circa 1955:  Piping cassoulet served with a platter of salad, bread, butter, cheese and cherry sorbet for dessert.  (Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)

Episode 229: The 2013 All-Food Episode

Thanksgiving is kind of a national dinner party, so we wanted to bring our contribution: an ALL-FOOD EPISODE of the show. We know it comes a day late, but everybody loves leftovers, right? Lidia Bastianich on freedom food... Michael Pollan's kosher barbecue ... The Arctic Monkeys play a little dinner music ... Eddie Huang vs. mac and cheese ... dining like a "Mad Men" man... hunting the planet's rarest fruits ... musician Todd Snider with a taste(ful) joke ... the Presidential Suite of cheeses ... and we breathe in the fresh salt air - of Manhattan.


Photo by Chelsea Lauren (Getty)

Episode 228: Kevin Hart, Aisha Tyler, and Frozen Beer

We reheat an old episode for this pre-Thanksgiving week, featuring, fittingly, an English take on American culture ... Superstar comedian Kevin Hart growing an inch … Comic, writer, TV host and now etiquette expert Aisha Tyler steering listeners clear of video game hogs and sunshine nazis … Memoirist Ashley Cardiff on being haunted by Prince … The Spinto Band with a menu of dinner party tunes … and Rico cooling off with Japanese beer. Plus: The most famous soup cans in history, ‘shroom humor, and how the internet may be making us less intelligent.


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Episode 227: Stephen Fry, Gail Simmons, and Daniel Boulud

Brit wit Stephen Fry talks Shakespeare, takes on Turkey Day, and meets dead people... "Top Chef" judge Gail Simmons adjudicates your etiquette questions while growing the perfect sous chef... star chef Daniel Boulud sniffs out truffle treasure... "Medora" co-director Davy Rothbart declares victory for some beautiful losers... neuroscientist and skeptic Sam Harris cannot tell a lie... wunderkind media polymath Tavi Gevinson jokes around... and country singer Julie Roberts suggests songs for getting dressed - and undressed.


Photo: Nick Haddow

Episode 226: 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 225: Jessica Chastain, Dave Barry, and Joy(ful) Division

This week: one of our favorite episodes of 2013, in which Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain of “Zero Dark Thirty” riffs on Pitt and pigs… Humorist Dave Barry offers insane advice… Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff plays dinnertime DJ… Joy Division’s Peter Hook tells the bright side of a dark band… We excavate the story of a crown jewel, then drink a sparkling cocktail… Plus, flying goats, contagious laughter, and the spider of the year.


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Episode 224: The 2013 All-Movie Episode

This week it's a special ALL MOVIE EPISODE! Starring Oscar-nominees Michelle Williams and David O. Russell... Also: Laura Dern re-examines David Lynch's brain(s)... "Hunger Games" make-up artist Ve Neill lists a few fave transformations...Spike Lee plays matchmaker... Steven Spielberg incites a teenage riot... Dick Cavett teaches us "how to Hitchcock"... David Alan Grier gives "two snaps up" to listeners' questions... And we toast the biggest premiere in movie history.


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Episode 223: Bob Odenkirk, Linda Thompson, and Peaches Teaches

This week: Bob Odenkirk, comedy polymath & "Breaking Bad" breakout star, talks sketch and Saul... ... Pop provacateur Peaches strips down etiquette... Folk-rock icon Linda thompson plays party DJ ... Small island, big library ... Food writer Nigel slater recalls pre-parm Britain ... Behind the scenes with Johnny Carson ... Leafy green humor ... And a flood of beer was not as fun as it sounds.


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Episode 222: Dane DeHaan, Anna Calvi, and the Modernist Maestro

This week: "Kill Your Darlings" star Dane DeHaan catches the Beats... Operatic indie rocker Anna Calvi DJs your next soiree... the Posts return with etiquette advice smokers will love... We're schooled in design by the man who defined late 20th Century style... Old-school Hollywood honcho David Picker acts out for Woody Allen... Little Richard throws stardom into the sea... Scientific proof that there's no "I" in team leaders... and Brendan samples "the soul food of Asia." Plus: Bill Callahan Sings us home.


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Episode 221: Daniel Radcliffe, Lars Ulrich, and Elizabeth Gilbert

This week: Daniel Radcliffe wears a mask that's 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 220: Margaret Atwood, Gunn Culture, and Hulk Hogan: Hero

This week: literary giant Margaret Atwood is prepared for mega-bears... "Project Runway's" Tim Gunn returns, just in time to save listeners from the 'comfort trap'... guitarist Steve Gunn (no relation) spins a mellow party playlist... The author behind the bestselling "Jack Reacher" series lists toughs he loves... "China, Illinois" Animator Brad Neely wants Hulk Hogan to eat him... The tale of one man's flight(s) to settle a bar bet... And we meet Rihanna, P.I. Plus: Rico tastes a bowlful of sweet, savory surrealism.