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Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.




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Spoiler Specials: Bodies Bodies Bodies

This week’s Spoiler Specials takes on Bodies Bodies Bodies. Slate’s movie critic Dana Stevens and Slate writer Nadira Goffe spoil A24’s latest murder mystery, directed by Halina Reijn. Note: As the title indicates, this podcast contains spoilers galore. Read another Slate review here. Email us at Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


A Word: Black Wombs Matter

The U.S. has some of the worst maternal mortality rates in the industrialized world. And African Americans are three times more likely to die in childbirth than whites. The documentary Aftershock focuses on how the healthcare system is failing Black mothers at the most vulnerable time of their lives, and how their families are fighting to change that. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson speaks with the film’s co-director and co-producer Tonya Lewis Lee about the history of the crisis...


The Waves: It’s Not TV. It’s a Sh*tshow.

On this week’s episode of The Waves, the streaming wars have come for us all. The Daily Beast’s Allegra Frank sits down with Inkoo Kang of The Washington Post to talk about what happened at HBO and where gender fits into it all. HBO Max recently canceled the nearly done Batgirl, and has been quietly removing content from its streaming service as it prepares to merge with Discovery+. Allegra and Inkoo talk about how streaming services reducing their content offering likely spells trouble for...


ICYMI: What Is a Clean Girl?

Three lifestyle trends with surprisingly retrograde ideas have been popping up on TikTok. On today’s show, Nadira Goffe is back with Rachelle to discuss what’s going on. They talk about the problems with the “clean girl” aesthetic, people who shouldn’t be trying to imitate the Kennedys and the like, and why being a housewife isn’t the “soft life” TikTokkers might want you to believe it is. This podcast is produced by Daniel Schroeder, Rachelle Hampton, and Daisy Rosario. Subscribe to Slate...


Outward: Viruses and Our Profoundly Unequal World

This month, host Christina Cauterucci, Jules Gill-Peterson, and Bryan Lowder start the show with a Thots & Queries segment in which a listener asks about orgy etiquette. In a completely different party setting, they try to figure out what on earth is going on in the U.S. Congress, where legislators are debating marriage equality in the form of the Respect for Marriage Act. Then Northwestern University professor and journalist Steven Thrasher joins them to discuss his new book The Viral...


Culture Gabfest: A Podcast Takes a Lot of Work!

This week, Julia and co-host of Slate’s Working podcast, June Thomas, steer the ship with a rotating panel of guests as Dana and Steve take a break. First, Julia and June are joined by Slate’s Editorial Assistant and Production Assistant for Gabfest, Nadira Goffe, to discuss A24’s new Gen-Z slasher film Bodies Bodies Bodies. Then, the panel is joined by Slate’s Editor-in-Chief, Hillary Frey, to discuss the new female-led adolescent ‘80s sci-fi series Paper Girls. Finally, the panel is joined...


Decoder Ring: The “Sex” Scandal That Made Mae West

In the early 1930s, Mae West’s dirty talk and hip swiveling walk made her one of the biggest movie stars in America. But before West hit the big-screen, she was prosecuted for staging not one, but two scandalous plays. In this episode, we look at how West honed her persona when she was under the bright lights of Broadway and the flashbulbs of the tabloids — and briefly behind bars. More than a century later, her career arc offers a blueprint on how to survive a scandal…and maybe even come...


Hang Up: Psychedelics and Sports

Vinson Cunningham and Stefan Fatsis are joined by the New Yorker’s Louisa Thomas to discuss the latest on Deshaun Watson’s sexual abuse case and Serena Williams’ impending retirement. Also, Sports Illustrated’s Julie Kliegman joins to talk about athletes and psychedelics. Deshaun Watson (5:00): The new Browns quarterback debuted with the team to boos and jeers. Serena Williams (21:52): The superstar announced in Vogue that she is “evolving away from tennis.” Psychedelics (35:20): Should more...


Working: Writers Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn on Their Longtime Partnership

This week, host June Thomas talks to writers Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn, whose Significant Objects project explores how and why physical items can take on meaning and value. In the interview, Rob and Joshua talk about how their partnership was born and explain why they’re such compatible collaborators. They also discuss their proclivity for balancing lots of projects, and Joshua explains something he calls the “virtuous circle of procrastination.” After the interview, June and co-host Karen...


ICYMI: Was Black Twitter a Mistake?

Exclusively Black spaces online have faded away as platforms with wider audiences have taken over, but what, if anything, has been lost with those spaces? On today’s show, Rachelle is joined again by Nadira Goffe to discuss their own experiences growing up online as Black women, and they speak with Dr. Meredith D. Clark, a professor at Northeastern University who studies Black online spaces, about Black online history, how and why we interact the way we do, and what it means to know that...


