The New Yorker Radio Hour

The New Yorker Radio Hour

United States

The New Yorker Radio Hour is a weekly program presented by the magazine’s editor, David Remnick. 


Episode 70: John Goodman, Jeremy Irons, and Keegan-Michael Key  

Conversations with a few of the best actors working in film and television, Keegan-Michael Key, John Goodman, and Jeremy Irons, recorded at The New Yorker Festival.



Another Brick in Trump's Wall  

“April 4: There were taunts again today from the Mexicans on the other side of the wall. They keep making fun of our inexperience with manual labor. Most of us used to work in the arts, entertainment, or media in New York or Los Angeles, so we dont really know how to use things like . . . tools.” Jesse Wanns diary of a newly hired construction worker, drafted into service to erect President Trumps wall, was published in The New Yorkers Shouts & Murmurs. Chris Eigeman performs our adaptation.

Episode 69: Bun Cha With Obama, and Trump’s New World Disorder  

Anthony Bourdain tells David Remnick about the adventurous life he has led since his essay in The New Yorker launched him as a new kind of hard-boiled celebrity chef. The reporter Robin Wright talks to two veteran officials of intelligence and diplomacy about where Donald Trump’s foreign policy by tweet may lead us. And the fiction writer Yiyun Li takes in the view at Oaklands premier cemetery.

Episode 68:  Politics at the Oscars, and a Doctor’s-Eye View of Trump  

Meryl Streep’s critique of Donald Trump at the Golden Globes drew wide attention, and there will probably be even more political statements on Oscar night. Atul Gawande explains how the repeal of the Affordable Care Act could lead to a decline in patients seeking primary care. A rural internist talks about how much-needed immigrant doctors are being kept out of the country by Trump’s executive order. And Jia Tolentino sings a capella with the songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez.   

Episode 67:  How to Cover Trump’s Presidency, and Football’s Concussion Crisis  

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith sits down with David Remnick to talk about his decision to publish an unverified dossier that alleges secret ties between Donald Trump and Russia. A former N.F.L. player grapples with the high risk of concussion for football players–while his son begins his own career in the sport. And the cartoonist Liana Finck explains why she works best on the train.    

Episode 66: The Two­-State Solution, and a Standing Desk Problem  

With relations between the United States and Israel at a turning point, we examine the peace process and the possible death of the two­state solution. Plus, a rap fan explains how Run the Jewels speaks to the problems of middle age; and that guy in the office who switched to a standing desk won’t stop singing its praises. 

Episode 65: High-Rise Lettuce Farms, and the First Woman President  

Plenty of countries have elected female leaders. In this episode, Amy Davidson tries to determine why the glass ceiling in the United States has been so durable. George Saunders explains why Abraham Lincoln was not just a President but also a spiritual leader. David Remnick talks with Dan Savage about what it’s like to give sex advice for twenty-five years, and Ian Frazier finds the future of farming in an industrial building in Newark, New Jersey. 

Episode 64:  Self-Esteem for Owls, and Newt Gingrich on the Heroin Problem  

Newt Gingrich isn’t known for bipartisanship, but he’s found a broad consensus for his efforts to address the opioid-addiction epidemic, with measures that sound surprisingly liberal. A Turkish novelist looks at what happens when nations act out of fear. A young man learns about love from Motown’s finest songwriters, and an owl with a confidence problem pumps itself up.

Episode 63: Late-Night Icon David Letterman and Songwriter Jason Isbell  

David Letterman talks with The New Yorker’s Susan Morrison about how he’s spending his retirement avoiding late-night television and tackling climate change. And Grammy Award-winning songwriter Jason Isbell talks to John Seabrook about the joys of writing, performing, and living without alcohol.

Episode 62: Laura Poitras, David Bowie’s Last Band, and the Poet Brenda Shaughnessy  

The Oscar-winning documentarian Laura Poitras (“Citizenfour”) talks to David Remnick about her first solo museum exhibition, “Astro Noise,” which channels her investigations of government surveillance into immersive installation art. A group of jazz musicians recall how David Bowie found them in a hole-in-the-wall club and enlisted them to create “Blackstar.” And the poet Brenda Shaughnessy reads Hilton Als a poem about living in a loft full of lesbians, back when New Yorkers could still afford to smoke. 

This episode originally aired on February 5, 2016.

