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This American Life

This American Life

+1161 FANS
This American Life is a weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 2.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered...Show More
#513: 129 Cars

1:16:11 | Nov 6th, 2017

We spend a month at a Jeep dealership on Long Island as they try to make their monthly sales goal: 129 cars. If they make it, they'll get a huge bonus from the manufacturer, possibly as high as $85,000 — enough to put them in the black for the month....Show More
640: Five Women

0:00 | Mar 4th, 2018

A different kind of #MeToo story, about several women who worked for the same man. They tell us not only about their troubling encounters with him, but also about their lives beforehand. Who were they when they entered the workplace, and how did thei...Show More
667: Wartime Radio

1:06:54 | Feb 3rd

Intimate and personal dispatches from two very different battlefields: A small town in the Syrian war. And the U.S. opioid epidemic. Each came from a DIY radio outfit. (Okay, one’s a podcast.)
647: LaDonna

0:00 | May 27th, 2018

A security guard at the airport notices something going wrong on the tarmac, and takes it upon herself to fix it. It’s way harder than she expects.
#550: Three Miles

1:02:27 | Jan 8th, 2018

There’s a program that brings together kids from two schools. One school is public and in the country’s poorest congressional district. The other is private and costs $43,000/year. They are three miles apart. The hope is that kids connect, but some o...Show More
#626: White Haze

1:01:16 | Sep 25th, 2017

Right-wing groups like the Proud Boys say they have no tolerance for racism or white supremacist groups. Their leader Gavin McInnes disavowed the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. But the Proud Boys believe “the west is the best,” which, on...Show More
#282: DIY

1:00:39 | Aug 28th, 2017

After four lawyers fail to get an innocent man out of prison, his friend takes on the case himself. He becomes a do-it-yourself investigator. He learns to read court records, he tracks down hard-to-find witnesses, he gets the real murderer to come fo...Show More
#621: Fear and Loathing in Homer and Rockville

1:05:30 | Jul 24th, 2017

Two towns where people got really upset about undocumented immigrants, even though in both places, that did not seem to be the most important thing happening at all. One of the towns, a small town in Alaska, has no undocumented immigrants at all, but...Show More
#622: Who You Gonna Call?

1:02:02 | Aug 7th, 2017

When everything goes wrong, one of the first things we think is, "Who do I call?" This week, stories of lucky people who have found the exact right person to ring up for help.
670: Beware the Jabberwock

1:09:28 | Mar 17th

Stories from the upside-down world where conspiracy theorists dwell.
638: Rom-Com

0:00 | Feb 11th, 2018

The one thing you know for sure when you're watching a romantic comedy is that it's going to turn out okay in the end. When you're living one? Not so much. This week for Valentine's Day, stories that unfold like rom-coms.
#612: Ask a Grown-Up

1:04:10 | Mar 20th, 2017

Stories from people who need a grown-up. Featuring teenage girls asking for advice about their love lives and Ira's tribute to his his very grown-up friend Mary.
664: The Room of Requirement

1:00:52 | Dec 30th, 2018

Libraries aren't just for books. They're often spaces that transform into what you need them to be: a classroom, a cyber café, a place to find answers, a quiet spot to be alone. It's actually kind of magical. This week, we have stories of people who ...Show More
508: Superpowers

58:47 | Aug 19th, 2018

We answer the following questions about superpowers: Can superheroes be real people? (No.) Can real people become superheroes? (Maybe.) And which is better: flight or invisibility? (Depends who you ask.)
589: Tell Me I’m Fat

1:09:10 | Apr 14th

The way people talk about being fat is shifting. With one-third of Americans classified as overweight, and another third as obese, and almost none of us losing weight and keeping it off, maybe it’s time to rethink the way we see being fat. A show ins...Show More
47: Christmas and Commerce

1:02:23 | Dec 23rd, 2018

Stories about the intersection of Christmas and retail, originally broadcast in 1996 when our show was only one year old. Including David Sedaris's story "Santaland Diaries," which first aired on NPR's Morning Edition in a much shorter version.
651: If You Build It, Will They Come?

