Bullseye with Jesse Thorn (donors-only feed) (general)
The official donors-only feed of Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

Jesse talks to Benjamin and Christopher Wagner about America’s most beloved broadcaster --Mister Fred Rogers -- and they all hold back tears. Plus, Jesse sits down with another beloved, cardigan-wearing American: Bob Newhart! And did you know God calls into sports talk radio programs? Bullseye features another chapter of God’s memoir, as written by comedy scribe David Javerbaum.  

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This week David Wain makes the successful leap from cultiest-of-cult comedy to the mainstream multiplex – and keeps things super funny. Correspondant Jordan Morris ranks all of the things in America because we told him to. Plus, the AV Club offers some of their all-time favorite culture picks, and Jesse talks about his JAM -- DJ Quick's Pitch In Ona Party

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Daniel Handler delves into his memories of young love to pen the novel “Why We Broke Up” -- the twist? He writes the girl's side of the story. The Sklar Brothers talk about their new comedy album – from performing as identical twins to broadening their sports-nerd base. Plus Jesse suggests the Canadian TV show The Newsoom and American composer Nico Muhly shares the song that changed his life. 

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Actor Michael Rapaport profiles his favorite hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Quest, and ends up documenting their deep-rooted friendships and conflicts. Filmmaker Werner Herzog looks into the Chauvet Caves of France, where the oldest known cave paintings exist, practically untouched over thousands of years. Plus, AV Club writers offer their culture recommendations, Jesse suggests you listen to Sly Stone's “If You Want Me To Stay” and comedy group Kasper Hauser makes up the news. 

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Tim and Eric are known for Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job. They also promoted Shrek 3 without permission from the movie studio. Now, they've made a billion dollar movie of their own. Cartoonist Roz Chast's explains some of her day-to-day fears like balloons, water, and sitting on the ground. Plus a section from God's memoir (as dictated to comedy writer David Javerbaum) and Jesse suggests Randy Newman in his outshot. 

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Jenna Fischer talks about her first acting gig in LA, auditioning for The Office, and what all the actors are doing on their computers when they're in the background of a shot. The very real Jack Handey talks about his days as Steve Martin's neighbor, and how he writes Deep Thoughts. Plus this week's video game recommendations from Heather Anne Campbell and more!

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Aisha Tyler talks about what pushed her into performance. She's on the animated FX show Archer. David Hornsby talks about building comedic stories from his real life relationships. His new animated FX show is called Unsupervised. Plus, the AV Club shares their recommendations and Jordan Morris puts America in its place … by ranking everything.

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Jesse interviews comedian Chris Gethard about booking P. Diddy at a tiny theater in New York. Lawrence Weschler talks about why CGI faces will never look quite right, and why humans are addicted to narrative. Plus rap picks from Andrew Noz and pop culture advice from My Brother, My Brother and Me.

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The first episode of Bullseye! Jesse interviews the cast of Downton Abbey, a costume drama on PBS Masterpiece that is NOT BORING AT ALL. He'll also talk to Chris Lilley, the Australian comedian behind the new HBO show Angry Boys. Plus, hear picks from the AV Club and the song that changed the Baltimore musician Dan Deacon's life.

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Once a year the small staff here at The Sound of Young America compiles the best comedy we've heard from the past year.

Our selections may not be poignant, they may not contribute to a broader understanding of our world, but hey, at least they're funny.

Hear from Patton Oswalt, Tig Notaro, Mike Birbiglia and many many others this week on the Sound of Young America's 2011 comedy special from PRI.

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Why not do a food episode? A conversation with the LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold, who is the authority not just on Los Angeles food, but on Los Angeles in general. Plus Ed Levine talks about how Serious Eats is for people who want to find the best foie gras AND the best local tacos. And humorist Rob Baedeker shares the contents of his CSA box.

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Every year, dozens of public radio specials flood the marketplace. Only one has the slightly skewed, slightly sweet vision of The Sound of Young America. Interviews with Christmas legend Ronnie Spector (the sweet) and B-52s frontman Fred Schneider (the skewed). It's the only holiday special where you can hear Schneider's signature bellow delivering a heartening mid-winter message: "GIVE... ME... MORE... PRESENTS!"

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Tabloid tales! Carrie Fisher talks about growing up behind the shadow of her celebrity parents, and electroshock treatments in her new book Shockoholic. Plus, Errol Morris obsesses over the power of narrative in tabloid stories -- specifically one involving sex kidnappings, dog cloning, and much much more.

