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Bullseye With Jesse Thorn


Bullseye from NPR is your curated guide to culture. Jesse Thorn hosts in-depth interviews with brilliant creators, culture picks from our favorite critics and irreverent original comedy. Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney's, which called it "the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world." (Formerly known as The Sound of Young America.)

Bullseye from NPR is your curated guide to culture. Jesse Thorn hosts in-depth interviews with brilliant creators, culture picks from our favorite critics and irreverent original comedy. Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney's, which called it "the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world." (Formerly known as The Sound of Young America.)
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Bullseye from NPR is your curated guide to culture. Jesse Thorn hosts in-depth interviews with brilliant creators, culture picks from our favorite critics and irreverent original comedy. Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney's, which called it "the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world." (Formerly known as The Sound of Young America.)




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Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator of 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' and 'Gilmore Girls'

Amy Sherman-Palladino has worked on some of the most unique programs to be ever greenlit for the TV screen. You've seen her work on Gilmore Girls. For three seasons, she was a writer on Roseanne, and wrote some really iconic episodes. Her latest work can be seen on Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Amy Sherman-Palladino joins us to talk about what she learned working on Roseanne in her early 20's, and how that experience helped her create Gilmore Girls. Plus, did you know the Gilmore Girls...


The Egyptian Lover, hip-hop pioneer

We'll chat with the one and only Egyptian Lover. Born Greg Broussard – he's a DJ, a producer, a rapper sometimes, too. He came up with Uncle Jamm's Army, a hip-hop crew that featured promoter and DJ Rodger Clayton, Ice-T, and has shared the bill with acts as big as Run-DMC back in the day. As a solo artist he's released 10 albums, mixing Kraftwerk, Prince, a little bit of G-Funk every now and then, too. He talks with Jesse about the early days of LA hip-hop and electro, what a 10,000 person...


Eugene Levy from "Schitt's Creek," "American Pie" and more

Eugene Levy is hands down one of the funniest people in history. The Canadian-born actor and funnyman got his start in the world of improv when he joined Chicago's Second City. His first big break was on the Canadian sketch show SCTV, where he played a variety of roles. He later began collaborating with fellow improv mockumentarian Christopher Guest. Eugene joins Bullseye to talk about the very funny SCTV sketch that inspired Saturday Night Live's Norm McDonald and his work on all eight of...


Psychedelic bedroom pop musician Cuco

The Song That Changed My Life is a segment that gives us the chance to talk with some of our favorite artists about the music that made them who they are today. This time around, we're joined by the musician Cuco. He got his start making music in his bedroom. He combines dreamy synths, catchy hooks and a bit of jazz trumpet to create a sleepy psychedelia vibe. So where did he get his psychedelic bedroom pop sound? Cuco explains how Tame Impala's Feels Like We Only Go Backwards helped him...


Jeff Goldblum

There's no one else on the planet quite like Jeff Goldblum. He came onto the scene over four decades ago with the role of "Freak #1" in the 1974 revenge fantasy Death Wish. Since then, he's appeared in countless films, television and theater productions including; Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Portlandia, The Fly and as everyone's favorite chaos mathematician in Jurassic Park. Chances are, he's a part of one of your favorite movies. Jeff joins us to talk about his new film, The Mountain,...


Lesley Manville from 'Mum,' 'Another Year,' and more

British actor Lesley Manville is truly a master of her craft. You might know her work with the brilliant director Mike Leigh. She starred in some of his best movies like Secrets & Lies, All or Nothing and Another Year. She's had a long and successful career overseas – and she's finally breaking through in the states. In 2017, she portrayed Cyril in Phantom Thread. The stunning performance earned her an Oscar nomination. Lesley joins us to talk about starring in the BBC sitcom Mum, and how...


E-40, Bay Area rap legend

When it comes to hip-hop from the Bay Area, E-40 is quite possibly the greatest of all time. His distinctiveness has kept him relevant for three decades now, from mob music in the 1990's to hyphy slaps in the aughts to new music today. E-40 joins us to talk about his new record, Practice Makes Paper. We'll pull up some deep cuts from R&B singer Saint Charles, who 40 more intimately knows as his Uncle Chuckie. Chuckie was a huge inspiration for E-40 growing up. E will also take us to the root...


Filmmaker Aviva Kempner

Baseball week at Bullseye continues with filmmaker Aviva Kempner. She'll talk to us about her documentary The Spy Behind Home Plate. The film follows the life of catcher-turned-World War II spy Moe Berg, quite possibly the smartest man to play baseball. Moe played baseball back in the era of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, learned Sanskrit at the Sorbonne, and took some of the earliest known photos of Tokyo.


Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik, authors of 'The MVP Machine'

It's baseball week here at Bullseye and best-selling authors Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik are stepping up to the plate. They're the writers behind the book, The MVP Machine: How Baseball's New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players. The book looks at how previously cast aside players are transforming themselves into All-Stars. And, they'll talk to us about how players aren't the only ones changing the game. And even if you're not into baseball, we promise there are some...


Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman has written tomes of the written word for GQ, ESPN, The Washington Post, Esquire, The Guardian, and plenty more. In 2014, he joined us to talk about I Wear the Black Hat, which examined villainy through pop culture figures like Batman, Kanye West and LeBron James. In 2016, he talked about his book: But What if We're Wrong, which examined how the present will be perceived in the future. But this time around, Chuck joins us to tell us about the craziest day of his career....


Author and journalist Jeff Chang

Jeff Chang is a journalist and music critic with an emphasis on hip-hop music and culture. His work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Village Voice, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Spin, and many more. Jeff Chang returns to Bullseye to talk about his latest project, "We Gon' Be Alright." It was originally a book released back in 2016. Recently, it was turned into a web series by Indie Lens Spotlight. The series deals with some really tough questions about race in America with...


Comic and actor J.B. Smoove

*A heads up to listeners, this episode contains many censored expletives throughout the interview.* J.B. Smoove is without a doubt one of the funniest people we've ever had on Bullseye. He got his start in television as one of the stars of Def Comedy Jam in the mid-90's. In the early aughts, he became a writer on Saturday Night Live. But, he's probably best known for his role as Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm. J.B. joins us to talk about his time on SNL. We'll hear about a few of his favorite...


Ahmed Gallab from the band Sinkane

Bullseye guest host Shereen Marisol Meraji, host of NPR's Code Switch, talks with the musician Ahmed Gallab. You might know Ahmed as the man behind the band Sinkane. Ahmed and Shereen discuss his latest album, growing up in the U.S. as the son of immigrants and how he connects his Sudanese roots to his music. Sinkane's latest album is titled Dépaysé and is available now.


Tales of the City's Garcia

Guest Host Shereen Marisol Meraji, host of NPR's Code Switch, chats with actor Garcia. Garcia plays Jake Rodriguez on 'Tales of the City' on Netflix, a part-remake part-sequel to the TV miniseries you might remember from the 90's. Garcia and Shereen discuss their first breakout role, being pigeonholed as a trans character in Hollywood and how their chosen family led them to acting.


Washington Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle

Pitcher Sean Doolittle is the closer for the Washington Nationals, and no, it's not The Closer you're thinking about. Sean's been called one of the most interesting players in baseball. He'll talk about his unorthodox path to the major leagues, starting out as a first baseman, recovering from serious injuries and then pivoting to closing out games on the mound. Sean's also known as one of the nicest guys in MLB. He's used his platform as a baseball player to raise awareness about a number of...


Edie Falco

This week, we're revisiting our conversation with Emmy-award winning actress Edie Falco. She's best known for her roles in The Sopranos, Oz and Nurse Jackie. When she spoke to us in 2018, she had just starred in the movie Outside In. Edie talks to Jesse about landing her first acting gig — which she started the day after she graduated from acting school at SUNY Purchase. Plus, Edie tells us why she thinks comedy isn't for her, and what it was like to work with James Gandolfini for nearly a...


Linda Holmes, pop culture critic and author of 'Evvie Drake Starts Over'

Linda Holmes is a pop culture critic and host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. She just released her debut novel, Evvie Drake Starts Over. It's about love and loss and the choices we make that sometimes require us to start from scratch. Linda joins the show to talk about her start in writing and how the game of baseball contains a great lesson on the importance of perseverance.


Joe Talbot, director of 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco'

Joe Talbot is the director of The Last Black Man in San Francisco. It's a beautiful film about a guy named Jimmie and his desire to reclaim a San Francisco house built by his grandfather, many moons before tech booms rolled in and massive amounts of money changed the city. Joe talks about gentrification, his thoughts on authenticity in the Bay Area and the best reaction to a movie Jesse has ever heard.


Filmmaker and actor Sara Driver

Director Sara Driver refined her craft during New York's indie filmmaker boom in the late 1970s-1990s. Her directorial debut came in 1981 with You are Not I, a film about a young woman who escapes a mental institution during the chaos of a pileup. We revisit our conversation with Driver from 2018 where she discussed her docmentary, Boom For Real. It tells the story of a young Jean-Michel Basquiat and the New York arts community around him. Sara currently appears in Jim Jarmusch's latest...


H. Jon Benjamin

H. Jon Benjamin is the voice behind some of television's most beloved animated characters. He's the voice of titular character "Bob" in Fox's heartwarming sitcom Bob's Burgers. He also plays Sterling Archer in FX's Archer, which just premiered its 10th season this past spring. Revisit our conversation with the actor as he talks about his book, his work on so many great TV shows and the beauty of fatherhood.