Hit Parade: Still Billy Joel to Me Part 1

So, sure—Billy Joel’s first Top 40 hit, way back in 1974, was “Piano Man,” and the nickname stuck. But for a guy who became famous sitting behind 88 keys, few of his biggest hits are really piano songs. In fact, on all three of his No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, keyboards are not the primary instrument. The truth is, Joel isn’t the Piano Man, he’s the pastiche man. He has openly admitted to borrowing genre tropes, vocal styles, and even specific song hooks from his Baby Boom-era...


A Word: Designing Wakanda

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres in theaters this November. The franchise has provided a showcase for African Americans across the entertainment industry, including those behind the scenes. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson speaks with one of those rising creatives, conceptual artist Phillip Boutte Jr. Boutte left an acting career for film design, working on several sci-fi blockbusters. They discuss how Black Panther has helped change the dynamic for African American film...


The Waves: Live. Laugh. Lexapro.

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate senior editor Shannon Palus is joined by the managing editor of Future Tense, Mia Armstrong. This week is all about selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of drugs commonly used to treat depression and anxiety. Shannon and Mia discuss their own experiences with their mental health and SSRIs. Then they dig into the cultural narrative around using medication for anxiety and depression,a recent study disproving an old adage about...


Working: Moving to a New City

On this edition of Working Overtime, co-host June Thomas gets some advice from co-host Karen Han about moving to a new city as a freelance writer. First they talk about how important it is to engage with your new city’s art scene and cultural institutions. Then they discuss ways to build a new supportive community and how to stay in touch with former collaborators. Do you have a question about creative work? Call us and leave a message at 304-933-9675, or email us at


ICYMI: What Makes a Good Internet Boyfriend?

Everybody loves indulging in thirst online. On today’s episode, Rachelle is joined by Slate’s Nadira Goffe to discuss exactly what makes internet thirst so much fun. They talk about the qualities of a good internet boyfriend, when thirsting can go wrong, and how much these thirst objects really owe us. This podcast is produced by Daniel Schroeder, Rachelle Hampton, and Daisy Rosario. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Culture Gabfest: Is The Resort a White Lotus Ripoff?

This week, the panel begins by discussing Peacock’s latest mystery series The Resort. Then, the panel takes a more light-hearted turn with Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. Finally, the panel is joined by author and Slate editor Dan Kois to discuss his recent Slate piece about “The 50 Greatest Fictional Deaths of All Time.” In Slate Plus, the panel talks about movie and television credits. Email us at Endorsements Dana: A suggestion from Carl Wilson (and in memory for...


Decoder Ring: The First Alien Abductees

When you think of an alien abduction, what do you picture? Humanoid creatures, medical experiments, lost memories retrieved through hypnosis? That narrative was largely unknown until Betty and Barney Hill went public about their own alien abduction in the 1960s. Betty Hill’s niece, Kathleen Marden, recounts how the story went viral and her aunt and uncle became unwitting celebrities. And professors Susan Lepselter, Chris Bader, Joseph O. Baker and Stephanie Kelley-Romano explain how the...


Hang Up: Vin Scully in His Own Words

Josh Levin, the New Yorker’s Vinson Cunningham, and Slate’s Henry Grabar take an audio tour of Vin Scully’s broadcasting career. They also discuss the documentary NYC Point Gods. Finally, Josh interviews tennis players Maxime Cressy and Daria Saville. Vin Scully (2:36): Eight moments from 66 years in the booth. NYC Point Gods (33:11): Is the new basketball documentary worth watching? Tennis (48:33): Conversations with two of the most fascinating players on tour. Afterball (1:16:42): Josh on...


Working: How Chef Hooni Kim Brings Korean Staples into U.S. Homes

This week, host Karen Han discusses the basics of great Korean food with chef Hooni Kim. In the interview, Hooni starts by explaining how one of his restaurants developed a meal-kit service at the start of the pandemic. Then he discusses his latest venture, the Little Banchan Shop, which will offer packaged Korean side dishes (called Banchan), marinated meats, and other items that customers can incorporate into their home cooked meals. After the interview Karen and co-host Isaac Butler talk...


ICYMI: Does Nicki Minaj Really Owe the IRS $173 Million?

On today’s episode, Rachelle is joined by Daisy Rosario to open up the mailbag for another session of Read Receipts. They get into drama surrounding Nicki Minaj’s alleged former assistant airing the rapper’s alleged dirty laundry, Diane Warren stirring up trouble with Beyoncé, satisfying restocking videos, and an explanation of Ana Mardoll. This podcast is produced by Daniel Schroeder, Rachelle Hampton, and Daisy Rosario. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit