Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Interstellar, the comeback of The Comeback, and Jody Rosen on the Knowledge.

To Become a London Cabdriver, You Must Pass the Hardest Test in the World

To Become a London Cabdriver, You Must Pass the Hardest Test in the World

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Nov. 12 2014 10:40 AM

The Culture Gabfest “The Rip Van Winkle in Time” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Interstellar, the comeback of The Comeback, and the London cabdriver test the Knowledge.

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Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 321 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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

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Go to slate.com/cultureplus to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.

This week, Slate Plus listeners will hear the critics (plus Jody) share their tales of getting well and truly lost. Who tried to break into the Pope’s house, and who just forgot how to hail a taxi?

And don’t forget you can find Culture Gabfest T-shirts for sale in the Slate store.

This week on the Slate Culture Gabfest, the gabbers talk Interstellar. Is our lantern-jawed hero Matthew McConaughey as transporting as ever, or has Chris Nolan bent reality a little too far this time? Next up, Slate head of podcasting Andy Bowers joins the Gabfest to talk about the reboot of Lisa Kudrow’s reality TV satire The Comeback. A lot has changed in the television landscape since the 2005 first season—is the show keeping up with the times? Finally, Jody Rosen comes into the studio to talk about his deep dive into the world of the Knowledge, the notoriously fiendish testing system designed to drill the entire geography of London into cabbies’ memories. Psychogeography, the changing role of technology in our everyday lives, Julia’s kid’s middle name—it’s all here.

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

Endorsements:

Dana: The Web series High Maintenance.

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Julia: Billie Holiday’s “Am I Blue.”

Jody: Sasha’s choice, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown: “It isn’t like John Wayne movies, it’s the truth.”

Steve: Suzy Hansen, “America’s Long Holiday: When Narcissism Attacks,” on The Baffler.

Outro: “Am I Blue,” by Billie Holiday

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

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

Follow us on Twitter. 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.