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Fresh Air

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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.
112 Episodes
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Since her explosive 2018 Netflix special, 'Nanette,' comic Hannah Gadsby has been trying to adjust to her newfound success. We talk about being diagnosed with autism and growing up in Tasmania. Her new special is 'Douglas.'Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the road-trip novel 'St. Christopher On Pluto.'Journalist Barton Gellman shares a Pulitzer for his reporting about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and the U.S. government's secret surveillance program. Gellman talks about his tense relationship with Snowden and getting hacked. His new book is 'Dark Mirror.'
Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price spoke with 'Fresh Air' in 2017 when her album 'All American Made' was released. She plays songs off her two records, and talks about the heartache and beauty of growing up on a farm in a small town in Illinois.AIDS activist Larry Kramer, who died May 27, was an early advocate for aggressive research into the HIV virus. He co-founded both the Gay Men's Health Crisis and the protest group ACT UP. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1992.
In just a two month period, New York City had 20,000 COVID deaths. What happens to the bodies? 'TIME' reporter W.J. Hennigan visited the disaster morgues set up around the city, and spoke with the death care workers on the front lines. "The scale of it is incomparable to anything that we've seen," he says. Also, John Powers reviews the new AMC limited series 'Quiz,' about a British couple suspected of cheating at a game show.
Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spotlight on respiratory illnesses and the breaths we so often take for granted. We talk with journalist James Nestor about why breathing through your nose is better than breathing through your mouth, snoring, and how breath work can affect your overall health. His book is 'Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.' Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album of Transylvanian folk songs by the trio Lucian Ban, John Surman and Mat Maneri.
Comic Hannah Gadsby

Comic Hannah Gadsby

2020-05-2649:154

Since her explosive 2018 Netflix special, 'Nanette,' Gadsby has been trying to adjust to her newfound success. We talk about her autism diagnosis, growing up in Tasmania, and her new special, 'Douglas.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Nancy McKinley's road trip novel 'St. Christopher on Pluto.'
In 'The Splendid And The Vile,' author Erik Larson details Churchill's first year in office, during which England endured a Nazi bombing campaign that killed more than 44,000 civilians. Larson says Churchill told his citizens the truth and inspired them to resist. (Originally Broadcast March, 2020)Lloyd Schwartz shares a collection of songs by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong that's particularly soothing right now.
Musician and actor Janelle Monáe talks about the concept behind her 2018 album 'Dirty Computer,' and her identity as a queer woman in the entertainment industry. She now stars in the second season of the thriller series 'Homecoming,' as a veteran who wakes up in a rowboat and is unable to remember who she is or how she got there.John Powers reviews a recent restoration of 'Tokyo Godfathers,' a 2003 anime film by Satoshi Kon, about three social outcasts who find an abandoned baby. ABC News correspondent Dan Harris was broadcasting live in 2004 when he experienced a panic attack. He talks about how meditation helps him work through his anxiety and shares meditation practices for the pandemic. He's the co-founder of the meditation podcast and app '10 Percent Happier.'
German photographer Astrid Kirchherr, who died May 12, took the very first publicity photos of the then little-known Liverpool band, "The Beatles." She also gave the group their signature "mop-top" haircuts. Kirchherr spoke with Terry Gross in 2008 when a book of her Beatles photographs was published. John Powers reviews a new restoration of 'Tokyo Godfathers,' a 2003 anime film by Satoshi Kon about three social outcasts who find an abandoned baby. Comedy actor and improviser Fred Willard died May 15 at age 86. He was known for his scene-stealing roles in the Christopher Guest films 'Best in Show' and 'Waiting for Guffman,' and later films like 'Anchorman' and the series 'Modern Family.' He spoke with Terry Gross in 1997.Film critic Justin Chang reviews the comedy 'The Trip to Greece,' starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, a poignant end to their anthology of travel films.
For many couples, the pandemic has exposed inequality in the home: Many women take on twice as much housework and childcare as their male partners, even when both partners are home full time. We talk with Brigid Schulte about women's visible (and invisible) labor, and how to create a more equitable household. Schulte is a journalist and author and the founder of the Better Life Lab. Also, we remember filmmaker Lynn Shelton. She died suddenly last Saturday at age 54. She wrote and directed the award-winning indie films 'Humpday,' 'Your Sister's Sister,' and 'Touchy Feely.' She spoke with Terry Gross in 2012.
Journalist Barton Gellman shares a Pulitzer for his reporting about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and the U.S. government's secret surveillance program. Gellman talks about his tense relationship with Snowden, getting hacked, and Snowden's lasting impact on privacy and security. His new book is 'Dark Mirror.'
ABC News correspondent Dan Harris was broadcasting live in 2004 when he experienced a panic attack. He credits meditation with helping him work through his anxiety — both then and now. He's the co-founder of the meditation podcast and app '10 Percent Happier.' "Meditation doesn't make the uncertainty go away. It's not like I meditate and I'm walking through this pandemic like a unicorn barfing rainbows all the time." Rather, Harris says, meditation allows people to "relax into the uncertainty."
Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe

