Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen


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The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI, is a smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt introduces the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let ...Show More
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Remembering Agnès Varda

20:08 | Mar 31st

The trailblazing filmmaker Agnès Varda died on Friday of breast cancer at age 90. In tribute to her, we’re revisiting Kurt’s 2017 interview with Varda and her collaborator JR.Their Oscar-nominated movie, Faces Places,documents their loving — albeit u...Show More
American Icons: The Disney Parks

55:03 | Nov 30th, 2017

Generations of Americans have grown up with Walt Disney shaping their imaginations. In 1955, Disney mixed up some fairy tales, a few historical facts, and a dream of the future to create an alternate universe. Not just a place for fun, but a scale mo...Show More
American Icons: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

54:57 | Oct 12th, 2017

This is the story of America’s fight against authority.Ken Kesey had worked in a mental hospital, but his first novel was really a parable of what happens when you stand up to the Man—a counterculture fable that doesn’t end well. Despite his far-reac...Show More
American Icons: Moby-Dick

54:43 | Aug 3rd, 2017

Herman Melville's white whale survived his battle with Captain Ahab only to surface in the works of contemporary filmmakers, painters, playwrights and musicians. Kurt Andersen explores the influence of this American Icon with the help of Ray Bradbury...Show More
American Icons: Native Son

55:29 | Jul 20th, 2017

This is the novel about racism that America couldn't ignore.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
John Cameron Mitchell’s Genre-Defying Podcast Musical

25:15 | May 14th

In Anthem: Homunculus, John Cameron Mitchell and composer Bryan Weller have taken the podcast musical to new heights. They join Kurt to discuss the shows origins, and perform a song live in our studio.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone...Show More
American Icons: ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ — Part One

54:08 | May 9th

A half century later, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” is still shaping our future. With no help from CGI, the movie predicted private space travel, artificial intelligence and half of Apple’s product line. It showed the promise and perils o...Show More
Karl Ove Knausgård and the musical activism of Ani DiFranco and Pete Seeger

53:37 | May 2nd

Kurt Andersen talks with novelist Karl Ove Knausgård about his nonfiction book about Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. Ani DiFranco’s new memoir chronicles the ups and downs of being a feminist folk hero. Pete Seeger would have been 100 this week, and ...Show More
Ali Smith’s great post-Brexit novel

16:06 | Apr 30th

Ali Smith’s 2016 book Autumn was heralded as the first great post-Brexit novel. Kurt talks with her about politics, art, and the very nature of time.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Patti Smith’s ‘Horses,’ Susan Choi and a police poet

54:08 | Apr 25th

Kurt Andersen talks with Susan Choi, whose engrossing new novel about on- and offstage drama at a performance arts high school is called “Trust Exercise.” How Edward Doyle-Gillespie ended up writing poetry about being a Baltimore cop. And This Woman’...Show More
Daveed Diggs and Suzan-Lori Parks, ‘In the Pines’ and supernumeraries

53:40 | Apr 18th

Kurt Andersen talks with playwright Suzan-Lori Parks about “White Noise,” along with one of the play’s stars, Daveed Diggs from the original cast of “Hamilton.” Iggy Berlin explains what he does as an extra for operas and ballets, where they’re calle...Show More
In the Footsteps of Merce Cunningham

11:00 | Apr 16th

This month marks the birth centennial of American dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham. His defiant work transformed contemporary arts beyond dance. Cunningham talks about movement and technology, and dancers Daniel Roberts and Bill T. Jones tel...Show More
Portraits of the artists

54:09 | Apr 11th

At 82, the writer Frederic Tuten has published a memoir of his formative years in New York, “My Young Life,” and Kurt Andersen strolls the East Village with him as he reminisces.  Cartoonist Cathy Guisewite looks back at how some of her own struggles...Show More
This Woman’s Work: Patti Smith’s Horses

25:11 | Apr 9th

Studio 360 is teaming up with Classic Album Sundays for a series of storiescalled This Woman’s Work, highlighting classic albums by female artists. We'll talk about records that represent women musicians at the peak of their creative powers, and whos...Show More
Mob mentalities

53:38 | Apr 4th

Understanding our fascination with the criminal underworld. Jia Zhangke’s takes an empathetic look at criminal brotherhoods in China in his new gangster film “Ash Is Purest White.” Stand-up comics reveal what it was like working in Vegas when mobster...Show More
Susan Choi’s Surprising Side Project

20:27 | Apr 2nd

Susan Choi’s new novel, Trust Exercise, is a story about trust, betrayal, and the blurry lines between fiction and real life. It focuses on a group of teenagers at a performing arts high school in the 1980s and their fraught relationships with the ec...Show More
Let’s do the time warp

54:27 | Mar 28th

Our monsters, ourselves: Why creatures repel us, yet attract us. Our latest American Icons segment is about “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and producer June Thomas reports on how the movie became an audience-participation phenomenon — and gave a se...Show More
Cracking cases

53:30 | Mar 21st

Kurt Andersen talks with Marcia Clark, prominent again after two highly regarded television shows revisited her role prosecuting the O.J. Simpson case, and who now has a new legal-drama TV show, “The Fix.” And producer Sam Kim takes on a case of his ...Show More
Jia Zhangke’s Empathetic Eye

20:03 | Mar 19th

For much of his career, Jia Zhangke’s films were officially banned in his home country, China. But through austere, realist movies like Still Life, Platform, and The World, Jia became one of the most celebrated directors on the international arthouse...Show More
Why Yanni happened

52:24 | Mar 14th

Kurt Andersen talks with director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck about his new film “Never Look Away,” and why the director interviewed the artist Gerhard Richter extensively to make a film that is only kind of about Richter. Plus, how Yanni, John ...Show More
The Playbill of Rights

51:25 | Mar 7th

Kurt Andersen talks with Heidi Schreck about her new play, based on oratory competitions she took part in as a teenager, called “What the Constitution Means to Me.” Siblings Elan and Jonathan Bogarín join Kurt to talk about their new documentary “306...Show More
Arresting Poetry

12:13 | Mar 5th

Edward Doyle-Gillespie always found writing stories cathartic, a way to process whatever was going on in his life. But as a police officer in Baltimore, witnessing people in the most desperate conditions, he increasingly turned to poetry as a vehicle...Show More
These go to 11

51:39 | Feb 28th

Kurt Andersen talks with author N.K. Jemisin about writing, politics, and her new book “How Long 'til Black Future Month?” Our latest American Icons segment is about “Cross Road Blues,” the song that helped to posthumously popularize — and mythologiz...Show More
The Oscar hour

51:20 | Feb 21st

The annual Oscar hour. Kurt Andersen starts it off with his takeaway from this year’s crop of nominees: some actors delivered great performances in films that overall were not so great. Then Kurt talks with Richard E. Grant about his nomination for "...Show More
The Crack Monster: The Mystery Behind Sesame Street’s Creepiest Cartoon

