Fresh Air

News & Information: Mon-Fri • 3pm-4pm | 6pm-7pm
Terry Gross

A weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues featuring in-depth yet intimate conversations with top news makers. Interviews are complemented with contributions from well-known critics and commentators.

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Television
10:38 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Louis C.K. On His 'Louie' Hiatus: 'I Wanted The Show To Feel New Again'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
10:38 am
Tue December 30, 2014

A Cartoonist's Funny, Heartbreaking Take On Caring For Aging Parents

In Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast combines text, cartoons, sketches and photos to describe her interactions with her parents during the last years of their lives.

Originally broadcast May 8.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
11:44 am
Mon December 29, 2014

New Yorker Cartoon Editor Explores What Makes Us Get It

Humor is both a creative and a cognitive process, says Bob Mankoff, who has contributed cartoons to The New Yorker since 1977. His memoir is called How About Never — Is Never Good For You?

Originally broadcast March 24.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

JPR Classics
11:44 am
Mon December 29, 2014

At 90, 'Fiddler' Lyricist Tells His Story

"Any successful lyricist has to be part playwright and has to be able to put himself into the minds and the hearts and the souls of the characters," Sheldon Harnick tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Originally broadcast April 30.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Fresh Air Weekend
10:13 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: The Best Of 2014 For Films, Books, Music And TV

Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason in Boyhood, was 6 years old when director Richard Linklater picked him for the role. Made over the course of 12 years, the film is David Edelstein's favorite of the year.
Courtesy of Matt Lankes

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Music Interviews
11:29 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Sam Baker: Finding Grace In The Wake Of Destruction

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 11:39 am

In 1986, a bomb planted by the Peruvian terrorist group Shining Path exploded in the luggage rack above Sam Baker. Somehow, during his long recovery, songs focused on empathy started coming to him.

Originally broadcast May 6.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Music Interviews
10:13 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Naive, Yet Revolutionary: Ray Davies On 50 Years Of The Kinks

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Merry Christmas. Today, we begin a week-long series of some of our favorite interviews of the year.

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Movie Reviews
10:10 am
Wed December 24, 2014

In A 'Depressing' Year For Films, Edelstein Finds Some Greats

Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason in Boyhood, was 6 years old when director Richard Linklater picked him for the role. Made over the course of 12 years, the film is David Edelstein's favorite of the year.
Courtesy of Matt Lankes

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 11:06 am

"This is a very, very depressing year for film," critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "because none of the great material came from Hollywood studios."

Studios, he says, direct their financial resources into sequels and comic-book movies, which leaves little room for "creative expression, and for doing something weird and potentially boundary-moving."

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Television
9:34 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Bianculli's Top 10: 2014 Was A 'Good Year For Programming'

Allison Tolman plays Deputy Sheriff Molly Solverson in the FX TV series Fargo. It's a breakout role for the actress who had done only theater and commercials.
Chris Large

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 11:47 am

Although it wasn't a great year for the shows themselves, it was a good year for programming, says TV critic David Bianculli.

"In terms of what was happening on television, in terms of new and old formats and new, exciting players coming into the mix — [it was] another good year," Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I'm actually kind of encouraged."

Bianculli reflects on how far TV has come.

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Arts & Life
10:37 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Serial Host Sarah Koenig Says She Set Out To Report, Not Exonerate

The Serial podcast is Sarah Koenig's reinvestigation of the murder of Hae Min Lee, a Maryland high school student who was strangled in 1999. Lee was found in Baltimore's Leakin Park. Her schoolmate and ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted of the murder and is serving a life sentence.
Courtesy of Serial

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:32 pm

Sarah Koenig didn't expect her new podcast, Serial, to get so much press, but she says the attention helped keep her on her toes: "It was just a constant reminder of how careful we needed to be," Koenig tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Music Interviews
10:01 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Nick Lowe Brings His 'Quality Holiday Revue' To America

Nick Lowe's Christmas album is called Quality Street. He's currently touring the U.S.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 10:31 am

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:30 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Timothy Spall, Review Of D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah,' John Cleese

Timothy Spall says he had to use a lot of empathy to play a character like Mr. Turner, who wasn't always "very pleasant" and was a "man of massive contradictions."
Simon Mein Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Timothy Spall Takes On Painter J.M.W. Turner, A 'Master Of The Sublime': The 19th century painter wasn't always "very pleasant" and he was a "man of massive contradictions," Spall says. So Spall says he had to "dig deep" to play the title role in Mr. Turner.

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Movie Reviews
10:15 am
Fri December 19, 2014

The Strange World — And Life — Of 'Mr. Turner'

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:48 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
10:15 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Meryl Streep: The Fresh Air Interview

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 11:44 am

Meryl Streep won a Golden Globe for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She talks about preparing for that role and how her perceptions of herself have changed over the years.

Originally broadcast Feb. 6, 2012.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
10:15 am
Fri December 19, 2014

J.K. Simmons On Playing A Neo-Nazi On HBO's 'Oz'

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:48 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
12:24 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

A Tribute To Stephen Colbert, A Self-Proclaimed 'Junkie For Exhaustion'

Stephen Colbert will host his final episode of The Colbert Report Thursday after nine years on air.
Pool Getty Images

After nine years, Stephen Colbert is retiring the character he created for The Colbert Report, the conservative, self-important blowhard who opines about the news and the media. The final episode airs Thursday. Colbert will take over as host for The Late Show, replacing the retiring David Letterman.

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Author Interviews
10:12 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Between World Wars, Gay Culture Flourished In Berlin

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WILLKOMMEN")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome.

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Music
10:12 am
Wed December 17, 2014

D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Collapses Years, Genres

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:32 am

D'Angelo has built a considerable reputation on the basis of three albums: 1995's Brown Sugar, 2000's Voodoo, and now Black Messiah, unexpectedly released early Monday morning. The singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist has been widely praised for connecting many decades of different rhythm & blues styles, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Black Messiah is as adventurous as any fan could hope for.

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Author Interviews
11:40 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

John Cleese, pictured above in 1976 with Monty Python's Flying Circus (from left, Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones), says he worked hard to learn physical comedy by imitation — "It was not something I was naturally gifted at," he says.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:41 am

Performing live comedy is like "a series of little scientific experiments," says John Cleese. "When you do comedy in front of an audience, they are the ones who tell you whether it's funny or not," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, and each subsequent night on stage is an experiment in making jokes land better than the night before.

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The Best Music Of 2014
11:24 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Ken Tucker's Top 9 Albums Of 2014, Plus A Book

Elizabeth Grant is better known by her stage name, Lana Del Rey.
Neil Krug Courtesy of the artist

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