Jonathan Goldstein (author)

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This article is about the comedic author. For other people with this name, see Jonathan Goldstein (disambiguation).
Jonathan Goldstein
Jonathan Goldstein.jpg
Jonathan Goldstein (pictured to the right of banana and woman) in March 2014
Born (1969-08-22) August 22, 1969 (age 47)
Brooklyn, New York
Occupation Author, radio producer
Nationality Canadian-American, dual citizen

Jonathan Goldstein (born August 22, 1969)[1] is an American-Canadian author, humourist and radio producer. Goldstein is known for his work on the radio programs This American Life and WireTap.


Goldstein was born to Buzz and Dena Goldstein in Brooklyn, New York, where he spent the first four years of his life before the family moved back to his mother's home town of Montreal.[2] The family settled just outside Montreal in the suburb of Laval[3] where Goldstein grew up before attending McGill University[4] and later completing a master's program in creative writing at Concordia University.[5] After graduation, Goldstein supported himself by working in the telemarketing industry for ten years, all the while continuing to write and attend readings.[6] In 2000, Goldstein's nascent career got a boost after he was selected to work on Ira Glass' popular radio program This American Life and he relocated to Chicago to work as a producer on the show. In 2002, Goldstein moved back to Montreal and started work on several projects for CBC Radio One including his own show, WireTap, which debuted in 2004 and ended in 2015.

Goldstein is a member of the Public Radio Exchange editorial board.

Goldstein was in a relationship with the author Heather O'Neill that ended in 2007. Currently, Goldstein lives in Montreal.[7]


Radio work[edit]

Many of Goldstein's pieces have been featured on the radio show This American Life where he is a contributing editor. From 2000 to 2002 he was also a producer of the show.[8]

Goldstein was the host of CBC Radio One's WireTap, a program that featured stories told over the phone.[8] He was also the host of the CBC summer radio program Road Dot Trip in 2000 and has contributed to shows like Dispatches and Outfront.[9]

In May 2014, Goldstein played an "expert witness" in humorist John Hodgman's comedy/court show podcast Judge John Hodgman.[10]

In September 2016, Goldstein began a new podcast, Heavyweight, with podcast network Gimlet Media.[11]

Written work[edit]

In 2001, Goldstein's debut novel, Lenny Bruce Is Dead, was published by Coach House Books.[12] Goldstein also co-authored Schmelvis: In Search of Elvis Presley's Jewish Roots with Max Wallace, an account of a Hasidic Elvis impersonator and rabbi's quest to trace the Jewish roots of Elvis Presley. Goldstein has also been published in The New York Times Magazine, Saturday Night, The New York Times, The Walrus, GQ, the Journey Prize Anthology and the National Post. He has also self-produced a number of small publications, most notably carwash the size of a peach.[13]

Other work[edit]

In September 2007, WireTap producer Mira Burt-Wintonick released a short film featuring Goldstein and WireTap regular Gregor Ehrlich entitled Superstar of the Netherlands on YouTube.[14] Another video was released shortly after entitled Wire Tap Holiday Special featuring Howard Chackowicz.[15] In February 2008, Goldstein debuted the internet project CBC Web 3.0 which features the short The Future is Yesterday, a comedic take on the impersonal nature of the Internet.[16]



Essays and reporting[edit]


  • ReLit Award (Regarding Literature Award) (2001)
  • Third Coast International Audio Festival's Gold Prize (2002)
  • Canadian National Magazine Awards Silver Award for Humour (2004)
  • Gold World Medal for Best Regularly Scheduled Comedy Program (WireTap) at the New York Festivals (2006)


  1. ^ Hays, Matthew (August 27, 2008). "Play it again, Sam—if only to placate the alien hordes". Home/Arts. The National Post. 
  2. ^ Soloman, Heather. "Goldstein taps into neuroses for radio show". Arts & Travel. The Canadian Jewish News. Archived from the original on September 24, 2005. Retrieved January 27, 2007.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ Grant, Alyson (November 16, 2005). "Almost eavesdropping". Arts & Life. The Montreal Gazette. pp. D.1. 
  4. ^ Goldstein, Jonathan (July 7, 2000). "We Never Got Along: A letter from Jonathan Goldstein, on an old flame". open letters. Retrieved January 26, 2007.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ Hays, Matthew (January 8, 2002). "A devotee of life's Zamboni moments". The Globe Review. The Globe and Mail. pp. R.3. 
  6. ^ Lewis, Sydney. "Jonathan Goldstein". The Transom Review. Retrieved January 27, 2007.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ Stoffman, Judy (December 13, 2006). "Lyrical Lullabies; Heather O'Neill's first novel, inspired by her hardscrabble childhood, draws raves;". Entertainment. The Toronto Star. pp. D.4. 
  8. ^ a b Whyte, Murray (December 18, 2005). "Tapping into radio's creative potential; Wiretap Reality, fiction mix en route to a higher purpose Wiretap;". Entertainment. The Toronto Star. pp. C.13. 
  9. ^ "RoadDotTrip seeks the heart of Canada: CBC radio show sets up Goldstein as one-man crew;". Entertainment. The Edmonton Journal. July 1, 2000. pp. C.5. 
  10. ^ Julia Smith (15 May 2014). "Judge John Hodgman Episode 160: The French Correction". Maximum Fun. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  11. ^ "Heavyweight". Gimlet Media. Gimlet Media. 
  12. ^ "ReLit Award winners named". News. The St. John's Telegram. June 16, 2002. pp. A.4. 
  13. ^ KS (Summer 1998). "Zine Review: a car wash the size of a peach". Vol. 7. Broken Pencil. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  14. ^ Burt-Wintonick, Mira. "Superstar of the Netherlands". YouTube. Retrieved September 28, 2007. 
  15. ^ Burt-Wintonick, Mira. "WireTap Holiday Special". YouTube. Retrieved April 10, 2008. 
  16. ^ "CBC Web 3.0". February 22, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008. 

External links[edit]