27:31 | Feb 19th

In the mid-1970s, Jon Armond was traumatized by something he saw on Sesame Street. It was a cartoon about a little girl who encounters creatures formed by the cracks on her bedroom wall — including a horrifying, screaming face who called himself “The...Show More
Sex seen

51:54 | Feb 14th

As Cupid takes aim this week, a look at how sex and sexuality are handled — and mishandled — on-screen. Kurt Andersen speaks with Slate’s Jeffrey Bloomer on depictions of first-time sex. Intimacy-scene consultant Alicia Rodis describes how she helps ...Show More
Honky tonk angels

51:53 | Feb 7th

An hour on country music: past, present and future. Nashville-based music reporter Jewly Hight gives Kurt an update on how women artists in country music are forging new paths in an industry that’s become unwelcoming. Dolly Parton reflects on her lon...Show More
Behind the Curtain at Autism-Friendly Broadway Shows

13:04 | Feb 5th

In 2015, an autistic boy disrupted a performance of The King & I on Broadway, reacting loudly to a scene where a slave is whipped. He and his mother were asked to leave the theater. After the performance, one of the actors from the ensemble posted a ...Show More
Found in translation

53:40 | Jan 31st

Natasha Wimmer, whose translations of Roberto Bolaño are extraordinary, tells Kurt Andersen about her rules of the road. Plus, the play “Behind the Sheet” helps to expose and reassess J. Marion Sims, a pioneer in gynecology whose advances came at the...Show More
Shall we dance?

52:58 | Jan 24th

An hour on continuing innovations in American dance. Choreographer Donald Byrd uses dance to illuminate what it means to be black in America. Elizabeth Streb speaks with Kurt Andersen about how she defies gravity with her “extreme action” techniques....Show More
From Aria Code: Dalila, the Femme Fatale

31:09 | Jan 22nd

On this Studio 360 extra, we’re sharing a great new podcast called Aria Code. Produced by WQXR and the Metropolitan Opera, it features singers and other thinkers decoding the magic of a single piece from an opera, followed by the music uninterrupted....Show More
The mother of all abstraction

52:54 | Jan 17th

Thanks to a new exhibit at the Guggenheim, the art world is rediscovering Hilma af Klint. How was this Swede so ahead of her time, and will she finally get her due? Lee Israel’s memoir about forging letters by famous writers, “Can You Ever Forgive Me...Show More
Digging into ‘Doug’

52:58 | Jan 10th

The story of “Doug,” the Nickelodeon cartoon from the ’90s that used a minimalist approach but had a profound impact on young viewers. Kurt Andersen talks with Rina Banerjee, who makes enchanting installations and who is the subject of a retrospectiv...Show More
Tales from the Script

15:39 | Jan 8th

John August, the host of Scriptnotes, explains his approach to screenwriting.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Best of 2018, part 2

52:58 | Jan 3rd

Some of our favorite stories from the past year. First, Kurt Andersen speaks with Daniela Vega, who delivered a stunning performance in "A Fantastic Woman." Casey Trela is a musician in Los Angeles with a Kafkaesque day job: he watches movies and TV ...Show More
Best of 2018, part 1

54:19 | Dec 27th, 2018

Some of our favorite stories from the past year. First, the musical equivalent to stock art, library music, where composers anonymously churned out some of the strangest, funkiest — and most recognizable — music of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The Domino...Show More
Welcome to The Jungle

17:16 | Dec 25th, 2018

Here in America, despite the hysteria whipped up in the weeks leading up to the November midterm elections, there was no influx of migrants from the south.In other words, nothing like what happened a few years ago, when hundreds of thousands refugees...Show More
A movie hallmark, and Hallmark movies

53:44 | Dec 20th, 2018

An American Icons segment about “The Searchers,” John Ford’s problematic masterpiece featuring John Wayne. Kurt Andersen talks with Carol Stabile about an aspect of the Red Scare that’s received scant attention: the 41 women who were blacklisted from...Show More
Art that grows on you

53:44 | Dec 13th, 2018

The stuff you love as kids — that still deserve love when you’re grown up. Kurt Andersen talks with author Bruce Handy about how the best children’s literature can still enthrall adults — and then Bruce’s and Kurt’s kids join them to weigh in. Jim He...Show More
Can You Ever Forgive Lee Israel?

13:31 | Dec 11th, 2018

Lee Israel’s memoir, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” tells the story of her years forging letters by famous writers like Dorothy Parker and Noel Coward. Her book has recently been adapted into a new film starring Melissa McCarthy as Israel. Kurt Andersen ...Show More
Unhung heroes

54:02 | Dec 6th, 2018

Why is contemporary culture obsessed with how well-endowed men are and yet in classical art men are so small? Kurt Andersen unravels the mystery with a classics scholar, Andrew Lear. Stacey Rose is a playwright, but when she’s not working to take aud...Show More
My fair lyricist

53:29 | Nov 29th, 2018

Kurt-ain call — a show about what goes into making great theater. First, a look at Alan Jay Lerner on the centennial of his birth. The lyricist for “My Fair Lady,” “Gigi” and “Camelot” was as complicated as he was talented. Then Jack Viertel, the the...Show More
Aha Moment: An Odd Path to Plath

12:53 | Nov 27th, 2018

One day at school in the early 1990s, Shane McCrae watched a TV movie about teen suicide. The first half was all exactly what you would have expected: cheesy platitudes, heroic teachers, and feathery haircuts. Then, a character quoted the poetry of S...Show More
American Tricons: Harley, Hendrix and O’Keeffe

54:28 | Nov 22nd, 2018

Three American Icons that embody our nation’s counterculture. First: it’s not the fastest or fanciest bike out there, but Harley-Davidson has become synonymous with the motorcycle for many Americans. Then, why Georgia O’Keeffe fled the East Coast for...Show More
Settlers, unsettled

53:29 | Nov 15th, 2018

Kurt Andersen talks with Missy Mazzoli and Karen Russell about Mazzoli’s new opera, “Proving Up,” based on a short story by Russell about a family’s bleak prospects in post-Civil War Nebraska. Buffalo Tom singer Bill Janovitz talks about how, when th...Show More
To Distill a Mockingbird

24:11 | Nov 13th, 2018

A new theatrical version of To Kill a Mockingbird is opening on Broadway next month, adapted for the stage by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch. So in anticipation of this Broadway debut, we’ve put together some of our favorite ...Show More
The deal of the art

53:30 | Nov 8th, 2018

Kurt Andersen talks with Amy Cappellazzo of Sotheby’s and filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn about the art market and Kahn’s new documentary, “The Price of Everything.” How the masterful Talking Heads album “Remain in Light” drew on inspiration from radio prea...Show More
Done and doner

53:29 | Nov 1st, 2018

Kurt Andersen talks with Morgan Neville about his documentary that focuses on an Orson Welles film that was completed long after Welles died. Maria Schneider’s album “The Thompson Fields” took a circuitous path, and she discusses it both as it’s bein...Show More
Home, Sweat Home

13:16 | Oct 30th, 2018

Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2017. It tells the story of a group of friends who work in a factory in Reading, Pennsylvania and are reeling from layoffs and racial tension. The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit took the sho...Show More
Scents and sensibilities

