Ever since the early days of Pop Culture Happy Hour, we've set aside the occasional block of time to champion a few of our favorite entertainers in a segment we call People We're Pulling For. We keep the criteria pretty loose: They can be little-known up-and-comers, major stars at a crossroads, or anything in between. The important thing is that we're rooting for them, and we think others ought to root for them, too.
To whip up this particular blizzard of positive energy, I sat down with Glen Weldon — the man you've come to know as "Mr. Positive Energy" — as well as It's Been A Minute host Sam Sanders and longtime NPR Music contributor Katie Presley. Together, we assembled a terrific little bundle of folks to praise. Glen always enjoys comedian John Early, who livens up every project he touches. Katie is transfixed by the deeply weird books of American author Nell Zink. Sam is fascinated to see the next move of TV mogul Shonda Rhimes, even if he's given up on her current shows. And I say a few words about the deeply wonderful, deeply dry character actor Marc Evan Jackson.