Roger_Ebert_croppedWhat strikes me most about the Studs Terkel Radio Archive and Studs in general is his ability to inspire listeners to engage with the world of arts and culture. Through my journey to the past as an intern with the Archive, Studs has led me to discover new authors, classic films, and movements that I never knew existed. Listening to Studs discuss Charlie Chaplin in his interviews with Roger Ebert and Buster Keaton made me yearn to delve into the world of silent films. After hearing Erica Jong discuss her novel Fear of Flying I went to the library to check it out. Prior to encountering Studs I had never known of Abstraction Theater and yet here I am in the middle of reading Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, devastated that I will never get to see Zero Mostel’s performance!

Of all the programs that I listened to Studs’ great versatility shines brightest in his interview with film critic Roger Ebert. Discussing silent legends including Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Edna Purviance as well as both American and Foreign classics, Studs and Ebert’s conversation easily engages its listeners for the full 2 hour special. At one point in the interview Ebert is so impressed with Studs’ familiarity with film that he exclaims “Why Studs, you’ve seen every movie ever made!” It is the compatibility that Studs finds with whoever sits across the mic from him that makes his show a timeless pleasure.

– Maddie Field