Each week I listen to many hours of podcasts, throw them in my brain funnel and share the most interesting things I learned. In no particular order, here’s what has made my ears tingle lately.
THE OUIJA BOARD IS 130 YEARS OLD.
Just in time for Halloween, Roman Mars’ podcast offers a spooky look back at the game. Experts share facts about the board’s history—its appearance hasn’t changed much in a century—and appearances in popular culture, particularly as a major plot point in The Exorcist.
MARC MARON IS THE “ANTI-SEINFELD.”
On this week’s episode, host Aisha Tyler turns the tables on the podcasting champ, though Maron repeatedly tries to ask questions about her during their chat. At one point, Maron mentions that, unlike Jerry Seinfeld and most comedians, he doesn’t use a set list. He also shares one of his all-time worst standup experiences, when the room filled with “not just silence … there was a vacuum to it.”
MONTGOMERY CLIFT ONCE CARVED A STEAK ON A WHITE SHAG RUG AND SERVED IT TO HIS DINNER GUESTS.
Each episode of Karina Longworth’s podcast delves into a fascinating piece of Hollywood history, and this week she spotlights the deep friendship between Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. The pals remained close through five of Taylor’s marriages, and it was Liz who rode in the ambulance after Clift was involved in a devastating car accident. The steak incident is one of several strange facts Longworth shares about the eccentric star.
MARK MOTHERSBAUGH DIDN’T SEE THE SUN UNTIL HE WAS 8 YEARS OLD.
In an interview with host Kurt Andersen, the Devo co-founder speaks about his visual art (now on exhibit at Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art) and his childhood before and after getting glasses, which literally changed the way he viewed the world. He says without specs he’s legally blind, and it wasn’t until after getting his eyes checked that he was able to see the sun, clouds, and everything around him.
PAMELA ADLON HAS AN AMAZING RECORD COLLECTION.
Pop My Culture
Hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton speak to the actress about voice acting (she played Bobby on King of the Hill), working with Louis C.K., and her early days in Hollywood, which included roles on The Facts of Life and in Say Anything. At one point, Adlon mentions her mother worked at a record company and had a huge vinyl collection—Lenny Bruce, Cat Stevens, Dave Brubeck, and many more—which Adlon still loves playing today.
THERE ARE MORE SCARY COMICS THAN SCARY MOVIES.
OK, so maybe this fact can’t be proven, but it certainly feels that way after hearing hosts Paul Montgomery and Dave Accampo list a variety of scary comics to binge-read for Halloween. Hellboy, Locke & Key, Wytches, Echoes, and My Friend Dahmer are just a few of the titles they recommend—and they devote some time to discussing that new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, too.
JASON SCHWARTZMAN READS MENTAL FLOSS.
Pier Marco Tacca / Stringer
Yep, it’s true: The actor cites this very publication in the podcast’s latest episode—specifically, he says here is where he learned of the World Sauna Championships. In the same episode, Jack Black talks about attending a star-studded party at Neil Young’s house and Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo shares a playlist that includes Sia and Calvin Harris.