Fresh Air

Fresh Air Podcast

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.

Best Of: TV Critic Emily Nussbaum / Satirist Randy Rainbow
Emily Nussbaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic for 'The New Yorker,' talks about the art of "terrible men" in the #MeToo era and TV's revolution (from low brow to high art). Her new book of essays and reviews is 'I Like to Watch.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Copperhead' by Alexi Zentner. Randy Rainbow writes and performs satirical songs about President Trump set to melodies of show tunes. "I always considered song parody kind of cheap," the Emmy-nominated performer says. "But ... I've gotten...

50th Anniversary Of The Moon Landing
For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we're listening back to archival interviews with Michael Collins, who circled the moon in the command capsule while Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were on the moon's surface; Alan Shepard, the first American in space; Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield; and test pilot Chuck Yeager, the first to break the sound barrier....

Corruption & Dysfunction In The Border Protection Agency
When Customs and Border Protection was formed after 9/11 (as a part of the Department of Homeland Security), many agents signed up for the job thinking it would be a quasi-military position, focused on catching terrorists and stopping drug smugglers. Journalist Garrett Graff says in recent years, the border patrol agents mostly have been doing humanitarian and administrative work for asylum-seekers. "It went out and built its ranks by recruiting Rambo, when it actually turns out that what the border patrol...


Satirist Randy Rainbow
Rainbow writes and performs satirical songs about President Trump set to melodies of show tunes. "I always considered song parody kind of cheap," the Emmy-nominated performer says. "But ... I've gotten [such a] response from others ... that I'm appreciating it as an art form." Also, we remember retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who died yesterday at 99. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2011....

Novelist Colson Whitehead On 'The Nickel Boys'
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist's new book, 'The Nickel Boys,' is based on the true story of a notorious Florida reform school where many boys were beaten and sexually abused. Dozens of unmarked graves were discovered on the school grounds, which the state shut down in 2011. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel, and then the author speaks with contributor Dave Davies. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the book 'Jazz from Detroit.'...

TV Critic Emily Nussbaum
The Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic for 'The New Yorker' talks about the art of "terrible men" in the #MeToo era, TV's revolution (from low to high brow), and what she calls "the bad fan." Her new book of essays and reviews is 'I Like to Watch.'...


Best Of: Yiddish 'Fiddler On The Roof' / How 'Maiden' Sailed Into History
A new Yiddish language production of 'Fiddler on the Roof' is currently running off-Broadway. Steven Skybell, who plays Tevye, and Joel Grey, who directs the show, explain why the play still resonates.Film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'Midsommar.'In 1989, 26-year-old skipper Tracy Edwards set out on what was considered an unthinkable journey for a woman — to sail the 33,000 mile Whitbread Round The World Race. She assembled an all-female crew, restored a shabby racing yacht, and took to sea. Th...

MLB's Keith Hernandez / Remembering Pitcher Jim Bouton & Actor Rip Torn
The former first baseman played on championship teams with the Cardinals and Mets, and made a memorable appearance on 'Seinfeld.' His memoir, now out in paperback, is 'I'm Keith Hernandez.'MLB pitcher Jim Bouton, who died Wednesday, spoke to 'Fresh Air' in 1986 about his 1970 tell-all memoir, 'Ball Four,' in which he drew on his seven years with the Yankees to offer an insider's guide to baseball.Actor Rip Torn, who died Tuesday, won an Emmy Award for playing the gruff producer Artie on 'The Larry Sanders S...

The Ongoing Crisis At The U.S.-Mexico Border
NY Times reporter Caitlin Dickerson has been documenting the impact of the Trump administration's policies on migrants — and on the workers who deal with the large number of people held in detention. Dickerson talks about the squalid conditions at the Clint, Texas, border patrol center, where toddlers were living for weeks without diapers, and kids were living in cold, crowded holding areas without showers, clean clothes, toothbrushes, or enough food. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Farewell,' s...


Yiddish 'Fiddler On The Roof'
A new, Yiddish language production of the musical is currently running off-Broadway. Steven Skybell, who plays Tevye, and Joel Grey, who directs the show, explain why the play still resonates....

Gerrymandering, The 2020 Census & Voter Suppression
'Mother Jones' journalist Ari Berman says recent Supreme Court decisions on redistricting and the 2020 census will determine which party is in power in the next decade. Berman says while Americans are justifiably worried that Russia might try again to interfere in our 2020 election, we also need to also be focusing on homegrown threats to our democracy. "The Russians didn't invent voter suppression. The Russians didn't gut the Voting Rights Act. The Russians didn't draw heavily gerrymandered maps in the la...

A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle With Opioids
Travis Rieder became dependent on opioids after a motorcycle accident in 2015 that crushed his left foot, and forced him to endure six surgeries. His book 'In Pain' draws on his insights as a patient, and his subsequent research into pain medicine, to examine the larger problems and dilemmas surrounding prescription opioids and the larger opioid crisis....


Best Of: Sarah Jessica Parker / 'Leaving The Witness'
Parker is best-known for her role as the iconic single New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw on 'Sex and the City.' Now, on the HBO series 'Divorce,' she plays Frances, a woman navigating the dissolution of her marriage. Also, Ken Tucker reviews two country hits that are challenging traditional notions of the genre, by Lil Nas X and Blanco Brown.Amber Scorah was a third-generation Jehovah's Witness raised to believe that the Armageddon was imminent. Scorah talks about her decision to leave her marriage and her religi...

Willie Nelson
At the age of 86, Nelson is still going strong. He's touring and has a new record, 'Ride Me Back Home.' We'll listen back to two interviews with Nelson and hear a review of the new album. When Terry Gross spoke to him in 1996 he told her why he had trouble fitting in to country music. "My songs had a few chords in them, and the country songs weren't supposed to have over three chords. My phrasing was sort of funny. I didn't sing on the beat. I just didn't fit the slots, you know? And I wouldn't take orders...

Lizzo
The flute-playing pop star celebrates self-love on her latest album, 'Cuz I Love You.' About 10 years ago, "I made the decision that I just wanted to be happy with my body," she says. Lizzo talks to Terry Gross about collaborating with Prince, feminism, and using music to help people find a positive place within themselves. [Originally broadcast In May 2019]...


Sarah Jessica Parker
Parker is best-known for her role as the iconic single New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw on 'Sex and the City.' Now, on the HBO series 'Divorce,' she plays Frances, a woman navigating the dissolution of her marriage. Parker spoke with Terry Gross about growing up poor but engaged in the arts, the #MeToo movement, and how she doesn't relate to Carrie (or the other 'SATC' characters) at all. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'Midsommar.'...

Uncovering The Story Of Chernobyl
HBO's recent series 'Chernobyl' has renewed public interest in the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Journalist Adam Higginbotham has spent years investigating the causes of the accident and the dramatic efforts to contain the damage. He says design flaws, human hubris and Soviet secrecy all contributed to the disaster. His book is 'Midnight in Chernobyl.'Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'I'm All Smiles' by pianist George Cables....

From Nightmares To PTSD, The Toll On Facebook Moderators
'Verge' journalist Casey Newton investigated working conditions for the moderators who determine what material can be posted to Facebook. Many are traumatized by the images of hate and violence they see. "I've talked to folks who will wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. They will have nightmares about the content that they saw, and eventually, many of them get diagnosed with PTSD." Newton also talks about how Facebook is starting what's been called a "supreme court" for contested content dec...


Best Of: Founders OF The 1st AIDS Ward / Comic Ramy Youssef
The new documentary '5B' tells the story of America's first hospital unit dedicated to the care of people with AIDS. Nurse Cliff Morrison helped create 5B in 1983, and worked on it with Dr. Paul Volberding. They talked with Terry Gross about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, and how they sought to give patients compassionate care through human touch when most medical workers wore full body suits because they were afraid they'd get infected.Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Yesterday' by 'Slumdog Millio...

Novelist John Green On OCD
Green's latest novel, 'Turtles All The Way Down,' is about a teenage girl with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The author spoke with Terry Gross about his own experience with OCD in 2017. "It starts out with one little thought, and then slowly that becomes the only thought that you're able to have. It's like there's an invasive weed that just spreads out of control." Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg considers how the word "algorithm" has come to stand in for the power that technology wields in our life. And TV ...

How An All-Female Crew Sailed Round The World & Into The History Books
In 1989, 26-year-old skipper Tracy Edwards set out on what was thought of as an unthinkable journey for a woman — to sail the 33,000 mile Whitbread Round The World Race. She assembled an all-female crew, restored a shabby racing yacht, and took to sea. The new documentary 'Maiden' tracks their 9-month-long race and the sexism they faced at every turn. Edwards spoke with 'Fresh Air' contributor Dave Davies. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Yesterday,' by 'Slumdog Millionaire' director Danny Boyle....


Founders Of The First AIDS Ward
The new documentary '5B' tells the story of America's first hospital unit dedicated to the care of people with AIDS. Nurse Cliff Morrison helped create 5B in 1983, and worked on it with Dr. Paul Volberding. They talked with Terry Gross about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, how they sought to give patients compassionate care, and the rampant homophobia at the time....

Founders Of The 1st AIDS Ward
The new documentary '5B' tells the story of America's first hospital unit dedicated to the care of people with AIDS. Nurse Cliff Morrison helped create 5B in 1983, and worked on it with Dr. Paul Volberding. They talked with Terry Gross about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, how they sought to give patients compassionate care, and the rampant homophobia at the time....

Comic Ramy Youssef
In the semi-autobiographical Hulu series 'Ramy,' Youssef plays a first generation Muslim American who follows some — but not all — of the rules of his religion. Youssef, whose parents immigrated from Egypt, also co-created the series. He says he can relate to his character's "picking and choosing" approach to his faith. "Sometimes we would call it 'Allah carte,'" he says. Youssef talks with Terry Gross about the series, feeling torn between wanting to fit in and his faith, and his stand-up comedy. Also, Mau...


A Former Jehovah's Witness Reflects On Leaving Her Faith
Amber Scorah was a third generation Jehovah's Witness raised to believe that the Armageddon was imminent. As a teenager she was shunned from her religious community for having sex with her boyfriend. Scorah went on to marry an elder in the church, and she and her husband traveled to China as missionaries. But gradually doubt began to set in. Scorah speaks with Terry Gross about her decision to leave her marriage and her religion and start over. Her memoir is 'Leaving the Witness.' Also, John Powers reviews ...

Best Of: Ava DuVernay / Bill Hader
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay's Netflix series 'When They See Us' tells the story of how five black and brown boys, known as the Central Park Five, were manipulated into confessing to a brutal rape they did not commit. DuVernay focuses on the boys' perspective — and the criminal justice system that failed them. Ken Tucker reviews Willie Nelson's new album 'Ride Me Back Home.'Bill Hader, who became famous as a writer and performer on 'Saturday Night Live,' now stars in the HBO series 'Barry.' Hader speaks with Terr...

John Prine
The singer, songwriter and guitarist was recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Prine spoke with Terry Gross in 2018 when his album 'The Tree of Forgiveness' was released. He described how his voice changed after neck cancer: "It dropped down lower and feels friendlier." Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the final seasons of FX's 'Legion' and Netflix's 'Jessica Jones.'...


Bill Hader On 'Barry'
Hader, who became famous as a writer and performer on 'Saturday Night Live,' now stars in the HBO series 'Barry.' Hader plays a Marine who suffers from depression and PTSD ever since returning from Afghanistan. While working as a hit man in Los Angeles, he discovers that he wants to pursue acting instead. Hader speaks with Terry Gross about writing the series with Alec Berg, struggling with severe anxiety while on 'SNL,' and his love of old movies....

Ava DuVernay On 'When They See Us'
DuVernay's Netflix series tells the story of how five black and brown boys, known as the Central Park Five, were manipulated into confessing to a brutal rape they did not commit. 'When They See Us' focuses on the boys' perspective — and the criminal justice system that failed them. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Toy Story 4.'...

Uncovering The Story Of Major Taylor, America's First Black Sports Hero
At the height of the Jim Crow era, Taylor broke barriers by becoming the country's fastest and most famous cyclist. Author and 'Washington Post' journalist Michael Kranish tells his story in the new book, 'The World's Fastest Man.' "He really belongs in the pantheon of civil rights leaders as a sports athlete," Kranish says. "He was able to use his athleticism and his championships for a greater purpose to show that the racist theories of eugenics and other things were wrong." Also, book critic Maureen Corr...


Uncovering The Story Of Major Taylor, America's 1st Black Sports Hero
At the height of the Jim Crow era, Taylor broke barriers by becoming the country's fastest and most famous cyclist. Author and 'Washington Post' journalist Michael Kranish tells his story in the new book, 'The World's Fastest Man.' "He really belongs in the pantheon of civil rights leaders as a sports athlete," Kranish says. "He was able to use his athleticism and his championships for a greater purpose to show that the racist theories of eugenics and other things were wrong." Also, book critic Maureen Corr...

