333 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
    • 4.8 • 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.

    Performer Kumail Nanjiani: A New Act

    Performer Kumail Nanjiani: A New Act

    Today, we’re joined by actor, writer, and comedian, Kumail Nanjiani! We discuss his new series, Welcome to Chippendales, playing real-life entrepreneur Steve Banerjee (4:39), his fascination with American culture growing up in Pakistan (11:45), moving to America as a teenager (17:23), and performing standup as a college student in Des Moines (22:21).

    On the back-half, Nanjiani describes performing in Chicago in 2006 (26:17), his family-inspired solo act, Unpronounceable (31:46), and how he and Emily Gordon captured their personal events in the acclaimed film, The Big Sick (35:12). To close, we walk through his dramatic pivot in films like Eternals and Obi-Wan Kenobi (41:55), the consequences of that transformation (45:58), and how he continues to tell rich and complex immigrant stories through Little America, and now, Welcome to Chippendales (53:37).
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    • 58 min
    Actor Jonathan Majors: ‘Everything Happens To Me’

    Actor Jonathan Majors: ‘Everything Happens To Me’

    To close the holiday weekend, we sit with actor Jonathan Majors! At the top, we discuss how he embodied real-life US Navy pilot Jesse Brown in the new film “Devotion” (6:50) and what a dream revealed about both the character (8:20) and a pivotal scene with actor Glen Powell (9:40). Then, Jonathan reflects on a formative memory on his grandparents’ farm in Texas (16:19), his formative relationships with his parents (19:45), and his mother’s unconditional love and support (21:50) as he found his path to drama school (27:30).

    On the back half, we talk about his approach to acting at the UNC School of the Arts (30:12), his singular work in “Da 5 Bloods” and HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” in 2020 (35:42), and how his “capacity for heartbreak” propels his performances.

    As we leave, we discuss Jonathan's life as an artist and father (43:32) and the recurring dream that portends his future (45:42).
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    • 48 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

DanaePaterimos ,

very soothing and informative

really a great podcast, i love that they speak about so many different topics, the episodes are very informative and i’ve learned many things from listening. sam is an amazing host with the host soothing voice. really recommend this to anyone.

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