Paula Poundstone

Pop Rocket Ep. 174: Bad Moms

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Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Edan Lepucki

Guy Branum, Margaret Wappler and Andrew Ti are joined by novelist Edan Lepucki. Together, they’ll take a look at our favorite bad moms, and grapple with how they're portrayed in popular culture. It turns out that being in the golden age of television could also mean the golden age of the portrayal of matriarchy in pop culture.

Edan is all about the novel Blue Bird Blue Bird by Attica Locke, which she says is filled with the best kind of thriller tropes. Margaret is all about the Netflix series The Letdown, a show that features all the joy of motherhood… and just the right amount of its dark side. Guy is all about Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher’s new comedy special The Honeymoon Tour, a three part piece that features one of the scariest and greatest things a comedian can attempt: interacting with the audience. Andrew is all about Childish Gambino’s music video This is America, including the analysis and backlash to the analysis.

The panel will discuss how they feel the portrayal of motherhood in pop culture has evolved over the years, in everything from Fresh Off the Boat and Transparent to Tully and Carrie. Plus, they’ll explain some of the damaging tropes of mothers on TV, and which shows are finally starting to get it right.

With Guy Branum, Margaret Wappler, Andrew Ti and Edan Lepucki.

That’s My Jam:

Edan Lepucki - Gino Paoli - Sapore di Sale.

Andrew Ti - B.B. King & UGK (mixed by AMERIGO GAZAWAY) - Make Love To My Car

Margaret Wappler - Kacey Musgraves - Space Cowboy.

Guy Branum - Troye Sivan - Bloom.

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

Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Julian Burrell.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Open Mike Eagle and Paula Poundstone

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Open Mike Eagle
Guests: 
Paula Poundstone

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

Open Mike Eagle on his unconventional path to becoming an emcee, Chicago rap, and getting laid off

You could call Open Mike Eagle an up-and-coming rapper, though his rise has been anything but typical. Mike currently lives and makes his living in Los Angeles, but he was born in Chicago. He was a teacher for the first part of his adult life, and he actually didn't release his first album until he was almost 30.

Mike's known for crafting humorous and clever rhymes, which isn't altogether uncommon in rap. But his style is weirder, left of center, and even self-deprecating at times. For example, the first album he released was titled "Unapologetic Art Rap."

Things are looking up for Mike these days. Mike's latest album dropped a couple weeks ago, called Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. Outside of rap, he co-hosts Tights and Fights, a wrestling podcast on Maximum Fun. Also, he and comedian Baron Vaughn just got their own Comedy Central show that's currently in development, called "The New Negroes."

You can stream and buy Mike's album on Bandcamp.

Click here to listen to Open Mike Eagle's interview on YouTube!

Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

I Wish I'd Made That: Paula Poundstone on Bridesmaids

Also, Paula Poundstone joins us to talk about a movie she wishes she made.

Paula's been doing standup comedy since 1979. She's appeared on pretty much every talk show, has had recurring roles on TV and a bunch of specials. And you almost definitely know her voice from the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!

These days Paula's keeping busy with a bunch of new projects. She hosts a new NPR podcast called Live from the Poundstone Institute where she interviews experts and academics in front of a live studio audience. She also has written a new book called The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness. In it, she tries pretty much every trick in the book to live a happier life, including taekwondo, reorganizing her house, and driving a fancy new car.

We asked Paula if there was any TV show or movie she wishes she made, and she was ready with an answer: 2011's smash-hit comedy, Bridesmaids.

Check out Paula's new podcast, Live from the Poundstone Institute on NPR One or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Click here to listen to Paula Poundstone talk about Bridesmaids!

The Outshot: 1989 Billy Ripken Baseball Card

In the world of baseball card collecting, some of the most rare and highly coveted cards are those with printing errors. In this week's Outshot, Jesse talks about an error card to top them all: a 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card, number 616.

Click here to listen to Jesse's Outshot on the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card!

Move This To The Top of Your Queue: Five Reasons Why You Should Rediscover "Home Movies"

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"Move This to the Top of Your Queue" is our new feature that tells you about wonderful shows or movies that have just appeared on (or will soon disappear from) your favorite online streaming services.


What to watch: Home Movies

Where to find it: Netflix streaming added all 52 episodes last month; there are five episodes from Season 3 on Hulu; and a set of 15 episodes are available for free at Adult Swim.


Ah, summer. When kids are free. Released from the constraints of school, they finally have the time to be ignored by their parents and abused by their soccer coach all day long. If they get lucky, however, there are also days when they can hang with their friends, let loose their imaginations, and, perhaps, create a series of short but alarmingly sophisticated cinematic dramas that comment (albeit somewhat obliquely) on their most challenging life experiences.

The 1999-2004 classic Home Movies follows eight-year-old aspiring filmmaker Brendan Small (voiced by . . . Brendan Small) and his friends Melissa (Melissa Bardin Galsky) and Jason (H. Jon Benjamin) as they take the challenges of being a kid and channel them into short but ambitious films. Typical episodes revolve around whatever movie idea Brendan has cooked up that week. And we’re not talking about the type simple movies you'd expect from children this age. Plots range from a rock opera about Franz Kafka to sci-fi epics about spacemen fighting the super villain team of evil George Washington, Picasso and Annie Oakley. Frequently, these films mirror the children's more stressful "real life" experiences - and these kids are going through quite a bit; but one of the show's greatest comedic pleasures is watching how the children face those challenges with a level of maturity that far exceeds that of the adults who purportedly care for them.

Brendan lives with his recently divorced mom, Paula (initially Paula Poundstone, then Janine Ditullo), with whom he has a relationship that skews closer to friends than mother and son. And then there’s Coach McGuirk (H. Jon Benjamin again): an overweight, often drunk, galoot of a man who attempts to coach Brendan and Melissa’s soccer team while giving them outrageously terrible advice.

I love the show, but haven't seen enough of it to consider myself a connoisseur. So I've brought in our resident Home Movies expert, Dan Sai, to help show us around the series.

After the jump, you can find his top five reasons why you should set aside part of your sunny summer for Home Movies. (And yes, it includes loads of delicious clips!)