Culture Gabfest

Culture Gabfest “Lash, Pre-Lash, and Parasocial Relations” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on The Card Counter, Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, and how John Mulaney inspired a wider discussion on parasocial relationships.


Episode Notes

This week, Steve and Dana are joined by author and co-host of Slate’s Working podcast, Isaac Butler. First, the panel discusses how Paul Schrader’s most recent film, The Card Counter, replaces gambling and addiction with guilt and accountability. Next, the panel discusses the star-studded true crime satirical comedy, Only Murders in the Building. Finally, the panel is joined by Slate senior writer and ICYMI podcast host Madison Malone Kircher to discuss John Mulaney and parasocial relationships.

In Slate Plus, the panel divulges more of their personal parasocial relationships.

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Dana: Nora Ephron’s great essay in The New Yorker “Moving On, A Love Story,” in which she struggles to move on from her apartment in the historical Apthorp building in the Upper West Side.

Isaac: First, Scorcese’s 1982 film The King of Comedy—the ultimate parasocial relationship film. Second, the app Relisten, which allows you to stream live-music recordings from the vast number of internet archives.

Steve: The great writer Saul Bellow’s 1956 novel, Seize the Day. Also: the 1984 collection of his short stories, Him with His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories.

Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Nadira Goffe.

Outro music is “Self Made Woman” by Katharine Appleton.


About the Show

New York Times critic Dwight Garner says, “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features Slate culture critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop.

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  • Isaac Butler is the co-host of Slate's Working podcast. He previously hosted Lend Me Your Ears, a podcast about Shakespeare and politics. He is the co-author, with Dan Kois, of The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America and is currently working on The Method, a narrative history of method acting, for Bloomsbury.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.