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Republic Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Ariana Grande already had a top 10 hit from her forthcoming album, Sweetener. As of this week, she's got songs at numbers six and eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 with the debut of her single "God Is a Woman." The song and its video have become somewhat controversial in certain corners of the internet.

And: Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl was a literary phenomenon in 2012. In its wake, film/television rights for her previous novels were snapped up. And now, six years later, HBO is airing an eight-episode (and only eight episodes, by the way) miniseries adapted in part by Flynn and starring Amy Adams.

Disney

There are three movies that deserve the credit (blame?) for the superhero/comic book movie renaissance/boom(/apocalypse?) that we've been living through now for nearly a decade and a half: Batman Begins (2005), Spider-Man 2 (2004), and Brad Bird's The Incredibles (2004).

thierry ehrmann / flickr creative commons

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. Dave Itzkoff's new biography is Robin.

And: For the tenth anniversary of his death, a look back at the work of George Carlin.

Pixabay

We all regret and we should not regret that we regret.  I regret buying that pair of pink sneakers that I'll never wear. I can't take the sneakers back but I can call the brother that I regret not speaking to for several months. 

Carlos Mejia / CT Public Radio

You probably know Larry Wilmore as the host of the Black on the Air podcast or of Comedy Central's The Nightly Show. Or maybe you know him as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's Senior Black Correspondent. Or you could know Wilmore as the co-creator of Insecure and The Bernie Mac Show or as a writer on The Office and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and In Living Color.

Tripp / Creative Commons

 

Comedy forces us to confront uncomfortable realities that we prefer to ignore. It also makes us laugh. Laughter is a powerful force. It can release chemicals in our body that make us feel good and help us better cope with the daily stress of living in a world that can lately seem to be spiraling out of control. 

IFC Films

Armando Iannucci is the creator of Veep and The Thick of It and the writer and director of In the Loop. Those, you'll note, are all contemporary political satires. Iannucci's new movie, The Death of Stalin, is set in 1953 Moscow and tells a true-to-some-degree version of the story of, logically, Joseph Stalin's death. Historical period piece or no, The Death of Stalin is still utterly recognizable Iannucci: it's funny, it's filthy -- it's mostly about the incompetence of the powerful. And, at the same time, stories about Russian authoritarianism have a certain contemporary vibe too, ya know?

yardenxanthe / flickr

Slime is not something we often think about. But there are plenty of reasons why that should probably change: From the theory that life on Earth may have have first emerged from a primordial ooze, to the current slime-making craze that's sweeping the internet.

Christel Øverland Preteni / flickr creative commons

humor = tragedy + time

Okay, but then the logical next question is: How much time?

If it's okay, at this point, to joke about, say, The Spanish Inquisition... what about, for instance, the Holocaust? Or AIDS? September 11th? The #MeToo movement?

...Parkland?

Jamle / flickr

They smell better, they're better at sensing temperature changes and they can handle more pain. These are just a few of the actual differences between redheads and the rest of us. But while having red hair does come with certain advantages, there are more than a few disadvantages as well.

Netflix

Dave Chappelle somewhat famously walked away from his Comedy Central series and went twelve years without releasing a comedy special. He broke that streak by putting out no less than four specials in 2017, and now he's maybe threatening to go back on another hiatus? Netflix released two new Chappelle specials -- "Equanimity" and "The Bird Revelations" -- on December 31, and The Nose has watched both.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

For a period of about fifty years, many of America's top cartoonists and illustrators lived within a stone's throw of one another in the southwestern corner of Connecticut.

Kris Krüg/PopTech / flickr creative commons

Kurt Andersen's new book is Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire. It's a 500-year history "of America jumping the shark." The idea, largely, is that our present post-fact, fake-news moment is... nothing new.

This hour, we look back at the history. We look at our present -- which is to say, we look at our present president: "To describe [Trump] is practically to summarize this book," Andersen says in Fantasyland. And we wonder if there's any way to regain and retain reality in America.

Columbia Pictures

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was originally released on December 14, 1977. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards and has gone on to gross more than $300 million worldwide. 

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

You might say that we’ve done a lot of coverage of The Trump Era.

It began with a show sixteen months ago that imagined a Trumpian future. We didn't take it terribly seriously then. We do now.

This hour, we've gathered a number of the people we've talked to along the way for a retrospective: Where have we been since last March, since Election Day, since Inauguration Day?

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