March 28, 2014

Bad Baby

They're small. And they're cuddly. But sometimes it feels as though our babies were replaced with demon replicas—controlling, demanding, or just downright awful. This week, stories of infants and children who dominate the adults around them with their baditude, or whom adults have painted with the "bad" brush from early on. We also ask the question: at what age does badness begin?

Chris Gethard


Ira talks to "Cheryl," an anonymous blogger who's been documenting life with an 8-year-old son who seems to take pleasure in causing chaos. He's tried to kill his little brother more than once. He broke Cheryl's nose after asking for a hug. She and her husband have tried everything they can think of to control him and treat his condition but they're not even sure what's wrong. (10 minutes)
Act One

Baby NOT On Board

Ira plays tape from an interview that he did more than 20 years ago, with the author Doris Lessing, about her novel The Fifth Child, which tells the story of a woman who gives birth to a goblin-like baby. The archival audio appears courtesy of National Public Radio, Inc.

Then Ira's conversation with Cheryl, from the top of the show, continues. She talks about the impossible decision she's facing: whether to keep her son in the home or to send him away in order to protect her other two kids. (6 minutes)

Act Two

The Road To Badness

Yale psychologist Paul Bloom tells Ira about his research into the morality of babies and young children. (3 minutes)
Act Three

The Devil Went Down To Jersey

Producer Jonathan Menjivar tells the story of a bad baby who stopped being bad. At two years old, Comedian Chris Gethard had a knack for dancing on his mother's last nerve. Finally, Chris's father decided drastic measures were in order. Chris just released his first comedy album called My Comedy Album. (12 minutes)