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This week, we welcome the world's foremost Larry David impersonator (and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate) onto the show.

Since Not My Job is all about asking important people irrelevant questions, we'll quiz Sen. Bernie Sanders on Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Click the listen link above to see how he does.

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In the world of ballet, The Nutcracker is sort of a gateway drug. Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon danced his first Nutcracker when he was 11, with London's Royal Ballet. After he moved to the U.S., he danced the Balanchine production with the New York City Ballet.

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

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'Iraq + 100' Is Painful, But Don't Look Away

Dec 10, 2016

Cool, they flee war zones, but the problem ain't ours

Even if our bombs landed on them like the Mayflower

-- Riz MC, "Immigrants," Hamilton Mixtape

The World War II drama, Land of Mine, has what sounds like the season's proudest, most patriotic title, but it's actually a dark pun — a reference to the more than one million land mines the Nazis buried on the Danish coastline, hoping to deter an Allied invasion.

Perhaps the strategy worked, since American and British forces landed miles away in Normandy on D-Day, but it left Denmark with a booby trapped west coast, and a logistical problem of staggering proportions. The coastline wasn't declared officially safe until 2012.

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Many of us look forward to flipping through the Williams-Sonoma holiday catalog and the unbearably festive kitchen delights it offers.

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Damien Chazelle's new movie, La La Land, is very different from his first one, Whiplash — which was about a jazz drummer and his abusive mentor.

La La Land is also about struggle and jazz, but instead of dimly lit rooms and a grey color palette, it's a brightly colored modern musical.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By

Dec 9, 2016

Pablo Hidalgo is a creative executive at Lucasfilm, but host Ophira Eisenberg isn't quite buying the title. "Sounds a little made up," joked Eisenberg from NPR's New York City studios. "What actually is your day-to-day job?" Hidalgo explained it quite simply: it's to know absolutely everything there is to know about Star Wars. As the universe expands, it's Hidalgo's job to make sure everything stays accurate and in sync — a Star Wars story consultant, if you will.

Dog, Park, Or Monster?

Dec 9, 2016

This, That, or the Other returns! Our clues fit into one of three categories: is it a dog breed, a national park, or a Japanese kaiju monster?

Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By

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

Tilt The Title

Dec 9, 2016

In this game, contestants rearrange the titles of famous books to make entirely new books. For example, if we said, "In this book by John Steinbeck, fruits that are tired of being stomped on finally take their revenge," the answer would be The Wrath of Grapes.

Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By

Stump Jonathan Coulton

Dec 9, 2016

In this round of Stump Jonathan Coulton, it's the year 1004 and a relatively new hand-held object has just been derided by clergy as being "sinfully decadent." Can you figure out what the object is before Jonathan?

Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By

Something Fishy

Dec 9, 2016

Our finalists get nautical in this final round where every answer contains a form of marine life. For example, if we said, "it's a piece of sports footwear worn in ice hockey," the answer would be "skate."

Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By

Mis-Direction

Dec 9, 2016

The never-ending struggle with your confused GPS hits an all-time high in this game about national landmarks. Contestants figure out where a virus-afflicted GPS is trying to direct them to.

Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By

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

Allads

Dec 9, 2016

If Jonathan Coulton sang the Cyndi Lauper song "Time After Time," but the lyrics were about the show Project Runway after Tim Gunn retires, the answer would be "Time After Tim." That's the gist of this music game where we remove one letter from the title of ballads.

Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By

Mystery Guest

Dec 9, 2016

This episode's Mystery Guest, Leslie Scott, calls in all the way from England. Leslie created something you can do with friends. Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton ask "yes" or "no" questions to figure it out what it is. (HINT: You've probably done it yourself!)

Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By

We spend a lot of time on Pop Culture Happy Hour talking about interesting cable television, because interesting cable television gives us a lot to talk about. But this week, we look at two strong fall shows that showed up on broadcast networks. NBC's This Is Us is a breakout hit, and falls into the long-established tradition of family dramas that follow many threads at once and bring the crying relatively frequently. (Just ask Ari Shapiro of All Things Considered, our guest for this segment.)

Thirty years ago, a new face debuted on daytime television: Oprah Winfrey.

The new podcast, "Making Oprah," produced by member station WBEZ, chronicles Oprah's rise to stardom. Journalist Jenn White tells Oprah's story from her early days on her first talk show, AM Chicago, through to the biggest, most outrageous moments when 40 million people a week were watching her national show.

In the shambling ensemble comedy Office Christmas Party, Kate McKinnon plays the uptight Human Resources person at an unruly tech outfit, a job about as thankless as hall monitor in Rock 'n' Roll High School. Every boozy party movie needs its requisite prude, but McKinnon keeps adding new layers of eccentricity, from a data-driven approach to cheese platter arrangement to secret perversions that dangle like loose threads from her interdenominational holiday sweater.

Slash fiction, for the unbent, is generally defined as fan fiction that pairs two characters or real people of the same sex in an intimate or erotic way: you've got your Kirk/Spock, your Sherlock/Watson, your Axl/Slash (sorry). The culture has been around for decades and is the subject of much queer-studies scholarship, but until the Internet such activity remained largely cloaked in shadow.

The friction between art and life is director Damien Chazelle's ongoing obsession. It's a fine thing to ponder, though I didn't much care for his 2014 melodrama Whiplash, which worked up an overblown froth from the daffy proposition that you can bully a fledgling musician into becoming a genius drummer.

Even non-Christians must allow that the New Testament is a formidable document. So any attempt to write what Jaco Van Dormael's comedy calls Le tout noveau testament (The Brand New Testament) requires careful deliberation. But the Belgian writer-director and his co-scripter, Thomas Gunzig, just didn't think very hard about their undertaking. The result is a satire whose whimsies and sight gags frequently click, but whose philosophical impact is negligible.

The BOTS Act of 2016 is now on its way to President Obama's desk, after both houses of Congress approved the legislation that seeks to widen access to online ticket sales and foil scalpers who try to corner the market.

The ban applies to ticket sales for any public event that can be attended by 200 or more people; it targets software that routinely defeats attempts by venues to try to limit the number of tickets one buyer can purchase.

I first got to taste Blue Seal ice cream 13 years ago. I was 24 years old and teaching English in a tiny mountain town called Furukawa, which means "Old River." One weekend, some Canadian friends and I flew to Okinawa, Japan's southern-most island. Once we arrived in downtown Naha, Okinawa's capital city, my friends decided to dine at a steakhouse. And as the only vegetarian in the group, I was on my own. As I wandered down Kokusai-dori, or International Street, I saw the welcoming orange and blue entrance of a Blue Seal ice cream shop.

I hesitate to say it, but the one word that characterizes my best books of 2016 list is "serious." These books aren't grim and they're certainly not dull, but collectively they're serious about tackling big, sometimes difficult subjects — and they're also distinguished by seriously good writing. Here are 10 that you shouldn't miss.

While Pop Culture Happy Hour was out in San Francisco recently, we dropped by KQED and caught up with Emmanuel Hapsis, the editor of KQED Pop, the station's pop culture blog, and the host of its podcast, The Cooler. Along with our affinity for writing and podcasting about many of the same things, Emmanuel and I share an affection for Younger, which recently closed its third season (not all of which we'd seen when we taped in late October, of course).

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

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A new art exhibition is called "Picasso And Rivera: Conversations Across Time." It opened this week at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is where NPR's Mandalit del Barco found the grandsons of both masters.

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