"BETA" features playful and provocative profiles of the people changing our world through arts, culture and technology. The program is hosted by Doug Gordon and airs Saturdays at 9 a.m. on the NPR News & Classical Network and 11 a.m. on The Ideas Network.
Episode 408: Trevor Moore, Brian Broome, Steven Hall
Comedian Trevor Moore on the journey from sketch comedy to his very own Comedy Central talk show. Also, writer Brian Broome shares his memories of growing up as a gay Black man in Ohio. And Steven Hall on his mind-bending novel, “Maxwell’s Demon.”
Episode 313: Zola Jesus, Stanley Kubrick, Adrian Tomine
Wisconsin singer/songwriter Zola Jesus talks about finding new ways for musicians to make a living. Author David Mikics on one of the greatest filmmakers ever, Stanley Kubrick. And "New Yorker" cover artist Adrian Tomine opens up about his graphic memoir.
Episode 407: Jean Hanff Korelitz, Maggie Maye, Robert McKee
Jean Hanff Korelitz on her propulsive page-turner, "The Plot." Also, comedian Maggie Maye talks about her journey from Texas to Los Angeles. And the one and only Robert McKee explains why we're seeing more complicated characters on page, on stage and on screen.
Episode 224: The Excruciating Minutiae
Comedian Steven Wright reflects on more than 40 years of deadpan standup comedy. Also, we look at the lasting legacy of D'Angelo's masterpiece, "Voodoo." And biographer Patrick McGilligan takes us behind the curtain of Mel Brooks's debut film, "The Producers."
Episode 312: "Noir Alley"'s Eddie Muller, Rumaan Alam, "Jeopardy!"
The "Czar of Noir" Eddie Muller joins us for a hard-boiled conversation about film noir. Also, Rumaan Alam on his suspenseful and resonant novel, "Leave the World Behind." And author Claire McNear on the smartest and most popular game show of all time -- "Jeopardy!"
Episode 406: Edgar Wright, Lauren Hough, Jason Schreier
Director Edgar Wright on his delightful documentary, "The Sparks Brothers." Also, writer Lauren Hough reflects on her various identities including her youth in the Children of God cult. And journalist Jason Schreier exposes the volatility of the video game industry.
Smart and engaging
Beta is a truly unique show from WPR. Fun and relevant, beta balances playful banter with deep discussions with diverse guests. This is my favorite look at art and culture today from the perspective of creators themselves
Beta is the Alpha in my book!
Playful and smart, quirky and complex- I so enjoy Beta! The topics and interviews are wide ranging. The conversations, questions, and quips show Doug Gordon’s interest and preparation for his guests. I find myself thinking about the episodes long after I listen to them, and am often inspired to dig even further to learn more about the historical event, book, comedian, podcast, etc. that was highlighted. I like that you can tune in during the middle of an episode to catch the next segment, and you also don’t have to listen to the episodes in any order. Even the theme song is catchy! Kudos to WPR for supporting this fun and innovative program.
Great interview magazine show
Fun and interesting interviews about pop culture with the creators themselves. It's a nice magazine format that packs a lot into the hour. Spends just enough time on each segment to make it interesting but not so long that it gets boring. Great interviews that give the guest the chance to share their story but also challenges them to justify their points of view.