People occasionally ask me what my favorite Podcast is. I really don’t have to think very hard about it. Hands down, it’s This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass. Each week, they choose a theme and then relate stories based on that theme. Sometimes, it’s one story, or it could be five. They are separated by acts. It is, by far, the most compelling audio program I’ve ever listened to in my entire life. I do enjoy Technology, but sometimes I need to escape it. I don’t honestly listen to many Tech podcasts. I live it! If there’s something I want to know, I generally find out from all of you.
For a long time, This American Life was only a radio show, one with a hard-to-describe sound, millions of listeners, and a bunch of awards. Then, after more than a decade on the radio, we started the television show, mostly because it seemed like it might be fun. We continue to produce the weekly radio show, which can be heard on more than 500 public radio stations around the country (find a station near you) as well as on this website, through our free podcast. The television show is on the Showtime network.
The radio and TV shows follow the same format. There’s a theme to each episode, and a variety of stories on that theme. It’s mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. There’s lots more to the show, but, like we said, it’s sort of hard to describe. Probably the best way to understand the show is to start at our favorites page, though we have full guides to our TV show and our radio show, with clips. If you want to dive into the hundreds of episodes we’ve done over the years, there’s an archive of all our old radio shows and listings for all our TV episodes, too.
Even if you don’t care a lick about the subject matter, you’re still going to love it. If you’re a parent/guardian, you may want to consider using this as a teaching tool. It’s basically truth put into a storytelling construct.
I don’t care how old you are, or what country you may live in. You will love This American Life. You may look at the subject lines, and think it sounds stupid and you’ll want to skip it. DON’T! Trust me, you will get sucked in. It’s so compelling, I have to make the recommendation to all of you to check it out.
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