television

Eugene Mirman Majored In Comedy

Apr 2, 2015
Photo by Brian Tamborello via eugenemirman.com

Eugene Mirman is a writer, stand-up comedian, the voice of Gene on Fox’s animated series Bob’s Burgers, Neil Degrasse Tyson’s partner in crime on the show Star Talk Radio, creator of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival and proprietor of the post-stru

Logan Shannon / NHPR

When you hear about prison work programs, you think license plates or chain gangs – not farm-raised Tilapia, or buffalo milk cheese. On today’s show, artisanal foods and other the under-the-radar products made by prisoners for next to nothing.

Plus, a project aims to solve two global problems by turning sewage into drinkable water, and why revulsion may prevent it from becoming a reality. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments. 

MazJobrani.com

Before Maz Jobrani was a panelist on Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, he was an actor trying to get a break. On today’s show we’ll talk to the Iranian-born comedian about being typecast as a terrorist.

And like Maz, many Hollywood hopefuls get their start as extras, making less than minimum wage, hoping to be noticed. We’ll hear about an elite group who have made blending into the background an incredibly lucrative career.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Rachel via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/dXsYyp

The Oscars are Hollywood’s top award for recognizing achievement in film – and of course, fashion. On today’s show: why some actresses are bucking against the red carpet parade.

Then, for most of us, the prospect of winning a million dollars is a daydream, but for Justin Peters, it was just two right answers away. He’ll explain how losing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire changed his life for the better.

Plus, a conversation with artist, writer and filmmaker Miranda July.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Doug Kline via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/7JD5La

As long as transplants have been medically possible, there have been horror stories about the black market organ trade. On today’s show, an anthropologist sheds the trappings of academia to take on, and even indict, illegal organ brokers.  

Then, Breaking Bad’s spin off Better Call Saul premiered last night to rave reviews from The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

We’ll speak with the man behind the character of sleaze bag lawyer Saul Goodman, actor and comedian Bob Odenkirk.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

From Mr. Show To Better Call Saul: Bob Odenkirk

Feb 9, 2015
Sharon Alagna

  Before Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk was a cult favorite on Mr. Show, a show he co-created with comedian David Cross. And before that he wrote for Saturday Night LiveDennis Miller, and Ben Stiller. His comedic style definitely veers towards the absurd which is evident in one of the shows he produced for Comedy Central: Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! 

Benjamin Chun via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/bSXrxr

For students hoping to get into a competitive college or university, high SAT scores are crucial. On today’s show, law professor and civil rights activist argues that the SAT is a more accurate measurement of family wealth, race and ethnicity than merit. 

Then, The Uncommon Core, our series on offbeat college courses, continues with golf course management. We’ll also hear from a husband and wife research team going to great lengths to end the bedbug epidemic– including offering themselves up as food!

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Stephen Cole via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/AMuDH

From 9 to 5 to The Office, we’ve got plenty of examples of cookie-cutter cubicles where workers toil away in soul-crushing boredom and fatigue. On today’s show, we flip the script and hear a defense of office life. 

Print media circling the drain, record and film companies battling piracy, the rise of cheap, reality TV: while some sectors have bounced back from the recession, creative industries seem to remain in peril. A former arts reporter ponders the decline of the creative class and what society loses when artists can’t make a living.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Paolo via flickr Creative Commons

From Tesla cars to Louis Vuitton luggage to Philippe Patek watches, luxury brands are selling well. How about a $30,000 cell phone? On today’s show, we’ll learn about the new handcrafted cell phone with optional concierge service that’s become a new symbol of conspicuous consumption.

Plus, Junkyard Planet: following the billion-dollar trash trade from American dumpsters to junkyards across the globe.

And, the opening sequence of a television show is an art form unto itself. We'll get a rundown of the best ones.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

InvisibleKid2007 via flickr Creative Commons

From dash cams to the EZ Pass lane, big brother is in our passenger seat, whether we realize it or not. But just how much are drivers being monitored? And who is benefiting from the surveillance? On today’s show, the future of car surveillance.

Then, a conversation with actor and comedian, Bob Odenkirk. While many know him as strip mall lawyer Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad, he has achieved near cult status for his contributions to sketch comedy. We’ll discuss his storied career, the legacy of Mr. Show, and his debut collections of essays, A Load of Hooey.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Picking out a movie can be a lot like browsing the cereal aisle - the more options you have, the harder it is to decide what to watch. It's especially difficult for subscription-based services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, which offer you more programming than you can even browse in one sitting. In our monthly segment "On Demand", we help make your movie nights memorable by offering our favorite movies and shows being made available this month.

West McGowan via flickr Creative Commons

The preseason has already started, and football fans across the country are gearing up for another action-packed season of hard losses, big wins, and epic hits.

On today’s show, a provocative new book makes a case for why not to watch football. Plus, Iraqi cities under siege, Ebola cases climbing, unrest in Ferguson; despite the tough news, your Facebook news feed may look remarkably chipper, we’ll look into Facebook’s carefully orchestrated positive feedback loop.    

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


dailyinvention via Flickr Creative Commons

Underwear, television and delusion. No, not a David Sedaris essay. These are some of the topics we are exploring on today’s Word of Mouth. Join us for an interview with psychiatrist Joe Gold about increasing prevalence of “Truman Show Delusions,” wherein people believe their life to be an elaborate reality show. Then, we talk to NY Times TV critic, Neil Gezlinger, about why television might not be the brain melting fluff we have been taught to think. Plus, producer Taylor Quimby makes a startling confession about his undergarments. Also, birds are in our trees, on the beach and constantly in sight during the summer months, so we bring you two stories featuring these graceful creatures. 

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


Today we talked to Logan Hill of Los Angeles Magazine about his article “Fire in the Belly,” in which he explores the strategies utilized by TV execs when faced with a pregnant actress. From Lucille Ball to Kerry Washington, it is a challenge as old as, well, television. Listen to the segment here.

We thought this was such a great topic that we decided to compile our own list of amusing TV/real life pregnancies.

Ayahuasca in San Francisco and Mike Newton via flickr Creative Commons, via onthemedia.org & facebook.com/theamericans

Ahhh. We finally have a week full of warmer temps. What better way to spend your afternoon work break walk than with Word of Mouth? Pop in your earbuds and turn it up; today's show heats up, cools down, and explores real-life risks of the internet and a scandal relived through television.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

NHPR

As we look back at 2013, we’re struck by the number of mishaps made by politicians, celebrities, athletes and companies…followed of course, by the oh-so-heartfelt public apology. Word of Mouth's senior producer Maureen McMurray and producer Taylor Quimby join Virginia Prescott to talk about the year of saying sorry…or in some cases, the year of the non-apology.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Not sure how you're going to muster the energy to rake another pile of leaves this weekend? Let us make the chore a little easier by distracting you with a solid hour of public radio encouragement. The Word of Mouth Saturday show is carefully designed to take you on a sound odyssey that's perfect even if you decide to forgo the leaf raking for another day.

On this week's show:

  • Please don't send shoes: Jessica Alexander makes the case for sending money instead of food or clothing when disaster strikes.
  • Why is Sweden so good at pop music? Nolan Feeney outlines the many reasons Sweden is a country of hit makers. We dare you to not get "The Sign" stuck in your head.
  • Talking about death: It's not an easy subject, but a new Showtime series, "Time of Death" approaches the taboo with unflinching realism. Jaweed Kaleem from the Huffington Post, and Miggi Hood, co-executive producer of the series join us to talk about death.
  • The Warren Commission 50 years later. Justice Richard Mosk was a 23-year-old attorney when he became the youngest member of the commission established by President Johnson to investigate the murder of JFK and his assassin. He tells us about the commission and why conspiracy theories can be harmful.

Image Credit: Bettmann/Corbis via TLC.com

Fifty-years ago, on November 22nd, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot while traveling in his motorcade through Dallas. Kennedy was pronounced dead at 12:30 pm central time that day. By Monday, 45,000 letters of condolence had arrived at the White House. Two months later, nearly 800,000 had arrived -- addressed mostly to Jackie Kennedy and her family. Over the next two years, that number doubled. Handwritten, typed, and cabled, those letters captured the collective grief of the nation and the world and were then filed away for nearly forty six years.

Letters to Jackie, released in 2010, was a compilation of hundreds of those letters by history scholar, UNH professor, author and our guest Ellen Fitzpatrick.

Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy” is a new documentary based on her book and features a selection from those letters read by movie and theater actors. The special makes its television premiere on TLC this coming Sunday, November 17th.

Rachel via flickr Creative Commons

If you’ve ever avoided a conversation about death, you are not alone. While death scenes are plentiful in movies and on television, witnessing the real, degenerative, disorienting process of death and dying is avoided…unmentionable…a taboo.  A new Showtime series faces that taboo head-on. “Time of Death” follows eight terminally ill people ranging in age from nineteen to seventy-seven over the course of nine months to their final hours and even moments of life.

