Ian Shoales

StudioTulsa & Points-Of-View Commentator

Merle Kessler is a founding member of the legendary Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre, Merle Kessler is a writer, humorist, and performer, best known perhaps by his pen name, Ian Shoales. As Ian Shoales he has been churning out cranky yet strangely humorous commentaries since 1979.

First heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, he has been featured on Morning Edition, ABC’s Nightline and the online magazine, Salon. In addition, his pieces have been published in the New York Times, LA Times, the San Francisco Examiner, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the Minneapolis Tribune, among other publications. Merle (as Ian Shoales) recently co-starred in, and co-wrote (with composer partner J. Raoul Brody) Slouching Towards Disneyland, a wild story of the history of the world. A new show, Why We Can't Have Nice Things, is in the works. He is a regular commentator for the weekly public radio program, Philosophy Talk.

The odd commentaries of Ian Shoales are a random feature of Public Radio Tulsa's daily arts and culture program StudioTulsa.

Experience the magic of Duck's Breath Mystery Theater. Read more about Ian and hear a sampling of his commentaries... 

Ways to Connect

The closest I'll ever get to Australia is an Outback Steakhouse. 

Honey Bees

Jul 18, 2013

I know I take an unholy glee in worst-case scenarios and far-fetched conspiracy theories, especially if they're based on purely anecdotal evidence.

The BBC and Adverts

Jul 8, 2013

The pop group was said to have been made so that companies could buy them off-the-shelf.  

I've been told that it's a glorified Powerpoint demonstration.

"Where's the money?" wondered the New York Times.

Physics of Locality

Jan 23, 2013

Reality, could, in fact, be a popularity contest.

Do other tourist attractions have this problem?

It is too painful to think that I'll lose my Florida cottage.

I hope you will join me at 8 pm at internet headquarters.

I like to think that in another world, I'm the Mayor of Europe.

I confess to being a two-spacer myself. Do we really need the semicolon?

Wouldn't that turn the E-reader into a...book?


Jun 13, 2012

A television remake of "The Munsters"? Ian Shoales asks why the heck anyone would bother with such....

Cheez Whiz

May 26, 2012

Let us not surrender the memories of what it meant to us.

Flat is the New Up

May 6, 2012

An inexplicable catch phrase is drifting into everything.

Moody Computers

Mar 31, 2012

 I don't know if I want a computer that knows my mood. I have ex-girlfriends for that.

Money & Banks

Mar 19, 2012

Easy money? Zombie money? Robot money from the future?

iPod Backlash

Mar 14, 2012

People make little outfits for their iPod! I'll appear in public headphone-free. I gotta go.


Mar 9, 2012

America needs more edge. Things are too calm around here - people are too reasonable!