53:40 | Oct 25th, 2018

Kurt Andersen talks with Sandi Tan, who shot a film as an 18-year-old in Singapore in 1992, but the footage disappeared. She finally got her hands on the footage a few years ago, and the mystery of its disappearance is the subject of her new document...Show More
Pure speculation

53:41 | Oct 18th, 2018

Speculative fiction — the catch-all term for non-realist genres — in its many forms. Remembering the irascible speculative fiction writer Harlan Ellison. How reading a sex scene in an Isaac Asimov book changes an adolescent’s understanding of gender ...Show More
Day Jobs: Respiratory Therapist

10:48 | Oct 16th, 2018

Stacey Rose is a playwright in Saint Paul, Minnesota but by day -- and sometimes also by night — she’s a respiratory therapist.  Stacey is also a fellow with the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab and her play, “The Danger: A Homage to Strange Fruit” jus...Show More
All most famous

54:14 | Oct 11th, 2018

Kurt Andersen and Theresa Rebeck discuss her new play about the most acclaimed actress of her day, Sarah Bernhardt. Justine Bateman’s new book examines being inside — and then outside — the fame bubble. A listener finds something surprising inside a ...Show More
Mind the Generation Gap

54:30 | Oct 4th, 2018

Kurt talks to the author Daniel Torday about his new book, “Boomer1,” a dark satire about the tension between millennials and baby boomers coming to a head. Then a segment about something boomers couldn’t stand about the generation that preceded them...Show More
Don McLean's "American Pie"

14:43 | Oct 2nd, 2018

It was late in 1971 when the singer-songwriter Don McLean released his song, “American Pie.” Today, everybody still seems to know all the words… but nobody seems to know what those words really mean.Who is the “jester [who] sang for the King and Quee...Show More

53:58 | Sep 27th, 2018

Ethan Hawke came of age as a Gen X heartthrob, but he’s stayed relevant and is as busy as ever. He’s appeared recently in Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed” and the Nick Hornby adaptation “Juliet, Naked,” and the fourth film he’s directed, “Blaze,” is ...Show More
Pacific Northbest

53:42 | Sep 20th, 2018

Swingin’ on the flippity-flop in the PNW. Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper on her legendary hoax on The New York Times with her lexicon of grunge terms. Carrie Brownstein on Sleater-Kinney and the difference between TV stardom and music stardom. What residen...Show More
BoJack Horseman’s Raphael Bob-Waksberg

23:37 | Sep 18th, 2018

BoJack Horseman, Netflix’s animated series about a washed-up ’90s sitcom star living in the Hollywood Hills, is beginning its fifth season. Its protagonist is half-horse, half-man, and its tone is half-jokes, half-existential-angst. That’s a study in...Show More
Apocalypse, wow

53:42 | Sep 13th, 2018

Ann Dowd, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of Aunt Lydia on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” joins Kurt to talk about playing characters — many of them terrifying — for three decades. In the 1960s, when hippies turned to Christianity in what’s commonly called...Show More
EGOT to have it

53:43 | Sep 6th, 2018

Only 12 entertainers have won the EGOT sweep: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. In this hour of Studio 360, we look back at some of our favorite stories about EGOT winners. Composers Robert Lopez and Marvin Hamlisch both perform in our studio. Mel Brooks...Show More
Link Wray’s “Rumble”

07:04 | Sep 4th, 2018

Young guitarists emulate standard-bearers like The Kinks’ Dave Davies, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton. But when those guitarists were making their mark in the 1960s, they worshipped their own guitar hero: Link Wray.Sixty years ago, in 19...Show More
A room with a viewfinder

53:48 | Aug 30th, 2018

Kurt Andersen talks with the celebrated architect Liz Diller about how making buildings is like making movies, and she picks some of her favorite examples of films that use architecture brilliantly. How court-ordered psychotherapy helped spur the mat...Show More
Framing the debate

53:43 | Aug 23rd, 2018

What happens when artists get political. Kurt talks to conservative painter Jon McNaughton about protest art in the age of Trump. The dramatic use of masks in the paintings of Detroit’s Tylonn Sawyer. Our American Icons series looks at the song “Dixi...Show More
The Remarkable Bounce of Blindspotting

21:16 | Aug 21st, 2018

The excellent new movie Blindspotting deals in complex ways with issues of race, gentrification, and police brutality. But it’s a drama both leavened and enhanced by its unique use of rap and verse. Co-writers and stars Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) and Ra...Show More
The golden age of anonymous music

53:43 | Aug 16th, 2018

Some of the greatest film music of the 20th century came from readymade stock albums recorded by virtually anonymous musicians. Author David Hollander and composer Keith Mansfield tell the story of vintage library music. How Lucille Fletcher’s thrill...Show More
Studio 360 Presents: Hit Parade

1:15:00 | Aug 15th, 2018

Studio 360 presents a special bonus episode of another great podcast — Hit Parade. This week, one of music's most iconic personalities — Madonna — is turning 60 years old, and Hit Parade is here to celebrate her. Host Chris Molanphy, a music journali...Show More
Walden pondered

53:43 | Aug 9th, 2018

In “Walden,” Henry David Thoreau helped shape the way we think about nature and our place in the world. An American Icons segment examines why many readers think that Thoreau was a genius while others think he’s a hypocrite. A second American Icons s...Show More
Happy Bernstein to You!

10:36 | Aug 7th, 2018

This month, the music world is celebrating what would’ve been Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday. As conductor of the New York Philharmonic, he changed the way audiences understood classical music. Five musicians from the Philharmonic remember playin...Show More
Everyone’s a comedian

53:44 | Aug 2nd, 2018

Ken Jennings got famous for his record-breaking run on “Jeopardy!” But he stayed famous for his keen wit, and he joins Kurt Andersen to talk about his new book on the history and future of comedy, “Planet Funny.” Mira T. Lee explains how a Picasso pa...Show More

53:44 | Jul 26th, 2018

Pressing play — stories about children and how recreation is a form of creation. Kurt Andersen takes a field trip to Governors Island with design critic Alexandra Lange to learn about the history of playgrounds — and see some extraordinary slides. Pa...Show More
A Wild and Crazy Anniversary

11:09 | Jul 24th, 2018

 It was 40 years ago when Steve Martin released the concert album, “A Wild and Crazy Guy.” These days Martin is known as an actor, a novelist, a playwright, an accomplished banjo player, a major art collector. But before all that, he was best known f...Show More
Making it in Cleveland

53:47 | Jul 19th, 2018

The coasts are not the only cultural centers in America: Kurt Andersen takes a trip to the FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. A musician pays the bills as a Mastering Quality Control Technician for movies and TV shows. And ...Show More
Science and Creativity: Do Animals Have Culture? Part III

13:26 | Jul 17th, 2018

An ode to animals, read by the late poet Marianne Moore. Plus, since the dawn of humanity, more or less, people have used representations of animals to tell stories. But some artists have wanted to buck that trend, depicting animal stories from the a...Show More
Science and Creativity: Do Animals Have Culture? Part II

