Pop Culture Happy Hour No. 255: Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation (Too Many Colons)


It was my honor to spend, for the second consecutive year, my birthday — well, the eve of my birthday — at NPR with Team PCHH. Here’re my notes and omissions on this thrilling episode.

I can’t believe I did not ask ace PCHH producer Jessica Reedy to play a few bars of Lalo Schifrin’s “Theme from Mission: Impossible” to set up that segment. Sure, we all know what it sounds like, but any excuse to play it is a good one. What the hell is wrong with me?

My friend and editor Alan Scherstuhl of The Village Voice is a noted Tom Cruise-hater. We’ve debated the relative merits of Cruise’s (terrific) Mission: Impossible films and (demonstrably inferior) Fast & the Furious series at a length that I feel is entirely age-appropriate for both of us. I wanted to quote Alan’s line about how Cruise is less an actor than a running-man GIF file. The difference is that he considers that at insult and I think it’s a compliment, at least when we’re discussing an action picture. Vin Diesel looks intimidating standing still but doesn’t move especially well. Cruise looks great in motion.

Had I known on Monday evening when we taped this episode that the podcast U Talkin’ U2 2 Me? would post an episode on Wednesday that features a long-form interview with U2, recorded in New York City the night before I saw the band play Madison Square Garden, that would’ve been What’s Making Me Happy this week. Apparently this interview happened just prior to when The Edge and Adam Clayton crashed a 20th anniversary party for the best U2 fansite, @u2.com, where a U2 cover band was performing. For U2 to actually show up on a show that is at least 45 percent devoted to making (affectionate) fun of them is surreal. It won’t stop all y’all from continuing to claim they are humorless, but it should.

The Thing that I did say was Making Me Happy, and still is, Hamilton, now has a release date for its Black Thought and Questlove-produced cast album.

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