Rethinking 'Elderhood'
Geriatrician Dr. Louise Aronson treats patients who are in their 60s — as well as those who are older than 100. "I need to be a different sort of doctor for people at different ages and phases of old age," she says. Aronson writes about changing approaches to elder health care in the book, 'Elderhood.'Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a live recording from saxophonist Stan Getz....

Best Of: How Ordinary People Got Us To The Moon / Actor Damian Lewis
This summer marks 50 years since the first Apollo moon landing. Journalist Charles Fishman's new book 'One Giant Leap' focuses on the untold stories of the ordinary men and women who worked behind-the-scenes on the Apollo missions. "Apollo was the biggest non-military effort in the history of human civilization," Fishman says. He talks about the team at Playtex who designed the spacesuits, the computer programmers, and the state of the U.S. space program today. Ken Tucker reviews Bruce Springsteen's new sol...


'I Wrote This Book Because I Love You'
Writer and cartoonist Tim Kreider admits unabashedly that the longest relationship of his adult life was with the stray cat that became his companion for 19 years. His collection of personal essays details his many unconventional relationships, which include the girlfriend he traveled with on a circus train, a married woman he fell in love with and his whirlwind romance with a sexual performance artist. "One of the few conclusions I may have reached from writing this book is that when we say 'relationship' ...

How Hackers Pose A Threat To Cities & Elections
'New York Times' cybersecurity correspondent Nicole Perlroth says hacking tools developed by the NSA were stolen, posted online and are now being used in cyberattacks, including one on the city of Baltimore.Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco.'...

How Ordinary People Got Us To The Moon
This summer marks 50 years since the first Apollo moon landing. Journalist Charles Fishman's new book 'One Giant Leap' focuses on the untold stories of the ordinary men and women who worked behind-the-scenes on the Apollo missions. "Apollo was the biggest non-military effort in the history of human civilization," Fishman says. He talks about the team at Playtex who designed the spacesuits, the computer programmers, and how NASA nearly forgot to send an American flag into space....


Inside Kim Jong Un's North Korea
'Washington Post' journalist Anna Fifield visited North Korea and interviewed many of its citizens — including members of Kim Jong Un's family — for her new book about the country and its leader. Her book is 'The Great Successor.' Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'The Body in Question' by Jill Ciment, about jurors on a murder trial....

Actor Damian Lewis
The classically-trained British actor plays a ruthless hedge-fund manager on Showtime's 'Billions,' which recently ended its fourth season. Lewis describes his character as "the embodiment of the American dream." He also starred in the series 'Homeland' as Nicholas Brody, a Marine sergeant who converts to Islam in captivity. Also, Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews 'When They See Us,' Ava DuVernay's devastating new miniseries about the Central Park Five....

Best Of: Christina Applegate / The Future Of Food
Christina Applegate stars in the Netflix series 'Dead to Me,' opposite Linda Cardellini, as a woman grieving the sudden death of her husband. She speaks with Terry Gross about her own experience with grief and loss, her double mastectomy, and working as a teen actress in 'Married with Children.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new installments of the Netflix anthology series 'Black Mirror.'Environmental journalist Amanda Little talks about efforts to create a global food supply for a world that ...


Remembering Musician Dr. John
New Orleans musician Mac Rebennack, A.K.A. Dr. John, died yesterday at 77. He was known for his raspy voice and hits such as "Right Place, Wrong Time" and "Such A Night." Rebennack spoke with Terry Gross in 1986. Contributor Zahra Noorbakhsh, who is Muslim and Iranian-American, shares a story about how the Christchurch shooting coincided with a personal health crisis. Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Late Night,' starring Emma Thompson as a seasoned late night talk show host whose recent drop in ratings ha...

Trump, M.B.Z. & The United Arab Emirates
We talk with 'NYT' international correspondent David Kirkpatrick about how Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (M.B.Z.), the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, became one of the most influential foreign voices in Washington. He's urged the U.S. to adopt his increasingly aggressive position against his enemies, including Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.Also, John Powers reviews the new season of HBO's hit series 'Big Little Lies.'...

Actor Christina Applegate
Applegate stars in the Netflix series 'Dead to Me,' opposite Linda Cardellini, as a woman grieving the sudden death of her husband. She speaks with Terry Gross about her own experience with grief and loss, her double mastectomy, 'Married with Children,' and doing 'Sweet Charity' on Broadway.Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new installments of the Netflix anthology series 'Black Mirror.'...


The Case Against R. Kelly
Nearly 20 years ago, reporter and pop music critic Jim DeRogatis broke the story that R&B superstar R. Kelly was allegedly sexually abusing underage girls. It all started with an anonymous fax to his office at the 'Chicago Sun-Times.' Fourteen months after the first story was published, he received the now-infamous videotape in his home mailbox. DeRogatis spoke with Terry Gross about his two decades following this story, the current charges against Kelly', and his new book 'Soulless.'Also, book critic Maure...

The Future Of Food
Environmental journalist Amanda Little talks about efforts to create a global food supply for a world that will be hotter, drier and more crowded. Little writes about meat cultured in a lab, 3D printed food, and indoor vertical farming in 'The Fate of Food.' Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a new recording from the Boston Symphony Orchestra of Busoni's Piano Concerto....

Best Of: Why College Students Are So Stressed / How Eugenics Shaped U.S. Immigration
As colleges and universities across the country report an explosion of mental health problems, a new book argues that college life may actually be more stressful than ever. Dr. Anthony Rostain and family therapist B. Janet Hibbs are the authors of 'The Stressed Years of Their Lives.' They say today's college students are experiencing an "inordinate amount of anxiety" — much of it centered on "surviving college and doing well." Justin Chang reviews the new Elton John biopic 'Rocketman.' Journalist Daniel Ok...


A Return To 'Deadwood'
The HBO series about a lawless mining town in 19th century South Dakota is now the basis of a new film. TV critic David Bianculli shares his review and then we'll listen back to interviews with actor Timothy Olyphant, who played the sheriff Seth Bullock, and we'll also hear from David Milch who created and wrote the show. And film critic Justin Chang reviews the new Elton John biopic 'Rocketman.'...

SCOTUS And Abortion
'New York Times' correspondent Adam Liptak talks about how President Trump's two appointees might change the Supreme Court — including its direction on abortion: "It's not hard to write a decision striking down Roe," he says. "It's built on quicksand." Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews drummer Jeff Williams' new album 'Bloom.'...

Inside 'Sara Berman's Closet'
The art installation 'Sara Berman's Closet' chronicles the life of a woman who grew up in a shtetl in Belarus, fled with family to Palestine, and then eventually moved to New York City to start a new life. Berman's daughter, children's book author and illustrator Maira Kalman and Berman's grandson, designer Alex Kalman, tell her story in a new book accompaniment to the museum exhibit. Also, we remember Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Tony Horwitz. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1998 w...


The Mental Health 'Epidemic' On College Campuses
As colleges and universities across the country report an explosion of mental health problems, a new book argues that college life may actually be more stressful than ever. Dr. Anthony Rostain, co-author of 'The Stressed Years of Their Lives,' notes that today's college students are experiencing an "inordinate amount of anxiety" — much of it centered on "surviving college and doing well." Co-author and family therapist B. Janet Hibbs joins Rostain to talk about the root causes of the stress and how families...

Sir Elton John
The new biographical musical film 'Rocketman' is based on Elton John's life story. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2013 about what he calls "Elton John excess," his fear of sex as a young man, and how Liberace's example encouraged him to make the piano a star instrument and embrace wild costumes....

Best Of: John Waters / Lizzo
John Waters has made a career out of rebelling against the norm. The 'Pink Flamingos' and 'Hairspray' director returns to 'Fresh Air' to talk about what he was like as a kid, and how he still finds ways to break the rules as a self-described "filth elder." His new book about his career in Hollywood is 'Mr. Know-It-All.' Rapper, singer and flutist Lizzo talks to Terry Gross about collaborating with Prince, feminism, and using music to help people find a positive place within themselves. Her new album is 'Cuz...


Michael Pollan On the 'New Science' Of Psychedelics
Pollan discusses the history of psychedelic drugs, including LSD and magic mushrooms, and explains how they're currently being used experimentally in therapeutic settings to treat depression, addiction, and fear of death. The author experimented with psychedelics for research. "I had an experience that was by turns frightening and ecstatic and weird," he says. 'How To Change Your Mind' is now out in paperback. Also, critic John Powers reviews 'Booksmart,' a film about two brainy girls who are desperate to p...

The 'Power Struggle' Within The NRA
'New York Times' reporter Danny Hakim discusses conflicts within the NRA's leadership, its lawsuit against its advertising and PR company, and what leaked documents reveal about the organization.Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'The Secret Between The Shadow and the Soul' from saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and TV critic David Bianculli looks ahead to the ABC special 'Live in Front of a Studio Audience,' which recreates individual episodes of two vintage shows....

A New Approach To Dementia
While caring for her mother, who had dementia, bioethicist Tia Powell began imagining a different way to approach the disease. Her new book, 'Dementia Reimagined,' looks at long-term care options and end-of-life decisions. Also, movie critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Souvenir,' about a film student who falls into an intense and fraught relationship with an older man....


John Waters On Being A 'Filth Elder'
The cult filmmaker, 73, has plenty of ideas about what older people should and shouldn't do. "You can't be trying too hard to rebel [when] you're older," Waters says. He talks about what he was like as a kid, why he's done making movies, and what he wants on his tombstone. His new book about his life in Hollywood is 'Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Spying On The South.'...

Best Of: Howard Stern / Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Howard Stern talks about how therapy changed his radio show, what makes him cringe about his early shock jock style, and how being a misfit as a kid pushed him to find an audience. His new book is 'Howard Stern Comes Again.' Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes female characters who are flawed, reckless, unpredictable and real — women not typically seen onscreen. She's the creator and star of the Amazon Prime series 'Fleabag' and creator/producer of the BBC America series 'Killing Eve.' She talks about her character...

Novelist Explores Sexuality & Relationships In 'My Ex-Life'
Stephen McCauley's novel, 'My Ex-Life,' is a comedy about a couple whose marriage ended years ago when the husband came out as gay. "All relationships evolve — even for people who stay together," he says. McCauley's book is now out in paperback. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the new album from Vampire Weekend, 'Father of the Bride,' and TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new adaptation of Joseph Heller's 'Catch-22' on Hulu, created and directed by George Clooney....


The Dark Side Of Generic Prescription Drugs
Journalist Katherine Eban says most of the generic medicine being sold in the U.S. is manufactured overseas — sometimes under questionable quality control standards. She talks about instances of fabricated data, sabotaged inspections, and drugs released onto the market before they're ready. Eban's new book is 'Bottle of Lies.' Also, John Powers reviews season 2 of 'Fleabag,' the Amazon series created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge....

Howard Stern: Part 2 / Remembering Doris Day
In the second half of our two-part interview, Stern talks about his 2017 cancer scare, his thoughts on retirement, and his mother's depression. His new book is 'Howard Stern Comes Again.'Also, we remember late Hollywood actress and singer Doris Day. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2012. She died Monday at 97....

Howard Stern: Part 1
The self-proclaimed "King of All Media" speaks with Terry Gross for the first time. Stern talks about how therapy changed his radio show, what makes him cringe about his early shock jock style, and how being a misfit as a kid pushed him to find an audience. His new book is 'Howard Stern Comes Again.' Part 2 will be available May 15....


Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Creator Of 'Killing Eve' & 'Fleabag'
Waller-Bridge writes female characters who are flawed, reckless, unpredictable and real — women not typically seen onscreen. She's the creator and star of the Amazon Prime series 'Fleabag' and creator/producer of the BBC America series 'Killing Eve.' She talks about the interplay of guilt and grief, her character's obsession with sex in 'Fleabag,' and why she wanted to be a boy when she was young. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Non-Fiction,' a comedy that takes place in Paris' literary scene....

Best Of: How Kleptocrats Stash Fortunes / 'PEN15' Creators
Journalist Oliver Bullough runs kleptocracy tours in London, in which he points out mansions bought by corrupt foreign leaders and oligarchs. His book 'Moneyland' describes their secretive transnational world.Ken Tucker reviews Lizzo's first major label album, 'Cuz I Love You.'From braces to bullies, crushes and drama, middle school is a period of adolescence that might best be described as cringe-worthy.​ In the Hulu series 'PEN15,' actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play 13-year-old versions of themselve...

Celebrating HBO's 'Veep'
After seven seasons, 'Veep' is ending this weekend. We listen back to archival interviews with showrunner David Mandel, star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and co-star Tony Hale. Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews the movie 'Bolden' about jazz's original hero, Charles "Buddy" Bolden, and Lloyd Schwartz reads his poem 'Little Kisses.'...


Why Deutsche Bank Loaned Donald Trump Billions When No One Else Would
The German bank was Trump's partner on countless investments at a time when most of Wall Street shied away. As a result, 'New York Times' finance editor David Enrich says, it has a trove of information about Trump. "Deutsche Bank has become the Rosetta Stone for congressional and state investigators who are trying to better understand and get information about Donald Trump's network of business and his own personal finances," Enrich says....

The Law That Kept 2 Generations Of Immigrants Out Of The U.S.
Journalist Daniel Okrent says that the eugenics movement — a junk science that stemmed from the belief that certain races and ethnicities were morally and genetically superior to others — informed the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted entrance to the U.S. Jews, Italians, Greeks and other Eastern Europeans were targeted. Okrent talks about the parallel between the xenophobia of the early 20th century and President Trump's hard-line stance today. His book is 'The Guarded Gate.' Also, critic John Power...

Shedding Light On Domestic Violence
An average of four women are killed by their partners every day in America. Crisis center CEO Suzanne Dubus and journalist Rachel Louise Snyder talk about identifying risk factors in abusive relationships, prevention, and how to set victims up with resources to rebuild their lives. Snyder's book is 'No Visible Bruises.' Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews the debut album from Nat Turner Rebellion, a '70s R&B group whose record 'Laugh To Keep From Crying' was kept under wraps for half a century....


'PEN15' Revisits The Awkwardness Of Middle School
From braces to bullies, crushes and drama, middle school is a period of adolescence that might best be described as cringe-worthy.​ In the Hulu series 'PEN15,' actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play 13-year-old versions of themselves in the year 2000 — even though they're in their early 30s.​ They spoke with Sam Briger about their physical transformation and reliving those difficult years.Molly and John Chester took a massive leap when they decided to leave behind their urban lifestyle in Los Angeles to s...

Best Of: Patricia Arquette / Erin Lee Carr
Patricia Arquette has won awards for her performances in 'Escape at Dannemora,' 'Boyhood' and 'Medium.' She currently stars in 'The Act' on Hulu, based on the real-life story of Dee Dee Blanchard, a woman who lied to her daughter, Gypsy Rose, and everyone they knew — including doctors — that Gypsy Rose was seriously ill. Dee Dee Blanchard was posthumously diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy after she was murdered in 2015. Arquette talks about playing a series of complex roles in the past few years, ...

Remembering 'Boyz N The Hood' Dir. John Singleton
We remember film director John Singleton who died Monday at the age of 51. He made his debut in 1991 with the semi-autobiographical movie 'Boyz n the Hood,' about a group of kids growing up surrounded by drug addiction and gang violence in South Central L.A. Critic Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews the new memoir 'What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker' by Damon Young. Then we remember singer Jo Sullivan Loesser who starred in Frank Loesser's Broadway show 'The Most Happy Fella' and then married him. Frank Loe...


John Bolton's Push For 'Aggressive Use' Of U.S. Power
'New Yorker' staff writer Dexter Filkins says President Trump's current National Security Adviser John Bolton has been hawkish his whole life. His aggressive world view often contrasts with Trump's isolationist tendencies. After President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, Bolton said "Homo sapiens are hardwired for violent conflict." Filkins' new article is 'John Bolton On The War Path.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Dead To Me,' a new black comedy series on Netflix starring Linda Cardellini and C...

How Oligarchs, Kleptocrats & Crooks Stash Fortunes
Journalist Oliver Bullough runs kleptocracy tours in London, in which he points out mansions bought by corrupt foreign leaders and oligarchs. His book 'Moneyland' describes their secretive transnational world.Also, Ken Tucker reviews Lizzo's first major label album, 'Cuz I Love You.'...

Erin Lee Carr, Daughter Of David Carr
Writer and documentary filmmaker Erin Lee Carr, daughter of the late 'New York Times' columnist David Carr, talks about her parents' drug addiction and what it was like to have her father as a mentor. Her new memoir is 'All That You Leave Behind,' and she directed the HBO documentary 'At the Heart of Gold,' about the gymnasts sexually assaulted by Dr. Larry Nassar....


Actor Patricia Arquette
Arquette has won awards for her performances in 'Escape at Dannemora,' 'Boyhood' and 'Medium.' She currently stars in 'The Act' on Hulu, based on the real-life story of Dee Dee Blanchard, a woman who falsely convinced her daughter, Gypsy Rose, and everyone they knew — including doctors — that Gypsy Rose was seriously ill and needed to use a wheelchair. Dee Dee Blanchard was murdered in 2015, and posthumously diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Arquette talks about playing a series of complex roles ...

Best Of: 'Lear' Actor Glenda Jackson / Baseball History In 10 Pitches
The 82-year-old British actor is currently playing Shakespeare's famed tragic figure on Broadway — a role traditionally played by a man. "As we get older, those absolute barriers that define gender begin to crack," she says. Jackson took a 23-year break from acting when she was elected to Parliament in 1992. Also, linguist Geoffrey Nunberg talks about the true meaning of the s-word: "socialism." And 'New York Times' baseball writer Tyler Kepner spoke to 22 hall-of-fame pitchers about what they throw, and ho...

The Zombies & Roxy Music Head To The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
The 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees include the Zombies and Roxy Music. We listen back to archival interviews with Colin Blunstone of the Zombies, and Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno of Roxy Music. Also, John Powers reviews the Netflix nature series 'Our Planet.'...


The Revelations And Redactions Of The Mueller Report
'Washington Post' investigative reporter Rosalind Helderman broke some of the big stories on the Trump's team's ties to Russia. She co-wrote commentary and analysis for the Post's publication of the Mueller report. Helderman notes what's new in the report, the questions left unanswered, and how encrypted texts and witnesses stymied the investigation. Also, critic Justin Chang reviews 'Avengers: End Game.'...

How Psychiatry Turned To Drugs To Treat Mental Illness
The new book 'Mind Fixers' examines psychiatry's search for a biological understanding of mental illnesses, like depression and bipolar disorder. Science historian Anne Harrington talks about the revolution in medications — from Prozac to Xanax — and why pharmaceutical companies are leaving the psychiatric field. Maureen Corrigan reviews Janny Scott's memoir 'The Beneficiary,' about growing up in a wealthy Main Line family in Philadelphia. Scott's grandmother was said to be the inspiration for the Katharin...

Actor Glenda Jackson Is King Lear
The 82-year-old British actor is currently playing Shakespeare's famed tragic figure on Broadway — a role traditionally played by a man. "As we get older, those absolute barriers that define gender begin to crack," she says. Jackson took a 23-year break from acting when she was elected to Parliament in 1992. She talks about playing kings and queens and what it was like having her own constituency....


How The Navy Failed Its Sailors
ProPublica journalist T. Christian Miller says outdated equipment and a shortage of sailors contributed to two separate collisions involving Navy destroyers in 2017, in which 17 sailors were killed.Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Herlin Riley's album 'Perpetual Optimism.'...

Best Of: Robert Caro / Christopher Meloni
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert Caro was never interested in only telling the stories of great men. Instead, he says, "I wanted to use their lives to show how political power worked." He talks about his two most famous works — biographies of Lyndon Johnson and New York City planner Robert Moses. His new memoir about his process is called 'Working.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews The Mekons' new album 'Deserted,' their first in 8 years.After 12 seasons on 'Law & Order: SVU,' Christopher Meloni pl...

The Remarkable Life Of Frederick Douglass
David Blight's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography describes Frederick Douglass' escape from slavery, his passionate leadership in the abolitionist movement and his gift as a writer and orator. Blight spoke with 'Fresh Air' in December of 2018.Aretha Franklin has been awarded a posthumous "Special Citation" Pulitzer Prize. We'll hear an excerpt of her 1999 interview with Terry Gross. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Long Day's Journey Into Night,' the second feature from the Chinese writer-director Bi G...


From Fastballs To Greaseballs, A History Of Baseball In 10 Pitches
'New York Times' baseball writer Tyler Kepner spoke to 22 hall-of-fame pitchers about what they throw, and how they get a mental edge over hitters. His new book is 'K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Lost and Wanted' by Nell Freudenberger, about an MIT physicist who finds her rational understanding of the universe challenged by the death of a friend....

Actor Christopher Meloni / Tiger Woods' Historic Comeback
After 12 seasons on Law & Order: SVU, Christopher Meloni plays a disgraced policeman-turned-hit man in the second season of the Syfi Channel series Happy!. Meloni talks about being a bouncer before he broke into acting, playing tough guys, and life after 'Law & Order.' Tiger Woods' recent Masters title follows a 10-year drought of major tournament victories. Jeff Benedict, co-author of the biography 'Tiger Woods,' says the golfer's comeback "transcends sports."...

How Climate Change Threatens Humanity
Bill McKibben, who first warned of climate change 30 years ago, says its effects are now upon us. He talks about heat waves, fires, flooding, drought, and, soon, millions of climate refugees. "The idea that anybody's going to be immune from this anywhere is untrue," he says. His new book is 'Falter.'Also, Ken Tucker reviews The Mekons' new album 'Deserted,' their first in 8 years....


Robert Caro
The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was never interested in only telling the stories of great men. Instead, he says, "I wanted to use their lives to show how political power worked." He talks about his two most famous works — biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Robert Moses. His new memoir about his process is called 'Working.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from trumpeter Tom Harrell....

Best Of: Henry Winkler / Rob Delaney
After wrapping up his role as 'Happy Days' iconic cool guy, The Fonz, in 1985, Winkler struggled with typecasting. Eventually he was able to move on. He plays a self-involved acting teacher on HBO's 'Barry.' He talks with Terry Gross about his early career, his own experience in acting classes, and struggling with dyslexia. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Billie Eilish's debut album, 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?'Rob Delaney, the co-creator, co-writer and co-star of the Amazon comedy series 'Cata...

Ray Romano / Remembering Seymour Cassel
Ray Romano spoke to Terry Gross in 2016 about life after 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' and how fame has affected him. "Here's what I say: Before I thought my cab driver hated me; now I think my limo driver hates me." His new Netflix special is 'Right Here, Around the Corner.' Actor Seymour Cassel, who died April 7, performed as a child during matinees of his mom's burlesque shows. He went on to appear in movies directed by John Cassavetes and Wes Anderson. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2006....


Henry Winkler
After wrapping up his role as 'Happy Days' iconic cool guy, The Fonz, in 1985, Winkler struggled with typecasting. Eventually he was able to move on. He plays a self-involved acting teacher on HBO's 'Barry.' He talks with Terry Gross about his early career, his own experience in acting classes, and struggling with dyslexia. Also, John Powers reflects on 'Game of Thrones' as it enters its final season....

American Prosecution & Mass Incarceration
The U.S. prison population is booming; an estimated 2.1 million people were incarcerated in America in 2016, and as many people in the U.S. have criminal records as have graduated from four-year colleges. Journalist and Yale Law lecturer Emily Bazelon attributes America's high incarceration rates to prosecutors more than judges. Bazelon spent 2.5 years reporting on the Brooklyn district attorney's office. Her new book, 'Charged,' examines the power of prosecutors and looks at alternatives to bail, plea barg...

Congress In The Trump Era
Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, who cover Congress for 'Politico,' discuss the power dynamics of Capitol Hill during the Trump Presidency. Their new book is 'The Hill To Die On.'Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Normal People' by Sally Rooney....


How Climate Change Became A Partisan Issue
Journalist Nathaniel Rich talks about the missed opportunities in our recent history that could've halted or slowed climate change. Rich says that from 1979 until 1989, climate change was viewed as a bipartisan problem — then the the oil industry "descended and bared its fangs" and everything changed. His new book is 'Losing Earth.'Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Billie Eilish's debut album, 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?'...

Best Of: Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin / A Therapist Goes To Therapy
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who conducts New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, spoke with Terry Gross in front of a live audience for a WHYY event about his style of leadership and using his whole body when he conducts. John Powers reviews a new restoration of the 1970 film 'Wanda,' a classic of women's cinema. It was written and directed by its star, Barbara Loden.Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who started seeing a therapist herself after the man she thought she would marry unexpected...

Dancer Gwen Verdon Of 'Fosse/Verdon'
The new FX series 'Fosse/Verdon' celebrates the professional and romantic relationship between legendary choreographer Bob Fosse and dancer Gwen Verdon. He created the musicals 'Chicago,' 'Damn Yankees,' and 'Sweet Charity' for her. After David Bianculli reviews the new TV series, we'll listen back to Terry Gross' 1993 interview with Verdon, as well as our 1985 interview with choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the new sci-fi thriller 'High Life,' starring Rober...


Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Nézet-Séguin, who directs the New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, spoke with Terry Gross in front of a live audience for a WHYY event about his style of leadership, using his whole body when he conducts, and being a high-profile gay man....

Historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. / Rob Delaney Of 'Catastrophe'
Henry Louis Gates Jr. points to post-Civil War Reconstruction as the genesis of white supremacy, as white Southerners looked for ways to roll back the newly acquired rights of African-Americans. His new book is 'Stony the Road.'Rob Delaney, the co-creator, co-writer and co-star of the Amazon comedy series 'Catastrophe,' talks about his experience writing the fourth season with Sharon Horgan while grieving the death of his young son. Though working on 'Catastrophe' didn't lessen or distract Delaney from his ...

