Live Wire! Radio

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Live Wire is radio variety for the attention span challenged. It's music, original sketch 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 is aired on public radio stations around the country.

Some past guests have included authors Augusten Burroughs, Cheryl Strayed, Dan Savage, Sherman Alexie, Chuck Palaniuk, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), Stephen Tobolowski, performers/comedians Marc Maron, Kristen Schaal, Reggie Watts, Mike Birbiglia, Eugene Mirman, John Hodgman, film Directors Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes, Henry Selick, Cartoonists/Graphic novelist Lynda Barry, Portlandia's Carrie Brownstein and "wiki" creator Ward Cunningham to name a few. Oh, and yes, we've had Chuck Barris on the show. What public radio show hasn't? (Shockingly, he didn't assassinate a single person on our staff.)  

Some of our past musical guests have included Blitzen Trapper, Michael Kiwanuka, Blind Pilot, Helio Sequence, Menomena,  Jonathan Coulton, Black Prairie and The Dandy Warhols to name a few.


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1 Piece

Fundraising Materials for Live Wire

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373 Pieces

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


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: 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: 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: 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: 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, ...

  • Added: Dec 20, 2018
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Chapman & MacLain Way on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode explores "true beliefs" with filmmaking duo Chapman & MacLain Way, journalist and author Mary Pilon, comedian Ahmed Bharoocha, bee ent...

  • Added: Dec 07, 2018
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Lauren Groff on Live Wore, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode discusses "Character Building" with celebrated author Lauren Groff, writer Tommy Orange, comedian Caitlin Weierhauser, and singer-song...

  • Added: Dec 06, 2018
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Laurie Kilmartin on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episodes unmasks the "unmentionables" with comedian Laurie Kilmartin, YouTuber Gaby Dunn, and singer-songwriter Chris Staples.

  • Added: Dec 04, 2018
  • Length: 58:58
Caption: Gary Shteyngart on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode touches on "Fresh Starts" with author Gary Shteyngart, comedian Hari Kondabolu, world champion fly caster Maxine McCormick, and Portla...

  • Added: Nov 30, 2018
  • Length: 59:00
Caption: Anya Yurchyshyn on Live Wire, Credit: Jennie Baker
This episode considers the “do over” with author Anya Yurchyshyn, journalist Mike Pesca, and science vlogger Lindsey Murphy. Plus performances from...

  • Added: Nov 29, 2018
  • Length: 58:58