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 performer 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@ctpublic.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 technical producer is Chion Wolf.

Are you looking for our Radio for the Deaf broadcasts? Those are all collected under our very special, and if you don't mind us saying very nice looking RFTD site.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Don't miss -- for the 5th year -- a very badly planned live New Year's Eve special featuring chaos muppet and music legend "Big Al" Anderson and the great Jim Chapdelaine!

Kris Krüg/PopTech / flickr creative commons

Kurt Andersen's new book is Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire. It's a 500-year history "of America jumping the shark." The idea, largely, is that our present post-fact, fake-news moment is... nothing new.

This hour, we look back at the history. We look at our present -- which is to say, we look at our present president: "To describe [Trump] is practically to summarize this book," Andersen says in Fantasyland. And we wonder if there's any way to regain and retain reality in America.

Uptowner / Creative Commons

Donald Trump's election last November was the culmination of a venom-filled campaign that was nastier than almost any in recent memory. Mean-spirited comments fell just shy of the malicious rhetoric coming from Thomas Jefferson's presidential campaign in 1796. Jefferson's hatchet-man called John Adams a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

A24 Films

Greta Gerwig's solo directorial debut, Lady Bird, is a coming-of-age comedy/drama that stars Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Lucas Hedges. Oh, and it's currently at 99% on the Tomatometer. So here's the question: Can a movie that's at 99% on the Tomatometer really ever be anything other than a letdown?

And then: Is the English translation of the Lord's Prayer actually a mistranslation? The Pope thinks it might be.

Frontiers Conferences / flickr

Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, etc. These are just the beginning of what experts believe will be a future filled with verbally interactive, digital and robotic assistants. And as we become more accustomed to interacting with machines, the machines are becoming more life-like.

Sandy Cole / Wikimedia

The Argus Pheasant is a lifelong bachelor. He mates with multiple females but has no further contact with his mates or the baby pheasants he sires. By human terms, not much of a feminist.

The Battle For Butter

Dec 19, 2017
Creative Commons

We tend not to think much about that pat of butter we put on our morning toast, including how the store-bought sweet cream butter we're eating likely pales in comparison to the rich, nutty flavor of  the cultured butter not found in many stores.

Staffan Vilcans / flickr creative commons

Tom Ashbrook. John Hockenberry. Michael Oreskes. David Sweeney. Garrison Keillor. Tavis Smiley. Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz. Charlie Rose.

There's no way around it: The sexual misconduct reckoning that's happening in media and politics and elsewhere has hit public television and radio particularly hard.

This hour we wonder why, and we take your calls.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

For once in our lives, it's actually kind of obvious what this week in pop culture has been all about.

Star Wars's Episode VIII -- the ninth live-action Star Wars movie -- is out. The Last Jedi officially opens today, and it's projected to take in nearly half a billion dollars this weekend. The Nose stayed up late last night to catch a midnight showing. Or something like that.

And this week saw what is quite possibly the world's first viral short story. The New Yorker's "Cat Person" happens to be about just the right topic at just the right cultural moment. Perhaps not surprisingly, some men are missing the point.

Evan Kalish / Postlandia

When Alexis de Tocqueville toured America in the early 1830's to gather observations that he would later put on the pages of Democracy in America, he was impressed with the efficiency of our American Postal Service.

An Hour With Geno

Dec 13, 2017
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Geno Auriemma has been a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame since 2006, and he's coached the UConn Women's Basketball team since 1985.

This hour, Coach Auriemma joins us to talk about anything and everything... Anything and everything except basketball.

trialsanderrors / flickr

Few things evoke such antipathy and condemnation from the western world than the idea of children toiling away for low pay in dangerous conditions. And while there are cases of child labor which truly warrant our concern, the broader truth is a bit more complicated.

Master Steve Rapport / Creative Commons

Harvey Weinstein was vanquished from atop his powerful perch just over two months ago after an investigation by the New York Times uncovered allegations of sexual harassment and assault that lasted over three decades. The women were finally ready to talk - and they're still talking. 

Brandon Carson / Creative Commons

Patti Smith wasn't seeking fame when she landed in Manhattan in 1969.  She was a fan of the greats of the day - like Dylan, Mapplethorpe, Pollock, Ginsberg - who she followed and emulated, hoping to find her own creative space next to those she most admired. 

Mmmm, Donuts

Dec 7, 2017
Gabriel Kronisch / Creative Commons

My mom would take me and my brothers to the beach on summer days when I was a little kid. I couldn't yet swim but I could stand in Long Island Sound when the tide was low and my brothers were close enough to save me if I fell. I loved it. On the way home, we'd pile into the back of our station wagon, roll down the windows and stop at the donut shop for a dozen sugar-coated jelly donuts.  We'd eat them with our heads out the window and I'd end up with my hair stuck in the jelly on my face by the time I got home. Mmmm donuts.