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It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders
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It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders

Author: NPR

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Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.
394 Episodes
Torrey Peters' new book Detransition, Baby, is about navigating identity, commitment, parenthood and divorce. The three main characters, a pregnant cis woman, her partner who is a detransitioned man, and his ex, a trans woman, are all considering how they might come together to create a family. Sam talks to Torrey about writing for trans readers, creating flawed characters and how the COVID-19 pandemic can be viewed through a trans lens. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
What's an awards season when many theaters are still closed and it's harder to track which movies and shows deserve buzz? Louis Virtel and Ira Madison III, co-hosts of Keep It chat with Sam about who's being selected and who's being overlooked, and whether the pandemic further exposes awards' irrelevance or not. Plus, Sam talks with Maria Garcia about her podcast, Anything for Selena, and why honoring Selena is political.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
A special episode from our friends at NPR's history podcast Throughline: Octavia Butler's alternate realities and 'speculative fiction' reveal striking, and often devastating parallels to the world we live in today. She was a deep observer of the human condition, perplexed and inspired by our propensity towards self-destruction. But along with her warning is her message of hope - a hope conjured by centuries of survival and persistence. For every society that perishes in her books comes a story of rebuilding, of repair.
Will the vaccine make me sick? Can I see grandma if she's vaccinated but I'm not? And what's the deal with double masking? Listeners had questions about the coronavirus and vaccines, Sam and NPR Short Wave host Maddie Sofia have answers. Sam also talks to his Aunt Betty about her experience getting her COVID-19 vaccination. Then, the view on coming out to the other side of the pandemic with health journalist Bridie Witton in New Zealand.— Learn more about masks: A User's Guide To Masks: What's Best At Protecting Others (And Yourself)You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
Sam talks to filmmaker and activist Abigail Disney, daughter of Roy E. Disney, about her views on inequality in the U.S., corporate greed and why, despite her last name, she's become one of the more vocal and prominent critics of The Walt Disney empire.
An Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, has become ground zero in a battle that could change Amazon as we know it. Sam chats with a worker about his experience, and labor reporter and organizer Kim Kelly talks about what the fight for unionization in Amazon's warehouses means for the future of workers' rights. Plus, Sam talks to Nick Cho, known as Your Korean Dad on TikTok, about becoming the internet's favorite dad. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
Desus Nice and The Kid Mero went from calling up "anyone in their phone book" in the early days of their podcast Bodega Boys, to booking big names in politics like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Barack Obama on Desus & Mero, their late-night show airing on Showtime. Covering a mix of pop culture, politics, headlines and internet hijinks, Desus and Mero talk to Sam about keeping their show's vibe while working from home, how their view of politics has evolved as their platform has grown and the strange ways that life has changed now that these Bronx natives are famous.You can follow 'It's Been a Minute' on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
What would you do if a truck full of money flung its doors open right in front of you? Our friends at the Snap Judgment podcast tell six stories that will make you question your own conscience.You can follow 'It's Been a Minute' on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
Why does Whitney Houston's 1991 Super Bowl national anthem still resonate 30 years later? Sam chats with author and Black Girl Songbook host Danyel Smith about that moment of Black history and what it says about race, patriotism and pop culture. You can follow 'It's Been a Minute' on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
Sam sits in the Fresh Air host chair to chat with actor Angela Bassett. She talks about her most recent film, Disney and Pixar's Soul, what drew her to acting as a young person growing up in Florida, whether Hollywood has changed for Black creatives and which of her past roles define her as a performer.You can follow 'It's Been a Minute' on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
What does immigration look like under President Biden? Sam talks to Caitlin Dickerson, staff writer at The Atlantic, about the likelihood Biden can push through policies that other administrations from both parties tried and failed to do. Plus, Sam chats with former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara about his new podcast, Doing Justice, and how the nation's ideas about rules and law have changed in the past few years. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
The Future Of Fashion

