Jesse Thorn

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Mark Alan Stamaty

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: New York Review Comics

Cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty on 'MacDoodle Street,' 'Who Needs Donuts?,' and more

We're thrilled to share our conversation with cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty. We're huge fans of his children's book – "Who Needs Donuts?" Mark's wonderfully illustrated book tells the story of a kid in a cowboy suit who's bored with his family. He hitches up his wagon and heads out for the big city in search of donuts. After a wild adventure he realizes there are things far greater than donuts. It's a charming and hilarious book for kids. And, trust us, adults will love it, too!

Mark Alan Stamaty got his start working at a handful of New York papers, with a few regular comic strips. There's Washingtoon, a political strip. A few regular comics in the New York Review of Books. And MacDoodle Street, which he published for the Village Voice in the late '70s.

MacDoodle Street was just released as an anthology collection. In MacDoodle Street, you see New York kind of the way a kid from outside the city might: a wild, bizarre and kind of fantastic place. Overwhelming, but endlessly interesting and stimulating. This new edition features a brand-new, twenty-page autobiographical comic by Stamaty on why the short-lived but treasured MacDoodle Street never returned to the Village Voice. It's a unique, funny, and poignant look at the struggles and joys of being an artist.

We're thrilled to share this conversation with Mark Alan Stamaty. He'll give us the scoop on his new anthology collection, and how his childhood influenced his work. Both of his parents had the same profession as him. Plus, where he gets the silly ideas for his stories and illustrations. Rhinos on the subway wearing fancy hats! Shark-shaped cars!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Mike O'Brien

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Mike O'Brien

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: Ben Gabbe / Getty Images

Mike O'Brien on the latest season of NBC's 'A.P. Bio'

Mike O'Brien was a staff writer on Saturday Night Live for seven seasons. He worked on the show around the same time as some stellar alum: Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig. In 2014, Mike was a featured player on SNL alongside Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Colin Jost, Kyle Mooney, Bobby Moynihan and Cecily Strong.

His latest work can be seen on NBC's A.P. Bio. Mike is creator, writer and showrunner of the series. The show stars Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt and legendary SNL writer Paula Pell.

If you haven't seen the show, here's the premise: Jack portrayed by Glenn Howerton used to teach philosophy at Harvard. Now he doesn't. To make ends meet he gets a job teaching A.P. Biology at a high school in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. He's a grumpy guy who thinks if the world were a fair place, he'd be getting a MacArthur Genius Grant or whatever. He's a jerk. He knows it. He doesn't care.

Maybe you're thinking you've seen this kind of show before. The teacher returns home. Then he grows as a person, becomes lovable and relatable. But A.P. Bio isn't that show. If our scrooge protagonist learns and grows, well, there isn't a show. And that's what makes it so funny – it takes a sitcom trope you're familiar with, but refuses to play by the rules.

Mike joins us to talk about the latest season of A.P. Bio. He grew up in Toledo, and explains some of the baffling questions the writers room had about his hometown. Plus, working with Paula Pell – and why sometimes it's better to leave the camera rolling on her improvising than spending hours perfecting jokes in the writers room.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Open Mike Eagle

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Open Mike Eagle

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.

Rapper Open Mike Eagle on taking career advice from his wife.

You could call Open Mike Eagle a rapper on the rise. But it's been a long, steady, unique rise. He was born in Chicago, moved to LA later on. For the first part of his adult life he was a teacher - he actually didn't release his first album until he was almost 30.

In his rhymes there's humor, which you see a lot in rap. But it's weirder, kind of self-deprecating at times, too. His first album, "Unapologetic Art Rap” was a great example of that.

Alongside Baron Vaughn, Mike co-stars in a new Comedy Central show called
”The New Negroes.” It's sort of a variety show - combining live stand up with original music videos Mike made with other artists.

When Bullseye talked to Mike in 2017, he'd just released a record called “Brick Body Kids Still Daydream.” His latest record - ”What Happens When I Try to Relax” - is out now.

