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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377 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: 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: 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: 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
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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: 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
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: 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: 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: 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: 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