This week: “The Daily Show“‘s Wyatt Cenac walks among us… “Life of Pi” author Yann Martel takes us on his favorite literary journeys… pop band Tilly and the Wall set the mood with a party playlist… How NOT to feign interest in arthouse cinema… We pay tribute to dunker-in-chief Daryl Dawkins, a.k.a. “Chocolate Thunder”… Stanley Kubrick gets a close-up… and ‘Classic dining’ makes a comeback. Plus: Turkey Day etiquette, flying cellos, and fashionable headlines.
Icebreaker: Tilly and the Wall
Nick White and Neely Jenkins of pop band Tilly and the Wall leave a funny impression.
A History Lesson with Booze: Darryl Dawkins Dunks and “The Chocolate Thunder”
He came from the planet Lovetron, sent to Earth to astound us with thunderous basketball dunks that gave backboards nightmares. His name was Darryl Dawkins, and 33 years ago this week the Philadelphia 76er made a historic dunk against the Kansas City Kings. Long before “boom goes the dynamite,” a man nicknamed “Chocolate Thunder” made the loudest noise.
Here’s the dunk, below you’ll find the drink.
The “Chocolate Thunder,” as created by Paul Rodriguez of Village Whiskey in Philadelphia, PA
Combine in a shaker with ice:
- George Stagg Bourbon (uncut, unfiltered, 141 proof)
- top with Italian Chocolate liqueur Varnelli Moka
… Drop (or dunk) into a glass of your favorite dark beer stout or porter. Slam it back. Smash empty glass against bartop. Hightail it out of town and repeat next month in another city.
Guest List: Yann Martel
Yann Martel has written a number of novels, including the bestselling survival tale “Life of Pi.” The film version, directed by Ang Lee, arrives in theaters this Wednesday after a long and eventful path to the big screen. Here’s Yann with a list of other great literary journeys:
- “Survive the Savage Sea” by Dougall Robertson
- “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri
- “The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea” by Yukio Mishima
Guest of Honor: Wyatt Cenac
Comic and writer Wyatt Cenac is widely known as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Last week he participated in that show’s live election coverage, aptly titled “Election Night 2012: This Ends Now.” Wyatt was also once a writer-story editor on the animated show “King of the Hill,” and is – by his own admission – a vampire who prefers oatmeal to blood. He tells Brendan about that odd predicament, and others… like hanging out with a white supremacist.
Eavesdropping: Rodney Uhler
This being a culture show, we spend a lot of time watching and talking about movies. It’s not always as fun as it sounds. This week we overhear writer Rodney Uhler read a story about the agony of pretentious cinema. (A longer version of this piece, “A Filmgoer Tries to Feign Interest in Art House Cinema,” appeared in this month’s “McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.”)
Main Course: Classic Dining
The early-to-mid 20th centruy saw an explosion of “Continental Fine Dining” restaurants – dark-paneled places with with white tablecloths, where the entrees were named after billionaires, and the desserts were served flaming. Author Peter Moruzzi toured most of America’s remaining examples of these time-machine restos to write his new book “Classic Dining: Discovering Mid-Century Restaurants.” Rico talks with Peter about it over lobster and martinis at LA’s venerable Musso and Frank Grill. (Follow Peter’s map of classic restaurants to a notable eatery near you.)
Etiquette: The Posts
Every week you ask us questions about how to behave, and when celebrity guests just can’t quite crack them, we turn to a couple of actual experts. That would be Lizzie Post and Daniel Post-Senning, the great, great grandkids of Emily Post herself. They’re co-authors of the 18th edition the Emily Post manners manual. This week they chime in on left-handers, political arguments, and cranberry sauce.
Chattering Class: Stanley Kubrick
The largest retrospective exhibit ever of the work of iconic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick recently opened at the L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA). Rico stops by to chat with the exhibition’s designer Patti Podesta (herself a veteran production designer), and learns that Kubrick had a thing for our blue planet, advanced filmmaking technology, and… cats.
Dinner Party Soundtrack: Tilly and the Wall
You might know Tilly and the Wall as the group with a tap dancer instead of a drummer. The charmingly offbeat Omaha pop-sters are touring now to support their new album “Heavy Mood”, which – as you’ll see from the playlist they gave us this week – is NOT what hangs over their dinner parties.
Other Music in this week’s show:
The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”
Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”
Tipsy – “Liquordelic”
In One Peace – “In One Peace”
AC/DC – “Breaking The Rules”
Tight Bros From Way Back When – “Bring Your Thunder”
The Shins – “Sea Legs”
Charles Wuorinen – “Bearbeitungen uber das Glogauer Liederbuch: VI. Gross Senen”
Almunia – “Travel”
Gerard McMann – “Cry Little sister” (Theme From “The Lost Boys”)
Regina – “En Tiennyt Etta Osaan Tanssia”
Ra Ra Riot – “Dying Is Fine”
Johann Strauss II – “The Blue Danube” (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert Von Karajan conductor)
House of Love – “Christine”
Fay – “Talk with my Body”
A.A. Bondy – “Among the Pines”
Tilly and the Wall – “All Kinds of Guns”