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This Author: Terry Gross
This Publisher: National Public Radio

NPR: Fresh Air Podcast by Terry Gross

NPR: Fresh Air Podcast

by Terry Gross

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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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How The Trump Foundation May Have Engaged In 'Self-Dealing'

Author: NPR
Wed, Sep 28, 2016


'Washington Post' reporter David Fahrenthold says the Trump Foundation doesn't operate like a typical charity: "[Trump] doesn't seem to have understood that a charity isn't set up to benefit you." Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Eyes on the Street,' a biography of urban studies intellectual Jane Jacobs.

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'The Family Karzai and the Afghan Disaster'

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 27, 2016


Journalist Joshua Partlow was in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012, a time of corruption, government dysfunction and civilian hostility to U.S. military operations. His new book is 'A Kingdom of Their Own.' Rock historian Ed Ward takes us back to the 1961 fishing trip that launched the Beach Boys.

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'Deepwater Horizon' Director Peter Berg

Author: NPR
Mon, Sep 26, 2016


Peter Berg discusses his new film, which recreates the final hours of the oil rig that exploded and sank, causing the BP oil spill. Eleven rig workers died trying to prevent the disaster. Berg also directed 'Friday Night Lights.' Ken Tucker reviews Angel Olsen's new album, 'My Woman.'

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Best Of: Director Antoine Fuqua / Opera Singer Ryan Speedo Green

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 23, 2016


Antoine Fuqua's remake of the 1960 Western, 'The Magnificent Seven,' centers on a band of men who have volunteered to save a village from a greedy mine owner. He says it's a "simple story of [being] in service of others." John Powers reviews the new ABC thriller 'Designated Survivor,' starring Kiefer Sutherland. Ryan Speedo Green grew up in a trailer park and did time in juvenile detention before discovering he had a unique singing voice. He now performs at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

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Mary Karr On 'The Art Of Memoir'

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 23, 2016


Mary Karr discusses the faults of memory, the challenges of writing about loved ones and the pain of deleting 1,200 pages because "there was something untrue about them." Her book, 'The Art of Memoir,' is now out in paperback. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'The Magnificent Seven.'

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'Narcos' Executive Producer Eric Newman

Author: NPR
Thu, Sep 22, 2016


Before making 'Narcos,' Eric Newman spent years researching drug kingpin Pablo Escobar's story. He says, "For us ... it was very important to show the most balanced look at the [drug] war we possibly could." Also, we remember 'LA Confidential' film director Curtis Hanson in an excerpt of his 1997 interview.

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'Magnificent Seven' Director Antoine Fuqua

Author: NPR
Wed, Sep 21, 2016


Antoine Fuqua's remake of the 1960 Western, 'The Magnificent Seven,' centers on a band of men who have volunteered to save a village from a greedy mine owner. He says it's a "simple story of [being] in service of others." John Powers reviews the new ABC thriller 'Designated Survivor,' starring Kiefer Sutherland.

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Opera Singer Ryan Speedo Green

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 20, 2016


Ryan Speedo Green grew up in a trailer park and did time in juvenile detention before discovering he had a unique singing voice. He now performs at New York's Metropolitan Opera. Also, we remember late playwright Edward Albee in an excerpt of his 1984 interview.

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The Handsome Family

Author: NPR
Mon, Sep 19, 2016


Married couple Rennie and Brett Sparks have been writing songs together for 21 years. Their latest album, 'Unseen,' is based on their experiences living in the desert in the southwest. Their best-known song, 'Far From Any Road,' was the theme song for the first season of the HBO series 'True Detective.'

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Best Of: Roast Comic Jeff Ross / Soccer Champion Abby Wambach

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 16, 2016


Jeff Ross says he learned to "dish it out and take it" as a kid in Newark, N.J. He says that ideally a celebrity roast is "like a party where everybody goes and has a good time." David Edelstein reviews 'Snowden,' a film by Oliver Stone. Abby Wambach scored 184 goals, more than any other man or woman in the history of international soccer. Still, she knew that someday that identity would end — and "what then?" Her new memoir is 'Forward.'

