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 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.

Sticking It to The Man

Aug 6, 2010

Ira Glass writes:

Hi listeners and friends! We're looking for one more story for next week's show.

Have you been in a situation where you tried to stick it to the man ... and failed?

Have you tried and succeeded gloriously?

Have you ever tried to get the final word with a boss by quitting in a dramatic way? How'd that go?

Email quickly (by Tuesday morning) to:

Thanks so much.

Yours for better radio,

- Ira

New in the store - This American Life: Behind the Scenes DVD

Jul 26, 2010

In late 2009, Ira Glass and six other This American Life producers took the stage at New York's 92nd Street Y, to talk for the first time as a group about how the show is put together. It ended up being a really fun night. Cameras were rolling, and now you can get a DVD of the event. The show includes a rare audio interview with our boss Torey Malatia (yep, he's real) about what it's like to be made fun of at the end of every episode. The DVD has cool packaging design by Susanna Vagt, beautiful menu animation by John Kuramoto, and even some hidden bonus features. We haven't printed too many, so get 'em while they're hot.

You can listen to Ira Glass describe the DVD below.

Abel Gonzales' Million Dollar Idea

Jul 26, 2010
Abel Gonzales' Million Dollar Idea

A few weeks ago when we were working on the episode Million Dollar Idea, we put a call out to listeners who wanted to share their schemes for making it big. Producer Robyn Semien talked with some of the folks who wrote in, including Abel Gonzales. Here's audio of Robyn interviewing Abel about his newest invention, which is honestly pretty amazing.