Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Thursdays 9:00-10:00 a.m.

The Peabody Award-winning "Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen," from PRI and WNYC, is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture.

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Podcasts

  • Thursday, October 12, 2017 10:30am
    This is the story of America’s fight against authority.

    Ken Kesey had worked in a mental hospital, but his first novel was really a parable of what happens when you stand up to the Man—a counterculture fable that doesn’t end well. Despite his far-reaching influence, Kesey was shut out by filmmakers who turned the story into an Oscar-sweeping phenomenon.Cuckoo’s Nest” changed how many people thought about mental illness and institutions. Sherman Alexie debunks the myth of the silent Indian; we visit Oregon State Hospital, where the director played himself on screen; a psychiatrist explains how the movie gave mental hospitals a bad name, with tragic consequences; and actress Louise Fletcher takes us into the mind of one of the most fearsome movie villains, the sweet-faced Nurse Ratched. “She doesn’t see her behavior as it really is. Who does? Who sees that they’re really evil?”

    (Originally aired September 20, 2013)

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  • Thursday, October 5, 2017 5:48pm
    Danny Strong joins Kurt to talk about how he began his career as an actor, evolved into as a writer of movies like “Game Change,” and just made his directorial debut with “Rebel in the Rye,” which is about the circumstances under which J.D. Salinger wrote “The Catcher in the Rye.” The stunning new animated film, “Loving Vincent,” is a biopic of Van Gogh meticulously painted to appear as if Van Gogh paintings had come to life. Michael Chabon recalls his college years in Pittsburgh, when a post-punk band called Carsickness fueled his own coming-of-age story. And Bruce Handy, Kurt, and both writers’ kids sit down in the studio to talk about the enduring power of children’s literature, which Handy writes about in his new book, “Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult.” 

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  • Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:00pm
    Is the old cliché true — is laughter the best medicine? Kurt Andersen and Mary Harris, a health reporter at WNYC, go to a laughter yoga class to find out. Also, we hear from a neuroscientist who studies laughter and moonlights as a standup comedian. Comic Chris Gethard explains why he resisted getting help for his depression out of fear of losing his humorous edge — and how getting treatment transformed his career. And we find out when medical humor is — and is not — just what the doctor ordered.

    (Originally aired July 14, 2016) 

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  • Thursday, September 21, 2017 12:00pm
    Steven Spielberg doesn’t like to talk about filmmaking much, but he talked (and talked, and talked) to documentary filmmakerSusan Lacy, who sits down with Kurt Andersen to discuss her definitive portrait of the master. Any classical musician will tell you the worst place to hear a concert is not from the nosebleed seats – it’s from the stage. And BoJack Horseman” creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg tell Kurt about how cartoon characters can get away with saying particularly despicable things, and why Harvard Lampoon alumni are not always the smartest or the funniest. 

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  • Thursday, September 14, 2017 2:00pm
    John McPhee is the godfather of a certain kind of long-form creative non-fiction, and over the past half-century, he’s written over 100 articles for The New Yorker. He sits down with Kurt to talk about his new book, which is part memoir, part tutorial for writers. Then B.J. Novak, the writer and actor who starred on the critically acclaimed “The Office,” makes a rousing defense of a show that has been widely panned: “Fuller House.” A Swedish photorealist painter dupes his government, which doesn’t realize that the painting on his license is really a painted self-portrait. And the Malian blues duo Amadou & Mariam perform live. 

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More than 150 years ago, the Great Lakes region played a key role in the Underground Railroad. Runaway slaves made their way to cities along the lakes and crossed the border to freedom in Canada.

Today, thousands of asylum seekers who came to the U.S. are heading north, too. Great Lakes Today’s Angelica Morrison (@amorrisonWBFO) reports.

President Trump is telling Congress that he won’t certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, but he is also asking Congress to leave the agreement in place.

Here & Now security analyst Jim Walsh (@DrJimWalshMIT) tells Here & Now‘s Robin Young that Trump’s move is largely symbolic.

Two German artists have just completed a project called “linear,” in which they dragged a large foam pen around the desert. They walked in a 400-mile rectangle through Utah, Colorado and Wyoming — pulling their pen behind them — completing the circuit in three weeks.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with Wolfgang Aichner and Thomas Huber about their project.

Editor’s Note: This segment discusses sexual assault and sexual harrassment, and contains audio that some listeners may find disturbing or offensive.

What happens when you’re a 12-year-old wizard with no magic? Or an enemy warrior girl with no interest in fighting? In Cressida Cowell‘s new novel “The Wizards of Once,” you embark on a series of adventures involving giants, wildcats, sprites, domineering parents — who happen to be rulers — dungeons and magic.

The gun control debate is heating up again in the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre — and that will likely invigorate staunch Second Amendment groups like the Three Percenters Militia. Militia groups have recently become much more visible, showing up at political demonstrations.

The endangered black-footed ferret became nearly extinct more than three decades ago. The species is an important part of the ecosystem, as the animals are both predators and prey.

Vice President Pence walked out of an NFL game in Indiana this weekend when players protested during the national anthem. Meanwhile, the White House demanded Congress fund a border wall and restrict immigration in exchange for a continuation of a DACA policy. And, President Trump picked a fight with Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Crews are battling wildfires in Northern California, with officials requiring some residents in Napa and Sonoma counties to evacuate.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young gets the latest from KQED’s Tiffany Camhi (@tiffanycamhi) at the scene.

The film “Blade Runner” opened to mixed reviews in 1982. Eventually it came to be considered a science fiction masterpiece, and is now included in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. A sequel, “Blade Runner 2049,” opens in theaters this weekend.

Reporter Jon Kalish (@kalishjon) finds out how screenwriter Hampton Fancher helped craft both films.

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