lately.

Braunger joins Jesse to talk about playing the dumb, clueless husband in television commercials, how he’s worked to be less negative and enjoy the present moment, and why it’s so important to try (even if you fail).

Big Dumb Animal is available now for streaming on Netflix.

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John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images

Margaret Atwood on Sex in 'The Heart Goes Last', Childhood Brutishness and Shakespeare

Canadian-born author and poet Margaret Atwood has had an extremely successful career as writer, despite, as she relays to us, the fact that she was not the most memorable or exceptional English student. Her work includes the novels Cat’s Eye and The Handmaid’s Tale as well as many volumes of poetry, and often deals with feminism and politics.

Her latest novel, The Heart Goes Last is a dark comic take on the near future, where lawful people are imprisoned and the lawless are free. The narrative was first introduced to readers in serial form on the website Byliner, and takes on its full shape as a novel which explores issue of sexuality and sexual politics.

Atwood spoke with our contributor Guy Branum to discuss why she believes a novel is an opportunity to share an experience rather than a pulpit from which to preach, delves into her favorite aspects of Shakespeare, and shares her favorite version of her own origin story as a writer.

The Heart Goes Last is available now.

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The Outshot: The Sound of the Apocalypse

In 1977, the country of Jamaica was in economic and social turmoil. Only 15 years after it gained its independence, the country was experiencing difficulties that some believed were signs of the coming apocalypse, specifically on the date of July 7, 1977, the day the two sevens would clash. Jesse shares how the voice of hope came in the form of Joseph Hill, the frontman of a reggae band called Culture.

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Pop Rocket: Episode 36 Kids TV with Ella Mizota-Wang

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Margaret, Wynter, Ella, Oliver & Guy
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Ella Mizota-Wang
Guests: 
Oliver Wang
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler

Donald Trump videos, Muppet raps and Gyno-Star, plus Oliver's daughter drops in to help discuss Kids TV.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Oliver Wang and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:
Wynter Mitchell - Right Hand by Drake
Oliver Wang - Pinball Number Count by The Pointer Sisters
Margaret Wappler - Bamboo by HINDS
Guy Branum - Mississippi Goddam by Nina Simone

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

Other useful links this week…
The Muppets rap video that Oliver was all about.
Montage of Donald Trump saying "China".
The Hells Club Mash-Up Wynter talked about.
The webcomic Gyno-Star that Guy was all about.

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

Pop Rocket: Episode 27 Rihanna’s BBHMM Video And Summer Reads

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Guy watching the Rihanna video before we started taping
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Oliver Wang

We share our own hot-takes on Rihanna’s new Bitch Better Have My Money video. Is it about race? Is it about feminism? Is it awesome? Plus we share our best summer reads and Wynter celebrates the songs that she claims are bringing oral sex back.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Oliver Wang and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:

Wynter Mitchell - Too Young by Post Malone
Oliver Wang - Gabby by The Internet Feat. Janelle Monae
Margaret Wappler - Feelin’ Good covered by Lauryn Hill
Guy Branum - Cool For The Summer by Demi Lovato

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

Books recommended this week…

Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
Intimacy Idiot by Isaac Oliver
The Belgariad by David Eddings
Executive Orders by Tom Clancy
You by Caroline Kepnes
Wonderland by Stacey D’Erasmo
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Bloom
A Planet for Rent by Yoss
Diary of a Madman by Scarface
California: A Novel by Eden Lepucki
Kitchens of the Great Midwest: A Novel by J. Ryan Stradal

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

Pop Rocket: Episode 18 The Met Gala, First Albums & Superhero Movies

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Guy and Margaret in New York
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Oliver Wang

Reunited, the gang judge the dresses from the Met Gala and discuss which actresses might be considered "hot enough to get a Hemsworth". Plus Wynter shares her renting strategy.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Oliver Wang and Margaret Wappler.

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 on the MaxFun forum, our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Pop Rocket: Episode 008 2015 Oscars Special: The Show, Speeches and John Travolta

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Wynter, Guy, Margaret and Oliver
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Oliver Wang

The spectacle, the magnificence, the sh*t show that was the 2015 Academy Awards. Why did Neil Patrick Harris miss the mark as host? What was with all those political speeches? And John Travolta… Plus everyone’s first gigs and music recommendations.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Oliver Wang and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:

Wynter Mitchell - Gnarls Barkley Who’s Gonna Save My Soul
Oliver Wang - Just Blaze Moleskine Conclusion
Margaret Wappler - Courtney Barnett’s Pedestrian at Best
Guy Branum - A joke from the latest Fresh Off The Boat

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 on the MaxFun forum, our Facebook group or via @PRPod on Twitter.

