Pop Culture Happy Hour was first mentioned to me months ago by my learned friend Ainslie. This highly recommended production is all about, well, Pop Culture. The parade of its highs and lows. The glory of its ups and downs. The craziness of its insanity. We love it all. And yes, it is beneath NPR’s dignity.
PCHH is the brainchild of National Public Radio (NPR) in the US, and it is a rarity since it is only released as a podcast. Started almost two years ago, it features four hosts who engage in delightful conversations about whatever and whichever is topping the cultural radar that particular week. After quite a few minutes of meandering delightful chat, they form up again around a pre-selected topic or two. So, a heated and fun talk discussing say, South By Southwest (which I know absolutely nothing about) will be counterbalanced by a thrilling and frank tribute to say, television shows opening credits sequences. And this fun awesomeness is ended off each episode with the ever present question of “What’s Making Us Happy This Week?” Each host provides a response, and they all vary immensely. And that is half the fun.
But who are these hosts who provide such conversations to which our brain cells dance? Providing adult supervision is the moderator Linda Holmes, who escaped her previous existence as a lawyer in order to become a writer of renown recounting entertainment stories for the television without pity site. Presently she is overseeing and creating content for NPR’s Monkey See website. Trey Graham is her next cohort in crime, providing expertise in the areas of theatre and music and that wonderful sub-genre called classical. His other day job is editing and producing the already mentioned Monkey See site. A fellow inmate of this cultural excitement is Stephen Thompson, an addict of reality shows, lover of music, and a fondness for a book a year. His comics pedigree runs deep and his sense of humour is fun. Rounding out this quartet of greatness is Glen Weldon, who provides colour commentary on books, comics, and movies from everywhere and everytime.
These four have provided hours upon hours of gentle banter and unspoken truths. Infectious laughter often accompany every listen, and a sense of greater understanding of this relatively insane culture we all exist and thrive in. Thanks to Ainslie for grinding me into listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour. You are wrong about The Hunger Games Movie but oh so right about this.
P.S. You can subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour through iTunes. PCHH logo is copyright 2012 to NPR.