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Writer Mat Johnson On Being Biracial In America

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 16, 2016


As a biracial child growing up in Philadelphia, writer Mat Johnson identified as black – but looked white. His novel 'Loving Day' is about a man who returns to his hometown after inheriting a run-down mansion. [Originally broadcast June 2015] David Edelstein reviews Oliver Stone's film 'Snowden.'

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The 'Racial Cleansing' Of Forsyth County, GA

Author: NPR
Thu, Sep 15, 2016


In 1912, white mobs set fire to black churches and black-owned businesses. Eventually the entire black population of Forsyth County was driven out, says 'Blood at the Root' author Patrick Phillips. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews an album from Jim Black's trio.

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Champion Soccer Player Abby Wambach

Author: NPR
Wed, Sep 14, 2016


Wambach scored 184 goals, more than any other man or woman in the history of international soccer. Still, she knew that someday that identity would end — and "what then?" Her new memoir is 'Forward.' Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Loner,' a novel by Teddy Wayne.

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Roast Comic Jeff Ross

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 13, 2016


Jeff Ross says he learned to "dish it out and take it" as a kid in Newark, N.J. He says that ideally a celebrity roast is "like a party where everybody goes and has a good time."

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How To Train Your Cat

Author: NPR
Mon, Sep 12, 2016


Feline behavior specialist Sarah Ellis explains how humans can get their cats to come on command, take medicine and stop waking them up at night. Her new book is 'The Trainable Cat.' Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews country singer Kelsey Waldon's new album.

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Best Of: Actress Pamela Adlon / Guitarist Nels Cline

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 09, 2016


Pamela Adlon says her long-time collaboration with Louis C.K. helped hone her writing voice. Her new series for FX, 'Better Things,' is based on her experiences as the single mother of three daughters. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Jonathan Safran Foer's third novel, 'Here I Am.' Known for the avant-garde sound he brings to Wilco, guitarist Nels Cline turns to ballads and jazz standards on his new album, 'Lovers.' He describes it as a "mood-music record" that isn't cheesy.

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The Legacy Of Autism

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 09, 2016


Science writer Steve Silberman talks about how different factors — including Nazi extermination plans and a (now discredited) journal article about vaccines — have shaped our current understanding of autism. His book 'NeuroTribes' is now out in paperback. [Originally broadcast Sept. 2015] Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Sully,' directed by Clint Eastwood.

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Wilco Guitarist Nels Cline

Author: NPR
Thu, Sep 08, 2016


Known for the avant-garde sound he brings to Wilco, Cline turns to ballads and jazz standards on his new album, 'Lovers.' He describes it as a "mood-music record" that isn't cheesy. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Jonathan Safran Foer's third novel, 'Here I Am.'

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The 'Sad And Absurd' Story Of Birobidzhan

Author: NPR
Wed, Sep 07, 2016


Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen discusses the Soviet effort, in 1929, to create an autonomous Jewish state in the USSR's far eastern region. Gessen is the author of 'Where The Jews Aren't.' Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Musical Monsters,' a newly issued recording of Don Cherry.

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Actress Pamela Adlon On 'Better Things'

Author: NPR
Tue, Sep 06, 2016


Pamela Adlon says her long-time collaboration with Louis C.K. helped hone her writing voice. Her new series for FX, 'Better Things,' is based on her experiences as the single mother of three daughters. Also, the media have used a variety of epithets to describe white working-class Trump supporters. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says these terms embody the class contention that is central to this year's election.

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Soul Singer Sharon Jones

Author: NPR
Mon, Sep 05, 2016


Three years ago, Sharon Jones, the energetic lead singer for The Dap-Kings was forced to take a hiatus from the band after she was diagnosed with cancer. The new documentary 'Miss Sharon Jones,' by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, is about the period in 2013 when Jones couldn't perform—when she was getting months of chemo and recovering from extensive surgery. After the chemo, she did a world tour with The Dap-Kings. The cancer has since returned, but she's still performing. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews a Beatrix Potter book, just published for the first time, about a cat who leads a double life.

