Podcast

Fresh Air

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.

Episodes

  • Best Of: Howard Stern / Phoebe Waller-Bridge

    May 18 2019

    Howard Stern talks about how therapy changed his radio show, what makes him cringe about his early shock jock style, and how being a misfit as a kid pushed him to find an audience. His new book is 'Howard Stern Comes Again.' Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes female characters who are flawed, reckless, unpredictable and real — women not typically seen onscreen. She's the creator and star of the Amazon Prime series 'Fleabag' and creator/producer of the BBC America series 'Killing Eve.' She talks about h...more

  • Novelist Explores Sexuality & Relationships In 'My Ex-Life'

    May 17 2019

    Stephen McCauley's novel, 'My Ex-Life,' is a comedy about a couple whose marriage ended years ago when the husband came out as gay. "All relationships evolve — even for people who stay together," he says. McCauley's book is now out in paperback. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the new album from Vampire Weekend, 'Father of the Bride,' and TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new adaptation of Joseph Heller's 'Catch-22' on Hulu, created and directed by George Clooney.

  • The Dark Side Of Generic Prescription Drugs

    May 16 2019

    Journalist Katherine Eban says most of the generic medicine being sold in the U.S. is manufactured overseas — sometimes under questionable quality control standards. She talks about instances of fabricated data, sabotaged inspections, and drugs released onto the market before they're ready. Eban's new book is 'Bottle of Lies.' Also, John Powers reviews season 2 of 'Fleabag,' the Amazon series created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

  • Howard Stern: Part 2 / Remembering Doris Day

    May 15 2019

    In the second half of our two-part interview, Stern talks about his 2017 cancer scare, his thoughts on retirement, and his mother's depression. His new book is 'Howard Stern Comes Again.'Also, we remember late Hollywood actress and singer Doris Day. She spoke with Terry Gross in 2012. She died Monday at 97.

  • Howard Stern: Part 1

    May 14 2019

    The self-proclaimed "King of All Media" speaks with Terry Gross for the first time. Stern talks about how therapy changed his radio show, what makes him cringe about his early shock jock style, and how being a misfit as a kid pushed him to find an audience. His new book is 'Howard Stern Comes Again.' Part 2 will be available May 15.

  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Creator Of 'Killing Eve' & 'Fleabag'

    May 13 2019

    Waller-Bridge writes female characters who are flawed, reckless, unpredictable and real — women not typically seen onscreen. She's the creator and star of the Amazon Prime series 'Fleabag' and creator/producer of the BBC America series 'Killing Eve.' She talks about the interplay of guilt and grief, her character's obsession with sex in 'Fleabag,' and why she wanted to be a boy when she was young. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Non-Fiction,' a comedy that takes place in Paris' literary ...more

  • Best Of: How Kleptocrats Stash Fortunes / 'PEN15' Creators

    May 11 2019

    Journalist Oliver Bullough runs kleptocracy tours in London, in which he points out mansions bought by corrupt foreign leaders and oligarchs. His book 'Moneyland' describes their secretive transnational world.Ken Tucker reviews Lizzo's first major label album, 'Cuz I Love You.'From braces to bullies, crushes and drama, middle school is a period of adolescence that might best be described as cringe-worthy.​ In the Hulu series 'PEN15,' actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play 13-year-old versions ...more

  • Celebrating HBO's 'Veep'

    May 10 2019

    After seven seasons, 'Veep' is ending this weekend. We listen back to archival interviews with showrunner David Mandel, star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and co-star Tony Hale. Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews the movie 'Bolden' about jazz's original hero, Charles "Buddy" Bolden, and Lloyd Schwartz reads his poem 'Little Kisses.'

  • Why Deutsche Bank Loaned Donald Trump Billions When No One Else Would

    May 09 2019

    The German bank was Trump's partner on countless investments at a time when most of Wall Street shied away. As a result, 'New York Times' finance editor David Enrich says, it has a trove of information about Trump. "Deutsche Bank has become the Rosetta Stone for congressional and state investigators who are trying to better understand and get information about Donald Trump's network of business and his own personal finances," Enrich says.

  • The Law That Kept 2 Generations Of Immigrants Out Of The U.S.

