It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders


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 Jun 28, 2020

 Jun 25, 2020
Wonderful! keeps me informed and gives me hope

 Jun 21, 2020
great conversations and breakdown of the news.

 Jun 14, 2020

 Jun 22, 2019


Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.

Episode Date
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.
Aug 07, 2020
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.
Aug 04, 2020
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.
Aug 03, 2020
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.

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Jul 31, 2020
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.

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Jul 28, 2020
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.
Jul 24, 2020
'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.
Jul 21, 2020
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.
Jul 17, 2020
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.

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Jul 14, 2020
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.
Jul 10, 2020
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.
Jul 07, 2020
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.
Jul 03, 2020
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.
Jun 30, 2020
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.
Jun 26, 2020
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.
Jun 23, 2020
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.
Jun 19, 2020
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.
Jun 16, 2020
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.
Jun 12, 2020
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.
Jun 09, 2020
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.
Jun 05, 2020
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.
Jun 02, 2020
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.
May 29, 2020
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.

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May 26, 2020
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.
May 22, 2020
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.
May 19, 2020
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.
May 15, 2020
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.
May 12, 2020
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.
May 08, 2020
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.
May 05, 2020
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).
May 01, 2020
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.
Apr 28, 2020
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.
Apr 24, 2020
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.

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Apr 21, 2020
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.
Apr 17, 2020
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.
Apr 14, 2020
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.
Apr 10, 2020
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.

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Apr 07, 2020
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."
Apr 03, 2020
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.
Mar 31, 2020
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.
Mar 27, 2020
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.
Mar 24, 2020
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.
Mar 20, 2020
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.
Mar 17, 2020
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.
Mar 13, 2020
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.

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Mar 10, 2020
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.
Mar 06, 2020
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.

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Mar 03, 2020
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.
Feb 28, 2020
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.
Feb 25, 2020
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.
Feb 21, 2020
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
Feb 18, 2020
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.
Feb 14, 2020
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.
Feb 11, 2020
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.
Feb 07, 2020
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
Feb 04, 2020
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.
Jan 31, 2020
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.
Jan 28, 2020
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.
Jan 24, 2020
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.
Jan 21, 2020
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.
Jan 17, 2020
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
Jan 14, 2020
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.
Jan 10, 2020
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
Jan 07, 2020
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.
Jan 06, 2020
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
Dec 31, 2019
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.
Dec 27, 2019
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
Dec 24, 2019
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.
Dec 20, 2019
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.
Dec 17, 2019
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.
Dec 13, 2019
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 shapes our personal views and whether Americans can bridge their political and religious divides.
Dec 10, 2019
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.
Dec 06, 2019
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.
Dec 03, 2019
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.
Nov 29, 2019
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.
Nov 26, 2019
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.
Nov 22, 2019
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.
Nov 19, 2019
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.
Nov 15, 2019
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.
Nov 12, 2019
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.
Nov 08, 2019
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.
Nov 05, 2019
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.
Nov 01, 2019
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.
Oct 29, 2019
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.
Oct 25, 2019
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.
Oct 22, 2019
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.
Oct 18, 2019
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.
Oct 15, 2019
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. He 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.

