Nellie McKay, singer-songwriter-activist + Triumph The Insult Comic Dog: 15th Anniversary Show

by | Jun 13, 2018

On this program, we marked the 15th anniversary of “Talking Animals”—almost to the day! I launched the show on June 16, 2003 at KUCI, the campus-community radio station at the University of California at Irvine. At the tail end of 2005, “Talking Animals” found a home at WMNF, not long after my family and I moved our home to Florida. I thought it might be both fitting and fun to invite guests that were featured in those very earliest years: singer-songwriter-activist Nellie McKay, who’s appeared a half dozen more times over the years…and Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, whom I adore, and I suspected would keep the proceedings from becoming too self-congratulatory. (On that score, as you’ll soon hear, Triumph did not disappoint.) McKay discusses the impetus for making “Sister Orchid,” her new collection of standards and ballads, and how—as someone who has traversed wide artistic ground, including starring on Broadway, writing musical biographies, penning a book review for The New York Times, and so on—how she settles on what the next project will be. McKay addresses her adopted pit, Bessie (now 10) and other animals—like feral cats—that she looks after, suggesting how there should as much effort put into a national veterinary insurance program as devising a single payer plan. From there, she opines on how the political system is so inherently compromised by big, tainted money, and the warmongering leanings of The New York Times and MSNBC. McKay also touches on her longstanding advocacy against horse drawn carriages in New York City (“horses don’t belong in traffic; it’s as simple as that”), and the virtues of spending time in her beloved Poconos. ( [Top Photo: Shervin Lainez]

ALSO: I spoke with Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, who initially mocked me, my listeners, and especially the Florida listeners. He also addressed Trump’s then-impending talks in Singapore with Kim Jong-Un, including the bit part played by Dennis Rodman, Trump’s performance at the G7 Summit. Triumph also weighs in on all the scandals plaguing the Trump Administration, and the Mueller investigation, will lead to Trump being impeached—and his thoughts on Pence. There’s a little bit on Triple Crown Winner Justify (and his stud fees), and more deriding me and the 15th anniversary of “Talking Animals.” (

COMEDY CORNER: Nate Bargatze’s “How To Get Bitten By A Snake” (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Nellie McKay’s “The Dog Song,” Nellie McKay’s version of “The Nearness of You,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Steve Miller’s “Fly Like An Eagle”


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