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Oral History

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“There Is No Limit”: The Oral History of the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Minions

Ten years ago, Martin Scorsese made a movie about the horrific excess of the finance world in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Leonardo DiCaprio was in the foreground, but what was going on in the background was just as wild.

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“Not So Fast”: The Oral History of ESPN’s ‘College GameDay’

Thirty years ago, ESPN’s college football pregame show broadcast from a college campus for the first time. How pregaming with students and leaning into its hosts’ personalities helped ESPN become the dominant voice of the sport.

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Nothing Is Better Than This: The Oral History of ‘Stop Making Sense’

The Talking Heads’ 1984 concert movie—which A24 recently rereleased in theaters—is as propulsive today as it was the day it came out: an ingenious, joyous celebration of music and the iconic band captured in it

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With or Without You: The Oral History of the ‘Americans’ Finale

In 2018, the Cold War spy drama delivered one of the most shocking and fascinating conclusions in modern TV history. Five years later, Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, other cast members, and the creators take us through the making of the episode—and all the sleights of hand and twists of fate.

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Are We Having Fun Yet?!: The Oral History of ‘Party Down’

As the Starz comedy makes an unlikely return to air, its creators look back on creating a unique inside-Hollywood workplace sitcom, scrapping through a difficult development period, and getting gold from Adam Scott, Ken Marino, and Jane Lynch

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A Scary Good Year

In 2022, people flocked to theaters to see two things: franchise blockbusters and horror movies. As the box office totals for the latter continue to pile up, directors Ti West, Zach Cregger, Parker Finn, and more reflect on the genre’s boom.

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“It’s Going to Be Epic”: The Oral History of James Cameron

From his early days as a special effects assistant to revolutionizing 3D filmmaking (again) with ‘Avatar: The Way of Water,’ one thing has always been clear: working with James Cameron is a singular experience

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The Oral History of the “Baseball Dreams Come True” ‘Saturday Night Live’ Sketch

Twenty-five years ago, ‘Saturday Night Live’ somehow crammed 15 real MLB players into a closet for a single sketch. Here’s how the iconic moment was created.

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“How Would You Like a Lap Dance?”: The Oral History of ‘Magic Mike’

Ten years ago, Channing Tatum turned his past as a male stripper into movie gold with the help of Steven Soderbergh—and tapped into a thirst in a way Hollywood never had before

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Welcome to Tom Cruise’s Flight School for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

If there was to be a sequel to the ’80s classic ‘Top Gun,’ it was going to need to be even better than the original—and way more realistic. Before the movie hits theaters, the cast of ‘Maverick’ explains what it took to become on-screen pilots.

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A Criminal Lawyer: The Oral History of Saul Goodman and ‘Better Call Saul’

The invention of the iconic character through the eyes of Bob Odenkirk and others who brought him to life

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The Oral History of Odd Future’s Chaotic, Joyous “Oldie” Video

In March 2012, an XXL photo shoot for the most blog-famous act in rap spontaneously became the backdrop for a music video. Ten years later, Tyler, Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, and others reflect on the viral clip and what it meant.

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The Oral History of Prince’s ‘Batman’ Soundtrack

Batman is an eccentric hero with a cape, so when it came time to pick an artist to make the soundtrack for Tim Burton’s 1989 film, the choice was obvious

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America’s Favorite Dysfunctional Family: The Oral History of ‘The Osbournes’

Twenty years after the MTV reality show’s debut, family members and the crew behind the show reflect on the wild experiment that turned into a massive success

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Your Favorite Scary Movie: The Oral History of ‘Scream’

Twenty-five years ago, Wes Craven’s bloody, witty meta-horror film hit theaters and reinvigorated multiple genres. Here’s how the iconic movie was made.

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An Oral History of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Cameos

Here’s what it’s like to be dropped into Larry David’s world, in the words of some of the show’s best guest stars

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Pure Nostalgia: The Oral History of ‘That Thing You Do!’

Twenty-five years ago, Tom Hanks made his directorial debut with a charmer about a one-hit wonder that tugged at heartstrings and left everyone in the audience humming and tapping their toes

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The Oral History of System of a Down’s ‘Toxicity’

In 2001, an Armenian American heavy-metal band conquered the charts despite infighting, a riot, and a ban that kept them off major radio stations following 9/11. Twenty years later, System of a Down and others look back on a career-defining album.

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An Oral History of ‘Nickelodeon GUTS’

How a crack creative team dreamed up the wildest kids’ game show of the ’90s, invented the Aggro Crag, and helped make Mike and Mo famous

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The Oral History of ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’

Three decades ago, James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Linda Hamilton joined forces again to make the biggest, baddest, most eye-popping sequel ever. Here’s the story of how the machines took over Hollywood.

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“Violently Stupid and Insane”: The Oral History of ‘Pros vs. Joes’

Fifteen years ago, Spike TV launched the ultimate fantasy: a show in which amateurs could compete against sports legends. The final result was as absurd as the premise.

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The Oral History of ‘Juice,’ Tupac’s Breakout Role

In an excerpt from his new book, ‘Changes: An Oral History of Tupac,’ Sheldon Pearce dives into how the rapper transformed himself into Bishop for the big screen

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Two Assholes Lost in the Woods: An Oral History of ‘Pine Barrens’

Tony Sirico, who played Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri on ‘The Sopranos,’ died on Friday at age 79. Here, David Chase and Co. look back on one of the show’s wildest, boldest, funniest episodes—and one of Sirico’s most renowned performances.

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The Making of Fake Bands and Their Very Real Fan Bases

The masterminds behind fictional acts like Stillwater, 2gether, Pink Slip, and many others break down what went into making an inherently ridiculous concept something people could take so seriously

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The Oral History of the Best Game Mike D’Antoni Ever Saw

Jason Kidd and Steve Nash went head-to-head in a Nets-Suns game back in 2006, producing an all-time classic and offering a glimpse of where the league was headed. "When it’s over you’re thinking, ‘Fuck, that would’ve been a fun one to win,’ because you know they’re going to be talking about this game for years to come."

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It’s a Mad World: The ‘Donnie Darko’ Oral History

Twenty years ago, an unproven writer-director made a movie with a scary bunny, time travel, and an ’80s soundtrack that would at first struggle to make an impact before becoming "everybody’s first deep thought"

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Anyone Can Cook: The Oral History of ‘Ratatouille: The Musical’

What started as a TikTok trend in the middle of the pandemic became a Disney-sanctioned, one-night-only virtual Broadway show helmed by Jeremy O. Harris. Here’s how it all happened.

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‘Dazed and Confused’ and Hooking Up

Dozens of beautiful young actors. Nighttime shoots. Hormones aflutter. In this exclusive excerpt of ‘Alright, Alright, Alright,’ a new oral history of the ’90s classic, discover how the set of Richard Linklater’s ‘Dazed and Confused’ was a hotbed of horny future stars.

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The Oral History of A.J. Soprano’s Slipknot Jacket, Its Online Resurrection, and ‘Sopranos’ Style

In 2001, an iconic piece of metal merch appeared on possibly the greatest TV show of all time. The people who were there and those who have preserved its legacy explain how it happened.

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The Oral History of ‘Best in Show’

Looking back at the dog show–centric successor to the mockumentaries ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ and ‘Waiting for Guffman’ on its 20th anniversary

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The Oral History of ‘The Town’

Ten years ago this week, Ben Affleck and his crew put on nun masks, robbed Fenway Park, and made the ultimate Boston movie. This is their story.

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“BA-BA DA-DA-DA BAAA!”: An Oral History of “Roundball Rock”

How John Tesh created the theme song to the glory years of the NBA