59:35 | Jul 15th, 2018

A young preacher opens a new church. A new restaurant reopens old wounds. This week, stories of people trying to build something that will last.
#175: Babysitting

1:02:15 | Jul 31st, 2017

Stories of babysitters, and what goes on while mom and dad are away that mom and dad never find out about. Including the story of two teenagers who decide to invent children to babysit, as an excuse to get out of their own house.
#589: Tell Me I’m Fat

1:09:13 | May 29th, 2017

The way people talk about being fat is shifting. With one-third of Americans classified as overweight, and another third as obese, and almost none of us losing weight and keeping it off, maybe it’s time to rethink the way we see being fat. A show ins...Show More
#617: Fermi’s Paradox

59:54 | May 22nd, 2017

Three people grapple with the question, “Are we alone?”
172: 24 Hours at the Golden Apple

59:04 | May 5th

We document one day in a Chicago diner called the Golden Apple, starting at 5 a.m. and going until 5 a.m. the next morning. We hear from the waitress who has worked the graveyard shift for over two decades, the regular customers who come every day, t...Show More
317: Unconditional Love

59:25 | Mar 10th

Can love be taught? A family uses a controversial therapy to train their son to love them. And other stories about the hard and sometimes painful work of loving other people.
668: The Long Fuse

1:06:05 | Feb 17th

People tossing words out into the world impulsively. And how they ignite and burn. Over decades.
492: Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde

1:05:27 | Nov 25th, 2018

Dr. Benjamin Gilmer gets a job at a rural clinic. He finds out he’s replaced someone — also named Dr. Gilmer — who went to prison after killing his own father. But the more Benjamin’s patients talk about the other Dr. Gilmer, the more confused he bec...Show More
653: Crime Scene

1:01:03 | Aug 5th, 2018

Every crime scene hides a story. In this week's show, we hear about crime scenes and the stories they tell.
241: 20 Acts in 60 Minutes

0:00 | Mar 11th, 2018

Instead of the usual "each week we choose a theme, and bring you 3 or 4 stories on that theme" business, we throw all that away and bring you 20 stories—yes, 20—in 60 minutes.
542: Wait—Do You Have The Map?

0:00 | Feb 18th, 2018

Stories about people feeling lost and trying to figure out how to move ahead: two brothers take a doomed road trip through Mexico and a couple from radically different backgrounds draw up a contract for their unlikely romance.
635: Chip in My Brain

0:00 | Jan 12th, 2018

A boy who can’t dribble gets a coach, a new best friend, and something to believe in.
#632: Our Town

1:05:35 | Dec 11th, 2017

The man whose views on immigration are a cornerstone of Trump administration policy—Attorney General Jeff Sessions—apparently came to his opinions on the issue from seeing what happened in the poultry plants of Alabama. He believes undocumented worke...Show More
#598: My Undesirable Talent

1:00:30 | Dec 4th, 2017

San Francisco’s Spider-Man burglar was remarkable. He dropped into buildings from skylights, leapt 10 feet from one roof to another. But mostly, his talent got him into trouble. This week, his story, and stories of other undesirable talents.
#84: Harold

58:59 | Nov 27th, 2017

The story of Harold Washington, the greatest politician you've probably never heard of, and the white backlash that was set off when he became Chicago's first black mayor. This weekend is the 30th anniversary of his death.
#619: The Magic Show

1:00:20 | Jul 3rd, 2017

Just a few years before he got the internship at NPR that started him in radio, our host Ira Glass had another career. He performed magic at children's birthday parties. A powerful sense of embarrassment has prevented him from ever doing an episode o...Show More
#534: A Not-So-Simple Majority

1:02:43 | Jun 26th, 2017

We take it for granted that the majority calls the shots. But in one NY school district, that idea — majority rules — has led to an all-out war. School board disputes are pretty common, but not like this one. This involves multimillion-dollar land de...Show More
#618: Mr. Lie Detector

1:01:32 | Jun 12th, 2017

A polygraph operator and his strange journey. And other stories.
585: In Defense of Ignorance

1:02:47 | Aug 4th

Exactly how incompetent you are. What your ex’s best friend really thinks of you. The approximate time that you will die. Some things in life are better not to know about. And sometimes there can be a benefit to not knowing. In this episode — example...Show More
165: Americans In Paris

59:29 | Jul 21st

Many Americans have dreamy and romantic ideas about Paris, notions which probably trace back to the 1920s vision of Paris created by the expatriate Americans there. But what's it actually like in Paris if you're an American, without rose-colored glas...Show More
676: Here’s Looking at You, Kid

1:01:32 | Jun 2nd

Adults telling kids who they are, and kids wondering — are they right?
199: House on Loon Lake

