The Colin McEnroe Show

The Colin McEnroe Show, hosted by Colin McEnroe, is looking for your phone calls and comments. Got an idea for a show? Know someone you'd love to hear Colin talk to? You can stream us live. While we are live, call us at (860) 275-7266, or email us at colin@wnpr.org. We're also on Twitter @wnprcolin

Contact producers Chion Wolf and Betsy Kaplan.

The executive producer is Catie Talarski.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:13 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Happy 25th, Seinfeld!

Credit Steve Harris / Creative Commons

Pop culture is ephemeral.

People eventually lose interest in music and television shows once a new fad surfaces and piques their interests. Not so for Seinfeld. It is still relevant after 25 years for a whole new generation of viewers.

But, it wasn't always that way. In the beginning, it didn’t test well with audiences. It had weak ratings, bad scheduling and creative differences. It survived under the wing of a lone NBC executive who believed in the show's emphasis on characters who felt like family.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:52 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Cupcakes, Cronuts, and the Future of Food Trends

Chris Prosperi, chef and co-owner of Metro Bis restaurant in Simsbury
Chion Wolff

Here's my theory just in case I don't get a chance to say it during the show: I think food has become more like sports. People kind of root for things. Ted Allen and Anthony Bourdain are more like sport stars than people whom you would seek out for actual cooking information. People go to Chelsea Market just because they know the Food Network is somewhere upstairs. And, because of that, there's a lot more pressure on food to be exciting. When you pick up the sports pages you want news, not just the same old same old. So, driven by that pulse and a group of media engines that flow alongside it, we always have new things to cheer for. Yay bacon salt! Go gastropubs! Today on the show: where food trends come from and why they succeed, or fail. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:19 am
Mon August 18, 2014

The Unfolding Evolution of Origami

Robert J. Lang's Yellow Jacket.
Credit Terri D'Arcangelo

How do you make a 100 meter telescope that folds down to 3 meters so you can tuck it inside a space vehicle? How do you make a heart stent that folds out inside the human body? In each case, researchers have turned to masters of origami, the thousand year-old art of paper folding.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

The Nose is Fatigued with Goodbyes, Comments, and Challenges

Carolyn Paine is an actor, dancer, and choreographer.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It has been a busy week in culture. There were the deaths of Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams, and the latter death brought up questions about how people behave on social media when an icon passes. Also, he who is tired of sharks is tired of death. But we might be getting tired of sharks!

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:46 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

The Psychopath Show

Arielle Baskin-Sommers is an assistant professor of Psychology at Yale University
Chion Wolf

You know lots of sociopaths right?

It could be anyone from your ex-spouse to the guy who cut you off on your drive to work today. It's a term we throw around loosely to refer to anyone whoever lied to us or didn't follow the rules. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:06 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Ugh! I Can't Remember My Password!

Credit Meme Binge / Creative Commons

Once upon a time you opened your first email account and picked out a password. You probably don't know what it was now but let's assume you weren't the type of person to pick out "password" or "123456." So, maybe it was the name of a dog or a kid or two dog and kid names mushed together. Easy to remember, right?

Today, you probably have passwords tied to multiple email accounts, a few social media platforms, a few credit cards and banks, and an unclassifiable hodgepodge of other stuff from Dropbox to Airbnb.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Living Small and Smart: The Tiny House Movement

Credit Tammy Strobel / Flickr Creative Commons

I live in a small house on a street of big houses. And when I say big, some of the houses on my street are 7,000 and 8,000 square feet. A big house signifies an important person, right? The governor lives in a mansion. The Archbishop of Hartford lives down the street from him in a house that's even bigger.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:52 am
Mon August 11, 2014

The Scramble: Working Less, Misandry, and Violence in Auto Racing

Credit Ben Newton / Creative Commons

We cover a lot of the ground on The Scramble this hour. We starting with Maria Konnikova, a New Yorker writer, who’s going to lead me through a conversation about proposals for a drastically reduced work week, about ways in which having more choices may actually reduce our sense of happiness and fulfillment, and about the illusion that we can taste something—wine, in this case —in a state of pure isolation and detachment from outside influences. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:28 am
Fri August 8, 2014

