For example, I remember reading Hemingway and loving his work so much—but then at some point, realizing that my then-current life (or parts of it) would not be representable via his prose style. Living in Amarillo, Texas, working as a groundsman at an apartment complex, with strippers for pals around the complex, goofball drunks recently laid off from the nuclear plant accosting me at night when I played in our comical country band, a certain quality of West Texas lunatic-speak I was hearing, full of way off-base dreams and aspirations—I just couldn’t hear that American in Hem-speak. And that kind of moment is gold for a young writer: the door starts to open, just a crack.


Yesterday, Minneapolis singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith and his band traveled to New York for an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. The show’s staff gave the Current’s Nate Ryan rarely-granted permission to take behind-the-scenes photos at the Ed Sullivan Theater. See more, and read Nate’s story, here.

This is a great read and an even greater photo essay of the backstage reality when our friend Jeremy Messersmith played The Late Show with David Letterman last night.

And, of course, you can catch Jeremy on Wits on October 3 (podcast due out shortly thereafter) when he shares the stage with comedian Maria Bamford.

NEW SHOW: Friday, November 21 - Keegan-Michael Key with Bhi Bhiman

Our friend Keegan-Michael Key is one of the greatest comedians working today, one of the nicest people in the world, and he’s making the trip out to do the show in St. Paul! And we get to hang out with Bhi Bhiman and have so much fun!

More info.

Keegan-Michael Key is best known for starring in the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning Comedy Central series Key & Peele. He got his start in comedy at Second City Detroit, and later moved on to their Chicago company where he received awards for his writing and performance. While still in Chicago, Key made the jump to TV, starring in Fox’s MADtv for six seasons, and scoring reoccurring roles on shows like RENO 911!, FX’s Fargo, and USA Network’s Playing House. Key can also be seen on the big screen in movies including Role Models, Due Date, Just Go With It, and Let’s Be Cops, as well as the upcoming Horrible Bosses 2.

St. Louis, Missouri native Bhi Bhiman is an American original.  His rich, bellowing tenor can soothe or explode at a moment’s notice, inviting comparisons from Nina Simone to Bill Withers.  And his songwriting is quick to captivate – a mix of humor and deep empathy reminiscent of distinguished songsmiths like Woody Guthrie and Randy Newman.  His self-released debut album, BHIMAN, was hailed by critics in the New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR’s Robert Christgau.  It also earned him the distinction of being one of the only unsigned artists to ever appear on Britain’s “Later w/ Jools Holland”.   Bhiman’s next record will be released in early 2015.

NEW SHOW: Friday, November 14 - Hari Kondabolu with OK Go

We are so excited to have Hari Kondabolu on the show! And he’ll be joined by our old friend Damian Kulash…with the whole band!!

More info.

Hari Kondabolu is a Brooklyn-based, Queens-raised comic who has been described by Timeout NY as “smart, analytical and rising.” He has done standup on the Late Show with David Letterman, Conan , Jimmy Kimmel Live, John Oliver’s New York Standup Show and was a writer and correspondent on the Chris Rock-produced FX Show “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.” He has also been interviewed on WTF with Marc Maron and NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He recently released his debut comedy album “Waiting for 2042” on indie label Kill Rock Stars.

 Formed as a quartet in Chicago in 1998 and relocated to Los Angeles three years later, OK Go (Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka, Andy Ross) have spent their career in a steady state of transformation. The four songs of the all-new Upside Out EP represent the first preview of Hungry Ghosts, due out in the fall on the band’s own Paracadute. Continuing a career that includes viral videos, New York Times op-eds, a major label split and the establishment of a DIY trans-media mini-empire, collaborations with pioneering dance companies and tech giants, animators and Muppets, OK Go continue to fearlessly dream and build new worlds in a time when creative boundaries have all but dissolved.

NEW SHOW: Saturday, November 8 - Neil Gaiman with My Brightest Diamond

Our friend Neil Gaiman is coming back to hang out with us! And we get to welcome with the amazingly talented My Brightest Diamond!!

More info!

Neil Gaiman is the bestselling author of books for adults and children.  The recipient of many awards, his works have been adapted for film, television, stage and radio. Some of Neil’s most notable titles include The Graveyard Book (the first book to ever win both the Newbery and Carnegie medals), American Gods and 2013’s UK National Book Award’s Book of the Year, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. 2 million people follow him on Twitter.  Born in the UK, he now lives in the US with his wife, the musician and writer, Amanda Palmer.

As impressive as her list of recent collaborators, Shara Worden's voice and arresting live performances have left audiences thunderstruck from the Sydney Opera house to Lincoln Center to the House of Blues. She's performed under the experimental-pop moniker My Brightest Diamond for the last seven years, and counts Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dressner (The National), The Decemberists, Bon Iver, David Byrne and Laurie Anderson among collaborators and friends.  Her latest album, out September16, is titled This is My Hand.

NEW SHOW: Friday, October 24 - The Great Wits/Thrilling Adventure Hour Crossover featuring special comedy guest "Weird Al" Yankovic, Paul F. Tompkins, and Paget Brewster with music guest Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s

WE GET TO DO A SHOW WITH OUR FRIENDS AT THRILLING ADVENTURE HOUR! Set your radio dials to awesome, friends, because this is going to melt some minds.

More info!