Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Political Animals, Daniel Tosh’s Rape Joke, and Games

Slate's weekly roundtable.
July 18 2012 12:21 PM

The Culture Gabfest: Utter Tosh Edition

Listen to Slate's show about the USA miniseries Political Animals, the Daniel Tosh rape-joke controversy, and Dana’s lifelong indifference to games.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 200 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:

The sponsors of today’s show are 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 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:


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

This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.

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.

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

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



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