Heavyweight – ITUNES

Jonathan Goldstein has a dry, self-deprecating wit and an ability to ask all the right questions.

Jonathan Goldstein has a dry, self-deprecating wit and an ability to ask all the right questions.

I first heard podcast maker Jonathan Goldstein as a guest on Mystery Show, the cult Starlee Kine podcast that lasted just one season in 2015. Goldstein, a laconic Canadian, wanted Kine to solve the mystery of the picture on the Welcome Back, Kotter lunchbox from the 1970s – it depicted a strange scene that was never actually on the show. Goldstein was obsessed with it, and I felt like I’d discovered my nerdy pop-culture twin.

So when he started the Heavyweight podcast in 2016, I was all ears. After four seasons, I still am. Goldstein takes people back to a moment in their lives they wish they could change or they want explained – sometimes it’s something they did; sometimes it’s something they didn’t do; often it’s something they regret or don’t understand.

For the first season, he focused on his family, his friends and himself. Then he took on stories from the hundreds of leads sent in by listeners – Rachael had a baby 10 years ago but never informed the father; Jesse wants to connect with the driver of a car that nearly killed him.

Season four started in late September and there’s been another slight shift. Goldstein has a dry, self-deprecating wit, but this season, despite the occasional zinger, he sounds softer and more sentimental. That could have something to do with the stories – a woman wonders about the man her late grandmother always talked about so lovingly; two adult sisters puzzle over a beloved babysitter who disappeared from their lives. On the surface, these appear to be small stories – it’s
a testament to Goldstein’s skill that he reports deeply, asks all the right questions and gets much more than even the people in his stories bargained for.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale November 3.

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