Jesse Thorn

National Public Radio

Jesse Thorn (born April 24, 1981) is an American public radio show host/creator. He is the host and producer of the radio show and podcast Bullseye (formerly The Sound of Young America), which is distributed by National Public Radio to 25 public terrestrial radio stations in 13 states and is also broadcast weekly on XM Radio’s „XM Public Radio“ channel. He also hosts the podcasts Judge John Hodgman and Jordan, Jesse, Go!, as well as the television program The Grid, which formerly aired on IFC. Jesse Thorn also runs Put This On, a blog and web video series devoted to men’s fashion.

Thorn grew up in San Francisco, California, where he attended the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. He attended University of California, Santa Cruz, where he cofounded The Sound of Young America and worked for the campus radio station KZSC. The Sound of Young America began as a college radio variety show featuring Thorn and two other cohosts, Jordan Morris and Gene O’Neill.

Near the end of 2004 Thorn began to make the show available as a podcast. Thorn and the show were mentioned in The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and Salon.com, with Salon describing Thorn’s interviewing style as combining „the civility and preparedness of [Terry] Gross leavened with the good humor of [Conan] O’Brien.“ A few months later, Thorn received a call from the director of programming at PRI, who had heard one of the podcasts and expressed interest in distributing the show. In 2006 WNYC-FM, a public radio station in New York City, picked up the show, and PRI decided to distribute it. By September 2008 the show was carried on 18 public radio stations, in addition to the podcast.

Also, Thorn and Jordan Morris host another podcast, Jordan, Jesse, Go! Thorn has also produced several other podcasts for MaximumFun.org, including Coyle & Sharpe: The Imposters[citation needed] and The Kasper Hauser Podcast. He is also a part of sketch comedy group Prank the Dean, along with Morris, Lauren Pasternak and Jim Real.

Over time, The Sound of Young America became more focused on interviews. Thorn has interviewed many notable personalities on his show, such as Nick Hornby and Nellie McKay. Thorn also interviewed Stephen Colbert as a part of iTunes’s Meet the Author series. Thorn has become notably identified with a philosophy he calls „New Sincerity.“ A USA Weekend article cited the „New Sincerity“ segment of the show as a listeners‘ favorite, and quoted Thorn’s explanation of the concept as „a rejection of irony.“ Thorn has promoted New Sincerity on his program, in his blog and in interviews, and was named as a popularizer of New Sincerity in a scholarly work discussing the similar novaia iskrennost‘ concept in Russian post-Soviet aesthetic theory.

In 2009, Jesse helped comedian and podcaster Marc Maron to set up the microphones and software necessary to produce his WTF with Marc Maron podcast from his garage. Maron thanked Jesse again for this on the podcast’s 300th episode. Jesse is also the coproducer of the public radio broadcast version of Maron’s podcast.

In 2012, The Sound of Young America was renamed Bullseye while continuing to have much of the same format as before.

On August 9, 2008, Thorn married Theresa Hossfeld in San Francisco, California. In August 2011, Theresa gave birth to a baby boy they named Simon. In October 2013, Theresa gave birth to their second son, named Oscar. In September 2016, Theresa announced the couple were expecting their third child. In April 2013, Theresa Thorn became the co-host, along with Biz Ellis, of the Maximum Fun podcast „One Bad Mother.“