The Colin McEnroe Show | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

The Colin McEnroe Show

Weekdays at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm

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.

“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.

While we are live, call us at 1-888-720-WNPR. That's 1-888-720-9677. 

You can email us anytime at colinshow@ctpublic.org. To reach us in the newsroom when we're not on air, call 860-275-7272.

Contact CMS Producers:

The Senior Director is Catie Talarski. The Technical Producer is Chion Wolf. The Digital Producer is Carlos Mejia.

Are you looking for our Radio for the Deaf broadcasts? Those are all collected under our very special, and if you don't mind us saying very nice looking RFTD site.

Blogtrepreneur / flickr creative commons

We had intended to run the debut episode of our new other show, Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?), in our hour today. But then the Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump. And so suddenly airing a show from last weekend seemed like a bad idea.

So instead, we take to the airwaves with you as our only guest. Call in and let Colin know what you're thinking: 888-720-WNPR (888-720-9677).

Beth Beverly / Diamond Tooth Taxidermy

When you think of taxidermy, you may imagine a trophy room in which mostly male hunters have mounted the heads of 12-point stags along wood-paneled walls. If so, your image would be incomplete.

Tom Hilton / Flickr Creative Commons

There is perhaps no figure more emblematic of the paranormal than the psychic. Able to predict the future, see into the past, and even communicate with the dead, the psychic's awesome gifts are matched only by his or her ability to withstand skepticism and ridicule.

rbeard113 / Creative Commons

Private weather companies are cropping up to produce weather and climate models that have historically been provided by the government. Private weather forecasting is a $7 billion industry that threatens the dominance of the National Weather Service and could lead to a tiered system of access.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Last Thursday, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla's Cybertruck and Sacha Baron Cohen gave the keynote address at an Anti-Defamation League summit. Both performances have drawn mixed reactions.

And: The Mandalorian is the big, new, original, launch title for Disney's new streaming service, Disney+. It's a half(ish)-hour western set in the Star Wars universe, and three episodes have dropped so far.

Jesse Steinmetz / Connecticut Public Radio

If you ever drive across the country, you’ll notice there is a surprising amount of World’s Largest attractions.

West Virginia has the world’s largest teapot, California has the world’s largest yo-yo and Arkansas, for whatever reason, has the world’s largest Spinach can. This hour we talk to the man who brought the world’s tallest Uncle Sam to Danbury, Connecticut. 

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Defense Secretary Mark Esper demanded the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer on Sunday. Esper said he had lost confidence in Spencer. Esper's action follows Spencer publicly disagreeing with President Trump over the military's decision to demote one of three war criminals the president pardoned against military advice. What are the consequences of presidential interference in the military code of justice?

Netflix, Inc.

The Irishman is Martin Scorsese's first gangster movie in thirteen years. It's his first feature-length film with Robert De Niro in 24 years and his first with Harvey Keitel in 31 years. It's Joe Pesci's first onscreen performance since 2010 and just his third since 1998. It's the first time any combination of Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and/or Harvey Keitel has ever worked together, and it's the first time Scorsese has ever directed Pacino.

Yuichi Kosio / Creative Commons

Ralph Nader's niece died when Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 max 8 jet crashed in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in March 2019.  Since that day, her family has been trying to prove that Boeing put profits before public safety when they failed to ground the plane when they recognized the danger it posed. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

William Outlaw is a natural leader. He's been a key figure in helping to lower New Haven's homicide rate over the last decade. He's a strategist and an organizer who can size up a situation quickly. He can defuse a threatening situation with his charisma and charm. He can run a business. 

As a street outreach worker in New Haven, he uses all the same skills today that he used when he co-ran New Haven's largest cocaine gang in the 1980's. 

Chion Wolf

There are more than 800 miles of Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails in Connecticut. Today we're doing our show from one of them. 

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

President Trump's former National Security Advisor John Bolton is a pretty interesting figure in the whole impeachment inquiry, right? On the one hand, he's a pretty high-level official who is said to have characterized the whole Ukraine affair as a "drug deal." On the other hand, he's so far refused to testify at the same time as he's making it clear he's got lots of relevant information. On the other other hand, 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The news comes fast in the world of the canceled these days. Louis CK is back out on tour. President Obama has a "very boomer view" of the whole thing. The New York Times reports on teens' takes.

Meanwhile, some celebrities, rather than getting themselves canceled, are getting themselves arrested. Jane Fonda, for instance. And Sam Waterston. And Ted Danson.

