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 WNYC Radio

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.More from The New Yorker Radio Hour »

Most Recent Episodes

Robyn Talks with David Remnick

For the past twenty-five years, since she was a young teen-ager, the singer Robyn has been on the cutting edge of pop music. Her sound is sparse and complex, influenced by electro and dance music while preserving the catchiness of pop. After a brief stint with Max Martin early in her career, Robyn has avoided the big hit-making producers who put their stamp on an artist. Instead she's produced, written, and performed all her own work, becoming a kind of oxymoron: an indie pop star. "Body Talk," Robyn's previous album, came out in 2010, and, for many of the years that followed, Robyn has been out of the public eye. Following a breakup and a close friend's death, she slipped into a depression serious enough that she had trouble getting out of bed and leaving her house. She eventually started recording again and recently released an album called "Honey." (The New Yorker's Jia Tolentino wrote,"the force of her conviction continues to hold together what often seems impossible, musically or otherwise: maximum sadness, felt as the bedrock of absolute joy.") Robyn, who lives in her native Sweden, spoke with David Remnick about the many years of difficulties that went into making "Honey." Plus, the pop-music critic Amanda Petrusich picks three favorites for 2018, and the fight director B. H. Barry gives a lesson in brutal mayhem with music.

Helen Rosner Ferments at Home, Plus Dexter Filkins on Saudi Arabia

One of the hot trends in the food world is one of the oldest: fermentation. No longer just for beer and sauerkraut, fermentation—which Helen Rosner calls "bacteria engaging with your food"—is the subject of cookbooks, and the specialty of destination restaurants like Noma, in Copenhagen, which has been called the world's best restaurant for several years. René Redzepi, the chef at Noma, and David Zilber, the director of its fermentation lab, visited Rosner's home kitchen to give her a lesson. A couple of weeks later, after the microbes had done their work, she brought some highly unusual fermented snacks to share with David Remnick. Plus, Dexter Filkins traces the rise to power of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Long before the international furor over the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi—back when bin Salman was still being hailed as a reformer—Filkins says that he eliminated political opponents, cracked down on the press, extorted other wealthy royals, and arrested human-rights activists.

Voter Suppression in the Twenty-First Century

In the November midterm elections, Stacey Abrams, a gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, arrived at her polling place to cast a vote for herself, only to have a poll worker claim that she had already filed for an absentee ballot. Carol Anderson's book "One Person, No Vote" explores how measures designed to purge voters rolls or limit voting have targeted Democratic and particularly minority voters. Anderson sees voter-identification laws and a wide range of bureaucratic snafus as successors to the more blatantly racist measures that existed before the Voting Rights Act; she describes the resurgence of voter suppression as an expression of white rage. "It is not what we think of in terms of Charlottesville and the tiki torches," she tells David Remnick. "It's the kind of methodical, systematic, bureaucratic power that undermines African-Americans' advances." White Americans, she says, see themselves as trapped in a kind of "zero sum" situation, in which all advances for people of color must come at whites' expense. Plus, the staff writer Jon Lee Anderson journeys up the Madre de Dios River in the Peruvian Amazon to observe as the Mashco Piro—one of the few remaining uncontacted indigenous tribes—begin a fraught, possibly fatal engagement with the outside world.

Bridget Everett Talks with Michael Schulman

Appearing at the New Yorker Festival, in conversation with Michael Schulman , Bridget Everett brought her dog onstage. It was unconventional, but no more so than anything else she does. Vulgar, badly behaved, and entirely comfortable with herself, Everett's persona as a cabaret performer whips audiences into a frenzy at the legendary Joe's Pub, in New York. That cult following led to parts on the television shows "Inside Amy Schumer", "Lady Dynamite," and "Girls," and in the movie "Trainwreck." But Everett found a new depth in last year's "Patti Cake$," as the barfly mother of the movie's title character, who is a young, overweight white woman aspiring to be a rapper. Everett's character, Barb, is a failed singer who mocks her daughter's musical career. "I get the urge to want to tear somebody down even when you love them, because you don't want them to slip away, or you don't want them to have something you never had," she said. "If I was still in Kansas and I wasn't singing, and I wasn't doing what I want to do, that's exactly who I would be. And I would be that drunk and I would be at that bar, hopefully not with those nails, but I would be that person." *This episode contains explicit language.

Jim Carrey Doesn't Exist (According to Jim Carrey)

As a young boy, Jim Carrey got in trouble for staring in the mirror. He didn't do it because he was vain; he was practicing the comic skills that made him one of the great impressionists of our time, a man whose face seems to be made of some pliable alien material. Yet that malleable face is as capable of portraying deep and complex emotion as it is of making us laugh. As a result, Carrey's career has been one reinvention after another. These days, he's been lighting up Twitter as a political cartoonist—his way of drawing Donald Trump is particularly grotesque—and starring in the television series "Kidding." He plays a children's entertainer, in the mold of Mr. Rogers, who is struggling with the death of his own son. Carrey sat down with Colin Stokes at the New Yorker Festival in October, 2018. He spoke about his reverence for Fred Rogers and the inspiration he takes from Eastern philosophy. "I don't exist," Carrey says. "There's no separation between you and me at all . . . I know I'm sounding really crazy right now, but it's really true."

