Episode 159: Zoe Kazan, Passion Pit and New Wave Fish Sandwiches

Zoe Kazan/Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures

This week: Actor/writer Zoe Kazan makes a psychic connection… Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos provides the soundtrack for a party-for-two… Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson shares the gold medal’s shocking secret… Author Charles Yu feels your pain… Brendan catches the fish sandwich wave… and we travel back in time with bestselling essayist Sloane Crosley. Plus: Snoop Lion, the birth of Bugs Bunny, and dudes! — the Posts are back with etiquette tips.

Icebreaker: Zoe Kazan

Actress and writer Zoe Kazan overwhelms Rico with a touching joke.

Small Talk: Amber Bravo

Amber Bravo, deputy editor of culture mag The Fader, tells us about rapper Snoop Dogg’s new animal avatar… and some other musical outfits who made (in)famous name-changes.

A History Lesson with Booze: Bugs’ Birthday and “The Rabbit Ears”

This week back in 1940, Warner Bros. released the animated short A Wild Hare, officially introducing one of the biggest stars in movie history: Bugs Bunny. Learn how Bugs got his name and his catchphrase, then sip this wascally drink:

The “Rabbit Ears,” as drawn up by Boyan Dimitrov, bartender at Dimples, across the street from Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, CA:

In a shaker over ice, add:

  • 1.5 oz of vanilla vodka
  • 0.5 oz of Apple Pucker
  • 1 oz. carrot juice
  • Splash of lime juice

“Roll and pour” back and forth between shaker and mixing glass, then serve in a collins glass. Garnish with a whole carrot, or, if you’re looney-tunes, toss in a stick of Acme dynamite.

Guest List: Sloane Crosley

Sloane Crosley’s sharply-observed writing has appeared in the New York Times and GQ, and her bestselling collection “I Was Told There’d Be Cake” is now being wrought into an HBO series. Last December, she struck off into new territory, publishing a Kindle-only travel essay called Up the Down Volcano, about her (mis)adventures on the slopes of an active Ecuadorian volcano. Sloane offers up a list of travel-themed art to inspire summer journeys.

Guest of Honor: Zoe Kazan

Actress and writer Zoe Kazan has appeared on Broadway and in the HBO series “Bored to Death.” This week she stars in the movie Ruby Sparks — a romantic dramedy she also wrote, about an author’s fictional creation who comes magically to life. Zoe talks with Rico about manic pixie dream girls, working 24-7 with her co-star (and close accquaintance), and her childhood superpower.

Eavesdropping: Charles Yu

Before releasing his acclaimed novel “How to Live Safely In a Science-Fictional Universe” last year, author Charles Yu was named a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” writer for his story collection “Third Class Superhero.” This week he releases a second collection: “Sorry Please Thank You.” We overhear him read a dinner party worthy excerpt from the first story, a sci-fi tale laced with his signature dry humor and infinite melancholy.

Chattering Class: Shawn Johnson

You might’ve heard about a little sporting event kicking off in London this weekend. So Brendan invites 2008 Olympic Gold Medal gymnast Shawn Johnson to school him on what it’s like behind the scenes — from the Olympic Village, to the pain of competition… to the different kind of pain when it’s all over. (Johnson’s book Winning Balance hit stores earlier this summer)

Etiquette: Next-Gen Posts

Every month or so, Lizzy and Daniel Post — great-great grandkids of Emily Post and co-authors of the Post Institute’s Etiquette: 18th Edition — stop by to answer listener questions about how to behave. On the docket this week: who qualifies as “guys”, treating on a discount, and more theories about the origin of the elbow-less table.

Main Course: The Fish Sandwich Wave

The humble fish sandwich is enjoying a renaissance, coming ashore in the upscale food world at restaurants like Mario Batali’s Eataly, all dolled up in homemade buns and/or slathered with top-shelf mayo. New York magazine’s “Grub Street” blog recently profiled half a dozen of these new-look seafood sammies – so Brendan headed out with Senior Editor Alan Sytsma to taste one… and to hypothesize about what might be the next comfort food to get “cheffed.”

Soundtrack: Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos

Beloved rockers Passion Pit released their sophomore album “Gossamer” this week — and garnered glowing reviews across the board. Frontman Michael Angelakos tells us about his ideal soundtrack for an intimate party-for-two: Cole Porter’s “You’re The Top,” Henry Mancini’s “Two For The Road,” and Bobby Short’s “As Time Goes By”.

Other Music in this week’s show:

The Sea & Cake – “the Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Carl Stalling – “The Merry Go Round Broke Down”

Carl Stalling – “Looney Tunes Theme”

The Roots – “Guns Are Drawn”

Dim Dim – “El Bombo Atomico (Pizza Del Sol mix)”

Druganaut – “Black Mountain”

Men At Work – “Down Under”

YACHT – “Psychic City”

The Album Leaf – “Vermillion”

Mahmundi – #68 (instrumental demo)

Bat – “Naps”

Elbow – “Leaders of the Free World”

Cuckoo Chaos – “Jesus Flag American Fish”

Cole Porter – “You’re The Top”

Henry Mancini – “Two For The Road”

Bobby Short – “As Time Goes By”