Transcript

564:

Too Soon?
Transcript

Originally aired 08.14.2015

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Full audio: http://tal.fm/564

Prologue.

Ira Glass

Jordan did not love the idea of coming into the studio to tell this next story. The very first thing he said to me when he sat down was--

Jordan Riley

I am curious-- of all the stories, why this story? Because it's not my particularly proudest story.

Ira Glass

In fact, the only reason that he agreed to the interview is that he's good friends with the little brother of one of our producers, Miki. They all grew up together. And this story happened when he was going into his senior year of high school in small town Utah. Jordan and his buddies all lived together in a house that summer, daring each other into Jackass style pranks and stunts.

For instance, there's this time they drove a car into an orchard. There's the bike accident that gave Jordan one huge swollen testicle. There's the time they peed into a 7 Up can, and Miki's mom accidentally drank out of it.

Jordan Riley

I'll tell you it was not my pee in the 7 UP can.

Ira Glass

All right.

Jordan Riley

And I feel like to talk on public radio, there's a part of me that would rather tell America at large about my swollen testicles story. But this is the one that I feel I tell the least.

Ira Glass

The story that he tells the least-- the one that he's about to tell you right now-- is about how he did not become Mr. Genola in the Mr. Genola contest. Genola is a farming town, population 1,300. And the contest was a pageant for guys. There was no Miss Genola pageant. And it was a brand new tradition, only in its second year, and it was not a serious contest. Like the winner the first year, for the talent competition, ate a frozen burrito while it was still frozen. Like, that was his talent.

Jordan's friend, who was also named Jordan, had competed that first year wearing a blow up butterfly float during the swimsuit competition and singing Pearl Jam to his dead frog in the talent section.

Jordan Riley

And he's deciding that we're going to enter the Mr. Genola content and volunteers me to be the participant, the single participant out of our house.

Ira Glass

And just so you can picture this-- they did have an audience of a couple hundred people, because it was scheduled as part of the annual Genola Day celebration. Which has a rodeo, and a greased pig chase, and a town dinner, and a parade.

Jordan Riley

And in the middle of a public park, they took a bunch of wood apple bins and flipped them over, and put some plywood across it and made a stage. And then, probably eight contestants, all high schoolers--

Girl Mc

We're honored to be the MCs for the Mr. Genola pageant. We hope you understand this pageant is not a scholarship pageant.

Ira Glass

In the video of this, you can see two teenaged MCs dressed in spoof awards show wear-- a girl in a checkered jacket with a comically wide lapel, and a boy in formal tails and a vest, no shirt at all, bow tie, and cowboy hat. Jordan and I went right to the part where he comes on stage.

Boy Mc

Our fifth contestant is Jordan Alberto Riley, son of [? Alan ?] and [? Kris ?] Riley. We couldn't find anything special about him.

Jordan Riley

So they just announced me. And you know, it's a small town. They tell me who my parents are. And I come up on the stage, and I'm wearing a shirt with sleeves cut off, and I've got some long hair and a hat. And then I bring up a wheelchair.

[CROWD CLAMORING]

Ira Glass

Jordan had used a wheelchair for a little while after an injury once. Now he starts showing off the tricks he learned then-- popping wheelies and spinning.

Jordan Riley

I just was spinning faster and faster, until me and the wheelchair all spun off to the side, tumbling backwards.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

Ira Glass

After a few more wheelies, Jordan gets up from the chair, flexes his muscles. Heavy metal music kicks in.

[HEAVY METAL MUSIC PLAYING]

And his buddies carry an old door onstage, this door that has a big pane of glass in the top third. Jordan grabs the mike to explain what's going to happen.

Jordan Riley

I'm pretty much just breaking a window. That's about it.

Now, I'm pumping myself up by flexing and shaking my head. And I run at it and give it a good punch through the window. And then I stepped back, and I looked at this window, and there was a triangular piece of glass right in the middle of it. And I looked at that, and I thought, that's funny. I don't remember that glass having blood on it before I punched through it. And stepped back, and I'm just looking at the audience, and I looked down-- down right at my forearm, like almost to my elbow. And there was a hole. And like, in that moment in time, it was like when things go in slow motion.

I remember a severed muscle hanging out. And I'm looking at my forearm, and I think about this time that we went hiking in the Narrows of Zion's national park. And I was carrying a Rambo knife, and I went to go catch a snake. And I cut the side of this snake in his-- you can see some stuff coming out this gash, which I immediately regretted. But I stood there, and I thought about that snake as I looked at my forearm.

Ira Glass

Yeah.

Jordan Riley

And then it seemed like, bam! Fast motion happens. And I turn around, and blood is just splatting on the floor. And the MC steps in. And I'm showing her my arm, and I'm saying, call an ambulance! And she says, is that real?

Ira Glass

Oh, she thought it was a prank. She thought you were just like-- you have fake blood or something.

Jordan Riley

Oh, totally. Everybody did. And then one of my friends tears off his t-shirt and then tourniquets around it. They're like, he's turning white. He's turning white. Just lay him down.

Ira Glass

Kids start rushing the stage to see. We actually talked to one of those kids, who's grown now. And he said that he figured it was fake blood and a really cool prank. And then he got near and saw that it was real. And the next thing he knew, he was waking up under a tree with an oxygen mask. Jordan and his friends believe a few people fainted.

Girl Mc

Ladies and gentlemen, we're getting as cleaned up as soon as we can. Please, that happened totally on accident. I didn't know he was doing that, and we probably wouldn't have allowed it. So for the judges' information, we're going to have Mike [? Huell ?] go before Clark Davis, because Mike's singing and Clark's dancing. So we can let the stage dry for a minute.

Ira Glass

Jordan says that this girl MC, later, said how mad she was that he ruined her pageant. But at this moment, she and the other teenaged MC had to ad-lib their way through this situation that I think even a very experienced public speaker would find challenging. There's a man on stage with them mopping up blood-- like with a mop, there's so much blood. And they have to fill time.

Boy Mc

All right. Um, well, how's the show so far?

[LAUGHTER AND CHEERING]

Ira Glass

That goes over surprisingly well. And so to stall for time, they run through what apparently is the only standby material they have. The boy onstage pulls out a fistful of pages.

Boy Mc

All right. Here's something a man named John put on his answering machine. It says, hi, this is John. If you are the phone company, I already sent the money. If you are my parents, please send money. If you are my friends, you owe me money. If you are a female, don't worry. I have plenty of money.

