Jonathan Goldstein's Wiretap finally has a podcast!

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

Jonathan Goldstein's Wiretap is the greatest radio show you may have never heard of. That's because, despite being on CBC Radio for five years, building a dedicated cult audience, and just being generally wonderful, it's never been offered as a podcast.

Until now! Subscribe with RSS here or via iTunes here.

And check out the "unofficial" Wiretap archives here.

If you've never heard Wiretap before (or heard Goldstein on This American Life, or read his books) then you're in for a treat- he's a humble weirdo semi-genius. Whether he's imagining a hostile correspondence between Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble or rewriting the Bible, or absorbing abuse from his supporting cast of equally funny Montreal cronies, Goldstein is always dry as a bone and completely original. Check it out.


  1. It is relatively unknown, and that’s probably because Goldstein has the most irritating, nails-on-a-chalk-board, whiny, nasally, smug-spewing, granola-crunching, sandal-strapping-hipster voice I’ve ever heard. Let’s not also forget that it includes such scintillating topics as “Billie Holliday doing advertising”, which was touted as being “hilarious” and “spunky”. Vomit! Blechhhhhhh! It reminds of a certain animated show on at 10 pm:

    “We’re ahead of the curve…ahead of the curve…ahead of the curve….Oh no! George Clooney’s acceptance speech is going to merge with the Smug coming from South Park and form the perfect storm!”

    Boy, I realize I’m on the wrong site to say something like that, but I’ll be damned if I celebrate this event. Thanks for letting me vent.

  2. No problem @PAREEM4, vent away!

    I used to read the CBC audience reaction reports, and no show divided audiences like Wiretap- 75% *love* it, 25% LOATHE it. I’m among the former, obviously.

    Now, if we were talking about The Vinyl Cafe…

  3. I for one support Pareem4’s comment.

    I’m a huge fan of all (most) things CBC and do not want to get on the wrong side of our esteemed guest blogger… but Wiretab is the whiny-est most irritating thing I have ever heard on radio.

    I have tried to listen to it over and over again thinking I was missing the “big picture” or something. But I just don’t get it.

    You may like it or love, and that’s fine, but in my humble opinion, I’d rather listen to Afghanada (it’s freaking awesome).

  4. I loved the earlier seasons, but short stories and interviews with real people have given way to whiny calls to his annoying friends. This, I do not like.

  5. Thanks for the heads-up – I’ve been WAITING for a podcast for Wiretap.

    I still don’t understand what the heck it actually is (scripted? Partly-scripted? Ad libbed?), but we just suspend disbelief and go with it and it’s hilarious.

    The other CBC show that’s great on Podcast, of course, is Q. His recent John Cleese interview was really entertaining.

  6. Fantastic, I knew this comments thread would be all about CBC bashing/adoration.
    Wiretap is hit or miss, I have loved it, then hated it, then loved it…
    Afghanada, on the other hand, is the sappiest load of earnest bullshit I have had the misfortune to listen to Рalong with the Vinyl caf̩, it is loathsome syrupy sweet, self-consciously hyped-up Canadiana. I keep hoping for Sheilagh Rogers to guest-star as some kind of clinically insane embedded journalist who meets a tragic end.

  7. Hahah, there are 3 kinds of Canadians, those that love CBC, those that hate CBC and those that don’t listen to it.

  8. This is best news I’ve ever heard – I think their reason for not having a podcast was bogus (copyright issues, they said, something that This American Life doesn’t seem to have a problem with). TAL has the win when it comes to reaching out to the Internet crowd. It’s so easy to just search for “that episode where Goldstein is a telemarketer” on TAL’s website. I’m working on making a website like that for Wiretap (unofficial) but I don’t think there’s as great a demand…

  9. CBC rawks! Wiretap, Q, Spark, Randy’s Vinyl Tap, etc are awesome. In fact, public radio the world over is (usually) far superior to (bleech) commercial radio.

  10. Our local NPR station started carrying Wiretap earlier this year. I’m still really undecided about it. It has moments of…humor…of a sort. But a lot (most?) of it seems forced and repetitive. Kind of like they keep tweaking the same skit over-and-over, in hopes that it will finally click.

    Still, I keep giving it a chance.

  11. I’ve got to agree with Pareem4 and joekickass. Put me in the loathe entirely category. If I happen to have the radio on when WireTap shows up, I end up staring at the radio, wondering why this is on instead of ANYTHING ELSE in the CBC content store. I am so anaesthetized by the waste of bits, bandwidth and battery power that I have to force myself to cross the room to smash the radio.
    Nothing personal Jonathan, I’m really glad that you’ve found work.

  12. I absolutely love Wiretap. His friends are hilarious, his character is incredibly funny, and the short stories are almost always entertaining.

    I have no idea how someone couldn’t be entertained by Wiretap unless they just weren’t getting it honestly.

  13. I think Jonathan wants people to have a love/hate relationship with him. So, success! I’ve been a fan for years, and was thrilled to find him on TAL after I finally started listening earlier this year.

  14. Church – you’ve been listening to Supernintendochalmers feed, who’s been doing it on an unofficial basis for a while now – and deserves a big pat on the back.

    The most interesting aspect of the show is when you meet other fans of the show…and ask who their preferred character is. It’s a very revealing choice (Gregor)

  15. I first heard Jonathan Goldstein’s stories on TAL and then found out that he had his own show. I’ve listened to all of the past shows… many of them twice. I’m a big fan of this podcast and am so glad it is now available on iTunes.

  16. I’m a 40-year old Canadian who reads about 100 RSS feeds and full access (though I never use it) to Canadian airwaves, and yet I have no idea what Wiretap is about, although the name sounds interesting.

    This article could have been more useful to me. I could have just investigated it myself but since investigations take time and usually lead to dead ends, instead I chose to use my time complaining about it here.

  17. The key to anything that’s truly funny or entertaining is irony. And Wiretap is laced with it.
    There have only been a very few shows that have been sub-par and a bit tiresome. In fact I’m amazed that he (they) keep coming up with material.
    Goldstien is brilliant; on par with Monty Python.
    Long live!

  18. I love to listen to this show. I don’t know the number of my favorite show but it involved Jonathan calling an old college buddy, come to find out his friend now has an ice cream truck, he serves ice cream to children etc. in their hand because he has no bowls or cones. It was hilarious to listen to and I did so about five times for the fun of laughing at how absurd it was. I’m hoping I still have it on my Ipod or can download it again.

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