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Pop Rocket: Episode 101 The Crown with Karen Tongson and Chris Schleicher

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Guy, Margaret, Chris and Karen
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler
Guests: 
Chris Schleicher
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

This episode, Guy and Margaret are joined by two very special guests to talk about Netflix’s most expensive series The Crown. They talk about Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, whether Prince Philip is hot or not, and who has played the best Elizabeth on screen. Have smart phones ruined bathroom meditation? Did the Gilmore Girls reboot live up to expectations? And is Julio Torres leading the way in writing smart comedy about queer experience?(***hint, the answer is a resounding yes***). And as always, the panel will delight you with their latest jams and what they are all about.

That’s My Jam:
Margaret Wappler - Playing Elevator
Guy Branum - Am I The Same Girl
Chris Schleicher - Camelot Finale
Karen Tongson - All Time Low

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Other Links:
Insight Timer
Sorority: The Woods
Jackie
Scott Thompson as Queen Elizabeth II
Fred Armisen as Queen Elizabeth II on SNL
Wells For Sensitive Boys

Produced by Christian Dueñas and Kara Hart for MaximumFun.org

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Colin Quinn, Padma Lakshmi & Sara Schaefer

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Colin Quinn
Guests: 
Padma Lakshmi
Guests: 
Sara Schaefer

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Colin Quinn on his new Netflix special The New York Story, his love of New York, and race based comedy

Comedian Colin Quinn is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, but would probably describe himself first and foremost as a stand-up comic. You might've seen him in Amy Schumer’s TrainwreckThe Cop Show. He loves New York, and has written and starred in five one-man shows that talk about his lifetime spent in the Big Apple.
This week, he sits down to talk to Jesse about his newest one-man show New York Story, that he produced alongside Jerry Seinfeld available on Netflix. They also discuss his time on Saturday Night Live and the right way to joke about race in 2016.


Photo: Ilya S. Savenok /Getty Images

Padma Lakshmi on her childhood in India, Top Chef, and her new book The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices

Padma Lakshmi has gone through many career changes during her time in the public eye. She began her career as a model turned actress, then became a writer, and now hosts TV’s Top Chef on Bravo. She has written two cookbooks, a memoir, and now The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices.
Padma and Jesse talk about cultural differences she had to reckon with growing up between India and the United States, her role on Top Chef, and her new book The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices.


Photo: Twitter

Comedian Sara Schaefer at MaxFunCon 2016

Sara Schaefer is a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and podcast host. She has recorded one comedy album and has appeared on many late night shows. This week, we've included some of her set from last year’s MaxFunCon, a yearly bi-coastal conference that gathers creative and funny people to learn, teach, and most of all have fun. Tickets to MaxFunCon 2017 go on sale this Friday.

The Outshot: Red Oaks

This week, Jesse tells us what is so pleasant about the non-pretentious Amazon series Red Oaks.

Minority Korner 49: You Got To DO Sumthin, or Go Home! (The Debates, Fox News, More Appropriation, SNL, Sexxxy Quizlet Korner, Folsom Street Fair, Straight Male Sluts)

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MK logo
Show: 
Minority Korner

It's the last episode of the summer before the summertime sadness kicks in, and Nnekay and James head to their respective coast lines! James explains the Folsom Street fair to Nnekay, like what a harness is. A new season of SNL is firing up and there's good and bad about it's upcoming cast members. We catch up on TV like Master of None, Atlanta, and get those Oscars ready because here comes Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in August Wilson's 'Fences'. It's that time of year again, time to talk about cultural appropriation, and Nnekay is STILL pissed ya'll ain't getting it about cultural appropriation so she's gonna break it down for you... AGAIN. From dread locks to Mark Jacob's, to Miley Cyrus, to Bon Appetit, and we'll give you a hint- it deals with power. And we know... we're tired... but the election isn't over, and the debates happened... so let's check in with our friends at Fox News to see how they felt the debate went. There are 6 points they're PISSED about when it comes to moderator Lester Holt who they feel pushed the debate in Hillary's favor. And get ready for the SEXIEST Quizlet Korner yet! You have a LOT to learn this week: Does sex get you closer to God? Are straight slutty more men more likely to get prostate cancer?

