Best Of: John Mulaney / Natasha Lyonne

John Mulaney was a writer at ‘Saturday Night Live’ for five years and recently returned to host for the first time. He talks about his ‘SNL’ audition, writing monologues for famous hosts, and drawing on his Catholic upbringing for stand-up material.

Also, critic David Bianculli reviews ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ on FX. The series was created by Jemaine Clement (‘Flight of the Conchords’) and filmmaker Taika Waititi.

Natasha Lyonne’s character on the Netflix series ‘Russian Doll’ keeps dying and coming back to life. It’s a premise that strikes a chord with the actor; Lyonne had a near-death experience in 2005. She talks with Terry Gross about how that experience informs her work, her signature raspy voice, and wanting to be a “tough guy.”

Mexican-American Writer Finds Inspiration In Family, Tragedy & Trump

Luis Alberto Urrea’s book ‘The House of Broken Angels’ borrows from the story of his older brother, who died of cancer. He says the book went through a dramatic rewrite after Trump became president. [Originally broadcast March 2018.]

Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews Jordan Peele’s new ‘Twilight Zone’ reboot.

A Therapist Goes To Therapy (And Gets A Taste Of Her Own Medicine)

Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who started seeing a therapist herself after the man she thought she would marry unexpectedly broke up with her. “I think that therapy at any age, it helps people to relate better to themselves and to the people around them,” she says. “It helps them to examine the way that they live their lives and take responsibility for what’s not working, and also for what they can change.” Her new book is ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.’

Also, critic John Powers reviews the new PBS ‘Masterpiece’ series ‘Mrs. Wilson.’

Natasha Lyonne On ‘Russian Doll’

Lyonne’s character on the Netflix series ‘Russian Doll’ keeps dying and coming back to life. It’s a premise that strikes a chord with the actor; Lyonne had a near-death experience in 2005. She talks with Terry Gross about how that experience informs her work, her signature raspy voice, and wanting to be a “tough guy.”

Also, critic David Bianculli reviews ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ on FX. The series was created by Jemaine Clement (‘Flight of the Conchords’) and filmmaker Taika Waititi.

Comic John Mulaney

Mulaney was a writer at ‘Saturday Night Live’ for five years and recently returned to host for the first time. “I was absolutely terrified,” he says. “To be performing something you’ve written and trying to listen to the jokes while making sure you’re on your mark and looking into the right camera and then being pulled around to do costume fittings — it was scary.” He talks about his ‘SNL’ audition, writing monologues for famous hosts, and drawing on his Catholic upbringing for stand-up material.

The New Zealand Massacre And The Global Resurgence Of Extremism

J.M. Berger studies the online activity of extremists. He warns that white nationalism is a growing phenomenon worldwide — with many in the movement drawing inspiration from President Trump. “When we do the social media analysis, it comes shouting out at you,” he says. “We can count the links that they put out on Twitter and other social media platforms, and what we find is the most common is ‘#MAGA.’ The most common description of somebody that they use in the profile, they use on Twitter, is ‘Trump supporter.’ “

Also Ken Tucker reviews Robert Forster’s album ‘Inferno.’ Forster was the former co-leader of the Australian band The Go-Betweens.

Best Of: The Emotional Lives Of Primates / Playwright & Actor Heidi Schreck

Primatologist Frans de Waal has spent 40 years studying the behavior and emotions of primates. He talks about how primates experience jealousy, reconciliation, and empathy — just like humans. “That’s a spectrum of behavior that we have, and the same thing is true for many other species.” His new book is ‘Mama’s Last Hug.’

Film critic Justin Chang reviews Jordan Peele’s new horror movie, ‘Us.’

As a teen, Heidi Schreck debated the Constitution in competitions. Later she realized it had failed to protect four generations of women in her family. “I believed it was perfect. I believed it was a tool of justice. I did not realize as a 15-year-old girl how profoundly I had been left out of it. I didn’t realize that it didn’t protect me,” Schreck says. Her play, ‘What the Constitution Means to Me,’ is headed to Broadway.

Remembering Poet W.S. Merwin / ‘King Of The Surf Guitar’ Dick Dale

W.S. Merwin, the former U.S. poet laureate, died March 15. He was a prolific writer as well as a conservationist and a conscientious objector during World War II. He spoke to ‘Fresh Air’ in 2008.

Dick Dale, who was known as the “King of the Surf Guitar,” died March 16 at 81. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1993 about his distinctive style of guitar playing, inspired by waves.

Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new season of the Showtime series ‘Billions,’ and film critic Justin Chang reviews Jordan Peele’s new horror movie, ‘Us.’

Did Russia Influence The Brexit Movement?

‘New Yorker’ journalist Ed Caesar discusses Arron Banks, the British businessman who funded the most extreme end of the pro-Brexit “Leave” campaign — possibly with help from Russia.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Carsie Blanton’s new album ‘Buck Up.’

How Women Have Been ‘Profoundly’ Left Out Of The Constitution

As a teen, Heidi Schreck debated the Constitution in competitions. Later she realized it had failed to protect four generations of women in her family. “I believed it was perfect. I believed it was a tool of justice. I did not realize as a 15-year-old girl how profoundly I had been left out of it. I didn’t realize that it didn’t protect me,” Schreck says. Her play, ‘What the Constitution Means to Me,’ is headed to Broadway.

Pianists Lennie Tristano and Herbie Nichols were active on the New York scene in the 1950s. Though worlds apart stylistically, their music demonstrates how the piano accommodates myriad personalities. Kevin Whitehead has an appreciation of the two pianists who were born 100 years ago.