Reviews and conversations cropping up around the series praise its raw, sometimes agonizing realism and wonder if anyone will watch; if our death denying culture can take such an unflinching look at death? The Huffington Post’s religion reporter Jaweed Kaleem wrote about the series. He’s covers one of HuffPo’s most unusual beats: death.

Also joining us is Miggi Hood co-executive producer for the Showtime series, “Time of Death.”

Many of you called our Breaking Bad Hotline to let us know how you felt after the credits rolled on the finale. Here are just a few of the messages you left for us...and we've made them SPOILER FREE!

Just remember...WE'RE the ones who knock! Or something.

And if you're not ready to let go of our favorite meth cooks yet, check out some of our favorite 'Breaking Bad' memes:

'Breaking Bad' theme, played on meth lab equipment:

nbcsvu on tumblr

Early in June, the Supreme Court cleared the way for police to take DNA samples for people they arrest, without a warrant. The decision has stirred concerns among criminal justice and privacy advocates. The challenge of legally obtaining DNA samples from suspects is an essential plot point in police and court dramas – driving the action across two or even three commercial breaks. New York Times television critic Neil Genzlinger wondered what effect the high court ruling could have on TV crime shows.

Will The Next 'Doctor Who' Be A Woman? A Whovian Weighs In

Jun 11, 2013

From the outside, Doctor Who has never been anything but strange. The BBC’s long-celebrated protagonist is a time-bending, space-traveling alien, whose adventures can, and have, taken him anywhere and anytime in the universe. He can also regenerate into a new body when he dies, a plot trick which has gifted the show a much longer than average life-span. For the past fifty years now, the doctor has been portrayed by no less than eleven, white, British men. Matt Smith, who plays the current incarnation of the Doctor, has announced that he plans to leave the series this winter. The question many Whovians are now asking is: should the next Doctor Who be played by a woman?

Mac Rogers is a Brooklyn based playwright and culture writer, who contributes to Slate’s “Doctor Who TV Club”. He spoke with Word of Mouth’s Zach Nugent about gender-bending the BBC series Doctor Who.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The most popular stories of the past week, from our newsroom, Word of Mouth, and The Exchange.

1. The Common Core State Standards: Not Yet In Place, Already Controversial

Arnisto via Flickr Creative Commons

Premium TV channels like HBO, Showtime, and AMC are pricey, and with  many programs available on Netflix, Hulu, and other online sources, viewers are cutting the cable cord.  Those hanging on say they want to watch what they want, when they want it.

Joining us to give us some practical tips on cutting the cord to premium cable was David Sirota, a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, author, and contributor to Salon, where he wrote about his own exodus from cable.

After every errant tweet from another major news outlet, or the announcement of fresh layoffs from another print newsroom, many shake their heads and talk about the good old days, before false reports of WMD’s and internet news aggregators. We remember a time when Edward R. Murrow and other icons of objectivity were our revered national watchdogs, serving up the truth...one newspaper column or TV broadcast at a time.   But what if our idealistic view of American journalism's "golden age" is nothing but a nostalgic myth?  Todd Gitlin teaches journalism and communications at Columbia University. His recent article “The Myth of Journalism’s Golden Age” was recently featured in the Utne Reader.

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

In this special edition of Word of Mouth: Girl Power Interrupted.

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

In this special edition of Word of Mouth: are we catching up with technology? This week we'll explore the very human way we interact with technology; resistance is futile.

Photo by Nick Traveller, via Flickr Creative Commons

Springfield’s evangelical Ned Flanders and Hindu Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu are frequent foils to satirize and explore religious belief systems on The Simpsons -- America’s longest running scripted TV show.  Mike Reiss, four-time emmy winning writer for The Simpsons is interested in teasing out another brand of animated spirituality – Judaism.   He’s presenting “Jews in Toons” -- discovering Jewish themes across Springfield’s twenty-four year history.  His talk takes place at the New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival at Concord’s Red River Theatres on April 14th.

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth's weekly show that wraps up the best of our content in one great-to-listen-to package.

Mark Sardella via Flickr/Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_television/2638422074/

Northern New England has lost its most famous cowboy. Rex Trailer died this week at his home in Florida. He was 84.

For decades Trailer hosted the children’s TV show “Boomtown” from Boston’s WBZ-TV. To look back at his life and career we turn to Boston filmmaker Michael Bavaro. He worked with Rex Trailer for a number of years and filmed a documentary about his career. He talks with NHPR's Brady Carlson about Trailer's life and career.

Pages