Listening To Jonathon Goldstein Listen

Wiretap with Jonathon GoldsteinWireTap, a show on CBC Radio One hosted by Jonathon Goldstein, is a pseudo talk show, where the host…

…invites you to tune in and eavesdrop as he talks over the phone with some of the country’s best storytellers. Sometimes he catches them on their cell phones making late-night trips to the emergency room, sometimes he finds them at home on a Sunday afternoon, flipping TV stations with Mexican take-out on their lap.

Most of it is improvised:

Most WireTap conversations are born from hours of improvised material that no one in their right mind would want to transcribe, so forgive us if we do not make them available. For now, if you’d like to read something you’ve heard on WireTap you’ll just have to sit by your tape deck, record the show and then type it out yourself.

I’ve stumbled on the show many times and I’ve enjoyed it. People call into Goldstein and tell them their problems or talk about what’s on their mind. It’s funny, witty, intelligent, and original. Great radio.

One well-written segment brought a lump to my throat: a young woman called in telling how she wants to be a writer, but her family of doctors want her to take science at university, which she’s currently studying. She asks if Jonathon will listen to something she wrote, giving her his opinion of her talent. He agrees. She then tells a simple, honest tale about a man and a woman on a date, and it’s SO well written that it’s stunning.

When she finishes there’s a pause, a pause to just think about how wonderful her prose is, how simple and honest it is. Jonathon then says something like, “I wish you all the best as a writer.” Her gleeful reaction is great.

That story was from a book, which was mentioned at the end of the show, but I forget what it is now, God damn it.

The show has great writing and acting, and it’s well produced. It’s worth tuning in to.