WNPR

The Colin McEnroe Show

Weekdays at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm

We’re asking the people who listen to describe what it sounds like to them. Josh Dobbin, our unofficial ombudsman and possibly most prolific commenter, is taking the first crack.

“The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately.”
Thomas Paine

The Colin McEnroe Show endeavors to prove Paine correct, every weekday. While the topics are unpredictable from one day to the next (previous show topics include whistling, placebos, politics, the nature of divinity, Barbra Streisand, bedbugs, human hydration, dinosaurs, unreliable narrators, ugliness, and raccoons), what is always assured is that a thoughtful, smart, and interesting exploration and conversation with amazing guests will take place about something.

Colin McEnroe is an author, playwright, professor, columnist, and blogger, who is allergic to penicillin and enjoys photographing his dog wearing hats and publishing those photos to the internet. He heads up a team that includes three inquisitive producers (see below) plus the comedy performers Chion Wolf, who doubles as the show's technical producer.

You can stream us live or subscribe on most podcasting platforms. While we are live, call us at (860) 275-7266, or email us anytime at colin@wnpr.org. We're also on Twitter @wnprcolin. To reach us in the newsroom when we're not on air, call (860) 275-7272.

Contact producers:

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

Susi (daveandsusi) / flickr creative commons

We once did a show about beer jingles, which is a great example of how a product becomes a culture. Cereal as a culture, is off the charts. There's the box, there's the prize, there's the character, there's the jingles, there's the commercials. Most of us can probably sing some jingles and discuss favorite cereal personae from our childhoods, which makes it kind of weird when marketing experts tell us that cereal consumption is in decline.

KAZ Vorpal / Creative Commons

Donald Trump wants to advance his business interests in Russia - and Vladimir Putin couldn't be happier. Putin's geopolitical interests rely on weakening the West. To that end, he has supported right-wing populists in Europe for more than a decade.  

Donald Trump may be the perfect tool to help Putin destroy the West. He supports many of the goals of Putin and has openly admired him. He's cultivated ties to Russia for a long time, including with a Russian gangster once jailed for slashing a man's face with a broken margarita glass. To make it worse, Trump has surrounded himself with advisors with shady ties to Russia.

Warner Bros.

There's a new entry in the long, long canon of Tarzan stories and adaptations and shows and movies and musicals and Happy Meals toys or whatever. This time around, True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård stars as the bare-chested, animal-whispering titular character. The Nose went to see "The Legend of Tarzan," and we can't help but recognize its troubles of race and unending violence in this week's news.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

No one likes a cloudy sky. A cloud on the horizon is seen as a harbinger of doom. We feel like clouds need to have silver linings.

But here's our thesis: Clouds are unfairly maligned.

el cajon / creative commons

Many Americans feel their vote no longer carries much clout in determining the decisions that most affect their lives -- whether it's about immigration, health care, gay rights, or gun control. The list goes on. The elected representatives they send to Congress as their voice are unable or unwilling to speak.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

FBI Director James Comey recommended no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a personal email server while she was Secretary of State. His judgment came on the heels of the FBI's more than three hour interview with Hillary Clinton on Saturday

MILKADEAL / flickr creative commons

The Thighmaster, the Chop-O-Matic, the George Foreman Grill and the Clapper: Products which are all part of American consumer culture and which were all introduced through infomercials. But as online shopping increases and traditional television watching decreases, are we beginning to see the end of these high-energy, late-night shows?

Thegreatlandoni / flickr creative commons

From scientists to fiction writers, conspiracy theorists to theologians, aliens have captured the imagination of us all. But as we ponder the possibilities let us pause to ask ourselves why.

Why do these yet to be found creatures from space occupy such a central role in the musings of so many? And should their existence be confirmed, what will it mean for us on Earth?

Betty Wants In / flickr creative commons

Since its discovery in 1900, adrenaline and pop-culture have gone hand-in-hand. From extreme sports, to the latest energy drinks, to pulse pounding Hollywood blockbusters, the rush of this hormone is portrayed in countless ways.

But these portrayals seldom tell the whole story. So what exactly is adrenaline, and why does our society seem so keen on celebrating it?

