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 We're also on Twitter @wnprcolin.

Contact producers:

The executive producer is Catie Talarski. The digital editor is Heather Brandon. The technical producer is Chion Wolf.

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What can a sandwich say about a relationship? It turns out, a lot. What very well may have been an inside joke between a young couple turned into a controversial essay by New York Post writer Stephanie Smith this week. 

Smith's tips on wooing her man via meat and bread featured such gems as:

Flickr Creative Commons, seangregorcreative

Maybe you've heard the numbers. An estimated 40 percent of food in the United States never gets eaten. Americans waste 160 billion pounds of food a year. Every day, that amounts to enough food to fill the Rose Bowl. Twenty-five percent of America's freshwater use goes into the production of food that is then wasted.

Chion Wolf

As a shot in the dark, this week I asked my rather large Facebook audience whether any of them were lapsed Catholics thinking about tiptoeing back to the church based on the recent comments of Pope Francis, who talked about rebalancing the church's priorities with possibly less emphasis on what he called an obsession with abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage.

The Ebb & Flow Of Dada

Sep 23, 2013
Chion Wolf

It's an art form that came out of the chaos of World War One, when times were desperate, yet the art world was still celebrating still lifes, landscapes and nudes. In protest, artists began rebelling with politically aware ironic work, making bold, sometimes vicious points with their art. Times have changed, and Dada resurfaces periodically, like in the exhibition at the Pump House in Hartford opening on the 26th.

Chion Wolf

New Havenites reclaiming a beautiful park in their city got us thinking about urban parks in general. Frederick Law Olmsted is the undisputed father of American city parks, including Central Park itself. He came from Hartford, and he is buried here.

ckroberts61 on Flickr Creative Commons

We first got interested in the people inside sports team mascots back in 2010 but that was before we knew about Kelly Frank

Kelly Frank has done time inside several major league mascot costumes and she's a very funny human being with a lot of stories to tell about the abuse heaped on mascots-- as you're about to discover. 

Rainbow Lyf / Creative Commons

Infinity is weird. It's neither even nor odd. It's not a number. Really, it's just a concept we use to summarize that which we can't understand.

Chion Wolf

You can read a lot into media depictions of minorities.

Richard Pryor was  hilarious at it. One time he said he had just seen a movie called "Logan's Run." It was set in the future, and there were no black characters in it. "That means white folks ain't planning for us to be there," he said.

Media critic Eric Deggans joins us today, and one of his major theses is that extremism and division make for a bad public discourse and great television. Big media, says Deggans, thrive on division and tension, whether it's on cable news shows or reality TV.

Chion Wolf

It just goes on and on. We're in New Haven today where the Yale Rep is getting ready to mount a production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," but there's already one playing in Dublin at the Gate. There probably hasn't been one year in the last 50 when there wasn't a significant staging of this play.

Chion Wolf

"This is worse than that time we did that Gilbert and Sullivan parody.” That was a Tina Fey line from 30 Rock, and it was a devastating punch at a similar show, Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60," in which a fictional late night comedy show attempted to wow its audience with a song about itself set to the music of "A Modern Major General." 

Chion Wolf

This week's New York City primaries featured a an intern-groper, a Scrabble harasser, a hooker user and, of course, a Weiner tweeter. And guess what? All of them lost!   

And a continent away, the Filner Headlocker got out of the mayor's office too.

So does that mean that pervy politicians are experiencing a temporary lull? We talk about that  on The Nose, our weekly culture roundtable.

Chion Wolf

You may eat out a lot, but do you really have tipping figured out?

Or do you stress about whether you left the right amount?

Would you be happier with an 18 percent service charge added on and no obligation to tip?

These are the shifting restaurant rules we'll talk about today.

Chion Wolf

A roommate will  either get on your last nerve or change your life for the better. In my freshman year, I was assigned to live with two football players, one of whom dropped out at Christmas. I roomed with the other, Ken Jennings, for three years. He was African-American, from right outside D.C. and much more of a straight arrow than I was in those days. 

EdwinMartinez1, Flickr Creative Commons

You could argue that two trends are in a state of modern collision. Women are hitting puberty earlier than they used to, and their breasts are arriving in larger sizes.  There's a complex matrix of factors making this happen.

Average bra size in the fifties was a B. A British bra manufacturer now makes an L cup. Meanwhile, we're watching an explosion in women's sports driven here in the U.S. at least partly by Title IX.

Why are these two things on a collision course?

Chion Wolf

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, asexuals seem like brothers and sisters from a distant solar system. 

Western societies are gradually growing accustomed -- with varying degrees of comfort -- to the initials in LGBT, but what about A? On our show today we explored the idea that some people have no sexual orientation -- not because of a hormonal deficiency or a position on the autism spectrum or some buried childhood sexual trauma -- but because they don't have a discernable sex drive.

Chion Wolf

Come on, you must be outraged about something! These are the headlines: "Rich Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides so kids can cut lines at Disney World." "Dave Chappelle's Hate-On For Hartford Called 'Sad,' 'Asinine.'" "No Exception For Newington Veteran Being Evicted For Smoking." 

