Rank #1: Tom Hanks And Typewriters: A Love Story
Tom Hanks is a little obsessed with typewriters. So when we put the Academy Award-winning actor in front of a pre-WWII Underwood Champion, he gave Nerdette hosts Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen an impromptu master class on the machines he calls “self-contained printing presses with which you can change the world.”
Want to support this show and get a sweet Nerdette mug and/or notebook as a thank you gift? Go to https://wbez.org/nerdalert
Jan 27 2017
Rank #2: Power Up: Amy Schumer And Aidy Bryant
Let’s be real: life can be hectic sometimes. You don’t need to tell that to Amy Schumer and Aidy Bryant, two of the nation’s top female comedians.
Who better to kick off our new project, Power Up? For the next few months, we're asking fascinating people how they set themselves up for success in an exhausting world.
Knitting? Bowling? Researching the presence of alternate dimensions? “I literally will say to myself out loud in the mirror, like, ‘You got this, bitch,’” Schumer tells Nerdette host Greta Johnsen.
Schumer and Bryant also talk about what drew them to their new film, I Feel Pretty, which is now in theaters.
We also want to know how YOU power up. Record yourself on your phone and email the audio file to email@example.com.
Apr 27 2018
Rank #3: Ask a Mortician's Caitlin Doughty nerds out about death
Caitlin Doughty is host of the popular YouTube series Ask a Mortician and author of the new memoir Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons From the Crematory. We talk about the history and present of how cultures handle death. Plus a nerd confession that includes a Gollum impression.
Nov 11 2014
Rank #4: Miranda July on writing books, living clumsily, and meditation
Miranda July talks about her new book, what it was like to make the Somebody App, and the overarching theme of her work: coming together clumsily. Plus, remembering Great Lady Nerd of History Bessie Coleman and a Shakespearean nerd confession.
Jan 27 2015
Rank #5: Roxane Gay on being a 'Bad Feminist'
Roxane Gay is the author of the fantastic book of essays 'Bad Feminist' and many of our favorite tweets. We discuss what it takes to keep fighting the good fight on social media when there is so much turmoil 24/7.
Dec 10 2014
Rank #6: Happiness 101
... Well, technically it's Pysc 157.
This week Nerdette host Greta Johnsen speaks with the professor responsible for the most popular class in Yale University's 316-year history. Laurie Santos created a course called "Psychology and the Good Life” and about 1,200 students quickly enrolled in it.
Put simply, the course teaches students how they can be happier.
“The good news is that we can do it,” Santos tells Greta. “The bad news is that like all good things in life, it takes a lot of work.”
First, listen in as Santos gives us three main recommendations (1. Socialize; 2. Prioritize time over money; and 3. Remember you're too blessed to be stressed). Then, take the course yourself! It's free online via Coursera.
Aug 24 2018
Rank #7: Forget Cats: Jenny Slate Is A Plant Lady
Actress and comedian Jenny Slate has played many memorable characters on shows like Parks and Recreation, Kroll Show, Girls, and Brooklyn 99. She also wrote and voiced her web series Marcel The Shell. Her most recent role is alongside Edie Falco and John Turturro in the film Landline. But from all of her work on TV and film, few people know about Slate’s one true love: houseplants. Nerdette’s Greta Johnsen talked with Slate about why she loves houseplants, what she names them and how they play into her future goals. Then, a plant expert answers all of Slate’s most pressing questions.
Jul 28 2017
Rank #8: Sarah Vowell on Hamilton, grumpy cartographers and America's favorite Frenchman
We also discuss her latest book: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States.
Plus: Yes, Nerdette has been on hiatus for a suspiciously long time. So we turned to podcast hosts and super sleuths Mike Pesca, Lulu Miller and Peter Sagal for their conspiracy theories to explain why Tricia and Greta disappeared.
We're so glad to be back, nerds! We missed you.
Jan 28 2016
Rank #9: Felicia Day On Being Weird, Hard Work And Women In Hollywood
In this recording of a live event in Chicago, actress, gamer and internet royalty Felicia Day talks about being a weird kid, the importance of hard work, and how women can take over Hollywood. She's the author of a new memoir called You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).
