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784 Segments




A Comedy Writer's Career Goals

Harry Shearer got his start in show business at the age of seven. He now writes comedy for television and radio. Shearer joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to discuss his experiences onstage, finding an outlet for his political humor, and his love of bad TV.


A Self-Described Republican Humorist

Writer P.J. O'Rourke doesn't think comedy and conservatism are incompatible. He edited the National Lampoon and serves as the "investigative humorist" for Rolling Stone. His new book, Republican Party Reptile, collects his recent writing.


A Catalog of Strong Opinions

Book critic John Leonard says that the collected letters of humorist S.J. Perelman reveal a surprising amount of vitriol directed toward a number of notable film and literary figures. But it's not all doom and gloom.


Writing Short Bursts of Humor

Merrill Markoe is one of the few prominent women television writers. She specializes in comedy, and helped launched Late Night with David Letterman. She is currently developing an HBO special show with Harry Shearer.


Finding Fame as a TV Cop

Many viewers think Dennis Franz stole the show with his portrayal of Norman Buntz in Hill Street Blues. He stars in an upcoming comedy spinoff called Beverly Hills Buntz. Franz got his start early on in theater; small film parts later raised his profile as an actor.


The Many Voices of Tracey Ullman

The British performer is an accomplished film, TV and stage actor who also had a number of hits on the British pop charts. Her Emmy-nominated variety show on the Fox Network, The Tracey Ullman Show, was just renewed for a second season.


Satirizing the News

Matt Neuman writes for the HBO show Not Necessarily the News, which lampoons political figures and current events. He joins Fresh Air to talk about his brand of edgy of humor.


Comedian "Bobcat" Goldthwait.

Comedian Bob Goldthwait, who has appeared in the "Police Academy" movies and the Whoppi Goldberg film "Burglar." Goldthwait recently completed an HBO special and frequently appears on MTV.


Looking Forward to the Fall TV Season

Television critic David Bianculli reports back from a press tour in Los Angeles, where he was able to preview the shows debuting in the next few months. He shares his thoughts on the upcoming season.


Comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld. His reflections on his suburban New York upbringing have earned him over 20 appearances on "The Tonight Show" and "Late Night with David Letterman."


The World According to Jackie Mason.

Comic Jackie Mason. He's the star of the one-man Broadway show, "The World According to Me," a hit for eight months now. The show continues to draw more sold-out houses than any other non-musical attraction on Broadway.


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