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Onstage: Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?

By P.F. Wilson · July 13th, 2010 · CityBeat Recommends

On a car ride from Chicago to Wisconsin, Feldman began to lay what would become the ground work for his current program, Whad'Ya Know?

“I made up something that I thought was rather preposterous: a weekly two-hour show, live audience, live band, taking phone calls and doing it as a quiz as a way to get people to call in without talking about major issues.”

Known for his quick wit, Feldman says his broadcasting style was influenced by the Rock DJs of the 1960s as well as Groucho Marx.

“I was always a fan of Groucho Marx as a kid,” he says.

“He did a quiz show — I (watched) it on TV, but it started as a radio show. That may have been in the back of my mind (when formulating Whad’Ya Know?). I told (Mitchell) about it and he said, ‘Well, why don’t we try it,’ and so I kinda had to do it.”

That was in 1985. The show went out nationally in 1986 and is currently distributed by Public Radio International (PRI), the network that sort of competes with National Public Radio (NPR). The show is broadcast live on Saturday mornings from Madison, though some stations (like WVXU) opt to run it at other times. Periodically the show hits the road, as it will Saturday when Feldman and his crew do the program in downtown Cincinnati from the Aronoff Center at 10:30 a.m.

Go here to read P.F. Wilson's full interview.



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