Cover art for podcast Live Wire with Luke Burbank

Live Wire with Luke Burbank

501 EpisodesProduced by PRIWebsite

Like late-night for radio, hosted by Luke Burbank (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me), the show artfully blends an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, comedians and cultural observers. Music, comedy, and conversation, live and packed with surprises.

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James Veitch, Allison Breed, and Chasity Brown

June 26th, 2020

1:00

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share what they're most nostalgic for; comedian James Veitch explains his crusade to antagonize email scams, as outlined in his book "Dot Con: The Art of Scamming a …

"Live Wire House Party" with Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, and Shakey Graves

June 12th, 2020

52:37

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share their honored summer traditions; comedians Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz discuss the secrets behind creating their long-form improv comedy series; and …

"Live Wire House Party" with Ijeoma Oluo, Danez Smith, and Amythyst Kiah

June 5th, 2020

52:35

In response to nationwide protests against police brutality, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share conversations with writer Ijeoma …

"Live Wire House Party" with Daniel M. Ortberg, Michael Arceneaux, and Prom Queen

May 29th, 2020

52:43

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal how their self-improvement goals have progressed; writer and Dear Prudence advice columnist …

"Live Wire House Party" with Clint Smith, Waxahatchee, and a Tribute to Lynn Shelton

May 22nd, 2020

52:53

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello pen their own commencement speeches and perform them to a few graduating high school seniors; writer …

"Live Wire House Party" with François Clemmons and Joey Clift

May 15th, 2020

52:34

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share small wins they've accomplished; François Clemmons, famously known as Officer Clemmons on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," discusses how Fred Rogers became a mentor …

"Live Wire House Party" with Luke & Elena’s Moms, Barry Sonnenfeld, and Fantastic Negrito

May 8th, 2020

52:25

In honor of Mother's Day, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello invite their moms on the show to discuss how their daily routines have changed since lockdown; filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld shares anecdotes on …

"Live Wire House Party" with Cameron Esposito, Claude Taylor, and The Lone Bellow

May 1st, 2020

52:30

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello choose their ideal fictional characters to join them in lockdown; comedian Cameron Esposito unpacks the ups and downs of making Zoom her new comedy stage; Claude Taylor, …

"Live Wire House Party" with Samantha Irby, Francis Lam, and Mandy Moore

April 24th, 2020

52:37

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss what listeners are not missing during lockdown; author and blogger Samantha Irby settles …

"Live Wire House Party" with Paula Poundstone, Deanna Everson, and The Head and The Heart

April 17th, 2020

53:09

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share stories of acts of kindness they've witnessed recently; comedian Paula Poundstone makes time …

"Live Wire House Party" with Nora McInerny, Saeed Jones, and Jeff Tweedy

April 10th, 2020

52:25

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal those unexpected things that are getting them through this time; writer and podcaster Nora McInerny offers insight into parenting during a pandemic; poet Saeed …

"Live Wire House Party" with Shea Serrano, Brooks Wheelan, Nick Turner, and Jimmie Herrod

April 3rd, 2020

52:49

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share what they've learned about themselves since being stuck inside; author Shea Serrano discusses how he uses Twitter to raise funds for people in need; comedian Brooks …

"Live Wire House Party" with Cheryl Strayed, Jon Mooallem, and Miniature Tigers

March 27th, 2020

1:08:40

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello admit to wanting more nonessential items while being homebound; Dear Sugar advice columnist and …

"Mic Check" with Emily Flake, Eileen Myles, and Giant in the Trees

March 21st, 2020

52:26

In this "Mic Check" special edition of the "Live Wire House Party" series, host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello record the show from their homes …

"Leap of Faith" with Timothy Egan, Adam Pasi, Jeanette Ward Horton, and Pure Bathing Culture

March 13th, 2020

1:00

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello tell stories of risks they've taken; Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Timothy Egan unpacks his …

"Voice of Reason" with Chioke l’Anson, Leah Sottile, and Joseph

February 28th, 2020

53:19

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello swap stories about their failed musical auditions; Chioke I’Anson, the voice of NPR’s underwriting, admits to feeling self-conscious about the sound of his own voice; …

"Flights of Fancy" with John Hodgman, Jon Mooallem, and Allen Stone

February 14th, 2020

52:59

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello assess the most unrealistic things on their bucket lists; humorist John Hodgman ponders themes of fame, prestige and airline mileage, as outlined in his new book …

"All in the Family" with Jami Attenberg, James Kim, Bonnie Morales, and Federale

January 31st, 2020

52:12

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello describe their family crests; author Jami Attenberg struggles to feel compassion for the patriarch …

"In Our Feelings" with Mo Rocca, Heather Christle, and Jimmie Herrod

January 17th, 2020

51:36

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello riff on the ways they cheer themselves up; humorist, journalist, and actor Mo Rocca explains select chapters from his new book "Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving," …

