Emmy Award—winning producer, actor, and comedian Larry Wilmore is back on the air, hosting a podcast where he weighs in on the issues of the week and interviews guests in the worlds of politics, entertainment, culture, sports, and beyond.
Anthony Chin-Quee on 'I Can't Save You: A Memoir'
1:04:17Larry is joined by writer and former physician Anthony Chin-Quee to discuss his upcoming book 'I Can't Save You: A Memoir' coming out on April 4. They start their conversation by discussing Anthony's process for putting together the memoir and some of the experiences he went through as a Black physician that inspired him to write it. They then dive into the emotional compartmentalization required to be a successful surgeon, Chin-Quee's journey to becoming a doctor, and how the system for testing an individual's specialization highlights racial discrimination within the medical industry (7:19). This leads to a conversation on how trauma is passed down through the family tree and the paths to address and work through it (30:10). After the break, Anthony details his personal struggles with suicidal thoughts, and talks about the metrics and techniques the health community uses to designate the severity of a patient's depression (38:01). Larry and Anthony end the pod by examining Chin-Quee's current relationship with himself and medicine, as well as the hurdles facing Black men in regards to treating mental health (51:29). Host: Larry Wilmore Guest: Anthony Chin-Quee Associate Producer: Chris Sutton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Ike Barinholtz on 'History of the World Part II'
59:07Larry is joined by actor, writer, and comedian Ike Barinholtz to discuss the Hulu series 'History of the World Part II'. They begin their conversation by discussing how the project came together, what it was like working with comedy titan Mel Brooks, and the pioneering aspects of Brooks's legendary movie 'Blazing Saddles". Next, Ike talks about the process of constructing the sketches for 'History' and how the incredibly diverse and talented writers group fomented a harmonious atmosphere of creativity that drove the making of the series (19:26). After the break, Larry and Ike examine their shared love of history, Ike's beginnings in the comedy industry, and Jordan Peele's genius (31:37). They end the pod by talking about Ike's future in comedy, debate their favorite Mel Brooks movies, and imagine an iconic character from one of them they would've liked to play (42:41). Host: Larry Wilmore Guest: Ike Barinholtz Associate Producer: Chris Sutton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Theresa Runstedtler on 'Black Ball: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Spencer Haywood, and the Generation that Saved the Soul of the NBA'
1:03:16Larry is joined by professor and writer Theresa Runstedtler to discuss her new book 'Black Ball: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Spencer Haywood, and the Generation that Saved the Soul of the NBA'. They begin their conversation by discussing how Dr. Runstedtler's connection to the NBA via the Toronto Raptors dance team and the corporatization she witnessed within that organization during her stint inspired her to research the primary aspects of her book. Next, they examine the history of segregation in professional basketball, how racial context was tied to the emerging style of play within the game, and pioneers like Connie Hawkins who insisted on wage equality for Black players in the league (8:19). They then dive into Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's influence on the ABA-NBA merger and the influence of racially biased media coverage on the public’s perception of Black players and the sport’s overall revenue in the '70s (25:15). After the break, they take a look at the ascension of Simon Gourdine, the first Black NBA executive, and talk about the obstacles that hinder Black coaches and executives throughout all of the major American sports leagues (38:27). Larry and Theresa end the pod by discussing how the ‘74 Finals, the emergence of Larry Bird, and the NBA's inclusion of the slam dunk contest spearheaded the marketability of the league into the modern era (42:42). Host: Larry Wilmore Guest: Theresa Runstedtler Associate Producer: Chris Sutton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Henry Louis Gates Jr. on 'Finding Your Roots'
1:17:10Larry is joined by professor, historian, and host of the PBS series 'Finding Your Roots' Henry Louis Gates Jr. They begin their conversation by discussing how Henry's upbringing and the parental influence fueled his passion for storytelling and education. Henry then details how the show and the accompanying DNA technology have evolved over the years from exclusively connecting African-Americans to their pre-slavery tribal roots to the highly revered service it is today that helps people from races and regions all over the world connect to their family trees (13:43). Dr. Gates then shares anecdotes about some of his favorite guests and moments from past episodes of 'Finding Your Roots', including Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, and Morgan Freeman (25:13). Larry and Henry end the podcast by talking about the show's ability to consistently uncover deep family secrets, Gates's upcoming appearance on 'The Simpsons', and how listeners can explore their own genealogies (52:55). Host: Larry Wilmore Guest: Henry Louis Gates Jr. Associate Producer: Chris Sutton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mark Whitaker on 'Saying It Loud: 1966—The Year Black Power Challenged the Civil Rights Movement'
1:09:22Larry is joined by author, journalist, and media executive Mark Whitaker to discuss his newest book, 'Saying It Loud: 1966—The Year Black Power Challenged the Civil Rights Movement'. They begin their conversation by talking about why Mark decided to write the book and break down the social and political events that led up to this turbulent year. They then get into the key figures and organizations involved during this time period, notably the SNCC, Stokely Carmichael, John Lewis, and Sammy Younge Jr., whose tragic and publicized death at the beginning of 1966 helped spark a consciousness movement that ultimately led to the beginning of the Black Panthers (9:14). Next they dissect the meaning of the term "Black Power" and how the established press distorted its original messaging to foment division within the movement's participants (24:06). After the break they get into the distraction caused by the '60s anti-war movement and middle-class feelings towards Black Power (35:08). They end the pod by drawing comparisons between the Black Power era and BLM, and comment on the current lack of leaders like Malcolm X that would be equipped to legitimize and take the modern progressive movement into the future (51:54). Host: Larry Wilmore Guest: Mark Whitaker Associate Producer: Chris Sutton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Craig Mazin on 'The Last of Us'
