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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410 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Lauren Groff on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode unpacks "character building" with celebrated author Lauren Groff, writer Tommy Orange, comedian Caitlin Weierhauser, and singer-songwr...

  • Added: May 14, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Ryan O'Connell on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode examines the "figure of speech" with grammar expert Mary Norris of The New Yorker, actor and television writer Ryan O'Connell, and com...

  • Added: May 21, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: John Hodgman on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode considers the "hand-me-down" with author and humorist John Hodgman, writer RJ Young, and founder of She Shreds magazine Fabi Reyna, wi...

  • Added: May 28, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Michael Ian Black on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode discusses "getting to the point" with actor and comedian Michael Ian Black, writer Melissa Febos, Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, and...

  • Added: Jun 05, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Dan Savage on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode talks "the morning after" with sex and relationship columnist Dan Savage, author and journalist Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, and comedy d...

  • Added: Jun 11, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Eula Scott Bynoe & Jeannie Yandel on Live Wire, Credit: Meryl Schenker
This episode celebrates "wild cards" with podcasters Eula Scott Bynoe & Jeannie Yandel, comedian Kurt Braunohler, and Mongol derby winner Lara Prio...

  • Added: Jun 19, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
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: Jun 17, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Paul F. Tompkins on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode unpacks "finding your voice" with comedian Paul F. Tompkins and activist Anuradha Bhagwati, plus music from Patterson Hood.

  • Added: Jun 27, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Eileen Myles on Live Wire , Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode celebrates "All-Stars" with author Luis Alberto Urrea, poet Eileen Myles, and internet sensation Moshow The Cat Rapper

  • Added: Jun 28, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: W. Kamau Bell on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode explores "other worlds" with comedian and television host W. Kamau Bell, author Karen Russell, and musician Kishi Bashi.

  • Added: Jul 18, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Hanif Abdurraqib on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode unpacks what it means to "bug out" with writer and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib, grief expert and podcaster Nora McInerny, and com...

  • Added: Jul 23, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Lindy West on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode celebrates "milestones" and Live Wire's 15th anniversary with writer Lindy West, comedian Dave Hill, and music from Pink Martini.

  • Added: Aug 01, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Matteo Lane on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode "goes rogue" with blogger Geraldine DeRuiter, comedian Matteo Lane, and vegan chef Makini Howell, plus music from Valley Maker.

  • Added: Aug 07, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Colin O'Brady on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode "breaks the ice" with endurance athlete and adventurer Colin O’Brady, author Dani Shapiro, comedian Chris Garcia, and music from Casey...

  • Added: Aug 12, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Mitchell S. Jackson on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode gets down to "real talk" with writer Mitchell S. Jackson, psychotherapist and author Lori Gottlieb, comedian Mohanad Elshieky, and mus...

  • Added: Aug 19, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Franny Choi on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode gives "poetic license" to comedian Pete Holmes and poet Franny Choi, with a performance from Pink Martini's Jimmie Herrod.

  • Added: Aug 28, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Naomi Ekpirigin on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode discusses the art of "balancing acts" with author Pam Houston, comedian Naomi Ekperigin, social activist Nadya Okamoto, and music from...

  • Added: Sep 05, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
Caption: Clyde W. Ford on Live Wire , Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode has "the last laugh" with comedian Josh Gondelman, author Clyde W. Ford, endurance athletes Alex Borsuk & Kaytlyn Gerbin, and music f...

  • Added: Sep 12, 2019
  • Length: 58:58
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: Sep 16, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Rhys Darby on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode explores "origin stories" with comedian Rhys Darby, comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, and theater performer Ahamefule J. Oluo, wi...

  • Added: Sep 25, 2019
  • Length: 58:58