This American Life Contributors On Stage in New York

Jun 22, 2010
The Talent Show

It's another variety show, this one featuring two This American Life regulars: Dave Hill and producer Jane Feltes (who will teach the audience how to look beautiful in pictures). Also: Jeff Garlin!

This Thursday, June 24, 8 PM at the Gershwin Hotel, 7 E. 27th Street in New York. $5.

Click here for tickets.

Ira Glass in "The Quill"

Jun 16, 2010
When Ira Glass and producer Ben Calhoun visited Mt. Pleasant High School for our show on True Urban Legends, they met some of the students and teachers involved in the school’s Literary Society, which publishes an annual magazine, the Cardinal Quill. After the story aired, Mt. Pleasant junior Sandra Ly conducted a series of interviews with Ira for the Quill. Here’s the finished product, hot off the presses (click to view large):

Public Radio Wedding Proposal

Jun 14, 2010
Ira writes: I did a speech this weekend for the Dallas Museum of Art's series "Arts and Letters Live." This guy, Mike, emailed saying he and his girlfriend Kathy would be there, and would I consider asking her to marry him, from the stage? That seemed like something he should probably ask, not me, so we arranged for me to interview him over the phone two days before the speech. He told me how he didn't like the GF when he first met her at church, she didn't seem interested in current events, he was very judgey:

She was "very pretty, very fashionable," one of those "pretty, popular girls." Right. And who likes that? But they were out with friends getting lunch after church or bible study one week and Mike mentioned our radio show and Kathy turned out to be an expert on the show, which made him start to think differently of her:

Didn't hurt her feelings about him either. And so he choose my speech as the setting to ask her to marry him. At the event, I played clips of our conversation, including the moment he asked her — on tape — to marry him.

The audience went nuts. Kathy was all "how is this happening?" We brought up the house lights and then brought them onstage. It was amazing. I got all choked up and had a hard time continuing the speech.

After the show they came backstage and we took these pictures.

Mike and Kathy

Mike, Kathy, and Ira

Ira Glass on Slate

Jun 9, 2010
Ira writes: This interviewer got me talking about all sorts of things I never really talk about in interviews. It gets better as it goes along. Part of a series of interviews she's doing about being wrong.

Erie Canal Dance Remix!

Jun 7, 2010
Ira writes: We have no idea who these people are or what led them to make this video, but we love them. This is their original remix of the song by Dave Hill and Nancy Updike from episode #400: Stories Pitched By Our Parents.

This American Life from Jeff Carpenter on Vimeo.


Jun 3, 2010

Ira writes: A few months ago I made my classical music debut in a concert with my cousin - there is no way to say this that doesn't sound impossibly pretentious - Philip Glass. It wasn't an intimidating venue. He was playing with a sextet at the Apple Store in Soho, a show that was recorded to sell on the iTunes store.

I do a piece that Philip used to perform onstage with Allen Ginsberg. They were close friends. It's Ginsberg's poem "Wichita Vortex Sutra" set to a piano score. I love this poem and know well the original recording they did of it together. It was incredibly fun to read the poem while Philip played next to me, and here's the thing I can tell you about reading onstage with my cousin the famous composer: he plays really really loud. It's like reading a poem next to a helicopter.

You can get my piece, or the whole concert, here.

If you go to the site, the most amazing parts of the show were the excepts from Symphony No. 3 played by the sextet. That piece is gorgeous, with these six melodies weaving against each other in the most beautiful way, and their performance was kind of breathtaking.

Eight Months of This American Life... in One Minute

May 27, 2010

In hopes that it will entice you to donate, Ira Glass has put together a minute-long recap of the last eight months of This American Life. It features memorable clips from some of the most ambitious and varied shows we've ever produced. Take a listen:

A Message from Ira...

May 14, 2010

Over the last several months we've tried to do an especially ambitious run of shows: investigative reports, an original Broadway song, the history of GM told through one car plant that could've saved the company, Rest Stop, #1 Party School, and the show where we all produced stories pitched by our parents – to name just a few.

Research findings

May 12, 2010
We did some research, and determined that approximately 1/12th of your friends have birthdays in May. We did some more research, and found that we have a store where you can buy This American Life merchandise. We have no idea if these two findings are related, but thought we'd put them out there.

Things Not Returning to the Scene of the Crime

Apr 30, 2010

This weekend we are re-airing an episode of our radio show that was recorded onstage in front of an audience and beamed out live to 430 movies theaters around the country. We've got some video extras to share with you to supplement your listening experience.

The first is a sad, beautiful cartoon put together by Chris Ware called "Quimby The Mouse" featuring Eugene by Andrew Bird and animation by John Kuramoto.

The second is the musical theatrical debut of filmmaking legend Joss Whedon in which he performs a song about DVD commentaries.

If you still want more we've also got a DVD of the show, which includes a great story by Starlee Kine that we didn't have time to include in the radio broadcast... and of course, a DVD commentary.