Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Get a Load of This Clown” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Amazon’s Fleabag, Brangelexit, and the story of American Girl’s first black doll, Addy Walker.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 419 with Stephen Metcalf, Julia Turner, Aisha Harris and Dana Stevens with the audio player below.

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This week on Slate Plus, the critics celebrate Slate’s 20th anniversary by digging through the archives of the Culture Gabfest to find their favorite Gabfest moments. Listen to the gabbers recount the highs and lows of the last eight years as the they reminisce about how their podcast personas developed.


On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, the critics to discuss Fleabag, a refreshing British comedy from Amazon, written and directed Phoebe Waller-Bridge. What will the critics make of this “feminist, filthy and sad” narration, to quote Slate’s June Thomas, of a single woman’s existence? Next, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce provided a reprieve from the saturation of election coverage in the media last week. The critics take a closer look at how Brangelina came to embody celebrity coupledom over the last twelve years. Last, Aisha Harris joins to talk about her latest piece for Slate on Addy Walker, the first black American Girl doll. Aisha talks about where her research on Addy’s backstory led her and her own personal experience of the doll in the early ’90s.


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

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Dana: Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger

Julia: The Screwpull corkscrew

Stephen: Angel Olsen, especially her album Burn Your Fire For No Witness, and The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith.

Outro: “Shut Up and Kiss Me” by Angel Olsen

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This podcast was produced by Zack Dinerstein. Our intern is Lizzie Fison.

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