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Best Of: Jacqueline Woodson / Culinary History of the Depression

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 02, 2016


National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson's new novel 'Another Brooklyn' is based in part on her memories of growing up there in the 1970s. Woodson describes adolescence as an "amazing and urgent moment" in life. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the soundtrack to the new Netflix series 'The Get Down,' about the rise of early hip-hop. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead shares a batch of previously unknown Charlie Parker performances. Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe, authors of 'A Square Meal,' discuss the food trends of the Depression.

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Ray Liotta

Author: NPR
Fri, Sep 02, 2016


Our best of 2016 series concludes with Ray Liotta. He has a reputation for playing cops and criminals on the big screen, and plays both in the NBC drama series 'Shades of Blue.' The actor, who turned 61 last year, says the role is an extension of a personal goal to keep growing and evolving as an actor. "I really believe you never stop learning and you never really ever get there — just like in life," Liotta says. Also, Ed Ward reviews the music of one-hit wonder Jody Reynolds, who never connected with the public again after his 1958 hit 'Endless Sleep.'

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Actress Sarah Paulson

Author: NPR
Thu, Sep 01, 2016


Our best of 2016 series continues with Sarah Paulson. She's nominated for two Emmys, one for her performance in 'American Horror Story:Hotel,' the other for her portrayal of prosecutor Marcia Clark in the FX series 'The People vs. O.J. Simpson.' The series is based on the bestselling book about the 1995 trial by legal reporter and analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Paulson also talks about her role in the film 'Carol' and her relationship with actress Holland Taylor.

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Larry Wilmore

Author: NPR
Wed, Aug 31, 2016


Our best of 2016 series continues with Larry Wilmore. Comedy Central unexpectedly canceled his satirical news show 'The Nightly Show' earlier this month. Wilmore managed to find comic and sincere ways of addressing the news on 'The Nightly Show,' including incidents where police harassed or killed African Americans. Wilmore wrote for 'In Living Color,' created 'The Bernie Mac Show,' worked on 'The Office,' and the ABC series, 'Blackish.' We listen back to excerpts from three of Terry's interviews with Larry Wilmore.

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Remembering Gene Wilder

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 30, 2016


Actor Gene Wilder died Monday at 83. Wilder, known for roles in films like 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,' and 'Blazing Saddles,' spoke to Terry Gross in 2005 about how he met Mel Brooks, what he learned from Richard Pryor, and his relationship with Gilda Radner.

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Tom Hanks

Author: NPR
Mon, Aug 29, 2016


This week we're replaying some of the best interviews of 2016. Tom Hanks spoke to Terry Gross in April about his film, 'A Hologram for the King.' He talks about playing brave men in films like 'Captain Phillips' and 'Saving Private Ryan,' his unusual childhood, and charming his way out of difficult situations. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the soundtrack to the new Netflix series 'The Get Down,' about the rise of early hip-hop.

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Best Of: 'Office' Actor John Krasinski / Our Aging And Unstable Electrical Grid

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 26, 2016


John Krasinski says he's thankful for his big break "every single day." Three years after the wrap of 'The Office,' he continues to branch out — he's now directing and co-starring in the film 'The Hollars.' Ken Tucker reviews 'Real' from singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless. Also, in her new book, 'The Grid,' Gretchen Bakke argues that the under-funded power grid is incapable of taking the U.S. into a new energy future.

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Gloria Steinem

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 26, 2016


The feminist icon says she is free of the "demands of gender" that she faced from adolescence onward. Her memoir is 'My Life on the Road,' is now out in paperback. David Edelstein reviews 'Southside With You,' a film based on the real story of Barack and Michelle Obama's first date.

