Fresh Air

Weekdays, Noon-1pm; repeat at 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.

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10:46am

Mon March 26, 2012
Television

'Mad Men' Creator On What's Next For Don Draper

Matthew Weiner has received nine Emmy Awards for his work on Mad Men and The Sopranos.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

The fourth season of the AMC drama Mad Men ended in a dramatically big way.

Protagonist Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, seemed happy. So happy, in fact, that he surprised his secretary, Megan, with an engagement ring on a Disneyland vacation with his children. The last shot of the episode showed Megan happily asleep in bed with Don, as he remained awake, staring up at the ceiling, before turning his head and staring out the window.

What did it mean?

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3:39am

Sat March 24, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Jonah Lehrer, Sonja Sohn

Originally published on Sat March 24, 2012 11:24 am

Sonja Sohn is currently starring in the ABC drama Body of Proof. She is the founder of the Baltimore nonprofit ReWired for Change.
Peter Konerko Courtesy Sonja Sohn

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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11:37am

Fri March 23, 2012
Movie Interviews

Kevin Clash: Making Elmo Come To Life

Elmo and Clash, on the Sesame Street set in 2006.
Richard Termine Sesame Workshop

This interview was originally broadcast on December 15, 2011. Being Elmo premieres on the PBS program Independent Lens on April 5th.

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10:54am

Fri March 23, 2012
Movie Interviews

Making 'The Muppets Movie' Was 'Dream Come True'

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 1:53 pm

Jason Segel (left) and Walter (voiced by Peter Linz) try to reunite the original Muppets in the new family comedy The Muppets.
Disney

This interview was originally broadcast on November 23, 2011.

Nicholas Stoller made his directorial debut with the raunchy 2008 comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which starred Jason Segel as a guy who had to reassess his life after his girlfriend of five years dumped him.

Segel famously dropped his towel in the opening scenes of the film, which led The New York Times to call him "a young actor with nothing to hide."

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10:52am

Fri March 23, 2012
Television

'Mad Men' Returns, Cocky And Confident As Ever

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 11:04 am

Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, celebrates his 40th birthday in the fifth season of Mad Men.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Yes, it was worth the wait. Absolutely. Mad Men returns Sunday with a two-hour season premiere — and by the time it's over, if you react the way I did, you'll be satisfied and even comforted to have spent two wonderful hours with the folks at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

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11:35am

Thu March 22, 2012
Movie Reviews

Acting Trumps Action In A 'Games' Without Horror

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:47 am

In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her little sister's place in a killing ritual televised to the masses.
Lionsgate

Suzanne Collins' novel The Hunger Games and its two sequels are smashingly well written and morally problematic. They're set in the future, in which a country — presumably the former United States — is divided into 12 fenced-off districts many miles apart.

Each year, to remind people of its limitless power, a totalitarian government holds a lottery, selecting two children per district to participate in a killing ritual — the Hunger Games of the title — that will be televised to the masses, complete with opening ceremonies and beauty-pageant-style interviews.

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11:11am

Wed March 21, 2012
Music Reviews

Clark Terry: Not Just A Jazz Jester

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 4:15 pm

Clark Terry.
Courtesy of the artist

Writing about Clark Terry in the past, I've grumbled that this great and distinctive trumpeter had long been stereotyped as a pixie-ish jazz jester. There's more range and deep blues feeling to his sound than that. It wasn't all sweetness when he was growing up poor in St. Louis, touring in the Deep South before WWII or breaking the color line with TV orchestras in 1960.

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10:59am

Wed March 21, 2012
Author Interviews

'Imagine' That: Fostering Creativity In The Workplace

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:48 am

Cristian Baitg Cristian Baitg

Beethoven would try as many as 70 different versions of a musical phrase before settling on the right one. But other great ideas seem to come out of the blue. Bob Dylan, for example, came up with the lyrics to the chorus for "Like a Rolling Stone" soon after telling his manager that he was creatively exhausted and ready to bail from the music industry. After going to an isolated cabin, Dylan got an uncontrollable urge to write and spilled out his thoughts in dozens of pages — including the lyrics to the iconic song.

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11:21am

Tue March 20, 2012
Author Interviews

Ahmed Rashid: Pakistan Lurches From Crisis To Crisis

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 3:00 pm

Ahmed Rashid writes for The Washington Post, El Mundo and other international newspapers.
Courtesy of Ahmed Rashid

In his latest book, Pakistan on the Brink, journalist Ahmed Rashid writes that he fears Pakistan "is on the brink of a meltdown."

"I fear almost anything could [send it over the edge]," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "There could be a major terrorist attack in the U.S. or Europe which is traced back to Pakistan. ... Then there's a very, very critical economic crisis in the country. There's no investment, no money, there's no energy — I live in Lahore. We've had no gas for six months."

