New Shows On The Air This Summer

KTOO News is pleased to bring three new NPR pilot programs to the air this summer.

8 p.m. Wednesdays: “TED Radio Hour”

2 p.m. Saturdays:  “Ask Me Another”

8 p.m. Saturdays: “Cabinet of Wonders”

“TED Radio Hour”:

Each year, TED hosts the world’s most fascinating thinkers – convention-breaking mavericks, icons, and geniuses – who give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less about the best ideas in Technology, Entertainment, Design and much more. Through this exciting co-production between TED and NPR, each episode will focus around a theme (such as “Happiness”) and TEDTalks that put ideas about the theme through the paces.

But the TEDTalks are just a launching point. Woven into and around a Talk, we’ll layer in innovative soundscapes that bring ideas to life and break-off into conversation with the original speakers to probe why an idea made waves, got inside people’s heads, and provoked excitement. Sometimes only portions of the original TEDTalk is played; other times you hear them almost in their entirety. Each approach to every idea is different, yet fascinating listening and great radio.

“Ask Me Another”:

NPR’s Ask Me Another is a lively hour of puzzles, word games, and trivia played in front of (and with) a live audience. Ask Me Another’s entertaining melange of brainteasers and fun is a descendant of Weekend Edition Sunday’s Puzzle Segment with Will Shortz, but infused with the vibrancy and quick wit of Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me.

Listeners can play along, testing their knowledge of history, geography, literature, grammar, spelling, pop culture and even mathematics along with the competitors called up to the stage.

Yes, we do math on the radio. But it’s our distinct brand. Try this on your loved ones: Total number of Brontë Sisters, plus total number of Marx Brothers? Or how about the total of Dalmatians, plus all those Luftballoons, divided by Ali Baba’s thieves?

Ask Me Another host, noted comedian and storyteller Ophira Eisenberg, guides listeners with her witty banter aided by the comedic riffs and songs of house musician Jonathan Coulton. Each episode features an interview with a Mystery Guest (noteable actors, comedians, and authors whose identities are revealed via puzzle clues throughout the show), who then takes a turn in the contestant’s chair facing trivia games written especially for him or her.

“Cabinet of Wonders”:

“A vaudeville night that combines music and literature, resulting in one of the finest nights of entertainment this city has to offer.” — The New Yorker.

John Wesley Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders is a variety show recorded live at the City Winery in New York. It features an exciting mix of musicians, authors, comedians, and other artists. Imagine you’re in the audience of a talent show put on by your friends, your very talented, critically acclaimed friends. They sing, read from their novels, tell jokes, make you laugh, make you think, and keep you entertained. That’s the Cabinet of Wonders, hosted by musician and author John Wesley Harding. This hour-long radio show features performances from Ted Leo, Josh Ritter, Craig Finn, Nicole Atkins, and readings from authors John Hodgman, Patrick McGrath, and Rick Moody. As host John Wesley Harding puts it, “the time is right for a little variety.”

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