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


11 Stupid Pop Culture Tropes You Always See About Women

November 11, 2019

Watch out fictional ladies: your number of boobs might be telegraphing your morality.

 Go Listen

9 Ridiculous Myths Everyone Believes About The Old West

November 4, 2019

Yee-ha! Giddyup! Westerns used to feature singing cowboys and Soviet uranium!

 Go Listen

15 Archaeological Discoveries Scarier Than Any Horror Movie

October 28, 2019

Happy Halloween! The past is terrifying! In the most astonishing way!

 Go Listen

The Surprising Elite Truth Behind America’s Political Divide

October 21, 2019

It's not populists versus elites. It's much weirder (and more Dilbert-driven).

 Go Listen

A Tour Through The World’s Secret Rooms (with John Hodgman)

October 14, 2019

Go everywhere from Yale's secret tombs to an even more secret celebrities-only Walgreens.

 Go Listen
To turn on reply notifications, click here


Load Comments