Follow the yellow brick road through America’s favorite story and discover places in the land of Oz more wonderful, and weirder, than you ever imagined.
It's been over seventy years since movie audiences first watched The Wizard of Oz. Meet the original man behind the curtain, L. Frank Baum, who had all the vision of Walt Disney, but none of the business sense. Discover how Oz captivated the imaginations of Russians living under Soviet rule. Hear how the playwright Neil LaBute, the late filmmaker Nora Ephron, the novelist Salman Rushdie, and the musician Bobby McFerrin, found magic, meaning, and inspiration in Oz.
(Originally aired: November 19, 2005)
This week, Kurt Andersen announces a new listener challenge: design a holiday ornament to be printed in 3D, courtesy of MakerBot. A writer and book designer creates his tour-de-force — a catalog of books by an imaginary author. We’ll hear how a classic performance by Will Rogers helped bring down a president. And the self-described “doom soul/gothic gospel” band Cold Specks plays live in the studio.