“Whispering Peanuts” – Ellin Stein

We kick things off with a joke from author Ellin Stein, who literally wrote the book on modern comedy (well, on the godfather of modern comedy: The National Lampoon.). She amuses us more later on in the show.

The National Lampoon and reshaping American comedy

Journalist and cultural critic Ellin Stein’s newest book, That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick: The National Lampoon and the Comedy Insurgents Who Captured the Mainstream could be called The Funny Pages. Rico gets the lowdown - and some laffs - from Ellin.

Natalie Cole’s special Spanish gifts

Singer Natalie Cole has won nine Grammy awards and produced countless classic tunes in her four-decade career. Her newest recording, Natalie Cole en Español is her first Spanish-language record - but her dad, Nat “King” Cole released three of his own in the 50s and 60s. Natalie tells us the touching story of how her body has shaped her body of work.

Carl Hiaasen gets real with his favorite reality shows

Carl Hiaasen made his mark writing thrillers. But his recent children's book Chomp, is a coming of age story that doubles as a send-up of reality TV … so we had him bring us a list of his favorite somewhat ridiculous reality shows.

Playlist: Episode 204

The Sea & Cake - “The Argument” The Wedding Present - “Signal” Tipsy - “Liquordelic” Jack Payne & His Orchestra - “Ain’t That the Way it Goes” The Ventures - “Take Me Out to the Ballgame (Surf Version)” Audrey Ryan - “Nostalgia” Dustin O’Halloran - “Opus 44” Explosions in the Sky - “Your Hand in Mine” Dustin O’Halloran - “Fragile No 4” Copeland - “The Day I Lost My Voice (The Suitcase Song)” Fatboy Slim - “Praise You” Air - “Universal Traveler” Frank Sinatra - “Fly Me to the Moon” Jonathan Rado - “Faces”

Jonathan Rado – ‘Faces’

Jonathan Rado is best-known for his band Foxygen, but he’s taking a breather from that effort to record a solo album called Law and Order (out in September). The first song, “Faces” has a retro sunny-summer feel — it’s perfect for meeting someone new at your next BBQ.

Stuffies, from tiny Rhode Island, finally hit it big

Rhode Island might be our smallest state, but its seafood heritage looms large. Case in point: the emergence of local favorite, the stuffie. Rico visits newly-opened eatery Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood - and its two-Michelin-star chef Michael Cimarusti - to get the story in a clam-shell.

Novelist Colum McCann shares a “Transatlantic” passage

Irish novelist Colum McCann turned more than a few heads with his 2009 work, Let the Great World Spin; it won major accolades, including the National Book Award. This week he flies back into the public eye with TransAtlantic, a novel that uses his signature entwined-narrative style to tell three stories: the first transatlantic airplane flight, Fredrick Douglas visiting Ireland in 1845, and the Irish peace process of the late 1990s - which is where he picks us up in this excerpt.

Laura Osnes, Broadway’s Cinderella, shares some Cinderella stories

Laura Osnes has picked up a Drama Desk award and a Tony nomination for her starring role in the current production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway and the Original Cast Recording of the show is on sale now. As the woman playing Cinderella, we thought she might know something about Cinderella stories. She offers up three rags-to-riches tales that bring her particular delight.

Yankee Oddities and The Cooperstown

While history may not remember him as the most famous Yankee, in a 1932 game Tony Lazzeri accomplished one of the rarest feats in baseball: the natural cycle. It’s only been repeated a handful of times - and never quite as well - but it still wasn’t enough to make him that game’s MVP.