Fresh Air

Weekdays at noon and midnight

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Visit the Fresh Air website for more information.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

With almost all the music you'd ever want to listen to available online digitally, the obsessive hunt for scratchy, fragile 78 RPM records may seem anachronistic. But author Amanda Petrusich says that those early records, which hold between two and three minutes of music per side, showcase the sound and spontaneity of a time before second takes were common in record studios.

Fifty years ago, the Voting Rights Act outlawed literacy tests and other measures that had prevented African-Americans from voting. After its passage, Congress amended the act four times to increase its scope.

But in 2013, a Supreme Court decision blocked the act's enforcement provision, which opened the door for states to pass new voting restrictions. Journalist Ari Berman says that many of the new restrictions discriminate against poor people, young people and people of color.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Jon Stewart hosts his last episode of Comedy Central's The Daily Show on Thursday, wrapping up a 16-year run in which he turned the once-obscure fake news show into a cultural phenomenon.

The Daily Show eviscerated politicians and media elites with video montages and Stewart's biting commentary, but in 2010 Stewart told Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the show made him more "emotional" than political.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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A just-published literary noir called "Dragonfish" puts a new spin on the old formula. Our book critic Maureen Corrigan has fallen hard for this tale of gamblers, dark alleys and dangerous dames. Here's her review.

Dolphins tend to strike a deep emotional chord in many people who encounter them. Famous for their intelligence and physical ability, there have been reports that the marine mammals have come to the rescue of humans at sea.

Writer Susan Casey tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies about an instance in which a scientist who was watching dolphins hunt noticed that they suddenly bolted for deeper water. He followed them and found that the dolphins had formed a circle.

Twenty-seven years ago, journalist Buzz Bissinger decided that he wanted to write about the big-time stakes of small-town high school football — he just needed to find the right town. At the suggestion of a college recruiter, he visited Odessa, a west Texas town with a high school football stadium capable of seating 19,000 — and a population of approximately 90,000.

"Odessa is just kind of a dusty, gritty place," Bissinger tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "And I see that stadium ... and it's like a rocket ship on the desert."

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Jon Stewart, Faking It and Making It

Jul 31, 2015
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Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies. Next week, Jon Stewart ends his 16-year run as host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central. A lot of "Daily Show" viewers share the sentiment expressed by President Obama when he made his seventh and final appearance on the show last week.

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Before Sarah Hepola got sober five years ago, she considered alcohol to be "the fuel of all adventure." These adventures included taking off her clothes in public, pouring beer on people's heads and waking up in strangers' beds. Frequently, Hepola didn't remember these incidents afterward because she had been in an alcohol-induced blackout.

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Animal trainer Teresa Ann Miller is used to working with furry performers, but she says the Hungarian film White God was especially challenging. "This wasn't necessarily a film with an animal in it," Miller tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It was a dog leading the film and telling the story."

Directed by Kornél Mundruczó, White God tells the story of a mixed-breed dog, Hagen, who is abandoned alongside a highway and who then bands together with other discarded dogs to get revenge against the people who have mistreated them.

Science journalist Anil Ananthaswamy thinks a lot about "self" — not necessarily himself, but the role the brain plays in our notions of self and existence.

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Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Talk about opening with a bang: at the beginning of Julia Pierpont's debut novel, Among the Ten Thousand Things, an 11-year-old girl named Kay Shanley enters the lobby of her New York City apartment building. We readers have already been clued into the fact that Kay is the kind of awkward, shy, pre-teen other girls ridicule. We just want her to get safely into her family's apartment and back to watching the Harry Potter movies she loves. But, just as the elevator doors are closing, the doorman signals for her to hold up.

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