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12:04pm

Mon March 19, 2012
Author Interviews

Blurring The Line Between Life And Death

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 7:24 pm

Doctors perform a kidney transplant operation in Spain in 2010.
Xurxo Lobato Cover/Getty Images

Dick Teresi wanted to write about how science determines the point between life and death. After a decade of research, Teresi says he still doesn't know what death is, but that the breadth of his ignorance has been widely expanded. Teresi's findings have been published in his new book, The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating Heart Cadavers — How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death.

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10:30am

Sat March 17, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Drones, Homes & Dave Brubeck

The Dave Brubeck Quartet.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

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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2:42pm

Fri March 16, 2012
NPR Story

David Edestein Reviews 'Casa De Mi Padre'

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

At age 44, Will Ferrell has played an anchorman, championship NASCAR driver, ice skater, an elf, and George W. Bush. What's his next challenge? Making a movie in which he speaks nothing but Spanish. The Mexican-set action comedy "Casa de mi Padre" is directed by Matt Piedmont, who collaborated with Ferrell on his website Funny Or Die. Film critic David Edelstein has a review.

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9:48am

Fri March 16, 2012
Author Interviews

Revisiting John Updike's 'Fresh Air' Interviews

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:47 am

John Updike wrote more than 25 novels. He was also a prolific short story and essay writer. Hundreds of his poems, criticisms and reviews appears in The New Yorker.
Martha Updike AP

These interviews were originally broadcast on March 17, 1988, March 16, 1989, and Oct. 14, 1997. You can listen to the original broadcasts in their entirety here.

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2:33pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Movie Reviews

On DVD: Inside Bill Clinton's Campaign 'War Room'

George Stephanopoulos (left) and James Carville advised President Clinton during the 1992 election. Their strategic sessions in Clinton's "War Room" were filmed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker.
October Films/Everett Collection

I think everyone can agree that the Republican Party's search for its presidential nominee has been a long, strange trip. For me, one of the strangest things about it is that, after all this time, I barely know who's running Mitt Romney's, Rick Santorum's and Newt Gingrich's campaigns. You see, over the past 30 years, political strategists have gone from being shadowy figures to being celebrities in their own right.

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10:50am

Wed March 14, 2012
Book Reviews

Two Books That Delight In New York City's Dirt

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 11:25 am

Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Some years ago I was visiting Disneyland and had a culture-clash encounter there with my one of fellow Americans. I was standing with my daughter on the miles-long meandering line for "It's a Small World After All" and I fell into a conversation with another mom; when this woman found out I was a native New Yorker, she treated me to her verdict on the city: "It's so dirty there!"

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10:46am

Wed March 14, 2012
Television

Traveling To The Corners Of Our 'Frozen Planet'

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:47 am

An Adelie penguin male builds a stone nest in anticipation of the females' arrival. The males compete over the precious stones, often resorting to stealing to get the best ones.
Jeff Wilson Discovery Channel/BBC

I don't want to complain about Frozen Planet, however, until I dish out a little praise.

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10:40am

Wed March 14, 2012
Book Reviews

'Coral Glynn': The Art Of Repression

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 12:03 pm

istockphoto.com

I was in my local independent bookstore last week, enjoying the endangered pleasure of wandering around and snuffling through interesting-looking books, when I overheard two women talking in front of the new releases section. "I need a new British novelist," one of them said. Ladies, I should have spoken up, but the moment passed and, besides, it was too awkward to explain that one of the best British novelists writing today was born in New Jersey.

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10:01am

Tue March 13, 2012
Author Interviews

'If Walls Could Talk': A History Of The Home

Lucy Worsley works as the chief curator in several palatial buildings in London, including Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London. In contrast, she lives in what she calls a "normal, boring modern flat."

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11:47am

Mon March 12, 2012
Remembrances

Peter Bergman: Remembering The 'Firesign' Satirist

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 7:52 am

Peter Bergman graduated from Yale University and later attended the Yale School of Drama as a Eugene O'Neill playwriting fellow.
-

Peter Bergman, one of the founding members of the four-man surrealist comedy troupe The Firesign Theatre, died Friday of complications from leukemia. He was 72.

Bergman, along with collaborators David Ossman, Phil Proctor and Phil Austin, created satire out of the political and civil upsets of the 1960s and 1970s, blending surrealism, absurdities, non sequiturs, paranoia, parodies of the Establishment, sound effects, in-jokes about hippies and knowing allusions to literature and trash culture.

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11:04am

Mon March 12, 2012
Music Reviews

Forgotten Gems From The Dave Brubeck Quartet

The Dave Brubeck Quartet.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

After Dave Brubeck signed with Columbia Records in the mid-1950s, his quartet made a few albums a year, and now that material has been collected in a 19-disc box set called The Dave Brubeck Quartet: The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection.

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12:05am

Sat March 10, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Maya Rudolph, William Shatner

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 11:44 am

In his solo show, Shatner shares stories about his childhood, his father, and his lengthy acting career.
Joan Marcus

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:

Read more

7:06am

Fri March 9, 2012
Author Interviews

'1861': A Social History Of The Civil War

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 2:12 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on April 12, 2011. 1861: The Civil War Awakening is now available in paperback.

