Brady Carlson is a radio host, writer and musician from Madison, Wisconsin.
You may have heard him on the air on Wisconsin Public Radio, where he’s worked since 2016. Or maybe you heard him on New Hampshire Public Radio, where he hosted and reported for over a decade. Maybe you caught a few of his stories on national broadcasts of NPR shows like All Things Considered, Weekend Edition or Here and Now.
Or maybe you read his book Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nation’s Leaders (W.W. Norton & Company, 2016), in which he traveled to all the gravesites of the US presidents, telling the surprising origin stories of famous spots like the Washington Monument and Mount Rushmore, while introducing readers to lesser-known and surprising places like Millard Fillmore’s grave in Buffalo, N.Y. – just yards away from the grave of funk legend Rick James – and a town in Iowa that plays a sport known as Hoover-Ball.
A.J. Jacobs called Dead Presidents “the funniest and most entertaining book about death you’ll read this year – and my favorite book about corpses since Mary Roach’s Stiff.” Robert Sullivan described the book as “a terrific investigation of the post-life presidency, a rollicking but always thoughtful exploration of the after-the-White-House whereabouts of the forever former chief executives. Brady Carlson is the perfect road-trip companion, smart and good-hearted.”
Since 2019, Brady has produced a short daily podcast called Cool Weird Awesome; the name of the show tells you what kinds of stories are in there. Since 2018, he’s been recording and releasing indie-rock music under the name Cold Holiday. It’s loud and melodic.
If you explore the site you’ll find a pretty eclectic mix of projects, from the reviews of “so bad they’re good” movies and a 2010 project where Brady live-blogged every episode of “The A-Team.” And don’t forget People of Local News, a photo gallery of some of the strangest descriptions (“Sausage Fell On House”? “Caught Falling Cat With American Flag”?) that have ever been used to describe people on local TV news shows.
Brady has worked as a public librarian, an overnight stock clerk, a community theater director, a custodian, a schoolteacher, a warehouse laborer, an adjunct college professor, an office receptionist and a walking billboard at a plastics industry trade show.
He and his wife and their three kids live in Madison, Wisconsin.
Here are links to Brady’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, but he’s not really on social media anymore. If you have a question or a comment, send him a message on this site and he will (usually) write back.