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.
How Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker inspired the retro-styled music of Nick Waterhouse.
The Spektor of performing on Broadway
How Regina Spektor prepared for Broadway, plus the real drama behind “Salt of the Earth” and finding oneself through “Finding Nemo.”
Extra: Deadwood Creator David Milch on Swearing...
“There are no rules out here. Do not expect to be treated with a complicated civility.”
‘Booksmart’ besties, and ‘Ishtar’ reconsidered
Why Elaine May’s 1987 flop “Ishtar” deserved better, the stars of “Booksmart” on their favorite on-screen friendships and how watching “Star Trek” as a boy changed everything for Ronald D. Moore.
American Icons: ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ — Part Two
“My distrust of technology comes entirely from that movie.”
How the Stars of Booksmart Became Best Friends ...
BFFs Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever share their favorite on-screen friendships.
An all-theater episode, including deconstructing the patter song, Taylor Mac’s latest on Broadway and how so much Shakespeare ended up in so many parks.
This Woman’s Work: Billie Holiday’s Lady Sings ...
How the legendary jazz singer transformed pain into art on her 1956 album.
Why Werner Herzog loves cat videos
Herzog on "Meeting Gorbachev," “When Doves Cry” at 35, and directing TV comedy.
John Cameron Mitchell’s Genre-Defying Podcast M...
John Cameron Mitchell on the origins of his new musical podcast.
American Icons: ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ — Part One
It’s HAL’s world — we just live in it.
Karl Ove Knausgård and the musical activism of ...
Karl Ove Knausgård’s book about Edvard Munch and Ani DiFranco’s about herself. Plus Pete Seeger’s centennial and really catchy — but patriarchal — songs.
Ali Smith’s great post-Brexit novel
Author Ali Smith on her post-Brexit novel “Autumn”
Patti Smith’s ‘Horses,’ Susan Choi and a police...
How “Horses” by Patti Smith helped ignite the punk explosion, plus Susan Choi on “Trust Exercise” and a published poet who’s also a cop.
Daveed Diggs and Suzan-Lori Parks, ‘In the Pine...
Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks on “White Noise” with one of its stars, Daveed Diggs. Plus the rich history of the folk song “In the Pines,” and the art of being a supernumerary.
In the Footsteps of Merce Cunningham
For over half a century, Merce Cunningham’s work was marked by his consistent embrace of innovation expanding the frontiers of contemporary dance.
Portraits of the artists
Frederic Tuten’s Zelig-like connection to New York, plus cartoonist Cathy Guisewite on creating “Cathy,” and the music of Helado Negro.
This Woman’s Work: Patti Smith’s Horses
This is the album that helped forge punk’s DIY attitude with its fusion of free-form rock and poetry.
Filmmaker Jia Zhangke, David Remnick, and others on why we’re so obsessed with the gangster myth.
Susan Choi’s Surprising Side Project
How a fun file on Susan Choi’s hard drive turned into her new novel, Trust Exercise.
Remembering Agnès Varda
What happened when iconic filmmaker Agnès Varda and artist JR teamed up for a road trip? They brought art to the people of rural France.
Let’s do the time warp
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the woman who created the Creature from the Black Lagoon but didn’t get credit, and how reading “The Metamorphosis” created a metamorphosis for one writer.
After prosecuting the O.J. Simpson case, Marcia Clark turned to writing courtroom-drama novels and a new TV show. Plus the mystery of “Cracks,” a “Sesame Street” cartoon that terrified kids — and then disappeared.
Jia Zhangke’s Empathetic Eye
Jia Zhangke on his latest film about the lives of working-class Chinese, Ash Is Purest White, and the movies that shaped him.
Why Yanni happened
The improbable starmaker that brought us Yanni and John Tesh. Plus director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, and Nat King Cole at 100.
The Playbill of Rights
Heidi Schreck’s memoir-tinged play about the Constitution hits Broadway, plus making Broadway autism-friendly and the magic-realist documentary “301 Hollywood.”
A Baltimore police officer turns to poetry to understand his experiences on the job.
These go to 11
“This Is Spinal Tap” at 35. Plus N.K. Jemisin on “How Long 'til Black Future Month?” and the mythology — and musicality — of Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues.”
The Oscar hour
Two nominees — actor Richard E. Grant and “Black Panther” costume designer Ruth E. Carter. Plus how a movement director helped Rami Malek embody Freddie Mercury.
The Crack Monster: The Mystery Behind Sesame St...
The Sesame Street cartoon that terrified children and created an obsession.
Sex on the screen: first times, an intimacy coach and bisexual pride. Plus, “Reality Bites” at 25.
Honky tonk angels
The past, present and future of country music.
Behind the Curtain at Autism-Friendly Broadway ...
Kids on the spectrum — and their families — let it go at a special performance of Frozen.
