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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.

Nick Lowe Brings His 'Quality Holiday Revue' To America

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"We think it's all a bit vulgar, you know, cashing in on Christmas," Lowe says of the British. He says he took it as a challenge: Quality Street tackles old classics and adds originals to the mix.

Fresh Air Weekend: Timothy Spall, Review Of D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah,' John Cleese

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Spall plays J.M.W. Turner in the new film Mr. Turner; Ken Tucker says Black Messiah is as adventurous as any fan could hope for; Cleese'smemoir, So, Anyway..., covers his boyhood and early career.

J.K. Simmons On Playing A Neo-Nazi On HBO's 'Oz'

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Simmons was a regular on the HBO drama, which depicts the brutality of life in a maximum security prison. He spoke to Terry Gross in 1998.

The Strange World — And Life — Of 'Mr. Turner'

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The biopic of landscape painter J. M. W. Turner depicts a man whose mind is barely engaged by anything other than his work. He's a mystery, and his art is magically indefinite — just like the movie.

Meryl Streep: The Fresh Air Interview

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Meryl Streep won a Golden Globe for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She talks about preparing for that role and how her perceptions of herself have changed over the years.

A Tribute To Stephen Colbert, A Self-Proclaimed 'Junkie For Exhaustion'

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Ahead of The Colbert Report's last episode, Fresh Air listens back to interviews with Colbert. "I didn't realize quite how liberal I was until I was asked to make passionate comedic choices," he said.

Between World Wars, Gay Culture Flourished In Berlin

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In Gay Berlin, Robert Beachy describes the rise of a gay subculture in the 1920s and '30s, how it contributed to our understanding of gay identity and how it was eradicated by the Nazis.

D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Collapses Years, Genres

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Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Black Messiah is as adventurous as any fan could hope for.

Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

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The co-founder of the Monty Python troupe admits he wasn't "naturally gifted" at physical comedy, and learned a lot by imitation. His new memoir, So, Anyway..., covers his boyhood and early career.

Ken Tucker's Top 9 Albums Of 2014, Plus A Book

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Making new sounds while staying mindful of the past is a common theme in the Fresh Air music critic's year-end list.

Timothy Spall Takes On Painter J.M.W. Turner, A 'Master Of The Sublime'

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The 19th century painter wasn't always "very pleasant" and he was a "man of massive contradictions," Spall says. So Spall says he had to "dig deep" to play the title role in Mr. Turner.

Sometimes You Can't Pick Just 10: Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2014

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This year, Fresh Air's book critic rejects the tyranny of the decimal system and picks 12 titles published in 2014 — all with characters, scenes and voices that linger long past the last page.

Fresh Air Weekend: Chris Rock, Nunberg's Word Of The Year, Jacqueline Woodson

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Chris Rock talks about finding the line between funny and "too far"; Geoff Nunberg declares "God view" as the word of the year; National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson talks about her memoir.

Depicting An Unstable Era, 'Inherent Vice' Never Jells, But It's Addictive

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The film, based on Thomas Pynchon's novel, is set in 1970 in a beach town south of Los Angeles. With wonderful actors, it's like a gorgeous stoner art object: groovy, campy, dreamlike and funny.

Funny, Dirty, Sad: The 'Holy Trinity' For 'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway

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When writer Jill Soloway's father came out as a trans woman, Soloway says, it was a huge relief. And it helped her create the series Transparent about "boundaries, legacy, gender, family."