"Larger Than Life" with Saeed Jones, Kristen Arnett, and Ages and Ages

January 3rd, 2020

51:36

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share their fanciest little habits; writer and poet Saeed Jones reflects on growing up black and gay in North Texas and why coming out is still challenging for many …

"Truth Be Told" with Tim O'Brien, Mira Jacob, and Edna Vazquez

December 20th, 2019

51:34

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello tell us a secret; author Tim O’Brien explains his latest work, "Dad’s Maybe Book," as a series of letters and observations to help bridge the age gap between himself and …

"Drawing the Line" with Emily Flake, Dave Hill, and Giants in the Trees

December 6th, 2019

52:27

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss where they "Draw the Line" in life; Emily Flake, illustrator for The New Yorker, teaches us the art of the awkward hug; comedian Dave Hill recounts the journey to …

"Love Language" with Irene Taylor Brodsky, Matthew Zapruder, and Bodies on the Beach

November 22nd, 2019

51:28

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal their personal “Love Languages;” documentary filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky discusses her new …

"No Place Like Home" with Dina Nayeri, Adam Mansbach, Shain Brenden, and LaRhonda Steele

November 8th, 2019

51:34

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello describe the moments that make them feel most at home; writer Dina Nayeri discusses the immigrant …

"Leaving A Legacy" with Megan Phelps-Roper, Joe Kwaczala, Xiomara Torres, and Chastity Brown

October 25th, 2019

51:36

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello write their respective epitaphs; Megan Phelps-Roper, writer and former member of the Westboro …

"Social Studies" with Chuck Klosterman, Tiffany Midge, and Tacocat

October 11th, 2019

51:00

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share stories of fictional and nonfictional dissertations; writer Chuck Klosterman explains why a …

"Origin Stories" with Rhys Darby, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ahamefule J. Oluo, and Cataldo

September 27th, 2019

52:47

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share the superpowers they would most like to possess; comedian Rhys Darby schools us on the secret …

"The Last Laugh" with Josh Gondelman, Clyde W. Ford, Alex Borsuk & Kaytlyn Gerbin, and The Lowest Pair

September 13th, 2019

52:48

Host Luke Burbank recounts how a garter snake got “The Last Laugh” when it refused to leave his dining room; comedian Josh Gondelman attempts to be a nice guy in the competitive world of comedy; author Clyde W. Ford …

"Poetic License" with Pete Holmes, Franny Choi, and Pink Martini

August 30th, 2019

53:03

In this special Live Wire episode, host Luke Burbank catches up with comedian Pete Holmes on his "Comedy Sex God" book tour, where he explains how TV …

Courtenay Hameister (Short)

August 16th, 2019

12:46

Humorist and former Live Wire host Courtenay Hameister reads from her recent nonfiction book "Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things," which is a …

"Milestones" with Lindy West, Dave Hill, and Pink Martini

August 2nd, 2019

54:08

Celebrating Live Wire’s 15th anniversary, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello give advice to their 15-year-old selves; writer and TV …

"Other Worlds" with W. Kamau Bell, Karen Russell, and Kishi Bashi

July 19th, 2019

53:52

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello contemplate a life on Mars; acclaimed author Karen Russell explains why she creates fantastical worlds in her stories to get at truth; comedian and television host W. …

"Finding Your Voice" with Paul F. Tompkins, Anuradha Bhagwati, and Patterson Hood

July 5th, 2019

52:13

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share their personal catchphrases; comedian Paul F. Tompkins impersonates iconic German filmmaker …

"Wild Cards" with Eula Scott Bynoe & Jeannie Yandel, Kurt Braunohler, Lara Prior-Palmer, and Lavender Country

June 21st, 2019

52:01

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal their wild sides; podcasters Eula Scott Bynoe and Jeannie Yandel discuss why their show …

"Getting to the Point" with Michael Ian Black, Melissa Febos, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and Dirty Revival

June 7th, 2019

54:37

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss the pop songs they think really “get to the point" of life; actor and comedian Michael Ian Black proves the low barrier into podcasting with his show Obscure; …

"Figure of Speech" with Mary Norris, Ryan O'Connell, Jackie Kashian, and The Get Ahead

May 24th, 2019

53:17

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share their favorite words, both literally and figuratively; actor and television writer Ryan O’Connell explains how keeping his cerebral palsy a secret inspired his book …

"Not Too Distant Future" with Senator Jeff Merkley, Anis Mojgani, Joe Zimmerman, Afrovivalist, and Ron Artis II & The Truth

May 10th, 2019

55:00

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss doing away with minor annoyances in the “Not Too Distant Future;” U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley …

"Balancing Acts" with Pam Houston, Naomi Ekperigin, Nadya Okamoto, and Shook Twins

