Episode 188: Tim Gunn, Rian Johnson, and Salman Rushdie

This week, we reheat one of our favorite episodes: “Project Runway’s” Tim Gunn dresses down America for dressing down… Salman Rushdie talks fatwas and fake hair… “Looper” director Rian Johnson rolls the bones… famed author Sherman Alexie makes a Protest… A “Simpsons” writer’s favorite odd adaptations… And NYTimes photographer Todd Selby turns his camera on cooks. Plus: How corn helped thaw the cold war, and the official “best word ever.”



Sherman Alexie Discovers America


Writer Sherman Alexie sees three ships - and a punch-line - sailing to America.

Cold War Corn and Roswell's Weapon

A History Lesson With Booze ®

Back in 1959, Iowa farmer Roswell Garst and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev struck up a most unusual friendship. Learn how corn helped thaw the cold war (for a time), then shuck this drink.

Diphthong vs. Gherkin

Small Talk

Sadie Stein, Deputy Editor of the Paris Review, brings us the results of a lexical battle royale

Writer and Producer Michael Price Relives the Rise and Fall of Wile E. Coyote

Guest List

Michael Price’s latest project, “Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out,” debuted recently on The Cartoon Network. It takes the world of Star Wars… and recasts it in the form of animated Legos. He lists some other unusual adaptations.

Talking About Talking About Rian Johnson

Guest of Honor

Writer/director Rian Johnson’s stunning sci-fi thriller “Looper” is equal parts nerve-jangling thriller and thoughtful rumination on cycles of violence.

Blasphemy and Protest


For over twenty years, Sherman Alexie has been one of the country’s finest (and funniest) storytellers. Today we overhear Sherman reading from his new collection “Blasphemy.”

The Selby is in Your Dream Kitchen

Chattering Class

Todd Selby, mastermind behind the New York Times column “Edible Selby” recently released a coffee table book chock-full of beautifully-shot kitchen spaces.

Keep the Cargo Pants Away from Tim Gunn


Tim Gunn warns us about the plague of cargo capris, then gracefully addresses listener questions about power(point) ties and ill-suited party wear.

Salman Rushdie on Undercover Life

Chattering Class

Rushdie’s new memoir recounts the surreal years following the publication of “The Satanic Verses,” after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him.

Everything is Embarrassing for Sky Ferreira

One For The Road

The first single from actress/model/singer Sky Ferreria's EP is perfect for a thoughtful strut across the dance floor.

Playlist: Episode 188


Music from this week's show.