‘Radical Rankings’ Pop Culture Happy Hour Debuts in Phoenix

Written by Wynter Holden Category: Culture Issue: September 2015

Photo by JD HancockOn NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, acerbic geek gurus debate everything from theme parks and Pixar trivia to the effect a flick’s opening sequence has on overall enjoyment. This isn’t strictly nerd territory, either. Comic books and Marvel movies are tossed in among more mainstream pop culture topics like Hulu’s new Difficult People show. It’s a bright, witty, fabulously fun round-table discussion of daily entertainment – even if there isn’t any actual drinking involved.

AZCentral.com entertainment reporter Kellie Hwang, DinoCon founder Julia Zolondz and Downtown Phoenix, Inc. events director Sara Anderson are taking NPR’s idea to the next level with their new Radical Rankings, a discussion group and (actual) happy hour held on the third Thursday of every month. The evening will open with discussion and audience rankings of the night’s topic, followed by trivia and an announcement of the poll winners at the end of the night. Food and drinks will be served.

For example, guests at the inaugural Radical Rankings will debate the merits of iconic superheroes such as Wonder Woman, Superman and Green Arrow. Using the provided nominee ballot featuring online suggestions, audience members rank their favorites and try to convince others why their beloved comic book champions deserve to be at the top. “You can read your comments aloud – the more animated, the better,” writes Hwang. “If you're shy, we'll read them for you.” Comments on the event’s Facebook listing are already veering toward the recent Fantastic Four debacle, which ensured Sue Storm and Mr. Fantastic will likely not make the Top 10.

Catch the premier Radical Rankings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 17, at Crescent Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public; RSVP through TicketSauce.

The Lounge at Crescent Ballroom
308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix
602-716-2222, crescentphx.com