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VIDEO: Radiolab Behind the Scenes

Monday, May 20, 2013 - 05:00 PM

Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich in studio

If you've ever wondered how the podcast comes together, or what it's like to work at Radiolab, here's a peek into our process.

If you're a fan of the show, help us make more Radiolab by making a contribution. Thanks so much, Radiolab couldn't exist without support from listeners like you!

Special thanks to David Fine and American Hipster. Their complete Radiolab video can be seen at


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Comments [27]

Alan Tower from South Pasadena, CA

I am an audio guy and podcast junkie, learning so much from this medium. Radio Lab for me, and to many of the people I know who listen to podcasts as well is the unequivocal King of Podcasts. There are so many good ones, 99% Invisible, Ted Radio Hour et al. but nothing really comes close to the depth and breadth and unveiling of multiple storyline mystery that you guys cook up and pursue relentlessly. Don't ever stop.

Nov. 04 2016 01:07 AM
Linda from Ithaca, New York (brainiest US city in a study 😉 lol)

You've given me the fever! I think y'all are fantastic. You both seem like really sweet, endearing, moving folks, touching as people, and seem like insightful thinkers (and your other staff usually does, too, of course). In a way it seems like Robert represents a more emotive demeanor and Jad represents the intellect, although of course you each embody both human/mammalian aspects. Similar to what I've learned in studying psychology, familiarity has increased my liking of you both. It isn't that I disliked you at first, I just naturally like you more and more and mentally increasingly highlight your strengths. Btw, unlike other listeners who commented, I wasn't very surprised by your appearances, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Also, I'm so happy for you that you were on The Colbert Report, and I think that you both did a great job. I think that you both seem to deserve recognition, and of course you all don't seem creepy and plastic like people from Hollywood sometimes do. I don't feel creeped out and unnerved listening to your show like Hollywood entertainment can leave me feeling. I feel entertained in a comfortable balance of stimulation and innovation and familiarity--the same qualities that statistically influence musical preferences. The more I listen to you, the more you begin to unravel stereotypes of financially comfortable Caucasian males as smug people who don't listen to others--instead you are not generally seemingly pseudo-intellectuals--you seem like genuine, curious, caring, maybe even truly egalitarian humans--especially high compliments given aspects of American mainstream culture.

Dec. 29 2015 02:18 AM
Ivy from vancouver

I pictured robert as a thirty years old guy with a orange mastouche.. And jad as a attractive nerd haha, but this is still great

Nov. 11 2015 11:16 PM
betty ward from ocala florida

i found a bottle of tincture merthiolate from dr sachs laboratories chicago
illinois it has a cork instead of a cap, could you tell me how old this might be or the year you made this type of bottle with a cork.

looking forward to your answer
thank you and happy belated birthday
betty ward

Oct. 01 2013 05:03 PM
Isabelle O'Keeffe from Barcelona, Spain

Great video!I was introduced to your show through an American friend of mine over 2 years ago and now I'm addicted. I download the podcasts regularly! I love the discussions, so mentally stimulating and invigorating.Well done lads! Keep it up!

Sep. 17 2013 12:19 PM
Sandy Forrest from Brooklyn, New York

Love your show. Robert, I remember when you did CBS Morning News. Your economic segments were a stitch. In fact, via my friend, producer David Saltman, I made puppets for you to demonstrate some points: Big Lips that gobbled luxury items, a butler, and more.
Now I listen on Sirius radio while driving to and from teaching high school in Harlem. Your show is the major reason why I contribute to NPR. In fact right now I'm on the site searching for a show on space you did on 6/15 to hear it again. All the sound effects and tight editing make all the shows rich, visual, and thoughtful.
Thanks, guys!

Jun. 18 2013 09:30 AM
Matthew Hunt from Brisbane, Australia

Great to see you and your team. Absolutely love the show. Thanks for this video. BTW - I've donated! Get your wallets out folks!

Jun. 17 2013 08:47 AM
The Ridge Family from Playa Ecuador/Santa Barbara, CA

While on a year sabbatical, as an elementary art teacher, we discovered your show. Often our internet connection was lacking but you guys always seemed to shine through. You have been with us on train rides through Sri Lanka, a melancholy Christmas in India, humid nights in Bali and the pounding surf in Ecuador. Our family has loved every minute of learning and discovery! You have become another family for us to "tune into" and feel at home-on the road! We have used your themes and broadcasts for countless experiments, dissections and dinner table discussions. Thank you for joining us-around the world! You really make Science....a story.

Jun. 15 2013 07:34 PM
David Colburn from Westchester NY

RadioLab fan here. I have listened to every podcast and also introduced my children to the show because not only are they such interesting topics and well produced stories, but I can introduce the 'radio world' to my kids who might have otherwise missed it because of things like youtube and reddit which can overwhelm their time. Radio was very important to me growing up, more so than TV - because it sparks the 'minds eye' and fuels imagination. I can't be consciously responsible for denying my children the radion experience without feeling absolute guilt. So now - I am guilt free thanks to you guys and we have very enthusiastic and intelligent conversations, also thanks to RadioLab. I don't know why I feel it is important to tell you this next part, but for an avid listener who had painted a picture of your faces in my imagination I feel I must tell you that I have always imagined Rob as being African American, looking somewhat like Neil deGrasse Tyson. I can't be the only one. Jad - you look exactly like your voice. And now that I know what you guys look like - I will be erasing the real images from memory and keeping my version instead. Your show - but my head.