April 26th, 2019

54:17

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal their personal “Balancing Acts;” author Pam Houston reconciles her great love of the natural world and the challenges of living within it, as outlined in her …

"Real Talk" with Mitchell S. Jackson, Lori Gottlieb, Mohanad Elshieky, and Revel in Dimes

April 12th, 2019

53:19

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello get down to some “Real Talk;” writer Mitchell S. Jackson discusses how – in his latest book …

Elena Passarello (Short)

March 29th, 2019

25:00

This podcast short features the original interview with award-winning writer Elena Passarello who, after this appearance, became Live Wire's announcer. Elena is the author of two books of nonfiction, "Let Me Clear My …

"Ice Breakers" with Colin O'Brady, Dani Shapiro, Chris Garcia, and Casey Neill & The Norway Rats

March 15th, 2019

53:11

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss not-so-classic “Ice Breakers;” endurance athlete and adventurer Colin O’Brady recounts his …

"Going Rogue" with Geraldine DeRuiter, Matteo Lane, Makini Howell, and Valley Maker

March 1st, 2019

52:55

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello unpack the concept of “Going Rogue;” blogger Geraldine DeRuiter of The Everywhereist explains why she hangs onto things that spark rage; comedian Matteo Lane debates the …

"Buggin' Out" Hanif Abdurraqib, Nora McInerny, Nore Davis, and Alela Diane

February 15th, 2019

53:19

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss what it means to be “Buggin’ Out” in their forties; music writer and New York Times bestselling author Hanif Abdurraqib explains how music is a vehicle for …

"All-Stars" with Luis Alberto Urrea, Eileen Myles, and Moshow The Cat Rapper

February 1st, 2019

53:06

This special Live Wire episode brings together some "All-Star" guests by way of the Portland Book Festival; celebrated author Luis Alberto Urrea dissects the dynamics of his Mexican family, which inspired his latest …

"Living the Dream" with Ian Karmel, Al Letson, Caitlin Kunkel, and Laura Gibson

January 18th, 2019

53:12

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello dispute the importance of their dream lives; satirist Caitlin Kunkel shares her favorite jokes from her new book, "New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, …

"The Morning After" with Dan Savage, Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, Frangela, and Meklit

January 4th, 2019

58:28

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello unpack the ominous implications of “The Morning After;” author and journalist Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall describes his gonzo attempts to find the cure for the hangover; …

"Hand-Me-Downs" with John Hodgman, RJ Young, Fabi Reyna, and Sávila

December 21st, 2018

54:37

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss the significance of “Hand-Me-Downs”… namely, Luke’s childhood stirrup jeans; author and humorist John Hodgman recounts how inheriting his mother’s vacation home …

"Character Building" with Lauren Groff, Tommy Orange, Caitlin Weierhauser, and Lucy Kaplansky

December 7th, 2018

54:41

In this second installment from the Portland Book Festival, host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello explore the process of “character building” for actors; celebrated author Lauren Groff makes the case for why art is not …

"Hitting the Road" with Abbi Jacobson, Nicole Chung, Peter Sagal, and The Dip

November 23rd, 2018

53:24

In this special Portland Book Festival episode, host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello discuss "hitting the road" and the risks of hitchhiking; Broad …

"Paying Your Dues" with Phoebe Robinson, Thomas Page McBee, Lainey Morse, and Sammy Brue

November 9th, 2018

52:59

Host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello describe moments when they "paid their dues;" memoirist Thomas Page McBee shares what he learned about …

"Letting Go" with Tommy Pico, Emily Heller, Eli Saslow, and The Helio Sequence

October 26th, 2018

54:24

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello confess to how bad they are at “letting go;” poet Tommy Pico explains how writing as his alter ego "Teebs" allows him to be less self-censoring in his work; journalist …

"Facing Your Fears" with Jose Antonio Vargas, Courtenay Hameister, Marcella Arguello, and Planes on Paper

October 12th, 2018

55:38

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello “face their fears” of the IRS and snakes; journalist Jose Antonio Vargas recounts coming out as an undocumented immigrant who faces deportation at any moment; comedian …

"Fresh Starts" with Gary Shteyngart, Hari Kondabolu, Maxine McCormick, and Lenore

September 28th, 2018

55:43

Host Luke Burbank gets a “fresh start” when he learns how to correctly pronounce announcer Elena Passarello’s name; writer Gary Shteyngart recounts how his Greyhound adventures across America inspired his new book “Lake …

"Facing the Music" with Charley Crockett, Roger Reeves, and La Barbecue's LeAnn Mueller & Alison Clem

September 14th, 2018

53:08

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello “Face the Music” in this episode from a hotel room in the Live Music Capital of the World – Austin, Texas. Busker-turned-bona fide blues artist Charley Crockett subs in …

Caitlin Doughty (Short)

