Jonathan McNicol | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Jonathan McNicol

Producer, The Colin McEnroe Show / Host, The Second First Season

Jonathan started at WNPR as an intern in 2010 and was hired later that year. In his work, Jonathan is always just trying to figure out a little bit of how the world works, while paying special attention to the absurd and the just plain goofy. He is as likely to produce a show on America’s jury system as he is a story on all the grossest parts of the human body. His work has been heard nationally on Here & Now and locally on WNPR’s talk shows, on Morning Edition, and on All Things Considered.

Jonathan comes to radio from a background in, of all things, graphic design. He lives in the greater New Haven area.

Ways to Connect

Amazon Studios

Everything's canceled, more or less. The movie The Hunt was canceled before anybody got to see it. People talked about canceling the movie Adam before anybody got to see it. Sarah Silverman was canceled, from a movie anyway, for something she did -- on television -- 12 years ago. The OA was canceled, but people maybe don't believe that it was canceled? And we're apparently on a path toward canceling... the Dewey decimal system?

And: Amazon Prime's new superhero series, The Boys, imagines a world where something like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is real... and something like the Marvel corporation exists too.

dom fellowes / flickr creative commons

Shakespeare in the Park starts tonight in New Haven. Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires has a new workshop production of Coriolanus opening next week. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens didn't think Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare's works. The BBC has a multi-camera, filmed-in-front-of-a-live-studio-audience Shakespeare sitcom.

This hour: lots of little looks at this summer's best Shakespeare stuff.

Seth Rogen. Er, no. That's not right. Carlos Mejia, I meant. / Connecticut Public Radio

Two things arrived this week that the world probably didn't previously know it needed: The Impossible Whopper and "the definitive Nicolas Cage interview." The Nose taste tests one of them live on the air and discusses both. I'll leave it a mystery which is which.

Plus, a look at two movies: the Charlize Theron-Seth Rogen rom-com Long Shot (now available on iTunes/Amazon/DVD/Blu-ray/etc.) and the Cambridge Analytica documentary The Great Hack (out now on Netflix).

Sony Pictures

Why do we expect women to clean up everybody's messes all the time? The Cut's Lisa Miller thinks it just might be because of... purses:

Women's bags [...] allow us -- like sherpas or packhorses -- to lug around the tool kits of servitude. A woman is expected to be prepared for every eventuality, and culture has formalized that expectation. Online, lists of necessities proliferate: 12, 14, 17, 19, 30 things a woman should keep in her purse. Almost all include tissues, breath mints, hand sanitizer, and tampons -- but also "a condom, because this is her responsibility, too."

Sharon Mollerus / Flickr Creative Commons

Hartford native Sol LeWitt was one of the giants of conceptualist and minimalist art.

As an artist, he abandoned the long histories of painting and drawing and sculpture in favor of his Wall Drawings and Structures.

And as an art figure, he abandoned the conventions of celebrity and resisted ever even having his picture taken.

This hour, a look at Connecticut's own Sol LeWitt.

Bleecker Street Media

Last weekend, Marvel unveiled its plans for Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (along with a few hints and winks and nods about Phase Five -- which is mostly notable 'cause it means they're planning a Phase Five).

And we're currently in the middle of a year when, when it's all said and done, the top eight highest-grossing movies may well have all come from Disney or Marvel or both. The top eight. That's not a typo. Here, look:

Matt Deavenport / Flickr Creative Commons

It's been called a "glorified game of toss" and "World of Warcraft for extroverts." But has Ultimate Frisbee quietly become a real sport?

It is, apparently, a likely Olympic sport. Which would, apparently, maybe be bad for Ultimate.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

There's kind of a lot going on this week: There's rumored to be a new 007. The Emmy nominations are out. There's a new dating trend called 'Caspering.' Farhad Manjoo thinks we should all use the singular 'they.' 1.7 million people want to raid Area 51. Anthony Fantano (or an animated version of Anthony Fantano, really) is in the new "Old Town Road" video. During the New York City blackout, Star Wars fans helped direct traffic... with their lightsabers. And: The Cats trailer is out, and it's maybe kind of, uh, horrifying?