Alterna2, Flickr Creative Commons

Michael Bolton has reinvented himself many times. A few years ago, he cut off his trademark hair.  He put out an album of opera arias and another of American Songbook Standards. But probably his biggest challenge was dealing with his image as a romantic icon so permanently rooted in the dead center of the mainstream that poking fun at him became an easy way for people who really weren't all that cool to prove they were at least cool enough to reject Michael Bolton.

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If you seek parallels between J.D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon they're easy to find. Both were literary geniuses. Both were publicity-shunning recluses. Both men were psychosexually arrested by God knows what primal wound.

Salinger seemed able to bond only with very young women and girls. Pynchon had a pattern -- somehow linked to inability to form normal alliances --  of hijacking the wives and partners of his friends.

Chion Wolf

Thirteen years ago, I wrote an amusing but fairly ignorant op-ed piece for The New York Times triggered by watching a planetarium movie narrated by Tom Hanks. I wrote: "I miss the days of the anonymous, nobody-special narrator. Playing next door to Mr. Hanks at the museum was a Mount Everest Imax movie narrated by Liam Neeson. Take a cab to get there, and Isaac Hayes tells you to take your stuff when you get out, and don't forget your receipt." 

Flickr Creative Commons, kodomut

Through the lens of time, the anti-disco backlash looks a little ugly. What was disco, really? It started as an underground dance movement propelled by blacks, gays, and Puerto Ricans. It was a liberating and hedonistic music of the oppressed, and people from those groups gathered and mixed in the early downtown clubs.

The New Middle Age

Aug 21, 2013

They were gutted by the economy, saddled with existential angst, and on today's Colin McEnroe Show, a few Generation Xers tweeted us about what it's like to live in a world inherited from the Baby Boomers. Our idea to dedicate a whole show to Generation X started with a great article. (Wasn't Matt Dillon's hair delightful?)

Flickr Creative Commons, sfxeric

Today's show is three segments which are interlinked, even though we didn't exactly plan it that way. We'll begin by looking at the highly competitive four-way race in New Haven's mayoral primary, scheduled for Sept. 10. But we'll look at it with the assistance of the New Haven Independent, one of the nation's most successful nonprofit local news sites.

We're fascinated by Bernie Madoff and Frank Abagnale, larger than life con men who somehow got perfectly sane and intelligent people to trust them when there was ample reason not to.

Chion Wolf

This week a rodeo clown made news when he wore an Obama mask for a routine that straddled the line between permissible lampooning of a president and unsettling evocations of a lone black man being chased and menaced while a white crowd cheered and jeered. How do we resolve those two strains at the moment? There's our belief in loud, lusty rebuke to people in power and our sense that some depictions of black and white kick historical tripwires and throw us back to 1861.

A Salute To Urine!

Aug 15, 2013
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In 1978, Indian prime minister Moraji Desai flustered Dan Rather during a Sixty Minutes interview by describing his health practice of drinking his own urine. I'm not sure how many people around the world do this for its supposed health benefits, but there are more than you might think. Rather was grossed out. Desai lived to be 99. So bottoms up! The list of people who have done this includes J.D. Salinger, the singer Kesha and the actress Sarah Miles as well as thousands of Americans who discovered Indian medicinal ideas during their immersion in yoga.

Flickr Creative Commons, espensorvik

When "The Sopranos" ended -- the screen going black and an 80 percent chance that Tony got whacked and never saw it coming -- you really got the feeling that something new had been attempted. 

Chion Wolf

We're talking today about a word that can refer to the solid waste produced by male cattle. It can also refer to nonsensical talk not grounded in fact. In 1986, the American philosopher Harry Frankfurt published a scholarly analysis of this concept. In some ways it was a groundbreaking paper, but it also constituted a furtherance of an almost constant inquiry by thinking people.

Jury Duty

Aug 12, 2013
pds209 on Flickr Creative Commons

The American jury system is a great leveler. Rich and powerful men such as Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling of Enron, suddenly find their fates in the hands of very average Americans who earn and possess a tiny fraction of what they have. Most of the news we get about juries concerns cases in which an unusual and possibly controversial verdict was reached.

NicRad on Flickr Creative Commons

Today’s show features two loosely-related interviews. Billy Collins is probably the most popular poet in the United States and this summer he’s guest curating and guest voicing The Writer’s Almanac, a popular Garrison Keillor radio segment which showcases one poem every day and then looks back-- usually because of birthdays—at creators of the past.

How Can We Make Kids Enjoy Summer Reading?

Jul 31, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons, Tom (hmm a rosa tint)

Summer’s here, surf’s up, and you can watch all your favorite TV episodes in re-runs, but instead you have to read — what? David Copperfield? Eight-hundred pages long? That doesn’t seem fair. But that’s what your school told you to read. 

I’m Mark Oppenheimer, your guest host for the Colin McEnroe Show, and today we’ll be talking about summer reading. Not the kind you choose to do, but the kind your school makes you do. The kind you get tested on in September.