Sesame Street

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Daveed Diggs

Daveed Diggs

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Photo: Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Daveed Diggs on Hamilton, Blindspotting and Clipping's new record.

Daveed Diggs has one of the most varied resumes in entertainment.

He starred in the original cast of Hamilton – he won a Grammy and a Tony for his roles as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette.

He's an actor on screen, too. You've seen him on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Get Down, Black -ish. Every now and then, he's got a great role in the Elmo's World segment on Sesame Street. His latest can be seen on the Amazon series Undone.

He's also a writer. Diggs co-wrote the screenplay for Blindspotting, a movie about violence and gentrification in Oakland, his hometown. Diggs also co-stars in the film, and it's brilliant.

And, if that wasn't enough he's a very talented musician. He's a member of the rap group Clipping. He serves as the MC, and producer alongside William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes. They create their beats out of weird samples: beer bottles, alarm clocks. They collaborate with noise artists, and Daveed never raps in the first person. Their newest record, There Existed An Addiction to Blood is a study in horror – horror movies, horror soundtracks, and horror rap.

Diggs joins us to talk about Clipping's new record, his various acting roles, and of course, Hamilton. Diggs reflects on his favorite music from his teenage years, and growing up in Oakland. Plus, what it's like to be recognized as a Sesame Street character.

Clipping's new album There Existed an Addiction to Blood is available October 18.

Pop Rocket: Episode 134 We're Podcasting for Two!

Pop Rocket
Guy Branum
Margaret Wappler
Karen Tongson
Wynter Mitchell

It’s a very special episode of Pop Rocket. We throw Margaret Wappler a baby shower before she takes an extended leave of absence to become a mother. There were games, tears, laughter, joy and even a guest appearance by One Bad Mother’s Biz Ellis.

The gang talk about their favorite lullabies, share what tv shows affected them the most as a child, and Margaret reveals how she would stage her pregnant photo shoot. Plus, Karen brings in an old school Summer Jam, Guy and Margaret are still gaga for Game of Thrones (no spoilers), and Wynter is in love with Ready Player One.

We all love you and wish you the best, Margaret!

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson and Margaret Wappler.

That’s My Jam:

Margaret Wappler - REM - Untitled (Track 11)
Karen Tongson - Flo Rida - My House
Wynter Mitchell - Brandy - Baby
Guy Branum - Demi Lovato - Sorry Not Sorry

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 in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hartfor

Other Links:
Charlotte: no no no
Ready Player One trailer
Cindy Crawford on W Magazine

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Caroll Spinney and Dave LaMattina & Ian Edwards

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Dave LaMattina
Caroll Spinney
Ian Edwards
Karina Longworth

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L to R: Caroll Spinney on location with Kermit Love who built the original Big Bird puppet from a design created by Jim Henson.
Photo credit: Copper Pot Pictures

'I am Big Bird': Caroll Spinney and Dave LaMattina on Big Bird's Big Heart

Spend a few minutes watching Sesame Street, and you'll recognize some part of yourself in Big Bird. His kindness, curiosity and vulnerability resonate with everyone, young and old. But who brought Big Bird to life?

Caroll Spinney is the man inside the Big Bird suit, and he has been since 1969. (He's also Oscar the Grouch). Dave LaMattina is the co-director, along with Chad Walker, of a documentary about Spinney. It's called I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story.

Spinney made his television debut in 1955, working on the local Las Vegas show Rascal Rabbit, then moved on to the East Coast and performed on Bozo the Clown. But he was looking for greater purpose in his work, and he found it. He met Jim Henson and began work on the pioneering children's TV show, Sesame Street.

Spinney and LaMattina sit down to talk with us about Big Bird's physical and spiritual evolution, how the 80-year-old Spinney manages to maneuver in a full-body puppet suit, and how Big Bird has helped so many children and adults deal with loss, love and their own feelings.

I Am Big Bird has been touring the festival circuit this spring, and we caught it as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival. You can find more information about the film on their website.

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Karina Longworth on Old Hollywood Favorites: 'The Bad and the Beautiful' and 'Picnic'

Karina Longworth hosts the podcast You Must Remember This, which looks at some of the secrets of Old Hollywood. She joins us to talk about some of her favorite cinematic moments of the 1950s.

She suggests checking out 1955's Picnic. It's a movie about a handsome drifter who blows into a small town and wreaks havoc on the citizens' love lives.

Longworth also recommends The Bad and the Beautiful from 1952, a self-reflexive movie about a manipulative Hollywood producer and the studio system.

You can find Longworth's podcast on her website or in iTunes.

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Ian Edwards on his Jamaican heritage, Finding His Comedic Voice, and '100% Half-Assed'

Would you take career advice from a complete stranger? Ian Edwards did, and he's never looked back. He was working a fast food drive-through when a customer liked his banter and suggested he become a comic.

Edwards has written for Saturday Night Live and the reboot of In Living Color. He's also performed on Conan and on Def Comedy Jam on HBO.

He talks to us about moving (from England to Jamaica to New York City), finding his comedic voice, and the lessons he learned from the late Patrice O'Neal.

His new album 100% Half-Assed is the first record on the new Team Coco label.

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The Outshot: I Love LA

We return to the Newm: Jesse delves into why the Randy Newman song "I Love LA" is ironic, but also sort of... not ironic? You'll see.

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Judge John Hodgman Episode 15: Sesame Street Justice


A group of high school kids kidnapped their youth group leader Chris' life-size Ernie figure as a prank, but he was stolen from them before his safe return. Student Ben serves as the legal representative of the offending group. Should the students be held responsible for Ernie's disappearance if they intended to return him?

After the jump, the submitted evidence from Chris.

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