Marco Verch / flickr creative commons

We live in an Everything Should Take Twenty Minutes world. Movies are too long. SundanceTV has a show that airs in ten-minute episodes. Tierra Whack has a fifteen-minute album made of fifteen sixty-second songs. Todd Rundgren's memoir has 183 one-page, three-paragraph chapters.

So today, we turn our hour over to five short, little shows about short, little things.

Tony Hisgett / Flickr Creative Commons

Sand is the most abundant material on Earth. And, other than water and air, sand is the natural resource we consume more than any other -- more, even, than oil.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the 23rd feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the final entry in its Infinity Saga. It is the 11th and final film in the MCU's Phase Three, even though everybody thought it'd probably be the first part of Phase Four, and now nobody really knows what Phase Four will start with.

I haven't entirely understood anything I've written so far, but I do get this bit: There won't be another Marvel movie for ten whole months -- all the way until next May.

Columbia Pictures

Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, John Belushi, John Candy, Rick Moranis.

Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Beverly Hills Cop, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, ¡Three Amigos!, Funny Farm, Spaceballs, Stripes.

We maybe didn't properly appreciate it at the time, but the 1980s were one of the most fertile periods ever for screen comedies and screen comedians.

This hour, a look at the mavericks who shaped a whole comedy aesthetic and we'll look at some of the most popular movie comedies ever made.

HBO

No one is surprised to hear that Disney is planning a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Some people were surprised, though, at the announcement that Halle Bailey, who is African American, has been cast as the titular Ariel. And probably the least surprising part of the whole thing is that part of the internet (the racist part) is mad about it.

And: Rapper Lil Nas X came out on the last day of Pride month. Is this news?

Warner Bros.

It's hard to believe, but The Matrix is 20 years old this year. And its influence is all over the culture with bullet time and red pills and the "woah" meme and so much more.

JessicaHarper.com

Jessica Harper has starred in movies like Suspiria, Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise, Woody Allen's Stardust Memories, and Steven Spielberg's Minority Report. And now she's publishing a memoir as a podcast.

Winnetka tells the story of growing up in a big family -- six kids, including two sets of twins -- in the 1950s and '60s in the midwest -- in Winnetka, Ill., you see -- and later in Connecticut.

Plus: An update on the podcast industry more generally. The "Netflix of podcasts" is here. A big new study on podcasting has just come out. And... is "podcaster burnout" becoming a thing?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Rocketman is the sort of movie where (tiny spoiler ahead here, I suppose) "Elton John," at one point, becomes an actual "rocket man"... and blasts off into the sky... with fire shooting out of his feet. I mean, what else do you need to know really, right?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

What if you just don't really enjoy food very much? What if you're totally fine eating the same thing every single day? What if you think food is an inefficient way to get what you need to survive?

What if, rather than eating "food," you just mixed a white powder (that is definitely not made of people because it's made of soy protein isolate instead) with water and drank that in food's place?

This hour: a look at what you might call the non-foodie movement and the "powdered food" meal replacement product that is Soylent.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Darko Tresnjak has been artistic director at Hartford Stage Company since 2011. During his tenure here, he's won a Tony. He's had multiple productions make the leap to Broadway. His Anastasia has multiple tours touring internationally.

And this season is his last season in Hartford.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Graduation season is upon us. Your niece is finishing high school. Your neighbor's son is graduating from Tulane. Your boss just got her second Master's. How did it get to be that the obvious gift for all of these people is... a Dr. Seuss book?

And then: Vulture, this week, published a click-bait listicle ranking all the HBO shows ever. The Nose took the bait and clicked. And... Six Feet Under didn't make the top ten? Girls isn't in the top 25? John from Cincinnati made the top 30? Did anybody even understand that show?