Mike talked to Bullseye about why he used to call his music “art rap,” and why it was a lot harder to be weird in hip-hop back in the day.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Laurie Metcalf

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Laurie Metcalf

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: Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

Laurie Metcalf on her Academy Award nominated role in 'Lady Bird'

Laurie Metcalf is a veteran actor. In the late 1970s, while she was in college, she and a few of her classmates started putting on plays at a Unitarian Church in Deerfield, Illinois. Those classmates included people like Gary Sinise, John Malkovich, and Tracy Letts.

The theater, called Steppenwolf, became one of the most acclaimed theatre companies in the US. Maybe you were lucky enough to see Laurie in the Off-Broadway rendition of Balm in Gilead back in the 80s - she won a bunch of awards for her part in it.

You almost definitely know Laurie from TV's Roseanne. For 9 years she played Jackie, Roseanne's sister on the show. She's now starring in The Conners, the ABC produced spinoff of the show.

In 2017, she was nominated for her first Academy Award for her starring role opposite Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird, the fascinating, beautiful coming of age film directed by Greta Gerwig.

The movie centers around the title character, Lady Bird McPherson, a high school senior living in Sacramento, California. She's played by Ronan. Lady Bird dreams of leaving Sacramento, moving to the east coast, going... wherever writers live, she says.

These days, Laurie's been working a lot on Broadway. She's been nominated for a bunch of Tony's and won 2017's Best Actress award for her role in A Doll's House Part II. In a profile earlier this month the New York Times called her "The First Lady of American Theater."

This interview originally aired in February of 2018

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Was 1999 the Best Movie Year Ever?

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Brian Raftery

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

Brian Raftery on his new book 'Best. Movie. Year. Ever. : How 1999 Blew Up The Big Screen'

Author Brian Raftery talks with us about his new book, which makes the case that 1999 was one of the best years in movie history. Office Space. Three Kings. Rushmore. Being John Malkovich. Eyes Wide Shut. Magnolia. The Matrix. The Blair Witch Project. Yep, '99 wasn't just pagers, portable CD players, and Y2K – there was a lot of groundbreaking, influential movies.


Photo: Simon & Schuster

The book is meticulously researched - featuring interviews from pretty much every person who was making movies back then. Brian joins us to talk about a few of these movies, the careers those movies launched, the way studios marketed them, and the impact they've had on film, 20 years later.

You might not be able to rent these movies at your nearest Blockbuster, but you can buy Brian's new book "Best. Movie. Year. Ever. : How 1999 Blew Up The Big Screen" now.

Check out this interview on YouTube!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Avantdale Bowling Club

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Tom Scott

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: Bandcamp

New Zealand rapper Tom Scott on his latest project: 'Avantdale Bowling Club'

Tom Scott is a rapper from New Zealand's underground hip-hop scene. He's been rapping for over a decade now. He grew up in Auckland – the biggest city in a very small country. Last year, Tom released an amazing, beautiful album under the name Avantdale Bowling Club. He named it after the place where he grew up.

On the record, he reflects on his roots. His childhood. The friendships he's lost. The places he's been. His family. He kicks things off with an autobiography on "Years Gone By." It's an intimate hip hop record with jazz instrumentation. The sound is lush. Maybe less Low End Theory, more to Pimp a Butterfly. It's pretty remarkable.

Tom explains why he left Auckland for Australia, and what brought him back to his hometown after spending many years away. Plus, what it's like to write an album that brings back somber memories, and why Tom felt it was important to use original jazz songs, rather than jazz samples.

Check out the self-titled record by Avantdale Bowling Club here.

Check out this interview on YouTube!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Mike Leigh

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Mike Leigh

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:BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Mike Leigh on his new film 'Peterloo'

Mike Leigh is an acclaimed writer and director. His films are honest, touching and real. He has a clear, distinct work ethic guiding all of his films: to draw the realest possible performance out of his actors. It starts with a deep, collaborative study of the character. Followed by a lengthy, collaborative rehearsal process. Leigh made the films Naked, Topsy-Turvy, Secrets & Lies, just to list off a handful.