Pop Rocket 89: The 2000's in Pop Culture with Karen Tongson

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Oliver Wang
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Karen Tongson

Guy, Wynter, and Oliver are joined by Fifth Beatle and all around lovely person Karen Tongson to talk about the 2000’s in pop culture! What movies, trends and music will live on through the ages? How in the world did Crash win Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain? Plus, Wynter professes her love for Ludacris, Karen gives her thoughts on Hey Ya, Guy talks about his experience at an anime convention, and Oliver is touched by Allen Iverson’s Hall of Fame speech.

With Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Oliver Wang and guest Karen Tongson.

That’s My Jam:

Karen Tongson - Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone
Oliver Wang - Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell – Lazy Sunday
Wynter Mitchell - Ludacris – Number One Spot
Guy Branum - OutKast – Hey Ya!

Each week we’ll add everyone’s jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know what you think of Pop Rocket and suggest topics in our Facebook group or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Produced by Christian Dueñas for MaximumFun.org.

Bullseye: Lynda Barry and Pop Culture Happy Hour

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Lynda Barry
Guests: 
Linda Holmes
Guests: 
Stephen Thompson

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Guillaume Paumier, CC-BY

Lynda Barry on finding your creativity and working with preschool children

Lynda Barry is a self-identified "freak", a cartoonist, a writer, and for the last couple of years, she's also been a college professor teaching interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin.

What does that mean? Well, she encourages students to abandon their fears of creating and embrace their work and process.

Lynda talks with us about using monsters as a tool, why we're sometimes afraid to draw, and working with Matt Groening in high school.

Lynda Barry’s book The Greatest of Marlys is now available in hardback

Pop culture recommendations from Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson LIVE at Washington DC

Our friends Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson from Pop Culture Happy Hour give us some pop culture recommendations during a live show in Washington, DC.

The Outshot: MacGruber

Jesse heartily disagrees with A.O. Scott's review of the film version of MacGruber. In short: MacGruber exists, and the world is better for it.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jason Sudeikis, Sarah Vowell & Paul F. Tompkins

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jason Sudeikis
Guests: 
Paul F. Tompkins
Guests: 
Sarah Vowell

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

Photo by Jesse Thorn

Jason Sudeikis on Mentorship, Fame and his Blue Man Group Aspirations

Jason Sudeikis is an actor, comedian and screenwriter, probably best known for time spent as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live.

His comedic skills were honed as a founding member of Second City Las Vegas and have been enjoyed by audiences on television shows including 30 Rock and Eastbound & Down as well as the films Horrible Bosses and We’re the Millers.

His recent work has taken a more dramatic turn, and includes his role in the film Race, which tells the story of track and field legend Jesse Owens' pursuit of the gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Sudeikis plays Owens' coach, Larry Snyder, who mentored and coached him through his time at Ohio State University and into the Olympics.

Race is in theaters now.

Sudeikis joined Jesse to talk about his aspirations to join The Blue Man Group, the role that his own mentors have played in his life and what it’s like to have his personal life serve as fodder for tabloid media.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this interview.


Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

"I Wish I'd Made That": Sarah Vowell on her Love of Randy Newman and "The World Isn’t Fair"

Artists -- the people that make stuff -- are always influenced by the work of others. And sometimes, something an artist sees is so good, so perfect that they wish they had made it themselves.

This happens so often to the people we talk to, that we made a segment about it. It’s called "I Wish I’d Made That". This week, we talk to author and social commentator Sarah Vowell who joins us to talk about the Randy Newman song, "The World Isn’t Fair".

You probably don't need us to tell you who Sarah Vowell is, if you're listening to an NPR podcast, but she's a frequent contributor to This American Life, and is the author of multiple bestselling books including Assassination Vacation and Unfamiliar Fishes.

Vowell's latest book is about the Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman who became a sort of adopted son to George Washington and fought in the American Revolutionary War. It's called Lafayette in the Somewhat United States.

You can find her other appearances on our show here and here.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this segment.


