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The Big Questions

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Episodes of The Big Questions

Biker Jason "Bulldog" Mroz talks about who you are versus what you project, "Sons of Anarchy" and life in a real motorcycle club.
Comedian and actor David Alan Grier has always been a mix of the outrageous and thoughtfulness. In this episode of The Big Questions, the Tony-nominated actor and alum of “In Living Color” is both when we talk about the dangers of meeting you
Jonathan Eig is best-known as the biographer of Al Capone, Lou Gehrig and Jackie Robinson, but his latest book breaks new ground. In “The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution,” Eig chronicles the histo
She’s a synth-pop alt country queen in search of even more adjectives. Tristen Gaspadarek, who records and tours under her first name, is equal parts Paul McCartney, Tori Amos and Henry Rollins. In her short career, the songstress has crafted
Sal Abbinanti is best known as a comic book artist (“Atomika”) and art dealer for fellow artists such as Alex Ross (“Kingdom Come,” “Astro City”) and Bill Sienkiewicz (“Elektra: Assassin”). In this edition of The Big Questions, Oak Parker Abbi
Jen Lancaster has built a career on reinventing herself. In “Such a Pretty Fat,” she tackled weight loss. In “My Fair Lazy,” she sought high culture. In “The Tao of Martha,” she lived a life informed by Martha Stewart. In recent years, Lancast
Comedian Tom Dreesen has seen it all. In the 1960s, the Harvey native pioneered the first interracial stand-up comedian team, Tim & Tom, with Tim Reid (best known for his later role as Venus Flytrap on “WKRP in Cincinnati”). In the 1970s, he h
Author Wendy McClure’s writing is expansive — not only because her books cover vast geographic areas and topics, but also because she writes for both children and adults with depth and understanding. Best known for her memoir “The Wilder Life:
In this episode, we explore the life of comedian Phil Hartman (“Saturday Night Live,” “NewsRadio,” “The Simpsons”) with biographer Mike Thomas of the Chicago Sun-Times. Below is an excerpt of our conversation, recorded live at the Book Stall i
Joanne Zienty recently won the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project for her debut novel "The Things We Save." In this episode of The Big Questions podcast -- recorded in front of a live audience in Elgin's Gail Borden Public Library -- Zie
Pioneer Press welcomes new columnist Christine Wolf, who talks about what she learned from a social media mistake and the nature of public apologies. Check out her first column, about social media theft, here: http://evanston.suntimes.com/201
For 50 years, Jim Peterik has been a staple of the Chicago-area music scene. He first hit it big with Berwyn-based band the Ides of March and their brassy single “Vehicle,” before co-founding Survivor, best known for its anthemic “Eye of the Ti
Comedian Ron Funches is everywhere. He's got a new sitcom on NBC ("Undateable") and is arguably the best panelist on Comedy Central's "@Midnight." Recently, Funches has brought his pothead panda bear adorableness to appearances on "New Girl," "
“Grief is a form of love,” says my friend Maureen “Mo” Ryan. Best known as the LaGrange Park-based television critic for HuffPost TV, Ryan has had a rough few years that she’s dubbed the “Parent Apocalypse.” Four years ago, he mother was a di
Author Scott Turow calls his latest novel, "Identical," a "weird stew of personal things." Indeed it is. The book centers around a set of twins — state Sen. Paul Giannis and his brother Cass, a recently released ex-con who served 25 years for
By Robert K. Elder | [email protected] | @robertkelder By contemporary terms, Cristina Traina is an enigma. A driven Roman Catholic and professor of religion at Northwestern University, Traina is a prolific writer on religious ethics and s
"I believe loving someone makes you a better person," says Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black. Moreover, Black doesn’t believe the state can tell you who that person is. Gay right activist Black won the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for
Best-selling author Elizabeth Berg ("Durable Goods," "Tapestry of Fortunes") is the guest editor for this issue of the Oak Leaves and is our guest on "The Big Questions" podcast. Berg, an Oak Park transplant and former nurse, has enjoyed a suc
Wrestler Colt Cabana (aka North Shore native Scott Colton) is our guest on this edition of "The Big Questions" podcast, and he's also serving as the guest editor for his hometown newspaper, the Deerfield Review. Cabana—who has wrestled for WWE
Brayden King and Jerry Kim found bias played a role in new research that confirms what baseball fans knew all along: umpires blow calls. What’s surprising is why umpires miss calls, especially at the plate. Northwestern University professors
Smashing Pumpkins founder Billy Corgan is a busy man. Not only is he recording two new Pumpkins records, but he’s also a quarter of the way through a sprawling spiritual memoir and gearing up to release a cycle of songs inspired by Chicago.
“If you are married and you are not having better sex, you are doing something wrong,” says comedian Mitch Fatel. Fatel spent decades talking about his sexual adventure, and the pursuit of them — until he got married. Now, married to a bisexua
Comedian Ralphie May stops by the studio to talk about his near-death experience, overcoming PTSD and getting busting for pot in Guam. He advocates for the legalization of drugs and being honest with kids about what swear words mean. The Big
In this episode, Oak Park residents Mark Bazer ("The Interview Show") and host Robert K. Elder talk about how friendships change over time, how it works for men hurdling toward midlife and how you break up with friends. Comedian Ralphie May st
Bert Kreischer came in Friday and completely took over The Big Questions Podcast — in the best possible way. The high-energy comedian and host of Travel Channel's "Trip Flip" didn't even let me get the show intro out before he launched into ru
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