WNPR

The Colin McEnroe Show

Weekdays at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm

Note: Rather than try to explain the show ourselves, 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.  Here’s Josh:

“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 and Greg Hill.

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.

Contact producers:

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

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.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

The show moves to the Elm City for its annual snort of/at The Oscars, this time from the lobby of The Study at Yale in front of a live audience numbering in the dozens!

Personal Creations / Creative Commons

It's Friday night and I want to go to the movies. But, I don't know how to choose from fifteen or so movies before me. I can quickly knock out a few I don't want to see, leaving me with the final gems. How to decide? I check the reviews of my favorite critics.

Not everyone feels that way. 

Actor Samuel L. Jackson of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" once took issue with New York Times film critic A.O. Scott. Jackson encouraged his Twitter followers to help Scott find a new job after Scott wrote the following in his review of the movie:

Daniel Oines / Creative Commons

Jules Feiffer wrote that in the early days the fans of either Superman and Batman could be separated out in terms of how neurotic or secure they felt. If you felt downtrodden and insecure, you liked Superman, the realization of all your hopes and dreams.  If you were a little more sure of your place in the world, you'd root for Batman, who took his lumps but typically bounced back.

Betty Wants In / 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?

Jamelle Boule / Creative Commons

Donald Trump's win in this weekend's South Carolina primary was bigger than most establishment Republicans, and the media, want to admit. It comes after a week that would have sunk the other candidates; he tangled with the Pope, said the Bush administration didn't protect us from 9/11, and almost supported Obamacare's health care mandate, before he took it back. Are his supporters irrational, or do they just not care about his gaffes? Can anyone really still stop him?

louisck.net

If there is a through line to this week's Nose, I would have to call it trespass.

In the remarkable third episode of Louis C.K.'s from-out-of-nowhere filmed theater web series thing "Horace and Pete," the two characters (and there are very nearly only two) played by Laurie Metcalf and C.K. are working out the nature of trespass, as it appears in the Lord's Prayer. As adulterers, they are each trespassers. (But then, we are all trespassers.) And they are both aware that, in trespassing in order to seek pleasure, they create their own hells.

T. Charles Erickson

Hartford Stage's current production is maybe Shakespeare's most popular play. This hour, Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak joins us to talk about his neorealist version of "Romeo and Juliet."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Heart disease is still the biggest killer in the United States, even though fewer people die from from heart attack and cardiac arrest than ever before.

Stephen Masker / Creative Commons

The 2016 presidential election took a dramatic turn this weekend with the sudden death of Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court's most divisive, yet colorful justice. Revered for his brilliance, quick wit, and lively writing, he was equally reviled for a mean streak and his refusal to recognize the subjectivity in his objectivity in adhering to the original intent of the constitution. 

R. Hurt/Caltech-JPL

This week, the universe chirped... and we heard it! Samantha Bee's new politics-lampooning late-night show debuted to a ton of buzz. The primary debates continued, and debate Twitter was watching.

Phil Konstantin. / Wikimedia Commons

Paula Poundstone and I started out with a plan for a short chat about her upcoming appearance in Connecticut, and then the conversation sprawled all over the place: from the comedy records of our nerdy youths, to the time she lived in Timothy Leary's guest room.

Moving Picture World / Creative Commons

Sherlock Holmes is the most recognizable character in the world. According to the Sherlock Holmes Society, the famous detective has been portrayed by seventy-five actors in more than 260 films, making him the most portrayed character on film. This could explain why a significant percentage of the British think Sherlock Holmes was a real person who lived at 221B Baker Street - a view supported by the Sherlockians, a loyal group of scholars dedicated to keeping his memory alive.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Ficre Ghebreyesus and Elizabeth Alexander were born two months apart in 1962, he in Eritrea, she in Harlem. They didn’t meet until 1996. He was an artist and a chef at a New Haven Eritrean restaurant he owned with his brothers. She was a poet and professor. She had been teaching at the University of Chicago, where she had also met a senior lecturer named Barack Obama. She married Ghebreyesus. She delivered Obama’s 2009 inaugural poem. In 2012, a few days after her husband’s 50th birthday, he died abruptly. Her new book, “The Light of The World,” tells that story.

Mtn Dew / YouTube

You may have heard there was some big football game on Sunday. You may have heard that the Denver Broncos won, 24 to 10. You may have heard that Beyoncé upstaged Coldplay's halftime show or that Lady Gaga’s national anthem was "fabulous."

But our guess is you've also probably now heard of something called a, um, puppymonkeybaby.

Thor / Creative Commons

The CDC this week recommended women between the ages of 15 and 44 not drink alcohol unless they're on birth control. Why run the risk to the baby if there's a chance you could be pregnant and not yet know it?

Some question whether the caution against any alcohol instills a fear that outweighs the risk, while others chafe at the condescension that targets only women, and not the men who get them pregnant. 

The White House / flickr

While basketball didn’t take up residence in the White House in January 2009, the game nonetheless played an outsized role in forming the man who did, according to Sports Illustrated’s Alexander Wolff, author of The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama.

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

Our deepest convictions shape how we see the world from a very young age. Our parents, community, and religion deeply influence our beliefs and ultimately, the political identity we choose to adopt.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Recently, a group of us gathered on stage at Watkinson School for a conversation about humor and comedy.

The conversation had two fields on inquiry. The first was the very strange business of trying to be funny as a way of putting food on the table. It's a weird job. It's not so much a matter of trying to be funny as it is of trying to figure out what's funny about the thing sitting in front of you. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The eyes of the nation turn to Iowa. But, why? The caucus process doesn't really resemble voting as we do it the rest of the time in this nation. And, the Iowa caucuses aren't really binding in terms of national delegate selection.  Iowa doesn't look like the rest of the nation, by which I mean, way whiter, but this in the words of Bruce Hornsby, is "just the way it is."

We also talk about the New York Times endorsement of Hillary Clinton and reactions to her candidacy. 

Zoran Veselinovic / Wikipedia

Joseph Fiennes will play Michael Jackson in a new British made-for-TV movie about a fictional road trip taken by Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, and Marlon Brando from New York to California after 9/11. We might applaud the casting of a white actor to play one of the most iconic black entertainers in American culture if we lived in a post-racial society. But that's fiction, too.

Susi (daveandsusi) / 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.

Osseous / Creative Commons

Dr. Bill Petit spent Sunday, July 23, 2007 playing golf with his father. The day was sunny and hot and a great day to be outside. His wife and two daughters spent the day at the beach. Life was good - until it wasn't.

Within 24 hours, his wife and daughters would be murdered, his home burned, his belongings gone. The trauma would render him unable to return to his medical practice. 

USA Network

At this year's 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.

Ninian Reid

The Republican establishment is wringing its hands over the rise of Donald Trump. On Friday, National Review, one of the leading and oldest voices for conservatism, dedicated its latest issue to the war "Against Trump." But it didn't have the effect they were hoping for

DonkeyHotey / Creative Commons

Warning to listeners: the audio contains some information about "The Revenant" that slipped out of one of the guests during the discussion. It could be considered "a spoiler." 

It seems only natural that Sarah Palin and Donald Trump would find one another. 

Better Than Bacon / WNPR

Quick! Name a living philosopher. Chances are if you can do it at all, you're going to say Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum, Shelly Kagan, or Daniel Dennett. 

Dennett is probably the best bet because he plays the game at several different levels. He was known until the death of Christopher Hitchins as one of the four horseman of the atheist apocalypse. But his work on free will and consciousness have conferred a kind of celebrity on him.

Health Matters Conference / Creative Commons

One thing we can all agree on regarding Barbra Streisand; she provokes strong reactions. Or, she used to. I don't think Millennials or Generation X and Y completely understand what Streisand was like when she was a central part of the American cultural conversation. 

Spyder Monkey / Wikimedia Commons

This all started with a scratchy phone message from a guy named Bobby Duley. He had been making regular visits to his mother convalescing at a rehab facility in Old Saybrook. Down the hall in one of the public rooms, he discovered a woman who was intimately involved in the civil rights marches that began in 1966 in the south.

Davidlohr Bueso / Creative Commons

The Academy is supposed to nominate the best actors, directors and writers for Hollywood's most prestigious Oscar awards; instead, they see only whites worthy of these lofty levels of achievement this year.

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