Those enamored of daredevil digressions and boisterous banter were bowled over by the premiere season of Minnesota Public Radio's "Wits" in the spring of 2010. The inventive radio show series, staged at the Fitzgerald Theater with host John Moe and musical accompaniment/ever-snappy sidekick John Munson, featured pithy conversations on out-there topics ("Chickens and other dilemmas," for example) from humorists John Hodgman and Julia Sweeney, alongside milder-mannered but no less riveting repartee from the likes of Orchid Thief author Susan Orlean and satirist George Saunders. With each speaker complemented by an estimable coterie of call-in commentators and rotating guest musicians, "Wits" lived up to its name with sharp minds never in short supply during its inaugural run. The 2011 series kicks off tonight with comedian Patton Oswalt, a pop-culture pundit whose caustic standup material and acid tongue will be accompanied by musical performances from Grant Lee Phillips and dialed-in drollery from telephone guest Paul F. Tompkins.
Fri., March 25, 8 p.m., 2011