The Colin McEnroe Show | Connecticut Public Radio
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The Colin McEnroe Show

Weekdays at 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm and Saturdays at noon

“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 888-720-WNPR. That's 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 Colin McEnroe Show Producers:

The Senior Director is Catie Talarski. The Technical Producer is Cat Pastor.

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 so, very nice looking RFTD site.

Wikipedia

We're almost three weeks past Election Day. Yet, President Trump and his evolving legal team continue to spew conspiracy theories intended to delegitimize the voting process, sow confusion, and delay the transition of power to incoming President-elect Joe Biden. 

Meanwhile, most Senate Republicans remain silent and Trump's most fervent supporters ignore our post-election reality in favor of conspiracy theories that run unchecked on platforms like Parler

Universal Studios Home Entertainment

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.

We all know classic noir when we see it and hear it and read it; yet, we don't really know how to define the dark plots that expose humanity in all its moral ambiguity and loneliness.

wikipedia

Many of the poll results that drove headlines this election season missed the mark, even after pollsters spent the previous four years correcting for the errors of 2016.

They shouldn't feel too bad. Even George Gallup got it wrong. But Gallup had it easier. Almost ninety percent of people answered polls in his day. Today, about six percent of people answer polls - and the ones that do tend to have more social trust in other people and institutions.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.

Jeopardy! has been part of the fabric of American TV, in a couple different forms and across a couple different breaks, since 1964. It is the longest-running nationally-televised game show in U.S. television history.

At the 2015 Emmys, John Oliver quipped, "The sun could burn out, humanity could flee to another galaxy, time as we know it could cease to exist, but Alex Trebek will still be there scolding librarians from Ames, Iowa, to answer in the form of a question."

Thomas Hart / Wikimedia Commons

Benedict Arnold's reputation as a traitor instead of a skilled warrior and confidante of George Washington, has become accepted history in the minds of Americans living hundreds of years removed from our founding. But that's too simple a story.  

Jake Greenberg, U.S. Navy / Creative Commons

The number of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 is rising in almost every state. America averaged over 100,000 new cases every day over the last seven days and 1,000 deaths every day over the same period. The positivity rate is more than 50 percent in some states, straining hospital systems and front line staff. Have we normalized the pandemic to the point where we're no longer taking it seriously enough? 

Apple

The world has an Alex Trebek-shaped hole in it. Which raises a question: Who should fill said hole?

Billie Eilish has a new single out this week, which got The Nose thinking about her now-in-limbo James Bond theme song, which got The Nose thinking about James Bond theme songs in general.

And: Ted Lasso is a half-hour comedy series on AppleTV+. It stars Jason Sudeikis as the title character, and it's based on a character Sudeikis developed in 2013 for a series of promos for NBC Sports's Premier League coverage, of all things.

The Flap Over Flags

Nov 12, 2020
WonderWhy / Creative Commons

On the surface, a flag is a piece of cloth with pretty colors and designs. That's the thing with flags. They're often judged on their aesthetics, but their power lies in how well their design captures the culture, religion, politics, and history of a place and its people. 

Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian / flickr creative commons

It's been eight days since Election Day. It's been four days since Joe Biden was projected to become President-elect Joe Biden.

But we've still got the secretary of state saying, "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration." We've still got any number of lawsuits flailing their way through the courts in various states.

Are we really going to reject democratic elections to soothe Trump's ego?

The Truth About Lies

Nov 10, 2020
Mike Roberts / Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

On most Mondays, we scramble around trying to put together a show reacting to the weekend's news.

But being that nothing much happened over this weekend, we decided just to take your calls this hour.

860-275-7266. Call in and talk to Colin about how you're feeling at the start of this new day, this new week -- this new era.

Netflix, Inc.

Since nothing has really been going on lately, we figured we'd do an hour about the week in pop culture, as usual.

The Nose is sad to see Sean Connery go. But it's glad to see John Mulaney on SNL again.

And: The Queen's Gambit is Netflix's new limited series adaptation of the Walter Tevis novel of the same name.

Robert McNeely / Wikimedia Commons

The Trump campaign threatened legal challenges Wednesday, to force four states to stop counting ballots after Joe Biden's wins in the battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin narrowed the President's path to reelection. How bad must an American president behave before a majority of voters repudiate him for his actions? 

Phillip Pessar / flickr creative commons

The one thing we knew for sure was that by the time we got to today, yesterday would be over.

And it is.

And we don't quite know what actually happened yet.

Brad Greenlee / Creative Commons

The Colin McEnroe Show has an Election Day tradition of celebrating voters by inviting "citizen observers" from around the state to share their experience with voting. An ongoing pandemic and tensions stemming from a deeply divided electorate make this a year like no other.

Theresa Thompson / Creative Commons

Most of us are approaching Election Day with a mix of excitement, hope, and fear, as we live with surging numbers of coronavirus cases, threats of civil unrest, and uncertainty over when the election will be decided -- and who will get to decide. We want to hear from you.  Call us at 888-720-9677 or 888-720-WNPR to share your hopes and concerns about Election Day and for a post-election America.