The Ongoing Crisis In Venezuela
'New York Times' reporter Nicholas Casey was in Maracaibo, Venezuela, in March 2019 during a six-day power outage that left 30 million people in the dark. "By the fourth day," he says, "you started to hear shots getting fired in the street." Shortages of food, water and medicine have become so extreme that 3 million people, a 10th of the population, have left to escape the chaos. President Nicolás Maduro is holding firm against the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, with no resolution in sight. Casey talks abo...


The Motivations & Impact Of SCOTUS Justice John Roberts
CNN legal affairs correspondent Joan Biskupic discusses the roots of Roberts' conservatism and his work for the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. She says he's had a conservative impact on the law, but is also deeply concerned about the court's reputation — something President Trump would be wise to remember. "The more Donald Trump talks about how the court is on his side, the more he's going to drive John Roberts to the left, because the last thing John Roberts wants to do is to appear Donald Tr...

Best Of: John Mulaney / Natasha Lyonne
John Mulaney was a writer at 'Saturday Night Live' for five years and recently returned to host for the first time. He talks about his 'SNL' audition, writing monologues for famous hosts, and drawing on his Catholic upbringing for stand-up material.Also, critic David Bianculli reviews 'What We Do In The Shadows' on FX. The series was created by Jemaine Clement ('Flight of the Conchords') and filmmaker Taika Waititi.Natasha Lyonne's character on the Netflix series 'Russian Doll' keeps dying and coming back t...

Mexican-American Writer Finds Inspiration In Family, Tragedy & Trump
Luis Alberto Urrea's book 'The House of Broken Angels' borrows from the story of his older brother, who died of cancer. He says the book went through a dramatic rewrite after Trump became president. [Originally broadcast March 2018.] Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews Jordan Peele's new 'Twilight Zone' reboot....


A Therapist Goes To Therapy (And Gets A Taste Of Her Own Medicine)
Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who started seeing a therapist herself after the man she thought she would marry unexpectedly broke up with her. "I think that therapy at any age, it helps people to relate better to themselves and to the people around them," she says. "It helps them to examine the way that they live their lives and take responsibility for what's not working, and also for what they can change." Her new book is 'Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.' Also, critic John Powers reviews the new PBS...

Natasha Lyonne On 'Russian Doll'
Lyonne's character on the Netflix series 'Russian Doll' keeps dying and coming back to life. It's a premise that strikes a chord with the actor; Lyonne had a near-death experience in 2005. She talks with Terry Gross about how that experience informs her work, her signature raspy voice, and wanting to be a "tough guy." Also, critic David Bianculli reviews 'What We Do In The Shadows' on FX. The series was created by Jemaine Clement ('Flight of the Conchords') and filmmaker Taika Waititi....

Comic John Mulaney
Mulaney was a writer at 'Saturday Night Live' for five years and recently returned to host for the first time. "I was absolutely terrified," he says. "To be performing something you've written and trying to listen to the jokes while making sure you're on your mark and looking into the right camera and then being pulled around to do costume fittings — it was scary." He talks about his 'SNL' audition, writing monologues for famous hosts, and drawing on his Catholic upbringing for stand-up material....


The New Zealand Massacre And The Global Resurgence Of Extremism
J.M. Berger studies the online activity of extremists. He warns that white nationalism is a growing phenomenon worldwide — with many in the movement drawing inspiration from President Trump. "When we do the social media analysis, it comes shouting out at you," he says. "We can count the links that they put out on Twitter and other social media platforms, and what we find is the most common is '#MAGA.' The most common description of somebody that they use in the profile, they use on Twitter, is 'Trump suppor...

Best Of: The Emotional Lives Of Primates / Playwright & Actor Heidi Schreck
Primatologist Frans de Waal has spent 40 years studying the behavior and emotions of primates. He talks about how primates experience jealousy, reconciliation, and empathy — just like humans. "That's a spectrum of behavior that we have, and the same thing is true for many other species." His new book is 'Mama's Last Hug.' Film critic Justin Chang reviews Jordan Peele's new horror movie, 'Us.' As a teen, Heidi Schreck debated the Constitution in competitions. Later she realized it had failed to protect four ...

Remembering Poet W.S. Merwin / 'King Of The Surf Guitar' Dick Dale
W.S. Merwin, the former U.S. poet laureate, died March 15. He was a prolific writer as well as a conservationist and a conscientious objector during World War II. He spoke to 'Fresh Air' in 2008. Dick Dale, who was known as the "King of the Surf Guitar," died March 16 at 81. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1993 about his distinctive style of guitar playing, inspired by waves. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new season of the Showtime series 'Billions,' and film critic Justin Chang reviews Jordan Pe...


Did Russia Influence The Brexit Movement?
'New Yorker' journalist Ed Caesar discusses Arron Banks, the British businessman who funded the most extreme end of the pro-Brexit "Leave" campaign — possibly with help from Russia.Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Carsie Blanton's new album 'Buck Up.'...

How Women Have Been 'Profoundly' Left Out Of The Constitution
As a teen, Heidi Schreck debated the Constitution in competitions. Later she realized it had failed to protect four generations of women in her family. "I believed it was perfect. I believed it was a tool of justice. I did not realize as a 15-year-old girl how profoundly I had been left out of it. I didn't realize that it didn't protect me," Schreck says. Her play, 'What the Constitution Means to Me,' is headed to Broadway. Pianists Lennie Tristano and Herbie Nichols were active on the New York scene in the...

The Emotional Lives Of Primates
Primatologist Frans de Waal has spent 40 years studying the behavior and emotions of primates. He talks about how primates experience jealousy, reconciliation, and empathy — just like humans. "That's a spectrum of behavior that we have, and the same thing is true for many other species." His new book is 'Mama's Last Hug.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal' by Yuval Taylor....


Exposing The Health Risks Of Incarceration
Dr. Homer Venters spent nine years overseeing the care of thousands of inmates on New York City's Rikers Island. He details horrific cases of inmate deaths from beatings and neglect, and how a new medical record system could be used as a human rights tool. "Jail settings [are] incredibly dehumanizing, and they dehumanize the individuals who pass through them," Dr. Venters says. Security staff and health staff can stop seeing inmates as people. "They look at them as problems. They look at them as liars, as m...

Best Of: Aidy Bryant / Finding God In The Faith Of Others
'Saturday Night Live' cast member Aidy Bryant mourns the time she lost in her teens and early 20s feeling self-conscious about her weight and living in fear of judgment about her body. "The second I stopped being afraid of someone calling me fat, I was able to start to focus on my goals and my dreams," Bryant says. Now she stars in the Hulu series 'Shrill,' based on Lindy West's memoir about being fat and feminist. The series follows Annie, a journalist struggling with body acceptance. Bryant talks about he...

Remembering Drummer Hal Blaine / Chef Lidia Bastianich
Hal Blaine, one of the most prolific drummers in rock 'n' roll history, played on recordings with the Beach Boys, Elvis, Sinatra and many others. He died Monday at age 90. Blaine was part of the group of sought-after studio musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew." He spoke with Terry Gross in 2001. Chef Lidia Bastianich grew up eating farm-to-table meals with her Italian family. After they fled Europe as refugees, she drew on those meals in opening her first restaurant. Her 2018 book, 'My American Dream,' i...


Aidy Bryant On 'SNL' & 'Shrill'
'Saturday Night Live' cast member Aidy Bryant mourns the time she lost in her teens and early 20s feeling self-conscious about her weight and living in fear of judgment about her body. She recalls counting calories, trying diets and hating everything about her body. "The second I stopped being afraid of someone calling me fat, I was able to start to focus on my goals and my dreams," Bryant says. Now she stars in the Hulu series 'Shrill,' based on Lindy West's memoir about being fat and feminist. The series ...

Why Emergency Room Visits Cost So Much
How could an ER visit in which a patient receives nothing more than a Band-Aid cost $629? Sarah Kliff, a health policy reporter for 'Vox,' spent over a year reading ER bills and investigating the reasons behind the high costs. Emergency rooms have a facility fee, which can range from the low hundreds to the high thousands, where the patient pays essentially for just walking through the door. Kliff will also talk about the GOP's latest attempts to cut back Obamacare, and what a Medicare-for-all plan would en...

Inside The Fight For Free Press
David McCraw, deputy general counsel for 'The New York Times,' talks about legal issues he's faced on the job — from the president's lawyer threatening to sue for libel to the decision to publish WikiLeaks documents and #MeToo allegations. His book is 'Truth in Our Times.'Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Take the Neon Lights' from Steph Richards' quartet....


Finding God In the Faith Of Others
Barbara Brown Taylor, an ordained Episcopal priest, left her job as rector of a church to become a professor of religion. Her new book, 'Holy Envy,' is about how teaching the religions of the world changed her understanding of her own faith, and how her students, who were mostly Christian, responded when she took them to mosques, synagogues, and Buddhist and Hindu temples. "I hoped it would be a way to convince them that they could find things they liked about other traditions, and it would not make them di...

Best Of: 'Never Look Away' Asks, Why Make Art? / Inside The Fox News White House
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's new film, 'Never Look Away,' tells the story of an artist who grows up in Nazi Germany, comes of age in East Germany and travels to the West to find freedom for himself and his art. Jane Mayer's explosive new 'New Yorker' article reveals that Fox News killed the Stormy Daniels story in 2016 before the election to protect Donald Trump, and that President Trump tried to order the Justice Department to file a lawsuit to stop AT&T from acquiring Time Warner — a deal that would...

50 Years Of 'The Godfather'
We mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Mario Puzo's novel 'The Godfather' by listening back to our '96 interview with Puzo and our '16 interview with director Francis Ford Coppola, who adapted the novel into the iconic film. Film critic Justin Chang reviews the new 'Captain Marvel,' starring Brie Larson....


Jane Mayer On The Fox News White House
Past administrations have had favored members of the press, says 'New Yorker' investigative reporter Jane Mayer, "but nothing where someone is so close in that they are coordinating on a daily basis with the president." Mayer's explosive new report reveals that Fox News killed the Stormy Daniels story in 2016 before the election to protect Donald Trump, and that President Trump tried to order the Justice Department to file a lawsuit to stop AT&T from acquiring Time Warner — a deal that would hurt Fox News. ...

'Never Look Away' Asks: Why Make Art? Who Is It For?
The film 'Never Look Away' is about a painter who is first exposed to modern art as child growing up in Nazi Germany. His aunt takes him to an exhibit of modern art curated by Nazis, meant to show what degenerate art looks like — the kind of art the Nazis banned. By the time the boy becomes an art student, Russian communists have taken over East Germany where he lives, and all art is expected to be propaganda, showing images of happy working people. Later, he flees to West Germany and attends an art schoo...

Living With Gun Violence And Trauma In Chicago
Journalist Alex Kotlowitz spent a summer in Chicago chronicling people whose lives were changed or lost due to gun violence. He likens the trauma of living with gun violence to the PTSD some veterans experience. "Once you've had one act of violence around you it's hard to escape it, and so I just wanted to get at how the violence gets in people's bones," he says. His book is 'An American Summer.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews Maren Morris' new album 'Girl.'...


The 'Orchid' Vs. 'The Dandelion': The Science Of Sensitive Kids
Pediatrician Thomas Boyce has treated children who seem to be completely unflappable and unfazed by their surroundings — as well as those who are extremely sensitive to their environments. Over the years, he began to liken these two types of children to two very different flowers: dandelions and orchids. He talks about his research and gives advice on how to parent "orchid children." Boyce's book is 'The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Some Children Struggle and How All Can Thrive.' Also, book critic Maureen ...

Best Of: Pamela Adlon / Inside The Real 'Green Book'
Pamela Adlon directs, co-writes and stars in the FX comedy series 'Better Things,' which begins its third season on Thursday. The show centers on a single working mother of three daughters who is also trying to help her elderly mother and keep her acting career alive. Adlon tells Terry Gross about her decision to continue making 'Better Things' after cutting ties with series co-creator Louis C.K.TV critic David Bianculli reviews the HBO documentary 'Leaving Neverland,' which explores whether Michael Jackson...

Remembering 'Singin' In The Rain' Co-Director Stanley Donen
"Dance numbers are anything but spontaneous," Donen told Fresh Air in 1996. Donen, who died Feb. 21, also directed 'On the Town,' 'Funny Face' and 'Damn Yankees,' among other films.Also, we remember 'Philadelphia Daily News' obituary writer Jim Nicholson, who died on Feb. 22, by listening back to a 1987 interview. Plus, 'Philadelphia Inquirer' journalist David Gambacorta reflects on the legendary obit writer with Dave Davies.TV critic David Bianculli reviews the HBO documentary 'Leaving Neverland,' which ex...


How Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Translates Trump
According to journalist Mattathias Schwartz, a major part of Pompeo's job is traveling the world and cleaning up the president's messes. Schwartz writes about Pompeo in the 'New York Times Magazine.' He says Pompeo was the primary architect of Trump's negotiations with North Korea about its nuclear arsenal—talks which just collapsed.And jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from Allison Miller's band Boom Tic Boom. Critic Justin Chang reviews the German film 'Transit,' about a man who flees Nazi-o...

Why Older Women Are Often The 'Happiest Demographic' In America
Mary Pipher's new book, 'Women Rowing North,' chronicles the positive aspects of transitioning from middle age to old age: "At this life stage, women start granting themselves the power of no," she says. Jennifer Stockburger runs the "Test Track" for Consumer Reports, where the magazine tests out hundreds of cars, trucks and SUVs. She says there are more than 50 tests that drive each vehicle's rating. She spoke with 'Fresh Air' contributor Sonari Glinton. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Valeria L...

Pamela Adlon On 'Better Things'
Adlon directs, co-writes and stars in the FX comedy series 'Better Things,' which begins its third season on Thursday. The show centers on a single working mother of three daughters who is also trying to help her elderly mother and keep her acting career alive. "It's an exaggerated version of my life," Adlon says. Adlon also tells Terry Gross about her decision to continue making 'Better Things' after cutting ties with series co-creator Louis C.K....


Documentary Chronicles The Real Life 'Green Book'
Filmmaker Yoruba Richen's documentary, 'The Green Book: Guide to Freedom,' tells the story of the manual, first published in 1936, that helped African-Americans find safe places to stay, eat, shop and do business on the road. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two Ray Charles albums of country music that have just been re-issued. And John Powers reviews a debut novel titled 'American Spy.'...

Best Of: 'Surviving R. Kelly' Filmmaker dream hampton / Adam Savage Of 'MythBusters'
R. Kelly was charged on Friday with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims. In an interview recorded Wednesday, Feb. 13, activist, filmmaker and writer dream hampton tells Terry Gross about her six-part docuseries 'Surviving R. Kelly,' which chronicles sexual abuse allegations against R. Kelly. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 1960s live recordings featuring singer Jeanne Lee and pianist Ran Blake. Finally, former 'MythBusters' co-host Adam Savage spoke with 'Fresh Ai...

Rami Malek / Adam McKay
"No one can sing like Freddie Mercury," Malek told Terry Gross in November 2018. The actor has been nominated for an Academy Award for playing Queen's lead singer in the biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' Also, filmmaker Adam McKay spoke to Terry Gross in January 2019 about his efforts to bring former vice president Dick Cheney "to the foreground" in 'Vice.' The film is up for eight Academy Awards....


How 2 Conspiracy Theorists Shaped Trump's Worldview
Two of the people under investigation by Robert Mueller — Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi — are conspiracy theorists who believe the deep state is trying to take over America. 'New Yorker' staff writer Jeffrey Toobin tells Terry Gross how Stone and Corsi came together to support Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, and why they matter to the Mueller investigation. "If there was contact between the Trump campaign, or even Trump himself, and WikiLeaks, it went through Corsi and Stone," Toobin says...

'Surviving R. Kelly' Filmmaker dream hampton
Last week, reports surfaced of a new videotape showing singer R. Kelly engaging in sex acts with an underage girl. This is not the first time the R&B star has been accused of sexual abuse. Allegations have circled Kelly for decades; in 2002, a videotape surfaced that purportedly showed him engaging in sexual acts with a teenage girl. Until recently, the accusations did not seem to impact his career. But activist, filmmaker and writer dream hampton isn't about to let Kelly off the hook. hampton executive pro...

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe
McCabe served as acting director of the FBI after President Trump fired James Comey in the spring of 2017. McCabe felt that there was enough circumstantial evidence to open criminal and counterintelligence investigations into the president's ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice. "These were extraordinary steps. They were ones that we took only after great consideration and review," he says. In March of 2018, McCabe was fired 26 hours before he was set to retire. He talks with Terry Gross abou...


The Story Of American Imperialism
American presidents like to describe the United States as a force for freedom and independence in the world. Historian Daniel Immerwahr says there are also plenty of times in our history when we've subjugated and ruled foreign lands, sometimes with bloody conquests. Today, roughly 4 million people live in the American territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Immerwahr's new book, 'How to Hide an Empire,' looks at the history of and forces behind US territorial expa...

Best Of: Wildlife 'Dynasties' / The Neuroscience Of Addiction
The new BBC documentary series 'Dynasties' follows five groups of animals for up to two years, revealing their social relationships: kinship, affection, and sometimes deadly power struggles. The show's executive producer Michael Gunton talks about filming lions, tigers, painted wolves, emperor penguins, and chimpanzees. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews new albums by guitarists Steve Gunn and Michael Chapman.Growing up, Judith Grisel struggled with alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. Now, as a neuroscientist, she...

Spike Lee / Paul Schrader On 'First Reformed'
Filmmaker Spike Lee is nominated for best director for 'BlackKkKlansman.' He spoke with Terry Gross about growing up in Brooklyn, gentrification, and how he got started in film. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the Amazon documentary series 'Lorena,' about Lorena Bobbitt, who made headlines in 1993 when she cut off her husband's penis. 'First Reformed,' which Paul Schrader wrote and directed, is up for an Oscar for best screenplay. Ethan Hawke stars as a divorced minister experiencing a crisis of faith. Sc...


Inside The Social Structures Of Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Penguins & Chimps
'Dynasties,' a new BBC documentary series narrated by David Attenborough, is about the complex social structures of five different groups of animals. The show's executive producer Michael Gunton talks about the power struggles among animals that played out over years of filming. "One of the essential elements of the series is that you feel close to the animals," Gunton says....

How Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America
'Atlantic' journalist Franklin Foer says American real estate (including Trump Organization properties) has become a "giant magnet" for Russia's kleptocratic fortunes. Foer also talks about the Mueller investigation and Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, who will be sentenced next month on charges of witness tampering and conspiracy relating to money laundering scheme. His article about Manafort, 'American Hustler,' is nominated for a National Magazine Award....

The Neuroscience Of Addiction
Growing up, Judith Grisel struggled with alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. Now, as a neuroscientist, she's working to understand the biological basis of addiction. Her new book is 'Never Enough.' Grisel talks about how various drugs affect the brain, and her own experience with addiction. Grisel has been clean and sober for 30 years. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two new albums by guitarists Steve Gunn and Michael Chapman....


The Science Of Exercise Recovery / Adam Savage Of 'MythBusters'
From sports drinks to protein powders, compression therapy to cupping, there's a whole industry of products and services designed to help us adapt to and recover from exercise. But does any of it work? That's the question health journalist Christie Aschwanden set out to answer in her new book, 'Good to Go.' Also, former 'MythBusters' co-host Adam Savage spoke with 'Fresh Air' about working with kids in 'MythBusters Jr.' and a near-death experience he had in a car underwater....

Best Of: Daughter Of A Numbers Runner / Random House Copy Chief
Before states ran legal lotteries there was the underground street version — the numbers. When writer Bridgett M. Davis was growing up in Detroit in the '60s, her mother was a successful bookie in the African-American community. She says the numbers helped fund both an underground economy and legitimate businesses at a time when opportunities for African-Americans were limited. Davis' memoir is 'The World According to Fannie Davis.'Critic John Powers reviews the films 'Everybody Knows' and 'Cold War.' Benja...

The Coen Brothers / Remembering Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson
Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen spoke to 'Fresh Air' in November 2018 about 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,' a Western that often subverts the expectations of the genre. The film is up for three Academy Awards.Frank Robinson, who died Thursday, was the first player to win both the American and National League MVP award. He later became the first black manager of a major league team. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1988. Critic John Powers reviews the films 'Cold War' and 'Everybody Knows.'...


NYT's Michael Schmidt On Mueller, Trump And Russia
Schmidt was one of the 'Times' reporters who reported in January that the FBI had opened a counterintelligence investigation in 2017 into whether Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russia against American interests. "I knew that it was significant," he says, yet, "It's hard to be surprised." Schmidt talks about working with anonymous sources, Trump's use of confusion as a possible tactic, and what to expect from Mueller's final report. Also, critic Ken Tucker shares hip-hop singles by 21 Savage, Lizzo ...

Environmental Photographer Captures Climate Change
The new documentary 'The Human Element' follows photographer James Balog as he captures images of rising sea levels, melting glaciers and roaring wildfires associated with climate change. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the essay collection 'Black is the Body' by Emily Bernard....

Random House Copy Chief / Inside The 1954 'Star Is Born'
Dreyer is the copy chief for Random House. He talks with Terry Gross about collaborating with authors, passive voice, and gender neutral pronouns. His new book is 'Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style.' But, he says, "the last thing that I want to do is pass myself off as some sort of ferocious gatekeeper." Judy Garland's daughter Lorna Luft talks about what her mother went through while making the 1954 film 'A Star is Born.' The movie was produced by Sid Luft, who was Lorna's fat...


Writer Recalls Her Mother's Secret Gambling Enterprise
Before states ran legal lotteries there was the underground street version — the numbers. When writer Bridgett M. Davis was growing up in Detroit in the '60s, her mother was a successful bookie in the African American community. She says the numbers helped fund both an underground economy and legitimate businesses at a time when opportunities for African-Americans were limited. "Numbers men were also race men, and they believed in taking their largesse and reinvesting it in the community, starting all kinds...

Best Of: Film Composer Nicholas Britell / Novelist Sigrid Nunez
Film composer Nicholas Britell says when he's writing a score, he wants the audience to lose themselves in the film. "Music can have so much power, but you have to be careful with that power." Britell's score for 'If Beale Street Could Talk' is nominated for an Academy Award. He also did the score for 'Vice.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a recording of Oscar Peterson's 1969 album 'Motions & Emotions.'Sigrid Nunez's National Book Award-winning novel, 'The Friend,' is narrated by a woman grieving...

Margo Price
Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price sold her car and pawned her wedding ring to pay for the studio time to make her first album, 'Midwest Farmer's Daughter.' The album was a success. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2017 when her second album, 'All American Made,' came out, and played songs about jail, drinking, and growing up on the family farm. Price is up for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Also, we remember character actor Dick Miller, who died this week at 90. "You don't have to be a leading man" ...


The 5G Network & The Possible Threat To Cybersecurity
'New York Times' reporter David Sanger says the world's leading producer of telecom equipment, China's Huawei, will be central to the spread of a global 5G network — which could pose a major threat to U.S. national security.Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a recording of Oscar Peterson's 1969 album 'Motions & Emotions.'...

'Beale Street' & 'Vice' Film Composer Nicholas Britell
Composer Nicholas Britell says when he's writing a score, he wants the audience to lose themselves in the film. "Music can have so much power, but you have to be careful with that power." He talks with Terry Gross about finding the right sound for a movie and experimenting with "chopped and screwed" music for 'Moonlight.' Britell's score for 'If Beale Street Could Talk' is nominated for an Academy Award. He also did the score for 'Vice.' Also, John Powers reviews the Netflix series 'Black Earth Rising,' abo...

'Maid' Details How It's 'Impossible' To Live On Minimum Wage
Stephanie Land's new memoir is about her struggle to make ends meet as a single mom while cleaning houses and relying on government assistance. Land, who left an abusive relationship and was homeless, talks about how she got out of poverty, went back to school and pursued writing. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Sharon Van Etten's new album 'Remind Me Tomorrow.'...


Journalist Digs 'Underground,' Finds The Secret World Beneath
Will Hunt is fascinated with the world below us: "Every manhole, every doorway, every stairway going down into the dark [feels] like a potential portal into this like separate world." His book about exploring sewers, subway tunnels, and other hidden places around the world is 'Underground.'Also, we remember pianist and composer Michel Legrand who died Saturday. He won Oscar Awards for his compositions in 'Yentl,' 'Summer of '42' and 'The Thomas Crown Affair.' Legrand spoke with Terry Gross in 1996.Book crit...

Best Of: Hosts Of Prison Podcast 'Ear Hustle' / Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor started the podcast 'Ear Hustle' when Woods was a prisoner in San Quentin. Woods' sentence was recently commuted, but the two continue to tell stories of life in prison.Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two new interpretations of Thelonious Monk's complete works.As the host of the PBS TV series 'Finding Your Roots,' Henry Louis Gates Jr. tells celebrities about their family history. Terry Gross asked Gates about his own roots....

Comic Roy Wood Jr. / Alan Alda
In 2018, Roy Wood Jr. explained how the years he spent performing in comedy clubs in the South and Midwest — sometimes in places where he felt unsafe as a black man — prepared him for 'The Daily Show.' Wood has a new Comedy Central special called 'No One Loves You.' Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the reissue of Eric Dolphy's 1963 'Musical Prophet' sessions. Actor Alan Alda is the recipient of the 2019 lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1997 about M*A*S...