[LAUGHTER]

Here's another one. Hi, I am probably home. I just-- I'm just--

Ira Glass

They never did another Mr. Genola contest. This pretty much killed it off. The ambulance came. Jordan didn't lose an arm. He's fine. He's in his 30s now. And the phrase that he uses for what he's become now is "contributing member of society." He settled down. He's a farmer-- grows apples, cherries, peaches-- with a family, a young daughter. He hasn't lived in Genola since that summer. But now and then-- this just happened at a farm stand a month ago-- he runs into people who say to him, aren't you the guy who almost cut off his arm in that pageant? That's what they know him for.

Jordan Riley

Well, in the town of Genola, that's my badge to wear.

Ira Glass

Yeah.

Jordan Riley

They know me as the guy who did the Mr. Genola pageant.

Ira Glass

It's been over a decade, and he still doesn't ever watch this video. Too soon. Still makes him wince. I asked him when he will be able to watch this and not wince, and he said he thinks it pretty much always will be too soon for this one.

Jordan Riley

Yeah. Like I said, this was not the proudest story. And just seeing us at that time, in those teenage-- it's just painful to watch. I'm not a fan of that guy.

Ira Glass

Today on our radio program-- "Too Soon." Sometimes it will always be too soon. But sometimes, you can imagine a world where the thing that you're remembering really will become much less of a big deal, and you'll be able to think about it without cringing. If you're lucky, maybe it'll even start to seem funny. We have two stories for you today. In each of them, there's a piece of video that is capturing a moment. And in each of them, the past crashes against the present in this way that is really kind of mesmerizing.

From WBEZ Chicago, it's This American Life. I'm Ira Glass. Stay with us.

Act One. But Wait, There's More!

Ira Glass

So Jordan's story was about a prank gone wrong. And you say this next story is like that, too. Except, in this next story, it is not just one prank. And "wrong" does not capture the sheer wrongness of what you're about to hear. Nancy Updike tells the story.

And I should say, before we start-- if you're listening to this on our podcast or online, we have unbeeped some curse words in the internet version of this story. If you want to listen with your kids in the car, or you just don't like curse words, there's a beeped version available at our website, thisamericanlife.org. OK. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Updike

Harmon Leon is a writer and comedian whose cocktail party story about "the weirdest gig I ever did" is a more weird, by a lot, than anyone else's that I've heard. He answered an ad for a job several years ago that called for a comedian who would be the hilarious sidekick to a celebrity on a new, hidden camera prank TV show.

Harmon Leon

It was on the Los Angeles Craigslist ad. And I'm thinking, oh, it's a celebrity hidden camera show. I've done a bunch of prank stuff. So I sent him my prank reel. I got the job, and they said they couldn't disclose who the celebrity was.

Nancy Updike

Harmon rolled his eyes.

Harmon Leon

Well, just people say that as like, oh, when we tell you who the celebrity is, you're not going to believe it. You're not going to believe it. And your mind just goes, you know, you're jaded--

Nancy Updike

Eh, I'll probably believe it, you think.

Harmon Leon

Yeah, yeah. It's like, is it like the other Hilton sister? Or is it Vanilla Ice? My bar was so low to what it actually turned out to be.

Nancy Updike

Yeah.

Harmon Leon

And they go, OK, are you ready?

Nancy Updike

Are you ready? Because it's O.J. Simpson. A prank show with O.J. Simpson. Harmon thought, that's a terrible idea for a TV show, and I'm definitely taking this job.

Harmon Leon

So the shooting was in a week. So I drove down from San Francisco to LA. I get out of my car. I go to the production office. And the first thing the producer says to me-- "you know, Harmon, we really can't mention the murders."

Nancy Updike

OK. Anyone over 30, please bear with me for a minute. And for the under 30s, here's the O.J. Simpson recap. Handsome, charming, famous football player, Heisman Trophy winner whose nickname was "Juice." After he retired, became even more famous doing commercials, Monday Night Football, movies, TV shows, Saturday Night Live.

And here's the part you probably do know, even if you think you know nothing. In 1994, he was accused of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson and another person, Ron Goldman. You know that because he became a national obsession. 95 million people, give or take, watched the live broadcast of his white Bronco driving the LA freeways with police cars chasing him. That was more than the Superbowl audience that year. 150 million watched the verdict in the trial where he was acquitted of the murders.

This prank show was being filmed about 10 years after that. O.J. Simpson had been mostly out of the public eye for those years. Most Americans at that time, 78%, believed he either probably or definitely killed his ex-wife and Ron Goldman. He lost a civil suit that had found them liable for the deaths. And so--

Harmon Leon

This would be the next step in his career-- doing a zany, hidden camera prank show entitled Juiced.

["JUICED" THEME SONG]

Nancy Updike

Incredibly, this exists. It was a one-time special on Pay Per View. Just one episode, about an hour long. And I've got the DVD on my desk right now. Here's the description on the cover. Quote, "witness O.J. Simpson performing hilarious practical jokes and shocking hidden camera stunts on unsuspecting real life people all across America. No one is safe, because the juice is loose again."

My first question when I saw it was, why does this exist? Which is a dumb question. Reality shows exist because they're cheap to make and people watch them. Maybe a better question is, why isn't this hidden camera prank show from 2006 as well known and scrutinized as every other part of O.J. Simpson's public life? I'm here to say, I think it's worth a look.

Here's a show that was never meant to be taken seriously. And because of that, we get these strange, revealing glimpses of O.J. Goofing around in front of the camera, chatting with strangers, riffing. It's an hour with him unlike any hour you've ever seen. I also think it might be the most mystifying celebrity comeback vehicle ever made.

The show is a whole bunch of short prank scenarios, one after another, in different locations-- fast food place, golf course, bingo parlor. Sometimes O.J. is in disguise. Sometimes he's not. The idea was O.J. Would be someplace doing something, and Harmon's job was to help piss off the people around him. Or in prank show lingo--

Harmon Leon

Try to elevate the action.

Nancy Updike

Exactly. For instance, on a golf course.

Harmon Leon

So the gag was O.J. Will keep golfing with his friends. And then I run on the golf course with a video camera pretending I'm paparazzi trying to film O.J.

Nancy Updike

There was no script. Also, sometimes, not even a road map. Sometimes the producer would jump into the scene himself to elevate the action even more. Or, mercifully, to help conclude it, like at the golf course.

