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Fresh Air Weekend: Jack Black, Hugh Laurie

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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:

Jack Black: On Music, Mayhem and Murder: Actor Jack Black plays a kindly, small-town funeral director who murders a wealthy millionaire in the new film Bernie. Black is also one-half of the comedy folk-rock group Tenacious D. They've just released a new album in the style of heavy metal bands from the 1980s.

'Death And The Penguin' Captures Post-Soviet Reality: Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov writes short, surrealistic stories full of dark comedic surprises. His latest is The Case of the General's Thumb, but critic John Powers suggests starting with his 1996 novel, Death and the Penguin. It's a fast-paced, witty read and what Powers calls "an almost perfect novel."

Hugh Laurie's 'House': No Pain, No Gain: For the past eight seasons, the English actor has played Dr. Gregory House on the Fox medical series. During that time, Laurie's character has diagnosed dozens of patients suffering from rare ailments, while maintaining a serious addiction to Vicodin.

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