Bullseye is equal parts funny and fascinating. Whether you're already plugged in to the culture map, or looking for a signpost, Bullseye keeps you on target.
Jesse sits down with a cult comedy icon to talk about why Mr. Show influenced an entire generation of new comedians. Bob Odenkirk’s new book of humor fiction is called A Load of Hooey. He’s also got a new stand-up comedy album out. It’s called Amateur Hour. We’ll feature some of it on our year-end Best Comedy of 2014 Special. Plus, the historian, author and DJ Rickey Vincent will tell you about why Parliament’s Mothership Connection ended an era and then started a new one. Lastly Jesse tells you about a song that makes him feel like a better world is possible.
[r] Mavis Staples is one of the greatest singers of our time -- a gospel, soul, and R&B vocalist known for her deep, rich voice. She began as the lead singer of The Staple Singers, a family gospel group formed by Pops Staples and several of his children. The Staple Singers achieved several hits with "Respect Yourself", "I'll Take You There" and "Let's Do It Again". They also became a musical voice of the American civil rights movement with their protest music. Jesse will ask about how Staples balanced her gospel roots with a career in popular music and about what is was like working with Curtis Mayfield and - yes - Prince. Plus, the McElroy brothers from My Brother, My Brother and Me join us to answer listeners’ pop culture questions.
Paul Reubens created Pee-wee Herman. Jesse sits down with Reubens to talk about growing up in a circus town, Reubens’ early appearances on The Gong Show, and the plans for a new Pee-wee Herman movie. Jesse also talks with Aasif Mandvi. A longtime correspondent for The Daily Show, Mandvi has a new memoir out. It’s called No Land’s Man.
Plus, avant-pop artist Kimbra talks about the song that changed her life, and Jesse tells you about why Steve Reich helps him hear things differently.
We break format this week to bring you the Judge John Hodgman Special. Maybe you know John Hodgman from his appearances on The Daily Show, or as the PC from the Mac vs. PC ads. But did you know he's also a fake judge on the internet? On his podcast Judge John Hodgman, he hears disputes from real people all over the world via Skype and tells them who's right and who's wrong. And Jesse Thorn is the bailiff. We'll hear two court cases: in the first, a shy teenager files suit against her pushy dad. In the second, two friends spar over ill-mannered ponies. Then, Judge Hodgman will issue a few snap judgments.
For a time, Mendes was probably the most famous Brazilian musician in the world. Mendes will talk to Jesse about why bossa nova has such a universal appeal. Jesse will also talk to James Fearnley. He plays accordion for The Pogues. Fearnley will talk about mixing traditional Irish folk with punk music. He’ll also talk about when he knew that lead singer Shane MacGowan’s hard-drinking ways had gone too far. Then later you’ll hear comedian Brent Weinbach’s set from MaxFunCon. Lastly Jesse will talk about tell you about a great new thing on adult swim: What if Jesus lived in America, in 2014? In Compton? Well on this show, he does.
[r] Hear interviews with two of the best interviewers in the world. First up is Elvis Mitchell. He hosts KCRW’s The Treatment. He and Jesse will talk about their mutual love for the movie Pootie Tang. He’ll also explain why he was arrested on the Canadian border with Cuban cigars and 15 thousand in cash. Then, hear Jesse’s conversation with broadcasting icon Bob Edwards. He was the host of Morning Edition when it started in 1979. He’ll explain why he stuck with public radio for decades. He’ll also talk about what NPR was like at the very, very beginning, Plus, Damian Kulash from the band OK GO talks about the song that changed his life. And Jesse tells you about the time when no place on Earth boomed like Coney Island.