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.)

Most Recent Episodes

The actors Salim Dau, left, and Hiam Abbass in the movie Gaza, Mon Amour. Samuel Goldwyn Films hide caption

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Samuel Goldwyn Films

Hiam Abbass on Gaza mon Amour, Succession and more

If you know actor Hiam Abbass from one thing, it's probably Succession. Abbass plays Marcia, Logan Roy's wife. On a show famous for its craven, manipulative, sometimes frightening characters, Marcia dominates the lineup in all three categories. Most recently, though, Hiam's performed in a new movie - it's called Gaza, Mon Amour. It's Palestine's submission to this year's Academy Awards, and it's pretty much everything Succession isn't: it's a romcom. It's slow-paced. It's sweet in parts, sad and scary in others. It's a really unique film. Hiam joins us to talk about the movie, growing up in Nazareth, how she got the role to play Marcia on Succession, and whether or not she thinks Marcia loves her husband, Logan Roy. Succession intrigue! Don't miss it!

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Director Mike Mills attends the 2021 Mill Valley Film Festival centerpiece screening of "C'mon C'mon" at the Smith Rafael Film Center on October 12, 2021 in San Rafael, California. Kimberly White / Getty Images hide caption

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Kimberly White / Getty Images

Director Mike Mills on C'mon C'mon, parenting and more

Mike Mills is a writer and director who's worked in film, TV, and on music videos. He's made the films Beginners and 20th Century Women and his newest movie is called C'mon C'mon. It's a film about the extraordinary burdens of parenthood and the ways it changes parents. It's also about kids and how amazing and resilient they can be, even in the face of serious trauma. Mike talks with us about C'mon C'mon and how the film connects to his personal experiences with parenthood. He also shares that the film features real interviews with kids conducted by Joaquin Phoenix. Plus, he'll talk about the role music plays in his creative process and how he always leaves room in the budget for live musicians on set.

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Joe Pera Talks with You on Adult Swim Adult Swim hide caption

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Adult Swim

Joe Pera of "Joe Pera Talks With You"

Joe Pera Talks with You is one of the quirkiest shows on television right now. Comedian Joe Pera portrays a fictionalized version of himself. He's a soft-spoken, unassuming, kind person. Each episode involves Joe, a middle school choir teacher, guiding viewers through his life in the city of Marquette, Michigan. He talks about the simple things in life. It's quickly becoming one of our favorites here at Bullseye. Joe Pera Talks With You is back for season three. We're revisiting our conversation with Joe from last year, from when he had just wrapped season two. Joe Pera talked about doing comedy at his own pace, sleeping in a twin bed well into his twenties and why he enjoys casting non-actors in real locations. Plus, why he considers falling asleep to be a totally acceptable response to his performances. This interview originally aired in January of 2020.

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Paul Reubens

A special treat from the Bullseye archives: Paul Reubens! The man behind Pee-wee Herman. Pee-wee is, of course, a beloved character among kids who grew up in the 1980s and 90s. He's the star of Pee-wee's Playhouse, Pee-wee's Big Adventure and so many others. Pee-wee's Playhouse remains a singular achievement in kid's TV. It's a kitschy pastiche of a thousand TV shows that went before it, but it's also much more than that: it's a kaleidoscope of difference, a tribute to the big dreams and big feelings of being a kid. And it's so, so funny. In this interview, Paul tells us about growing up in a circus town, working hard to make Pee-wee Herman seem real, and why Pee-wee is a little bit of a jerk — and why that makes him work as a character.

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Aimee Mann performs at the 2021 New Yorker Festival on October 09, 2021 in Brooklyn, New York. Eugene Gologursky via Getty Images for The New Yorker hide caption

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Eugene Gologursky via Getty Images for The New Yorker

The Song That Changed My Life: Aimee Mann

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 Aimee Mann. Aimee is a singer-songwriter whose career dates back to the 80s when she sang in the new wave band Til Tuesday. But odds are you know Aimee for her solo career. She recently released a record called Queens of the Summer Hotel. The songs on the record started when Aimee was working on a stage version of the book Girl, Interrupted. The stage show hasn't happened, but the record is out now. It's somber, delicate and beautiful. When we asked Aimee about the song that changed her life, she took us back to 1972, to the first time she ever listened – really listened – to lyrics in a pop song. The song was Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again (Naturally).

