934 episodes

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 with Jesse Thorn NPR

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 2.4K Ratings

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.)

    Sam Jay

    Sam Jay

    Sam Jay is a stand-up comedian, writer and host of the HBO talk show PAUSE with Sam Jay. Sam talks about PAUSE's unique format, what it was like to start comedy a little later in life and so much more. Content warning: There is some references to sexual assault in this conversation. This interview also contains some explicit language and frank talk about sex that some listeners might be sensitive to.

    • 41 min
    Joel Kim Booster on stand up, growing up adopted and more

    Joel Kim Booster on stand up, growing up adopted and more

    Joel Kim Booster is everywhere these days. Fire Island, the romantic comedy he wrote and stars in, debuted last month on Hulu. It's a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. His latest stand-up special Psychosexual is currently streaming on Netflix. He's also starring on the new Apple TV+ workplace comedy Loot. He talked with Bullseye in 2018 about his religious Illinois upbringing, and the parts of his career he's most proud of.

    • 27 min
    Elizabeth Ito, creator of City of Ghosts

    Elizabeth Ito, creator of City of Ghosts

    The Netflix series City of Ghosts is a totally unique, fascinating program that tells the story of different places in Los Angeles through interviews with real people. The animated series is framed like a documentary. The show is hosted by a group of kids who are all members of the Ghost Club. In the club, they get reports of ghosts around the city, go to find them and, once they do, sit down and talk with them about their story. The show just earned a Peabody Award in the children and youth category. To celebrate, we are revisiting our conversation with Elizabeth from last year. She joins Bullseye to talk about making children's TV that adults can enjoy, capturing the feeling of her hometown of Los Angeles and the time she saw a ghost.

    • 50 min
    Kate Berlant and John Early

    Kate Berlant and John Early

    Kate Berlant and John Early have been performing as a comedy duo for over a decade now - their brand of comedy is a little surreal, a little unhinged and always laugh-at-loud funny. They just created an hour long sketch special called Would It Kill You To Laugh? - it debuts on Peacock today. John and Kate talk with Jesse about how they met, how they balance their creative partnership with their independent work and why Kate should have eaten a tuna melt before sitting down to her NPR interview.

    • 39 min
    Robin Thede on 'A Black Lady Sketch Show'

    Robin Thede on 'A Black Lady Sketch Show'

    Robin Thede is the showrunner, creator and star of the Emmy-winning series A Black Lady Sketch Show. The show just wrapped up its third season on HBO. Like the title suggests – A Black Lady Sketch Show is a sketch show created by and starring Black women. What makes the program so unique and rich is its specificity: Robin and her co-stars cover church politics, family reunion line dancing, and hair-care specific weather forecasts. On the latest episode, we chat with Robin about the latest season of HBO's A Black Lady Sketch Show and her time as head writer on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Plus, we get into her childhood. Robin grew up in a mostly white, suburban part of Iowa. She'll talk about the challenges that being biracial presented and why she identifies as Black today.

    • 46 min
    Why Nicolas Cage is one of the most fascinating actors working today

    Why Nicolas Cage is one of the most fascinating actors working today

    Keith Phipps is a writer who has worked for the AV Club and the Dissolve. He specializes mainly in pop culture, making him a natural fit for the show. Keith just wrote his first book. It's called Age of Cage: Four Decades of Hollywood Through One Singular Career. The subject of the book is the one and only Nicolas Cage. Cage is arguably one of the most enigmatic actors in recent memory. In his over forty years of acting, Cage has performed in unforgettable classics, arthouse indies, blockbuster action movies, direct-to-video horror and everything, literally every possible thing, in between. Keith Phipps joins the show to talk about his new book and how doing research for it has changed his opinion about Nicolas Cage. He also breaks down some of his favorite Nick Cage roles and shares how he makes sense of the actor's resurgent career now.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
2.4K Ratings

2.4K Ratings

slofton88 ,

Thanks for this!

So excited to find an Egyptian Lover interview. Excellent pod!

THEGRIFF! ,

Little Steven interview

Little Steven was inspiring in this interview. Who knew he was such a kind and thoughtful guy.

Dermerat23 ,

The NPR podcast version of The Larry Sanders Show

At the end of the Tom Scharpling interview, after the guest had discussed his experience with mental illness and electroconvulsive therapy as a child, host Jesse Thorne thanked him for… getting vaccinated. Then he reminded the audience that he and those he works with all think fascism is bad (WHAAA?) and bigotry based on gender identity is wrong (DOUBLEWHAAA?). These were such powerfully instructive moral lessons for me that I had to get in my car, drive it a little, then pull over to the side of the road in stunned silence because my whole worldview had shifted.

Near the start of his interview with Charlie Day, he said that a friend his had, like, the most, like, *practical* job an artist could have: playing piano at a Nordstrom’s. His point (which I’m sure you already know) was that teaching music theory is also practical.

My most charitable interpretation is that this podcast is a parody of celebrity interview shows. But unlike The Larry Sanders show, it’s not funny.

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