Fresh Air

Weekdays at 11am
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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Author Interviews
11:14 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Florida-Grown Fiction: Hiaasen Satirizes The Sunshine State

Novelist and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen writes with passion and purpose about the state he loves. His latest book, Bad Monkey, is an offbeat murder mystery set in Key West.

Originally broadcast June 13, 2013.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
11:14 am
Fri August 29, 2014

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, And Lives To Write About It

The 68-year-old film director hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco for his book Carsick. He says hitchhiking is "the worst beauty regimen ever" and admits he always kept his luggage with him.

Originally broadcast June 10.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
11:57 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Louis C.K. Reflects On 'Louie,' Loss, Love And Life

C.K. won an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series for an episode on his FX show Louie. In 2011, C.K. told Fresh Air about making his comedy special and his relationship with other comedians.

Originally broadcast Dec. 13, 2011.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
11:57 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Aaron Paul On Playing A Meth Dealer On 'Breaking Bad'

Paul won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for playing student-turned-drug dealer Jesse Pinkman. In 2011, he said his character was supposed to die in the first season.

Originally broadcast Sept. 19, 2011.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Interviews
11:57 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Sarah Silverman Discusses Her Movie 'Jesus Is Magic'

Silverman won the Emmy for best writing for a variety special for her HBO special We Are Miracles. In 2005, she spoke with Fresh Air about her movie based on her acts in New York and Los Angeles.

Originally broadcast Nov. 09, 2005.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Performing Arts
11:45 am
Tue August 26, 2014

From Walter White To LBJ, Bryan Cranston Is A Master Of Transformation

While Breaking Bad fans were watching him portray Walt in the series' final episodes, Cranston was already reinventing himself — playing Lyndon B. Johnson in the play All the Way.

Originally broadcast March 27.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Music Reviews
11:45 am
Tue August 26, 2014

At 71, Elvin Bishop Is Still Vigorous, And Can Do Wrong Right

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
11:25 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Allison Janney On Sex, Sorkin And Being The Tallest Woman In The Room

Allison Janney has been nominated for Emmys for her roles on Masters of Sex and Mom. She says her relationships with her family members helped inform her characters.

Originally broadcast Aug. 4.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Television
11:25 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Seth Meyers' 'Late Night' Challenge: What To Do With His Hands

Meyers is hosting the Emmys Monday. In April, he told Fresh Air why he left a dream job at Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update to take over Late Night from Jimmy Fallon. Meyers says not having a mic in hand — like he did in standup — took some adjusting.

Originally broadcast April 23.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:32 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: 'The Simpsons' And Author Stephan Eirik Clark

FXX started airing all 552 episodes of The Simpsons Aug. 21 in the longest single-series marathon in TV history.
AP

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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Interviews
1:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Werner Herzog Talks About Madmen And Caves In Interviews From 'Fresh Air' Archives

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Music
1:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Benjamin Booker Is Raw, Yet Disciplined On Debut Album

There's something about a rapidly strummed guitar chord followed quickly by an urgent vocal that is one definition of an effective rock song, and Fresh Air critic Ken Tucker thinks he's found quite a few examples of this on Benjamin Booker's self-titled debut album. The 25-year-old guitarist-singer-songwriter has already served as an opening act on Jack White's recent tour, and he may be ready for headliner status.

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Movie Reviews
12:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Werner Herzog's Audacious Early Films Showcased In New Boxed Collection

Werner Herzog's 1972 film Aguirre, the Wrath of God was shot along the Amazon in Peru. It probes one of the filmmaker's themes: an unsentimental look at humankind's relationship to landscape and nature.
Courtesy of The Shout! Factory

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 1:51 pm

There are lots of good filmmakers, but only a handful are always, unmistakably themselves. One of these is Werner Herzog, the 71-year-old German director who now lives in L.A. Herzog has done things nobody else would do for a film — like trying to tug a 350-ton steamship over a small mountain. This has made him notorious as a wild, love-him-or-hate-him monomaniac — an image he's been canny enough to milk.

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Middle East
12:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

GlobalPost CEO Shares Details Of Fight To Save James Foley

GlobalPost co-founder and CEO Phil Balboni says what he'll remember about Foley (above) is the way he showed "such incredible courage" as his captors took his life.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:00 pm

During the nearly two years that journalist James Foley was held hostage in Syria, before he was killed by the Islamic State this week, Phil Balboni worked hard to get him released.

Balboni is the co-founder and CEO of the online international news company GlobalPost, which Foley was freelancing for at the time of his capture, in November 2012. Foley also was freelancing for GlobalPost when he was captured in Libya by dictator Moammar Gadhafi's forces, in 2011, and held for 44 days.

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Music
12:02 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

A Sleek And Busy Walk With Jean-Luc Ponty

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 5:56 am

French jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty played the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1967, which led to his getting an American record contract, and playing with George Duke, Frank Zappa, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Then he started his own jazz-rock fusion bands. Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead says before Ponty came to the States, he already had his concept.

