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Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

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Talk Easy is a podcast of long-form conversations with the people shaping our culture today: filmmakers, musicians, comedians, activists, authors, actors. Hosted by writer Sam Fragoso.

Talk Easy is a podcast of long-form conversations with the people shaping our culture today: filmmakers, musicians, comedians, activists, authors, actors. Hosted by writer Sam Fragoso.
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Talk Easy is a podcast of long-form conversations with the people shaping our culture today: filmmakers, musicians, comedians, activists, authors, actors. Hosted by writer Sam Fragoso.




Episode 143 - Jeff Garlin

Comedy icon Jeff Garlin is on this week! We get into texting/technology woes (07:54), getting divorced after 25 years (11:29), being single again at 57 (13:45), choosing raw honesty in life (17:39), making it in the comedy scene alongside Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris (28:55), having an eye for talent (30:02), producing and guiding other comedians like Jon Stewart and Dennis Leary (32:29), what he would say to Eddie Murphy now (36:48), his medical battles and what they...


Episode 142 - Raphael Bob - Waksberg

The brain behind BoJack Horseman, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, is with us this week. He dives right in, talking about the privilege of being a white man in today's entertainment industry, his “professionally Jewish” parents, how ADHD affected him as a teenager, developing his creative voice, the loneliness of first moving to Los Angeles, the enduring impact Gary Shandling and The Larry Sanders Show has had on him, what he actually meant for BoJack Horseman to be, being a show-runner, six season...


Episode 141 - Michael Kelly

“I feel like I always get asked the same questions," says actor Michael Kelly. Well, hopefully, not today. Kelly joins us on the show to talk his beachy college years in South Carolina (06:40), choosing acting over business and law (09:53), the impact of Arthur Penn and the Actors Studio (14:28), the benefit of his naiveté (18:05), being on set with Milos Forman and Jim Carrey for Man on the Moon (20:15), his 2000 Unbreakable breakout (27:41), the story of how he met his wife, Karyn...


Episode 140 - Jacki Weaver

Gin Queen, Mates! Jacki Weaver is on this week, reflecting on her childhood in Sydney (07:54), an early and undying devotion to acting (09:34), never becoming a social worker (14:09), being a romantic (16:41), the joys and toils of motherhood (18:15), her first marriage at age 19 (20:04), the memoir she never intended to write (21:19), working consistently in show-business through the 70s and 80s (22:49), looking for and finding balance (25:42), life on stage (27:24), not really fearing...


Episode 139 - Kenneth Branagh

Sir Kenneth Branagh, friends! Sam and Kenneth discuss the process of making his new film, All Is True, (5:07), the recurring themes throughout his work (10:10), performing Hamlet in front of Queen Elizabeth at age 20 (12:30), directing for the first time in 1989 (18:33), taking a break from Shakespeare with 1992’s Peter’s Friends (22:24), how his father influenced his work (34:52), the darkest (and slowest) period in his career (37:25), the death of “the middle” in contemporary cinema...


Episode 138 - Pam Grier

On the brink of 70, legend Pam Grier sits down to reflect on a series of pivotal moments from her inimitable life. For example: moving to Los Angeles at 18 in 1967, becoming a trailblazer through iconic films like Foxy Brown and Coffy, getting thrown out of a bar with John Lennon and Harry Nilsson in 70s Hollywood, words of wisdom from Eartha Kitt, falling in love with Richard Pryor, overcoming cervical cancer in 1988, and much more. There's only one Pam Grier, and we're honored to have...


Episode 137 - Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog is 76 years old with three films coming out in 2019. I don't know how he does it, but I try to find out in this conversation. From a childhood encounter with god in the Bavarian mountains to sitting across from Mikhail Gorbachev, Herzog shares some pivotal moments from his decade-spanning life and career. In previous interviews he has expressed his disdain for introspection. This is not that interview. This is something different, something – I hope– that's more...


Episode 136 - Wyatt Cenac

Wyatt Cenac is the host of Problem Areas on HBO. It's a new kind of program– think Last Week Tonight meets Frontline, except hosted by someone whose comedy is dryer than the Sahara desert. On the podcast, we talk early stand-up days, growing up in Dallas, Texas, ego in comedy, running a show in 2019, the “anxiety crisis” across America, and why Trump appeals to low-income communities. Oh, and some bits. Lots of bits in this one. For more info,


Episode 135 - Chaz Ebert

“Chaz is a strong woman, sure of herself. I'd never met anyone like her,” wrote her late husband, Roger Ebert. Truth be told: neither have I. Chaz Ebert is a singular soul. Wise, kind, and extremely busy. She's the CEO of Ebert companies, including She's a publisher of books, a philanthropist, and a TV and film producer. I've known Chaz for seven years, and this week we finally sat down to talk– about her upbringing on the West Side of Chicago, her marriage with Roger, the...


