Jonathan McNicol


Jonathan started at WNPR as an intern in 2010 and was hired later that year as a producer out of WNPR’s New Haven bureau. In his work, Jonathan is always just trying to figure out a little bit of how the world works, while paying special attention to the absurd and the just plain goofy. He is as likely to produce a show on America’s jury system as he is a story on all the grossest parts of the human body. His work has been heard nationally on Here & Now and locally on WNPR’s talk shows, on Morning Edition, and on All Things Considered.

Jonathan comes to radio from a background in, of all things, graphic design. Some foods he detests with every ounce of his breathing guts include peas, blue cheese, and meat loaf. He lives in greater New Haven.

Ways to Connect

Dan McKay / flickr creative commons

When I hear the word "diorama," the first thing I think of is Mr. Mack’s fifth grade class and painting hills and grass and clouds and a fence into a shoebox and making little cardboard cut outs of Lassie and the boy she loved. God, I hated that stuff.

The second thing I think of is a place like the Peabody Museum in New Haven and their incredibly, obsessively, over-the-toply detailed dioramas of the plant and wildlife of Connecticut.

Sage Ross / flickr creative commons

In what will not be the final game played on a natural grass surface at Yale Bowl, Harvard beat Yale 38 to 19, clinching a share of the Ivy League football title on Saturday in West Haven.

Joan Marcus/Hartford Stage

In 1954, Alfred Hitchcock directed two movies. They both star Grace Kelly. They’re both murder mysteries involving a married couple and a boyfriend and a girlfriend. They both take place almost entirely in one room. They both look like plays.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

On September 30, 1865, Yale University played its first-ever baseball game, a Saturday afternoon matchup against Wesleyan. Last Saturday night, the two teams met in an exhibition game to celebrate the sesquicentennial of their rivalry, and of their respective baseball programs.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

You notice Pat Mackenzie on the field at Dodd Stadium in Norwich — not in the bottom of the first, as the Connecticut Tigers’ lead-off hitter. And maybe not in the top of the first, as their second baseman.

Before the game even starts, during the national anthem, his shaved-bald, hatless head catches your eye. Or maybe his mustache-free goatee does. But you do notice Pat Mackenzie, as the players line up and face the flag.

Jonathan McNicol/WNPR News

Petra Kvitová won the Connecticut Open singles tennis championship for the second straight year, besting Lucie Šafářová today in three sets at the Connecticut Tennis Center.

Jonathan McNicol/WNPR News

Catcher David Marchetti hit two home runs including a storybook game winner in extra innings to lead Cranston, Rhode Island, to a 3–2 win over Waterford, Connecticut, in Bristol. Rhode Island’s victory propels them to the New England Regional semi-final game and ends Connecticut’s run toward the Little League World Series.

Ed Schipul/flickr creative commons

Athletes have always used their elevated platform to advance products and ideas. After a game winning play, it's almost expected to hear the star thank either God, the Lord, and/or Jesus. But you won't hear that from Houston Texan running back Arian Foster. He just came out as an atheist playing football for a NFL team in the bible belt. How will that play out?

Sean Benham/flickr creative commons

So we know that everyone in the world is covering the end of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show today. We know that you’ve probably already listened to an hour or two of radio about Jon Stewart on this very station today.

But the thing is, we’re gonna miss Jon Stewart too.


The CDC recently announced that kissing or cuddling your chickens is a health hazard. Because… Well, because people kiss or cuddle their chickens, apparently. Some people probably kiss and cuddle their chickens. But you shouldn’t kiss or cuddle your chickens. Because your chickens are basically just waddling featherballs of salmonella, it turns out. So, ya know. Don’t kiss or cuddle your chickens.

But before we get to that, two other stories:

Jonathan McNicol/WNPR

With a four-run, eighth-inning rally, the Freedom Division All Stars beat the Liberty Division All Stars, five to one, in the 2015 Atlantic League All-Star Game Wednesday night in Bridgeport.

Now you’re wondering: What’s the Atlantic League? What’re the Freedom and Liberty divisions? And does any of this actually matter?

Jonathan McNicol/WNPR

Sunday night, Major League Baseball announced the starting lineups for this year’s All-Star Game, to be held next week in Cincinnati. Well, this week, Bridgeport will host another version of all-star baseball at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard.

Rev Stan/flickr creative commons

David Letterman reinvented television. He's irreplaceable. He was a comedic revolution. According to President Obama, Letterman is "a part of all of us."

Jeffrey Smith/flickr creative commons

There was a time when almost everyone wore a watch. There was a time when almost everyone had a mechanical clock in their home. There was a time when almost no one had any kind of timepiece at all.

There was also a time when pretty much everyone had a VCR that blinked 12:00 AM twenty-four hours a day.

