Any Questions? Yeah – Who’s Mike Nothnagel?

Written by: Ian Pickus    Filed under: Any Questions?     Comments: Comments Off    Tags

Starting tonight, WAMC is launching a new quiz program in the 6 p.m. hour. Mike Nothnagel, the star of the show, sent this dispatch.

I know what you’re thinking: there’s something missing on WAMC.

Oh, sure, you’re grateful for all your favorite shows: you’d never forget to tune into The Roundtable or The Capitol Connection, Saturdays just wouldn’t be the same without Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and you can’t make it through breakfast without coffee and Morning Edition.

Still, with all the fantastic programming on WAMC, you can’t help but sense a void.  Every Friday night around 6:25 (right after the Northeast Report Late Edition and right before Marketplace), you say to yourself, “There should be something else right here.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it needs something.”

And now, there will be something else there.

Starting today, September 2nd, Ian Pickus (WAMC producer and occasional host of Morning Edition and The Roundtable) and I are teaming up to bring you a new program on WAMC called Any Questions?. For two and a half minutes each Friday night around 6:25, I’ll be quizzing Ian on all sorts of topics: everything from sports to geography to current events to TV theme songs.

Wait a second – who are you, again?

Oh…right.  I should probably introduce myself.

I’m Mike Nothnagel, and I’m a professor of mathematics at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.  (Yes, math at a culinary school.  We can get into that later.)  I’m also a crossword constructor.  My puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Games Magazine, and the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, among other places.


Mike Nothnagel working on one of his many puzzles

So, as I was saying, each week on Any Questions?, I’ll bring some trivia questions in a particular category for Ian to answer.  (Of course, we hope you’ll play along with us as you’re listening while driving home from work or sitting in your living room.)  At the end of each program, I’ll pose a challenge for you and Ian to think about during the week.  Although it won’t be exactly the same, those of you who listen to Will Shortz on Weekend Edition Sunday will have an idea of what I’m talking about.

Each week after the show, we’ll post the questions on our website (, in case you miss one or you want to remind yourself how smart you were that week.  We’ll throw in  a couple of “extra credit” questions, in case you want to prove you’re even smarter than you originally thought.  We’ll even have an e-mail address ( so you can write in and tell us just how smart you are.  (Sorry, no prizes for beating Ian’s score…all you get is the right to brag that we read your name on the air during a two-and-a-half-minute public radio quiz program.  And maybe not even that.)

I think that about covers it.  Any questions?



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Ian Pickus

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian has been with WAMC as a producer since late 2008. He began working on Morning Edition and now produces The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and various other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard filling in as Morning Edition and Weekend Edition anchor. An avid fan of sports and music, Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany.

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