What’s In My Hear Hole Today?: Pop Culture Happy Hour… for another round…

The PCHH crew... Trey, Mike Katzif (producer), Glen and Linda... where's Stephen?

Yes, I am guilty of reviewing the same podcast a second time… I did it with WTF with Marc Maron… I’ve done it with The Walking Deadcast… and today, I am doing it for NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.  Why, you ask?  Because it’s one of the greatest weekly hours you will spend with your ears.

When it began about a year and a half ago, piggy backed on NPR’s Culturtopia podcast, I was pleasantly surprised with the wit and erudition of the four hosts… Linda Holmes, Trey Graham, Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon.  What I didn’t expect is how much a part of my life I feel these four persons I have never, and I’m sure, will never, meet have become integral to my daily life.  Sure, it’s only a weekly podcast… but if you were to follow this team on twitter, you would understand that their personalities, their senses of humor, and their honesty about themselves and their lives is outstanding and over time, they begin to feel like friends.

For instance… Glen Weldon, NPR’s book and comic book editor, has become something of a hero figure to me.  He is snarky, ridiculously educated (they all are… but he uses more 10 cent words in a single minute than I can drop in a day), he is hilarious, self deprecating and snobby to the hilt… and I could read his Tweets and listen to him go off on any random subject until my ears are bleeding and my eyes desiccated in their sockets.  I’m sure he would find me annoying and bland if we were to ever meet (although he did Favstar one of my Tweets to him and it made me giddy like a little girl)… but there is something about this man that hits me in just the right spots.  When I grow up, I want to be Glen Weldon… but with more hair and heterosexual.

Stephen and Trey

Stephen Thompson… NPR’s music editor, what a guy.  Like me, a father of two kids he adores.  Is there a more earnest and decent guy out there than Mr. Thompson?  I don’t think so.  And wait until you hear his mother, Maggie Thompson, when she comes on… a comic book pioneer of geek, she is funny, adorable and beams with both pride and love anytime she is talking about her son… even though he doesn’t read books.  But he does have a Zaxxon machine at home.  That has to count for something.

Linda Holmes, Stephen’s best friend and editor of blogger for NPR’s Monkey See Blog… began as an attorney in Minnesota, got tired of it, began writing a blog and is now with NPR.  My version of a Disney fairy tale… now all it needs is some catchy show tunes as sung by Nathan Lane… or as today’s episode might suggest, Jeremy Irons.

Trey Graham, winner of last years gay-off between he and Glen… the southern boy with a love of classical music, opera and Laura Brannigan… and a laugh that will leave you smiling for days.

These are nothing more than caricatures of each of these wonderful personalities… I don’t have the chops to adequately describe how magnificent their banter is… how wonderful their aforementioned Tweets are… how much I look forward to their Friday installments… and even though I thoroughly enjoy the guests they have had step in for those times when our dynamic quartet are absent, nothing can compare to the team of Linda, Stephen, Trey and Glen.

After listening to today’s episode which focuses on Christmas music and guilty pleasures… and laughing audibly will trying to work away in silence as they do their best to parse out the definition of what a guilty pleasure even is… I felt compelled to return to my favorite form of happy hour, the pop culturey kind, and talk these four up again.

Do yourself a favor… download the podcast.  Hell, download the whole last year and a half of podcasts from them and find out what’s making you happy this week… because these four manage to make me happy every day… if only they knew I existed.

Also, do follow them on Twitter.  If not for the witticisms that pour forth from Glen Weldon’s fingertips, than do it for the banter between various members of the A.V. Club team (which I do need to review their latest podcast, Reasonable Discussions… another great one) and the PCHH crew.  Follow Linda @nprmonkeysee… Stephen (the creator of The A.V. Club) @idislikestephen… Trey @treygraham… and of course, Glen @ghweldon.  For good measure, follow Tasha Robinson from A.V. Club @TashaRobinson and get in on the mutual admiration society that exists between these two giants of pop culture snark and joy.

Making me happy daily,
Cornelius J. Blahg

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