The Nose Remembers Its Boyhood

Tracy Wu-Fastenberg is the Director of Development at the Mark Twain House & Museum
Chion Wolf WNPR

Watching Richard Linklater's "Boyhood", you keep waiting for the car crash, or the random act of violence that puts one of the characters into Intensive Care. Not because he gives you any reason to expect that, but because watching a lot of movies and television conditions us to anticipate a rhythm of plot points and dramatic upheavals, and then they don't come. Because one of Linklater's points is that time itself is a series of upheavals. Just growing up and growing old is a harrowing, exciting, and mind-blowing process. It turns out that the best way to make a movie about everything is to make a movie in which not much happens. We'll talk about the wildly original "Boyhood" on The Nose.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:07 am
Thu August 7, 2014

A Salute to Accordions!

Cory Pesaturo is a multiple award-winning accordion player from Rhode Island
Chion Wolf WNPR

Here are some songs from your life, "Backstreet Girl" by the Rolling Stones, "Joey" by Bob Dylan, "Road to Nowhere" by the Talking Heads, "Boy In The Bubble" by Paul Simon, "July Fourth, Asbury Park", better known as "Sandy" by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by the Beach Boys. They all rely heavily on the accordion.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:04 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Memories of Watergate

Richard Nixon as he leaves the White House for the last time, August 8, 1974
Credit Tonynetone / Creative Commons

It's been 40 years since former President Richard Nixon resigned the presidency over Watergate. But, the story of Watergate is almost impossible to tell. It's too big and too murky. It's full of files that were burned and a tape that was erased. It's full of characters named McCord and Magruder and Mitchell, who are hard to keep track of. With each passing year, it becomes more of an inert thing and less of a breathing, wriggling, writhing creature.  

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:30 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Why Imagination Matters in Childhood

Technology can rewire your brain.
Credit digitalbob8/flickr creative commons

What happens in our early childhood has a lot to do with how we develop as humans. Dr. Paul Harris researches the role the imagination plays in helping children grow into healthy adolescents. He says we tend to think of the imagination as something divorced from reality, when in fact it is deeply intertwined with how we determine reality from fantasy.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:38 am
Mon August 4, 2014

The Scramble: Diversity, Death, and Relatability

William Shakespeare
Credit unbekannt nach einem Gemalde--Carte de Visite / Wikimedia Commons

There are ways today in which our topics are interconnected. Actress and writer Melleni Kantayya, wants to talk about the issues of diversity in casting. One of our other topics involves the fallout from Ira Glass's recent tweet that "Shakespeare sucks." New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead joins us to discuss her article deploring the modern vogue for relatability, a word Ira Glass used to characterize what Shakespeare was --for him -- lacking.

I find the two issues wind around each other like snakes on a caduceus, and one place they intersect is in the amazing story of Ira Aldridge, an American black actor who shook up London audiences in 1833 by playing Othello. Imagine that: a black actor playing a Moor. London audiences said they couldn't relate to a non-white actor. Relatability: The Scourge Across the Centuries.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

The Nose of the '90s Is Alive in Hartford

Theresa Cramer is a writer and the editor of E-Content Magazine, where she covers the world of digital media
Chion Wolf WNPR

Can you ever make sense of a whole decade? That's what the National Geographic Channel tries to do with its three-part documentary on the '90s. So we get Bill Clinton, the building of the internet, Waco, O.J., the Oklahoma City bombing, Prozac, Starbucks, Tanya Harding, Kurt Loder, In Living Color, Rodney King and Reginald Denny, Anna Nicole Smith, the rise of SUVs and NMA, the fall of the Walkman and Tamagotchis, the Great Gretzky... This is starting to sound like a Billy Joel song.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:06 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Handwriting Is So Yesterday

