In May Vulture did a story on the favorite interviews of the producers of Fresh Air.

This week marks 30 years since WHYY first took Fresh Air With Terry Gross national in the form we know today: a daily, hour-long interview show featuring an array of artists and newsmakers. The show now reaches over 6 million people weekly via public radio stations across the country, and many more as a podcast. (Fresh Air is said to be NPR’s most downloaded podcast, and Apple has listed the show as the top-downloaded podcast on its platform for two years in a row.)

To commemorate the occasion, I asked Gross for a list of her personal favorite interviews. She responded:

When I started in radio, I envied one of my co-workers who had a whole box of tapes of her show. I thought, someday, if I’m lucky, I’ll have a whole box my own! Now Fresh Air has an archive of thousands and thousands of interviews covering 30 years … I’d be so damn smart if I was capable of remembering everything I’ve learned from them. Now, when I’m asked to choose my favorite interviews, I can’t, it’s just too overwhelming. I’m grateful to our producers for choosing some of theirs.

And so, here are the Fresh Air team’s favorite Terry Gross interviews, as selected by executive producer Danny Miller (who started as an intern in 1978); director Roberta Shorrock; producers Amy Salit, Phyllis Myers, Ann Marie Baldonado, Lauren Krenzel, and Sam Briger; engineer Audrey Bentham; and associate producers Therese Madden, Heidi Saman, Mooj Zadie; and associate web producer Molly Seavy-Nesper. I’ve rounded out their picks with some context about each episode.

You know what’s coming, because I’ve already talked about Terry Gross’s worship. Sixth on the list.

Louis C.K. (Originally broadcast in 2010.)

This interview gives us a snapshot of the comedian at what might be considered the early stages of his rise to his contemporary era of auteurship. Perhaps more memorably, it also happens to be the interview that got Fresh Air pulled from Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Just last May, remember.

They must have known. It’s their job to be all over popular culture like a rash, so they must have read some of those stories. They must have known.

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