The Blog

This sweet story, by Bianca Giaever, comes via

Lisa Tobin

A new StoryCorps animation from this day in history.

Lisa Tobin

WNYC decided it was important that we be able to randomly generate every time someone has said “But then …” on This American Life. Why not, I guess.



Lisa Tobin

Snap Judgment’s Performance of the Year award went to 15-year-old Noah St. John for this stunning performance of a story about his moms.

Lisa Tobin

People don’t get much more zen than the Dude. Jeff Bridges, who played that laid-back soul in the cult classic The Big Lebowski, is himself “Buddhistly bent.” In this excerpt from his interview with On Point‘s Tom Ashbrook, Bridges recites The Buddha’s Five Remembrances, a famous discourse on life’s fragility, which he read upon turning 60.

Lisa Tobin

The Car Talk brothers fall apart while discussing the hidden dangers of smoking while driving. Dare you not to laugh. Tape courtesy of WBUR & Car Talk.

Lisa Tobin

One minute and twenty seconds of uncomfortable silences, edited by Michael Sippey from This American Life’s “Retraction” show. Somehow it’s as painful without context.

Lisa Tobin

Lisa Tobin

Melody KramerMelody Kramer is an associate producer for Fresh Air in Philadelphia. Before that, she worked on Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! So yeah, no fair. She is also one of the most web-savvy, digitally connected radio producers working in the NPR system.

If you don’t know, Fresh Air has a Twitter feed — a real, active, personal, engaged one, not the usual promotional, tweet out links to the day’s stories kind; a great Tumblr; really nice text build-outs of their interviews; Pinterest boards; they are even trying their mightiest to give Google + its fair shot. All of that is Mel. And she produces radio, too.

  1. Maurice Sendak, on Fresh Air
  2. We typically do all of the interviews on Fresh Air in a studio via ISDN, but Sendak’s was conducted via phone, so he could stay in his home. As I was listening to the unedited conversation between Sendak and Terry, I remember putting my head down on my desk, so I wouldn’t have to be distracted by anything else and could just focus on what he was saying. Sendak’s appearance on Fresh Air drew in more responses than we’ve ever seen since we started keeping track of email. People were moved to tears by his reflections on life, on death, on art. The interview itself was edited by producer Sam Briger, who did a masterful job of turning a phone conversation into a work of radio art.

  3. Dede Allen, on Fresh Air
  4. I often have to write obituaries for people who were interviewed on Fresh Air before I got here. One of the first obits I worked on was for a film editor named Dede Allen, who transformed the way Hollywood filmmakers paced scenes — and broke down gender barriers in Hollywood. I had never heard of Dede Allen before the interview, and then decided to watch the films she edited over her 60-year career. The interview gave me an appreciation for her work — and film in general — that I would have missed otherwise.

  5. Patrick Fitzgerald, on Wait Wait
  6. Every summer, Wait Wait does a live show in front of an audience of about 10,000 in a park in Chicago. It’s hard to find a guest for this particular show because the person has to live in Chicago and want to be interviewed in front of 10,000 people. One of my friends happened to be working in Fitzgerald’s office and, after a few phone calls, he was booked — and we had the first major interview with the U.S. attorney after the Scooter Libby trial. Of course, Peter presented him with an actual Razor scooter on stage.

Lisa Tobin

Radio with hearts

A Valentine’s Day playlist, with love in all its torturous incarnations.

  1. Love hurts …
  2. “Benny takes a jet” :  When Benny was 23, he couldn’t admit to himself that he had feelings for other men. He actively campaigned to keep gay alliance clubs out of schools. But then he fell horribly in love with another Mormon.

  3. Love scars …
  4. “Obsession” : Catalina Puente finds herself obsessing over a girl she hardly knows. The 16-year-old is tortured by her love, and the object of her obsession takes over her life.

  5. Love wounds …
  6. “Dr. Phil” : In the wake of a devastating break-up, Starlee Kine finds so much comfort in Phil Collins break-up songs that she decides to try to write one herself.

  7. And mars.
  8. “Eat cake” : A radio drama in which two people used to being alone in the winter connect over the telephone.

  9. Any heart, not tough …
  10. “Ring of fire” : The story of Johnny Cash and June Carter, told Sarah-Vowell style.

  11. Or strong, enough …
  12. “Finding Emilie” :  Alan Lundgard falls hopelessly in love with a fellow art student, Emilie Gossiaux. Then a devastating turn leaves Emilie lost in a netherworld.

  13. To take a lot of pain …
  14. “When worlds collide” :  In 1993, John Perry Barlow was at a convention for the NeXT computer. Feet away, the American Psychiatric Association was holding a convention of its own. At the border of the two, Barlow’s life changed forever.

  15. Take a lot of pain …
  16. “Clive forgets” : A man who’s lost everything, Clive Wearing has what Oliver Sacks calls the most severe case of amnesia ever documented. But, amidst so much forgetting, he remembers music and love.

  17. Love is like a cloud …
  18. “Best laid plans” : Kurt Braunohler and his girlfriend had been together for 13 years. So, they decided to sleep with other people before they could get married. Naturally.

  19. Holds a lot of rain
  20. “Lonely hearts club band” : Musician David Berkeley has gotten a lot of requests in his life, but none quite like this one. A fan asked him to come to his house and help save his relationship by serenading the troubled couple with a personal concert.

  21. Love hurts …
  22. “Yes means yes?” : Elna Baker on being a 24-year-old virgin in New York City.

  23. Ooh ooh love hurts.
  24. “He stopped loving her today” :  A song so sad that George Jones was initially reluctant to record it. Yet it became one of the most popular songs in country music.

Lisa Tobin