How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black Podcast

How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black

An Arts and Performing Arts podcast featuring Michael Ian Black
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Best Episodes of How To Be Amazing

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#100 Terry Gross
For our 100th episode, Michael turns the tables on "the greatest interviewer of our time," a guest who we've had at the top of our wish list since the beginning. Terry Gross is the iconic host of the public radio show* Fresh Air,* where for over 40 years she has interviewed over 13,000 guests. In this engrossing interview, she and Michael cover a huge range of topics about her life and the show, allowing us to get to know a bit about a voice we're used to hearing ask all the questions.
#95 Hank Green
In 2007, Hank Green along with his brother John, tried a Youtube experiment - for an entire year they made a video a day together - which they thought was a dumb idea. To their surprise, these videos quickly led to millions of fans. Eleven years later Green has harnessed his popularity to focus on what's important to him and now oversees a video company that produces popular Youtube educational content, has raised millions of dollars for charity, founded the world's largest conference celebrating online video, and now written his first novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.  In this episode, Hank talks about his first novel, how his life parallels his main character’s, and why taking risks is the best way to learn.   
#93 Tina M. Tchen
The former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and leader of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund talks about her time at the White House and her childhood growing up in 1960s Ohio as the daughter of Chinese refugees. With a sense of humor and positively Tchen gives her take on the current administration, the importance of diversity of thought and representation in politics, as well as her lifetime commitment to tackling issues related to corporate compliance, ethics, and equality.  
 #85 Nell Scovell
For more than thirty years, writer, producer, and director Nell Scovell worked behind the scenes of iconic TV shows such as Murphy Brown, The Simpsons, and Coach. In this lively and timely interview, she shares stories from her memoir Just the Funny Parts *about working in the male-dominated entertainment field, her time writing on *Late Night with David Letterman, and crafting jokes for everyone from Obama to Miss Piggy.
#74 Margaret Cho
The outspoken comedian, activist, and actress sits down with Michael for an honest and thought-provoking episode, which dives into topics ranging from her history with addiction, sexual abuse and racism to lighter topics like working together in the New York alternative comedy scene early in their careers, tattoos and her upcoming television show, Highland. **
#84 George C. Wolfe
One of the greatest theater directors of all time, the gregarious and razor-sharp George C. Wolfe joins Michael in an in-depth and moving conversation about how his positive approach to life informs his work. For anyone who has struggled, been daunted by circumstances, or dared to dream big, Wolfe’s direction on saying yes in his own life will inspire and motivate.
#87 David Cross
The multi-talented actor, comedian, writer, and director sits down with Michael to discuss his journey from his first stand up performance as a teenager in Atlanta to his many memorable roles on Arrested Development, Mr. Show with Bob and David, and more. The two colleagues dive into a heartfelt conversation about the unsteadiness of working in Hollywood, the ways in which men can support #MeToo and #TimesUp, and navigating the volatile world of Twitter.
#90 Saru Jayaraman
The co-founder and president of ROC, Restaurant Opportunities Center United, Saru Jayaraman has devoted her career to improving the lives of restaurant workers. Her activism through legislation, initiatives, and conversation as well as her two books, have raised the awareness and made significant improvements, of some of the appalling conditions of the workers who make and serve the food in the places millions of Americans like to eat.  
#10 Frank Rich
In this episode, Michael hears about the fascinating life of Frank Rich whose career includes stints as the Chief Theater Critic for The New York Times, then moving departments to become their Op-Ed columnist and now being the Executive Producer of one of the best shows on TV, Veep with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  
#7 Carl Tanner
Operatic tenor, Carl Tanner, spent years hiding from his voice, first as a truck driver and then a bounty hunter until he finally decided to put the guns down and pursue his incredible talent.  Today he sings on the biggest opera stages in the world.  His fascinating story is not to be missed.
#1 Elizabeth Gilbert
The best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love (among many other great works) Elizabeth Gilbert talks to Michael about creative process – her own and others who have inspired her in this interview that covers some big topics, peppered with lots of laughs and that unmistakable Gilbert charm.
Welcome to How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black
Amazing people are all around us.  In this new, in-depth interview show from PRX, Michael Ian Black takes us into the minds of some of the most fascinating celebrities, newsmakers and maybe even a few people you’ve never heard of (but should definitely know) to discuss how they became, well, amazing.  (Note: no minds were harmed in the making of this show.)
#45 Mary Roach