August 31st, 2018

32:47

In this studio segment, Luke speaks with mortician Caitlin Doughty, who is known for advocating death acceptance and the reform of the Western funeral industry. She is the creator of the web series "Ask a Mortician," …

Kevin Young (Short)

August 17th, 2018

14:46

Kevin Young, acclaimed poet and poetry editor of The New Yorker, speaks on his writing process, the inspiration he gleaned from Prince, and the cross-section between hip hop and poetry in describing the black …

Simon Rich (Short)

August 3rd, 2018

24:27

A humorist, novelist, and television writer, Rich talks with Luke about his youthful appearance making him "seem like a pretty clever 14-year-old," …

Barbara Ehrenreich (Short)

July 20th, 2018

16:34

In this podcast short from the Live Wire archive, author and activist Barbara Ehrenreich ("Nickel and Dimed") speaks to Luke Burbank back in 2014 about her book “Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the …

Tessa Fontaine, Moses Storm, Abdi Nor Iftin, and Laura Veirs

July 6th, 2018

53:04

Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello relive their “great escapes;” writer Tessa Fontaine explains how learning to eat fire as a part of America's last traveling sideshow helped mend her broken heart; comedian and …

Mike Pesca, Anya Yurchyshyn, Robby Slowik, Lindsey Murphy, and Prom Queen

June 22nd, 2018

53:10

Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello talk “do-overs” with real and hypothetical tattoos; author Anya Yurchyshyn discusses her new memoir “My Dead Parents,” in which she explores aspects of her parents she never …

Paul F. Tompkins, Ijeoma Oluo, and Open Mike Eagle

June 8th, 2018

55:15

Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal what takes them out of their comfort zones; comedian Paul F. Tompkins discusses the perils of …

Episode #363: Hanif Abdurraqib, Beth Stelling, Dr. Mary Zelinski, and John Craigie

May 25th, 2018

55:32

Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello talk personal “breakthrough” moments, including the Jimmy Buffett lyric that has eluded them both; poet and music writer Hanif Abdurraqib discusses essays from his critically …

Episode #362: Matt Young, Katie Nguyen, Brandi Tuck, and Tomo Nakayama

May 11th, 2018

57:13

Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello recall times when they were way over their heads; Marine-turned-writer Matt Young reflects on how his experience in the military informed his gut-wrenching memoir “Eat the …

Episode #361: Chapman & Maclain Way, Mary Pilon, Ahmed Bharoocha, Raley Schweinfurth, and Ron Artis II & The Truth

April 27th, 2018

54:18

Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello talk about their true beliefs; Chapman & Maclain Way, creators of the Netflix docuseries “Wild Wild …

Episode #360: Lindy West, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, Alex Falcone, Stephen Green, and Moorea Masa & The Mood

April 13th, 2018

55:41

Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello confess their guilty pleasures; New York Times columnist Lindy West reveals how she tried to entice …

Episode #359: Laurie Kilmartin, Gaby Dunn, and Chris Staples

March 30th, 2018

54:12

Comedian Laurie Kilmartin talks about her new book Dead People Suck, in which she uses dark humor to process the death of her father; writer, podcaster and YouTube star Gaby Dunn spills about her problems with money and …

Episode #358: Terese Marie Mailhot, Jason Traeger, Sophie Egan and Reggie Houston

March 16th, 2018

52:54

Writer Terese Marie Mailhot discusses her new memoir “Heart Berries” and the importance of empathy for the indigenous experience, comedian Jason Traeger describes his therapist choices in Portland, program director of …

Episode #357: George Saunders, Jay Larson, Jenny Bruso, and Horse Feathers

March 2nd, 2018

52:56

Luke Burbank describes his attempts to get enlightened, acclaimed author George Saunders explains how swimming in a river of monkey poop led to an illustrious writing career and opens up about his newfound admiration …

"On the Contrary" with Andy Kindler, Rico Gagliano, Brendan Francis Newnam, Lidia Yuknavitch, and Ural Thomas & the Pain

January 22nd, 2018

53:16

Host Luke Burbank details how his contrarian streak affects his marriage, author Lidia Yuknavitch shows us how to embrace our inner misfit, Dinner Party Download hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam make the …

2017 Time Capsule Throw Down! (Short)

December 26th, 2017

12:48

Say goodbye to 2017 with the Live Wire Time Capsule Throw Down! Recorded at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre, host Luke Burbank plays a game with guests …

"Word on the Street" with Ken Jennings, John Roderick, Anastacia-Renée, Emmy Favilla, and Laura Gibson

December 18th, 2017

55:26

Omnibus podcast hosts Ken Jennings and John Roderick give a glimpse of what stories are inside their audio time capsule for future generations …

"Cautionary Tales" with Welcome to Night Vale's Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, Danez Smith, Edan Lepucki, and Chad VanGaalen

