Episode 323: Olivia Wilde, Elvis Costello, Paul F. Tompkins

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for LACMA)

Encore Broadcast: “Meadowland” actor Olivia Wilde tells us about non-nurturing female characters… Music legend Elvis Costello chats about his new memoir… We toast to Little Richard’s religious awakening… Art god Laurie Anderson weaves together a gripping tale about her rainy stint at an Amish farm… Young adult novelist Leigh Bardugo gives us her list of must-reads in the realm (because it’s not a genre) of young adult literature… And actor and funny man Paul F. Tompkins tells us the right way to hang a toilet paper roll. Plus, what to do when your waiter is a robot, and more!

Olivia Wilde - 'Investigator'


Get a laugh from this week's Guest of Honor, Olivia Wilde, who jokes about a snazzy semi-aquatic reptile.

Romeo the Robot Waiter Could Soon Be Here to Serve You

Small Talk

Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC's NotetoSelf, explains the RoboHow project, which uses the website WikiHow to teach robots -- including a humanoid named Romeo -- how to act as waiters and make foods like pizza and popcorn.

Little Richard's Own Great Balls of (Hell)Fire

A History Lesson With Booze ®

Little Richard was a huge star when he suddenly thought omens were telling him to become a man of God. That lasted about five years.

Laurie Anderson Seals a Story with a Kiss


Laurie Anderson pioneered elements of performance art and electronic music. In her long career, she's lent her eerily cool voice to work by Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, and her late husband, Lou Reed. Just before the New York release of her film, "Heart of a Dog," the natural born storyteller shares a tale from her collection called "Transitory Life" about a stormy moment from her stay in Amish country.

Olivia Wilde Meditates on Grief in 'Meadowland,' Recalls 'Nerd Parties' with Mick Jagger

Guest of Honor

Olivia Wilde is perhaps best known as the secretive doctor Thirteen on the hit TV series "House," and has also appeared in dozens of films including "Tron: Legacy," "Rush," and the Oscar-nominee "Her." Wilde's latest film is called "Meadowland" - a portrait of a family grappling with loss. She talks to Brendan about what makes this project unique, the importance of having more women behind the camera, and a time when a certain Rolling Stone stole her favorite seat.

Paul F. Tompkins Recommends Aging and Correcting Every T.P. Roll (Over! Always!)


The comedian and host of "SPONTANEANATION" and "No, You Shut Up!" found a moment to give listeners advice about shushing seniors at the movies and hanging toilet paper rolls - the one and only correct way.

Elvis Costello Chronicles A Legendary Career in His Own Words


Rock 'n' roll Hall-of-Famer Declan MacManus -- a.k.a. Elvis Costello -- rose to fame in the seventies with classic power pop hits like "Pump It Up" and "Watching The Detectives." Then he started exploring the Motown sound, country, jazz, classical and art music... along the way collaborating with just about every music legend ever. He talks to Rico about his massive memoir, "Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink," in which he recalls the start of his love affair with music, his father's influence, and "touring" with The Clash.

Leigh Bardugo's 3 Essential Young Adult Books -- For Old Adults

Guest List

Author Leigh Bardugo first cracked the New York Times Bestseller list with "The Grisha Trilogy" -- a young adult fantasy series set in a world based on Czarist Russia. Earier this week her new novel, "Six of Crows," was the bestselling young adult book in the land. Leigh tells us about it, and recommends a few young adult titles that prove the category (it's not a genre!) is for old and young alike.