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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: With Thanksgiving upon us, you might have a chance to veg out in front of the TV after dinner. And if you're not into football, you might want to catch up on some shows that you may have overlooked over the past few months. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says this is a great time to watch some shows that are new this season and have really found their legs. Hey there, Eric. ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Hey, how you doing?...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: President-elect Trump lets it be known when he'd like something and when he doesn't. And he does not like the way Alec Baldwin plays him on "Saturday Night Live." (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE") ALEC BALDWIN: (As Donald Trump) Siri... (LAUGHTER) BALDWIN: (As Donald Trump) ...How do I kill ISIS? (LAUGHTER) MCEVERS: That's from last Saturday's episode. The next morning, Trump tweeted that he had...

When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who's already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There . Midway through college, Stephen Agyei quit the track and field team, signed up for a stand-up competition, got on stage and did his first set. He knew immediately that he was going to do whatever it takes to make it in comedy. "I...

As the child of a black mother and a white father in apartheid-era South Africa, Daily Show host Trevor Noah was the living, breathing evidence that a crime had been committed. Under apartheid, interracial couples who had engaged in sexual relations could be punished with years-long prison sentences, and biracial children like Noah could be taken away from their parents. As a result, Noah spent much of his early life in hiding. He tells Fresh Air 's Terry Gross, "My grandmother kept me locked...

Michael Chabon turns out more beautiful sentences in a single novel than some writers produce in a lifetime. But he is far more than just an elegant stylist: Chabon is an adventurous writer who wields his gorgeous — and occasionally over-the-top — prose in the service of lively narratives that channel various genres — comics, detective, picaresque, historical — often in combination, as in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish Policeman's Union . Moonglow , a playful twist...

This is the story of a stolen book, a sense of national pride and some creative sleuthing. The book in question is a first edition copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. In 2015, it was stolen from a Bogota, Colombia, book fair. Many cases in that city go unsolved because of a lack of resources, but local law enforcement went all out to solve this crime. In its new season, the Spanish-language podcast Radio Ambulante tells the story of how the book was recovered....

The new TBS show Search Party isn't just an amateur detective story — it's also a millennial comedy. "The setting is the fast-talking, young world of Brooklyn," co-creator Charles Rogers tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "Dory and her friends all have job titles that aren't exactly real jobs and everyone has a very strong identity." Dory is played by Arrested Development actress Alia Shawkat. When she learns an acquaintance has gone missing, she decides to investigate. The writers wanted to place an...

On April 6, 2015, my mother arrived in my one-bedroom apartment after more than 24 hours of air travel and, after a quick nap, declared it was time for presents. Out of her suitcase emerged an opaque industrial bag dotted with some austere cyrillics. Out of the bag tumbled a small pile of gruesome-looking metal parts. My trained Russian eye instantly summoned their reconstructed visual: My gift was a hand-crank meat grinder. Two-and-a-half pounds of aluminum, in a suitcase, flown overseas....

In a time of heated political differences, British novelist Zadie Smith says she enjoys talking to people with whom she disagrees. She tells Fresh Air' s Terry Gross that listening to conflicting viewpoints helps her find a place of connection with people whose beliefs are different from her own. Smith explains that she thinks of people as pluralistic, with different ideas that emerge depending on the historical context. "I don't believe that great swathes of the population are in some way...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: Twenty-five years ago, Julie Dash made history when she became the first African-American woman to direct and produce a full-length feature film that was widely distributed in theaters across the country. The movie is "Daughters Of The Dust," and it follows the story of the Peazant family living on one of the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina, descendants of former slaves who'd sought refuge there as...

Five centuries ago, Christians in Europe who hoped to go to heaven knew they might first have to spend a few thousand years in a fiery purgatory, where they would be purified of their outstanding sins. It was not a pleasant thought, but the Catholic Church offered some hope: A cash offering to the local priest could buy an "indulgence" certificate, entitling the believer to a shorter purgatory sentence. In practice, the money often went into the pockets of corrupt church officials and their...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: It is hardly worth saying these words again out loud. Still, I'm going to do it. It's been a really exhausting year. No matter who you voted for, you've probably noticed tensions are high and have been so for a while. And now Thanksgiving, traditionally the holiday that is meant to be, you know, relaxing. It often ends with a fight between Aunt Ida and Uncle Jim or who gets the last piece of pumpkin pie. So how...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: It seems like an impossibly tragic tale. A 5-year-old boy named Saroo from an impoverished family in India goes with his older brother to a train station one night. The big brother leaves the tired little boy there on a bench to sleep so he can go off to his night job. The little boy wakes and his brother isn't there, so he wanders onto an empty train and again falls asleep. When Saroo wakes up, the train is...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Simone Biles performed a staggering sweep at this year's Rio Olympics, becoming the first U.S. gymnast to win four gold medals at a single games. In her new autobiography, "Courage To Soar," she writes that as much as she loves gymnastics, the pathway to Olympic gold is hard. In one chapter, she describes trying to learn a routine on the bars, and she falls. She's crying and telling her coaches she doesn't want...

How Misspellings Caught A Spy

Nov 19, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: And now we're going to hear a story that sounds just too bizarre to be true. More than a decade before Edward Snowden famously leaked thousands of classified records to the world, another U.S. government contractor tried a similar move the old-fashioned way. His name is Brian Regan. And in 1999 and 2000, he smuggled classified documents out of his office and buried them in the woods hoping to sell them to a...

