314 episodes

Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso is a weekly series of intimate conversations with artists, activists, and politicians. Where people sound like people. Hosted by Sam Fragoso. New episodes every Sunday.

Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso Pushkin

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 41 Ratings

Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso is a weekly series of intimate conversations with artists, activists, and politicians. Where people sound like people. Hosted by Sam Fragoso. New episodes every Sunday.

    Coming of Age with Lena Dunham

    Coming of Age with Lena Dunham

    Today we’re joined by Lena Dunham! We start by discussing her new film, Sharp Stick (6:20), the 1970s cinema that inspired it (9:50), and how it offers a “three-way mirror” to the female experience (12:41). Then, Lena reflects on meeting Judd Apatow on the heels of Tiny Furniture (15:39), her rapid ascension following Girls (17:39), the pain and power of grappling with OCD on the show (23:11), the genius of season five’s “The Panic in Central Park” (29:35), and how she’s continued to learn from public criticisms (35:27).

    On the back-half, we sit with the end of Girls (43:59), the aftermath of that decade (49:57), the new creative path Lena had to forge (55:46), the prophetic presence of her father (1:00:27), the inspiration that is her mother (1:01:47), and the dreams she has for the years ahead—on the screen, and off (1:06:54).
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    • 1 hr 14 min
    Ethan Hawke, Here and Then

    Ethan Hawke, Here and Then

    Ethan Hawke has spent three decades telling stories. His latest project, The Last Movie Stars, honors two legends that inspired him to do so: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

    Today, he joins us to unpack the new docuseries (9:24), starting with his introduction to Paul Newman through Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (12:13). Then, Hawke reflects on his personal history: growing up with his mother on the east coast (16:43), his on-screen debut at fifteen in Explorers with River Phoenix (20:04), the enduring legacy of Robin Williams (25:57), and how Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy transformed his career (33:01).

    On the back-half, we revisit a memorable scene from Before Midnight (42:28), how capturing Chet Baker in Born to Be Blue helped Hawke process loss (52:31), what he learned about longevity from director Paul Schrader (55:29) and how that definition evolved in making The Last Movie Stars (58:32). To close– we discuss the importance of family (1:02:12), Hawke’s hopes for his third act (1:04:24), and why he continues to honor The Actor’s Vow by Elia Kazan (1:07:38).
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    At Home with Comedian John Early

    At Home with Comedian John Early

    Today, we’re joined by comedian John Early! We begin with his excellent new special, Would It Kill You to Laugh? (6:51) and its surprising tenderness (10:03), before revisiting a satirical book club sketch written with collaborator Kate Berlant (13:41). Then, John reflects on growing up in Nashville to minister parents (19:05), discovering Toni Collette at Blockbuster (22:37), and creating a fan-site dedicated to her work (25:31).

    After the break, we unpack John’s distaste for ‘pompous rituals’ (33:04), the night he met Berlant (34:02), a 2019 sketch called “How Have You Been?” (42:44), a pivotal scene from Would It Kill You to Laugh? (49:52), and the letter John wrote to Toni Collette at eleven-years-old (53:23).
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Disaster is Not Our Destiny. Neither is Democracy.

    Disaster is Not Our Destiny. Neither is Democracy.

    This week we’re joined by author and body healer, Resmaa Menakem. With the release of his new book, The Quaking of America, we discuss Black liberation (5:09), the ‘white-body supremacy’ of January 6th (7:41), the implications of America’s conservatism (20:08), why there’s a failure to communicate across the aisle (25:03), the pernicious paradigm that ‘white guilt’ creates (32:44), and what it will take for us to have an embodied, anti-racist culture (39:25).

    On the back half, Resmaa explains a few of the body practices from his new book (47:26), how to prepare the nervous system for somatic abolitionism (52:32) and a potential Civil War (55:32). To close, ahead of the midterms, we unpack the blurred lines between Democrats and the GOP (1:01:06), the potential consequences of our conversation (1:03:34), and, ultimately, Resmaa’s hope for liberation (1:07:10).
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    Jenny Slate in 2022

    Jenny Slate in 2022

    Five years ago, Jenny and Sam sat for a special conversation. They promised to reconvene in 2020 (which they did). To celebrate the release of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Jenny returns for round three!

    We unpack the decade-long journey to making Marcel (8:00), what the character embodied for her (11:19), creating with director Dean Fleischer-Camp (13:39), combating misogyny in Hollywood (15:16), and the painful timeliness of her 2014 film, Obvious Child (17:54).

    On the back-half, we return to passages from our 2017 (29:30) and 2020 conversations (34:40), what Jenny has learned since becoming a mother (36:55), and the regenerative power of making I Want You Back (38:52). To close, Jenny shares a special poem at the heart of Marcel the Shell, written by Philip Larkin (42:27).
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    • 44 min
    Through the Woods with Nick Offerman

    Through the Woods with Nick Offerman

    This holiday weekend, we’re revisiting one of our favorite talks with actor, author, and woodworker Nick Offerman. We begin with his new book, Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside (5:05), which was inspired by Nick’s upbringing in rural Minooka, Illinois (6:12), the writings of poet Wendell Berry (7:30), and his experiences with the late Sam Shepard at Steppenwolf Theatre (8:08). 

    Shortly after working with Shepard, Offerman began to find his footing—on and off the stage—as a performer, carpenter, and fight choreographer (9:35). He reflects on his galvanizing role in the film Going All the Way (15:14), the guiding principles of George Saunders (20:00), lessons from his sensei Shōzō Satō (25:26), the start of his nearly two-decade marriage with actress Megan Mullally (26:30), the phone call that changed his life (35:50), and the complicated legacy of Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation (41:45). 

    Then, before we go, we return to the timely (and urgent) message of his new book (46:47), a piece by Jeff Tweedy (49:50), and words by Wendell Berry (51:58).
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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

The Niz M ,

Fantastic interviews!

Sam’s calm dulcet tones, asking intimate and engaging questions of his guests. A great podcast! Enjoy!

adrarts ,

Engaging and important

Really grateful to have found this podcast, Sam is an excellent interviewer who clearly does his research and is passionate about the conversations he has with really interesting and informative guests.

Maxime Poulin ,

In a world of madness…

A little bit of sanity is a blessing. Sam is a fantastic interviewer! Greetings from Quebec City, Canada!

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