MADISON – About 30 years ago Santa Claus landed his sleigh on top of Vilas Hall, the home of Wisconsin Public Radio, on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus. Santa had agreed to be a guest on WPR’s popular “The Larry Meiller Show” to take calls and questions from kids around the state.
Host Meiller vividly recalls his first time interviewing Santa in what has now become an annual tradition. “It was a particularly snowy day,” Meiller said. “The sleigh had a very rough landing and came really close to hitting one of our satellite dishes. It was a good thing Rudolph’s nose helped guide him and the other reindeer to a safe landing.”
That day was the beginning of a tradition that continues this year with Santa joining Meiller for his show at 11 a.m. Dec. 24 on WPR’s The Ideas Network stations statewide. “It’s really a lot of fun hearing from all the kids who call in to talk with Santa,” said Jill Nadeau, producer of the show. “The special relationship between Santa and Larry adds that extra twinkle to the program.”
Meiller says he looks forward to having Santa on the radio every year. “Santa really cares about our kids. You can hear it in how he listens and interacts with them on the air; it’s my favorite show of the year,” he said.
Santa will be on the radio with Meiller from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve and kids can call him live during the show at 800-642-1234. They can also leave a voice-message for him before Dec. 22 at 833-424-3327 or email Ideas@wpr.org with “Santa” in the subject line. A complete listing of special holiday programs on WPR is available at wpr.org/holidays.