Culture Gabfest: The Muppets, Home Decor, and Christmas Carols

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Nov. 30 2011 12:29 PM

The Culture Gabfest, “Don We Now Our Gay Apparel” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about The Muppets, home decor, and Christmas carols.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 167 with Stephen Metcalf, Deborah Needleman, John Swansburg, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below or opening this player in another tab:

Don't miss a single episode of the Culture Gabfest. Subscribe to the free Culturefest podcast in iTunes or directly with our RSS feed. You can also download this week's episode here. And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook here:

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics Stephen Metcalf, John Swansburg, and Julia Turner meet The Muppets, again. Next, they are joined by author Deborah Needleman to discuss her new book on decorating, The Perfectly Imperfect Home. For their final segment Gabfesters come a-wassailing with their favorite Christmas carols.

Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:

Dana’s Slate review of The Muppets.
Slate’s Troy Patterson on Kermit.
EW’s complaint about Muppet overload?
Delightful Muppet parody trailers.
The Muppets film’s official web site.
Deborah Needleman’s new book, The Perfectly Imperfect Home.
Deborah Needleman’s 10 elements of style.
HGTV’s review of Deborah Needleman’s new book, The Perfectly Imperfect Home.
An interview with Deborah Needleman, at Casasugar.
Nathan Heller’s Slate article on the history of Christmas Carols.
David Bowie and Bing Crosby sing “The Little Drummer Boy.”
The Christmas carol that made Stephen cry.
Stephen’s favorite, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman.”
Gawker’s list of the 10 most annoying Christmas songs.


The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

John’s pick: The television miniseries Carlos about Venezuelan revolutionary Ilich Ramírez Sánchez.  
Julia’s pick: The store Top Hat! in New York City, the great Chritmas song “We Wish You The Merriest” and John Lennon’s to-do list.
Steve’s pick: From TIGI, the people who brought you Bedhead, it’s Pethead, shampoo for pets. Also, the Beatles’ Christmas messages to their fans.

Outro Music: "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Jesse Baker. Our intern is Matt Sigl.

Follow us on the new Culturefest Twitter feed. And please Like the Culture Gabfest on Facebook.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate's critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Deborah Needleman is the editor in chief of WSJ Magazine and the author of The Perfectly Imperfect Home.


John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast.



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