Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Saturdays from 3pm to 4pm
Kurt Andersen

The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio's smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy, so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.

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  • Friday, April 18, 2014 12:00am

    This week, Kurt Andersen calls a listener named Ken in New Hampshire who turns out to be Ken Burns, the filmmaker. Burns has a few good words for our latest listener challenge, like "a reel of documentary filmmakers" and "a scratch of DJs." We ask what a rebranding of marijuana for the age of legalization might look like, and compare the effects of pot and alcohol on the creative process.  Plus a performance from MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer, a jazz musician who always colors outside the lines.

  • Friday, April 11, 2014 12:00am

    If Scarlett Johansson pulled up in a van, would you get in? Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi film Under The Skin casts the starlet as an alien prowling the streets of Edinburgh for human flesh. A paper engineer takes pop-up books into new territory with a Game of Thrones book (but it’s actually safe for kids). And the evidence is piling up that Stradivarius violins are overhyped, as well as overpriced; in a blind test, top violinists preferred new instruments.  

  • Friday, April 4, 2014 12:00am

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare — the Bard would be 450 this month. But after centuries dominating the world’s theaters, could you give anyone else a place on the stage? Could we try Marlowe in the Park, or an Oregon Centlivre Festival? Plus, another rapper goes on trial for lyrics that prosecutors say constitute evidence of a violent crime. And the novelist Jeff VanderMeer sees the Sunshine State as the perfect setting for an alien invasion.

  • Friday, March 28, 2014 12:00am

    This is where television invented itself.

    It set the model for the hit family sitcom. Lucy was a bad girl trapped in the life of a ‘50s housewife; her slapstick quest for fame and fortune ended in abject failure weekly. Both the antics and the humiliation entered the DNA of TV comedy, from Desperate Housewives to 30 Rock — writers can’t live without Lucy. Rapper Mellow Man Ace celebrates the breaking of an ethnic taboo; a drag performer celebrates Lucy as a freak. With novelist Oscar Hijuelos, producer Chuck Lorre, The Office’s Mindy Kaling, and a marriage counselor who has some advice for the bickering couple.

    I Love Lucy was produced by Jenny Lawton, with production assistance from Chloe Plaunt and Claes Andreasson.
    David Krasnow
    edited the show.


    Quiz: How well do you know Lucy?


    Mindy KalingBonus Track: Mindy Hearts Ricky
    Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project, The Office) grew up thinking I Love Lucy was “one of the many black and white things that people keep telling you is so great ... and you’re just sort of bored and annoyed by it.” Then her Office boss Greg Daniels ordered her to watch it. She came away with a pretty serious crush on Ricky Ricardo. And she says she's not bothered by jokes about his accent.


    Script for 'Lucy is Enciente'Bonus Track: Deconstructing Lucy
    Although Lucy's on-screen antics may have looked improvised, every gesture, glance, and step was written into the script. Gregg Oppenheimer — son of creator, producer, and head writer Jess Oppenheimer — reads a bit of telling stage direction from “Lucy is Enceinte.” Jess and Gregg Oppenheimer are the authors of Laughs, Luck ... and Lucy.

    → Read an excerpt from the "Lucy is Enciente" episode script


    Confidential MagazineBonus Track: Notes on a Scandal
    In 1955 Confidential Magazine, a Hollywood scandal rag, reported on Desi Arnaz’s supposed philandering. Dartmouth film and television professor Mary Desjardins explores the less desirable side effect of being a celebrity couple.

    → Read about Lucy and Desi in Confidential Magazine (1955)


    Slideshow: Behind the scenes of I Love Lucy

  • Friday, March 21, 2014 12:00am

    This week, three takes on superheroes. Kurt Andersen talks with Robert Rodriguez, who likes his characters “indestructible.” Now the film director is overseeing a new English language cable network for Latino audiences. A graphic novel brings to life the Boxer Rebellion, when peasants believed the gods would give them magical powers to defeat their enemies. And will the success of The Hunger Games finally bring some female action heroes to the big screen?