Coulton (left) and Eisenberg, courtesy NPR
Jul 20, 2021
NPR’s ‘Ask Me Another’ to record last-ever show August 12
The hourlong comedy quiz show returns to the Bell House for its first live recording since the pandemic—and for the last time
“Ask Me Another,” the public radio comedy quiz show with Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton, will return to the Bell House in Gowanus on August 12 for their first live show since the beginning of the pandemic.
It will also be its last show: National Public Radio announced this week that, after nearly a decade on the air, the show’s final episode will air on September 24.
“Despite the strong work of the team, AMA never quite found its full audience,” Anya Grundmann, NPR’s head of programming and audience development, wrote in an email to public radio stations. “And because of our limited resources, we’re sunsetting the show.”
Since 2012, the Saturday puzzle and game show has entertained live audiences at the Bell House and NPR listeners on 300 stations with an hourlong comedy quiz show aimed at capturing a younger audience than “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” another public radio stalwart.
“Ask Me Another” went virtual in March 2020 along with the rest of the world, a pandemic pivot that Eisenberg said on an episode of “Brooklyn Magazine: The Podcast” “made the show better.” The show has been recorded via Zoom since then, and the comedic pairs’ first live show back in the Bell House in Gowanus will also be the final recording. Tickets for the three hour show that starts at 7:30 P.M can be found at the show’s website.
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“My social media is flooded by people relaying their shock, sadness, indignation, and wondering what they can do,” Eisenberg tells Brooklyn Magazine. “I do hope it has some impact, and that the show has a life beyond this moment.”
Coulton tells Brooklyn Magazine that he was sad to hear of NPR’s decision but “but it’s been a fantastic 10-year run, and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it.”
Fans responded to the announced cancellation by blanketing Twitter and Instagram with dismay. They created an online petition to save the show, writing that AMA is “one of the highlights of our local station WNYC’s weekend programming.” Fellow comedians have continued to voice their displeasure in Twitter and Instagram comment sections and Stories.
— Jim Gaffigan (@JimGaffigan) July 18, 2021
“During the darker stretches of the pandemic, the regular Zoom calls that became each episode were a great comfort to me. Whatever else was happening that week, I knew that I’d get to spend some time cracking jokes and laughing out loud,” says Coulton.
He adds that “Ask Me Another” was a decade-long “dream come true” even if “there were times when I wasn’t so sure it was entirely essential that I make a bunch of bad puns and sing parody songs about different kinds of cheese. But we’ve heard from so many listeners how they came to rely on our show as a regular escape and a source of joy, and that means so much to me.”
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