Novelist Grapples With Suicide, Grief And Student-Teacher Relationships
Sigrid Nunez's National Book Award-winning novel, 'The Friend,' is narrated by a woman grieving the suicide of her longtime friend and former writing professor, whom she slept with once. Nunez talks about how the subjects of the book relate to her own life. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'The Kid Who Would Be King,' a fantasy movie based on the legend of King Arthur....

Journalist Jason Rezaian On His 544 Days In Iranian Prison
After being accused of being a spy, 'Washington Post' Tehran Bureau Chief Jason Rezaian was held in Iran's notorious Evin Prison for two and a half years. Throughout it all, he never considered giving up on writing and reporting. He talked to Terry Gross about his imprisonment and release. His memoir is 'Prisoner.'...


Historian & 'Finding Your Roots' Host Henry Louis Gates Jr.
As the host of the PBS TV series 'Finding Your Roots,' Gates tells celebrities about their family history. Terry Gross asked Gates about his own roots, and some of the more controversial aspects of DNA testing.Also, journalist Brian Palmer has written recently about taxpayer funding for confederate monuments, and groups that portray the confederate cause as noble and slavery as a benign institution. His article for 'Smithsonian Magazine' is called 'The Costs of the Confederacy.'...

Best Of: Rachel Maddow On Spiro Agnew's Bribery Scandal / John C. Reilly
Richard Nixon's first vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned in 1973 amidst charges of bribery and tax evasion. Now, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and producer Mike Yarvitz revisit the Agnew scandal in the hit podcast 'Bag Man.' "The parallels with what was going on in the Nixon and Agnew administration 45 years ago to the efforts by the Trump administration right now ... is uncanny," Maddow says.Justin Chang reviews 'Glass,' a film by M. Night Shyamalan. By his own count, John C. Reilly has acted in almost 80 mo...

From Survivalist Childhood To Cambridge Ph.D.
Growing up in rural Idaho, Tara Westover had no birth certificate, never saw a doctor and didn't go to school. Her deeply religious parents stockpiled food and weapons for a government invasion or the end of the world. In her memoir, 'Educated,' Westover writes about how she defied her parents, and made her way to college and graduate school.Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Glass' directed by M. Night Shyamalan....


'Kennedy Vs. Carter & The Fight That Broke The Democratic Party'
Journalist Jon Ward talks about the chaos that led Ted Kennedy to challenge Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination in 1980 — and the long-lasting damage it did to the party. Ward's new book is 'Camelot's End.'Also, critic John Powers reviews 'Brexit,' an HBO movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch....

How America Became A Nation Of Immigrants
For many years, U.S. immigration favored immigrants from ​​northern Europe. NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten explains how a 1965 law changed things — and led to the current debate about border security. His book is 'A Nation of Nations.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two new interpretations of Thelonious Monk's complete works....

John C. Reilly
By his own count, Reilly has acted in almost 80 movies, including 'Boogie Nights,' 'Chicago,' 'Talladega Nights' and 'Walk Hard.' Now, he's co-starring with Steve Coogan as half of the iconic comedy duo Laurel and Hardy in 'Stan & Ollie.' Reilly talks about the extreme prosthetic makeup and bodysuit he wore for the role, physical comedy, and bonding with Joaquin Phoenix while filming 'The Sisters Brothers.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Ghost Wall,' a slim and eerie novel by Sarah Moss....


Notes From A Transplant Surgeon
Dr. Joshua Mezrich has performed hundreds of kidney, liver and pancreas transplants. He tells us about transplants that have gone gone wrong, talking to the families of donors, and how the definition of death has changed over time. His new book of stories from the operating room is 'When Death Becomes Life.'Also, Lloyd Schwartz reviews a new recording of 'Doctor Atomic,' an opera about the first atomic bomb test in New Mexico....

Best Of: Kevin Hart / Ben Stiller
Kevin Hart said he's "over" talking about the homophobic jokes that cost him the Oscars gig — but then he and Terry Gross talked about it anyway. "The bad part about being a comedian is that sometimes you just aren't funny," he says. "Sometimes to grow as a comedian you got to go through the stupid part." Ben Stiller directed the Showtime series 'Escape at Dannemora,' which dramatizes the true story of two murderers' escape from a maximum security prison in 2015. "It seemed like such an old-fashioned sort o...

'The Sopranos' - 20th Anniversary Show
Critic David Bianculli offers an appreciation of the influential HBO drama. Plus, we listen back to archival interviews with series creator David Chase and Edie Falco, who played Carmela Soprano. Also, contributor Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews the new season of True Detective, starring Mahershala Ali....


Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart said he's "over" talking about the homophobic jokes that cost him the Oscars gig — but then he and Terry Gross talked about it anyway. They discussed his upbringing in North Philly, how comedy is changing, and the fine line between edgy and offensive material. "The bad part about being a comedian is that sometimes you just aren't funny," he says. "Sometimes to grow as a comedian you got to go through the stupid part." Hart's new movie is 'The Upside.'...

Rachel Maddow Investigates Spiro Agnew's Bribery Scandal
Richard Nixon's first vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned in 1973 amidst charges of bribery and tax evasion. Now, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and producer Mike Yarvitz revisit the Agnew scandal in the hit podcast 'Bag Man.' "The parallels with what was going on in the Nixon and Agnew administration 45 years ago to the efforts by the Trump administration right now ... is uncanny," Maddow says....

Ben Stiller On 'Escape At Dannemora'
Stiller directed the Showtime series 'Escape at Dannemora,' which dramatizes the true story of two murderers' escape from a maximum security prison in 2015. "It seemed like such an old-fashioned sort of escape, and I thought, 'Wow, how can that happen in today's prison system?'" he says. Stiller talks about filming in a prison, interviewing one of the real prisoners who escaped, and also his recurring role on 'SNL' as Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen....


Hillary Frank On Pain, Parenting & Podcasting
After a traumatic childbirth injury left her unable to walk, sit, or hold her newborn, longtime radio producer Hillary Frank started a podcast to feel less alone with her experience. 'The Longest Shortest Time' is about the surprises and absurdities of parenting. Frank, whose new book is 'Weird Parenting Wins,' talks about her birth experience and the special misogyny reserved for mothers.Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Water Cure,' a debut dystopian feminist novel by Sophie Mackintosh....

Best Of: Adam McKay / Driverless Cars
Adam McKay, who wrote and directed 'The Big Short' about the 2008 financial collapse, has a new comedy that draws on investigative journalism. 'Vice' charts Dick Cheney's rise from Yale dropout to vice president and "operator" behind George W. Bush. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a recording of Stravinsky's 'The Soldier's Tale' by Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters.Autonomous vehicles could be the "most disruptive technology to hit society worldwide since the advent of the motor car," says form...

Remembering Peace Advocate & Writer Amos Oz
Oz, who died Dec. 28, co-founded Peace Now, a group that calls for negotiations with the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state. He was one of Israel's most popular and critically acclaimed writers. He spoke to Fresh Air in 1988, 1991 and 2004. Also, critic John Powers reviews 'Destroyer,' a noir thriller starring Nicole Kidman....


Filmmaker Adam McKay On 'Vice'
McKay, who wrote and directed 'The Big Short' about the 2008 financial collapse, has a new comedy that draws on investigative journalism. 'Vice' charts Dick Cheney's rise from Yale dropout to vice president and "operator" behind George W. Bush. "He's always kind of just been in the background. So I had to bring him to the foreground," McKay says. 'Vice' is nominated for six Golden Globes. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg explains a communication breakdown at the Mexican border between border agents and asylum s...

The Injustice Of America's Misdemeanor System
Former federal public defender Alexandra Natapoff says 13 million misdemeanors are filed each year in the U.S., trapping the innocent, punishing the poor and making society more unequal. Her book is 'Punishment Without Crime.' Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a recording of Stravinsky's 'The Soldier's Tale' by Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters....

Best Of 2018: Actor Rami Malek On Becoming Freddie Mercury
Malek sang at the top of his lungs while playing Queen's iconic lead singer in the new biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' Still, he says, "No one can sing like Freddie Mercury." Malek spoke with Terry Gross about recreating the 1985 Live Aid concert, learning to move like Mercury, and wearing prosthetic teeth. He also talks about playing a withdrawn and socially anxious hacker in the thriller series 'Mr.Robot,' and how he got started in acting. Malek is nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG award for his performa...


Best Of 2018: Jon Batiste, Band Leader For Colbert's 'Late Show'
Batiste, the music director for 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,' sits at the piano and demonstrates his "everything in the pot" style of playing. He tells Terry Gross about his influences — from Thelonious Monk to Bach. Batiste's latest album is 'Hollywood Africans.'...

Best Of 2018: 'BoJack Horseman' Creator
Raphael Bob-Waksberg's animated comedy series for Netflix satirizes Hollywood using a mix of human and animal characters. "Part of the original pitch was like, 'What's Mr. Ed like behind the scenes?'" BoJack (a horse) is a depressed, alcoholic, sexist former sitcom star in the #MeToo era.Also, rock critic Ken Tucker and film critic Justin Chang share their favorite music and movies of the year....

Best Of 2018: Tracey Thorn
British singer-songwriter Tracey Thorn (Everything But the Girl) uses music to explore feminist themes. She sings about the different stages of women's lives on her recent solo album, 'Record.'...


Best Of 2018: Comic Bo Burnham On 'Eighth Grade'
The former YouTube star explores coming of age online in his film 'Eighth Grade.' "This awful D-list celebrity pressure I had experienced onstage has now been democratized," Burnham says. He talks about living with anxiety, being embarrassed by some of his early material, and why he wrote a film about a 13-year-old girl. Elsie Fisher, who plays Kayla in the film, is nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress. Also, Kevin Whitehead remembers jazz musicians we lost this year....

Best Of 2018: Michael Pollan On The 'New Science' Of Psychedelics
Pollan, author of 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' and 'The Botany of Desire,' talks about his most recent book, 'How to Change Your Mind.' It covers the history of psychedelic drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms, and how they're now being used experimentally in therapeutic settings to treat depression, addiction, and fear of death. Pollan also talks about experimenting with psychedelics. "I had an experience that was by turns frightening and ecstatic and weird," he says....

A Rockabilly Christmas Concert With JD McPherson
McPherson never thought he'd make a Christmas album. Then, he says, "I got a bug in my ear." He and his band perform live in studio from 'Socks,' and McPherson talks about growing up on a cattle farm....


Best Of: Emily Blunt / Lucas Hedges
Emily Blunt stars as the practical and fantastical nanny in 'Mary Poppins Returns.' She spoke with Terry Gross about floating in the sky as Poppins, playing the baker's wife in the 2014 screen adaptation of Sondheim's 'Into the Woods,' and overcoming a debilitating stutter when she was young. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two Christmas albums — one by The Monkees and one by Rodney Crowell.Actor Lucas Hedges is best known for his roles in 'Manchester by the Sea' and 'Lady Bird,' and now stars in the ...

Singer-Songwriter Loudon Wainwright III
Wainwright's music centers on family, and how we hurt and heal each other. He spoke to Terry Gross in 1992 and 2017 about his life as a husband, father, son, philanderer and musician. He has a Netflix special called 'Surviving Twin.' Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.'...


The Best TV & Movies Of 2018
TV critic David Bianculli and film critic Justin Chang sit down with Terry Gross to share their picks for the best of the year....

'Iraq's Post-ISIS Campaign of Revenge'
'New Yorker' reporter Ben Taub says hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, including women and children, are being detained, tortured, killed or cast out for suspected association with ISIS. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reflects on the year in music....

Emily Blunt On 'Mary Poppins Returns'
Blunt stars as the practical and fantastical nanny in 'Mary Poppins Returns.' She spoke with Terry Gross about floating in the sky as Poppins, singing for Stephen Sondheim in 'Into the Woods,' and her audition for 'The Devil Wears Prada.'...


Best Of: Actor Richard E. Grant / Rockabilly Christmas With JD McPherson
Richard E. Grant co-stars as the alcoholic sidekick to Melissa McCarthy in 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?', which tells the story of a broke writer who makes money by forging literary letters. Grant talks about growing up in Swaziland, witnessing his mother have an affair and narrowly escaping an attack by his own father. Book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her picks for the best books of the year. Songwriter JD McPherson pledged he'd never do an album of Christmas songs — but we're so glad he's broken that pro...

Bruce Springsteen
"The Boss" spoke with Terry Gross at his New Jersey home studio in 2016, when his memoir came out, about masculinity, depression, and wishing he was his stage persona. His one-man show, 'Springsteen on Broadway,' will debut on Netflix Dec. 16. Also, Justin Chang reviews 'Moonlight' director Barry Jenkins' new film, 'If Beale Street Could Talk,' an adaptation of the 1974 novel by James Baldwin....

