Studio 360

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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 shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.
Updated: 42 min 46 sec ago

Creepers, Golliwog, Spalding

January 18, 2038 - 10:14pm
Kurt Andersen talks to novelist Anne Rice about the mystery and allure of monsters across movies, art, and literature.
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Peter Carey “Rent” Goes to Cuba

January 22, 2015 - 12:00am
pPeter Carey’s latest novel, "Amnesia," is about government surveillance, cyber terrorism, and the legacy of America’s bullying intelligence agencies. He was inspired to write it after turning down an offer to ghostwrite Julian Assange’s autobiography. We hear how lifting the embargo will affect Cuba’s artists; and Havana gets its first Broadway transfer since the Revolution — the critique of capitalism known as "Rent."/pimg src="//" height="1" width="1" alt=""/Novelist Peter Carey explains how Julian Assange inspired his latest novel, and Cuba gets its first Broadway musical since the Revolution.
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Glenn Close, Equal Pay in Hollywood, Hubble Turns 25

January 15, 2015 - 12:00am
pInsiders have known for years that studios pay female stars less than men, but the Sony hack put numbers on the problem. One expert thinks that leaked data may begin to balance the scales. Glenn Close comes back to the stage in an Edward Albee play. And the Hubble Space Telescope, which made the world fall in love with images of space all over again, turns 25.  /pimg src="//" height="1" width="1" alt=""/Glenn Close on why she gravitates to strong female roles, the Sony hack reveals Hollywoodrsquo;s pay gap, and the legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope.
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Sideshow Podcast: Absolutely Anything Goes at the Comedy Store’s Roast Battle

January 13, 2015 - 8:00am
pemWARNING: This sideshow podcast covers stand-up comedy. As a result, it features sexual humor, racial humor, and a lot of four-letter words. Hope you will listen anyway!/embrbr The roast is a sacred tradition for stand-up comedians – maybe a little too sacred. The form has essentially remained unchanged from the classic a href=""Friars Club roasts/a of the 1960s and 70s to the more recent Comedy Central installments featuring a href=""Pamela Anderson/a and a href=""James Franco/a. But a group of comedians is taking the roast to new, ever more insulting places at the venerable a href="" target="_blank"Comedy Store/a in Los Angeles.brbra href=""Roast Battle/a is part-wrestling, part-rap battle. In two to three rounds of head-to-head competition, two stand-ups (typically unknowns who know each other) trade insults for a raucous audience and celebrity judges who eventually choose a champion. “It’s a new take on the classic Friars Club roast,” says Jeremy Craven, a participating comedian. “This is what happens if the person you were roasting was allowed to roast you back.” brbrBrian Moses created the Roast Battle after trying to settle a dispute between two fellow comics. After recommending they slap each other to a resolution, he reconsidered. “How about you guys write some jokes about each other, and instead of slap boxing, we’ll do verbal boxing?” he asked. “They wrote some jokes and everybody in the room loved it.”brbrWhat comics loved was a forum to test boundaries – sexual, political, or racial. While stand-up is traditionally an outlet for social criticism, mainstream comics have more to lose by tackling sensitive subject matter than those who perform at Roast Battle. brbrEach Roast Battle features a “Black Guys” corner where stereotypes run rampant, and a “White Racist” corner where America’s latent racism is brutally satirized. When a “Black lives matter!” chant breaks out after a racially themed joke, the White Racist yells out, “Not in Ferguson!” to boos and laughter. Moses and the other comedians are drawn to the anything-goes environment. “You can be as open and free as possible as long as it’s funny,” Moses says. “We’ve done a good job of being funny.”brbrThe Battles generally take place between unknowns, but the establishment is impressed. “There aren’t a lot of places you can say anything,” says a href=""Jeffrey Ross/a, who is known as the Roastmaster General for his appearances at every single Comedy Central roast. “Roast Battle is that. It’s a temple of free speech.” Ross is a regular judge at Roast Battle, and he brings friends like Sarah Silverman and Dave Chappelle along to guest judge. “This is an extension of our animalistic instincts.”/p pRoast Battle has been compared to the brutal brawls of emFight Club/em and the rap cyphers of em8 Mile/em, but Ross has a different take: “It’s like the emAmerican Idol/em of insult comedy,” he says. Though he runs the judging, Ross declines the Simon Cowell part; “I like to think of myself as the Paula Abdul.”/pimg src="//" height="1" width="1" alt=""/The roast is a sacred tradition for stand-ups, but a group of comedians is taking it to ever more insulting places at the Comedy Store innbsp;Los Angeles.nbsp;
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