December 4th, 2017

55:43

Luke Burbank kicks off the “Cautionary Tales” episode with a harrowing anecdote about his dog’s actual tail, Welcome to Night Vale creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor provide some techniques for concentrating on art …

"Leftovers" with Glynn Washington, Elna Baker, Baratunde Thurston, Ariel Levy, and John Craigie

November 27th, 2017

55:16

In this special “Leftovers” edition of Live Wire, host Luke Burbank offers up a smorgasbord of cutting room floor delights. Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington crafts cocktail-related stories, a hypnotist helps Elna …

“Brave New World” with Adam Gopnik, Elena Passarello, and Blossom

November 20th, 2017

58:38

Luke Burbank reflects on the lessons he learned from a day without his iPhone, New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik shares his 40-year nostalgia theory and how sex with a long-term partner can reach civil war reenactment …

"The Truth Hurts" with Cheryl Strayed, Baratunde Thurston and Meklit

November 13th, 2017

1:00:32

Luke Burbank peels back the curtain on a show recording gone wrong that later became the foundation of Live Wire Miracle Day, author and advice …

"Game On" with Max Temkin, Kevin Coval, Adam Burke, and Malcolm London

November 6th, 2017

55:25

Luke Burbank remembers a childhood basketball wager that put the fate of Christianity on the line, Cards Against Humanity co-founder Max Temkin …

"Hidden Talent" with Lynn Shelton, Thanh Tan, Kevin Avery, and Makana

October 30th, 2017

52:58

Filmmaker Lynn Shelton details how working on a fishing boat helped her appreciate life on a film set, Second Wave podcast host Thanh Tan details her life as a child of Vietnamese immigrants long after the war, comedian …

"Tell It Like It Is" with Loudon Wainwright III, Bruce Campbell, and Karinda Dobbins

October 23rd, 2017

53:14

Host Luke Burbank makes yet another mid-life crisis purchase, iconic B-movie actor Bruce Campbell explains why you’ll never meet Tom Cruise, folk …

"Lampedusa" with Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, and Brandi Carlile

October 15th, 2017

54:07

In this special edition of Live Wire, Luke goes backstage during soundcheck for "Lampedusa: Concert for Refugees" to talk to some of the most iconic musicians of our time. Emmylou Harris reveals how she got waylaid on …

"West of Ordinary" with Picabo Street, Mark Sundeen, Scott Carrier, and Sammy Brue

October 2nd, 2017

58:14

Live Wire visits Salt Lake City! Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street details the complex mental gymnastics that go into avoiding a fatal ski crash, …

"Choice Words" with Salman Rushdie, Joe Kwaczala, Shadi Petosky, and Dave Depper

September 25th, 2017

52:58

Author Salman Rushdie reveals the Queen’s go-to icebreaker for talking to authors, comedian Joe Kwaczala questions the singing training of Catholic …

"(Not So) Small Talk" with Chuck Klosterman, Shawn Wen, and Justin Townes Earle

September 17th, 2017

Luke Burbank remembers the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption before speaking with two hikers stranded in the Eagle Creek Fire, writer Chuck Klosterman shares his theories about flawed thinking, author Shawn Wen describes …

"Making it Work" with Erik Weihenmayer, Leila Janah, Mohanad Elshieky, Walter Martin, Jason Isbell, and Amanda Shires

September 1st, 2017

In this special Labor Day episode of Live Wire, blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer recalls summiting Everest and what it was like seeing his son’s face for the first time, social entrepreneur Leila Janah illuminates …

Cameron Esposito (Short)

August 27th, 2017

A listen back to Cameron Esposito's 2014 appearance on Live Wire, including her attempt to update Luke's lesbian cultural references and …

Sherman Alexie (Short)

August 6th, 2017

Another episode from our archives: Luke and writer Sherman Alexie discuss kicking Philip Roth's literary ass, thinking beyond the reservation, and …

"Burbank on Burbank" (Short)

July 23rd, 2017

This week we dig into our archives to bring you Luke's first ever appearance on Live Wire...where he reflects on a less than stellar interview from earlier in his career.

"Freedom" with Amanda Knox, Justin Simien, and Shakey Graves

July 2nd, 2017

In this special studio episode of Live Wire, Luke Burbank explores the notion of freedom. Amanda Knox continues the difficult work of healing from …

"Adaptation" with Ron Funches, Walter Kirn, and The Secret Sisters

June 11th, 2017

Ron Funches details finding his comedic voice and what it takes to make his mother proud, author Walter Kirn reveals how even a trained journalist …

"Above and Beyond" with Hari Kondabolu, Faith Salie, and Joe Kye

June 4th, 2017

Comedian Hari Kondabolu questions the devil’s need for advocates, journalist and author Faith Salie admits that being an approval junkie is …