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Drew Magary, author of 'The Night The Lights Went Out'

Drew Magary is a writer and novelist. He was a longtime columnist at Deadspin. He's written features for GQ, The Atlantic and more. His latest work is a memoir. In December of 2018, Drew collapsed after an award show in New York. In the days and weeks that followed, his life changed profoundly. In The Night The Lights Went Out, Drew recounts his accident and his road to recovery. He chronicles his experience with brain damage and hearing loss, interviews the people who cared for him while he recuperated. The book is harrowing, like you'd expect in a book about traumatic brain injury. Drew talks about his renewed appreciation for life. The book is unexpectedly grounded and funny, too. Jesse Thorn talks with Drew about why after recovering from a catastrophic brain injury, he decided to quit his stable writing job. Plus, what it was like to relearn things he used to do on a regular basis. They get more into the particulars in the interview – as a heads up, things get a little graphic.

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John Linnell (left) and John Flansburgh (right) of They Might Be Giants. Sam Graff hide caption

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Sam Graff

They Might Be Giants

At the heart of They Might Be Giants, there are two Johns: John Flansburgh and John Linnell. The two singer/songwriters have been writing and recording together since 1982 — nearly 40 years. In that time, the band's released 22 albums, won two Grammys, and have cultivated a fanbase that is passionate, fun-loving... maybe a little nerdy. Their newest project, BOOK, is a record, but it's also... a book. It's a hardcover collection of photos of the band's longtime home of New York City, by street photographer Brian Karlsson. The photos are set alongside lyrics from the band. The Johns sat down with our correspondent Jordan Morris to talk about their early years, their songwriting process, and their "lost album" — plus, have they heard the crust punk version of Ana Ng? We'll play it for them!

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Sasha and her mother Karine in the documentary 'Little Girl' Music Box Films hide caption

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Music Box Films

Sébastien Lifshitz, director of 'Little Girl'

The documentary Little Girl is a profile of an 8 year old transgender girl named Sasha living in France. The film talks about the resistance Sasha meets from her school, the help she gets from medical caregivers, and the support she receives from her family. Throughout the film, you see how everywhere Sasha goes, she must explain who she is, answer questions, and fight to clarify something so simple and concise. Little Girl shows in very real and plain terms what it's like to be a trans child, to be a part of that child's family, and to raise and love that child. We talk with director Sébastien Lifshitz about the film and what it was like documenting Sasha's everyday life and the unique challenges she's faced with. He tells us what inspired him to make the film and how he got connected with Sasha and her family. He also shares how Little Girl has impacted the people who see it, and what they tell him.

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SANTA MONICA, CA - MAY 07: Modern soul and electro-funk DJ DāM-FunK performs onstage during the Audi A3 #PaidMyDues Experience at Hangar 8 In Santa Monica on May 7, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Audi) Getty Images for Audi hide caption

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Getty Images for Audi

Dam-Funk on the Giorgio Moroder song that changed his life

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 DāM-FunK. He's a modern day champion of funk music. DāM-FunK's recorded dozens of albums. His army of analog synths captures the funk sound of the late '70s and early '80s. He's perhaps the world's biggest obsessive of the dazzling late-period funk called Boogie. Dam Funk joins us to talk about Chase by Giorgio Moroder. He explains why he felt the song transcended genres, and how it helped him approach his music craft when started making his own tunes. DāM-FunK's latest record is out now, it's called Above the Fray. He's also the host of the Apple Music show Glydezone Radio, where he spins a mix of hits and obscure finds from his collection.

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Writer Susan Orlean Photo credit: Corey Hendrickson hide caption

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Photo credit: Corey Hendrickson

Susan Orlean, author of 'On Animals'

Susan Orlean has been writing for decades. She's the author of the Orchid Thief, The Library Book and is also a staff writer for the New Yorker. This week we welcome her back to the show to talk about her latest book, On Animals. It's a collection of essays about animals and how we live with them. The animals we eat, the animals we call companions, pets, movie stars, and co-workers. She writes about donkeys, dogs, tigers, whales, and so many others. Susan joins us to talk about her new book and humanity's complicated, fascinating history with animals. She also talks about animal actors, and why they are almost always more likeable than human actors. Plus she shares the one animal she wants to pet that she has not had a chance to yet.

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