What It Is
Every weekday (with reruns on weekends) host Terry Gross talks about politics, religion, art and just about anything else you can think of with an incredible line-up of guests.
It’s kind of the prototypical NPR show: lots of quiet conversation with occasional live music. You get around forty-five minutes every weekday and another forty-five (reruns from the past week) on the weekend. You can get the fifty most recent episodes from iTunes. For an archive that goes all the way back to the 1980s, check out the official NPR site.
What About It
Words kinda fail. Fresh Air is easily one of my top ten podcasts of all time; I just don’t see it ever falling out of the top ten frankly. There’s a reason it’s been around for decades and it’s almost certainly the finest thing NPR has ever produced. There are dozens of Fresh Air knockoffs, public-radio-esque shows in which the hosts have whispery conversations with a diverse group of guests; but if you’ve had boring experiences with those shows, don’t let them put you off this endlessly fascinating show. It really does have a spark that none of the others have. Gross is a compelling host and the questions she asks and the responses she gets from her subjects are simply better, more enlightening and more entertaining than you’ll find anywhere else. It’s an insightful show, discussing everything under the sun. You never know what you’ll get: an in-depth exploration of the Iran nuclear issue; Jack Black talking about Tenacious D; John Doe performing old country songs live in the studio; an interview of Adam Driver (of all people); a memorial episode of clips from old Wes Craven interviews; a remembrance of a recently deceased Cuban jazz pianist you’ve never heard of; R.A. Dickey digging deep into the technicalities of the knuckle-ball pitch in baseball. Fresh Air is just one of the great American institutions and here’s a tip of the hat to it. And may it never die. No, never.
You want to know about things. Just in general, you know.
Avoid Like the Plague If
You’re a literal outbreak of The Plague.
Best Entry Point
So many amazing episodes leapt to mind as real standouts. Some of them are very old, but they’ve stuck with me in powerful ways. But this time it’s no dodge; my recommendation is to just go subscribe. This isn’t like usual, when I use this because I either don’t want to pick a particular episode or just can’t. This time it’s just literally the best advice I could give you about this show. In fact, this is probably, well, almost certainly, the best advice you’re getting today. Go. Subscribe. Now. Why aren’t you subscribed? ARE YOU STILL READING THIS? WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS SUBSCRIBE GO SUBSCRIBE NOW I SAID NOW AND I MEAN IT!
WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING HERE? GO SUBSCRIBE!