Actor Richard E. Grant
Grant co-stars with Melissa McCarthy in 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' about Lee Israel, a broke writer who makes money by forging literary letters by famous writers, with the help of her friend Jack. Grant is nominated for a SAG award and a Golden Globe for his performance. He talks with Terry Gross about growing up in Swaziland and witnessing his mother have an affair, narrowly escaping an attack by his own father, and finding refuge in theater....


From Convict To Criminal Justice Reporter
Keri Blakinger is a criminal justice reporter for the 'Houston Chronicle,' but before she reported on prisons, she spent almost 2 years locked up on narcotics charges. Blakinger spoke with Terry Gross about surviving a suicide attempt, solitary confinement, and finishing her degree at Cornell before becoming a reporter. Her reporting has led to prison reform in Texas. "I was so lucky to come out of this and I've been so privileged in so many ways to end up with hope and second chances and a happy ending," ...

A Roots & Rockabilly Christmas Concert With JD McPherson
Songwriter JD McPherson pledged he'd never do an album of Christmas songs — but we're so glad he's broken that promise. He and his band perform live in-studio from their album 'Socks,' and McPherson talks about his upbringing on a cattle farm in rural Oklahoma....

How Driverless Cars Could Change Roads, Jobs & Daily Life
Autonomous vehicles could be the "most disruptive technology to hit society worldwide since the advent of the motor car," says former New York City traffic commissioner Sam Schwartz. We talk about what driverless cars could mean for traffic, infrastructure and pedestrians. His book is 'No One at the Wheel.' Critic Maureen Corrigan picks her top 10 books of 2018....


Best Of: Bradley Cooper / Samin Nosrat
Bradley Cooper talks about writing, directing and starring in his remake of 'A Star is Born.' He not only had to learn how to direct, he had to learn how to sing and play guitar for his role as musician Jackson Maine opposite Lady Gaga. Salt, fat, acid, heat – those are the four elements to mastering cooking, according to James Beard-winning cookbook author Samin Nosrat. She's adapted her bestselling cookbook, 'Salt Fat Acid Heat,' into a four-part Netflix docuseries. She spoke with producer Sam Briger....

The Bizarre World Of Industrial Musicals
Why would someone write a sentimental ballad about a bathroom? For the same reason someone would write a rousing song about air conditioners: So the song could be used in what's called an industrial musical. These musicals were like Broadway shows but they were written and performed for corporate sale meetings and conventions from the '50s to the '80s. Sheldon Harnick, John Russell and Steve Young discuss these musicals written and performed at the behest of corporations. (Originally broadcast Nov. 5, 2013....

Actor Lucas Hedges / Samin Nosrat Part 2
Hedges is best known for his roles in 'Manchester by the Sea' and 'Lady Bird,' and now stars in the movie 'Ben is Back' as a teenager in rehab for opioid addiction. He's also nominated for a Golden Globe for 'Boy Erased,' about a teenager subjected to gay conversion therapy by his conservative Baptist parents. Hedges talks about growing up obsessed with actors, his ADHD, and crying onscreen versus real life. Samin Nosrat, host of the Netflix docuseries 'Salt Fat Acid Heat,' says those are the four key eleme...


Rock Hudson's Double Life
Hudson lived a double life as a Hollywood heartthrob and a closeted gay man. Biographer Mark Griffin says Hudson's death from AIDS in 1985 was a turning point in public awareness of the epidemic. His book is 'All That Heaven Allows.' TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new season of Amazon's Emmy-winning series 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.'...

'Remaking Journalism' In An Age Of Information Chaos
In 'Breaking News,' former Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger reflects on the blockbuster stories he helped publish over the course of his 20-year tenure running the British newspaper (including the Snowden and Assange leaks). "Journalism has to remake itself if it is to be the answer to the world of information chaos that we're in danger of living in," he says. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'The Space' by pianist Kenny Werner....

Bradley Cooper On 'A Star Is Born' / Samin Nosrat On 'Salt Fat Acid Heat'
Bradley Cooper talks about writing, directing and starring in his remake of 'A Star is Born.' He not only had to learn how to direct, he had to learn how to sing and play guitar for his role as musician Jackson Maine. Cooper talks about changing his voice for the film, what he learned from Clint Eastwood about directing, and casting his dog, Charlie. Salt, fat, acid, heat – those are the four elements to mastering cooking, according to James Beard-winning cookbook author Samin Nosrat. She's adapted her bes...


Best Of: Rami Malek On 'Bohemian Rhapsody' / The 'Profound' Power Of The Immune System
Rami Malek sang at the top of his lungs while playing Queen's iconic lead singer in the new biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' Still, he says, "No one can sing like Freddie Mercury." Malek spoke with Terry Gross about learning to sing and move like Mercury, and wearing prosthetic teeth. Critic John Powers reviews 'Insurrecto' by Gina Apostol. The novel is about two women, a Filipina translator and an American filmmaker, on a road trip in the Philippines. Immunologist Daniel Davis says scientists are harnessing the...

Remembering Magician Ricky Jay
Ricky Jay, the magician, sleight-of-hand artist, actor, and writer died Saturday at the age of 72. "There are a number of effects in the panoply of magic where the method is really better than the effect," Jay told Terry Gross in 1998. "Something happens where what's happening behind the scenes is 20 times more interesting than what you're actually seeing, and you're dying to say to the audience, 'Boy, if you could just see!' and you really can't." Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Roma,' written and ...

'Widower's Notebook' Draws A Portrait Of Grief And Guilt
Five years ago, Jonathan Santlofer's wife died suddenly, throwing him into a "fugue state" of grief. Sketching her portrait from old photographs has helped him stay close to her. His memoir is 'The Widower's Notebook.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Come With Me' by Helen Schulman, about regrets and risk-taking in the Internet age....


Trauma Surgeon Takes On The NRA
After the NRA tweeted that "self-important anti-gun doctors" should "stay in their lane," trauma surgeon Dr. Joseph Sakran started #ThisIsOurLane, mobilizing doctors around the issue of gun safety. Sakran became a surgeon after being shot in the throat when he was 17. Also, critic John Powers reviews 'Insurrecto' by Gina Apostol. The novel is about two women, a Filipina translator and an American filmmaker on a road trip in the Philippines....

Inside Nancy Pelosi's Bid For Speakership
Journalist Robert Draper talks about why Republicans love to attack Pelosi, the challenges she faces from within her own party, and her bid to be speaker of the House. Draper wrote a cover story about Pelosi for the 'New York Times Magazine.'Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Sophisticated Giant,' a new biography of the late saxophonist Dexter Gordon....

The 'Profound' Power Of The Immune System
Immunologist Daniel Davis says scientists are harnessing the power of the immune system to create new medications to fight cancer, auto-immune conditions and other diseases. He also talks about how the immune system is affected by stress, sleep, and age. Davis' book is 'The Beautiful Cure.' Also, rock critic Ken Tucker shares an appreciation of country artist Lefty Frizzell. The new box set, 'An Article From Life,' spans his career....


Best Of: The Coen Brothers / Free Climbing Yosemite's 'Dawn Wall'
Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen ('Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?,' 'No Country for Old Men') pay homage to old Westerns with their new film, 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.' The movie is a collection of six stories that often subvert the expectations of the genre.Rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson talk about scaling the 3,000 foot sheer vertical face of Yosemite's El Capitan that was long thought impossible to ascend. The documentary about their historic climb is 'The Dawn Wall.'...

Jazz Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant
McLorin Salvant grew up in Miami as the child of a Haitian father and a French mother. She first studied classical voice, but turned to jazz because it offered her more range. "I never wanted to sound clean and pretty," she told Terry Gross in 2015. "In jazz, I felt I could sing these deep, husky lows if I want, and then these really tiny, laser highs if I want, as well." Her new record is 'The Window,' which critic Kevin Whitehead says is "riveting."...

Musicians Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis
Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis come from different generations, but both play the old style of country music — her brother is Jerry Lee Lewis. The duo performed for Terry Gross in the 'Fresh Air' studio in September, sharing stories and songs from their new album, 'Wild! Wild! Wild!'...


Actor Rami Malek On Becoming Freddie Mercury
Malek sang at the top of his lungs while playing Queen's iconic lead singer in the new biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' Still, he says, "No one can sing like Freddie Mercury." Malek spoke with Terry Gross about recreating the 1985 Live Aid concert, learning to move like Mercury, and wearing prosthetic teeth. He also talks about playing a withdrawn and socially anxious hacker in the thriller series 'Mr.Robot,' and how he got started in acting....

Free Climbing Yosemite's 'Dawn Wall'
Rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson talk about scaling the 3,000 foot sheer vertical face of Yosemite's El Capitan that was long thought impossible to ascend. The duo discuss sleeping in portaledges — tents suspended more than a thousand feet in the air — and the personal risks and rewards of rock climbing. The new documentary about their historic climb is 'The Dawn Wall.' John Powers reviews two new crime dramas based on true stories — the Showtime series 'Escape at Dannemora,' starring Patric...

Filmmakers Joel & Ethan Coen
The Coen brothers ('Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?,' 'No Country for Old Men') pay homage to old Westerns with their new film, 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.' The movie is a collection of six stories that often subvert the expectations of the genre....


Best Of: 'Never Home Alone' With Bugs & Bacteria / 'Burning' Star Steven Yeun
"Every surface, every bit of air, every bit of water in your home is alive," says scientist Rob Dunn. His new book, 'Never Home Alone,' examines the bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites and insects we live with — from armpit bacteria to black mold in our walls. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg chooses 'nationalist' as his word of 2018.In 'Burning,' Steven Yeun plays a mysterious South Korean playboy who may or may not be murdering his girlfriends. "To this day, I'm the only one who knows who Ben really is," he s...

40 Years Later, What We Learned From Jonestown
On Nov. 18, 1978, an itinerant preacher, faith healer and civil rights activist named the Rev. Jim Jones led more than 900 of his followers to kill themselves by drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid at their Jonestown settlement in the jungle of Guyana. 40 years later, questions still linger regarding the Jonestown massacre and the man who inspired it. Journalist Jeff Guinn details how Jones captivated his followers in the book 'The Road to Jonestown.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the AMC spy thrill...

The Russian Disinformation Playbook: Exploit Tension, Sow Chaos
A new video series by 'New York Times' reporter Adam Ellick explores Russia's role in spreading fake news, dating back to the '80s conspiracy theory that the AIDS virus was created by the U.S. military. Ellick also talks about the impact of Russian disinformation in the U.S. "This country is so split and divided that we're now using this Soviet disinformation playbook on ourselves."Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the heist thriller 'Widows,' starring Viola Davis and directed by Steve McQueen....


'Shirkers' Dir. Sandi Tan / 'Burning' Star Steven Yeun
Sandi Tan was 19 when she wrote and starred in a film directed by her 40-year old mentor. But then her mentor disappeared and took the film's footage with him. 20 years later, Tan got the footage back. She revisits the mystery of her mentor's disappearance and the film that was never made in a new Netflix documentary 'Shirkers.' In 'Burning,' Steven Yeun plays a mysterious South Korean playboy who may or may not be murdering his girlfriends. "To this day, I'm the only one who knows who Ben really is," he sa...

Remembering Stan Lee / 'Seduction' In Old Hollywood
Karina Longworth's new book, 'Seduction,' focuses on 10 women that had relationships with Howard Hughes and the exploitation of actresses in Old Hollywood. She also reflects on the #MeToo movement and women coming forward against Harvey Weinstein: "The thing that I've come to understand from studying the 20th century of Hollywood is that these things have always happened, and they were never talked about publicly," she says. "So just the fact that we're having a conversation is completely revolutionary." L...

With Bugs & Bacteria Living In Your Home, You're 'Never Home Alone'
"Every surface, every bit of air, every bit of water in your home is alive," says scientist Rob Dunn. His new book, 'Never Home Alone,' examines the bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites and insects we live with — from armpit bacteria to black mold in our walls. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'A Ladder to the Sky' by John Boyne. She calls it "maliciously witty, erudite and ingeniously constructed."...


Best Of: 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy / Chef José Andrés
Religion scholar Elaine Pagels lost her young son to terminal illness and her husband a year later in an accident. Her new book, 'Why Religion?' combines memoir and biblical scholarship and reflects on loss and faith. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Interstate Gospel' from the country trio Pistol Annies, comprised of Ashley Monroe, Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley.Chef José Andrés talks about why "vegetables are sexy," reinventing the Philly Cheesesteak and growing up in Spain. His memoir is...

Queen Guitarist Brian May
Terry Gross spoke with Queen lead guitarist Brian May in 2010 about recording the many vocals in 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' writing the anthem 'We Will Rock You' and getting a PhD in astrophysics. The new biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' about Freddie Mercury and the meteoric rise of Queen, is now in theaters. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the Coen Brothers' new film, 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,' coming to Netflix Nov. 16....

The Humanitarian Crisis In Yemen
In 2015, Saudi Arabia initiated a bombing campaign against Yemen that contributed to what is now the world's largest humanitarian crisis. Today, 14 million people in Yemen face starvation. Journalist Robert Worth says the country is "no longer a functioning state" — and that Americans share some of the blame, since the Obama administration backed the Saudis. "We gave a green light for it in 2015, and then we stood by and let it continue as it got worse and worse," he says....


