Ira talks to Luke Huisenga, a Marine sniper who became a fan of Gilmore Girls while on deployment in Iraq.
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In preparing for this show, we started reaching out to Americans living in China and asking for their stories. A shocking amount of the expats came back with stories about different times they were on Chinese television.
Ira speaks with a reality TV producer named Bill Langworthy, who has noticed that people do things in front of the camera that they would never, ever do in their actual lives.
Stef Willen tells Ira about a time that she took matters into her own hands, even though she was only a lowly production assistant on a reality show.
David Iserson tried to lay low in junior high, staying out of sight to keep from getting teased and bullied. But then he starred in a local TV commercial for his father's furniture store, and all of a sudden everyone knew about him...in a bad way.
Host Ira Glass talks with Jane Espenson—who's written for the TV shows Battlestar Galactica and Gilmore Girls—and with J.J. Abrams—one of the creators of the hit shows Lost, Alias, and Felicity—about how we might be in the midst of another Golden Age of television.
Ira says a few words about what he learned from working on a television show himself and about what it's like to hear your name mentioned casually by a fictional character on a prime time drama.
Ira talks with Bob Harris, a former Jeopardy champion, about how he prepared to go on the program. He turned his living room into a replica of the real-life Jeopardy studio, taped a poster of Alex Trebek, the host of Jeopardy, in the exact spot where the real Alex Trebek stands, and even made a fake buzzer out of a ball point pen and masking tape.
Marian Fontana's husband was a Brooklyn firefighter who was killed on September 11, 2001. Afterwards, she started an organization, fighting to keep her husband's fire station open, and to help victims' families.
Host Ira Glass reminds the audience about the old TV series MacGyver, about the guy who stops bad guys without a gun. He uses science and sheer ingenuity to invent solutions.
Host Ira Glass talks to Jorge Just, who thought he'd started over successfully. He'd moved to New York, found an apartment that everyone told him was a great deal, things were looking good.
Host Ira Glass explains how you can get away with anything if you claim you did it for love.
The TV show America's Funniest Home Videos has an archive of over half-a-million video clips. Ira talks with Todd Thicke, the show's co-executive producer, and Trace Beaulieu and Mike Palleschi, two of the show's writers, about what all that footage tells them about Americans that the rest of us don't know.
Ira reports on a week he spent on the set of the TV show M*A*S*H in 1979, supposedly to do a story about the program for National Public Radio. He was 20 years old.
Host Ira Glass talks with Bennett Miller and Matt Futterman about a campaign for student government that changed the way student elections were done in Mamaroneck High School back in 1985. Futterman, in the waning days of his campaign, tried a radical tactic: A TV ad.
Dirty political attacks go back to the very beginning of the American Republic. What's different today, says historian Richard Norton Smith, is that television and the other electronic media have made our contact with the candidates so intimate.
There's a TV ad so popular in Canada right now that people chant it in bars, stand and cheer it in theaters and at hockey stadiums. The ad taps into our desire to be part of a mob...and provides a safe way to do it, without fear.
Sean Cole explains why he decided that he would speak with a British accent—morning, noon and night—from the age of sixteen until he was eighteen...and how he believed the lie that he was British must be true.
What do cats want to see on television? Steve Malarky, creator of the world's best-selling home video for cats, tells all. And—in the interest of equal time—a cashier who works at a chain store that sells pet products rants about the absurdity of the items she's ringing up every day: St.
A Hollywood TV producer tries to convince a church of evangelical Christians to sell out a member of their own congregation. Matt Malloy reads. He was one of the stars of the acclaimed independent film In the Company of Men.Also in this act: Dickens vs.
How an audience of children derailed Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
Karl T. Wright's and Wendy Miller's game show wedding.
LuAnne Johnson is a teacher who sold her story to Hollywood and saw it made into the film and TV series Dangerous Minds, in which a character named LuAnne Johnson does things the real LuAnne believes are unethical and silly.
Host Ira Glass talks to people who gather every week to watch the TV show Dark Shadows. (1 minute)