Michael sits down with the investigative journalist and bestselling author of Grunt, Stiff and Bonk for a humorous and insightful conversation about her unique research and writing process. While Roach does not possess a science degree, she has managed to establish herself as one of the country’s leading science writers tackling subjects that are taboo such as the history of research on copulation and the strange lives of our bodies postmortem.
#20 David Sedaris Part 2 Family
In Part 2 of Michael’s interview with David Sedaris, they talk about growing up Sedaris and how his relationship with his father motivated him to be the writer he is today.
#16 Ingrid Michaelson
Ingrid Michaelson is the best-selling recording artist of such hits as “Girls Chase Boys” and “The Way I Am.”  While her voice certainly qualifies her as amazing, it’s the path she chose to follow as a recording artist that is so interesting.  Michaelson bypassed the established labels so that she could release her music on her own and found success as a recording artist on her own terms.
#64 Pamela Paul
In a must listen episode for any person who loves to read, the editor of The New York Times Book Review is talking with Michael about writing, criticism and most of all, reading.  Her new book, the memoir My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues chronicles her life through all the books she’s read, tracing her life through high school and college, in her travels from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, through her failed first marriage and her current life as a mother, wife and the editor as arguably one of the most important book reviews in the world.  
#65 Cecile Richards
The president of Planned Parenthood talks to Michael about how she got started in activism and organizing and what it was like growing up in conservative Texas as the daughter of two outspoken liberals. She also delves into the important work Planned Parenthood is doing today for women’s health in spite of the opposition from those who oppose birth control and abortion, just two of the many services they offer, and how she deals with people who disagree.
#31 Krista Tippett
On this episode, Michael goes deep with Krista Tippett. Tippett has devoted her professional life to asking the big questions on her show, On Being.  Questions about faith and science and love and how we should live our lives are posed in such an engaging, thought-provoking way that it’s no wonder she has amassed a huge following on both public radio and through her popular podcast.
#48 Michael Lewis
The bestselling author of The Blind Side, The Big Short, Moneyball and his newest, The Undoing Project, is known to be a master storyteller. He proves no different in this interview as he tells great stories about his years growing up in New Orleans and how that helped shape his world view and his approach to writing.
#50 Amani Al-Khatahtbeh
In this illuminating interview, Michael speaks to the millennial founder of MuslimGirl.net, the number one online publication for Muslim women in the United States, and the author of the new memoir, Muslim Girl, about her experience being a feminist, American Muslim in post 9/11 America. Al-Khatahtbeh shares her passion for educating those of us who don’t fully understand the day to day bigotry and threats of being an American Muslim, as well as giving a voice to women who might otherwise feel ostracized by our society.
#53 Deborah Berke
Michael sits down with Deborah Berke, the first female dean at the Yale School of Architecture and founder of one of Architectural Digest’s top 100 companies of 2016, for a fascinating conversation about the role of architecture in everyday life.  Berke shares her view on urban planning and offers sound advice for anyone who wants to follow their passion.     
#60 Al Franken
The Senator from the great state of Minnesota discusses his new memoir, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, which traces his unlikely path from a 30 year career as a comedian, writing and starring at Saturday Night Live, to diving into politics after being a passionate follower on the sidelines. In this emotionally honest conversation he shares with Michael why he cares so much, and even dishes a bit on his fellow senators.
#62 Katy Perry
One of pop music’s biggest stars – over the last ten years, she’s had 9 #1 hits, sold millions of albums, racked up billions of video views, and is the most followed person on Twitter – sits down with Michael to discuss growing up the daughter of ultra conservative Christian ministers, navigating her relationship with fame, and the struggle to be taken seriously.
#27 Audra McDonald
The record-breaking, six-time Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald went from a hyper-active kid performing in the local dinner theater to Broadway mega-star. In this episode, Michael chats with her about failed auditions, letting go of her idea of perfection, and how she learned to embraces new challenges, such as learning to tap dance for her upcoming role in Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.
#82 Renée Fleming
The opera superstar, and “People’s Diva,” discusses how her constant need to learn and challenge herself has taken her from the biggest opera houses in the world, to her current role singing in Carousel on Broadway, and to working behind the scenes to share her passion for the arts with new audiences by helping to create groundbreaking and exciting new work.  
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Podcast Details
Started
May 11th, 2015
Latest Episode
Jan 16th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
107
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
No

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