Many fans will be disappointed that Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator is a more or less conventional comedy and not an ambush-interview mockumentary in the style of Borat and Bruno. But that guerrilla-clown shtick would be tough to sustain: Why not let him try something else? The good news is that The Dictator is loose and slap-happy and full of sharp political barbs and has funny actors moving in and out — and at a lickety-split 83 minutes, it doesn't wear out its welcome.
Audra McDonald has starred in stage classics and on TV, where she played a leading role on the ABC drama Private Practice for four seasons. But the actress might be better known for her stunning voice and for her performances in the Broadway productions of Carousel, Master Class and Ragtime, which helped her rack up three Tony Awards before the age of 30. She won a fourth Tony for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun, putting her in the company of Broadway greats Gwen Verdon and Mary Martin.
Johnny Carson walked away from TheTonight Show, after 30 years at the top of the late-night ratings, of his own volition. And except for a few fleeting TV appearances after he retired, he never looked back — and never went back. When filmmaker Peter Jones would send an annual letter to Carson, asking for his cooperation in a TV biography of him, the answer was always no. One year, Carson went so far as to explain why: Let the work, he said, speak for itself.
In the United States, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/01/17/145237480/obesity-epidemic-may-have-peaked-in-u-s">more than 78 million adults and 12 million children</a> are obese.
Credit Jessica Dimmock / HBO
Kelly Brownell is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University, where he also serves as professor of epidemiology and public health and as director of the <a href="http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/">Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.</a>
The numbers are staggering: One-third of Americans are obese; another third are overweight. Some 26 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. An additional 79 million more are pre-diabetic. Thanks to these figures, the children of today have a good chance of becoming the first generation of Americans to die at younger ages than their parents.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Lena Dunham Addresses Criticism Aimed At 'Girls': The creator and star of HBO's new series Girls addresses the growing backlash against the show, which follows four 20-somethings as they navigate the ups and downs of life in New York City.
Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the day Fresh Air became a daily national NPR program. Before that, the show was broadcast only on WHYY in Philadelphia. How long ago was May 11, 1987? On Fresh Air's first edition, TV critic David Bianculli reviewed the finale of the TV series Hill Street Blues.
After Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) rises from the grave in the 1970s, 200 years after he was imprisoned, he returns to his ancestral home and befriends his descendants, including David Collins (Gully McGrath).
Credit Peter Mountain / Warner Brothers Pictures
Eva Green plays Angelique Bouchard, Barnabas' spurned lover — and witch — who makes it her mission to take revenge on him and his family.
Two score and four years ago, I'd fly home from fourth grade for the 4 p.m. broadcast of Dark Shadows. In 1968, vampires and werewolves weren't mainstream — the era's horror films mostly played drive-ins — yet here on TV was a daily horror soap opera.
If you're sitting at a desk reading this article, take a minute and stand up. That's the latest advice from New York TimesPhys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds. In her new book, The First 20 Minutes, Reynolds details some of the surprisingly simple ways you can combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
In this Sept. 25, 1985 file photo, author Maurice Sendak poses with one of the characters from his book <em>Where the Wild Things Are,</em> designed for the operatic adaptation of his book in St. Paul, Minn. Sendak died, Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn. He was 83.
Credit LS / AP
Published in 1963, <i>Where The Wild Things Are</i> was a different approach to children's books — full of dark forests and fierce-looking monsters.
Credit HarperCollins / AP
Sendak signs prints from <i>The Mother Goose Collection</i> in July 1990 — part of a benefit for homeless children in New York City.
Credit Susan Ragan / AP
Sendak (from left), film director Spike Jonze and actor Max Records pose at the New York premiere of the film <i> Where The Wild Things Are</i> in 2009.
Credit Stuart Ramson / AP
"There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I'm ready," Sendak told Terry Gross in 2011.
Credit Mary Altaffer / AP
Maurice Sendak wrote and/or illustrated more than 100 books during his career. He received a National Book Award, a Caldecott Medal, the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children's book illustration, and the National Medal of Arts.
Credit John Dugdale / HarperCollins Children's Books
Children's book writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, author of <i>Where the Wild Things Are,</i> died on Tuesday at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn. He was 83.
Author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, whose classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are became a perennial and award-winning favorite for generations of children, died Tuesday. He was 83.
Sendak appeared on Fresh Air with Terry Gross several times over the years. In 1989, he told Terry Gross that he didn't ever write with children in mind — but that somehow what he wrote turned out to be for children nonetheless.