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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

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

#80 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

# 79 David Frum

2/21/2018
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The pundit, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, and author of several books, including the new bestseller Trumpocracy, discusses how he came to be a prominent voice for the conservative movement after growing up the son of a famous Canadian liberal. And while he is still firmly a conservative Republican, he explains why Trump is so dangerous, how his views have evolved over time and acknowledges mistakes made.

Duration:01:05:21

#78 Tig Notaro

2/7/2018
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In 2012, comedian Tig Notaro’s stand-up set, in which she boldly began with the line “Hello. Good evening. I have Cancer,” catapulted her into the national spotlight and led to numerous late show appearances, book and film deals. In this hilarious and candid interview, she explains why her belief in her own voice has never wavered, her unusual family, and how she tackled tough subjects such as sexual assault, loss, and love on her semi-autobiographical television show *One Mississippi. *

Duration:01:16:00

#77 Chris Thile

1/24/2018
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Widely recognized as one of the greatest mandolinists of all-time (which he amply demonstrated when he offered to play in studio), Chris Thile joins Michael for a fascinating conversation about how he blurs musical genres to create his unique style of music. The Live From Here host also shares stories from his early days as a child prodigy, growing up in a conservative family and the challenges and controversy surrounding his takeover of the iconic radio show, A Prairie Home Companion.

Duration:00:52:51

#76 Reza Aslan

1/10/2018
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What is God? What is faith? In this thought-provoking episode, Michael and one of today’s most renown religious thinkers and authors tackle some of the big questions and make us look hard at our own beliefs. Reza Aslan is the author of several best-selling books on faith and religion including his most recent, God: A Human History, and is considered to be an author in possession of that rare gift of distilling complex material into a compulsively readable narrative. Sponsored...

Duration:00:55:11

#75 The Lumineers: Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites

12/27/2017
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Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites, the two founding members of the band The Lumineers, talk about their years hustling to make it as a band and what happened after their song, “Ho Hey,” blew up making them international stars. They also discuss how much crafting goes into every song they write (it’s a lot) and how they deal with life on extended tour.

Duration:01:02:21

#74 Margaret Cho

12/13/2017
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The outspoken comedian, activist, and actress sits down with Michael for an honest and thought-provoking episode, which dives into topics ranging from her history with addiction, sexual abuse and racism to lighter topics like working together in the New York alternative comedy scene early in their careers, tattoos and her upcoming television show, Highland. **

Duration:01:08:48

#73 Malcolm Nance

11/29/2017
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In a conversation Michael said he could have continued all day, he talks to the delightful American author and media commentator on terrorism, intelligence, insurgency and torture about his years in service, how he learned to speak multiple languages including Russian and Arabic, being a spy, and his fears about the current state of our country.

Duration:01:02:04