Remembering Shep

When I was a kid, my parents took us to Temple every Friday night, and we were always among the last to leave. We’d drive home and on the way, my Dad would turn on the New York radio station WOR and we’d listen to Jean Shepherd. By the time we’d get home, I’d be hooked. My Mom would take my brother and sister inside to bed, and my old man and I would stay on the car listening. When the break would come the old man would turn the show off and make me go inside, but sometimes if I was lucky Shep would be in the middle of one of his impossibly long stories and I’d get to stay up really late, often well past midnight (how did he do it? They must have had station breaks or ads or whatever, yet in my memory the stories could go on and on without stopping for hours).

This week on Risk!, Kevin Allison ends the show with an old Jean Shepherd story. Don’t miss it. There’s also a great tribute to Shep narrated by Harry Shearer that the show Hearing Voices did a few years back. And you can hear the archives of many his old WOR and other shows. Check it out!

Here are the latest podcast summaries.

Did I mention that  Before You Leap has a holiday food episode? With Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, author of Combat-Ready Kitchen,  and Judith Redmond, an organic farmer who talks about the contribution that farming can make to fend off climate change.

You can celebrate the holidays with the many holiday-themed episodes of Judge John Hodgman.  This week, the judge clears the docket, and lifte his own prohibition on buzz marketing by naming brands – but is he allowed to name non-Apple products? Is a new MaxFun podcast coming – Wikipediaisms? Wikipedantry? To dine on holiday-themed plates or not. Toothpaste in the shower, or not. And if you haven’t seen it, go right now and watch Mitchell and Webb’s Numberwang.

On the Savage Lovecast, Dan revisits Obama’s first inaugural speech because…science! Despite the President’s words (and its proven failures), abstinence education still reigns supreme.  The campsite rule – how to implement it with a younger guy (Dan says he’s never had intercourse but is not a virgin). Her guy isn’t hot – is she being shallow, or does she just have shitty friends? A feminist is having great sex with a chauvinist pig – Dan is conflicted. She wants to break up, but her visa doesn’t expire for 9 months. Catching up with a past caller who needed to get out after coming out to her parents. We’re rooting for you! Can you tell your friend who you hooked up with that he’s a bad kisser? A kinky feminist pastor has a great guy – can her relationship be socially valued without a marriage? Peter Staley (from the Treatment Action Group and ActUp!, he was profiled in How to Stop a Plague, check it out on Netflix) and Dan argue about Truvada. Peter says the CDC report did not mention PreP and you can’t correlate PreP use with anything because for now, not enough people are on it. Dan plays a scary call that represents the kinds of calls he’s getting about PreP. Then there’s PeP, get it right. And listeners want to hear more from Nancy!

On the movie mini of Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, Frank saw a new movie in 2015! He recommends the Brian Wilson bio-pic Love and Mercy. Gilbert slurs Italians and Jews and recommends Dr. Butcher MD (Medical Deviant), apparently also known as Zombie Holocaust. See it if you like schlock.

Comedian Kathleen McGee joins Graham and Dave on Stop Podcasting Yourself. The boys try to come up with a pseudonym Kathleen can use to keep weirdoes from knocking on her hotel room door. How does Napoleon Dynamite sound? Kids on Chopped – who had the funniest sob story? Puking in the pool — who brought it up? Escaping cults, and more vomiting. Get out, satan! Check out Kathleen’s column, Been There Done That: Questionable advice from a comedian.

Don’t miss the David Steinberg Podcast with 92-year old comedy legend Carl Reiner. Carl talks about directing Steve Martin in The Jerk, working with Alan Arkin, his son Rob’s friendship with Albert Brooks, and how he handled the FBI’s questions about his communist connections. And of course, working with Mel Brooks, and how the Queen liked the 2,000 Year-old Man.

On The Smartest Man in the World, Greg is reading the Burt Reynolds bio. Burt stars in a 70’s TV cop drama with Norman Fell, goes on about Charles (Chuck to Burt) Nelson Reilly, and Lee Marvin. Then, the Star Trek cast, who would you want in a fight? Greg ranks the crew of the Enterprise. The songs of Alan Sherman, and more.

“Tube Benders” on 99% Invisible tells how neon went from a symbol of luxury to a sign of seediness and decay. Neon is blown, like glass, but don’t call neon makers glassblowers. This episode reminded me of one of my favorite conceptual art pieces.

Marc talks to author, monologist, playwright, performer and now non-fiction author Eric Bogosian on WTF.  His new book, Operation Nemesis tells the story of Armenians who took on the perpetrators of the Armenian genocide. Marc tells the story of his foray into making a one-man show, The Jerusalem Syndrome. Eric talks about starting out in NYC, working with Woody Allen on Deconstructing Harry, and much more. You can check out 100 Monologues to hear Eric’s friends (including actors Jennifer Tilly, Vincent D’Onofrio, Sam Rockwell and many others) doing Eric’s early monologues. Just call it “performance,” not performance art!

On Risk!, Margot Leitman tells how diarrhea became a god omen. For Jefferson, sex after divorce, with the ex. Mara Wilson has a theological dispute with her sister, and Julie Threlkeld has a medical mystery. Matteson Perry’s roommate had a pre-Christmas breakup. Will the holiday party cheer him up? And a bonus story from the archives of stories from the late, great Jean Shephard!  It’s a bleakness sandwich –at least the bread is light and funny!

The Moth with a story from Eve Plumb, who played Jan on The Brady Bunch. On the eve of her wedding, she gets some bad news. And Jesse emails her boyfriend some special pictures, and learns a valuable lesson about computer file systems.

Doug Loves Movies has the 12 guests of Christmas – with a special 13th guest! (No, it’s not Tig Notaro, though Tig does love some Star Wars). A game of K-9, movies that start with K and have 9 letters. Leonard Maltin comes by, but has to leave before his game starts. Doug loves every character Samm Levine plays. Michael Sheen goes minus 6 – or does he? He has a new robots movie – Doug hates robots. At the end, it’s between Sarah Silverman and Scott Aukerman, who will win?

On Studio360, Adam McKay talks about The Big Short, his movie from the Michael Lewis book of the same name about the guys who anticipated the housing crisis and financial collapse when everyone else was ignoring the signs of the housing bubble. You may know Adam better as Will Ferrell’s writing partner on the Anchorman and other movies they’ve made together, but Adam has a very serious side as well (check out his new podcast Surprisingly Awesome, especially episode #4 “Tuthumping”). Plus, creative resolutions for the New Year. An interview with City on Fire author Garth Hallberg. Jenny Slate’s choice for best “It’s a Wonderful Short” holiday story – a surprising number of entries included murder!

Hidden Brain explores some surprising science behind why people join ISIS.


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