Ryan Knighton's "Punkin"

Feb 10, 2011
Ryan Knighton—whose "Baby Steps" story appeared in Wiretap as well as our Neighborhood Watch episode—has recently released this fun, short film to promote the Canadian release of his book, C'mon Papa: Dispatches From a Dad in the Dark. (Oh—and lest we cause any confusion—his book and the story in "Neighborhood Watch" are not fictional).


Update: Joe No Love

Feb 8, 2011

If you saw our TV show on Monday on Current TV, or caught the episode on Showtime or DVD, then you know the story of Joseph "Joe No Love" Kendrick, who - when originally interviewed at age 14 - vowed never to get involved in the messiness of love.

Well, the Daily Hampshire Gazette recently published a Q&A with Joe, who is now a freshman at Bennington College in Vermont. A lot of viewers wondered if Joe would stick to his plan... and one of his responses gives a pretty clear hint.

Photo by Carol Lollis

Two Charity Events with Cool Stuff You Can Get

Feb 3, 2011

Hi all -

Ira writing this.

The New York Writers Coalition has writers workshops for kids and adults all over New York (the homeless, war vets, the incarcerated, at-risk youth, and so forth). It's a really great organization, and their fundraiser on Monday, Feb 7 is kind of mind-blowing with all the stuff that's up for grabs. There's a raffle where the prizes include Jack Black doing a singing telegram on your phone and four VIP tickets to The Daily Show and signed books by David Rakoff. Plus they're throwing a "red and black" party with a silent auction. Some of the stuff in that auction: Drinks with me, a Freaks and Geeks DVD set signed by Judd Apatow and Paul Feig, a Buffy DVD set signed by Joss Whedon, a Mad Men pilot script signed by cast member Rich Sommer, autographed books from Michael Chabon and Chuck Klosterman, a handwritten page of music by Philip Glass, signed by him. The party's in New York this coming Monday. The raffle you can do from anywhere. $10. Best case: Jack Black sings to you. Worst case: you donated $10 to a good cause.

And then on Thursday Feb 17 I'll be playing poker with John Hodgman, Michael Ian Black, poker pro Andy Bloch, and anyone else who shows up - which hopefully will include you! - also in New York. It's a fundraiser for 826NYC, one of the literacy groups founded by Dave Eggers (it has a special focus on getting kids to write). The tournament winner gets a seat at the World Series of Poker. No kidding. That normally costs $10,000. So the best case scenario: you win a seat at the biggest poker tournament in the country. Worst case: you give $500 to a nice charity. Win-win, right?

This American Life now airing in Australia!

Feb 1, 2011

We're pleased to announce that as of this past Sunday, January 30th, This American Life will be broadcast weekly across Australia on ABC Radio National. ABC will air a combination of new episodes and classic episodes from the archives, 7PM each Sunday.

Ira Glass writes:

“Australia seems to have a more adventurous breed of documentary radio producer than we have here in the states. Or at least that's the impression I always get when I hear their work. My hope is that what we're doing - in trying to reinvent what it means to be public broadcasters - will be relevant and fun to listen to in Australia. We all have similar missions. The national borders that separate us seem like an artificial construct. We’re thrilled to join the great lineup of shows on ABC."

Tonight on TV: "God's Close-Up"

Jan 31, 2011

Tonight Current TV airs one of the most popular episodes of our TV show, "God's Close-Up".

Here's a video promo for the episode:

And here's a channel guide for Current TV:

Comcast: 107 (125 Dallas and Seattle)
Time Warner: 103 NY and 142 LA
Dish Network: 196
AT&T U-Verse: 189
Verizon FiOS: 192

Hillary Frank's "Longest Shortest Time"

Jan 24, 2011
This American Life contributor Hillary Frank has started a new podcast about early parenthood: The Longest Shortest Time. She writes:
Here is what I knew. If you just relax enough and surround yourself with people you trust, you’ll be able to have a natural childbirth and it might even be euphoric; you must, must, must breastfeed the baby immediately after she is born, plus keep her in your room with you that first night no matter how tired you are; and with Dr. Harvey Karp’s “five S’s” technique—swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking—a bawling infant is magically soothed.

Here is what the books didn’t tell me. That I would be in so much pain I wouldn’t even want to be touched, let alone ask for a back rub...
TAL Music Consultant Jessica Hopper tells a story in episode 2.

Ira Glass talks TV on WNYC Radio

Jan 24, 2011

Earlier today, Ira Glass went live on The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC, talking about adapting This American Life for Television.

Here's the audio:

Nancy Updike's Iraq outtakes on

Jan 20, 2011
This American Life producer Nancy Updike has a feature up on the great radio site, taking you behind the scenes of the reporting she and Larry Kaplow did for our episode "Iraq After Us", and including outtakes from their recordings.

It's pretty fascinating. Here's a sample of what Nancy has to say:

I’m still re-cutting and re-writing all the stories in my head. That’s part of foreign reporting for me, I’ve realized. With foreign stories, so much gets pushed out, even if I’ve got a whole hour: time gets eaten up trying to orient listeners, cover key backstories, explain conflicts, mix in translation. Good tape gets chucked—and then, if you’re me, it gets chewed over in your brain later...

"The Talent Show" - featuring This American Life contributors - January 26

Jan 20, 2011
The Talent Show has another show coming up—on January 26th at Littlefield in Brooklyn—featuring This American Life contributors Robert Krulwich, Eugene Mirman, Julian McCullough and Damian Kulash from OK Go. The theme this time around is "Versus: An evening of contests, interviews and duets."

$5. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. TICKETS

Monday on Current TV: "Growth Spurt"

Jan 14, 2011

In case you haven't heard, Current TV is now re-airing our television series. On Monday, January 17th at 10PM/9C, check out "Growth Spurt", stories about people charging on to the next phase of life, by sheer force of will. Current also has a Q&A with Ira Glass up on their site.

Current TV Channel guide:
Comcast: 107 (125 Dallas and Seattle)
Time Warner: 103 NY and 142 LA
Dish Network: 196
AT&T U-Verse: 189
Verizon FiOS: 192

Video promo for Monday's episode: