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The Happiest of Hours: #PCHH

The panelists welcome a packed house to NPR Studio One.
Meredith Rizzo / NPR
The panelists welcome a packed house to NPR Studio One.

If you're familiar with Pop Culture Happy Hour and the hilarious folks behind the podcast, you're well acquainted with that special feeling that accompanies hearing the first few notes of intro music: sheer delight.

When Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson, Trey Graham, and Glen Weldon's voices come through your headphones, you're transported. You're sitting down with a group of your smartest, wittiest friends just shooting the breeze about any number of interesting things happening in culture today. They make you laugh, they make you think, but most importantly they shed some light on the fascinating stuff happening in between the lines.

That's the magic of #PCHH: the crew transitions seamlessly from silliness and sarcasm to thoughtful and poignant insights that are surprising and spot-on. "Huh, so true," you say aloud to your car's vacant passenger seat. Or, you find a robust launching pad for kickstarting a fruitful debate with whoever will listen. It's a win-win, regardless.

This is why we couldn't wait to take that feeling of sitting down with PCHH and make it a real sit-down-in-the-flesh sort of deal for the second time (the first live event was last year). So we picked a date, and announced it on Facebook. Within a few hours we had a packed house confirmed for a live in-studio taping of the podcast at NPR's HQ in Washington DC. Fans traveled from all over — some coming as far as Los Angeles (that's 3,000 miles!).

...And the PCHH crew put on quite a show! For those couldn't make it, we're excited to peel back the curtain and give you a behind-the-scenes peek at the faces behind the voices of Pop Culture Happy Hour.

Enjoy the pics from last month, give the show a listen, and drop us a line below with your own answer to the key question of the happiest of hours: "What's Making You Happy Today?"

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Joanna Pawlowska