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Pop Culture Happy Hour: In Conversation With Fred Armisen And 'Welcome To Night Vale'

Pop Culture Happy Hour entered this week juggling a couple of problems. For one, a gigantic blizzard had just dumped roughly two feet of snow on the D.C. area, making transportation virtually impossible and, it turns out, stranding Glen Weldon in a Virginia cabin for much of the week. Getting the gang together would be no easy task.

Then there's the matter of a little backlog we'd had lying around, in the form of two Linda Holmes interviews — one onstage with Fred Armisen at our live Halloween show, and one a few nights later at D.C.'s Sixth & I synagogue, where she'd interviewed two of the the brains behind the podcast Welcome To Night Vale back in November. You can probably guess where this is going: Two birds, one stone, etc., etc.

So this week's episode starts with Linda talking to Armisen onstage at D.C.'s Howard Theater. Given how prolific Armisen has been in recent years, they can't possibly get to everything, but they do cover quite a bit, from Documentary Now! to Armisen's work as Seth Meyers' bandleader to saying yes to as many things as possible.

Then Linda joins Welcome To Night Vale creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor — at one of their events, not one of ours — to discuss their show's concept, continuity, origins, themes, success, plans, process and place in the world of podcasting. Along the way, they dispense a few recommendations (for this podcast, and this one, and this one, and this one, as well as the Charles Manson-specific episodes of this one).

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, Linda, me, Glen, producer Jessica, and producer emeritus Mike.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)