331 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 iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin Industries

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.2 • 5 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.

    An Afternoon at Judd Apatow’s Office

    An Afternoon at Judd Apatow’s Office

    Today, a visit to the office of legendary director and producer Judd Apatow! We talk about his upbringing in Long Island (5:20), conducting interviews with Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Allen as a teenager (5:46), his move to Los Angeles in the early 80s (17:50) where he befriended a young Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey (21:33), and why he began writing material for other comedians (25:13).

    On the back-half, Judd reflects on his start at The Larry Sanders Show in 1993 (28:59), the personal memories he excavated in his 2018 documentary, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (34:13), and the series’ memorable finale in 1998 (39:30). 

    To close, we walk through his path from The 40-Year-Old Virgin to Funny People (45:20), his pivot into producing and mentorship (56:47), the legacy of Freaks and Geeks (58:44), and what he hopes to create in the years to come (1:03:27).
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Journalist Kara Swisher Believes in the Future

    Journalist Kara Swisher Believes in the Future

    Today we’re joined by journalist and podcast host, Kara Swisher. At the top, we unpack the midterms (4:22), the state of the GOP (7:28), and the role of social media in politics (11:52). Then, we discuss Kara’s evolving relationship with Elon Musk (13:21), her vision for Twitter (18:22) and what an alternative platform could (and should) look like (19:35).

    On the back-half, we walk through Swisher’s pivot to journalism in college (26:24), her early years at The Washington Post (29:00), how she developed her no-nonsense style of interviewing (33:47), her personal connection to Senator-elect John Fetterman (35:42), and a commencement speech from Steve Jobs (42:47) that keeps her believing in the future (45:20).
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    • 46 min
    Writer George Saunders, Moment by Moment

    Writer George Saunders, Moment by Moment

    Today, George Saunders returns! We discuss Liberation Day, his first short-story collection in nine years (3:40), the influence of Chekhov and Gogol (4:56), and a timely passage on democracy from “Love Letter” (8:35). Then, we unpack how he builds stories (13:30), a guiding philosophy from our first talk (14:58), and an excerpt from the titular story, “Liberation Day” (21:30).

    On the back-half, we talk about the power of revision through “Elliott Spencer” (27:40), the seeds of the book’s moving final story, “My House” (36:34), the ‘failures in compassion’ it reveals (40:50), Saunders’ enduring relationship with his wife (45:08), and how he hopes to continue surprising himself as a writer, at 63 (48:40).
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    • 57 min
    The Homecoming of Director James Gray

    The Homecoming of Director James Gray

    Today, director James Gray is back! We start by diving into the aftermath of Ad Astra (7:25), returning home to Queens with Armageddon Time (12:00) and the historical context of this new picture (15:18). After watching an early scene from the film (18:33), we discuss what the story reveals about race and class in America (20:35), his family’s personal experiences with those divisions (22:50), and the painful timeliness of Gray’s 8th film (25:39) as anti-semetic rhetoric continues to surge (29:51).

    We also wrestle with the economics of moviemaking today (31:37), lessons learned from his directorial debut, Little Odessa (33:22), and how the words of novelist Marcel Proust (36:03) and photographer Susan Sontag (38:14) shaped his most personal effort to date, Armageddon Time.
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    • 44 min
    Comedian Nick Kroll is Going Through Changes

    Comedian Nick Kroll is Going Through Changes

    Today, we’re joined by comedian Nick Kroll! To begin, we dive into the origin of Little Big Boy, his first stand-up special in ten years (4:40), his pivot toward more personal comedy (7:22), and a bit about mothers and sons (10:30). Then, we walk through Kroll’s upbringing in Rye, New York (13:08), falling in love with comedy at Georgetown University (19:35), and a formative experience chauffeuring actor Harrison Ford (25:30).

    On the back-half, we discuss the role of observation in his sketch work (29:40), memorable characters from Kroll Show (31:52), why he continues to evolve his comedy (34:05), a transformative trip to the Galápagos Islands (39:42), lessons learned from fatherhood (41:34), and his hopes in the years ahead (44:15).
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    • 46 min
    The Transformation of Actor Eddie Redmayne

    The Transformation of Actor Eddie Redmayne

    Today we’re joined by Oscar-winning actor, Eddie Redmayne! We discuss how he embodied serial killer Charles Cullen in The Good Nurse (8:12), playing opposite Jessica Chastain (9:35), and the research that shaped his commanding performance (15:11). Then, to understand his present as a performer, we return to the past: an early theatre production with director Sam Mendes (19:12), his big break starring in Twelfth Night at the Globe (22:59), and learning Shakespeare on the job with actor Mark Rylance (25:26).

    On the back-half, we walk through Redmayne’s transition from stage to screen (28:41), a formative memory on set with Scarlett Johansson (31:22), how The Theory of Everything changed his course (33:45), returning to the theatre as the Emcee in Cabaret (41:44), rediscovering a sense of play in a physical theatre class (47:04), and the kind of work he hopes to make in the years to come (49:13).
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    • 52 min

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