    May 08 2019

    Journalist Daniel Okrent says that the eugenics movement — a junk science that stemmed from the belief that certain races and ethnicities were morally and genetically superior to others — informed the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted entrance to the U.S. Jews, Italians, Greeks and other Eastern Europeans were targeted. Okrent talks about the parallel between the xenophobia of the early 20th century and President Trump's hard-line stance today. His book is 'The Guarded Gate.' Also, criti...more

  • Shedding Light On Domestic Violence

    May 07 2019

    An average of four women are killed by their partners every day in America. Crisis center CEO Suzanne Dubus and journalist Rachel Louise Snyder talk about identifying risk factors in abusive relationships, prevention, and how to set victims up with resources to rebuild their lives. Snyder's book is 'No Visible Bruises.' Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews the debut album from Nat Turner Rebellion, a '70s R&B group whose record 'Laugh To Keep From Crying' was kept under wraps for half a century.

  • 'PEN15' Revisits The Awkwardness Of Middle School

    May 06 2019

    From braces to bullies, crushes and drama, middle school is a period of adolescence that might best be described as cringe-worthy.​ In the Hulu series 'PEN15,' actors Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play 13-year-old versions of themselves in the year 2000 — even though they're in their early 30s.​ They spoke with Sam Briger about their physical transformation and reliving those difficult years.Molly and John Chester took a massive leap when they decided to leave behind their urban lifestyle in Los ...more

  • Best Of: Patricia Arquette / Erin Lee Carr

    May 04 2019

    Patricia Arquette has won awards for her performances in 'Escape at Dannemora,' 'Boyhood' and 'Medium.' She currently stars in 'The Act' on Hulu, based on the real-life story of Dee Dee Blanchard, a woman who lied to her daughter, Gypsy Rose, and everyone they knew — including doctors — that Gypsy Rose was seriously ill. Dee Dee Blanchard was posthumously diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy after she was murdered in 2015. Arquette talks about playing a series of complex roles in the past...more

  • Remembering 'Boyz N The Hood' Dir. John Singleton

    May 03 2019

    We remember film director John Singleton who died Monday at the age of 51. He made his debut in 1991 with the semi-autobiographical movie 'Boyz n the Hood,' about a group of kids growing up surrounded by drug addiction and gang violence in South Central L.A. Critic Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews the new memoir 'What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker' by Damon Young. Then we remember singer Jo Sullivan Loesser who starred in Frank Loesser's Broadway show 'The Most Happy Fella' and then married hi...more

  • John Bolton's Push For 'Aggressive Use' Of U.S. Power

    May 02 2019

    'New Yorker' staff writer Dexter Filkins says President Trump's current National Security Adviser John Bolton has been hawkish his whole life. His aggressive world view often contrasts with Trump's isolationist tendencies. After President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, Bolton said "Homo sapiens are hardwired for violent conflict." Filkins' new article is 'John Bolton On The War Path.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Dead To Me,' a new black comedy series on Netflix starring Linda Card...more

  • How Oligarchs, Kleptocrats & Crooks Stash Fortunes

    May 01 2019

    Journalist Oliver Bullough runs kleptocracy tours in London, in which he points out mansions bought by corrupt foreign leaders and oligarchs. His book 'Moneyland' describes their secretive transnational world.Also, Ken Tucker reviews Lizzo's first major label album, 'Cuz I Love You.'

  • Erin Lee Carr, Daughter Of David Carr

    Apr 30 2019

    Writer and documentary filmmaker Erin Lee Carr, daughter of the late 'New York Times' columnist David Carr, talks about her parents' drug addiction and what it was like to have her father as a mentor. Her new memoir is 'All That You Leave Behind,' and she directed the HBO documentary 'At the Heart of Gold,' about the gymnasts sexually assaulted by Dr. Larry Nassar.

  • Actor Patricia Arquette

    Apr 29 2019

    Arquette has won awards for her performances in 'Escape at Dannemora,' 'Boyhood' and 'Medium.' She currently stars in 'The Act' on Hulu, based on the real-life story of Dee Dee Blanchard, a woman who falsely convinced her daughter, Gypsy Rose, and everyone they knew — including doctors — that Gypsy Rose was seriously ill and needed to use a wheelchair. Dee Dee Blanchard was murdered in 2015, and posthumously diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Arquette talks about playing a series of co...more

  • Best Of: 'Lear' Actor Glenda Jackson / Baseball History In 10 Pitches

    Apr 27 2019

    The 82-year-old British actor is currently playing Shakespeare's famed tragic figure on Broadway — a role traditionally played by a man. "As we get older, those absolute barriers that define gender begin to crack," she says. Jackson took a 23-year break from acting when she was elected to Parliament in 1992. Also, linguist Geoffrey Nunberg talks about the true meaning of the s-word: "socialism." And 'New York Times' baseball writer Tyler Kepner spoke to 22 hall-of-fame pitchers about what they t...more

  • The Zombies & Roxy Music Head To The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

    Apr 26 2019

    The 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees include the Zombies and Roxy Music. We listen back to archival interviews with Colin Blunstone of the Zombies, and Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno of Roxy Music. Also, John Powers reviews the Netflix nature series 'Our Planet.'

