Episode 196: Julia Stiles, Paul Anka, and Edible Pigtails

arrives at the 63rd Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards held at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland on January 29, 2011 in Hollywood, California.

This week: Actress Julia Stiles bashes brunch… Music legend Paul Anka answers your questions, his way… Jazz pianist Ben Sidran heps us to hepcats… Why the Summer of ’68 changed baseball (and America) forever… The creators of a diabolical new TV comedy locate some hells on earth… The invention of the matchsticks inspires an incendiary cocktail… And nose-to-tail cooking gets literal. Plus, “girlfriend coats,” anti-jokes, and soju-juice boxes.


Tim Wendel on Jokes


Acclaimed author Tim Wendel jokes about jokes.

Richard Lawson and the Hugging Machine

Small Talk

Richard Lawson, Senior Writer for The Atlantic's arts and culture channel, The Atlantic Wire, tells us about a few brilliant, lonely students who've turned a coat into a hugging machine.

History Sparks and the Strike

A History Lesson With Booze ®

This week back in 1827, a chemist based in Stockton-on-Tees, England, made a striking discovery. Learn about John Walker's accidental invention of the friction match, and then light up your night with these brilliant matchstick cocktails.

Dave Willis & Casper Kelly burn through some images of hell

Guest List

Dave Willis and Casper Kelly - the minds behind the hugely popular and totally surreal Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Stroker & Hoop - have teamed up to create a new Adult Swim show, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell. (It airs Thursdays at midnight.) The "demon workplace comedy" creates a pretty unusual version of underworld, so we asked them to list some other "hells on earth."

Actress Julia Stiles on eating lipstick instead of brunch...and other 'disaster's

Guest of Honor

Actress Julia Stiles became a star with the 1999 teen flick Ten Things I Hate About You, which made Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew a hit with the MTV set. Since then, she has appeared in films like Save the Last Dance, The Bourne Identity, and Silver Linings Playbook. Her newest film, It's a Disaster, opens this weekend. The dark comedy about a couples brunch set during the apocalypse is already earning impressive reviews. Julia spoke with Brendan about anti-brunch clubs, instant stardom, and eating lipstick.

Ben Sidran: Jazz Man


Ben Sidran has played piano for Van Morrison, Diana Ross, and Steve Miller, among others - but he's been a jazz-man since the age of six when he started playing in his hometown in Wisconsin. In addition to writing, producing, and performing music, he hosted NPR's Peabody Award-winning Jazz Alive. His newest record Don't Cry for No Hipster got him thinking about his Beatnik days and what it means to be "hip."

Pigtails you can eat

Main Course

It's the ultimate, literal example of "nose-to-tail" cooking: chefs are now serving pigs' tails. The braised tail is somewhere between pork belly and a spare rib - and it's best if you're unfazed by fat...or phallic symbols. Rico heads to Los Angeles restaurant The Spice Table to chat about the unusual offering with chef Bryant Ng.

Paul Anka says you never correct Putin


Singer and songwriter Paul Anka is responsible for some of the biggest hits of the last half-century: "Put Your Head on My Shoulder," "She's a Lady," and, perhaps most famously, "My Way." This week he releases both the album Duets and his much-anticipated book, My Way: An Autobiography, which features (among other highlights) some *very* steamy Rat Pack stories. He talks to us about his Canamerican roots, indulging Putin, and pranking Don Rickles.

Tim Wendel, 'Summer of 68'

Chattering Class

Tim Wendel has written several acclaimed books on baseball, and his latest is Summer of '68: The Season that Changed Baseball - and America - Forever. It follows the Detroit Tigers' tumultuous '68 campaign -- complete with players being drafted, riots in the streets, a city's massive expectations (and ultimately) a World Series win. With this year's baseball season just underway, Tim and Rico chat about how - in many ways - we're all still feeling the heat of that summer.

Just Desserts 196: Listener Corrections

Just Desserts

Every host makes the occasional mistake - misreading a recipe, seating enemies across from each other, laying out the wrong forks - but when we make them on the show, our listeners kindly tip us off to the errors. So, this week, we hear your updates on pasty popularity, culturally-sensitive sneeze responses, and adult juice boxes.

Playlist: Episode 196


Music in this week's show: The Sea & Cake - "The Argument" Aphex Twin - "Boy/Girl Song" Tipsy - "Liquordelic" Stuttgart Piano Trio - Franz Schubert: "Piano Trio No. 1 - III. Scherzo: Allegro" Stars - "Set Yourself On Fire" Wildlife - "Matches" Benoit & Sergio - "Lipstick & Lace" Lambert & Hendricks and Ross - "Twisted" Ben Sidran - "Back Nine" Ben Sidran - "Sixteen Tons" John Hendricks - "Old Folks" Charles Wuorinen - "Bearbeitungen uber das Glogauer Liederbuch: VI. Gross Ssenen" Barry Adamson - "Something Wicked this Way Comes" PHOBiC - "Dark Corners of Hell" Fantastic Mr. Fox - "Rat Theme" Paul Anka & Frank Sinatra - "My Way" Paul Anka - "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" Johnny Pearson - Monday Night Football Theme "Heavy Action"