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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 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.)


Santa Cruz, CA




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.)




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Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart: Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea and more

We're joined by film directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart—creators of the new animated film Wolfwalkers. The film is the third installment in their Irish folklore trilogy that includes 2009's The Secret of Kells and 2014's Song of the Sea. Their latest follows the story of a young apprentice hunter named Robin as she bridges the world between an emerging 17th century colonized Ireland and the mysterious wolves said to be overrunning the lush woods that surround her family's town of...


Terrace Martin

Born in Los Angeles' Crenshaw District, Terrace Martin found a love for hip-hop early on. The kids growing up around him were freestyling and playing in backyard shows. He grew up in a jazz household, and got his start as a saxophonist, too. With those two backgrounds, Terrace kicked off a career that would make him a trailblazing polymath in pop music. He's worked with rappers like Snoop Dogg, YG and Murs. He was heavily involved in Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, producing many songs...


Errol Morris

Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris has a very unique style of storytelling. Part of his creative process includes the use of a device he invented called a "Interrotron." It allows the subjects of his films to look at him, the interviewer, while also looking straight into the camera, creating the sense that his subjects are addressing the viewer directly. He's been lauded among the film community as a visionary and his film debut, 1978's Gates of Heaven is required viewing in film schools...


Christian Jacobs of The Aquabats

We're joined by Christian Jacobs, aka MC Bat Commander. He's the frontman for the SoCal band The Aquabats. The band got their start in the ska scene in the mid 1990s. Today, they perform as a genre-bending, family-friendly band with a lot of theatrics, costumes and pageantry. Christian is also the co-creator of the The Aquabats! Super Show! and the beloved children's program Yo Gabba Gabba. Their latest album, "Kooky Spooky... In Stereo" continues the band's tradition of great rock sounds...


Holly Hunter

Holly Hunter's had unforgettable roles in some of the best movies of the last 30 years. She's been nominated for several Academy Awards for her roles in films like Thirteen, The Firm, and Broadcast News. Her role in 1993's The Piano earned her an Academy Award. She starred in O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Raising Arizona – two Coen Brothers classics! Her latest role is as Arpi Meskimen on Mr. Mayor, the new sitcom from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. Holly's one of the most talented actors in...


Justin and Dr. Sydnee McElroy of the Sawbones podcast

Buckle up folks, it's about to get weird and maybe even a little bit icky! Dr. Sydnee McElroy and Justin McElroy are here to share all the weird and fascinating stories most of us have never heard about medicine through the ages. They're the hosts of the Maximum Fun podcast, Sawbones and they joined Jesse in 2018 to talk about why they started the podcast, how medicine evolved from balancing humours to germ theory, and how in spite of all our advances, we still can't cure hiccups! Plus...


Actor Steven Yeun: Walking Dead, Burning and more

Actor Steven Yeun played fan-favorite Glenn Rhee for 6 years on AMC's wildly popular series The Walking Dead. He's also appeared in critically-acclaimed films Okja, Sorry to Bother You and 2020's Minari. He joined Bullseye in 2018 to talk about his work in Burning, a film that earned him a Best Supporting Actor award from the National Society of Film Critics. Steven chats with Jesse about Walking Dead fan culture, growing up in Detroit and how unpacking the minefields of assimilation...


'All Creatures Great And Small' showrunner Ben Vanstone

All Creatures Great and Small tells the story of a Scottish veterinarian who moves out to the English countryside. It started as a book series written under the pen name James Herriot. In each chapter, Herriot drives around the Yorkshire Dales in an old car, from farm to farm, appointment to appointment. He treats horses, cows and dogs in neighboring villages. In the '70s and '80s, the books became a TV series of the same name on the BBC. All Creatures set in the '30s, between the wars. It's...


Ted Danson

From his role as the lovable Sam Malone on the classic sitcom Cheers to his role as the goofy demon Michael on The Good Place, Ted Danson has made an indelible mark on our hearts playing the mischievous cad you can't help but love. He talks with Jesse about his new show, Mr. Mayor, growing up in Tucson, and what he hopes happens when he dies. Plus, Ted tells us why you never let comedy writers know your secrets.


John Wilson of "How to with John Wilson"

John Wilson created the series "How To with John Wilson," one of our favorite new shows, a totally unique look at New York City, social anxiety, the pandemic and risotto. John joins Bullseye to chat about finishing a season of television during a pandemic, the nuance he found in his personal life from the edit process and making real life seem "less fake." Plus, we'll find out just how much of his life is dedicated to shooting the footage for his show.


Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz has lived in New York City pretty much her entire life. Her written work often provided American social commentary through her unique lens as a New Yorker. While her work is now iconic, it's been decades since she last published written works. These days she makes a living talking. She talks about politics, about New York and how it's changed. Fran also, kind of personifies New York City. Which makes her the perfect subject of the new Netflix docuseries Pretend It's a City. In...


Natalie Palamides, creator and star of "Nate: A One Man Show"

Comedian Natalie Palamides joins Bullseye this week to talk with guest host Carrie Poppy! Natalie and Carrie talk about Natalie's new Netflix special Nate: A One Man Show, what her parents think of her raunchy stand-up, and choosing to commit to your art over commercial projects. Plus, Natalie tells us about the occupational hazards of wrestling random audience members on stage.


Isiah Whitlock Jr.

This week, we're joined by actor Isiah Whitlock Jr. He played Clay Davis in the iconic television series The Wire. He's also appeared in some of our favorite films including Goodfellas, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, 25th Hour and last year's Da 5 Bloods. His latest project teams him up with Bryan Cranston in the new Showtime series Your Honor.


Robert Glasper, Grammy-winning R&B artist

Robert Glasper is a Grammy award-winning pianist, producer and songwriter. He's worked with some of the biggest names in hip-hop from Kanye West to Common. Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly features some of his outstanding keyboard work. To date, he's earned three Grammy awards and is up for another two this year – best R&B song for "Better Than I Imagined" and best R&B Album for, F–k Yo Feelings. We're revisiting our conversation from 2012. At the time he'd just released one of his most...


Freddie Gibbs, Grammy nominated rapper

This week we're revisiting our 2019 conversation with rapper Freddie Gibbs. Freddie joined us to talk about his childhood growing up in Gary, Indiana, carving out space for himself as a rapper from the Midwest, and how he always knew that one day he'd be famous. Plus, he tells us about how he met his MadGibbs collaborator, producer Madlib.


Michael Ian Black

We're joined by comedian and actor Michael Ian Black on an all-new Bullseye! He's a founding member of the comedy groups The State and Stella as well as a regular on the kind of talking head pop culture shows that were all the rage in the late aughts. When he's not busy making us laugh on stage and screen, Michael is a prolific author. His first book, a children's book, was titled Chicken Cheeks and was the first of many books geared toward kids. He's also written several books for adults....


Glynn Turman: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, marrying Aretha Franklin and more

We're back with our first new episode of the year! It's already one of our favorites in recent memory. Actor Glynn Turman talks with us about his extraordinary life. You might know him as Clarence Royce on The Wire, or Doctor Senator on the most recent season of Fargo. And he's had a number of iconic roles in films like in Gremlins and Cooley High, too. His latest role is in Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. It's a film adaptation of the August Wilson play of the same name. The story...


End of Year 2020 Comedy Special

It's the most hilarious time of the year again! That's right, we're back for another End of Year Comedy special. This holiday season the staff at MaxFun HQ listened to countless hours of stand-up, considered thousands of punchlines, and subjected our funny bones to innumerable tickles so that we could deliver only the very best stand-up comedy of 2020 to you!


Why Bjork's "Post" is one of the greatest albums of all time

"Canonball" is a segment on Bullseye that gives us a chance to take a closer look at albums that should be considered classics, to find out what makes them great. This time, Margaret Wappler makes the case for why Bjork's 1995 record "Post" deserves to be added to the canon of classic albums.


Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke has been entertaining the public for over 70 years. He's a legend of stage and screen – The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Poppins, Bye Bye Birdie and so many more... and he's still performing today. He turned 95 this month. We're taking a moment to celebrate his career by revisiting our interview with him from 2015. Dick Van Dyke talked about being a comedy legend and of course, we dove into his legacy working on some of the most iconic roles in entertainment. Plus, life before...