1/18/19: Speak 20th Anniversary Conversation With Laurie Halse Anderson and Elizabeth Acevedo for East City Books
1/19/19: In Conversation With Tina Fey at the Richmond Forum
Pop Culture Happy Hour has held successful live events -- many of them sold-out -- at NPR headquarters, at Howard Theatre, and at the historic Sixth & I synagogue in Washington. We've also taken the show on the road to Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as to Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. We taped at San Diego Comic-Con and, before we were doing official live events at all, we created quite a scene doing a pop-up taping at an NPR shop sale held at a closed bank branch -- what we still call our "abandoned bank show." Our events are a combination of good conversation and raucous games, including quizzes about Batman and rapidly canceled TV shows.
For NPR's annual Weekend In Washington in the fall of 2015, I had a long chat with Daily Show host Trevor Noah about his life in South Africa, how he got into comedy, and what he wants for his high-profile job. You can hear the whole thing.
I've also interviewed artists and entertainers and authors -- working with Smithsonian Associates alone has put me on stage with Shonda Rhimes, B.J. Novak, Connie Britton, Mark and Jay Duplass, and Joe and Anthony Russo (the day before their Captain America: Civil War officially opened). You can hear some of my discussion with the Russos as part of an episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
I've interviewed Ron Howard for the Richmond Forum in Richmond, Virginia, as well as Lauren Graham and Gabourey Sidibe on the launch of their books of essays.
I’ve also talked to authors for the PEN/Faulkner Reading Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library. You can hear my conversations with Allan Gurganus and Elizabeth Strout and with Tom Perrotta and Maria Semple; I also spoke to Jane Smiley last fall about her epic Hundred Years Trilogy. I've done events at bookstores in Washington around the publication of Vacationland by John Hodgman, Everyone’s An Aliebn When Ur A Aliebn Too by Jonny Sun, Party Of One by Dave Holmes, Slaughterhouse 90210 by Maris Kreizman and The Caped Crusade by (my friend) Glen Weldon. And in the summer of 2015, at an event put on by Sixth & I and Politics and Prose, I had the great fortune to talk to one of the most influential authors of my youth and lots of other people's youth as well: Judy Blume -- video of that entire conversation is available.
I've also helped judge a storytelling competition, given keynote addresses about the future of content and the effect of time on popular culture, spoken at universities, been part of panel discussions about public radio and critics' use of Twitter, and done some karaoke. Wait, that doesn't count. Forget I said that part.