NPR 4 THE DEAF: Jonathan Goldstein Pulls The Plug On WireTap After 11 Years Of Wry Profundity



This is tragic, just tragic.

JONATHAN GOLDSTEIN: This is a hard, sad thing to announce, but WireTap is coming to an end. The reasons for this are many, but the simplest way to put it is that 11 years is a long time to do something and it felt like time to try something new. The show has run longer than Seinfeld and All in the Family. It’s run longer than I, or anyone, could have ever imagined. It started from a simple desire to share the funny, smart people in my life with all of you. I wanted to create a place where we could hang out together and like-minded people could join us. I wanted to make something that felt different than everything else I was hearing on the radio, something that felt funny and real, that didn’t shy away from the big questions (“why are we here?”), but still had room for the smaller questions (“why does this pork pie hat make my ass look fat?”). I wanted to make something that was weird and complicated in the way I knew life to be.

It’s funny that something with such big ambitions started off with such a poor pitch. I just spent the past hour trying to find my initial email to the CBC. It was in an old Yahoo WireTapaccount I hardly use anymore and was dated December, 2003. This was the crux of it: “My idea is basically a show that would involve telephone conversations — natural, conversational — some amount of writing.” Still amazes me that the CBC gave me the chance. I never stopped feeling grateful to get to be on the radio each week and never stopped being nervous about it. Each episode was fuelled by a wish to connect with you. […] P.S. Since our broadcast schedule is slightly out of sync south of the border, American listeners, you’ll still be able to hear shows until June 2016 via PRI. It’ll be a sendoff season featuring the best episodes from the past 11 years as well as episodes never before heard in the States. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Jonathan Goldstein is the creator and host of public radio’s Wiretap, which The (Montreal) Gazette aptly described as “something between borscht-belt comedy and Franz Kafka,” heard locally on Thursday nights at 9 pm on 90.9 FM WHYY. Goldstein is sort of the Woody Allen of the Airwaves — if Woody Allen was an aging Canadian Gen Xer with a punk pedigree and sociopathic-yet-loveable friends. Either way, he’s hilarious and Wiretap is a gas, gas, gas. DISCUSSED: Lenny Bruce, Ira Glass, Howard, Gregor, his mom, my mom, David Rakoff, Fred Flintstone, Philip Roth, Barney Rubble, his mother’s vagina and, of course, Dino. MORE