December 6, 2002


Stories of people stuck in their own personal reruns—moments or episodes that they revisit over and over again.

You can watch an animated version of Robert Krulwich's Jackie O story from this episode.


Host Ira Glass talks with Starlee Kine, who loves TV reruns more than first-run shows. She explains that even if it's a show she hates—Caroline in the City for example—she'll watch the rerun. The simple fact that it's a rerun makes it, not better exactly, but comforting in a way first-run shows aren't. (6 minutes)
Act One

Action! Action! Action!

Starlee Kine tells the story of a man more obsessed with reruns than even she is. Director Trent Harris made a movie called The Beaver Trilogy. It's an entire movie that's a rerun, based on a personal rerun that Trent found himself caught in. Starlee saw the movie, and tells the remarkable story of why it was made. (27 minutes)
Act Two

Marriage As Rerun

Many couples eventually encounter this problem: One person in the couple trots out the same story over and over, and the other person has to just listen. But what do the stories we tell in front of our significant others mean, and what do the significant others really think of them? Ira talks to three couples about the stories they've each told and heard countless times, and why. One couple is John Hodgman and his wife Catherine Hodgman. Another couple is RadioLab co-host Robert Krulwich and his wife Tamar Krulwich. (16 minutes)

Robert and Tamar's story, which involves Jackie Kennedy Onassis, was also illustrated by Chris Ware and animated by John Kuramoto for our television show.

Act Three

Reruns At The Back Of The Bus

Sarah Vowell identifies a phenomenon that's sort of a cultural rerun. It's an analogy that gets made over and over in different situations: people who often are not black, or women, or in any way involved with civil rights, comparing themselves to Rosa Parks. (7 minutes)