Oct 11, 2019
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 small-town 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.
Oct 08, 2019
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.
Oct 04, 2019
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.
Oct 01, 2019
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.'
Sep 27, 2019
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.
Sep 24, 2019
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.
Sep 20, 2019
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.
Sep 17, 2019
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.
Sep 13, 2019
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.
Sep 10, 2019
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.
Sep 06, 2019
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.
Sep 03, 2019
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
Aug 30, 2019
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.
Aug 27, 2019
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
Aug 23, 2019
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
Aug 20, 2019
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.
Aug 16, 2019
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.
Aug 13, 2019
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.
Aug 09, 2019
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.
Aug 06, 2019
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.
Aug 02, 2019
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.
Jul 30, 2019
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.
Jul 26, 2019
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.
Jul 23, 2019
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.
Jul 19, 2019
NPR's Life Kit: Choose The Best Diet For You
Sam recently teamed up with reporter Alison 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
Jul 16, 2019
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.
Jul 12, 2019
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 financial intertwined with their parents — and why it's so hard to talk about. Listeners call in. Sends thoughts to
Jul 09, 2019
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
Jul 05, 2019
Interview: 'Queenie' Author Candice Carty-Williams
Her debut novel is one of this summer's most buzzed-about books. It's about race and dating, men and women, stereotypes and sexuality. Sam talks to Candice Carty-Williams about all that and more — and she reveals what she absolutely won't change in the coming television version of 'Queenie.' Email the show at
Jul 02, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Before Stonewall, LGBT History, Student Loan Debt
It's been 50 years since a group of LGBT people faced off against police at the Stonewall Inn in New York City's Greenwich Village. That moment is credited with launching the modern gay rights movement, but what was happening before the Stonewall riots? Plus, Sam talks to a student loan lawyer about managing debt and why some students find themselves in financial hardship. Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei of NPR's Throughline podcast join Sam for this edition of our weekly wrap.
Jun 28, 2019
The Great Big DRAGisode
Drag is having a moment ⁠— from RuPaul's Drag Race, to DragCon, to drag queens appearing on the big screen. In this episode, we walk through the history of drag, chat with the creative minds of the show that made drag mainstream, and talk to some drag performers about where drag is headed next.
Jun 25, 2019
Weekly Wrap: UFOs, Iran, Libra
Capitol Hill's interest in aliens grows, tensions rise between Iran and the U.S. and Facebook has big plans for its new cryptocurrency? Plus, Sam goes deep on the breakup anthem of a generation: Robyn's "Dancing On My Own." Tweet feels @NPRItsBeenAMin.
Jun 21, 2019
Interview: Maya Erskine on '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. Now she's the star of a new romantic comedy that turns the genre on its head. She talks to Sam about 'Plus One' and how the second season of 'PEN15' might differ from the first. Email the show at
Jun 18, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Jon Stewart on 9/11 Fund, Veteran Homelessness, & Women's World Cup
Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart went to Capitol Hill this week to ask Congress for a permanent 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Veteran homelessness sees some improvement thanks to federal vouchers. Could a self-declared Socialist ever win a general election? Plus, a look at the #ChurchToo movement at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting. Libby Denkmann, veterans and military reporter at NPR member station KPCC, and Tonya Mosley, co-host of the KQED podcast Truth Be Told, join Sam to wrap up this week in news.
Jun 14, 2019
Interview: Ryan O'Connell On 'Special'
Coming out as gay was easy for Ryan O'Connell. Coming out as disabled — admitting the cause of his limp was ceberal palsy and not, as he lied, a car accident — was a lot harder. Ryan tells Sam how that experience became the basis for his Netflix show, 'Special.' Email the show at
Jun 11, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Government Takes On Big Tech, What 'Intersectionality' Means, RIP iTunes
The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are taking early steps into investigating tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Meanwhile, lawmakers in the House of Representatives are looking into whether tech companies are too big. Plus, where the term "intersectionality" originated, what it means and why it's popping up in culture more and more. NPR Congressional reporter Kelsey Snell and Washington Post tech reporter Tony Romm join Sam for a look back at this week.
Jun 07, 2019
Interview: Writer Shelby Lorman Has Plenty Of 'Awards For Good Boys'
Shelby Lorman has long been taking note of society's low standards for men on her popular Instagram account, whether they're manspreaders on the subway or Tinder dates who brag about reading feminist literature. Now she's turned those incisive illustrations and vignettes into a book that awards — and lambastes — those men. She sat down with Sam to share some "tales of dating, double standards, and doom" and to explain why rewarding men for doing "the barest of minimums" may not be so great.
Jun 04, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Hollywood Versus Georgia, AirPods, 737 Max Troubles And Summer Travel
Netflix, Disney, NBCUniversal and other Hollywood production companies say they may stop filming in Georgia if the state's recently passed, restrictive abortion law is upheld. With Boeing's 737 Max airplane still grounded, are travelers in for headaches when it comes to flying this summer? Plus why Apple's wireless AirPod headphones pose an environmental conundrum. ProPublica politics reporter Jessica Huseman and Quartz editor David Yanofsky join Sam for this week's roundup.
May 31, 2019
Interview: Writer, Actor, & Producer Lena Waithe
Before she was the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing, before her Showtime series 'The Chi', and before she was listed on the Time 100, Lena Waithe met Sam on a Saturday morning at NPR, and he bought her Doritos from the vending machine. Encore episode, first released in 2017. Email the show at
May 28, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Severe Weather And Climate Change, U.S. Migrant Deaths, VIP Dining
A series of severe storms battered states across the country this week, but have communities drawn any connection between the weather and the effects of climate change? Meanwhile, the Trump administration admitted that a sixth migrant child died in U.S. custody within the past eight months. Plus, what are the perks of being a VIP diner at restaurants in the nation's capital? NPR reporter Nate Rott and KCRW reporter and host Steve Chiotakis join guest host Elise Hu.
May 24, 2019
How Tech Hijacks Our Brains, Corrupts Culture, And What To Do Now
NPR's Elise Hu steps in for Sam and sits down with Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist for Google, while listeners share their tech burnout stories and solutions. We also hear from WIRED senior writer Nitasha Tiku on what regulation is happening in the tech industry right now.
May 21, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Eurovision Takes The Stage, Plus China Tariffs, Abortion Restrictions
The U.S. this week expanded its tariffs on products from China to include items such as toys and sneakers. What will that mean for consumers? Alabama joined the list of states moving to impose restrictions on abortion. Plus, the glitter-infused, 42-country singing competition known as Eurovision is about to take the stage. Which country's song will take the cake? WBUR reporter Zeninjor Enwemeka and 'Endless Thread' podcast co-host Ben Brock Johnson join Sam in Boston.
May 17, 2019
Interview: 'SNL' And 'The Other Two' Writers Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly
'SNL' season 42 started before the 2016 election and ended months after Donald Trump's inauguration. During that whirlwind year, the show was steered by co-head writers Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly. After it, they created and wrote 'The Other Two' for Comedy Central, hailed by critics as one of 2019's best new comedies. It was recently renewed for a second season. Email the show at
May 14, 2019
Weekly Wrap: 2020 Politics And More, Live From Des Moines, Iowa
For this special live edition of the show, Sam is joined by NPR national correspondent Sarah McCammon and Iowa Public Radio host and reporter Clay Masters. To Sam, it seems the Democratic Party is running two different primaries: one for their progressive base and another for hypothetical moderate general election voters. Plus how are Iowans feeling about 2020?
May 10, 2019
Art In The Age Of Instagram
The social media app Instagram is plastered with artwork, ranging from selfies inside Yayoi Kusama's mirrored rooms, to snapshots of the iconic "Mona Lisa" to short poems and colorful, inspirational messages. But how does the app affect how we engage with all these works — and how makers and museums create and share it? We talked with artists, curators and critics for a look at art in the age of Instagram.
May 07, 2019
Weekly Wrap: A Meatless Moment, How To Combat Homelessness, Containing The Measles
Cases of measles have cropped up in almost two dozen states, and health experts are working to contain the disease. In San Francisco, a drama is unfolding between city officials, billionaires and residents on how to fight homelessness. Plus, are meatless burgers having a moment? Sam is joined by KPCC health care reporter Michelle Faust Raghavan and L.A. Times national correspondent Matt Pearce.
May 03, 2019
Interview: Comedian Shane Torres
Shane's career caught fire when he famously defended Guy Fieri (and his shirt flames) in a bit on 'Conan.' Now, he talks to Sam about life on the road, why political comedy is hard, and their shared Texas roots. Shane's debut comedy album is called 'Established 1981.' Email the show at
Apr 30, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Transgender Military Ban, Chunky 'Dad' Sneakers, Plus Who Uses Twitter?
The Trump administration's ban on transgender people serving openly in the military is in effect, but how is it being felt? A new Pew study dives into who actually uses the social network Twitter. Plus, Sam calls up a fashion critic to find out why big, chunky sneakers made a comeback — particularly in the world of high fashion. Sam is joined this week by KUT reporter Ashley Lopez and Dallas Morning News reporter Lauren McGaughy.
Apr 26, 2019
Interview: Kathy Griffin's Life On the Blacklist
Kathy Griffin isn't ashamed of being a comic who spills the tea. That's what she tells Sam she does — whether she's calling out celebrities like the Kardashians or taking photos with a bloody Donald Trump mask. Griffin is out with a new feature all about how her life changed after publishing that photo. It's called 'Kathy Griffin: A Hell of A Story.'
Apr 23, 2019
Weekly Wrap: The Mueller Report, Notre Dame, 2020 Fundraising
The U.S. Department of Justice released a redacted version of Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Where do things stand now that it's out? After a massive fire destroyed portions of the centuries-old Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, billions of dollars have already been pledged to rebuild it. Plus, what does a historically black, all-male college's decision to begin accepting transgender men signal about cultural attitudes toward gender? Sam is joined this week by NPR lead political editor Domenico Montanaro and Associated Press national political reporter Juana Summers.
Apr 19, 2019
Interview: Adam Serwer On White Nationalism's American Roots
The Atlantic staff writer Adam Serwer explains how racism and white nationalism were deeply embedded in America not just from its founding, but throughout the 20th century — and how one man corralled those ideas into a grand pseudo-scientific theory that influenced U.S. immigration policy and eventually Nazi Germany. His article about that man, Madison Grant, is called "White Nationalism's Deep American Roots." Email the show at
Apr 16, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Tax Season Nears Its End, Plus Our Digital Lives After We Die
The deadline to file your taxes is right around the corner. We ask a tax preparer how things have changed since the Republican-led tax overhaul. After Facebook introduced a new feature to help memorialize deceased users, Elise wonders what becomes of our online presences after we die. Plus what's going on at the U.S. southern border and what closing it could mean. Guest host Elise Hu is joined by KPBS reporters Jean Guerrero and Claire Trageser.
Apr 12, 2019
Interview: Anthony Carrigan On 'Barry'
A few years after he was told he should quit acting, Anthony Carrigan shines as NoHo Hank on HBO's 'Barry.' He talks to guest host Elise Hu about working with Bill Hader, empathizing with the villains he plays, and finding peace with a condition that once made a career in Hollywood seem out of reach. 'Barry' airs Sunday nights on HBO. Email the show at
Apr 09, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Why Pop Songs Are Getting Shorter, Plus Climate Change, Opioids And CBD
Al Gore is still leading the fight against climate change, but the topic is now also becoming an issue of racial justice. How will it play out in 2020? The fallout of the opioid crisis continues as lawsuits against opioid manufacturers pile up. Plus, how streaming services are reshaping the art form of the pop song. Sam is joined by Dan Zak of The Washington Post and Sarah Halzack of Bloomberg Opinion.