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Book Reviews
12:01 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Nostalgic For Noir? Feiffer's 'Kill My Mother' Is A Toxic Treat

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 5:56 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
1:06 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Prepare For 'The Simpsons' Marathon With Interviews From The 'Fresh Air' Archives

Starting Thursday, FXX will air all 552 episodes of The Simpsons in the longest single-series marathon in TV history.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 12:10 pm

If you've ever been a fan of The Simpsons, here's your chance to see all 552 episodes of the show in the longest single-series marathon in TV history. They'll be shown back to back, in sequential order, over 12 days and nights on the FXX cable network beginning Thursday.

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Shots - Health News
1:01 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Cardiologist Speaks From The Heart About America's Medical System

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:47 pm

As a young doctor working at a teaching hospital, Sandeep Jauhar was having trouble making ends meet. So, like other academic physicians, he took a job moonlighting at a private practice, the offices of a cardiologist. He noticed that the offices were quick to order expensive tests for their patients — even when they seemed unnecessary.

It was "made very clear from the beginning" that seeing patients alone was not financially rewarding for the business, he says.

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Remembrances
12:59 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Former Vermont Sen. James Jeffords

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 1:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

SINGING SENATORS: (Singing) God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above. From the mountains to the prairies, to the...

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Music
12:59 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

With Both Farce And Feeling, Currentzis' 'Figaro' Succeeds Magnificently

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 1:17 pm

There are many recordings of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Do we need another? In the case of this new recording led by the young Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis, Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says, "Absolutely."

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The Salt
1:40 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Seeking Proof For Why We Feel Terrible After Too Many Drinks

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 3:04 pm

It can be nice to relax with a glass of wine, a beer or a shot of whiskey. But one drink too many, and you may be paying the price.

To understand why drinking can make us feel so good and so bad, you have to know a little about science, says journalist Adam Rogers, author of Proof: The Science of Booze.

As Rogers notes, researchers have only just begun to explore the mystery of the hangover and share a common language around it.

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Music
1:40 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Box Set Looks Back On Pioneering '5' Royales

Soul music is often defined as the moment when gospel and blues met and formed a new sound. Ray Charles is often given credit for this, but there were others, most notably the "5" Royales, who had immense success as a live act, but never sold as many records as such a pioneering group should have. With the release of the 131-track collection Soul and Swagger: The Complete "5" Royales, the group has finally gotten the recognition they deserve. Fresh Air critic Ed Ward has the story.

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Author Interviews
12:48 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

'Sweetness #9' Satirizes Food Wars And Artificial America

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 1:40 pm

When author Stephan Eirik Clark read Fast Food Nation in 2001, he didn't know it would inspire him to write a fictional account of the food industry.

"Flavorings were like gravity or electricity — something that was all around me but that I had never paid any attention to," Clark tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And as soon as I read that book and its chapter on food product design, I started to ask myself, 'How important are these to the foods?' I started to question if I was really eating food or just the idea of food."

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:48 am
Sat August 16, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Eric Schlosser, Spoon's New Album And 'The Knick' Creators

The Titan II intercontinental-range missile, pictured in 1965, sits ready for launch on its 150-feet-deep underground launchpad. "The one warhead on a Titan II had three times the explosive force of all the bombs used by all the armies in the second world war combined — including both atomic bombs," says investigative reporter Eric Schlosser.
Keystone Getty Images

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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Remembrances
12:37 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

In Acting And In Life, Lauren Bacall 'Loved The Idea Of Adventure'

Lauren Bacall says she never set out to have a look. "It was just a way to keep my head steady," she insists.
Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 1:02 pm

With her chin down and her eyes up, Lauren Bacall's trademark, sultry look enchanted audiences — and also fellow co-stars, most notably her future husband, Humphrey Bogart. But that powerful glance was actually a technique that 19-year-old Bacall employed to keep herself from shaking with nervousness during the filming of To Have and Have Not.

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Sports
12:11 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

At 49, Jamie Moyer's Pitching Career Goes Into Extra Innings

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 1:02 pm

In a new memoir called Just Tell Me I Can't Moyer explains how he became a better pitcher in his 40s than his 20s. Moyer's story isn't just the tale of a talented guy who hung on a little longer than others; with the help of a sports psychologist, he managed to gain control of the mental side of his game. Originally broadcast Oct. 2, 2013.

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Television
12:49 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

How 'The Knick' Creators Capture Turn-Of-The-Century Operating Scenes

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Science
12:49 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

A Scientist's Mission To Break The Itch-Scratch Cycle

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music
12:49 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Two Tenors Inspired By A Saxophone Colossus

Two new trio albums by tenor saxophonists who won the Thelonious Monk jazz competition share a conspicuous influence — vintage Sonny Rollins. Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio by last year's winner, 25-year old Chile-born New Yorker Melissa Aldana, and Trios Live by Joshua Redman, who took the prize in 1991.

Television
12:39 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Case Closed: Agatha Christie's Detective Poirot Solves His Last TV Mystery

David Suchet plays Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's Poirot. The last season premiers Aug. 25 on Acorn TV.
Courtesy of Acorn TV/ITV

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 1:24 pm

Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920. It featured fussy Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who proved the most popular of all her mystery-solving characters. Hercule made his final appearance in 1975, in the novel Curtain — and this month, nearly a century after he first appeared in print, the mystery series completes its lengthy run as a TV series, still starring David Suchet in the title role.

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