It seems like it's been about 200 weeks since we started hyping the 200th episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, and it's finally here. This is the second hour of our June 24 live show in NPR's Studio 1, and it's got a bit of everything — but first, a few announcements.
As Linda and I note at the top of the show, PCHH is scheduled to make its New York debut at Brooklyn's Bell House on Tuesday, August 19. We've already lined up some extraordinary guests for the occasion, including Ask Me Another's Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton, but we're equally excited about our fourth panelist: our very own prodigal producer emeritus and music director, Mike Katzif! Mike's been doing great work at WNYC, but for one brief, tantalizing moment, he'll belong to us once again, at long last.
Tickets go on sale here on July 28 at noon ET — and, as those who tried to buy tickets to our previous live taping at 12:02 can confirm, they're likely to sell out quickly. They might not sell out in less than two minutes, but I wouldn't count on them lasting too terribly long, either.
Also, one last quick reminder that we're also appearing at next week's San Diego Comic-Con, featuring your pal (and my mom) Maggie Thompson, on Thursday, July 24. The panel takes place from 2 to 3 p.m. PT, and it ought to be a rollicking good time. For more information, click here. We'll also do an open-to-the-public meet-and-greet in San Diego the following Saturday morning, July 26, from 9 to 12; follow Linda, Glen and me on Twitter for more as we confirm a location. Hope to see you there!
As for this week's show, it's got a whole bunch of assorted hijinks and goofnuttery, including a sequel to Glen Weldon's infamous Bat Quiz (in which Audie Cornish and Linda are subjected to a rematch); a smackdown between Code Switch's Gene Demby and uber-librarian Margaret H. Willison based on this tome (with not-so-assistive assists from myself and Glen Weldon, respectively); and a surprisingly tense duel pitting All Things Considered movie critic Bob Mondello and Monkey See writer Chris Klimek against NPR Books' Petra Mayer and NPR.org's Tanya Ballard Brown. The four must face a challenge testing their knowledge of past July 4 movie blockbusters, and they do not disappoint. And finally, Glen and I are each paired up with an audience member — Stephanie Troyer and Cynthia Tassopoulos, respectively — for one of Linda Holmes' diabolical summer TV challenges. Ask me how I did!
Then we wrap up with a quick audience Q&A — complete with the return of our beloved Annabel, whom many of you will remember from our last live show in D.C.
As always, we're delighted to hear from you, so find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: me, Linda, Glen, Audie, Gene, Margaret, Bob, Chris, Petra, Tanya, producers Jessica and Lauren, and our pal Mike Katzif.