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Hey New Yorkers: check out Ira Glass in a charity spelling bee, this Thursday 9/30.

Sep 27, 2010

This Thursday, September 30th Ira Glass will participate in the Spelling Beast, a fundraiser for the students of 826 NYC (a great nonprofit that teaches kids writing skills). Fellow competitors Catherine Keener, Dave Eggers and Kristen Schaal will join Ira in bee, which is being judged by the creators of the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

You can get involved in several ways:

Purchase tickets to attend the event, at Canal Room.

Compete in the Spelling Beast yourself!

Or donate to a competitor's fund, which will help him or her bribe the judges.

Thanks,
- Your friends at This American Life

Ira Glass has a cameo in the season Premiere of The Simpsons!

Sep 21, 2010

Bart Simpson Alert! Ira Glass (or his voice, at least) will appear briefly in the season premiere of The Simpsons, this coming Sunday September 26th at 8PM/7PM Central. We're told the episode is titled "Elementary School Musical." Tune in!

David Rakoff reads from his new book!

Sep 16, 2010

This American Life iPhone app One of our regular contributors David Rakoff has a new book called Half Empty, and is coming to a city near you for a reading/Q&A/signing! You can hear him interviewed about the book on Fresh Air, here.

Tuesday, September 21—New York City
7:00pm
Barnes and Noble, Union Square - 33 East 17th Street

Wednesday, September 22—Baltimore
7:00pm
Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Library - 400 Cathedral Street

Thursday, September 23—Washington DC
7:00pm
Politics and Prose - 5015 Connecticut Ave NW

Monday, September 27—Columbus, OH
7:30pm
Thurber House Event - The Columbus Performing Center - 549 Franklin Ave

Tuesday, September 28—Chicago
6:00pm
Chicago Public Library - 400 S State Street

Wednesday, September 29—Minneapolis/St.Paul
7:00pm
Minnesota Public Radio Author Series - 480 Cedar Street, St. Paul

Friday, October 1—San Francisco
8:00pm
City Arts and Lectures - Herbst Theater - 401 Van Ness Ave

Thursday, October 7—Seattle
7:30pm
University Books - Town Hall - 1119 Eighth Ave (at Seneca Street)

Saturday, October 9—Portland, OR
Wordstock Festival

Wednesday, October 13—New York City
7:00pm
Three Lives - 154 West 10th Street

Thursday, October 14—Brooklyn
7:30pm
Greenlight Bookstore - 686 Fulton Street

Saturday, October 16—Boston
Boston Book Festival

Wednesday, October 20—New York City
7:30pm
Symphony Space - 2537 Broadway - in conversation with Sloane Crosley

Chicago Magazine includes This American Life on its "Top 40" List

Sep 2, 2010
We're #36 on Chicago Magazine's list of "Chicago's Top 40 Artistic Breakthroughs", which also includes our friend Chris Ware (interviewed in Episode 178: Superpowers, with a link to one of his comics) and our radio forefather Studs Terkel (some of whose stories you can hear in Episode 368: Who Do You Think You Are?). Plus Muddy Waters, Second City and Wilco. But no Oprah.

Please rate our iPhone app

Sep 1, 2010

Hello, users of the This American Life iPhone app. If you have a second, would you mind heading over to the iTunes store and giving it a rating? This American Life iPhone app And if you have more than a few seconds, please write a review. App ratings tend to skew to the negative, partly because you're prompted to write reviews when you uninstall an app, and we're hoping to get a more accurate picture of how it's working.

If you use the app but haven't updated to version 2, you really should. It includes cool new features like offline listening, background listening and marking episodes as heard. If you don't have the app, it's only three bucks to download.

If you'd like to send direct feedback about the This American Life iPhone app, email talappfeedback@prx.org. Please include what model of iPhone/iPod Touch you have, and what iOS you're running.

Thanks a lot!

Our audio player is now embeddable!

Aug 30, 2010

Is embeddable a word?

Anyway, you can now embed This American Life episodes on your blog or website, like how you can with YouTube videos. To get embed code, just click 'share' on the episode page or on the pop-up player. It'll look like this on your page:

Have fun, and thanks for spreading the word about the show!

Ira Glass answers 21 questions for New York Magazine

Aug 24, 2010
New York Magazine asked Ira 21 kind of random questions, in advance of a benefit show that he is doing in New York this weekend with Rachel Maddow and a bunch of other talented folks.

Friends with a Benefit

Aug 18, 2010

Ira writing here.

To everyone in or near New York: I'm going to be appearing onstage with Rachel Maddow on Sunday August 29th at Town Hall in New York City. It's part of a charity show to raise money for the American Bird Conservancy, one of the groups trying to restore the ecosystem of the Gulf in the wake of the BP oil spill.

It seems like it's going to be an amazing show of comedians and musicians, plus Rachel and me. I'll be interviewing her on stage. I have things I've wanted to ask her for years. I'm very very excited. I'm told she's also going to sing.

Other performers:

Mike Birbiglia (who has been on our radio show many times)
Tig Notaro (who's this standup comedian I just love, who's also on The Sarah Silverman Program)
Lucy Wainwright Roche (singer/songwriter)
Erin McKeown (singer/songwriter)
Michelle Collins (from VH1's Best Week Ever)
Gabe Delahaye (of Videogum)
Jamie Kilstein (from Citizen Radio)
Rob Lathan (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, The Colbert Report, etc.)
Barkuna (that's a band)

The hosts are Christina Gausas and Scott Adsit. Adsit you may recognize from 30 Rock. Gausas was a regular on Conan O'Brien, and has done comedy lots of other places. They have a regular improv show together at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, probably the most sophisticated, funny improv show I've ever seen.

You can buy seats here.

One night only! Tickets are going fast.
Sunday August 29th
Town Hall
123 W. 43rd Street

Awesome new features in version 2.0 of our iPhone app!

Aug 10, 2010

We’ve just released an updated version of our iPhone app, which includes three features that lots of listeners asked for. First, you can save one show at a time for offline listening when you don’t have an internet connection. Second, you can easily keep track of which shows you’ve already heard. And third, for all you folks with the newest version of the iOS software, you can close the app and keep listening in the background while you do other stuff on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Pretty slick, eh?

Here’s Ira Glass talking in more detail about these features:

If you already have the app, it’s a free update. If you don’t have the app, you can download now for $3 and get on-demand access to the entire archive of This American Life.

For all you Android users, stay tuned. The Android app is coming soon.

Haider Goes To Amsterdam

Aug 10, 2010

This coming Thursday, August 12th, an outdoor film festival in Amsterdam called Pluk de Nacht ("Seize the Night") will screen several stories from the This American Life television show. Last night as a teaser for the screening, the festival showed the story of Haider Hamza, "Ask An Iraqi," from Season Two, Episode Two. Here are some photos of the screening, which drew a crowd of about 2500. If you happen to be in Amsterdam, check out the show on Thursday.


Pluk de Nacht 1


Pluk de Nacht 2


Pluk de Nacht 3


Pluk de Nacht 4


Pluk de Nacht 5

photos courtesy of Pluk de Nacht.