Episode 185: William H. Macy, Not Sauce, and the Original Animal

William H. Macy/Courtesy Showtime

This week: “Shameless” star William H. Macy has fun with despicable… Beloved singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith spins a party playlist… NYTimes cocktail columnist Rosie Schaap teaches proper bar behavior… Rico uncovers a sriracha scam… Gonzo filmmaker Jay Bulger (“Beware of Mr. Baker”) dives into the messy life of drummer Ginger Baker… And food phenom Eddie Huang (“Fresh Off the Boat”) tells us about his first All-American dinner… Plus, non-smoking women, Tim Burton on clubbing, and asteroids full of riches.

Tim Burton


Director Tim Burton goes clubbing…in a very dark place. His film “Frankenweenie,” recently out on DVD, is up for a Best Animated Feature Oscar.

Eddie Huang


Eddie Huang is the restaurateur behind New York’s popular Taiwanese-Chinese bun shop BaoHaus. He also hosts the Vice web series called “Fresh Off the Boat.” It’s an irreverent take on food and ethnic assimilation… much like his celebrated new memoir, of the same title (out 1/29). Today we overhear the tale of his first ‘All-American’ dinner. (New York listeners: catch Eddie and Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio in conversation on Tuesday at the Union Square Barnes and Noble.)

Hot Sriracha(s)

Main Course

It’s hard to escape the red plastic bottle with a rooster on it; Sriracha is now a staple of cool-kid eateries everywhere. In fact, the condiment is so popular that imitators are springing up…in a bad way: the blog “Food Republic” reported they’d received a box of counterfeit Sriracha. To learn about why the sauce is so hot (in every sense of the word), Rico caught up with Randy Clemens, author of “The Sriracha Cookbook.” Turns out, there’s never been just one ‘sriracha.’

You've Come A Long Way, Baby and The Sullivan

A History Lesson With Booze ®

This week back in 1908, women in NYC were barred from smoking in public. Hear how they won back the right to slowly kill themselves, then celebrate your right to partake of this vice: “The Sullivan,” as drafted by bartender Lauren Davis of the Raines Law Room speakeasy in New York’s Flatiron District.

Jay Bulger and 'Beware of Mr. Baker'

Chattering Class

Rock & Roll has seen its share of bad boys, but Ginger Baker - drummer for Cream - takes the cake. The hard-living British expat (now living in South Africa) has left a trail of scorched earth, and sublime music, behind him. Gonzo filmmaker Jay Bulger spent years getting to know Ginger (he has the bruises to show for it); his film about the experience “Beware of Mr. Baker” rolls out nationally this weekend. Jay shares with Brendan some of his hard-won insights about the man…and the menace.

Ron Sexsmith


Beloved singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith has recorded a dozen-odd albums of smart, melancholic pop music. He’s a true musician’s musician; his tunes have been covered by everyone from Rod Stewart to Feist. Ron spins a winning, wistful dinner party soundtrack…and then shares a sample of his upcoming album, “Forever Endeavour

Columnist/Author Rosie Schaap sets the bar high for 'etiquette'


Writer/bartender/adventurer Rosie Schaap has written about everything from poetry to soccer; you may have also heard her stories on “This American Life.” But she’s probably best known as a columnist for the “Drink” section of The New York Times Magazine, covering bar culture and all things boozy. She also tends bar, on occasion, in Brooklyn. This week Rosie released her memoir “Drinking with Men,” about some of the 13,000 (!!) hours she figures she’s spent in bars. With that experience to guide her, she offers advice about pushy patrons, free drinks, and “Brandy Alexanders.”

Space Bling

Small Talk

John Letzing, reporter with the Dow Jones Newswire and Wall Street Journal, tells us in the future, entrepreneurs be mining the heavens.

William H. Macy Plays Shameless, Hates Shameless Plugs

Guest of Honor

William H. Macy’s performance as a bumbling (and very polite) North Dakota criminal made him a household name…and earned him an Oscar nomination. Since then he’s made memorable turns in “Magnolia,” “Seabiscuit,” and many other films…including this year’s indie hit “The Sessions” (as the sympathetic priest-counselor to John Hawkes’ virgin poet.) On the small screen, Bill stars in the Showtime series “Shameless” - a comedy-drama about a poor family in Chicago’s southside. His patriarch, Frank Gallagher, is about as selfish, narcissistic, and substance-dependent as they come…which can make meeting strangers a little uncomfortable. William chats with Brendan playing being down-and-out (and still funny), Steppenwolf stages, and the most annoying decision ever made by TV execs.

Blue Hawaii - 'Try to Be'

One For The Road

Don’t be fooled - indie outfit Blue Hawaii hails from Montreal, and sounds nothing like Elvis. But we can’t help falling in love with new single “Try to Be” - especially Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s hypnotic vocals. (Blue Hawaii’s album Untogether is out in April.)