2020-05-1848:254

The musician and actor spoke with us about the concept behind her 2018 album 'Dirty Computer,' her identity as a queer woman in the entertainment industry, and making her acting debut in the Oscar-winning film 'Moonlight.' She now stars in the second season of the thriller series 'Homecoming' as a veteran who wakes up in a rowboat and is unable to remember who she is or how she got there.
In his podcast, 'The Hilarious World of Depression,' John Moe talks with his guests (mostly comics) about their experiences with mental illness. We talk about his own depression (especially during the pandemic) and how humor gives him relief.Also, Ken Tucker reviews the new album, 'Alphabetland,' from the band X.Growing up in San Francisco in the '70s, Alia Volz's family ran a booming weed brownie business, back when growing a single cannabis plant was a felony. "I had this understanding of my family as an outlaw family from the very beginning," she says. Her memoir is 'Home Baked.'
Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller, who died May 11, was part of a comic duo with his wife Anne Meara and later played George Costanza's hot-headed father on 'Seinfeld.' He spoke to 'Fresh Air' in 1993. Also, we remember award-winning cellist Lynn Harrell. He joined the the Cleveland Orchestra when he was 18 and went on to perform as a soloist with orchestras around the world. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1987.TV critic David Bianculli reviews the genre-bending series 'The Great' on Hulu.
John Barry's 2004 book about the 1918 influenza pandemic is a current bestseller. Barry talks about the parallels that are relevant to today's COVID-19 crisis. In both cases, he says, "the outbreak was trivialized for a long time." Also, we remember eccentric pop music figure Ian Whitcomb. Many people knew him for his 1965 novelty song 'You Turn Me On,' which was a top 10 hit. He died last month at 78.And classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz shares what he's been listening to during these difficult times.
David Fajgenbaum was diagnosed with Castleman disease as a medical student and nearly died several times. In 'Chasing My Cure,' he recounts crowd-sourcing his own treatment with a global network of doctors, scientists and patients.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Benjamin Taylor's book about his friendship with Philip Roth, 'Here We Are.'
Michael Arceneaux graduated from Howard University in 2007 with more than $100,000 of private student loan debt. His new essay collection, 'I Don't Want to Die Poor,' recounts how that debt has shaped his life. "I became a 'New York Times' bestselling author the same week I lost my health insurance," he says. "I do have a foot in both worlds, because I just really know how difficult it is to attain social mobility." Also, Ken Tucker reviews the new album, 'Alphabetland,' from the band X.
Assuming the pandemic has not ended by Election Day, will you be able to vote by mail? And if not, are you willing to risk your health? We talk with journalist Emily Bazelon about her new 'NYT Magazine' article titled, "Will Americans Lose the Right to Vote in the Pandemic?" She focuses on the financial and political obstacles that are likely to prevent many Americans from voting by mail. Bazelon writes, "The U.S. prides itself on its democracy in theory, but this year, not necessarily in practice."
Longtime fashion expert and mentor Tim Gunn returns to 'Fresh Air' to talk about how the pandemic has changed his mind about comfy clothes and his new competition series, 'Making the Cut.' David Bianculli recommends the 90th birthday salute to Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim, available online.'Top Chef' judge Tom Colicchio spoke with Terry Gross about broken food supply chains, food waste, and what the future of the restaurant industry might look like due to COVID-19. Colicchio helped form the Independent Restaurant Coalition to lobby Congress for relief for the industry.
Steve Martin

