Live Wire

Series produced by Live Wire! Radio

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Live Wire mixes an old school radio format with a contemporary edge—it's live theatre and radio variety with a unique blend of interviews, music, spoken word, and original comedy.

NOTE: This program is available to PRI affiliates. For more information please email memberships@prx.org.

Live Wire is radio variety for the attention-span challenged. It's music from up-and-coming bands, original comedy and scintillating interviews with writers, filmmakers, comedians and people who think cool thoughts. Hosted by Luke Burbank ("Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," "Too Beautiful to Live") the show is taped in front of a live audience in Portland, Oregon and airs on public radio stations around the country.

From Garrison Keillor - March ‘07
"I like this new show that’s coming out of Oregon Public Radio. It’s called Live Wire, I sit and listen to it and a kind of light comes out of the radio speaker, a whole ‘nother view of human experience, and new voices which we need in public radio. I need, because I’m hoping to retire soon, I’m getting to that age on A Prairie Home Companion. And when I do, I want there to be shows on public radio that I can sit in my car, in my driveway and hang on their every word. Live Wire is one of those shows. It could be for Portland and Oregon, what Prairie Home is for Minnesota and St. Paul and Lake Woebegone.”

From musician/comedian Reggie Watts
"Live Wire is the type of experience that activates my romance about the beauty of live recorded variety shows. It's smart, well-written and performed by a cast of sweethearts. The music is also top-notch. So when I am a part of the show listening to the audience completely enjoying themselves, I feel proud to be a part of such a passionate undertaking." Hide full description

Live Wire is radio variety for the attention-span challenged. It's music from up-and-coming bands, original comedy and scintillating interviews with writers, filmmakers, comedians and people who think cool thoughts. Hosted by Luke Burbank ("Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," "Too Beautiful to Live") the show is taped in front of a live audience in Portland, Oregon and airs on public radio stations around the country.

From Garrison Keillor - March ‘07
"I like this new show that’s coming out of Oregon Public Radio. It’s called Live Wire, I sit and listen to it and a kind of light comes out of the radio speaker, a whole ‘nother view of human experience, and new voices which we need in public radio. I need, because I’m hoping to retire soon, I’m getting to that age on A Prairie Home Companion. And...

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390 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Matt Young on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode talks about getting "in over your head" with Marine-turned-writer Matt Young, Portland non-profit leader Brandi Tuck, and comedian Kat...

  • Added: Dec 20, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
Caption: Dan Savage on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode unpacks "the morning after" with sex and relationship columnist Dan Savage, journalist and writer Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, and comed...

  • Added: Jan 03, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
Caption: Hanif Abdurraqib on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode examines "breakthroughs" with writer Hanif Abdurraqib, comedian Beth Stelling, and Dr. Mary Zelinski, with music from John Craigie.

  • Added: Jan 08, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
Caption: Ian Karmel on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode talks "living the dream" with comedian Ian Karmel, radio host Al Letson, and satirist Caitlin Kunkel, with music from Laura Gibson.

  • Added: Jan 17, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Paul F. Tompkins on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode takes us inside and out of the "comfort zone" with comedian Paul F. Tompkins, writer Ijeoma Oluo, and hip hop artist Open Mike Eagle.

  • Added: Jan 22, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
Caption: Eileen Myles on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
In this episode, we hear from two celebrated writers during the Portland Book Festival - author Luis Alberto Urrea and poet Eileen Myles. Plus, Liv...

  • Added: Jan 31, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Anya Yurchyshyn on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode talks "do-overs" with journalist and podcaster Mike Pesca, author Anya Yurchyshyn, science vlogger Lindsey Murphy, and comedian Robby ...

  • Added: Feb 06, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Hanif Abdurraqib on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode is all about "buggin' out" with music writer Hanif Abdurraqib, author and podcaster Nora McInerny, and comedian Note Davis, with music...

  • Added: Feb 14, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Abdi Nor Iftin on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode makes some "great escapes" with writer and former circus fire-eater Tessa Fontaine, memoirist and visa lottery winner Abdi Nor Iftin, ...

  • Added: Feb 19, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Matteo Lane, Credit: Meryl Schenker
This episode "goes rogue" with The Everywhereist blogger Geraldine DeRuiter, comedian Matteo Lane, and vegan chef Makini Howell, with music from Va...

  • Added: Feb 28, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
Caption: Roger Reeves on Live Wire
This episode "faces the music" in Austin, Texas with poet Roger Reeves and LeAnn Mueller & Ali Clem of La Barbeque, with music from Charley Crockett.

  • Added: Mar 05, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Colin O'Brady , Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode "breaks the ice" with world record-breaking adventurer Colin O'Brady, author Dani Shapiro, and comedian Chris Garcia, with music from ...

  • Added: Mar 14, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Gary Shteyngart on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode gets a "fresh start" with author Gary Shteyngart, comedian Hari Kondabolu, and world champion fly caster Maxine McCormick, with music ...

  • Added: Mar 20, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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This episode "faces fears" with Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, writer and former Live Wire host Courtenay Hameister, and co...

  • Added: Mar 25, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Tommy Pico on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode practices "letting go" with poet Tommy Pico, comedian Emily Heller, and journalist Eli Saslow, with music The Helio Sequence.

  • Added: Apr 04, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Mitchell S. Jackson on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
The episode shares some "real talk" with writer Mitchell S. Jackson, author and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb, and comedian Mohanad Elshieky, with ...

  • Added: Apr 10, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Phoebe Robinson on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode explores what it means to "pay your dues" with comedian and "Dope Queen" Phoebe Robinson, memoirist and boxer Thomas Page McBee, and g...

  • Added: Apr 15, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Naomi Ekpirigin on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode does the "balancing act" with author Pam Houston, comedian Naomi Ekpirigin, and social activist Nadya Okamoto, with music from Shook T...

  • Added: Apr 25, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Abbi Jacobson on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode talks "Hitting the Road" with actor Abbi Jacobson from "Broad City," writer Nicole Chung, and the host of "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!...

  • Added: May 01, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: US Senator Jeff Merkley on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode ponders the "not too distant future" with U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, poet Anis Mojgani, comedian Joe Zimmerman, and Afroviva...

  • Added: May 08, 2019
  • Length: 58:59