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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Emmys, Comedy And Your Spooky Grandpa

[In case you haven't heard, Pop Culture Happy Hour is embarking on a West Coast tour! San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles are sold out — though we recently added an appearance (with Guy Branum!) at the Now Hear This podcast festival in Anaheim on Oct. 29 — but we'll also be in Portland on Oct. 19 with our dear pal Audie Cornish. Tickets for that one are still available. Oh, and we're fielding requests for pop-culture advice, so fill out this form to send us your questions. We might just answer them onstage...]

This is not a typical episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour. Our host, Linda Holmes, was sick in bed; a full four-person panel never quite materialized; and we never even sat down to list What's Making Us Happy this week. Instead, we came up with an assortment of odds and ends, hopefully with a little something for everyone.

We start by recapping Sunday night's Emmy Awards. Before the telecast, Glen Weldon had angered the gods with a series of "Uncannily, Nay, Disquietingly Accurate Predictions" — many of which, of course, never came to pass. So he and I sit down to discuss some of the surprises, as well as our favorite acceptance speeches, our thoughts on Jimmy Kimmel as an Emmys host, and some of the night's biggest winners, from Veep to Peter Scolari to The People Vs. O.J. Simpson.

Then, Glen steps aside to make way for Morning Edition host David Greene, who brings us an extended version of his fascinating interview with the comedian Hari Kondabolu. Kondabolu has carved out a fascinating career at the intersection of art and activism, and he discusses that here, along with ways to talk about race in comedy, the phenomenon of "white fragility," and his mother's sense of humor. In addition to his past work on Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell, Kondabolu has a new stand-up album titled Mainstream American Comic.

Finally, Glen returns to help me introduce our final segment: Petra Mayer's interview with the English writer Alan Moore, who's got a new book titled Jerusalem. After a long and award-festooned career writing comic books — including Watchmen, From Hell, V For Vendetta, Swamp Thing and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen — Moore has continued to diversify his pursuits, some of which he discusses here. Also on the agenda: talk of death, the apocalypse, and the way magic makes its way into his work and worldview. Moore is, after all, the man Petra describes as your "spooky grandpa."

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, me, Glen, David, Petra, producer Jessica, and producer emeritus/music director/pal-for-life Mike.

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)

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