Pop Rocket 007: 50 Shades, SNL and Social Media

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Wynter, Guy, Margaret and Oliver
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Oliver Wang

This week we’re all about 50 Shades, Jupiter Ascending and SNL at 40. We’ll have a conversation about social media in which Guy explains how it can tickle the “witch-hunty part of your brain” and finish up with a selection of everyone’s jams of the moment.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Oliver Wang and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:

Wynter Mitchell - Know Yourself by Drake
Oliver Wang - Dedicated to the One I Love by The Shirelles
Margaret Wappler - You Don’t Own Me by Lesley Gore
Guy Branum - The return of Girl Scout Cookies.

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 on the MaxFun forum, our Facebook group or via @PRPod on Twitter.

Pop Rocket: Episode 6 Grammys, Biopics, Books & Jams

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Grammy Awards
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Oliver Wang
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler

We’re all about the Grammys this week, with opinions on Beyonce, Beck, Madonna and awards in general. Then we get into biopics. We talk about our favorites, common biopic mistakes and Wynter shares some strong feelings about Michael Douglas’ performance in Behind the Candelabra. Plus, which books have influenced the team most significantly? And we share our current top jams.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Oliver Wang and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam (and book that most influenced us):

Wynter Mitchell
Jam: Van Halen - Eruption
Book: American Psycho by Brett Easton Elis
Oliver Wang
Jam: Lion Babe – Treat Me Like Fire
Book: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Margaret Wappler
Jam: Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
Book: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood
Guy Branum
Book: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

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 on the MaxFun forum, our Facebook group or via @PRPod on Twitter.

Pop Rocket: Episode 005 Super Bowl, Ghostbusters and #ThatCism

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Wynter and Guy
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Jesse Thorn
Guests: 
Guy Branum

The team unpack last weekend’s Super Bowl, argue the merits of original, animated and re-booted Ghostbusting and call out a sports themed batch of #ThatCism.

With Wynter Mitchell, Jesse Thorn and host Guy Branum.

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 on the MaxFun forum, our Facebook group or via @PRPod on Twitter.

Oliver Wang and Margaret Wappler will be back next week.

Pop Rocket: Episode 004 Deflate-gate, The Boy Next Door and the death of the album

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Wynter, Guy, Margaret and Oliver
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Oliver Wang

The New England Patriots “deflate-gate” scandal, privilege in the arts and whether the latest music sales stats signal the end of the album. Wynter’s been to see The Boy Next Door and guy’s jam is a podcast about Canadian politics.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Oliver Wang and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:

Wynter Mitchell - Dots and Lines by Lupe Fiasco
Oliver Wang - Shake You Off by Charlie Belle
Margaret Wappler - Family by Bjork (Margaret also recommends this Pitchfork review)
Guy Branum - CBC’s Power and Politics podcast.
Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams (unless they’re Canadian political podcasts) to this handy Spotify playlist.

Other useful links this week…
Oliver thought Derek Thompson’s music sales trends article in The Atlantic was worth talking about. Margaret referenced Ann Baer’s “Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from which appeared in Salon.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics on the MaxFun forum, our Facebook group or via @PRPod on Twitter.

Pop Rocket: Looking, American Sniper and #Cism

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Guy Branum
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Oliver Wang
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Jesse Thorn

HBO’s Looking has been billed as the gay, male, Sex and the City or Girls. We ask why TV can’t do gay right. Plus MaxFun boss Jesse Thorn drops in for his new signature segment.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Oliver Wang and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:

Wynter Mitchell - I Wanna Be Where the Boys Are by The Runaways.
Oliver Wang - You Are Luuh 2015 by Frank Ocean.
Margaret Wappler - Answer by Ghost Culture.
Guy Branum want you to follow the team on Twitter: @GuyBranum, Wynter’s @kweeneverything, @MargaretWappler and Oliver’s @SoulSidesCom.

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 on the MaxFun forum, our Facebook group or via @PRPod on Twitter.

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