It's Been a Minute

It's Been a Minute


Has it been a minute since you heard a thought-provoking conversation about culture? Brittany Luse wants to help. Each week, she takes the things everyone's talking about and, in conversation with her favorite creators, tastemakers, and experts, gives you new ways to think about them. Beyond the obvious takes. Because culture doesn't happen by accident.

If you can't get enough, try It's Been a Minute Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at


Breaking down the Jennifer Lopez Wedding Industrial Complex Canon

It's basically spring - which means wedding season is starting to rev up. And no one does weddings quite like Jennifer Lopez - both on-screen and off. Host Brittany Luse is joined by New York Magazine features writer Rachel Handler to break down J.Lo's wedding planning movies (the Jennifer Lopez Wedding Industrial Complex Canon), how they add to J.Lo's brand, and what they say about our investment in the real-life wedding industrial complex.
24/03/23·29m 27s

Surviving long COVID three years into the pandemic

It's been three years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. And according to the CDC, out of all the American adults who have had COVID — and that's a lot of us — one in five went on to develop long COVID symptoms. While so many are struggling with this new disease, it can be hard for people to know what to do to take care of themselves. The Long COVID Survival Guide aims to give people struggling with long COVID practical solutions and emotional support to manage their illness. In this conversation from November 2022, host Brittany Luse talks to Fiona Lowenstein, editor of the guide, and Karla Monterroso, one of the contributors, about the difficulty of getting diagnosed, navigating long COVID and creating long-term collective care.
21/03/23·20m 54s

Silicon Valley Bank and the sordid history of 'Palo Alto'

Even after Silicon Valley Bank crumbled and tech workers have been laid off in the thousands, Silicon Valley is still surrounded by a mythos of progress and futurity. Host Brittany Luse talks to author Malcolm Harris about his new book, Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World, to break down how that mythos was built, the dark underbelly underneath it, and why the tech industry is a microcosm of American capitalism. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
17/03/23·25m 9s

The key to EGOT-ing with John Legend

John Legend has permeated the culture for over two decades. His music has racked up billions of plays and he and his wife regularly make headlines when they bring us into some of their happiest and most vulnerable moments as a family. Today, we're looking back on his rise to fame, his most creative project, and what keeps him coming back to the ivory keys. Brittany also brings on the fun with an EGOT game of trivia.You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
14/03/23·21m 43s

How Hollywood squeezed out women directors; plus, what's with the rich jerks on TV?

In nearly 100 years, the Oscar award for Best Director has only gone to three women. The film industry as a whole has been heavily dominated by men, but it wasn't always this way. Ahead of Academy Awards, Brittany chops it up with Maya Montañez Smukler, author of Liberating Hollywood: Women Directors and the Feminist Reform of 1970s American Cinema, to discuss the state of women directors and how the industry systematically shifted them out of the spotlight.Then, we ask Chicago Tribune TV and film critic Nina Metz about the oversaturation of fictional, churlish billionaires on screen - and why there should be more depictions of the workers they exploit.You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
10/03/23·32m 20s

Marilyn Monroe was more than just 'Blonde'

In the six decades since Marilyn Monroe passed away, Hollywood has not let her go. Actresses have portrayed her in countless films and there have been more than 15 biopics dedicated to the late icon. Ahead of the Academy Awards, Ana de Armas has been getting Oscar buzz for playing Marilyn 'Blonde.' However, one critic finds this role, this film, and these stereotypes deeply problematic. Host Brittany Luse is joined by culture critic Angelica Jade Bastién to talk about Marilyn's misinterpreted legacy and why the Hollywood impersonations never shine as bright as the real star. You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
08/03/23·21m 43s

What's real about The Real Housewives?

What makes The Real Housewives peak culture – as in the #1 topic in the group chat – for so many people? Host Brittany Luse and producer Liam McBain descend into the depths of Bravocon – the Bravo convention – to find out. They talk to fans, a producer, and the Housewives themselves to understand how the franchise became a cultural juggernaut. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
03/03/23·30m 43s

Keyla Monterroso Mejia embraces cringe as comedy's newest star

Keyla Monterroso Mejia is a dramedy star on the rise. She made audiences cringe with laughter in Curb Your Enthusiasm playing Maria Sofia Estrada and then passed the vibe check as the chaotic teacher's aide Ashley Garcia on Abbott Elementary. And to top it all off, she's leading the new Netflix show, Freeridge. Host Brittany Luse sits down with Keyla to talk about her comedic characters, her new leading role, and betting on yourself.You can watch the full video interview here.You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
28/02/23·20m 55s

Fear, Florida, and The 1619 Project

How should U.S history be told, and who gets to tell it? Debate over these questions has raged for years – but nowhere is it more pronounced right now than in Florida. This week, Brittany Luse chats with NPR's Giulia Heyward to get the download on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' recent efforts to ban AP African American studies in his state. Then, Brittany sits down with Dorothy Roberts, a legal scholar and sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and Leslie Alexander, a historian at Rutgers University. In line with their work on The 1619 Project – now a Hulu documentary series –they make the case that slavery led to some of our biggest political fissures today, and discuss why it's important for all Americans to understand those connections.You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
24/02/23·31m 44s

Ross Gay on inciting joy while dining with sorrow

Looking for joy? Then it might be worth exploring your sorrow, complications and mess. In his latest collection of essays, Inciting Joy, poet Ross Gay reconsiders the breadth of joy, arguing that it can be found – and even strengthened – in life's hardest moments, when we must rely on one another. This week, host Brittany Luse sits down with Gay to discuss the complexity of joy, the beauty of grace and creating meaning in life. You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
21/02/23·19m 18s

Kelela's guide for breaking up with men

If you haven't stepped into an underground club in the last decade, you might be forgiven if you don't know Kelela. But the Washington, D.C. native has had a seismic impact on dance music since she broke into the scene in 2013. Now, after a six-year hiatus, Kelela is out with her fourth and latest record, 'Raven' – and with it, she's remaking the future of dance music. This week, host Brittany Luse sits down with Kelela to discuss Black queer liberation, and how she hopes this record helps folks find freedom on the dance floor. You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
17/02/23·21m 57s

Unlocking desire through smut; plus, the gospel of bell hooks

This week, we're asking: do the fantasies we read in romance novels say anything about what we want in our real-life relationships? Devoted readers share how the genre has impacted their love lives. Host Brittany Luse also sits down with writer Rebekah Weatherspoon to learn how she builds a world of desire.Then, we talk to Dr. E. Gale Greenlee, teacher-scholar in residence at the bell hooks center in Berea Kentucky, about lasting impact of bell hooks' work, and how she changed the way we think about love.You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
14/02/23·35m 35s

Hot and kinda bothered by 'Magic Mike'; plus Penn Badgley on bad boys

The scintillating strip sensation is back! 'Magic Mike's Last Dance' hits theaters this weekend – and to celebrate, we're talking about male dancers in the media and in the clubs. Our host Brittany Luse sits down with sociologist Dr. Katy Pilcher, to talk about female desire and what it means that a whole family can enjoy a male strip revue together.Then, Brittany talks to Penn Badgley, the star of Netflix's 'YOU.' He reflects on playing bad guys for the last 15 years, what a murderer can tell us about love and why all television is camp.You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
10/02/23·36m 25s

Everything leading up to Rihanna's Halftime Show

This weekend Rihanna will perform on the world's biggest stage as the halftime headliner at the Super Bowl. Yet, in 2019 she turned down the gig because she said there were things within the NFL she could not support. Brittany sits down with Gene Demby, host of NPR's Code Switch, to discuss if Rihanna's previous concerns were addressed and why she might need to step up to the mic.You can find more of Gene's reporting on the NFL by checking out NPR's Code Switch.You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
07/02/23·16m 9s

The loneliness and longing of Luther Vandross; plus Grammy winner Samara Joy

From "A House Is Not A Home" to "The Glow of Love," Luther Vandross' music has become a staple for weddings, family reunions and graduations. While Luther changed the sound of R&B, brought ballads to epic new heights and influenced countless musicians, he somehow doesn't have the same icon status as some of his collaborators and contemporaries like Whitney Houston or Aretha Franklin.20 years after Luther's last live concert, Brittany is joined by Craig Seymour, author of "Luther: The Life and Longing of Luther Vandross" to discuss Luther's impact and why he isn't usually placed on the "Mount Rushmore" of American music. Then, Brittany jazzes it up with two-time Grammy nominee Samara Joy. They talk about her unique style of singing and how she's bridging generations with her timeless music.You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
03/02/23·37m 18s

George Santos and the great American tradition of "self-making"

New York Congressman George Santos has been embroiled in controversy since the day he stepped into office in November. The New York Times and other publications have reported that much of the Republican lawmaker's alleged resume – from where he went to college to his supposed time at Goldman Sachs – cannot be backed up with evidence. In this episode, rather than dig into what is true or false, host Brittany Luse asks why someone would embellish their resume in the first place. Author Tara Isabella Burton says it all goes back to the uniquely American obsession with being "self-made."Burton's book, Self-Made: Curating our Identities from Da Vinci to the Kardashians is available for pre-order here.You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
31/01/23·22m 24s

Saying goodbye to Pikachu and Ash, plus how Pokémon changed media forever

It's the end of an era. After more than 25 years, The Pokémon Company is closing the book on the adventures of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. To celebrate the cultural impact of this dynamic duo – and of the Pokémon franchise – Brittany Luse sits down with actor Sarah Natochenny, who's voiced Ash since 2006. Sarah talks about growing up with a character who stays 10 years old, and how fans have been the lifeblood of the show. Then, Brittany sits down with Dexter Thomas, VICE News correspondent and Japanese culture critic, and Daniel Dockery, author of Monster Kids: How Pokémon Taught a Generation to Catch Them All. They explore how Pokémon transformed gaming and children's TV in the U.S. and became one of the biggest media franchises in the world. You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at
27/01/23·37m 59s

Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu is everywhere, all at once

Everything Everywhere All at Once is the critical darling of the 2023 awards season. The film is up for 11 Oscars, including a Supporting Actress nomination for breakout star, Stephanie Hsu. Hsu, who played Joy Wang AKA Jobu Tupaki in the film, started her career in experimental theater, which eventually led her to meet the directors of Everything Everywhere All at Once. Stephanie joined host Brittany Luse to chat about her comedic roots, the freedom of nihilism, and how the film has brought intergenerational healing to the stars. You can watch a video of the interview here.You can follow us on Twitter at @NPRItsBeenAMin or email us at
25/01/23·23m 43s

One of Grindr's favorite podcasts; plus, art versus AI

It's in our homes and in our pockets, and now artificial intelligence is in our art. The runaway rise of AI generator apps has sparked hot debate around the technology's impact on creative industries. Brittany Luse talks to Karla Ortiz, an artist who's part of a new lawsuit against a group of companies that use AI to generate images. Ortiz gives her take on why it's important to regulate this technology, and why everyone – not just artists – has a stake in the issue. Then, Brittany talks to Tuck Woodstock, host of the 'Gender Reveal' podcast, about the show's five-year mark and how we can all talk about gender in more informed ways. You can follow us on Twitter at @NPRItsBeenAMin or email us at
20/01/23·43m 21s

M3GAN, murder, and mass queer appeal

At first blush, M3GAN seems like your standard murder doll horror film. Uncanny appearance, eerily close relationship with a young child, and of course, murder. But it's become way more than that. She's got a viral dance, powerful side eye, wig fittings, and songs - all of this led M3GAN to become a camp queer icon overnight. Host Brittany Luse and writer Alex Abad-Santos talk M3GAN's queer appeal, our skepticism of Silicon Valley life hacks and how the movie inverts some classic horror tropes.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
18/01/23·17m 30s

What's worse than heat damage? Hair discrimination

For Black women, hair is about so much more than beauty. It can affect how they're treated and what opportunities are available to them. It's tied to history, identity and politics. And though many Black women and girls now embrace their natural curls, Black hair is still a site of discrimination. In this episode, Brittany Luse talks to two women fighting to change that: Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who has been pushing for a federal law against race-based hair discrimination, and Michaela Angela Davis, whose docuseries "The Hair Tales" is meant to inspire Black women to celebrate their crowning glories. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenaMin or email us at
13/01/23·29m 1s

Do you really know what turns you on?

For women who date men, bad sex might feel like a personal problem, but Nona Willis Aronowitz says it's political too. In Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure, and an Unfinished Revolution, Aronowitz tackles the historic and systemic causes of unsatisfying sex. With wisdom from both her reading and romps, Aronowitz sits down with host Brittany Luse to talk about pleasure and the paths to building better relationships with men.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
10/01/23·20m 36s

What has Rep. Maxwell Frost gotten himself into?

It's a new year, and with it comes a new Congress. This week, Brittany Luse sits down with the first Gen Z member to be raised to its ranks, Democratic Rep. Maxwell Frost of Florida. They talk about his vision for the future, the literal costs of entering the halls of power and getting a shoutout from his favorite band after winning his election. Then, what could Congress do better in 2023? NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis gives Brittany her thoughts on new year's resolutions for lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenaMin or email us at
06/01/23·33m 3s

Millennials in Hollywood are making parents apologize on-screen

In this episode from June 2022, guest host B.A. Parker and Vox entertainment critic Emily St. James dive into a trend that was all over Hollywood: parents apologizing on-screen. From miniseries like 'Ms. Marvel' to the indie darling 'Everything Everywhere All At Once,' St. James calls the subgenre the 'millennial parent apology fantasy.' They get into how stories about parents and children confronting gaps in culture, generation and identity could pave the way for new perspectives about trauma and family. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenaMin or email us at
03/01/23·15m 47s

Dancing into 2023 with legendary DJ Honey Dijon

2022 was a banner year for Honey Dijon. She co-produced two of the fiercest tracks on Beyoncé's latest record, 'Renaissance,' and she released her own studio album this fall, called 'Black Girl Magic.' But Honey – one of the only Black trans DJs playing the biggest clubs in the world – has been a mainstay on dance floors for decades. And she's become a historian, and champion, of the Black musical traditions that house music draws from. In this episode, Honey talks to host Brittany Luse about using music to create spaces of liberation and paving the way for future generations to do the same.
30/12/22·22m 44s

A critic's love letter to Black women in pop

In this conversation from April 2022, former guest host Juana Summers sits down with author Danyel Smith to chat about her book, Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop. They talk all about Black women in music — like Gladys Knight, Mahalia Jackson and Whitney Houston — whose true genius and contributions have not yet been fully recognized. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
27/12/22·31m 55s

Tory Lanez is guilty, so why was Megan Thee Stallion's strength on trial?

For the last two weeks, rapper Tory Lanez has been on trial for allegedly shooting Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion. Since Megan went public with the allegations in August 2020, she's faced significant backlash – on social media, on popular gossip blogs and also from her peers in the hip-hop community. Megan was shot, and yet it somehow feels like she's been the one on trial. This week, NPR's 'Louder Than A Riot' senior producer Gabby Bulgarelli joins host Brittany Luse to talk about her reporting inside the courtroom, how social media has impacted the trial and the ripple effect this verdict might have for Black women across the country.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
24/12/22·18m 52s

(Almost) 20 years of 'Love Actually'

It's been almost two decades since the star-studded romantic comedy premiered, but Love Actually is still a holiday staple that plays in both movie theaters and living rooms across the country. Since the film is here to stay, we feel it's about time to see how it holds up. Host Brittany Luse chats with NPR Weekend Edition's Ayesha Rascoe, who saw the film for the first time this year. They also break down what defines the Christmas movie genre – and its surprising overlap with horror.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
20/12/22·26m 10s

Dark academia's deadly allure and the timeless appeal of prep style

Donna Tartt's The Secret History turned 30 this year. Since the book's release, the novel has sold millions of copies and become a classic - the blueprint for a cluster of aesthetic and literary works under the label "dark academia." Host Brittany Luse and culture writer Alice Vincent examine the novel's long shelf life and why it's still relevent to young people today. Then she sits down with author Olivie Blake, who shares how authors are bringing new perspectives to the genre.Then, Brittany is joined by Avery Trufelman, host of the podcast Articles of Interest. In her latest season, Trufelman explores the classic look of ivy style, and its journey from the hallowed halls of academic institutions to retail stores near you.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
16/12/22·40m 32s

There is no Twitter without Black Twitter

#BlackLivesMatter. #OscarsSoWhite. #Zola. These huge cultural moments come from one of the most chaotic, beloved, and influential communities online: Black Twitter. But with Elon Musk at the helm, the future of the community is in question. What's next for the digital public square and by extension Black Twitter? Host Brittany Luse sits down with Jason Parham, senior writer at WIRED, to discuss why he believes, "There Is No Replacement for Black Twitter"; and why his three-part oral history, "A People's History of Black Twitter" is needed now more than ever.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenaMin or email us at
13/12/22·19m 10s

'Framing Agnes' flips the script for trans stories

When the world never stops questioning you, do you refuse to answer... or do you play along to get what you want? These questions are at the heart of Framing Agnes, an award-winning documentary about the legacy of a young trans woman in the 1950s who was forced to choose between access and honesty. The film uses the format of a talk show to re-enact interviews with the eponymous Agnes and five other trans people – taken from case files from a decades-old gender identity clinic at UCLA. Brittany Luse chats with the film's director, Chase Joynt, and historian Jules Gill-Peterson about the ways our society tells trans stories. They also dive into the limits of representation, the power dynamics of interviews and the nature of truth itself. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenaMin or email us at
09/12/22·33m 54s

Lil Kim is a style icon. It's time she got her due.

Think of the top women rappers of our time: Cardi B. Megan Thee Stallion. Nicki Minaj. They all showcase a signature style that involves multicolored wigs, skyscraping heels and designer logos on everything. But that blend of high fashion, femininity and attitude began before any of them, pioneered in the 1990s by the original queen bee: Lil' Kim. Ahead of its time, Kim's ingenuity – and her place in the fusion of fashion and hip-hop – has not always been recognized. Host Brittany Luse and fashion journalist Scarlett Newman make the case for why it's time Lil' Kim gets the credit she deserves. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenaMin or email us at
06/12/22·17m 35s

For Colored Nerds: Why Brittany wants to be a bad Black mom

Recently, host Brittany Luse has found herself curious about motherhood. As she's thought about the kind of mom she might be, she looked for models in film and TV – and found that there's little room for mothers, and Black moms in particular, to be anything but excellent. From Brittany's previous podcast, For Colored Nerds, a discussion with Eric Eddings about motherhood and misbehaving, and why less than perfect is more than enough. Follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin or email us at
02/12/22·48m 26s

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Godfather' and the limits of on-screen representation

From our friends at Pop Culture Happy Hour, a deep dive on The Godfather – and why the classic film was not universally loved by the Italian-American community that it portrayed. This episode is part one of the new three-part podcast series Screening Ourselves, which is all about the complicated relationships between on-screen characters and the people they aim to represent.
29/11/22·45m 8s

Sibling rivalry takes the stage on Broadway; plus Randall Park's latest 'Blockbuster'

There's nothing like the holidays for family drama. And in today's episode, Brittany Luse sits down with two actors who portray a classic brother-against-brother dynamic in the Pulitzer-winning play Topdog/Underdog, which recently returned to Broadway. Corey Hawkins and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II talk sibling rivalries, the American dream and why their two-man show is not just an exploration of race. Then Brittany goes fangirl on actor Randall Park, whose 2019 film Always Be My Maybe is a staple in her household. She and Park talk about his latest projects: the holiday-friendly Netflix sitcom Blockbuster and his forthcoming directorial debut. They also get into the challenges of making it big in Hollywood and his passion for all things creative. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenaMin or email us at
25/11/22·30m 52s

'The Long COVID Survival Guide' to finding care and community

According to the CDC, out of all the American adults who have had COVID — and that's a lot of us — one in five went on to develop long COVID symptoms. While so many are struggling with this new disease, it can be hard for people to know how to take care of themselves. The Long COVID Survival Guide aims to give people struggling with long COVID practical solutions and emotional support to manage their illness. Host Brittany Luse talks to Fiona Lowenstein, editor of the guide, and Karla Monterroso, one of the contributors, about the difficulty of getting diagnosed, navigating long COVID and creating long-term collective care. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
22/11/22·20m 45s

Lionel Messi's last World Cup? Plus, a 'Diasporican' Thanksgiving

They call him a 21st-century god of soccer. One of the all time greats. A king. But Lionel Messi's crown is still missing one big jewel: a World Cup trophy for his home country, Argentina.In this episode, host Brittany Luse explores Messi's long road to a World Cup victory with Jasmine Garsd, host of NPR's new podcast The Last Cup. Along the way, they go into how immigration, race and class coil around the world of international soccer. Then, Brittany goes on a gastronomic journey with food columnist Illyanna Maisonet, whose new cookbook Diasporican weaves in diasporic influences with Puerto Rico's Indigenous, African and European culinary traditions. You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenaMin or email us at
18/11/22·36m 58s

'Abbott Elementary' gets teachers

Brittany Luse watches a lot of TV, but there's one show she's always caught up on — Abbott Elementary. This workplace comedy follows a group of teachers at a Philadelphia public elementary school. The show is sweet and roaringly funny, but it also touches on national issues such as underfunding and teacher retention.Currently in its second season, the writers room is led by the great Quinta Brunson. Today, Brittany is joined by two of her talented writers, Brittani Nichols and Joya McCrory. They talk about creating a world that feels both authentic and funny to American teachers.
15/11/22·15m 35s

Black films that changed the game

It's a big week in Black cinema as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hit theaters Friday. But on the same day, another film dropped that may be just as powerful in its message about Black moviemaking. Is This Black Enough For You? pays homage to the decades of creativity that made the celebrated Marvel movie possible – and deeply influenced cinema as we know it. Host Brittany Luse sits down with Elvis Mitchell, the longtime film critic who directed the documentary. They dig into the ingenuity of Black filmmakers through the 1960s and '70s, the overlooked contributions of Blaxploitation films and the one Black classic that led to the demise of an era.Then, Brittany talks about a different kind of homage with Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle – the brains behind the sitcom South Side and the variety show send-up Sherman's Showcase. The comedy duo reveal why writing jokes around specific references can appeal to all kinds of audiences, and how parody can be a form of love. You can follow us on Twitter @npritsbeenamin and email us at
12/11/22·39m 55s

A vote for 'Black Disability Politics'

It's Election Day, and Brittany's focusing on those long lines at the polls. For years there's been a lot of talk about voter disenfranchisement - especially for Black and Brown voters who wait for hours to cast a ballot. But Brittany's guest thinks of those lines differently. Sami Schalk is the author of Black Disability Politics. She argues that by focusing on the intersection of disability and Black liberation you can find creative ways to address systemic oppression. Long lines are just one example of where Black and disabled oppression meet.You can find Sami's book here.Follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin or email us at
08/11/22·17m 6s

Are the Kardashians America's family? Plus, our skincare desires and delusions

The Kardashians. Whether you're into them or not, one thing is true: You can't avoid them. When they're not releasing new episodes of their long-running reality TV show, they're making headlines about Halloween costume reveals or ex-husbands who go on anti-Semitic rants. Because somehow, over the past decade, the Kardashian family went from Hollywood D-listers to American institution. Host Brittany Luse unpacks that journey with MJ Corey, known by her social handle Kardashian Kolloquium. Corey, who also runs a newsletter where she applies media theory to the Kardashians' antics, breaks down their rise to the heights of American society and power – and how they got there using beauty, traditional milestones and a media playbook that might look similar to another first family.You can follow us on Twitter @npritsbeenamin and email us at
04/11/22·36m 51s

Sophistication and sexuality at 70 with Christine Baranski

If you ask people to describe Christine Baranski, one word rises to the top: sophisticated. That's no accident; the actress has spent a lifetime refining her image and her craft.For the past 13 years, Baranski has played Diane Lockhart, a savvy and assertive attorney on the CBS television series The Good Wife and its spin-off The Good Fight. And just like her character, Baranski is a trailblazer herself. With women making up only 3% of major TV characters 60 and over, she's carved out a path for other actresses to follow.In this episode, host Brittany Luse talks with Baranski about The Good Fight for women in Hollywood.Follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin or email us at
01/11/22·17m 52s

Vampires are hot, y'all

Spooky season is upon us, so we decided to sink our teeth into the world of vampires. Host Brittany Luse kicks off the conversation with Kendra R. Parker, who teaches a class at Georgia Southern University about Black vampires in film and literature. They talk about the racial and sexual politics of vampire narratives and why humans continue to find vampire stories compelling.Then Brittany sits down with Jacob Anderson, star of the AMC reboot of Interview with the Vampire. The two get into the shaky ethics of vampirism and the trauma of immortality. Follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin or email us at
28/10/22·33m 45s

The Grim Reaper of retail: Spirit Halloween

Every fall, with the same regularity as birds flying south, Spirit Halloween materializes in locations across the country. The superstore sells all manner of trappings for spooky season, including costumes, props and décor. It boasts about 1,400 pop-ups nationwide, and often takes over temporary leases in malls where a big-box retailer struggled to stay open. This penchant for swooping in on failing businesses has led many consumers to see the company as a kind of Grim Reaper of retail – and turned the store into an internet meme. This week, host Brittany Luse sits down with Planet Money's Kenny Malone to dive into the origin story of Spirit Halloween, and what the store's success says about the economy and the future of retail. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin or email us at
25/10/22·21m 8s

Taylor Swift loves main character energy; Julio Torres hates it

The It's Been a Minute team gives you a sneak peek at the event of the season: BravoCon, where our producer met his favorite housewife, and the Salt Lake City stars spill the tea to host Brittany Luse.Then, Brittany sits down with Julio Torres, a comedian, actor, writer and creator of HBO's Los Espookys. They discuss the influences behind his unique world-building.Finally, if you're a Taylor Swift fan, this was a pretty big week, with Swift releasing her 10th studio album, Midnights. It seems that Swift is as big as ever. What is it about her and her music that's so enduring? Brittany sat sat down with an avid Swiftie and Rolling Stone writer, Brittany Spanos – who also teaches a class on Swift. They talk about the artist's evolution and how she's navigated the music industry through the years.
21/10/22·35m 23s

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan tells those racist trolls to chill; Princess Peach can be Brown

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan has big dreams. The 20-year-old gained full celebrity status with her breakout role as Devi Vishwakumar in the Netflix teen hit Never Have I Ever. But now that filming has wrapped for the show's four seasons, Ramakrishnan is looking ahead. Host Brittany Luse gets Ramakrishnan dishing on everything from cosplay to car chases. They also talk about Ramakrishnan's wildest dream role, how to deal with haters and why she hopes this is just the beginning – for her, and for other nerdy brown girls who want to make it in Hollywood.
18/10/22·16m 38s

Crafting the narrative of Elon Musk

The saga around Elon Musk's deal to buy Twitter has been just that: a months-long soap opera involving lawsuits and subpoenas, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, even a town hall. But why does Musk — one of the world's richest and arguably most influential men — want with a social media platform?Host Brittany Luse dives into the dreams and myths surrounding Elon Musk with Jill Lepore, a political historian and host of the podcast Elon Musk: The Evening Rocket. They look back at his science fiction and fantasy influences and ask where his vision could lead.Then, Brittany brings on senior producer Barton Girdwood to play a brand new game called, Sounds Fake, But OK. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRITsBeenaMin and email us at
14/10/22·24m 37s

'The Woman King' and when movies aren't history lessons

When our host Brittany Luse first heard of The Woman King – a film about an all-women warrior unit defending the West African kingdom of Dahomey during the years of the Atlantic slave trade – the idea made her nervous. Hollywood's record with Black historical dramas is pretty checkered. But then she saw it.In this episode, Brittany breaks down the film's significance and the task of approaching historical representations in fiction. She sat down with actor Sheila Atim – who plays the warrior Amenza – to talk about the physical trainings, the joys of making a movie with actors from across the diaspora and how Atim has played characters on different sides of the Atlantic slave trade. Then Brittany is joined by Maya Cade, creator and curator of Black Film Archive, and culture critic Shamira Ibrahim. They discuss how to square historical accuracy with a satisfying Hollywood narrative.
12/10/22·29m 8s

Stacey Abrams is running against history

Stacey Abrams wants to make history again. After losing the Georgia governor's race to Brian Kemp back in 2018, Abrams — the first Black woman to be a major party's gubernatorial candidate — spent four years coalition building across the state. Now she's back, armed with a national reputation, the experience of running for statewide office and a fresh determination to defend her state from voter suppression. Will it be enough to make her the country's first Black woman governor?In her debut as the new host of It's Been a Minute, Brittany Luse talks to Abrams herself — about the power and pitfalls of being an icon; how she deals with criticism from inside her own party; and what it will take to shift the politics of the Deep South.Brittany also brings on Christina Greer, political scientist at Fordham University, to discuss Abrams' strategy and how the former minority leader mirrors other Black women politicians who made history. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRITsBeenaMin and email us at
07/10/22·46m 24s

May we present our new host...Brittany Luse

NPR is proud to present Brittany Luse as the new host for It's Been A Minute. Whether you're a long time listener or you're just finding the show, you know that culture doesn't happen by accident. Find out why with Brittany every Tuesday and Friday starting October 7.
05/10/22·2m 7s

Presenting Alt.Latino: Rosalía on what makes a 'Motomami'

Today we have a special drop from our friends at NPR's Alt.Latino! The show just welcomed Anamaria Sayre as a new co-host alongside Felix Contreras. In this conversation, Anamaria chats with Spanish musician Rosalía about her recent album Motomami, how she uses the album to play in different genres, and why she embraces change. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
04/10/22·29m 57s

How Tiny Desk became a go-to spot for hip-hop

When folks think about where to get the latest in hip-hop, NPR doesn't usually come to mind. But that's changing, thanks to the team at the Tiny Desk Concerts, which was just nominated as the Best Hip-Hop Platform for the 2022 BET Awards. Since 2008, Tiny Desk Concerts have delighted millions of listeners and viewers on YouTube with stripped-down performances from their favorite artists. Now the series is proving it's also an authentic space for showcasing all forms of hip-hop. Guest host Elise Hu talks to Tiny Desk Concerts series producer Bobby Carter about bringing new musicians into the mix, what goes on behind the scenes and where the team wants to take the show next.Then, Elise plays a Tiny Desk edition of 'Who Said That' with Carter and video producer Josh Bryant.Finally, Elise chats with P.E. Moskowitz, author of the 'Mental Hellth' newsletter, about how terms from therapy have crept into our daily language. Does it help or harm how we think about mental health? You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
30/09/22·35m 18s

For author Julissa Arce, 'sounding white' isn't a compliment

Julissa Arce used to think that the secret to fitting in was to "sound white" — to speak English perfectly, with no accent. And for years after her family came to the U.S. from Mexico, she did all the things immigrants are "supposed" to do to assimilate: she went to college, got a job at Goldman Sachs and became an American citizen. It wasn't enough. So Arce decided that the solution was to stop trying to fit in, and instead embrace her whole identity. Her ideas come to life in her book, You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation.In this encore episode from this past March, guest host Elise Hu revisits her conversation with Arce about the book, and what it means to celebrate your own culture and history. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenaMin and email us
27/09/22·21m 21s

Judy Greer on 'Reboot' — And Why Are There So Many Reboots, Anyway?

We talk TV REBOOTS. Guest host Elise Hu chats with Judy Greer about her role in the new Hulu series Reboot; her work as a comedic actress, and the state of television. Then, Elise talks with Daniel Herbert, associate professor of film and TV at the University of Michigan and co-editor of the book Film Reboots, about why so many old shows are being remade now. Plus, a special reboot-themed "Who Said That!" with Rob Pearlstein, co-executive producer and writer of the CBS MacGyver reboot (note: Rob is also Elise's partner) and his sister Joanna Pearlstein, opinion editor at The New York Times.
23/09/22·32m 56s

How HBO transformed television

HBO gave us some of the most iconic television shows of our time: Sex and the City. The Sopranos. Game of Thrones. But is the era of HBO coming to a close?Earlier this year, HBO's parent company, Warner Media, merged with Discovery. By next year, the new Warner Bros. Discovery will combine HBO Max with Discovery Plus into an as-yet unnamed umbrella streaming service. The merger raises questions about what's next for the HBO brand – including whether or not "HBO" will still mean "quality TV" once the dust settles. Guest host Elise Hu talks to Charles Pulliam-Moore, who covers TV and film for The Verge, about HBO's legacy, how it paved the way for prestige TV, and what changes at the company could mean for what kind of television we'll see.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
20/09/22·17m 29s

Who needs the monarchy? Plus, why gray floors and barn doors are everywhere

King Charles III doesn't enjoy the same popularity as his mother. In the face of mixed feelings towards the new king, some are asking: Is this the beginning of the end of the British monarchy? Guest host Elise Hu talks to Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, lawyer, activist and author of This Is Why I Resist about this new era for the British royals, the power they hold and the potential opportunities for the new monarch.Then, Elise chats with Atlantic writer Amanda Mull about the HGTV-ification of interior design and what the trend says about the housing market.Lastly, Elise plays a fast-food-themed version of Who Said That with Sarah and Kaitlin Leung, sisters and co-authors of the upcoming cookbook, The Woks of Life: Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family: A Cookbook.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
16/09/22·33m 57s

How Girls' Generation shaped K-pop as we know it

To celebrate their 15th anniversary, the K-pop group Girls' Generation put out their newest album, 'Forever 1.' Today, we're taking a look back at their career and how they changed the standards for K-pop through music, choreography and beauty. Their impact doesn't stop at that — Girls' Generation's debut song is now being used to change the world, just not in the way they planned. Guest host Elise Hu discusses their legacy with music critic Tamar Herman and Korean film and culture scholar Michelle Cho.
13/09/22·20m 12s

Serena's final serve; plus, the Emmys in an era of too much TV

Serena Williams just played her last U.S. Open. In the historic two-plus decades of her tennis career, she's won 23 Grand Slams and four Olympic gold medals — all while becoming a mother, dealing with injuries and health crises and facing more scrutiny and downright bias than her peers. Guest host Elise Hu talks to Alex Abad-Santos, senior correspondent at Vox, about her legacy in sports and beyond. Plus, the 74th Annual Emmy Awards are on Monday, Sept. 12. In this era of so much TV, how are nominees rising to the top? And how are the different streaming services standing out in the crowd? Elise talks to TV critics Lorraine Ali of the Los Angeles Times and Roxana Hadadi of Vulture about what to expect. They also play Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
09/09/22·37m 55s

t.A.T.u's 'All The Things She Said' still runs through our heads

The Russian pop duo t.A.T.u released their smash single "All The Things She Said" 20 years ago this week. To this day, the bop is a queer staple, but should it be?From t.A.T.u to Britney Spears and Madonna, the early 2000s were full of straight women dabbling in queerness for profit. In this episode, senior producer Barton Girdwood sits down with author Jill Gutowitz (Girls Can Kiss Now) to talk about how these moments gave young queer millennials a taste of their sexuality even though it was all an act. They discuss whether or not a false representation can still be meaningful, and how the basic formula of "All The Things She Said" gets lesbianism right — even though so much of it is wrong.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
06/09/22·20m 17s

The game has changed for D&D and 'A League of Their Own'

For a long time, Dungeons & Dragons was stereotyped as a game for nerdy young white guys in their parents' basement. But not anymore — the game has exploded in popularity and players of all backgrounds are joining in. Guest co-host Andrea Gutierrez talks to Jasmine Bhullar and Persephone Valentine, both content creators and dungeon masters, about how D&D has become an exciting medium for marginalized people to tell new kinds of fantasy stories.Then, Andrea sits down with Chanté Adams, star of the new Amazon Prime series A League of Their Own. Adams plays Maxine Chapman, a queer Black woman loosely based on historic female players in the Negro Leagues. The role also expands on a non-speaking, unnamed character in the original 1992 film. Adams talks about seeking complex Black characters to portray onscreen, and bringing her family into each new role. Finally, Andrea tests All Things Considered host Ailsa Chang and producer Mia Venkat on their pop culture news knowledge in a game of Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
02/09/22·35m 52s

From cupcakes to private jets, how the quest for status drives culture

What is culture, where does it come from and why does it change? W. David Marx, author of the new book Status and Culture: How Our Desire for Social Rank Creates Taste, Identity, Art, Fashion, and Constant Change, says the answers come from our desire for prestige. Marx tells guest host Elise Hu how status has historically worked to drive trends like gourmet cupcakes or dark wash jeans, how the internet can lead to cultural stagnation, and ways we can redefine status to build a more equitable society.Status and Culture is out Sept. 6.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
30/08/22·20m 1s

Will BeReal just make us BeFake? Plus, A Guidebook To Smell

BeReal may be the hottest new social media app on the market, but can it live up to its promise to be a more authentic alternative to other platforms? Guest co-host Elise Hu talks with writers Haley Nahman and Ryan Broderick about how BeReal signifies a shift in what we want from our apps and why social media always barrels towards its worst self. They also flex their pop culture knowledge in a game of Who Said That.Then, guest co-host Andrea Gutierrez talks with Jude Stewart, author of Revelations in Air: A Guidebook to Smell. They discuss trends in fragrance, how COVID is making us change how we think about smells, and why scent is so tied to memory and emotion.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
26/08/22·38m 43s

Presenting 'Code Switch': The glittering neon universe of 'P-Valley' with Katori Hall

The Starz hit series P-Valley takes audiences to a strip club in a fictional town in the Mississippi Delta. Part soap opera, part Southern Gothic, the show focuses on the interior lives of the Black women who work at the club — and the complex social dynamics that shape their lives. On this episode from our friends at Code Switch, co-hosts Gene Demby and B.A. Parker speak with series creator and Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Katori Hall.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
23/08/22·30m 25s

Bad Bunny's dream for Puerto Rico; plus, 'Koshersoul'

Bad Bunny is the biggest pop star in the world, so what does he believe in? Guest host Tracie Hunte and political anthropologist Yarimar Bonilla look at the politics of Bad Bunny, and his vision of a Puerto Rico for Puerto Ricans.Plus, Tracie talks to James Beard award-winning author Michael W. Twitty about his new book, "Koshersoul," how we connect to our histories through food and what makes a kitchen sacred.And later, Tracie plays Who Said That? with her group chat! Her friends Alana Casanova-Burgess, host and producer of La Brega from WNYC and Futuro Studios, and Rebeca Ibarra, host and producer of The Refresh from Insider, go head-to-head to win the title of Who Said That? champion. Warning: some Spanish speakers may find language in this episode offensive.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
19/08/22·40m 17s

Joyful protests and funny rituals with Reservation Dogs' Dallas Goldtooth

In FX's Reservation Dogs, Dallas Goldtooth plays the character "Spirit" — a Native American warrior in feathers and buckskin who curses and makes dirty jokes. Dallas also brings his irreverence to the frontlines of protests against oil pipelines. He talks to guest host Tracie Hunte about merging his passions for comedy and organizing, and how he's changing stereotypes with heaps of joy.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
16/08/22·23m 18s

Russia's long played with U.S. racial politics. Brittney Griner is the latest example

What does Brittney Griner's hypervisibility as a tall, queer, Black woman have to do with her 9-year sentence in a Russian prison? A lot, according to historian Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, who studies race and Blackness in Russia. She chats with guest host Tracie Hunte about what Griner's detainment means for Black queer folks who travel and the antagonism surrounding the case.Then, Tracie talks about the big moment Nigerian pop culture is having in the U.S. She is joined by Nigerian American filmmaker and artist Amarachi Nwosu to discuss why this is happening now and how Nigeria's success might impact pop culture from other African nations. Plus, we play Who Said That! Tracie connects with NPR's B. A. Parker and Juana Summers to test their pop culture knowledge.You can follow us on Twitter @npritsbeenamin and email us at
12/08/22·34m 47s

In 'Industry,' Myha'la Herrold makes herself undeniable

In HBO's Industry, Myha'la Herrold plays Harper, a ruthless young trading floor analyst working for a bank in London. We've seen characters like her before — think of the power-obsessed personalities in shows like Billions and Succession. The big difference? The stakes are much higher for a young Black woman like Harper. Myha'la talks to guest host Tracie Hunte about the new season of Industry, bringing her own context to a complex, morally ambiguous character and why she credits her mom for her success. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
09/08/22·18m 33s

All things comedy: HBO's 'Rap Sh!t,' plus, what's going on with late-night TV?

What do we expect from women rappers? Guest host Tracie Hunte and music and culture journalist Naima Cochrane discuss HBO's Rap Sh!t — and how it portrays women in hip hop walking the line between sexuality and respectability.Then, Tracie talks to NPR TV critic Eric Deggans about recent shake-ups in late-night TV. They look at the genre's influence on comedy and what the future looks like for women and comedians of color.Plus, we play Who Said That! Tracie brings on her WNYC colleagues Alex Neason, producer and editor for Radiolab, and Janae Pierre, host of WNYC's Consider This.You can follow us on Twitter @npritsbeenamin and email us at
05/08/22·37m 2s

Why protecting the 'viral underclass' can keep us all healthy

After years of covering HIV and AIDS, journalist Steven Thrasher knew that the hardest hit communities were almost always the poorest and most marginalized ones. Then COVID-19 struck, and he saw that the same groups of people were suffering the most.In his new book The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide, Thrasher explores how this pattern plays out in communities around the world. Guest host Tracie Hunte talks to him about the ways that systemic oppression puts marginalized people at greater risk of infection for all diseases – and also blames them for transmission. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
02/08/22·15m 44s

Bow down, Queen Bey's 'Renaissance' era has finally arrived

Beyoncé's new album is here! Guest host Anna Sale chats with Dan Runcie, founder of the hip hop site Trapital, and Joey Guerra, music critic for the Houston Chronicle. They talk about Renaissance, what Beyoncé means to us and how this album meets the moment. Also, It's Been a Minute producer Liam McBain talks to culture writer Crispin Long about their shared obsession with reality dating shows. They discuss how these shows lay bare our society's obsession with marriage, and why reality dating drama is so compelling — even to folks who don't buy into the fixation on finding "the one."— Read Crispin's Astra Magazine essay on reality dating shows: "Heterosexual Vortex"You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
29/07/22·34m 24s

Presenting 'The Limits': Colman Domingo on success, grief and powerful characters

In this episode from our friends at The Limits with Jay Williams, host Jay Williams speaks with Colman Domingo, the ultimate character actor, known for stealing scenes in films like Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Selma and If Beale Street Could Talk. He embodies every character he takes on, most recently earning an Emmy nod for his role as father-figure Ali to Zendaya's Rue on HBO's Euphoria.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
26/07/22·42m 22s

'Nope' and the history of Black horror; plus, when to say 'no' to the news

These days, following the news can be utterly demoralizing. How do we deal? Guest host Anna Sale talks to Amanda Ripley, journalist and anchor of the Slate podcast How To!, about strategies for staying informed without stressing out (too much). Then, Anna chats with author, educator and producer Tananarive Due about the history of the Black horror genre ahead of the release of Jordan Peele's Nope. They talk about how horror can be a way to process trauma, how marginalized creators can — but don't always — reclaim old movie tropes and where Black horror is today.Finally, Anna plays Who Said That with It's Been a Minute guest hosts pf the past, present and future: Julia Furlan, executive producer of the podcast Death, Sex & Money, and WNYC's Tracie Hunte. — Read Amanda Ripley's opinion piece: "I stopped reading the news. Is the problem me — or the product?"You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
22/07/22·47m 28s

Presenting 'Death, Sex & Money': From manager to labor activist

From guest host Anna Sale's other podcast Death, Sex & Money, we bring you this story about Mary Gundel, whose journey from manager to labor activist starts out on TikTok, during a bad day at work, and ends with her losing her job —but finding her power.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
19/07/22·32m 41s

988 is the new mental health hotline. Can it change how we respond to crisis?

Starting July 16, anyone in the US experiencing emotional distress or a mental health crisis can call the phone number 988 and reach a crisis counselor. Guest host Anna Sale talks to Hannah Wesolowski, chief advocacy officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about bringing local call centers into this network, what challenges they're facing and how it will reshape how we view mental health resourcing. Then Anna talks to Pop Culture Happy Hour host Aisha Harris about why so many biopics get produced and what makes a good one. Antonia Cereijido, executive producer at LAist Studios, joins Anna and Aisha to play Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
14/07/22·37m 43s

Writer Erika L. Sánchez on mental health, Lisa Simpson and 'Crying in the Bathroom'

In 2017, author Erika L. Sánchez was making her dreams come true, her young adult novel I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter earning critical acclaim. But even as she rose to fame, Sánchez found herself struggling with her mental health. Her new memoir, Crying in the Bathroom, captures the tension between her public success and her private suffering — and more. Sánchez talks with guest host Anna Sale about sharing some of her darkest moments with readers, caring for her mental health and what she's learned from her personal role model — Lisa Simpson.If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
12/07/22·24m 35s

Hoochie daddy shorts give more than a lil leg; plus, let's get 'Seen, Heard and Paid'

They're short, sexy and on-trend: Hoochie daddy shorts are all the rage for cisgender straight men this summer. And this week, they are the center of a conversation between guest host Anna Sale and writer and poet Danez Smith about sex, gender and freedom. What do higher hemlines on men reveal about the gender anxiety rippling through America today? Also, Anna speaks with Wired editor Alan Henry about his new book Seen, Heard, and Paid: The New Work Rules for the Marginalized. They discuss how employees of marginalized identities can navigate workplace dynamics, and focus on work that can advance their careers.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
08/07/22·30m 44s

'X' explores pleasure and pain in a dystopic world

How do freedom and rights intersect with sex, pleasure and the self? It's a question the U.S. is facing in the wake of the Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — and a central theme in writer Davey Davis's new novel. In X, Davis relocates the conflict over these ideas from courts and abortion clinics to queer clubs and BDSM dungeons in a more dystopic version of our present.In this episode, guest host Anna Sale talks to Davis about why sadism is romantic, how bureaucracy can become a tool of oppression and why bad behavior doesn't make us less human.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
05/07/22·24m 21s

Staying grounded after Roe v. Wade; plus, let's talk about fat liberation

The Supreme Court gutted abortion rights by overturning Roe v. Wade. For those who have been in the trenches of the reproductive justice movement — people who saw this coming — is there anything left to feel hopeful about? Guest host B.A. Parker chats with four young organizers about their stories and their plans for the future.Plus, Parker talks with cultural critic and writer Clarkisha Kent about navigating body positivity discourse as Black women and how the movement has strayed from its more radical origins in fat liberation. Kent's forthcoming book Fat Off, Fat On: A Big Bitch Manifesto comes out in 2023.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
01/07/22·31m 25s

When parents say sorry on-screen

Family conflict is a cinema staple. But recently Hollywood has come out with a slew of stories about parents and children confronting gaps in culture, generation and identity — from animated films like Encanto and Turning Red, to the recent miniseries Ms. Marvel and the indie hit Everything Everywhere All at Once. Vox entertainment critic Emily St. James calls the subgenre the "millennial parent apology fantasy." She shares with guest host B.A. Parker how the form came to be, what its limits are and how it could pave the way for new perspectives about trauma and family.
28/06/22·14m 33s

Guess who's back in the house (music scene); plus, 'Would it Kill You to Laugh'

In a matter of days Beyoncé and Drake both released music that draws deeply on 90s era house music. Neither of them are queer, but the they're borrowing from a genre that has been liberating for Black & Latino queer people from the 70s to today. In this episode our June guest host B.A. Parker welcomes Back Issue's co-host Josh Gwynn to chat about house music's roots and the genre's resurgence. Also, comedians Kate Berlant & John Early talk about their new special Would it Kill You to Laugh. They're great friends, and they let us in on some of their inside jokes.
24/06/22·33m 14s

Fangirls rule the internet in 'Everything I Need, I Get From You'

Fangirls often don't get taken seriously in pop culture. But in her new book, Everything I Need, I Get From You: How Fangirls Created the Internet as We Know It, culture reporter Kaitlyn Tiffany explores just how much fangirls have shaped online life. She talks with guest host B.A. Parker about how fans used Tumblr to transform internet culture, how being a One Direction fan enriched her own life and why fandom is more complicated than we might think. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
21/06/22·27m 35s

Why old is new again in pop music; plus, 'Rutherford Falls'

When singer-songwriter Kate Bush released "Running Up That Hill" in 1985, it peaked at number 30 on the Hot 100. Now it's soared into the top ten, thanks to the newest season of Stranger Things. Guest host B.A. Parker talks to Stereogum writers Rachel Brodsky and Chris Deville about why old music seems to be getting more love than new music these days — and how even new music seems retro. Plus, actor and writer Jana Schmieding on the second season of Rutherford Falls, exploring physical comedy, and honoring aunties.
17/06/22·33m 19s

Joseph Han on U.S. imperialism, Korean ghosts and Guy Fieri

We don't often think of Hawaii and the Korean peninsula as having any kind of shared history. But author Joseph Han disagrees — and he makes the case in his debut novel Nuclear Family. In this episode, Han and guest host B.A. Parker discuss the book and Han's experience as a Korean immigrant in Hawaii. And they unpack the long effects of U.S. imperialism and military presence in both places. Along the way, they get into ghosts, grandmas and Guy Fieri.
14/06/22·17m 7s

Even influencers are burning out; plus, there's nothing boring about 'Normal Gossip'

These days, it seems everyone wants to be an influencer. But as content creators realize that it's a demanding, often short-lived career, they're forcing us to think hard about the future of an industry that's still on the rise. Guest host B.A. Parker speaks with Rebecca Jennings, senior correspondent at Vox, who reported on how influencer burnout is a microcosm of our changing relationship with work.
10/06/22·34m 33s

Joel Kim Booster on making a queer, Asian American 'Pride and Prejudice'

The first time Joel Kim Booster vacationed on New York's Fire Island with his friend, comedian Bowen Yang, he brought with him Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as a beach read. Over the years, he'd often joke with friends about making a gay version of the novel. Today Booster is the writer and star of Hulu's Fire Island, a queer, Asian romcom based on Austen's classic, set in the titular gay vacation spot. Booster talks with guest host Elise Hu about how the film honors his queer friendships, subverts hetero romcom norms, and tells a personal story that feels universal. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
07/06/22·21m 16s

Reframing guns on screen; plus, is it just us, or are movies getting longer?

