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Episode 169: Anna Kendrick, Kevin Nealon, and the Perks of Being a Pittsburgher

This Week: Oscar-nominated actress Anna Kendrick sings of adorkability… SNL alum Kevin Nealon blesses us with etiquette advice…”The Perks of Being a Wallflower” creator Stephen Chbosky talks of time and place… Okkervil River runs through a party soundtrack… Here comes the (terrorist) bride… And the Primanti Sandwich goes national. Plus: We witness the birth of a clean machine, shine a light on art, and learn the history of comedy.


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Episode 168: Tim Gunn, Rian Johnson, and Salman Rushdie

This week, “Looper” director Rian Johnson rolls the bones… “Project Runway’s” Tim Gunn dresses down America for dressing down… Salman Rushdie talks fatwas and fake hair… famed author Sherman Alexie makes a Protest… A “Simpsons” writer’s favorite odd adaptations… And NYTimes photographer Todd Selby turns his camera on cooks. Plus: How corn helped thaw the cold war, and the official “best word ever.”


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Episode 167: Martin Amis, Divine Comedies, and the Mother of Bad Ideas

This week, literary luminary Martin Amis lets the dogs out… Top Chef Susan Feniger celebrates the New Year… satirist Simon Rich lists divine comedies… San Fran band The Fresh and Onlys serve up a sweet soundtrack… The Posts return to explain the art of good goodbyes… and fashion editor Diana Vreeland gets her close-up. Plus, skimming stones, rolling cows, and the most naive narrator in the world.


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Episode 166: Anjelica Huston, Doomsday Planes, and Things about Chicken Wings

This week: We revisit one of our favorite episodes...Actress Anjelica Huston reveals her secret good-luck charm ... Writer-provocateur Caitlin Flanagan blends etiquette, therapy, and cake... "The Artist's" James Cromwell talks quiet... Chickens with four wings... Greeks invade Britain... We toast the end of the world... A poem from imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo... Plus, nurture-over-nature, and a Major find from the Asteroids Galaxy Tour.


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Episode 165: Junot Diaz, One-Shot Wonders, and Orange Wine

This week, Pulitzer-winning author Junot Diaz bares the soul of a cheater… Actress Emily Blunt explains dolphin romance… Music video director Natasha Pincus picks some one-shot wonders… We toast the peaceful fallout from the only wartime aerial bombing of mainland USA… Financial etiquette from Marketplace’s Paddy Hirsch… Orange vintages add color to wine stores… And the unsung heroes of Fall TV. Plus: a new Grizzly Bear track, laffs from artist Wayne White, and lap dances in the high courts.


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Episode 164: Marjane Satrapi, Fran Lebowitz, and Pizza Brains

This Week: “Persepolis” author/filmmaker Marjane Satrapi laughs in the face of death… satirist Fran Lebowitz plays Nanny to America… author Emma Straub narrates a Hollywood fable… multi-Oscar-winner Ve Neill makes up a Makeup list… and Brendan inhales info about air. Plus, a visit to Philly’s Pizza Museum, the high-cost of Tsarist-era beards, how to lose yourself, and indierockers Nude Beach expose their dinner party playlist.


Episode 163: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Molly Ringwald, and Takis

This Week: Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets physical and speaks French… Molly Ringwald offers etiquette advice for misfits and moms…The birth of swing music… Novelist Jonathan Evison updates Facebook’s profiles… David Wax Museum shares a list that cuts to the bone… We hear from a young reporter who was on the cutting edge of the Takis craze… and Rico drinks bees. Plus: The latest in sleep science, and a dreamy new track from rocker Ariel Pink.


Episode 162: Gary Oldman, Top Chef: Etiquette, and Instant History

This week: We revisit one of our favorite episodes, from December 2011…Gary Oldman reflects on his Oscar-nominated role as iconic spy George Smiley… Top Chef’s Gail Simmons spills some sweet and saucy etiquette tips… Artist/Musician Terry Allen uncovers 3 lost gems… We toast the instant replay (twice)… Brendan seeks gluten-free-free food… and author Lou Beach tells 6 stories with 420 characters. Plus, a crash course in video games, a joke from Brit-com phenom Stephen Merchant, and a tune from Chairlift.


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Episode 161: Gustavo Dudamel, Rob Corddry, and Terms of Service

This week: Classical music superstar Gustavo Dudamel conducts an interview… “Children’s Hospital” creator/star Rob Corddry prescribes etiquette advice… “Schott’s Miscellany” author Ben Schott on food service slang… author John Brandon perks up his wolf ears… “Darth Vader and Son” cartoonist Jeffrey Brown lists some soulful sci-fi… and rocker King Tuff suggests a party playlist. Plus: Debbie Millman on design, Madeleine Brand gets dreamy, and the uplifting history of the escalator.


Episode 160: Rashida Jones, LeVar Burton, and Parody Picks

This Week: Actress Rashida Jones plays matchmaker... "Reading Rainbow"'s LeVar Burton wields a knife - with discernment... Comic Paul Scheer's parody picks... Les Savy Fav bassist Syd Butler talks hockey, Joy division and secret identities... We speak -- and drink -- Esperanto... author Ariel S. Winter channels 3 crime-lit legends... and Rico eats the best Pop Tart ever. Plus: the death of chivalry and a pop lullaby from The Babies.