The writer says that his desire to perform his weekly radio show stems from his restlessness after hours spent at his typewriter. He talks about how he developed a regional brand of comedy and his experiences working in public radio.
The comedian's morning television program, The David Letterman Show, was recently canceled. Since then, he's been a frequent guest host on The Tonight Show. Letterman explains the differences between daytime and evening programming, as well as how he paid his dues as an up-and-coming comedian.
Humorist Fran Lebowitz talks about her career as a writer and how her choice of profession has affected her personal life. The interview is briefly interrupted by a press conference by President Reagan about the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
Writer and humorist Roy Blount's new book is "Crackers," a book of "impressions" about Southerners, Northerners, Jimmy Carter, and a fictional Carter family. Blount joins the show to talk about his book, Carter, the 1980 election, and the current political climate.
Writer Christopher Cerf co-edited a humorous speculative history called The 80s, which anticipates what happens in the coming decade. Fresh Air listeners and host Terry Gross discuss a number of whimsical predictions.
Writer Ralph Allen returns to Fresh Air to talk about his new musical Sugar Babies and the history of burlesque, and to tell his favorite jokes from that tradition. Fresh Air listeners call in to join the conversation.
Billy Crystal is a comedian currently enjoying success on television. He also grew up around jazz musicians due to his father's business; Billie Holliday was his sometime-babysitter. Crystal joins the show to discuss his career and jazz memories. (INTERVIEW WITH DAVID KARPOFF)
Penn Jillette, Teller, and Wier Chrisemer form the troop Asparagus Valley Cultural Society. Today, they, sound engineer Marc Garland, and guitarist Gary Anderson, join the show for an interview and perform their music, comedy, and magic. The group also shares their favorite classical records.
Robert Klein is one of the forerunners of the current stand-up comedy boom. His 1973 album "Child of the 50s" established him as one the leading comics of the baby boomer generation. Klein grew up in the Bronx and honed his skill in the improvisation troupe Second City.