Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen
The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shapin
Pet Projects
Mar 23 • 49 min
This week, Kurt heads to a dog park and learns how to take the perfect pet portrait. Plus, the story behind “Share A Smile Becky,” Mattel’s attempt at creating a Barbie doll that used a wheelchair. And Carter Burwell, who scored the music for films by…
Magnetic Feels
Mar 16 • 49 min
This week, Kurt talks to comedians Kate Berlant and John Early about their absurdist new series, “555.” Plus, how filmmaker Garry Fraser went from being a heroin addict in Scotland to working on “T2: Trainspotting” — a movie about heroin addicts in…
American Icons: Monticello
Mar 9 • 49 min
The home of America’s aspirations and deepest contradictions.
Getting into ‘Get Out’
Mar 2 • 49 min
This week, Kurt talks to writer/director Jordan Peele about his new horror film “Get Out.” Plus, how Leonard Bernstein brought classical music from the concert hall to the living room. And Afropop band Sinkane performs live in our studio.
Political Art
Feb 23 • 48 min
This week, a look at artists — from the left to the right — getting political. Conservative painter Jon McNaughton talks about creating art in the era of the Trump administration. Plus, the Black Panthers’ brief foray into the music business. And Philip…
Oscar Preview
Feb 16 • 49 min
This week, we preview the Academy Awards. The casting director of “Moonlight” talks about the complicated process of finding the right actors for three different time periods. Plus, “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle guides Kurt through the classic…
Love is on the Air
Feb 9 • 49 min
Where do you turn when you’re heartbroken in the dead of night? Delilah, of course — her radio call-in show pairs romantic advice with the perfect song. Plus, we discover the surprisingly sweet couple behind one of history’s naughtiest gag gifts: edible…
Here’s Looking at You
Feb 2 • 49 min
This week, Kurt talks to former NEA chairman Dana Gioia about how the Trump Administration may target federally-funded art. Plus, screenwriter Robert D. Siegel reveals how a real-life story becomes a Hollywood movie. And Karina Longworth and Noah Isenberg…
The Scene and the Unseen
Jan 26 • 49 min
This week, a conversation with Oscar-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker, the story behind Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic moment, and a New York Times critic picks the timeliest show on TV.
American Icons: The Wizard of Oz
Jan 19 • 49 min
This is America’s dreamland.
Marilyn Monroe’s Long-Lost Skirt Scene
Jan 16 • 9 min
Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic moment — standing over a subway grate as her white dress billows up — was originally filmed in Manhattan in 1954. But a crowd of onlookers forced the producers to reshoot the scene in a Hollywood sound stage, and footage from…
POTUS as Tastemaker
Jan 12 • 49 min
Our inauguration special: A review of Barack Obama’s arts legacy, how fashion goes from inside the beltway to the runway, and “Game Change” co-author John Heilemann talks about the cultural tastes of Donald Trump.
How to Remember
Jan 5 • 49 min
This week, Kurt talks to Adam Driver, an architect tries to build a museum in Iraq, how Sly and the Family Stone created a pop music masterpiece, and Taylor Mac does a decade-by-decade revue of American pop.
Kurt’s Favorite Conversation of 2016
Dec 31, 2016 • 23 min
Jack Viertel is a human encyclopedia of musical theater. He’s the producer of hit Broadway shows like “Hairspray,” “Kinky Boots,” and “The Producers.” And he’s also the artistic director of Encores, a New York series that resurrects vintage musicals.…
Designing Life
Dec 29, 2016 • 49 min
From “Semi-Living Dolls” to glowing florescent illustrations, artists are using the tools of synthetic biology to grow their own materials and create works of art that are, essentially, alive. It’s one thing to wag our fingers at big scientific…
The Eerie Familiarity of “Man in the High Castle”
Dec 26, 2016 • 18 min
The Man in the High Castle, the Emmy Award winning TV series, imagines a world in which the Nazi’s won WWII. Set in the 1960s, the show blends actual pop cultural imagery and artifacts with fictional interpretations of an alternative ending to the war.…
Get a Clue
Dec 22, 2016 • 49 min
This week, Kurt creates a crossword with a New York Times puzzle-maker, a neuroscientist explains why so many people share the same false memory, and a theater company brings August Wilson back to his boyhood home.
Human Intelligence: A Holiday Tale
Dec 19, 2016 • 23 min
Kurt Andersen’s version of a Christmas story doesn’t have your typical talking snowman or mistletoe. Instead, this holiday tale involves extraterrestrial surveillance and melting polar ice caps. “Human Intelligence,” was produced for radio by Jonathan…
Close Encounters
Dec 15, 2016 • 49 min
This week, a stereophonic odyssey into the Amazon, the otherworldly nature of octopuses, and why a theater critic thinks Shakespeare is much ado about nothing.
Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Dec 12, 2016 • 7 min
Nothing takes the edge off the holidays quite like the soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Vince Guaraldi. The jazz musician and composer always wanted to write a standard. And since the “Peanuts” holiday special first aired in 1965, its score…
Way to Go, Einstein
Dec 8, 2016 • 49 min
This week, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity: how Einstein upended the way we see space and time, his effect on pop culture, and how one of his most preposterous ideas was ultimately proven right.
It’s Only Post-Natural
Dec 5, 2016 • 12 min
If you take a trip to your local natural history museum, you’ll likely discover the story of our planet told through vast collections of species, vibrant dioramas and exhibits on the evolution of life on earth. But historically, these institutions have…
And Don’t Call Me Shirley
Dec 1, 2016 • 49 min
An hour about spoofs, parodies, and lampoonery. Mel Brooks and David Zucker talk about the art of mocking movies. Then, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost deconstruct action flicks. And a live, unplugged performance by “Weird Al” Yankovic.
Sharon Jones’s Soul Revival
Nov 28, 2016 • 16 min
Sharon Jones burst onto the music scene about 10 years ago — she was backed by The Dap-Kings, a straight-out-of-the-1960s funk band with a fantastic horn section. And at just 5 feet tall, Sharon had all of the funk and spark of James Brown. The band was…
All Shakespeare All the Time
Nov 24, 2016 • 49 min
On the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, we look at the ways his work continues to change and adapt. In the 19th century, Shakespeare’s work got caught up in minstrel shows — and African-American actors are still struggling to claim the…
Remembering Ultra-American Musician Leon Russell
Nov 21, 2016 • 12 min
Leon Russell passed away last week — he was 74. During the 1970s, he forged a musical career unlike almost anyone else’s before or since: an ultra-American mix of country, blues, gospel, and rock n’ roll, collaborating with musicians from all those…
Y’all, Youse, or Yinz?
Nov 17, 2016 • 49 min
On this week’s show, novelist Brit Bennett reads from her debut novel, “The Mothers.” Plus, Josh Katz gives us a tour of American regionalisms. And Leonor Caraballo and Abou Farman create art in the face of the cancer.
DJ Shadow’s Record-Breaking Album
Nov 14, 2016 • 10 min
Twenty years ago this week, DJ Shadow set a Guinness World Record for creating an album made up entirely of samples, many of them from LPs he rescued from the 50-cent bin. But “Endtroducing” is also musically and compositionally inventive, and it caught…
This Land is Trump’s Land
Nov 10, 2016 • 49 min
This week: How a former reality TV star was elected president. Then, Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith writes a poem inspired by a Baton Rouge protester. And we explore the creation of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.”
Live from New York, It’s Election Night!
Nov 7, 2016 • 7 min
Nobody defined the satirical style of “Saturday Night Live” more than Jim Downey. He wrote for the show for over 33 seasons and was SNL’s head writer for 10 years. Downey gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how SNL crafted political sketches throughout…
Eugenia Cheng, Guilty Pleasures & Jacob Collier
Nov 3, 2016 • 49 min
On this week’s show, Eugenia Cheng whips up a delicious math lesson for Kurt. Plus, writer Sadie Stein defends one of the most detested words in the English language. Then, an art historian and a scientist explore the connection between bird plumage and…
Spooky Scary Studio 360: How to Make Your Skeleton Scary
Oct 31, 2016 • 6 min
Happy Halloween! Jack Handey, thinker of Deep Thoughts, takes on the ultimate holiday question: If a skeleton’s not scary, what’s the point of having one? He offers a few tips on how to make your skeleton live up to its reputation so you’re not burying…
Oh the Horror!
Oct 27, 2016 • 49 min
Spine-tingling tales from the Studio 360 crypt! “Evil Dead” director Sam Raimi talks about the horrors of Hollywood filmmaking. We audit Tom Savini’s course in decapitation and dismemberment. And the late, great Wes Craven revisits Elm Street and explains…
Spooky Scary Studio 360: She Sees Your Every Move
Oct 26, 2016 • 8 min
In anticipation of Halloween, Studio 360 is sharing some of our favorite spooky segments from our archive. Photographer Michele Iversen captures strangers in private spaces — without their permission. At night she sits in her car and watches the glowing…
Spooky Scary Studio 360: Making Haunted Houses Scarier
Oct 25, 2016 • 9 min
In anticipation of Halloween, Studio 360 is sharing some of our favorite spooky segments from our archive. Ike Sriskandarajah brings a story of how a composer’s visit to a haunted house made him realize there was a whole industry that needed better music.…
Spooky Scary Studio 360: Alice Cooper
Oct 24, 2016 • 17 min
In anticipation of Halloween, Studio 360 is sharing some of our favorite spooky segments from our archive. No musician has died more often or more dramatically in front of more people than Alice Cooper. His highly theatrical rock shows have variously…
American Icons: The Lincoln Memorial
Oct 20, 2016 • 49 min
This is America’s soapbox.
