Episode 220: Margaret Atwood, Gunn Culture, and Hulk Hogan: Hero


This week: literary giant Margaret Atwood is prepared for mega-bears… Tim Gunn returns, just in time to save listeners from the  ‘comfort trap’…  guitarist Steve Gunn (no relation) spins a mellow party playlist… The author behind the bestselling “Jack Reacher” series lists toughs he loves… “China, Illinois” Animator Brad Neely wants Hulk Hogan to eat him… The tale of one man’s flight(s) to settle a bar bet… And we meet Rihanna, P.I.  Plus: Rico tastes a bowlful of sweet, savory surrealism.

“Canadian Sex” – Margaret Atwood


Rihanna, Crime Solver

Small Talk

Marah Eakin, music editor of The A.V. Club, tips us off to a crime story from her pop-music beat - a minor scandal involving R&B star Rihanna, a selfie, some shady Thai gentlemen, and the cute (and legally protected) mammal known as the slow loris.

A Drunken Bet Leads to an Airborne Stunt

A History Lesson With Booze ®

In 1956, someone bet New Jersey resident Thomas Fitzpatrick that he couldn't get to Washington Heights in Manhattan in fifteen minutes. He took drastic measures to prove his drinking buddy wrong. Twice.

Tough-as-Nails Heroes from Lee Child

Guest List

With the *eighteenth* installment in the best-selling "Jack Reacher" thriller series hitting bookshelves this month, we asked the author to list a few fictional tough-guys who inspired his protagonist.

Style Advice and Shocking Revelations from Tim Gunn


The emmy-winning "Project Runway" host, author, and educator ad-dresses issues of accessorizing and fashion victimhood, then reveals a surprising "don't" he almost did.

Dessert Chefs Take on Dinner

Main Course

There's a growing trend across the country of pastry chefs striking out on their own to helm full restaurants. We caught up with Jordan Khan of Red Medicine to learn how dessert techniques inform all his dishes.

Hulk Hogan May Have Healing Powers


Brad Neely created the cartoon series "China, IL." He tells us a story about one particularly famous voice actor in his cast - former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Margaret Atwood Laughs in the Face of Apocalypse

Guest of Honor

Margaret Atwood has published 21 novels, 11 non-fiction books, and 15 collections of poetry, including "The Handmaid's Tale" and "The Blind Assassin." Her newest novel, "MaddAddam" is the conclusion of a dystopian trilogy that integrates her real-life environmental activism into her fictional world.

A Soundtrack Like Sorbet: Subtle, Sophisticated, Sweet


Singer and guitarist Steve Gunn makes us a sweet and sophisticated mix with a global influence.

Playlist: Episode 220


Heard something you liked? Here's all of the music in this week's show.