Jun. 14 2013 01:18 PM
Mainity from Brazil/Switzerland

I really treasure Radiolab! I thank you people for your devotion and amazing job. The programs are inspiring, motivational and educational, with a sincere human and holistic approach.

Jun. 12 2013 05:35 AM
Jen from San Francisco Bay Area

HUGE fan. I never had seen what you look like before and many times when you hear a voice and then you see the face, it can be strange if your own image is so different. But you two are pretty much right on with my image. Glad I don't have rearrange my imagination too much. :)

Jun. 06 2013 02:59 PM
EggE from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

I'm a Radiolab fan in Mongolia. I listened to almost every podcast. They are so entertaining and enlightening. I'm so grateful to Jad and Robert for such an extraordinary show.

May. 30 2013 10:03 PM
robert weinstein from washington, DC

I have listened to every single radio lab episode at least once and used to tell people that everything interesting I know came from radio lab. Recently I have found the shows much less interesting. This show makes me wonder if you haven't gotten too interested in yourselves and less interested in the really interesting stuff that you might have the time to dig into and share with us. Time for a sabbatical and a revival?

May. 30 2013 08:18 AM

Robert, Robert ... you've got to get rid of that combover. Everyone knows you're balding, that combover 'aint fooling anyone.

As a balding person myself I know its hard to accept that you're going bald. You need cut it short and realize that this is who you are, no need to hid behind a long tuft of hair.

May. 29 2013 02:34 PM
Hanna from Kyiv, Ukraine

You are great guys!
It is so unexpected to here so familiar voices form totally unknown people :)
Thank you for the show. I am a big fan of it.

May. 28 2013 05:19 AM

I am such a RadioLab nerd that I specifically asked my parents to donate as my birthday present, then matched the amount they funded :) Your show is inspiring, specifically to a young college student exploring her options. This video was so nice to watch, although, listening or reading six hours of material on how you make the show sounds incredible

May. 27 2013 12:19 AM
Daniel Paterna from Brooklyn NY

Like great architecture Radio Lab crates a living space I can move through and re-imagine over and over again. Beyond financial support, being visual thinker, I'm always left wishing and wanting to contribute in some way.

What a gift !

May. 26 2013 09:44 AM

Great show. I'm a long time fan. Nice to see how it gets done. Robert, um, let's talk about the comb over...

May. 26 2013 02:37 AM
Fozia Ahmed from London, UK

I absolutely adore your show i have come to the point where i have listen to every single show and re-listening to my favourites while checking to see for new stuff religiously. i can honestly say that your show makes life and existence in general better. You show the beauty of life in the beauty of your shows. The utmost respect to everyone at Radiolab and please please keep on doing what you do.

May. 23 2013 04:32 PM
Verus from DC

Keep up the good work!

May. 23 2013 04:13 PM
Turner M from Jacksonville Fl

I can't really say anthing that has been articulated better already. I love radio lab. Ive dontated, purchase the app and have ingested everything all of you that make THE Lab put out there. The show touches everything that makes up the human factor. This program brings things out in people while engaging and entertaining. The way radio is utilized by the program should make the tv and silverscreen ashamed.

To be brief, thank you.

May. 22 2013 08:20 PM

Hi, guys,

I know that I will have enough money at some point :) I am promising to myself, that I will donate a reasonable amount to you guys cause your show is just amazing.

Keep up the awesome work!

May. 22 2013 01:12 PM
Christopher from London

Hey guys,

I am an avid listener of radiolab. This morning I listened to three of your shows back to back whilst doing an epic amount o washing up left over from a weekend BBQ (a rare event this side of the Atlantic).

This show has inspiered me, dumbfounded me and brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. Sometimes there are moments created by this show that truly touch upon the untouchable truths. You fuse science and faith seemlessly.

After watching the behind the scenes I was struck by the difference in appearance between my mental projection of you guys and the real you guys. This I think is a really interesting topic for a show. I would love to see how radiolab responds to the phenomenon of the 'inner picture' as the comment above so succinctly put it. How do we create them? Are there corrilations between each others? Are they accurate?

I know that my inner picture of you guys wasn't too far off. Jad had glasses, dark hair an sounded younger than Robert but I couldn't be sure. Robert was a larger build, blondish hair, a kindly face etc etc. I thought this would be a great point of departure for radiolab given its lust for sound and sound related science.

So I put it to you guys. How do we/why do we create our 'inner picture' of people we've never seen but hear on a regular basis?

Best wishes,


May. 21 2013 08:57 AM

I would (in my best Krulwich voice) really, really, really (end Krulwich voice) like to donate but I don't want to receive tons of solicitations afterwards. How can I do that? Or do I need a jet pack? Or a slinky? Or some other magic trick?

May. 20 2013 10:24 PM
Oliasdoug from San Diego, CA

Having recently re-discovered the treasures to be found on NPR, I just wanted to thank you guys for this behind the scenes peek at the show. It is never less than fascinating & I couldn't imagine the show being hosted by anyone other than you two...your interplay & banter is one of Radiolab's great appeals. I work a Saturday shift from 5pm to 5am as a courier, and you guys are one of the reasons I enjoy being on the road. Thanks!

May. 20 2013 09:19 PM
Pony from Space

Oh my glob, thats what you look like :D totaly destroyed my inner picture of you guys.

May. 20 2013 07:29 PM
Dang!Records from Dallas, TX

Well Done!!

May. 20 2013 06:20 PM

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