Episode 134 - Live From Ebertfest! (With Richard Roeper, Rita Coburn Whack, And More)

A very special episode for you live from Ebertfest 2019 in Champaign, Illinois. Rita Coburn Whack talks of her film "Maya Angelou, Still I Rise" and lets us in on the words of wisdom she learned from Angelou herself. Then, Sam brings out two of the festival's biggest stars. Lastly– Sam calls up the great writer and critic Richard Roeper to talk all things Ebert. Illustrations by Krishna Shenoi. Music by Dylan Peck.


Episode 133 - Tayarisha Poe

Tayarisha Poe is an emerging filmmaker from West Philly. Her debut feature, Selah and the Spades, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Our conversation took place at the Park City festival (and side-note: the background noise is a result of taping this inside a restaurant). We talk raising money for her first film, writing characters of color that are, by design, unkind, and much more. You can donate to Talk Easy here:


Episode 132 - Sean Kingston

It's Sean Kingston! He's a Jamaican-American singer-songwriter with a handful of billboard hits you've probably danced to: Beautiful Girls, Take You There, Fire Burning, Colors. We talk growing up in Kingston, Jamaica and Miami, Florida, being discovered through MySpace, the toll of being a pop-star in 2019, and why he's ready for a comeback.


Episode 131 - Alex Ross Perry

Alex Ross Perry is a New York born and bred filmmaker. In shows in his movies, too: The Color Wheel, Listen Up Philip, Queen of Earth, Golden Exits. A staple in contemporary independent cinema his latest, Her Smell, stars Elizabeth Moss as a ’90s punk rock star whose at the end of her rope. We talk his hypnotic new film (out April 12th), discarding unhealthy relationships, the toll of making indie films in 2019, and why he puts film before anything (or anyone) else. You can donate to Talk...


Episode 130 - Bill Pullman

Spaceballs! Independence Day! Lost Highway! Bill Pullman is an actor you've seen on screen for the past four decades of film and television. Now he's here, at my house, working through the memories of his life. *Light (sporadic) snoring on this episode provided by our dog, Delizia.* For more about our show (and Bill) go here:


Episode 129 - Brit Marling

Brit Marling has spent the past five years co-creating The OA, a mystical, spellbinding show that defies one sentence log-lines. (So best not to try.) After mysteriously premiering on Netflix in 2016, season 2 is set to be released March 22nd. But to be honest...we don't dive into the intricacies of the show's labyrinthian plot. Instead we talk about everything else, from the physical demands of birthing a piece of long-form storytelling into existence to why B.J. Armstrong was,...


Episode 128 - Vincent D'Onofrio

Three days tardy but we got Vincent D'onofrio. After some explaining in the intro, we get into it. Working with Kubrick and Altman. His tenure on Law & Order. The worst performance he ever delivered on screen. Then, finally, his unofficial official directorial debut, The Kid. For more, our website:


Episode 127 - Mary Holland

Multi-talented comedian and actress Mary Holland stopped by today to talk about performing in UCB Improv shows, her performance tendencies and where they come from, and reflecting on past periods of her life, including her childhood, college, and acting career.


Episode 126 - Keith David

Friends. Keith David has been in, wait for it, over 300 films and television programs. Somehow that is not a fictitious number. With his booming, commanding voice you've seen him in The Thing! They Live! Platoon! Armageddon! He's worked with Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, John Carpenter, the list goes on for days. And yet, to be honest, Keith and I talk about life outside of the frame. Family, love, alcoholism, ambition. We try to cover 62 years in 60 minutes. Write in to us at:...


Episode 125 - Matt Walsh

Matt Walsh is a staple in contemporary comedy. We talk UCB, being a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his recurring role on Veep, and making people laugh for the past thirty years. For more, our website:


Episode 124 - Dulé Hill

Dulé Hill has done it all. The West Wing! Psych! Ballers! She’s All That! His most recent acting challenge is playing Nat King Cole in “Lights Out”, a play co-written by Talk Easy alum Colman Domingo. (The wonderful production can be seen at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, from now through March 17th.) In conversation, we talk tap-dancing for Jerry Lewis’ MDA Telethon as a child, making a career in acclaimed television, and how God has shaped the man he is today.