17:16 | Jul 16th, 2018

Biologist Roger Payne discovered whale song when he started studying a mysterious recording in 1966. The recording came from a sound designer doing military research, Frank Watlington, who was trying to record undersea dynamite explosions.Payne becam...Show More
Science and Creativity: Do Animals Have Culture? Part I

23:31 | Jul 15th, 2018

Laurel Braitman is a historian of science and the author of Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves. She’s particularly interested in animals held in captivity. “If their minds aren...Show More
Drawn from experience

53:44 | Jul 12th, 2018

Kurt Andersen talks with comic artist Aline Kominsky-Crumb about her trailblazing work. In 1965, Wilson Pickett went to Stax Records in Memphis to record “In the Midnight Hour” — and nothing was the same after. And “Luke Cage” showrunner Cheo Hodari ...Show More
Here Comes the Pitch

26:22 | Jul 10th, 2018

The music documentary podcast Pitch, produced by Alex Kapelman and Whitney Jones, is returning after a three-year hiatus.Nine new episodes immerse in subjects including the music of ISIS, the hip-swaying, female-empowerment dance songs of Carnival, a...Show More
American Icons: Monticello

53:42 | Jul 5th, 2018

Monticello is home renovation run amok. Thomas Jefferson was as passionate about building his house as he was about founding the United States; he designed Monticello to the fraction of an inch and never stopped changing it. Yet Monticello was also a...Show More
Science and Creativity: Your Brain on Laughter Part III

16:38 | Jul 3rd, 2018

When is humor appropriate in the medical field? Bioethicist Katie Watson, an Assistant Professor in the Medical Humanities & Bioethics Program of Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, has thought a lot about this issue. She moonligh...Show More
Science and Creativity: Your Brain on Laughter Part II

25:14 | Jul 2nd, 2018

Sophie Scott is fascinated by laughter—and she thinks that cognitive science and psychology are missing out by ignoring it. A cognitive neuroscientist at University College London, Scott studies and teaches us how to distinguish between “social” or “...Show More
Science and Creativity: Your Brain on Laughter Part I

13:00 | Jul 1st, 2018

The practice of laughter yoga began in 1995, when it was invented by Madan Kataria, a doctor in Mumbai, India. Today, its practitioners attend thousands of classes offered all over the world. They say they gain health benefits, including stress reduc...Show More

54:14 | Jun 28th, 2018

Filth in all its forms: whimsical and mundane, literal and figurative. Kurt talks to America’s auteur of the scatological, filmmaker John Waters. Writer Henry Alford and comedian Dave Hill visit a museum exhibit where all the art is made of dirt or t...Show More
Behind the Harlem Sound of Luke Cage

17:36 | Jun 26th, 2018

On Luke Cage, the Marvel series on Netflix, music is almost everything. “I’m a hip-hop showrunner,” says showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker. “It just permeates every decision we make on the show because we’re not just making decisions about plot. The whole...Show More
Rebels without a pause

54:14 | Jun 21st, 2018

Thirty years ago, Public Enemy brought the revolution to hip-hop with “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.” Kurt Andersen talks with the graphic designer Bonnie Siegler about the history of protest art. And the newspaper comic “Nancy” gets...Show More
Shadows in the Sunshine State

54:15 | Jun 14th, 2018

Fiction, fantasy and reality in the Sunshine State. Lauren Groff talks about writing — and surviving — in Florida. The writer Carl Hiaasen tells Kurt Andersen how he turns sleaze into sunshine noir. In Celebration, Florida, fantasy meets reality. How...Show More
The Director of Hereditary on Family, Kids and Other Horrors

15:01 | Jun 12th, 2018

After its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, critics have called Hereditary the scariest movie of the year — perhaps even the scariest movie since The Exorcist. It’s a supernatural film starring Toni Collette about a family dealing with horrifyi...Show More
‘Fahrenheit 451’ rekindled

54:15 | Jun 7th, 2018

An American Icons special segment about “Fahrenheit 451,” the cautionary tale about authoritarianism and free speech that has seen a sales surge since the 2016 election. How Tony Visconti, Bowie's longtime producer, captured the artist's career in a ...Show More
Science and Creativity: Way to Go, Einstein Part III

15:53 | Jun 5th, 2018

Columbia University astrophysicist Janna Levin talks to Kurt Andersen about gravitational waves, the book she wrote about the breakthrough called “Black Hole Blues,” and the arduous, 50-year journey to finally hearing the sound that proves a 100 year...Show More
Science and Creativity: Way to Go, Einstein Part II

18:44 | Jun 4th, 2018

James Gleick tries to imagine what Einstein would have thought about time travel.  “For a while, I was hoping I could find a letter from Einstein,” he says. “My dream was that he'd read the 'Time Machine' and said 'Ah ha!' But of course, there's noth...Show More
Science and Creativity: Way to Go, Einstein Part I

20:49 | Jun 3rd, 2018

When he was growing up in Germany in the 1880s and 90s, nobody had pegged Einstein as a genius. He dropped out of high school and had to apply twice to a university in Switzerland that accepted students without high school diplomas. He did well at co...Show More
American Icons: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

54:31 | May 31st, 2018

How do you build a monument to a war that was more tragic than triumphant? Maya Lin was practically a kid when she got the commission to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. “The veterans were asking me, ‘What do you think peopl...Show More
American Animals: Bart Layton’s New Breed of True Crime

17:54 | May 29th, 2018

In 2012, Bart Layton made his directorial debut with The Imposter — an ambitious true crime story that mixes documentary and narrative filmmaking. His latest movie further blurs the lines between fiction and reality: American Animals depicts a 2004 b...Show More
Muppet regime

52:35 | May 24th, 2018

The latest installment in Studio 360’s American Icons series: The Muppets — how the world fell for Jim Henson’s troupe of puppets. Plus, teleprompters were supposed to make cue cards obsolete, but not on “Saturday Night Live,” where “Cue Card Wally” ...Show More
Science and Creativity: The Multiverse Part III

16:28 | May 22nd, 2018

For a long time, mainstream scientists were deeply skeptical about the theory of multiple universes — but comic-book writers immediately saw the creative possibilities. University of Minnesota physics professor (and author of the book "The Physics of...Show More
Science and Creativity: The Multiverse Part II

19:52 | May 21st, 2018

“The Crawick Multiverse” is a sprawling piece of landscape art tucked into Dumfries and Galloway in the Scottish countryside, on the site of what used to be a coal mine. The artist Charles Jenks took the BBC’s Anna Magnusson on a tour of the site.The...Show More
Science and Creativity: The Multiverse Part I

17:47 | May 20th, 2018

Mark Oliver Everett (AKA "E") is best known as the singer, songwriter, and driving force behind the indie rock band Eels. A lesser-known biographical detail about Mark: his father, Hugh Everett III, proposed the "many worlds" interpretation of quantu...Show More
Pet projects