Apr 05, 2019
Interview: Karamo Brown On 'Queer Eye' & 'Embracing Purpose'
Fab Fiver Karamo Brown takes Sam to church, so to speak, in this episode recorded in front of a live audience at Sixth & I in Washington, D.C. Sam and Karamo spoke about his new memoir, 'Karamo Brown: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope.'
Apr 02, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Streaming Service Wars, Plus How Our Minds Handle The Unknown
Apple's announcement that it would enter the competitive world of video streaming services has Sam wondering what the future of TV looks like. He's joined by 'Invisibilia' hosts Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin, who are digging into how our minds fill in gaps when something is unknown.
Mar 29, 2019
Interview: Comedian Mo Amer on the Refugee Experience, #MeToo And Touring The World
Mo Amer joins Sam to talk about his experience emigrating from Kuwait to Houston and the almost-constant code-switching he did growing up. He also shares his thoughts about #MeToo in the comedy world. This episode contains explicit discussion about sexual issues pertaining to the #MeToo movement.
Mar 26, 2019
Weekly Wrap: March Madness, 2020 Dems Shift Left, Plus What #DoingThings Really Means
With March Madness in full swing, the debate over whether the NCAA should compensate athletes resurfaces once again. 2020 Democratic presidential candidates continue to unveil progressive policy positions. Plus, how Outdoor Voices' #DoingThings slogan fits into a moment where lines between advertising and everyday life are increasingly blurry. Julia Furlan fills in for Sam, and she's flanked by Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch and Arnie Seipel from NPR Politics.
Mar 22, 2019
Interview: 'Russian Doll' Star Greta Lee
"Sweet birthday baby!" Greta Lee talks about her role in the critically acclaimed Netflix show 'Russian Doll,' starring Natasha Lyonne as a woman who can't stop dying and reliving the same night. Greta tells guest-host Julia Furlan how the show was reincarnated from a failed NBC pilot, why she still struggles to avoid Asian-American stereotypes in television and what to expect from the HBO show she's developing.
Mar 19, 2019
Weekly Wrap: 737 MAXs Grounded, #FacebookDown, Photoshopped College 'Athletes'
After a second fatal crash involving the Boeing 737 MAX airplane, countries around the world grounded the jet this week. Facebook and its suite of apps went offline for some time this week, leaving some social media users feeling disconnected. Plus, what one Ivy League-school graduate of color has to say about the college admissions scandal unveiled by the FBI. Julia Furlan is filling in for Sam this week, and she's joined by SELF editor Sally Tamarkin and WNYC reporter Arun Venugopal.
Mar 15, 2019
Interview: Andrew Rannells On 'Fumbling Toward' Adulthood And Broadway Fame
Andrew Rannells has come a long way from Omaha, which he left in the late '90s to follow his dream of becoming a Broadway star in New York City. His new book, "Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood" tells the story of his early years there. He tells Sam about learning his dad died on a half-hearted date, getting drunk in piano bars with his best friend, Zuzanna, and how a failed audition for Rosie O'Donnell might have changed the course of his career.
Mar 12, 2019
Weekly Wrap: HIV Remission, Ride-Hailing Traffic Tax, What's Happening In Kashmir
This week an HIV-positive person was declared in remission. That increased hopes for a cure, but what does it mean for infection rates overall? Ride-hailing services may be worsening traffic, and Los Angeles is considering a new tax to ease the congestion. Plus, what's going on in the India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmir. Sam's guests are entertainment and sports journalist Audrey Cleo Yap and LA Times reporter Laura Nelson.
Mar 08, 2019
Interview: Phoebe Robinson of '2 Dope Queens'
It's Tuesday. Phoebe Robinson is doing a lot. There's her acting and her second book, 'Everything's Trash, But It's Okay.' And on top of that, there's '2 Dope Queens,' the podcast turned HBO live show that she hosted with Jessica Williams. Sam catches up with Robinson on the comedy landscape in the #MeToo era, getting out of debt, and abreevs. You'll find out what that means. Tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Mar 05, 2019
Weekly Wrap: No Deal With North Korea, 'The Big Money', T-Pain
It's Friday. Sam's "got money in the bank" with NPR correspondents Elise Hu and Eyder Peralta. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walked away from the negotiating table without a deal this week. Does the "no deal" option have the broadest support? Tensions remain high in Venezuela as President Nicolas Maduro tries to retain office amid a push for a change of government in the country. Plus, how a Native American tribe's massive casino-profit payouts shape the lives of its membership.
Mar 01, 2019
Interview: 'Chewing Gum' And 'Black Earth Rising' Star Michaela Coel
It's Tuesday. Michaela Coel first got the idea for her hit British sitcom 'Chewing Gum' while at drama school. Her later work as the creator, writer, and lead actress on the show earned her a BAFTA. She tells Sam about the transparency that comes from shaving her head and once embracing the Pentecostal faith. Tweet feels @NPRItsBeenAMin or email
Feb 26, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Jussie Smollett, Bernie Sanders, Oscars 2019, Plus 'Pool Chips'
It's Friday. Sam is losing himself with HuffPost news editor Saba Hamedy and editor-in-chief of The Advocate Zach Stafford. 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett was charged with filing a false police report in an alleged hate crime incident in Chicago last month. What does this development mean for other victims of hate crimes? Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders announced another bid for the presidency. Plus, Sam questions whether a big marketing budget is the secret to securing an Oscar.
Feb 22, 2019
Interview: Emily King's Change Of 'Scenery'
It's Tuesday. Sam talks to musician Emily King about her new album, 'Scenery,' hailed by our NPR Music colleagues as "a precise-yet-fluid blend of '80s pop and rock, contemporary R&B and light jazz touches that, together, reveal a starry-eyed earnestness." They discuss the album, her slot at Coachella, and her journey away from the big city. Email or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Feb 19, 2019
Weekly Wrap: With National Emergency Declaration, The Border Wall Saga Continues
It's Friday. Sam will be seeing NPR's Susan Davis and Lulu Garcia-Navarro in the studio as they bid farewell to NASA's Opportunity Mars Rover. They're breaking down the issues raised as President Trump declares a national emergency in order to build the border wall. Also, what led more teachers — this time in Denver — to strike this week? Plus, Sue explains why she's over the TV show 'This Is Us' in a new segment.
Feb 15, 2019
Beyond Parkland: Oakland Kids Who Experience Gun Violence Every Day
It's Tuesday. Sam talks with three Oakland teenagers about the gun violence they regularly encounter. They have been held up at gunpoint and known friends and mentors who have been shot. These Castlemont High School students are involved with a violence intervention program called Youth ALIVE! Through the program, they mentor middle school students on the dangers of guns.
Feb 12, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Blackface In Virginia, 'El Chapo' Trial, How AOC Set The News Cycle
It's Friday. Sam is putting on his best falsetto to sing along with NPR reporters Sarah Gonzalez and Julia Furlan. They're digging into peculiar details of the 'El Chapo' trial, as well as how changes to federal law could be the cause of a rise in sex trafficking. Plus, Sam chats with a listener who grew up in Virginia about racism in the state.
Feb 08, 2019
Interview: Angie Thomas Wants To 'Mirror' Young, Black Readers
It's Tuesday. Sam chats with Angie Thomas, author of the best-selling young adult novel 'The Hate U Give' about her new book, 'On The Come Up.' They talk about both her books, about proving there's a huge audience for the black experience in young adult literature, and about moving on up — and why it's complicated. Email or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Feb 05, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Schultz Ponders The Presidency, 'Leaving Neverland' Stirs At Sundance
It's Friday. Sam's got one hand in his pocket, and the other one is welcoming LA Times reporter Amy Kaufman and NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates to the studio. They dive into Howard Schultz's possible 2020 presidential run, the latest in controversial technology and the reaction to a Michael Jackson-focused documentary that premiered at Sundance. Plus, what's with the NFL's recent ratings increase? Clinton Yates from ESPN's 'The Undefeated' weighs in.
Feb 01, 2019
'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Star Tituss Burgess
It's Tuesday. Burgess is one of the stars of the hit Netflix show 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.' He gets real on playing an extrovert (as an introvert), going from rural Georgia to Broadway, and his love for 99-cent stores. Tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Jan 29, 2019
Weekly Wrap: TikTok, Climate Change & Fyre Fest
It's Friday. Uh-oh, another episode with Sam, this time with NPR Reporter Vanessa Romo (@vanromo) and KPCC science reporter Jacob Margolis (@JacobMargolis), host of 'The Big One.' They cover the latest on the military transgender ban and a new climate change survey, while Sam digs deep on the social media app TikTok with help from Atlantic staff writer Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz). Email and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Jan 25, 2019
Interview: A Broadway Star And Director On 'Rent: Live'
It's Tuesday. Sam talks to 'Hamilton' star Brandon Victor Dixon and Broadway director Michael Greif about bringing the groundbreaking 1996 Broadway musical 'Rent' to live television — January 27 at 8 PM EST on FOX. They discuss the difference between stage and television performance, what made 'Rent' such an influential musical, and that time Brandon Victor Dixon spoke to Vice President-elect Mike Pence after a performance of 'Hamilton.' Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback.
Jan 22, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Las Vegas, Paradise & Hamberders
It's Friday. Sam ooga-chakas this week with NPR National Desk correspondent Leila Fadel (@LeilaFadel) and 'The Nevada Independent' editor Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports). They talk the latest on Syria, Brexit, and a family's choice not to return to Paradise, Calif., following the wildfires there. Plus, is Marie Kondo really telling you to throw away your books?
Jan 18, 2019
Interview: Dan Levy On 'Schitt's Creek'
It's Tuesday. Sam talks to Dan Levy about the comedy series he co-created with his father, actor Eugene Levy. They discuss why Dan has always had to pay his own way, choosing to make his character on "Schitt's Creek" pansexual, and what he doesn't miss about working as a host for MTV. And, uh, Beyonce may have come up, too. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback.
Jan 15, 2019
Weekly Wrap: 'One Hot Mess' As Shutdown Continues, Plus Millennials And Burnout
It's Friday. Sam is swimming through the latest in shutdown and border wall news with help from NBC White House correspondent Geoff Bennett and CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson. Race is seemingly absent from that debate, even though it's a big predictor of voter attitudes on immigration. Plus, why BuzzFeed writer Anne Helen Petersen dubbed millennials the "burnout generation."
Jan 11, 2019
Interview: Actress Kathryn Hahn Talks Film 'Private Life' — And Her Own
It's Tuesday: Sam talks with Kathryn Hahn — best known for her work in "Transparent" and "I Love Dick" — about her new film 'Private Life.' She stars alongside Paul Giamatti in the film, which is about a couple struggling to have a baby, and what happens when your life doesn't turn out the way you thought. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback.
Jan 08, 2019
Weekly Wrap: Nancy Pelosi's Return, Retail's 2019 Outlook, What's The Deal With CBD?
It's Friday. Sam is talking to everyone here, specifically NPR Congressional correspondent Susan Davis and Bloomberg Opinion columnist Sarah Halzack. A new U.S. Congress was sworn in this week and Rep. Nancy Pelosi returned as Speaker of the House, but what will Democrats' legislative priorities be? It's a new year, and tariffs could mean an uncertain future for retail in the months to come. Plus, what is CBD, why is it everywhere, and is it legal?
Jan 04, 2019
Encore: From 'Black-ish,' Jenifer Lewis: 'The Mother of Black Hollywood'
It's Tuesday: In her memoir, "The Mother of Black Hollywood," Jenifer Lewis chronicles a career that has spanned decades, from Broadway to the hit ABC show Black-ish. Along the way, she played fictional moms to Tupac Shakur, Taraji P. Henson, and Whitney Houston. Jenifer talks to Sam about her long career, struggling with addiction and bipolar disorder, growing up in Missouri, and lying her way into the DNC in 2008. Originally released in November of 2017. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback.
Jan 01, 2019
Year-End Wrap: Big Tech Reckoning, Identity Politics, & Yanny vs. Laurel
It's Friday. Sam rings like a bell wrapping up the year in news with NPR reporter Elise Hu and The Wall Street Journal film industry reporter Erich Schwartzel. Plus a call to professor Lilliana Mason about how politics and identity have become entwined. It's topped off with the best things that happened to listeners all year. Tweet @ NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Dec 28, 2018
Interview: Samin Nosrat Of 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat'
It's Tuesday (and Christmas). Sam is in the kitchen with Samin Nosrat, author of the James Beard Award-winning book 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat' and star of the Netflix show of the same name. She talks to Sam about adjusting to fame, how she became a chef, and what makes her pessimistic about the world right now.
Dec 25, 2018
Weekly Wrap: Criminal Justice Reform, Teacher Strikes, & Dragons
It's Friday. Sam is on an island in the sun with 'Los Angeles Times' education reporter Sonali Kohli (@Sonali_Kohli) and 'Broken Record' podcast producer Justin Richmond (@JustJRichmond). Plus a year-end music check in with NPR music critic Ann Powers. Happy Holidays from the IBAM fam! Tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Dec 21, 2018
Interview: Jennifer Lopez On Longevity And 'Second Act'
It's Tuesday. Jennifer Lopez dishes to Sam on life lessons from her "Jenny from the Block" days to her starring role in the upcoming romantic comedy, "Second Act." Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Dec 18, 2018
Weekly Wrap: Ron Elving On Impeachment, Investigations And More Political Qs
It's Friday. Sam is joined by NPR political editor and correspondent Ron Elving and NPR breaking news reporter Camila Domonoske. Sam and Camila are looking for answers to all the latest and burning questions on the Mueller investigation and President Trump's political agenda. Then Sam catches up with a listener from Portland, Maine, who last year shared her story of hosting a family of asylum seekers from Burundi.
Dec 14, 2018
Interview: PJ Morton Talks Christmas Classics, The Super Bowl And Stevie Wonder
It's Tuesday. The Grammy-nominated solo artist and Maroon 5 keyboardist joins Sam to talk about his album "Christmas With PJ Morton," a soulful take on Christmas classics. They also discuss PJ's childhood and his father, the famous preacher and gospel singer Paul S. Morton; what makes a classic holiday song; working with Stevie Wonder; and Maroon 5 possibly playing the Super Bowl. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Dec 11, 2018
Weekly Wrap: George H.W. Bush, Explaining Brexit And Kevin Hart's Oscars Whirlwind
It's Friday. Sam is counting the ways he could make this last forever with NPR's Nathan Rott and KPCC's Priska Neely. The United Nations is meeting in hopes of finding ways to slow climate change. Sam wonders if journalists are going too far in their remembrances of President George H.W. Bush, who died last week. Plus, Sam chats with the BBC's Rich Preston to break down exactly what's going on with Brexit.
Dec 07, 2018
Viola Davis On 'Widows'; Race And Power in Hollywood
It's Tuesday: 'All Things Considered' host Audie Cornish joins Sam to share her conversation with Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, recorded on stage at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Audie and Viola talk about her new film, 'Widows,' and the harsh reality of being a black leading woman in Hollywood.
Dec 04, 2018
Weekly Wrap: GM, Awaiting Asylum, Stock Market
It's Friday. Sam wishes he "had a rabbit in a hat with a bat and a six-four Impala." Instead he's joined by Quartz's David Yanofsky and the L.A. Times' Cindy Carcamo to dig into the latest happenings at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as why we're not stopping to celebrate NASA's landing on Mars. Plus Sam chats with Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal about what the stock market's roller coaster means for the economy.
Nov 30, 2018
Comedian Guy Branum Wants To Change the Boys Club of Comedy
It's Tuesday. Sam is live with comedian and writer Guy Branum at the Crawford Family Forum at KPCC in Pasadena, Calif. Branum went from his small, rural hometown to hosting his own talk show in Hollywood. He gets real with Sam on destroying the white, straight, male-dominated comedy world, challenging narratives about gay people in entertainment, and takes questions from the audience.
Nov 27, 2018
A Post-Thanksgiving Treat: Our Favorite Comedians
It's Friday. Sam is revisiting some of our favorite moments and funniest guests: D'Arcy Carden from "The Good Place," "Saturday Night Live" alums Taran Killam and Sasheer Zamata, Timothy Simons from "VEEP," Natasha Rothwell from "Insecure," Jimmy O. Yang from "Silicon Valley" and Ike Barinholtz from "The Mindy Project."
Nov 23, 2018
Encore: A Thanksgiving Special
Sam and Dan Pashman, host of "The Sporkful," swap Thanksgiving horror stories with listeners — and one special guest. First recorded for Thanksgiving 2017. Episodes of The Sporkful at Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Nov 20, 2018
Weekly Wrap: California Fires, Drunk Raccoons, Beto Running
It's Friday. Guest host Elise Hu tries to "work this whole" news thing out with Los Angeles Times health reporter Soumya Karlamangla and Snapchat's Good Luck America host, Peter Hamby. Soumya talks twin tragedies in her hometown of Thousand Oaks, Peter questions CNN's election night re-do, and Elise finds no great deception in this week's North Korea news.
Nov 16, 2018
Actor Steven Yeun On 'The Walking Dead,' Identity and 'Burning'
It's Tuesday. Elise Hu steps in the hosting chair for Sam and gets deep with Yeun on why he's sick of talking about Asian identity, his time as Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead, and his new South Korean thriller. Send thoughts about the episode to Elise at or tweet her @elisewho.
Nov 13, 2018
Weekly Wrap: Democrats' Victory or Defeat, Amazon HQ2, Alien Spaceship
It's Friday. Sam is getting in the zone with Linda Holmes and Glen Weldon of NPR's podcast "Pop Culture Happy Hour." This week, Sam is asking whether Democrats really won or lost in the midterms, and Linda and Glen are wondering if we should care about a so-called alien spacecraft and Alec Baldwin. Also Sam is digging into what Amazon's reported expansion to Crystal City, Va., might mean for people living there.
Nov 09, 2018
Heartbreak Led 'Broad City' Co-Star Abbi Jacobson On A Cross-Country Road Trip
It's Tuesday. 'Broad City' co-star Abbi Jacobson's new book, 'I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff,' chronicles her cross-country road trip following a devastating breakup. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Nov 06, 2018
Weekly Wrap: Processing Pittsburgh, Race And Politics, Cardi Vs. Nicki
It's Friday. Sam is clapping along because he's happy to be in the studio with NPR "Morning Edition" host David Greene and journalist Audrey Cleo Yap. The 2018 midterm elections are just days away, and David shares some insights from conversations he's had with voters. Sam explains why race is the primary subtext of all U.S. politics right now. After the mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Sam chats with a man whose father was killed in a massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin six years ago.
Nov 02, 2018
From Aretha to Michael: Bruce Talamon on Photographing Black Musical Legends
It's Tuesday: Sam talks with photographer Bruce Talamon on capturing famous black musicians in their most intimate moments from their living rooms to the stage. His photos are out in a new book: Bruce W. Talamon. Soul. R&B. Funk. Photographs 1972-1982.
Oct 30, 2018
Weekly Wrap: Transgender Rights, Netflix Rom-Coms, Halloween Candy
It's Friday. Sam's loneliness is killing him, so he's joined by podcast maker and journalist Julia Furlan and Stacey Vanek Smith, host of NPR's The Indicator podcast. The Trump administration may seek to limit the federal government's definition of "sex" — potentially allowing for the rollback of protections for transgender people under federal civil rights law. Plus, Sam looks at the success of Netflix's "Summer of Love" and wonders if it could revive the romantic-comedy genre in film.
Oct 26, 2018
2018: The "Year Of The Woman?"
Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Elizabeth Heng talk to Sam about running as women in 2018, and NPR political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben (@titonka) explains why even 2018's record number of female candidates won't mean parity.
Oct 23, 2018
Weekly Wrap: Jamal Khashoggi, Research Hoax, & Nebraska's New Slogan
Sam is joined by NPR's Kelly McEvers, host of Embedded, and Code Switch correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates. Questions continue to mount after the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. Plus, Sam digs into an elaborate hoax designed to discredit research in so-called "grievance studies" — what the hoaxsters call academic fields focused on identity. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Oct 19, 2018
Interview: 'The Sentence' Documents Toll of Mandatory Sentencing Laws On A Family
It's Tuesday: Cindy Shank was living a comfortable life at home with her three little girls and husband when one day the feds came knocking. They were there to arrest her for not telling the police about an ex-boyfriend's drug dealing several years prior. That's the story behind a new HBO documentary, 'The Sentence' - directed by Shank's brother, Rudy Valdez. Sam talks to Cindy and Rudy about documenting the impact on their family, a mother's love for her children, and how the film has brought politicians together on both sides of the aisle.
Oct 16, 2018
Weekly Wrap: Climate Change, LeBron James, Squirrels
It's Friday: Sam has waited hours for this weekly wrap with hosts of the WNYC podcast "Nancy," Tobin Low and Kathy Tu. A study from the United Nations says current efforts to fight climate change are not enough. Plus, Sam talks to a former lobbyist who is leading an effort to restore voting rights for felons in Florida — because he is one. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Oct 12, 2018
Coming Out
To mark National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, Sam examines the history, meaning and future of coming out with University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor Marcia Gallo and E. Patrick Johnson of Northwestern University. He also shares coming out stories from listeners and swaps stories with NPR film critic Bob Mondello. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Oct 09, 2018
Weekly Wrap: Supreme Court, Homecoming, & Gender Fire
It's Friday: Sam is up on his feet with Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner), legal editor at Buzzfeed News, and Alina Selyukh (@alinaselyukh), business correspondent at NPR. They're talking about Supreme Court strategy, net neutrality, and Amazon's minimum wage. Plus, Sam talks to two high school girls who are changing the rules of homecoming royalty.
Oct 05, 2018
Interview: Ike Barinholtz Tackles Thanksgiving Politics In 'The Oath'
It's Tuesday: Sam talks to actor Ike Barinholtz about his new film 'The Oath,' which he wrote, directed, and stars in alongside Tiffany Haddish. They discuss Ike's big break as Morgan Tookers on 'The Mindy Project,' his own personal stuffing recipe, and playing basketball back home in Chicago with a local community organizer. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Oct 02, 2018
Weekly Wrap: Ford-Kavanaugh Fall-Out, Midterms, Meghan Markle
It's Friday: Sam is getting through the week with Juana Summers (@jmsummers), national political reporter for The AP, and Ben Terris (@bterris), feature reporter for The Washington Post. They're talking reaction to the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing, President Trump's lengthy news conference, and the SEC suing Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Plus, Sam talks to journalist and author Annie Lowrey about universal basic income and how it could work in the U.S. Don't forget: buy tickets to our next Los Angeles live show at
Sep 28, 2018
Interview: 'Insecure' Actress Natasha Rothwell
It's Tuesday: Sam talks with Rothwell, who plays Kelli on the HBO show Insecure. Kelli is loud, proud and loyal — and she owns the screen when she walks on. Rothwell tells Sam about going from writing to acting and co-executive producing the show, auditioning for Saturday Night Live, plus, teaching high school drama. Get tickets to our Los Angeles live show with Guy Branum and a surprise guest at
Sep 25, 2018
Weekly Wrap: Kavanaugh, MeToo, Bert & Ernie
It's Friday: Sam is LIVING this week with NPR Weekend Edition Senior Editor Barrie Hardymon (@bhardymon) and NPR Washington Desk Editor Arnie Seipel (@NPRnie). They're talking about the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and other men who were shunned after sexual harassment allegations now saying, "what about me." Plus, as McDonald's workers protest sexual harassment, we talk to a waitress in Tuscon, Arizona, about the harassment she has experienced over her 17 years in the food service industry. Don't forget: buy tickets to our next Los Angeles live show at
Sep 21, 2018
Interview: #MeToo Hits Elite Sports
It's Tuesday: Sam talks to speed skater Bridie Farrell. Her mentor, former Olympian Andy Gabel, sexually abused her when she was a teenager. Sam also talks to journalist Alexandra Starr about the unique ways elite sports can groom children to be victims of abuse.
Sep 18, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Onto the List."
It's Friday: Sam is chatting this week with NPR Morning Edition editor Ashley Brown (@hey_hashbrown) and NPR political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben (@titonka). They're talking about the record number of women running ahead of the midterms and how that has Dems particularly excited for November, President Trump's denial about the death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, and the police officer who shot and killed Botham Jean in his own home. To top it off, a chat about how we're all focused on Washington when our local politics is what counts. Buy tickets to our next Los Angeles live show at
Sep 14, 2018
Director Lauren Miller Rogen on 'Like Father'
It's Tuesday: writer and director Lauren Miller Rogen talks to Sam about her new Netflix film, "Like Father," starring Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer, caring for a parent with Alzheimer's disease, and working with her husband, Seth Rogen.
Sep 11, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Just Do It."
It's Friday: Sam is dreaming about the news with NPR tech reporter Jasmine Garsd (@JasGarsd) and reporter and public radio host Lizzie O'Leary (@lizzieohreally) . They're discussing the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, the anonymous New York Times op-ed and teens using social media. Plus a chat about Nike's new Colin Kaepernick ad and what it says about corporations and "wokeness." Buy tickets to our next Los Angeles live show at
Sep 07, 2018
Covering The Trump White House
It's Tuesday: two White House reporters join Sam to talk about life behind the scenes covering the Trump administration: Katie Rogers of the New York Times (@katierogers) and Geoff Bennett of NBC News (@GeoffRBennett). Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email Tickets to our October 2 live show in LA are at
Sep 04, 2018
Emmy Nominees Rachel Brosnahan & Brian Tyree Henry
It's Friday: Sam's taking a break from the news and revisiting two conversations from this year. First up, Brian Tyree Henry, who plays Afred "Paperboi" Miles on the hit FX show 'Atlanta.' He's up for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series at next month's 2018 Emmy Awards. Also nominated — for her starring role in 'The Marvelous Mrs Maisel' — is Rachel Brosnahan, up for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. Back to our regular schedule next week. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email Tickets to our October 2 live show in LA are at
Aug 31, 2018
Singer/Producer Syd And 'The Internet'
It's Tuesday: Sam talks to Syd, a breakout star of the hip-hop collective Odd Future, about her new band, The Internet, and about being free to bring herself to the music. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email Tickets to our October 2 live show in LA are at
Aug 28, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Lying In Wait."
It's Friday: Sam's feeling like a rockstar with New York Times reporter Caitlin Dickerson (@itscaitlinhd) and host of 'The News' from BuzzFeed, Julia Furlan (@juliastmi). They're discussing Michael Cohen, family separation, and another #MeToo story, but one with the usual gender roles reversed, plus a call to a Catholic mother processing the recent report of sexual abuse and cover ups in the church. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Aug 24, 2018
'Handmaid's Tale' Director Kari Skogland
It's Tuesday: Skogland is the only woman nominated for best directing (drama) at next month's Emmy Awards. She explains the care and craft behind directing such dark and intense material, and what Hollywood could do right now to increase the number of female directors. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Aug 21, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "This Or That."
It's Friday: Sam's in a material world with NPR correspondent Elise Hu (@elisewho) and Morning Edition host David Greene (@nprgreene). They're talking about North and South Korea, freedom of the press, Twitter, and the Queen of Soul. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Aug 17, 2018
John Cho And Aneesh Chaganty On 'Searching'
It's Tuesday: recorded live at The Line Hotel in LA, actor John Cho and director Aneesh Chaganty talk about their Sundance award-winning film, 'Searching,' the role of technology in our lives, and the responsibility and pressure of representation. Tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels or email
Aug 14, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "We Are Done."
It's Friday: Sam is kicking it with Texas Public Radio reporter Joey Palacios (@Joeycules) and NPR political reporter Asma Khalid (@asmamk). They're talking immigration, social media, and talking to kids about race. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Aug 10, 2018
'The Bold Type': Aisha Dee and Amanda Lasher
It's Tuesday: actress Aisha Dee and showrunner Amanda Lasher join Sam to talk about their Freeform show, 'The Bold Type.' The show follows three young women living and working in New York City — wide-eyed youth dealing with race, sex, and politics, without the tired tropes. Email or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Aug 07, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "#MeToo and Moonves."
It's Friday: Sam slows it down just a little this week with NPR Code Switch correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates (@karenbates) and NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans (@Deggans). They talk wildfires, Les Moonves, and QAnon. Tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels or email
Aug 03, 2018
D.L. Hughley On 'How Not To Get Shot'
'And Other Advice From White People.' That's his new book. D.L. also talks to Sam about infidelity, losing his father, the MeToo movement, and comedy in the era of Netflix.
Jul 31, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Pay Them Off."
It's Friday: Sam is young, scrappy, and hungry in our latest weekly wrap with NPR reporter Vanessa Romo (@vanromo) and Ira Madison (@ira), host of the podcast 'Keep It.' The three of them talk Cohen, crops, confessions and Comey. Get tickets to our Los Angeles live show with actor John Cho and director Aneesh Chaganty at
Jul 27, 2018
Uzo Aduba from 'Orange is the New Black'
It's Tuesday: Aduba is best known for her role as Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren on Netflix's 'Orange is the New Black.' She talks to Sam about portraying mental illness on screen, having faith in your dreams, and the latest season of 'Orange.' Get tickets to our live show in LA with actor John Cho and director Aneesh Chaganty at
Jul 24, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "They'll Be Fine."
It's Friday: NPR Political Reporter Ayesha Rascoe (@ayesharascoe) and Stephen Thompson (@idislikestephen) of NPR Music and Pop Culture Happy Hour tell Sam what he wants to know about the week's news. Helsinki. Amazon Prime Day. The Shiggy. Get tickets for our live show in LA on July 30 with John Cho and Aneesh Chaganty at
Jul 19, 2018
Al Roker on 'Ruthless Tide'
It's Tuesday: longtime NBC weatherman Al Roker has a new book about the most catastrophic flood in US history — the Johnstown flood of 1889, which killed more than 2,200 people in the Pennsylvania steel town. Roker says the story of that flood contains lessons about climate change, greed, American infrastructure, and the power of mother nature. Email and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Jul 17, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "New World Disorder."
It's Friday: Sam's shuffling through the street with NPR correspondents Ina Jaffe and Kirk Siegler this week. On the table: the President's travels and negotiations with NATO, Bett Kavanaugh, a call to a World Cup fan rooting for France, and a look at homelessness in Los Angeles and across the country. Get tickets for our live show in LA on July 30 with John Cho and Aneesh Chaganty at
Jul 13, 2018
Rainn Wilson On 'Permanent' And Life Post-'Office'
It's Tuesday: Wilson's latest film, 'Permanent,' is about embracing the weirdness of your own family. He also opens up about religion, struggling as a young actor in New York and — of course — 'The Office.' Email and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Jul 10, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "In The Balance."
It's Friday: NPR's Sarah McCammon hops in the stu' for Sam this fourth of July weekend with NPR Political Reporter Danielle Kurtzleben (@titonka) and Marketplace Senior Reporter Kimberly Adams (@KA_Marketplace). They also chat about Scott Pruitt, trade wars, and American identity. Get tickets for our live show in LA on July 30 with John Cho and Aneesh Chaganty at
Jul 06, 2018
Amber Tamblyn Flips The Script on MeToo in 'Any Man'
It's Tuesday: Actress Amber Tamblyn grew up in Los Angeles and is known for roles in Joan of Arcadia and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Now, she's out with a new novel called Any Man, about a female serial rapist who targets men. She talks to Sam about the novel, her relationship with husband David Cross, and her work with the MeToo and Time's Up movements. Email and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Jul 03, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Who Are We?"
It's Friday: Sam is up on his feet this week with sports and entertainment journalist Audrey Cleo Yap (@audreycleo) and INTO Editor-In-Chief Zach Stafford (@ZachStafford). They talk about Anthony Kennedy, Chaka Khan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the US Census. Email or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Jun 29, 2018
Joe Morton, From Stage To Screen And Back Again
It's Tuesday: Joe Morton is now starring in the title role of the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles production of Henry IV, and is known for his Emmy-award winning role as Eli Pope in Scandal. He talks to Sam about dropping out of college after being told his race would "color" a production, and making it in theater, film, and television. Tickets and information on Henry IV at
Jun 26, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Game Of Chicken."
Sam can't believe we made it this week with Haley Byrd (@byrdinator), congressional reporter for The Weekly Standard, and Lissandra Villa (@LissandraVilla), political reporter for BuzzFeed News. They talk through the most dominant story of the week: immigration. Email or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Jun 22, 2018
Actress Niecy Nash on 'Claws'
Best known for comedic roles in Reno 911, The Mindy Project, and HBO's Getting On, Niecy Nash stars in the TNT show Claws, a female-driven crime drama in its second season that one critic described as "Breaking Bad meets Steel Magnolias." She tells Sam how she used comedy to overcome tragedy in her personal life, and bringing a black, female anti-hero to TV. Email or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Jun 19, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "It Is Written."
Sam esta bailando with Pop Culture Happy Hour host Linda Holmes (@lindaholmes) and NPR Politics Podcast host and congressional correspondent Scott Detrow (@scottdetrow). Catch up on the week's news: the World Cup, Trump administration immigration policy, and diversity in film criticism. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Jun 13, 2018
The Stars of 'Vida'
Sam chats with the two leads of the STARZ show 'Vida,' Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada. They play two sisters who return home to their old east Los Angeles neighborhood after their mother's death. There, they have to grapple with family drama, gentrification, racism, and finding their identity. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels.
Jun 12, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Look Over There."
We gon' be alright with Sam and these two guests this week: Morning Edition and Up First host Steve Inskeep and CNN Politics Senior Writer Juana Summers. The real Puerto Rico death toll, insulin prices, and baked beans, plus trade talk with Soumaya Keynes of The Economist. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Jun 08, 2018
Free Speech vs. Hate Speech
Roseanne's tweet. NFL players kneeling. The President blocking people on Twitter. These stories are all about the same thing: what is free speech? Who gets to decide? And what happens when one person's speech makes another person feel unsafe? Sam talks to Nadine Strossen, a law professor and former president of the American Civil Liberties Union, about her new book, Hate: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship.
Jun 05, 2018
Live in Chicago with Samantha Irby
Here's a break from the news: Comedian and author Samantha Irby joins Sam live on stage at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music in partnership with WBEZ. Her recently re-published book is called "Meaty." Plus special guest Jennifer White drops by to dish about two famous Chicagoans — the subjects of WBEZ's "Making Obama" and "Making Oprah" podcasts. Back with our regular weekly wrap next Friday.
Jun 01, 2018
Comedian and "Opposition" Host Jordan Klepper
The comedian and talks to Sam about running his own show, lampooing fringe news, and why the nicest parts of him are from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Email or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
May 29, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "On Bended Knee."
Sam is struck by two guests this week: Los Angeles Times reporter Laura Nelson, and senior writer at ESPN's "The Undefeated," Clinton Yates. They cover new NFL rules, Ramadan, North Korea, and lynx. Or lynxes. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
May 25, 2018
BØRNS: Glam, Sunshine, and 'Electric Love'
Sam talks to singer Garrett Clark Borns in his Los Angeles studio on going from small town Michigan to playing at Coachella - TWICE. BØRNS' new album, Blue Madonna, is out now. Email or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
May 22, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Just Say It."
Sam's right over here with NPR reporters Vanessa Romo and Brakkton Booker wrapping up the week in news: one year into the Mueller investigation, the royal wedding, and upcoming Supreme Court decisions on gerrymandering. Plus, the best things that happened to listeners all week. Tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels or email
May 18, 2018
How Ruth Bader Ginsburg Became 'Notorious RBG'
In 'RBG,' filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West chronicle the legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg joins the conversation with Sam, Betsy, and Julie. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
May 15, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Where's My Money?"
Sam's voice takes you there this week, with NPR Editor Arezou Rezvani and Los Angeles Times national correspondent Matt Pearce. Plus, the Iran Nuclear Deal, wage stagnation, and 'This Is America.' Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
May 11, 2018
Jimmy O. Yang on 'Silicon Valley' and 'How To American'
The comedian and actor talks to Sam about his immigrant experience and making it in Hollywood, which he writes about in a new book, "How To American: An Immigrant's Guide To Disappointing Your Parents." Jimmy stars as immigrant programmer Jìan-Yáng on the HBO comedy "Silicon Valley." Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
May 08, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Check The Tape."
Sam lets the sunshine in with NPR Code Switch correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates (@karenbates) and NPR Embedded producer and reporter Tom Dreisbach (@TomDreisbach). Also Rudy Giuliani, the Broadway musical "Hair," meatballs, and a call to Puerto Rico. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
May 04, 2018
The Political 'Circus' of 2018
Political strategists Mark McKinnon and Mike Murphy join Sam to talk about the 2018 midterms and Mark's Showtime series 'The Circus,' which he co-hosts. Mike is a Republican who's worked for John McCain, Jeb Bush, and Mitt Romney. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels. Tickets for our May 15 show in Chicago are at
May 01, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "He Is Perfect."
