Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Free To Be … You and Me, Saturday Night Live Debate Spoofs, and

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Oct. 24 2012 12:09 PM

The Culture Gabfest: Why Did You Give Me That Bag of Skittles? Edition

Slate's podcast about the 40th anniversary of Free To Be … You and Me, Saturday Night Live debate spoofs, and


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 214 with Dan Kois, 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 the Emmy-winning PBS series Independent Lens, the weekly series that showcases the best in documentary film every Monday night at 10 p.m. on PBS. Go to and use the promo code “CULTUREFEST” for your no-risk free trial and bonus offer.

Culturefest is on the radio! “Gabfest Radio” combines Slate’s Culture and Political Gabfests in one show. Listen on Saturdays at 7 a.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. on WNYC’s AM820 or on New Jersey Public Radio.

On this week’s Culturefest, our critics are joined by Slate senior editor Dan Kois to discuss his article on the 40th anniversary of Free To Be … You and Me and whether its advocation of gender equality remains relevant and its feminist ideals convincing to children today. The Gabfesters then consider the institution that is the Saturday Night Live debate send-up and how its origins as Dada event comedy translate to a television landscape saturated with political satire. Finally, they discuss the website and crowdsourcing the deciphering of romantic ambiguity.

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


Dana’s pick: The Twitter feed of National Geographic’s Digital Nomad Andrew Evans, who travels around the world tweeting as he goes. His Twitter feed is full of wonderful photos, guess-where-I-am contests, and assorted enviable content.

Julia’s pick: For New Yorkers and visitors alike, the not-to-be missed Brooklyn Heights gem, Iris Café. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, stop by the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and visit Iris Café to experience the platonic ideal of a sandwich.

Stephen’s pick: Vergennes Laundry, an understated, stylish coffee shop with a low hipster-per-square-foot ratio in Vergennes, Vt.

Outro: “It’s All Right To Cry” by Rosey Grier from Free To Be … You and Me

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.

Dan Kois is Slate's culture editor and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.

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.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.