The Future Of Fashion


Hello, sweatpants. With scaled-down Fashion Weeks, department stores hurting, and more and more people opting for loungewear rather than workplace attire... where does that leave the fashion business in 2021? Sam talks to Robin Givhan, senior critic-at-large at The Washington Post, about how the very harsh reality of the pandemic has shifted an industry largely built on fantasy.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
How will the response to far-right extremism compare to the response after 9/11? Sam talks to Hannah Allam, NPR national security correspondent, about the security and civil liberties debate over taking a "war on terror" mindset to today's far-right threat. Also, Sam chats with sisters Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar, co-authors of the book You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey, about their inexplicable, sometimes hilarious, but always horrifying stories of everyday racism. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
What will happen to Fox News after President Trump leaves office? Fox News is facing Trump's anger for not being sufficiently "loyal," and it's seeing new competition as viewers head to conservative networks like Newsmax and One America News Network. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik and Sam discuss how the feuds of cable news fuel our politics and how the whole news industry adapts to life after Trump. Follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
A lot of the pro-Trump extremism behind the attack on the Capitol flourished online. Sam talks to Bobby Allyn and Shannon Bond, who both cover tech for NPR, about social platforms and the actions they've taken since the siege, the implications for free speech and whether the internet could fundamentally change. Also, Sam talks to Devon Price, author of the book Laziness Does Not Exist, about the lie of laziness and what it means for productivity.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
History has a way of repeating itself. Last week's storming of the U.S. Capitol has parallels to an incident dating back to 1874, when a paramilitary force of ex-Confederates seized control of the Louisiana state house. Their goal? To depose a governor who won the election and replace him with his opponent. Sam revisits this history with Jamelle Bouie, columnist at The New York Times. They explore why the path toward political unity in our time might actually be through division.Follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
The Capitol, Mobbed

The Capitol, Mobbed


With the pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol this week, at the same time that Congress was set to certify the presidential election results, 2021 is off to a rocky start. Sam checks in with NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis and NPR White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe on the Capitol breach and the week in politics.
Sam revisits his conversation from 2020 with actress Pamela Adlon. Adlon is the writer, star, director and co-creator of the acclaimed comedy-drama Better Things on FX. The series follows Adlon's character, Sam, as a divorced actress, raising three kids in Los Angeles - all things that mirror Adlon's real life. Sam talks to Adlon about her career, seeing your parents as real-life people, and the awful, crazy, beautiful experience of being a parent yourself.
After a year that offered many moments of reflection—from the coronavirus pandemic, to protests for racial justice, to the long election season—acclaimed poet Claudia Rankine's latest book offers a framework to process it all. That book is called Just Us: An American Conversation, and in this episode, we revisit her chat with NPR's Audie Cornish. In the book, Rankine has conversations about race with friends and strangers—and learns about herself in the process.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
Sam sits in the Fresh Air host chair to talk with writer and director Aaron Sorkin. His latest film The Trial of the Chicago 7 covers the events at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago when several prominent anti-war activists were accused of conspiring to start a riot.Wanna show your love for 'It's Been a Minute'? Support your local NPR station:
Comments (38)


I've heard Nedi's stories on Levar Burton Reads

Feb 25th


Oh Sam, your listeners brought me to tears. They touched my soul. Thank you for talking to Devon Price about laziness. Their thoughts on it could be life changing in so many ways. I appreciate you.

Jan 16th

Jalal Hooti

oh God. the story of Dani really made me upset... 😭

Dec 20th

Baffled 38

#AriShapiro needs his own non-#NPR podcast.

Dec 11th


I burst out laughing when they sang the Succession theme song. Thanks for another great show!

Oct 31st
Reply (1)


oh xiao zhan is great

Oct 27th


he's awesome

Oct 12th
Reply (1)


I love Bill Nye!

Oct 12th


if Texan teachers strike their teaching licenses can be revoked? that doesn't seem right

Sep 25th

Maria Ray

So timely!! And so thoughtfully said!!!

Sep 13th

Maria Ray


Aug 28th
Reply (1)

Adriano Chiaretta

Totally agree on shaving your own head.

Aug 4th

muffen jr

I want so BADLY to hear the unbleeped version of this episode.

Jun 30th

Ntete Bassey Duke

such a rollercoaster of emotions episode

Jun 19th

Jes L Schultz

I wonder what history lessons you may have about what the big upperclass to rich America have done to keep the lower-lower middle classes quiet and happily pegged/immobilized .

Jun 12th

Arielle Niss

Love what you do with this show, Sam! Thank you for producing and reporting this.

Jun 10th

Xavier Doc Jenkins

Andrew Glouberman

Mar 11th

Sam Yeagle

"Scooters are bad, but people are good." 😊

Feb 22nd

"Anyway, this has been everything I wanted it to be." 🤣🤣🤣 This was fun to listen to. (:

Jan 1st
Reply (1)

Jennifer Ingram


Nov 16th
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