Episode 239: Steve Coogan, Hugh Bonneville, B.J. Novak, and “Broad City” BFFs

of 'Philomania' poses at the Guess Portrait Studio during 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.

This week: Oscar nominee Steve Coogan (“Philomena,” this summer’s upcoming “The Trip to Italy” ) meditates on condiments and dramedies … “The Monuments Men” star Hugh Bonneville – a.k.a. Lord Grantham on “Downton Abbey” –  minds his manors … Former “The Office” employee B.J. Novak introduces us to Wikipedia Brown, Boy Detective …  The BFFs behind Comedy Central’s “Broad City” riff on funny friends who came before them …   Rico inhales $50,000 worth of fungus … and we learn how Satchmo changed American music ….  Why single men should get into yoga and puppies … And a happy “Chinese New Year.”

“A Space, Man” – Hugh Bonneville


Hugh Bonneville -- "Monuments" Man and "Downton Abbey" patriarch -- tells a far-out joke about finding space.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images News

Online Date Hacking

Small Talk

Wired Magazine recently undertook a study of popular online dating services like OkCupid and Match.com to mine some data about the most popular terms and tips.

A Real-Life Robinson Crusoe

A History Lesson With Booze ®

Sailor Alexander Selkirk was marooned alone on a South Pacific island in 1704. The story of his years of survival on the island became the basis of a literary classic.

'Broad City' Besties Talk Fictional Friends

Guest List

Comedy Central's "Broad City" is inspired by the real-life friendship of show creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. We asked the pals to share some other fictional duos with dynamics that inspire them.

Hugh Bonneville Says Stick to Your Guns


"Downtown Abbey" and "The Monuments Men" star Hugh Bonneville is no less elegant and composed out of the period costumes we're used to seeing him wear on screen. He dispenses modern advice, from London to Beijing.

B.J. Novak Creates a Detective for Our Time


Comedian, screenwriter, and actor B.J. Novak has just published his first book of humorous short stories. In this one, we are introduced to a thoroughly modern detective, Wikipedia Brown.

Sniffing Out the Secrets of the Truffle Brothers

Main Course

Truffles are one of the rarest and most expensive foodstuffs in the world - but what makes these earthy little mounds dug up out of the dirt into the very essence of luxury cuisine?

Steve Coogan Meditates on Dramedy, Privacy, and Sauce Bottles

Guest of Honor

The Oscar-nominated writer, producer and co-star of "Philomena" talks about getting his fears on paper, reigning in the UK press... and the ABBA tribute that haunts him wherever he goes.

How Louis Armstrong Blew Audiences Away

Chattering Class

"Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism" by scholar Thomas Brothers investigates the 'glory years' of Louis Armstrong's career - the 1920s and 1930s - during which the artist managed to be both a best-selling commercial star and an revolutionary musician at the same time.

'Chinese New Year' Sales

One For The Road

Sales is a duo from Florida with an almost unsearchable band name. To celebrate the Year of the Horse, here's their latest single, "Chinese New Year."

Playlist: Episode 239