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Inside Private Prisons: Crowding, Under-Staffing, And Inmate Deaths

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 25, 2016


Seth Freed Wessler reported on the substandard medical care in privately-run prisons in the federal corrections system for 'The Nation.' His work may have led the Justice Department to phase out private prisons. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two reissues from saxophonist Teddy Edwards.

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'Office' Actor John Krasinski

Author: NPR
Wed, Aug 24, 2016


Krasinski says he's thankful for his big break "every single day." Three years after the wrap of 'The Office,' he continues to branch out — he's now directing and co-starring in the film 'The Hollars.' Also, Milo Miles shares an appreciation of African bandleader E.T. Mensah.

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Trump Revealed: The Man Behind The 'In-Your-Face Provocateur'

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 23, 2016


'Washington Post' reporters Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher talk about Donald Trump's upbringing, business dealings, and philosophy, "When you're hit, hit back ten times harder." Their new book is 'Trump Revealed.' Ken Tucker reviews 'Real' from singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless.

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Our Aging And Unstable Electrical Grid

Author: NPR
Mon, Aug 22, 2016


In her new book, 'The Grid,' Gretchen Bakke argues that the under-funded power grid is incapable of taking the U.S. into a new energy future. Bakke says, "We can make a lot more electricity than we can use, and we can make more electricity than the grid can carry, but the grid is the weakest link." Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews 'Let Me Tell You,' by Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen in collaboration with soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan.

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Best Of: Julie Klausner Of 'Difficult People' / The 'Microbes Within Us'

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 19, 2016


Julie Klausner plays an unsuccessful comic who quips about celebrities in her Hulu series, 'Difficult People.' She says that she and her co-star Billy Eichner bonded over their shared love of show business and pop culture. John Powers reviews 'War Dogs,' a new comedy about the business of war. Science writer Ed Yong says billions of microbes that live on and within our bodies affect digestion, immunity, body weight and general health. His new book is 'I Contain Multitudes.'

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'Disgruntled' Novelist Drew From Her Own Childhood

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 19, 2016


Asali Solomon's novel 'Disgruntled' is about a girl growing up in West Philadelphia whose parents were black nationalists. "My parents taught us to revere Africa — people at school made fun of Africa," she says. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead shares a batch of previously unknown Charlie Parker performances. John Powers reviews the new satirical film 'War Dogs' starring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill.

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Microbes: 'Our Partners In Life'

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 18, 2016


Science writer Ed Yong says billions of microbes that live on and within our bodies affect digestion, immunity, body weight and general health. His new book is 'I Contain Multitudes.' Also, Milo Miles reviews the 'Best Of' album from Brazilian trio Bossacucanova.

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'Hillbilly Elegy' Author J.D. Vance

Author: NPR
Wed, Aug 17, 2016


Vance grew up in a Rust Belt town in Ohio, in a family from the hills of eastern Kentucky. His new memoir details the social isolation, poverty, and addiction that afflict poor white communities. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Rattle and Roar' from The Earls of Leicester.

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Snark Aside, Julie Klausner Says 'Difficult People' Is Inspired By Love

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 16, 2016


Klausner plays an unsuccessful comic who quips about celebrities in her Hulu series, 'Difficult People.' She says that she and her co-star Billy Eichner bonded over their shared love of show business and pop culture. Biologist Bill Streever talks about sailing from Texas to Guatemala while doing research for his book, 'And Soon I heard a Roaring Wind.'

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A Culinary History Of The Great Depression

Author: NPR
Mon, Aug 15, 2016


During the Depression, cheap, nutritious and filling food was prioritized — often at the expense of taste. Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe, authors of 'A Square Meal,' discuss food trends of the time. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Trials of the Earth.'

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Best Of: Meryl Streep / Colson Whitehead

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 12, 2016


Streep talks about learning to sing badly in 'Florence Foster Jenkins,' her natural singing voice, and why sometimes just being Meryl Streep is more nerve-racking than performing. Maureen Corrigan reviews 'You Will Know Me,' a book about the fierce and frenzied world of gymnastics. Finally, novelist Colson Whitehead discusses his latest book — where the Underground Railroad is an actual locomotive that slaves ride to freedom.