54:29 | May 17th, 2018

A show about how — and why — pets become our muses. Elias Weiss Friedman, the photographer behind the blog The Dogist, shows Kurt how to photograph a pooch and get that cocked-head, raised-ears look. Dog trainer Teresa Miller explains how she trained...Show More
When Bad People Create Good Art

25:56 | May 15th, 2018

In the MeToo era, so many creative people are being outed as bullies, sexual predators, and worse. And for journalists who cover arts and entertainment, it’s been a bit of a tightrope: How can you write about House of Cards or The Cosby Show ever aga...Show More
One mom at a time

51:06 | May 10th, 2018

The art of motherhood. Gloria Calderón Kellett talks about making “One Day at a Time” and the classic TV moms who influenced how she writes about motherhood. Novelists Louise Erdrich and Megan Hunter, along with Parley Ann Boswell, talk about the art...Show More
Super humans

53:51 | May 3rd, 2018

Creating superheroes. Kurt Andersen talks with “Superman” writer Gene Luen Yang on “Boxers & Saints” and “American Born Chinese.” Plus, the complicated — and sometimes divisive — issue of cosplay characters dressing up as a character of a different r...Show More
Ch-ch-changes: Making the Bowie Mashup

14:44 | May 1st, 2018

After touring the world for the last five years, the "David Bowie is" exhibit is making its final stand at the Brooklyn Museum. The show features over 400 pieces: diary entries, handwritten lyrics, artwork, and lots of unforgettable costumes.But Bowi...Show More
One tall woman

53:31 | Apr 26th, 2018

Kurt Andersen speaks with Laurie Metcalf, the actor who is striking gold everywhere: she was nominated for an Oscar for her role as the mother in “Lady Bird,” stars in the Broadway play “Three Tall Women,” and, with most of the rest of the original c...Show More
American Tricons

49:23 | Apr 19th, 2018

Three stories from the American Icons series. How “Amazing Grace,” a song written by a slave trader, came to be a civil rights anthem. Plus, a novel that featured “Amazing Grace” and helped popularize it, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ...Show More
The Sound of One Claw Slashing (SNIKT!)

16:12 | Apr 17th, 2018

Now that it’s conquered the cineplex and Netflix, Marvel is going after your earbuds — with its first scripted podcast,Wolverine: The Long Night. It tells the story of Special Agents Pierce and Marshall, who arrive in a small Alaskan fishing town to ...Show More
A void: The Noid

52:43 | Apr 12th, 2018

An oral history of The Noid. It was a lighthearted Domino’s campaign, with claymation by the same designers who made the California Raisins — but it drove one man over the edge. Plus, Kurt Andersen talks with TV and magazine writer Nell Scovell about...Show More
Poets who know it

52:56 | Apr 5th, 2018

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we’re featuring some of our favorite American practitioners. Tracy K. Smith shares some of her surprising sources of poetic inspiration: David Bowie and the Hubble Space Telescope. And she chooses the winners to ou...Show More
A Room of Nell Scovell’s Own

17:27 | Apr 3rd, 2018

You might not have heard of Nell Scovell, but you’ve definitely seen her work: she’s written for The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman, Murphy Brown and co-wrote the 2013 blockbuster book Lean In with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl S...Show More
What Laurie Anderson lost

52:37 | Mar 29th, 2018

Kurt Andersen talks with performer and artist Laurie Anderson about her long career and her new book, “All the Things I Lost in the Flood,” and new album, “Landfall.” Jess Thom used to be kind of in denial about having Tourette syndrome, but then she...Show More
The art of noise

53:14 | Mar 22nd, 2018

A show about how sounds from household items and nature get turned into something else. First Kurt Andersen talks with Ben Burtt, the legendary sound designer who came up with the iconic noises in “Star Wars,” “WALL-E” and more. Then Kurt gets a less...Show More
When The Belly Room Grew — and Flopped — for Female Comics

15:42 | Mar 20th, 2018

In 1978, there were more female comedians in LA than ever before, and many of them were performing at the Comedy Store. But that didn’t mean they were treated fairly, or even given much of a chance to perform.The Comedy Store’s owner, Mitzi Shore, tr...Show More
Babe I’m leaving

52:59 | Mar 15th, 2018

Just as art collector Peggy Cooper Cafritz was about to publish a book about the work of black artists she has championed, she died suddenly, and Kurt hears from some people who will miss her the most. Writer Richard Klin admits his love for one of t...Show More
Late bloomers

52:59 | Mar 8th, 2018

Some of our favorite artists who hit their stride when the blush of youth was long gone. Hilton Als talks with Toni Morrison, who didn’t write her first novel until she was 39. David Chase was a writer and producer for television for decades, most fa...Show More
The Brothers Weisberg on The Americans and Trumpcast

25:03 | Mar 6th, 2018

In 2013, novelist and former CIA officer Joe Weisberg created the FX TV series The Americans. It’s about a pair of Russian spies living as Americans in Washington D.C. Three years later, Joe Weisberg’s older brother, Slate’s editor-in-chief Jacob Wei...Show More
The shape of Oscar

53:57 | Mar 1st, 2018

Kurt Anderson talks with Doug Jones, the go-to guy to play creatures and monsters in Hollywood, about his performance in “The Shape of Water.” When it comes to political acceptance speeches at the Academy Awards, it’s a fine line between awe-inspirin...Show More
American Icons: The Lincoln Memorial

54:05 | Feb 22nd, 2018

Kurt Andersen looks into how the Lincoln Memorial became an American Icon. Sarah Vowell discusses the battle over Lincoln's memory, which lasted for three generations. Dorothy Height, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, recalls witnessing Marian ...Show More
Wipe your nose!

54:02 | Feb 15th, 2018

Irish actress Denise Gough tells Kurt about her lean years before her two big breakout roles in London — both of which came to New York. A listener named Sam Cook left the church, but his love of Christian rock remains. In 1963, “The First Family” br...Show More
Learning to love Comic Sans

53:01 | Feb 8th, 2018

Kurt talks with Ruth Carter, the costume designer who recreated historically accurate clothing for period pictures like “Malcolm X,” “Selma,” and “The Butler,” but for “Black Panther” came up with a bold look for the future. Randy Levin is one of tho...Show More
Papa was a rolling stone

53:28 | Feb 1st, 2018

The musical children of musical stars. Sean Lennon on growing up with John and Yoko. Rosanne Cash’s surprising musical guilty pleasure. Joshua Redman on his fellow saxophone player — and father — Dewey Redman. And a performance from Rufus Wainwright....Show More
Will Super Bowl Ads lay off bikini babes for #MeToo?