Harmon Leon

That just ended with me and the producer of Juiced rolling around on the golf course wrestling. Because we didn't know how to end it.

Nancy Updike

Here's the thing. Pranks might be a misleadingly precise term for what happens in the show. It's more like low-level harassment of random civilians. And also, O.J. Simpson is here! Let me walk you through one prank to show you how it goes. This one starts, like all of them do, with O.J. Simpson just dressed as himself, sitting in a chair, explaining the idea for the upcoming scene.

O.j. Simpson

Set up a situation at an open house. I was visiting the house, looking for a house with my alleged girlfriend.

Nancy Updike

Then Harmon jumps in to explain his role in the scene.

Harmon Leon

I played disgruntled house owner. And then I played a party guy.

Nancy Updike

And then the prank starts. The scene for this prank, like O.J. said, is an open house. There's a realtor. She's in on the prank.

Realtor

Hi. Come on in.

Nancy Updike

Tall, long blonde hair, strapless top. It's all very Southern California. And she's showing it to people, including a couple named Kristie and O.J.

Realtor

Hi, O.J. It's nice to meet you.

Woman

It's O.J. Simpson.

O.j. Simpson

[INAUDIBLE]

Woman

I was getting ready to say, he looks just like O.J. Simpson.

Nancy Updike

Another woman and a man who are also looking at the house recognize O.J. right away, and they shake his hand warmly. They're surprised that he's there, but not weirded out. And then they all keep looking at the house. Then the realtor who, again, is part of the prank, knocks over a vase--

[VASE SHATTERING]

Realtor

--and blames one of the people looking at the house.

Realtor

He broke it.

Nancy Updike

Then Harmon, playing the homeowner, comes out and gets angry.

Harmon Leon

Why are you coming into my house and breaking my things?

Realtor

I'm sorry. Gary--

Nancy Updike

Then there's an argument, or an attempt at one. But a lot of people are just more patient and reasonable than you think they're going to be, so it doesn't go anywhere.

Woman

She broke it accidentally, and people have accidents, and you need to calm down.

Harmon Leon

I work with this Realtor, and she doesn't lie to me.

Nancy Updike

Then the camera cuts to a topless woman. Who is topless, outside, jumping on a trampoline. Which the Realtor works into the sell.

Realtor

The backyard is fabulous for entertaining.

Nancy Updike

And which O.J. jumps in to comment on.

O.j. Simpson

Geez. Well, it's looking rather entertaining to me.

[LAUGHTER]

Nancy Updike

Then the topless woman enters the house, swishes her way through everyone. There's a quick cut to her running through the house, in slow motion. Then another broken vase--

[VASE SHATTERING]

O.j. Simpson

Oh, Jesus!

Nancy Updike

--another accusation, another vase. Then the guy who's in on the prank throws up.

[VOMITING]

O.j. Simpson

Oh, Jesus man. [INAUDIBLE] come on. Jesus, man.

Nancy Updike

If this makes no sense to you, you're following it perfectly. I've shown this prank to a lot of people. And every time, they look at me helplessly, like, what's going on here? Who's even getting pranked?

There are interesting moments in the scene, when a few people looking at the house notice O.J. and react to him. One couple is signing in at the kitchen counter, and the woman whispers to the man. It's so quiet they had to put subtitles on the screen. She whispers, "O.J. Simpson just came in." Then she says, "did you hear me? O.J. Simpson is right behind you." The guy with her glances over, and then they just keep looking around.

Another guy did a double take when he saw O.J. And then went back to signing in. Like, be cool, celebrity nearby, who is O.J. Simpson. But a lot of people seem oblivious. It's just one more freaky open house with a topless women on a trampoline and a lot of broken vases. Until finally, O.J. steps in with the catch phrase.

O.j. Simpson

You've been juiced. I'm O.J. Simpson. There's a camera.

Man

I know you are.

[LAUGHTER]

O.j. Simpson

You've been juiced. It's a TV show.

Harmon Leon

It just didn't have any payoff of anything. It was just like all set on the whole premise of, something happens and O.J. Simpson. They didn't think it out further than that. And every gag was just based on that premise.

Nancy Updike

Can you believe this guy is here?

Harmon Leon

Yeah, yeah. Because he's that guy.

Nancy Updike

For real.

Harmon Leon

I know. But yet, in the producers' mind, they were like, oh, this is great.

Nancy Updike

They kind of got into it.

Harmon Leon

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nancy Updike

So other people on the set, they thought, oh, this is going well. This is funny.

Harmon Leon

Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nancy Updike

I told Harmon that I figured, as I was watching the show, that the producers had just edited out any moments where people got annoyed or uncomfortable when they got juiced, or pulled away when O.J. went to hug them, or recoiled. And I was completely wrong about that. Harmon told me that during the two weeks of filming, as far as he could remember, no one reacted that way. Other people on the set told me the same thing. There were no moments like that to cut out.

Harmon Leon

I thought, oh, man, there's going to be like just outraged people, or people freaking out. And that was actually the most mind numbing part about the two-week production, was that people just were actually thrilled when they find out they'd been juiced by O.J.

Woman

I got juiced!

Woman

I've been juiced.

Man

(SINGING) I've been juiced.

[LAUGHTER]

Harmon Leon

You know, like we were in Las Vegas filming, and people would just swarm in off the streets to get photos with O.J. Like mothers and daughters requesting photos. This kid, he started rapping for O.J. And then he high fives his friend, and he goes, I just rapped for O.J., man. That's as big as it gets! And it was like, they would just be laughing. It was like, whoa-o-o. Hope he doesn't kill anyone while we're here! Ha ha ha.

Nancy Updike

Did anyone say anything like that?

Harmon Leon

I would hear people off to the side saying that, but they wouldn't say it like angry. They would say it like, oh, he's just funny O.J. who-- he just like became like-- he's like this funny cartoon character. He's like the Santa Claus of murder.

Nancy Updike

Whatever charisma was working in person doesn't come across on the screen. In fact, let me step briefly outside Harmon's story of what it's like to make Juiced to talk more about what it's like to watch Juiced. I've shown this now to so many people, and the sheer scope of the chaos in the show is disorienting. Not just to me. Watching the show feels like being winked at from across the room by someone who may be flirting with you, or may be messing with you, or may just have a tic. It's not clear what to make of anything that's happening.

