Fresh Air

Weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. 

Chef Tom Colicchio is one of the many restaurateurs wondering what will be left of the industry after the COVID-19 pandemic has run its course.

When I first saw the lovely independent film Driveways last fall, I didn't know that I was watching one of Brian Dennehy's final performances. I remember thinking he was wonderful in the movie, which in itself was no surprise. I also remember wishing that this great American actor, so acclaimed for his work on stage and television, had been given more of his due in movies.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross.

When U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was first elected to Congress, there wasn't a women's bathroom near the House floor, and it would be several years before women were allowed to wear pants in the chamber. Things have changed since then. Pelosi has now led the Democratic Party's House caucus for 18 years, and our guest at Time, national political correspondent Molly Ball, says she's used her negotiating talents to outmaneuver President Trump repeatedly in policy battles.

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For much of his life, humorist John Moe has dealt with clinical depression that's triggered by stress. Now, faced with the COVID-19 crisis, he says, "my depression wants to flare up."

On his podcast, The Hilarious World of Depression, Moe interviews people who have depression — mostly comics. His new book, also called The Hilarious World of Depression, details his own experiences, his brother's suicide and his family's history of mental illness.

Fashion expert Tim Gunn used to bemoan what he called the "comfort trap" — clothes that prioritized comfort over style. Now, after weeks of self-isolation in his New York City apartment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he's reconsidering his stance.

"I've gone through an evolution in these last five, five-and-a-half weeks," he says. "Why should we be self-isolating in clothes that constrain us and constrict us and are not as comfortable as something that's a little looser and more forgiving?"

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF LOUIS ARMSTRONG'S "WEST END BLUES")

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We hardly get to know the lead character of new sci-fi comedy Upload — and the world of the near future in which he lives — before he stops living.

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As millions of people remain socially isolated and anxious about COVID-19, several U.S. governors are at least making plans to relax controls in their states and revive economic activity — against the advice of many public health professionals.

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When nerds are depicted on screen, they are often bookworms and wallflowers who struggle to stand up for themselves. That's not the type of nerd Mindy Kaling wanted to focus on in Never Have I Ever, the Netflix series she co-created with Lang Fisher.

"There's also the belligerent, confident nerd, and they want big things for themselves," Kaling says. "We wanted to show an ambitious nerd ... [who] wanted to lose her virginity, wanted to be cool, go to concerts."

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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While researching his new book, Notes from an Apocalypse, about people who are preparing for doomsday, author Mark O'Connell undertook what he calls "a series of perverse pilgrimages."

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What does it mean to be a woman who had a boyhood? That's the question LGBTQ activist Jennifer Finney Boylan set out to explore her new memoir, Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs.

After Boylan came out as trans in her 40s, she felt estranged from her previous life. She describes her new book as a "memoir of masculinity, kind of told the way an expatriate might speak of the country of their birth."

Boylan acknowledges that some in the trans community might take issue with the notion that she had a "boyhood."

Actor Zoe Kazan describes her new HBO series, The Plot Against America, as "scarily prescient." The show, which is adapted from Philip Roth's 2004 novel, is set in the U.S. between 1940 and 1942, and imagines a world in which aviator Charles Lindbergh has defeated Franklin D. Roosevelt in the race for the presidency, moving the country toward fascism.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. Since so many of us are staying home now, looking for things to see or listen to to lift our spirits or deepen our sense of connection in this period of isolation, we're going to occasionally bring out something from our archive that seems right for the moment.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

President Trump's daily briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic have introduced millions of Americans to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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