181: The Friendly Man

181: The Friendly Man

Apr 6, 2001
A special show, composed entirely of stories from just one This American Life contributor: Scott Carrier, whose strange and compelling stories sound like nothing else on the radio.
  • Ira tells the story about how Scott first got into radio. He was listening to a story on the radio one day, thought "I can do that," and promptly hitchhiked across the country to Washington, to the headquarters of NPR. (3 minutes) JournalismRadioTravel

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  • At a fairly bleak time in his life, Scott took a job driving all over the state of Utah, interviewing people who were diagnosed with schizophrenia. His job was to administer a standard test, which measured mental health. The more interviews he conducted and the more familiar he became with the questions on the test, the more he began to wonder about his own sanity. (15 minutes)Jobs/EmploymentMental Health

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  • It's another not-so-great period in Scott's life. This time he takes a job inside his profession, as a producer for a national commercial radio program. His boss is a nationally recognized host who Scott refers to only as "The Friendly Man." Again, things don't go so well. (16 minutes) AutomobilesJobs/EmploymentJournalismPolice

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  • Scott goes on a quest to discover if the amnesia in the movies—where someone gets bonked on the head and forgets everything—ever happens in real life. And if so, could he, somehow, get it to happen to him? (13 minutes) DrugsHealth Care/MedicineJournalismMental Health
    Song:
    • "Don't Forget Me", Marianne Faithfull

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  • Scott interviews his 11-year-old daughter about his marriage. She sheds light on the previous three stories in the show. (7 minutes) ChildrenFamilyFathersMarriage

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