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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.
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Now displaying: April, 2016
Apr 30, 2016

An onstage interview with Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson, the co-founder and drummer of The Roots. He talks about Prince, his late father Lee Andrews, and his new book, 'somethingtofoodabout.' David Edelstein reviews the new film 'Elvis & Nixon,' and Tom Hanks talks about growing up with multiple parents and religions.  He stars in the new film 'A Hologram for the King.'

Apr 29, 2016

Bruce Eric Kaplan, cartoonist for The New Yorker, recalls growing up in the 1960's and 70's in New Jersey.  His illustrated memoir is called 'I Was A Child.' A remembrance of Harry Wu, who died Tuesday at the age of 79. Wu spent 19 years in a Communist Chinese labor camp. Milo Miles reviews a new tribute album for gospel-blues performer Blind Willie Johnson and David Edelstein reviews the new film 'Elvis & Nixon.'

Apr 28, 2016

Carmichael has been described as having 'one of standup's most unorthodox approaches to exploring race and class.' His standup can make you squirm because he says things like, 'I’m starting to appreciate slavery.'  Jerrod Carmichael is the creator and star of the NBC sitcom 'The Carmichael Show.' On a typical episode, Jerrod, and the characters of his girlfriend, his parents and brother, take different positions on issues such as -- once you know the allegations against Bill Cosby, is it still OK to watch The Cosby Show? Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album of live performances by jazz legend Sonny Rollins and Maureen Corrigan reviews Betsy Lerner's new memoir about reconnecting with her elderly mother.

Apr 27, 2016

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, the drummer and leader of The Tonight Show's house band The Roots, says he's obsessed with the creative process. His new book, 'somethingtofoodabout', is a collection of his interviews with chefs about how art and creativity apply to their preparation and presentation of food. Speaking with Terry Gross in front of an audience in Philadelphia, Questlove talks about Prince, his late father Lee Andrews, and the food equivalent of the 'Mona Lisa.'

Apr 26, 2016

Tom Hanks is one of the most popular actors of our time. In his new film, 'A Hologram for the King,' he plays a business man who's lost confidence in himself -- in contrast to the courageous men Hanks has played in films like 'Captain Phillips,' 'Saving Private Ryan,' and 'Apollo 13.' Hanks tells Terry Gross why he doesn't think he has their kind of courage, about growing up a child of two divorces, and getting exposed to a variety of religions. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Sturgill Simpson's new country album. 

Apr 25, 2016

Mark Landler of The New York Times discusses Clinton and Obama's contrasting views on America's role in the world. Clinton, Landler says, was often the hawk, more willing to intervene with force. His book is 'Alter Egos.'

Apr 23, 2016

National Geographic journalist David Quammen warns that Yellowstone is "in danger of being loved to death." Maureen Corrigan reviews two works of historical suspense fiction. John Elder Robison, who has autism, talks about the brain experiment that left him with a sense of empathy he had never experienced before. His new book is 'Switched On.' 

Apr 22, 2016

Wildlife photographer Gerrit Vyn and essayist Scott Weidensaul share bird calls and discuss some of the remarkable abilities of birds. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The Huntsman: Winter's War' and 'Tale of Tales.' Ken Tucker reflects on the life and music of Prince. 

Apr 21, 2016

'Switched On' author John Elder Robison says the emotional empathy he gained after receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation was intense. "It's like I lost a protective shield," he says. Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone joins Robison to talk about TMS treatment.

Apr 20, 2016

74 year-old author and psychiatrist Arlene Heyman discusses her debut short-story collection, which focuses on the sex lives and intimate relationships of characters in their 60s and 70s. Maureen Corrigan reviews two works of historical suspense fiction. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Henry Threadgill.

Apr 19, 2016

Duchovny talks about how 'The X-Files' made him a better writer. His novel, 'Bucky F*cking Dent,' is about a a son reuniting with his absentee father. John Powers reviews the new AMC series 'The Night Manager.'

Apr 18, 2016

Each year, the park attracts millions of visitors and provides a home to countless animal species. But National Geographic journalist David Quammen warns that balancing tourism and preservation can be tricky. Ken Tucker reviews 'A Cure For Loneliness' by Peter Wolf.

