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.

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Netflix

Martin Scorsese is a grump. He doesn't like Marvel movies. He says they aren't "cinema." He says they aren't even narrative films, and "we shouldn't be invaded by it." The internet, as you can imagine, has takes.

And: The Eddie Murphy comeback is on. He appeared on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee this summer. He's hosting Saturday Night Live in December. He's got multiple standup comedy specials in the works. And right now he's starring in the briefly-in-theaters-but-hitting-Netflix-next-weekend biopic Dolemite Is My Name.

miss_millions / flickr creative commons

"Hate" is the imprecise word we use to describe a group of ideas that have moved out of the shadows of American public life and into its center ring.

At the core of these movements sits one common idea: that all people are not equal.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Joker is director Todd Phillips's modern take on movies like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. It stars Joaquin Phoenix in the title role in what happens also to be... a Batman movie. It's been called "a gloriously daring and explosive film" and "a movie that borders on genius" but also "bleak and juvenile" and "a movie of a cynicism so vast and pervasive as to render the viewing experience even emptier than its slapdash aesthetic does."

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The Netflix limited series Unbelievable stars Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever. It tells the true story of a serial rapist and the investigation that caught him, and it's based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Marshall Project and ProPublica article "An Unbelievable Story of Rape" and the This American Life episode based on that.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

October is upon us. Pumpkin spice everything is here. Leaf peeping is just around the corner. Your one slightly odd neighbor has put out his 37 hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns.

But more than any of that, what October brings with it is October sports. And this year, in Connecticut, that means two things:

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

The Nose couldn't decide which of last weekend's two big new movies to go see, so it went to both.

Downton Abbey, the feature film continuation of the incredibly popular PBS series, is the number one movie in the country. Its $31 million opening was the biggest ever for the studio that made it, Focus Features. Not bad for a PG-rated, special effects-free drama made for grownups.

Bob Ross, Inc.

It's been 25 years since Bob Ross's The Joy of Painting went off the air (and 24 years since Ross died). But there are 52 episodes of the show available to stream on Netflix. Bob Ross and Chill is a thing. The 403 full episodes available on YouTube have accumulated something approaching 250 million views. And this summer, The New York Times did a big Bob Ross investigation.

This hour: a look at the undying force for permed hair and puffy little clouds and happy little trees that is Bob Ross.

Plus: Could we do a show about Bob Ross without also talking Thomas Kinkade? No we could not. And so no we do not.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Merriam-Webster has added 533 new words to its dictionary. Words like "deep state," "pickleball," "escape room," and "Bechdel test." My favorite is probably "fatberg." But there's a particular new dictionary entry that The Nose is specifically interested in: "dad joke."

Joerg Neuner / CreativeCommons.org

Though country music is considered the most popular genre of music in America, its influence is profoundly regional. The style is known for appealing to the white working class, and is largely sequestered in southern and midwestern pockets of the country.

Meanwhile, coastal elites tend to regard the genre with disdain. "I like everything but country" is a popular refrain.

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.

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 at some of the most popular movie comedies ever made.

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.

CucombreLibre / flickr creative commons

This week, we've started our second decade on the air.

Over the first ten years, we did some number north of 2,000 shows. And every one of those shows was intended, more or less, to be about some... thing. Towels or Trump or toast or television or whatever.

This hour we do the opposite thing: a show not about a specific something -- tapirs.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Sticks & Stones is Dave Chappelle's fifth standup comedy special for Netflix in three years. All four previous specials won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album, and one of them won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special. The critical response to this latest special, though, has been a bit more muted.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The Nose has this odd habit of covering basically every new Taylor Swift single/video. And so there's a new Taylor Swift single/video. And so The Nose is covering it.

And: As this is the way the world works now, a Facebook post has started a backlash against Frank Pepe Pizzeria over... politics. Sigh.

KA Sports Photos / flickr creative commons

If there's one thing we know about the public radio audience, it's that you love... sports. You crave sports coverage. You live for sportstalk radio. And so this hour, we talk sports... on the radio. And there's plenty to talk about:

Frédéric BISSON / flickr creative commons

We've got no guests today. So much of the burden of making today's show any good at all rests with, well: you.

We can talk about pretty much whatever you want. The economy. Plastic bags. Greenland. The Little League Classic. 2020. Or 2020. Or 2020. Or 2020.

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?

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.

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