Raymond Brown/flickr creative commons

The Branford, Connecticut-based charity Read to Grow celebrates its 15th anniversary this month with a dinner event on Saturday, April 25.

bloomsberries / Creative Commons

You probably think of yourself as a voter. Maybe, in one way or another, you think of yourself as a public servant. But do you think of yourself as a juror?

More than one in seven Americans will be called for jury duty this year. More than one in three of us will actually serve on a jury in our lifetimes.

The fact is that almost every one of us is, almost all of the time, a potential juror. We’re all just one dreaded summons in the mailbox away from deciding matters of life or liberty or property for another person.

Jonathan McNicol/WNPR

At Grossology, a new exhibit at the Connecticut Science Center, one of the first things you see is a nine- or ten-foot-tall model of a human nose with six- or seven-foot-tall nostrils. As you enter, you're surrounded by things like the olfactory epithelium and the conchae, and you learn things like how the Eustachian tubes regulate the pressure around your ear drums and so then a stuffy nose makes your ears feel clogged.

Jonathan McNicol/WNPR

When Luis Lopez played his first professional baseball game, Bill Clinton was president, “Forrest Gump” had just beaten “Pulp Fiction” for best picture at the Academy Awards, and Derek Jeter was still a year away from his rookie season with the New York Yankees.

Credit Renée S. Suen/flickr creative commons

Your family has a hankering--a yen for chicken tikka masala or queso fundido, for shrimp pad Thai or a Philly cheese steak--and they want it bad. So you decide to eat out at a local ethnic or roadside restaurant, or do a take-out. It's expedient, but is the food really good? Really, really good? Because Lucinda Scala Quinn's versions of all those dishes families crave will knock your socks off and prove beyond a doubt that the foods you love can be made better, faster, tastier, cheaper, and more healthfully at home. We tried her recipe for a velvety salmon using an aluminum foil packet. Fantastic! 

David Masters/flickr creative commons

If you're in search of great reads, here's a list to get you started. Gina Barreca joins Faith to talk about the books many of us have forgotten about.  

Moyan Brenn/flickr creative commons

Faith's motto on The Book Show is: Life is short, but it can be ever so wide.

Join Faith and her book buddies for a call-in show recommending terrific books to read in all categories. If you're in a book club, please tell us what you've read and enjoyed.

Steven Depolo/flickr creative commons

Years ago in southern California, at ocean-side Montage Resort, I ordered the same thing for six lunches in a row—Thai summer roll with dipping sauce. It was a knockout, and now we can tell you how to make delicious ones at home. We can tell you how thanks to a respected chef, Gale Gand, author of Gale Gand's Lunch! As Gale told us, she learned from a Thai woman who was making them as fast as she could manage for thousands of hungry fans at the Lolllapalooza music festival. And wait till you try her watermelon gazpacho.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Wally Lamb's books beat with a human heart.

Many people, especially Wally Lamb's fans, recall that his first novel, She's Come Undone, was selected by Oprah's book club. But what I remember is the experience of riding in the New York subway, and seeing so many people bumping along, engrossed in his story. On one occasion, these subway readers, strangers to each other, started a discussion about the book—possibly the first underground book club. 

Mickey Thurman/flickr creative commons

New York City acting teacher Grace Kiley is interested in the natural actor. Understandable, since she is a licensed mental health counselor who has a gift for teaching what contributes to a transformative performance on stage or on film.

aJ Gazmen/flickr creative commons

For over a century, IQ scores have been viewed by scientists as placing an upper limit on what a person can ever achieve: a cognitive glass ceiling, a number tattooed on the soul.

Shattering decades of that kind of dogma, scientists began publishing studies in 2008 showing that “fluid intelligence”—the ability to learn, solve novel problems, and get to the heart of things—can be increased through training. But is it all just hype?

Arnold Gatilao/flickr creative commons

There's still some summer left and we have ideas for clam bakes, grilled shrimp, and cocktails, along with plenty of kitchen tips. We also have a great recipe for a portobello mushroom po' boy.

Chris Huggins/flickr creative commons

Humor, like pornography, is famously difficult to define. We know it when we see it, but is there a way to figure out what we really find funny—and why?

Kate Haskell/flickr creative commons

As we can see from a recent Planet Money story on NPR, millions of people are quitting their jobs each month, and Janet Yellen of The Fed thinks this is a good sign. She says if people are quitting in high numbers, that signals they're sure better jobs are available. In other words, a strong signal for the economy.

A./flickr creative commons

Faith's motto on The Book Show is… Life is short, but it can be ever so wide.

Join Faith and her book buddies for a call-in show recommending terrific books to read in all categories. If you're in a book club, please tell us what you've read and enjoyed. And, hey, kids, we'd love to hear from you about books you love.

D. Robert Wolcheck/flickr creative commons

If it is the Lord who should be praised, then praise the Lord for Lidia Bastianich, one of the great chefs in America. She is always in service to the food, not her own ego, yet there is a self-contained sureness in her as she teaches on television and in her books.