New from ‘Showcase’: ‘Errthang’ with Al Letson and Willie Evans Jr.
Al Letson and Willie Evans Jr.’s Errthang is back for its second season today, March 23, with episodes dropping in the Showcase from Radiotopia feed once a week for eight weeks.
The show features everything that’s percolating in journalist/storyteller Al Letson’s brain — stories with a lot of heart, interviews with a lot of thought, music with a funky beat and good times with co-host Willie Evans Jr.
Letson and Evans are using season two of Errthang to focus on stories and interviews about fatherhood, love and the political unrest in the country.
“I didn’t start out to make an autobiographical season at all,” Letson said. “We wanted to ask some really big questions, the biggest being, ‘How did we get to this moment in American history?’ There were all these ways we could tackle that, but for me, it always came back to, ‘How did I get here?’ Maybe by looking at that, I could see the shape of something larger? When I don’t understand something, I try to tell a story about it, to really wrap my head around it. Before I could know America, I had to know me.”
Episode one, “808s and Three Heartbreaks,” tells the stories of three excruciating heartbreaks that will leave you laughing.
Future episodes will vary in genre from storytelling to interview to personal essay to radio drama.
Episode two: “What the Hell is Wrong with Al?”
Letson recounts when he went to a protest to report the news but instead became the news. Letson saved a right-wing protester from a vicious beating by antifa. This episode is about why he did it, how it all happened and how he felt afterwards.
Episode three: “No Ordinary Love”
Letson and Evans tell stories about fatherhood. Letson’s story is about being a black father to a white kid, while Evans talks about teaching his son how to handle a bully.
Episode four: “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”
Letson and Evans interview people about music and songs that have changed their lives.
Episode five: “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America”
Errthang features writer Kiese Laymon’s memoir about growing up as a young black man in the South.
Episodes six and seven: “John Coffey — Parts One and Two”
In this audio drama, John Coffey, the character from The Green Mile, discovers he is a Magical Negro. He is told he has to play his part and if he doesn’t, the universe will fall apart. But what if John refuses? Will the world end? Are we all destined to play the roles in which we are cast? Stay tuned for the voice of God, someone who will sound very familiar …
Episode eight: “The Evidence of Things Not Seen”
Letson ruminates on the state of black America — where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going … all while asking: How do you find hope in all of this?