This American Vote in Song

Nov 3, 2016

Ira writes:

After producer Zoe Chace pointed out that the Republican leadership this year seemed like figures in a tragic opera, watching their party turned upside down, we set about looking for songwriters. We explained that we didn’t want to make fun of these politicians. We didn’t want to mock. Just the opposite. We wanted the composers to do what great songwriters always do: take us inside someone’s head and help us feel what they feel. Here are all three songs.

Shortcut: Listeners Choose Their Favorite Moments

Oct 12, 2016

Yesterday we launched Shortcut, a new app that allows you to turn your favorite podcast moments into shareable videos. It's been fun seeing which clips you, our listeners, are picking.

Here are some of our favorites.

French vs. American Comedy: Gad Elmaleh on Stage

Sep 9, 2016

Zack McDermott writes:

Gad Elmaleh is considered one of the founding fathers of stand-up comedy in France. Before he brought the traditional American stand-up style to France, he did elaborate and theatrical one-man shows.

To say he’s a star in France is an understatement. Just take a look at his entrance in his iconic 2010 special “Papa est en haut.”

Behind the Scenes of a Secret Interrogation Camp

Aug 26, 2016

Karen Duffin writes:

I stumbled on the story of PO Box 1142 (Ep. #595) by way of my dad. One day he casually mentioned that Nazi POWs helped pick potatoes on his farm in Idaho when he was a kid. I thought, sure, Dad. But then I Googled it. Realized he was right. And spent the next few years obsessively researching America’s WWII POW program, poring through hundreds of documents and conducting dozens of interviews.

Do Robot Babies Make Teens Want Real Babies?

Aug 25, 2016

Hillary Frank writes:

Last year, I did a story, “And Baby Makes 0011,” for This American Life and my podcast, The Longest Shortest Time, about robot babies. Y’know, those electronic baby dolls that some schools use in health class to scare kids out of getting pregnant. The babies are programmed to mimic real babies, crying at seemingly random times all day and night. And if you can’t properly diagnose whether the baby needs to be fed, changed, or comforted, your grade drops. Realityworks, the company that makes the computerized babies, says that 67% of school districts in the United States use their simulators, and that the program is used in 89 countries worldwide.

Refugee Camps in Greece: How to Help

Aug 9, 2016

Photo by Evangelos Maroudas

Miki Meek writes:

After listening to our most recent episodes—"Are We There Yet?" and "Don't Have to Live Like a Refugee"—some listeners have asked how they can help the refugees in Greece. There are many organizations there, including Doctors Without Borders and UNHCR. Here is a list of some of the groups we interacted with directly, with descriptions of some, but not all, of the work they do.

Ira and Mike’s New Movie Opens This Weekend!

Jul 22, 2016
Don't Think Twice

Ira writes:

I’m excited to say that the new film I made with Mike Birbiglia opens this weekend in New York, and all over the country in the next few weeks. It's a comedy called Don't Think Twice. It’s been amazing to see Mike grow as a writer-director since our first film Sleepwalk with Me. Leonard Maltin’s review says that this is his Annie Hall—"a coming-of-age for him as a true cinematic storyteller”—and I really agree.

Garrison Keillor on David Sedaris

Jun 7, 2016

Ira writes:

This is old but I just stumbled across it. I love so many things about it including the fact that Garrison starts his response with “A generous thought on your part, Ken” when in fact Ken is being kind of a dick.

"Videos 4 U: I Love You" wins an Emmy

May 2, 2016

A video we made with director Bianca Giaever won a 2016 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Directing, Special Class. It was produced by This American Life producer Stephanie Foo, with Jonathan Figueroa of the production company M ss ng P eces.