Fresh Air with Terry Gross is weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues with intimate conversations and unusual insights.
Humor is both a creative and a cognitive process, says Bob Mankoff, who has contributed cartoons to The New Yorker since 1977. His memoir is called How About Never — Is Never Good For You?
"Any successful lyricist has to be part playwright and has to be able to put himself into the minds and the hearts and the souls of the characters," Sheldon Harnick tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
David Edelstein finds some greats in a "depressing" year for films; Maureen Corrigan picks 12 books of the year; Ken Tucker names his top nine albums; David Bianculli says 2014 was a good year.
In 1986, a bomb planted by the Peruvian terrorist group Shining Path exploded in the luggage rack above Sam Baker. Somehow, during his long recovery, songs focused on empathy started coming to him.
"I think if I had been an accomplished songwriter I wouldn't have written 'You Really Got Me,' " Davies tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. Originally broadcast Nov. 26.
TV critic David Bianculli says that he's encouraged by how far TV has come. He picks The Good Wife as the best show of 2014, having "the deepest roster of really strong regulars and guest stars."