59:48 | May 26th

A real-life Hardy Boys mystery. More than most of our shows, this one lends itself to a Hollywood-style tagline. Perhaps: "The House at Loon Lake: You Might Break In ... But You'll Never Forget." Or, "The House at Loon Lake: Dead Letters Tell No Tale...Show More
332: The Ten Commandments

1:01:30 | Apr 28th

Stories of people struggling to follow the Ten Commandments from the book of Exodus.
673: Left Behind

1:04:35 | Apr 21st

People figuring out how to move through a world in which something important has disappeared.
616: I Am Not a Pirate

1:08:24 | Mar 24th

To be, or not to be a pirate? This week, that is the question. Hold fast, mateys! We have stories about both historical and modern-day swashbucklers who loot, pillage, and question their choices.
666: The Theme That Shall Not Be Named

1:04:56 | Jan 20th

Satan! In his many surprising manifestations, all around us.
665: Before Things Went to Hell

1:03:07 | Jan 13th

We revisit those moments of calm before the storm, when things could have gone very differently, but instead, they went to hell.
661: But That's What Happened

1:04:44 | Nov 11th, 2018

Stories of women in unsettling situations. When they try to explain what’s wrong, they’re told that they don’t understand—that there’s nothing unsettling about it.
528: The Radio Drama Episode

1:28:11 | Oct 21st, 2018

Our most ambitious live show ever! We pulled together a massive team of theater pros at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Opera House—nearly 50 singers, actors, dancers and musicians. The result? Journalism turned into a Broadway musical (hear the cast...Show More
659: Before the Next One

59:57 | Oct 14th, 2018

There’s no rulebook on how to handle a school shooting. And no real way to prepare for one. This week, people take what they’ve learned from these tragedies and try to use that knowledge to save others.
402: Save the Day

1:08:30 | Sep 9th, 2018

Stories about one person single-handedly taking charge of a situation gone wrong—including one man's mission to rescue two kids who were kidnapped by alleged murderers and taken to Mexico, and another about a professor's mission to keep the educators...Show More
504: How I Got Into College

59:53 | Sep 2nd, 2018

Students all over are starting college this month, and some of them still have a nagging question: what, exactly, got me in? An admissions officer tells us the most wrongheaded things applicants try. And Michael Lewis has the incredible story of how ...Show More
654: The Feather Heist

1:05:18 | Aug 12th, 2018

A flute player breaks into a British museum and makes off with a million dollars worth of dead birds.
649: It's My Party and I'll Try If I Want To

59:15 | Jun 24th, 2018

Democrats are desperate to retake part of Congress. Their best shot is the House. This fall, they’ll be slugging it out with Republicans—but in the meantime, they’re slugging it out with each other. The progressive and moderate wings of the Democrati...Show More
648: Unteachable Moment

0:00 | Jun 10th, 2018

Stories about people trying to learn something when no one is clear what the lesson is supposed to be.
339: Break-Up

0:00 | May 13th, 2018

Writer Starlee Kine on what makes the perfect break-up song and whether really sad music can actually make you feel better. Plus, an eight-year-old author of a book about divorce, and other stories from the heart of heartbreak.
644: Random Acts of History

0:00 | Apr 29th, 2018

Stories about people who accidentally bump into unsettling facts of history in settings meant to teach them history. What they end up learning is very different from what they’re supposed to.
642: The Impossible Dream

0:00 | Apr 8th, 2018

Before he leaves the Senate for good, Republican Jeff Flake is trying to get a bill passed. He has his work cut out for him, with a Senate that barely brings anything to the floor, a party he feels estranged from, and a president who seems to hate hi...Show More
289: Go Ask Your Father

0:00 | Apr 1st, 2018

Sons and daughters get to find out the one thing they've always wanted to know about their father. The answers aren't always what they hope for.
639: In Dog We Trust

0:00 | Feb 25th, 2018

Stories of dogs and cats and other animals that live in our homes. Exactly how much are they caught up in everyday family dynamics? We answer this question and others.
637: Words You Can't Say

0:00 | Feb 4th, 2018

In this politically charged climate, it feels like you have to be super careful with your language, no matter who you are or what side you're on. Stories about people who say the “wrong” thing and suffer the consequences, including a very conservativ...Show More
352: The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar

0:00 | Jan 28th, 2018

In 1912 a four-year-old boy named Bobby Dunbar went missing in a swamp in Louisiana. Eight months later, he was found in the hands of a wandering handyman in Mississippi. In 2004, Bobby Dunbar's granddaughter discovered a secret beneath the legend of...Show More
636: I Thought It Would Be Easier

0:00 | Jan 19th, 2018

A year into Trump’s presidency, stories chronicling the sometimes hard, often bad, decisions politicians from both parties are making.
#633: Our Town - Part Two

1:08:28 | Dec 18th, 2017

So many people in Albertville, AL wondered what it cost them in taxes when thousands of undocumented immigrants moved to their town. One woman drove our host Ira Glass to the grocery store to watch a random Latina mom buy some milk with government as...Show More
#603: Once More, With Feeling

1:00:08 | Nov 20th, 2017

Stories of people who decide to rethink the way they’ve been doing things, or try to get others to do that. Including a woman who decides to confront the men who catcall her, and get them to give it up forever.
#631: So a Monkey and a Horse Walk Into a Bar

1:01:44 | Nov 13th, 2017

This week, blurring the line between animal and human.
#630: Things I Mean to Know

1:01:53 | Oct 30th, 2017

There are so many facts about the world that we take for granted—without ever questioning how we know them. Of course the earth revolves around the sun. Of course my dog loves me. But how exactly do we know things like that are true? This week, stori...Show More
#629: Expect Delays

59:22 | Oct 23rd, 2017

We all love to travel to different places, but not many of us like the stressful, banal process of the journey. This week, stories about delays—including a town known entirely for its speed trap, and a woman who comes up against bureaucratic nightmar...Show More
#627: Suitable for Children

1:00:55 | Oct 9th, 2017

This week we ask: who thought that would be a good for a kid? Neil Drumming looks back at a toy he loved that, in retrospect, probably wouldn’t love him back. And we go to a museum that educates children but also scares the hell out of them.
#587: The Perils of Intimacy

1:05:24 | Oct 2nd, 2017

Stories about mysteries that exist in relationships we thought couldn't possibly surprise us, the strangeness of putting our wants on the line with someone who may not share them at all, and how much we're willing to risk for someone we may never see...Show More
#597: One Last Thing Before I Go

1:01:54 | Sep 18th, 2017

Words can seem so puny and ineffective sometimes. On this show, we have stories in which ordinary people make last ditch efforts to get through to their loved ones, using a combination of small talk and not-so-small talk.
#625: Essay B

1:00:31 | Sep 9th, 2017

In the fall of 1967, two black freshmen arrived at an all-white private boarding school in Virginia. They were the first black students ever to attend the school. One of the main reasons they were there? To benefit the white kids. This week, we hear ...Show More
#623: We Are in the Future

59:25 | Aug 21st, 2017

One of our producers, Neil Drumming, has recently become fascinated with Afrofuturism. It's more than sci-fi. It’s a way of looking at black culture that’s fantastic, creative, and oddly hopeful—which feels especially urgent during a time without a l...Show More
#472: Our Friend David

1:00:03 | Aug 14th, 2017

Favorite stories by our longtime contributor and friend David Rakoff.
#620: To Be Real

1:00:31 | Jul 17th, 2017

Most of the time, we show the world a pretty superficial version of ourselves. "How about that weather?" But this week—people who try to go deeper, to get to something real, in some unexpected places: war, magic and porn.
#109: Notes on Camp

1:01:02 | Jul 10th, 2017

Stories of summer camp. People who love camp say that non-camp people simply don't understand what's so amazing about camp. In this program, we attempt to bridge the gap of misunderstanding between camp people and non-camp people.
#218: Act V

1:02:03 | May 15th, 2017

We devote this entire episode to one story: Over the course of six months, reporter and This American Life contributor Jack Hitt followed a group of inmates at a high-security prison as they rehearsed and staged a production of the last act—Act V—of ...Show More
#615: The Beginning of Now

1:00:06 | May 1st, 2017

Before Donald Trump started his presidential campaign in 2015, there was a congressional race that redefined what was possible in American politics. Steve Bannon and Breitbart News got involved in that race early, just like they later got deeply invo...Show More
#220: Testosterone

1:04:02 | Mar 27th, 2017

Stories of people getting more testosterone and coming to regret it. And of people losing it and coming to appreciate life without it. The pros and cons of the hormone of desire.
#579: My Damn Mind

