Megan Garber
Megan Garber
Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic, covering culture.
Kara Gordon / The Atlantic

Arch Enemies

A new company is bringing the engineering savvy of rocket science to the design of the high-heeled shoe. Can stilettos that are actually comfortable to wear change centuries’ worth of symbolism?

  • Matt Chan / Flickr

    How to Fight With Your Relatives: A Handy, Bipartisan Guide

    Thanksgiving may celebrate turkeys and stuffing and pie; its true joy, though, can come in properly talking down to one’s family.

  • NBC

    Saturday Night Live Punctures the Liberal Bubble

    This week, the show turned its mockery toward smug elites.

  • Sergio Dionisio / AP

    Zadie Smith on the Politics of Fiction

    “I wouldn’t have thought that I would write on political subjects,” she says. “But I have, quite a lot.”

  • AP

    It Pays to Be a Jerk, Bob Dylan Edition

    From the troubadour to Donald Trump, pop culture has a nasty habit of celebrating bad behavior.

  • Amazon

    Pop Culture Resents ‘The Establishment’ Too

    How American movies and TV shows help to explain the rise of Donald Trump—and the rebuke of Hillary Clinton

  • CBS

    Stephen Colbert Finds Refuge in Punditry

    The comedian has long chafed against the bipartisan mandates of network TV. Now he’s taking sides.

  • Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

    Joe Biden, a Meme for All Seasons

    In the aftermath of the election, some Americans have taken solace in imagining the outgoing administration pranking the new one.

  • HBO

    John Oliver, Activist

    “We need to stay here and fight,” he told his audience on Sunday evening.

  • Comedy Central

    Will Trump Help Make The Daily Show Great Again?

    Trevor Noah may find his breakout moment during a presidency that promises to dismantle many of the established systems of American democracy.

  • Tate

    Still, Poetry Will Rise

    The aftermath of the 2016 election has found many Americans seeking solace—and wisdom—in verse. The editor of Poetry magazine has some ideas why.

  • Brian Snyder / Reuters

    Clinton Concedes; Pundits Decide She's 'Emotional'

    They wanted to see tears. She didn’t provide them, but that didn’t make much difference.

  • CNN

    The Poetry of CNN's Election-Day Chyrons


  • TBS / Youtube

    Samantha Bee Makes the Case for Clinton

    In the final Full Frontal before the election, the feminist comedian made a decidedly feminist argument for electing the first woman president.

  • Megan Garber

    Inside D.C.’s Donald Trump-Themed Speakeasy

    The city that the election’s victor will eventually call home is finding its own ways to deal with the stress of a hard-fought campaign.

  • Alex Schaefer / NBC

    Even Comedy Is Getting Serious About the Election

    Saturday Night Live’s final regular show before voting day momentarily abandoned political satire in favor of an earnest plea to get out the vote.

  • Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP / Katie ...

    How Disappointment Became Part of Fandom

    As Americans ask ever more of their celebrities, let-down is being woven into the fabric of fan culture.

  • Come Watch Dave With Us!

    Refat / Shutterstock / Warner Bros / Katie Martin / The Atlantic

    We have come full circle, friends. The election is drawing to a close, and, with it, Political Theater. So we’re going to end where we started: with Dave, the ultimate White House fairy tale.

    The 1993 Ivan Reitman film, if you’ll allow me to borrow from that original note, goes like this:

    Dave Kovic, owner of a temp agency in Georgetown, happens to look almost exactly like President Bill Mitchell—so much so that, in his spare time, he moonlights at parties and car-dealership openings as “the president.” But when the real Bill Mitchell has a stroke that leaves him in a coma, Dave, under the direction of two scheming West Wing advisers, steps in so that the Mitchell administration can continue despite its lack of Mitchell himself.

    I know that doesn’t sound like much of a fairy tale, but here’s the real magic: Dave, the Regular Guy, ends up being a better president—more practical, more ethical, more compassionate, more fun—than the person the American public had actually elected to office. Dave is Cinderella, basically, only with a bulletproof limo instead of a bedazzled pumpkin.

    The whole thing is cheesy and ridiculous. And it, like Head of State before it, celebrates the romance of the outsider in American political life—the very contemporary notion that there is something gross about “career politicians,” and that there is something to be celebrated, at the same time, about someone with no political experience being given political power.

    Here’s the trailer:

    We’ll be watching Dave today, Wednesday, 11/2, starting at 6:30 p.m. East Coast time. (The movie is streaming on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and other digital platforms for $2.99.) If you’re free to watch it at the same time, please join in! I’ll be tweeting some initial thoughts about it then, with the hashtag #AtlanticPoliticalTheater. As before, though, watch it whenever is good for you, and join the conversation whenever you’d like—via Twitter (I’m @megangarber) or via an email to

  • Head of State and the Allure of the Political Outsider

    3 Arts Entertainment / Katie Martin / The Atlantic

    Head of State’s climactic scene finds the presidential campaign that the film has revolved around—D.C. alderman Mays Gilliam (Chris Rock) versus Vice President Brian Lewis (Nick Searcy)—distilled down to a single event: the live-televised presidential debate. It’s the ultimate show-down between those two enduring tropes in American politics: the outsider versus the career politician. And Lewis plays exactly according to type: He’s smooth. He’s calm. He speaks in soundbites. He says things like “this is what America’s all about,” and he ends his statements with “God bless America, and no place else.”

    Gilliam, on the other hand … is surprising. He can’t play to type, because the political outsider, by definition, has no type: Outsiders are their own people. They have no patience for the traditional pageantries of politics. They simply tell the truth as they see it. And that is precisely what Gilliam does as he summarizes his position in the debate. “When it comes to paying farmers not to grow food, while people in this country starve every day,” he says—“yes, I’m an amateur.”

    The crowd erupts into applause.

  • CBS

    Mel Gibson Is Not Sorry

    Indignant, yes, his appearance on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert suggested. But the disgraced star’s apology tour has been, overall, strikingly lacking in actual apologies.

  • Lauren Garfinkel

    Donald Trump, Circus Peanut

    The artist Lauren Garfinkel has come up with a zesty solution to campaign fatigue: depicting the players of 2016 in foodstuffs.