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 with Jesse Thorn

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

From NPR

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.)More from Bullseye with Jesse Thorn »

Most Recent Episodes

Judd Apatow & Romesh Ranganathan

Judd Apatow is one of the busiest and most notable behind the scenes guys alive today. Name 10 huge critically acclaimed comedy hits off the top your head, and Judd's probably worked on half of them: The Larry Sanders Show, Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, Funny People, The Big Sick, Train Wreck, Girls - it just goes on and on. But now, for the first time in over 25 years, he's back on stage. He's been performing live for the last couple years and now he's got his first ever hour long special. It's called Judd Apatow: The Return and it debuts on Netflix this week. Then, Romesh Ranganathan. He's a British stand up and TV host. And while he might not be a household name stateside, he's looking to change that. Romseh just rented a giant amphitheater in Los Angeles for his big debut - it seats nearly 6,000 people. When we first heard about this in November, he'd sold only 74 tickets. Jesse talks with him about why he's doing it, how his family's past informed his comedy, and what it's like going from crying in a corporate bathroom stall to selling out concert halls in London... and hopefully LA.t

Judd Apatow & Romesh Ranganathan

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JK Simmons & Solomon Georgio

You know JK Simmons, right? He won an Academy Award for his role in the 2015 movie Whiplash. He's that Insurance guy in those ads. He played J Jonah Jameson in the Spiderman movies. Dude puts in work - there are 183 credits on his IMDB page right now and he isn't slowing down. He's starring in the new drama The Bachelors, which is out now. He'll talk with Jesse about all that stuff, plus, the J Jonah Jameson action figure (with Desk Pounding Action™). Then, Solomon Georgio. Solomon's a stand up from Seattle, via Fresno, via St. Louis, Via Sudan and then Ethiopia, where his parents are from. He's appeared on CONAN,The Meltdown with Jonah & Kumail, Comedy Central and more. Solomon's got a really unique presence on stage. Sometimes he's vulnerable and sincere, sure. But then he'll strike a pose and make an outrageous joke about his perfect thigh gap and like magic - you believe him. His debut record - Homonegro Superior, is out now.

JK Simmons & Solomon Georgio

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Margaret Cho & Lisa Hanawalt

We've got a couple of our favorite recent Bullseye interviews this week, first up: Margaret Cho, from last year. She's made a career of searing and revealing comedy. Lately she's been performing on the street to raise money for the homeless, marrying couples on stage, too. She also just launched a huge international tour of standup, called "Fresh off the Bloat." It kicked off just last week in Scotland. Then, Lisa Hanawalt, the cartoonist and author. When she was a guest in 2016, she'd just released her book Hot Dog Taste Test. Hanawalt's work is full of child like energy. She's obsessed with animals and also animal-human hybrids. Hanawalt also produces and runs the visual elements of the hit Netflix animated show BoJack Horseman, where people and animals live together in a kind of weird, hyper-real Hollywood.

Margaret Cho & Lisa Hanawalt

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Greta Gerwig & Pixar's Lee Unkrich

First up this week, the one and only Greta Gerwig! You probably know her as an actor - she starred in Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha and a bunch of other indies. She's also been in Oscar contenders like Jackie and 20th Century Women. Now, she's written and directed a film of her own: Lady Bird. And no exaggeration - it's one of our favorite movies from this year. Then, Lee Unkrich. For over 20 years now, he's been one of the leading creative voices at Pixar. He worked on Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, a bunch more. He directed Toy Story 3, probably the darkest and most affecting of the movies in that series. Now, he's directed Coco, the newest Disney / Pixar movie. Set in Mexico, Coco is a story wrapped up in the Mexican day of the dead - dia de muertos. He'll talk with Jesse about the making of Coco and lots more, especially his time working on Silk Stalkings, the classic 1993 erotic police procedural on USA.

Greta Gerwig & Pixar's Lee Unkrich

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Bonus! Heat Rocks: Anil Dash on Prince's 1999

Hey Bullseye fans! We have a special bonus treat for y'all today. We're gonna give you a look at Heat Rocks, the brand new music podcast here at Maximum Fun. It's an interview show that dissects classic, canonical urban and soul albums and the people who love them. This time, join writer Oliver Wang and music director Morgan Supervisor Morgan Rhodes as they interview tech blogger (and avid Prince fan) about the Purple One's all-time classic "1999." You can find out more about Heat Rocks at heatrockspod.com or just search "heat rocks" in your favorite podcast app.