In between the pranks in Juiced, there's a scene-changing package that includes, for some reason, a gunshot sound effect--

[GUN SHOTS]

--whatever that's supposed to mean, or not mean. And 20 to 30 seconds of music, during which O.J. is surrounded by strippers. Sometimes he's rapping, dressed as a pimp-- big fuzzy black hat, zebra striped lapels.

O.j. Simpson

(RAPPING) A lot of people wonder about my intentions. Why do people ask me so many questions about how I made it to the top, about all the times I made those people [INAUDIBLE].

Nancy Updike

There's pole dancing. They give him lap dances. And again, this scene is in between nearly every prank. And he's surrounded by dancing women who mostly have long, blond hair and don't not resemble his dead ex-wife. And he's mugging to the camera with that expression, like, how great is this? But before you can decide what that means, if anything, besides just the demographics of who was available to shoot this scene, it's on to the next puzzling moment.

For instance, in the open house prank. At one point, Harmon, playing the angry homeowner whose house is being looked at, tries to blame O.J. for breaking one of the vases.

Harmon Leon

Did you do this? Can you just pay for my vase, please? Can you just pay for my vase?

O.j. Simpson

Sir, I wasn't around. I get blamed for nothing else. All right, in my life, I've been blamed for enough shit.

[VASE SHATTERING]

Nancy Updike

When O.J. Says, "I've been blamed for enough shit," he sounds genuinely angry. Which means, I think, he's mad at being fake blamed for breaking a vase in a prank, because it reminds him that he was on trial for murder 10 years ago. There's a prank where O.J. pretends to be having an affair with another man's wife, and the man gets really angry. There's a prank where O.J. plays himself, but a homeless version of himself, selling bags of oranges by the side of the road.

O.j. Simpson

Oranges from O.J.! OJ right here!

Nancy Updike

Is that an edgy comment on his fallen status, or just another, look at what this celebrity is willing to do on our reality show moment? No time to think. The show plows onward to smaller moments of just raw unlikableness. In one prank, O.J. is dressed as an employee of a fast food place, and he's working the drive-through window. A woman pulls up in her 40s, maybe early 50s.

Woman

Large fries, large orange juice.

O.j. Simpson

You sure you want those large fries? You know what they're saying about fast food making you fat.

Nancy Updike

The women who's ordering is overweight, so that's the joke. She's fat. She's ordering fries. In Juiced, O.J. has plunged himself into reality TV, a genre that has no allegiance to the idea that the star has to come out looking good. But there's something off about this show that goes beyond that.

For all the frenzy on the screen, all the invitations to gawk, or be titillated, or outraged, or just shake your head in wonder, mostly it felt empty. It's tiring to watch, strangely tiring.

When I talked to Harmon, he said that during the filming, there were moments unlike any other reality show he'd worked on, unsurprisingly. For starters, as far as he could tell, everyone had been told the same thing he had-- don't bring up the murders or anything related to them. And no one did, except O.J. Before one prank, O.J. was being made up to look like an 81-year-old white man. The makeup took three hours to apply.

Harmon Leon

While he's getting the makeup applied, he has the TV turned to Court TV. You know, and I was like, don't mention O.J., Court TV. Don't mention O.J.

Nancy Updike

He's saying this to the TV?

Harmon Leon

No, no. I'm saying this to myself. Like, oh Court TV, please don't mention O.J. Because I don't know how he would react. But he was actually just like-- he kind of wanted them to mention him. He was like, how are they going to work me into this, you know? You know, during my trial, my lawyers watched my back. You know?

Nancy Updike

So he would-- OK. So it was sort of reminiscing.

Harmon Leon

Yeah, yeah.

Nancy Updike

While the women are putting the makeup on him.

Harmon Leon

Yep. He said he really liked watching Court TV.

Again, when he was getting the makeup applied, he would actually tell O.J. jokes. So we had the pleasure of hearing like O.J. Jokes from O.J. himself.

Nancy Updike

What's an O.J. joke?

Harmon Leon

He actually said this. He goes, who's the first Jewish guy to get a Heisman Trophy? Fred Goldman, because he's got mine.

Nancy Updike

Because the Goldmans brought a civil suit against him that--

Harmon Leon

Yeah, and took his--

Nancy Updike

Money.

Harmon Leon

Heisman. And so, you know, everyone just kind of uncomfortably just shifted around and looked at their shoes and contemplated career choices.

Nancy Updike

The cinematographer of Juiced, Luc Nicknair, told me there was a split in the crew. Some people thought, look, this man was a great athlete and a big star. And he was acquitted. And that's that, and that's how I see this. And others who thought, yeah, he was acquitted, but I still have other thoughts about what may have happened.

Luc Nicknair

Definitely two schools of thought.

Nancy Updike

Uh-huh.

Luc Nicknair

Yeah. There are definitely two schools of thought.

Nancy Updike

And would people argue about it?

Luc Nicknair

He talked about it privately. Actually, at the end of the shoot, this was the really messed up thing. They decided to shoot interviews with everyone of the crew about our experiences. And then, at the end of the interview, they would say, guilty or not guilty?

Nancy Updike

Oh my God.

Luc Nicknair

That did not get on the DVD. None of that got on the DVD.

Nancy Updike

And what was--

Luc Nicknair

I'm on camera myself.

Nancy Updike

What did you say?

Luc Nicknair

Guilty.

Nancy Updike

And is that what you thought going in?

Luc Nicknair

I didn't know what to think. That's why I did the job. You know, I secretly want to know. It's like-- and here I was going to be given an opportunity to go and shoot this deranged project, and I decided to do the gig.

I mean, I thought about that when I was involved with it. I thought about that. It's like, people are going to study this project. And all of a sudden, you called me 10 years later. [LAUGHS] You know?

Nancy Updike

Harmon, and Luc also, said Las Vegas, where they did the second week of shooting, is where things really turned sour and dark.

Harmon Leon

They just seemed to sort of give up on ideas. And O.J. just got less and less interested in it. He didn't show up. And then we showed up, he was just like really drunk. Like O.J. was supposed to play a wacky motel clerk. You know? Like look out, here comes wacky motel clerk O.J.! You know, that's the premise of that gag. But he was just like completely drunk, and that was the first time they just sort of propped him up in the corner, like on a stool, and just let him be sort of near the pranks.

Nancy Updike

Harmon said he, Harmon, ended up playing the wacky motel clerk. And sometimes, he even had to be the one to tell people, you've been juiced! Whatever that means, when the person doing it is not O.J. Simpson.