Once again, Americans are asking how to end mass shootings. With consensus on gun laws unlikely, some are turning to Hollywood to help change the narrative. Can those who control the levers of culture shift the public's relationship with guns? Guest host Elise Hu speaks with former video game creative and now TV writer Nadra Widatalla about a world where on-screen heroes don't rely on guns. Plus, seriously, why are movies so long? It isn't scientific but it sure feels like movies are racking up the minutes. Elise chats with Variety reporter Rebecca Rubin about total runtimes — and if they aren't actually getting longer, why does it feel that way?You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
03/06/22·30m 0s

Bruce Talamon on photographing Black excellence in the 1970s

Name a Black musician from the 1970s and chances are Bruce Talamon has photographed them. The Jackson 5. Aretha Franklin. Marvin Gaye. Donna Summer. Bob Marley. The list goes on.For the final episode of our summer music series, former host Sam Sanders talks to Talamon about his incredible collection of photographs and what it was like to capture intimate moments with such iconic artists.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
31/05/22·21m 9s

Presenting 'Life Kit': Making the most of travel and your time off

In this episode from our friends at Life Kit, guest host Elise Hu teaches us how to make the most of our time off. Joined by travel writer Torre deRoche and artist Jenny Odell, they go beyond travel tips and investigate why we travel and share what travel means to them.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
27/05/22·20m 22s

Phoebe Bridgers On 'Punisher' and Hate Touring

Singer Phoebe Bridgers had a huge year in 2020. She was nominated for four Grammys for her work on her album Punisher. The album was released to wide critical acclaim. But like the rest of us, Bridgers was stuck at home. So what's that really like for a musician? In the latest episode of our summer music series, we revisit Sam Sanders' conversation with Phoebe from 2020. They talk about her love/hate relationship with touring, how she aims for the universal in the specificity of her lyrics, and her hopes for the future of music.Watch the extended video version of this interview: You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
24/05/22·27m 16s

Presenting 'Pop Culture Happy Hour': Beauty & pain of 'Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel'

In this special episode from our friends at Pop Culture Happy Hour, guest host Aisha Harris talks with journalists Tre'vell Anderson and Jarrett Hill about stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael's new HBO special Rothaniel where Carmichael comes out publicly as gay for the first time and talks about secrets that have haunted his family for multiple generations.
20/05/22·25m 29s

From Odd Future to The Internet, Syd

In this encore episode from 2018, former host Sam Sanders speaks with singer-songwriter Syd about her work with the hip-hop collective Odd Future and now with her own group – The Internet. The two discuss how she produced The Internet's fourth album, Hive Mind, and how she incorporates songwriting her sexuality.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
17/05/22·25m 3s

'End of Roe' and your digital search history; plus, the villain of 'Selling Sunset'

With the anticipated repeal of Roe v. Wade, it's unclear how Americans will access abortion and other reproductive care. Will tech platforms continue to provide the same information about services in states where the procedure is outlawed? And what risk does your digital footprint create, if you seek information about abortion or other reproductive health care? Guest host Elise Hu talks it out with Rachel Cohen, senior policy reporter at Vox News and Lil Kalish from CalMatters.Plus, you love to hate her on Selling Sunset; Christine Quinn is in the house! Elise chats with Christine about her villainous persona and her book, How to Be a Boss B*tch.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
13/05/22·25m 6s

Singer Yebba on 'Dawn'

Yebba had a huge year in 2016. The singer and songwriter's career was taking off. But 2016 was also the year that something awful happened: Yebba's mother died by suicide. And that changed everything in her life. In this encore chat from 2021, former host Sam Sanders and Yebba discuss the emotional toll it took to make her recent album Dawn, growing up in the church, and shedding old beliefs while making room for new ones. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
10/05/22·24m 34s

The consequences of losing Roe v. Wade, plus, Summer of Books

Protests erupted across the nation this week in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court brief suggesting the landmark "Roe v. Wade" abortion ruling will be overturned. The decision could endanger people seeking medical care and set a precedent for challenging other reproductive rights. Guest host Elise Hu discusses patients' concerns with health and gender reporter Shefali Luthra of "The 19th" and Dr. Jennifer Kerns, an OBGYN and associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco.Then, Elise chats with authors Jasmine Guillory and Emma Straub about the best books to read this summer. They also play Who Said That.Some books mentioned in this episode:By the Book - Jasmine Guillory This Time Tomorrow - Emma StraubLove Radio - Ebony LaDelleFunny You Should Ask - Elissa SussmanBomb Shelter - Mary Laura PhilpottSorrow and Bliss - Meg MasonThe Lifestyle - Taylor HahnI'll Be You - Janelle BrownYou can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
06/05/22·42m 35s

What makes Drake's 'God's Plan' a hit pop song

Attention to all the music lovers out there! All month, we're revisiting our best music episodes from It's Been a Minute. In this episode from February 2020, former host Sam Sanders is joined by Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, co-hosts of the podcast Switched On Pop. They break down what makes a song: why certain pop songs become ear worms and what their form and structure mean for the future of music. Sloan and Harding deconstruct songs in their 2020 book, Switched On Pop: How Popular Music Works and Why It Matters.
02/05/22·17m 43s

Anti-trans legislation; plus, Broadway is back

Legislation targeting transgender Americans and trans children has increased sharply in the last year. Guest host Ari Shapiro speaks with the Florida mother of a trans daughter about how their family is coping with that state's new, more restrictive policies. Then, Ari discusses how this wave of law-making differs from so-called "moral panics" of past decades — and why that matters — with historian Jules Gill-Peterson, of Johns Hopkins University.Then, Broadway is back and bigger than ever, with 16 new shows opening this month. But this Broadway burst hasn't been immune to the pandemic. "Macbeth" director Sam Gold talks to Ari about having to go onstage himself this month, when too many of his cast tested positive for Covid; and about what feels different as actors and audiences try to get back to normal. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
29/04/22·37m 6s

The power in owning your 'Big Feelings'

Guest host Juana Summers speaks with co-authors Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy about their new book, Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay. In the book, Liz and Mollie explore seven emotions that they found particularly difficult to overcome — uncertainty, anger, burnout, comparison, perfectionism, despair and grief. With hopes to normalize conversations on these "big feelings," they talk about the power in owning and sharing their emotions and what they've gained in the process.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
26/04/22·21m 55s

COVID travel mask mandates drop; plus, 'Oprahdemics'

With travel mask mandates dropping, increasing cases, and more COVID variants, precaution exhaustion is real, but the pandemic is far from over. Guest host Juana Summers talks with science writer Katherine J. Wu of The Atlantic about how the U.S. has moved from a collective approach to an individual-focused mindset in its handling of the pandemic.Then, Juana is joined by Kellie Carter Jackson and Leah Wright Rigueur, hosts of the new Oprahdemics podcast, to talk about Oprah Winfrey's reign as 'Queen of Talk' and her influence on the culture. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
22/04/22·33m 57s

Danyel Smith highlights Black women who defined pop music in 'Shine Bright'

Guest host Juana Summers talks with Danyel Smith about her new memoir, Shine Bright: A Personal History of Black Women in Pop. As a previous editor-in-chief for both Billboard and Vibe magazines, host of the Black Girl Songbook podcast, and longtime music reporter, Danyel uses her expertise to spotlight the stories of pop powerhouses like Gladys Knight, Mahalia Jackson, Whitney Houston, and more. Danyel crafts a love letter to Black women in pop, capturing the intimate details of who they were, their influence on her, and how their music changed pop forever.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
19/04/22·31m 18s

Etsy sellers on strike; plus, the creators of 'ROAR'

From homemade candles to jewelry, leather goods to cloth masks, online marketplace Etsy has been a haven for makers looking to sell their goods and build small businesses for themselves. But with fees increasing, some sellers are frustrated and have gone on strike. Guest host Juana Summers is joined by Wall Street Journal reporter Charity Scott to learn more about how sellers feel and what it means for online shopping.Then, Juana is joined by GLOW creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch to chat about their upcoming Apple TV+ series, ROAR.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
15/04/22·31m 23s

Presenting 'Broken Record': An Interview With Nas

In this special episode from our friends at the Broken Record podcast, we will hear producer Rick Rubin's conversation with hip-hop legend Nas. Rick talks to Nas about his earliest experiences with rap in the Queensbridge housing projects where he grew up, how recording King's Disease with Kanye West in Wyoming almost took him out of his zone, and how early beef with Jay-Z made them both stronger rappers.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
12/04/22·50m 53s

The problem of diversity in 'Bridgerton'; plus, the Latinx history of punk music

Guest host Jasmine Garsd talks to Kristen Warner, an associate professor at the University of Alabama, about Bridgerton's diversity problem. They discuss color blind v. color-conscious casting, how race factors into historical narratives and why any representation isn't always good representation.Then, Jasmine catches up with host Ceci Bastida and creator Núria Net about their new podcast, Punk In Translation: Latinx Origins, about the role of Latinx and Latin American musicians in the history of punk music. They also play Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
08/04/22·41m 53s

'True Story': Danielle Lindemann on 'What Reality TV Says About Us'

In this special new episode of It's Been a Minute, we share a conversation Sam Sanders recorded about one of his favorite things: reality TV. He's joined by Danielle Lindemann, author of True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us, to discuss the genre's origins in Real World and Survivor, how reality TV influences our culture, and why we should all take the genre more seriously.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
05/04/22·24m 59s

The vibe has shifted; plus, 'Conversations with People Who Hate Me'

You may see it in the news or on social media. You may be feeling different in your relationships or with your job. The "vibe" has shifted. Our guest host Jasmine Garsd is joined by Elamin Abdelmahmoud, culture writer for BuzzFeed News and host of CBC's pop culture podcast Pop Chat, to learn more about this vibe shift and why we all may be feeling a little off right now.Plus, a chat with Dylan Marron, author and host of the book/podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me on how he talks to people with opposing views. That's followed by a game of Who Said That with Jonny Sun.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
01/04/22·36m 24s

Bringing 'Pachinko' from page to the screen

Elise Hu chats with Soo Hugh, writer and showrunner of the much anticipated series Pachinko, based on the 2017 novel by Min Jin Lee. It's the epic story of a family through four generations across the 20th century, all about their lives as Zainichi Koreans in Japan. In this chat, Hugh talks about what it was like to bring the beloved book to screen, what she's is doing to support Asian American creators coming up behind her, and why this story resonates with people of all backgrounds.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
29/03/22·24m 27s

And the Oscar goes to...

A trimmed telecast? A crowd-sourced award? DJ Khaled as a presenter? The Oscars are back like you've never seen them before. Guest host Elise Hu is joined by Pop Culture Happy Hour host and reporter Aisha Harris and NPR film critic Bob Mondello to talk about these new changes and their top picks for who's taking home the big awards of the night. Then, they play a game of Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
25/03/22·28m 38s

Rejecting assimilation in 'You Sound Like a White Girl'

A school crush once told Julissa Arce that she sounded "like a white girl." At the time, Arce believed that was exactly what she wanted. But over the years, even after perfecting "accent-less" English, graduating from college, getting a job at Goldman Sachs, and becoming an American citizen, Arce still felt like she didn't belong. Instead of just trying to fit in as the solution, Arce began to question whether that was the very problem to begin with. Elise Hu talks to Arce about her new book — You Sound Like a White Girl — and the case for rejecting assimilation in favor of embracing yourself, your history, and your culture.
22/03/22·21m 35s

One year later, the Atlanta spa shootings; plus, tech on TV

It's been one year since the Atlanta-area spa shootings that claimed eight lives, six of whom were Asian women. Guest host Elise Hu reflects on the event with Nicole Chung, author of the memoir All You Can Ever Know and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. They discuss their own experiences and the unprecedented violence that Asian Americans—especially Asian American women—are facing. Plus, are tech TV shows about failures and scams a worthy critique or part of the problem? Elise and Nitasha Tiku, tech culture writer for the Washington Post, discuss the latest TV adaptations of tech scandals: WeCrashed, Super Pumped, and The Dropout. Then, a game of 'Who Said That?' with Nitasha's friend and colleague Heather Kelly.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
18/03/22·33m 45s

Presenting 'Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!': Everyone & Their Mom

Our friends at Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! have a new show out with host Emma Choi. It's called Everyone & Their Mom. For her first episode, Emma is joined by comedian Josh Gondelman to discuss a saucy situation. Celebrity chef Roy Choi also joins to troubleshoot a kimchi recipe with Emma's grandma. Emma then settles an age old debate: heels or rollerblades?
15/03/22·19m 21s

Sam says goodbye

It's Been A Minute is sticking around, but before our beloved Sam Sanders takes flight we've got news to cover! In Sam's last episode as host, he's joined by NPR Weekend Edition Sunday host Ayesha Rascoe and NPR Congressional Correspondent Susan Davis to talk about the latest in politics news from gas prices to Ukraine to the upcoming US midterms. He then plays a special game of Who Said That? with his Aunt Betty and her friend, Lynette Maxwell.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
11/03/22·39m 0s

The trouble with defining antisemitism

With more extreme antisemitic attacks on the rise and more antisemitic rhetoric in the mainstream, antisemitism has become an increasingly pressing issue in the US. But at the same time, the conversation around antisemitism is getting more fraught. Sam talks with Dov Waxman, professor and director for the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, about what people are getting wrong about antisemitism. They discuss why there's so much contention around what the term means, why it can be hard to talk about, and how to fight antisemitism when it happens.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
08/03/22·27m 27s

Sanctions 101

In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, global powers have put the pressure on with sanctions upon sanctions. But what does that even mean? Class is in session as Sam attends Sanctions 101 with Cardiff Garcia, host of The New Bazaar, and Stacey Vanek Smith, co-host of The Indicator. They talk about how economic sanctions are supposed to work and whether they can be effective enough to change anything on the ground.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
04/03/22·32m 40s

'Jackass' star Johnny Knoxville has nothing left to prove

It's our 500th episode and what better way to celebrate than with Johnny Knoxville's first appearance on NPR? We couldn't think of a better milestone. In this episode, Sam and Johnny chat about his latest Jackass endeavor with Jackass Forever while also looking back at the reality show that started it all — and how its very first stunt actually shut down production. They also discuss Jackass' queer fanbase and Johnny's time in therapy. Come for the talk about raunchy stunts, stay for the Johnny Knoxville School of Radical Acceptance!
01/03/22·32m 53s

Trayvon, ten years later

Before George Floyd and Michael Brown, there was Trayvon Martin. And this weekend marks ten years since the watershed moment that planted the seed for the Black Lives Matter movement we know today. A decade later, Sam is joined by Nailah Summers-Polite, co-director of the Dream Defenders, and Georgetown law professor, Paul Butler to discuss their feelings ten years ago and how their activism has evolved along with the movement.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
25/02/22·32m 25s

Presenting 'The Limits': Gabrielle Union stands up for herself

In this episode from our friends at NPR's newest podcast The Limits, host Jay Williams chats with Gabrielle Union — actress, activist, producer, entrepreneur and author of the books We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True and You Got Anything Stronger? Gabrielle talks to Jay about why "balance" is a myth, her journey with surrogacy and how she she overcame a turbulent time in her relationship with her husband, former NBA star Dwayne Wade.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
22/02/22·49m 11s

Ok. I guess we'll talk about the metaverse.

What is the metaverse? How do you get to it? Why does it seem to dominate headlines every week? Is it possibly a sign of our dystopian future? Sam learns all about the metaverse and more with NPR technology correspondent Shannon Bond and NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn. They define the metaverse, explain why companies are so eager to jump into it, and whether or not we should worry about it.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
18/02/22·29m 22s

How to make and sustain Latinx TV

Streaming has totally changed the face of TV, but in all its abundance, who gets to make a show, and which shows live to see another season? Sam chats with TV writer and producer Gloria Calderón Kellett (One Day at a Time, With Love), who has long grappled with this question. They talk about what it takes to make something for your people in the industry right now, what she's doing to claim space for Latinx creatives and how she copes with it all.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
15/02/22·32m 24s

The demand for salary transparency, plus a new fresh prince of 'Bel-Air'

Victoria Walker, former The Points Guy senior travel reporter, didn't think much about tweeting her salary when she quit her job and offering advice for anyone interested in applying. But the tweet went viral and sparked a wider conversation about pay transparency. Sam asks Victoria why she did it and talks with Wall Street Journal workplace reporter Lauren Weber about why pay transparency matters.Plus, Sam chats with Morgan Cooper, creator of Bel-Air, a new dramatic retelling of the The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Then, they play Who Said That? with actor Jordan L. Jones, who plays Jazz on the show.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
11/02/22·37m 14s

China's Influence Over Hollywood

China has held a soft power over Hollywood for the last few decades. Examples range from the cosmetic, like the way Chinese police heroically restore order in films like The 355. It can also be more overt, like China blocking the release of Chloé Zhao's film Eternals in the country. Sam and Erich Schwartzel talk about how and why China has influenced the American film industry and more reporting in his new book Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
08/02/22·29m 52s

It's all politics at the Winter Olympics, plus 'This Is Dating'

It's hard to believe the Winter Olympics have begun in Beijing, our second COVID Games. Sam talks to NPR correspondent Emily Feng about the political implications of this year's Olympics, the crackdowns on activists, and diplomatic boycotts.Then, Sam talks to Hiwote Getaneh and Jesse Baker, producers of the podcast This Is Dating, a show about first dates. They talk about what the show taught the two of them about love and dating and offer up some advice of their own. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
04/02/22·39m 24s

Questlove's 'Summer of Soul' brings lost music back to life

There were two big music festivals happening in the summer of 1969. While one defined an entire generation of culture and music... the other remained obscure — the only recorded footage placed in a basement that was said to have sat, unpublished, for decades. That is, until Questlove's first documentary Summer of Soul came out last year. In this episode, Sam chats with Questlove about the recent release of the film's soundtrack, the long history of Black erasure, and the memorable performances from the likes of The 5th Dimension, Stevie Wonder (playing the drums!), Mavis Staples, Mahalia Jackson, and Nina Simone.
01/02/22·29m 28s

Whodunit at 'The Afterparty' plus the lie of 'Laziness'

Sam sits down to chat, sing, improv and of course play Who Said That with actors Ben Schwartz and Sam Richardson, stars of the new murder mystery The Afterparty on Apple TV+. Then, Sam revisits his 2021 conversation with Devon Price, author of Laziness Does Not Exist, where they discuss the lie of laziness and what it means for productivity.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
28/01/22·37m 17s

'Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations' from Wajahat Ali

Sam chats with author Wajahat Ali about his new book, Go Back To Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on Becoming American. The book points out just how hilarious, untenable, and difficult becoming American can actually be. Throughout the book, Ali uses his own story to offer strategies to make America more welcoming and compassionate. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
25/01/22·29m 3s

Remembering André Leon Talley

André Leon Talley became a major part of the global fashion zeitgeist while navigating being one of the few, if not the only, Black, queer man at his level. Sam is joined by author and poet Saeed Jones and Zach Stafford, host of the podcast In the Deep, to remember the late fashion editor and celebrate Talley's legacy.Read Saeed Jones' essay on André Leon Talley here and Zach Stafford's essay here.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
21/01/22·46m 8s

The legacy of ACT UP and its fight to end AIDS

Sam revisits his 2021 conversation with Sarah Schulman about ACT UP. The organization united a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. In Schulman's book, Let The Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993, she draws from nearly 200 interviews with ACT UP members to document the movement's history and explore how the group's activism transformed the way the media, the government, corporations and medical professionals talked about AIDS and provided treatment. Schulman and Sam discuss this transformation and its relevance to social movements today.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
18/01/22·47m 51s

The financial aid conspiracy; plus, 'For Colored Nerds'

A group of elite colleges and universities this week found themselves at the center of a lawsuit alleging that they conspired to limit financial aid to admitted students. Sam talks to Washington Post higher education reporter Danielle Douglas-Gabriel about the lawsuit and what it means for students and families across the country. Plus, Eric Eddings and Brittany Luse join Sam to talk about the era of Black abundance in media and their revamped podcast, For Colored Nerds. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
14/01/22·35m 42s

It's still Trump's GOP

Former President Donald Trump is still one of the most influential members of the Republican party even after leaving office nearly a year ago. Sam chats with Vann R. Newkirk II, senior editor for The Atlantic, and McKay Coppins, staff writer for The Atlantic, to make sense of what Trump's GOP has been up to this past year — and its strategies going into the next elections.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
11/01/22·28m 0s

Revisiting the January 6 insurrection, one year later

It's been a full year since the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, perhaps the most shocking political event of the past year — or even this generation. But has our understanding of the insurrection changed with time? Sam chats with Hannah Allam, national security reporter at The Washington Post, and Tom Dreisbach, NPR investigative correspondent, about how the U.S. government has responded to the insurrection — and how we've moved from political polarization into political radicalization. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
07/01/22·29m 46s

Presenting 'Throughline': Nikole Hannah-Jones and the war over history

In this special episode from our friends at Throughline, co-hosts Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei explore the war over history with Nikole Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist at The New York Times and the creator of the 1619 Project. They discuss how the 1619 Project became one of the most dramatic battlegrounds in the fight over our country's historical narratives — and whether an agreed upon history could ever exist.
04/01/22·49m 3s

Looking back at Whitney Houston's 1991 national anthem

Happy New Year's Eve, y'all! Before we officially end 2021, we're revisiting on one of our favorite episodes of the year — our deep dive into Whitney Houston's 1991 national anthem. Sam chats with Danyel Smith, host of Black Girl Songbook, about how Whitney Houston captivated the entire nation with her rendition of the national anthem that year and why it still matters more than 30 years later. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
31/12/21·21m 40s

2021 in music with 'Switched on Pop'

Sam chats with Charlie Harding and Nate Sloan, the two co-hosts of the podcast Switched on Pop, about the year in music. They discuss how TikTok and streaming continue to change the pop landscape and share their favorite albums of 2021. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
28/12/21·24m 12s

The holiday movie machine

Do holiday movies actually make money for networks like Hallmark and Netflix? How many Vanessa Hudgens characters is too many Vanessa Hudgens characters? Sam is joined by Pop Culture Happy Hour co-host Linda Holmes and author Kat Chow to discuss the best and worst 2021 holiday movies on TV and talk about the business behind them.
24/12/21·29m 16s

'The View' is cultural (and political) canon

In an era when social media and streaming reign supreme, how has a daytime talk show on network television managed to stay relevant? With help from Ramin Setoodeh (author of the book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View) and writer Amanda FitzSimons (who covered this for The New York Times Magazine), Sam explores why — and how — ABC's The View continues to trend on Twitter, regularly lands presidential candidates in the guest chair, and turns its Hot Topics roundtable into a microcosm of modern-day American politics. Here's looking at you, 2022 midterms!
21/12/21·40m 18s

Did That Really Happen This Year?

We take a look back on the year in news and pop culture... in quotes. For this special episode of It's Been a Minute, Sam is joined by NPR All Things Considered hosts Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro to play a deluxe version of our favorite game, Who Said That.
17/12/21·25m 6s

Presenting 'Alt.Latino': Elvis Costello, reimagined en español

In this special episode from our friends at Alt. Latino, host Felix Contreras talks to Elvis Costello and Grammy-winning producer Sebastian Krys about Costello's classic 1978 album, This Year's Model. It was reimagined as Spanish Model this year by a score of Latin artists. And unlike its predecessor, all the songs are in Spanish.
14/12/21·26m 20s

What has Biden accomplished (or not) in 2021?