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Before Stephen Colbert and John Oliver, before Jon Stewart and Conan O’Brien, before "The Simpsons," before David Letterman, before "Saturday Night Live," before The National Lampoon… before all the great subversive American satirists that we’ve all grown… used to — before all that, there was MAD magazine.

Flickr Creative Commons

My Batman story begins with a crime. I was in third grade. I went to the barber shop in West Hartford Center where there were comic books to read while you waited.

I had never seen any superhero comic before and I started reading a Batman story. It was great but I didn't have enough time to finish it. So, when my haircut was done, I took it home with me. 

Muffinn / Creative Commons

The British voted to leave the European Union yesterday. Let that sink in for a minute. This decision will likely cause geopolitical and economic turmoil and uncertainty for years to come as the world negotiates how to separate Britain from our global economy.

Olivier Bacquet / Creative Commons

Most of us know Cinderella as the poor servant girl who stuck it to her mean stepmother and stepsisters by proving she was good enough to marry the rich and handsome prince. She had a little help from a fairy godmother, a pumpkin coach, and a foot small enough to fit into the glass slipper.

Patti / Flickr

It's easy to think of borders as fixed, almost sacrosanct lines, so rooted in the natural order of things that it often doesn't occur to us to question them. But borders were not always thought of this way. In fact, the notion of well understood, and agreed upon boundaries between nations is somewhat new.

Earlier this year at the Golden Globes, the top TV honor, Best Television Series -- Drama, went to USA's hacker technothriller series "Mr. Robot." Last year, the trophy went to Showtime's "The Affair."

Between those two new shows, there are three point-of-view characters, three narrators. And you can’t really trust, you can't fully believe a one of them.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

Donald Trump has had a really bad few weeks. His poll numbers are dropping to the lowest point for any general election candidate in the last three years. He's coming under fire for his response to last week's shootings in Orlando, and for saying U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel -- who is the judge overseeing the fraud case against Trump University -- may be biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.

Chion Wolf / WNPR file photo

I swear we almost never pick the Nose panelists based on the topics we plan to discuss. (We barely ever even plan in the first place, to be honest.) I asked Mr. Dankosky -- former Vice President of News for WNPR, current Executive Editor of the New England News Collaborative -- weeks ago to make his Nose debut this Friday.

Thomas Hart / Wikimedia Commons

When you "pull a Benedict Arnold," you sell out your side to join the stronger side of a situation out of fear, not honor.  Needless to say, that's not a compliment.

More than 230 years after America secured independence from Britain, this skilled warrior and confidante of George Washington is remembered as a traitor and coward for defecting to the British side.

But it's not that easy.  

Leif Anderson / Flickr

Animal rights have come a long way over the last century, providing, of course, we're not talking about fish. While other vertebrates have slowly been recognized as social, feeling, even sentient beings, fish remain good for three things: owning, catching and eating.

A24 Films

America's Greatest Living Film Critic David Edelstein has called "Weiner," the new documentary about former Congressman Anthony Weiner's ill-fated 2013 run for mayor of New York City, "one of the most provocative [docs] of its kind" that he's seen.

US Embassy / Creative Commons

Orlando, Florida was the scene of a mass shooting Sunday that left 50 people dead and dozens more injured. We've heard the story before: a shooter walks into a crowded room with multiple weapons to kill large numbers of people in an astonishingly small amount of time.

Carlos Duplessis / flickr creative commons

New York magazine's Will Leitch has called ESPN's new documentary "O.J.: Made in America" a masterpiece, and he thinks it'll be "the only thing this country's going to be talking about" as it airs next week. The Nose has already seen it, and it's all we're going to be talking about this week.

Steve Jurvetson / Creative Commons

"Hamilton," the wildly popular musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, will likely win several Tony Awards this weekend for changing the form of musical theater from what most of us perceive it to be. He uses rap lyrics that challenge what we think we know about the founding of our nation.

Richard Ha / Flickr Creative Commons

Every year, we do a Song of the Summer show. It always makes people angry. There is no evidence that it has ever made people happy. A lot of it has to do with the way we define the term.

Vice / Flickr

Between orthodoxy and cultism exists a narrow divide; a proving ground of public opinion where spirited groups vie for entry into the hallowed halls of true religion. Few are more firmly planted in this place than the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Pages