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Episode 253: Conor Oberst, Colson Whitehead, and Freakonomics

Musician Conor Oberst gives us a topography lesson ... A new movie - and fail-safe flirting tips - from actor Griffin Dunne... 'Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner is your kryptonite .... Colson Whitehead becomes a gambling man ... Inventing the futuristic fastener Velcro ... Why bad words might be good for you ... Annabelle Gurwitch finds lust in a hopeless place ... And we inspect teff: a tiny grain with a huge upside.


Robyn Von Swank/IFC

Episode 252: Marc Maron, Philippe Petit, and Soylent

This Week: Marc Maron gives etiquette AND time-travel advice... Graphic novelist Mimi Pond lists criminals, spies, and other bohemians ... "Man On Wire" tightrope-walker Philippe Petit explores creative chaos... "The Descendants" author Kaui Hart Hemmings tells a new tale... load up on Kleenex 'cause here comes SADvertising... the history of the least respected trophy in sports... and Rico tastes Soylent: the pasty beige future of food. PLUS: Our listeners sound off about mouths and sounds.


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Episode 251: Kevin Spacey, Ruth Reichl, Todd Snider and Elephant

This week: Stage & screen star Kevin Spacey channels Richard III (and Bill Clinton)... Food icon Ruth Reichl has us eating her words... folk-rocker Todd Snider meets Tony Bennett in an unlikely place... UK pop duo Elephant come together to DJ a dance party... Pluto gets discovered, named, and demoted... Etiquette experts Lizzie Post and Daniel Post-Senning urge America to move to the left... Hawaii's state legislature pits ukeleles versus steel... and singer Haley Bonar does not actually Kill The Fun. Plus: Brendan drinks California's state flower.


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The 2014 Icebreaker Episode

We just released the 250th episode of our show, so we're celebrating with this bonus episode, containing a collection of party-winning jokes from our guests. These laughs (or groans) come courtesy of Jonah Hill, Carrie Brownstein, The Arctic Monkeys, Tavi Gevinson, Jim Jarmusch, Timothy Olyphant, and many more.


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Episode 250: Daniel Radcliffe, Lars Ulrich, and Elizabeth Gilbert

This week: Daniel Radcliffe wears a mask that is not for a role ... Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich tells your roommate to turn that racket down ... Elizabeth Gilbert ("Eat, Pray, Love") sets the planets spinning ... Cartoonist Jeff Smith lists favorite strips ... Visiting the Candyland of vegetables ... There is danger and allure at "The Summit" ... A famously bad sitcom is still famous ... And art students build the next Robocop


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Episode 249: Scarlett Johansson, Billy Eichner, and Slint

This week: Scarlett Johansson muses on ol' blue eyes and earthly aliens... Comedian Billy Eichner takes etiquette to the streets ... We catch up with 90's alt stars Slint... A baseball game everyone wanted to lose... Terrifying Easter bunnies, brought to you by UCB co-founder Matt Walsh... Uncovering Uzbek cuisine ... And, check your chins, we might be at Peak Beard.


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Episode 248: Jim Jarmusch, Lavender Country, and Horseradish Hazards

This week: Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch sinks his teeth into a new genre, and Tom Waits metaphors... Comedy writer Carol Leifer ("Seinfeld," "SNL") kicks off her shoes... Lavender Country brought gay rights to country ... "Review" star Andy Daly reviews other reviewers ... Rock music insider Lisa Robinson shares her backstage stories (and takes credit for U2) ... The Pickle Guys don their horseradish haz-mat suits for Passover ... "Rage quitting" isn't just a meme, it's actually kind of a problem ... A new tune from tUnE-yArDs.


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Episode 247: Amy Schumer, Errol Morris, & The War on Drugs

This week: Comedienne Amy Schumer secretly enjoys tea and reading ... Errol Morris explains Donald Rumsfeld's problems with reality ... Actress Judy Greer steps into the spotlight, for a change ... The War on Drugs' Adam Granduciel tells us about Bryan Ferry and Humphrey Bogart ... The best milk for your coffee, from cow or nut ... Freezing frenemies at the North Pole ... A teen-girl cop who isn't the set-up for a new sitcom ... Not where but why Waldo buys those sweaters ... And blowing the dust off a special vintage Britpop record.


Photo: Nick Haddow

Episode 246: Toni Collette, Bill Callahan, and Oil Balls

This week: Toni Collette grabs the wheel ... Rob Delaney takes us to a dark, dark chocolate place ... Ben Schott shares speichelgleichmut ... Texas singer-songwriter Bill Callahan remembers the Seventies ... Celia Rivenbark smuggles in the sauce ... Poetry among thieves ... And savor-ish dough balls straight from Amsterdam.


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Episode 245: Steve Martin, Stradivariuses, and Switchel

This week: Steve Martin puts on a show as well as a concert ... Emily Posts' progeny pocket dial us ... Switchel, a.k.a. Herman Melville's fave energy drink... Filmmaker Davy Rothbart celebrates beautiful losers - in basketball and life ... A British Invasion of radio pirates inspires a rum cocktail - naturally. Plus, a two million dollar puppy, mute violins, and Papercuts you won't try to avoid.