Fresh Air on WUTC

Weekdays, Noon - 1pm
Terry Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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11:06am

Tue September 3, 2013
The Fresh Air Interview

At 60, 'Challenges Are Opportunities' For John Zorn

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 1:25 pm

John Zorn's latest album is Dreamachines, which is inspired by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs' cut-up techniques.
Scott Irvine Courtesy of the artist

At 60, New York City-based composer John Zorn is wiser, sure, but no less prolific, thoughtful and antagonistic than before. His oeuvre is fantastically wide, from cutthroat jazz improvisation and pummeling noise-rock to gorgeous chamber music and, believe it or not, a genuine Christmas album.

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11:03am

Mon September 2, 2013
Music Interviews

Jason Isbell Locates His Musical Compass On 'Southeastern'

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 2:26 pm

Jason Isbell was previously a member of Drive-By Truckers. His solo albums include Sirens of the Ditch and Here We Rest.
Eric England Courtesy of the artist

This interview was originally broadcast on July 17, 2013.

When singer-songwriter Jason Isbell used to get drunk, he'd sometimes tell his then-girlfriend, the musician Amanda Shires, that he needed to quit the bottle — and that if it was going to take, he'd have to go to rehab. Eventually, she said the next time he told her that, she'd hold him to it. And she did. And he went. And, he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "The jury is still out on whether or not it worked, but it worked today and all the days leading up to this."

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9:03am

Sat August 31, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'America's Test Kitchen,' 'Short Term 12' And Demian Bichir

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:20 pm

Jack Bishop of America's Test Kitchen says the trick to grilling peaches is using fruit that's ripe but firm.
mccun934 via Flickr

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'America's Test Kitchen' On Grilling Peaches, Tofu And Burgers: Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop advise using ripe fruit, extra-firm tofu and poking your hamburgers so they don't puff up like tennis balls.

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10:42am

Fri August 30, 2013
Late Night TV Week On Fresh Air

Questlove's Roots: A 'Meta' Memoir Of A Lifetime In Music

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:51 pm

In his new memoir, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson describes his life in music — and how he mimicked beats at just 10 months old.
Danny Clinch Grand Central Publishing

This interview was originally broadcast on June 24, 2013. Questlove's hip hop band The Roots is preparing to move from Late Night to The Tonight Show when Jimmy Fallon takes over as the host in February. We kick off this hour with a conversation between TV critic David Bianculli and Fresh Air host Terry Gross about the history of Tonight Show bands.

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12:22pm

Thu August 29, 2013
Late Night TV Week On Fresh Air

Seth Meyers' Prime-Time Political Parody

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 10:36 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

It's late-night week on FRESH AIR. One of the big late-night changes scheduled for early next year is Seth Meyers moving to NBC's "Late Night," replacing Jimmy Fallon when Fallon moves to "The Tonight Show." Seth Meyers has been the head writer and co-anchor or anchor of "Weekend Update" since the fall of 2006.

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11:04am

Thu August 29, 2013
Late Night TV Week On Fresh Air

Late Night 'Thank You Notes' From Jimmy Fallon

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:22 pm

Jimmy Fallon says he spends almost 12 hours each day at the Late Night offices, which makes the rest of his life difficult. "If I want to play video games now, I have to schedule it," he tells Terry Gross.
Virginia Sherwood NBC

This interview was originally broadcast on May 23, 2011.

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1:27pm

Wed August 28, 2013
Movie Reviews

Reaching Across What's Broken, 'Short Term' Fix Or No

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 4:02 pm

In Short Term 12 — named for the youth facility where it's primarily set — John Gallagher Jr. and Brie Larson play young counselors not too far removed from their own adolescent struggles.
Cinedigm

It's easy to make fun of a certain kind of therapeutic language — the kind you hear all through the movie Short Term 12.

That title comes from the name of a group home for abused and/or unstable teens. Early on, a young counselor named Grace (Brie Larson) tells one smart-mouthed kid that "your attitude is not helping either one of us" — which would tend to make her a repressive drag in a typical Hollywood teen picture.

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12:06pm

Wed August 28, 2013
Late Night TV Week On Fresh Air

Jimmy Kimmel: Making Late Night A Family Affair

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 1:16 pm

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel interviews Mel Brooks on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Randy Holmes ABC

This interview was originally broadcast on Jan. 29, 2013.