Kanye's tweets, Emmanuel Macron's state visit, and Bill Cosby's guilty verdict, plus latest on Facebook and user privacy. From member station KQED in San Francisco, NPR Silicon Valley correspondent Aarti Shahani (@aarti411) and KQED senior editor Tonya Mosley (@TonyaMosley) join Sam to talk about the week that was. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Apr 27, 2018
Meg Wolitzer on "The Female Persuasion"
Wolitzer's new novel is about women, misogyny, ambition, death, and the disillusionment of growing older. It's on virtually every must-read list this year, and feels so perfectly forged for the current moment that the Washington Post called Meg 'the novelist we need right now.' Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Apr 24, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Who's In Charge?"
That Philadelphia Starbucks, Bey-chella, Nikki Haley, and a spotlight on Cuba and its new president. NPR Reporter and Codeswitch host Shereen Marisol Meraji (@RadioMirage) and Morning Edition producer Justin Richmond (@JustJRichmond) join Sam to talk about the week that was. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Apr 20, 2018
D'Arcy Carden From 'The Good Place'
Actress and comedian D'Arcy Carden plays Janet - the AI personal assistant - on NBC's 'The Good Place.' But she still makes time to perform at the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre in Los Angeles, where Sam got a chance to see her perform. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Apr 17, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "On The Edge."
Facebook, Syria, Michael Cohen, and voters. NPR's Sarah McCammon (@sarahmccammon) is in for Sam, and she's joined by All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly (@NPRKelly) and NPR political correspondent Asma Khalid (@asmamk) to talk about the week that was. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Apr 13, 2018
'This Is Us' Star Chrissy Metz
Chrissy Metz currently plays Kate on the hit NBC show 'This Is Us.' But for years, she was an agent doing auditions on the side, just trying to catch a break. And in her new memoir, 'This Is Me: Loving the Person You are Today,' Chrissy relays the lessons she learned along the way, with some humor and grace sprinkled in. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Apr 10, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Been Here Before."
A migrant caravan, Scott Pruitt, James Brown, edible glitter, and 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' NPR 'Embedded' host Kelly McEvers (@kellymcevers) and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) join Sam to talk about the week that was, plus an in depth look at police shootings of unarmed people. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Apr 06, 2018
Tim Robbins on HBO's 'Here and Now'
The Oscar-winning actor stars in a new HBO drama that follows one multicultural family's struggle to navigate American life post-election-2016. Tim also talks about his work in the theater, and why he'll never get tired of talking about 'The Shawshank Redemption.' Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Apr 03, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "The Long Shadow."
Hacking for bitcoin, Stormy Daniels, privacy on Facebook, and sliceable ketchup. NPR Business Reporter Alina Selyukh (alinaselyukh) and Vanessa Romo (@vanromo), reporter for NPR's The Two-Way blog, join Sam to talk about the week that was. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Mar 30, 2018
Zach Braff and Alex Blumberg on 'Alex, Inc.'
Zach Braff's character in the new ABC sitcom 'Alex, Inc.' is based on Alex Blumberg, who founded the podcast company Gimlet Media, and chronicled it in the podcast 'Start Up'. They talk to Sam about how the new TV show came to be. Follow @zachbraff, @abexlumberg, and @Gimletmedia. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Mar 27, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Data. Data. Data."
Cambridge Analytica, sanctuary cities, Blockbuster, and the Backstreet Boys. New York Times immigration reporter Caitlin Dickerson (@itscaitlinhd) and David Greene (@nprgreene), host of NPR's Morning Edition and Up First, join Sam to talk about the week that was. Plus, a call to a listener in Finland, and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Mar 23, 2018
Jennifer Palmieri On 2016 And Lessons For The First 'Madam President'
Hillary Clinton's former Communications Director dishes about the 2016 campaign and its aftermath in a new book written as an open letter to the future first female president, "Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to Women Who Will Run The World." Jennifer Palmieri (@jmpalmieri) talks to Sam about the rigors of the campaign, how voters responded to Hillary Clinton's candidacy, crying at work, working in the Obama White House, and a confrontational post-election meeting with Kellyanne Conway. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Mar 20, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Epic Eye Roll."
The revolving door at the White House, an irritated Chinese reporter, "norms- engineering," and an unexpected guest at a pro-hockey game. NPR's Invisibilia hosts Alix Spiegel (@aspiegelnpr) and Hanna Rosin (@HannaRosin) join Sam to talk about the week that was. Plus a call to a mom in Newtown, Connecticut, along with the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with feels.
Mar 16, 2018
Momofuku Chef David Chang's 'Ugly Delicious' Food
Fried butterball potatoes. Tapioca lo mein. Crispy pork belly. Those are just a few of the items on the menu at majordōmo, the new restaurant from chef David Chang of Momofuku fame. Sam met up with David at majordōmo in Los Angeles, where they talked food, racial identity, and his new Netflix show, 'Ugly Delicious.' Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels.
Mar 13, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "It's All Connected."
Tariffs, day-cares, and laughing Alexas. Senior early childhood reporter for KPCC Priska Neely (@priskaneely) and NPR Business Correspondent Sonari Glinton (@Sonari) join Sam to talk news and culture of the week. Plus a call to a gun owner in Orlando, FL, and the best things that happened to our listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels.
Mar 09, 2018
'Atlanta' Star Brian Tyree Henry
He plays Alfred "Paper Boi" Miles on FX's Atlanta. He's also starred in the original Broadway cast of The Book of Mormon and HBO's Vice Principals, and earned an Emmy nomination for his guest-starring role on NBC's This Is Us. Sam talks to Brian about his path to acting, the success of Atlanta, the city of Atlanta, show creator Donald Glover, how his mother figures into the character of Paper Boi, and his good friend Sterling K. Brown. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels.
Mar 06, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "No, You Can't."
It's Sam's first show in LA, and it's Oscar weekend. Variety/Access Live contributor Audrey Cleo (@audreycleo) and Wall Street Journal reporter Erich Schwartzel (@erichschwartzel) join Sam to talk about the Academy Awards, the state of the film industry, and more news and culture of the week. Plus a call to a listener in Oakland, CA, and the best things that happened to our listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels.
Mar 02, 2018
'Black Panther' with Glen Weldon and Evan Narcisse
Sam talks about the success of Black Panther and where Hollywood goes next with writer Glen Weldon (@ghweldon) from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and Evan Narcisse (@EvNarc), who's writing Rise of the Black Panther for Marvel Comics. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels.
Feb 27, 2018
Weekly Wrap LIVE: "Kids Will Lead."
The Parkland shooting, a wrap on the 2018 Olympic Games, and the mood at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Sam looks back at the week's news and more with PBS White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) and VICE News correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro. (@EvanMcS). Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels. And PS — thanks for all the dog pics! Keep 'em coming.
Feb 23, 2018
Journalist Ann Curry On Dramatic Reunions, #MeToo, and 'Today'
Ann Curry, journalist and former host of Today on NBC, hosts a new PBS series called We'll Meet Again, documenting dramatic reunions of people whose lives crossed at pivotal moments. She talks to Sam about the series, the MeToo movement, and the reunion story in her own life. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback.
Feb 20, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "All Over Again."
Music from Black Panther, the Pyeongchang Olympics, and a new champion show-dog. Sam looks back at the week's news and more with NPR International Correspondent Elise Hu (@elisewho) and NPR editor Barrie Hardymon (@bhardymon). Plus music from Nick Hakim (@nick_hakim). Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels.
Feb 16, 2018
'Love and Marriage in Mumbai'
In honor of Valentine's Day this week, a look at what happens AFTER you get married. Sam talks to PBS reporter and author Liz Flock about her new book, The Heart is a Shifting Sea: Love and Marriage in Mumbai. Liz spent about 10 years following three Indian couples in both love and arranged marriages. In a country that is rapidly changing, how do those changes impact marriage? Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback.
Feb 13, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Hey, Big Spender."
Space Jam, another government shutdown, military parades, and stock shock. Sam looks back at the week's news and more with New York Times reporter Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) and comedian and Fake the Nation host Negin Farsad (@NeginFarsad). Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels.
Feb 09, 2018
Congressman Beto O'Rourke
Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) is a rising star in the Democratic party hoping to unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz, which would make him the first Democrat to win statewide office in Texas since 1994. And he's trying to do it without party consultants, pollsters, and PAC money. O'Rourke talks to Sam about Texas politics, immigration policy, campaigning, how he got into public service, the President's State of the Union address, and Kit-Kats. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback.
Feb 06, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Did It Matter?"
Grammys Gonna Grammy, the State of the Union, and the state of pro football on Super Bowl weekend. Sam looks back at the week's news and more with NPR reporter Vanessa Romo (@vanromo) and Stephen Thompson (@idislikestephen) of NPR Music and Pop Culture Happy Hour. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenaMin with feels.
Feb 02, 2018
Carrie Brownstein On The 'Portlandia' Final Season
Carrie Brownstein was a member of indie rock band Sleater-Kinney for years before starring in and co-executive producing Portlandia. But the award-winning IFC show is taking its final bow this spring. Carrie chats with Sam about working with co-star Fred Armisen, the show's satirizing of liberals, and being a riot grrrl. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback.
Jan 30, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "The Whole Map."
Laurel Wamsley (@laurelwamsley), reporter for NPR's breaking news blog The Two-Way, and NPR Business Reporter Alina Selyukh (@alinaselyukh) join Sam to talk about the week that was, from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to the fallout over the abuse of female gymnasts by Larry Nassar. Also a phone call to a listener in San Francisco, and a look at the relationship between President Trump and big tech. It's all capped off with the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Jan 26, 2018
#MeToo in Politics: Then and Now
Sam talks with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg and PBS White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor about sexual assault and harassment in politics and #MeToo now and in the 1990s, when Nina broke the Anita Hill story. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback.
Jan 23, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "War of Worlds."
Recode Senior Editor Tony Romm (@TonyRomm) and CNN Politics Senior Writer Juana Summers (@jmsummers) join Sam to talk about the week that was: Hawaii's ballistic missile alert, the government shutdown, a renewed debate over net neutrality, and a report on White House staff turnover. Also three things you're not hearing about Puerto Rico and a call to a listener in Anchorage, Alaska. It's all capped off with the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Jan 19, 2018
New Yorker Editor Kevin Young on 'Hoaxes, Post-Facts, and Fake News'
Young, poetry editor of The New Yorker, has written a book about 'fake news' before President Trump co-opted the term. It's called "Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News." He talks to Sam about the book, as well as Prince, why hoaxes are so tied up with race, Donald Trump and P.T. Barnum, editing poetry at The New Yorker, black twitter, and growing up in Nebraska. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Jan 16, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Forests And Trees."
Washington Post reporter Dan Zak (@MrDanZak) and New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers (@katierogers) join Sam to talk about the week that was: the President's vulgar language, a 200-page report on Russia's hacking of the 2016 election, and how the Trump administration might change US policy on nuclear weapons, plus a call to a listener from El Salvador about her temporary protected status and the best things that happened to our listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Jan 12, 2018
'Bachelor' Producer Elan Gale Thinks 'You're Not That Great'
"You're Not That Great" is a self-up send-up by Gale, Executive Producer of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. He talks to Sam about the book, The Bachelor, Christian rock, embracing negative emotions, and his struggle with addiction. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Jan 09, 2018
Weekly Wrap: "Resolve To Unplug."
NPR's All Things Considered and Embedded host Kelly McEvers (@kellymcevers) and Codeswitch reporter Karen Grigsby Bates (@karenbates), join Sam to talk about the rift between President Trump and Steve Bannon and a look on what's ahead for immigration in 2018. All that plus a call to a listener in Virginia Beach and the best things that happened to our listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Jan 05, 2018
