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Jonathan Goldstein (author)

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Jonathan Goldstein
Goldstein in 2014
Goldstein in 2014
Born (1969-08-22) August 22, 1969 (age 54)
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, US
OccupationAuthor, radio producer
NationalityCanadian-American, dual citizen
Alma materMcGill University
Concordia University
Notable worksLenny Bruce Is Dead (2001); WireTap (2004-15); Heavyweight (2016-23)

Jonathan Goldstein (born August 22, 1969)[1] is an American-Canadian author, humorist and radio producer. Goldstein has worked on radio programs and podcasts such as Heavyweight, This American Life, and WireTap. Goldstein's work has been academically examined as representative of "the positioning of Jews and Canadians as potentially overlooked minorities in the late-twentieth- and early twenty-first-century United States".[2]

Early life[edit]

Goldstein was born to Buzz and Dina Goldstein in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, where he spent the first four years of his life before the family moved to Montreal, Quebec, his mother's hometown.[3][4] The family settled in the suburb of Laval.[5] Goldstein attended McGill University[6] and later completed a master's program in creative writing at Concordia University.[7]


After graduation, Goldstein supported himself by working in the telemarketing industry for ten years while continuing to write and attend readings.[8] He talked about this time on an episode of This American Life, 'Plan B'.[9]


He hosted the CBC summer radio program Road Dot Trip[4] in 2000 and has contributed to shows like Dispatches and Outfront.[10] In 2000, his career received a boost after he was selected to work on Ira Glass' popular public radio program This American Life. Goldstein relocated to Chicago to work as a producer on the show. Many of Goldstein's pieces have been featured on This American Life where he is a contributing editor. From 2000 to 2002 he was also a producer of the show.[11]

In 2002, Goldstein returned to Montreal and started work on several projects for CBC Radio One. He hosted WireTap, which debuted in 2004 and ended in 2015. The program featured stories told over the phone.[11]

In May 2014, Goldstein played an "expert witness" in humorist John Hodgman's comedy/court show podcast Judge John Hodgman.[12]

In September 2016, Goldstein began a new podcast, Heavyweight, with podcast network Gimlet Media.[13] The podcast was discontinued in 2023 by Spotify, which had purchased Gimlet in the meantime.[14]

Goldstein is a member of the Public Radio Exchange editorial board.


In 2001, Goldstein's debut novel, Lenny Bruce Is Dead, was published by Coach House Books.[15] Goldstein also co-authored Schmelvis: In Search of Elvis Presley's Jewish Roots [1] with Max Wallace, an account of a Hasidic Elvis impersonator and rabbi's quest to trace the Jewish roots of Elvis Presley. Goldstein has also been published in The New York Times Magazine, Saturday Night, The New York Times, The Walrus, GQ, the Journey Prize Anthology and the National Post. He has also self-produced a number of small publications, most notably carwash the size of a peach.[16]


In September 2007, WireTap producer Mira Burt-Wintonick released "Superstar of the Netherlands," a short film featuring Goldstein and WireTap regular Gregor Ehrlich, on YouTube.[17] In February 2008, Goldstein debuted the internet project CBC Web 3.0 which features the short "The Future is Yesterday,” a comedic take on the impersonal nature of the Internet.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Goldstein has resided in Montreal, Chicago,[19][20] and New York City,[4] and he now lives in Minneapolis.[21]

Goldstein was in a relationship with the author Heather O'Neill that ended in 2007.[19]

Goldstein married fellow radio producer Emily Condon in 2015, having been introduced by Sean Cole in 2013.[22]



  • Lenny Bruce Is Dead (ISBN 1552450694, 2001)
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bible! (ISBN 1594483671, 2009)
  • I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow (ISBN 014317388X, 2012)
  • [[Schmelvis[2]: In Search of Elvis Presley's Jewish Roots]] (with Max Wallace) (ISBN 155022462X, 2002)

Essays and reporting[edit]



  1. ^ Hays, Matthew (August 27, 2008). "Play it again, Sam—if only to placate the alien hordes". The National Post.
  2. ^ Lambert, Josh (2016), "The Sound of "New Jews": David Rakoff and Jonathan Goldstein", Studies in American Jewish Literature, 35 (2), Penn State University Press: 233–256, doi:10.5325/studamerjewilite.35.2.0233, S2CID 163284680
  3. ^ Soloman, Heather. "Goldstein taps into neuroses for radio show". CJNews.com. The Canadian Jewish News. Archived from the original on September 24, 2005. Retrieved January 27, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Goldstein, Jonathan (May 15, 2015). "Jonathan Goldstein, The Art of Podcasting No. 17 (Interviewed by Devon Taylor)". TheTimbre.com. Archived from the original on October 1, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  5. ^ Grant, Alyson (November 16, 2005). "Almost eavesdropping". The Montreal Gazette. p. D.1.
  6. ^ Goldstein, Jonathan (July 7, 2000). "We Never Got Along: A letter from Jonathan Goldstein, on an old flame". openletters.net. Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2007.
  7. ^ Hays, Matthew (January 8, 2002). "A devotee of life's Zamboni moments". The Globe and Mail. p. R.3.
  8. ^ Lewis, Sydney. "Jonathan Goldstein". The Transom Review; transom.org. Archived from the original on January 24, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2007.
  9. ^ "Plan B". This American Life. February 2002.
  10. ^ "RoadDotTrip seeks the heart of Canada: CBC radio show sets up Goldstein as one-man crew;". The Edmonton Journal. July 1, 2000. p. C.5.
  11. ^ a b Whyte, Murray (December 18, 2005). "Tapping into radio's creative potential; Wiretap Reality, fiction mix en route to a higher purpose Wiretap;". The Toronto Star. p. C.13.
  12. ^ Smith, Julia (15 May 2014). "Judge John Hodgman Episode 160: The French Correction". MaximumFun.org. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
  13. ^ "About Heavyweight". GimletMedia.com. Gimlet Media.
  14. ^ Eduardo, Medina (5 December 2023). "Spotify Cancels Two Acclaimed Podcasts: 'Heavyweight' and 'Stolen'". New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2024.
  15. ^ "ReLit Award winners named". The St. John's Telegram. June 16, 2002. p. A.4.
  16. ^ KS (Summer 1998). "Zine Review: a car wash the size of a peach". BrokenPencil.com. Archived from the original on December 13, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
  17. ^ Burt-Wintonick, Mira (25 September 2007). "Superstar of the Netherlands". YouTube. Retrieved September 28, 2007.
  18. ^ "CBC Web 3.0". cbcweb3point0.wordpress.com. February 22, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  19. ^ a b Stoffman, Judy (December 13, 2006). "Lyrical Lullabies; Heather O'Neill's first novel, inspired by her hardscrabble childhood, draws raves". The Toronto Star. p. D.4.
  20. ^ Q&Q Staff (November 2006). "Bringing up Baby: Heather O'Neill's debut novel brings magic to a grim inner-city childhood". Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  21. ^ Raihala, Ross (26 March 2020). "Here are nearly 50 podcasts to stream, both local and national, recommended by Twin Cities podcast fans". TwinCities.com. St. Paul Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on August 24, 2022. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  22. ^ Kalish, Jon (24 October 2016). "Producer Sean Cole relishes the 'beautiful feeling' of performing weddings". Current. Retrieved 2021-12-25.

External links[edit]