1:13:33Larry is joined by Emmy Award-winning writer and director Craig Mazin to talk about his newest venture 'The Last of Us' on HBO. They begin their conversation by breaking down the synopsis of both the series and the popular video game it's based on while also touching on Craig's relationship with the two. Next, they discuss the obstacles and advantages of making comedies, the flexibility of comedic actors, and how to create an adaptation of a video game that already has a rabid fanbase intimately familiar with the source material (8:10). Craig then talks about his experiences making a show about a fungal pandemic while living through a viral one and how he was able to express complex emotional themes within the chaos of a zombie infested post-apocalyptic plotline (21:23). This leads into a conversation about humanity's relationship to sickness, its dependence on religion, and the future of shows based on video game franchises (37:19). Craig and Larry end the pod by discussing Mazin's entry into the world of screenwriting, exploring some of the most frequently asked questions by aspiring writers, and assessing the state of the Writer's Guild (47:11). Host: Larry Wilmore Guest: Craig Mazin Associate Producer: Chris Sutton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jon Lovett on Crooked Media, Politics, and More
1:01:48Larry is joined by comedian and host of 'Pod Save America' and 'Lovett or Leave It', Jon Lovett. They begin their conversation by discussing the progressive network he co-founded, Crooked Media, and the tumultuous political landscape that inspired its genesis. Next, they dive into the nature of the political system and the success of some of its arbiters, notably Barack Obama, and point to the rise of Sarah Palin as the beginning of the Trump era currently dominating right wing ideology (14:48). After the break they talk about Joe Biden's presidential success, how he's being underestimated because of his age, and speculate on his possible Democratic successor (26:42). Next, they debate the desensitization of violence in America in regards to recently circulated videos like the Paul Pelosi incident, the Tyre Nichols footage, and images broadcasted from the war in Ukraine (39:11). Finally, Jon reflects on his time as a political speechwriter and the positive atmosphere of his live shows (48:35). Host: Larry Wilmore Guest: Jon Lovett Associate Producer: Chris Sutton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Van Lathan Jr. on ‘Fat, Crazy, and Tired: Tales From the Trenches of Transformation’
1:20:26Larry is joined by journalist, Ringer contributor, and Academy Award–winning producer Van Lathan Jr. to discuss his book ‘Fat, Crazy, and Tired: Tales from the Trenches of Transformation.’ They start their conversation by reviewing some of their personal experiences from the past couple of years and discussing the importance of perseverance when navigating the mental roadblocks in your career. Van then recounts the emotional visit to his father's home in Baton Rouge after his death (11:00). Next, Van dives into the process of writing the book, his history with panic attacks, and the incident that started him on his journey in dealing with those struggles (26:19). After the break they examine the mental health challenges affecting black people in general and the steps Van continually took to overcome his own during the pandemic (46:48). Finally, they speculate on Kanye West's current state of mind and Van shares some advice for anyone who may be going through their own battles with mental health (1:01:37). Host: Larry Wilmore Guest: Van Lathan Jr. Associate Producer: Chris Sutton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mina Kimes on Damar Hamlin, the State of the NFL, and Much More
1:19:17Larry weighs in on the new year, the Speaker of the House race, and 'Harry & Meghan'. He is then joined by sports writer and analyst for ESPN's 'NFL Live', Mina Kimes. They begin their conversation by discussing the Damar Hamlin tragedy and the complications it presents, both institutionally within the NFL and ethically for the fanbase (11:17). They then dive into the current state of the league, the adjustments made to make the game safer, and the viability of football as America's primary sport moving forward (23:12). Next, Mina details how she got started in sports journalism, the accessibility of professional athletes, and the obstacles she faces as a Korean-American woman in the sports community (42:36). This leads to a discussion about dealing with social media trolls, Larry's beloved Rams, and some advice from Mina for aspiring sports analysts looking to get into the journalism game (55:56). Host: Larry Wilmore Guest: Mina Kimes Associate Producer: Chris Sutton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins on 'Kindred'
1:12:25Larry begins the pod by resharing a lovely discussion he had with his daughter Lauren from an episode in 2020 where they dissect the lyrical intricacies of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and examine how the song has evolved over time. He's then joined by award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins to discuss his new television show 'Kindred' streaming at FX on Hulu. They begin their conversation by talking about how the show came together, why Branden chose to adapt 'Kindred' from author Octavia Butler's impressive catalog, and the similarities between his show and the '70s TV mini-series 'Roots' (17:48). Next, Branden touches on the challenges of interpreting the chronological, thematic, and sci-fi elements of Butler's novel to the screen (28:11). After the break they explore the psychological layers of some of the show's main characters and shine a light on actor Mallori Johnson's portrayal of the protagonist Dana (49:08). They end the pod by debating the role of 'Kindred' in the current cultural climate and speculate on the future of the show (56:33). Host: Larry Wilmore Guests: Lauren Wilmore and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Associate Producer: Chris Sutton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices