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.


It's just by happenstance that we ran into three short films this week that are both remarkable and newly available online. One of them is really something, and because of that, you have to figure, it won this year's Oscar for Best Live Action Short. One of them is merely clever and well done. And the last is an animated short that will utterly defy your expectations of an animated short.

And the best part is: You can watch all three of them in just 27 minutes.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met in Las Vegas last night for their third and final debate before the November 8 election. 

"I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now...I'll keep you in suspense. Okay?" This was Donald Trump's response to Chris Wallace asking if he would honor the outcome of the election. His answer is unprecedented in the history of American politics. His answer dismisses the privilege Americans enjoy by the seemingly benign transfer of power that occurs with each presidential election. Stop for a moment and think about the violence in countries where people die to vote or where their vote doesn't matter because a leader won't step down. 

Julie Jordan Scott / Creative Commons

A lot of you reading this are familiar with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder because you watched the popular "Little House on the Prairie" television show that ran from 1974-1983.

But the television show came long after Laura Ingalls Wilder began sharing the story of her family's journey through the open frontier. She shared her memories in a series of beloved Little House books that spanned a life of pioneering both before and after the government declared the frontier closed. She speaks in simple and intimate prose of everyday life that fascinated millions of young readers who wanted to live like Laura. Fans today still want to believe in the absolute truth of every word. 

Michaek Kerswill / Flickr

History and literature are filled with their antics. From the Renaissance's Triboulet to Shakespeare's Feste from "Twelfth Night," jesters and fools have delighted us for centuries with their subversive humor and quick wit. But while comedy was their brand, there existed hardships for these characters as well.

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

Donald Trump spent the recent days creating an alternate reality filled with 'global conspiracies' against him he claims are led by Hillary Clinton and the global elite. This is in response to several women who came forward last week to accuse Donald Trump of sexually harassing and/or assaulting them after a 2005 tape was released on which Trump was bragging about how easy it was for him to "grab" women as he pleased. 

T. Charles Erickson

We've never sent a Nose panel to a play before. So this week, we figured we'd try it out. So we've all gone to see Steve Martin's world premiere at the Long Wharf in New Haven: Meteor Shower.

Charles Hutchins / Flickr Creative Commons

I wasn't sure anyone would show up for a live, on-stage discussion about this year's election. I mean, no one's starving for content about this. We're all bombarded. But show up, they did! We got about 200 people and packed the amphitheater, and I think that says something about our  basic human need to be together as bodies, talking and relating in a very humanly embodied way, especially in these troubling days. I should tell you that we taped this right before the hot mic incident and all that followed. It was a more innocent time. But everything we said still holds.

id Reneke / Flickr

If Anthony Bourdain and Wes Anderson were to ever collaborate, chances are they'd end up creating something like Atlas Obscura. The founders of the website -- dedicated to strange, forgotten and hidden wonders around the world -- are now out with a new book featuring 700 of their most spectacular examples.

Maureen McMurray / New Hampshire Public Radio

The job of the media is to inform voters on views and behaviors that relay how a political candidate will behave once elected to office. Fair and honest treatment does not necessarily lead to equal coverage. In the case of Donald Trump, it can lead to asymmetrical coverage of a candidate whose behavior appears to undermine the standards of democratic discourse. 

Andrew Comings / Creative Commons

Everyone was wondering how Donald Trump would handle the 2005 tape of him talking with Billy Bush about sexually-assaulting women because "you can do anything" when you're a star. Republican support wavered this weekend under the strength of the video, with many Republicans in Congress calling for Trump to relinquish his spot at the top of the GOP ticket.

Home Box Office, Inc.
Logan Prochaska / Creative Commons

In the more than six years that it's been on the air, we've never taken The Colin McEnroe Show to the Peabody Museum before. (Crazy, right?) And: In the more than six years that it's been on the air, we've never done a Colin McEnroe Show about dinosaurs before. (Crazy! Right!?)

Werner Shutz / Creative Commons

Marie Antoinette's breasts were believed to inspire the design of the shallow French champagne coupes we see on the shelves of the local Pottery Barn. Mae West noted in her 1959 memoir, Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It, that she regularly rubbed cocoa butter on her breasts and spritzed them with cold water.

Barry Blitt / The New Yorker

Donald Trump's horrible, terrible week got worse after the New York Times released three pages of Trump's 1995 tax return this weekend. They show he lost nearly $916 million in a year when the economy was thriving. But, that's another story. He may have used legal loopholes in the tax code to make more money off his loss and avoid paying federal income taxes for the next 18 years. Did he? He won't tell. But, he did note at last week's debate that he would be smart if he did. 

Kristian Bjornard / flickr creative commons
Keith Allison / flickr creative commons

So here's what happened. Lucy Nalpathanchil got a pitch from some PR person about covering David Ortiz's retirement at the end of this baseball season. And she forwarded it to Colin and me and said it sounded like our kind of show.

And Colin (a Red Sox fan) said that I (a Yankees fan) "would [expletive] hate that." And he's right. I would [expletive] hate that.

And so here we are doing that show.

Red, White, and Black Eyes Forever / Flickr Creative Commons

Three guests, Peter Sagal of WWDTM, Maria Konnikova of The New Yorker, and Robert Evans of Cracked, take you on a tour of vice. They talk everything from casual sex to marijuana to greed and ostentation to coffee to beer to pornography. Peter and Colin also discuss what the next declared vice will be. Possibly sitting.

ChurchofSatan / Flickr

Free will, individual responsibility, and the pursuit of happiness: Fundamental tenets of, wait for it... Satanism. While the word conjures up images of fire and brimstone, the truth is a bit more complicated. So why does a religion which celebrates so much what Americans profess to hold dear get such a bad rap?

Arturo Pardavila III, Flickr Creative Commons

This hour, we mourn the loss of 24-year-old Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boat accident over the weekend. 

Open Road Films, LLC

The biggest surprise about Oliver Stone's Snowden is probably how controversial it isn't. Which isn't to say that it isn't somewhat controversial -- anything about Edward Snowden is bound to be somewhat controversial. But for an Oliver Stone conspiracy thriller, The Nose finds Snowden to be pretty tame.

Charles Hackley / flickr creative commons

Colin's out today, and Julia Pistell returns as guest host. We devote the hour to two interesting guys and their interesting jobs.

Aaron Mentele / Flickr

The modern circus has been thrilling audiences for over 250 years, but as times have changed, so has the circus. What began as little more than an equestrian performance has come to include clowns, trapeze artists and even lion tamers.

Shaheen Lakhan / Creative Commons

H.M. is one of the most important and studied human research subjects of all time. He revolutionized what we know about memory today because of the amnesia he developed after a lobotomy in 1953 to treat the severe epilepsy he developed after a head injury sustained earlier in life. 

Seth Capitulo / Flickr Creative Commons

How we make decisions is a thread that runs through today's Scramble.

First, Donald Trump called a press conference in his new Trump International Hotel in D.C. this past Friday to announce, "President Obama was born in the United States. Period.” He was late to the press conference and used it to promote both a new lie about Hillary Clinton and his new hotel - which ‘coincidentally’ opened last week. How did certain media organizations choose to cover this non-news event instead of say, Hillary Clinton addressing the Black Women’s Agenda Symposium, where she was talking about the economic challenges faced by women of color. Will this episode of "sewer dwelling” prompt the media to re-examine the role and privilege of a free press?