TV Club

Week 10: Listening in on The Wire 

Dear David and Jeffrey,

OK, so nothing’s going to eliminate the Wire withdrawal we’re all feeling. But here’s a way to take the edge off—settle down for several hours with the show’s actors and writers.

If there’s one institution that comes close to Slate in its obsessive Wire-phila, it’s public radio. The show’s cast and creators have become staples on the member-supported airwaves. Fresh Air listeners who don’t happen to watch The Wire must be incredibly bored with all these gushing interviews, chewing over every minute detail of plot and character. To them I say, tough luck: Go rent the damn DVDs, like your tiresome friend has been nagging you to do since Season 3, and revisit this post when you’re as hooked as the rest of us.

For us fans, the public-radio archives hold many must-listen gems. Below is a list of my favorites. Hearing the laconic baritone of Marlo Stanfield on WNYC gave me an icy thrill. (OK, so it’s really an interview with Jamie Hector, who plays Marlo, but who cares—that voice!) And you truly must hear the fantastic exit interview with series creator David Simon by über-fan Terry Gross from a few days ago. Also below are discussions with Bubbles, Bunk, Chris, Lester, Snoop, co-executive producer Ed Burns, writers George Pelacanos and Richard Price, and the show’s music supervisor, Blake Leyh.

You can listen to all the interviews online, and where available I’ve included a link for downloading an MP3 version:

Series creator David Simon and co-executive producer Ed Burns take calls about the Wire finale on NPR’s Talk of the Nation (March 10, 2008):

David Simon on NPR’s Fresh Air With Terry Gross (March 6, 2008):
Online | Download

Gbenga Akinnagbe (Chris Partlow), Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield), Clarke Peters (Lester Freamon), and music supervisor Blake Leyh on WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show (Jan. 30, 2008):
Online | Download Michael K. Williams (Omar) on Fresh Air With Terry Gross (Jan. 22, 2008):
Online | Download

Wendell Pierce (William “Bunk” Moreland) and Andre Royo (Bubbles) on PRI’s The Sound of Young America (Jan. 7, 2008):
Online | Download

Felicia Pearson (“Snoop“) on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show (Dec. 14, 2007):
Online | Download

Ed Burns on NPR’s Fresh Air With Terry Gross (Nov. 22, 2006):

David Simon and writer George Pelacanos on Fresh Air (Sep. 23, 2004):


Wire writer Richard Price talks about his new novel, Lush Life,(and about writing for the series, starting at 16:25) on Fresh Air (March 5, 2008):
Online | Download

Video of David Simon speaking at Loyola College on the “End of the American Empire” (2007):
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Wire writer George Pelacanos on PRI’s The Sound of Young America (March 25, 2006—interview begins at 28:37):

Print interview with Robert Chew (Proposition Joe) at the Fader.

Print interview with Lester, Bubbles, Daniels, Kima, Marlo, Omar, and Bunk from the Los Angeles Times (note to the Times: Seriously, you couldn’t have posted the audio or video of this amazing gathering?).