Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Kickstarter’s viral potato salad sensation, and “Weird Al” Yankovic’s new album Mandatory Fun.

Why Nerds Love “Weird Al” Yankovic

Why Nerds Love “Weird Al” Yankovic

Slate's weekly roundtable.
July 23 2014 9:56 AM

The Culture Gabfest “Ape Not Kill Ape” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Kickstarter, and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

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On this week’s episode, the critics talk about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Is the movie’s array of great motion-capture acting a strength or a weakness? Next, one man has attained Internet notoriety by raising tens of thousands of dollars on Kickstarter for the financing of potato salad. The critics assess Kickstarter’s reputation as a democratizing force in business. Finally, trends come and go, stars rise and fall, but “Weird Al” Yankovic remains. Slate’s music critic Carl Wilson joins the gabbers to talk about Weird Al’s 14th studio album, Mandatory Fun.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:



Dana: The Best and Worst of Tom Lehrer, a double album of the comic’s darkly funny songs.

Julia: Marcella Hazan’s recipe for potato salad, from her book Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

Steve: New jazz pianist Eldar and McCoy Tyner’s classic album Reaching Fourth.

Outro: “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” by Tim Lehrer.

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This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Josephine Livingstone.

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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, the former editor in chief of Slate, is a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.