Work: On Air

 This is what it looks like when Stephen and I have our picture taken together.

This is what it looks like when Stephen and I have our picture taken together.

At NPR, I host a roundtable podcast called Pop Culture Happy Hour. With me on the show twice a week are Stephen Thompson of NPR Music and Glen Weldon, who's a freelance book critic and the author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography and The Caped Crusade: Batman And The Rise Of Nerd Culture. Our fourth chair rotates -- sometimes it's somebody from NPR, like Audie Cornish of All Things Considered or Gene Demby or Kat Chow from Code Switch or our movie critic, Bob Mondello. Sometimes it's somebody from elsewhere, but we have a wonderful rotation of people who help us make the show so much fun to create. We've been churning it out once a week with very rare exceptions since the summer of 2010, and twice a week since July of 2017, so we've made over 350 episodes. 

Some of my favorites:

  • We greatly enjoyed Atomic Blonde.
  • We combined an in-studio chat about Baby Driver with a live show segment on auteur blockbusters.
  • We talked about Hamilton, a Broadway show you may have heard of.  
  • We covered the true crime boom and Netflix's Making A Murderer
  • We provided a spoiled and unspoiled look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • We had a conversation I really loved about Creed
  • We talked about how pop culture deals with labor and birth experiences.

I'm also frequently on the radio in some capacity or another. I recently put together a few thoughts about the repurposing of old material for new TV shows, I put together some thoughts about romantic comedy not long ago, and in 2015, I reported on the national a cappella championships in New York. More often, though, I do on-air conversations for NPR's shows. I talked to Bob Mondello about texting in movie theaters (spoiler alert: we're both against it), talked American Idol with Ari Shapiro and Audie Cornish, talked to Ari about Donald Trump, talked to Audie and Bob about the Oscars, talked with Rachel Martin about live TV musicals, and talked to Rachel about Lifetime's UnREAL

Sometimes, NPR puts me on video. The most fun I ever had in that business was a whole bunch of videos where Bob Mondello and I read online comments about Oscar-nominated movies. 


I also pop up on other radio shows whenever anyone will let me: I talked to Colin McEnroe for WNPR in Connecticut about what to watch during a storm and about spoilers, I talk regularly with Madeleine Brand on KCRW, and I joined Brian Lehrer on WNYC for a whole series of conversations about the last episodes of Parks and Recreation