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Fresh Air

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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
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 << Show Less
Featured Audio
Comic Jerrod Carmichael Reveals His Secrets In his new HBO comedy special, Rothaniel, Carmichael opens up about his real name, his family tree, and his sexual orientation. We'll go deeper into these issues — and talk about how being honest about them changed his comedy and his life. "The more honest I am, the freer I am," he says.
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Top Snippets from Fresh Air
Snippet of Fresh Air: Journalist Maria Ressa On Standing Up To Philippine President Journalist Maria Ressa has faced criminal charges and death threats because of her coverage of the populist, authoritarian Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. She's covered Duterte's bloody "war on drugs," his expanding grip on all parts of the government and his crackdown on the press.
Why Juneteenth Should Be a National Holiday Harvard historian Annette Gordon-Reed explains why she thinks it's so important to have a national holiday that recognizes the emancipation of slaves. Gordon-Reed says that there should be a day to remember a time when people were treated as property, and a day to honor what those people hoped would happen in the future for their descendants.
Newest Audio
Comic Jerrod Carmichael Reveals His Secrets In his new HBO comedy special, Rothaniel, Carmichael opens up about his real name, his family tree, and his sexual orientation. We'll go deeper into these issues — and talk about how being honest about them changed his comedy and his life. "The more honest I am, the freer I am," he says.
Best Of: Molly Shannon / Delia Ephron In addition to SNL, Molly Shannon has co-starred in the comedy series The Other Two and The White Lotus, and will soon appear in the Showtime comedy series I Love That for You. We talk with Shannon about the tragic event of her childhood that changed her life, and how she found comedy. Her memoir is Hello, Molly! Ken Tucker reviews a debut album from Wet Leg. Delia Ephron, who co-wrote the '90s film You've Got Mail with her sister Nora, found herself in the plotline of a romantic comedy. In her new memoir Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life, Delia Ephron writes about finding new love at age 72, in the face of grief and cancer.
Remembering Jazz Pianist & Composer Jessica Williams Williams was a dazzling player and a favorite at Fresh Air. She died March 10 at 73. We'll listen back to her 1997 performance and interview.
Trump, The GOP Kingmaker / Remembering Gilbert Gottfried NYT correspondent Shane Goldmacher says Trump doles out endorsements to Republican candidates to elevate allies, punish enemies, and make the "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was stolen into a party litmus test. Also, we remember comic Gilbert Gottfried who died this week. Known for his unusual voice and cranky stage persona, he was a perfect fit to play the evil parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1992.
Writer Delia Ephron's Real-Life Rom-Com Delia Ephron, who co-wrote the '90s film You've Got Mail with her sister Nora, found herself in the plotline of a romantic comedy. In her new memoir Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life, Delia Ephron writes about finding new love at age 72, in the face of grief and cancer. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews The First Lady on Showtime.
The Pandemic Profiteers ProPublica reporter David McSwane tells the story of people and businesses that profited from the COVID-19 pandemic. He found the government awarded lucrative contracts to many people with a history of fraudulent business practices documented in public records, if anyone had bothered to check. His new book is Pandemic, Inc.
Actor & Comedian Molly Shannon When Molly Shannon started finding success on Saturday Night Live, she remembers feeling depressed. "I realized that really the only person I wanted to say, 'Oh my gosh, I'm so, so proud of you, Molly' was my mom," she says. But Shannon's mother, along with her younger sister and a cousin, had died decades earlier in a car crash. Shannon's new memoir Hello, Molly! recounts the tragic as well as the wonderful turning points in her life. In addition to SNL, Shannon has co-starred in the comedy series The Other Two and The White Lotus, and will soon appear in the Showtime comedy series I Love That for You.
Best Of: Groundbreaking Conductor Marin Alsop / Poet Ocean Vuong In 2007, Alsop became the first woman to lead a major American orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony. But on the way to great success, she faced plenty of rejection. "Girls can't do that," Alsop recalls her violin teacher told her at age nine, of becoming a conductor. "I'd never heard a phrase like that," Alsop says. "You know, it never occurred to me that there was something that girls couldn't do." Alsop was mentored by Leonard Bernstein, and has conducted major orchestras around the world. Also, John Powers reviews the new HBO Max crime thriller Tokyo Vice. Finally, Vuong is author of the acclaimed novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. His novel was published in 2019, the same year he won a MacArthur "genius" grant. It was also the same year his mother died. "Ever since I lost her, I've felt that my life has been lived in only two days," Vuong tells Tonya Mosley. "There's the today where she is not here, and then the vast and endless yesterday where she was." Vuong has a new poetry collection called Time Is a Mother, which he describes as "a search for life in the aftershocks of death."
Acclaimed Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro The Nobel Prize-winning novelist's latest book, Klara and the Sun, is set in the future and has an artificially intelligent narrator. "I wanted some of that childlike freshness and openness and naivety to survive all the way through the text in her," he says. We talk about his writing process, hitchhiking in the '60s, and his family history in Nagasaki.Also, David Bianculli reviews 61st Street, a new AMC series about crime, the police, and the courts.
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