372: Brit Marling, Cristela Alonzo, Aravind Adiga

(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)

We talk life, (near-)death, and tree-climbing with “The OA” creator and star Brit Marling, then learn how she broke her nose making it… Comedian Cristela Alonzo gives us some “Lower Classy” advice… Booker Prize-winning novelist Aravind Adiga teaches us a thing or two about the sport of cricket… A medical breakthrough inspires a healthy tipple…And the documentary “Gleason” showcases the real struggles of living with ALS. Plus, Big Top puns, McDonald’s disastrous Hula Burger, and how squirrels are secretly master hackers. (The truth is out…)

Medicine, Morality and the Tale of the First Female Doctor

A History Lesson With Booze ®

Back in 1849, a quiet woman named Elizabeth Blackwell made a big noise in the world of medicine. Learn the history, then get a custom cocktail that's (sort of) good for your health.

Cristela Alonzo Finds the Funny in her Family


You may know comedian Cristela Alonzo from her ABC comedy series "Cristela," but she initially got her start performing standup in her home state of Texas. Now, she's got a new comedy special launching January 24 on Netflix. It's called "Lower Classy," and before she tells our audience how to behave, we chat with her about New Kids on the Block day dreams and more.

Brit Marling Meditates on Life and (Near) Death in 'The OA'

Guest of Honor

Brit Marling first attracted some attention when two movies she co-wrote and starred in premiered at Sundance in the same year. In her latest project, the Netflix drama "The OA," Brit plays Prairie, a blind woman who goes missing for years, then reappears with her sight restored, harboring secrets. She talks with Brendan about the cosmic questions in her art, emotional anthropology, and coral reefs.

Aravind Adiga Gives Us a New Definition of 'Century'


Listen as the 2008 Man Booker Prize-winning author shares an excerpt from his latest book and introduces us to a man who's maybe a little too into the sport of cricket.

Cristela Alonzo Gives Us Some 'Lower Classy' Advice


After chatting with us about her upcoming Netflix standup special and explaining the story of why the sight of Girl Scouts struck fear into her mother's heart, the comedian stuck around to answer our few of our listeners' etiquette questions on dealing with persnickety aunts and explains why there is no expiration date on getting even.

Making McDonald's: The History Behind Some of the Most Iconic (and Forgotten) Fast Food Items

Main Course

This week, the Michael Keaton flick "The Founder" hits theaters. It's about Ray Kroc, the man who turned hamburger joint begun by the McDonald brothers into an empire. Author Lisa Napoli explores that story and more in her new book "Ray and Joan." She shares some golden arches history from the quest for the perfect fry to the disastrous Hula Burger.

'Gleason' Offers a Glimpse at the Real Struggles of Living With ALS

Chattering Class

NFL star Steve Gleason was a safety for the New Orleans Saints. But not long after retiring from the NFL, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. He began recording video diaries for his son, which has been assembled into a documentary by director Clay Tweel. Clay shares candid moments from making the doc and explains the decision behind its honest portrayal of life with the disease.