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August 12, 2011

Amusement Park

This week, we celebrate pre-coronavirus summertime fun: at amusement parks! Ira Glass takes us behind the scenes at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, where the young staff – coached by a funny, fun-loving boss just a little older than they are – truly seem to love their jobs.  

Prologue

Host Ira Glass walks through a Kansas City Missouri amusement park called Worlds of Fun with Cole Lindbergh, who had a season pass to the park as a little kid, starting working there summers at 14, and then just stayed. Now he's a full-time, year-round employee, running the games department. It's possible he does this job better than anyone in the country. It's rare to witness someone so happily great at his job. (9 minutes)

Gameboy Grows Up

Ira continues with Cole Lindbergh and the hundred teenagers who work for him in the games department at Worlds of Fun. We watch them compete against each other to see who can do the most business, in Cole's Sweet Sixteen bracket tournament, which pits all 32 games in the park against each other. We hear about all the things Cole does that other games managers don't. He invents games. He directs music videos starring his team. (23 minutes)

Cole's Worlds of Fun videos mentioned in Act One: