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Nancy Updike

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Prologue

Guest host Nancy Updike talks about learning something new, and unpleasant, about herself in, where else, a makeup store. She also talks with other people about moments where someone made an observation about them that was shocking.

Act Two: Not My First Time at the Rodeo

A man has a very clear vision of how he always stood up to his father, protected his mother and fought hard for the truth. Until one day he discovers actual raw data — secretly recorded conversations — that threaten to change his picture of everything.

Act Three: The Blunder Years

Ira Glass interviews actress Molly Ringwald about what happened when she watched one of her own movies, "The Breakfast Club" with her daughter. Ringwald talks about how for the first time, she saw the movie from the parents' point of view, not the kids'.

Act One: The Black Box

One evening last fall, Rachel McKibbens got a text from her younger brother, Peter. It read: “I’ve been too distraught to tell you, but Dad passed away today at 2:42 p.m.” She had no idea her father had even been sick, and no idea that her brother was also dying.

Prologue

We hear a phone call from this week between Kirk Johnson in California, and Ajmal, a man standing in a canal outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Act Two: Passed Over

With flames moving in from all sides during the Northern California fire, an entire town flees—except for four friends who’ve lived there since childhood. Producer Nancy Updike on what they do next.

Act Two: Conning The Con Men

The story of a con man, one of the most successful salesmen in a long-running multimillion-dollar telemarketing scam, who finally got caught when he was conned himself. Producer Nancy Updike talks about the case with Dale Sekovich, Federal Trade Commission investigator.

Act One: Grime Scene

Reporter Nancy Updike spends two days with Neal Smither, who cleans up crime scenes for a living, and comes away wanting to open his Los Angeles franchise, despite the gore — or maybe because of it.

Act Two: He’s Making a List

Nancy returns with a story that explains the origins of the special visa program for interpreters. A decade ago, a young guy named Kirk Johnson inadvertently became the point person for American policy about the Iraqis and Afghans endangered by their work for us.

Act Four: Party On!

Evan Osnos, a staff writer for the New Yorker who for years reported on China, tells producer Nancy Updike about an incredibly shrewd and successful propaganda campaign that hinged on two words. Evan's book about China, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, won the national book award in 2014.

Prologue

Ira talks to producer Nancy Updike and reporter Dan Ephron, about their interview with the accomplice, Hagai Amir, who showed them the house where he and his brother plotted the murder and the shed where he machined special bullets.

Act One: The Night

Updike and Ephron reconstruct the night of the murder, with Ephron describing what he recalls (he reported from Israel at the time and covered the rally where Rabin was assassinated). A police investigator talks about interrogating Amir in the hours after the assassination.

Act One: But Wait, There's More!

Harmon Leon is a writer and comedian whose cocktail party story about “the-weirdest-gig-I-ever-did” is more weird—by a lot—than anyone else’s we’ve heard. He answered an ad several years ago that called for a hilarious sidekick to a celebrity on a hidden camera show.