This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee sitting in for Michel Martin, who is under the weather. Coming up, you either loved him or hated him, but if you ever saw him perform, you certainly remember him and his catchphrase - dyn-o-mite - from the classic sitcom "Good Times." We'll talk to comedian Jimmie J.J. Walker later in the program.
Comedian Jimmie Walker is best known for his Good Times sitcom character J.J. Evans. But there's more to Walker than just laughs. For Tell Me More's Wisdom Watch series, host Michel Martin talks with Walker about his long career in showbiz, detailed in his memoir, Dyn-O-Mite: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times.
We'll listen back to a 1989 interview with actor Harry Carey Jr., who died Dec. 27. Carey co-starred with John Wayne in the classic Westerns She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Searchers and 3 Godfathers. He talked to Fresh Air about filming epic cavalry-versus-Indian scenes — and his most challenging stunts.
Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained is a spaghetti western-inspired revenge film set in the antebellum South; it's about a former slave who teams up with a bounty hunter to target the plantation owner who owns his wife.
The cinematic violence that has come to characterize Tarantino's work as a screenwriter and director — from Reservoir Dogs at the start of his career in 1992 to 2009's Inglourious Basterds -- is front and center again in Django. And he's making no apologies.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:08 pm
Though more big battles lie ahead in Washington, Wall Street is following the lead of financial markets around the world in giving a thumbs-up to the deal that kept the federal government from going completely over the so-called fiscal cliff.
Gangsters have been part of life in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, for decades. And nowhere is their rule more notorious than in the slums of Lyari, a dusty warren of low-slung tenement houses in the south central part of Karachi.
The pop culture gay flavor of the minute? White gay dads.
"We're having a baby, Bri!" croons one of the leads on NBC's The New Normal. "This is our family. You, me and that kid forever."
It's a mini-boomlet, says real-life white gay dad and sociology professor Joshua Gamson. Not too long ago, he says, pop culture mainly defined gay men as promiscuous and deviant, rather than monogamous and devoted to their families.
"It does seem like a strong counter-stereotype of how gay men have been portrayed over the past, whatever, 50 years," he says.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:47 am
Blaming the regime of President Bashar Assad for "ruthless suppression of what were initially peaceful and legitimate protests by unarmed civilians," the U.N. Human Rights Office today released a report that estimates at least 59,648 people had been killed in Syria through November in the protests and fighting there since March 2011.
This interview was originally broadcast on April 23, 2012.
Actor Jack Black is best known for his comedic performances in films like Nacho Libre and School of Rock. In his film Bernie, Black goes to a darker place: He plays a serious small-town funeral director who murders his live-in companion, a wealthy widow played by Shirley MacLaine.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 11:49 am
Here at NPR, we've heard about some wacky food scandals. There have been gingerbread houses harboring bad bacteria, turkeys trotting around with arsenic in their guts and a prison hooch that brewed up botulism.
But a recent report from China may take the cake –- or should we say, the eggplant.
This show was originally broadcast on September 13, 2012.
Before comic W. Kamau Bell became host of the weekly political humor show Totally Biased, which mixes standup, sketches and interviews,he had a one-man show called The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour.
Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 12:40 pm
David Dye has been hosting WXPN's World Cafe for more than 20 years. With new artists performing in the show's studios every day, Dye gets to witness firsthand the best music each year has to offer. Here are his 10 favorite songs of 2012:
"House Speaker John Boehner couldn't hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday. ... 'Go f— yourself,' Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present."
We do what damage we can on this show, but it's not often we get the chance to cause a real international incident. So we're very excited that Sir Peter Westmacott, Great Britain's ambassador to the U.S., has agreed to play our game called "No homework, extended naps and eight hours of recess!"
On-air challenge: This week is the annual "new names in the news" quiz. You're given some names that you probably never heard of before 2012, but who made news during the past 12 months. You say who they are. These names were compiled with the help of Kathie Baker and Tim Goodman, who were players on previous year-end quizzes.
For many, style is much deeper than articles of clothing; it's a statement of identity. Black men have a unique relationship with fashion, one that can be traced all the way back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Monica L. Miller, the author of Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity, spoke with Tell Me More's Michel Martin about the past, present and future of black men's fashion.
The Ones That Got Away series: There were so many good arts and entertainment stories in 2012 that we couldn't get around to reporting on everything as it was released. So this week, our arts reporters are circling back to look at books, movies, TV shows and trends that we should have paid more attention to.
Amanda Cohen's Dirt Candy is a graphic novel, vegetarian cookbook and memoir. But because it's all of those things, it's also not exactly any of them — so it fell between the cracks.
Normally, we avoid dropping our readers into the middle of an established series, but we're making an exception for A Memory of Light, the final volume in one of the most epic, sprawling works of fantasy ever written — Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time." In progress since 1990, it now stretches to 14 volumes. Jordan himself, tragically, did not live to finish the series; his widow, Harriet, chose fantasy author Brandon Sanderson to complete the last few books after Jordan's death in 2007.