Episode 288: Nick Kroll, Laura Poitras, Eddie Huang

Sarjoun Faour Photography/Getty Images
Sarjoun Faour Photography/Getty Images

This week: The filmmaker who documented Edward Snowden (but didn’t decorate his hotel room) … Comedian Nick Kroll goes in search of the weirdest voices in America … Chef and author Eddie Huang tries to bring authenticity to a network sitcom … Kolache pastries heat up … An opera star shares moments when music made the movie … Lionfish on the prowl … The luck of the Lucas Gusher … and a brassy new number from super-producer Mark Ronson.

Sarjoun Faour Photography/Getty Images

Nick Kroll — "Grape Date"


Comedian Nick Kroll serves up a juicy joke... about grapes (and prunes).


Lionfish Aren't as Lovely as They Look

Small Talk

There is a creature so feared by the government that citizens are being organized to kill it, en masse. It is a fish.

Texas Energy Museum/Newsmakers

An Oil Gusher Bursts Texas Into History

A History Lesson With Booze ®

Texas was known mainly for cattle and cotton until Pattillo Higgins came along. His hunch that there might be oil in them thar' hills lead to the discovery of a massive gusher, which would fuel the 20th century.

Ian Gavan / Getty Images Entertainment

Cinematic Opera with Joseph Calleja, The Maltese Tenor

Guest List

Singer Joseph Calleja hails from Malta, where he started singing tenor at age sixteen. Today he's one of opera's emerging stars. This weekend, he wraps up a month-long residency at London's Royal Opera House. Off-stage he's a bit of a film fan, so he composed this list of his favorite opera moments in movies.

Sarjoun Faour Photography/Getty Images

How Accents Are Like Pork Buns to Comedian Nick Kroll

Guest of Honor

Comedian Nick Kroll has created his own show on Comedy Central, aptly titled "Kroll Show," which consists largely of parodies of other television shows, in which he portrays dozens of characters from confused Canadian teenagers to idiot gigolos. The show's third and final season began this week.

'CITIZENFOUR' Documentarian Laura Poitras on Recording History

Chattering Class

Laura Poitras is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. In 2013, she was two years into making a new film about surveillance, when she received an encrypted email from an anonymous source calling himself Citizenfour. That source turned out to be NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden and she would find herself documenting his leak -- and the personal and political consequences -- as they unfolded.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Middle America is Ready for Eddie Huang, Anger and All


Eddie Huang is unconventional celebrity chef and restaurateur. His 2013 memoir, "Fresh Off the Boat," relating his experiences growing up in an immigrant family, has now been developed into a sitcom, which he also narrates.

photo: kingskolache.com

Keeping Up with the Kolatches

Main Course

Czech immigrants arrived in Texas around the mid-1800s and brought many native foodways with them, including the kolache. Over time, the stuffed dough balls evolved beyond their original form to include the beans, meats, and other foods for which Texas would become known. Now this iconic regional snack is on the national scene.

Mark Ronson is 'Leaving Los Feliz'

One For The Road

Mark Ronson is best-known for his work with Amy Winehouse and others as a music producer extraordinaire, but for his newest solo album, he took on a particularly high-profile collaborator, the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Michael Chabon.

Playlist 288


Music from episode 288