Episode 271: Bill Hader, Hiss Golden Messenger, and Betty Halbreich

Larry Busacca / Staff / Getty

Actor Bill Hader shows off his drama schooling … Bergdorf’s Betty Halbreich dresses down America, while endorsing wearing hats on your face … Biographer Mark Whitaker reflects on Bill Cosby’s comedy and complicated identity … Alt-country musician MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger crafts a party playlist for introverts … Marlon James’ novel humanizes Bob Marley stalkers, and would-be assassins … Would you pay for a dinner reservation? Rico gets in (somehow) to L.A. hot-spot Bestia for some table talk … Smells and the City with The Paris Review’s Sadie Stein … The botched roll-out of the Vietnam draft lottery … Math for poets … And some ‘Pom Pom’ pop (pop).

"Fashion Numbers" - Matthea Harvey


A joke from poet and multimedia artist Matthea Harvey. Her new collection "If The Tabloids Are True What Are You?" is out now.

'Smellmaps' Engage Noses in Urban Exploration

Small Talk

British artist Kate McLean creates maps of world cities based on how they smell, block to block.

A Not-So-Random Lottery - With Serious Consequences

A History Lesson With Booze ®

In 1969, a draft lottery was instituted to send young American men to war. Due to an unfortunate glitch in the government's system, it turned out not to be as fair as they planned.

Hiss Golden Messenger Hides the Musical Medicine


MC Taylor is half of the country-rock duo Hiss Golden Messenger, who just released their fifth album, "Lateness of Dancers." He offered us his party playlist... for introverts.

Bill Hader Shows His Range (And His Inner Nerd)

Guest of Honor

After eight years on "Saturday Night Live" and a resume of broad comedy flicks, actor Bill Hader takes a turn in a thoughtful indie drama, "The Skeleton Twins."

Marlon James Imagines an Intimate Bob Marley


Jamaican-born writer Marlon James' novel, "A Brief History of Seven Killings," follows fictional characters who get involved in a real historical event: the 1976 attempted shooting of Bob Marley.

That 'Impossible' Dinner Reservation Might Be More Possible Than You Think

Main Course

New apps allow restaurant customers to skip the wait for a table by paying a fee for hot reservations. But for those who'd rather skip those fees, phone calls and patience still work too.

Famed Fashion Stylist Betty Halbreich on Shopping Sanely


For decades, Betty Halbreich has been the legendary 'personal shopper' at New York's Bergdorf Goodman, helping women - bold-face names and otherwise - to find a personal style that suits their bodies and soothes their anxieties.

The Complicated Comedy Career of Bill Cosby

Chattering Class

Journalist Mark Whitaker formed an emotional connection to the comedy of Bill Cosby from a young age. Decades later, the result is "Cosby: His Life and Times," Whitaker's new biography of the influential comedian.

Ariel Pink Wants Your Number

One For The Road

"Put Your Number in My Phone" is the first single from prolific indie musician Ariel Pink's upcoming album, "Pom Pom." The breezy retro-pop feel of the song conceals a bit of lyrical quirk.