Found in translation
How Natasha Wimmer translates Bolaño, plus theater about gynecology’s unconscionable founder, and fine art made of carpet.
Shall we dance?
Dance, movement and the music that moves you to dance.
From Aria Code: Dalila, the Femme Fatale
The wildly beautiful aria that drives Samson wild.
The mother of all abstraction
A new exhibit at the Guggenheim suggests it was Hilma af Klint who invented abstraction — so why has she been practically unknown for the last century?
Digging into ‘Doug’
The quietly enduring impact of Nickelodeon’s “Doug,” plus artist Rina Banerjee and the migrant-camp play, “The Jungle.”
Tales from the Script
How John August fell in love with screenwriting -- and illuminates the craft for aspirants.
Best of 2018, part 2
Some of our favorite stories from the last year: Daniela Vega, the drudgery of a movie and TV quality control technician, novelist Lauren Groff’s complicated relationship with Florida and an oral history of the hip-hop pirate radio station WBAD.
Best of 2018, part 1
Some of our favorite stories from the last year: Library music, The Noid and Angélique Kidjo.
Welcome to The Jungle
How a new play puts the audience inside a migrant camp.
A movie hallmark, and Hallmark movies
John Ford’s problematic masterpiece “The Searchers” and an inexplicable love for Hallmark Christmas movies.
Art that grows on you
The Muppets, picture books and other childhood pursuits you never outgrow.
Can You Ever Forgive Lee Israel?
The literary con artist talks about her criminal past — now adapted into the Melissa McCarthy film, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
A scholarly look at why men in classical art are so slightly endowed, plus how a writer thinks about her day job as a respiratory therapist and holiday fiction from Kurt Andersen.
My fair lyricist
Lyricist Alan Jay Lerner’s centennial, and more theater magic with impresario Jack Viertel and “Sweat” in the Rust Belt.
Aha Moment: An Odd Path to Plath
Where a troubled teen discovered Sylvia Plath: in a Charlie Sheen TV movie.
American Tricons: Harley, Hendrix and O’Keeffe
America’s love affair with a motorcycle, plus Georgia O’Keeffe’s Southwestern masterpieces and how Jimi Hendrix summed up the Vietnam War with a single guitar solo
A haunting opera about Homestead Act settlers, plus new leads in the Gardner Museum heist, a White Album obsessive, and a Buffalo Tom member’s day job in the leafy suburbs.
To Distill a Mockingbird
How the Harper Lee classic still finds fans — and detractors.
The deal of the art
Nathaniel Kahn’s documentary about the art market, plus the making of a Talking Heads masterpiece and Kenneth Lonergan on writing plays and movies.
Done and doner
The art of finishing — how creative people get unstuck and creative projects get back on course.
Home, Sweat Home
How Sweat, the Pulitzer Prize-winning labor drama by Lynn Nottage, made the jump from Broadway glitz to blue-collar communities.
Scents and sensibilities
How a perfumer concocts a scent from Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” the mysterious betrayal at the heart of the documentary “Shirkers,” and making sense of “American Pie.”
The many aspects of speculative fiction: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, alternate history and everything else otherworldly.
Day Jobs: Respiratory Therapist
Stacey Rose is a playwright, screenwriter, director, producer and...a respiratory therapist.
All most famous
Theresa Rebeck on the most famous actress of her day, Justine Bateman on fame waxing and waning, and a pirate radio station that got too famous for the FCC.
Mind the Generation Gap
Millennials and boomers do battle in “Boomer1,” learning to love Lawrence Welk, and Argentine experimental musician Juana Molina performs live.
Don McLean's "American Pie"
The song where everyone knows the words, but few what know what those words mean.
Ethan Hawke embraces the aging process, the enduring power of Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks,” and the genre-defying music of Balún.
The golden age of grunge — and moving beyond dumb grunge cliches — in the Pacific Northwest.
BoJack Horseman’s Raphael Bob-Waksberg
How a dark comedy got so dark and so funny.
How Ann Dowd makes her dystopian character on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Aunt Lydia, more believable, and how hippies in the late ’60s started obsessing over Doomsday.
EGOT to have it
What’s it take to win entertainment’s grand slam?
Link Wray’s “Rumble”
The guitarist who Dave Davies and Jimmy Page worshipped.
A room with a viewfinder
Liz Diller on her favorite use of architecture in film, a classic Richard Pryor album turns 40 and a noteworthy summer for black cinema.
Framing the debate
How the politics of the past, and today, inspire art, music and poetry.
The Remarkable Bounce of Blindspotting
Poet Maya Phillips talks about how rap elevates this modern dramedy about race, friendship, and a rapidly gentrifying Oakland.
The golden age of anonymous music
The curious world of vintage stock music libraries, a groundbreaking radio thriller, and America’s most prestigious cinema: the White House.