This year, Jimmy Kimmel's late-night ABC talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, joined the 11:35 p.m. nightly lineup — which put him in direct competition with two reining comedy kings: Jay Leno and Kimmel's idol, David Letterman.

Kimmel, who paid tribute to Letterman at the Kennedy Center Honors in December, didn't break the news to Letterman himself.

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1:53pm

Tue August 27, 2013
Late Night TV Week On Fresh Air

Conan's 'Uphill Climb' To Late-Night Throne

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 1:57 pm

Conan O'Brien interviews Bruce Willis in a 2005 episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien.
NBC Getty Images

Conan O'Brien has probably had the most unusual career trajectory of any current late-night host. When he joined NBC's Late Night in 1993, replacing David Letterman, he had virtually no on-air experience. He did, however, have comedy-writing chops: O'Brien edited the humor magazine The Harvard Lampoon as a student, then wrote for Saturday Night Live and was a writer and producer for The Simpsons.

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11:38am

Tue August 27, 2013
Fresh Air Theme Week: Late Night TV

Jay Leno: 'Tonight' Was About 'Trying To Get Johnny To Laugh'

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 1:53 pm

Jay Leno delivers the opening monologue during the inauguration of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on May 25, 1992.
Craig Fujii AP

In 1992, when Jay Leno took over from Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, he was already a familiar presence, having served as one of Carson's regular substitute hosts. Despite that experience, Leno's first few years on Tonight were rocky.

"When he started, when he was up against Letterman, Letterman beat him for the first couple of years," critic David Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "But once Leno came ahead, he was unstoppable. He never lost that audience."

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1:19pm

Mon August 26, 2013
Television

Letterman And 'Tonight' Vet Go Behind The Scenes Of Late Night

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 10:43 am

David Letterman, pictured here in January 1982, premiered Late Night With David Letterman just a few months after his Fresh Air interview.
AP

Imagine David Letterman sitting in the reception area where you work, going virtually unrecognized. That's how it was in 1981 when Letterman visited WHYY in Philadelphia to be interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air, then a local program.

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9:03am

Sat August 24, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'World's End,' Robin Thicke And The 'Sports Gene'

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:32 am

Martin Freeman (from left), Paddy Considine, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Eddie Marsan star as five old high school friends who reunite to finish an epic pub crawl in The World's End, directed by Edgar Wright.
Laurie Sparham Focus Features

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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12:34pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers 'Piano Jazz' Host Marian McPartland

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:36 pm

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz featured performances and conversation with a variety of pianists, including Ray Charles and Dave Brubeck.
Courtesy Marian McPartland

For more than 30 years, jazz pianist Marian McPartland hosted one of public radio's most beloved shows, Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. As NPR's Felix Contreras writes, she "gave the world an intimate, insider's perspective on one of the most elusive topics in music — jazz improvisation." McPartland died of natural causes on Tuesday at the age of 95.

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12:33pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers Crime Novelist Elmore Leonard

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:15 pm

Elmore Leonard published 46 novels over a career that lasted more than 60 years.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Prolific crime novelist Elmore Leonard died Tuesday at the age of 87. Leonard was known for crisp dialogue and memorable villains. "The bad guys are the fun guys," he said in a 1983 interview. "The only people I have trouble with are the so-called normal types."

Many of Leonard's books and short stories were adapted to films. Those books include Get Shorty, The Big Bounce and Rum Punch, which became the Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. His short story "Fire in the Hole" was the basis for the FX TV series Justified.

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12:31pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Movie Reviews

Boozy Bromance 'World's End' Rises Above Its Lowbrow Tactics

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:30 pm

Nick Frost (from left), Eddie Marsan, Simon Pegg, Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman play a group of friends who reunite for a pub crawl challenge in The World's End.
Laurie Sparham Focus Features

The World's End is a world-shaking, genre-bending, sci-fi comedy, and a splendid capper to what British writer-director Edgar Wright and actor-writer Simon Pegg call their "Cornetto trilogy," for an ice cream they eat on their side of the Atlantic. This one's arguably the best of the three, but who wants to argue over gorgeous satires like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End? It's like ice cream flavors: Have them all.

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