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How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black

PRX

Your handy-dandy guidebook for that thing you do, only better.

Your handy-dandy guidebook for that thing you do, only better.
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Location:

United States

Networks:

PRX

Description:

Your handy-dandy guidebook for that thing you do, only better.

Language:

English


Episodes

Lynsey Addario

11/14/2018
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She’s one of this generation’s pre-eminent photojournalists, who covers wars and conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Darfur, among others; during which she’s been kidnapped twice. In this riveting conversation, the winner of a MacArthur Genius grant and a Pulitzer for her photos gives a behind-the-scenes her recent photography book simply titled, Love and War.

Duration:00:51:18

Kevin Allison

10/31/2018
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Michael sits down with friend and fellow member of The State for a nostalgic, hilarious, and honest conversation about their time together in the iconic sketch group. For more than a decade after the tv show ended, the comedian and storyteller struggled to find his voice trying his hand at numerous jobs (including a stint as a porn author). It wasn’t until he decided to be himself on stage that he discovered his true calling and the Risk! Podcast and live show were born.

Duration:01:03:47

Maeve Higgins

10/17/2018
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The delightful and hilarious Irish-born comedian and writer sits down with Michael to discuss her passion for using her comedic voice to start conversations about immigration, environmental issues, and social justice. A star in her native Ireland, she left fame behind to come to the US to continue her comedy career but also began chronicling the lives of immigrants in her podcast and book of the same name Maeve in America.

Duration:00:57:57

Hank Green

10/3/2018
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In 2007, Hank Green along with his brother John, tried a Youtube experiment - for an entire year they made a video a day together - which they thought was a dumb idea. To their surprise, these videos quickly led to millions of fans. Eleven years later Green has harnessed his popularity to focus on what's important to him and now oversees a video company that produces popular Youtube educational content, has raised millions of dollars for charity, founded the world's largest conference...

Duration:00:49:26

Zachary R. Wood

9/19/2018
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As president of his college group "Uncomfortable Learning," Zachary R. Wood attempted to bridge the gap between dissenting views by inviting controversial speakers to campus and was shut down by student protests. Now a recent graduate, and a new author of the memoir, Uncensored, he opens up about his abusive childhood with a schizophrenic mother, and the pressure he felt to constantly strive for perfection as a son, student, and black man.

Duration:01:03:45

Tina M. Tchen

9/5/2018
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The former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and leader of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund talks about her time at the White House and her childhood growing up in 1960s Ohio as the daughter of Chinese refugees. With a sense of humor and positively Tchen gives her take on the current administration, the importance of diversity of thought and representation in politics, as well as her lifetime commitment to tackling issues related to corporate compliance, ethics, and equality.

Duration:00:48:54

Jay and Mark Duplass

8/22/2018
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In a very funny, touching, and creatively inspiring interview, the filmmakers discuss their incredibly close brotherly bond, how they never doubted success would happen, even though it took almost two decades to achieve, and how they had to learn how to quit each other in order to find the space to have their own lives. Recorded live in New York City.

Duration:01:03:30

Carl Zimmer

8/8/2018
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The author of 13 books about evolution, neuroscience, biology, and most recently heredity, as well as the weekly “Matter” science column in the New York Times, discusses his accessible style of science storytelling, answering Michael’s burning questions on his recent book She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, science in schools, genomes, and whether there is a gene to make you a successful podcaster.

Duration:01:01:34

#90 Saru Jayaraman

7/25/2018
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The co-founder and president of ROC, Restaurant Opportunities Center United, Saru Jayaraman has devoted her career to improving the lives of restaurant workers. Her activism through legislation, initiatives, and conversation as well as her two books, have raised the awareness and made significant improvements, of some of the appalling conditions of the workers who make and serve the food in the places millions of Americans like to eat.

Duration:00:40:06

#89 Dan Pfeiffer

7/11/2018
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One of President Obama’s longest-serving staffers, first as Communications Director then as Senior Advisor, and present co-host of the wildly popular Pod Save America, Dan Pfeiffer discusses present-day politics through the unique lens of his experience, which he also details in his new book, “Yes, We (Still) Can.” From what motivates Mitch McConnell, to his work as a pundit on CNN, Pfeiffer is one of the few who might be able to answer Michael’s question, “What the fuck is happening right...