Studio 360 Presents: Hit Parade
Studio 360 presents a special bonus episode of another great podcast — Hit Parade.
How “Walden” holds up, “I Will Survive” at 40 and Leonard Bernstein’s concerts for children.
Happy Bernstein to You!
As conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein changed the way audiences understood classical music.
Everyone’s a comedian
Ken Jennings on the history — and ubiquity — of comedy, Picasso in Mira T. Lee’s new novel and a performance by Roomful of Teeth.
The art of children at play: playground design, imaginary friends and the unlikely histories of Barbie and the Frisbee.
A Wild and Crazy Anniversary
Forty years ago, Steve Martin made comedy history with “A Wild and Crazy Guy” and “King Tut.”
Making it in Cleveland
A citywide art survey in Ohio, a biblical reading of Beyoncé and the mastery — and misery — of a quality control technician.
Science and Creativity: Do Animals Have Culture...
A reading by acclaimed poet Marianne Moore and Chicago filmmaker Jim Trainor on his “anti-Disney” animal educational film.
Science and Creativity: Do Animals Have Culture...
How a hit record saved the whales and how certain whale songs become hits.
Science and Creativity: Do Animals Have Culture...
Author and Historian Laurel Braitman puts on concerts for all-animal audiences. Richard Prum talks to us about the aesthetic preferences of animals.
Drawn from experience
What inspired comic artist Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Wilson Pickett and “Luke Cage” showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker.
Here Comes the Pitch
The new season of the music documentary podcast Pitch takes listeners behind the music of ISIS, blacklist jazz, Carnival, and more.
American Icons: Monticello
This is the home of America’s aspirations and its deepest contradictions.
Science and Creativity: Your Brain on Laughter ...
What is medical improv? WNYC’s Amanda Aronczyk takes us on a tour. Plus, back to Laughter Yoga with Kurt Andersen and Marry Harris.
Science and Creativity: Your Brain on Laughter ...
Your brain on Laughter: Neuroscientist Sophie Scott explains the science of laughter. Plus, Comedian Chris Gethard talks to us about how depression and comedy can be interwoven.
Science and Creativity: Your Brain on Laughter ...
Kurt Andersen and Marry Harris give Laughter Yoga a try.
When art is dirty ... and dirt is arty.
Behind the Harlem Sound of Luke Cage
Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker on the show’s ‘90s, New York, hip-hop vibe.
Rebels without a pause
A revolutionary Public Enemy album turns 30, the history of protest art and the “Nancy” comics reboot.
Shadows in the Sunshine State
The strange, creative influence of Florida
The Director of Hereditary on Family, Kids and ...
The influences behind Ari Aster’s debut film.
‘Fahrenheit 451’ rekindled
The Ray Bradbury novel’s new relevance, plus the making of a Bowie mashup and “American Animals” director Bart Layton.
Science and Creativity: Way to Go, Einstein Par...
What are gravitational waves? Astrophysicist Janna Levin has the answer.
Science and Creativity: Way to Go, Einstein Par...
Pop-Culture Einstein: John Wray and James Gleick on how Einstein influenced their writing.
Science and Creativity: Way to Go, Einstein Part I
When Einstein was no Einstein: The long road to the theory of relativity.
American Icons: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
How do you memorialize a war that was more tragic than triumphant? Inscribed with the name of every fallen soldier, Maya Lin’s granite wall became a sacred place for veterans.
American Animals: Bart Layton’s New Breed of Tr...
How filmmaker Bart Layton blurred the line between a feature and a documentary to create American Animals.
How Jim Henson brought the Muppets to life.
Science and Creativity: The Multiverse Part III
The multiheroes of the superverse: Physics Professor James Kakalios and TV producer/creator of the Tommy Westphall universe Tom Fontana.
Science and Creativity: The Multiverse Part II
Artist Charles Jenks has turned the Scottish countryside into a map of the multiverse.
Science and Creativity: The Multiverse Part I
What is the multiverse?
How pets inspire and confound us.
When Bad People Create Good Art
How should journalists write about art in the #MeToo era?
One mom at a time
Women who create stories about what it means to be a mother now.
The mortals who bring comic book characters to life.
Ch-ch-changes: Making the Bowie Mashup
How Tony Visconti, Bowie's longtime producer, captured the artist's career in a 15 minute remix.
One tall woman
An interview with Laurie Metcalf (“Three Tall Women,” “Roseanne,” “Lady Bird”), a miniature play and jazz guitar great Wes Montgomery.
American Icons 3-pack: “Amazing Grace,” “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” and “Spoon River Anthology.”
The Sound of One Claw Slashing (SNIKT!)
How Brendan Baker and Chloe Prasinos created a sound-rich world for Marvel’s Wolverine: The Long Night.