The Star Witnesses Against El Chapo

Last year, the Mexican government finally agreed to extradite the notorious drug kingpin El Chapo to the U.S. Born Joaquín Guzmán Loera, he was once ranked by Forbes as one of the most powerful people in the world. His trial began in New York, on November 5th, and Guzmán faces seventeen counts related to drugs and firearms; prosecutors have said that they will also tie him to more than thirty murders. The government's star witnesses against the notoriously elusive drug lord are identical twins from Chicago, Pedro and Margarito Flores. While still in their twenties, the Flores brothers became major drug traffickers, importing enormous quantities of drugs from the Sinaloa cartel. They avoided violence and feuds with rivals, but eventually got caught in the middle of a cartel war. It was a dangerous position, and the only way out was to seek government protection. The Flores brothers flipped; they began working secretly for prosecutors—recording their business calls with Guzmán and others—in exchange for leniency in their own trials. Tom Shakeshaft, the former Assistant U.S. Attorney who flipped them, tells The New Yorker's Patrick Radden Keefe how it all went down.

The Countdown to Brexit, Plus Adam Gopnik's Turkey Zen

More than two years after British voters approved a measure to withdraw their nation from the European Union—a gigantic undertaking with no roadmap of any sort —Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled a plan: essentially, that the U.K. would remain in the European customs union, participating in trade with the E.U. and remaining subject to its trade policies, but exit the political process of the E.U. The deal was seen by some as the worst of both worlds, and several cabinet ministers resigned; May could well lose a no-confidence vote in the immediate future. David Remnick talks with the London-based staff writers Sam Knight and Rebecca Mead about the ongoing challenges of Brexit. And the staff writer Adam Gopnik, who's been preparing Thanksgiving dinner for decades, considers the zen of cooking a turkey.

After the 2008 Financial Crisis, the Economy Was Fracked Up

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act injected almost nine hundred billion dollars into the U.S. economy to help the nation recover from the 2008 financial crisis. Ninety billion dollars went to clean energy, with the intention of jump-starting a new "green economy" to replace aging fossil-fuel technologies. Instead, the bill may have done the opposite. Low interest rates, which made borrowing easier, encouraged a flood of financing for the young fracking industry, which used novel chemical techniques to extract gas and oil. Fracking boomed, and made the U.S. the leading producer of oil and gas by some estimates. The financial journalist Bethany McLean and the investor and hedge-fund manager Jim Chanos tell The New Yorker's Eliza Griswold that something in the fracking math doesn't add up. If interest rates rise, reducing the flow of cheap capital, they believe that the industry will collapse. Then, the former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson tells Adam Davidson what went wrong in Obama's policy. Subsidies for specific industries, like solar, can't change the market significantly enough, Paulson says. In his view—one shared by a growing consensus of economists—we need to correctly assess the costs of carbon emissions to society, and charge those costs to the emissions' producers: a carbon tax. Then, with a more level playing field, the market can pick the best source of energy.

The Financial Crash and the Climate Crisis

Ten years after the financial crash of 2008, the economy is humming along, with steady growth and rising employment. Yet that crisis continues to shape our world, particularly through the rise of right-wing populism and the ever-worsening climate crisis. Jill Lepore, Adam Davidson, and George Packer talk with David Remnick about how we got here. Two Florida real-estate experts explain why short-term thinking rules the day, and the former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson explains why he has embraced the idea of imposing a carbon tax.

Derek Smalls—Harry Shearer's Character in "Spinal Tap"—Returns with His Solo Début

Harry Shearer is known for doing many characters, including Mr. Burns and others from "The Simpsons," but the most famous is Derek Smalls, the saturnine, epically muttonchopped bassist in the movie "This Is Spinal Tap." Almost thirty-five years after the release of Rob Reiner's mockumentary about a struggling metal band, Shearer has given Smalls a new lease on life. Although the character is fictional, the new solo album, "Smalls Change: Meditations Upon Ageing," is real. Smalls tells The New Yorker's Andy Borowitz that he produced the record with support from the British Fund for Ageing Rockers, and it contains songs about a toupee (which belongs to Satan) and erectile dysfunction. (You have to give the dysfunctional part, Smalls says, "a good, stern talking-to.") And they discuss what is clearly a sore subject: the fact that Spinal Tap was never inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Plus, a New Yorker editor picks three favorites for a new parent.

Derek Smalls—Harry Shearer's Character in "Spinal Tap"—Returns with His Solo Début

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