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
10:40 am
Thu September 19, 2013

A Crash Course On How Infinity Works

Credit Flickr Creative Commons, Rainbow Lyf

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:39 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

A Conversation with Eric Deggans on Race & Media

Eric Deggans, the author of Race-baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, and NPR's new television critic.
Credit 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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:25 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Joe Manganiello Stars In 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

Joe Manganiello is playing Stanley Kowalski in the Yale Rep’s Staging of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:15 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Who's Afraid of Gilbert and Sullivan?

Richard Vaughn is with the Simsbury Light Opera Company.
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." 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:19 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

The Nose Goes Shirtless

Mellini Kantayya, author of "Actor. Writer. Whatever"
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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:46 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Tipping the Scales Away From Tipping

Billy Grant, chef-owner of Grant's Restaurant and Restaurant in West Hartford, and Bricco Trattoria in Glastonbury
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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:06 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

For Roommates, Unexpected Challenges, and Joys

Susan Salisbury is director of residential life at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.
Credit 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. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Breasts In The Sports World

Venus Williams.
Credit 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?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:08 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

How Asexuals View The World

Kathy Way is a self-identified asexual. It's estimated roughly one percent of the American population is asexual.
Credit 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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:30 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

The Nose Outlines Its Outrage With Chappelle, Line Cutters, And Always Following The Rules

Theresa Cramer
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." 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:09 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

The Compelling Life Of Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton.
Credit 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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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:57 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Searching For J.D. Salinger In A New Biography

J.D. Salinger is the subject of a new documentary and book by David Shields and Shane Salerno
Credit Wikimedia Commons

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:46 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

In A World Of Voice Overs... "In A World" Is The Tip Of The Iceberg

Credit 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." 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:37 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Maybe Disco Doesn't Suck ...

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.

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Young and Old
10:29 am
Wed August 21, 2013

The New Middle Age

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?)

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:44 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

New Haven's Mayoral Race, Patch Layoffs, & Hundreds Of New Internet Domain Names

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. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:53 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Before Bernie Madoff, Philip Musica Conned (and Captivated) a Nation

http://www.thehallofinfamy.org/

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:50 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

The Nose: Rodeo Clowns, Why Americans Want to Drive Less and Abolish Tipping

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:43 am
Fri August 16, 2013

We're Going To the Drive-In!

monkeywing on Flickr Creative Commons

The drive-in movie theater turns 80 this summer. If you haven't been to one for a long time, you might be surprised at how much fun they are.

Here in Connecticut their numbers are shrinking--it's probably some combination of real estate prices, gas prices, the advent of home theaters, and the sheer economics of running any movie theater with fewer than 82 screens.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:40 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

A Salute To Urine!

Wikimedia Commons

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:33 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Saying Farewell: Why We Set High Bars for Finales

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. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:10 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Your Call is Important to Us: What a Load of Bullsh-t

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:49 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Jury Duty

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:52 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Giants of Poetry and Literature

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:24 am
Wed July 31, 2013

How Can We Make Kids Enjoy Summer Reading?

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:41 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Prenatal Massage, Hypnobirthing, And Other Ways To Manage Having A Baby

Credit Nagobe, Flickr Creative Commons

Home birthing? Doulas? Midwives? Hypnobirthing? Prenatal massage? Today, we’re talking about alternative birthing.

Fifty years ago, it was pretty simple: you went to the hospital, they knocked you out, and you had your baby — while dad smoked a cigar in the waiting room. Or if no hospital was nearby, you gave birth at home and hoped a savvy neighborhood lady could to help out. In later years, the question became home birth versus hospital birth.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:19 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Prenatal Massage, Hypnobirthing, and Other Ways to Manage Having a Baby

Nagobe, Flickr Creative Commons

Home birthing? Doulas? Midwives? Hypnobirthing? Prenatal massage? Today, we’re talking about alternative birthing.

Fifty years ago, it was pretty simple: you went to the hospital, they knocked you out, and you had your baby — while dad smoked a cigar in the waiting room. Or if no hospital was nearby, you gave birth at home and hoped a savvy neighborhood lady could to help out. In later years, the question became home birth versus hospital birth.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:36 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Blake Bailey and David Margolick on How to Write a Biography

Flickr Creative Commons, shutterhacks

Today we'll talk about the art of biography. When you think about it, it's a strange thing for a writer to do. Spending years learning every detail of another human's life.

Do biographers ever get sick of their subjects? Do they rue the day they decided to immerse themselves in another person's life? Or do they get infatuated?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:54 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

The Nose: Weiner's Digital Infidelity and Why We Love to Boycott

Flickr Creative Commons, Boss Tweed

I find it difficult to think about the mess currently embroiling Anthony Weiner without also thinking about Virginia Johnson, who died this week at 88. She was one half of Masters and Johnson, the research and writing duo who opened up sex as a discussable topic.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:26 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

The Life & Times Of Broadcast Legend Ivor Hugh

Ivor Hugh.
Credit Chion Wolf

Let me tell you, in the bluntest possible manner, why we're doing a show with Ivor Hugh today.

Last year, I had the idea of doing a show that would have been a gathering of some of the voices from the era when radio was king. One of the names in my head was Ivor's. The other one was my friend and former colleague Arnold Dean. Arnold started in radio within a year of  Ivor; and, like almost everybody doing radio in the 1950s, both men then dabbled in the early days of television, because the early tv talent was radio talent.

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