Hosted by the Emmy-winning Cohen, who wrote “The Ethicist” column for the New York Times for a dozen years, Person Place Thing (PPT) “reinvents the one-on-one interview around the premise that people reveal themselves most intimately when speaking not directly about themselves but about something they care about. Guests come prepared to talk about a person, and a place, and a thing that are important to them, allowing them to tell stories they never have before,” according to a statement issued to the press.
Initial guests Dick Cavett and Jane Smiley will be followed in future episodes by Susie Essman, Dave Cowens, Michael Pollan, John Hockenberry, Rickie Lee Jones, Ed Koch, Samantha Bee, R.L. Stine, Dan Savage, and Sir Roger Bannister. Each show also features an opening vignette from Cohen and a listener contribution. Shows, podcasts, photos, and extras are available at
In addition to providing production support, the New York Council for the Humanities has created PPT Conversation Toolkits, which provide all the resources necessary to host the type of engaged, in-depth, and surprising conversations that are expected to be the hallmark of the PPT radio program. Each toolkit focuses on a particular PPT episode and includes questions for at least one of the guest’s three audio segments (person, place, or thing), as well as tips for creating engaging conversation and resources for further reflection.
New York State community organizations, libraries, and classrooms that host discussions using the Conversation Toolkits are eligible to receive a small honorarium from the Council. Toolkits and more information about receiving the honorarium can be found on the Council’s
The broadcast schedule of upcoming shows on WAMC are below:
Friday, February 17: Dick Cavett with Jane Smiley
Friday, March 16: Susie Essman with Dave Cowens
Friday, April 20: Michael Pollan with John Hockenberry
Friday, May 18: Ricky Lee Jones with Ed Koch
Friday, June 15: Samantha Bee with R.L. Stine
Friday, July 20: Dan Savage with Roger Bannister