1:00:38 | Mar 11th, 2017

The brain! It's powerful! We have the story of how one man's delusions lead him to a situation that's just as strange as the worst thoughts his mind is cooking up. That story's a collaboration with the New York Times. Pictured: Alan Pean, with visibl...Show More
#360: Switched At Birth

1:00:51 | Feb 27th, 2017

On a summer day in 1951, two baby girls were born in a hospital in small-town Wisconsin. The infants were accidentally switched, and went home with the wrong families.
#582: When the Beasts Come Marching In

1:03:55 | Feb 13th, 2017

We human beings think we run the world, that we’ve got things under control. And then an animal shows up, and things don’t go as planned. We have stories this week where seals, wolves and a moose drop in and show us who isn't boss.
#489: No Coincidence, No Story!

1:00:25 | Jan 30th, 2017

We asked listeners to send us their best coincidence stories, and we got more than 1,300 submissions! There were so many good ones we decided to make a whole show about them. From a chance encounter at a bus station to a romantic dollar bill to a baf...Show More
#604: 20 Years Later

1:01:40 | Dec 12th, 2016

Samantha Broun talks to cops, politicians, inmates, and family closest to the crime that changed policy 20 years ago for inmates serving life sentences in Pennsylvania. It's a crime Samantha knows well, because it happened to her mom.
681: Escape From the Lab

1:01:01 | Aug 18th

What happens when our most ingenious creations actually make it out into the world.
409: Held Hostage

59:25 | Aug 11th

Stories of people held captive — by criminals, by paperwork, and in one man's case, his own body — and the ways they try to cope.
680: The Weight Of Words

1:00:02 | Jul 28th

Words mean things, but some words are especially meaningful — whether in a survival manual, a song lyric, or a slur.
679: Save the Girl

1:01:42 | Jul 14th

People go on missions to save young girls from danger. But sometimes they get so caught up in the mission that it overshadows the girl herself.
678: The Wannabes

1:09:49 | Jul 7th

This country is crawling in presidential candidates right now and they're bumping into each other in Des Moines and yelling over each other in Miami. We hang out with them, in this weird early period of the election when they're easy to walk right up...Show More
354: Mistakes Were Made

59:16 | Jun 30th

It’s the late 1960s, and a California TV repairman named Bob sees an opportunity to help people cheat death with the new science of cryonics. But freezing dead people isn’t easy. And apologizing for the mistakes you make along the way? Even harder.
677: Seeing Yourself In the Wild

1:01:40 | Jun 16th

Stories of those unexpected moments when we see who we really are.
675: I’m on TV??

1:00:36 | May 19th

What it's like to be momentarily big on the small screen.
674: Get a Spine!

1:06:19 | May 12th

Stories of people standing up for themselves, shaking off their fear, bracing themselves, and doing what they’ve been scared to do.
672: No Fair!

1:04:12 | Apr 7th

Stories of very small injustices and also one very big one.
671: Anything Can Be Anything

1:01:32 | Mar 31st

People connecting the dots that maybe should not be connected.
669: Scrambling to Get Off the Ice

1:02:37 | Mar 3rd

The Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee may have to fight to protect Mueller's investigation and make his report public. Now that they’re in the majority, they have new tools they can use. Our producer Zoe Chace spent weeks behind the scenes w...Show More
419: Petty Tyrant

1:02:41 | Feb 24th

In Schenectady, New York, a school maintenance man named Steve Raucci works his way up the ranks for 30 years, until finally he's in charge of the maintenance department. That's when he starts messing with his employees. Teasing them at meetings. Pun...Show More
486: Valentine’s Day

1:01:33 | Feb 10th

Love makes us do crazy things. But usually not this crazy. This week for Valentine's Day we have stories of people going to extremes to find and pursue their one true love.
204: 81 Words

1:00:22 | Dec 16th, 2018

The story of how the American Psychiatric Association decided in 1973 that homosexuality was no longer a mental illness.
663: How I Read It

1:03:43 | Dec 9th, 2018

Documents you don't normally think of, showing you things you didn't expect.
479: Little War on the Prairie

1:04:49 | Dec 2nd, 2018

Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, John Biewen says, nobody ever talked about the most important historical event ever to happen there: in 1862, it was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged aft...Show More
662: Where There Is a Will

1:03:33 | Nov 18th, 2018

Stories of people who believe there is always a way. And also those who don’t.
660: Hoaxing Yourself

59:16 | Nov 4th, 2018

Stories of people who tell a lie and then believe the lie more than anyone else does. In other words: Stories about people pulling hoaxes...on themselves.
351: Return to Childhood

1:00:34 | Oct 28th, 2018

Stories of people who try to revisit their childhoods—what they find and what they do not find.
658: The Unhappy Deciders

1:00:58 | Oct 7th, 2018

Making big decisions about other people's lives can feel pretty awful. Zoe Chace followed Senator Jeff Flake as he decided to force the Senate to delay its vote on Judge Kavanaugh. And other stories.
489: No Coincidence, No Story!

