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17 Segments




In A Cluster Of New Sitcoms, 'Family Tree' Stands Tall.

Christopher Guest's new HBO comedy series follows a down-on-his-luck guy looking into his family genealogy. Guest, who pioneered the mockumentary style in cult classics like This Is Spinal Tap, co-created the show with Jim Piddock and star Chris O'Dowd.


Marisa Tomei: From 'Cousin Vinny' To 'Cyrus.'

The Oscar-winning actress has played everything from a sassy car expert in My Cousin Vinny to a stripper alongside Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. In an interview with Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies, Tomei explains how she picks her roles -- and why she's excited about playing a mother in the new film Cyrus.


'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Gears Up for New Season

Executive producer and actor Jeff Garlin and actress Susie Essman discuss the upcoming season of the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Garlin plays Larry David's affable best friend and agent. Essman plays Garlin's wife and as such is known for her vitriol, no-nonsense attitude and foul mouth.


Will Ferrell, Hearing Voices in 'Stranger Than Fiction'

Comedian and actor Will Ferrell talks about his new film Stranger Than Fiction. Ferrell plays an accountant who finds that his life has a voiceover that only he can hear. It turns out he's the subject of a novel, and that the writer plans to kill him. Ferrell became famous as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2002, and has gone on to star in movies such as Old School, Elf and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.


Anchorman' Director Adam McKay

Anchorman, starring Will Ferrell, is now out on DVD. It's a spoof of local TV news shows. McKay was the head writer for Saturday Night Live from 1997 to 2001 and a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe. This interview was originally broadcast on July, 8, 2004.


The 30th Anniversary of the Groundlings

The Los Angeles theatre improv group The Groundlings celebrates its 30th anniversary. Groundlings launched the careers of the actors and comics including Phil Hartman, Lisa Kudrow and Will Ferrell. We talk with the group's founder, Gary Austin, and former member, Cheryl Hines, who now co-stars in HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm.


Late night talk show host Conan O'Brien

Late night talk show host Conan O'Brien celebrates ten years on the air Sunday September 14, 2003, with a primetime special on NBC. In 1993, he moved into the Late Night host slot when David Letterman went to CBS. Prior to Late Night, O'Brien was a writer for Saturday Night Live and writer and producer for The Simpsons.


Seeking the Truth of Girls in "Girls Town"

A discussion with two of the makers of the feminist film "Girls Town," Jim McKay, the co-writer and director, and Lili Taylor, the lead. Taylor plays Patti Lucci, an abused teen mother who struggles to understand the suicide of her friend, Nikki. Patti and her two best friends learn that Nikki killed herself because she was raped--they then boldly confront the man who did it. Taylor recently starred in the film version of "I Shot Andy Warhol;" McKay got his start shooting music videos for REM. "Girls Town" is his first feature film.


A Very Expensive Acting Class.

TV critic David Bianculli reviews "Chantilly Lace," on the Showtime cable network. The telemovie stars JoBeth Williams, Lindsay Crouse, Helen Slater, Jill Eikenberry, Martha Plimpton, Ally Sheedy, and Talia Shire. The plot revolves around a reunion of old friends, but the lines and action are mostly improvised by the actresses.


Michael Murphy Discusses His Career.

Actor Michael Murphy. Murphy's first work was on television when he was still a high school English teacher. He debuted on the TV series "Combat," and later acted on "Ben Casey," "Dr. Kildaire" and "Bonanza." The director for the "Combat" series was Robert Altman, with whom Murphy has had a long association. He later acted in many films by Robert Altman, including "M*A*S*H," "Brewster McCloud," "McCabe and Mrs.


Altman Tries His Hand at Television.

Film director Robert Altman. He's best known for the 1975 film "Nashville," a free-form mosaic of American life as seen through 24 characters involved in a political rally. His other films include "3 Women," a hypnotic film about the troubled friendship of three troubled women. Altman has been working in television recently, directing the remake of the classic 1953 movie "The Caine Mutiny" that aired earlier this month on CBS.


Comedian Robert Klein

The performer's material draws from his upbringing as a Jewish kid in the Bronx, his college education and his improv training in Chicago's Second City.


Ronee Blakely on Altman, Dylan, and Country Music.

Ronee Blakely is an actress, singer, and pianist. She is best known for her role in the Robert Altman film "Nashville." In the film, her character, a country music star is assassinated. Many have referenced the scene of her death in discussing the murder of John Lennon. Blakely has also worked with Bob Dylan with the Rolling Thunder Review and on the film "Renaldo and Clara." She describes her personal style as "new wave country." She joins the show to discuss her career.


Comedian Robert Klein.

Robert Klein is one of the forerunners of the current stand-up comedy boom. His 1973 album "Child of the 50s" established him as one the leading comics of the baby boomer generation. Klein grew up in the Bronx and honed his skill in the improvisation troupe Second City.


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