The New Yorker Radio Hour The New Yorker Radio Hour is a weekly program presented by the magazine's editor, David Remnick, and produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker. Each episode features a diverse mix of interviews, profiles, storytelling, and an occasional burst of humor inspired by the magazine, and shaped by its writers, artists, and editors. This isn't a radio version of a magazine, but something all its own, reflecting the rich possibilities of audio storytelling and conversation. Theme music for the show was composed and performed by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-YArDs.
The New Yorker Radio Hour

The New Yorker Radio Hour

From NJPR

The New Yorker Radio Hour is a weekly program presented by the magazine's editor, David Remnick, and produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker. Each episode features a diverse mix of interviews, profiles, storytelling, and an occasional burst of humor inspired by the magazine, and shaped by its writers, artists, and editors. This isn't a radio version of a magazine, but something all its own, reflecting the rich possibilities of audio storytelling and conversation. Theme music for the show was composed and performed by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-YArDs.

Most Recent Episodes

Jia Tolentino and Stephania Taladrid on the End of Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court's ruling in the Dobbs case was not a surprise; given the draft opinion that was leaked in May, its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey was nearly a certainty. But the effects of the ruling have been rapid and chaotic. In some states, abortions stopped overnight; in others, there's profound confusion over what qualifies as a legally acceptable reason for having an abortion. Far from settling the legal issue of abortion—by sending it back to the states—the Dobbs ruling opens an uncharted legal dimension where the health of a pregnant person is being pitted against the life of a fetus, with potentially fatal consequences. "Flat out, women will die in the course of ordinary pregnancy," Jia Tolentino says, "because of physician fears about anything that might make them liable for felony changes of performing an abortion. It will make pregnancy significantly more dangerous for many, many people." Tolentino and Stephania Taladrid have both reported extensively on abortion access, and they spoke this week with the New Yorker editor Tyler Foggatt. A longer version of this conversation appears on The New Yorker's Politics and More podcast.

Why Do Conservatives Love Hungary's Viktor Orbán?

When the New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz first heard that the Conservative Political Action Conference, the flagship event of the American conservative movement, was holding a meeting in Hungary, he thought it might be a joke. "A lot of people have worried for a few years now that the Republican Party is becoming more ambivalent about certain bedrock norms of American democracy," Marantz told David Remnick. "To openly state, 'We're going to this semi-authoritarian country' . . . I thought it was maybe a troll." But C.P.A.C. Hungary was very real, and the event demonstrated an increasingly close relationship between American conservatives and authoritarians abroad. Viktor Orbán wins elections and claims a democratic mandate, but his legislative maneuvers and rewrites to the constitution have rendered political opposition increasingly powerless. Marantz finds the admiration for him by many in America unsettling. "I couldn't really imagine a Putin-style takeover" of power in America, Marantz says; but "this kind of technical, legalistic Orbán model" seems all too plausible.

Alan Alda, Podcaster

Alan Alda spent his early years in the burlesque theatres where his father, the actor Robert Alda, would perform. Those early years opened his eyes in more ways than one: "I was very aware of the naked women," he told The New Yorker's Michael Schulman, "but I was also aware of the comics." Watching from the wings, Alda grew an appreciation for being funny, being creative, and being present. He put those skills to use for eleven years on "M*A*S*H" and in dozens of other performances on stage and screen—recently, as a divorce lawyer for Adam Driver's character in "Marriage Story." But it was only later in life that Alda realized his skills might be useful in another arena: science. Alda made it his crusade to help scientists communicate their ideas to a broad audience. "What occurred to me," Alda told Schulman, "was that if we trained scientists starting from actually improvising, they would be able to relate to the audience the way they were relating to me." He hosted a series of science programs and founded the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. He also started a podcast. On "Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda," Alda interviews luminaries from the fields of science, politics, and entertainment, drawing on his training to make their specialist knowledge accessible to listeners. Interviewing, he thinks, isn't unlike performing with a scene partner: "You have to relate to the other person," says Alda. "You have to observe the other person. You have to be watching their face, their body and language" to determine what it is the guest "really means." Plus, if you're still looking for something for the kids to do this summer, have you considered Horse Camp? A comedy sketch by Emily Flake and Sarah Hutto.

Forget Dating Apps—the "Marriage Pact" Goes for the Long Haul

A survey that started as a student project at Stanford University has become a popular dating and relationship tool on campuses across the country. Its goal is to delve deeper than the superficial information found on a typical dating-app profile, connecting people based on deeply held values rather than looks or sports teams. Most apps, says Liam MacGregor, who created the Marriage Pact with a fellow-student, "were designed to solve really specific problems ... if you want a short-term relationship. But because they're the only tools out there, people have tried to use them to solve these other problems." The Marriage Pact "set out to solve this very specific problem at the beginning: If you need a backup plan for a 50-year-long relationship, who's right for that?" Would you put an elderly relative in a nursing home? Do you keep people as friends because they might be useful to you later? Would you keep a gun in the house? More than 250,000 students across more than 75 campuses have taken the survey. The Radio Hour's producer KalaLea talked to students at Princeton University, where the survey was being conducted, to find out what it was all about. Plus, perched high above the ice at Madison Square Garden, the organist Ray Castoldi has conducted the soundtrack of Rangers games and more for thirty years.