And: Bong Joon Ho's genre-defying new movie, Parasite, won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, and it's being called "a nearly perfect film" and "the best movie of the year."

Uptowner / Flickr Creative Commons

Donald Trump's election was the culmination of a venom-filled campaign that was nastier than almost any in recent memory. The mean-spirited comments tossed to voters eager to "lock her up" fell just shy of the malicious rhetoric coming from Thomas Jefferson's presidential campaign in 1796. Jefferson's hatchet-man called John Adams a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

The Nobel Foundation / Wikimedia Commons

Eugene O'Neill doesn't get enough credit. His plays are a form of therapy. O'Neill forces us to watch the raw pain of our human condition, the disillusionment and existential fear that we push into the background.

O'Neill's plays are dark but there's a catharsis in confronting our deepest fears and illusions. 

Chion Wolf

Are there countries where harmonica players are BIG stars? Why don't more women play it? How many different musical styles can you squeeze out of one of these things? Guests include a lot of the pros: Howard Levy, Don DeStefano and Chris DePino whose odd career arc has taken him from railroad conductor to chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party to professional harmonica player.

Also, Wolfie gets an on-air harmonica lesson from these gods of the harp.

Travis Wise / Creative Commons

President Trump changed his primary address from New York to Florida.  He says he'd been treated badly by political leaders.

He was also booed twice last week, first at Game Five of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros, this past Saturday at UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden. It does hightlight how infrequently the president ventures beyond the safety of the controlled settings of his rallies. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Watchmen is a limited series of comic books that became a graphic novel in 1987 and a feature film in 2009. And now it's an HBO series from Damon Lindelof that acts as a kind of sequel to the original comics, set 34 years later.

And: Today is John Dankosky's last day at Connecticut Public after 25 years. There is just no denying that WNPR wouldn't be what it is -- and The Colin McEnroe Show wouldn't be at all -- if it weren't for Mr. Dankosky. The Nose tries to begin to come to terms.

A24

Every year around this time, we like to take a look at just what's frightening us in the present moment. This year, we start with our present take on a past horror classic, Ridley Scott's Alien, which has its 40th anniversary this year.

Plus: Ari Aster's Hereditary follow-up, Midsommar, is set at a pagan retreat in rural Sweden. As such, it's seen as a bit of a reinvigoration of the folk horror genre, which includes classics like The Wicker Man and more contemporary titles like The VVitch.

Brad K. / Creative Commons

Connecticut's "Second Chance Society" has reduced the number of people going into prison and better prepared offenders for a meaningful life when they get out. 

Dan Taylr / Flickr Creative Commons

Predictions of a paperless future go back to the 1800s. Yet, despite a dizzying array of technological alternatives to paper, those prediction have not come true.

Paul Keller / Creative Commons

President Trump held a Sunday morning press conference to announce that the U.S. military conducted a targeted operation to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Saturday. The operation was successful and important but still a somber and serious event.  The almost 50-minute question and answer period that followed the president's announcement was political, self-aggrandizing, undignified, and may have revealed sensitive operational details. 

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

This week, The Washington Post published "The 20 defining comedy sketches of the past 20 years" covering television sketch comedy of the 2000s. It includes a lot of what you'd expect it to include: SNL's "More Cowbell" and "Black Jeopardy with Tom Hanks," Inside Amy Schumer's "Last F---able Day," Chappelle's Show's "Frontline -- Clayton Bigsby."

Netflix

That headline is just a direct quote from James Poniewozik's Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America. I was torn between that line from the book and this one:

Donald Trump is not a person.

Poniewozik's take is that "Donald Trump" is really a character that Donald Trump has been playing on television since at least the early 1980s.

rauter25 / Flickr

Love it or hate it, ventriloquism is hot these days. From Jeff Dunham's superstardom to three recent America's Got Talent winners, 'vents' are seeing more exposure than they have in decades. And with this attention comes new fans and practicioners from around the world.

McFadden Publications / Wikimedia Commons

A hard-boiled private eye, a glamorous blond, and a hapless drifter all sit at a bar on the seamy side of town. It's night, the streets are wet, the shadows are long. They each nurse a drink to the notes of a mournful saxophone and a lonely piano.  Smoke from the cigarettes swirls in the darkness. 

Scazon / Creative Commons

Today, a two-part show. The first part is with an impeachment expert on the House inquiry into whether President Trump abused his power for personal gain. How much trouble is the president in?

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.

Pages