Congressman Will Hurd on Party Divisions, the GOP, and 2018
Texas Republican Will Hurd represents the 23rd district — a sprawling, diverse district bigger than dozens of states — which Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Sam talks to Congressman Hurd about tax cuts, health care, San Antonio, working for the CIA, and what 2018 might hold for the GOP. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Jan 02, 2018
A Special Year-End Edition
Pop Culture Happy Hour host Linda Holmes (@nprmonkeysee), NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis (@DaviSusan), and R. Eric Thomas (@oureric), playwright and 'person on the internet' join Sam to talk about the year that was. Plus year-end music highlights with Radio Menea host Verónica Flores (@veroconplatanos) and NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael (@rodneyology). Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Dec 29, 2017
Stuart Murdoch and Sarah Martin of Belle And Sebastian
The indie band Belle and Sebastian is out with a trio of EPs called "How To Solve Our Human Problems." Members Stuart Murdoch and Sarah Martin talk to Sam about the new music, the songwriting process, life on the road, and why they still clean their own studio after 20 years. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Dec 26, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "They're Not Done."
NPR reporter Camila Domonoske (@camilareads) and Lauren Ober (@OberandOut), host of WAMU's The Big Listen, join Sam to talk about the week that was. With the holiday weekend upon us, the GOP got their tax bill but the future of CHIP and DACA is unclear — plus a call to a politically divided couple in Connecticut and a very special edition of the best things that happened to our listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Dec 22, 2017
'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Star Rachel Brosnahan
You might know actress Rachel Brosnahan from her supporting role on Netflix's House of Cards a few years back. Now she's back as the fast-talking 1950s housewife Midge Maisel on the new Amazon show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. The role earned her a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a TV comedy. She and Sam discuss what the show says about women, especially in light of the #MeToo movement, and much more. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Dec 19, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Tell It All."
Bloomberg retail reporter Sarah Halzack (@sarahhalzack) and Derek Thompson (@DKThomp), writer and senior editor at The Atlantic, join Sam to talk about the week that was: Disney acquiring Fox, net neutrality, #MeToo, and the Alabama Senate race. Plus a call to a listener finishing up her first semester of college, a look at why the economy seems to be doing so well, and the best things that happened to our listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Dec 15, 2017
Matt Bellassai on Viral Fame, Internet Culture, and Why 'Everything Is Awful'
Professional pessimist Matt Bellassai (@MattBellassai) launched a comedy career doing viral videos for Buzzfeed. Now he's got a new book and performs live across the country. He and Sam talk about the book, Everything Is Awful, and about how his video series became a hit, being an awkward kid, how he came out in college, embracing his sexuality as a part of his identity, and when the Internet used to be better. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Dec 12, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Up In Smoke."
Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff), Vox senior policy correspondent and host of the Vox podcast 'The Impact,' and NPR film critic Bob Mondello (@Bob_Mondello) join Sam to talk about the week that was: raging wildfires in southern California, the resignation of Sen. Al Franken, and TIME Magazine naming "The Silence Breakers" people of the year – along with a call to a longtime listener in Alabama. They also discuss the health care implications of the GOP tax plan. It's all capped off with the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Dec 08, 2017
Journalist Dan Rather on Trump, Patriotism, and 'What Unites Us'
Veteran journalist Dan Rather thinks the U.S. is facing an 'existential crisis,' but one the country can survive. His new book is called What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism. Sam and Dan talked in front of an audience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last month. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Dec 05, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Keep It Coming."
Sam is joined by Jody Avirgan (@jodyavirgan) from 538 Politics and ESPN's '30 for 30' podcast series, along with Brittany Luse (@bmluse), co-host of Gimlet Media's 'The Nod,' to talk about the week that was: Michael Flynn, Republican progress on taxes, net neutrality, even more sexual assault firings, along with a call to a listener currently in Puerto Rico. It's all capped off with the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Dec 01, 2017
From 'Black-ish,' Jenifer Lewis: 'The Mother of Black Hollywood'
In her new memoir, "The Mother of Black Hollywood," Jenifer Lewis chronicles a career that has spanned decades, from Broadway to the hit ABC show Black-ish. Along the way, she played fictional moms to Tupac Shakur, Taraji P. Henson, and Whitney Houston. Jenifer talks to Sam about her long career, struggling with addiction and bipolar disorder, growing up in Missouri, and lying her way into the DNC in 2008. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Nov 28, 2017
A Thanksgiving Special
Dan Pashman, host of the Sporkful (@TheSporkful), and a surprise special guest join the show — and three listeners share Thanksgiving horror stories. Then, as always, the best things that happened to our listeners all week. We're back with a deep dive on Tuesday, and our regular wrap on the week next Friday. As always, you can reach the show at or @NPRItsBeenAMin. Tweet at Sam @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Nov 23, 2017
Bill Nye On Fame, Family, and How He Became The 'Science Guy'
The one and only Bill Nye the Science Guy (@BillNye) is the subject of a new documentary all about his life. He talks to Sam about the film, how he thinks fame has changed his brain, a troubling degenerative disease that afflicts his family, and his advocacy of climate science. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Nov 21, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Death And Taxes."
Guest host Sarah McCammon (@sarahmccammon) talks with NPR newscaster Korva Coleman (@KorvaColemanNPR) and NPR Weekend Edition Sunday host Lulu Garcia-Navarro (@lourdesgnavarro) about the week that was: the status of the tax plan turned healthcare bill in Congress, sexual assault accusations against U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and Senator Al Franken, a shooting in California, and the butterball turkey hotline. They also call a listener in Australia, and it's all capped off by the best things that happened to listeners all week. Sam will be back next week for a special Thanksgiving edition of the show, which we'll release on Thursday morning. As always, you can reach the show at or @NPRItsBeenAMin. Tweet at Sam @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Nov 17, 2017
Comedian Iliza Shlesinger on 'Girl Logic'
Iliza Shlesinger's (@iliza) new book, "Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity," is her take on how women think. She and Sam talk about the book, her dog, Blanche; the party goblin in us all, growing up in Texas, getting her start in comedy, and publishing her book with what was formerly Weinstein Press. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Nov 14, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "People Be Votin.'"
Public radio reporter and Marketplace contributor Sally Herships (@sherships) and WNYC Reporter Sean Rameswaram (@rameswaram) join Sam to talk about the week that was: Election Day, an update on the Paradise Papers, and the Texas shooting, along with a call to a listener in Los Angeles. It's all capped off with the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Nov 11, 2017
Taking Stock of Trump, One Year Since His Election
Washington Post reporter Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) and Michael D'Antonio, author of the biography "The Truth About Trump," join Sam to talk about the President one the year since he was elected. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Nov 07, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Truth Will Out."
NPR Asia Correspondent Elise Hu (@elisewho) and Weekend Edition Editor Barrie Hardymon (@bhardymon) join Sam to talk through the week that was: Facebook and Twitter executives testifying in front of Congress, President Trump's Asia trip, the resignation of NPR Senior Vice President of News Michael Oreskes — plus a check-in with a listener who just moved to Antarctica. It's all capped off with the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Nov 03, 2017
Author Daniel Alarcón On His New Book And The Immigrant Experience
Daniel Alarcón's (@DanielGAlarcon) new book of short stories, "The King Is Always Above The People," deals closely with immigration and the Latino experience. Alarcón talks to Sam about his own life immigrating from Peru to the U.S. at a young age, the Latino diaspora, and reinventing oneself in a new place. Though Alarcón didn't intend for it to be political, his book gets at what it means to be an immigrant in today's political climate. Alarcón is also host of NPR's Spanish-language podcast, Radio Ambulante. E-mail the It's Been A Minute team at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Oct 31, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Just Say No."
NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR) and All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro (@arishapiro) join Sam to talk through the week that was: President Trump's speech on opioid addiction, the internal politics of the GOP, the surprise return of James Comey on Twitter — plus a check-in with a listener in Houston and our usual game of 'Who Said That.' It's all capped off with the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Oct 27, 2017
Ashley Nicole Black From "Full Frontal" On Comedy, Improv, and Bridging Political Divides
Ashley Nicole Black (@ashleyn1cole) gave up pursuing a PHD to make it in comedy. This year she won an Emmy for her work on "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee." She talked to Sam about Savage Garden, why the Chicago comedy scene is great for aspiring comics and tough for people of color, developing her own comedy style, landing a job on "Full Frontal" and making the transition from writer to correspondent, and why she says improv could help people bridge political divides. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Oct 24, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "All Of Us."
New York Magazine's Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) and The Atlantic's McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) join Sam to talk through the week that was: the healthcare subsidy battle in Congress, the fallen soldiers in Niger, the social media outpouring over #MeToo — plus a call to a listener at the University of Florida where white nationalist Richard Spencer spoke this week. That's all capped off with the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
Oct 20, 2017
Taran Killam On His New Film, Leaving SNL, And That Time Trump Hosted
SNL alum Taran Killam talks to Sam about his new action-comedy mockumentary Killing Gunther, which he directed and stars in alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. They also discuss Wild 'N Out, Taran's role in Hamilton, the challenges of being a first-time director, why and how he left SNL a year earlier than he expected, what made Drake one of his favorite hosts, and the week in November 2015 when then-candidate Donald Trump controversially hosted the show. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Oct 17, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Not Functioning Legislatively"
Washington Post blogger and columnist Alexandra Petri and Mike Pesca from Slate's The Gist podcast join Sam to talk through the week that was: the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood, the Trump administration's actions without Congress's help, and the Environmental Protection Agency's handling of the Clean Power Plan — plus a call to a listener in Northern California about wildfires that have ravaged the state, and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Oct 13, 2017
Facebook, Fake News, and Democracy
Sam talks to journalist Max Read about his recent New York Magazine cover story, "Does Mark Zuckerberg Know What Facebook Is?" Max writes about Facebook's role in the 2016 election as the company grapples how to handle fake news, free speech, and political advertising. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Oct 10, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Politics Over Empathy."
New York Times reporter Katie Rogers and Stephen Thompson from NPR Music and Pop Culture Happy Hour join Sam to talk through the week that was: the Las Vegas shooting and its aftermath, the continued recovery in Puerto Rico, and President Trump's response to Puerto Rico amid the usual palace intrigue at the White House — plus a call to a listener in Barcelona and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Oct 06, 2017
Actor/Director John Carroll Lynch
Google him. You know his face. John Carroll Lynch is one of the most recognizable character actors in Hollywood, and he's just directed his first film, "Lucky," starring the late, legendary Harry Dean Stanton. John talks to Sam about the film, and about being a character actor (and what that even means), getting recognized in public, what made Harry Dean Stanton so special, how he got into acting as a teenager in high school, playing evil characters, and a lesson about acting from Tropic Thunder. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Oct 03, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Back At It."
NPR newscaster Korva Coleman and NPR sports correspondent Tom "Yes, we do sports" Goldman join Sam to talk through the week that was: Puerto Rico, the NFL and Donald Trump, a dashed Republican health bill and a new Republican tax proposal — plus a call to a listener with family in Puerto Rico and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Sep 29, 2017
