Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Super Secret Getaway” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Samantha Bee using the c-word, Book Club, and Philip Roth

Samantha Bee.

Photo illustration by Slate.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 507 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

Or find the Culture Gabfest via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

On this week’s Slate Plus, Stephen, Dana and Julia discuss what object they would make bigger if they could.

Go to to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.

This week, the critics are live from S&S Farm Brewery in Nassau, New York, with musical accompaniment by the Hold Steady’s Franz Nicolay.


First, the gabbers discuss Samantha Bee’s recent use of the c-word on Full Frontal, the reaction from both sides of the political aisle, and when that word is, or isn’t, acceptable. Next, they talk about the movie Book Club, in which a group of women start reading Fifty Shades of Grey and experience romantic and sexual awakenings as a result. The cast, which includes Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenbergen, is stellar, but is the movie true to the “book club” conceit? Finally, the critics examine the literary legacy of Philip Roth and dive into his book The Ghost Writer with help from the audience


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:



Dana: Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

Julia: the word fingerspitzengefühl

Stephen: The Watchtower by Elizabeth Harrower

Outro: The Red Haired Strangers

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. The production assistant is Daniel Schroeder.

Follow us on Twitter. And please like the Culture Gabfest on Facebook.