This is Hell! is a weekly radio interview show broadcast without the virtue of money or the vice of political agenda. Every Saturday morning, your bitter, blind, broke, gap-toothed host Chuck Mertz works off his hangover talking to the journalists, authors and activists working to make this world a slightly less hellish place. And we do it all live, uninterrupted and unedited, Saturdays at 9 AM Central on WNUR 89.3FM Chicago and podcast to the world shortly after.

What we try to do is give our listeners access to information and perspectives that are muted or overlooked by mainstream media here in the States. When we cover stories that are in the mainstream, we hope to bring you unique views and analysis, including those of eyewitnesses directly affected by the day’s events, instead of solely depending on the opinions of politicians, pundits and those puppets dancing on the stage of big business.

“You can have a guest on for a long period of time. There is no rule against it. Other shows just decided not to do it.”

Each broadcast features long-form interviews with writers, thinkers and workers from around the world and across the spectrum of experience. Our interviews are built on research and critical analysis, not preconceived opinions or political agendas. This is Hell! is not a soap box, or a pulpit, or an audition for a corporate job somewhere. It’s a bar stool, three beers into a conversation with a fascinating stranger. It’s the news-stand of your dreams that would go broke in the real world.

“I feel like the news should be bad news.”

Media criticism is build into everything we do at TiH! because we’re critics. How could we not be? The people with the expensive equipment are all too busy selling us wars and erection drugs to ask even basic questions about the political and economic structures that govern our lives. We don’t have millions of dollars, but we don’t need to earn millions of dollars. We know how to read, how to ask questions, and how to think.

And we don’t tell our audience what to think, but what to think about. At least, this is our goal … and we try to do this without boring you to death.

Awards and Praise:

Best Morning Show 2013, 2012, 2011. Best Journalist 2013, 2012. Best Radio DJ 2013, 2011.
- Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago Reader’s Poll

“He is unabashedly partisan on matters of peace and justice, and gives his interviewees the opportunity to express themselves as boldly as they like. He upholds the best standards of independent media – honesty, courage, refusal to play the game.”
- Howard Zinn

“I applaud Chuck’s professionalism, his incisive wit, his keen sense of the moment. He is one of the most important social commentators on the American scene. I only wish I could remember appearing on his program.”
- Matt Taibbi

“Chuck is one of the best prepared hosts I’ve ever encountered and he asks extremely perceptive questions — not just one or two, but almost every single question. And I must say that having 30 to 40 minutes for an interview really makes a big difference. The guests can answer questions with some nuance. I’m extremely impressed.”
- Mohamad Bazzi

“Mertz’s hate is pure, and funny.”
- Alexander Cockburn

“A little paranoid.”
- The Daily Northwestern


This is Hell! is produced by Theron Humiston, Alexander Jerri, Spencer “Thunderball” Thayer, and Richard Norwood.


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  • braam


    A possible correspondence.

  • billrose

    Nice photo. But I don’t see any gaps in the teeth !

  • http://alexanderjerri.com Alexander Jerri

    Thanks for the tip – we’ll look into the blog!

  • http://alexanderjerri.com Alexander Jerri

    Hard to tell here, but you can really see them on the radio!

  • IndyRadio

    now that I see you just looking relaxed, you remind me of someone I know who used to get high all the time LOL but it’s OK! just don’t blow it at the bird SQUAAWK! this isn’t the original IndyRadio bird – no, just a friend who flew in

  • MJ

    Hey Chuck – was on the NU campus today for my daughter’s quiz bowl competition. Took on brief walk around campus and saw you (behind the glass and LCD) in the WNUR studio – nice digs. I haven’t been keeping up with TIH lately – but am glad to hear (and see) you and your crew are still going strong. Best wishes from Mount Prospect! Time to grab me some TIH podcasts.

  • ron pollard

    I’m a photographer so I’m stuck on the computer anytime that I’m not photographing. Photoshop is HELL! But thank god for the podcast realm. I started listening to TIH about a month ago, it’s now a staple of mine. I can’t believe you got ZIZEK! I know that you get pitched stories non-stop but I have a big fish, I have a collection of Russian art that has the craziest story behind it. A deposed Russian curator called our collection “The red flag for the Russian bull”. The Russians dumped this stuff in the 90′s when the country went into the tank. Now the Kremlin propaganda machine is trying to call it all fake, they actually claim it was painted by mobsters! Here’s the website if you have any interest: http://www.artofthezero.com/

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  • Wesley Everest

    Thank you Chuck and Mr Foley for highlighting the epidemic of sickness that is in the workplace. It is a labor issue, and one more time, organized labor is invisible. The Bullying Institute and the Drs Naime are so far ahead on this issue. I attend the Healthy Workplace Advocates meeting regularly here in Sacramento, and though it is a lobbying group for the Healthy Workplace Bill, it generally ends into a group support meeting for the emotionally damaged that find us, some traveling hundreds of miles as they cannot find any help in the police or legal system. Many of these stories are so mean spiirited and cruel it is amazing, and all legal.

    Thank you again, Hell. We will have a better society when we have a better workplace.

    Martin C
    East Sac, CA


  • me


    Hey Chuck interview Hersh or these reporters on the child sex torture angle.

    American Psychological Association participated in this torture program.

    If corporations are people is the American Psychological Association a child sex torturer?

  • Admiral Fitzroy

    Chuck, just love the show –I’m listening to a download of show 20150801, in which you speak of the wretchedness of Grolsch & Heineken, and “thank Allah” those bad-beer days are long gone –you bet! I’m in Saudi Arabia: thank Allah indeed! Were you to say that HERE, it would be off with your head, woosh!

  • Cherish O’Connor

    Devilman, I’m gonna donate $333.00 on the first of December or a day before, 2015. Hope it helps. Try and stay warm this winter, I love you!!!