Blending in-depth interviews with off-the-cuff field recordings, host Geoff Edgers paints intimate, surprising audio portraits of actors, musicians and comedians – from beloved performers you think you already know to up-and-comers bursting onto the scene. You’ll learn who these people really are: where they come from, what drives them to create, and what keeps them up at night. Other podcasts might cover artists; Geoff Edgers uncovers them.

(From The Washington Post and WBUR in Boston. Logo design by David Plunkert/Spur Design)

David Letterman

April 5, 2018

There was a time when all David Letterman cared about was his late-night television show. He was at war. With Jay Leno. With the format. With himself. Then he walked away, after 33 years, to grow a relentless, white beard and seemingly disappear into the TV history books. But Letterman, at 70, remains a masterful storyteller. And perhaps the best story is how a kid from Indiana revolutionized the late-night dial.

David Letterman was the king of late night. He doesn’t miss it for a second.

Issa Rae

March 29, 2018

With two seasons of HBO’s “Insecure” wrapped — and a third underway — creator and star Issa Rae has clearly made a name for herself. But Rae is the picture of the Web star in transition, the celebrity in progress. And the real Issa has saddled herself with an additional challenge: to try to live with the fake Issa. Because fans of “Insecure” are watching her every move.
Warning: This podcast contains explicit language

The real Issa tries to live with the fake Issa. Her ‘Insecure’ fans are watching.

Hanson

March 22, 2018

At one time, Hanson’s rise to megastardom may have seemed stunning in itself, but the band’s greatest feat may be how it has survived — and without a scandal, rehab or “Sharknado 4.” The Hanson way has been marked by the brothers’ special ability to say no — always politely, of course. These days, you’ll find Taylor, Isaac and Zac back in Tulsa, where they run what is effectively Hanson, Inc. It is here, 25 years after they became a band of brothers, that they’re proving there is life after “MMMBop.”

Is there life after ‘MMMBop’? Hanson — yes, that Hanson — turns 25.

Billy Joe Shaver

March 15, 2018

Billy Joe Shaver’s songs were the antidote to the glossy, string-soaked sound of 1960s Nashville. No wonder Bob Dylan declared, in a 2009 song, that “I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver and I’m reading James Joyce.” Yet while so many of his peers — Willie, Waylon, Johnny — would be on a first-name basis with fame, Shaver continues his rolling attempt to introduce himself. Over two days in Texas, in a van rambling from gig to gig, Shaver talks about his past, his music and how he still holds out hope that the next record or TV show might finally land him the recognition he deserves.
Warning: This podcast contains explicit language

Billy Joe Shaver invented outlaw country music. Why is he still rambling around Texas in a van?

Ms. Pat

March 8, 2018

Patricia Williams, a.k.a. Ms. Pat, didn’t grow up dreaming of a life on stage. The girl nicknamed “Rabbit” just tried to survive. She was abused as a child, pregnant by 13 and in jail before she turned 21. Then, somehow, Williams found her calling. Comedy. Come to Indianapolis to meet the woman director Lee Daniels (“Precious,” “The Butler”) calls “the black Roseanne.” Ms. Pat takes us back into the darkest episodes of her life to show how she has turned unbearable tales of woe into a routine that is improbably horrifying and hilarious at the same time.
Warning: This podcast contains explicit language

How Ms. Pat overcame drugs, prison and abuse — and rose to comedy stardom

Jimmy Kimmel

March 1, 2018

In the good old days, Jimmy Kimmel didn’t have the slightest interest in lobbying for legislation. He told jokes. But a family crisis sparked an emotional, on-air transformation. “The Man Show” guy was now America’s conscience. Six hours in Kimmel’s office provides a glimpse into how he’s really changed – and how hard he still works for a laugh.

Jimmy Kimmel might be America’s conscience but he’ll still do anything for a laugh

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

Feb. 22, 2018

Did you know “Weird Al” Yankovic’s most recent album hit No. 1? That his biggest fans include “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon? The story of Yankovic is of a sheltered boy genius who rebelled the only way he knew how: with an accordion. Now, decades after he spoofed Michael Jackson’s hit “Beat It,” Yankovic hits the road without his fat suit.

How ‘Weird Al’ eclipsed (almost) every star he ever mocked

Ava DuVernay

Feb. 15, 2018

She never went to film school, but Ava DuVernay may be the most important director in Hollywood. At Disney, she’s readying the big-budget adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time” for theaters. Follow her inside the studio gates, where she’s also plotting a larger mission: To reshape the entire industry – with a little help from her team, her family and a former talk show host named Oprah.

Can anyone actually blow up the Hollywood system? Ava DuVernay is about to find out.

Norm Macdonald

Jan. 25, 2018

Norm Macdonald, comic genius and former SNL star, is on the road to reinvention. Not that he’d say that. In this episode, he labors over his comic novel, searches (literally) for his jokes – he forgot them in his hotel room before appearing on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” – and tries to focus on a gig when he’s overcome by a gambling relapse. Will he bomb? Will he kill? Will the Trail Blazers cover the spread?

Will somebody please give Norm Macdonald another TV show?

Photography

Ava DuVernay (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post); Norm Macdonald (Yana Paskova for The Washington Post); Weird Al (Brinson+Banks for The Washington Post); Jimmy Kimmel (F. Scott Schafer for The Washington Post, Reuters and Getty Images); Ms. Pat (AJ Mast for the Washington Post); Billy Joe Shaver (Michael Stravato for the Washington Post); Hanson (Shane Bevel for The Washington Post); Issa Rae (Brinson+Banks for The Washington Post); David Letterman (Jesse Dittmar for The Washington Post)

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