Radio Reporter Recalls the Time Kurt Vonnegut Proposed to His Wife

The keynote speaker at this year’s “Night of Vonnegut” fundraiser celebration in Indianapolis will be Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio (pictured). Ahead of the April 19 event at the Vonnegut Library, the APM (American Public Media) radio vet explained to Nuvo managing editor Ed Wenck that he hooked up with the library during a previous visit to Indianapolis and is very proud of his encounter with the late author on behalf of one-time PBS newsmagazine NOW.

Brancaccio started out as a co-host on that program with Bill Moyers before eventually taking over as the sole host. It was during that latter stage that he conducted what would turn out to be Vonnegut’s final long-form TV interview:

“He sat down with me for hours. We put about an hour of it on the air. It was a great honor. The interview wasn’t right at the end of his life — I think he was with us for another year and a half after that…”

“Vonnegut was amazing. He proposed marriage to my wife who hardly ever showed up for my interviews. She pointed out he was already married and also mentioned — very politely — that she was also already married. He was very intense; very radical.”

Brancaccio goes on to explain exactly what Vonnegut meant when he urged the reporter to “join a gang”, and also details how he came to connect the late author’s work with the sensibilities of Mad magazine. Rest of the Nuvo Q&A here.

P.S. We love the Vonnegut Library’s dress-code guidelines for Saturday’s event:

Don’t miss the most “glamorous” night of the year for Kurt Vonnegut fans — which doesn’t mean formal! Feel free to dress up or down, a la Kilgore Trout, as you like. And thank you for your support!