December 18, 2017

The Paradise Garage

by The Nod

Background show artwork for The Nod
Reggie Ossé, friend of The Nod and host of The Combat Jack Show, explains how a wild night of dancing and partying helped him get into his dream law school. And Producer Emanuele Berry shares the story of the man who made that magic night happen: DJ Larry Levan.


UPDATED 12/20/17: A new note from Brittany and Eric, on the passing of our dear friend Reggie Ossé:

It’s impossible to begin to process that our friend and mentor Reggie Ossé, also known as Combat Jack, has passed.

So much more than his long list of accomplishments, Reggie was an absolute force. The type of person you gravitate towards when he’s in the room. His laugh and smile were contagious. You just wanted to be in his space, if for no other reason than to listen to him talk. His stories and wisdom were endless. Those qualities alone can be enough to make a person great, but Reggie went beyond that.

He was interested in getting to know you, regardless of who you were. Before we had a show at Gimlet Media, Reggie was unfailingly kind and open, and he always looked out. When we’d see him out or around the office, he always asked how we were doing, how For Colored Nerds was going, whether people were treating us right. Then he would listen closely. He followed up, he cared. He treated us as friends and colleagues. We’ll never forget that generosity.

The only thing that brings us some comfort is that in our last conversation, Reggie told us that a lot of people get their roses after they're gone, but he actually got to see his. He got to see the love, support, and respect that people have for him. He heard countless stories about the small and large things that he did for people that meant so much.

Reggie got his roses while he was still here. And he got to see that his legacy will continue on, long after this very sad day. We’ll do everything we can to make sure of that

  • Brittany and Eric

A note from Brittany and Eric:
Reggie is a dear friend and mentor of ours. We got the chance to work together and get to know him while he was hosting another Gimlet show, Mogul.

Not long ago he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Without him laying the track with the Combat Jack Show and the Loud Speakers Network, shows like For Colored Nerds and The Nod might not exist. He’s been an inspiration and, more than that, a source of encouragement for scores of people. We are supporting him in his new fight to #CombatCancer.

Reggie isn’t exactly looking for pity… or tears even. He told us that out of this situation, he hopes to raise awareness about cancer risks and early detection. African-American men are at significantly higher risk for colon cancer. We’d like to encourage all of our male listeners to get your colon screened if you are 45 and older and even earlier if you have a history of the disease in your family.The best way to treat cancer is to catch it early. For more information on the topic, you can visit the American Cancer society website at


The Nod is produced by Brittany Luse, with Eric Eddings, Kate Parkinson-Morgan, and Emanuele Berry. With production assistance from Wallace Mack. Thank you to James T. Green for bringing Reggie’s Paradise Garage story to life. Our senior producer is Sarah Abdurrahman. We are edited by Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Nicole Pasulka. Engineering from Cedric Wilson. Additional engineering assistance this week from Haley Shaw. Our theme music is by Calid B. Additional music in the show from: Bobby Lord, Smoke M2D, Jupyter, Chilly Willy and Daniel M. Peterson