Like Game of Thrones? Check out our other podcast: Nerdette Recaps Game of Thrones with Peter Sagal.
May 20 2016
Rank #10: Jessi Klein on her nerd origin story, Inside Amy Schumer and horses
Emmy nominee Jessi Klein, a stand up comedian and head writer for Inside Amy Schumer, nerds out with Tricia and Greta about the Marx Brothers, Black Stallion and the fearlessly funny feminism of her sketch show.
Jul 16 2014
Rank #11: Summer Reads!
Hey! Nerdette is about to go on a little summer break, but before we do we wanted to share this lovely conversation Greta had with WBEZ’s Jenn White and the owner of Volumes Bookscafe in Chicago, Rebecca George. They talk about what makes a good summer read before offering an INUNDATING LIST of killer summer books. You can check out the full list of those recommendations at this link.
Enjoy! Have a KAS and see you in a few weeks!
Jun 29 2018
Rank #12: Author Margaret Atwood Says ‘The Harvey Weinstein Moment’ Will Last
“I think it’s going to last more than a moment,” said the celebrated author on this week’s Nerdette. “But how much more than a moment, it remains to be seen."
Nerdette co-host Greta Johnsen talks with author Margaret Atwood about the recent TV adaptations of her novels Alias Grace and The Handmaid's Tale, how her take on feminism has changed in recent years, and what needs to happen to make sure the “Harvey Weinstein moment” isn’t just a moment. Plus, we explore one of Atwood's nerd obsessions: The 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner.
Nov 22 2017
Rank #13: Elizabeth Gilbert, polite botany, and Sex In Your Garden
Aug 19 2014
Rank #14: Issa Rae On Adulting, Oversharing And Her HBO Show
Issa Rae is the creator and star of HBO’s Insecure, a show about 29 year-old, her best friend, and their life choices. Issa tells us why we can’t all be Olivia Pope, how her new show reflects her own personality, and how a life crisis in your 30s is more interesting than one at 22.
Nov 03 2016
Rank #15: Gilmore Girls Revival Recap
The Gilmore Girls revival is finally here, and we’ve got a LOT of feelings. First, we challenge Gilmore newbies (and Dinner Party Download co-hosts) Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano to watch the first episode of the new series. Then, we chat with Liz Torres, the actress who plays Miss Patty. Finally, Tricia and Greta share their major takeaways from the revival.
Dec 02 2016
Rank #16: Roxane Gay On Writing, Trashy TV And Channing Tatum
Author Roxane Gay talks about writing her most recent book, a collection of short stories called Difficult Women, and why Beyoncé, Law and Order SVU and Channing Tatum’s neck are mentioned in the book’s acknowledgements.
Then, “reformed librarian” Kelly Jensen on why feminism isn’t always fun — but should be accessible — and how her new book is helping girls (and boys!) everywhere.
Mar 31 2017
Rank #17: Caitlin Moran on strident feminism, giddy optimism, and riotous laughter
This brilliant British columnist is incisive, tenacious, inspiring, and hilariously fun. Caitlin Moran talks with us about her definition of feminism, why cynicism is the worst, and how the most effective tool against patriarchal nonsense is subversive laughter. Because everyone--even Britain's filthiest feminist--is a little nerdy about something.
Jul 23 2015
Rank #18: An Introvert’s Guide To The Good Life
September is right around the corner, which means fall is coming.
To celebrate, Nerdette host Greta Johnsen talks with Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, author and illustrator of the new graphic novel Pumpkinheads. It’s about Deja and Josiah, two high schoolers who love working at an amazing pumpkin patch every autumn. But the story starts on their last day of work as they try to enjoy everything the patch has to offer one last time.
We also check in with an atmospheric scientist who’s about to head north — way north — for the world’s biggest climate study.
Aug 30 2019
Rank #19: Tig Notaro And Gillian Flynn 'Just' People
Comedian Tig Notaro talks about how she turned a string of personal tragedies into comedy. Then Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl, discusses her nerdy obsessions.
Jun 16 2016