1:01:39 | Sep 30th, 2018

We asked listeners to send us their best coincidence stories, and we got more than 1,300 submissions! There were so many good ones we decided to make a whole show about them. From a chance encounter at a bus station to a romantic dollar bill to a baf...Show More
657: The Runaways

1:03:13 | Sep 23rd, 2018

A bunch of teenagers go missing from a town in Long Island. For months, the police treat them as runaways, ignoring the kids' parents, who keep trying to tell them otherwise. They keep trying to tell them that something much worse might have happened...Show More
656: Let Me Count the Ways

1:18:27 | Sep 16th, 2018

Yes, youʼve heard about the family separations. Youʼve heard about the travel ban. But there are dozens of ways the Trump administration is cracking down on immigration across many agencies, sometimes in ways so small and technical it doesnʼt make he...Show More
655: The Not-So-Great Unknown

59:05 | Aug 26th, 2018

What happens when unadventurous people end up in adventurous situations. Like an astronaut who goes to places no one has gone before, even though he’s not really into outer space.
619: The Magic Show

59:39 | Jul 29th, 2018

Just a few years before he got the internship at NPR that started him in radio, our host Ira Glass had another career. He performed magic at children's birthday parties. A powerful sense of embarrassment has prevented him from ever doing an episode o...Show More
652: ICE Capades

1:05:41 | Jul 22nd, 2018

Dispatches from a government agency in its tumultuous teenage years.
652: Crime Scene 2018

0:00 | Jul 15th, 2018

Every crime scene hides a story. In this week's show, we hear about crime scenes and the stories they tell.
617: Fermi’s Paradox

1:01:19 | Jul 8th, 2018

Three people grapple with the question, “Are we alone?”
650: Change You Can Maybe Believe In

1:03:22 | Jul 1st, 2018

An innocent man forgives the cop who framed him. An Argentinian talk show that usually treats women as objects suddenly gets really interested in feminism. This week, stories about changes that seem too tidy to be true.
560: Abdi and the Golden Ticket

1:03:57 | Jun 17th, 2018

A story about someone who's desperately trying – against long odds – to make it to the United States and become an American. Abdi is a Somali refugee living in Kenya and gets the luckiest break of his life: he wins a lottery that puts him on a short ...Show More
233: Starting From Scratch

0:00 | Jun 3rd, 2018

Stories of people starting over, sometimes because they want to, other times because they have to.
646: The Secret of My Death

0:00 | May 20th, 2018

Cryptic messages on a cell phone and a teeter totter at a construction site: these are clues people found, trying to make sense of a death.
645: My Effing First Amendment

0:00 | May 6th, 2018

Conservative students don't feel like their ideas are welcome on campus. So they're fighting back. We go to Nebraska, where one skirmish spins out of control.
304: Heretics

0:00 | Apr 22nd, 2018

The story of Reverend Carlton Pearson, a rising star in the evangelical movement, who cast aside the idea of hell, and with it everything he'd worked for over his entire life.
643: Damned If You Do…

0:00 | Apr 15th, 2018

It’s one thing to weigh pros and cons. But sometimes all you have is con and con. This week, stories of people having to make a choice, when no good options exist. The group Ira mentions at the end of Act One is the UN World Food Programme; their ...Show More
306: Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time

0:00 | Mar 25th, 2018

A girl signs up for a class. A couple hires an accountant. A group of co-workers decides to pool their money and buy a couple of lottery tickets. In the beginning, they're full of hope and optimism...and then something turns. Stories of good ideas go...Show More
641: The Walls

0:00 | Mar 18th, 2018

Stories from border walls around the world, where one place ends and another begins. And the strange ecosystems that arise.
596: Becoming a Badger

0:00 | Dec 29th, 2017

This week, stories about people trying their best to turn themselves into something else—like a badger. Or a professional comedian, in a language they didn’t grow up speaking.
634: Human Error in Volatile Situations

