About 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. Subscribe to Fresh Air Plus! You'll be supporting the unique show you can't get enough of - and you can listen sponsor-free. Learn more at plus.npr.org/freshair
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond says if the top 1% of Americans paid the taxes they owed, it would raise $175 billion each year: "That is just about enough to pull everyone out of poverty." His new book is Poverty, by America. Also Ken Tucker shares three songs: Iris DeMent's "Goin' Down to Sing in Texas," Sunny War's "Love's Death Bed," and Margo Price's "Radio."
Billy Crudup stars as a fast-talking salesman — selling timeshares on the moon to frustrated earthlings — in the Apple TV+ series <em>Hello Tomorrow!</em> We also talk about going to rock star camp for his role in<em> Almost Famous</em>, his iconic Mastercard commercials, and <em>The Morning Show</em>.
Memphis drag queen Bella DuBalle says the legislators behind a new Tennessee law criminalizing public drag shows don't understand the art. We talk with the native Tennessean about the law, performing for kids, and how her livelihood and safety are at risk. Maureen Corrigan reflects on 40 years of Nora Ephron's Heartburn and recommends a new comic novel. Actor Clancy Brown has been working since the 1980s and has played some memorable villains over the years in movies, including Shawshank Redemption, Highlander and, coming out later this month, John Wick: Chapter 4. But he may be best known as the voice of Mr. Krabs on the animated show Spongebob Squarepants.
Michelle Yeoh made history last week, becoming the first Asian woman to win an Oscar for best actress. We'll hear our interview with Yeoh about Everything Everywhere All At Once. Yeoh has also starred in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, and Crazy Rich Asians. We'll also hear our interview with Adam Sandler. He's this year's recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Sandler talks about playing a jewelry store owner in the film Uncut Gems, and his music comedy. David Bianculli reviews Lucky Hank starring Bob Odenkirk.
Bella DuBalle says the legislators behind a new Tennessee law criminalizing public drag shows don't understand the art: "They think that every drag performer is doing something hypersexual or obscene." We talk with the native Tennessean about the law, performing for kids, and how her livelihood and safety are at risk. Also, Maureen Corrigan celebrates the 40th anniversary of Nora Ephron's Heartburn and shares a new comic novel, Pineapple Street.
Many of Ricardo Nuila's patients at Houston's Ben Taub Hospital are dealing with serious illnesses as a result of not being able to access basic preventive care. His new book is <em>The People's Hospital: Hope and Peril in American Medicine.</em>
Actor Clancy Brown has been working since the 1980s and has played some memorable villains over the years in movies, including Shawshank Redemption, Highlander and, coming out later this month, John Wick 4. But he may be best known as the voice of Mr. Krabs on the animated show Spongebob Squarepants. Kevin Whitehead revies the new jazz recording by Fred Hersch and Esperanza Spalding, and John Powers reviews the new novel Birnam Wood by Booker Prize-winner Eleanor Catton.
Karen Fine talks about practicing Chinese medicine and acupuncture on sick pets, what "ADR" stands for, and the mental health issues many veterinarians face. Her new book is The Other Family Doctor. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Caroline Polachek's new album Desire, I Want to Turn Into You.
Writer Thomas Mallon talks about his diaries that were recently published in the New Yorker, titled Finding My Way– and Staying Alive — During the Aids Crisis. Mallon's latest novel, Up With the Sun, is based on the life and murder of Dick Kallman, a closeted actor in the 1950s and '60s. Critic John Powers reviews the film Return to Seoul. Also, we hear from Dr. Farzon Nahvi. He has a new memoir about his experiences in the ER, and his frustrations with American healthcare during COVID. It's called Code Gray: Death, Life and Uncertainty in the ER.
We explore the subtle genius of a man often remembered for pratfalls and sight gags. Buster Keaton was a silent film star in the 1920s, but he was far more than an actor and stuntman. He conceived and directed his films, cited by some of America's leading filmmakers as inspirations. We speak with Slate film critic Dana Stevens, whose book examines Keaton's work and influence, and chronicles his colorful life. Her book, Camera Man, is now out in paperback. Justin Chang reviews the new film Palm Trees & Power Lines.
Mallon talks about his diaries that were recently published in the <em>New Yorker,</em> in a piece titled <em>Finding My Way — and Staying Alive — During the AIDS Crisis: A Diary of 1980s Manhattan</em>. He was in his thirties then. His latest novel, <em>Up With the Sun</em>, is based on the life and murder of Dick Kallman, a closeted actor in the 1950s and '60s.
Science writer Sally Adee says scientists are experimenting with ways to manipulate the body's natural electrical fields to try and treat wounds, depression, paralysis, and cancer. Her new book is We Are Electric. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has an appreciation of Wayne Shorter, who died March 2. John Powers reviews the film Return to Seoul.
We look back on the life of Jimmy Carter. He is spending his remaining time at home, under hospice care. Carter was elected president in 1976, and lost his re-election campaign to Ronald Reagan. He was later praised for redefining the meaning and purpose of the post-presidency. He talked with Terry Gross about why he entered politics, his presidency, his work negotiating with tyrants, his faith, and his reflections on aging.
UCLA law professor Joanna Schwartz talks about the legal protections — including qualified immunity and no-knock warrants — that have protected officers from the repercussions of abuse. Her book is Shielded. Also, David Bianculli reviews Mel Brooks' History of the World Part II on Hulu.
In Tár, Cate Blanchett plays a charismatic orchestra conductor who uses her power to take sexual advantage of young women she's mentoring. Tár is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director. Maureen Corrigan reviews I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai. Ke Huy Quan starred in the '80s films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies as a kid, before quitting acting. Now he's up for an Oscar for the first major acting job he's had in decades for the role of Waymond in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
We pay tribute to Doc Watson on the centennial of his birth. The pioneering bluegrass, country and folk guitarist and singer changed the way people around the world think about mountain music. In his prime, he was considered the greatest guitar flat picker. We'll listen back to our 1988 interview, and his 1989 performance on our show. Also, John Powers reviews the new season of Perry Mason.
In Tár, Cate Blanchett plays a charismatic orchestra conductor who uses her power to take sexual advantage of young women she's mentoring. "For me, it was never really about classical music," director Todd Field says. "And it was about ... how do you look at power and why does power exist? And it's not a uni-directional situation. Nobody holds power alone. There's a complicity in it." Tár is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the literary thriller I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai.
We talk about a small group of unelected officials who make important decisions that affect our lives, all the time. New York Times reporter Jeanna Smialek covers the Federal Reserve, which manages the nation's money supply, and is currently struggling to get inflation down by raising interest rates. Smialek says the Fed wields enormous influence, and is growing more powerful as it responds to national crises, including the financial meltdown and the pandemic. Her new book is Limitless. Podcast critic Nick Quah reviews the new season from Serial called The Coldest Case in Laramie.