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41 Segments




'Weird Al' Yankovic wants to 'bring sexy back' to the accordion

The music "biopic" parody Weird stars Daniel Radcliffe in an over-the-top version of Al Yankovic's life. In the film, making up words to songs that already exist is considered the work of a visionary, playing the accordion is akin to being a guitar hero and Yankovic is asked to be the next James Bond.


Late Night 'Thank You Notes' From Jimmy Fallon

Fallon is thankful for slow walkers, people named Lloyd and the word "moist." The comedian and host of Late Night collects more than 100 nuggets of gratitude in his book Thank You Notes. He talks with Terry Gross about giving thanks and doing impressions.

Comedian and talk show host Jimmy Fallon smiles and looks upwards against a gray background

Tom Lehrer: '60s Satirist Still Strikes A Chord.

Lehrer, whose topical songs include "Pollution" and "The Vatican Rag," is the subject of a new multimedia release called The Tom Lehrer Collection. David Bianculli reviews the two-disc set, which includes Lehrer's greatest hits and never-before-seen concert footage.


'Conchords': Musical Comedy from Clueless Kiwis

Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, aka the folk-parody band Flight of the Conchords, hail from New Zealand and were named best alternative-comedy act at the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Now they're starring in an HBO series called, yes, Flight of the Conchords — which is, yes, about two transplanted New Zealanders living in New York City's Lower East side. It launches Sunday.


Eric Idle on Comedy and Music.

Eric Idle was one of the six original members of Monty Python's Flying Circus which, by the way, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. He wrote many of the songs from the show like, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." Since then, Idle has written a number of books. His latest is a comic science-fiction thriller, "The Road to Mars: A Post-Modem Novel." (Pantheon books)


Inside the Music of "The Simpsons"

Composer Alf Clausen is the man behind the music of "The Simpsons." There's a new compliation CD of music from the animated cartoon TV series, "The Simpsons: Songs in the Key of Springfield" (Rhino).


Forget the Beatles -- The Rutles are Back

Record produce and songwriter Neil Innes is a member of The Rutles, the band which he and Eric Idle of Monty Python that spoofed the Beatles. The band has recently been reunited and has a new collection called "Archaeology." The Rutles first came to the attention of the public in 1978 when their spoof documentary "All You Need is Cash" aired. Innes also co-founded the comedy group The Bonzo Dog Band.


Forgotten Gems from the 20s and 30s with Peter Mintun.

"Society" Pianist Peter Mintun for a concert and interview in the Fresh Air Studio. He specializes in popular song classics of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. He just finished an engagement at the Carlyle Hotel's Bemelmans Bar in New York City and returns there in August. His recordings can be found on the Premier Recordings Label.


Comedienne Carol Leifer.

Comedienne Carol Leifer. She's been a longstanding regular as a stand up on Late Night With David Letterman, and a writer for Saturday Night Live. This year, she writes for comedy pal (and former boyfriend) Jerry Seinfeld -- some say the character of Elaine is based on Leifer. Last year she produced "Gaudy, Bawdy & Blue", a fictional recreation of the great "Blue" comediennes of the sixties: Belle Barth, Pearl Williams, and Rusty Warren (who's XXX-rated "Knockers Up" album sold six million copies in 1960).


Spinal Tap Reunion.

Satirist Harry Shearer. Shearer has an eclectic career: he does many of the voices on the TV series "The Simpsons," he has a weekly program on many public radio stations called "Le Show," he often has character roles in movies, and he's one of the members of the parody heavy metal rock group "Spinal Tap." This year, Spinal Tap's releasing a new album and going out on tour.


Dave Frishberg in Concert.

A live concert with jazz pianist, singer, and lyricist Dave Frishberg. Frishberg's long been known for his satirical songs, such as "My Attorney Bernie," and "I'm Hip." His new album, "Classics," is a collection of some of his best-known songs from previous albums. (It's on Concord Jazz records).


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