308 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
    • 4.8 • 426 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.

    Margo Jefferson: We Must ‘Go On’

    Margo Jefferson: We Must ‘Go On’

    Today, we sit with author and cultural critic Margo Jefferson. We begin with her new book, Constructing a Nervous System (6:54), an early Ella Fitzgerald memory (11:20), and the said (and unsaid) racial pedagogy of her childhood (16:24), defined by Condoleezza Rice (19:54), Bing Crosby (24:18), and a formative interaction at a high school party (27:49).

    On the back-half, we walk through Margo’s entry into criticism (34:27), her role in the emerging feminist movement (36:46), and what real allyship looks like in the continued fight for reproductive rights (40:12). To close, Margo discusses her approach in the classroom at Columbia (41:52), finding ‘temperamental kinship’ in Nina Simone (48:59), Oscar Wilde on the role of the critic (53:15), and how, at 74, she continues to “go on” (1:04:50).

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    • 1 hr 11 min
    The Supreme Court Conversation We’re Not Having

    The Supreme Court Conversation We’re Not Having

    Last month, a leaked draft opinion offered a repudiation of a 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights. The historic leak was followed by both pro-choice and pro-life protests across the country.

    While we await the Supreme Court’s decision, attorney Neal Katyal has been fighting back. Formerly the Solicitor General under the Obama Administration, Katyal joins us to discuss the historic nature of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion (4:18), the ‘super precedent’ that Roe v. Wade has set (6:24), and why the Constitution is designed to protect individual rights (9:45). We also look at the states that have begun restricting abortion (16:05) and their unnerving parallels to Margret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (20:23).

    After the break, Neal outlines the aftermath of Alito’s draft opinion, should it come to pass: including other rights that could be in jeopardy (26:17), the erosion of public confidence in the courts (32:58), and a restrictive reimagining of the Judicial Branch (36:13). To end, Katyal reflects on a life in the courtroom and where he still finds hope—‘even in this darkest hour’ (44:29). 

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    • 50 min
    David Sedaris: A Life On and Off the Page

    David Sedaris: A Life On and Off the Page

    This week we’re joined by beloved author David Sedaris! We begin with the timely opening essay from his latest collection, Happy-Go-Lucky (4:05). Then, David describes growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina (10:07), his mother’s “Group Therapy” sessions at the dinner table (11:03), the night his father heckled him during a live performance (16:02), and what he learned about writing at the Art Institute of Chicago (26:55).

    On the back-half, David reads a tribute to his mother from Calypso (32:55). We also unpack the way his work has evolved (35:09), the transformation that occurred in his father’s final days (39:20), and why, after forty years, he continues to keep his daily diary (46:45).

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    • 57 min
    Actor Jon Bernthal: Leading Man

    Actor Jon Bernthal: Leading Man

    This week we’re joined by actor Jon Bernthal! To begin, we discuss his latest performance on HBO’s We Own This City (6:00), policing and gun culture in America (9:15), growing up grappling with toxic masculinity (14:47), his pivot to acting in college (23:30), and the powerful history of theater in Moscow (27:25). 


    On the back-half, he reflects on his first year in Los Angeles (32:45), the night that changed his life (37:44), and the magic behind the making of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (45:05). To close, Jon shares his hopes for the future (51:00) and how, as a father, he’s processed these tragic weeks in America (52:58).

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    • 59 min
    Performer Meg Stalter Heals Through Comedy

    Performer Meg Stalter Heals Through Comedy

    This week we are joined by comedian Meg Stalter! With season two of Hacks, we talk about her role as Kayla the assistant (5:50), a formative experience in a middle school drama class (12:50), moving from Ohio to Chicago to perform (17:54), and how she pushed boundaries on stage (19:47) with the support of her comedy community (22:34). We also unpack the strange sensation of going viral (25:19) before reenacting a trademark Meg Stalter bit (27:14). 

    On the back half, we discuss her beloved quarantine sets on Instagram Live (34:52), the specificity of her Midwestern characters (41:16), and how her curiosity in people is at the core of her work (42:52). To close, Meg reflects on her blessed journey (48:54) and where she hopes to go in the years ahead (49:52).

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    • 52 min
    What Will It Take To Change? (with Stacey Abrams)

    What Will It Take To Change? (with Stacey Abrams)

    To start, a reflection on the week that was. Then, we return to our conversation with Stacey Abrams. She won her Gubernatorial primary this week in Georgia, where she hopes to unseat Brian Kemp this November.

    We talk about the systemic challenges that small business owners face (6:32), the impact of Georgia’s new voting laws (11:20), the threat of election subversion (14:02), what a functional democracy could look like (16:48), the lessons learned from her 2018 bid for governor (19:31), and how she plans to win in 2022 (24:23). 

    On the back half, Abrams reflects on growing up in the south (29:50), her earliest political ambitions (35:10), and how literature has offered a human complexity not always granted to people in politics (40:18), especially Black women in positions of power (42:17). As we leave, Stacey shares a personal story about her first visit to the governor’s mansion (46:05), the need to move past tribalism (50:42), and why she still wants to be in this fight in 2022 and beyond (52:55).

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    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
426 Ratings

426 Ratings

Jmbmx ,

Refreshing!

Sam is the perfect host. He does deep research and surprises his guests with meaningful questions. Enjoyable and relaxed, like visiting an interesting friend.

newsjunqui ,

Anita Hill

Thank u for this episode. Such a moving conversation. After everything that she went through, she maintains her grace & humanity. What a brilliant & dedicated woman!

Indyeche ,

Unbelievable

I am listening to The incredible,brave Ms Anita Hill.
My heart hearts for all the horrible things she was to listening about her
Sending her and her family hugs.
She is amazing, brave and inteligente I hope men will learn and listen to woman
🙏 thanks

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