Photo by Jesse Thorn

Paul F. Tompkins Talks Success, Podcasting and Improvising with Puppets

Paul F. Tompkins has a certain kind of fame. If you're a comedy fan, he is known and beloved for his appearances on comedy podcasts (including his own) or from his live stand up and improv comedy. But to the world at large, he's probably best known for his work as a writer and performer on the HBO cult comedy show Mr. Show with Bob and David.

In recent years, he's started his own improv podcast, Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins, and also currently hosts the show No, You Shut Up! on the Fusion network.

No, You Shut Up! is a talk show in the vein of "Meet the Press", if its talking heads were actually puppets from Henson Alternative. The show airs Thursday nights at 10pm on Fusion. Episodes are also available on YouTube.

Tompkins joined Jesse to talk about what it feels like to become more personal in his stand-up, the role of podcasting in his success and what it’s like to improvise with puppets.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this segment.

The Outshot: SNL’s Tales of Fraud and Malfeasance in Railroad Hiring Practices

Can a Saturday Night Live sketch change the course of your life?

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this segment.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Chuck Klosterman

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Chuck Klosterman
Guests: 
Karina Longworth
Guests: 
Phillip Crandall

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

Chuck Klosterman Explores Villainy with Kanye, Batman, LeBron: What Makes Someone a "Bad Guy"?

Chuck Klosterman has been thinking and writing about culture for over a decade. He's written several essay collections, nonfiction and novels, and for the past few years, he's written the weekly column as the "Ethicist" for the New York Times Magazine. In his newest book, he takes on, well… bad guys.

Klosterman looks at athletes, musicians, politicians, vigilantes and even fictional characters who have been framed as villains -- from Bill Clinton to Darth Vader to LeBron James -- and tries to deconstruct the stories we tell about them in I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined). The book is now available in paperback.

Klosterman tells us how we've got Machiavelli all wrong, why Batman works great as a fictional construct but fails as a real person, and why it's so easy to villainize professional athletes.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this interview.

Time Traveling Back to Early 80s Punk with 'Smithereens' and 'We Are the Best!'

Film critic Karina Longworth invites you to time travel back to the early 1980s to explore the punk rock dreams of young girls in Smithereens and We are the Best!.

She suggests checking out Smithereens from 1982, a kind of prequel to director Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan, for the time capsule of 1980s fashions and New York City street scenes.

If you want a pure breath of fresh air and fun, go with 2013's We Are The Best!, a Danish-Swedish film from director Lukas Moodysson. An adaptation of a comic book authored by his wife Coco, the movie follows a crew of young girls in Stockholm who found respite from the cruelties of middle school in punk rock.

Longworth hosts the podcast You Must Remember This, which explores forgotten bits of Hollywood history.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this segment.

Hey You, Let's Party: Andrew WK and the Party Philosophy of "I Get Wet"

This week, Phillip Crandall takes on Andrew W.K.'s 2001 debut, I Get Wet. At the time of its release, the album got a lot of flack. A lot of people just weren't sure what to make of it. The cover art was a gory photo of Andrew with blood running down his face, the song titles and lyrics were absurdly simplistic. A critic at Pitchfork gave it the abysmal rating of 0.6 out of 10. Ten years later, Pitchfork reviewed the reissued record, and gave it an 8.6. What gives? Well, Crandall says the album has a purpose and a message that endures.

Phillip Crandall is the author of a critical analysis of I Get Wet for Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this segment.

The Outshot: Stuart Saves His Family and Drawing from the SNL Well

Lots of recurring characters and sketches from Saturday Night Live have spawned feature films. Some of them are great, and some don't hold up well for 90 minutes of screentime. Jesse takes a look at the Al Franken vehicle Stuart Saves His Family, because "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!"

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this segment.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jenny Slate

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jenny Slate
Guests: 
Linda Holmes
Guests: 
Glen Weldon

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.

Larry Busacca /Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Jenny Slate on Marcel the Shell, Besties, SNL and 'Obvious Child'

Jenny Slate has probably already turned up in one of your favorite shows -- she spent a season on Saturday Night Live, and she's had recurring roles on Parks and Recreation, Kroll Show, and Bored to Death. But if you don't recognize her face, maybe you know this voice. The voice of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.

