The 2016 Holiday Special: Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward, Alton Brown, Nick Offerman

Zooey Deschanel and M Ward of the band She & Him suggest some holiday music deep cuts, for the sun and the snow… Alton Brown waxes poetic about eggnog, before serving up etiquette advice… “Parks and Rec” alum Nick Offerman breaks down his Oscar-worthy YuleLog video (that’s just him sipping whiskey for 45 minutes)… Vanity Fair film critic Richard Lawson stuffs our stocking with unconventional holiday movies… And listeners chime in with tales of the WORST gifts ever. Plus: merry musings from Brendan and Rico, a generous helping of holiday history, and more!

Alton Brown Digs Into the Origins of Iconic Holiday Eats: Fruitcake, Nutmeg, 'Nog


Alton Brown's Peabody-winning show "Good Eats" took us down fascinating wormholes in the food universe, weaving in science and history and humor. He's got a new book out that includes a recipe for "lacquered bacon." Learn what exactly that is and learn why you should be aging your eggnog.

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward Share Their Holiday Traditions

Guest of Honor

Actor Zooey and acclaimed singer-songwriter M. Ward have put out several albums together under the name She & Him. Two of those happen to be holiday-themed, including their most recent, called "Christmas Party." Before share a holiday playlist, but first, Brendan chatted with them about their own special traditions.

She & Him Spin a Sort of Christmas Playlist


Musicians Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward help you celebrate the holidays with playlist picks to set the tone your next Yuletide gathering.

A second helping! Entertaining Advice from Alton Brown


The food savant opines about leftover distribution, white velvet suit maintenance, and the breadth of the human experience. (OK, as it relates to cooking.)

Nick Offerman on Making His Whisky-Sipping Yule Log Video: 'I Cried My Eyes Out'


Last year, the "Parks and Recreation" star appeared in a viral parody of those classic Yule log videos. Instead of a crackling fireplace... it showed Nick sitting beside a fireplace serenely sipping Scotch. The comedian tells us why the job was a dream come true and how it all came together.

'Do They Know It's Christmas?': New Wave's Charity Effort

A History Lesson With Booze ®

This week in 1984, 40 of the biggest pop stars in the world assembled in London to tape a charity Christmas song that became a UK record-breaker. Hear the story of their smash hit, then "raise a glass to everyone" with this liquid evidence that the world can work together in harmony.

4 Great Holiday Movies...That You Didn't Know Were Holiday Movies

Guest List

We think the holidays merited a brand new edition of Guest List, in which an interesting person lists some interesting things. This time around our guest is Richard Lawson. knowledge of film, which he puts to good use as a film critic for Vanity Fair. He makes his case for a few surprisingly Christmassy films that will change up your usual holiday film selection.

Listener Letters: The Worst Gifts EVER


Listeners share horror stories about the worst gifts they've ever received. It might make you second-guess re-gifting that pink fuzzy alarm clock.