Duration:01:05:46

#88 Giada De Laurentiis

6/27/2018
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The Food Network star, bestselling cookbook author and now restaurateur tells Michael how her success all grew organically from her passion for cooking and not from a great ambition to be famous. But famous she is, and she now finds her life is a push and pull struggle when it comes to taking new risks, like deciding to open her first restaurant after years of being a television star, and what those risks cost her.

Duration:00:48:02

David Cross

6/13/2018
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The multi-talented actor, comedian, writer, and director sits down with Michael to discuss his journey from his first stand up performance as a teenager in Atlanta to his many memorable roles on Arrested Development, Mr. Show with Bob and David, and more. The two colleagues dive into a heartfelt conversation about the unsteadiness of working in Hollywood, the ways in which men can support #MeToo and #TimesUp, and navigating the volatile world of Twitter.

Duration:01:09:33

Introducing Obscure - Michael's new podcast

6/8/2018
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This is probably a terrible idea.” So begins the new podcast, “Obscure,” where comedian, actor, and writer Michael Ian Back reads the Thomas Hardy classic,Jude the Obscure,out loud and comments on it as he goes. Why is he doing this? Because his wife’s old paperback copy of the book has been sitting on their bookshelf for years, mocking him, judging him for never having read it. Well, now he is. Join Michael, some of his famous (and non-famous) friends and experts as he discovers Jude’s...

Duration:00:05:58

#86 Michael Pollan

5/30/2018
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The author of many bestselling books about food including, among others, The Omnivore's Dilemma and* In Defense Of Food hasturned his attention to a new kind of consumption - psychedelic drugs. In this fun and informative interview, Pollan talks about how writing about these drugs was a natural progression from his earlier work, and what he discovered about himself when, in the service of research for his new book *How to Change Your Mind, he decided to test psychedelics for himself.

Duration:00:55:09

#85 Nell Scovell

5/16/2018
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For more than thirty years, writer, producer, and director Nell Scovell worked behind the scenes of iconic TV shows such as Murphy Brown, The Simpsons, and Coach. In this lively and timely interview, she shares stories from her memoir Just the Funny Parts *about working in the male-dominated entertainment field, her time writing on *Late Night with David Letterman, and crafting jokes for everyone from Obama to Miss Piggy.

Duration:00:57:26

George C. Wolfe

5/2/2018
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One of the greatest theater directors of all time, the gregarious and razor-sharp George C. Wolfe joins Michael in an in-depth and moving conversation about how his positive approach to life informs his work. For anyone who has struggled, been daunted by circumstances, or dared to dream big, Wolfe’s direction on saying yes in his own life will inspire and motivate.

Duration:00:47:12

Maira Kalman

4/18/2018
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The charming and hilarious illustrator, author, and designer Maira Kalman sits down for an inspiring conversation about how she follows her curiosity to create everything from books and *New Yorker *covers to illustrated blogs, purses, and set design. Her unique perspective on creativity, daydreaming and trusting your instincts is refreshing for passionate creators of all types.

Duration:01:01:28

#82 Renée Fleming

4/4/2018
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The opera superstar, and “People’s Diva,” discusses how her constant need to learn and challenge herself has taken her from the biggest opera houses in the world, to her current role singing in Carousel on Broadway, and to working behind the scenes to share her passion for the arts with new audiences by helping to create groundbreaking and exciting new work.

Duration:00:50:29

#81 David Roberts

3/21/2018
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One of the best Alaskan alpinists of his generation and most prolific American climbing authors with over 28 books to his name, David Roberts discusses the lure of adventure, the incredible risks that come with alpine climbing (including death), and how being grounded by stage 4 cancer has led him to new discoveries.

Duration:00:58:37

#80 Tara Westover

3/7/2018
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In this heartbreaking yet hopeful episode, the author of the stunning new memoir Educated, opens up about growing up in a family of radical Mormon survivalists whose parents were opposed to traditional medical care and formal schooling. She broke free by teaching herself enough to pass a high school equivalency test and going to college, eventually earning a PhD from Cambridge University.

Duration:01:14:35