Slate co-wrote two animated shorts about Marcel, the anthropormophic shell with one googly eye, and gave him his signature voice. The shorts have racked up over thirty million views on the web.

Now, Slate is moving into leading lady territory. She's the star of the upcoming independent film, Obvious Child, about a stand up comic who gets dumped, fired, and then finds out she's pregnant from a one-night stand.

Slate joins us to talk about the comic one-upmanship she practices with her best friend, her infamous f-bomb on SNL, handling abortion as part of a storyline, and what it was like to expand her acting horizons.

If you somehow missed the Marcel the Shell with Shoes On craze, you can find the shorts on YouTube. Slate's movie, Obvious Child, will be theatres June 6, 2014.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Why 'Fargo' Is Worth Watching, a Memoir about Diner Life

Linda Holmes and Glen Weldon of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour stop by to recommend a few of their favorite new things to read and watch.

Linda recommends catching up with the movie-to-television adaptation Fargo. It stars Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton and Alison Tolman and is finishing up its first season on FX.

Glen highly suggests checking out Mimi Pond's Over Easy, a graphic novel memoir about her experiences working in an Oakland diner in the 1970s.

You can hear Glen and Linda weekly on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, and find Linda's writing on NPR's Monkey See blog.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment.

Song Exploder no. 8: Loren Bouchard on 'Bob's Burgers

Bob’s Burgers is an animated show that just finished up its fourth season on FOX. It follows the travails of Bob, his family, and their hamburger shop. The voices on the show include the very funny H. Jon Benjamin, Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal. The creator of the show, Loren Bouchard, Also created its opening music.

Loren Bouchard talked to Hrishi Hirway for an episode of his podcast Song Exploder. It's a show where Hrishi asks musicians to deconstruct their songs, track by track. Since Bouchard pulls double duty as composer and creator, he wrote music that’s deeply connected to the themes of the show.

You can listen to other episodes of Song Exploder here at MaximumFun, in iTunes or wherever you download podcasts.

The Outshot: Bring In Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk

This week Jesse will tell you about the one time he actually believed that live theater was better than just going to the movies.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: June Diane Raphael, Bill Hader, The Internet, Jasper Redd

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
June Diane Raphael
Guests: 
Bill Hader
Guests: 
The Internet
Guests: 
Jasper Redd

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

If you want to share a segment from this week's show, click on the heading or visit our page on Soundcloud.

This week's show was taped in front of a live audience at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena, California. Thanks to KPCC, the Forum, and everyone who came out that evening! Catch Bullseye every Saturday at 3pm on KPCC.

A montage of our evening at the Crawford Family Forum - photo by KPCC

Jasper Redd is Not a Funeral Person

Comedian Jasper Redd stops by the live show to clear up a few things. He’s been drinking all week, he stays away from food that’s pink and fluffy, and, most importantly, he is not a funeral person.

For more from Jasper Redd, follow him on Twitter.

Painful Experiences and Clown Class with June Diane Raphael

Our first guest on the program is June Diane Raphael. You've probably seen her in a number of TV shows, web series and movies over the past few years -- she's played a gynecologist on New Girl, a federal agent on NTSF: SD: SUV::, a dating show contestant and bachelorette on Burning Love, and vapid office worker Tynnyfer on Parks and Recreation.

Raphael co-wrote and co-stars in the new movie Ass Backwards with her longtime friend collaborator Casey Wilson (of Saturday Night Live and Happy Endings fame). The film is available on VOD and is in theaters this week. Raphael and Wilson play Kate and Chloe, two clueless best friends who go on a road trip to participate in their hometown beauty pageant.

Raphael’s bond with Wilson goes all the way back to their freshman year of college. It was a special moment in time when they both found themselves in a class dedicated to the art of clowning.

June stops by the live recording to discuss her new movie, one of the worst moments of her life and the dreaded clowning Ring of Fire.

Bill Hader on First Impressions, Vincent Price, and Saying Goodbye to Stefon

You probably know Bill Hader for his spot-on impressions from his eight seasons on Saturday Night Live. They weren't always the most topical -- Alan Alda, Peter O'Toole, and Vincent Price don't make the headlines every week -- but they were endlessly funny. And yet he came into the SNL fold with nary an impression to his name.