'Insecure' Showrunner Prentice Penny
Prentice Penny, showrunner for 'Insecure', joins Sam to talk about the HBO comedy series, which just wrapped its second season. They also discuss what a showrunner does, how he got the job, collaborating with star and co-creator Issa Rae, diversity in television, why he likes Drake (and Sam doesn't), how he came to love television and writing as a kid, how he almost became a marine biologist, and black Twitter. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Sep 26, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Where Is Elton?"
NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis and Pop Culture Happy Hour host Linda Holmes join Sam to talk through the week that was: Mariah Carey natural disasters, panic fatigue, President Trump's UN speech, the new Republican Health care bill, the Emmys, the economics of streaming, awards, and the television industry, Facebook and the election — plus a call to a listener in Missouri and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Sep 22, 2017
Obama Speechwriter David Litt's "Hopey Changey White House Years"
David Litt was writing speeches for President Barack Obama when he was 24. His new book about the experience is called "Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years." David talks to Sam about falling in love with then-candidate Obama, working his way to the White House after an internship spent playing minesweeper, getting his dream job, meeting the President, joining his team of speechwriters, how Obama used language, orchestrating moments like Obama's 'Anger Translator' bit with Keegan-Michael Key, and how David came to realize the President was not as infallible has he had once believed. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Sep 19, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Everything. Is. Fine."
NPR National Desk reporter Nate Rott and University of Montana journalism professor Jule Banville join Sam to talk through the week that was: fires, hurricanes, Trump on ISIS on Twitter, Silicon Valley vs bodegas, economic indicators, the legal rights of apes — plus a call to a listener in Australia and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Sep 16, 2017
The Russia Investigation and The President's Foreign Deals
New Yorker writer Adam Davidson and NPR national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly join Sam to talk about a central question raised by Adam's reporting: What will investigators find when they look into President Trump's foreign business deals? Adam Davidson's latest story is here: Mary Louise described reporting from Moscow here: Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Sep 12, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Chuck And Nancy."
NPR Science Desk producer Madeline Sofia and education reporter Claudio Sanchez join Sam to talk through the week that was: hurricanes and earthquakes, Donald Trump's deal with Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, Beyonce's birthday, the Trump administration's action on DACA and Title IX, a man-made gas shortage in Texas, endangered salamanders, and an Irish bat — plus a call to a listener in California and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Sep 08, 2017
Race, Identity, and Performance in Danzy Senna's 'New People'
Sam talks to novelist Danzy Senna about her new book, 'New People,' and about race in America, why LA is boring in a good way, black identity, what white people say when they think they're alone, being "professionally black", how her students perform their race, artistic integrity and safe spaces, prestige black TV like 'Atlanta' and 'Insecure', and the election of Barack Obama. If you're in the Washington DC area, catch Sam and Danzy in person at the East City Bookshop in Capitol Hill on Monday, September 18. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Sep 05, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Thoughts And Prayers."
New York Times reporter Katie Rogers and NPR film critic Bob Mondello join Sam to talk through the week that was: Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, one woman's experience in the small Texas town of Refugio, and the view from Houston with Houston Public Media reporter Laura Isensee — then, in other news, the summer box office, upcoming movies, Prince's favorite color, Tom Brady's meal plan, six second television ads, and the Trump Hotel at night. More about how to help the Hurricane Harvey relief effort is at Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Sep 01, 2017
'Trials of the Free Press'
Anonymous wealth leveraged in court represents a new threat to journalism in Brian Knappenberger's Netflix documentary, "Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press." Brian talks to Sam about the movie, which features NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik. David joins this conversation as well. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Aug 29, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "On And On."
Planet Money correspondent Stacey Vanek Smith and "Rough Translation" host Gregory Warner join Sam to talk through the week that was: Afghanistan, the President and the border wall, Amazon and Whole Foods, Taylor Swift, the eclipse, the GOP and tax reform, the economy in North Korea, racial identity in Brazil, and the 10-year-anniversary of the hashtag — plus music from Kanye West, a call to a listener in Georgia, and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Stick around after the episode to hear Sam talk to Stretch and Bobbito from "What's Good." Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Aug 25, 2017
Inside 'The Onion'
Sam visits the Chicago offices of the satirical news publication for a headline pitch meeting and conversations with Editor-In-Chief Cole Bolton, Executive Editor Ben Berkley, Managing Editor Marnie Shure, and Head Writer Chad Nackers. They talk about comedy and President Trump (and why he makes their jobs harder), feuding with Sean Hannity, covering Barack Obama, crossing lines, and being socially awkward at parties. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Aug 22, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Pick A Side."
NPR reporter Kirk Siegler and Southern California Public Radio reporter Priska Neely join Sam to talk through the week that was: Charlottesville and the President's reaction to it, the reaction to that by corporations and everyone else, the so-called "alt left", Steve Bannon's late-breaking departure from the White House — plus a back-to-school scene, Queens of the Stone Age, a call to a listener in Colorado, and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Aug 18, 2017
Charlottesville and White People
Sam talks to white people — and only white people — about Charlottesville. This episode: UVA history professor Grace Hale, NPR's Sarah McCammon, and developmental psychologist Amy Roberson Hayes, plus some calls to our listeners. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Aug 15, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Simmer Down, Now."
From WWNO in New Orleans, NPR Code Switch correspondent Gene Demby and Planet Money correspondent Noel King join Sam to talk through the week that was: a giant inflatable chicken, the President's rhetoric toward North Korea, White House infighting, an instantly notorious Google memo, a lawsuit against Harvard seeking to challenge affirmative action, and the Snap IPO — plus some New Orleans brass band music, a call to a listener in Michigan, and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Aug 11, 2017
'SNL' Alum Sasheer Zamata
Sam talks to comedian and former 'Saturday Night Live' cast member Sasheer Zamata about leaving the show, breakups, her new comedy special and variety show, talking about race in the age of Trump, growing up in the mid-west, moving around a lot, going to UVA, getting into improv, moving to New York, auditioning for SNL, working on the show, and Beyonce. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Aug 08, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Because Of You."
Morning Edition host Rachel Martin and Stephen Thompson of NPR Music and Pop Culture Happy Hour join Sam to talk through the week that was: the speed of the news, the President's new immigration proposal and focus on the party base, why the stock market keeps soaring, the new White House chief of staff, TRL's return to MTV and the network's new CEO, celebrities (maybe?) running for office; plus, some LL Cool J, a call to a listener in San Diego, and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Aug 04, 2017
Lakeith Stanfield from 'Get Out' and 'Atlanta'
Sam talks to actor Lakeith Stanfield about fidget spinning, meditating, loneliness, his character Darius on 'Atlanta,' growing up in California, working odd jobs before acting, what success means in Hollywood, why 'Get Out' was the creepiest experience he's ever had on a set, black men in film and vulnerability, his family, charcoal lemonade, his upcoming movies 'Death Note' and 'Crown Heights', and they make a surprise phone call. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Aug 01, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "This Feels Weird."
All Things Considered host Audie Cornish and Planet Money correspondent Ailsa Chang join Sam to talk through the week that was: health care, the President's tweets on transgender individuals in the military, the GOP's failure to pass a health care bill in the Senate, a new wrinkle in the story of a Supreme Court case, millennials and beer; plus, some Missy Elliott, a call to a listener in Arizona, and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jul 28, 2017
Zoe Lister-Jones on 'Band Aid'
The first-time director and star of the CBS sitcom 'Life in Pieces' shot her new movie using an all-female crew. She talks to Sam about that, and about diversity in hiring, her favorite karaoke song, Jamie Foxx, her film's co-stars Adam Pally and Fred Armisen, growing up in New York as the daughter of struggling artists, success and failure in art, performing the music in 'Band Aid', how directing is like journalism editing, relationships, and working with her husband. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jul 25, 2017
Weekly Wrap: "Shoe's Gonna Drop."
NPR reporter Camila Domonoske and NPR editor Barrie Hardymon join Sam to talk through the week that was: Elon Musk, the President's New York Times interview, intern season, private student loan debt, HBO's new series set in a fictional America where slavery exists, the rebirth of the Thong Song, plus a call to a listener in Oregon and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jul 21, 2017
Producer/Songwriter Jeff Bhasker
Sam talks to musician and record producer Jeff Bhakser about having a kid, settling down, working with Harry Styles (in Jamaica), what he learned working with Kanye West (in Hawaii), growing up half-Indian in New Mexico, his musical influences, the message behind all his music, and the loneliest song he ever wrote. Plus a special guest drops in. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jul 18, 2017
Friday Wrap: "Sir And Rumi."
NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis and VICE News correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro join Sam to talk through the week that was: Pitbull, Donald Trump Jr and his emails, Beyonce's twins, Game of Thrones, the Senate GOP and health care, Senator Al Franken, Emmaneul Macron and President Trump's visit to France, plus a call to a listener in Alabama and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jul 14, 2017
'The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman'
Sam talks to writer Anne Helen Petersen about her new book, "Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman." They cover pop culture and the news, President Trump, the nature of celebrity, Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Serena Williams, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, how white women can learn to be woke, Anne Hathaway, Melissa McCarthy, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, Hillary Clinton, Ivanka Trump, Bernie Sanders and 'charismatic' politicians, and why Petersen's mother was an unruly woman. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jul 11, 2017
Friday Wrap: "Get Over Yourselves."
'This American Life' reporter Zoe Chace and 'Reply All' host PJ Vogt join Sam to talk through the week that was: Chris Christie in the sun, North Korea, CNN and the President, the anniversary of the Dallas police shooting, wealthy Republican donors, hacking in the Ukraine, Hobby Lobby, plus a call to a small business owner in Illinois and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jul 07, 2017
Timothy Simons from 'Veep'
Sam talks to writer and actor Timothy Simons about hustling, playing such contemptible character, the fair city of Boston, growing up in New England, struggling in school, struggling in regional theatre, struggling as a bouncer at the worst bar in America, getting cast on 'Veep', working with Julia Louis Dreyfus, and political comedy in the age of Donald Trump. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jul 04, 2017
Friday Wrap: "They're Still Here."
Washington Post writer Alexandra Petri and Gene Demby from NPR's Code Switch team join Sam to talk through the week that was: Baby Driver, Jay-Z, the President's tweets, a new survey on American attitudes about race and discrimination, the minimum wage in Seattle, Serena Williams, the wrestler 'Progressive Liberal,' GLOW on Netflix, plus a call to a trucking company manager in Wisconsin and the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jun 30, 2017
Lena Waithe from 'Master Of None'
Sam talks to producer, writer, and actor Lena Waithe about microwavable pork rinds, growing up in front of the TV in Chicago, transcribing reality television footage, finally making it as a Hollywood writer, powerful storytelling by people of color, and writing and acting in Master Of None with Aziz Ansari. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jun 27, 2017
Friday Wrap: "Likes Don't Matter."
All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro and New York Times reporter Katie Rogers join Sam to talk through the week that was. Email the show at and follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders.
Jun 23, 2017
"Hey, y'all"
Introducing the show! For our first episode, out Friday, June 23, email us at with a brief recording of the best thing that happened to you all week. You might hear it in the podcast!
Jun 19, 2017