Friday, August 3, 2012
Every week Linda Holmes and her three panelists – Stephen Thompson, Trey Graham, and Glen Weldon – closed the show by telling the listeners what was making them happy this week. If Linda reached that segment without figuring something out she'd not only open herself up to the mocking of her showmates, she would have let down Pop Culture Happy Hour listeners the world over. "Maybe I can just say I caught a rerun of ‘The Sure Thing' on STARZ," she thought. But people would know. People would know.
Before she could begin her introduction, however, a woman burst into the recording studio shouting "TELEGRAM FOR STEPHEN THOMPSON!"
The woman with the telegram looked around the room. "Geez," she said, "I didn't know you guys were live on the radio. Sorry."
"We're not on the radio," said Glen Weldon, who writes about books and comic books for the NPR Website. "This is a podcast."
"What's a podcast?"
"It's like a radio show, only you download it off the Internet," said Glen, who was already trying to figure out how to compress the interaction with the telegram woman into 140 characters or less.
"Don't worry," esteemed producer Mike Katzif said. "I've paused recording."
The woman opened the telegram and read.
"Stephen Thompson, this is your long-lost great uncle Mordechai. I have passed from this mortal coil and I would like to bequeath to you my beloved stand-up arcade ‘Burger Time' machine."
"Holy hat!" yelled Stephen Thompson, who is an editor for NPR Music. "I love Burger Time almost as much as I love the Green Bay Packers and/or Clem Snide!"
The woman continued. "In order to claim this machine, you must spend the night in the McKittrick Hotel. Once you emerge in the morning, the arcade machine shall be yours! You must leave immediately!"
Stephen looked dejected. "I can't leave my post here at Pop Culture Happy Hour. Not so close to Appreciation Day!"
"Don't worry, Stephen," said Mike Katzif. "We can all go and record the show on remote. I can set that up easily."
"If you know anything at all about German art songs, then you know that we would all hate to be the reason you missed out on that Burger Time machine," said Trey Graham, who is an editor at NPR Movies.
Linda Holmes breathed a silent sigh of relief. This would provide ample time for her to figure out what was making her happy that week.
Meanwhile, in the McKittrick Hotel, Hecate gazed into her scrying pool then turned to her familiar, the Speakeasy Barman. "Alert the witches," she said. "They're coming."
Thursday, June 21, 2012
"Hey, Boy Witch," the Porter said. "Nice skateboard! But are you a poseur?"
"No way!", said the Boy Witch. "Check out this totally sweet kickflip!"
The Boy Witch did a totally sweet kickflip.
"Rad!", said the Porter.
"Gleaming the cube!", said the Boy Witch.
A black masked steward took the Boy Witch's skateboard, citing a "no skatboarding" rule inside the McKitttrick hotel.
"Skateboarding is not a crime!", yelled the Boy Witch.
"You should totally write an angry letter to 'Thrasher' magazine about this!"
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Macbeth was anxious.
Every time he upped his bid on the storage unit he heard Dave Hester's loud "Yuuuuuuuuuuup" behind him, indicating that Hester was driving the bidding even higher. He hadn't even wanted this unit, which seemed to contain several playing cards, a bunch of Virgin Mary statues that looked like their faces had been severely rubbed by a crazy woman, and the kingship to Scotland. Lady Macbeth had informed him that they absolutely had to win this storage unit auction.
"If we should fail?", Macbeth had asked.
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail. When Auctioneer Dan Dotson calls for a higher bid--
Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey
Soundly increase your bid to him!"
"Do I hear five hundred dollars?", auctioneer Dan Dotson yelled.
Lady Macbeth kicked her husband. "FIVE HUNDRED!", shouted Macbeth.
"SIX HUNDRED!", interjected Barry Weiss.
And on it went.
In an interview earlier for the show, Dave Hester had announced that he had no interest in the storage unit, he just wanted the Macbeths to pay through the nose for it. Because he's a dick.
Finally, the Macbeths won the unit, though the bidding had gone up so high that Lady Macbeth had LOST HER MIND in the process.
Macbeth went to inspect his unit. He spied a hangman's noose. "What's this?", He wondered.
And then, just as things were getting interesting, the show cut to another goddamn commercial.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
If you’ve read Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, you have probably thought to yourself, as I often have, that it would make for quite the piece of immersive theater. You know, set it in an old hotel or hospital, have a mysterious Russian woman slamming doors here and there, Hermine Kleefeld all piping away with her pneumothorax, the absurd Settembrini-Naphtha duel, and then this, Hans Castorp’s bad day in a snowstorm.
It’ll never get produced, so enjoy the magic of a little creative re-scoring.
And here it is! Enjoy!
Friday, February 17, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Inside the Paisley Sweet Shop, the Sexy Witch threw MacDuff against the far wall.
"Ow," said MacDuff. "You'll pay for that, Sexy Witch!"
Sexy Witch said nothing, but she held her palm out towards MacDuff, revealing a piece of Paisley Sweet Shop candy.
MacDuff eyed the candy suspiciously.
"Does that have peanuts in it?", MacDuff asked. "I'm allergic to peanuts."
"I don't know," said Sexy Witch. "Probably not. It's not a Reeses or anything."
"No, you don't understand," said MacDuff, "I could get really sick."
Sexy Witch pondered this statement.
"Does that mean you've never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?", she asked.
MacDuff shook his head to indicate that he had not.
"What about, like, a Nutter Butter cookie?"
Again, MacDuff said no.
Flustered, MacDuff said, "I've never had anything with peanuts in it. I'm ALLERGRIC."
The Sexy Witch looked down at the candy in her palm.
"This has no peanuts in it," she said.
MacDuff took the candy and popped it into his mouth. Immediately, he began choking and doubling over.
Sexy Witch shrugged.
"Oops," she said.