Ira Glass's sister once met David Sedaris, and commented that he was much nicer than she thought he would be, given his writing. David replied, "I'm not nice, just two-faced." In this story, David shares the thoughts running through his head as he attempts to buy a cup of coffee.
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David Rakoff died on August 9, 2012. He’d appeared on This American Life 25 times, first in 1996, during the third month of the show; his last appearance was just a few weeks before he died.
David writes about how his life changed after a single evening spent with 5000 chickens.
David demonstrates — in rhyme — how to make a wedding toast for people you never wanted to see married in the first place. From epsiode #389: Frenemies.The show also includes never-before-heard excerpts from David’s book, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel.
David’s first battle with cancer came at age 22. Years later, he wrote about the experience.
Working at an advertising agency in Japan in the early ‘80s, David scoffed at their computer “network.” From episode #241: 20 Acts in 60 Minutes.
Recalling the years when he worked low-level publishing jobs, David describes the life of a writer who doesn’t actually write.
A never-before-aired story about the Broadway musical Rent.
David Rakoff tells this story, about the invisible processes that can happen inside our bodies...and the visible effects they eventually have. David died three months after this performance, in August 2012.
W hear the first time David appeared on our show, in a courtroom radio drama in which played a cat who was also the prosecuting attorney. From epsiode #12: Animals. Then a story David co-wrote and performed with Jonathan Goldstein, originally for the CBC’s Wiretap, about a man who believes he’s turning into a cockroach and reaches out to a famous doctor for advice.
David on how he tried to pass as a local once he moved from Toronto to New York. He claims that there must be a chip in his head — or something like it — that automatically tells him when someone or something famous is Canadian.
A man who believes he's turning into a cockroach reaches out to a world famous doctor for advice. Except the doctor will only respond in rhyme.
To get a sense of what really is true of Apple's working conditions in China, Ira talks to New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg. Duhigg, along with Times reporter David Barboza, wrote the newspaper's front-page investigative series in early 2012 about this subject.
Ira interviews Ryan Knighton, a blind guy who had a very peculiar experience with a hotel room telephone. Then Ira introduces the rest of the show, which was recorded live on stage in New York City and beamed to movie theaters in the US, Canada and Australia.
Famous people are supposed to be somewhere else, invisible to us. Comedian Tig Notaro tells this story about repeatedly running into Taylor Dayne, who was a pop star in the late 80s and early 90s.
Kristen Finch was a speech therapist who sometimes worked with kids with Asperger Syndrome, symptoms of which include emotional distance, inflexibility and missing social cues. Kristin and her co-workers often joked that all their husbands had Asperger's, since the symptoms overlap with stereotypically male personality traits.
A portrait of what it looks like when politics gets polarized, and how hard it is for people in the middle to hang on. Producer Sarah Koenig explains what happened when a wave of Republican politicians swept to power with a three-to-one majority in 2010.
Ira and Robyn go to the casino to try out their newfound card counting skills.
For years, Jorge Salcedo was chief of security for the Cali drug cartel in Colombia. He was in charge of protecting some of the most powerful criminals in the world...until he decided to take them down.
Producer Jonathan Menjivar tells the story of John Smid, a gay man who did not want to be gay, and who tried to get other gay people to suppress their urges as well. Then...John changed.
John continues the story of the Dakota War of 1862, and how it resulted in the expulsion of the Dakota people from the state of Minnesota. Then John goes back to his hometown to see how this history is being taught today.
Last Summer, Alabama passed HB56, the most sweeping immigration bill in the country. It's an example of a strategy called "attrition through enforcement" or, more colloquially, "self-deportation"--making life so hard on undocumented immigrants that they choose to leave the country.