Dexter Filkins on the Rise of Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has shown himself uniquely skilled at attracting attention beyond the borders of his home state. Just this month, DeSantis blocked state funds for the Tampa Bay Rays stadium after players voiced support for gun control in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas. He's also continuing a fight to punish the Disney Corporation for criticizing Florida's so-called Don't Say Gay law. An Ivy League-educated anti-élitist firebrand, he is willing to pick a fight with anyone—reporters, health officials, teachers, Mickey Mouse—to grab a headline. DeSantis "practically radiates ambition," the staff writer Dexter Filkins tells David Remnick. "He sounds like Trump, except that he speaks in complete sentences. ... He's very good at staking out a position and pounding the table and saying, I'm not giving in to the liberals in the Northeast." Yet despite having been anointed by Donald Trump in his primary election, DeSantis has refused to "kiss the ring," and many see DeSantis as a possible opponent to Trump in a 2024 Republican primary.

Michael R. Jackson on "A Strange Loop," His Black, Queer Coming-of-Age Musical

Michael R. Jackson's Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "A Strange Loop" features a Black queer writer named Usher, who works as an usher, struggling to write a musical about a Black queer writer. Jackson's work tackles the terror of the blank page alongside the terrors of the dating scene, and it speaks in frank and heartbreaking terms about Usher's attempt to navigate gay life among Black and white partners. Hilton Als talked with Jackson about how he found inspiration in his own experience seeking identity and community. "I started writing the original monologue—building a sort of life raft for myself—to understand myself," Jackson said. "It wasn't until I got to a place of understanding that in my life I was caught up in a loop of self-hatred, that I could see what Usher's problem was, and therefore what the structure of the piece was that would lead him out of that and into a better place." "A Strange Loop" is playing now at the Lyceum Theatre, on Broadway.

Michael R. Jackson on "A Strange Loop," His Black, Queer Coming-of-Age Musical

The Adrenaline Rush of Racing Drones

Ian Frazier, who has chronicled American life for The New Yorker for more than forty years, travelled to a house in Fort Collins, Colorado, where three roommates build, fly, and race drones. Jordan Temkin, Zachry Thayer, and Travis McIntyre were among the early professional drone racers in the sport, piloting the tiny devices through complex courses at upward of eighty miles an hour. Drones have had an enormous impact on military strategy, and the commercial applications seem limitless, but to these pilots drones exist in the strange overlap between pure adrenaline and big money that defines pro sports. This piece originally aired on February 9, 2018.

Regina Spektor on Her New Album, "Home, Before and After"

Twenty years ago, Regina Spektor was yet another aspiring musician in New York, lugging around a backpack full of self-produced CDs, and playing at little clubs in the East Village—anywhere that had a piano. But anonymity in Spektor's case didn't last long. She toured with the Strokes in 2003, and once she had a record deal, her ambitions grew outside indie music. She moved into a pop vein, writing anthems about love and heartbreak, loneliness and death, belief and doubt. Her 2006 album "Begin to Hope" went gold. "Home, Before and After," being released this month, is Spektor's first new album in six years. She sat down at a grand piano with Amanda Petrusich, who covers music for The New Yorker, playing songs from the record and talking about the role of imagination and playfulness in her songwriting and her vocals. "I think that life pushes you—especially as an adult, and especially when you're responsible for other little humans—to be present in this logistic[al] sort of way," she says. "I try as much as possible to integrate fun, because I love fun. And I love beauty. And I love magic. ... I will not have anybody take that away." Spektor performed "Loveology," "Becoming All Alone," and the older "Aprѐs Moi," accompanying herself on piano. The podcast episode for this segment features a bonus track, "Spacetime Fairytale."

Masha Gessen on the Quiet in Kyiv

Masha Gessen is reporting for The New Yorker on the war in Ukraine, which is now in its fourth month. They checked in with David Remnick from Kyiv, which seems almost normal, with "hipsters in cafés" and people riding electric scooters. But the scooters, Gessen noted, are popular because prices have skyrocketed and gasoline is unaffordable. All the talk, meanwhile, is of war crimes—of murder, rape, torture, and kidnapping. (The Russian government has denied involvement in any war crimes.) And outside the city, in the suburbs, Gessen finds "unimaginable destruction," comparable to what they saw in Grozny, Chechnya, "after the second war—after they'd had nearly ten years of carpet bombing." The scale of atrocities, Gessen says, makes any diplomatic compromise over territory impossible for Ukrainians to accept. Plus, the head of the largest flight attendants' union talks with the staff writer Jennifer Gonnerman about leading her members through turbulent times, with organized labor making a comeback, while unruly passenger behavior is reaching new heights.

"The Book of Queer," and "Bob's Burgers" Hits the Big Screen

While working on his Ph.D., the historian Eric Cervini (whose book "The Deviant's War" was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize) noticed the lack of popular histories on L.G.B.T.Q. issues. Researchers were publishing plenty of papers, but they were mostly in peer-reviewed journals and other academic outlets. His attempts to change that—first with his Instagram videos, and now with a series on Discovery+—bring to life key moments and figures in queer history, including the pharaoh Akhenaten and President Abraham Lincoln. "I would describe [the show] as a queer-history variety show," Cervini told Michael Schulman. "The Book of Queer" is streaming on Discovery+, with new episodes each week in June. Plus,Loren Bouchard, the creator of "Bob's Burgers," resisted making a movie from his TV show—until now. He talked with The New Yorker's Sarah Larson about the show's surprising strain of optimism.