Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

NPR
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Hail, Caesar!' And Backstage Stories

467245476_970096808.jpg

George Clooney as Baird Whitlock in the new film <em>Hail, Caesar! </em>
Universal Pictures
George Clooney as Baird Whitlock in the new film Hail, Caesar!

PCHH regular Stephen Thompson had the week off from the show, so I was joined by Glen Weldon as well as our pals Chris Klimek and Bob Mondello to talk about the Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar!. Chris engagingly reviewed it for NPR, and Bob has covered the Coens plenty of times, so we've got lots to discuss. Glen has a theory of what it's about, I have your cultural genealogy for the Channing Tatum dance number, and we've all got feelings about Chris' Michael Gambon impression (specifically, mine are that it's amazing).

In our second segment, we turn our attention to the more general category of films to which Hail, Caesar! belongs: entertainment about entertainment. Specifically, it's a movie about movies, but we also talk about television about television, books about writers, and theater about theater people. We try to get to the bottom of what makes these stories fascinating, and I float a theory about why your fictional entertainer should perhaps not be a genius.

As always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. Chris is happy about a new home video release of another Coen Brothers movie, and about a galley of an upcoming book, and about a lovely bit of synchronicity he'll have to explain himself. Glen is happy about both a super fantastic Twitter account and a new book. Bob is happy about seeing an actress he admires on a show where she gets to shine. I am happy about making things and about the kindness of strangers who help me make things.

Support comes from

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, me, Glen, Chris, Bob, producer Jessica, and producer emeritus Mike.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.