Did Law Enforcement Overlook The Threat Of Far-Right Extremism?
'New York Times Magazine' journalist Janet Reitman says domestic counter-terrorism strategists ignored the rising danger of far-right extremism — which enabled the movement to grow and become more dangerous. Juan Gabriel Vásquez's novel, 'The Shape Of The Ruins,' centers on the 1948 assassination of Colombian political leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, the years of violence that followed and the conspiracy theories concerning his death. Vásquez spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger.Also Rock critic Ken Tuc...

The Fugitive Slave Act & The 'Struggle For America's Soul'
Author Andrew Delbanco says the 1850 law paved the way for the Civil War by endangering the lives of both escaped slaves and free black men and women in the North. His book is 'The War Before The War.'Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the psychological thriller 'Burning.'...

'Why Religion?' Asks 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy
Religion scholar Elaine Pagels lost her young son to terminal illness and her husband a year later in an accident. Her new book combines memoir and biblical scholarship and reflects on loss and faith. Also, Lloyd Schwartz visits two art exhibitions — the Met's big Delacroix retrospective and the Morgan Library's Pontormo collection....


Best Of: Jonah Hill / How Newt Gingrich 'Broke Politics'
Jonah Hill always wanted to be a writer and director, but an unexpected complement in an acting class shifted him towards performing instead. He co-starred in 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' 'Superbad,' and 'Moneyball.' Now he's written and directed his first movie, 'Mid90s,' about a group of young skateboarders. He talks about toxic masculinity, self-acceptance, and his experience directing for the first time. Maureen Corrigan reviews 'If You Ask Me,' a book of advice columns by Eleanor Roosevelt. 'Atlantic' jo...

Comic Hasan Minhaj
"I'm an Indian-American-Muslim kid, but am I more Indian or am I more American?" Minhaj asks. The former 'Daily Show' correspondent has a new weekly political comedy series on Neflix called 'Patriot Act.' Minhaj spoke with Terry Gross in 2017 when his comedy special 'Homecoming King' was released and he had just done the White House Correspondents' dinner. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Homecoming' on Amazon Prime Video. The series stars Julia Roberts as a therapist who's working with a soldier r...

How Newt Gingrich 'Broke Politics'
'Atlantic' journalist McKay Coppins says that by the time the former speaker of the house left Congress in 1999, he had enshrined a "combative, tribal, angry attitude in politics that would infect our national discourse in Washington and Congress for decades to come." Coppins explains how Gingrich set the stage for President Trump's rise, and how Democrats are now using some of his tactics. Coppins' new article is 'The Man Who Broke Politics.' Also, critic David Edelstein reviews the Orson Welles film 'The ...


Is SCOTUS Too Powerful?
Author David A. Kaplan warns that the Supreme Court is becoming increasingly polarized — and influential: "Why should nine unelected, unaccountable judges dictate so much policy in the country?" We'll also talk about what Trump's two appointees – Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – mean for the future of the court. Kaplan's book is 'The Most Dangerous Branch.'Also, Ken Tucker reviews Kurt Vile's new album, 'Bottle It In.'...

Jonah Hill
Hill always wanted to be a writer and director, but an unexpected complement in an acting class shifted him towards performing instead. He co-starred in 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' 'Superbad,' and 'Moneyball.' Now he's written and directed his first movie, 'Mid90s,' about a group of young skateboarders. He talks about toxic masculinity, self-acceptance, and his experience directing for the first time. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Let The People See,' the story of Emmett Till....

White Nationalism And The Synagogue Massacre
Journalist Eli Saslow says white nationalism inspired the man who killed 11 at a Pittsburgh synagogue: "In the horrific hierarchy of white nationalist beliefs, they really consider Jews their primary enemy." Saslow spoke with Terry Gross Monday morning about the tragedy and its "straight line" to the white nationalist movement. Also, we'll listen back to an excerpt of the interview with Saslow and former white nationalist Derek Black from September. Saslow's book, 'Rising Out of Hatred,' focuses on Derek, w...


Best Of: Melissa McCarthy / Paul Dano
McCarthy is not interested in playing pleasant characters. "Who wants to watch that?" she says. "There's nothing to sink your teeth into. ... The people I love and like are filled with quirks and eccentricities." McCarthy spoke with Terry Gross about playing Sean Spicer on 'SNL' and her role as literary forger Lee Israel in 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?'Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissued album, from 1981, featuring diverse musicians playing songs that Nino Rota composed for Federico Fellini mo...

Lou Reed: A Life
Anthony DeCurtis, contributing editor for 'Rolling Stone,' says he sought to write the biography that Lou Reed "deserved." DeCurtis didn't shy away from writing about the darker side of Reed's life, including addiction and domestic abuse. "It wasn't like I had to go looking for the drugs and the sex," he says. "Lou wrote about it ... so I felt it was fair game." 'Lou Reed: A Life' is now out in paperback. DeCurtis spoke with Terry Gross in 2017....

Corruption, Scandal & The Big Business Of College Basketball
A federal jury on Wednesday convicted three men of conspiring to use cash payments to recruit players to top basketball programs. Writer Michael Sokolove says the case exposes the sordid competition for young athletes, involving apparel companies, scouts, coaches, parents and so-called street agents, or runners, who seek out players as young as 12. "They're exploitative, they're dealers in human, athletic flesh, and they're trying to get their hooks into kids, and get their hooks into families and get into ...


Actor Paul Dano On Anxiety, Directing, And 'Wildlife'
The 'Love & Mercy' and 'Little Miss Sunshine' actor steps behind the camera for 'Wildlife,' an adaptation of Richard Ford's novel about a boy whose parents are separating. The film was informed by Dano's own parents' relationship. "I think someone else would have wanted to make a film about a kid who rebels; for me, I remember being in the middle, feeling the ground shake and not wanting to tip," he says.Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissued album, from 1981, featuring diverse musicians playi...

How Republican Voter Suppression Efforts Are Targeting Minorities
Twenty-four states have implemented new voting restrictions disproportionately affecting minorities — ranging from requiring voter IDs to closing polling places. We talk with 'Mother Jones' reporter Ari Berman about voter suppression and the ongoing fight for voter rights. "The 2018 election could go in two different ways," he says. "It could be tainted by voter suppression, or it could be remembered as an election in which voting rights were expanded for millions of people."...

Melissa McCarthy
McCarthy is not interested in playing pleasant characters. Flawless women with perfect clothes and relationships? Nope, not for her. "Who wants to watch that?" she says. "There's nothing to sink your teeth into. ... The people I love and like are filled with quirks and eccentricities." McCarthy spoke with Terry Gross about 'Bridesmaids,' playing Sean Spicer on 'SNL,' and her role as literary forger Lee Israel in 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?'Also, John Powers reviews the BBC drama 'Bodyguard,' dropping on Netfl...


Best Of: 'BoJack Horseman' Creator / 'Hey, Kiddo' Author
Raphael Bob-Waksberg's animated comedy series for Netflix, 'BoJack Horseman,' satirizes Hollywood using a mix of human and animal characters. "Part of the original pitch was like, 'What's Mr. Ed like behind the scenes?'" BoJack (a horse) is a depressed, alcoholic, sexist former sitcom star in the #MeToo era.Justin Chang reviews 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' starring Melissa McCarthy as a con artist who forges letters from famous authors. Jarrett J. Krosoczka's National Book Award-nominated graphic memoir 'Hey,...

A Father & Son's Story Of Addiction And Recovery
David Sheff and his son Nic both wrote memoirs about the family's experience with Nic's addition. Their stories are now the basis of the film, 'Beautiful Boy,' starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet. They spoke with Terry Gross in 2008 and 2013.'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' stars Melissa McCarthy as a misanthropic con artist who forges letters from famous authors. Critic Justin Chang feels like McCarthy's entire career has been working toward this role....

Trump's Tax Schemes, Explained
Investigative reporters Susanne Craig and David Barstow say the president received today's equivalent of $413 million from his father's real estate empire, with the help of schemes to avoid paying taxes, including fraud. Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Desperate Man' by Eric Church....


'BoJack Horseman' Creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Raphael Bob-Waksberg's animated comedy series for Netflix satirizes Hollywood using a mix of human and animal characters. "Part of the original pitch was like, 'What's Mr. Ed like behind the scenes?'" BoJack (a horse) is a depressed, alcoholic, sexist former sitcom star in the #MeToo era....

Graphic Memoirist Grapples With Family Addiction In 'Hey, Kiddo'
Jarrett J. Krosoczka's National Book Award-nominated graphic memoir 'Hey, Kiddo' is about growing up with a mother addicted to heroin. Krosoczka initially didn't want to write about his childhood because he felt it was too dark. "It took it took a long time for me to gain that courage to make this book," he says. "I share that for those young readers out there who are dealing with heavy issues at home. ... I feel like I owe it to these readers to put myself out there."...

Comic Phoebe Robinson
Robinson is the co-host of '2 Dope Queens,' a live comedy show and podcast showcasing comedians from a variety of different backgrounds. The show is now a series of four HBO specials, with more in the works. She also hosts the podcast 'Sooo Many White Guys.' Her new book of personal essays is 'Everything's Trash, But It's Okay.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the new novel 'Washington Black' about a runaway slave. And 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger interviews the book's author Esi Edugyan....


Best Of: 'First Man' Dir. Damien Chazelle / Leonard Cohen's Legacy
The Oscar-winning director ('La La Land') talks about his new film, 'First Man,' which stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in the 10 years leading up to the moon landing. Chazelle wanted to show how loud, rickety, and nauseating space travel was at the time. He used full-scale replicas that spun and shook violently — with the actors and cameras inside. "The sweat you see on screen will be real. The shaking will be real. Even some of the terror will be real. The nausea will be real. And, by extension, the a...

John Waters, The "Pope Of Trash"
The 'Pink Flamingos' filmmaker made a name for himself by setting new lows in bad taste. Now, a new retrospective of his work is at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Originally broadcast 2004 and 2010. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews Amazon's 'The Romanoffs,' a new anthology series by 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner....

'Rethinking Sex, Power, And Consent On Campus'
Journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis, author of 'Blurred Lines,' says one of the challenges when it comes to handling sexual assault cases on college campuses is that there isn't a universally agreed-upon definition of what sexual assault is. She spent three years reporting on college campuses for the book. Grigoriadis talks about the Kavanaugh hearings, rape culture, and how she sees the national conversation about sexual assault shifting. Also, Ken Tucker reviews an album by bluegrass musicians Hazel Dickens an...


'First Man' Director Damien Chazelle
The Oscar-winning director ('La La Land') talks about his new film, 'First Man,' which stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in the 10 years leading up to the moon landing. Chazelle wanted to show how loud, rickety, and nauseating space travel was at the time. He used full-scale replicas that spun and shook violently — with the actors and cameras inside. "The sweat you see on screen will be real. The shaking will be real. Even some of the terror will be real. The nausea will be real. And, by extension, the a...

'The Weaponization Of Social Media'
P.W. Singer and Emerson Brooking say social media has been manipulated to fuel popular uprisings and affect the course of military and political campaigns. Their new book is 'LikeWar.'The story of the 2011 terror attack on a Norwegian summer camp is the subject of a new movie by Paul Greengrass, the British filmmaker best known for such acclaimed docudramas as 'United 93,' and 'Captain Phillips.' John Powers reviews '22 July,' streaming on Netflix....

Leonard Cohen The Poet, Writer, And Father
Leonard Cohen died in 2016, leaving behind many unpublished poems and lyrics. His son Adam Cohen discusses 'The Flame,' a collection of some of Leonard's final works. Adam remembers when his father was composing his best known song, Hallelujah. "It took him 12 years. It started when I was very, very young. I'd hear verses, I think there are 84 verses to that song," Adam says....


Best Of: Infertility And 'Private Life' / What Does Mark Zuckerberg Believe In?
Filmmaker Tamara Jenkins drew on her own "by-any-means-necessary" effort to have a child for her new film 'Private Life.' It stars Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti as a couple in their 40s who are struggling with IVF. Critic David Edelstein reviews 'A Star is Born.' 'New Yorker' staff writer Evan Osnos talks how Facebook became vulnerable to spreading disinformation, how Zuckerberg is attempting to combat fake news, and the inherent problems in monitoring political content without violating users' free speech...

Ballet Dancer Wendy Whelan
Whelan danced for the New York City Ballet for three decades. The documentary 'Restless Creature,' available on Netflix, chronicles Whelan's recovery from hip surgery and her final performance with the New York City Ballet in 2014. "It was terrifying to lose that mode of expression that I was so in touch with, that I so loved, that I so cultivated for my whole entire life," she says. (Originally broadcast July 2017). Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead shares an appreciation of Jimmy Blanton on what would've been h...