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What's Making Us Happy: A guide to your weekend viewing and listening

The Philharmonik is the winner of the 2024 Tiny Desk Contest.
Courtesy of the artist
The Philharmonik is the winner of the 2024 Tiny Desk Contest.

This week, queens kept resigning, a story that seemed to be over wasn't over, and a big movie came to Cannes — and Cannes delivered the controversy.

Here's what NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.

Sophie Truax's puppets and songs on TikTok

What's making me happy this week is the resurgence of puppets on TikTok, and one account in particular: Singer-songwriter Sophie Truax who you can find @sophietruax. They create these puppets that are kind of like the characters in their songs — so they have one for themself that has a septum ring and wears bolo ties. They have some for their exes which are these hipster- looking puppets with beanies and cigarettes. The whole thing is hilarious. They posted this videoof them doing puppet ventriloquism of Sabrina Carpenter's "Espresso." It's really been getting me through the week. — Isabella Gomez Sarmiento

Tyler Joseph Ellis' Instagram videos

Tyler Joseph Ellis is an actor who does recurring bits on TikTok and Instagram about catty, judgmental theater people. And as a former theater kid, this is right in my wheelhouse. It is very niche. One of my favorite bits is "POV: You approach the senior theater kids." In one he plays a senior theater kid making fun of a freshman theater kid for saying Beauty and the Beast is their favorite musical. It just tickles my soul because I've been there. I love it. — Aisha Harris

The latest Tiny Desk Contest winner, The Philharmonik

This week we announced the winner of our 10th annual Tiny Desk contest is The Philharmonik,an artist from Sacramento, Calif. Their song, "What's It All Mean?" is completely timeless. It would have made a great Stevie Wonder song. It would have made a great '90s neo-soul song. It makes a great song in 2024. In the video they submitted, they perform this song not just in front of a desk, but in an office full of desks. This is a beautiful song and it's made by somebody who really thought about the Tiny Desk in clever ways. I'm just delighted by it. Look for their Tiny Desk concert in the days to come. — Stephen Thompson

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

Far be it from me to tell you what shows to watch (wait, I do that all the time), but you should know there was an announcement this week of a new host of The Mole, and if you listen to PCHH – or NPR – you might find the name familiar.

Former Random House copy chief Benjamin Dreyer is always worth listening to, but this week, he uncorked a particularly good column at the Washington Post about why "salacious" doesn't mean what a lot of people assume it does – and neither do a lot of other words.

Who doesn't love the dogs of the Westminster Dog Show? Take a peek at some of this year's contenders in a terrific and photo-heavy piece at Vogue.


Beth Noveyadapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" for the Web. If you like these suggestions, consider signing up for our newsletterto get recommendations every week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple Podcastsand Spotify.

Copyright 2024 NPR

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Isabella Gomez Sarmiento is a production assistant with Weekend Edition.
Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
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.)
Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.
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