Amazon.com, Inc.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (on Amazon Prime) is a sequel to 2006's Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Sacha Baron Cohen returns as the titular character.

And: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (on Netflix) is Aaron Sorkin's film depiction of the 1969 trial of Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale. Here, Baron Cohen plays Hoffman.

Daniel Huizinga / Creative Commons

A lot of people are wondering if it's time to look at ">court packing," and other court reforms, to address judiciary dysfunction that we can see playing out during this election and in the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

Shudder

It's our annual Halloween special! For this year, the script kind of wrote itself. We look at the way our current, actual horror is likely to affect our future fictional horror through the lens of the genre's past distinct historical eras.

Plus: A new study that seems to say that horror fans were better prepared for the pandemic than the wimpy rest of us were.

And: Every year on this show, for no particular reason, we look specifically at some classic horror movie that's celebrating its 40th anniversary. Two years ago, it was Halloween. Last year, it was Alien. This year, it's Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.

Ruth Hartnup / flickr creative commons

We wake up to coffee from a pod, listen to music through our EarPods from our iPods, drive our Smart cars and Fiats and other increasingly pod-shaped vehicles, wash our clothes using Tide pods, and while we wait for the clothes to dry, we listen to our favorite podcast through our AirPods from our HomePod. Sound about right?

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

The Trump Administration continues to downplay the pandemic, Vice-President Mike Pence campaigns even as staff members in his inner circle test positive for SARS-CoV-2, and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," that the Administration is no longer going to control the pandemic.

HBO

It has come to The Nose's attention that you can rent an entire movie theater out for just $99 and have yourself a slightly less pandemic-panicky moviegoing experience. Which got us thinking about, just, going to the movies. Remember going to the movies?

And then: "Which of the Hollywood Chrises is the worst Hollywood Chris?" is a question the internet has been grappling with recently. As with all things internet, there's now a bit of a controversy.

And: David Byrne's American Utopia is Spike Lee's HBO movie version of Byrne's American Utopia Broadway show, which is a theater version of Byrne's American Utopia tour, which Byrne did in support of his album, American Utopia.

Michael Winters / flickr creative commons

Secession is in the air. Britain withdrew from the European Union, Scotland wants out of the U.K., Catalonia from Spain, and, wait for it, California from the U.S. Yes, the days of our country's states being united may soon come to an end.

Andry Fridman / Creative Commons

In the 1990's, the Southport Sockmen, otherwise known as Steven Bain and Steven Gawthrop, paid drunk people in Liverpool bars and clubs to give them the socks they were wearing. The Sockmen took photos of each “donor,” before placing each sock and its matching donor photo in a plastic bag. The police found 4,000 pairs of socks piled 18 inches deep when they arrived to arrest the pair for "acts of gross indecency." The socks were also hanging from the furniture and lampshades - and some were in the microwave. 

Alyssa L. Miller / Creative Commons

Our ancestors viewed sleep as a highly sensual and transcendent experience. Today, about a third of adults have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or feeling rested. We're becoming a nation of insomniacs.

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

Donald Trump asked journalist Tony Schwartz to ghostwrite his memoir, "The Art of the Deal," because Trump liked the unflattering story Schwartz wrote for New York magazine, about Trump's effort to evict rent-controlled tenants from his Manhattan apartment building. Schwartz agreed and has been atoning for that decision ever since. 

HBO Max

Bill Burr hosted Saturday Night Live last weekend, and his monologue -- which included bits about wearing masks, cancel culture, white women in the "woke" movement, Pride Month, and more -- has drawn some criticism. It has The Nose thinking about "How President Trump Ruined Political Comedy."

And: The West Wing ran for seven seasons and 156 episodes and ended more than 14 years ago. A new reunion special debuted yesterday, and it's got The Nose wondering how the classic show -- with its Capraesque, idealized vision of American politics -- plays against our present reality.

Right-Wing Extremism

Oct 15, 2020
Anthony Crider / Creative Commons

The pandemic, coupled with Black Lives Matter protests, and incendiary rhetoric from President Trump, has riled up anti-government militias across the US, most evident in the recent foiled plot by militia groups in Michigan, to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

FX Productions, LLC

Undoubtedly, the thing that will most be remembered from Wednesday night's vice presidential debate is the fly that landed on Mike Pence's hair... and then stay there for more than two minutes. The Nose isn't sure what to make of that, exactly, but things are definitely being made of it.

And: Fargo is an anthology that premiered on FX in 2014. It's inspired by the Coen brothers' 1996 film. The fourth season, which is airing now, stars Chris Rock, Jessie Buckley, and Jason Schwartzman, and it's set in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1950.

Bernardo Wolff / Creative Commons

The populist backlash that led to the election of President Trump was decades in the making.  Like other populist leaders around the world, Trump gave voice to the resentment directed toward “elites” who devalue the hard work and dignity of workers without college degrees.

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