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Historian Mary Beard Tackles Myths About Ancient Rome

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 12, 2016


From Julius Caesar's last words to what Gladiator duels were actually like, classicist Mary Beard sets the record straight. Her book 'SPQR' is now out in paperback. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Hell or High Water.'

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Inside ISIS' Movement To Spread Terror 'All Over The World'

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 11, 2016


'New York Times' reporter Rukmini Callimachi says ISIS' recruiting efforts focus on both the "mentally unwell" and those who have been "radicalized since birth."

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Meryl Streep

Author: NPR
Wed, Aug 10, 2016


Streep works hard to sing badly in her new film, 'Florence Foster Jenkins.' In it, she plays the title role, a character based on an actual heiress and socialite who devoted her life to music — despite having a squeaky, screechy singing voice. Streep also discusses working with Stephen Sondheim for the screen adaptation of 'Into the Woods,' and why sometimes just being Meryl Streep is more nerve-racking than performing.

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Jacqueline Woodson On Black Girlhood

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 09, 2016


National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson's new novel 'Another Brooklyn' is based in part on her memories of growing up there in the 1970s. Woodson describes adolescence as an "amazing and urgent moment" in life. Rock critic Ken Tucker shares political songs from The Mekons and The Mavericks.

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Novelist Colson Whitehead

Author: NPR
Mon, Aug 08, 2016


As a child, Colson Whitehead imagined the Underground Railroad to be a subway beneath the earth that escaped slaves could ride to freedom. He returns to his childhood vision in his new novel, 'Underground Railroad.' Maureen Corrigan reviews 'You Will Know Me,' a book about the fierce and frenzied world of gymnastics.

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Best Of: Novelist Jay McInerney / Comic Ali Wong

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 05, 2016


McInerney discusses being fired from The New Yorker, Raymond Carver's writing advice, and his "second life" after his bestselling novel, 'Bright Lights, Big City.' Music historian Ed Ward shares the story of German New Wave in Düsseldorf. Also, producer Ann Marie Baldonado talks to comic Ali Wong about her Netflix special 'Baby Cobra,' which she performed while 7.5 months pregnant.

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Israeli Writer Etgar Keret

Author: NPR
Fri, Aug 05, 2016


Keret's collection of personal essays, 'The Seven Good Years,' spans the time between the birth of his son and the death of his father. He says his father, who was a Holocaust survivor, taught him to "look reality straight in the face." His book is out in paperback. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Little Men.'

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'Late Late Show' Host James Corden / Singer Songwriter Joan Shelley

Author: NPR
Thu, Aug 04, 2016


Segments like 'Carpool Karaoke' and 'Drop the Mic' from the 'Late Late Show' have up to 120 million views on YouTube. Corden takes us behind-the-scenes of these videos, and talks about his background in musical theater. Also, Joan Shelley and guitar accompanist Nathan Salsburg play from their new album 'Over and Even.'

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The Wild Saga Of The Kidnapping, Crimes And Trial Of Patty Hearst

Author: NPR
Wed, Aug 03, 2016


Hearst was abducted in 1974 and then declared allegiance to her captors. Legal expert Jeffrey Toobin does not believe Hearst was brainwashed, but rather, "responded rationally to the circumstances."

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Inside The 'Idiot Brain' / Comic Ali Wong

Author: NPR
Tue, Aug 02, 2016


Neuroscientist Dean Burnett explores the strange behaviors of the mind in his book 'Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To.' He says the human brain is like a computer that files information in a way that defies logic and that brains can alter memory, cause motion sickness, and affect intelligence. Also, producer Ann Marie Baldonado talks to comic Ali Wong about her Netflix special 'Baby Cobra,' which she performed while 7.5 months pregnant.

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