"Cut the Crap" with Stephen Tobolowsky, Ariel Levy, The Minimalists, and Haley Heynderickx

May 21st, 2017

Author and prolific actor Stephen Tobolowsky takes us to the genesis of his spiritual reawakening, New Yorker writer and memoirist Ariel Levy opens …

"Off the Beaten Path" with James Lavadour, Jim Brunberg (of Roam Schooled), June Colony, and Rodney Bonifer

May 14th, 2017

Live Wire travels east to Pendleton,Oregon! Abstract painter James Lavadour recalls growing up on the Umatilla Reservation and how his energetic …

Special Edition: Kristen Schaal from Bob's Burgers

May 7th, 2017

In this special spring membership drive edition of Live Wire, we look behind the scenes at Fox’s animated TV sitcom Bob’s Burgers with actor Kristin Schaal and writer/producer Scott Jacobson. Plus original songs from …

"The Lowdown" with Glynn Washington, Kelly McEvers, and Bilal

April 30th, 2017

NPR’s Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington shares his desire to build empathy through vulnerable storytelling, Kelly McEvers of NPR’s All Things …

"Against the Grain" with Jessi Klein, Dan Savage, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Ayron Jones

April 23rd, 2017

Savage Love columnist and the “It Gets Better Project” mastermind Dan Savage takes us on a trip down sex advice memory lane, author and “Inside Amy …

"Own Worst Enemy" with Dan Harmon, Lauren Weedman, Anis Mojgani, and Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats

April 16th, 2017

“Rick and Morty” co-creator Dan Harmon talks about his creative process and the impending stalemate with his therapist, actor and playwright Lauren Weedman discusses the merits and perils of revealing personal (and …

"Breaking Through" with Sasheer Zamata, Ayelet Waldman, Alonzo Bodden, and Craig Finn

March 26th, 2017

Saturday Night Live cast member Sasheer Zamata recalls her journey to the comedy stage, author Ayelet Waldman details her experience as an LSD microdosing case study of one, Last Comic Standing winner Alonzo Bodden …

"Going Your Own Way" with Hannah Hart, Mara Wilson, Jim Norton, and John Craigie

March 19th, 2017

My Drunk Kitchen star and author Hannah Hart details the long process of coming out to herself and her family, former child actor and memoirist Mara …

"Uncharted Waters" with Matt Taibbi, Thi Bui, El Sanchez, and Hibou

March 12th, 2017

Journalist Matt Taibbi recounts the years leading up to our current post-factual predicament, graphic novelist Thi Bui recalls her family's harrowing escape from South Vietnam, comedian El Sanchez deconstructs the …

"Funny Feelings" with Horatio Sanz, Aparna Nancherla, and Kyle Craft

March 5th, 2017

Comedian Horatio Sanz recounts his days at SNL and the roll of comedy in political journalism, comedian Aparna Nancherla teaches us how to turn …

"Full Disclosure" with Elna Baker, Brooks Wheelan, Zahir Janmohamed, and Thundercat

February 26th, 2017

Author Elna Baker recounts childhood memories of workshopping material at her Mormon church’s “open mic” sessions, comedian and former SNL writer Brooks Wheelan teaches us how to fast talk our way out of illegal …

Bonus: A DAPL Update from Gyasi Ross

February 19th, 2017

An update from author, attorney, and rapper Gyasi Ross about what's going on at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and why he believes it's an amazing time to be alive.

"Facing Your Demons" with Maria Semple, Misha Collins, Gyasi Ross, and Telekinesis

December 20th, 2016

Author Maria Semple gives tips for sneaking into rock bands' hotel rooms, actor Misha Collins talks about doing good through his philanthropic …

"Second to None" with Reggie Watts, Rick Bayless, and Jenn White

December 12th, 2016

Performer Reggie Watts talks improvisation and composes a ringtone for us, chef Rick Bayless discusses the merits of eyeball tacos, and journalist Jenn White reveals why Oprah's legacy continues to resonate.

"Local Flavor" with Earl Blumenauer, Naomi Pomeroy, Darcelle, Mohanad Elshieky, and My Bubba

November 28th, 2016

Congressman Earl Blumenauer shares his perspective on the recent election, chef Naomi Pomeroy strives to make a gourmet dish with ingredients sourced from our local convenience store, Darcelle reflects on her path to …

"Family Ties" with Sherman Alexie, Garrard Conley, and Shovels & Rope

November 21st, 2016

Sherman Alexie discusses how his father's death inspired him to write a children's book, Garrard Conley recounts his journey through gay conversion therapy and how it impacted his relationship with his parents, and …

"Rolling the Dice" with Lindy West, Jonathan Lethem, Emma Straub, and Blitzen Trapper

November 14th, 2016

Lindy West shares why she keeps speaking up on the internet despite her better judgment, Jonathan Lethem explains why he only plays poker with …

