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Adam Mansbach is a novelist and, of course, the author of the “children’s book for adults” Go the F to Sleep. But his new project is not a book—it’s a screenplay. Adam wrote the new movie Barry, available now on Netflix. The film is a fictionalized examination of Barack Obama’s first months in New York City, as he arrives at Columbia University in 1981.

The film stars Ashley Judd, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jason Mitchell, Ellar Coltrane, Avi Nash, and the fantastic newcomer Devon Terrell as Obama. It’s been getting rave reviews and has garnered a bunch of award nominations, including NAACP Image Award and Independent Spirit Award noms for Adam. We talk to Adam about writing and filming Barry, but we also catch up about the election, his new TV show, Henny Youngman’s joke-telling philosophy, and a whole lot more.

Tracks featured in this episode:

All clips from Barry unless otherwise indicated.

  1. CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, December 10, 2015
  2. Jails Hospitals & Hip Hop-Trailer-TWN
  3. The Jazz Wolf, “Mush Lobstah”
  4. Straight Outta Compton - Aftermath Reaction
  5. Wildstyle hold up
  6. WAKE THE F**K UP OBAMA AD Samuel L Jackson Voting Ad
  7. Spoonie Gee and The Treacherous Three, “The New Rap Language”
  8. Talking Heads, “Once In A Lifetime”
  9. Taana Gardner, “Heartbeat - Club Mix”
  10. Afrika Bambaataa & The Jazzy 5, “Jazzy Sensation - Bronx Version”
  11. The Chi-Lites, “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People”
  12. The Frontline Interview, Sohale Siddiqi
  13. I Know
  14. K-Solo, “Your Mom’s in My Business”
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