Apr 16, 2016

Comic W. Kamau Bell is taking his political and social satire to CNN, where he's hosting a new docu-series called 'United Shades of America.' He describes himself as having made a living finding humor in the parts of America he doesn't understand. Kevin Whitehead reviews jazz guitarist Julian Lage's album 'Arclight.' Comics Nadia Manzoor and Radhika Vaz play Muslim immigrants dealing with speed dating, cat calls and other aspects of life in secular New York in their sketch-comedy series 'Shugs & Fats.'

Apr 15, 2016

Why do teenagers behave like — teenagers? We get an explanation from neuroscientist Dr. Frances Jensen, who says our brains are still maturing through our 20s and that the front part of the brain is the last to develop. "And what's in the front? Your frontal cortex and prefrontal cortex; these are the areas where we have insight, empathy, impulse control," she says. "Risk-taking behavior is suppressed by activity in your frontal lobes." Her book is 'The Teenage Brain.' Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The Jungle Book.'

Apr 14, 2016

Comic W. Kamau Bell is taking his political and social satire to CNN, where he's hosting a new docu-series called 'United Shades of America.' He describes himself as having made a living finding humor in the parts of America he doesn't understand. The original premise of the series was a black guy goes places he shouldn't or you wouldn't expect him to go.  Bell formerly hosted a series of political satire called 'Totally Biased,' which was on the FX and FXX Networks. 

Apr 13, 2016

Edward Humes describes his new book as a "transportation detective story" that chronicles the hidden characters, locations and machinery driving our same-day delivery, traffic-packed world. Also, Fresh Air producer Sam Briger talks to jazz guitar prodigy Julian Lage.

Apr 12, 2016

Comics Nadia Manzoor and Radhika Vaz play Muslim immigrants dealing with speed dating, cat calls and other aspects of life in secular New York in their sketch-comedy series 'Shugs & Fats.' Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews a novel by Irish writer Edna O'Brien.

Apr 11, 2016

Charles Bock's wife died from leukemia just before their daughter's 3rd birthday. Bock relived the final years of her life while writing his new novel, 'Alice & Oliver.' He drew on his wife's diaries for the novel. Kevin Whitehead reviews Julian Lage's album 'Arclight.'

Apr 9, 2016

Bee, who was the longest-serving 'Daily Show' correspondent, has a new political satire show called 'Full Frontal' on TBS. Ken Tucker reviews a new album from Robbie Fulks. Dan Lyons was in his 50s when he was laid off from Newsweek and went to work for a start-up. He says it was part frat house, part cult. He wrote for the HBO series 'Silicon Valley,' and his new memoir is 'Disrupted.'

Apr 8, 2016

"I was, to say the least, probably the most incorrigible child you can think of," Haggard told Terry Gross in 1995. The country legend died Wednesday morning in California. It was his 79th birthday. Historian Eric Foner recently won the American History Book Prize from the New York Historical Society for 'Gateway to Freedom,' about the Underground Railroad. He discussed the book in 2015.

Apr 7, 2016

Bee, who was the longest-serving 'Daily Show' correspondent, has a new political satire show called 'Full Frontal' on TBS. She talks about feminism, her hotline for rape threats, and why she doesn't like doing stand-up comedy.  Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Louder than Bombs.'

Apr 6, 2016

Lisa Graves says that states can overrule local laws, and legislatures are increasingly using preemption to stop things like fracking bans, minimum wage increases, and protections for LGBT people. Ken Tucker reviews a new album from Robbie Fulks, and John Powers reviews a Brazilian film called 'Neon Bull.'

Apr 5, 2016

Dan Lyons was in his 50s when he was laid off from Newsweek and went to work for a start-up.  He says it was part frat house, part cult. He wrote for the HBO series 'Silicon Valley,' and his new memoir is 'Disrupted.' Maureen Corrigan reviews novel 'Alice & Oliver,' and Fresh Air says goodbye to our longtime administrative assistant, Dorothy Ferebee.

Apr 4, 2016

The techniques Eric Fair used were legal, but what he did still weighs on his conscience. "There is no middle ground," he says. "Torture is an enhanced interrogation." His new memoir is 'Consequence.'

Apr 2, 2016

Romano tells us how he landed a role in Martin Scorsese's series 'Vinyl,' how Letterman gave him his big break, and what makes him cry. Commentator Sarah Hepola says after years of complaining about hate on the Internet, she became part of the problem. Finally, pitchers of all ages are increasingly blowing out their elbows and needing what's known as Tommy John surgery. Sports writer Jeff Passan discusses his new book 'The Arm.'

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