Mike joins us to discuss his new film Peterloo. It's a historical drama set in Manchester, in the Northern part of England. Leigh's hometown. It tells the story of the Peterloo Massacre. If you're rusty on your English history, here's a refresher: The Peterloo Massacre took place in 1819. The UK was still recovering from a lengthy war against Napoleon and his allies. The economy faltered, hitting England's North especially hard.

People were asking for change. Demanding it. And on August 16 that year, they took to the streets for a demonstration. When British authorities tried to arrest one of the speakers, things spiraled out of control quickly. 18 people were killed. Hundreds more injured. Among the dead were women and children.

Mike tells us how he values finding emotional truth in historical films - even if it means fast-forwarding a year or two. Or four.

Peterloo is in theaters now.

Check out this interview on YouTube!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Khalid

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Khalid

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

Khalid on his wild ride to fame, and making intimate R&B music

R&B singer Khalid has recorded about a dozen legitimate hit songs. He's sold millions of albums. Plus, has hundreds of millions of plays on streaming apps. He plays to huge crowds. Madison Square Garden. MGM Grand Garden. Staples Center. You can catch him on tour this summer at an arena near you.

Khalid's breakthrough single was called "Location." It was one of the first songs he ever wrote. He was 18 when it dropped. He's only 21 now. People thought he was easily 10 years older. There's a richness to his voice, a kind of grace, too. He sings like a person who's seen some stuff. Khalid doesn't really record outright dance tracks, but he doesn't have a lot of ballads, either. His songs are steady. They're almost always plainly spoken.

His debut album American Teen was a sincere look at what he believes it's like to be young person nowadays. Songs like "Young Dumb & Broke" and "Another Sad Love Song
"
convey emotions most teenagers have, but his songwriting shines when he's specific and intimate. In "8Teen," he's concerned his mom is going to kill him because his car smells like weed. You know teenager stuff.

He's got a new record coming out later this week, it's called Free Spirit. Khalid tell us about the weird, amazing world of being super famous. We'll also talk about his childhood, growing up in and around several different army bases. And why some people have a hard time believing he's only 21. We know Khalid can sing, but can he rap? We'll get him to freestyle some bars. You don't want to miss it!

Check out this interview on YouTube!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Stephen Malkmus on the song that changed his life

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Stephen Malkmus

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: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

The Song That Changed my Life: Stephen Malkmus

Stephen Malkmus is the singer and co-founder of Pavement - one of the most beloved and influential modern rock bands of the 90s or ever, for that matter. They recorded so many songs that capture the decade perfectly: Cut Your Hair, Range Life and Stereo just to name a few.

The band broke up in 1999, but Malkmus has kept on, as prolific as ever, dropping 8 records since 2001. His latest just dropped, it's called Groove Denied and includes a different sound including drum machines, vintage synths and a lot of voice reverb. It's a departure for him. A little less like The Fall, a little more like Suicide or Kraftwerk.

What is the song that changed his life? Love Will Keep Us Together by Captain & Tenille.

Yeah. You read that right.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: PEN15’s Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle

| 0 comments
Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Maya Erskine
Guests: 
Anna Konkle

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

Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle on their new Hulu show 'Pen15'

Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle join us to discuss their new coming of age show Pen15. It’s a show about middle school. Or, more accurately: it's about a version of middle school you might have actually experienced.The show is set in the year 2000 with plenty of cuts from N*SYNC and Lit and Mandy Moore. The characters wear Bebe tanks, Ruff Ryders shirts and UFO pants. It's a show about kids that definitely isn't for kids - sex and menstruation come up a bit, for example. The show digs deeper into what it means to be 12 or 13. A time in your life when a lot of kids are very, very insecure.

On Pen15, Maya and Anna play middle school aged versions of themselves. They’re best friends. Maya has a bowl cut. Anna has braces. They're starting 7th grade at the beginning of the show and while 6th grade wasn't great, they have a pretty good feeling that this year is gonna be different.

Maya and Anna tell us how they mined stories from their own lives to make the show. And why they cast Richard Karn - yes, Al from Home Improvement - as Maya's dad.

Pen15 is now streaming on Hulu

Listen to this interview on YouTube!

Syndicate content