Julia Sweeney is a figure of bicoastal sophistication. She's a comic actor who does one-woman shows about love, illness, faith and family. She's still remembered for creating the androgynous Pat on Saturday Night Live. She hobnobs with famously glamorous and witty people.
So how did it come to pass that she wound up in Wilmette, Il., driving a minivan and dreaming of solitude? Sweeney has put some of her musings on becoming a Midwestern mother — and keeping up her life in comedy — into a new book, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother.
April is the cruelest month, according to one of the most famous poems in the English language. Perhaps to take the edge off of April, the Academy of American Poets chose it as the month to draw attention to the art and legacy of poetry — and the achievement of American poets.
We're celebrating this month by hearing from young poets about how they chose — or were chosen by — poetry, and why poetry — one of the oldest human art forms — still matters.
When I was a teenager falling in love with the theater, I picked up a book called Broadway's Greatest Musicals. The sole criterion for inclusion was that a show run for at least 500 performances, which translates to about a year and a quarter.
The number 42 has been retired from every team in Major League Baseball, and in recent years, teams have been eager for fans to remember why: It was the number Jackie Robinson wore for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he broke the sport's color barrier — and began to break a new path in American history.
Every Midwestern city has garages full of four local teenagers playing rock 'n' roll and dreaming of the big time ... but Rockford, Ill., boasts the few that made it. Rick Nielsen formed Cheap Trick with three of his friends back in 1973 in Rockford and since then they've traveled the world and put out more than 16 albums.
Since Nielsen was in a band called Cheap Trick, we've invited him play a game called "BAAAAAAAA." Three questions about sheep tricks.
The collapse and rebirth of rebirth of Somalia have been a long battle, and women like Dr. Hawa Abdi have been on the front lines. Back in 1991, when the Somalian government collapsed, Abdi was a young doctor operating a small clinic on her farm with her family south of Mogadishu. As the conflict raged on, Abdi's clinic grew into a 400-bed hospital — and ultimately, a refugee camp. At the height of the war, 90,000 displaced Somalis made their home around Abdi's hospital.
Fresh Air remembers the film critic and bon vivant Roger Ebert, who died Thursday, with a roundup of interviews from our archive.
In one, from all the way back in 1984, host Terry Gross talks with Ebert alone; in a second conversation, from 1996, Terry interviews both Ebert and his late partner Gene Siskel onstage at Northwestern University.
In two very special conversations, Ebert himself interviews iconic directors Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.
And finally, critic-at-large John Powers discusses Ebert's 2011 memoir Life Itself.
On this week's extremely punchy round-table podcast, once we cover our most important landmark of the week, Stephen Thompson gets through some preposterous claims loosely connected to this video and we get on the topic of
Finally, it's what we've all been waiting for. Let's bring back our winners to play the Ask Me One More final round.
EISENBERG: From We Didn't Start the Fire: Paul Dreyer. From On the Colbert Report: Marc Levy. From Our Greatest Author: Meera Siddharth. From This, That, or the Other: Shannon Sun-Higginson. And from The Sound of Art: Max Genecov.