16:03 | Jan 30th, 2018

Even in this increasingly fragmented media age, the Super Bowl is one of those rare television events that really captures the country. Nearly one in three Americans -- more than 100 million -- tunes into the game. And while the NFL viewership in pas...Show More
Fantastic women

53:35 | Jan 25th, 2018

Daniela Vega, who stars in the Oscar-nominated film from Chile, “A Fantastic Woman,” tells Kurt about her own experiences as a transgender woman that she brought to the role. How the artist Linden Frederick got writers including Dennis Lehane and Eli...Show More
I killed Captain Kirk

52:22 | Jan 18th, 2018

Looking back on the half-century-long legacy of Star Trek, including six television series and 13 feature films. First, Slate cultural critic Marissa Martinelli tells Kurt  about the new TV show, “Star Trek: Discovery.” Writer and producer Ronald D. ...Show More
Breaker 1-9

48:41 | Jan 11th, 2018

How the oil crisis of the 1970s inspired C.W. McCall's novelty trucker hit "Convoy," launching a national CB radio craze. Theater designer Joshua Dachs tells Kurt how stages have evolved over the centuries -- and why so many productions are now drawn...Show More
Staff picks, 2017 (Volume 2)

48:43 | Jan 4th, 2018

Kurt Andersen talks with Stevie Salas, whose documentary, “RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” highlights rockers like Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, and Robbie Robertson.  Bestselling Young Adult author Angie Thomas on how the late ...Show More
Staff picks, 2017 (Volume 1)

57:05 | Dec 28th, 2017

Celebrating a year that couldn’t end quickly enough with some of our favorite segments. Academy Award-winner Thelma Schoonmaker, who has edited every Martin Scorsese movie for the nearly four decades, talks with Kurt about editing Scorsese’s latest f...Show More
Where is Bobbie Gentry?

55:30 | Dec 21st, 2017

A theater in Memphis decided to stop showing “Gone with the Wind,” and Aisha Harris, a Slate culture writer and host of the podcast Represent, joins Kurt to talk about what many see as a nostalgia for slavery in the movie. At 50, there are two centra...Show More
That’s What She Said

14:06 | Dec 15th, 2017

Amid all the recent allegations of sexual harassment, June Thomas takes a look at how the issue is depicted on TV. “Watching television is something that millions of Americans do every night,” she says, “so storylines about sexual harassment can set ...Show More
So you think you're creative?

56:01 | Dec 14th, 2017

We're always talking about creativity, but what do we mean? Can we find creativity, can we measure it, can we encourage it? Kurt talks with Gary Marcus, a psychology professor about what science tells us about creativity. A researcher puts jazz music...Show More
Gay theater, then and now.

56:15 | Dec 7th, 2017

New York Times theater critic Jesse Green and playwright Paul Rudnick join Kurt to discuss groundbreaking gay theater over the past 50 years. How will plays like “Angels in America” and “Torch Song Trilogy,” which are being revived, hold up for today...Show More
Studio360 | New Yorker Cover Illustrator Barry Blitt

16:57 | Dec 1st, 2017

Illustrator and political cartoonist Barry Blitt is best known for his New Yorker covers. Over the past three decades, he’s paired his signature ink and watercolors with his dry wit. This past fall he published a beautiful coffee-table book that’s a ...Show More
American Tricon

51:00 | Nov 22nd, 2017

This week, a triple header from the series American Icons, which focuses on works of art that changed the way we think about America.First is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Scarlet Letter”: his 1850 novel about a woman being shamed for having an affair. Anna...Show More
I'm the Boss, Baby

55:08 | Nov 16th, 2017

Alec Baldwin, who these days may be best known for his depictions of President Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” joins Kurt to discuss how he has played many villains in his career, and their points of view might best be summarized by the words of the ...Show More
The Agonies of Small Talk

55:46 | Nov 9th, 2017

Sitting down with some of the smartypants whom the MacArthur Foundation just awarded its genius grants. Jesmyn Ward began writing about rural African American life after the horrors of Katrina and the loss of her brother. The playwright Annie Baker’s...Show More
Tracey Ullman is such a character

55:03 | Nov 2nd, 2017

Tracey Ullman is back, this time on HBO, and she talks with Kurt about her new series and her hilarious impersonations of celebrities including Judi Dench and Angela Merkel. An artist finds a use for Hillary Clinton’s unused victory confetti. And Aut...Show More
Dance Studio 360

56:13 | Oct 26th, 2017

Twyla Tharp is the most celebrated American choreographer working today, but that doesn’t mean she’d hoity-toity, and she talks with Kurt about choreographing to such accessible music at the Beach Boys, Billie Joel and Fran Sinatra. How Yillah Natali...Show More
Sugar Mouth

57:21 | Oct 19th, 2017

Artists Agnès Varda and JR were born 55 years apart but have so much in common, and made a lovely film, “Faces Places.” Have horror movies jump scares, like when the axe-wielding maniac lurches out of the bushes, gone from a reliable technique to a h...Show More
Michael Chabon Sings!

55:02 | Oct 6th, 2017

Danny Strong joins Kurt to talk about how he began his career as an actor, evolved into as a writer of movies like “Game Change,” and just made his directorial debut with “Rebel in the Rye,” which is about the circumstances under which J.D. Salinger ...Show More
Does Laughter Yoga Work?

55:04 | Sep 28th, 2017

Is the old cliché true — is laughter the best medicine? Kurt Andersen and Mary Harris, a health reporter at WNYC, go to a laughter yoga class to find out. Also, we hear from a neuroscientist who studies laughter and moonlights as a standup comedian. ...Show More
Harvard’s Full of Morons

55:00 | Sep 21st, 2017

Steven Spielberg doesn’t like to talk about filmmaking much, but he talked (and talked, and talked) to documentary filmmakerSusan Lacy, who sits down with Kurt Andersen to discuss her definitive portrait of the master. Any classical musician will tel...Show More
Learning to Love “Fuller House”

55:03 | Sep 14th, 2017

John McPhee is the godfather of a certain kind of long-form creative non-fiction, and over the past half-century, he’s written over 100 articles for The New Yorker. He sits down with Kurt to talk about his new book, which is part memoir, part tutoria...Show More
Back to School Special

54:29 | Sep 7th, 2017

School is back in session, so Studio 360 is hitting the books. Kurt calls up his favorite teacher from high school to compare notes. The novelist Nicholson Baker signs up to be a substitute teacher. And comedian Aparna Nancherla reveals the shocking ...Show More
Casting ‘Moonlight’

55:29 | Aug 31st, 2017

Some of our favorite recent stories about movies. Kurt talks with Jenny Slate about how her movie career blossomed long after her inglorious stint on Saturday Night Live. Yesi Ramirez breaks down how she cast the Best Picture winner, Moonlight. A fil...Show More
Sing your “I want” song

54:31 | Aug 24th, 2017

Our favorite recent segments about the stage. Kurt talks with Frank Langella about his screen and stage career since his breakout role as Dracula in the 1970s. A budding soprano describes her unusual day job: determining exactly when subtitles should...Show More
Say it loud: “moist”

54:48 | Aug 17th, 2017

Some of our favorite recent stories about books and the people who make them. Kurt talks with Claudia Rankine about capturing what racism really feels like in “Citizen: An American Lyric,” and to Helen Oyeyemi about her very un-Disney re-imagining of...Show More
When music punches you in the face.

55:19 | Aug 10th, 2017

Some of our favorite recent stories about music.What drove Carrie Brownstein to actually punch herself in the face when she was on tour with Sleater-Kinney, the haunting beauty and artistry of the “Twin Peaks” score, and Shamir plays insanely catchy ...Show More
Nikola Tesla: Strange Genius

48:53 | Aug 1st, 2017

The astounding mad scientist life of Nikola Tesla. Just who was this pioneer of radio, radar, and wireless communication? We discover his legacy in the work of today’s scientists and artists. Samantha Hunt’s novel The Invention of Everything Else is ...Show More
Ready to “Rumble”

55:43 | Jul 27th, 2017

How many f-bombs and gun shots determine a movie’s rating? Howard Fridkin reveals the process of rating movies. Plus, how Native Americans shaped rock and roll history, and a live performance by NPR Tiny Desk Contest winners Tank and the Bangas. Lear...Show More
Off Script

55:14 | Jul 13th, 2017

This week, Kurt goes through the looking glass into the world of conspiracy thrillers. Plus, Matt Walsh breaks down how he improvises comedy on the set of “Veep.” And Jimmy Iovine explains how he sold music in the ever-shifting music industry. Learn ...Show More
American Icons: The Great Gatsby

55:11 | Jul 6th, 2017

Episodes of false identity, living large, and murder in the suburbs add up to the great American novel.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Bee is for Blondie

55:18 | Jun 29th, 2017

Should arts organizations accept money from the Koch brothers? Art critic Philip Kennicott weighs in. Plus, Oscar-winning director Errol Morris talks about interviewing Elsa Dorfman and Donald Trump. And Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein share m...Show More
Tupac and Art Rock

53:27 | Jun 22nd, 2017

This week, an episode about groundbreaking pop music: The music that preceded and followed Radiohead’s landmark album, “OK Computer.” Plus, an exploration of how the life of Tupac Shakur was mythologized — even by Tupac himself. And gospel punk band ...Show More
Across the Multiverse

51:48 | Jun 15th, 2017

Universe not big enough for you? There’s always the multiverse — many universes, scattered through time and space. In one world, you might drive a bus; in another, you might be a Formula One racer. If the idea sounds familiar, that could be because i...Show More
Homecoming Attractions

51:46 | Jun 8th, 2017

This week, Kurt talks with “Daily Show” Correspondent Hasan Minhaj about surviving the Trump Administration. Plus, the story behind one of the great literary hoaxes of the century: “Naked Came the Stranger.” And statistician Ben Blatt uses data analy...Show More
American Icons: I Love Lucy

51:59 | Jun 1st, 2017

This is where television invented itself.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Manchester, United

52:29 | May 25th, 2017

This week, a conversation with music journalist Eve Barlow about the terror attack in Manchester and the city’s rich musical history. Plus, “Master of None” co-creator Alan Yang reveals behind-the-scenes stories from the Netflix series, and an expert...Show More
Whoa, Canada

52:14 | May 18th, 2017

This week, as President Trump threatens Canada, we salute our neighbors to the north. Kurt gets his Canadian knowledge tested, k.d. lang talks about her Canuck roots, and Mac DeMarco plays live. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit More
Twin Peek

51:47 | May 11th, 2017

This week, we head back to “Twin Peaks.” “Fargo” showrunner Noah Hawley talks about the impact of David Lynch’s cult TV show. Plus, what it was like growing up where the show was filmed, and the composers behind “X-Files” and “Breaking Bad” discuss t...Show More
American Icons: Buffalo Bill

51:45 | May 4th, 2017

This was the American spectacle that colonized our dreams.He was the most famous American in the world — a showman and spin artist who parlayed a buffalo-hunting gig into an entertainment empire. William F. Cody’s stage show presented a new creation ...Show More
Handmaid in America

52:10 | Apr 27th, 2017

This week, why Margaret Atwood dedicated “The Handmaid’s Tale” to a woman known as Half-Hanged Mary. Plus, the Kinks’ Ray Davies shares his playlist of his favorite American songs, and the story behind that album with George Carlin’s classic bit, “Se...Show More
Fan Overboard!

51:41 | Apr 20th, 2017

This week, Studio 360 gets obsessed about fandom: a look inside the world of black cosplayers at ComicCon, Kurt visits a Japanese pop culture paradise, and an atheist proselytizes “Jesus Christ Superstar.”Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megap...Show More
How Sweet the Sound

51:28 | Apr 13th, 2017

How a church hymn became an American anthem: the surprising and complicated story behind “Amazing Grace.” Plus, a conversation with novelist Yewande Omotoso about her book, “The Woman Next Door.” And Aimee Mann reveals her biggest influences and perf...Show More
American Icons: Superman

51:47 | Apr 6th, 2017

Disguised as a mild-mannered reporter, Kurt Andersen explores the history of Superman with cartoonists Jules Feiffer and Art Spiegelman, director Bryan Singer, novelists Michael Chabon and Howard Jacobson, and the 1978 Lois Lane, Margot Kidder. Is th...Show More
“Shaft” and Present

52:10 | Mar 30th, 2017

This week, the story of “Shaft.” Plus, learn the lingo in a TV writers’ room with “Veep” showrunner David Mandel. And Kurt talks to author Osama Alomar about his collection of very short fiction, “The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories.”Learn more abo...Show More
Pet Projects

51:40 | Mar 23rd, 2017

This week, Kurt heads to a dog park and learns how to take the perfect pet portrait. Plus, the story behind “Share A Smile Becky,” Mattel’s attempt at creating a Barbie doll that used a wheelchair. And Carter Burwell, who scored the music for films b...Show More
Magnetic Feels

51:31 | Mar 16th, 2017

This week, Kurt talks to comedians Kate Berlant and John Early about their absurdist new series, “555.” Plus, how filmmaker Garry Fraser went from being a heroin addict in Scotland to working on “T2: Trainspotting” — a movie about heroin addicts in S...Show More
American Icons: Monticello

51:52 | Mar 9th, 2017

The home of America’s aspirations and deepest contradictions.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Getting into 'Get Out'

52:27 | Mar 2nd, 2017

This week, Kurt talks to writer/director Jordan Peele about his new horror film “Get Out.” Plus, how Leonard Bernstein brought classical music from the concert hall to the living room. And Afropop band Sinkane performs live in our studio.Learn more a...Show More
Political Art

51:57 | Feb 23rd, 2017

This week, a look at artists — from the left to the right — getting political.  Conservative painter Jon McNaughton talks about creating art in the era of the Trump administration. Plus, the Black Panthers' brief foray into the music business. And Ph...Show More
Oscar Preview

52:09 | Feb 16th, 2017

This week, we preview the Academy Awards. The casting director of “Moonlight” talks about the complicated process of finding the right actors for three different time periods. Plus, “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle guides Kurt through the classi...Show More
Love is on the Air

52:10 | Feb 9th, 2017

Where do you turn when you’re heartbroken in the dead of night? Delilah, of course — her radio call-in show pairs romantic advice with the perfect song. Plus, we discover the surprisingly sweet couple behind one of history’s naughtiest gag gifts: edi...Show More
Here’s Looking at You

