When we were discussing the inspirations for creating the Blerg website, there was one podcast I brought up constantly.
Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is an independent podcast / radio show based out of Los Angeles that focuses on pop culture and entertainment.
The show features incredible interviews with an amazing array of artists, comedians, actors, musicians and anyone else that is making and creating great pop culture.
The list of names that have appeared on the show is impressive to say the least, including the likes of Dolly Parton, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Patton Oswalt, Jeff Bridges, Judd Apatow, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Withers, Mavis Staples and many, many more.
So much of what makes Bullseye spectacular, however, is host Jesse Thorn. Thorn is one of the great interviewers operating in media today. His research is impeccable, his questions are incredibly insightful, and he has an uncanny ability to develop a rapport with his interviewees in the hour or so he gets to spend chatting with them.
Thorn, as well as being a general expert on pop culture as a whole, is also a walking encyclopedia of hip hop knowledge and often surprises his rap star guests with his intrinsic knowledge of their careers and his deep understanding of the art of hip hop. There’s been no better example of that than this interview with hip hop superstar Big Boi from 2013.
Over the course of 28 minutes, Thorn repeatedly surprises Big Boi as he delves into the rap superstar’s career, and asks thoughtful questions about what it’s like to go from living poor in Atlanta to becoming one of the biggest stars in rap and pop history, and does so in a way where the two exchange a mutual appreciation for artist and interviewer that you rarely hear, read or see anywhere.
For anyone that’s interested in conducting an interview as a journalist, this is a master class:
You can subscribe to Bullseye via itunes or listen via the Bullseye website. I highly, highly recommend it.