He also helped create original characters like Stefon, the New York City correspondent on Weekend Update, the cranky elderly newscaster Herb Welch, and Italian talk show host Vinny Vedecci.

Hader sits down with Jesse to talk about his favorite sketches that never made it to air, his obsession with old movies and his last moments at SNL.

The Internet Performs "Dontcha" Live

The soul / trip-hop group The Internet, part of the Odd Future collective, stops by to perform their new single “Dontcha.”

The band's new album Feel Good is out now. You can also catch them performing at the Odd Future Carnival this Saturday, November 9th in Los Angeles.

The Outshot: Babe: Pig in the City

The natural reaction to talking animals, especially CGI-rendered speech in farm animals, is more than likely a dismissive chuckle. However, an exception should be made for a movie about a brave little pig who takes a dangerous journey through a bustling metropolis. This week, Jesse explains why Babe: Pig in the City depicts one of his heroes.

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Nathan Rabin, Benjamin Nugent Author of American Nerd

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Nathan Rabin
Guests: 
Benjamin Nugent
Guests: 
Brian Heater
Guests: 
Alex Zalben

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.


Insane Clown Posse

Becoming an Enthusiast: Nathan Rabin on Loving Phish and ICP

Some bands thrive in the cultural middleground. You can play their music in the grocery store, and no one objects. Neither the jam band Phish nor the horrorcore hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse plays that kind of music. Each group has a rabid, devoted following of fans, and on the flip side, has inspired intense loathing. Phish's noodley covers and original songs are derided as music for druggies and hacky-sack playing college students. Insane Clown Posse and their dark, often violent music is for "Juggalos", their group of Faygo-drinking, clown makeup- wearing fans.

As a longtime culture critic and former Head Writer of The Onion's AV Club, Nathan Rabin thought he was immune to the draw of either group. Their music and communities weren't high-brow. They weren't terribly fashionable or cool. So he set out to write a kind of sociological text about the groups, and find out why they had such die-hard fans. He didn't know he would end up a convert.

Rabin's new book is You Don't Know Me, But You Don't Like Me: Phish, Insane Clown Posse, And My Adventures With Two Of Music's Most Maligned Tribes.

Rabin tells us about his psychedelic experiences at their concerts, his mental breakdown halfway through researching the book, and finding solace in music and community among Phish Heads and Juggalos.

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Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes

Comic Recommendations From Brian Heater and Alex Zalben

Brian Heater and Alex Zalben stop by to recommend their favorite graphic novels as of late.

Brian recommends Aesthetics: A Memoir by Ivan Brunetti. A self-taught artist, illustrator for the New Yorker, and currently on faculty at Columbia College Chicago, Brunetti examines his many influences and how they combined to make his unique, simple, DIY style.

Alex suggests Matt Kindt's Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes. In the town of Red Wheelbarrow, no crime gets by Detective Gould. But can this hardboiled detective connect the dots between a young woman who obsessively steals chairs, a man who carts dirt around town, and a photographer whose subject matter is others' private tragedies?

Brian Heater is the author of BoingBoing's comics column, Comics Rack. He also hosts the new podcast, Recommended if you Like.

Alex Zalben is a producer for MTV Geek and host of the Nerdist podcast Comic Book Club.

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An early "nerd" sketch on Saturday Night Live

Nerding It Up With Benjamin Nugent

This interview originally aired in 2008.

Benjamin Nugent's book American Nerd explores a people and their history. Nerds have been an archetype for decades now. But where did they come from? What is a "nerd", anyway? Benjamin Nugent set out to write a loving portrait of nerds and nerdiness -- including his own.

He talks to us about the origins of "nerds" in the humor pages of college newspapers, Saturday Night Live's first dig at nerds , and the underappreciated toughness of his nerdy friends in middle school.

Nugent released a novel, Good Kids, earlier this year.

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The Outshot: Thief

Jesse recommends the 1981 noir Thief, starring James Caan. It's a crime thriller about one last job, but it's just as much about running from loneliness as it is about running from the cops. Director Michael Mann infuses it with a cool, dark beauty unlike any robbery film you've seen.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment with your friends.

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