  • The Revelations And Redactions Of The Mueller Report

    Apr 25 2019

    'Washington Post' investigative reporter Rosalind Helderman broke some of the big stories on the Trump's team's ties to Russia. She co-wrote commentary and analysis for the Post's publication of the Mueller report. Helderman notes what's new in the report, the questions left unanswered, and how encrypted texts and witnesses stymied the investigation. Also, critic Justin Chang reviews 'Avengers: End Game.'

  • How Psychiatry Turned To Drugs To Treat Mental Illness

    Apr 24 2019

    The new book 'Mind Fixers' examines psychiatry's search for a biological understanding of mental illnesses, like depression and bipolar disorder. Science historian Anne Harrington talks about the revolution in medications — from Prozac to Xanax — and why pharmaceutical companies are leaving the psychiatric field. Maureen Corrigan reviews Janny Scott's memoir 'The Beneficiary,' about growing up in a wealthy Main Line family in Philadelphia. Scott's grandmother was said to be the inspiration for ...more

  • Actor Glenda Jackson Is King Lear

    Apr 23 2019

    The 82-year-old British actor is currently playing Shakespeare's famed tragic figure on Broadway — a role traditionally played by a man. "As we get older, those absolute barriers that define gender begin to crack," she says. Jackson took a 23-year break from acting when she was elected to Parliament in 1992. She talks about playing kings and queens and what it was like having her own constituency.

  • How The Navy Failed Its Sailors

    Apr 22 2019

    ProPublica journalist T. Christian Miller says outdated equipment and a shortage of sailors contributed to two separate collisions involving Navy destroyers in 2017, in which 17 sailors were killed.Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Herlin Riley's album 'Perpetual Optimism.'

  • Best Of: Robert Caro / Christopher Meloni

    Apr 20 2019

    Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert Caro was never interested in only telling the stories of great men. Instead, he says, "I wanted to use their lives to show how political power worked." He talks about his two most famous works — biographies of Lyndon Johnson and New York City planner Robert Moses. His new memoir about his process is called 'Working.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews The Mekons' new album 'Deserted,' their first in 8 years.After 12 seasons on 'Law & Order: SVU,' Christoph...more

  • The Remarkable Life Of Frederick Douglass

    Apr 19 2019

    David Blight's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography describes Frederick Douglass' escape from slavery, his passionate leadership in the abolitionist movement and his gift as a writer and orator. Blight spoke with 'Fresh Air' in December of 2018.Aretha Franklin has been awarded a posthumous "Special Citation" Pulitzer Prize. We'll hear an excerpt of her 1999 interview with Terry Gross. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Long Day's Journey Into Night,' the second feature from the Chinese writer-d...more

  • From Fastballs To Greaseballs, A History Of Baseball In 10 Pitches

    Apr 18 2019

    'New York Times' baseball writer Tyler Kepner spoke to 22 hall-of-fame pitchers about what they throw, and how they get a mental edge over hitters. His new book is 'K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches.'Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Lost and Wanted' by Nell Freudenberger, about an MIT physicist who finds her rational understanding of the universe challenged by the death of a friend.

  • Actor Christopher Meloni / Tiger Woods' Historic Comeback

    Apr 17 2019

    After 12 seasons on Law & Order: SVU, Christopher Meloni plays a disgraced policeman-turned-hit man in the second season of the Syfi Channel series Happy!. Meloni talks about being a bouncer before he broke into acting, playing tough guys, and life after 'Law & Order.' Tiger Woods' recent Masters title follows a 10-year drought of major tournament victories. Jeff Benedict, co-author of the biography 'Tiger Woods,' says the golfer's comeback "transcends sports."

  • How Climate Change Threatens Humanity

    Apr 16 2019

    Bill McKibben, who first warned of climate change 30 years ago, says its effects are now upon us. He talks about heat waves, fires, flooding, drought, and, soon, millions of climate refugees. "The idea that anybody's going to be immune from this anywhere is untrue," he says. His new book is 'Falter.'Also, Ken Tucker reviews The Mekons' new album 'Deserted,' their first in 8 years.

  • Robert Caro

    Apr 15 2019

    The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was never interested in only telling the stories of great men. Instead, he says, "I wanted to use their lives to show how political power worked." He talks about his two most famous works — biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Robert Moses. His new memoir about his process is called 'Working.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from trumpeter Tom Harrell.

  • Best Of: Henry Winkler / Rob Delaney

    Apr 13 2019

    After wrapping up his role as 'Happy Days' iconic cool guy, The Fonz, in 1985, Winkler struggled with typecasting. Eventually he was able to move on. He plays a self-involved acting teacher on HBO's 'Barry.' He talks with Terry Gross about his early career, his own experience in acting classes, and struggling with dyslexia. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Billie Eilish's debut album, 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?'Rob Delaney, the co-creator, co-writer and co-star of the Amazon comedy ...more

  • Ray Romano / Remembering Seymour Cassel

    Apr 13 2019

    Ray Romano spoke to Terry Gross in 2016 about life after 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' and how fame has affected him. "Here's what I say: Before I thought my cab driver hated me; now I think my limo driver hates me." His new Netflix special is 'Right Here, Around the Corner.' Actor Seymour Cassel, who died April 7, performed as a child during matinees of his mom's burlesque shows. He went on to appear in movies directed by John Cassavetes and Wes Anderson. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2006.

  • Henry Winkler

    Apr 11 2019

    After wrapping up his role as 'Happy Days' iconic cool guy, The Fonz, in 1985, Winkler struggled with typecasting. Eventually he was able to move on. He plays a self-involved acting teacher on HBO's 'Barry.' He talks with Terry Gross about his early career, his own experience in acting classes, and struggling with dyslexia. Also, John Powers reflects on 'Game of Thrones' as it enters its final season.

  • American Prosecution & Mass Incarceration

    Apr 10 2019

    The U.S. prison population is booming; an estimated 2.1 million people were incarcerated in America in 2016, and as many people in the U.S. have criminal records as have graduated from four-year colleges. Journalist and Yale Law lecturer Emily Bazelon attributes America's high incarceration rates to prosecutors more than judges. Bazelon spent 2.5 years reporting on the Brooklyn district attorney's office. Her new book, 'Charged,' examines the power of prosecutors and looks at alternatives to bai...more

  • Congress In The Trump Era

    Apr 09 2019

    Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, who cover Congress for 'Politico,' discuss the power dynamics of Capitol Hill during the Trump Presidency. Their new book is 'The Hill To Die On.'Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel 'Normal People' by Sally Rooney.

  • How Climate Change Became A Partisan Issue

    Apr 08 2019

    Journalist Nathaniel Rich talks about the missed opportunities in our recent history that could've halted or slowed climate change. Rich says that from 1979 until 1989, climate change was viewed as a bipartisan problem — then the the oil industry "descended and bared its fangs" and everything changed. His new book is 'Losing Earth.'Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Billie Eilish's debut album, 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?'

  • Best Of: Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin / A Therapist Goes To Therapy

    Apr 06 2019

    Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who conducts New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, spoke with Terry Gross in front of a live audience for a WHYY event about his style of leadership and using his whole body when he conducts. John Powers reviews a new restoration of the 1970 film 'Wanda,' a classic of women's cinema. It was written and directed by its star, Barbara Loden.Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who started seeing a therapist herself after the man she thought she would marr...more

  • Dancer Gwen Verdon Of 'Fosse/Verdon'

    Apr 05 2019

    The new FX series 'Fosse/Verdon' celebrates the professional and romantic relationship between legendary choreographer Bob Fosse and dancer Gwen Verdon. He created the musicals 'Chicago,' 'Damn Yankees,' and 'Sweet Charity' for her. After David Bianculli reviews the new TV series, we'll listen back to Terry Gross' 1993 interview with Verdon, as well as our 1985 interview with choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the new sci-fi thriller 'High Life,' st...more

  • Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin

    Apr 04 2019

    Nézet-Séguin, who directs the New York's Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, spoke with Terry Gross in front of a live audience for a WHYY event about his style of leadership, using his whole body when he conducts, and being a high-profile gay man.

  • Historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. / Rob Delaney Of 'Catastrophe'

    Apr 03 2019

    Henry Louis Gates Jr. points to post-Civil War Reconstruction as the genesis of white supremacy, as white Southerners looked for ways to roll back the newly acquired rights of African-Americans. His new book is 'Stony the Road.'Rob Delaney, the co-creator, co-writer and co-star of the Amazon comedy series 'Catastrophe,' talks about his experience writing the fourth season with Sharon Horgan while grieving the death of his young son. Though working on 'Catastrophe' didn't lessen or distract Delan...more

  • The Ongoing Crisis In Venezuela

    Apr 02 2019

    'New York Times' reporter Nicholas Casey was in Maracaibo, Venezuela, in March 2019 during a six-day power outage that left 30 million people in the dark. "By the fourth day," he says, "you started to hear shots getting fired in the street." Shortages of food, water and medicine have become so extreme that 3 million people, a 10th of the population, have left to escape the chaos. President Nicolás Maduro is holding firm against the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, with no resolution in sight. Cas...more

