NPR News

If you ask Mike Birbiglia, the principles of improv apply everywhere: "It changed the way I thought about everything," says the writer, director and actor. "[It] helps in parenting and being a good husband and being a good friend ... any collaborative job."

Best known for his stand-up comedy and roles in GIRLS and Orange Is the New Black, Birbiglia's latest project is Don't Think Twice, a movie that chronicles the ups and downs of a fictional, New York improv group called The Commune.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

This year at San Diego Comic-Con, one of the biggest phenomena isn't just inside the convention center, it's all around. Yes, there are billboards and installations trumpeting things like Doctor Strange and Fear the Walking Dead. But the crowds of people here aren't looking up; they're mostly staring down at their phones, playing Pokémon Go.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In a well-kept neighborhood in Miami with lush gardens, Larry Smart, a county mosquito control inspector, holds a turkey baster up to the light. "If you look closely, you'll see some moving fast. They're wriggling around," he says. "That's actually mosquito larvae." Smart uses the turkey baster to sample standing water in hard-to-reach places.

A national convention aims to offer a space for a political party to unify — to hone its message, set aside internal divisions and move forward toward a shared adversary. As Republicans sweep up confetti and try to forget the Ted Cruz-Donald Trump flame war, Democrats pack their bags for Philadelphia, hoping to unite their own badly split party.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Born This Way is a reality show — not too different from The Real World, the groundbreaking show that helped define the genre and aired for more than 30 seasons on MTV. Both feature a cast of diverse young adults navigating the world around them. Both came from reality TV pioneer Jonathan Murray (who co-created The Real World with Mary-Ellis Bunim). The big difference: All the stars of Born This Way have Down syndrome.

John Evans, co-owner of California's Diesel, A Bookstore, recommends three vacation reads: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan and Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk by John Doe and Tom DeSavia.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On Wednesday night, the film Star Trek: Beyond held its red-carpet premiere at San Diego Comic-Con. They went all out – a live orchestra, fireworks, a laser show. Conan O'Brien hosted the gig. NPR's Nina Gregory reported on it for Morning Edition yesterday.

Jacky Terrasson On Piano Jazz

Jul 22, 2016

Pianist Jacky Terrasson was born in Berlin and raised in Paris. After moving to the U.S., he studied at Berklee College of Music and won the 1993 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. He has toured internationally and collaborated with greats such as Ray Brown, Cassandra Wilson and Ry Cooder.

When he was first emerging to wider attention, Terrasson demonstrated his extraordinary talents in this 1995 Piano Jazz session, playing standards like "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" and "Oleo."

Originally broadcast Winter 1995.

Set List

Esmé Patterson On World Cafe

Jul 22, 2016

Originally from Colorado and part of the same singer-songwriter scene that gave us Nathaniel Rateliff, Esmé Patterson was initially part of the folk band Paper Bird with her sister. Patterson has increasingly let loose her inner rocker on each new solo album — particularly on her third record, released this past June, titled We Were Wild.

The brother-sister duo Wild Belle found inspiration for its latest recording in its native city of Chicago, in its adopted homes in Los Angeles and Jamaica, and most of all in its members' romantic entanglements. The pair's island pop is a refreshing treat — especially the title track from Dreamland.

Set List

  • "Dreamland"

Watch Wild Belle's full performance at KCRW.com.

Plates have long had a seat at the table, but they've suffered in silence – quietly bearing the indignities of everything from barbecue sauce to mustard stains.

Until now.

It's been a busy couple of weeks in the world; how are you doing?

We had the rare opportunity to pull the extremely busy Ari Shapiro into our fourth chair this week, just in time to join us for a chat about Ghostbusters, the latest summer action comedy to bust its way into theaters. We talked about its PG-13-ness, its lineup of very funny women, its place in the impressive Feig/McCarthy canon, and lots more.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

She's back.

Earlier this week actor and comedian Leslie Jones decided she'd had enough of Twitter trolls targeting her because she dared to co-star in a reboot of the 1984 film, Ghostbusters.

She was tired of being called ugly and savage, and being compared to gorillas and apes.

She was tired of being called a coon.

She'd had enough. She was tired.

WXPN in Philadelphia is hosting its own music festival this weekend, and you can watch many of the acts live on VuHaus, public radio's new music discovery platform.

Friday's Webcast Schedule

  • Rosemary Fiki - 4 p.m. ET
  • Queen Of Jeans - 4:35 p.m. ET
  • Billy Hector - 5:05 p.m. ET
  • White Denim - 5:45 p.m. ET
  • Father John Misty - 6:30 p.m. ET
  • The Suffers - 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle - 8:20 p.m. ET

For this game, we've rewritten the intro to Law & Order: SVU to be about other things known by three initials. If we said, "In Munich's car manufacturing system, the dedicated assembly-line workers are members of an elite Beemer factory," you'd answer, "Law &Order: B-M-W."

Heard on Loudon Wainwright III: 'Please Discover Me Now!'

Pages