52:48 | Feb 2nd, 2017

This week, Kurt talks to former NEA chairman Dana Gioia about how the Trump Administration may target federally-funded art. Plus, screenwriter Robert D. Siegel reveals how a real-life story becomes a Hollywood movie. And Karina Longworth and Noah Ise...Show More
The Scene and the Unseen

52:13 | Jan 26th, 2017

This week, a conversation with Oscar-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker, the story behind Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic moment, and a New York Times critic picks the timeliest show on TV.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
American Icons: The Wizard of Oz

52:03 | Jan 19th, 2017

This is America’s dreamland.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Marilyn Monroe’s Long-Lost Skirt Scene

09:18 | Jan 16th, 2017

Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic moment — standing over a subway grate as her white dress billows up — was originally filmed in Manhattan in 1954. But a crowd of onlookers forced the producers to reshoot the scene in a Hollywood sound stage, and footage ...Show More
POTUS as Tastemaker

52:06 | Jan 12th, 2017

Our inauguration special: A review of Barack Obama's arts legacy, how fashion goes from inside the beltway to the runway, and "Game Change" co-author John Heilemann talks about the cultural tastes of Donald Trump.Learn more about your ad choices. Vis...Show More
How to Remember

52:38 | Jan 5th, 2017

This week, Kurt talks to Adam Driver, an architect tries to build a museum in Iraq, how Sly and the Family Stone created a pop music masterpiece, and Taylor Mac does a decade-by-decade revue of American pop.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit meg...Show More
Kurt's Favorite Conversation of 2016

23:04 | Dec 31st, 2016

Jack Viertel is a human encyclopedia of musical theater. He’s the producer of hit Broadway shows like “Hairspray,” “Kinky Boots,” and “The Producers.” And he’s also the artistic director of Encores, a New York series that resurrects vintage musicals....Show More
Designing Life

52:50 | Dec 29th, 2016

From "Semi-Living Dolls" to glowing florescent illustrations, artists are using the tools of synthetic biology to grow their own materials and create works of art that are, essentially, alive. It’s one thing to wag our fingers at big scientific insti...Show More
The Eerie Familiarity of "Man in the High Castle"

18:55 | Dec 26th, 2016

The Man in the High Castle, the Emmy Award winning TV series, imagines a world in which the Nazi’s won WWII. Set in the 1960s, the show blends actual pop cultural imagery and artifacts with fictional interpretations of an alternative ending to the wa...Show More
Get a Clue

52:22 | Dec 22nd, 2016

This week, Kurt creates a crossword with a New York Times puzzle-maker, a neuroscientist explains why so many people share the same false memory, and a theater company brings August Wilson back to his boyhood home.Learn more about your ad choices. Vi...Show More
Human Intelligence: A Holiday Tale

23:18 | Dec 19th, 2016

Kurt Andersen’s version of a Christmas story doesn’t have your typical talking snowman or mistletoe. Instead, this holiday tale involves extraterrestrial surveillance and melting polar ice caps. "Human Intelligence," was produced for radio by Jonatha...Show More
Close Encounters

52:09 | Dec 15th, 2016

This week, a stereophonic odyssey into the Amazon, the otherworldly nature of octopuses, and why a theater critic thinks Shakespeare is much ado about nothing.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas

07:25 | Dec 12th, 2016

Nothing takes the edge off the holidays quite like the soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Vince Guaraldi. The jazz musician and composer always wanted to write a standard. And since the “Peanuts” holiday special first aired in 1965, its sco...Show More
Way to Go, Einstein

49:49 | Dec 8th, 2016

This week, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity: how Einstein upended the way we see space and time, his effect on pop culture, and how one of his most preposterous ideas was ultimately proven right. Learn more...Show More
It’s Only Post-Natural

12:19 | Dec 5th, 2016

If you take a trip to your local natural history museum, you’ll likely discover the story of our planet told through vast collections of species, vibrant dioramas and exhibits on the evolution of life on earth. But historically, these institutions ha...Show More
And Don’t Call Me Shirley

52:09 | Dec 1st, 2016

An hour about spoofs, parodies, and lampoonery. Mel Brooks and David Zucker talk about the art of mocking movies. Then, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost deconstruct action flicks. And a live, unplugged performance by "Weird Al" Yankovic.Learn ...Show More
Sharon Jones's Soul Revival

16:40 | Nov 28th, 2016

Sharon Jones burst onto the music scene about 10 years ago — she was backed by The Dap-Kings, a straight-out-of-the-1960s funk band with a fantastic horn section.  And at just 5 feet tall, Sharon had all of the funk and spark of James Brown. The band...Show More
All Shakespeare All the Time

52:15 | Nov 24th, 2016

On the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, we look at the ways his work continues to change and adapt. In the 19th century, Shakespeare’s work got caught up in minstrel shows — and African-American actors are still struggling to claim t...Show More
Remembering Ultra-American Musician Leon Russell

12:58 | Nov 21st, 2016

Leon Russell passed away last week — he was 74. During the 1970s, he forged a musical career unlike almost anyone else’s before or since: an ultra-American mix of country, blues, gospel, and rock n’ roll, collaborating with musicians from all those g...Show More
Y’all, Youse, or Yinz?

52:28 | Nov 17th, 2016

On this week’s show, novelist Brit Bennett reads from her debut novel, “The Mothers.” Plus, Josh Katz gives us a tour of American regionalisms. And Leonor Caraballo and Abou Farman create art in the face of the cancer. Learn more about your ad choice...Show More
DJ Shadow’s Record-Breaking Album

10:04 | Nov 14th, 2016

Twenty years ago this week, DJ Shadow set a Guinness World Record for creating an album made up entirely of samples, many of them from LPs he rescued from the 50-cent bin. But “Endtroducing” is also musically and compositionally inventive, and it cau...Show More
This Land is Trump's Land

52:10 | Nov 10th, 2016

This week: How a former reality TV star was elected president. Then, Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith writes a poem inspired by a Baton Rouge protester. And we explore the creation of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.”Learn more about your...Show More
Live from New York, It’s Election Night!

07:37 | Nov 7th, 2016

Nobody defined the satirical style of “Saturday Night Live” more than Jim Downey. He wrote for the show for over 33 seasons and was SNL’s head writer for 10 years. Downey gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how SNL crafted political sketches through...Show More
Eugenia Cheng, Guilty Pleasures & Jacob Collier

52:19 | Nov 3rd, 2016

On this week’s show, Eugenia Cheng whips up a delicious math lesson for Kurt. Plus, writer Sadie Stein defends one of the most detested words in the English language. Then, an art historian and a scientist explore the connection between bird plumage ...Show More
Spooky Scary Studio 360: How to Make Your Skeleton Scary

06:28 | Oct 31st, 2016

Happy Halloween!Jack Handey, thinker of Deep Thoughts, takes on the ultimate holiday question: If a skeleton’s not scary, what’s the point of having one? He offers a few tips on how to make your skeleton live up to its reputation so you’re not buryin...Show More