  • The Motivations & Impact Of SCOTUS Justice John Roberts

    Apr 01 2019

    CNN legal affairs correspondent Joan Biskupic discusses the roots of Roberts' conservatism and his work for the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. She says he's had a conservative impact on the law, but is also deeply concerned about the court's reputation — something President Trump would be wise to remember. "The more Donald Trump talks about how the court is on his side, the more he's going to drive John Roberts to the left, because the last thing John Roberts wants to do is to appe...more

  • Best Of: John Mulaney / Natasha Lyonne

    Mar 30 2019

    John Mulaney was a writer at 'Saturday Night Live' for five years and recently returned to host for the first time. He talks about his 'SNL' audition, writing monologues for famous hosts, and drawing on his Catholic upbringing for stand-up material.Also, critic David Bianculli reviews 'What We Do In The Shadows' on FX. The series was created by Jemaine Clement ('Flight of the Conchords') and filmmaker Taika Waititi.Natasha Lyonne's character on the Netflix series 'Russian Doll' keeps dying and c...more

  • Mexican-American Writer Finds Inspiration In Family, Tragedy & Trump

    Mar 29 2019

    Luis Alberto Urrea's book 'The House of Broken Angels' borrows from the story of his older brother, who died of cancer. He says the book went through a dramatic rewrite after Trump became president. [Originally broadcast March 2018.] Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews Jordan Peele's new 'Twilight Zone' reboot.

  • A Therapist Goes To Therapy (And Gets A Taste Of Her Own Medicine)

    Mar 28 2019

    Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who started seeing a therapist herself after the man she thought she would marry unexpectedly broke up with her. "I think that therapy at any age, it helps people to relate better to themselves and to the people around them," she says. "It helps them to examine the way that they live their lives and take responsibility for what's not working, and also for what they can change." Her new book is 'Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.' Also, critic John Powers reviews...more

  • Natasha Lyonne On 'Russian Doll'

    Mar 27 2019

    Lyonne's character on the Netflix series 'Russian Doll' keeps dying and coming back to life. It's a premise that strikes a chord with the actor; Lyonne had a near-death experience in 2005. She talks with Terry Gross about how that experience informs her work, her signature raspy voice, and wanting to be a "tough guy." Also, critic David Bianculli reviews 'What We Do In The Shadows' on FX. The series was created by Jemaine Clement ('Flight of the Conchords') and filmmaker Taika Waititi.

  • Comic John Mulaney

    Mar 26 2019

    Mulaney was a writer at 'Saturday Night Live' for five years and recently returned to host for the first time. "I was absolutely terrified," he says. "To be performing something you've written and trying to listen to the jokes while making sure you're on your mark and looking into the right camera and then being pulled around to do costume fittings — it was scary." He talks about his 'SNL' audition, writing monologues for famous hosts, and drawing on his Catholic upbringing for stand-up material...more

  • The New Zealand Massacre And The Global Resurgence Of Extremism

    Mar 25 2019

    J.M. Berger studies the online activity of extremists. He warns that white nationalism is a growing phenomenon worldwide — with many in the movement drawing inspiration from President Trump. "When we do the social media analysis, it comes shouting out at you," he says. "We can count the links that they put out on Twitter and other social media platforms, and what we find is the most common is '#MAGA.' The most common description of somebody that they use in the profile, they use on Twitter, is '...more

  • Best Of: The Emotional Lives Of Primates / Playwright & Actor Heidi Schreck

    Mar 23 2019

    Primatologist Frans de Waal has spent 40 years studying the behavior and emotions of primates. He talks about how primates experience jealousy, reconciliation, and empathy — just like humans. "That's a spectrum of behavior that we have, and the same thing is true for many other species." His new book is 'Mama's Last Hug.' Film critic Justin Chang reviews Jordan Peele's new horror movie, 'Us.' As a teen, Heidi Schreck debated the Constitution in competitions. Later she realized it had failed to p...more

  • Remembering Poet W.S. Merwin / 'King Of The Surf Guitar' Dick Dale

    Mar 22 2019

    W.S. Merwin, the former U.S. poet laureate, died March 15. He was a prolific writer as well as a conservationist and a conscientious objector during World War II. He spoke to 'Fresh Air' in 2008. Dick Dale, who was known as the "King of the Surf Guitar," died March 16 at 81. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1993 about his distinctive style of guitar playing, inspired by waves. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new season of the Showtime series 'Billions,' and film critic Justin Chang revie...more