Episode 61: Jeanette Winterson’s Christmas and Obama’s Legacy  

David Remnick assesses the successes and failures of the Obama Presidency with some of The New Yorker’s heavyweight politics reporters. Jeanette Winterson remembers Christmas as a singular bright spot in her Dickensian childhood, and the poet Ocean Vuong shares one of his favorite places to write: a busy Asian food court in Flushing, Queens.

Episode 60: What Is Trumpism?  

Will the Wall Street insiders Trump has picked to run his economy deliver on the populist promises he made? Sheelah Kolhatkar discusses Trump’s new cabinet appointees with David Remnick.  Kelefa Sanneh talks with an unlikely Trump supporter—a socially conservative Catholic university professor. William Finnegan explores the tragic state of Venezuela, and Michael Chabon shares three things that bring him consolation in anxious times.

Episode 59: The Koch Brothers and Boxing Champion Heather Hardy  

Three epic battles: Jane Mayer recounts her experience investigating—and being investigated by—Koch Industries; the boxer Heather Hardy forfeits the prize money for a fight before setting foot in the ring, but wins anyway; and Junot Díaz is stripped of his honors by the government of the Dominican Republic. Plus, the astronomer who wrote “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming” lays out his evidence for the existence of a new ninth planet.

This episode originally aired on January 22, 2016.

Episode 58: Bruce Springsteen Talks with David Remnick  

In October, 2016, Bruce Springsteen appeared at The New Yorker Festival for an intimate conversation with David Remnick. (The event sold out in six seconds.) This entire episode is dedicated to that conversation.

Episode 57: Zadie Smith and Conservatives Strike Back  

David Frum is a card-carrying conservative who won’t jump on the G.O.P.’s Trump bandwagon—he believes that America’s fundamental rights will be at risk under the President-elect. The novelist Zadie Smith explains why she thought writing in the first person was an indulgence. And the much-derided can of cranberry sauce finally speaks up for itself—and, boy, is it pissed.


Episode 56: Leonard Cohen’s Last Days and Donald Trump’s First Term  

David Remnick spoke with the songwriting master Leonard Cohen in the last months before his death. Plus, Amy Davidson and George Packer wade into the uncharted waters of the Trump Administration.

Podcast Extra: Looking Back with Leonard Cohen  

Leonard Cohen, who died this week, was one of America’s greatest songwriters -- Bob Dylan told Cohen he considered him his nearest rival -- and is a figure of almost cult-like devotion to generations of fans.  He began as a poet in the vein of Allen Ginsberg or Frank O’Hara before releasing his first album in 1967.  Suffering from terrible anxiety, not much calmed by alcohol and drugs, he only seemed to conquer his fear of performing on stage after decades of Zen practice. David Remnick sat down with Cohen in the summer at his home in Los Angeles to discuss his career, his spiritual influences, his triumphant final tours, and preparing for his end.  “I’m ready to die,” Cohen told him, already suffering from a number of health problems.  “I like to tie up the strings. It’s a cliché, but it’s underestimated as an analgesic on all levels. Putting your house in order is, if you can do it, is one of the most comforting activities and the benefits of it are incalculable."

Episode 55: Final Notes on the 2016 Election  

In this episode, the election is adapted into a screenplay that needs significant revisions to make it more believable. A prominent evangelical theologian contemplates the decline of Christian influence on Republican politics. Our lawyer weighs in on publishing hacked e-mails. And, in a new song, Michael Friedman tells the story of a porn actor who identifies as an anarcho-socialist, and who might be supporting Donald Trump.

Podcast Extra: The State of The Union Songbook Live  

The presidential election may seem like some kind of theatre — part thriller, part satire — but Michael Friedman wants to make it a musical. Friedman has been traveling the country interviewing voters (and some non-voters) and making songs out of the transcripts. The result is a series of musical snapshots that capture how Americans are thinking about politics in 2016. The New Yorker's Sarah Larson hosted Friedman at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space on October 26th, where Friedman debuted the songs with special guests Kristolyn Lloyd and Jeremy Pope.

Episode 54: Syria, the World’s Nightmare  

What began as an Arab Spring uprising has turned into a grinding six-year civil war and the worst humanitarian crisis of the twenty-first century. The Syrian civil war and its refugees are destabilizing the Middle East and Europe. This week’s show examines the origins of the conflict and evaluates what the future might hold for Syria.

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