Groundlings

Ep. 44: Go Fact Yourself with Bill Kurtis & Sarah Spain

| 0 comments
John Ullinskey, Helen Hong, Bill Kurtis, J. Keith van Straaten, Sarah Spain
Guests: 
Bill Kurtis & Sarah Spain
Guests: 
Jill Sweeney & John Ullinskey

It’s the first episode of Go Fact Yourself from Chicago!

Two-time Peabody Award winner Bill Kurtis is a news anchor with one of the most famous voices in television and radio. You may have heard him as the scorekeeper for the program "Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!", but he’s also known for his narration in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. He’ll explain how that role changed his life forever and share other stories from his extensive career.

Bill will compete with his fellow broadcaster and fellow Peabody Award winner Sarah Spain, host and contributor for ESPN. She’s often seen on the sports debate show "Around the Horn." She’ll tell us how she crafts an effective argument on the show and how she’s battling the negativity that comes with being a woman in the sports industry. Also, doggies!

The guests will answer questions about war veterans, improv comedy characters and the windy city.

What’s the Difference: Cubs & White Sox

What’s the difference between a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout?

What’s the difference between stitching and darning?

Areas of Expertise

Bill Kurtis: Frank Sinatra’s big band music, World War II in Okinawa and the prairie

Sarah Spain: Rescue dogs, 90’s "Saturday Night Live" characters and grammar.

Appearing in this episode:

J. Keith van Straaten
Helen Hong


Bill Kurtis & Sarah Spain

Bill Kurtis
Sarah Spain

With guest experts:

Julia Sweeney, actor and comedian who’s appeared in four seasons of "Saturday Night Live."


John Ullinskey & Bill Kurtis

John Ullinskey, WWII veteran who served aboard the USS Arikara and participated in the D-Day Invasion and the Battle of Okinawa

Go Fact Yourself was devised by Jim Newman and J. Keith van Straaten, and produced in collaboration with Maximum Fun. The show was recorded at Sleeping Village in Chicago.

Theme Song by Jonathan Green.
Maximum Fun's Senior Producer is Laura Swisher.
The show is edited by Julian Burrell.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone & The Sklar Brothers

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Melissa McCarthy
Guests: 
Ben Falcone
Guests: 
Linda Holmes
Guests: 
Glen Weldon
Guests: 
Davy Rothbart
Guests: 
Randy Sklar
Guests: 
Jason Sklar

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.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

Michael Buckner / Getty Images / Getty Images Entertainment

Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone on Wigs, Their High School Selves, and Making 'Tammy'

Melissa McCarthy knows how to throw herself into her comedy. Physically, emotionally, she goes all out. People who saw her onstage at the Groundlings knew it. But you didn't really see it on-screen yet. She was mostly known for playing the lovable cook and best friend, Sookie St. James, on Gilmore Girls. Then she had landed a titular role on the CBS show Mike & Molly, which won her an Emmy. In 2011 she got a part in Bridesmaids. And her horizons have only expanded from there.

McCarthy's become a film star, mostly in roles similar to her character in Bridesmaids. Maybe a little crass, maybe a bit of a hot mess. She starred in, her husband Ben Falcone directed, and they both wrote the new comedy Tammy.

Tammy follows a midwestern woman whose life is a mess. So she goes on a road trip with her alcoholic grandmother, to get out of her home town for good.

McCarthy and Falcone met in comedy improv classes, bonded, and eventually became partners both in business and in life.

They'll talk about their high school days, including Melissa's goth phase, their fateful meeting in the Groundlings, and what it was like getting Kathy Bates to play a role that was literally written for her.

Tammy hits theaters this week.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour Recommends: 'The Devil's Candy' and 'Oishinbo'

Linda Holmes and Glen Weldon of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour stop by to recommend some of their all-time favorite reads.

Glen recommends the manga series called Oishinbo, translated as 'The Gourmet'. It's about two rival newspapers competing to create the perfect Japanese meal. He suggests starting with the volume about sushi.

Linda recommends The Devil's Candy by Julie Salamon, a book about the film production of Bonfire of the Vanities. Salamon was granted unlimited access to the film set. The takeaway? Sometimes folks don't set out to make a bad movie, it just kind of happens.

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

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

Found "To Do's" with Davy Rothbart

Davy Rothbart, Point Guard of FOUND Magazine, shares some of his favorite "finds." He'll share some of his favorite ephemera: to do lists that include items like "hook up with Jen" and "create a circuit of pirate radio stations in the Traverse City area."

FOUND Magazine issue 9 is available now. And stay tuned this fall for FOUND: The Musical, presented by the Atlantic Theater Company.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images / Getty Images Entertainment

"The Sum is Greater Than the Parts": Jason and Randy Sklar on Comedy and Evading the Twin Shtick

Randy Sklar and Jason Sklar are stand up comedians. They're also twins. Their work isn't about their twinness, though. In fact, outside of the two of them looking the same, they barely mention it. But it's integral to what they do. Most double acts are about contrast, the Sklars are the opposite.

They diverge, they come back, and all in the service of releasing a firehose of jokes. The pair have been doing comedy together their entire adult lives. They have their own podcast, Skarlbro Country, they hosted their own TV show on the History Channel, and have racked up lots of movie and TV appearances.

They'll talk about why they didn't want to do bits about being twins, why they wanted to combine comedy and sports on Cheap Seats, and how if they were part of the same person, well, Randy's the head and Jason's the heart.

Their stand up special What Are We Talking About? is available now on Netflix Instant.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.


Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images / Getty Images Sports

The Outshot: Bug-Eyed, Cartoon-y Wildness (Or Why We Love Hunter Pence)

Jesse will tell you about why he loves the craziest-looking baseball player in the majors, and why you should, too.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

Syndicate content