Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Muppets Most Wanted, the Web series High Maintenance, and the evolution of tipping.

Are the Muppets Still Relevant in the Age of Pixar?

Are the Muppets Still Relevant in the Age of Pixar?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
March 26 2014 10:35 AM

The Culture Gabfest “Green Handshake” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Muppets Most Wanted, High Maintenance, and the evolution of tipping.

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Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 288 with Mike Pesca, John Swansburg, and Jessica Winter with the audio player below.

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On this week’s episode, the critics discuss Muppets Most Wanted and the place of Jim Henson’s creations in today’s culture. Next, the gabbers turn to the Web series High Maintenance about a marijuana deliveryman in Brooklyn and the lives of his diverse clientele. And finally, in light of Jordan Weissmann’s recent Slate piece about the effects of e-commerce on gratuities, the critics talk tipping: Do we tip out of good will or a sense of obligation? And should you really tip your Starbucks baristas?    

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



John: “For Jared Remy, Leniency Was the Rule Until One Lethal Night,” a devastating article about the troubled son of the Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy by Eric Moskowitz of the Boston Globe.

Jessica: Smiley Face, an overlooked comedy by Gregg Araki, which features a star turn by Anna Faris.


Mike: The creative interviews of the Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show, and the esoteric comedy of Gary Gulman, available on YouTube.

Outro: James and Bobby Purify’s “I’m Your Puppet,” performed by Yo La Tengo.

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This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Anna Shechtman, with assistance from Lance Richardson.

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.

John Swansburg is a senior editor at the Atlantic.

Jessica Winter is Slate’s features editor and the author of the novel Break in Case of Emergency.