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Nile Rodgers is a legendary record producer and a member of the band Chic. If you don't know the band you certainly know their hits "Le Freak" and "Good Times", among many others. Rodgers talks about producing music for the dance floor, from Diana Ross to David Bowie. Plus, Keith and Tasha from the AV Club talk about Marilyn Monroe, Miranda July, and a movie called Tyrannosaur which is completely absent of dinos.

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When Jesse is not hosting this program, he serves as the baliff for the honorable Judge John Hodgman. This week we'll be presenting three of that program's FINEST cases on The Sound of Young America. -- The Case of the Youthful Indiscretions, the Girlfriend and the Grasshopper, and Panta-lunacy!

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Two conversations exploring different kinds of New York men this week, plus rankings from a man all his own -- Jordan Morris. First, Glenn O'Brien, GQ's Style Guy, meditates on what it means to be a man in the 21st century. Then, writer Jonathan Ames talks about his TV show Bored to Death that follows the lives of three unconventional New York men as portrayed by Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis.

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Patrick Warburton talks about how he came up with the “Puddy” voice, his career playing lovably dumb characters, and how he got to voice characters for TWO Disney theme park rides. Plus, Venture Bros. Creator Jackson Publick shares his own Warburton impersonation, and talks about what it's like to love the genre you're satirizing (in this case, boy adventures like Johnny Quest).

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Kate Beaton is the woman behind Hark! A Vagrant, a web comic that applies Beaton's distinctive wit to subjects often drawn from history and literature. Plus, legendary cartoonist Gahan Wilson talks about taking his gleeful, macabre style to the pages of Playboy and The New Yorker. Plus, Rob Baedeker gives a lecture on chemistry and knocks it out of the park.

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This week, two nudging the bruises that make creativity come out. Jeanne Darst talks about her new memoir on growing up in a literary family that spent more time drinking than writing. She kicks the booze to become more productive, and more creative. Plus a candid conversation with Marc Maron -- a poster child for turning pain into creativity. And don't forget to listen to the completely painless Jordan Ranks America!

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Believe it or not, Rin Tin Tin blew people's minds in the silent film days. He jumped tall fences, climbed trees, and even acted. This week, a conversation with author Susan Orlean about the iconic German Shepherd's iconic life, and how it reflected Americans' relationship with their own dogs. Plus, the news with Kasper Hauser.

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Bootsy Collins – the greatest funk bassist of all time – talks about playing with James Brown, doing LSD on stage, quitting and/or being fired from the JB's, joining up with the Parliament-Funkadelic collective, and his own amazing solo career. Plus, the TV Editors at the AV Club pick the new shows that are worth your time this Fall. 

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Taking swings at a creative lifestyle. Jonathan Coulton went from software engineer to successful musician. His new – and first proper -- album was produced by They Might Be Giant's John Flansburgh. One of Coulton's collaborators John Roderick tells us about the song that got him to take his swing at the guitar – Gimme All Your Lovin'. And after taking creative swings at acting throughout her 20s and 30s, Jane Lynch gets her first hit at 40.

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John Hodgman guest hosts for an exploration of universes. Yes, that's plural. how many universes are there? It's one of several questions that astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson DOESN'T have the answer to, but Tyson wants us to love the questions themselves. 

And while Tyson counts universes, George R. R. Martin has created one. He's the author of the book series A Song of Ice and Fire, which is the basis for the new HBO series A Game of Thrones. Martin discusses his transformation from a science fiction and fantasy fan into a creator, and the effect that hardcore fantasy fans can have on the final product. 

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What's the use in going retro? This week, two interviews explore that question. First Nicolas Winding Refn talks about his new film Drive, a moody thriller that combines elements of fairy tale, noir, 80s pop and 70s grit. Then, Simon Reynolds talks about his new book Retromania, which delves into why pop culture is addicted to its own past.

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Exploring different views of the past, present and future. First an interview with music journalist Dave Tompkins on the vocoder -- the past's vision of the future. Then, the up to date trends of the present when Jordan Ranks America. Science fiction author William Gibson examines the present for its futuristic ideas. Finally, Coyle & Sharpe convince bystanders in 1960s San Francisco of some hare-brained futuristic ideas of their own.

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Guest host Xeni Jardin interviews television writers whose work hold strong ties to their childhood.  

Robert Popper's first thing on TV was Look Around You, a bizaare callback to educational videos from the 70s and 80s. Now, he's created and written a sitcom-like series about the tendency to go back to your parents' house and suddenly start acting like you're 13 again. It's called Friday Night Dinner.

Plus, we look back to a conversation with television writer Steven Moffat. He grew up adoring the British staple Doctor Who. These days, he's the writer and executive producer of the Doctor Who revival. He's also joined by the show's two new stars. 

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Guest host Jordan Morris' interviews this week prove that low budgets and home-made aesthetics can still bring in huge audiences.

Bruce Campbell is best known for his roles in the Evil Dead films, and these days when he's not blowing up bad guys on the hit show Burn Notice, he's out at comic conventions soaking up his status as a cult icon. 

Plus, Paul Scheer talks about his belovedly scrappy Human Giant comedy group, and skewering big budget police procedurals on his new show NTSF:SD:SUV. 

And OK Go's Damian Kulash -- whose backyard music video made his band an Internet smash-- talks about how Herbie Hancock's Rockit changed his life. 

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Janey Varney steps in as our guest host this week. She sits down with the great Bruce McCulloch from Kids In The Hall. He explains how his love of music led him to  comedy, and why being in Kids In The Hall felt a little bit like being in a band with five lead guitarists. Plus, Janet will talk to Danny Pudi from NBC's Community about the fortune of finding a great show to work on, and the trick to working improvisation into scripted comedy.

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Guest host Dave Holmes talks to Hüsker Dü founder Bob Mould about his new memoir. Plus comedy veteran Tig Notaro talks with Dave  about her first comedy album Good One. Finally, Jesse checks in from paternity leave to talk to Andrew Noz about his top hip-hop tracks for August. 

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MaxFunCon is a conference that celebrates creativity, comedy and friendship. It takes place at a camp-style retreat in the mountains above Los Angeles. This special episode includes highlights from the 2011 MaxFunCon. We feature comedy from Graham Clark, Maria Bamford, Andy Daly and more, plus talks from On The Media co-host Brooke Gladstone and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich.

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Comedy as a lifestyle this week on the program. Jeff Garlin is the co-star of Curb Your Enthusiasm among many other projects and says that his top priority is to become kinder and wiser every day. Next, Paul Provenza is the host of the show Green Room on Showtime and says comedy is more than jokes or written material – it's a mindset.

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Errol Morris – director of documentaries such as The Thin Blue Line and Fog of War – talks about his new film Tabloid, and the power of his non-confrontational interview style. Plus, Morris' future film collaborator Ira Glass talks about the power of narrative in his own documentary work on This American Life

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A Tribe Called Quest is one of actor Michael Rapaport's favorite groups. He decides, rather than feverishly waiting for Tribe to release a new album, that he'll film a documentary about them. Rapaport is surprised to find deep conflict between the group of longtime friends. Plus, Malcom Ingram celebrates the gay subculture of large, hirsut gentlemen known as "bears in his documentary Bear Nation.

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Weird Al returns to the program to talk about his new album Alpocalypse! The best part? Jesse records the program at Weird Al's house! We also revisit the earlier conversation we had with the world's greatest song parodist, plus standup from Chicago's Prescott Tolk.

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What is this thing called "man"? A conversation with GQ's Style Guy Glenn O'Brien. He's the author of the book How To Be A Man. Plus, Jesse sits down with another fine specimen of the male persuation: Mr. Dick Cavett. 

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Rob Cordrry and Henry Winkler are, among many other things, the creator and one of the stars of Children's Hospital – the farcical parody of a dramatic hospital show. Season 3 has just started airing on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, and seasons 1 & 2 are now out on DVD.

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We present conversations that explore madness this week. First, researcher Rudolph Herzog discusses the tpical comedy that was written in Germany during the rule of the Third Reich. Then a conversation with Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry. Plus, the news from comedy group Kasper Hauser.

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Two guys who are putting together the comedy puzzle this week. First Demetri Martin, who pieces together one-liners, palindromes and flow-charts to form his body of work. Then a conversation with Scot Armstrong, who wrote The Hangover Part 2 – a film whose characters slowly puts together pieces from the night before. 

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Ray Romano and Mike Royce are the co-creators of Men Of A Certain Age, a funny and dramatic show about staring down the barrel of one's fifth decade. Find out how the show is a reflection of both hit sitcom writers' own lives. Plus great new picks from the AV Club. 