Harmon Leon

After I juice a couple, O.J.'s in the corner, drunk. And he would lean into the couple, go, hey, I'm O.J. Hey, do you recognize me?

Nancy Updike

O.J. Simpson's lawyer, who handles media requests, didn't respond to my emails and phone calls about Juiced. I did reach the executive producer of Juiced, Rick Mahr. We talked on the phone-- after months of unanswered voicemails, texts, and emails from us, then, out of the blue, a legal document from him, just a little heads up. Then a series of very friendly but off the record conversations, mixed in with two taped interviews that he only agreed to if he could approve every quote. So here's what he approved.

He said, "I had it all wrong when I called Juiced the worst celebrity comeback vehicle ever made."

Rick Mahr

It was never meant to be a comeback vehicle for O.J. or try to turn him into a mainstream star again. We were tasked with creating a reality show that cut through the clutter, that everybody would be talking about, really during an era when there was a reality TV boom, and there was a lot of one upsmanship in the marketplace.

Nancy Updike

He said the goal was just to let the cameras run, whether O.J. looked good or not. He said the show being a pile on of one thing after another that may or may not make sense-- the blond strippers, the dead-end pranks, the weird little verite moments-- that's not a fumble. It's exactly what they were going for. Their business model was get people talking, so pile it on.

He said, look, this wasn't designed to win Emmys. It's supposed to be a nonstop barrage of craziness.

Rick Mahr

You know, I'd be the first to say it. It's not everybody's-- it's not everybody's cup of tea.

Nancy Updike

Nielson, the ratings organization, told me the Juiced DVD sold fewer than 100 copies, one of which I own. Rick told me, yeah. He buried the project on purpose.

Rick Mahr

We had the blinders on to make one crazy reality TV show. After we did it-- and I think we did that-- after we did it, there was a part of me that said, what the hell did we just do?

Nancy Updike

Juiced was coming out around the same time that O.J. released a book called If I Did It. Huge outcry. The woman who was publishing the book lost her job. A two-hour Fox special was canceled.

Rick Mahr

And we pulled it. We pulled it from circulation. And it's been gathering dust until now.

Nancy Updike

Yeah. You were surprised when I told you that I had a copy.

Rick Mahr

I was.

Nancy Updike

Rick is now re-releasing the Juiced material with footage that's never been seen and an interview with O.J. From the time. It's called O.J. Ungloved, the Lost Tapes. He's got the domain name ojsimpson.com. Makes sense-- the 20th anniversary of the murder trial verdict is coming up this fall. There's a multipart FX miniseries in the works. Cuba Gooding Junior is playing O.J. They filmed the Bronco scene a few weeks ago.

Rick didn't want to say if Juiced was O.J.'s idea or not. When I asked if O.J. was paid for it, he said, O.J. did this because he wanted to do it. He said his understanding is that O.J. did see Juiced, every frame, and approved it before it went out. When I asked Rick if O.J. had ever said, look, this is how I want to be portrayed in this show, Rick said the answers to what O.J. wanted out of Juiced, or why he did it in the first place, are locked in O.J.'s head. All he, Rick, could say is how unworried O.J. seemed to him while they were filming, like anyway they put the footage together would be great, because it was O.J.

Rick Mahr

I think history has shown that O.J. Simpson is his own boss. And O.J. is going to do what O.J. is going to do.

[CHEERING]

David Letterman

[INAUDIBLE] O.J. Simpson is with us. You ever had any trouble-- speeding tickets, that kind of thing-- O.J.?

O.j. Simpson

I don't know if I should say this. I got stopped--

Nancy Updike

This is O.J. on The Letterman Show in 1989, five years before Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman were found murdered. And I'm just playing it because, listen to how big his world was back then, how the audience loves everything he says.

O.j. Simpson

And I decided that nobody else was on the road. And I was going like-- I think I got it up-- oh, you don't want to hear this, do you?

David Letterman

Yeah, no. Let's just--

[CHEERING]

O.j. Simpson

I got it up pretty fast. I got it up to about 170 miles an hour.

[CHEERING]

And uh--

David Letterman

Give me your license. Give me your license right now! 170?

O.j. Simpson

Well, and then, this car is really safer. [INAUDIBLE]

David Letterman

Oh, man.

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

O.j. Simpson

It really is [INAUDIBLE] 100.

David Letterman

You should have been with me this morning.

Nancy Updike

I bet that, to a very famous person, losing the love of the general public feels the way aging can feel-- an unfair changing of the rules, too big to accept. And so maybe it's not that surprising that O.J. put himself in a prank show 10 years after the trial, basically saying, remember me? Still charming. Watching Juiced sometimes felt like seeing a beautiful older actress trying to reprise the exact role that had made her famous when she was younger, as though nothing has changed.

Remember earlier I talked about Juiced feeling empty? How the show keeps urging viewers to be scandalized and outraged, but mostly I just felt tired watching it? I think I figured out why while I was watching and rewatching this last scene I want to play for you, the most stunning one in Juiced. It starts with O.J. explaining the prank that's about to happen, which takes place at a used car lot.

O.j. Simpson

I actually sold the worst used car ever. And this was a Bronco, with a bullet hole in it, and seats with holes in it. Watch this.

Nancy Updike

Yes. The Bronco. O.J. Is posing as a used car salesman selling a white Bronco. Not the white Bronco, just a white Bronco that, for some reason, has a bullet hole in the side. And while they're filming, O.J. signs his name right above the bullet hole.

O.j. Simpson

Now, this is a Bronco signed by O.J. Simpson.

Man

[LAUGHS]

O.j. Simpson

[INAUDIBLE] bullet hole in it.

Man

Oh.

Nancy Updike

The scene is a mishmash of people who seem to have no idea what's going on and others who bring up random parts of the Bronco story or the trial as they remember. And O.J. is just surfing all of it.

Man

Is there $10,000 in here?

O.j. Simpson

Nope. Nope. No $10,000--

Man

[INAUDIBLE] you were carrying it, you know?

O.j. Simpson

Naw, naw. They say that. I was carrying about $3.

Man

$3?

O.j. Simpson

Yeah. That's why they never brought it up in court.

Nancy Updike

A woman shows up to look at the Bronco, so there's some flirting.

O.j. Simpson

And you're gorgeous, incidentally.

Woman

Thank you. I appreciate that.

O.j. Simpson

When you see a girl in a car like this--

Woman

Yeah?

O.j. Simpson

--you say, her man ain't doing nothing for her.