Lisa M Lanno on the Colin McEnroe Show.
Chion Wolff

The death of handwriting could be viewed as the end of a tyranny. Especially for those of us who were unable to learn penmanship. That includes me. I’m pretty sure that no teacher I ever had got training in how to teach cursive to a left handed person for whom the process really is radically different. I arrived at college to find halls full of desks from which a small writing area protruded from the right side. I often took two hour exams at those desks, scrawling essay question answers in a blue book with my body twisted around uncomfortably.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Evolving Damnation: The American History of Hell

Credit Gags9999 / Flickr Creative Commons

If you were dreaming up a new religion, maybe you wouldn't include the idea of hell. But in traditional forms of Christianity, even as they evolve, hell seems almost grandfathered in. They can't quit hell. Or can they? A 2013 Harris poll found that while 74% of U.S. adults believe in God, and 68% believe in heaven, only 58% believe in the devil and in hell, down 4 percentage points from 2005. Still, 58%! That seems like a lot.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:06 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Mid-Summer Music Merriment!

Credit Jukka Zitting / Creative Commons

The Avett Brothers are riding the crest of the modern Americana music wave. John Hall, after a stint in Congress, is back leading Orleans and singing a song so catchy that simply to mention it would glue it to your eardrums for the rest of the day. Glen Phillips is leading Toad The Wet Sprocket after a long layoff and successful Kickstarter campaign that launched their latest album, New Constellation.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:44 am
Mon July 28, 2014

The Scramble: How to Be a Guest on a Talk Show with David Rees

David Rees in "Going Deep with David Rees," on the National Geographic Channel
Credit National Geographic Channel

This hour's Scramble starts fun and gradually grows darker. We begin with David Rees, host of a television show in which he layers expertise onto simple acts like opening a door or making ice cubes. Its motto is "de-familiarizing the ubiquitous so as to increase our appreciation and wonder thereby." We can get behind that.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri July 25, 2014

The Nose is Getting Weird (Al)

James Hanley is the co-founder of Cinestudio at Trinity College
Chion Wolf WNPR

Breathes there a man with soul so dead that he has never written a song parody?

Everybody does right? They get passed around on the schoolyard from the time we're little. Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, etc.

And, you might knock one out for a co-workers retirement party.

And, the internet is one big old song parody farm. In between last week's Nose on which we talked about a really terrible Comcast users service call and now, somebody on YouTube has set that call to music.  No kidding.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:18 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Please Don't Take My Stuffed Animal Away!

WNPR Producer Betsy Kaplan's French Poodle, Gigi.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Take a few seconds to reminisce about your childhood "best friend." Maybe it was a boy, a girl, an imaginary friend, or perhaps a stuffed toy. This stuffed toy was your childhood confidant that you dragged everywhere, from the local supermarket to the preschool sandbox, a transitional object that temporarily stood between you and your relationship with your parents. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:01 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Are Middle Initials A Thing Of the Past?

Credit Bruce Szalwinski / Creative Commons

Imagine two people. One of them is named Betsy Kaplan, the other, Betsy F.P.R. Academic studies suggest people, on average, would infer a higher intellectual capacity for Betsy F.P.R. Kaplan and be more likely to admire her and think she made more money than plain old Betsy Kaplan. A middle initial, says the scholarly literature, is basically a free ticket to higher status. 

Which makes it odd that each successive generation is less likely, overall, to use them. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Songs of the Summer: 2014

Eric Danton is a writer and music reviewer for Rolling Stone and the Wall Street Journal
Chion Wolf WNPR

The song of the summer is not always pretty, but there always is one, and unless something is done quickly, this year's will be "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea, which will make you nostalgic for last year's "Blurred Lines."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:07 am
Mon July 21, 2014

The Scramble: Who Will Take the Kids?

Credit Fibonacci Blue / Creative Commons

I was reading a story about some refugees who cabled the President asking for asylum. The President never responded. The federal government had decided not to take extraordinary measures to permit the refugees to enter the United States. A state department telegram stated that the passengers must await their turns on the waiting list and qualify for and obtain immigration visas before they may be admissible into the United States.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:29 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

The Nose Ran Off The Tracks

Credit obnoxious and anonymous / Flickr Creative Commons

We've never done this before but last night the three Nose panelists and I gathered at my house so we could all watch Snowpiercer, a sci-fi summer action movie with a brain. Snowpiercer is a meditation on leadership, climate change and socioeconomic inequality and it manages to tackle all of those topics without skimping on the bloody axe fights. It's based on a French graphic novel and it stars the actor who played Captain America in two movies and we're going to spend a lot of time today in that universe.

What with the death of Archie and the news that the new movie Captain America will have a black actor and the new Thor will be a woman. Also, on our topic list will be the viral audio of a guy trying to cancel his cable subscription against spirited resistance from a comcast rep on the other end. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:54 am
Thu July 17, 2014

The Prodigy Paradox

Credit Baby Einstein / Creative Commons

In a society which rewards brains over brawn, who better than a prodigy to place your bets on? The answer may surprise you.  

Bobby Fischer was terrible at everything  except chess. His entire life was punctuated by extreme paranoia, bouts of seclusion, and cascading, erratic behavior. Ted Kaczynski, a child math and science prodigy… I don’t have to tell you how that one worked out.  

Thomas Chatterton was writing publishable poetry by the age of 12, and in the immediately ensuing years, wrote work that left its mark on the literature and influenced the  romantic movement. He took his own life with arsenic three months shy of 18. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:11 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Eating 69 Hot Dogs in Ten Minutes is a Piece of Cake

Joey Chestnut holds the current world record for hotdog eating at Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Championships. He ate 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Credit Michael / Flickr Creative Commons

Competitive eating has grown far beyond the popular event at local fairs where winners won blue ribbons for eating the most pies.

Today, it's a global sport with its own league, dedicated fans, and professional competitors who train to eat more food than seems humanly possible. Major League Eating, the sports governing body, is largely responsible for the change. Public relations executives Richard and George Shea professionalized the sport, attracting larger crowds every year for more than a decade. This July 4,  Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Championships, the Olympics of competitive eating, drew 40,000 fans to the Coney Island contest.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Germany: Who Are You Now?

Credit MomentCaptured1 / Creative Commons

Two snapshots: The first from the publication American Bazaar, right after the German World Cup win. "In the city of Leipzig, a solitary car scuttled along, with the flag attached to the roof. Waving the flag has yet to catch on. Jan Hoffman, who works in Frankfurt, was in New York when 9/11 happened.  'I had never seen so many flags in my life. Here, there are hardly any, although we won football's greatest tournament.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:30 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Death, Sex, and Money with Anna Sale

Anna Sale is the host and managing editor of the podcast, "Death, Sex and Money."
Chion Wolf WNPR

I'm excited about today's Scramble. WNYC podcaster Anna Sale, host of Death, Sex & Money, is our superguest, which means she gets to pick three topics for her conversation with me.

Her choices are LeBron James and the notion of going home, a new Jenny Lewis song about a ticking biological clock, and the long agonizing death of the husband of NPR broadcaster, Diane Rehm. At least on paper, that's a perfect combination for the Scramble.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Emojis Make The Nose :)

Rebecca Castellani, a scholar of modern literature.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It's time for our cultural roundtable, The Nose! Insert smiling cat face with heart-shaped eyes. With 250 new emoji coming to a phone near you, we think it's time to give these tiny additions to our written language a face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye. Don't go all Hear No Evil Monkey on us!

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

70 Years Later, the Hartford Circus Fire Still Burns

Propound Creative Commons

On July 6, 1944, a circus tent in the North End of Hartford caught fire. The tent covered three blocks. It was gone in six minutes. 

Roughly 170 people died. You'll understand my imprecision as we go along. Five employees of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter, and served minimal prison sentences. One of them, James Haley, was so unscarred by this that he later served for 24 years in Congress.

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