Studio 360 With Kurt Andersen

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 Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Produced in association with Slate.

TV & Film
Society & Culture
Tracey Ullman is such a character
An artist searches for the buckets of Hillary Clinton’s victory confetti that were never dropped on Election Night. Plus Kurt interviews the sketch comedy genius Tracey Ullman as well as the novelist and YouTube star John Green.
49 min
Dance Studio 360
Twyla Tharp’s love of popular music, a belly dancer inspired by Bono, parents obsessed with tango, scientific principles to ballet, and how Christopher Wheeldon brought “An American in Paris” to the stage.
50 min
Sugar Mouth
Artists Agnès Varda and JR on a road trip (and sugar binge), the overuse of horror-movie jump cuts, why Hari Kondabolu loves “Untamed Heart,” and a manifesto for slow art.
52 min
American Icons: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
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.
50 min
Michael Chabon Sings!
Danny Strong takes on J.D. Salinger, Van Gogh paintings come to life, Michael Chabon’s punk awakening, kids’ books as literature.
50 min
Does Laughter Yoga Work?
Sure, laughing makes us feel good in the moment. But could it have enduring health effects?
50 min
Harvard’s Full of Morons
Spielberg’s greatness, “Bojack Horseman’s” edginess, the worst seat at the symphony.
50 min
Learning to Love “Fuller House”
Why B.J. Novak loves “Fuller House,” John McPhee’s writing tips, Amadou & Mariam live.
50 min
Back to School Special
This week: Kurt calls up his favorite high school teacher, novelist Nicholson Baker fills in as a substitute, and scientists turn their research into dance.
49 min
Casting ‘Moonlight’
A behind the scenes look at films we love and one film people love to hate.
50 min
Sing your “I want” song
Our favorite recent segments about the stage, including lingo for staples of musicals like the “I want” song.
50 min
Say it loud: “moist”
Our favorite recent segments featuring writers and books, including one writer’s defense of the word everyone hates: moist.
50 min
When music punches you in the face.
Our favorite recent segments about when music hits hard – sometimes a bit too hard.
50 min
American Icons: Moby-Dick
In this Peabody Award-winning show, Kurt Andersen sets sail in search of the great white whale.
49 min
Nikola Tesla: Strange Genius
The astounding mad scientist life of Nikola Tesla.
48 min
Ready to “Rumble”
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. 
50 min
American Icons: Native Son
This is the novel about racism that America couldn't ignore. The story of a young man in the ghetto who turns to murder was an overnight sensation. Richard Wright set out to confront white readers with the most brutal consequences of racism, and finally
49 min
Off Script
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. 
49 min
American Icons: The Great Gatsby
Episodes of false identity, living large, and murder in the suburbs add up to the great American novel. Studio 360 explores F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and finds out how this compact novel became the great American story of our age. Novelist J
49 min
Bee is for Blondie
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 music
49 min
Tupac and Art Rock
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 Algi
50 min
Across the Multiverse
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 it ha
49 min
Homecoming Attractions
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 analysis
49 min
American Icons: I Love Lucy
This is where television invented itself. It set the model for the hit family sitcom. Lucy was a bad girl trapped in the life of a ’50s housewife; her slapstick quest for fame and fortune ended in abject failure weekly. Both the antics and the humiliatio
49 min
Manchester, United
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 on
49 min
Whoa, Canada
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. 
49 min
Twin Peek
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 the b
49 min
American Icons: Buffalo Bill
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 myt
49 min
Handmaid in America
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, “Seven
49 min
Fan Overboard!
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.”
49 min
How Sweet the Sound
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 performs
48 min
American Icons: Superman
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 this s
49 min
“Shaft” and Present
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.”
49 min
Pet Projects
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 by di
49 min
Magnetic Feels
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 Scotl
49 min
American Icons: Monticello
The home of America’s aspirations and deepest contradictions. 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 inc
49 min
Getting into 'Get Out'
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.
49 min
Political Art
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 Philip
48 min
Oscar Preview
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 classic Ho
49 min
Love is on the Air
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: edible
49 min
Here’s Looking at You
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 Isenber
49 min
The Scene and the Unseen
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.
49 min
American Icons: The Wizard of Oz
This is America’s dreamland. It's been 78 years since movie audiences first watched “The Wizard of Oz.” Meet the original man behind the curtain, L. Frank Baum, who had all the vision of Walt Disney, but none of the business sense. Discover how “Oz” capt
49 min
Marilyn Monroe’s Long-Lost Skirt Scene
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 from
9 min
POTUS as Tastemaker
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.
49 min
How to Remember
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.
49 min
Kurt's Favorite Conversation of 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. Vie
23 min
Designing Life
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 instituti
49 min
The Eerie Familiarity of "Man in the High Castle"
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 war. W
18 min
Get a Clue
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.
49 min
Human Intelligence: A Holiday Tale
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 Jonathan Mi
23 min
Close Encounters
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.
49 min
Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas
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 score h
7 min
Way to Go, Einstein
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. 
49 min
It’s Only Post-Natural
12 min
And Don’t Call Me Shirley
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. (Segments
49 min
Sharon Jones's Soul Revival
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 was
16 min
All Shakespeare All the Time
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 the B
49 min
Remembering Ultra-American Musician Leon Russell
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 genre
12 min
Y’all, Youse, or Yinz?
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. 
49 min
DJ Shadow’s Record-Breaking Album
10 min
This Land is Trump's Land
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.”
49 min
Live from New York, It’s Election Night!
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 throughout
7 min
Eugenia Cheng, Guilty Pleasures & Jacob Collier
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 and
49 min
Spooky Scary Studio 360: How to Make Your Skele...
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 burying j
6 min