This American Life

This American Life documents and describes contemporary America, but it is, quite literally, a special kind of radio storytelling. Built around the innovative personal vision of host Ira Glass, the program explores a weekly theme — fiascos, conventions, the job that takes over your life — through a playful mix of radio monologues, mini-documentaries, "found tape," short fiction, and unusual music. Usually the program applies the tools of journalism to everyday life. But sometimes it tackles news stories, leading to some of its most distinctive and acclaimed shows. "This American Life" did an hour documenting life on an aircraft carrier that was flying missions over Afghanistan during the war there. It spent another hour with mercenary soldiers fighting in Iraq. One show followed school reform at a Chicago public school over a decade. Another was about the most successful informant in FBI history, and how he double-crossed his employer, Archer Daniels-Midland, and then the FBI. The stories presented are engaging, intimate, surprising, funny, disturbing, bittersweet. Glass and his staff have an unusual knack for finding writers and performers whose work hasn't been heard on radio, and producing their stories alongside his own disarming commentary in a way that listeners praise as "riveting," "mesmerizing." Breakout stars from the show include David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell.
Schedule:

Saturday 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM on WUSF 89.7

Contact Info:

Contact the Show

Host:
Ira Glass

Ira Glass started working in public radio in 1978, when he was 19, as an intern at NPR's Washington headquarters. Over the course of the next 17 years, he worked on nearly every NPR news show and did nearly every production job they had: he was a tape-cutter, desk assistant, newscast writer, editor, producer, reporter, and substitute host. He spent a year in a high school for NPR, and a year in an elementary school, filing every week or two for All Things Considered. He moved to Chicago in 1989 and put This American Life on the air in November of 1995.

From This American Life

  • #583: It’ll Make Sense When You’re Older
    At first, it’s super annoying, getting told it’ll make sense when you’re older. Then, when you’re a teenager, hard lessons are learned, despite your best efforts to be too cool to care. By the time you’re actually old, you know a bunch of stuff— and you’re desperate to hold onto it. You might even wonder HOW you know all the things you know. Hosted by Chana Joffe-Walt and featuring SNL’s Sasheer Zamata.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/R_7gwKLGM88" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #614: The Other Mr. President
    Since Russia meddled in our election, there's been concern that the fake news and disinformation that's so prevalent there could be taking hold in this country. But is that hyperbole? This week we look at what it's actually like to live in the confusing information landscape that is Putin's Russia.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/LsyVcmcOzPU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #585: In Defense of Ignorance
    Exactly how incompetent you are. What your ex’s best friend really thinks of you. The approximate time that you will die. Some things in life are better not to know about. And sometimes there can be a benefit to not knowing. In this episode, examples of ignorance truly being bliss, or even being an asset.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/gw_oKGZTT18" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #613: OK, I’ll Do It
    Stories of people who decide that they are the best person for the job, no matter how dangerous. Including a story about a stay-at-home mom with a history of gun running for a guerilla organization, and a surgeon who does surgery...on himself.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/OnOlDGyVrZ0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #220: Testosterone
    Stories of people getting more testosterone and coming to regret it. And of people losing it and coming to appreciate life without it. The pros and cons of the hormone of desire.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/YTbshKtn9Ts" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #612: Ask a Grown-Up
    Stories from people who need a grown-up. Featuring teenage girls asking for advice about their love lives and Ira's tribute to his his very grown-up friend Mary.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/VDZTjkZN6cc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #579: My Damn Mind
    The brain! It's powerful! We have the story of how one man's delusions lead him to a situation that's just as strange as the worst thoughts his mind is cooking up. That story's <a href="http://nyti.ms/1Qw4buA">a collaboration with the New York Times</a>. <br><br> <em>Pictured: Alan Pean, with visible scar from a bullet wound. Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times.</em><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/sWTRijDINr4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #611: Vague and Confused
    A show about rules and what happens when they’re vague and randomly enforced.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/O3jv-7OzKrw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #360: Switched At Birth
    On a summer day in 1951, two baby girls were born in a hospital in small-town Wisconsin. The infants were accidentally switched, and went home with the wrong families.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/PIUgko-mTNY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
  • #610: Grand Gesture
    This week we have stories of people going to very extreme measures to demonstrate their feelings. Elna Baker makes a questionable trip to Africa, while a man in Florida commits a series of disturbing acts in the name of love. Ira also goes to a high school to talk to kids before a dance.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/talpodcast/~4/uGCSaTDWYmo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

FirstChoice eNewsletter