The first shots of the American Civil War were fired almost 151 years ago in the Charleston, S.C., harbor. Less than two days later, Fort Sumter surrendered. It would take the Union army nearly four years to bring the coastal fortification back under its command.

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5:39pm

Thu March 8, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Friends With' Benefits From Its Complications

In Friends With Kids, Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) play two best friends who decide to have a baby together while keeping their relationship platonic — so that the baby doesn't interfere with their own romantic relationships.
JoJo Whilden Roadside Attractions

The premise of Friends with Kids is the stuff of high-concept romantic comedies: Writer-director Jennifer Westfeldt plays Julie, who's at the age when her odds of childbearing lessen each year, and there's no mate in sight. So her best friend, Jason, played by Adam Scott, volunteers to impregnate her.

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12:24pm

Thu March 8, 2012
Television

Maya Rudolph: The Fresh Air Interview

Maya Rudolph spent seven seasons on Saturday Night Live and went on to star in the raunchy comedy Bridesmaids. Now she's exploring what's funny about parenting in the new movie Friends with Kids and the TV series Up All Night.
Courtesy of Maya Rudolph

When Maya Rudolph returned to the set of Saturday Night Live in February to guest host, she says it was like coming home.

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11:39am

Thu March 8, 2012
Television

Is 'Game Change' Fair To Sarah Palin? You Betcha

Ed Harris and Julianne Moore star as Arizona Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in the HBO made-for-TV movie Game Change, based on a book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin about the 2008 presidential race.
HBO

There are times when TV dramas about national politics and politicians deserve criticism, even ridicule, for their fast-and-loose narratives and characterizations. Recent miniseries about the Reagans and the Kennedys, loaded with unsubstantiated dialogue and action, are only two very fresh examples.

But Game Change — HBO's new take on the John McCain-Sarah Palin campaign — is entertaining, and commendable, precisely because it stays so close to the facts, not because it strays from them.

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11:52am

Wed March 7, 2012
Music Reviews

Bruce Springsteen: A Universal, Original 'Wrecking Ball'

Bruce Springsteen.
Courtesy of the artist

It's not difficult to guess what the over-arching theme might be on an album Bruce Springsteen characterizes as being "as direct as any I ever made." The title song from Wrecking Ball is one he wrote a few years ago to commemorate the demolition of Giants Stadium in New Jersey. It was written from the point of view of the stadium, but in its new context, the wrecking ball is a symbol of the implacable forces that have wrecked the economy for millions of people.

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11:18am

Wed March 7, 2012
Religion

Book Of Revelation: 'Visions, Prophecy And Politics'

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 1:57 pm

The Book of Revelation, the final book of the New Testament, has some of the most dramatic and frightening language in the Bible.

In her new book Revelations: Visions, Prophecy and Politics in the Book of Revelation, Princeton University religious professor Elaine Pagels places the Book of Revelation in its historical context and explores where the book's apocalyptic vision of the end of the world comes from.

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11:08am

Tue March 6, 2012
Theater

In 'Shatner's World,' Stories About Acting, Loss, Life

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 10:32 am

In his solo show, Shatner shares stories about his childhood, his father, and his lengthy acting career.
Joan Marcus

William Shatner has played an attorney, a starship captain, an alien and a Roman tax collector, among many other roles. Over the past half-century, the Canadian actor has performed on television, in commercials, in movies and on Broadway — and penned several novels.

He recently returned to Broadway for the first time in over 40 years with a new solo show, Shatner's World: We Just Live In It. In the 90-minute performance, Shatner talks about his childhood growing up in Montreal and reflects on his many acting roles with an assortment of photos and video clips.

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12:27pm

Mon March 5, 2012
Music Reviews

Dierks Bentley's 'Home' Is Full Of Country Struggles

Courtesy of the artist

Dierks Bentley has a nice, deep voice; an open, friendly demeanor; and a knack for working in a variety of country-music genres, from bluegrass to power ballads. For all that, it's always been difficult to pin down what Bentley aims to do. Although he's only in his 30s, Bentley sounds as though he's working through a bit of a midlife crisis on his new album Home. Take, for example, the single "Am I the Only One," a novelty tune about going out to party with a twist — not many of Bentley's pals want to join him, because they've settled into adulthood, and he hasn't.

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11:43am

Mon March 5, 2012
Author Interviews

Habits: How They Form And How To Break Them

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 1:46 pm

Routines are made up of a three-part "habit loop": a cue, a behavior and a reward. Understanding and interrupting that loop is key to breaking a habit, says journalist Charles Duhigg.
iStockphoto.com

Think about something it took you a really long time to learn, like how to parallel park. At first, parallel parking was difficult and you had to devote a lot of mental energy to it. But after you grew comfortable with parallel parking, it became much easier — almost habitual, you could say.

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