Vice President-elect Mike Pence was presumably seeking a quiet night out at the theater, enjoying one of Broadway's hottest tickets with a Friday night performance of Hamilton: An American Musical . What he got instead was a welcome of boos and cheers from the crowd and a pointed plea from the diverse cast and crew afterwards about what they believe really makes America great. At the curtain call, actor Brandon Victor Dixon — who plays former Vice President Aaron Burr, who infamously shot and...

In February, country music superstar Trisha Yearwood came to play our quiz , and she mentioned we might want to talk to her husband, who we understand is something of a musician himself. Who can say no to Trisha Yearwood? So this week we welcome Garth Brooks to Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! There are a lot of other Garths out there, so we'll quiz him on three other notable Garths. Click the audio link above to see how he does. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. PETER...

Moonglow , Michael Chabon's new novel, is like a moonshot in search of life before it goes dark. Mike, the narrator, goes to his grandfather on his deathbed, where strong painkillers crack open the stories the old man has kept under wraps for so long. The grandson can finally see his grandfather as a young man, an unheralded hero of the OSS in World War II, an engineer who dreamed of the stars, a pool hustler, a lover and an unabashed felon. Chabon tells NPR's Scott Simon that the origin of...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Vice President-elect Mike Pence stepped out last night to see one of the hottest shows in New York, "Hamilton: An American Musical." Mr. Pence was greeted with equally loud cheering and booing when he walked into the theater. The show is a salute to the contribution of immigrants performed by a proudly and deliberately multicultural cast. The Trump campaign often pledged to ban immigrants from Muslim countries....

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Ray Kroc, to use his proud words, put the hamburger on the assembly line. The 15-cents McDonald's hamburger wasn't his idea, but he turned it into a fortune, which his third wife, Joan Kroc, would survive to give away to places of which the founder of that fortune might not have approved, including this organization. Ray and Joan had a relationship of fire and ice, which is now chronicled in Lisa Napoli's book "Ray...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Marta Dusseldorp is a name that's almost as familiar in Australian households as Vegemite on toast. She stars in the hit shows "Jack Irish," "Crownies," "Janet King" and "A Place To Call Home," a series that Entertainment Weekly has called Australia's sexiest period soap. It's set in 1950 small-town Australia, features great characters, great costumes, homophobia, xenophobia - all kinds of phobias - and...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: J.K. Rowling might have conjured her last "Harry Potter" novel, but she is still making magic. Her film "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them" takes place decades before Harry was born. It's a prequel of sorts, centered on a not-quite-so-young wizard who accidentally releases some unusual creatures in 1920s New York. And speaking of creatures, the animators at Studio Ghibli are releasing "The Red Turtle" for...

The photographer and author documented life in Nazi Germany and in Josef Stalin's gulags, as well as the arrival of Jews in Israel. She died Thursday in New York, at the age of 105. You can see several of her photographs here. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: Ruth Gruber was a witness to many of the 20th century's worst moments and a few of its best. She was a journalist passionate about the plight of the Jewish people. She died yesterday in New...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Film critic David Edelstein has a review of the new film "Manchester By The Sea," the third feature written and directed by playwright Kenneth Lonergan. The film is named for a Massachusetts town to which the protagonist returns to bury his brother and reconnect with his teenage nephew. It stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: In Kenneth Lonergan's ...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. Today, we're saluting two authors whose works were honored this week as recipients of the National Book Award. Later in the show, we'll replay an interview from longtime Georgia congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, who co-wrote this year's winner in the Young People's Literature category. But...

Taxonomy Anomaly

Nov 18, 2016

Wait, what kind of animal is a panda ant — is it a panda, an ant, or a wasp? In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg tells contestants a bizarrely named animal, and they have to guess what kind of animal it actually is. Heard on Cary Elwes, Dennis Quaid & Christian Cooke: The Art Of More Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST: Now we'll play a guessing game called Taxonomy Anomaly. But first let's check in with our contestants. Angeline Rodriguez, you...

International Brands Of Mystery

Nov 18, 2016

Ever try getting some Kentucky Fried Chicken in Quebec? Good luck Google Maps-ing it without knowing its local name, P-F-K, or "Poulet Frit Kentucky!" In this game, contestants guess brands based on their overseas identities. Heard on Cary Elwes, Dennis Quaid & Christian Cooke: The Art Of More Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. JONATHAN COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from The Bell House in beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y., it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and...

The N-th Degree

Nov 18, 2016

Get ready to be exponentially impressed with this game, where contestants add the letter 'N' to common phrases, and turn them into less common phrases. For example, if you were to add an "N" to a glum person to convert them into a bag used for flood protection, you'd turn your sad sack into a sand sack !' Heard on Cary Elwes, Dennis Quaid & Christian Cooke: The Art Of More Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST: Kaiya and JJ, we've got a word game...

Changes

Nov 18, 2016

Ever leave spare quarters in your other pair of jeans, the ones you were wearing earlier in the day? In this music game, we rewrote the lyrics to David Bowie's "Changes" to be about things that change or get changed. Heard on Cary Elwes, Dennis Quaid & Christian Cooke: The Art Of More Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST: Our next two contestants will turn and face a strange music parody game, so let's meet them. First up, Kaiya Lyons. You're a...

On Again, Off Again

Nov 18, 2016

All bets are off in this week's final round, where each answer contains the word "off." For example, if we asked, "Name the story of a high school senior that ditches school to ride around Chicago in this 1986 comedy," you'd say, " Ferris Bueller's Day Off ." Heard on Cary Elwes, Dennis Quaid & Christian Cooke: The Art Of More Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST: Now it's time to crown our big winner. Let's bring back our finalists - Angeline,...

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