Fresh Air

M-F 3-4PM, M-Th 8-9PM
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia.

Mary Beth Keane's new novel is called Ask Again, Yes.

What's it called again?

That's what everyone I've raved to about this book has said to me a couple of minutes after I've told them the title. It's one of those delicate titles that instantly goes poof! into the air; but that's the only strike there is against Keane's novel which is, otherwise, one of the most unpretentiously profound books I've read in a long time.

In the semi-autobiographical Hulu series Ramy, comic Ramy Youssef plays a first-generation Muslim American who follows some — but not all — of the rules of his religion. Youssef, whose parents immigrated from Egypt, also co-created the series. He says he can relate to his character's "picking and choosing" approach to his faith.

As she grew up as a third-generation Jehovah's Witness, there were certain things Amber Scorah did not question.

When, as a teenager, the community shunned her and prevented her from participating in her father's funeral, she accepted it as appropriate punishment for having sex with her boyfriend. Rather than pulling away at that time, Scorah doubled down.

Things are looking bright for pessimists these days — the world has caught up with their sense of gloom. Well over half of those living in the developed world think their countries are heading in the wrong direction, away from the prosperity and stability that people over age 40 once took for granted.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Ava DuVernay Focuses On The Central Park 5's Perspective: 'Now People Know': DuVernay's Netflix series, When They See Us, tells the story of how five black and brown teenagers were manipulated into confessing to a brutal rape they did not commit.

Legion and Jessica Jones come from the more recent generations of Marvel comics, featuring relatively obscure characters. Neither show's protagonist is a superhero in the conventional sense of wearing a costume or having a secret identity, and both are battling inner demons as well as powerful adversaries. Yet even though they're technically comic-book stories, these shows are impressively ambitious and surprisingly satisfying.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. My guest, Bill Hader, became famous as a performer and writer on "Saturday Night Live" for his original characters like Stefon and his impressions of people like Vincent Price. Now Hader stars in the HBO series "Barry," which he co-created, co-writes, and he serves as one of the directors. Seasons 1 and 2 are available on demand, and the show's been renewed for a third. Last year, after Season 1, Hader won the Emmy for best lead actor in a comedy series.

The Toy Story movies are about the secret lives of dolls and action figures that find their deepest fulfillment in a child's embrace. But they're really about what it means to be human: the joys of love and friendship and the pains of rejection and loss. But even more than the earlier films, Toy Story 4 feels haunted by the idea of impermanence. What happens when we outgrow something we once cherished? To put it another way: After three Toy Story movies, do we really need a fourth?

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Two new novels of crime and suspense have our book critic Maureen Corrigan traveling to some dark places in her imagination this summer. Here's her review of James Ellroy's "This Storm" and Denise Mina's "Conviction."

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Fifty years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, one of the most famous athletes in America was an African American who had set countless records in a sport that had long shunned people of color. Major Taylor was a championship bicycle racer around the turn of the century, when cycling was America's most popular sport.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Dr. Louise Aronson says the U.S. doesn't have nearly enough geriatricians — physicians devoted to the health and care of older people: "There may be maybe six or seven thousand geriatricians," she says. "Compare that to the membership of the pediatric society, which is about 70,000."

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'One Giant Leap' Explores The Herculean Effort Behind The 1969 Moon Landing: Fifty years after Apollo 11's historic moon landing, journalist Charles Fishman tells the story of the 410,000 men and women who helped make the mission a success.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. Today, we'll listen to the interview I recorded last year with cartoonist and essayist Tim Kreider. His collection of personal essays, called "I Wrote This Book Because I Love You," is now out in paperback.

City on a Hill is a period cop series about trying to change the system from within, and encountering resistance — sometimes deadly resistance — everywhere you turn. It's a bit like the 1973 biographical crime film Serpico, except set in '90s Boston instead of '70s New York, and starring Kevin Bacon in the Al Pacino role.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

In 1961, when President John F. Kennedy announced a goal of "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth" before the end of the decade, the mission seemed all but impossible.

"[The U.S.] didn't have a spaceship that could fly to the moon," journalist Charles Fishman notes. "We didn't have a rocket that could launch to the moon. We didn't have a computer small enough or powerful enough to do the navigation necessary to get people to the moon. We didn't have space food."

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week.

Jill Ciment is one of those just-under-the-radar writers. Probably her biggest moment of popular recognition came a few years ago, when her novel, Heroic Measures, was made into a film called 5 Flights Up; it starred Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman as a married couple living in New York City who struggle to get their elderly dog to the vet in the midst of a terror alert. They wind up carrying the dog on a cutting board through the panicked city.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'Dead To Me' Star Christina Applegate: Loss 'Lives In The Fibers Of Your Being': Applegate stars in the new Netflix series as a woman mourning the sudden death of her husband. "I've been there," she says of her character's "messy" and "unapologetic" grief.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Last year ran me ragged. Every comedian feels bad, all the time. That's why we do comedy. But this felt different. Nothing could get me out of bed. It was two months before a shooting at two mosques in New Zealand that would claim the lives of 51 people, and there I was, checking boxes about my thyroid in a surgeon's waiting room:

"Do you sometimes acutely believe that people hate you?" Yes. I'm Muslim and Iranian.

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