Fresh Air

Weekday mornings at 9, repeated in the evenings at 7
  • Local Host Marc Albert, Rachelle Parker

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 NPR stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

In October 1859, a white abolitionist named John Brown led a three-day siege on the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va., hoping to spark a rebellion of enslaved people in the Southern states. Ultimately, the abolitionists were defeated by a company of U.S. Marines, and Brown was charged with treason and hanged. But the consequences of the raid were lasting.

"Harpers Ferry, to my mind and a lot of people's mind, is the first battle of the Civil War," actor Ethan Hawke says.

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:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Our guest Jill Heinerth has one of the most fascinating and dangerous jobs on Earth. She's one of a rare breed of technical divers who explore underground waterways and submerged caves deep beneath the Earth's surface or sometimes, as you'll soon hear, inside an iceberg.

Richard Pryor, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Roseanne Barr, Chris Rock, Jim Carrey and Whoopi Goldberg are just a handful of the big name comics who got their start at Los Angeles' famed Comedy Store.

In the first presidential debate, President Trump was asked if he would refrain from declaring victory until the election has been independently certified. He refused to make that commitment.

Atlantic writer Barton Gellman was not surprised.

When Kirsten Johnson's dad started showing signs of dementia, she had a hard time accepting the fact that his death was getting closer. So she decided to make a movie about him.

Johnson's new Netflix documentary, Dick Johnson Is Dead, tells the story of moving her dad out of his home in Seattle and into her apartment in New York. It also enacts her father's death from imagined accidents, like getting hit in the head by a falling air conditioner or tripping on a crack in the sidewalk.

While the American film industry still has a long way to go in nurturing movies made by women and people of color, the Sundance Film Festival has long provided an important platform for marginalized voices.

Since the release of the Mueller report in April 2019, it's been analyzed, praised and criticized — and cited by President Trump as proof that there was no collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.

Andrew Weissmann was one of the lead prosecutors on special counsel Robert Mueller's team. In his new book, Where Law Ends, Weissmann looks back on where the Mueller investigation succeeded — and where it fell short.

Rumaan Alam's Leave the World Behind is a slippery and duplicitous marvel of a novel. When, deep into the night, a vacationing couple hears a knock at the door of their remote Airbnb rental in the Hamptons, as a reader you think, "Oh, this is a suspense story." Then, when that couple, who are white, opens the door to a couple outside who are Black and conversational awkwardness ensues, you think, "Oh, this is a comedy of manners about race, a kind of edgy riff on Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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