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On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast, our guests begin as strangers and end their conversation as family: It’s Pamela Adlon chatting with Tegan and Sara Quin.
Adlon has had an incredible career over the past 40 or so years; no matter what your pop culture diet, she has probably sneaked into your consciousness one way or another. Maybe you have vague memories of her character on The Facts of Life from the early ‘80s, or perhaps her roles on Californication and Louie in more recent years. Adlon has also had an incredible shadow career doing voices in animated shows, where she’s best known as Bobby Hill on King of the Hill. But perhaps the culmination of all that fantastic work is Better Things, the show that Adlon created, executive-produced, starred in, and let’s face it, gave birth to. Better Things just concluded its fifth and final season, and it stuck the landing so well. It’s one of those shows that hits that rare mixture of funny and true—and it definitely struck a nerve with the other half of today’s Talkhouse talk: Tegan and Sara.
Tegan and Sara started making music as teenagers, and given that they’re twin sisters, it’s no wonder that they were immediately in sync with each other. The duo were sort of flung into the big time immediately, being signed to Neil Young’s record label and opening for him when they were basically still kids. But some sage advice that you’ll hear about in this chat helped Tegan and Sara navigate what’s become a fruitful and varied career: They’ve made a ton of great music, stuck their heads into the mainstream here and there, and kept their vision intact. They’ve also written a memoir called High School, which was recently adapted into an Amazon TV show. They’re unabashed with their love and respect for Better Things, which may have seeped into their own show. Their latest album is called Crybaby, the memoir and TV show are both called High School, and they’ve got a new graphic memoir called Junior High coming out later this year. Check out “Yellow” from Crybaby.
In this delightful conversation, Tegan and Sara gush a little bit about Better Things and Adlon in general, and in turn Adlon offers to join their family. They talk about their various creative endeavors, the niceness of Neil Young, Sara’s recent parenthood, the “hairy edge” that Better Things walked, and lots more. Enjoy.
Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Pamela Adlon, Tegan Quin, and Sara Quin for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff on our website and our podcast network. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
(Feature photos courtesy of the artists, edited by Keenan Kush.)