1998 was a strange time in the world: Bill Clinton's presidency was collapsing, Ace of Base could do no wrong, Michael Olowokandi went first in an NBA draft. And strangest of all, Kurt Vonnegut was still a prolific fiction writer after writing his own public funeral. Faced with his own "death", Vonnegut did the cleverest thing imaginable: he became a "reporter from the afterlife" for his favorite local public radio station. Kurt covered the Notable Dead People beat, and revolutionized his own writing in the process, all while maintaining full Dead Writer status in life.

God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian is Vonnegut at his most delightfully, lyrically morbid. So join Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim for a trip through the great writer's love letter to radio, writing, obituaries, and the deceased people we think back on as we chart our own lives.

Cosmologut (0:00:50)

Vonne-Interviews (0:07:00)

Kurt Vonnegut reading Mary Ainsworth interview (0:14:45)

Vognettes (0:26:05)

Kurt Blurt (0:59:50)

Recurring Characters Update (1:05:50)

Kurt Cameo (1:06:00)

VonneWHAT (1:06:45)

Meat (1:09:00)

VonneGRADES (1:15:45)

Related Reading (1:17:20)

To hear Vonnegut's radio pieces in his own words: NYPR Archives & Preservation -- Kurt Vonnegut: WNYC Reporter on the Afterlife

Related Reading:

You Don't Know Jack (HBO)

George Saunders - Lincoln In The Bardo

American Gods (Starz)

Neil Gaiman - "Babycakes"

Margaret Atwood - The Tent

Harlan Ellison - "S.R.O." (from The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World)

Gabriel Garcia Marquez - "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"

More Episodes


How The CIA Quest For Mind Control Drove The World Insane

September 16, 2019

Sidney Gottlieb is a name you do not know. There are a million creepy reasons for that.

 Go Listen

12 Amazing Advances In TV Technology (That Make TV Worse)

September 9, 2019

Streaming services freed us from so many things! Also can we get those things back? Pretty please?

 Go Listen

12 Shockingly Important Near-Misses Of Marvel Movie History

September 2, 2019

Fun fact: Captain America's cinematic civil war almost pitted Tom Cruise against Dane Cook.

 Go Listen

10 Real Science Stories That Should Be A Sci-Fi Movie

August 26, 2019

Get nightmare swarms of yellowjackets' agent on the phone!

 Go Listen

How One True Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

August 19, 2019

You can help catch murderers AND answer decades-old Star Wars questions.

 Go Listen
To turn on reply notifications, click here


Load Comments