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Mark Oppenheimer talks about growing up in a culture of debate and Julie Krausner on dating faux sensitive types. Plus, Jordan Ranks America once again and Donald Glover delivers comedy about that one time his teacher farted. High minded topics this week on The Sound of Young America.

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Werner Herzog approaches his new documentary about the earliest cave paintings not as "an accountant of facts", but as "a poet". Phil Rosenthal talks about translating his show Everybody Loves Raymond for Russian audiences in his documentary Exporting Raymond. Plus, Jordan tells America how it stacks up.

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Live from Chicago's Second City, a conversation with public radio cutup Peter Sagal, professional wrestler and stand up comedian Colt Cabana, plus comedy from Cameron Eposito and music from Robbie Fulks and Nora O'Connor.

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Mary Roach talks about the unspeakable side of space travel. Her funny new book is called Packing For Mars. Also, an interview Jon Glaser, who's written for Conan O'Brien and Dana Carvey among others. His show Delocator is entering its second season on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Plus, Prince finds his way into the Ten Commandements courtesy of comedy writer Simon Rich. 

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Getting to know the class clowns with rap group Das Racist -- known for the goof of a song "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell -- and another back of the class jokester, comedian Aziz Ansari, co-star of NBC's Parks and Recreation. Plus, pop culture picks from the AV Club. 

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Songcraft with indie rock mainstays -- Carl Newman of The New Pornographers talks about the overlooked inspiration of songs you might hear in a grocery store and a conversation with the prolific John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats. Plus, a special word from a new sponsor, The Remington County Folks Festival And .. Electronic Show?

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A show on how to get work done, whether through David Rakoff's constructive pessimism or the more headlong approach of cartoonist Lynda Barry. Plus, an exclusive stand up set from Maria Bamford. 

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We explore the business side of the hip-hop world -- from small-time street hustling to multi-billion dollar industry -- with author Dan Charnas. Plus a sampling of some current hip-hop offerings from blogger Noz. And why you should give Craig Rowin one million dollars. 

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We're pushing to the edge this week. Chris Morris finds a way to humanize mass-murderers in Four Lions, his new comedy about a homegrown terror cell. Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3, talks about why it was important to address death, and why that's OK for kids to see. Plus, a news update from the Kasper Hauser comedy group.

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Greg Mottola, the director of the new concept comedy Paul, is also known for a quality teen comedy in Superbad and moody character-driven film in Adventureland. Plus we talk to the SNL cast member and Paul ensemble member Bill Hader. And Phil Collins on the song that changed his life. 

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A couple of guys who stick out from the crowd. Weird Al relfects on a career that spans music, comedy and three decades. Scott Thompson talks about turning his banal Kids in the Hall character Dany Husk into the protagonist of his own graphic novel trilogy. Plus the news from comedy group Kasper Hauser. 

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Live from the SF Sketchfest at the Eureka Theater. Comedy from Baron Vaughn and San Francisco heroes Kasper Hauser. Plus, switching careers from producing television advertisements to television programming with Steve Dildarian, and Bobcat Goldthwait on switching from offbeat personality to respected film director. 

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Jesse talks with producer, writer and director Judd Apatow, one of comedy's most important voices. Plus, sketches from Simon Rich that appear in Judd's compilation of humor writing call I Found This Funny.


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We explore the recent battle for The Tonight Show with The New York Times' Bill Carter. Plus, a talk with legendary talk show host Dick Cavett. His new book is called Talk Show. 

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Legendary singers entering new worlds. Mavis Staples reflects on her 50 year career and recent collaborations. Daryl Hall talks about the foundations of Hall & Oates, plus his new web series inviting musicians to jam in his home. Plus, Chuck Brown shares the song that helped him to invent the Go Go genre. 

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Exploring the future of soul. Singer Bilal has a new album out called Airtight's Revenge. Producer Flying Lotus' most recent LP is Cosmogramma. His recent EP is called Patter+Grid World. Plus SuperEgo's vision of a late night request line. 

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A show on how to get work done whether through David Rakoff's constructive pessimism or the more headlong approach of cartoonist Lynda Barry. Plus, an exclusive stand up set from Maria Bamford. 

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Interviews with Amy Sedaris and Judah Friedlander, with a reading from John Hodgman and a special set of songs from Tim Harrington and Seth Jabour of Brooklyn band Les Savy Fav.  Recorded live at WNYC's Greene Space on October 22, 2010.

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