And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:
The sponsors of today’s show are Audible.com and Grisly Meter, Amazon’s collection of gruesome summer reads. Get a free audiobook from Audible’s collection of more than 100,000 titles and a subscription to a daily audio digest when you sign up for a 30-day free trial at www.audiblepodcast.com/culturefest. For a selection of frightful summer reads, visit Grisly Meter.
Join Slate’s Culture Editor John Swansburg this Thursday, July 19 at the 92nd Street Y downtown in Tribeca, as he hosts a screening of The Karate Kid followed by a live Q&A with its star Ralph Macchio. Get tickets here.
On this week’s Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss the USA Network’s miniseries Political Animals and whether it succeeds as a roman à clef about the Clintons. The Gabfesters then discuss Daniel Tosh’s tangle with a heckler over a joke about rape, whether rape jokes can ever be funny, and that inscrutable element that makes a joke work. Finally, they discuss Dana’s lifelong indifference to competitive games and why we bother playing them at all.
Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:
- USA Network’s miniseries Political Animals
- Joe Klein’s novel based on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics and its movie adaptation
- American Wife: A Novel, Curtis Sittenfeld’s account of the life of a fictional Laura Bush-esque first lady
- Amy Chozick on the creation of Political Animals for the New York Times
- The blogged secondhand account of the Daniel Tosh rape joke controversy
- Tosh’s apology via Twitter
- The comedians who have come to Tosh’s defense
- Patton Oswalt’s tweet in response to the Tosh-heckler fracas
- Louis CK’s appearance on The Daily Show in which he discusses his post-controversy tweet
- Louis CK’s “Kill or rape Hitler” bit
- Dane Cook’s “Raped on Halo” bit
- Jezebel’s Lindy West on how to make a rape joke
- Kate Harding’s rundown of rape jokes that work
- Megan Carpentier’s 2008 Jezebel post that asks if a rape joke is ever funny
- The Onion’s take on the Daniel Tosh controversy
- The subversive stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce
- The shock comic Andrew Dice Clay
- Dana’s abhorrence of rule-based zero sum competition for Slate
- Sam Anderson on addictive “stupid games” for the New York Times Magazine and the interview with Anderson that ran as its companion piece
- Slate’s John Swansburg on why he stopped being a sports fan
- The New York Times on taking play seriously
- The game Pounce (although the Turner family has alternate rules.)
Dana’s pick: My Daguerreotype Boyfriend, the online repository of hotties of yesteryear
Julia’s pick: Banana pudding, the ultimate summer dessert concoction of bananas, pudding, Nilla wafers, and whipped cream
Stephen’s pick: Dusty Springfield’s album Dusty in Memphis
Outro: Dusty Springfield’s “Just One Smile”
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.