This Is Hell (radio program)
|Running time||240 min|
This is Hell! is a weekly Saturday morning four hour radio show hosted by Chuck Mertz on WNUR-FM in Evanston, Chicago. It has been broadcasting regularly since 1998. Although the show is broadcast live, the vast majority of its listenership listens to it from around the world through its podcast, for which archives are available back to 2001.
The shows are based around four or five well-prepared long interviews with academics or authors of recent books and articles that last up to 45 minutes, and always end with a "question from hell" - a question we hate to ask, you may hate to answer, or our audience may hate the response.
Guests have included Dan Ellsberg, Sami Al-Arian, Scott Ritter, Noam Chomsky, Greg Palast, Juan Cole, Naomi Klein, Christopher Hitchens, Ray McGovern, Alexander Cockburn, Thomas Frank, Dean Baker, Glenn Greenwald, Bill McKibben, Stephen Walt, Rami Khouri, James Galbraith, Barbara Ehrenreich, Immanuel Wallerstein, Dahr Jamail, Paul Craig Roberts, Andrew Bacevich, Chris Hedges, John Mearsheimer, Deepak Tripathi and Seymour Hersh, most of whom have been on the show multiple times.
Other features include pieces by a range of irregular correspondents from around the world, the most frequent being Jeff Dorchen, whose Moment of Truth closes the show, and less frequently Kevan Harris The Radical Pessimist, and Elvis deMorrow from the Konspiracy Korner. URL Labs' LaddieO.com regularly delivers a Website of the Week. The guests and irregular correspondents are interspersed with local, national and international information and news stories, as well as informed commentary on a range of subjects.
The show typically includes a very useful hangover cure, and an ad for National Beer always appears at some point in the show. National Beer, the only advertiser on the show, is a local producer of an eclectic variety of sometimes highly unusual beers with very limited production runs which, despite not being well known for their quality, are often showcased by the hosts of the show. Although not widely appreciated, National Beer also carries the only beer that comes in a can with a twist-off cap, under which can be found a rebus puzzle, which is often read out loud on the show for the audience to decipher. Remarkably, Mr. Mertz, the host of the show, typically figures out the rebus within a few seconds, thus providing the audience with a relevant and valuable factoid.
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