The ground floor of Philadelphia radio station WHYY houses the two-room studio of the 18-year-old call-in show, Voices in the Family. In one room the host, psychologist Dan Gottlieb, interviews his guests and whatever callers his producer puts through to him. The second room, separated from the first by a large glass window, holds computers, sound equipment and the few viewers who gather to “watch” the radio show.

Today, Feb. 3, I’m one of the watchers. I asked if I could come to a show to see Gottlieb in action, and he readily agreed. “It’s a particularly busy show,” he says. “Usually I only have one guest plus the callers, but today I have four guests.”

The show is every Monday at noon. He meets me at 11:30, right before he welcomes his guests in the station’s lobby. I notice two things about him immediately: He smiles a lot, and covering his joystick is the Sesame Street character, Elmo. He