Brit Bennett on Church, Racism, and Her Novel “The Mothers”
Oct 17, 2016 • 12 min
This interview will air next month — but we’re making it available to our podcast listeners early. Enjoy! Brit Bennett came to prominence in a way that was unheard of in the literary world a generation ago. She published a piece about racial justice in…
So You Think You’re Creative?
Oct 13, 2016 • 49 min
We’re always talking about creativity, but what do we mean? Can we find creativity, can we measure it, can we encourage it? Kurt talks with Gary Marcus, a psychology professor about what science tells us about creativity. A researcher puts jazz musicians…
Eric Kandel, Snowblink, & “Walk on the Wild Side”
Oct 6, 2016 • 49 min
Neuroscientist Eric Kandel explains how art affects the brain. Plus, we find out why Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” is a work of non-fiction. And the indie duo Snowblink plays their dreamy music live in our studio.
Hail to the Entertainer in Chief
Sep 29, 2016 • 49 min
A special about the cozy relationship between politics and entertainment. Former “Spy” staffer and “New Yorker” editor Susan Morrison reveals the origin of Donald Trump’s “short-fingered vulgarian” nickname. Then, author Neal Gabler explains how Hollywood…
360 Preview: The Short-Fingered Vulgarian
Sep 26, 2016 • 11 min
Kurt co-founded Spy magazine in 1986 — and Donald Trump was a fixture from the very first issue. In this sneak peek of this week’s episode, Kurt talks with Spy co-conspirator (and current New Yorker magazine editor) Susan Morrison about their days…
Sep 22, 2016 • 49 min
There are so many ways the world could go wrong — electing the wrong candidate is only one of them. Charlie Brooker, creator of the hit sci-fi show “Black Mirror,” gets his dystopian ideas from our digital devices. Then, novelist Gary Shteyngart reads…
360 Extra: So Long, Edward Albee
Sep 20, 2016 • 9 min
Edward Albee died last week, at 88. Studio 360 remembers this giant of American theater with a feature we ran back in 2004. Reporter Sarah Lemanczyk interviewed Albee about his decision, well into his 70s, to tinker with his very first produced play, “The…
Angel Olsen, Sheldon Harnick, & The Science of Singing
Sep 15, 2016 • 49 min
On this week’s show, the art and science of singing. At the age of 92, Broadway lyricist Sheldon Harnick hasn’t lost any of the wit and insight that helped him write “Fiddler on the Roof.” Also, we find out what cutting-edge medical science can do to save…
360 Extra: Philippe Petit, Man on Wire
Sep 11, 2016 • 12 min
On the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we wanted to revisit Kurt’s conversation with an artist who had a special relationship with the World Trade Center site. It had all the glamour, conspiracy, and danger of a classic heist movie, but it…
Going Viral
Sep 8, 2016 • 49 min
How does a deadly plague inside “World of Warcraft” spread like a real virus? Also, rabies experts connect the dots between “The Iliad,” “Twilight,” and Louis Pasteur. And an apocalyptic world where children should be seen and not heard — the sound they…
360 Live: Dr. Rachel Yehuda Misses Her Rats
Sep 7, 2016 • 17 min
Rachel Yehuda is a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. For years, Dr. Yehuda researched PTSD by measuring stress hormones in lab rats. But when she began investigating PTSD in Holocaust survivors, she…
360 Live: Herman Pontzer Ends Up in the Hot Seat
Sep 6, 2016 • 15 min
Herman Pontzer is a professor of anthropology at Hunter College, where he investigates human and ape evolution. A few years ago, while studying the Hadza hunter-gatherer tribe, Dr. Pontzer’s experiment almost went up in flames: “We look at each other and…
360 Live: Wyatt Cenac Drives Drunk (for Science)
Sep 5, 2016 • 16 min
Wyatt Cenac is a comedian and former correspondent for The Daily Show. He’s no scientist – but while completing a community service requirement in high school, he conducted a little experiment to answer one of modern science’s burning questions: “I was…