Woman

[LAUGHS]

O.j. Simpson

You figure you got a chance, right?

Nancy Updike

And after a little of this, a little of that, O.J. Seems to settle down into his sales pitch for the Bronco.

O.j. Simpson

It was good for me.

Man

Yeah?

O.j. Simpson

Got me out of harm's way.

Man

[INAUDIBLE] OK, I'll sit in it. [INAUDIBLE] there was a dead body in there.

O.j. Simpson

Yeah. Well, um, hopefully there's no bodies in this thing. And I can guarantee you, the car has escape-ability. I mean, if you're ever getting into some trouble, and you've got to get away, it has escape-ability.

Man

[LAUGHS]

O.j. Simpson

A car that I personally made famous. It has escape-ability. That's the main thing. And I know it. Boy, [INAUDIBLE] was driving this thing. And if we wanted to get away, it was easy to get away.

Luc Nicknair

It's interesting, because he did this thing with the Ford Bronco, which blew us away.

Nancy Updike

This is Luc, the cinematographer, again.

Luc Nicknair

And signs it.

Nancy Updike

He keeps talking about how it has "great escape-ability."

Luc Nicknair

Uh-huh. And they milked it, didn't they?

Nancy Updike

Did he ad-lib that?

Luc Nicknair

Yes, he did.

Nancy Updike

And so, I mean, all of the moments over the course of the show, and the different pranks where he's referring to other points in his life-- to the Hertz commercials and to his sports career, but also to the trial and to the murders--

Luc Nicknair

Uh-huh.

Nancy Updike

--was the idea, OK, you know, O.J., throw in a reference here? Or was he just supplying those himself?

Luc Nicknair

He was all on his own.

Nancy Updike

He just was saying those things.

Luc Nicknair

That's all him. Oh my gosh, no. That's all him.

Nancy Updike

Let's set aside the question of taste. Because the whole scene is freakish on its face, but it's a lot more freakish when you sit it next to what actually happened in the Bronco, the real Bronco. Escape-ability? O.J. Simpson didn't escape anything in the white Bronco. The Bronco is what he stepped out of into police custody. Got him out of harm's way? While he was in the Bronco, he was suicidal. He had a gun to his head.

I want to play you a recording. It's not so well known. It didn't become public until a year and a half after the trial. It's what O.J. Simpson was saying while he was in the Bronco. It's conversations between him and an LAPD detective named Tom Lange, who reached him on his cell phone. O.J. didn't know he was being recorded. He's not performing for an audience. And a warning-- this is a suicidal person talking at length about wanting to kill himself.

Tom Lange

Just throw the gun out the window.

O.j. Simpson

For me. This is not to keep you guys away from me.

Tom Lange

I know that.

O.j. Simpson

It's for me.

Tom Lange

Nobody's going to hurt you.

O.j. Simpson

This is for me.

Tom Lange

OK. It's for you. I know that. But think of your kids.

O.j. Simpson

Yeah.

Tom Lange

Please, just toss it out. You're scaring everybody, man.

O.j. Simpson

Aw, I'm not going to hurt anybody.

Tom Lange

I know you're not going to hurt anybody, but--

O.j. Simpson

[INAUDIBLE] for me. I can't take this.

Tom Lange

Oh yes, you can. Yes, you can.

O.j. Simpson

I can't.

Tom Lange

You've got your whole family out here.

O.j. Simpson

I can't take this.

Tom Lange

They love you, man. Don't throw this away. Don't do this. Just throw it out the window.

O.j. Simpson

Uh--

Tom Lange

And nobody's going to get hurt.

O.j. Simpson

I'm the only one that deserves it.

Tom Lange

No, you don't deserve that.

O.j. Simpson

I'ma get hurt.

Tom Lange

You do not deserve to get hurt. You do not deserve to get hurt. Don't do this.

O.j. Simpson

All I did was love Nicole That's all I did was love her.

Tom Lange

I understand.

O.j. Simpson

I love everybody. I tried to show everybody my whole life that I love everybody.

Tom Lange

We know that, and everybody loves you. Especially your family-- your mother, your kids.

O.j. Simpson

I'm just going to leave. I'm just going to go with Nicole. That's all I'ma do. That's all I'm trying to do.

Tom Lange

Hey, listen. Don't give in now.

O.j. Simpson

Ugh. I am so tired.

Tom Lange

I know. I know.

O.j. Simpson

I just want to be with Nicole.

Nancy Updike

This had to have been one of most terrifying, inconsolable moments of O.J. Simpson's life, as he makes clear with every word, every groan. And watching Juiced, I kept looking for-- not even any specific emotion, but just any sign at all that this event had happened to him. That it affected him in some way. I didn't see one.

O.j. Simpson

It was good for me.

Man

Yeah?

O.j. Simpson

Got me out of harm's way. [LAUGHS] A car that I personally made famous! [INAUDIBLE] was driving this thing. And if we wanted to get away, it was easy to get away.

Nancy Updike

The way he's talking about the Bronco, there's no trace of what he experienced a decade before inside the Bronco, inside his own head. Instead, he seems to be remembering it, he seems to be seeing it, the same way we remember seeing it-- on TV. Looking at it from above on the highway, as it drove mile after mile. The emptiness in Juiced? It's O.J. He's not there.

Ira Glass

Nancy Updike is one of the producers of our show. Coming up, a video that shows up too soon. And then, it is no longer too soon. That's in a minute from Chicago Public Radio, when our program continues.

This American Life from Ira Glass. Each week we've got a program, of course, which is a theme, bring you different kinds of stories on that theme. Today's show-- "too soon."

Zoe Chace

So my dad died about 10 years ago, very suddenly. And it was very terrible and shocking.

Ira Glass

We were talking about this week's program around the office, and one of our producers, Zoe Chace, remembered this story. It happened when she was right out of college, and she got the call. Her dad, out of the blue, had a heart attack and died. And her best friend, Rosa, came and got Zoe from Ohio, which is where she was living, and brought her back to New York City, where her family was.

Zoe Chace

And it was awful. You know, it was just grim darkness. But then, somehow like the next day, Rosa was just pulling stuff out of the fridge to feed me with. And she pulls out the butter dish, you know? A glass butter dish. And it just shatters all over the floor.

Ira Glass

You mean she drops it.

Zoe Chace

She drops it. And I just look at her, and I'm like, that was my dad's. (LAUGHING) It was just-- I was like, horrified! And my sister starts laughing, and I started laughing. Because it's not my dad's. It's just like a crappy butter dish from IKEA. And it was the first-- I think it was the first joke I remember. I remember it as the first joke of when my dad died.