"Unconventional Wisdom" with Jad Abumrad, Robert Krulwich, Baratunde Thurston, Roopa Vasudevan, and Mike Yung

November 7th, 2016

In this special election episode of Live Wire, Radiolab hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich provide a cautionary tale of civic strife, comedian …

"Here We Are" with Chris Hayes, Jonathan Safran Foer, Michelle Buteau, and Kadhja Bonet

November 1st, 2016

MSNBC's Chris Hayes' parents compete to see who knows the most about his career, comedian Michelle Buteau recounts the challenges of communicating with her Dutch in-laws, author Jonathan Safran Foer discusses …

"Seriously Funny" with Phoebe Robinson, Bill Oakley, Dr. Brian Druker, and Blind Pilot

October 24th, 2016

Comedian Phoebe Robinson discusses the unexpected value of Googling herself and other not-so-guilty pleasures, former Simpsons writer Bill Oakley describes the dark reality of a comedy writers' room, Dr. Brian Druker …

"Gut Instinct" with Nicole Byer, Dr. Embriette Hyde, Terry Porter, and David Bazan

October 10th, 2016

Comedian Nicole Byer professes her deep love for her therapist, Dr. Embriette Hyde explores the mysterious workings of our guts, NBA legend Terry …

"The Invisible World" with Penn Jillette, Justin Schmidt, and Ted Ramirez

October 4th, 2016

Live Wire goes to Phoenix, where Luke attempts to eat the hottest pepper in the world, entomologist Justin Schmidt tells us what getting stung by …

"Going the Distance" with Bruce Campbell, Colin O'Brady, Shannon Balcom, and Farnell Newton & The Othership Connection

September 26th, 2016

Bruce Campbell reflects on his status as a cult film actor, Colin O’Brady explains how it feels breaking the world record for climbing the highest …

"Homecoming" with Paul F. Tompkins, Heben Nigatu, Matthew Inman, and Pete Bernhard of The Devil Makes Three

September 19th, 2016

Comedian Paul F. Tompkins talks about his role on BoJack Horseman the simple joy of receiving handwritten mail, Another Round host Heben Nigatu …

"Labor Day Special" with Mike Birbiglia, Joey Harrington, and musical guest Joseph

September 5th, 2016

In a special Labor Day episode, comedian Mike Birbiglia chats about his latest film as well as his evolving definition of success, former NFL …

"The Art and Science of Being a Lady" with Megan Amram, Joanna Lynne Ponce and Alialujah Choir

July 11th, 2016

In a show all about the art and science of being a lady, Luke plays "Marry, Boff, Klll: Scientist Edition" with Science: For Her! writer Megan Amram and talks to trans activist Joanna Lynne Ponce about seeing both sides …

"Square Pegs" with Dan Harmon, Jackie Kashian and Eyelids

July 4th, 2016

Luke quits Facebook and darkness falls, Community creator Dan Harmon opens up about booze and NBC, comic Jackie Kashian explains why Native Americans …

"The Sky's The Limit" with Gregory Gourdet & Doug Adams, Sara Seager and Loch Lomond

June 27th, 2016

Top Chef Boston finalists Gregory Gourdet and Doug Adams judge the first-ever Live Wire Bottom Chef competition, astrophysicist Sara Seager fills us in on the heated discussions behind naming planets, and Loch Lomond …

"Known Unknowns" with Nicholas Kristof, Mike Pesca and Bill Frisell

June 20th, 2016

In an episode all about the unknown, The Gist's Mike Pesca tells Luke how to take the perfect nap, we go to great lengths to discover what scares …

"Hindsight" with Sebastian Junger, Natasha Leggero, Moshe Kasher, Claire Mulaney, and La Luz

June 14th, 2016

Author Sebastian Junger examines the struggles soldiers face readjusting to life at home and what they can tell us about the flaws of modern society, …

"Playing by Ear" with Chris Thile, Dave Hill, and The Wild Reeds

May 30th, 2016

Mandolinist Chris Thile discusses what excites him about his new gig as host of A Prairie Home Companion, comedian Dave Hill recounts what it was …

"Secret Worlds" with Paul Gilmartin, Neal Bascomb, and Open Mike Eagle

May 23rd, 2016

Comedian Paul Gilmartin discusses how his podcast helps erase the stigma around mental illness, Neal Bascomb recounts a courageous group of …

"Under Pressure" with Peggy Orenstein, D. Watkins, and Walter Martin

May 16th, 2016

Peggy Orenstein discusses how young women struggle to achieve “intimate justice” in their sex lives, professor D. Watkins recounts the path that took him from selling drugs in East Baltimore to his life as a published …

"If Memory Serves" with Sarah Vowell, Chris Offutt and Sam Outlaw

May 9th, 2016

Sarah Vowell challenges Luke's public radio references, writer Chris Offutt examine's his father's secret profession, Sam Outlaw's sings about heading home again, and the Live Wire Lovebirds face-off in "The …