0:00 | Dec 22nd, 2017

Even the best laid plans can go catastrophically wrong when humans get involved. This week, people bungle simple operations on some of the most dangerous weapons in the world.
#628: In the Shadow of the City 2017

58:25 | Oct 16th, 2017

Stories that take place on the edge of civilization, just out of sight.
#624: Private Geography

1:00:34 | Sep 4th, 2017

Everyone walks around on their own private map of the world. The places we’re from and how they made us, whether we like it or not.
#234: Say Anything

59:59 | Jun 19th, 2017

Does talking about it really help? Stories where it does, and stories where it doesn't, including a man who tried to battle his fears by listing them. He ended up with a list 138 items long.
#246: My Pen Pal

1:00:17 | Jun 5th, 2017

Stories of very unusual pen pals, including a ten-year-old girl from Michigan who befriends Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. A show from 2003 that we’re bringing back with news this week of Noriega’s death.
#616: I Am Not A Pirate

1:08:20 | May 8th, 2017

To be, or not to be a pirate? This week, that is the question. Hold fast, mateys! We have stories about both historical and modern-day swashbucklers who loot, pillage, and question their choices.
#583: It’ll Make Sense When You’re Older

59:16 | Apr 24th, 2017

At first, it’s super annoying, getting told it’ll make sense when you’re older. Then, when you’re a teenager, hard lessons are learned, despite your best efforts to be too cool to care. By the time you’re actually old, you know a bunch of stuff— and ...Show More
#614: The Other Mr. President

1:06:23 | Apr 17th, 2017

Since Russia meddled in our election, there's been concern that the fake news and disinformation that's so prevalent there could be taking hold in this country. But is that hyperbole? This week we look at what it's actually like to live in the confus...Show More
#585: In Defense of Ignorance

1:04:28 | Apr 10th, 2017

Exactly how incompetent you are. What your ex’s best friend really thinks of you. The approximate time that you will die. Some things in life are better not to know about. And sometimes there can be a benefit to not knowing. In this episode, examples...Show More
#613: OK, I’ll Do It

1:03:35 | Apr 3rd, 2017

Stories of people who decide that they are the best person for the job, no matter how dangerous. Including a story about a stay-at-home mom with a history of gun running for a guerilla organization, and a surgeon who does surgery...on himself.
#611: Vague and Confused

1:05:28 | Mar 6th, 2017

A show about rules and what happens when they’re vague and randomly enforced.
#610: Grand Gesture

1:01:11 | Feb 20th, 2017

This week we have stories of people going to very extreme measures to demonstrate their feelings. Elna Baker makes a questionable trip to Africa, while a man in Florida commits a series of disturbing acts in the name of love. Ira also goes to a high ...Show More
#609: It's Working Out Very Nicely

1:03:06 | Feb 6th, 2017

This week we document what happened when the President’s executive order went into effect temporarily banning travel from seven countries, and we talk about the way it was implemented. A major policy change thrown into the world like a fastball with ...Show More
#608: The Revolution Starts At Noon

1:07:57 | Jan 23rd, 2017

Some people are super-stoked for the political changes that are coming. We hear from them. And others.
#577: Something Only I Can See

59:24 | Jan 16th, 2017

When you’re the only one who can see something, sometimes it feels like you’re in on a special secret. The hard part is getting anyone to believe your secret is real. This week, people trying to show others what they see—including a woman with muscul...Show More
#607: Didn’t We Solve This One?

1:03:59 | Jan 9th, 2017

We’ve fought two wars since 9/11. We got help from tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans—some were targeted or killed because they helped us. We owe these people. We’ve passed laws that say so. So why has it been so hard for us to get many of them ...Show More
#572: Transformers

1:01:40 | Jan 2nd, 2017

For the New Year, as people everywhere make resolutions, we have stories of people deciding to make very big changes. A prisoner who hasn't talked to anyone in years comes up with a bold plan to re-introduce himself to the world. A 90-year-old woman ...Show More
#606: Just What I Wanted

1:02:08 | Dec 26th, 2016

Stories from people who want something desperately—for Christmas or otherwise—and then have their wishes fulfilled. Or do they?
#605: Kid Logic 2016

1:00:55 | Dec 19th, 2016

Stories of kids using perfectly logical arguments, and arriving at perfectly wrong conclusions. An updated version of an episode from 2001, with one story swapped.