New Thing #4: 'Bullseye' Podcast

BullseyeI enjoy a good podcast. There are 9 I listen to regularly right now; I'm open to adding more, but I definitely won't be subtracting.

I love the ones I listen to.

The latest on my list of favorites is "Bullseye with Jesse Thorn".

I've actually been listening to the show for about a month, but it's still new enough to qualify as 'new' for 2013.

I think I first learned about Jesse Thorn and "Bullseye" through Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast, another of my favorites. If I'm remembering correctly from his early episodes, Maron credited Thorn with coming by, setting him up with the appropriate podcasting equipment, and getting him started on what has become one of the most successful podcasts out there. I think Thorn was even a guest on Maron's show at some point. I don't remember the details from that interview, but maybe I should look it up again. I think Thorn has roots in comedy (at the very least he's a huge comedy fan), but I'm not sure about very much of his story.

Back then, though, Thorn's podcast (well, this particular one of his podcasts - the man has a ton of them and I'm interested in giving each a listen, but I'm afraid I'll get sucked in and have to listen to every episode of each of them and....well, I just don't have time for all that) was called "The Sound of Young America". At some point there was a brand change. I've been catching up on some past episodes from when it was "Sound of Young America" and I've been listening to the most recent episodes when it's been "Bullseye", but I haven't yet hit the point where the name changes or why.

Anyway, I've digressed. What I look for in a podcast is a feeling that when I'm done listening to it I've either been simply entertained, or I've learned something, or I've been entertained while learning something, or I'm listening to a compelling interview.

"Bullseye" meets all of those criteria. Each episode features a great interview with someone I'm interested in hearing from. (Or someone I didn't know who it turns out I should have been interested in hearing from.) Each episode also features some kind of pop culture review - there are experts who talk about the fields of music, comic books, television, movies, books - and Thorn weighs in at the end with his outshot, where he talks up something that's a favorite of his and that's usually new to me. (I'm sure I'll be drawing on some of those for some of my '365 New Things in 2013'. )

The latest episode of "Bullseye" is from New Year's - it's a roundup of the show's favorite comedy clips of 2012. It's great. I'll be writing much more about my enjoyment of - and hopefully participation in - stand-up comedy this year, but for reasons I'll probably explain at a later date I haven't been watching too much stand-up recently. This was a great round-up of the comedy I've missed in the past year.

In the episodes I've listened to so far Thorn has also conducted great interviews with Ice-T, R.A. Dickey, Demetri Martin, and Dolly Parton, among others.

It's a great listen, and clearly, despite my lack of knowledge about him, Thorn is a giant in the podcasting industry. He's the proprietor of, which is the home to all of those other podcasts I alluded to. There was also news in the last couple of weeks that there are changes in the works, among which, I think, was the fact that "Bullseye" would no longer be affiliated with Public Radio International. I'm not sure how that will affect it in the future...but as long as it's around anywhere close to its current form I'll be a listener.