Best of Public Radio

Courtesy PRX

This episode of State of the Re:Union visits our neighbors across the Connecticut. Best of Public Radio airs Sundays at 3 p.m.

Culture Shock 1913

Mar 10, 2013

What a year was 1913! Many have called it the true beginning of 20th century culture. From New York, where the first large-scale show of modern art alarmed viewers, to Vienna and Paris, where music by Schoenberg and Stravinsky sparked audience riots --- it was a year of artistic upset and audience apoplexy! A hundred years later, WNYC’s Sara Fishko and guests tell the story of this Mad Modernist moment of sweeping change, and the ways in which it mirrors our own uncertain age

Adria RIchards via Wikimedia Commons

Host Maya Angelou poetically and historically covers milestones by African Americans in Nobel Peace Prize, Grammy, Academy Awards, and cultural awards. As African Americans continue to be acknowledged by their communities, our country and internationally, this hour-long Black History Month radio program features milestone conversations with Maya Angelou and lauded African Americans from the Grammy's to the Emmy's, Academy Awards, and Nobel Prize categories.

This one-hour Humankind special examines the fascinating historical role played by U.S. federal courts in enforcing slavery. We revisit how a Boston judge's decision to order a runaway slave returned to his Virginia owner provoked the largest abolitionist protest the nation had ever seen. Then an in-depth look at the Supreme Court's famous Dred Scott ruling -- adamantly opposed by Abraham Lincoln -- that blacks "have no rights a white man is bound to respect".

The Afflictions of Love

Feb 3, 2013

The Tobolowsky Files is a series of specials featuring profound, moving, and hilarious true stories about life, love and Hollywood, written and performed by author and actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Stephen has played cops, robbers, murderers and super heroes in over 200 roles for film and television but on The Tobolowsky Files he always plays himself. You will recognize his voice and face from his many appearances on Glee, Seinfeld, Deadwood and the Mindy Project; plus a roster of iconic films that includes Ground Hog Day and Thelma and Louise.

The Classic

Jan 27, 2013

The Tobolowsky Files is a series of specials featuring profound, moving, and hilarious true stories about life, love and Hollywood, written and performed by author and actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Stephen has played cops, robbers, murderers and super heroes in over 200 roles for film and television but on The Tobolowsky Files he always plays himself. You will recognize his voice and face from his many appearances on Glee, Seinfeld, Deadwood and the Mindy Project; plus a roster of iconic films that includes Ground Hog Day and Thelma and Louise.

The Alchemist

Jan 20, 2013

The Tobolowsky Files is a series of specials featuring profound, moving, and hilarious true stories about life, love and Hollywood, written and performed by author and actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Stephen has played cops, robbers, murderers and super heroes in over 200 roles for film and television but on The Tobolowsky Files he always plays himself. You will recognize his voice and face from his many appearances on Glee, Seinfeld, Deadwood and the Mindy Project; plus a roster of iconic films that includes Ground Hog Day and Thelma and Louise.

The Tobolowsky Files is a series of specials featuring profound, moving, and hilarious true stories about life, love and Hollywood, written and performed by author and actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Stephen has played cops, robbers, murderers and super heroes in over 200 roles for film and television but on The Tobolowsky Files he always plays himself. You will recognize his voice and face from his many appearances on Glee, Seinfeld, Deadwood and the Mindy Project; plus a roster of iconic films that includes Ground Hog Day and Thelma and Louise.

Every year, more than a million kids drop out of school. Without a diploma, they will have a tough time succeeding. But the problem starts much earlier than high school. This hour, we'll ask the big question: What works? Originally Every year, more than a million kids drop out of school. Without a diploma, they will have a tough time succeeding. But the problem starts much earlier than high school. This hour, we'll ask the big question: What works?

Twentieth Century Fox (Douglas)/John Paul Filo, CBS (Letterman) / Courtesy WNYC

Alec talks with late-night legend David Letterman. Letterman describes his early days as a local TV host in Indiana, followed by time working the comedy clubs in LA. In just three years, he found himself appearing on The Tonight Show; as Letterman says, "that's not supposed to happen." Baldwin also visits Michael Douglas at his New York apartment for a conversation about what makes a great director, a smart producer, and why playing the villain is the much more satisfying part.

Gerry Wersh (Alpert)/Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images (Rock) / Courtesy WNYC

Content Advisory Warning: Language

Alec goes backstage with comic actor Chris Rock after a matinee of The Motherf-er With The Hat to hear what it was like for Rock to be in his first play. NOTE: Please Read the Content Advisory to the right. Alec also talks with Herb Alpert, legendary trumpeter and music producer. In 1966, Alpert’s band The Tijuana Brass sold over 13 million records, outselling The Beatles

Bryan Bedder, Getty (Michaels)/Nigel Parry (Jong) / Courtesy WNYC

Alec visits Lorne Michaels in his office at Rockefeller Center – the same office he’s had since 1975, when he created Saturday Night Live. Michaels and Alec talk about what led to SNL, and Michaels early years doing subversive political satire on Canadian radio. Alec also talks with writer Erica Jong and her daughter Molly Jong-Fast as they spar about sex and the legacy of the feminist movement.

Cavett photo by Barbara Friedman / Courtesy WNYC

Alec talks with Kristen Wiig – a breakout Saturday Night Live cast member who says she loves performing, but admits there’s also a “big part of me that’s just like: don’t look at me.” Alec visits talk show legend Dick Cavett at his home in Montauk, Long Island. Over iced tea, Cavett shares memories from five decades in entertainment.

Courtesy WNYC

Alec sits down with Billy Joel at a piano as Joel details the decisions – musical and personal – that helped shape his music and his career.

Legacy of a Jerk

Sep 14, 2012
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/armymedicine/5866567170/">Army Medicine</a> / Flickr

In this episode, Stephen Dubner focuses on an experimental procedure called the fecal transplant. This procedure is sort of combination of organ transplant and blood transfusion that may present a viable way to treat not only intestinal problems but also obesity and a number of neurological disorders. We'll talk to two doctors at the vanguard of this procedure and a patient who says it changed his life. Also: we've all heard our share of poignant and loving eulogies, but what if the deceased was a real jerk?

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rishabh_m/5422972089/">Rishu83</a> / Flickr

The first part of this episode, Stephen Dubner looks at this and other examples of weird recycling. We hear the story of MedWish, a Cleveland non-profit that sends unused or outdated hospital equipment – from gauze and tongue depressors to beds and x-ray machines – to hospitals in poor countries. We also hear Intellectual Ventures founder Nathan Myhrvold describe a new nuclear-power reactor that runs on radioactive waste. Also in this hour: we look at the strange moments when knowledge is not power.