Pop-parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic on being weird (and Weird, and "Weird") ... "Boyhood" star Patricia Arquette's stolen Santa Clauses ... How singer Jenny Lewis kicks people out ... A trademark-licensing dispute that lead to a big hit ... Visiting a magical-realist Virgin Islands with author Tiphanie Yanique ... New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert counts coughs to judge a concert ... Famous little fishes ... And a new song for Swiss-es.
She may perform fearlessly, but Broadway star Audra McDonald tells us which party decoration freaks her right out ... Thomas Jefferson (well, scholar and radio host Clay Jenkinson channeling Thomas Jefferson) expounds on patriotic decorum ... Get ready, people, for a playlist from indie-supergroup People Get Ready ... A scoop of new Spoon ... Blankets that broadcast your mood to fellow flyers ... One man's vendetta against disco ... The national pride of eating sheep innards stuffed in a stomach and stabbed with a knife ... Reuniting a musician with his only recording ... And avoiding scams with Priceonomics.
The life and legacy of critic Roger Ebert ... Secret liaisons with Jackie Collins ... Boozing and camping with "Mad Men" actor Rich Sommer ... Heavy metal rockers Zig Zags crash your party ... A spooky, supernatural adventure ... Crafting a symbol of Pride ... A joke for book-worms ... And dating for super-nerds.
A podcast-only bonus! We're sharing the extended cut of our interview with Steve Martin, just in time for his 4th-of-July bluegrass shows at The Hollywood Bowl. Steve discusses his musical life, his early days as a performer, and the connection between banjo & de Kooning.
This week: Jonah Hill's search for the perfect coupling ... Skip Lievsay explains how movies should sound ... Life imitates board games imitating life (but not The Game of Life) ... One mother's love-hate relationship with a thousand plastic blocks ... Getting what you pay for with luxury toast ... The creator of "House of Cards" tells us how politics is like jazz ... Woods to the left (to the left) ... How to flirt with a Viking ... And when to politely drink up and move on.
This week: Filmmaker, writer, and 'Pope of Trash' John Waters offers etiquette advice, naturally... Jenny Slate, star of the film "Obvious Child," says 'complicated' and 'comedy' can coexist... Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit bring board games and tacos to their dinner cozy party ... When we're hungry, why do we get 'hangry'? ... From Panama to Pan Am: novelist Cristina Henriquez remembers a nation in revolt, then we learn about the 'Jet Age,' when coach was actually classy... Mailing your kid to granny's house was actually legal?! ... Plus: Vanity Fair columnist Richard Lawson, new New Pornographers, and keeping tabs on a penguin.
This week: Actor Harry Dean Stanton shows off his singing ... Poet Patricia Lockwood revisits childhood ... Why Lyndon Johnson fascinates us, fifty years later ... Former frontman of The Walkman on his soulful solo debut ... Baseball excellence, naturally ... The arc of history bends towards better booze ... One sleepy rabbit with a speech impediment ... An unheard of use of science to re-grow Van Gogh's severed ear ... Common takes his backpack to Def Jam ... And Lizzie and Dan Post, breaking hearts all across Vermont.
This week: Oscar nominee Steve Coogan ("Philomena," this summer's upcoming "The Trip to Italy" ) meditates on condiments and dramedies ... "The Monuments Men" star Hugh Bonneville - a.k.a. Lord Grantham on "Downton Abbey" - minds his manors ... Former "The Office" employee B.J. Novak introduces us to Wikipedia Brown, Boy Detective ... The BFFs behind Comedy Central's "Broad City" riff on funny friends who came before them ... Rico inhales $50,000 worth of fungus ... and we learn how Satchmo changed American music .... Why single men should get into yoga and puppies ... And a happy "Chinese New Year."
This week: Actor James McAvoy (of this week's new "X Men" blockbuster, and the art-house drama "Filth") flies the Scottish flag... Writer-director Jon Favreau cooks up a new film... Emma Straub on why vacation with the ‘rents isn’t all that bad... Indie pop duo Sylvan Esso score your next brat barbecue... The one time when you WANT food to stain your clothes (It's art!)... Globetrotting comedy writer Kristin Newman does etiquette, for all nations... A drink for America's first speeding ticket victim...And more.
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.