The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn Podcast Image

The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn

A Society and Culture podcast featuring Jesse Thorn
 2 people rated this podcast
The Turnaround is a new series about our greatest living interviewers, hosted by Jesse Thorn and produced by Maximum Fun and The Columbia Journalism Review. Featuring conversations with prominent interviewers about their careers and their craft, the show is a perfect resource for a new generation of storytellers and journalists. You'll hear Jesse speak with Larry King, Terry Gross, Werner Herzog, Audie Cornish, and so many more!


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Recent Episodes

The Turnaround with Dick Cavett
In this special, bonus episode of The Turnaround, Jesse speaks to the legendary Dick Cavett, whose eponymous The Dick Cavett Show debuted nearly fifty years ago. Throughout his storied career, Cavett distinguished himself as the consummate interviewer, and has played host to the most interesting and compelling figures of his era--Salvador Dali, Jimi Hendrix, Betty Davis, Groucho Marx, Angela Davis, Katharine Hepburn and more. Cavett shares what it was like to interview a murderer, how he responded to an expletive-laden piece of hate mail he received and the difficult challenge of maintaining a conversation on camera while dealing with myriad distractions off camera. Before Cavett launched his show, he received a call from Jack Paar, who gave him this piece of advice: “Don’t do interviews...make it a conversation.” On Friday, January 12th, The San Francisco Sketchfest will pay tribute to Dick Cavett at the Marine’s Memorial Theater. John Hodgman, Lance Bangs and Dave Hill will join Cavett on stage to commemorate his show’s 50th anniversary. Tickets are still available. Be sure to visit CBS Decades to watch The Dick Cavett Show. The Turnaround is a production of Maximum Fun in partnership with the Columbia Journalism Review. Visit their website to learn more about their "mission to encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society," and to read edited transcripts of our other Turnaround episodes. Hosted and created by Jesse Thorn Produced by Kara Hart and Nick Liao Jennifer Marmor produced the Dick Cavett episode Senior Producer: Laura Swisher Managing Director: Bikram Chatterji Music for The Turnaround provided by Mobius Van ChocStraw. Special thanks to Kyle Pope and his team at CJR, Darrel Frost, and Emilie Erskine.
Terry Gross
On the last episode of The Turnaround, Jesse talks to his all-time interviewing hero Terry Gross! For more than 30 years Terry's hosted Fresh Air from WHYY Philadelphia, conducting some of the most insightful, fascinating conversations you'll likely ever hear. Being a radio interviewer came somewhat naturally to Terry. She tells Jesse she prefers the medium to television, where you're expected to look or dress a certain kind of way, and where you can't just disappear behind a microphone. She also talks about the nuts and bolts of how Fresh Air gets made, and why doing a recorded show allows her take risks that often make for wonderful, unexpected moments. They also talk about a not-so-wonderful moment: that infamous 2002 interview with Gene Simmons. 
Werner Herzog
Today Jesse talks to the legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog, responsible for films like Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Lo and Behold. Werner has had a career spanning more than five decades and dozens of awards, working both in documentaries and narrative films. He chooses his interview subjects carefully, often times based on whether or not he thinks that they can handle his line of inquiry. Werner talks to Jesse about his 1996 film Little Dieter Needs to Fly, and why he thinks his dramatizations in the film weren't manipulations of the facts, but actually a way of getting at larger truths. He also shares about the time he got shot while being interviewed! 


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yosterstrudel reviewed this podcast on Sep 15th, 2017
"Interviews on podcasts can take on a complacent blase - so much so that this type of show can turn me off before I even set about listening. The world is so saturated with celebrity talk-abouts that it can be easy to write off the timeworn tradition of the interview. There is, however, a lot to enjoy amidst the expansive sea of mediocrity. Jesse Thorn provides just such an opportunity here in a new series of interviews with professionals that are usually on the delivering end of the questions. Guests range from podcast godfather Ira Glass to trashy TV godfather Jerry Springer to (somewhere between those two?) legend Larry King. Thorn, podcast host and cofounder of the Maximum Fun network, lets his own craft shine in these interviews. He lays bare his own interviewing insecurities, a…"

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Podcast Details
Jun 14th, 2017
Latest Episode
Jan 9th, 2018
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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