Episode 192: Anna Kendrick, Kevin Nealon, and the Perks of Being a Pittsburgher

of "50/50" poses during the 2011 Toronto Film Festival at Guess Portrait Studio on September 12, 2011 in Toronto, Canada.

This Week: While we soak in what’s next at South-by-Southwest, enjoy this classic episode – one of our favorites. Actress Anna Kendrick (making the rounds at SXSW with the new movie “Drinking Buddies”) sings of adorkability… SNL alum Kevin Nealon blesses us with etiquette advice…”The Perks of Being a Wallflower” creator Stephen Chbosky talks of time and place… Okkervil River runs through a party soundtrack… Here comes the (terrorist) bride… And the Primanti Sandwich goes national. Plus: We witness the birth of a clean machine, shine a light on art, and learn the history of comedy.

Jake Shimabukuro on Baby Antics


Jake Shimabukuro, Hawaiian ukulele phenom (and new Dad), offers up some funny baby antics. Jake's new album "Grand Ukulele" comes out this week.

John Spong on the Texas glare

Small Talk

Texas Monthly senior editor John Spong tells us about something else that's big and bright (and messing up art) in Texas.

The vacuum cleaner and The Suck It Up

A History Lesson With Booze ®

This week back in 1899, John Thurman patented a device that was almost -- but not quite -- a vacuum cleaner... inspiring Englishman Hubert C. Booth to invent the real deal. Hear the story, then toast the spirit of invention with a cocktail that doesn't suck.

Stephen Chbosky lists hometown hits

Guest List

Stephen Chbosky's 1999 novel "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" has sold over a million copies; many critics consider it one of the best young adult books ever. Stephen's own movie adaptation expands nationally this weekend. It's a moving coming-of-age story, set in early-'90s Pittsburgh. Stephen shares a list of favorite art that also captures a time and place.

Actress Anna Kendrick does her best Dr Dre impression..no diggity

Guest of Honor

Actress Anna Kendrick's career took off with "Up in the Air," when she nabbed an Oscar nomination for her role as the young go-getter opposite George Clooney. She showed her range by starring in both the cop drama "End of Watch" and the musical comedy "Pitch Perfect." Brendan chats with Anna about her budding rap career, the appeal of the ragamuffin... and then she provides play-by-play to an adorkable studio disaster.

Author Lisa Zeidner blows up the wedding novel with 'Love Bomb'


Lisa Zeidner has authored five books, including the acclaimed "Layover." Her new, darkly comic novel "Love Bomb" depicts a wedding disaster to end all others. We listen in on the "bride"'s grand entrance.

Rico gets a taste of home from Pittsburgh's Primanti's

Main Course

America's been noshing it's way through a sandwich renaissance - with grilled-cheese cropping up on luxe menus, chefs reinventing fish sandwiches, etc. Now, Pittsburgh's signature sandwich - Primanti's - is making the rounds; restaurants and food trucks from SF to Brooklyn to LA have started serving the peculiar meat/fries/slaw sandwich. Native Pittsburgher Rico visits the original Primanti Bros. restaurant to learn why their concoction remains inimitable.

Comedian Kevin Nealon blesses us with advice


Kevin Nealon was a "Saturday Night Live" cast member for almost a decade, inventing characters like Mr. Subliminal and the pumped Franz. For eight seasons on the Showtime series "Weeds," he stole scene after NSFW scene as accountant turned Ponzi-schemer Doug. And he's of course a veteran stand-up comic - his latest Showtime special "Whelmed, but Not Overly" hits iTunes this weekend. Kevin offers listeners etiquette tips on shutting town loud talkers and ending conversations -- then gives us his blessings.

Humorist David Misch literally wrote the book on funny

Chattering Class

David Misch has written for everything from "Saturday Night Live" to "Mork & Mindy." He now teaches classes on the history of comedy... and he's distilled his wisdom -- and that of other comic luminaries -- into the primer "Funny The Book: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Comedy." He gives Brendan a crash course in Sumerian humor and the wild(e) birth of standup.

Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff crafts an al fresco playlist


Will Sheff, the man behind lauded indie band Okkervil River, can turn a phrase like few others (even earning a grammy nom for his liner notes). This weekend, catch him and the band - alongside Best Coast, Grouplove, and others - at the Cultivate 'Food Ideas & Music' Festival in Denver. Will provides us with a party soundtrack that's best appreciated al fresco.

Playlist: Episode 192


Other Music In this Week's Show: The Sea & Cake - "The Argument" Aphex Twin - "Boy/Girl Song" Tipsy - "Liquordelic" Winfred Atwell - "Britannia Rag" RJD2 - "Clean Living" Thomas Newman - "Welcome to the Suck" Bruce Springsteen - "Thunder Road" Jerry Goldsmith - "Out Of The Rain" (from "L.A. Confidential") W.G. Snuffy Walden - "On the Road to Kansas" (from "the Stand") Chico Mann - "Go To That Place" Blackstreet feat. Dr. Dre - "No Diggity (Instrumental)" Beulah - "Emma Blowgun's Last Stand" Enoch Light - "I'm in the Mood for Love" New Orleans' Own The Dukes of Dixieland - "Big Butter & Egg Man" Dennis Wilson's Cocktail Piano - "Little White Lies" Penguin Prison - "A Funny Thing" Little Beaver (Willie Hale) - "Party Down" Donald Thomas - "Black Night is Calling Me Home" Michael Hurley - "The Rue of Ruby Whores" Okkervil River - "Your Past Life is a Blast"