Bonus! Heat Rocks: Anil Dash on Prince's 1999

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Amy Sedaris & Paul Reiser

Two legends this week: first up, Amy Sedaris. Amy's made a career playing characters - and we say this with absolutely *zero* shade intended - people who are kind of grotesque and weird. The weirder and grosser the better - take Jerri Blank on Strangers with Candy or Mimi Kanasis on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, too. But on her new show, At Home with Amy Sedaris, Amy pretty much plays herself. She talks with Jesse about how that's a transition out of her normal comfort zone. Also discussed: rabbits, monkfish, and girl scout badges! Then, the great Paul Reiser the legendary standup and actor. He's also the creator of a brand new TV series, it's called There's Johnny and it's premiering this week on Hulu. It takes place in the early 70s, behind the scene of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Reiser knew Carson about as well as anybody could and dishes on what it was like appearing on his show almost a dozen times.

Amy Sedaris & Paul Reiser

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John Hodgman & Tig Notaro

Look, you probably know who John Hodgman is already. He's been on the Daily Show, This American Life, Adventure Time, way more stuff. Here at Maximum Fun he's the judge on the Judge John Hodgman Podcast. John's also written four books. His latest is Vacationland, and it's a pretty big departure. It's kind of a meditation on aging and the world we live in today. It's about fatherhood and adolescence and how to accept that at some point in your life, there's gonna be more road behind you than ahead. Then, Tig Notaro. The comedian's brilliant TV show One Mississippi is back on Amazon for a second season. She joins Jesse to talk about her start in comedy, how she incorporates autobiography into plot points, and the importance of having an all-female writing staff on the show. Finally: Surprise! An outshot about a tiger painting.

John Hodgman & Tig Notaro

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Stephanie Beatriz & Griffin Dunne

For five seasons, Stephanie Beatriz has starred on the hit fox show Brooklyn Nine Nine. She plays Detective Rosa Diaz, easily the toughest cop in the precinct - she's brave, she's serious, she rides a motorcycle. Now, she stars in a new film - a drama called The Light of the Moon. It's a nuanced, touching and realistic look at the trauma left in the wake of a brutal sexual assault. After that: Griffin Dunne! He's an actor. You might've seen him on the new Amazon series I Love Dick, or as the lead in the Scorsese classic After Hours. He's also a director, and his latest film focuses on the writer Joan Didion, who happens to be his aunt. He talks with Jesse about the decision to make the film, her legacy in the world of journalism and how he mustered up the courage to ask her some pretty tough questions.

Stephanie Beatriz & Griffin Dunne

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Halloween Special with Elvira, Andy Daly & more!

Good October to you, boys and ghouls! It's a very special Halloween Spooktacular edition of Bullseye! First we have Cassandra Peterson, the woman behind Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. She'll talk with Jesse about where her iconic character came from, her childhood growing up in the midwest and what it's like to have a pinball game bearing your likeness. Then, a very special visit from comedian Andy Daly (Review, Reno 911, Silicon Valley), with the song that changed his life: the Monster Mash. Plus spooky and ooky movie recommendations from the team at Maximum Fun's Who Shot Ya podcast, and Jesse recommends a Halloween song that's so good... it'll give you chills! Mwahahahaha!

Halloween Special with Elvira, Andy Daly & more!

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Gilbert Gottfried and Maggie Betts

You know Gilbert Gottfried, right? That comedian with the crazy loud voice who tells gross, sometimes kind of tasteless jokes. He was the voice of the Aflac duck at one point, too. There's really two Gilbert Gottfrieds, though - there's that guy, and there's the pretty quiet guy who has a wife and two kids and, you know, picks up paper towels on the way home or whatever. Now, he's talking about all of that. He's the subject of a new documentary, it's called Gilbert. He talks with Jesse about the process of revealing his private side on camera for the first time. Then, a deep discussion about Catholicism, love, and privilege with filmmaker Maggie Betts. Her debut film, Novitiate, tells the story of nuns-in-training in the mid 20th century as their lives and society were in total upheaval.

Gilbert Gottfried and Maggie Betts

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