"Pretty Big Deal" with Jack Ohman, Kevin Young, Andrea Swensson and The von Trapps

May 2nd, 2016

Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Jack Ohman talks about the most amazing moment of his career, poet Kevin Young reads from his latest …

"How on Earth?" with Gerrit Vyn, Nicole Apelian, Anis Mojgani and Fruition

April 25th, 2016

Live Wire celebrates Earth Day! Survivalist and Alone reality show contestant Dr. Nicole Apelian reveals her packing list for living solo in the …

"Uh Oh" with Paolo Bacigalupi, Ijeoma Oluo, Sallie Tisdale and Liz Vice

April 18th, 2016

Author Paolo Bacigalupi warns us about the dangers of magical thinking when it comes to the environment, Ijeoma Oluo tells us why she has hope for …

"Tight Five" with Eliza Skinner, Bri Pruett, Alex Falcone, Anthony Lopez and Ayron Jones

April 11th, 2016

Four comedians share some of their best material and do battle with hecklers you’d only hear on public radio. Eliza Skinner describes the “magic intelligence” that is comedy, Alex Falcone shares the first joke he ever …

"Rebel Rebel" with Paul F. Tompkins, Timothy Egan and Patterson Hood

April 4th, 2016

This week on Live Wire, Paul F. Tompkins explains the difference between a fop and a dandy, Timothy Egan tells us what the struggles of an Irish …

"Just Visiting" with Tom Bodett, Betsy Hodges, Chris Coleman, Fancy Ray and The Jayhawks

March 25th, 2016

Live Wire visits the Twin Cities! Local TV pitchman Fancy Ray McCloney shows Tom Bodett how to spice up his Motel 6 ads, the mayors of St. Paul and …

"Bonus: The Jayhawks"

March 18th, 2016

A special preview of last week's show at The Fitzgerald Theater featuring two classic songs from the Twin Cities' own (and Live Wire favorites) The Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks
If there is an OG of American alternative …

"Making History" with Rebecca Traister, Ruth Goodman and The Last Artful, Dodgr

March 11th, 2016

Author Rebecca Traister explores the rising power of unmarried women, historian Ruth Goodman reveals what living like a Tudor can teach us about …

"Learning Curve" with Jen Kirkman, Lance Bangs and Hey Marseilles

March 4th, 2016

Writer and comedian Jen Kirkman recounts a horrific blind date in Sweden, filmmaker Lance Bangs imagines an elaborate Burning Man prank, and Hey Marseilles provide the soundtrack.

"If Memory Serves" with Sarah Vowell, Chris Offutt and Sam Outlaw

February 26th, 2016

Sarah Vowell challenges Luke's public radio references, writer Chris Offutt examine's his father's secret profession, Sam Outlaw's sings about heading home again, and the Live Wire Lovebirds face-off in "The …

"Here Goes Something..." with Stephen Tobolowsky, Dale Scott and Matisyahu

February 19th, 2016

Stephen Tobolowsky recalls getting held up at gunpoint while browsing for mangoes, MLB umpire Dale Scott talks about coming out as gay in the world …

"Reality Check" with Kristina Wong, Mark Bitterman, Sean Jordan and Esmé Patterson

January 1st, 2016

Comic Kristina Wong fills Luke in on the virtues of live-streaming a first date, Mark Bitterman explains what bitters can do for your holiday …

Ep. 301: "On the Road" with Tom Bodett, Scott Poole, Courtenay Hameister and Box Set

December 25th, 2015

Wait Wait Don't Tell Me's Tom Bodett offers up the key to a happy, sober life (not hanging out with drunk jackasses plays a role), Scott Poole waxes …

Ep. 300: "Who Am I to Judge?" with John Hodgman, Prescott Harvey and The Doubleclicks

December 18th, 2015

Humorist and former eccentric millionaire John Hodgman manages to make a conversation about frequent flyer miles hilarious, writer and viral video hero Prescott Harvey wonders whether JJ Abrams took his advice about …

Ep. 299: "True Stories" with Irene Taylor Brodsky, Meghan Daum and David Wax Museum

December 11th, 2015

Filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky discusses her documentaries about people regaining their sight and hearing after decades of darkness and silence, author Meghan Daum fills us in on how long you can count on being a better …

Ep. 298: "Along for the Ride" with Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, Emily Heller and Matt Morris

December 4th, 2015

Luke gets "Crash Test" comics Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel to open up about asking for George Clooney's phone number and things they couldn't say on …

Ep. 286: "What To Unexpect When You're Unexpecting" with Neko Case, Ophira Eisenberg and Devotchka

September 11th, 2015

In a show all about the unexpected, Neko Case tells Luke who she'd want at her rock 'n' roll intervention, Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg …

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