Ira Glass

How many days?

Zoe Chace

It was like a day. It was like the day after.

Ira Glass

So the whole idea of-- you know the old saying, comedy equals tragedy plus time, there was no time at all.

Zoe Chace

Not at all. Yeah.

Ira Glass

There's a study where scientists actually tried to quantify exactly how much time has to pass after tragedy before comedy kicks in. And although nothing is more tedious than people sitting around theorizing about what is funny, it's interesting to see somebody get super brass tacks about this and try to actually define this thing that our whole program is about today. These researchers had over 1,000 people rate how funny some joke tweets about Hurricane Sandy were at different points in time. And before the hurricane hit land, people thought the tweets were funny. And then, unsurprisingly, while the hurricane was destroying homes, and knocking out power, and killing people, and in the immediate aftermath of all that, the tweets did not seem funny and in fact seemed kind of offensive.

And then, it took-- they have a number-- it took 15 days. 15 days after the hurricane struck, the tweets started to seem funny again. Because the researchers-- Peter McGraw, Lawrence Williams, and Caleb Warren-- theorize for something like this to be funny, it has to seem threatening, but not too threatening. Once it stops being threatening, it stops being funny. And in fact, there comes a point after the storm struck-- it is 36 days after the storm struck-- that people start finding the tweets less and less funny.

And, to get back to Zoe, Zoe says, yeah, it was only a day after her dad's death that she joked about the butter dish. But the worst had already happened. The threat had past. If her dad had been alive and in imminent danger of dying, she said she couldn't have made the joke, wouldn't have had the impulse to.

Zoe Chace

Because that just sounds so scary, that that would be all you were doing, is being afraid. But now, or right at that moment that I was in--

Ira Glass

Immediately after he died.

Zoe Chace

Immediately after. I mean, nobody had been themselves, or said anything funny, or laughed about anything. It was super helpful.

Ira Glass

Helpful how?

Zoe Chace

Because I felt like myself, and it felt like my family. You know, we're not such a sincere group of people. And so to have that level of sincere emotion was pretty uncomfortable.

Ira Glass

[CHUCKLES] Wow. This has gotten so real.

Zoe Chace

[CHUCKLES]

Act Two. Pink Slip.

Ira Glass

Which brings us to this next story of a family, and something being too soon, and then knowing the right moment for the something to happen. We've arrived at Act 2 of our program. Act two, Pink Slip. When Amy Silverman was in her 20s, she had this friend who would go to LA sometimes and bring back these videos. And Amy and her friends would show the videos at parties. On VHS-- this is way back in the prehistoric days, before YouTube.

Amy Silverman

This was the '90s. But in Phoenix. So it's probably like the '80s somewhere else.

Ira Glass

And one of the films the guy would bring around to parties was called Pink Slip. Amy says she easily saw it a half dozen times, maybe it was more like a dozen. It always killed. Everybody liked it. It was an instructional video, and its lead character was this girl named Jill, who was just reaching puberty.

Amy Silverman

I've never been able to figure out when exactly it was made. But probably like late '60s, early '70s. Kind of groovy living room, and they have very outdated hair. Very, very obviously staged. And that was what was so funny about it, really.

Ira Glass

The film was about menstruation. And so if you're listening with a little kid right now, and you do not want to get into that subject with them right this second, take that into advisement. OK, here's a clip.

Jill

Susie, do you have periods?

Susie

Do I have periods? Jill, all women have periods about every four weeks for three or four days. When I'm on my period, blood from inside of my body comes outside from an opening between my legs.

Jill

Well, Susie, what about my teacher? Does Miss Jones have periods?

Susie

Yes, Jill. Your teacher, Mrs. Jones, does have periods. All women have periods about every four weeks for three or four days.

Dad

Hi, girls.

Susie

Hi, Dad.

Dad

What have you girls been talking about?

Jill

About periods, Daddy! Dad, does Aunt Carol have periods?

Dad

Yes, Jill. All women have periods about every four weeks.

Ira Glass

So it's very repetitive.

Amy Silverman

And we would watch it and shriek with laughter. Not proud of it, but that is what happened. A lot.

Dad

Blood from inside a woman's body comes outside, from an opening between her legs, about every four weeks.

Jill

But the blood? Won't it get on my clothes?

Dad

No, it won't. Because you use a sanitary pad.

Jill

A sanitary pad.

Ira Glass

Amy says it did register with her that there was something up with that girl, Jill. Something different. But she never really gave it much thought. And she and her friends would drink, and they'd watch this kitschy old film. And years later, when Amy was 37, she had her second child-- a daughter, Sophie. And Sophie had Down Syndrome.

Amy Silverman

So when Sophie was like two weeks old, all of a sudden I was driving down the street one day, and I went, oh my god, Pink Slip! And suddenly, it all came together for me, and I realized that that video had been about a girl with Down Syndrome. And now I had a baby with Down Syndrome. And some day, I was going to have to figure out how to teach her about puberty. And then, as quickly as that thought came into my head, I shoved it out and replaced it with, I don't know, a need for diapers or something.

Ira Glass

Years pass, and by the time Sophie was 10, she had seen her older sister become an adolescent, and Sophie was obsessed.

Amy Silverman

She had a bra collection. She had a deodorant collection.

Ira Glass

Not that she needed a bra or deodorant just yet, Amy says. There was one false alarm, where it seemed like she was growing hair in new places.

Amy Silverman

And she started jumping up and down. She ran down the hallway naked into her sister's room to show her. She grabbed my cell phone and called one of my friends, and she raced around the kitchen table as fast as she could, again and again, you know, just talking about her hair with my mom, with my friend, with my husband.

Ira Glass

Oh, she really wants to hit puberty.

Amy Silverman

She really wants to hit puberty.

Ira Glass

Amy and her husband decided to enroll Sophie in a class about puberty, a one-time seminar for kids with Down Syndrome, to answer their questions and teach them what they needed to know about what was going to happen to them, taught by this woman who is an expert on all that. And it was OK. It was fine. Though it didn't do the job for Sophie.

Amy Silverman

Sophie was-- you know, she was about to turn 12, and she was still asking questions.

Ira Glass

What were the questions she was asking?

Amy Silverman

She wanted to know the basics about her period. About where the blood would come out, what she would use. Just basics. And I thought, you know what? Maybe I should show her Pink Slip.