Now that we're nearly a year into Joe Biden's presidency (and out of Donald Trump's)... what has Biden actually achieved? What promises has he kept or not kept? Sam talks it out with Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour and moderator of Washington Week, and Ayesha Rascoe, NPR White House correspondent, about the year of Biden. They also play Who Said That.
10/12/21·40m 0s

How to make working from home better

Has working from home during the pandemic been frustrating for you? You're not alone. Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen's new book Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home tackles how remote work can improve, no matter what industry you're in. They talk to Sam about how companies can create sustainable and flexible work environments, the history of workplace culture in the U.S., and how employees can maintain a healthy work-life balance.
07/12/21·32m 34s

Was 2021 labor's year? Plus, 'Like a Virgin'

Was 2021 the labor movement's year? It certainly felt like it — thousands of workers went on strike this year, at numbers considerably higher than in 2020. But in the context of American labor history, this year's organized strikes are small in comparison. Sam chats with author and labor historian at Georgetown University Lane Windham about why labor activism might be on the rise again. Plus, Rose Dommu and Fran Tirado chat about their new podcast, Like a Virgin, and how they bring their different cultural backgrounds and pop culture sensibilities together. They also play Who Said That?
03/12/21·38m 46s

Presenting 'Pop Culture Happy Hour': is 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' stuck in nostalgia?

In this special episode from our friends at Pop Culture Happy Hour, guest host Ayesha Rascoe joins co-hosts Glen Weldon and Stephen Thompson as well as NPR contributor Cyrena Touros to talk about the new movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife. They discuss why it's hard to recapture the original Ghostbusters magic and if the latest installment of the franchise added more to its world — or not.
30/11/21·25m 40s

What people miss when talking about banned books

Guest host Ayesha Rascoe is joined by NPR senior editor Barrie Hardymon and Traci Thomas, host of The Stacks podcast, to talk about banned books. They talk about why it's important for kids to discover books freely, even if that means starting a hard conversation with them. They also discuss their favorite — and least favorite — books that often show up on banned book lists.
24/11/21·31m 49s

From Taylor Swift to Thanksgiving, Dear Prudence gives the gift of advice

What better gift to give this holiday season than the gift of... advice? And solicited advice at that! For this episode, Sam is joined by Jenée Desmond-Harris, Slate's Dear Prudence advice columnist, to help answer everything from how to deal with a partner's overbearing adult daughter to a boyfriend's recent conversion to becoming a Swiftie (read: a fan of Taylor Swift) to the group dynamics of the Thanksgiving prayer in an atheist household. Happy holidays, everybody.
23/11/21·26m 36s

The hidden costs of holiday consumerism

A lot of consumers are worried about supply chain delays this holiday season — but there are also other issues to watch out for when shopping. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe talks about the hidden costs of holiday consumption with The Atlantic staff writer Amanda Mull and The Washington Post retail reporter Abha Bhattarai. They discuss the potential downfalls of buy now, pay later services and where online shopping returns really go. Then, they play a game of Who Said That?
19/11/21·31m 19s

Permission to feel joy with Rax King's 'Tacky'

Why do we feel shame for sincerely enjoying something that others don't like? That's one of the big questions tackled in Rax King's new essay collection Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer. She talks to Sam about her love of the band Creed, The Cheesecake Factory, and Jersey Shore, and embracing the things that others consider bad taste.
16/11/21·24m 42s

Why flying feels so hard; Plus, 'Queer Love in Color'

Now that more people are getting comfortable flying again, it's about time to remind ourselves that, oh yes, flying was sometimes terrible in the Before Times, too! And in 2021, that's still the case — if not more so — with cascading cancellations, staffing and plane shortages, and outbursts from passengers. Sam chats with Natalie Compton, travel reporter at The Washington Post, about the state of the airline industry heading into the holiday travel season... and how to get through it. Plus, author Jamal Jordan discusses his book 'Queer Love in Color,' and what it means to photograph and document queer intimacy. They're also joined by TV producer Hassan Williams for a game of Who Said That? You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
12/11/21·35m 55s

Presenting 'Throughline': The Nostalgia Bone

The global pandemic has spawned a different type of epidemic, one of an entirely different nature: a nostalgia outbreak. Longing for 'simpler times' and 'better days', many of us have been turning to 90s dance playlists, TV sitcoms, and sports highlights. We're looking for comfort and safety in the permanence of the past, or at least, what we think the past was. But, when it first appeared, nostalgia itself wasn't considered a feeling; it was a deadly disease. In this episode from our friends at NPR's Throughline podcast, Laine Kaplan-Levenson traces the history of nostalgia from its origins as an illness to the dominating emotion of our time. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
09/11/21·56m 47s

New threats to Roe v. Wade; Plus, Jo Firestone's 'Good Timing'

Sam talks to Slate staff writer Mark Joseph Stern about the Supreme Court hearing challenges to the Texas abortion law and what it all means for Roe v. Wade. Plus, comedian Jo Firestone and her student Nicki Cochrane talk about their new comedy special, Good Timing with Jo Firestone. They also play Who Said That?
05/11/21·39m 43s

Presenting 'Code Switch': Kat Chow's 'Seeing Ghosts'

In this episode from our friends at NPR's Code Switch podcast, Kat Chow chats with former host Shereen Marisol Meraji about her memoir, Seeing Ghosts. After her mother died when Chow was 13, her family rarely discussed how to handle their loss. Chow says she wrote this memoir as a way to talk with her mother about that grief, her navigation of identity and her family's history. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
02/11/21·25m 29s

Should I have kids? Move? Recycle? Your climate questions answered

Ahead of the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow this weekend, Sam chats with climate experts Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, marine biologist and writer, and Kendra Pierre-Louis, senior climate reporter with the podcast 'How to Save a Planet.' Together, they answer listener questions about everything from how to talk to your kids about global warming... to how to deal with all of this existential dread.
29/10/21·24m 47s

Presenting 'Switched On Pop': the Cyndi Lauper conspiracy

In this special bonus episode, Sam joins Switched On Pop co-host Charlie Harding to talk Cyndi Lauper. Many fall for "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," but Sam's favorite song is the slow burner "All Through The Night," save for one moment: the synthesizer solo. For Sam, this solo never fit in. Charlie investigates the source of Sam's musical malady and uncovers how the '80s got its groove. Hear Sam on another episode of Switched On Pop making the case for why Labrinth's "Sexy MF" should be a modern classic here. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
28/10/21·35m 6s

Shea Serrano answers existential questions about rap in 'Hip Hop (And Other Things)'

Author and host of the No Skips podcast Shea Serrano gets obsessive about things — movies, basketball, and now, rap. In Hip Hop (And Other Things), he dives into Cardi B's explosive 2018, the early days of Missy Elliott's career, and the 1995 Source Awards, which he says remains — to this day — one of the biggest nights in rap history.You can follow us on Twitter at @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
26/10/21·27m 41s

Why can't Democrats pass legislation? Plus, 'Succession'

Sam chats with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson about why dysfunction in the Democratic Party is putting the big "Build Back Better" spending bill in Congressional limbo. Plus, The New Yorker staff writer Doreen St. Felix on Succession, representations of class on TV, and why the plethora of shows about white people being terrible (Succession, The White Lotus, The Undoing, Nine Perfect Strangers, Hacks ... you get the idea) are so addictive. Then, they are joined by The New York Times metro reporter Jazmine Hughes for a game of Who Said That? You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
22/10/21·42m 15s

Why aren't Black and Indigenous missing persons cases covered enough?

Jermain Charlo was an Indigenous mother who went missing in Montana in the summer of 2018. Relisha Rudd, an 8-year-old Black girl, went missing in Washington, D.C. in March 2014. Neither has been found. Unlike Gabby Petito, these cases didn't grab national headlines. Connie Walker, host of Stolen: The Search for Jermain, and Jonquilyn Hill, host of Through the Cracks, join Sam to discuss why cases of missing Black and Indigenous people don't get the same kind of attention from media and law enforcement. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
19/10/21·25m 17s

Nicole Byer's '#VeryFat #VeryBrave' guide to bikini confidence

Sam revisits his 2020 conversation with comedian and Nailed It! host Nicole Byer on her coffee table book: #VeryFat #VeryBrave: The Fat Girl's Guide to Being #Brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-in-the-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini. They talk about home goods, drunken bravery, and learning to love yourself. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
15/10/21·24m 14s

Pop music's 'Latin Explosion' of 1999

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Latino artists like Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira ruled the pop charts. But who was that so-called "Latin Explosion" actually for, and what were the business considerations behind it? In the third part of our series exploring crossover in pop music, we examine how this supposed boom turned out to be more of a marketing creation, which evaporated when digital streaming entered the picture. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
12/10/21·34m 1s

'LuLaRich' reveals how MLMs mirror the American economy

Sam interviews women's work and economic justice writer Meg Conley about the documentary series LuLaRich and how vulnerable people still get sucked into multi-level marketing schemes because their shape mirrors the American economy. Then, Harvard Ph.D. candidate and Mormon Studies Fellow at the University of Utah Janan Graham-Russell joins for a game of Who Said That?You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
08/10/21·34m 0s

Janet Jackson's Legacy After 'Control'

On the 35th anniversary of Janet Jackson's first No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, we look back at Control, her career-defining album that changed the trajectory of pop music in the late '80s and '90s. In the second episode of a three-part series exploring crossover in pop music, we look at Jackson's musical and cultural legacy over the years. We also reconsider how Jackson was vilified after her Super Bowl XXXVIII appearance, and why. You can follow us on Twitter at @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
05/10/21·41m 51s

Has immigration changed much under Biden?

How much has really changed in U.S. immigration policy since President Biden came into office? After seeing graphic images of Haitian migrants being chased by law enforcement on horseback and a recent rejection of an immigration reform bill in Congress, The Atlantic staff writer Caitlin Dickerson breaks down the long history uniting Democratic and Republican administrations when it comes to enforcing immigration policy. She also plays Who Said That? with her friend and senior producer of NPR's Life Kit, Meghan Keane.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
01/10/21·32m 21s

The Lasting Legacy Of 'Soul Train'

When Soul Train was first nationally syndicated in October 1971, there was nothing else like it on TV. It became an iconic Black music and dance show — a party every weekend that anyone could join from their living room. In the first episode of a three-part series exploring crossover in pop music, we break down the lasting influence of Soul Train on our culture with Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Little Devil in America. We ask: Why has there never been another show like Soul Train since it went off the air? You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
28/09/21·33m 44s

COVID Forever? Plus, Broadway's Back

Ever since the pandemic hit, life has been split into two timelines: before the pandemic and after the pandemic. But when will the "after" truly be after? Or will some version of the coronavirus be around... forever? Sam talks to The Atlantic staff writer Katherine Wu about continuing to live with some version of COVID-19. Plus, Sam talks to playwright Heidi Schreck and actress Cassie Beck, who are currently in rehearsals for the upcoming tour of the Broadway play What The Constitution Means to Me. As live theater returns, they talk about what the last 18 months have been like and how theater has changed for the long term.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
24/09/21·36m 7s

Brandon Taylor Wrote 'Real Life' And 'Filthy Animals' For His Queer, Black Friends

Author Brandon Taylor used to spend most of his hours studying nematodes under a microscope as a grad student. He wrote his first novel over a period of five weeks, mostly while in a lab. That book, Real Life, was released in 2020 to much critical acclaim. He published his second book this year, a short story collection called Filthy Animals. Taylor talks to Sam about his focus on the tensions of everyday relationships, writing from a Black and queer perspective and his intended audience of just a couple close friends. This conversation is part of a collaboration between NPR and the Library of Congress National Book Festival. For more information about the festival, visit can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
21/09/21·31m 26s

'Machiavelli for Women'; Plus, 'What We Do in the Shadows'

Sam is joined by NPR's The Indicator host Stacey Vanek Smith to talk about her new book, Machiavelli for Women and how women in the workplace are still falling behind. Plus, actor Harvey Guillén on the new season of the FX show What We Do in the Shadows and not waiting for people to be comfortable with his "brownness, queerness and roundness" to be comfortable in his own skin.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
17/09/21·40m 52s

Yebba Sheds Old Beliefs With A New Album

It was 2016, and Yebba's career was beginning to take off. But 2016 was also the year that something awful happened: Yebba's mother committed suicide. And that changed everything, too.Now, after years of collaborating with artists the likes of Sam Smith, PJ Morton and Robert Glasper, Yebba has her own standalone album. It's called Dawn, a reference to her mother's name. In this chat, Yebba and Sam talk about the emotional toll it took to make Dawn, growing up in the church, and shedding old beliefs while making room for new ones.
14/09/21·24m 57s

20 Years Of The War On Terror; Plus, Redemption For Mariah Carey's 'Glitter'

Sam talks to Washington Post security and terrorism reporter Souad Mekhennet about what the war on terror has—and hasn't—achieved in the two decades since 9/11. Plus, for its 20th anniversary, we look at the legacy of Mariah Carey's album Glitter with Texas Monthly senior editor Paula Mejia and Danielle Turchiano, senior features editor at Variety, to explore how culture and fandom have changed since the album's release. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
10/09/21·35m 8s

Michaela Coel On 'Misfits' And 'I May Destroy You'

Writer and actor Michaela Coel wrote, created and starred in HBO series I May Destroy You, which is up for nine Emmy nominations. Her new book, Misfits: A Personal Manifesto, is out this week. She talks to Sam about why she champions misfits like herself, I May Destroy You's basis on her trauma, and how her spirituality has shifted over time. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
07/09/21·30m 58s

Songs Of The Summer With 'Morning Becomes Eclectic'

Sam talks to Novena Carmél and Anthony Valadez, hosts of KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, about their end of summer song picks and the best albums of the year so far. They talk about how listening to music changed during the pandemic and why any floor can be a dance floor. Want to hear more of this year's best music? Check out all the songs from the episode in this playlist. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
03/09/21·26m 35s

Presenting 'Code Switch': To Love And Not Forgive With Ashley C. Ford

In this special episode from our friends at the Code Switch podcast, we feature author Ashley C. Ford. For much of her childhood, Ford's father was incarcerated, and her mother struggled to raise her while grappling with her own upended life plans. In her recent memoir, Somebody's Daughter, Ford explores how these formative conditions shaped her understanding of childhood, authority, forgiveness and freedom.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
31/08/21·39m 31s

How Do We Make Sense Of Afghanistan? Plus, 'Reservation Dogs'

For the last 20 years, the U.S. has been wrapped up in a costly war in Afghanistan, initially in response to the attacks on September 11. But America's chaotic withdrawal this year, in just a short amount of time, has left the country back in Taliban control, with troops scrambling to get U.S. citizens and Afghan allies out before the deadline of August 31. So how do we make sense of it all? And what will be the impact on U.S. foreign policy going forward? Sam breaks it all down with Monika Evstatieva, senior producer on NPR's Investigations Unit, and Asma Khalid, NPR White House correspondent.Plus, Sam talks about the FX on Hulu series Reservation Dogs with co-creator and executive producer Sterlin Harjo and writer Tommy Pico. They discuss the process of writing a show by and for Native people and why they centered on a coming-of-age story. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
27/08/21·42m 31s

Jonathan Van Ness On 'Queer Eye,' Cats, And Overcoming Trauma

Jonathan Van Ness stepped into the spotlight in 2018 as a walking, talking bundle of energy, optimism and positivity as the grooming expert on Queer Eye. Queer Eye is now in production for its sixth season, and Jonathan— along with the rest of the Fab 5— have been nominated for an Emmy for their work as hosts this year. In this conversation from 2019, Sam chats with JVN about his book, Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love, a memoir about his life journey and addressing his trauma along the way. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
24/08/21·39m 6s

Maya Rudolph On SNL, Self-Acceptance, And Seeing Yourself On Screen

Maya Rudolph has had a successful career, spanning decades as a Saturday Night Live cast member and well-loved actor and entertainer. She chats with Sam about her recent Emmy nominations, her approach to comedy, and the importance of having strong role models. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
20/08/21·26m 50s

Kathryn Hahn On Birth, Politics And 'Private Life'

Kathryn Hahn dazzled audiences in one of the biggest streaming hits of the year, WandaVision— and she just earned an Emmy nom for her performance. In this conversation with her from 2019, she and Sam talk about her film 'Private Life,' balancing politics in her work, and the nature of birth. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
16/08/21·27m 58s

Hygiene Debates, Skipping Showers, And Climate Change, Oh My!

#ShowerGate. Sam talks to Carl Zimring, professor of sustainability studies at Pratt Institute and author of Clean and White, about the online debate over celebrities showering habits and how it taps into a long history linking hygiene and race.Then, we hear from Yessenia Funes, climate editor for Atmos Magazine, about this week's report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
13/08/21·33m 11s

Tracee Ellis Ross On Playing A 'Thriving, Not Surviving' Character On 'Black-ish'

Tracee Ellis Ross won a Golden Globe in 2017 for her role on ABC's Black-ish. She's also been nominated five times for that role at the Emmys. In this chat from July 2020, she and Sam discuss her Black-ish role, sharing her singing from The High Note with mom Diana Ross, and portraying Black joy on screen. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
10/08/21·28m 20s

What's Your Monoculture Moment: The Olympics Or Bennifer 2.0?

Sam is joined by LA Times television editor Matt Brennan to understand why ratings for this year's Olympics are not just dismal, but symbolic of changes in our culture. Then, culture writers Hunter Harris and Alessa Dominguez join the show to talk all things Bennifer. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
06/08/21·38m 17s

Prince's Intimate Moments

Prince's posthumous album, Welcome 2 America, came out last weekend. In honor of the release, Sam revisits his 2020 conversation with Prince's photographer, Randee St. Nicholas. She shares intimate stories about the legendary artist: from spontaneous photo shoots in burned out buildings to late nights after sold-out concerts.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
03/08/21·26m 35s

Vaccine Disinformation For Hire; Plus, Hannah Waddingham Of 'Ted Lasso'

Disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines abounds on social media, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Sam talks to Max Fisher, international reporter for the New York Times, about "disinformation for hire" and what social media platforms are doing to combat it. Plus, Sam talks to actress Hannah Waddingham, one of the stars of Ted Lasso. They're also joined by fellow cast member Jeremy Swift to play Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
30/07/21·35m 19s

Emilia Clarke On Mothers Of Madness And Dragons

The "Mother of Dragons" is out with a new comic book, Mother of Madness. Actress Emilia Clarke talks with guest host Ayesha Rascoe about superpowers in real life and fantasy, her career-launching role in Game of Thrones and how Hollywood has changed since her first season as Daenerys.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
27/07/21·23m 52s

The Joy Of Black Hair; Plus, What's In The Biden Spending Plans?

The Black Hair Experience is a pop-up visual exhibit dedicated to the beauty, history and nostalgia of Black hair. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe takes a trip there and chats with its co-founder, Alisha Brooks. Then, Ayesha is joined by NPR's Susan Davis and Asma Khalid about the two huge economic priorities for the Biden administration.— Read Ayesha's essay: "The Black Hair Experience Is About The Joy Of Black Hair — Including My Own"You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
23/07/21·37m 17s

'Space Jam 2' Star Sonequa Martin-Green

Actress Sonequa Martin-Green has made a career of otherworldly roles. She survived a zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead, she explores space — the final frontier — in Star Trek: Discovery, and she's the wife of NBA star LeBron James in Space Jam: A New Legacy. She talks to guest host Ayesha Rascoe about her career, her hair and identity, and why she felt called to speak up about her internalized racism after the murder of George Floyd.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
20/07/21·29m 53s

Why Workers Are Quitting; Plus The Comfort Of Horror Movies

Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe brings on CBS MoneyWatch editor Irina Ivanova to break down some of the reasons why. Then, The New Republic staff writer Jo Livingstone joins Ayesha to discuss the current state of horror movies and why nothing's better than a good scare. Author and Big Mood, Little Mood podcast host Daniel Lavery joins them to play Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
16/07/21·37m 46s

Trump's America And Why 'The Cruelty Is The Point'

The Cruelty Is The Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America, is journalist Adam Serwer's new book, based on a popular essay he wrote for The Atlantic. Serwer talks with guest host Ayesha Rascoe and lays out the ways in which Donald Trump came to power, the historical roots of his vision of law and order, and how he managed to build a loyal political following on the basis of cruelty.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
13/07/21·25m 27s

The Weight On Black Women In Sports; Plus, 'We Are Lady Parts'

With Sha'Carri Richardson's recent disqualification, and the controversy surrounding the banning of natural hair swimming caps, there's a lot to talk about the treatment of Black women in the Olympics and across the sports world. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe brings on ESPN producer and podcast host Terrika Foster-Brasby and The Athletic's Kavitha A. Davidson to discuss. Then, she talks to We Are Lady Parts creator Nida Manzoor about the intersection of art, faith and representation.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
09/07/21·37m 41s

Tiffany Haddish Stays Busy: 'I Want to See Our Stories'

Tiffany Haddish has had a busy year. From starring in prank film Bad Trip, to hosting Kids Say the Darndest Things, to voicing a self-confident toucan in animated series Tuca & Bertie, it seems like she's everywhere. Sam talks to Tiffany about her many projects, her hopes and dreams for the entertainment industry, and she tells a wild story about Nicolas Cage.— Watch the full extended version of this interview on YouTube: can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
06/07/21·36m 10s

Pop Culture Happy Hour: F9 Is Somehow Faster And Furious-er

Sam sits in the guest seat at Pop Culture Happy Hour to discuss the glue that holds this nation together — The Fast and the Furious franchise. Alongside NPR White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe, as well as PCHH hosts Linda Holmes and Aisha Harris, the group talks about the legacy of the decades-spanning series, why we love to hate it, and how action films of this caliber could be considered "hetero camp."You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
04/07/21·24m 30s

Trump's Bad Business Comes Back To Bite

This week, the Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer were charged with fraud and tax related crimes by the Manhattan District Attorney as a result of a years-long investigation. In light of these new charges, Sam revisits his conversation from last fall with Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the WNYC & ProPublica podcast Trump, Inc. They talk about Trump's business operations, debts, and how the biggest lesson from both is "we pay, he wins." You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
02/07/21·32m 27s

Riley Keough On 'Zola' And Finding Empathy For Anti-Heroes

Sam interviews Riley Keough, one of the stars of Zola— a new movie adapted from a viral 148-tweet thread story full of sex work, guns and plot twists. They talk about how Riley prepared her character's "blaccent," why she tends to play unlikeable characters, and how she became a death doula. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
29/06/21·23m 15s

Culture Wars Then and Now; Plus, The Creators of 'Hacks'

The furor over critical race theory fits into a longer history of culture wars in schools. Sam talks to Adam Laats, a professor of history and education at Binghamton University, about what the past can teach us about today's fight. Plus, Sam talks to Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky, writers and creators of the HBO Max series Hacks. They discuss what inspired them to write the show, as well as the overlooked legacies of many trailblazing women comedians. They also play Who Said That. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
25/06/21·37m 46s

'Where We Come From': Priya And Ritu Krishna On Indian Cooking And Assimilation

Where do you come from? It's a question that immigrant communities of color get asked constantly. But the answer is often not simply about a place on a map. It can be tied to identity, immigration, career, family... and even food. In this episode from NPR's audio and video series Where We Come From, New York Times food writer Priya Krishna tackles this question with her mother, Ritu. They explore assimilation through food and why dal represents comfort for their family. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
22/06/21·26m 31s

ACT UP: A History Of AIDS/HIV Activism

Forty years ago this month, the CDC reported on patients with HIV/AIDS in the United States for the very first time. The disease was understudied, under-reported and deeply stigmatized. ACT UP united a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. In her new book, Let The Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993, Sarah Schulman draws from nearly 200 interviews with ACT UP members to document the movement's history and explore how the group's activism transformed the way the media, the government, corporations and medical professionals talked about AIDS and provided treatment. She and Sam discuss this transformation and its relevance to social movements today.We've love your feedback! If you have a few minutes, please complete this survey: can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
18/06/21·50m 31s

Presenting 'Fresh Air': Actor John Boyega On Hollywood, Police And 'Star Wars'

Sam sits in the Fresh Air host chair to talk to actor John Boyega. Since finishing his star-making role in the Star Wars franchise in 2019 and after the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd last year, Boyega has been outspoken about his treatment as a Black actor in Hollywood, and in the Star Wars franchise itself. He talked to Sam about why he was ready to talk about the "elephant in the room" that is racism in Hollywood and what he's doing to change things.We've love your feedback! If you have a few minutes, please complete this survey: can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
15/06/21·35m 14s

What's This Arizona Recount About? Plus, Summer Movie Picks

We've witnessed plenty of historic moments with Joe Biden as president: widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, the reunion of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Mare of Easttown. But Arizona Republicans are attempting to prove otherwise with an unprecedented vote recount of the 2020 election. Sam talks to Jessica Huseman, editorial director at Votebeat, about the ongoing election audit in Arizona and what it means for the future of elections and voting rights. Plus, Sam talks about summer movies to look forward to with NPR's Aisha Harris and Bob Mondello. We've love your feedback! If you have a few minutes, please complete this survey: can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
11/06/21·38m 27s

Zakiya Dalila Harris And 'The Other Black Girl'

Zakiya Dalila Harris was working as an editorial assistant at a New York publisher when she ran into another Black woman for the first time on her office floor. That's when she got the idea for her book, The Other Black Girl. What's it like when you're used to being the only one, but now there's another one like you? And what if things get weird? Like, really weird. Sam and Zakiya talk about how her book subverts the office drama and what lessons it has for a still very white publishing industry.We've love your feedback! If you have a few minutes, please complete this survey: can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
08/06/21·27m 43s

Kink, Cops And Corporations At Pride? Plus, Natalie Morales On 'Plan B'

When Pride comes around every June, the same arguments start up again— should there be kink, cops and corporations at Pride? And who is Pride for? Sam talks to writer and author Roxane Gay about why the queer community has the same conversations year after year and what they mean for what Pride is today. Plus, actress and filmmaker Natalie Morales on directing the new teen buddy comedy, "Plan B."
04/06/21·35m 44s

Malcolm Gladwell And 'Talking To Strangers'

Sam revisits his chat with best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell about his book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know. The book explores examples such as the arrest of Sandra Bland and the Stanford rape case as to why interactions with strangers often go so wrong. This episode was taped in front of a live studio audience at The George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium in September 2019.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
01/06/21·51m 51s

Hot Book Summer

It's almost summer, and whether you're at a beach, at a park, or at home, it's a great time to get lost in a book. Sam is joined by Barrie Hardymon, senior editor of NPR's Weekend Edition, and Traci Thomas, host of the podcast The Stacks. They give advice on how to get back into the habit of reading and recommend a few great summer reads: Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi, How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith, Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins and Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor. They also play a special edition of "Who Said That?"You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
28/05/21·29m 32s

The Real Justices Of SCOTUS

Sam previews this summer's Supreme Court rulings with Slate's Mark Joseph Stern and why some of those cases could potentially have big repercussions on daily life. They also discuss the future of the Court, including its decision to take up two of the most controversial issues of today — abortion and gun rights — and why the drama between justices can sometimes equate to a Real Housewives–style argument over dinner (with table flip).You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
25/05/21·28m 58s

Labor Market Mysteries; Plus, Signs Of Life

The U.S. unemployment rate is still high... so why are we in a labor shortage? Sam chats with Stacey Vanek Smith, host of NPR's The Indicator, and Cardiff Garcia, former co-host of The Indicator, about the American job market and why businesses are having such a hard time hiring. Then, as vaccines have become more widely available and pandemic restrictions lift across the country, people are wandering back out into the world, having experiences they haven't had in over a year. We drop in on a few of these: a dance party, a first date, a game with friends — the small pleasures folks have missed that now feel monumental.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
21/05/21·38m 11s

'Let's Talk About Hard Things' With Help From Anna Sale

How do you bring up something that might be easier left unsaid? Anna Sale, host and creator of WNYC's Death, Sex & Money podcast, has answers in her new book, Let's Talk About Hard Things. She chats with Sam about how to talk to family, why we need to start having different conversations about money, and what it means to actually listen. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
18/05/21·23m 47s

After Defunding The Police; Plus, Michelle Buteau On 'The Circle'

What does defunding the police really look like? Sam talks to Austin City Council Member Greg Casar about how decreasing the city's police budget has worked— and what they aren't getting quite right yet. Then, Sam talks to KUT reporter Audrey McGlinchy about how Texas, a Republican-led state, has responded and what that could mean for other cities trying to follow in the footsteps of Austin. Plus, Sam talks to actress and comedian Michelle Buteau about hosting the Netflix reality competition show The Circle and how she feels about being cast as the sassy best friend. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
14/05/21·38m 25s

Is Biden The Next FDR? or LBJ?

