I’m on the Dear Prudence podcast!

I love Slate’s Dear Prudence advice column, and I am a huge fan of their new Prudence, Mallory Ortberg, so my head basically exploded when Mallory asked me if I wanted to come on their new podcast and answer questions with her.

We answered a bunch of (non-work-related!) questions from Mallory’s readers, including one about friend dumping and one from a mom whose gay son wants to go to a conservative religious college. We also talked about fake letters! And we talked about the letter-writer here who racked up $20,000 in personal debt on his company credit card.

You can listen to it here!

Note: If you’re a Slate Plus member, you can listen to the full-length ad-free episode. If you’re not, you can still hear a mini version of the episode at the above. Or you can also sign up for Slate Plus for free for two weeks at the link and hear the whole thing!

{ 52 comments… read them below }

  1. LQ*

    Soooooo does this make it more likely we’ll get an AAM podcast some day? (Don’t get me wrong they are a TON of work, and a whole different monster, but I would be thrilled to add yours to my Overcast.)

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I had such a great time doing it that it definitely pushed me more toward “I need to do my own at some point.” Especially since Mallory’s format is exactly what I’d want to do — talking through readers’ questions.

      1. PK*

        I would LOVE to listen to you in a format similar to Dan Savage’s podcast, where you answer questions but also sometimes call the people to go over the issue in minute detail, would be amazing! I know sometimes you post the follow up questions you ask the letter writers but oftentimes there’s also “we don’t have more details than this” and that’s what I love about the phone calls on the Lovecast.

      2. Crystal Vu*

        If you decide to do a podcast, could you think about including a transcript as well? Podcasts aren’t accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people otherwise.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I need someone to come to my house with a microphone and just make me talk into it. I would happily do it then — it’s the planning and motivating myself to figure out how to do it that’s the issue.

          (Actually, that’s what Slate did! They sent someone to my house with a microphone. It was easy and wonderful.)

  2. Mabel*

    Hi Alison, I already read Dear Prudence, and I think Mallory gives GREAT advice. She’s kind of like you in that her responses are conversational and really practical. Like you, she’s compassionate but also doesn’t let anyone get away with being a jerk. Just so you know: I signed up for Slate+ JUST BECAUSE I wanted to listen to your whole podcast with Mallory. I’ve been on the fence since Slate+ started, so you gave me the last push to sign up. :)

    1. Junipergreen*

      I came here to say the same thing – I’ve been resisting Slate + for a while now, but this is the thing that may finally tip the scales for me!

    1. Artemesia*

      Me too. They are entertaining and wise — a great combination. I will say though that I was totally surprised to hear your voice Alison. You don’t sound at all the way I hear you in my head when I read you. Actually Mallory’s voice is sort of what I expected you to sound like.

      Congratulations!! I’ll bet this brings a lot of new readers. And great advice for Spiderman pisser.

  3. 12345678910112 do do do*

    I love Mallory Ortberg – I am so sad that The Toast is shutting down. Congratulations, Alison!

  4. Lily in NYC*

    Oh, I am very happy to see that Emily Yoffe is no longer Prudence. I thought she was awful at giving advice and often chose letters to answer based on how many bad puns she could fit into her response. She’s a great features writer, but it just didn’t transfer to giving advice.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      My Emily Yoffe story is that my makeup person for my wedding turned out to be Emily’s makeup person, and I tried to convince her to market herself as the makeup artist of choice for advice columnists (but she seemed unconvinced).

    2. KarenD*

      Honestly, I actually preferred Emily. I’ve seen several Dear Prudence columns where Ms. Ortberg was judgmental and harsh toward the letter-writers almost to the point of cruelty. Definitely giving advice requires some tough-love tactics, but there’s been more than one occasion when she went past any attempt to be helpful and straight into “you’re a worthless idiot” theater.

      It was doubly jarring because her personal presentation so much more aligned with the kind of person I’d like to be friends with – breezy, bubbly and never concerned with appearing 100 percent perfect. Watching her go into mean-girl mode was so disappointing. (That’s one of the things I love about Alison – she can deliver the message that she thinks a letter-writer is contemplating, or has done, something really horribly inadvisable – without suggesting that the letter-writer is a bad, evil or hopelessly stupid person. The bottom line is that she is always supportive of the letter-writer first.)

    3. Artemesia*

      I found Emily quite refreshing. She certainly attracted different writers with different problems than those who write Mallory. I also enjoy Mallory and she will get better at it as she settles into the role, but I miss Emily.

  5. Sunshine*

    I have no idea why, but in my head, Mallory has a British accent. One of those weird things your brain decides for you, and I dot want to let it go.

    1. Kay J*

      This makes me think you have never seen the fabulous recordings of “How to Respond to Criticism” and “Male Novelist Jokes” on Youtube. I recommend looking them up!

  6. hayling*

    Fun! I love podcasts so this is right up my alley. Do you know if the full-length episode will be available to non-premium members eventually?

    1. Sydney*

      That’s annoying. :( I wish they’d just put ads in the free ones and still have them full length. I’m fine with listening to ads.

      1. hayling*

        Agree. Also, premium podcasts are usually not a great user experience because they’re not in a dedicated podcast app. Soundcloud can be really annoying on mobile. If you pause for too long it loses your place! Plus you have to stream instead of download so it’s dependent on available data network.

      2. Ask a Manager* Post author

        My hunch is that they’re experimenting with different models of financial support for the site. It is hard to nail it for all online content creators, I think.

  7. Liz in a Library*

    Yeah, I might have already sent a crazy text message out to a bunch of friends when I saw it this morning. Mallory, Alison, and a Buffy reference? Truly couldn’t be better!

      1. Kittens*

        YES PLEASE! Also, agreeing with above comments that you should definitely do an advice podcast (I devour Dear Sugar and Savage Lovecast and Mallory Ortberg’s Dear Prudence, if anyone has any recommendations for other advice podcasts in that family I’d be grateful!) Also I like Dan Savage’s magnum version because it’s broken up into lots of different segments so even when it runs nearly two hours it stay’s interesting. You could totally do something like that!

  8. wannabefreelancer*

    Oooh, yes! I’m excited for this. One of my favorite advice blogs, too, is DearWendy. If you guys teamed up, I would be so happy.

  9. Libervermis*

    I read both you and Mallory-asPrudrnce religiously, and you two interact so well together! Loved it!

  10. Turtle Candle*

    I actually signed up for Slate Plus specifically for Mallory’s “Dear Prudence” podcast, and when I saw you were the guest for this one I actually squee’d. Two of my favorite advice columnists in one place!

  11. Dennis*

    Loved Emily Yoffe but Mallory is growing on me slowly. Having Alison on the podcast was great. I did shut it off after the pitch for Slate Plus.

  12. ItsaMe*

    I loved it! I saw it there before coming here (my Google Now) recommended it to me proudly because of my obsessive reading of this website and Dear Prudence. It was really great!

  13. Margali*

    Enjoyed listening to you, but it was funny how different your voice sounded than I expected it to. (Not bad, just different!)

  14. Rai Dai*

    I have to say that Alisons voice sounds completely different from what I thought it would. I was imagining more like the principal in Matilda lol …….. I only heard the iTunes version, and hope you comsider podcasting in the future.

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