And speaking of shows, George Clooney and Grant Heslov's new Hulu miniseries is a four-and-a-half-hour, six-episode adaption of Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Is that what the world needed right now?

EwS / Flickr Creative Commons

For the past few months, Nose regular Jacques Lamarre has been posting debate-starting, head-to-head style Facebook posts.

Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry. Ketchup vs. mustard vs. mayonnaise. When Harry Met Sally vs. Sleepless in Seattle. That kind of thing.

And so now, we've decided to try to turn the concept into a radio show. This hour, YOU MUST CHOOSE.

thierry ehrmann / Flickr Creative Commons

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. Dave Itzkoff's new biography is Robin.

And 10 years after his death, a look back at the work of George Carlin.

Netflix

No Country for Old Men. Fargo. The Big Lebowski. Raising Arizona. O Brother, Where Art Thou? Miller's Crossing.

Over the past 35 years, Joel and Ethan Coen have reliably been among the most recognizable voices in moviemaking.

Their latest, the anthology western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, hit Netflix last fall.

This hour: a Noseish look at the work of the Coen brothers.

Marco Verch / flickr creative commons

Seriously: a show about towels.

There's the history of towels, towels in Christianity, Terrible Towels, Towel Day.

Oh, and there are actual towels too.

HBO

It's been a rough week for the famous. Last Saturday, Peggy Lipton died at age 72. On Monday, Doris Day died at 97. Then on Tuesday, it was Tim Conway at 85. And yesterday, I. M. Pei died aged 102.

And the week's gone kind of the same way for TV shows too. On Sunday, Veep finished its seven-year run on HBO. Last night, The Big Bang Theory aired its 279th and final episode. And Game of Thrones's series finale is set to air this coming Sunday.

Garrett Ziegler / flickr creative commons

Father of the Bride is Vampire Weekend's fourth studio album, their first in nearly six years, and their first for a major label. It has been called a "masterpiece" and a "multi-layered dissertation on the world's ills." It's also been called "mild" and "some of the worst ideas the band has ever put to tape." The real question is, though: Is Vampire Weekend still cool?

And then: Gorman Bechard's Pizza, A Love Story has its New Haven premiere in a few weeks at this year's NHdocs documentary film festival. The Nose talks Pizza, specifically, and pizza, more generally, from the pizza capital of the world.

Sharon Mollerus / flickr creative commons

Hartford native Sol LeWitt was one of the giants of conceptualist and minimalist art.

As an artist, he abandoned the long histories of painting and drawing and sculpture in favor of his Wall Drawings and Structures.

And as an art figure, he abandoned the conventions of celebrity and resisted ever even having his picture taken.

This hour, a look at Connecticut's own Sol LeWitt.

Jonathan McNicol

Elvis left two legacies. Musically, he pulled several American musical traditions out of the shadows, braided them together, and made them mainstream. Personally, he created a far darker template for the way a musical celebrity could be devoured by the very fame he avidly sought.

Recorded live in front of an audience -- and with a band! -- as part of Colin's Freshly Squeezed series at Watkinson School, an hour about the artist who defined the birth of rock and roll and was the genre's first superstar.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Avengers: Endgame is the 22nd feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the fourth Avengers movie and the fourth MCU entry directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. It is the 10th film in the MCU's Phase Three and the last part of its Infinity Saga. I didn't understand very much of that stuff I just wrote, but I totally get this last bit: Avengers: Endgame may well be on its way to becoming the highest-grossing movie ever made.

And then: Taylor Swift's new single/video, "Me," is setting records of its own. Never mind that the duet with Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie is maybe kinda... terrible?

Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

For an American Sign Language-interpreted version click here.

Since 1989, more than 2,000 people have been identified as victims of wrongful convictions in the U.S. In 2015 and 2016, the wrongfully convicted were exonerated at a rate of about three per week.

This hour, a look at the reality of, psychology behind, and institutionalized pressures toward wrongful convictions in America.

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