How transformative are President Biden's economic and infrastructure proposals? Depends on what gets passed. The comparisons to FDR and LBJ miss the vastly different political landscapes those presidents faced. Sam talks with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin about how this moment compares to those past presidents' efforts at once in a generation legislation. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
11/05/21·30m 11s

Housing Boom For Whom? Plus, 'Ziwe' Premieres

The housing market is booming— but who actually benefits? Sam talks to Jerusalem Demsas, politics and policy fellow for Vox, about what so many are getting wrong about housing. Plus, Sam revisits his 2020 conversation with Ziwe Fumudoh, whose comedy variety show Ziwe premieres on Showtime on May 9. Then, in honor of NPR's 50th anniversary, Sam plays "Who Said That?" with All Things Considered hosts Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
07/05/21·38m 6s

Mj Rodriguez On 'Pose' And Perseverance

As the groundbreaking series Pose comes to a close in its third and final season, Sam talks to Mj Rodriguez about the end of her role as Blanca, the loving and lovable house mother at the center of the show. They also chat about the start of her career as Angel in Rent, channeling grief into her character, and LGBTQIA+ perseverance. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
04/05/21·18m 55s

India And The Unequal Distribution Of Vaccines; Plus, 'Invisibilia' Returns

Even as vaccine access expands in the the US, the pandemic is far from over globally. Sam talks to Aarti Singh, a resident of New Delhi, about what it's been like living there as India's COVID-19 cases skyrocket. Then, Sam talks to public health activist Achal Prabhala about why rich and poor countries have unequal access to vaccines. Plus, Sam chats with Invisibilia host Kia Miakka Natisse about the new season of the show and her episode on how a reparations effort in Vermont shed light on how people talk about money and racial justice.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
30/04/21·38m 43s

Patti Harrison Takes The Lead In 'Together Together'

Patti Harrison is known for bringing her absurd, caustic, yet charming comedy to supporting roles on shows like Search Party, Broad City and Shrill. But now she's in a starring role in the romantic comedy Together Together. In it, Harrison plays a young single woman who agrees to be a gestational surrogate for a single man in his 40s, played by Ed Helms. Sam talks to Patti about what it was like to play a role different from everything she's done before, why Together Together is even billed as a rom-com, and the quandary of representation as a trans woman.— Watch Sam's extended interview with Patti Harrison: can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
27/04/21·28m 34s

The "Must-See TV" Of Black Trauma, Plus Ashley Nicole Black On Making Black Joy

Sam chats with NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans about constant images of Black pain in news and in entertainment. Then, he turns to comedian Ashley Nicole Black to talk about the new season of "A Black Lady Sketch Show" and Black joy.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
23/04/21·36m 52s

The Warped Reality of Eric André's 'Bad Trip'

Sam talks to actor and comedian Eric André about the evolution of the prank genre with his Netflix hidden-camera comedy Bad Trip. They chat about the complications of making a prank show while Black, who André would never prank, and why everyone could use a little absurdism to warp their realities. — Watch the full extended version of this interview on YouTube: You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
20/04/21·26m 11s

The 'Thin Blue Line' In Minnesota, Plus 'Tell Them, I Am'

What's it like to cover the Derek Chauvin trial against the backdrop of continued police violence? Guest host Ari Shapiro talks to Minnesota activist and journalist O'nika Nicole Craven. Then, he talks to Maurice Chammah, staff writer at The Marshall Project, about the origins and evolving symbolism of the thin blue line. Plus, Misha Euceph on the new season of her podcast Tell Them, I Am, and the many ways that Muslims find glimpses of God. Then, Mary Knauf, executive producer of Tell Them, I Am, joins Ari and Misha to play Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
16/04/21·36m 47s

Bowen Yang's Rules of Culture

Bowen Yang often plays delightfully weird characters on SNL. But recently he appeared as himself on the show to address the uptick of Asian American violence in the U.S. Sam revisits his conversation from last fall with the comedian, who discusses becoming the first Chinese American cast member on Saturday Night Live, what it was like to do the show during a pandemic, and why Adele Dazeem is the number one moment in the history of culture. — Watch Sam's extended interview with Bowen: You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
13/04/21·30m 9s

What's The Strategy? Corporate Activism And Anti-Trans Bills

Corporations have spoken out against the new restrictive voting law in Georgia, but to what end? Sam talks to Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick about whether that tactic actually effects change—and whether it's just a performance. Plus, Sam talks to author and historian Jules Gill-Peterson about the historic flood of anti-trans bills in state legislatures and how these bills echo anti-gay rhetoric of the past. Then, friends of the show Saeed Jones and Zach Stafford join Sam to play Who Said That.— Read Dahlia Lithwick's Slate article, "The Problem with Boycotting Georgia"You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
09/04/21·36m 7s

The Human Cost of Family Separation

It's been a few years now since President Trump adopted (and then later reversed) his administration's zero-tolerance policy that separated parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border. But what's happened to those families since? And what is President Biden doing now to help? Sam talks to Aura Bogado, senior investigative reporter and producer at Reveal, about how family separation, which has reaches back to the Obama administration, has affected a system that Aura says is not quite broken... but is unjust.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
06/04/21·22m 48s

Is 'Diversity And Inclusion' Far From Its Roots? And What's An NFT?

Sam talks to Kim Tran, an anti-racist author and consultant, about her article in Harper's Bazaar on how the diversity, equity and inclusion industry has strayed from its movement roots. Plus, what's an NFT? And why are people buying them? And what are they again? Sam breaks it all down with tech reporters Bobby Allyn and Erin Griffith to explain the phenomenon of the non-fungible token — and whether it can last. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
02/04/21·42m 41s

Hanif Abdurraqib's Rabbit Holes Into Great Black Performance

Hanif Abdurraqib's latest book is A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance. In it, Abdurraqib researches the impact of Black performers on American culture throughout the past several hundred years, touching on everything from minstrel shows to Soul Train, the concept of the "Magical Negro," and playing spades. Sam talks to Abdurraqib about lesser-known performers like Ellen Armstrong, the first Black woman magician, and they revisit the mythology of household names like Whitney Houston. Plus, they share aspects of Black performance they've missed most in this pandemic year.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
30/03/21·25m 50s

Gun Violence Never Went Away, Plus The Overlooked Talent Of Asian Actors

It might have seemed like mass shootings were down last year, but 2020 was actually one of the deadliest years for gun violence in decades. Sam talks to Abené Clayton, reporter for The Guardian, about why some shootings get more coverage than others. Plus, Sam talks to Shirley Li, staff writer at The Atlantic, about Minari and the way stereotypes inform how white audiences view the performances of Asian actors. Then, Hannah Giorgis, also of The Atlantic, joins Sam and Shirley to play Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
26/03/21·38m 22s

The Fight To Transform Criminal Justice

There are few paths to freedom for people serving life sentences in prison on federal drug charges. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe talks with Brittany K. Barnett, lawyer, entrepreneur and author of A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom, about her role in the fight to free incarcerated people from these sentences. They talk about high profile clemencies, how life sentences are handed down even without physical evidence of drugs, and the wealth of Black love. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
23/03/21·25m 37s

A History Of Anti-Asian Racism, Plus 'Married At First Sight'

In the wake of Tuesday's mass shooting in Atlanta, guest host Ayesha Rascoe talks to critical race theorist and professor Jennifer Ho about the history behind anti-Asian racism and what it means to be an Asian woman in America. Then, Ayesha chats about her latest obsession, the reality dating show Married at First Sight, with fellow devotees Delece Smith-Barrow, education editor at Politico, and Brittany Luse, former co-host and executive producer of The Nod.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
19/03/21·34m 45s

Can't Let It Go

A special episode from our friends at NPR's Planet Money: A show all about the things we're obsessed with. Sam joins Planet Money co-host Karen Duffin to dig into obsessions including the Beyoncé of economics, an actual musician, Lubalin, finding deep inspiration in shallow web posts, and curried chicken. Also, we stage an intervention, and, we bring you Planet Money's first ever meditation to help you breathe deeply and let go. Just let it go. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
16/03/21·19m 28s

Our Pandemic Year

We take stock of a year that challenged us emotionally, culturally and politically. Sam talks to Hira Deol, a former contestant on Big Brother Canada, about what it was like to learn about the pandemic while sequestered away from the outside world. Plus, Sam chats with culture writer Anne Helen Petersen about the gradual return to our "normal" lives — and just how messy it's going to be. — Read the poem from this episode: "Small Kindnesses" by Danusha LamérisYou can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
12/03/21·31m 24s

Sohla El-Waylly on Race, Food and 'Bon Appétit'

Sohla El-Waylly called out her previous employer, Bon Appétit, during the magazine's racial reckoning last summer and resigned. The chef and food star is now a columnist at Food52 and star of the YouTube series Off-Script with Sohla. She and Sam talk about racism in the food media industry (and everywhere else), The Cheesecake Factory, and certain kinds of mushrooms. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
09/03/21·26m 16s

Pop Culture Happy Hour: L'Amour For 'Lupin'

Sam joins the Pop Culture Happy Hour team to talk about the French Netflix series Lupin with culture writer Bedatri D. Choudhury and co-hosts Aisha Harris and Glen Weldon. They discuss the twisty caper's exciting (if implausible) plot, dissect its take on race and class, and gush over Omar Sy's performance. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
08/03/21·26m 15s

Voting Rights Under Threat, Plus Do We Still Need Sports?

A new case before the U.S. Supreme Court could jeopardize the power of the Voting Rights Act. Sam talks to Mark Joseph Stern, staff writer for Slate, about what's at stake and how so much of the current debate goes back to Reconstruction. Sam also chats with contributing writer for The Atlantic and podcaster Jemele Hill about how tv viewership across almost all sports has tanked during the pandemic.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
05/03/21·44m 56s

Author Torrey Peters On Seeing Through A Trans Lens

Torrey Peters' new book Detransition, Baby, is about navigating identity, commitment, parenthood and divorce. The three main characters, a pregnant cis woman, her partner who is a detransitioned man, and his ex, a trans woman, are all considering how they might come together to create a family. Sam talks to Torrey about writing for trans readers, creating flawed characters and how the COVID-19 pandemic can be viewed through a trans lens. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
02/03/21·34m 44s

A Weird Awards Season, Plus "Anything for Selena"

What's an awards season when many theaters are still closed and it's harder to track which movies and shows deserve buzz? Louis Virtel and Ira Madison III, co-hosts of Keep It chat with Sam about who's being selected and who's being overlooked, and whether the pandemic further exposes awards' irrelevance or not. Plus, Sam talks with Maria Garcia about her podcast, Anything for Selena, and why honoring Selena is political.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
26/02/21·34m 52s

Octavia Butler: Visionary Fiction‬

A special episode from our friends at NPR's history podcast Throughline: Octavia Butler's alternate realities and 'speculative fiction' reveal striking, and often devastating parallels to the world we live in today. She was a deep observer of the human condition, perplexed and inspired by our propensity towards self-destruction. But along with her warning is her message of hope - a hope conjured by centuries of survival and persistence. For every society that perishes in her books comes a story of rebuilding, of repair.
23/02/21·1h 7m

Your Vaccine Questions, Answered

Will the vaccine make me feel sick? Is it OK if I see grandma if she's vaccinated but I'm not? And what's the deal with double masking? Listeners had questions about the coronavirus and vaccines, Sam and NPR Short Wave host Maddie Sofia have answers. Sam also talks to his Aunt Betty about her experience getting her COVID-19 vaccination. Then, the view on coming out to the other side of the pandemic with health journalist Bridie Witton in New Zealand.— Learn more about masks: A User's Guide To Masks: What's Best At Protecting Others (And Yourself)You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
19/02/21·33m 22s

The (Not So?) Wonderful World of Disney

Sam talks to filmmaker and activist Abigail Disney, daughter of Roy E. Disney, about her views on inequality in the U.S., corporate greed and why, despite her last name, she's become one of the more vocal and prominent critics of The Walt Disney empire.
16/02/21·22m 23s

The Union Fight At Amazon, Plus 'Your Korean Dad'

An Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, has become ground zero in a battle that could change Amazon as we know it. Sam chats with a worker about his experience, and labor reporter and organizer Kim Kelly talks about what the fight for unionization in Amazon's warehouses means for the future of workers' rights. Plus, Sam talks to Nick Cho, known as Your Korean Dad on TikTok, about becoming the internet's favorite dad. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
12/02/21·37m 43s

Desus And Mero On Politics, Fame And Life In The Pandemic

Desus Nice and The Kid Mero went from calling up "anyone in their phone book" in the early days of their podcast Bodega Boys, to booking big names in politics like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Barack Obama on Desus & Mero, their late-night show airing on Showtime. Covering a mix of pop culture, politics, headlines and internet hijinks, Desus and Mero talk to Sam about keeping their show's vibe while working from home, how their view of politics has evolved as their platform has grown and the strange ways that life has changed now that these Bronx natives are famous.You can follow 'It's Been a Minute' on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
09/02/21·29m 51s

Presenting 'Snap Judgment': Money Truck

What would you do if a truck full of money flung its doors open right in front of you? Our friends at the Snap Judgment podcast tell six stories that will make you question your own conscience.You can follow 'It's Been a Minute' on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
08/02/21·35m 58s

The Lasting Power Of Whitney Houston's National Anthem

Why does Whitney Houston's 1991 Super Bowl national anthem still resonate 30 years later? Sam chats with author and Black Girl Songbook host Danyel Smith about that moment of Black history and what it says about race, patriotism and pop culture. You can follow 'It's Been a Minute' on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
05/02/21·24m 20s

Presenting 'Fresh Air': Angela Bassett On Drama, Music And 'Soul'

Sam sits in the Fresh Air host chair to chat with actor Angela Bassett. She talks about her most recent film, Disney and Pixar's Soul, what drew her to acting as a young person growing up in Florida, whether Hollywood has changed for Black creatives and which of her past roles define her as a performer.You can follow 'It's Been a Minute' on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
02/02/21·36m 56s

Immigration Under Biden, Plus Preet Bharara 'Doing Justice'

What does immigration look like under President Biden? Sam talks to Caitlin Dickerson, staff writer at The Atlantic, about the likelihood Biden can push through policies that other administrations from both parties tried and failed to do. Plus, Sam chats with former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara about his new podcast, Doing Justice, and how the nation's ideas about rules and law have changed in the past few years. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
29/01/21·35m 32s

The Future Of Fashion

Hello, sweatpants. With scaled-down Fashion Weeks, department stores hurting, and more and more people opting for loungewear rather than workplace attire... where does that leave the fashion business in 2021? Sam talks to Robin Givhan, senior critic-at-large at The Washington Post, about how the very harsh reality of the pandemic has shifted an industry largely built on fantasy.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
26/01/21·25m 59s

Lessons from 9/11 for Today's Extremism; Plus 'Crazy Stories About Racism'

How will the response to far-right extremism compare to the response after 9/11? Sam talks to Hannah Allam, NPR national security correspondent, about the security and civil liberties debate over taking a "war on terror" mindset to today's far-right threat. Also, Sam chats with sisters Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar, co-authors of the book You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey, about their inexplicable, sometimes hilarious, but always horrifying stories of everyday racism. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
22/01/21·34m 31s

After Trump, What's Next For Fox News?

What will happen to Fox News after President Trump leaves office? Fox News is facing Trump's anger for not being sufficiently "loyal," and it's seeing new competition as viewers head to conservative networks like Newsmax and One America News Network. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik and Sam discuss how the feuds of cable news fuel our politics and how the whole news industry adapts to life after Trump. Follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
19/01/21·22m 42s

What's Next For Social Media After Trump? Plus The Lie Of 'Laziness'

A lot of the pro-Trump extremism behind the attack on the Capitol flourished online. Sam talks to Bobby Allyn and Shannon Bond, who both cover tech for NPR, about social platforms and the actions they've taken since the siege, the implications for free speech and whether the internet could fundamentally change. Also, Sam talks to Devon Price, author of the book Laziness Does Not Exist, about the lie of laziness and what it means for productivity.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
15/01/21·35m 54s

We've Had Insurrections Before

History has a way of repeating itself. Last week's storming of the U.S. Capitol has parallels to an incident dating back to 1874, when a paramilitary force of ex-Confederates seized control of the Louisiana state house. Their goal? To depose a governor who won the election and replace him with his opponent. Sam revisits this history with Jamelle Bouie, columnist at The New York Times. They explore why the path toward political unity in our time might actually be through division.Follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
12/01/21·22m 56s

The Capitol, Mobbed

With the pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol this week, at the same time that Congress was set to certify the presidential election results, 2021 is off to a rocky start. Sam checks in with NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis and NPR White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe on the Capitol breach and the week in politics.
08/01/21·35m 43s

Why 'Better Things' Pamela Adlon Is Everyone's Mother

Sam revisits his conversation from 2020 with actress Pamela Adlon. Adlon is the writer, star, director and co-creator of the acclaimed comedy-drama Better Things on FX. The series follows Adlon's character, Sam, as a divorced actress, raising three kids in Los Angeles - all things that mirror Adlon's real life. Sam talks to Adlon about her career, seeing your parents as real-life people, and the awful, crazy, beautiful experience of being a parent yourself.
05/01/21·27m 32s

Claudia Rankine On The Uneasy Conversations Between 'Just Us'

After a year that offered many moments of reflection—from the coronavirus pandemic, to protests for racial justice, to the long election season—acclaimed poet Claudia Rankine's latest book offers a framework to process it all. That book is called Just Us: An American Conversation, and in this episode, we revisit her chat with NPR's Audie Cornish. In the book, Rankine has conversations about race with friends and strangers—and learns about herself in the process.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
01/01/21·30m 56s

Presenting 'Fresh Air': Aaron Sorkin on 'The Trial of the Chicago 7'

Sam sits in the Fresh Air host chair to talk with writer and director Aaron Sorkin. His latest film The Trial of the Chicago 7 covers the events at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago when several prominent anti-war activists were accused of conspiring to start a riot.Wanna show your love for 'It's Been a Minute'? Support your local NPR station:
29/12/20·38m 43s

The Best — And Worst — Of Christmas Culture

Sam shares holiday recommendations with Audie Cornish, co-host of All Things Considered and Consider This, and Bob Mondello, NPR's film critic. They discuss not only their holiday favorites, but also the holiday things they hate. And yes, they'll discuss Love Actually.Wanna show your love for 'It's Been a Minute'? Support your local NPR station:
25/12/20·25m 53s

The Best Things That Happened to You

This year has been hard for pretty much everyone, but that still hasn't stopped people from getting married, having babies, starting new jobs, and telling us all about those milestones and celebrations in voice memos on our show.So in the spirit of the season, we picked a few of our favorite 'Best Things' from 2020 and called up the people who sent them: a listener who found the courage to make a new friend, a son who got the chance to reunite with his mom, and a woman who decided to donate her kidney... to a complete stranger.Wanna show your love for 'It's Been a Minute'? Support your local NPR station:
22/12/20·26m 27s

The Year in Celebrity Culture with 'Who? Weekly'

Without movies or TV shows to shoot or music to record, celebrities were restless in 2020 and eager to connect with a public that, at least for a while, couldn't care less about them. Sam wraps up the year in celebrity culture with Lindsey Weber and Bobby Finger, co-hosts of the podcast Who? Weekly, and breaks down how a pandemic changed our relationship with the rich and the famous. Stuck in quarantine, it turns out that stars really are just like us... and often a little worse. Wanna show your love for 'It's Been a Minute'? Support your local NPR station:
18/12/20·29m 57s

'I Can't Wait To Hate Tour Again': Phoebe Bridgers On Her Breakout Year

Songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has had a big year, but it's also been bittersweet. With four Grammy nominations for work on her acclaimed 2020 album Punisher, Bridgers, like most touring musicians, has been stuck at home. She talks to Sam about her love/hate relationship with touring, how she aims for the universal in the specificity of her lyrics, and her hopes for music—and everyone—in 2021... or whenever the pandemic ends. Watch the extended video version of this interview: Wanna show your love for 'It's Been a Minute'? Support your local NPR station:
15/12/20·32m 9s

The Internet Culture Of Quarantine, Plus Selena's Legacy

Coronavirus has transformed pop culture and placed its creation in the hands of anyone who has social media. Sam chats with E. Alex Jung, a writer at New York Magazine, about pop culture's shift this year to the internet. Then, Sam talks to Alex Zaragoza, senior staff writer for culture at Vice, about her beef with the new Netflix series Selena: The Series and the exploitation of Selena. Wanna show your love for 'It's Been a Minute'? Support your local NPR station:
11/12/20·37m 18s

Pod Fatigue: How Coronavirus Lockdown Has Tested Friendships

Are you sick of the friends and family you've been stuck with? Sam teams up with Anna Sale, host of the WNYC podcast Death, Sex & Money, to explore how our pandemic 'pods' are being tested by the coronavirus. In this episode, Sam digs into friendships under strain. Then, head on over to the Death, Sex & Money podcast feed for Anna's look at how two people stuck apart during the pandemic have fallen in love. Wanna show your love for 'It's Been a Minute'? Support your local NPR station:
08/12/20·30m 2s

Life in the Time of Coronavirus

"What has this pandemic been like for you?"When we put that question to people, the answers we got depended a lot on where they were in life — if they were in school, if they had a job, if they had lost a loved one, if they were vulnerable to the virus. So in this special episode of It's Been a Minute, we'll hear from people of all ages, from all over the country — and world — about how their lives, from young to old, have changed forever.Wanna show your love for 'It's Been a Minute'? Support your local NPR station:
04/12/20·55m 50s

Cathy Park Hong's Asian American Reckoning

Cathy Park Hong talks with Sam about her book Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning. She discusses how watching comedian Richard Pryor influenced her to write honestly about Asian American identity, and how her Korean parents' experience of immigration has made their understanding of race different from her own. Hong is known globally for her award-winning poetry. She also serves as poetry editor for The New Republic and is a professor at Rutgers University–Newark.
01/12/20·32m 22s

James McBride On Hope, Community And 'A Place Of Miracles'

For the holiday, Sam revisits his conversation with award-winning author James McBride. McBride's latest book Deacon King Kong tells the story of how one man's decision brings together the different racial communities of 1960s Brooklyn to solve a larger issue. Sam chats with McBride as he shares his thoughts on the hope he has for communities, the parallels he sees to the world we're living in today, and why he's still optimistic, despite protests and a pandemic. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
27/11/20·32m 20s

Presenting Life Kit: How To Have Better Conversations

With the holidays coming, we're all trying to figure out how to celebrate with loved ones from a distance. When all we have to connect this year are phone calls and video chats, how do we make the most out of our conversations? In this episode from NPR's Life Kit Sam gets advice from the owner of a hair salon, whose job has taught her to be a good conversationalist. Then, Sam talks to journalist and professional speaker Celeste Headlee. Celeste, who gave a TED talk on this topic, shares her guidance on how to have more meaningful conversations.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
24/11/20·19m 45s

Georgia's Senate Runoffs, Plus W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu Talk Politics

Georgia's Senate runoffs have become national races as control of the Senate depends on who wins. Sam asks Tia Mitchell, Washington correspondent for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, if Georgia voters are looking at the runoffs the way the rest of the country is. Then, Sam chats with comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu, hosts of the podcast "Politically Re-Active", about how the Left is processing the results of the 2020 election.
20/11/20·36m 30s

Why Donald Trump Is The Houdini Of Bad Business

What's next for President Trump once he leaves the White House? And what's next for his business? And what's he being investigated for again? And by whom?We take a step back and break it all down with Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the WNYC & ProPublica podcast Trump, Inc., about Trump's finances, his mounting debt and how, after decades of bad business, he has always managed to find a way out.
17/11/20·28m 13s

Louder Than A Riot: 'The Badder, The Better: Bobby Shmurda (Pt 1)'

The rapper Bobby Shmurda had a big viral hit in 2014, and it looked like he was going to be a star. But just months later, Bobby and his friends were arrested and charged in connection with a murder and several other shootings. Our friends at NPR Music podcast Louder Than A Riot trace the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration, and they take a look at Bobby's story in this episode.
16/11/20·54m 14s

Biden's Coronavirus Response, Plus Comedian Matt Rogers

What could a new president mean for the coronavirus pandemic? Sam talks to Ed Yong, staff writer at The Atlantic, about President-elect Joe Biden's coronavirus task force and how much the federal government can do to change the course of the pandemic. Then, Sam chats with comedian Matt Rogers, whose projects this year include competition show Haute Dog on HBO Max, Quibi's Gayme Show and the podcast Las Culturistas (which he hosts with SNL's Bowen Yang). They talk about pop culture and what's giving them joy in 2020.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
13/11/20·37m 4s

White Supremacy And Its Online Reach

Talia Lavin went undercover in white supremacist online communities, creating fake personas that would gain her access to the dark reaches of the internet normally off-limits to her, a Jewish woman. That research laid the groundwork for her book, Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy. Lavin talks to Sam about what it was like to infiltrate those online spaces, what she learned, and how white supremacy cannot exist without anti-Semitism.
10/11/20·27m 30s

What's Next For Biden And Democrats?