Steve Martin

2020-05-0848:505

We're revisiting one of our favorite interviews from our archive, with comic Steve Martin from when his memoir 'Born Standing Up' was released in 2008. When he started doing comedy in the 1970s, his audiences often didn't know what to make of him. His material was somewhere between vaudeville and performance art. As a kid, he sold guide books in Disneyland, and hung out in magic shops while spending hours working up a magic act. Martin tells us about his years as a stand up comic—and why he ended that part of his career. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the recent 90th birthday salute to Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, which is available online.
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Comments (217)

Petra van Alphen

What a lovely man!!

May 17th
Reply

Kathy Simpson

The story is not complete without knowing his diet? sadly doctors don't study nutrition during their course. or was it stress from thes loss of his mother.

May 16th
Reply

Michael Canham

Yes Pelosi. Puke and Ugly!🤮

May 14th
Reply

LetItBeMe

Can't listen, must puke

May 7th
Reply

Teresa Wilkinson

what a wonderful interview!, I love that Mindy Kaling is so open, honest, and at ease with herself, we get a real person whose experiences are genuine, heartbreaking, confusing and endearing, in the way all our experiences are, she's immensely talented and I sincerely wish her all the best for the future

May 7th
Reply

Somnambulist_23

great interview, amazing guy

May 6th
Reply

Joe Ebacher

uhm, do you really believe China was experiencing 0 new infections a day? you were right to think it was too good to be true. i don't think they were being completely honest with the reported numbers

May 2nd
Reply

John Buckner

Very weak and shallow. 95% was little more than "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," with just a question and comment at the conclusion about what growing wealth disparity portends for politics.

Apr 14th
Reply

Alex Mercedes

so strange to hear her mistakenly identify her character's daughter since I only finished binge watching the series about 15 minutes ago. the daughter's name is Pearl not Lexie.

Apr 13th
Reply

Bea Kiddo

Wow, who knew Marc Maron would be on Fresh Air. You know you're someone when you're on Fresh Air. ✌

Mar 28th
Reply

sirenasd

I'm hooked on Comic Marc Maron On 'End Times Fun' on Castbox. Check out this episode! https://castbox.fm/vb/243195259 OMG listen to his description of his father and narcissism. I was like, I have said so many of those exact things. How does he know what I said? It's a great interview. Terri's first interview from home. I wonder if he left Highland Park. I lived near Oxy when he taped that show. Marc Maron is great.

Mar 24th
Reply

Alex Mercedes

the line of questions about the strangeness of playing in an empty hall was awkward. musicians play, rehearse, and record in empty halls all the time. Teri was after something but couldn't find the question to explore it.

Mar 22nd
Reply

Hessah

(A very Stable Genius) caught my attention and quite frankly, Trump doesn’t fail to disappoint with his antics while the Republicans continue to excuse all of his statements, the Christian way! Oh well !

Mar 21st
Reply

Christina Fordyce

wwoah. Don't get too far ahead of things - minute 38. I had to stop listening. Is there a specific reason for that prediction and down to the year?

Mar 12th
Reply

Zhenhui Lyu

Aidy B okurrrrrr

Mar 2nd
Reply

Philly Burbs

i bought the book 2 weeks ago. this stretching of the end is ridiculous. 1 chapter spread out over 3 episodes.

Feb 29th
Reply

John Buckner

Bridgett Davis is a great storyteller.

Feb 25th
Reply

Puyan RJ

Every other campaign operates the same way. Nothing new here.

Feb 18th
Reply

beth isaacs

v see

Feb 15th
Reply

Ang G

At the end, talking about diet and climate, Pollan says diet is one of the most important ways you can affect your carbon output, along with "how you heat your home and what car you drive." Interesting that he doesn't mention air travel. I suspect he flies a lot and prefers to ignore the carbon emissions from flying.

Feb 15th
Reply
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