Episode 231: Geoffrey Rush, and Aubrey Plaza & LeVar Burton LIVE

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Oscar-winning thespian Geoffrey Rush goes from burlesque to “The Book Thief”… “Parks and Recreation’s” Aubrey Plaza will not be mean on command … LeVar Burton, of “Reading Rainbow” fame, gets all Dirty Harry on a book “vandal”… We learn about a phone call that changed rock-and-roll history… rock critic and musician Joey Sweeney plays the song he thinks every American must hear (and a few others)… and “Paris Review” editor Sadie Stein brings us Late Notes from the underground.  Plus: We unearth the truth about a ‘missing link,’ and Brendan learns a few chestnuts… about chestnuts.

"Computer Chess" Portraits - 2013 Sundance Film Festival

“Penguin Semi-Joke” – Andrew Bujalski



Late Notes, from the MTA and Sadie Stein

Small Talk

Story time and solitary weeping at The Paris Review with deputy editor Sadie Stein. She takes us through the most dinner-party-worthy bits of the current issue, Number 207.


The Piltdown Hoax

A History Lesson With Booze ®

In 1912, English fossil collector Charles Dawson claimed to have found evidence of the ‘missing link.' In 1953, they realized there were some missing facts.

long hair

Stakes Are Very High for Joey Sweeney's Party Music


Joey Sweeney is the rare music critic who also makes great music himself. When he isn't writing or performing, he keeps busy sharing the gospel of Nina Simone.

Matt Carr/Getty Images Entertainment

Geoffrey Rush on Good Guys, Pirates, Neanderthals & Robots

Guest of Honor

The Oscar-winning thespian stars in the world War II-era drama "The Book Thief." He tells Rico about acting decent, and his performances in some very expensive art films.

Beatles - cellar - for web

A Lucky Long-Distance Call to 'The Fifth Beatle'


The newest production from award-winning Broadway producer Vivek Tiwary is a graphic novel about the man who helped discover and promote The Beatles. Vivek tells us a tale of the phone conversation that changed the course of rock history… and which almost never happened.

Dr. Fred Hebard holds a handful of potentially blight-resistant Restoration Chestnut 1.0 Seeds at Meadowview research Farms in Meadowview, VA.

Restoring the Majestic Chestnut

Main Course

They might be the favorite snack of Christmas song, but native wild chestnut trees that once grew along the east coast have been decimated by blight. Bryan Burhans is the president of The American Chestnut Foundation, an organization solely devoted to restoring the trees to their native habitat.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Aubrey Plaza on Moustache Protests and Awkward Encounters

Guest of Honor

A conversation with actor Aubrey Plaza, excerpted from our first live event. She tells us about being a rule-abiding rebel and her recent work in "The To Do List" and "Parks and Recreation"

Reading Rainbow - LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton and the (Paper) Cut Threat


LeVar Burton takes refuge in libraries, says 'meh' to Google Glass, and answers other pressing questions in this excerpt from our recent live event.