Joe Biden appears to be inching closer to a victory, but there wasn't a blowout for Democrats this election. Sam talks to New York Times national political reporter Astead Herndon about what we know, what we thought we knew, and what the results could mean for the left moving forward.
06/11/20·30m 21s

What's Next For Trump And Republicans?

With the election still too close to call, The Atlantic reporter McKay Coppins joins Sam with the latest on what we know about the results, what they mean for President Trump, and how much Trumpism will live on in the Republican Party.
04/11/20·24m 56s

How To Take Care Of Yourself This Election Season

It's Election Day, but instead of the latest politics news, we're giving you some therapy. Sam shares listener questions around mental health issues with psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb. In addition to her clinical practice, Gottlieb is the New York Times best-selling author behind Maybe You Should Talk To Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed. She and Sam discuss burnout, white guilt, and when the right time is to reach out to a therapist. Gottlieb also co-hosts the podcast Dear Therapists and writes the weekly advice column 'Dear Therapist' for The Atlantic.
03/11/20·27m 33s

"Everything's Fine" With Sarah Cooper

With 2020 progressing the way it has, comedian Sarah Cooper wants you to know that Everything's Fine in her new comedy special. Sam talks to Sarah Cooper about her journey from going viral on TikTok lip-syncing to President Donald Trump, to starring in her own Netflix special. Then, Sam chats with Linda Holmes and Aisha Harris, hosts of the NPR Podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, about their favorite politics and election pop culture picks.
30/10/20·39m 3s

Election Night(mare): Bush v. Gore and Why It Matters in 2020

Election Night 2020 is a week away. It's hard to know whether we'll have results that night, in a week or maybe even a month. But that's exactly what happened 20 years ago — between candidates Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush.Sam goes back to that night with NPR's Ron Elving and Mara Liasson to chat about what they remember from working in the newsroom, why it was so chaotic, and what one of the most turbulent elections in U.S. history could teach us about... well, one of the most turbulent elections in U.S. history.
27/10/20·30m 10s

Presenting 'Rough Translation': Dream Boy And The Poison Fans

On this bonus drop, we feature an episode from the NPR podcast Rough Translation. A Chinese idol had millions of fans who adored him for his kindness and good looks. Then, this February, one group of fans accused another of violating their image of him. What happens is a lesson in morality and revenge, love and hate, and how these feelings are weaponized on the internet.
26/10/20·38m 29s

Getting Gamers To The Polls, Plus The Pandemic Economy

Voter outreach took on an unconventional form Tuesday night when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez streamed her gameplay of the hit game "Among Us" on Twitch. While she played the game with friends, her stream became one of the 20 most watched streams in Twitch history. Sam chats with Wired writer Cecilia D'Anastasio who explains the streaming platform's potential to reach new voters. Also, the pandemic has hit the economy hard, but not everyone is feeling the blows. Sam talks to Scott Horsley, NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent, about the pandemic economy – who's winning, who's losing and why.
23/10/20·34m 37s

'They've Dismissed Us': How Latino Voter Outreach Still Falls Short

Latinos are the second largest group of eligible voters by race or ethnicity in the United States, but they continue to be misunderstood and underappreciated by political campaigns of all parties. Sam talks to Lisa García Bedolla, a scholar of Latino politics, about how the word "Latino" encompasses diverse communities of all political stripes and life experiences, and he checks in with the former mayor of a small town in Texas who's been thinking of Latino voter outreach for a long time.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at
20/10/20·26m 23s

Voting In Texas, Plus John Paul Brammer Gives Advice

From fights over early voting applications to ballot drop-off sites, voting in Texas has drawn national attention. Sam talks to Texas reporters Ashley Lopez of member station KUT and Jessica Huseman of ProPublica to unpack what's happening and what it means for voting access. Then, Sam gets advice from John Paul Brammer, creator of the advice column "Hola Papi."
16/10/20·35m 7s

Presenting Throughline: 'James Baldwin's Fire'

Writer and thinker James Baldwin used the power of his words to confront in order to connect, something that feels especially relatable in a year when the United States has been forced to reckon with racial inequality. This week we share an episode from our friends at NPR's Throughline, about James Baldwin, his life and philosophy, and what we can learn from him to lead us into the future.
13/10/20·46m 23s

Joel Kim Booster On Religion, Identity, and Coming Out

In honor of Coming Out Day this weekend, Sam talks to comedian and actor Joel Kim Booster about his experience coming out to his evangelical Christian family. As Kim Booster grew up in this religious household, he struggled to come to terms with his sexual orientation. On top of that, he was also adopted into an all-white family living in an all-white town. Kim Booster often jokes about his upbringing in his comedy sets: "I fully knew I was gay before I knew I was Asian." He also talks to Sam about finding community outside of church.
09/10/20·28m 50s

'Radio Ambulante' Host Daniel Alarcón On The Immigrant Experience

Sam revisits his 2017 chat with author and Radio Ambulante host, Daniel Alarcón. They discuss Alarcón's book of short stories, The King Is Always Above The People, which holds a mirror to the immigrant experience in today's political climate. Alarcón also shares his own experiences immigrating from Peru to the U.S. as a child.
06/10/20·24m 57s

The Dangers of White Supremacy, Plus Demi Adejuyigbe Brings Joy

When President Trump told white supremacists to "stand back and stand by," the country responded with heavy criticism. Sam talks with Kathleen Belew, assistant professor of history at the University of Chicago, about what we get wrong when we talk about the white power movement. Then, Sam chats with Demi Adejuyigbe, writer for The Amber Ruffin Show. They talk about his career, his viral September 21 videos, and how he uses online fame for good.
02/10/20·35m 10s

Bowen Yang on 'SNL,' Diversity, and Culture

Sam chats with comedian Bowen Yang about becoming the first Chinese American cast member on Saturday Night Live, what it was like to do the show during a pandemic, and why Adele Dazeem is the number one moment in the history of culture. Watch Sam's extended interview with Bowen here:
29/09/20·36m 14s

Supreme Court Misconceptions

When the biggest news stories happen all at once, it's easy to miss what each of them really means. Since Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death last week, there have been questions about who will replace her and what it means for the court. Sam talks to Slate's Mark Joseph Stern about the Supreme Court's history and what recent discussions get wrong. Then, Democrats and progressives brought in massive fundraising dollars in the days after Justice Ginsburg's death. Sam chats with Julie Bykowicz of the Wall Street Journal about what all that money means. Finally, Sam talks to Tina Vasquez of Prism about the forced sterilization of immigrants in a Georgia detention center, and why it's important to see the bigger picture.Follow us at Email us at
25/09/20·40m 14s

The Life And Legacy Of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last week at the age of 87. The conversation has quickly moved to the politics around her replacement, but what kind of legacy did she leave? In the award-winning documentary RBG, filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West chronicle the life of Ginsburg, from her rise to the judicial branch to becoming the 'Notorious RBG.' NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg also joins this encore conversation with Sam, Betsy, and Julie.
24/09/20·31m 59s

Coronavirus And Teachers

This school year is proving to be unlike any other. Teaching might be a nightmare in schools doing hybrid learning, a success for those doing virtual learning, or vice versa. It all depends on which school district you're in and what resources and funding you might be able to access. So what's the experience been like so far for the teachers trying to make school happen?
22/09/20·29m 15s

Movie Industry Adapts, Plus LeVar Burton Reads

The movie industry is hurting. Most theaters in the U.S. are still shut down, and who knows when—or if—audiences will pack into theaters again. Adam B. Vary and Angelique Jackson of Variety talk about the state of the movie industry and how it's adapted, for better or worse, in this pandemic. Also, Sam talks to actor LeVar Burton about reading, why we like being read to, what he really wanted you to learn from Reading Rainbow, and the latest season of his podcast LeVar Burton Reads.Follow us at Email us at
18/09/20·38m 35s

Larry Wilmore's Return to Late Night

Larry Wilmore has a resume that could rival pretty much anyone's in Hollywood. Name a show and he probably had his hands in it. He created The Bernie Mac Show, co-created Insecure, wrote for shows like In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Office, and served as the "Senior Black Correspondent" on The Daily Show. He also had his own late night show called The Nightly Show.Now, Wilmore is back in the hosting chair with a new show on the NBC streaming service Peacock. Sam and Wilmore chat about starting a new show from scratch in a pandemic, deconstructing 2020, and why that one episode of The Office probably wouldn't fly today.
15/09/20·24m 43s

West Coast On Fire, Plus Comedian Sam Jay

The smoke, the flames, the creepy orange and red skies. It's fire season out west and it's already one for the books. Sam talks a resident of Napa County, CA, who had to flee her home because of the fires. Then he's joined by New York Times opinion writer Farhad Manjoo, who is convinced this is the end of California as we know it. Finally, comedian and SNL writer Sam Jay talks about her new Netflix special 3 O'Clock in the Morning.
11/09/20·37m 8s

Poet Claudia Rankine And 'Just Us'

Poet Claudia Rankine is back with a new book called Just Us: An American Conversation. Much like her acclaimed 2014 book of poetry, Citizen: An American Lyric, her new volume offers an unflinching examination of race and racism in the United States — this time in conversations with friends and strangers. Guest host Audie Cornish talks to Rankine about what she learned about herself and others in these conversations, why she doesn't mind educating others about race, and how we move forward together in tough times.Follow us: Email us:
08/09/20·33m 30s

Pandemic Childcare; Plus Mukbang Meets True Crime

Guest host Elise Hu looks at how the pandemic has exacerbated existing problems when it comes to the care of small children. A Massachusetts childcare center owner shares her story about reopening, while a public policy professor talks about the difficult choices women often have to make between their careers and caregiving. Also, a look at how mukbang and true crime collide in the world of Stephanie Soo, a YouTube star and host of the Rotten Mango podcast.
04/09/20·34m 53s

How Bill Nye Became the 'Science Guy'

Sam revisits his 2017 chat with Bill Nye the Science Guy. They discuss climate change (and climate change deniers), how Nye got his start in TV, and whether fame has changed him, for better or worse.
01/09/20·23m 50s

Bonus Episode: 'Truth Be Told'

A special bonus feed drop from the KQED podcast Truth Be Told, hosted by Tonya Mosley. A conversation about parenting during the pandemic — there's no right way to do it. Tonya and two Wise Ones, Nancy Redd, author and mother, and Wajahat Ali, New York Times contributor and father, answer questions about parenting during this tricky time.
31/08/20·38m 55s

Protests, Yesterday And Today

This week we're talking protests, both old and new. On Wednesday, Milwaukee Bucks players refused to play their NBA playoff game in protest of racial injustice. Other pro athletes in the NBA, WNBA and more also walked off the job. Sam talks it out with Clinton Yates, columnist for The Undefeated. Then, we take it back 50 years to the Chicano Moratorium in Los Angeles on August 29, 1970. That march and rally against the Vietnam War ended in 200 arrests, many injuries, and three deaths, including journalist Rubén Salazar. It's Been a Minute producer Andrea Gutierrez shares a personal story about it.Follow us: Email us:
28/08/20·35m 29s

'Pose' Star Billy Porter: 'Love Always Wins'

Billy Porter is a force to be reckoned with. A Tony Award-winning Broadway performer. A fashion icon with unforgettable red carpet looks. An Emmy Award-winning actor (with another nomination under his belt this year). Currently, Porter stars in the acclaimed FX show Pose, all about New York's underground ball culture in the 80s and 90s. It's also takes place during the height of the HIV-AIDS crisis.Sam talks to Porter about the parallels between that crisis and the one we're living in today, about growing up in the church, and why — despite everything that's happened this year — love will always win.
25/08/20·29m 0s

Another Wrench In The (Voting) Works, Plus Robin Thede On 'A Black Lady Sketch Show'

Everyone's talking about obstacles to voting this year, from the post office to the pandemic. Sam talks with NPR's Miles Parks about how everything's supposed to work with the election in November. Then, Sam calls up historian Martha S. Jones, author of the forthcoming book Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All. They talk about why voting looks the way it does even in a normal cycle, and what the U.S. Constitution actually says about voting. Plus, Sam talks with comedian Robin Thede, creator and showrunner of A Black Lady Sketch Show, which is nominated for three Emmys this year. They talk about her long career in comedy, which includes her time as head writer for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and as host of The Rundown with Robin Thede, and play the game Who Said That.Follow us: Email us:
21/08/20·35m 9s

All About That Base: Trump And Biden Voters In 2020

We're in the homestretch of the 2020 presidential election campaign. Joe Biden announced Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, Democrats have their national convention this week, Republicans next week, and each party's candidate is hoping to energize their voter base. Sam talks to The Atlantic's McKay Coppins about Donald Trump's base and how his campaign's digital efforts have evolved since 2016. Then NPR political correspondent Asma Khalid turns the focus to Biden's eclectic coalition of voters — who include not only a growing number of Black and brown voters, but also white, college-educated suburban voters — and who have one goal in common: to defeat Trump in November.
18/08/20·31m 40s

The Good, Bad And Ugly Of The Pandemic Housing Market, Plus TikTok Under Fire

Home sales are up, but the number of people facing evictions is also up. Sam talks to The Indicator's Stacey Vanek Smith and Cardiff Garcia about the good and bad news of the housing market in a pandemic. Then, TikTok is massively popular around the world, but now it's under fire from the Trump Administration due to national security concerns. We hear from NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn about the latest on the social media upstart and what a proposed ban has to do with China and user data.Follow us: Email us:
14/08/20·35m 24s

The Rise of Netflix

One of the few companies doing well during this pandemic is Netflix. In the last few months, the streaming service has seen a huge uptick in new subscribers. Sam talks to Peter Kafka and Rani Molla, co-hosts of the podcast Land of the Giants, about the Netflix effect — how it got to where it is today, its win over Blockbuster, and the one TV show that launched a thousand binges (figuratively speaking).
11/08/20·26m 27s

Regina King on Race, Policing and HBO's 'Watchmen'

Sam revisits his chat with Regina King from 2019 after the actress' recent Emmy nomination for her performance on the HBO series Watchmen. In this encore interview, King talks about why she gravitates toward work that deals with race and policing, why she's still proud to call herself an American and why that also means demanding things to get a lot better than they are now.
07/08/20·29m 23s

Code Switch: What's In A 'Karen'?

"Karen" is not just a name. It's also a persona, an attitude, a label for a certain type of white woman determined to get what she wants—especially at the expense of Black people. Karens are part of a long lineage going back at least a couple centuries. This week we share an episode from Code Switch about the origins of "Karen" as an archetype, who her ancestors were, and why such a label even exists.
04/08/20·25m 4s

Bonus Episode: Padma Lakshmi on 'Asian Enough'

A special bonus feed drop from The Los Angeles Times podcast Asian Enough: A conversation with Top Chef host, model and writer Padma Lakshmi about growing up Indian American in the San Gabriel Valley, cultural appropriation vs. appreciation in food, and her new Hulu show Taste the Nation.
03/08/20·48m 31s

Coronavirus Questions Answered, Plus A Chat About 'Indian Matchmaking'

Should I wear a mask while running? How often should I wipe down my phone? Can I say hello to other people's dogs? Our listeners had questions about coronavirus, we have answers. Sam is joined by Short Wave host Maddie Sofia to dig into the science behind some of the decisions we have to make about everyday encounters in this pandemic. Then, Sam is all caught up in the buzz around Netflix's Indian Matchmaking, and he calls up journalist and former It's Been a Minute intern Hafsa Fathima to break it down.Follow us: Email us:
31/07/20·37m 16s

Aminatou Sow, Ann Friedman And Their 'Big Friendship'

All relationships have a backstory, even friendships. Best friends Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, hosts of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend, are out with a new book called Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close. In it, they write about their friendship story and they share lessons for all of us about how to keep our own friendships strong. Sam chats with them about going to friend therapy and what it's like to have a deep friendship with someone of a different race.Follow us: Email us:
28/07/20·26m 30s

It's A Women's Recession

We're in a recession, and it's hitting women especially hard. So how does it compare to the last recession, and how much of it has to do with childcare? Sam is joined by Planet Money's Mary Childs and Stacey Vanek Smith to make sense of it all. Then Sam chats with Reverend Jes Kast, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, about how faith and scripture provide solace in moments of uncertainty like this.
24/07/20·34m 25s

'I May Destroy You' Star Michaela Coel

Sam revisits his 2019 conversation with actress and writer Michaela Coel, who is the star and creator of the new critically acclaimed show, I May Destroy You. Before that show, Coel made waves in the hit British sitcom Chewing Gum. Her work as the creator, writer, and lead actress on the show earned her a BAFTA. She tells Sam about the emotional transparency that comes from shaving her head and how she once embraced the Pentecostal faith. They also bond over their feelings about Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
21/07/20·27m 44s

What's College Without A Campus? Plus Ziwe Makes Things Awkward

Colleges and universities are getting ready for a new year, but like everything else, coronavirus is complicating everything. Some are closing campus and moving online, others plan to bring students back with social distancing. Sam checks in with Tressie McMillan Cottom, associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and author of Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, about the state of higher education and why not all colleges are created equal when it comes to prioritizing health over business. Then he chats with comedian and Desus and Mero writer Ziwe Fumudoh, whose recent interviews with white celebrities like Alison Roman and Rose McGowan have generated a lot of social media buzz for her frank questions about race. They talk about the art of the interview and her comfort with discomfort.
17/07/20·35m 15s

Reckoning With Race in Journalism

The newsrooms that covered the protests for racial justice are now being forced to confront racism and inequity within their own organizations. Black journalists and other journalists of color are sharing their experiences on social media and leading a public debate over what it means to be "objective," whose stories are told, and how whiteness still dictates newsroom practices, opportunities and compensation. Sam chats about this reckoning within newsrooms with The Undefeated's Soraya Nadia McDonald, Futuro Media president and founder and Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa and NPR public editor Kelly McBride. Thanks for listening to our show! We want your feedback. Please visit to submit your thoughts now.
14/07/20·42m 43s

Paying The Price Of Coronavirus

Four months into the pandemic, it seems like we're no better off in dealing with the coronavirus. There are still so many questions and few definitive answers about how this all ends, and for a lot of us, that's turned into anger and frustration. Sam talks to comedian Laurie Kilmartin about how she used Twitter and her iPad to process her mother's illness and death from COVID-19. Then he chats with Houston bar owner Greg Perez about how he's trying to keep workers and customers safe while also keeping his business afloat. And Sam asks Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo in Miami about how to make sense of all the mixed public health messaging on the coronavirus.
10/07/20·35m 50s

Chelsea Handler On White Privilege

Last year, comedian Chelsea Handler made a documentary on Netflix called, Hello Privilege. It's Me, Chelsea, where she explored the idea of white privilege. Which happens to be a thing that a lot of people are talking about again... right now, in 2020.Sam talks to Chelsea about what she's learned since then, her latest book — Life Will Be the Death of Me...and You Too! -- and coming to terms with both her own white privilege during the protests... and herself, in therapy.
07/07/20·25m 0s

Summer Pop Culture Recs, Plus A Visit With Kirk Franklin

It's summer without a lot of the usual summer fun because, you know, pandemic. But we've got music and TV recommendations to keep you company. Joining Sam are All Things Considered co-host Audie Cornish and Code Switch co-host Gene Demby to chat about their TV picks — Netflix's Bojack Horseman and HBO's I May Destroy You — and to play a special summer songs version of Who Said That. Then, Sam chats with gospel musician, songwriter and author Kirk Franklin about how his music and faith are a balm for these turbulent times.
03/07/20·36m 58s

Nicole Byer On How To Love Yourself

Ever wonder what it would be like to take hundreds of photos of yourself for a giant coffee table book ... wearing only a bikini? Comedian Nicole Byer has. And did, for her new book: #VeryFat #VeryBrave: The Fat Girl's Guide to Being #Brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-in-the-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini.Sam talks to the "Nailed It" Netflix host about what it was like to make the book, what it taught her about her body, and why the store Lane Bryant touches a nerve.
30/06/20·25m 4s

How Much Have Facebook And Twitter Changed Since 2016?

