Months had passed between live Pop Culture Happy Hour tapings, so when the time finally came to record in front of a crowd, we made sure to supersize the festivities in every possible way. That meant recording on a weekend, on a holiday — on Halloween, no less! — in the biggest venue we've ever played, Washington, D.C's Howard Theatre. And it meant inviting not one, but two special guests: All Things Considered host Audie Cornish and Fred Armisen, whom you might know from Portlandia, Documentary Now!, Saturday Night Live and guest spots on virtually every TV comedy series of the last decade.
What you'll hear here isn't everything we recorded — Fred joined Linda Holmes for a fun one-on-one discussion that'll be released on a later podcast — but it's still a packed episode, complete with a raucous quiz and a Paul Lynde impersonation by someone other than Glen Weldon.
But first, before Fred joined us, Linda, Glen, Audie and I took turns describing the pop culture we find scarier than any other. I chose a movie and a book that evoke small-town Wisconsin's murderous side. Audie chose a grim 1987 movie she'd seen on an ill-considered date. Linda chose, and described in vivid detail, an Alfred Hitchcock tale remade for television. And Glen... well, Glen told a story, and it includes a reference to what he describes as "narcissistic empathy."
Then, after the aforementioned quiz — which flew as extravagantly off the rails as you might expect/hope — we closed with What's Making Us Happy this week. Glen had kind words for this TV show on the Pivot Network. I recommended this goofy parody of sports press conferences, in part because it led me to revisit actual footage of Dennis Green, Jim Mora and Mike Gundy. Linda found that the recent World Series allowed her to crack the code of watching sports. Audie praised this film, not least of which because it doesn't violate our much-discussed Cornish Rule. And Fred ruminated on Tesla cars and the technology of the future.
Oh, and we include one quick reminder: Next week's discussion features a book, namely Neal Shusterman's Challenger Deep, in case you feel like reading along with us.