Ira Glass

This was honestly something she had never considered before. She'd never taken that video seriously.

Amy Silverman

No. No! We made fun of it. So I got the video up for her, for her to see.

Ira Glass

Now, I know you recorded a conversation with her before you showed her the video. Let me just play that piece of tape. Here we go.

Amy Silverman

Do you remember what we're talking about today?

Susie

Periods.

Amy Silverman

Yep. And now, do you feel like you already know everything about them?

Sophie

Yup. Because last year, I had a puberty lesson. And they sang a song-- "Just Around the Corner."

Ira Glass

She's saying last year they did a puberty lesson, and they sang a song-- "Just Around the Corner." That's how she knows everything. Amy pulled up Pink Slip on her phone because, of course, it's on YouTube.

Amy Silverman

And, unlike me, Sophie loves to watch videos on YouTube. So she grabbed it and watched it.

Susie

And so let's watch the video.

Amy Silverman

So let's watch the video?

Susie

Yeah.

Amy Silverman

OK.

Susie

Yes, what about periods?

Jill

Do you have periods?

Ira Glass

In the recording that Amy made of Sophie watching Pink Slip, there is a moment where they both laugh. It's the most shocking moment in the film, and it really is kind of shocking. Again, if you are listening right now with a small child, know that I am about to say something very frank about menstruation. And just decide if you want to keep listening.

The moment that Amy and Sophie laugh at in the video is one that Amy remembers very well from back when she used to watch the video with her friends at parties. It's kind of the big moment in the film.

Amy Silverman

Well, this was like the grabber at the parties. Where Jill would say to Susie, you know, I don't understand or something. And Susie would say, well, come into the bathroom with me, Jill. I have my period right now. And then sit down, and pull down her pants, and show her bloody pad.

Susie

This is a used sanitary pad.

Jill

Look, there's blood on it.

Susie

See?

Jill

You mean the blood's coming from inside your body now?

Susie

That's right.

[SNICKERS]

Blood is coming from inside my body through an opening between my legs.

Amy Silverman

For the record, I laughed first.

Sophie

Yep.

Ira Glass

Just a minute later, after the sister shows the girl in the film how to throw away a used pad and start using a new pad, Sophie watches intently and quietly says--

Sophie

I get it now.

Ira Glass

Back at the parties that Amy used to go to, when the scene drew the biggest laughs and the most comments, it was just too soon for Amy to get what the video would be good for-- for a girl like Sophie.

What was it like watching her watch this video that you knew so well?

Amy Silverman

Completely surreal. Completely surreal. I mean, embarrassing.

Ira Glass

Why was it embarrassing?

Amy Silverman

Oh, I was embarrassed because I used to make fun of it.

Ira Glass

But Sophie didn't know that.

Amy Silverman

No, but I don't feel like that really honored her. You know? My prior behavior.

Ira Glass

Oh, I see what you're saying. Here you are. You've got this little girl who you love. And now, with her present, you're returning to the scene of the crime.

Amy Silverman

Yeah. I felt more ashamed than embarrassed. But I had to stop and think, huh, maybe the person who made that video really knew what they were doing.

Ira Glass

Yeah. That's the thing I was wondering, is did it give you a respect for the video?

Amy Silverman

It did. It was really weird.

Ira Glass

And so all the corny repetition in the whole thing, that's totally right for her.

Amy Silverman

That's what she needs. It just has to be slowed down. The learning has to be slowed down.

Ira Glass

Do you feel like a certain amount of being a parent is realizing what an ass you were before you were a parent?

Amy Silverman

Yes. Absolutely. I mean, I was the one who-- I always tell people this. I was the one who would switch lines at Safeway if there was a person with a developmental disability bagging groceries. Because I just didn't want to deal. It would've taken, what? 15 seconds to nod and smile? And be a human being about it? Not me.

Ira Glass

Amy's thought about showing Pink Slip to Sophie again. It's been a few months, and Sophie still has not gotten her period. Though Amy's not sure what Sophie would think of the video today. Because Sophie's able to tell that the girl in the video has Down Syndrome. And Sophie is going through a thing right now where she does not like to identify herself that way.

Amy Silverman

Not to get all serious on you, but Sophie is starting to realize that she's-- she's not going to ever have some of the things that her sister has. So recently, she asked me, am I going to have Down Syndrome when I grow up? And I said, you are. And she said, I don't want to. I don't want to have it.

Ira Glass

Oh.

Amy Silverman

Yeah.

Ira Glass

So what does her sister get that she doesn't get, that she sees right now?

Amy Silverman

She gets to go to a fancy art school that won't take Sophie. She gets to dance on point in ballet, which Sophie doesn't get to do because her feet aren't strong enough. She gets sleepover invitations Sophie doesn't get. And she gets that life in front of her. You know, she-- Sophie told me the other day that she doesn't want to have an aid at school anymore, because she wants to practice walking to class by herself for college.

Ira Glass

What Sophie will get that her sister got, and she'll probably get it pretty soon, is her period. And Amy might show her Pink Slip again. Amy tried once to show the video to Sophie's older sister. And the older sister got to the part with the bloody pad and then tossed the phone back to Amy. But Sophie's different, and she liked the video. Pink Slip was what she needed.

Credits.

Ira Glass

Our program is produced today by Miki Meek with Zoe Chace, Sean Cole, Stephanie Foo, Chana Joffe-Walt, Jonathan Manjivar, Brian Reed, Robyn Semien, Alissa Shipp and Nancy Updike. Our editor is Joel Lovell. Other editing help today from Neil Drumming and Julie Snyder, who's our editorial consultant. Production help from Lily Sullivan. Seth Lind is our operations director. Emily Condon's our production manager. Elise Bergerson's our office manager. Kimberly Henderson is our office coordinator. Elna Baker scouts stories for our show. Research help today from Christopher Swetala and Michelle Harris. Music help today from Damien Graef and Rob Gettis.

[ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS]

Amy Silverman blogs about her daughter Sophie at girlinapartyhat.com. Our website, thisamericanlife.org. This American Life is delivered to public radio stations by PRX, the Public Radio Exchange. Thanks as always to our program's co-founder, Mr. Torey Malatia. You know, when he hears the credits to our show begin, every single program, the only thing that goes through his mind is--

Torey Malatia

How are they going to work me into this?

Ira Glass

I'm Ira Glass. Back next week with more stories of This American Life.