How much has Big Tech changed since the 2016 election? Sam is joined by Washington Post tech reporters Elizabeth Dwoskin and Tony Romm. They chat about Facebook and Twitter and how their platforms and views on free speech have evolved since the last presidential election. Sam also chats with Washington Post columnist and satirist Alexandra Petri about her book of essays Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why and how she uses humor to uncover bigger truths.
26/06/20·35m 13s

Tracee Ellis Ross Is Thriving, Not Surviving

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross has been acting for years — from the early 2000s sitcom 'Girlfriends' to her Golden Globe winning role on ABC's 'Black-ish.' She talks to Sam about pushing back against Black stereotypes on and off-screen, pursuing success at any age, finding Black joy during a tumultuous time, and sharing her singing work in her latest film 'The High Note' with her mother, music legend Diana Ross.
23/06/20·29m 44s

Supreme Court Protects Rights For DACA And LGBTQ Workers

What does it all mean when so much change happens at the same time? This week, the Supreme Court protected the rights of two marginalized groups — DACA recipients and LGBTQ workers — and protests against police brutality continued around the world. Sam chats about the Supreme Court with Slate's Mark Joseph Stern, then checks in with Tobore Oweh, a DACA recipient who is hopeful yet realistic about her status. After that, Sam calls across the pond to UK writer Candice Carty-Williams about the Black Lives Matter protests near her.
19/06/20·38m 43s

James McBride on Race, Religion and Why He's Hopeful

James McBride is the National Award-winning author of The Good Lord Bird and the best-selling memoir, The Color of Water. His latest book is Deacon King Kong, which is set against the backdrop of 1960s Brooklyn and tells the story of how one man's decision upended an entire neighborhood. Sam talks to McBride about race, religion and community, the parallels he sees to the world we're living in today, and why he's still optimistic, despite protests and a pandemic.
16/06/20·32m 31s

Lessons About Racism from 'Cops' and 'Gone With The Wind'

The killing of George Floyd has inspired global protests against police brutality, and it seems like everyone has something to say, including the entertainment industry. Sam's joined by NPR television critic Eric Deggans and Tonya Mosley, co-host of NPR/WBUR's Here & Now and host of the KQED podcast Truth Be Told. They talk about the cancellation of the long-running reality TV show Cops, the removal of Gone With the Wind from HBO Max, and what it all says about this moment. After that, Sam chats with Rev. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan, and Rev. angel Kyodo williams, a Zen priest. They talk about what Black people and white people should be doing differently now and give Sam a bit of sermon.
12/06/20·34m 49s

Trump v Nixon on Race: Why 2020 Isn't Quite 1968

2020 is '68 all over again. But not the '68 you think. Yes, 1968 also saw protests, racial divisions and political polarization. Adam Serwer covers politics for The Atlantic, and he says you can certainly draw comparisons between Trump and Nixon – in that Trump is actually a backlash to the policies that came out of 1968. But Serwer says 1868 is a better point of comparison – it was a moment of hope, when white Republicans had been fighting for black rights for years, before ultimately abandoning them to pursue white voters. Serwer sees Americans coming together in this moment, as they have in the past, but as a student of history, he says the backlash always comes eventually.
09/06/20·27m 6s

Not Just Another Protest

There is so much to unpack in this current moment. Sam has a candid conversation with Aunt Betty about how history has shaped her view of the current protests, and he walks around downtown Los Angeles to get the perspective of people he meets. Sam also talks to BuzzFeed News reporter Melissa Segura on her recent reporting about police unions and what they mean for reform, and Morning Edition executive producer Kenya Young about being a black parent during this time.
05/06/20·41m 27s

Hasan Minhaj On Faith And Seeking Answers

Comedian Hasan Minhaj is not afraid of talking about his faith, even when it gets him in trouble. He's a two-time Peabody Award winner and host of the Netflix show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, which has just begun its second season. He talks to Sam about being an Indian American Muslim, how he finds joy in family and what his faith means to him today.
02/06/20·29m 38s

Money and Coronavirus; Samantha Irby On Judge Mathis

The coronavirus pandemic has us worrying not only about our health, but also about money. Sam talks to CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger, about the current economic crisis and how it's affecting different generations. Then, Sam talks to writer Samantha Irby about her newsletter "Who's On Judge Mathis Today?," which recaps the foibles of the syndicated daytime court show Judge Mathis.
29/05/20·34m 54s

Interview: Yvonne Orji on 'Insecure'

Yvonne Orji plays the part of best friend Molly Carter on the HBO series Insecure, but Orji will soon headline her own stand-up special in June called, "Mama, I Made It." Orji talks to Sam about religion, getting her start in comedy at a Nigerian beauty pageant, growing up with strict immigrant parents and finding the humor in all of it. Email the show at
26/05/20·26m 51s

Maya Erskine Takes The Lead In 'Plus One' And 'PEN15'

Maya Erskine has come a long way from the NYU experimental theater department where she met her PEN15 co-creator Anna Konkle. In this encore episode, Erskine talks to Sam about her starring role in the genre-bending romantic comedy Plus One and how she wrote her own life experiences into the character she plays on Hulu's PEN15.
22/05/20·39m 51s

Saeed Jones On 'How We Fight For Our Lives' — And How He Fought For His

Sam revisits his 2019 conversation with poet and writer Saeed Jones. Saeed discusses his memoir, How We Fight For Our Lives, a vulnerable exploration of his coming of age as black and gay in suburban Texas. The former BuzzFeed editor sat down with Sam to give a glimpse of the stories behind his book, including those of his mother and grandmother, and one where he faced violence during a sexual encounter with another man. This episode contains graphic discussion of sex, sexuality and abuse.
19/05/20·43m 25s

The Show Must Go On

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic began, we've become more accustomed to life closing down than opening up. But for many, putting life on pause isn't an option. This week, Sam talks to people whose lives were thrown off course, but who scrambled to keep doing what they were doing. A home health aide talks about the risk she now takes to do her work. A political organizer explains how door knocking and canvassing had to go digital. And an international student is determined to stay in the United States, despite losing her classes, her housing, and her job.
15/05/20·33m 47s

Interview: Chicano Batman On 'Invisible People' And LA Vibes

The music of the band Chicano Batman has long defied genre. Funk, psychedelic, soul, indie — it's all these things and more. Sam talks to band members Carlos Arévalo and Bardo Martinez about their new album, Invisible People, what it's like not to be able to tour and how their music is the ultimate reflection of their hometown, Los Angeles.
12/05/20·22m 27s

Weekly Wrap: Back To Capitol Hill

Politics may not be the first thing on minds right now, but it's still happening. With the Senate returning to session this week, Sam checks in to see how Capitol Hill is operating safely. NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis discusses how congressional members are taking precautions, while NPR White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe explains how President Trump's election rallies could possibly continue with social distancing in place. Then, Sam calls up an artist in Sweden — which hasn't imposed strict lockdown measures— to find out what everyday life now looks like.
08/05/20·34m 1s

Love And Coronavirus

Sam hears listener stories and expert tips on virtual dating and maintaining relationships in the coronavirus era. He's joined by Lane Moore, comedian and host of Tinder Live, and Damona Hoffman, a dating and relationship coach and host of the podcast Dates & Mates with Damona Hoffman. Damona also shares questions from her podcast listeners.
05/05/20·28m 47s

TV, Movies And Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all parts of the entertainment industry. Sam talks to writer and comedian Jenny Yang and camera operator Jessica Hershatter, whose jobs are on hold due to shutdowns. Also, Sam and LA Times entertainment reporter Meredith Blake discuss television and streaming. And joining Sam for a special edition of Who Said That is Shea Serrano, staff writer for The Ringer and author of the book Movies (and Other Things).
01/05/20·33m 52s

It's Been A Minute Presents: Code Switch

The United States government has changed its definition of who counts as black throughout the years and the census is proof of that. During the very first census in 1790, it was simply "slaves." Now, in 2020, it's "Black or African American," with the option to write in a country of origin. This week, we share an episode from the Code Switch podcast about the ever-shifting boundaries of blackness and why it matters to this decade's census.
28/04/20·35m 55s

Coronavirus: The Great Equalizer — Or Maybe Not

Depending on where you live, your race, and your income, the coronavirus pandemic can look dramatically different. Sam's NPR colleagues, Leila Fadel, based in Los Angeles, California, and Kirk Siegler, based in Boise, Idaho, compare how differently rural and urban populations are dealing with the pandemic — and what they may have in common. Then, Sam speaks with a listener who had COVID-19 and thinks she may have passed it on to a co-worker who later died. And listeners share all the things helping them cope and getting them through this time.
24/04/20·36m 27s

Interview: Sopan Deb on 'Missed Translations' and Found Connections

Sopan Deb lived under the same roof with both of his parents for most of his childhood, but never knew their ages or where they grew up or if they had any siblings. He didn't know much about them at all. He lived in a house of strangers, each going about their own lives, only briefly bumping into one another. It wasn't until Sopan turned 30 that he realized he was missing something and set out to reconnect with the family he never really understood.Sam talks to Sopan about his journey of self-reflection, traveling to India to see his father and what he ultimately learned about his family and himself.Email the show at
21/04/20·24m 32s

Weekly Wrap: Sports On Hold, And Your Productivity Too

The coronavirus has completely reshaped the world of sports. Sam talks to ESPN senior writer and ESPN Daily host Mina Kimes and The Undefeated columnist Clinton Yates about how different professional leagues are dealing with the pandemic. Also, BuzzFeed senior culture writer Anne Helen Petersen chats with Sam about our obsession with productivity in quarantine times.
17/04/20·38m 22s

Encore: Drag Culture's Moment - From 'RuPaul's Drag Race' to Shangela

Where is drag culture right now? It's certainly continuing to have a moment: from RuPaul's Drag Race, to DragCon, to drag queens appearing on the big screen. In this encore episode, Sam revisits the history of drag, chats with the co-executive producers of RuPaul's Drag Race, and talks to some drag performers about where drag is headed next.
14/04/20·38m 10s

Weekly Wrap: Yes, The Census Is Still Happening

The census comes but once a decade, and this time it's in the midst of a pandemic. Code Switch co-hosts Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji talk it out with Sam. Also, hospitals have been dramatically changed by the coronavirus, but babies still need to be delivered. Sam talks to one mom-to-be whose birth plans have been upended by the crisis.
10/04/20·34m 48s

Interview: Jonathan Van Ness on Quarantine Life and His New Children's Book

Jonathan Van Ness wears many hats: He's one of the Fab Five on the popular Netflix show Queer Eye, a podcast host, an aspiring figure skater and gymnast, a grooming and self-care expert, a comedian, and author of a best-selling memoir. And now... a children's book author.Sam talks to Van Ness about why he decided to write Peanut Goes for the Gold, about a gender nonbinary guinea pig who has their own way of doing things, and how he's been dealing with social distancing during self-quarantine.Email the show at
07/04/20·23m 13s

Weekly Wrap: A Jobs Crisis, And It's No One's Fault

The coronavirus is taking a toll on jobs and the economy. Sam talks to NPR's Cardiff Garcia and Stacey Vanek Smith, co-hosts of The Indicator from Planet Money, about ways to get people paid while they're out of work and the necessity for businesses to pivot to stay afloat. Also, Sam and NPR music news editor Sidney Madden talk about new ways people are listening to music and partying online in "club quarantine."
03/04/20·34m 10s

Homeschooling In The Age Of The Coronavirus

Right now a lot of parents have taken on a new responsibility: homeschool teacher. Many feel like they have no idea what they're doing. Sam talks with parents in all different kinds of circumstances trying to make it work.
31/03/20·24m 35s

Weekly Wrap: The Coronavirus 'New Normal'

The last few weeks have meant adjusting to new ways of life. Sam talks to two NPR colleagues about how life in lockdown is affecting them personally. Morning Edition host David Greene tells Sam how his wife, a restaurateur, is coping with a struggling industry and whether a new congressional stimulus bill can offer relief. Then, Kelly McEvers, host of Embedded and the new Coronavirus Daily podcast, talks about the realities of homeschooling. Sam also speaks with Variety writer Meg Zukin, whose tweet asking couples to share their coronavirus "drama" went viral.
27/03/20·38m 41s

Interview: Audie Cornish on 'She's Funny'

Audie Cornish sits down with Sam Sanders to discuss her She's Funny series: conversations with female comedians Hannah Gadsby, Margaret Cho, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jenny Slate and others. In a series of vignettes, Audie and Sam discuss how these women charged forward in their careers and what risks they've taken through the years. Plus, Audie's extended conversation with comedian Jenny Slate on what the culture is really like at Saturday Night Live.
24/03/20·34m 0s

Special Episode: A Social Distancing Survival Guide

It's hard being isolated from jobs, friends and family. So Sam is changing up this week's show with guests who have ideas on how to cope with the quarantine. Superstar chef Samin Nosrat of Netflix's "Salt Fat Acid Heat" and Tucker Shaw of "America's Test Kitchen" talk about cooking for neighbors, helping laid-off restaurant workers, and making better meals out of the stuff you've got at hand. Comedian Iliza Schlesinger talks about what she's getting done during her time at home, and we hear from a Stanford psychologist about creating "distant socializing" to keep ourselves connected.
20/03/20·37m 4s

Obama's Historic 'Race Speech' -12 Years Later

Twelve years ago this week, presidential candidate Barack Obama gave what became a historic speech about race. He spoke in response to video that surfaced of his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, heatedly criticizing America's foreign policy and treatment of African-Americans. In his speech, Obama urged racial harmony and understanding. Sam is joined by political commentators, activists and academics to see if the speech's message still holds up.
17/03/20·26m 3s

Weekly Wrap: Everything Is Canceled, Here Are Some Distractions

The coronavirus may force you to stay at home for the next few weeks, but here's how to successfully wait out a pandemic. Bob Mondello, film critic for NPR, tells Sam what movies to catch up on while self-quarantined, with some tips for film-watching etiquette. And with more people working from home, Barrie Hardymon, senior editor at Weekend Edition, recommends shows, movies and games both parents and kids can enjoy. Then, Sam talks to Edgar Ortiz, a student at Berea College in Kentucky. Like millions of American students, Ortiz is facing the closure of his campus and preparing to finish the semester online. Sam also talks to reporter Trish Murphy, host of podcast Seattle Now, about what it's like to see an empty Seattle ⁠— America's coronavirus epicenter.
13/03/20·38m 17s

Interview: Daniel Mallory Ortberg on 'Something That May Shock and Discredit You'

Daniel Mallory Ortberg is the writer behind Slate's Dear Prudence advice column. But now in his new book, Something That May Shock and Discredit You, Ortberg writes about something closer to home: his journey of transition from Mallory to Daniel. He talks to Sam about his relationship with religion, the power of self-knowledge and being able to fully own who you are.Email the show at
10/03/20·29m 59s

Weekly Wrap: Afghanistan Withdrawal, Coronavirus Fears

It's an all-NPR show! Sam talks with two fellow correspondents about big stories in the news this week. Stacey Vanek Smith, co-host of NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money, tells Sam about the "coronabump" — consumer goods and services that are seeing a spike in business because of the virus outbreak. And NPR's Quil Lawrence talks about the negotiated withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years at war. Then Sam talks to Shankar Vedantam, host of NPR's Hidden Brain, about how we can keep our fears of coronavirus in perspective.
06/03/20·36m 50s

Interview: Pamela Adlon on 'Better Things'

Pamela Adlon is the writer, star, director and co-creator of Better Things on FX. The television comedy-drama follows Adlon's character, Sam, as a divorced actress, raising three kids in Los Angeles. In real life, Adlon is a divorced actress, raising three kids in Los Angeles. Sam talks to Adlon about her career, seeing your parents as real-life people, and the awful, crazy, beautiful experience of being a parent yourself.Email the show at
03/03/20·29m 21s

Weekly Wrap: Coronavirus and the Markets; 'Love Is Blind' is Final Boss Reality TV

The fast-moving coronavirus has turned up in more than 40 countries, and now it's affecting the global economy. Sam talks to two reporters from Marketplace about the financial impact of the virus. Marielle Segarra details how consumers might feel its consequences, while Reema Khrais, host of the podcast This Is Uncomfortable, explains how the US government is trying to respond. Then, Sam talks to Mark Cuevas, a contestant on the Netflix show Love Is Blind, about his time on the show. He follows up that conversation with Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever, to break down the popularity of shows where contestants can't see each other.
28/02/20·40m 5s

Interview: Nick Kroll on 'Olympic Dreams' And 'Big Mouth'

Nick Kroll is the co-creator of the raunchy animated Netflix hit Big Mouth. The show (and Kroll) are known for over the top, strange, yet totally relatable comedy. Now, Kroll is out with a new film in which he plays a romantic lead for the first time. Olympic Dreams was filmed at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. He tells Sam about making the movie and how it has a lot in common with Big Mouth.
25/02/20·26m 21s

Weekly Wrap: The Rise of Bloomberg, Revisiting Oakland

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has been rising in the polls. He's spent more than $450 million on ads, but faced a big challenge Wednesday in his first presidential debate. This week, Sam talks to two journalists who have covered Bloomberg for years. Rosie Gray, a reporter for Buzzfeed News, says that his lackluster debate performance shows that there is a limit to the power of money on the campaign trail. Matt Flegenheimer, a national political reporter for The New York Times, details how Bloomberg is using his wealth to run a very different campaign than his competitors. Then, Sam revisits his reporting from Oakland last year on the realities of young people living with gun violence every day.
21/02/20·36m 15s

Interview: R. Eric Thomas on 'Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America'

R. Eric Thomas writes a column that is part news, part culture and part celebrity shade for But in his new book, "Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America," Thomas takes a look at his own life. He talks to Sam about his love of words, growing up as a gay black teenager and finding love in an unexpected place. Email the show at
18/02/20·31m 28s

Weekly Wrap: Elections Are Too Modern, Evidently So Are Federal Buildings

The nation's first caucus and primary are in the rear-view mirror, and states around the country are second-guessing their election systems after the app used in the Iowa Caucus failed. Miles Parks, a reporter on NPR's Washington Desk, talks about how the state of Nevada is learning lessons from Iowa, including keeping the process slow so that results are certain. Libby Denkmann, senior politics reporter at member station KPCC, discusses how Los Angeles County is creating its own voting system — a hybrid of paper and electronic systems. Then, Sam talks with writer and architecture critic Kate Wagner about why a proposed rule from the Trump administration that would mandate "classical style" for new federal buildings is angering the design world.
14/02/20·37m 33s

Interview: What Makes a Hit Pop Song

Listen up music composition nerds and music lovers! In this episode Sam is joined by Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, co-hosts of the podcast Switched On Pop. They break down what makes a song: why certain pop songs become ear worms and what their form and structure mean for the future of music. Answers to those questions and more that will leave you singing along. Sloan and Harding's recent book is called Switched On Pop: How Popular Music Works and Why It Matters.
11/02/20·20m 30s

Weekly Wrap: Oscars Still So White. So Is New Hampshire's Primary

The Oscars are Sunday and once again this year's nominees reflect an Academy that's still older, whiter, and more male. All five directing nominees are men, and 19 of 20 nominees for acting are white. Adam B. Vary, Senior Entertainment Writer for Variety, tells Sam the best-reviewed film of the year is "Parasite," from South Korea, which is up for Best Picture. But none of its cast were singled out for awards. Audrey Cleo Yap, host of Daily Variety on, says that lack of notice for Asian actors is consistent with past Academy behavior. She also notes the few film industry insiders who are pushing Hollywood to open up — but says most are too fearful to speak out. Sam also talks with two Virginia Commonwealth University political science students who traveled with their class to New Hampshire to observe and participate in the state's presidential primary activities. They're featured the New Hampshire Public Radio podcast Stranglehold. They asked why such an overwhelmingly white state should remain the first to hold a primary — when it doesn't reflect the rest of the nation.
07/02/20·38m 9s

Roy Wood Jr. on Comedy, Criminal Justice, and Chicken Sandwiches

Roy Wood Jr. has been a comedian since he was 19. He's a correspondent for 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' and has two Comedy Central specials under his belt. Wood talks to Sam about his career, how to be funny in a changing political climate, and a project he's working on that was inspired by a run-in with the law. Email the show at
04/02/20·29m 7s

Weekly Wrap: Coronavirus and Racism, Australia Fires, Kobe Bryant's Legacy

It's been a busy week in news. Australia's capital Canberra is menaced by wildfires and has declared a state of emergency. And the fast spread of the coronavirus has also led to racist comments and press coverage about Asian food and Asian-American eating habits. Sam talks about these stories with panelists Julie Cart, a reporter for CalMatters and Andrew Ti, host of the podcast Yo, Is This Racist? and writer for the ABC series Mixed-ish. Then sports writer Jemele Hill of the Atlantic reflects on basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed along with his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash this past week. Sam asks how and when we should acknowledge the good and bad sides of someone's life after a sudden death.
31/01/20·37m 47s

Interview: Prince's Iconic Moments

Randee St. Nicholas met Prince for the first time in 1991, when she was hired to do their first shoot together. From there she captured some of his highest moments doing sold out shows across the world, to his most vulnerable, in hotel rooms late at night. Randee recalls her memorable relationship with Prince that spanned years and led to countless memories. She's published her photos of the iconic singer in a new book called My Name Is Prince.
28/01/20·27m 57s

Weekly Wrap: Flint Water Crisis Continues, Hillary Clinton on Bernie Sanders

As President Trump's impeachment trial starts in the Senate, we look to some ongoing stories to recap the week in news. An NPR investigation finds a government agency reported deeply disturbing housing and health conditions in ICE facilities holding people seeking asylum. And the Supreme Court opens up a pathway for civil lawsuits over lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan. Plus, a conversation about a new Hillary Clinton documentary, and her comments on Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders. Sam is joined by Tom Dreisbach, investigative reporter for NPR's Embedded podcast, and Vanessa Romo, NPR breaking news reporter.
24/01/20·38m 6s

Author Jennifer Weiner On 'Mrs. Everything' & Plus-Size Representation In Books

NPR Code Switch correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates steps in for Sam. She is joined by best-selling author Jennifer Weiner, who has written popular books like Good In Bed, In Her Shoes, and Little Earthquakes over the past two decades. Weiner talks about her latest novel, Mrs. Everything, the importance of having plus-size characters in books and speaking out against sexism.
21/01/20·31m 54s

Weekly Wrap: Big Tech Gonna Big Tech, Congrats To 'Those Men' On Oscar Nods

Guest host Elise Hu steps in again for Sam this week, this time from member station KQED in San Francisco. She's joined by Nitasha Tiku, tech culture reporter at the Washington Post, and Farhad Manjoo, an opinion columnist at The New York Times who focuses on technology and culture. They talk about news from Google and Apple, surveillance, and the role big tech's products play in geopolitics. Plus, the creative director of VOGUE Italia explains why the latest issue of the magazine contains no photos.
17/01/20·34m 26s

Interview: Broadway Playwright Jeremy O. Harris On 'Slave Play'

One of Broadway's hottest tickets last year was a play with no big-name actors by a 30-year-old black queer writer. Jeremy O. Harris talks to Sam about poking the bear that is Broadway, and whether he thinks he'll be embraced there long-term. Email the show at
14/01/20·42m 0s

Weekly Wrap: Harvey Weinstein Trial Begins, Iran Conflict, Plus Getting Off Twitter

Elise Hu steps in for Sam this week, from member station WBEZ in Chicago. She's joined by NPR's Peter Sagal, host of 'Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!', and Greta Johnsen of WBEZ's 'Nerdette' podcast. They discuss Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer now on trial in New York for sex crimes. Plus, an Iranian-American writer shares her perspective on decades of disputes between Iran and the U.S. Also, Peter tries to get off Twitter.
10/01/20·37m 43s

Interview: Jad Abumrad On 'Dolly Parton's America'

You may know Jad Abumrad as the host of WNYC's 'Radiolab.' He tells Sam why he created another podcast, Dolly Parton's America, examining the life and work of music legend Dolly Parton. Jad himself grew up in Nashville, where his physician father, a Lebanese immigrant, struck up an unlikely friendship with the singer. Jad uses this podcast to ask what divides us, and how we can transcend those divides like Dolly does. Maybe. Email the show at
07/01/20·37m 59s

How To Start Your 2020 Right: Advice From NPR's 'Life Kit'

Wondering how to get a solid start on your New Year's resolution? Whether you're hoping to get your finances in better shape or change your diet, the experts at NPR's 'Life Kit' have some advice that can help. NPR correspondent Chris Arnold and NPR senior editor and correspondent Maria Godoy join Sam Sanders as they dig into how to make those New Year's resolutions stick and how to have a relaxing weekend.
06/01/20·36m 34s

Encore Interview: Jimmy O. Yang From 'Silicon Valley'

'Silicon Valley' and 'Crazy Rich Asians' star Jimmy O. Yang spoke to Sam in 2018 about his book 'How To American: An Immigrant's Guide To Disappointing Your Parents.' Email the show at
31/12/19·52m 51s

Encore Interview: Authors Candice Carty-Williams And Angie Thomas

On this special episode, Sam Sanders revisits his 2019 conversations with two writers whose books he loved: Candice Carty-Williams, author of 'Queenie,' and Angie Thomas, author of the books, 'On The Come Up' and 'The Hate U Give.' Candice Carty-Williams' 'Queenie' has been called "the black 'Bridget Jones' Diary" and centers around a 25-year-old woman going through the awkwardness of breakups, love and life. Angie Thomas's 'On The Come Up' chronicles the story of a young girl who wants to be a rapper and whose song goes viral in an unexpected way.
27/12/19·50m 40s

Encore Interview: Maroon 5's PJ Morton On Reimagining Classic Christmas Songs

Last Christmas PJ Morton released 'Christmas With PJ.' He and Sam spoke about putting new twists on holiday classics, and what his father — a legendary gospel singer and preacher — taught him about music. Email the show at
24/12/19·27m 20s

Weekly Wrap: A Look Back At 2019 In Democracy, Protests And Business

There were large-scale protests in countries across the globe the year. What do they signify about our current cultural moment? Plus a look back at the state of democracy in the United States and a dive into China's increasing influence in the U.S. entertainment industry. Sam is joined by NPR political editor Ron Elving and host of NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday" Lulu Garcia-Navarro.
20/12/19·42m 25s

