on September 10, 2011 in Venice, Italy.

Episode 144: Greta Gerwig, Questlove, and Liquid Matchsticks

This week: “Actress of her generation” Greta Gerwig on naturalism vs. quirk… The Roots’ ?uestlove on food… Author Carl Hiaasen gives us a reality check… Kathy Griffin, queen of misbehavior, offers etiquette advice… The forgotten Astaire… We learn a striking history, with cocktail to match… and the Imagination Movers give entertaining tips on keeping kids entertained. Plus, a Spurlockian joke, a soprano drought, and your new favorite song from the Alabama Shakes.

Episode 143: Spring Break…with Michelle Williams and GZA

This week, a walk down memory lane! (Ahem – a rerun.) Yes, for our Spring Break, we’re re-airing one of our favorite episodes from 2011. Front and center is the impossibly charming Michelle Williams, whose portrayal of Marilyn Monroe later earned her a Globes win and an Oscar nomination. Plus: a science lesson from Wu-Tang’s GZA, juicy gossip about Fidel Castro, and Rico literally inhales America’s best vodka. Tune in next week for an all-new, all-excellent show featuring Questlove, Greta Gerwig, and Carl Hiaasen.

Episode 142: The Duplass Brothers, Val Kilmer-Twain, and the Oysteress

This week: Filmmaking brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, who nap in trailers… Val Kilmer resurrects Mark Twain… Grandmaster of flash (fiction), Etgar Keret… Oysters take over the mainland… Poker stud Chris Moneymaker on turning friends into debtors… Guillotin’s “enlightened” machine… Plus, the sounds of Howlin Rain, a pizza panic-button, and a seeing-eye joke.


Episode 141: Rick Moody, Shower Muses, and Snail Eggs

This week: Author Rick Moody dives into his gene pool… Jonah Lehrer showers us with inspiration… Escargot Eggs… Comedian Moshe Kasher’s train-wreck mem’ries… And etiquette tips from world-class concierge Michael Fazio. Plus, a little night music from jazz star Esperanza Spalding, a super joke from Of Montreal, and vibrating tattoos.

Episode 140: Ewan McGregor, Pretzel Dumplings, and Happy Endings

This week: Actor Ewan McGregor, in three dimensions… “Happy Endings” star Casey Wilson’s (semi) happy endings… Youth Lagoon’s dinner party soundtrack… A ‘psychic’ reading from Heidi Julavits… The best sushi chef in the world… Pretzel dumplings… How “Uranus” got its name… And next-gen Posts teach us about table fairies. Plus: drinkable pancakes, Irish jokes, a w-h-i-z-k-i-d, and much more.


Episode 139: Jon Hamm, Irish Latkes, and Bottled Etiquette

This week: Actor Jon Hamm takes us way beyond the Mad Men universe… Comedian and author Michael Ian Black says “you’re not doing it right”… atheist author Alain de Botton teaches religion… writer Amelia Gray sees ghosts… Jon Glaser’s high concepts… the sobering history of “Axis Sally”… and Rico tastes a bit o’ the boxty. Plus, a new tune from Beach House, and a joke in the key of “corny.”

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Episode 138: Stephin Merritt, Vengeance Eating, and Alka-hol

This week: Stephin Merritt’s attraction to love… Actress Amy Brenneman adjudicates listener etiquette… A vengeful lunch with Joel Stein… an Alkaholic drink… Neil deGrasse Tyson defends space… Bill Plympton’s favorite animation… and a 3-song prescription from Dr. Dog. Plus: Aggie yells, a Dinner Party Timeout, and a cross-word joke from singer Cate le Bon.


Episode 137: Geoff Dyer, Bug Juice, and Damn Good Advice

This week: British writer Geoff Dyer takes us into the “Zona”… Top Chef’s Gail Simmons survives internship hell and gets her Angel wings… Damn Good Advice from legendary ad man George Lois… bees you can drink… a big empire built on small change… winning an election… and nomophobia on the rise. Plus, picture books for adults, Islands with Hallways, and a Fun joke.

Episode 136: Michel Hazanavicius, New Fruit, and Undead Presidents

This week: “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius breaks the silence… Brendan witnesses the arrival of a fruit sensation… Titanic sound achievements, selected by a 7-time Oscar-winning sound designer… Sharon Van Etten’s moody party soundtrack… the real “Bonfire of the Vanities”… and Comedian Sarah Colonna breaks up with eHarmony. Plus, travel trends, a reality-check for gamers, and a joke from Miranda July.


Episode 135: The Shins, Lovable Fools, and Boardwalk Empires

This week: The Shins’ James Mercer blows the lid off a government cover-up… author Krys Lee’s inspired immigrant tales… An Oscar-nominated Undefeated team… Emily Post’s offspring get aggressive-aggressive… a tourist’s guide to a city you can’t visit… and Victorian puddings on the rise (plus a recipe). Plus: The weirdest bands of the year, a kiddie joke from Youth Lagoon, and a pop prescription from Dr. Dog.