Rank #1: Marc Maron
Today's Turnaround guest is Marc Maron, standup comic, actor, and host of one of the biggest podcasts ever: WTF with Marc Maron. Maron has a big personality, and it shows in his interviews. He's not rattling off a list of questions, but instead he's trying to have a conversation that's intimate and real. It doesn't always go smoothly, but it usually reveals a lot about the guest, even if they aren't into it. Marc talks with Jesse about what it's like recording his very popular show in his garage, his strategy for getting people to loosen up, and the difference between his standup and podcast personas. They also discuss two very different people who loom large in their consciousness: Terry Gross and Chris Hardwick.
Jun 29 2017
Rank #2: Audie Cornish
The great Audie Cornish joins Jesse on The Turnaround this week! You know her as the co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, one of the most listened-to radio shows in the entire country. You've likely heard Audie's steady voice in the aftermath of some really intense situations -- anchoring, covering breaking stories, and interviewing reporters live on air. She does it all by being super prepared, and she doesn't have much patience for people who aren't. She also consider herself a bit of a throwback journalist, but don't try telling her that NPR hosts are "dispassionate."
Jul 03 2017
Rank #3: Susan Orlean
This week Jesse is joined by Susan Orlean, who has been a staff writer with The New Yorker since 1992. Before that, she wrote for publications like Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Esquire. She has also written eight books, including The Orchid Thief, which was adapted into the 2002 film Adaptation. Susan talks to Jesse about what she's learned from her more than 30 years of interviewing people as a print journalist, whether it's been talking to locals in Clackamas, Oregon about Tonya Harding or writing profiles of celebrities like Tom Hanks.
Jun 26 2017
Rank #4: Larry King
Does Larry King really need an introduction? After all, the former host of Larry King Live has interviewed pretty much everyone over his six decades in broadcasting: world leaders, actors, UFO experts, even Eleanor Roosevelt. For this episode, Jesse visited Larry at his home in Beverly Hills for a sprawling conversation about the early years of Larry's career, what it was like talking to Richard Nixon and Frank Sinatra, and his biggest fear: death. Larry tells Jesse that he considers being "dumb" his greatest asset as an interviewer. Very much a creature of the moment, he loves nothing more than going into an interview cold and seeing what happens next. Also: Larry doesn't hold back his thoughts about the state of interviewing today.
Jul 06 2017
Rank #5: Errol Morris
This week, Jesse sits down with critically acclaimed and Academy Award winning documentarian Errol Morris. Errol and Jesse talk about how he got into interviewing, and in particular his time spent interviewing mass murderers, before he was a documentary filmmaker. Errol tells Jesse about the profound impact that Truman Capote had upon his career. They also discuss Errol's other career as a director of television commercials and where he learned his greatest interviewing tip: to shut the fuck up.
Jul 14 2017
Rank #6: Louis Theroux
Today Jesse is visited by Louis Theroux, a British documentarian and BBC presenter. Much of Louis' career has been spent covering various subcultures. These groups have been as innocuous as UFO hunters or as extreme as Neo-Nazi groups and anti-gay religious sects like the Westboro Baptist Church. Louis talks to Jesse about how his interviews often bring him into very intimate contact with people with beliefs diametrically opposed to his own. He also shares some hard-won interviewing wisdom, including why a non-response to a question can almost be as interesting as an actual response.
Jul 28 2017
Rank #7: Brooke Gladstone
This week on The Turnaround Jesse sits down with Brooke Gladstone of WNYC Studio's On The Media. Her interview style is direct and respectful, though you never feel like she hasn't asked the question that you want to hear the answer to. In her interview with Jesse, Brooke shares how such a tightly edited weekly show gets made, and about how she and her team choose to edit their show when cutting down for time and content. She also talks about journalistic objectivity, an ideal that she believes has no business dictating any part of the relationship between the media consumer and producer.
Jul 11 2017
Rank #8: Anna Sale
Joining us this week is Anna Sale, host of WNYC Studio's, Death, Sex & Money. As she puts it, her show is about "the things we think about a lot, and need to talk about more." Anna sits down with celebrities like Kevin Bacon or Mahershala Ali, but more often than not she's talking to someone that you've never heard of. It's an intimate show if there ever was one, and Anna doesn't shy away from asking questions that others might blush just thinking about. Anna and Jesse talk about her past career covering politics and elections, and how her decade doing that work aids her in the kind of interviewing that she does now. They get into how to ask really sensitive questions without it feeling exploitative, and why it is important to talk about the hard or shameful parts of a person's life.
Jul 20 2017
Rank #9: Reggie Ossé (Combat Jack)
Today's guest is Reggie Ossé, also known as Combat Jack. He's the host of The Combat Jack Show, one of the best hip-hop podcasts around. On the show, Reggie chops it up with a who's who of the rap world, not only about music, but about race, politics, and a whole lot more. Reggie says he kind of fell into interviewing for a living. He's actually a lawyer by training and used to represent some of the biggest hip-hop stars, even Jay-Z. Because he's been immersed in the culture for decades, he brings to each conversation a deep knowledge and respect for his subject that few interviewers can match.
Jul 24 2017
Rank #10: Jerry Springer
The one and only Jerry Springer visits The Turnaround this week! Whatever you think you know about his long-running daytime talk show Jerry Springer is probably correct, and Jerry would likely agree with you. But as he explains to Jesse, he believes his show has a valuable role to play in the lives of his guests -- especially by giving them a voice. Now in his 26th season as the show's host, Jerry wouldn't trade his job for anything, mostly because he gets some really great stories out of it. Also, he talks to Jesse about his unlikely path to a career in broadcasting, including serving a term as the mayor of Cincinnati in the 1970s.
Jul 18 2017