A void: The Noid
The triumph and tragedy of a pizza mascot.
Poets who know it
Inside the heart and soul of American poetry.
A Room of Nell Scovell’s Own
The writer for The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman and Newhart on being the only woman in the writers’ room.
What Laurie Anderson lost
How the multimedia artist bounced back from losing Lou Reed — and so much more.
The art of noise
The pioneers who turn the sound of everyday objects into music.
When The Belly Room Grew — and Flopped — for Fe...
In 1978, the Comedy Store gave female comedians a room of their own. Here’s the story of its complicated legacy.
Babe I’m leaving
The case for the earnest Styx ballad, plus the Brothers Weisberg on “The Americans” and “Trumpcast,” living with the “Truman Show” disorder and remembering art collector Peggy Cooper Cafritz.
Midlife breakthroughs with Toni Morrison, David Chase and Philip Glass.
The Brothers Weisberg on The Americans and Trum...
Jacob Weisberg, the host of Trumpcast and Joe Weisberg, the creator of The Americans, talk about Trump and Russia.
The shape of Oscar
Underrated and overrated performances from this year’s Oscars, and how to make a political acceptance speech that doesn’t get booed.
American Icons: The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is now one of the most treasured landmarks of Washington, DC. But for decades people fought over every aspect of it — and even whether it should be built at all.
Wipe your nose!
Denise Gough on mucousy method actors, an atheist’s love of Christian rock, mocking Kennedys, and a photographer’s mentally ill mom.
Learning to love Comic Sans
A case for the most-hated typeface.
Papa was a rolling stone
The musical children of pop stars
Will Super Bowl Ads lay off bikini babes for #M...
Super Bowl commercials aren’t exactly a place you’d look for enlightened portrayals of women. Will that finally change in this year of #MeToo?
The fantastic actress who is “A Fantastic Woman”
I killed Captain Kirk
What a long, strange Trek it’s been
How “Convoy,” a novelty country song by a couple admen, became a #1 hit.
Staff picks, 2017 (Volume 2)
Completing our favorites list: Stevie Salas on Native American rockers, Angie Thomas on how a TLC lyric saved her life, and the hoax behind the bodice-ripper “Naked Came the Stranger.”
Staff picks, 2017 (Volume 1)
Some favorite segments from 2017: Scorsese’s film editor Thelma Schoonmaker; the accused witch who inspired “The Handmaid’s Tale”; writer Yewande Omotoso; and making a case for the movie that gets no love, “The Godfather, Part III.”
Where is Bobbie Gentry?
That’s What She Said
June Thomas on Scenes of Workplace Sexual Harassment: From “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” to “The Office”
So you think you're creative?
What do we mean by creativity? How can we encourage it and measure it? From imaginary friends to jazz musicians in fMRI machines, we explore the creative brain.
Gay theater, then and now.
NYT Theater critic Jesse Green and playwright Paul Rudnick on groundbreaking gay theater.
Studio360 | New Yorker Cover Illustrator Barry ...
Illustrator and political cartoonist Barry Blitt is best known for his New Yorker covers
American Icons: The Disney Parks
Stories from inside the oddly touching, sometimes creepy, deeply American utopia that Walt Disney created.
Three American Icon segments about women’s identity in works by Hawthorne, Porter and Sherman.
I'm the Boss, Baby
Kurt talks to Alec Baldwin about playing Donald Trump, how the actor depicts villains, and his favorite depictions of villains in the movies. Plus filmmaker Taika Waititi on the jump from making low-budget comedies to making “Thor: Ragnarok”
The Agonies of Small Talk
Newly minted MacArthur geniuses: Annie Baker tackles small talk in her plays, Jesmyn Ward depicts rural African American life in her novels, and Taylor Mac’s 24-hour revue of the entire history of American pop music.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Does Laughter Yoga Work?
Sure, laughing makes us feel good in the moment. But could it have enduring health effects?
Harvard’s Full of Morons
Spielberg’s greatness, “Bojack Horseman’s” edginess, the worst seat at the symphony.
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.
A behind the scenes look at films we love and one film people love to hate.
Sing your “I want” song
Our favorite recent segments about the stage, including lingo for staples of musicals like the “I want” song.
Say it loud: “moist”
Our favorite recent segments featuring writers and books, including one writer’s defense of the word everyone hates: moist.
When music punches you in the face.
Our favorite recent segments about when music hits hard – sometimes a bit too hard.
American Icons: Moby-Dick
In this Peabody Award-winning show, Kurt Andersen sets sail in search of the great white whale.
Nikola Tesla: Strange Genius
The astounding mad scientist life of Nikola Tesla.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.”
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
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
“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.”
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
It’s Only Post-Natural
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
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
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
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
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.
DJ Shadow’s Record-Breaking Album
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.”
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
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
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