Why 'Friends' Remains So Successful — And So Divisive — Even In 2019

The NBC sitcom 'Friends' has been around for 25 years, and its popularity endures. Netflix says 'Friends' was the second most popular show on its streaming platform this year, based on minutes watched, and the show has also struck a chord with a younger generation. What is it about 'Friends' that resonates with viewers, and what does it say about us? Sam Sanders spoke to listeners, reporters and a critic to find out what it is that people love — and despise — about Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross.
17/12/19·30m 17s

Weekly Wrap: How Cities Are Responding To Homelessness, Plus All About Flu Season

Cities across the United States are struggling to figure out how to best respond to rising populations of people experiencing homelessness, especially in light of shortages of affordable housing and recent court rulings. Plus everything you should know about this year's flu season. Sam is joined this week by NPR national desk correspondents Kirk Siegler and Leila Fadel.
13/12/19·37m 33s

Interview: Writer Lyz Lenz On 'God Land', Faith And Politics In The Midwest

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, writer Lyz Lenz watched a discussion unfold about Midwestern voters, their political views and their religious beliefs. Then, her politically divided marriage ended when she learned she and her husband had voted for different presidential candidates. She found herself questioning the impact of faith on politics in middle America. Lenz's book, ' God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America,' explores exactly that: the conversations taking place in churches in the Midwest and their impact on Americans' values. Lenz and Sam Sanders spoke about questioning her faith, how religious institutions shape our personal views and whether Americans can bridge their political and religious divides.
10/12/19·30m 25s

Weekly Wrap: Climate Talks, PrEP Access, Women's Rage

International climate talks began this week in Madrid. The U.S. sent representatives even though President Trump has claimed the U.S. is officially out of the international climate accord. The Trump Administration also said this week it has a plan to distribute HIV-prevention medication for free to individuals without prescription drug insurance coverage. Does the plan go far enough? Plus, Jennifer Aniston gets angry in her performance in 'The Morning Show.' What does her character tell us about female rage? Sam is joined this week by NPR Science Reporter Rebecca Hersher and NPR Health Policy Reporter Selena Simmons-Duffin.
06/12/19·43m 27s

Interview: Liz Plank On 'For The Love Of Men'

Writer Liz Plank is worried about men. She's not just concerned about toxic masculinity — though she hates that phrase. She's worried our politics and cultural conversation about men is actually leaving them behind. Plank spoke to Sam about her new book, 'For The Love Of Men: A New Vision For Mindful Masculinity,' which offers a blueprint for men to examine themselves and how they think about gender.
03/12/19·41m 2s

Chef Samin Nosrat, Plus Dan Pashman Vs. The Thanksgiving Industrial Complex

In this special episode, Sam Sanders and Dan Pashman of 'The Sporkful' question food media's never-ending effort to make Thanksgiving new each year, and discuss how to make the holiday less stressful and more enjoyable. Then, an encore presentation of Sam's interview with 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat' writer and cook Samin Nosrat. She talks about her philosophy as a chef, how she's handling fame and how she feels about the state of the food world.
29/11/19·51m 33s

Interview: Comedian Nicole Byer On Auditioning, Coping With Loss And Fat Jokes

We're sharing 'All Things Considered' host Audie Cornish's conversation with comedian Nicole Byer, whom she calls a "star on the rise." Byer has helmed a comedy series, two hit podcasts, a Netflix comedy special and the Emmy-nominated Netflix cooking series, 'Nailed It!' The pair sat down in front of a live audience in Los Angeles earlier this year to talk about her successes, auditioning as a black woman in comedy and using improv to cope with the loss of her parents.
26/11/19·31m 50s

Weekly Wrap: Dems Debate, Mister Rogers and WeWork

Guest host Elise Hu steps in for Sam this week. She is joined by panelists Jacob Margolis, science reporter for Southern California Public Radio, and Peter Hamby, host of Snapchat's Good Luck America, and contributing writer for Vanity Fair. They discuss the aftermath of a California school shooting, the fall of WeWork, and the lawmaker who may have farted on air. Plus, why Mister Rogers is still ingrained in the American psyche, years after his PBS show went off the air.
22/11/19·35m 24s

Interview: Alicia Menendez On How Women Fall Into 'The Likeability Trap'

Journalist Alicia Menendez has noticed a problem: in the workplace, and in many aspects of their lives, women are forced into becoming inauthentic versions of themselves in order to be likeable. Her new book, 'The Likeability Trap: How To Break Free And Succeed As You Are,' examines how to avoid these traps. Menendez and guest host Elise Hu talked about creating more fulfilling personal relationships and a better workplace and how likeability plays into politics.
19/11/19·33m 27s

Weekly Wrap: Disney+, Four-Day Workweek, Impeachment In Historical Context

Disney launched its highly anticipated streaming service, Disney+, this week and added a message to viewers that some of its older material may include outdated or offensive content or cultural images. A trial of a four-day workweek in Japan showed signs of increasing productivity — could something similar succeed in a country like the United States? And as the nation turns its focus to the now-public impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump, Sam talks with Leon Neyfakh, host of seasons one and two of the podcast 'Slow Burn.' In those episodes Neyfakh recounted the Senate Watergate hearings into President Richard Nixon and the impeachment hearings of President Bill Clinton. He talks to Sam about similarities and differences to what's happening now. Sam is joined by BuzzFeed senior film reporter Adam B. Vary and host of NPR's 'The Indicator' podcast Stacey Vanek Smith.
15/11/19·35m 44s

Interview: Musician Jacob Collier On Making Everyday Sounds Into Songs

English composer, singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier first gained attention on YouTube in 2012, and since then he's signed to Quincy Jones' record label, won two Grammys and released three albums. The 25-year-old's music is a mix of jazz, neo-soul and funk. He and Sam Sanders talked about his upcoming work, his four-album project, 'Djesse' and using everyday sounds to make songs.
12/11/19·39m 47s

Weekly Wrap: DACA's Legal Future, The Lasting Impact Of Prop 187, And Local Politics

The Supreme Court is set to consider the termination of the DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — program, which the Trump Administration rescinded in 2017. What does the program's legal future look like? Plus, how Prop 187 — a California ballot measure from 25 years ago — has influenced how Americans view and legislate about immigration. Then, what effect is the national political discourse having on local politics? Sam talks with State College, Pennsylvania Borough Councilman Dan Murphy about how things are playing out in his town. Sam is joined by L.A. Times writers Gustavo Arellano and Cindy Carcamo.
08/11/19·37m 13s

Interview: Comedian Amanda Seales On 'Insecure' And Her Book, 'Small Doses'

Amanda Seales is perhaps best known for her role as Tiffany in HBO's 'Insecure,' but the actress and stand-up comedian has been busy the last few years. She hosts the comedy game show, 'Smart, Funny, And Black,' and her first stand-up special, 'I Be Knowin'' came to HBO earlier this year. Now Seales is out with a book, 'Small Doses: Potent Truths for Everyday Use,' full of life advice. Seales and Sam Sanders talked about the success of 'Insecure,' what it means for black shows on TV and who her comedy is for.
05/11/19·30m 27s

Weekly Wrap: Impeachment, Kanye West, Plus Why The Internet Loves Jeff Goldblum

The House of Representatives voted on guidelines this week for a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump, with only two Democrats voting against the measure. Where is the inquiry headed next, and how is the public feeling about it? Meanwhile, Kanye West's new album takes a gospel turn and dives into the artist's spirituality, but how are critics feeling about "Jesus Is King"? Plus why actor Jeff Goldblum has become so beloved on the internet. Sam is joined by host of NPR's 'All Things Considered' Audie Cornish and NPR music editor and reviewer Stephen Thompson.
01/11/19·38m 3s

Interview: Comedian Pete Holmes On 'Comedy Sex God' And His Faith

Comedian and actor Pete Holmes played a fictional version of himself in the HBO show 'Crashing,' where the stand-up comic finds himself homeless after his wife cheats on him. In real life, Holmes found himself rediscovering his faith after his divorce from his first wife — and that's the topic he explores in his book, 'Comedy Sex God.' Holmes and Sam Sanders talked about his faith journey, what it means to believe in a higher power and how it's shaped Holmes' life.
29/10/19·31m 6s

Weekly Wrap: School Surveillance, That Anonymous Book, College Tuition Benefits

Senate Republicans have introduced a bill that would expand online and other surveillance of American schoolchildren, in what they call an effort to prevent mass shootings and other violence. But is that type of surveillance effective — and what does it mean for privacy? Plus, news of a book purportedly written by a Trump administration insider, who last year published an anonymous New York Times op-ed about resisting the President's agenda. Service-industry employers such as Chipotle are expanding college tuition benefits to attract workers and reduce turnover. Sam speaks to a Starbucks employee who is close to finishing her degree through that company's program and asks whether most employees can actually take advantage of these benefits. Sam is joined by NPR education correspondent Anya Kamenetz and NPR arts editor Rose Friedman.
25/10/19·35m 15s

Interview: Actress Regina King On Having Difficult Conversations About Race

Actress Regina King has been on-screen for more than three decades, working in films and TV shows such as '227' and 'American Crime.' But winning several high-profile awards has rocketed her career to new heights. She has also stepped into the role of director and vowed to produce projects with 50 percent women. She now stars in the new HBO series 'Watchmen,' which is inspired by the graphic novel of the same name. The show deals heavily with issues of race and policing, which has also been a theme across King's other projects.
22/10/19·35m 47s

Weekly Wrap: What's Going On In Turkey And Syria, And Facebook's Political Ad Problem

After President Trump ordered US troops removed from northern Syria, tensions in the region remain high, despite a temporary ceasefire agreement by Turkey. Sam and his guests discuss that story and look back at this week's Democratic presidential debate. Meanwhile, Facebook continues to deal with backlash over its handling of political ads and its proposed global currency, Libra. Sam is joined by Matt Pearce, a reporter for the L.A. Times covering the 2020 presidential campaign, and by the host of NPR's 'Embedded' podcast, Kelly McEvers.
18/10/19·34m 28s

Interview: Comedian Cristela Alonzo On Her Sitcom And Her Love Of Music

You might have seen Cristela Alonzo in her Netflix stand-up special or on her ABC sitcom, 'Cristela.' Now she's out with a book all about music's role in her life called 'Music to My Years: A Mixtape Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up.' In it she talks about her life as a first generation Mexican-American and how she found her way to stand-up comedy. She sat down with Sam Sanders to talk about her love of music and 'The Golden Girls,' growing up poor and making her sitcom, which was canceled after one season.
15/10/19·39m 6s

Weekly Wrap: #MeToo and Matt Lauer, Political Corruption, & Snoop Dogg Shenanigans

New sexual assault allegations came out this week against prominent news, political and entertainment figures. A few years into the #MeToo movement, what are our expectations about whether or how men accused of sexual harassment and assault can return to public life? Also, crackdowns on political corruption in Chicago intensify, and cell phone use by audience members during performances has led to a heated debate in the theater world. Plus, Snoop Dogg's performance at a university this week causes controversy. Sam hosts this weekly wrap episode from member station WBEZ in Chicago. His guests are Greta Johnsen, host of the 'Nerdette' podcast and WBEZ weekend anchor and Dan Mihalopoulos, investigative reporter on WBEZ's Government and Politics team.
11/10/19·36m 47s

Interview: Writer And Poet Saeed Jones On 'How We Fight For Our Lives'

In his memoir, 'How We Fight For Our Lives,' poet and writer Saeed Jones gets vulnerable as he details his coming of age as black and gay in suburban Texas. The former BuzzFeed editor sat down with Sam Sanders to give a glimpse of the stories behind his book, including those of his mother and grandmother, and one where he faced violence during a sexual encounter with another man.
08/10/19·46m 43s

Weekly Wrap: Funk's Resurgence In Pop, The Future Of Title VII, Domestic Extremism

As President Trump faces an impeachment inquiry his rhetoric is becoming more extreme, using words like "coup" and "civil war." At the same time, domestic terror experts are seeing an uptick in violent messaging from white nationalist groups, angry about the challenge to the president. Meanwhile, an upcoming Supreme Court case could decide whether Title VII employment protections apply to gay and transgender individuals. Plus, why funk music is making a resurgence in mainstream pop songs. Sam is joined by NPR national correspondents Leila Fadel and Kirk Siegler.
04/10/19·40m 54s

John Legend On The Music Industry, His Career, Politics And Balancing It All

John Legend seems to be one of the busiest people in the entertainment business. Apart from making music, in the past few years he has been all over TV, starring in NBC's live 'Jesus Christ Superstar' broadcast and producing multiple shows, including a new hip-hop competition show for Netflix. On top of it all, Legend remains engaged in political conversations and philanthropic causes. He sat down with Sam Sanders to talk about balancing it all and where his career has taken him. This episode includes language some listeners may find offensive.
01/10/19·36m 29s

Weekly Wrap: Where The Climate Conversation Stands, Plus The Emmys And Diversity

The debate over climate change continues to simmer after this week's climate strike demonstrations and 16-year-old Greta Thunberg's speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit. One author is arguing for a vegan-by-day approach to reduce carbon emissions. Plus, are the Emmys making progress on diversity? Sam is joined by Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins of the Slate podcast, 'Thirst Aid Kit.'
27/09/19·38m 26s

Interview: Jonathan Van Ness Of 'Queer Eye' On Overcoming Trauma

Jonathan Van Ness stepped into the spotlight in 2018 as a walking, talking bundle of energy, optimism and fierceness on the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye. But in his new memoir, Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love, Van Ness writes about how life wasn't always like that for him. He recounts growing up and dealing with hardships such as childhood trauma, depression, drug use, sexual compulsion, being diagnosed HIV-positive and more. Van Ness spoke to Sam Sanders about why he decided to write about it all, how he's dealt with troubling moments in his life and how Queer Eye has changed things. This episode includes discussion of sensitive topics and language that some listeners may find offensive.
24/09/19·45m 50s

Weekly Wrap: GM Workers On Strike, School Lunch Debt, Whitney Houston Hologram

Union workers at General Motors went on strike this week for the first time in more than a decade. What does the United Autoworkers Union want for its members in the next contract with the automaker? As kids return to school, some will still struggle to afford lunches. What happens when students accrue meal debt — and what one woman in North Carolina is doing to alleviate the problem in her community. Plus why you might see a Whitney Houston hologram onstage next year. Sam is joined this week by Marketplace senior reporter Tracey Samuelson and independent journalist Sally Herships.
20/09/19·34m 47s

Interview: Best-Selling Author Malcolm Gladwell On 'Talking To Strangers'

Journalist Malcolm Gladwell's best-selling books have explored a wide range of topics from decision making to 'The Tipping Point.' His latest work, 'Talking To Strangers,' takes a look at stories such as the Sandra Bland case, the trial of Amanda Knox and the Stanford rape case to explain why interactions with strangers often go wrong. Sam spoke to Gladwell about his new book at The George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium on Sept. 11, 2019.
17/09/19·54m 30s

Weekly Wrap: Congress Returns To Washington, The Youth Vote, Plus Viral Food Videos

Congress is back in session, but what are lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives prioritizing for the foreseeable future? Meanwhile, presidential campaigns are working hard to activate and engage youth voters, but how effective are their strategies? Plus, Sam and People Magazine's food editor dig into why one how-to video involving a deep-fried barbecue chicken-quesadilla-pizza hybrid went viral — and where online cooking videos are headed. Sam is joined in studio this week by NBC News White House reporter Geoff Bennett and Yahoo national politics reporter Brittany Shepherd.
13/09/19·37m 19s

All About Instagram Influencers And How They've Changed Advertising

Social media influencers have changed the marketing industry. Brands now pour billions of dollars into partnering with people who can reach audiences on platforms like Instagram and YouTube — whether they're advertising a handbag, a video game or a meal at a local restaurant. But what does it take to become an influencer, and what happens when your livelihood is tied to a platform that's not your own? Sam talks with an influencer, a reporter who covers the industry and an executive who helps influencers achieve stardom.
10/09/19·30m 50s

Weekly Wrap: 'Truth Hurts' Hits No. 1, McConnell On Gun Control, More Brexit Chaos

Democratic Presidential candidates talked climate in a town hall this week. How does transportation factor into combating climate change? In the wake of several mass shootings, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still yet to bring forward any legislation on gun control. We take a look at how President Trump may be influencing McConnell's thinking and actions. Plus, with all the yelling and shouting, what's going on with Brexit this week — and how are Brits feelings about it? Sam is joined in the studio this week by Curbed Urbanism editor Alissa Walker and producer Tom Dreisbach of NPR's Embedded podcast.
06/09/19·37m 28s

Interview: Danielle Brooks On The End Of 'Orange Is The New Black'

Actress Danielle Brooks caught the eye of many Netflix viewers as Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson in the streaming platform's original series Orange Is The New Black. All seven seasons of the show, which tells the fictional stories of women in prison, are streaming on Netflix now. Brooks sat down with Sam Sanders to talk about what it took to step into the role of Taystee and taping her final emotional scenes — plus, what kind of mother Brooks hopes to be.
03/09/19·32m 51s

Dan Levy On 'Schitt's Creek' And Greta Lee On 'Russian Doll'

We're taking a break from the news this week to revisit conversations with stars from two shows nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at this year's Primetime Emmy Awards on September 22. Dan Levy from Pop TV's 'Schitt's Creek' discusses creating the show with his father, comedic actor Eugene Levy, and Greta Lee from Netflix's 'Russian Doll' talks to guest host Julia Furlan about the show's New York identity. Back with our regular Weekly Wrap next week. Email the show at
30/08/19·49m 43s

Interview: Jia Tolentino On The Internet, Optimization And Other Late Capitalist Woes

Writer Jia Tolentino has a keen eye for processing bits of internet absurdity and telling readers what they say about us. The 'New Yorker' staff writer's new book, 'Trick Mirror,' examines several different systems that impact our lives through a series of nine deeply researched essays. Tolentino and Sam Sanders discuss growing up in church, putting your life on the internet and what happens when your life becomes a quest for optimization.
27/08/19·38m 5s

Weekly Wrap: For GOP, Warning Signs With Women; Greenland Not For Sale

President Trump wanted to buy Greenland but Denmark said no. Meanwhile, American fast food chains argued over who has the best friend chicken sandwich. Plus, 'Sporkful' host Dan Pashman stops by to taste test the latest plant-based "milks." Sam is joined by Los Angeles Times reporter Melanie Mason and KPCC's Leo Duran. Email the show at
23/08/19·39m 10s

Interview: Vann Newkirk On How Black Farmers Were Robbed Of Their Land

In a new cover story for The Atlantic, Vann R. Newkirk II tells the story of how the government systematically stripped black farmers of their land via illegal pressures levied through its loan programs, which created massive transfers of wealth from black to white farmers, especially in the period just after the 1950s. Follow Vann on Twitter @fivefifths. Email the show at
20/08/19·30m 59s

Weekly Wrap: All Eyes On The Economy, Language And The Internet, Plus Hard Seltzer

Markets had a roller coaster week as talks of an oncoming recession roiled the global economy. The White House wants social media companies to try to stop violence before it occurs, but what would that mean for privacy? Plus, how the internet is shifting the way we text and talk. Sam is joined by NPR White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe and Washington Post senior tech policy reporter Tony Romm.
16/08/19·38m 30s

Interview: X Ambassadors' Sam Harris On Bridging Genres And Working With Lizzo

X Ambassadors landed their first big hit with 2015's "Renegades," which made an appearance in a Jeep commercial, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Rock charts and went platinum in the U.S. and four other countries. The band, which often seems to fly under the radar, returned with its new album 'Orion' earlier this year. Sam Sanders sat down with the band's lead singer and songwriter, Sam Harris to find out what it's like to be one part of rock music's biggest acts while spanning genres.
13/08/19·33m 54s

Weekly Wrap: Violence Against Latinos, Angry Online Men, Victoria's Secret's Future

Americans continue to wrap their heads around last week's mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Our panel examines two big threads behind them: the history of violence against Latinos in the U.S. and websites where men often share violent views and hateful rhetoric. Plus, Victoria's Secret announced the hire of its first transgender model this week, but does the company still have the cultural cache to carry itself through an ongoing business downturn? Guest host Julia Furlan is joined by Tanzina Vega, host of WNYC's 'The Takeaway,' and BuzzFeed News senior reporter Ryan Broderick.
09/08/19·40m 38s

Interview: HBO's 'Los Espookys' Star Ana Fabrega

Stand-up comedian Ana Fabrega is the co-writer, co-show runner and one of the stars of HBO's breakout Spanish-language comedy 'Los Espookys.' Guest host Julia Furlan spoke with Fabrega about her brand of comedy, bringing a Spanish-language show to a mostly English-speaking audience and collaborating with Fred Armisen.
06/08/19·31m 18s

Weekly Wrap: Unpaid Coal Miners, Looming Streaming Wars, Plus What's Up With The Fed?

Coal miners in Harlan County, Kentucky, camped out on train tracks this week to protest lack of payment from a coal company that declared bankruptcy earlier this summer. Is this part of a larger trend in the coal industry? There's a lot of new streaming content coming down the pipeline, and it could mean more subscriptions for viewers. Plus, what does the Federal Reserve's decision to lower interest rates indicate about the economy? Sam is joined this week by NPR TV critic Eric Deggans and Code Switch correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates.
02/08/19·34m 43s

An All-Politics Mid-Year Special

As the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination heats up, New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers and Associated Press national political reporter Juana Summers join Sam for a look at the big threads running through politics right now.
30/07/19·25m 17s

Weekly Wrap: Mueller Hearings, Critiquing Beyoncé, The State Of Low-Wage Work

Former special counsel Robert Mueller testified in front of Congress this week on his investigation's findings, but how consequential was his testimony? Meanwhile the Internet had questions about who Beyoncé's song 'Brown Skin Girl' is for and the lack of East African musical artists on her new 'Lion King'-adjacent album 'The Gift.' Plus, what are the effects of surveillance and technology on low-wage workers? Guest host Julia Furlan is joined by TV Guide features editor Krutika Mallikarjuna and BuzzFeed World senior reporter and editor Hayes Brown.
26/07/19·37m 38s

Interview: Erin Lee Carr On 'I Love You, Now Die,' Sobriety And Her Father

Erin Lee Carr's documentaries have probed some dark true crime stories. She's made films about the so-called "cannibal cop," the USA Gymnastics scandal, as well as a daughter accused of murdering her mother. Her latest, 'I Love You, Now Die' tells the story of Michelle Carter, who stood trial on involuntary manslaughter charges after she encouraged her boyfriend to kill himself over text message. Lee Carr talked to guest host Julia Furlan about the two-part documentary and the court case behind it, as well as her journey to sobriety and the legacy of her father, late New York Times columnist David Carr.
23/07/19·29m 17s

Weekly Wrap: 'Send Them Back,' New Asylum Rules, Storming Area 51

The U.S. announced new asylum rules this week, making asylum seekers who have passed through another country first ineligible to claim asylum at the U.S. southern border. Sam looks at how recent attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color falls in line with President Trump's reelection strategy. Plus, why millions of people have responded to a Facebook event to "storm Area 51" and "see them aliens." Sam is joined in the studio by New York Times national correspondent Jennifer Medina and NPR correspondent Kirk Siegler.
19/07/19·37m 12s

NPR's Life Kit: Choose The Best Diet For You

Sam recently teamed up with reporter Allison Aubrey and NPR's Life Kit — a series of audio guides for navigating your life — to help you understand how to choose a diet approach that's right for you. More guides at
16/07/19·22m 22s

Weekly Wrap: The Biggest Stories Of 2019 (So Far)

With the year more than halfway over, Sam and his guests are taking a look at some of 2019's driving narratives, including the future of the U.S. economy, shifts in the music industry and "cancel culture." Plus, Sam talks to a reporter at the U.S.-Mexico border near El Paso, Texas, about the mood amidst the immigration crisis. NPR chief economics correspondent Scott Horsley and NPR Music assistant editor Sidney Madden join Sam for this midyear edition of our weekly wrap.
12/07/19·38m 52s

Millennials And Money

Financial journalist Hannah Seligson and Aminatou Sow from the podcast 'Call Your Girlfriend' join Sam to discuss why more and more millennials are financially intertwined with their parents — and why it's so hard to talk about. Listeners call in. Sends thoughts to
09/07/19·37m 40s

Songs For Summer

In this special episode, Sam presents a collection of interviews with musicians, featuring songs that are perfect for summer: the spacey soul-pop of Nick Hakim, the flowery, unhurried R&B of Syd and her band The Internet, and the eighties-colored pop of Emily King. Email the show at
05/07/19·52m 19s
Heart UK