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Episode 188: Tim Gunn, Rian Johnson, and Salman Rushdie

This week, we reheat one of our favorite episodes: “Project Runway’s” Tim Gunn dresses down America for dressing down… Salman Rushdie talks fatwas and fake hair… “Looper” director Rian Johnson rolls the bones… 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.”


Episode 187: Miguel, Rachel Dratch, and Seduction Instruction

This week: R&B sensation (and multiple Grammy-nominee) Miguel spells “wah!”… SNL alum Rachel Dratch lists her favorite lovahhs… “Thomas Jefferson” makes his second inaugural etiquette address… Blues legend Charlie Musselwhite tells a high-flying tale about Muddy Waters… Author Betsy Prioleau defends ladies’ men… Brendan learns not to confuse ‘soulful’ with ‘healthful’… And Aussie psych-band Pond rocks a Giant Tortoise. Plus: a bomb of a cocktail from the Georgia coast, fun with trigonometry, and a library of misfit books.

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Episode 186: Jessica Chastain, Dave Barry, Jimmy Cliff, and Joy(ful) Division

This week: Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain, of “Zero Dark Thirty” on Pitt and pigs… Insane advice from humorist Dave Barry… Joy Division’s Peter Hook tells the bright side of a dark band… A Super Bowl menu, minus meat?… We excavate the story of a crown jewel, then drink a sparkling cocktail… Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff plays dinnertime DJ… Plus, flying goats, contagious laughter, and the spider of the year.

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Episode 185: William H. Macy, Not Sauce, and the Original Animal

This week: "Shameless" star William H. Macy has fun with despicable... Beloved singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith spins a party playlist... NYTimes cocktail columnist Rosie Schaap teaches proper bar behavior... Rico uncovers a sriracha scam... Gonzo filmmaker Jay Bulger ("Beware of Mr. Baker") dives into the messy life of drummer Ginger Baker... And food phenom Eddie Huang ("Fresh Off the Boat") tells us about his first All-American dinner... Plus, non-smoking women, Tim Burton on clubbing, and asteroids full of riches.

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Episode 184: Michael Apted, Sundancing, and Coaster Cocktails

This week: Filmmaker Michael Apted (“7 Up”) talks about renewing his landmark documentary series… Writer Manuel Gonzales tells us how NOT to bury a body…Etiquette all-stars Lizzie and Dan Post on the protocol of the communal newspaper bin… Sundance Fest director John Cooper shares some behind-the-screens stories… Britain’s latest food fad is (wait for it) American food?!… Josh Bearman - whose article inspired the film “Argo” - tells three other film-worthy tales… Plus, Drew’s brews, Cold War Kids, and the birth of the roller coaster.

Episode 183: David O. Russell, George Saunders, and Experiments with Cale

Director David O. Russell steals the show...The Velvet Underground's John Cale experiments with a list... Writer George Saunders weighs man purses and messenger bags...Comedian Nick Kroll tries to mix Oktoberfest and Yom Kippur - then has to flee Germany...We learn about the birth of Texas Oil Boom and drink a slick cocktail...And there's a new French dessert to swoon over...Plus, brilliant hatchet jobs, a viola-nt joke, and a trippy track from Foxygen.

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Episode 182: The Best of 2012

This week, a look back at our best moments of 2012: Jon Hamm dives into dark matter… Ed Asner answers your etiquette questions (and his cellphone)… We toast a historic Niagara fall… Folk rock icon Rodriguez rises from the dead… Alison Pill (“The Newsroom”) lists her favorite behind-the-scenes stories… Ramblin’ man Todd Snider recalls his brush with Nascar celebrity… And country singer Iris DeMent takes us home with a dinner party soundtrack…Plus “pretzel dumplings,” lucky underwear, and an OCD joke from James Franco.


Episode 181: Patti Smith, Bryan Cranston, and Drinkable Shrubs

This week: An encore rebroadcast of one of our listener’s favorite episodes orf the year. Punk icon Patti Smith dreams of little black dresses… “Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston builds green houses, not meth labs… Zosia Mamet (Girls, Mad Men) picks other ‘against-type’ actors… we inhale the tale of the original “smoke-filled room”… and novelist Nathaniel Rich finds a rhino with all the answers. Plus: drinkable shrubs, a new track from Odd Future’s Frank Ocean, and the fastest road in the USA.


Episode 180: Jamie Foxx, Macklemore, and Gollum’s Grandparents

This Week: Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx plays Django and table tennis… JEOPARDY! champ Ken Jennings answers our *etiquette* questions (minus the buzzer)… “Thrift Shop” rap stars Macklemore & Ryan Lewis spin a playful party playlist… “The Splendid Table’s” Lynne Rosetto Kasper is haunted by the ghost of Christmas-party past… “The Hobbit” FX mastermind Joe Letteri traces Gollum’s family tree back to Sherlock Holmes… And speaking of which, Rico learns to think like Sherlock Holmes. Plus: Brazilian food rising, monkeys with no rhythm, and zen dogs.

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Episode 179: Beck, Modern Family Values, and Love’s Songs

This week: Pop star Beck Hansen’s new album looks great on paper… Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson of “Modern Family” offers etiquette advice… Darlene Love, singer of Xmas soul classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” lists non-awful yuletide tunes… We sing the praises of Leonard’s Cohen’s “Hallelujah”… Top chefs debate if food should come with footnotes… and we learn how “Gone With The Wind” brought Jimmy Carter and MLK together. Plus: paper beats air, a nutty joke, and Destiny’s *other* child.