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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: December, 2016
Dec 31, 2016

Film critic David Edelstein, TV critic David Bianculli, critic at-large John Powers, rock critic Ken Tucker and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead share their picks for the best of 2016.

Dec 29, 2016

For the first time since hosting 'The Late Show,' Colbert talks to Terry Gross about shedding his 'Colbert Report' character and becoming comfortable playing himself. [Originally broadcast November 2016] Also, this year marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a recent CD that celebrates Shakespeare in words and music.

Dec 29, 2016

Coppola was 29 when he signed on to direct a film based on Mario Puzo's novel about an Italian-American crime family. "I was always just trying to bluff the studio to let me do it my way," he says. [Originally broadcast November 2016]

Dec 28, 2016

Carrie Fisher, the actress who became a pop culture icon for her performance as Princess Leia in ‘Star Wars,’ has died at age 60. She spoke to Terry Gross in 1990, 2004 and most recently in 2016 for her memoir, The Princess Diarist.  Rock critic Ed Ward reflects on The Ramones' self-titled first album, which debuted 40 years ago. 

 

Dec 27, 2016

Gaby Hoffmann grew up in the Chelsea Hotel with her mother, an actress in Andy Warhol's Factory. Gaby appeared in 'Field of Dreams' and other films as child, but says she saw acting as "a means to an end." She now stars in the Amazon series 'Transparent.'  [Originally broadcast October 2016]  Kenya Barris' ABC comedy series 'Black-ish' was inspired by his own family experiences. He says the show is about "raising your kids in a different environment than you were accustomed to being raised in." [Originally broadcast May 2016]

Dec 26, 2016

Recorded at his home studio, Springsteen speaks to Terry Gross about growing up in Jersey, songwriting, and wishing to be his stage persona. His new memoir is 'Born to Run.' [Originally broadcast October 2016]

Dec 24, 2016

Mills' latest film was inspired by his desire to understand his mother. Set in Santa Barbara in 1979, it stars Annette Bening as a woman struggling to raise her teenage son on her own. Mills also wrote and directed 'Beginners.' Actor Billy Eichner has been pop culture obsessed since childhood, and he embraces it all with his 'Billy on the Street' persona. He describes the concept of his man-on-the-street gameshow.

Dec 23, 2016

Filmmaker Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell McCraney drew on their own childhood experiences in making 'Moonlight,' a film about a boy growing up in a Miami housing project.  [Originally broadcast October 2016]

Dec 22, 2016

David Edelstein and David Bianculli sit down with Terry Gross to share their favorite films and TV shows of 2016. Linguist Geoff Nunberg explains why “normal” and “normalize” are his picks for the words of the year.

Dec 21, 2016

'Politico' reporter Michael Crowley discusses Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, "There’s something I think we don’t completely understand."

Dec 20, 2016

‘New Yorker’ writer Steve Coll says that though Rex Tillerson has conducted billion-dollar international deals as CEO of ExxonMobil, he has no government experience. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead remembers jazz greats who died in 2016.

Dec 19, 2016

Mills' latest film was inspired by his desire to understand his mother. Set in Santa Barbara in 1979, it stars Annette Bening as a woman struggling to raise her teenage son on her own. Mills also wrote and directed 'Beginners.' 

Dec 17, 2016

Nicole Maines was born an identical twin, but unlike her twin brother, never identified as male. She became prominent in the trans community after winning a discrimination lawsuit.  Also, contributor Sarah Hepola talks about the stress of the holiday season when you don't drink. And producer Sam Briger speaks to author Maria Semple about her comic novel 'Today Will Be Different,' about a stressed-out wife and mother who starts every day with a mantra.

Dec 16, 2016

The 'Daily Show' host revisits his childhood in apartheid-era South Africa in his new memoir, 'Born a Crime.' Noah says writing the book helped him see that his mother was the real hero of his story. [Originally broadcast Nov. 2016]  David Edelstein reviews ‘Rogue One.’

Dec 15, 2016

Psychiatrist Anna Lembke says the medical establishment and drugmakers began telling doctors in the 1980s that opioids were effective treatment for long-term chronic pain. "That was patently false," she says. Her book is ‘Drug Dealer, MD.’ Critic Ken Tucker shares his top 10 favorite albums of 2016.

Dec 14, 2016

Buzzfeed News' media editor, Craig Silverman, dissects how false stories during the presidential campaign were spread on Facebook and monetized by Google Ad Sense. Also, critic at-large John Powers shares six things he loved this year that he didn’t get around to reviewing.

Dec 13, 2016

Grey talks about how he brought his decadent 'Cabaret' character to life on both the stage and screen, and reflects on coming out as gay after years of being closeted. His memoir is 'Master Of Ceremonies.'  [Originally broadcast Feb. 2016] Ken Tucker reviews Kacey Musgraves’ Christmas album.

Dec 12, 2016

Eichner has been pop culture obsessed since childhood, and he embraces it all with his ‘Billy on the Street’ persona. He describes the concept of his man-on-the-street gameshow, his love/hate relationship with celebrity culture, and the advice Joan Rivers gave him. Also, contributor Sarah Hepola talks about the stress of the holiday season when you don’t drink.

Dec 10, 2016

Baquet talks about covering tweets as news and his decision to use the word "lie" in a headline about Trump.  Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly discusses "PC culture” and the threatening and misogynist tweets she received from Trump supporters. Her new memoir is 'Settle For More.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her top 10 books of 2016.

Dec 9, 2016

Tinker was a former NBC chairman and oversaw shows like ‘Cheers,’ ‘Hill Street Blues,’ and ‘St. Elsewhere.’ He also founded MTM Enterprises with his then wife, Mary Tyler Moore, and produced her hit show. Tinker died last month. We remember him with his 1994 interview and a 1995 interview with Moore. Ken Tucker reviews Allyson Seconds’ album ‘Little World.’ Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘La La Land.’

Dec 8, 2016

Dean Baquet talks about covering tweets as news, his decision to use the word "lie" in a headline about Trump and why he's not worried about libel suits from the president-elect. Book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her top 10 books of 2016.

Dec 7, 2016

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly talks about ”PC culture,"coming forward about CEO Roger Ailes sexually harassing her, and how Trump's election has empowered white nationalists. Her new memoir is ’Settle For More.’

Dec 6, 2016

Country music star Dwight Yoakam talks about his grandfather’s work in the coal mines and plays songs from his latest album, ‘Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars.’ Also, producer Sam Briger speaks to author Maria Semple about her comic novel ‘Today Will Be Different,’ about a stressed-out wife and mother who starts every day with a mantra. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a recording of Dizzy Gillespie’s 1980 “concert of the century” in Montreal.

Dec 5, 2016

Nicole Maines was born an identical twin, but unlike her twin brother, never identified as male. She became prominent in the trans community after winning a discrimination lawsuit. Kylar Broadus directed The Transgender Civil Rights Project and was the first openly transgender person to testify before the U.S. Senate. They’re both featured in the HBO documentary, ‘The Trans List.’  Ken Tucker reviews Miranda Lambert’s new album, ‘The Weight of These Wings.’

Dec 3, 2016

Carrie Fisher was an insecure 19-year-old when she appeared as Princess Leia in the first ‘Star Wars’ movie, a role that would come to define her career. She tells Terry Gross that despite becoming romantically involved with her older, married co-star, Harrison Ford, she often felt isolated on set. Fisher has a new memoir called 'The Princess Diarist.'  Cleve Jones became an activist after Harvey Milk's assassination, and he lost countless friends to the AIDS epidemic. He conceived the AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1985. His memoir is 'When We Rise.'

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