Storytelling

UnFictional

KCRW, Bob Carlson

+16 FANS

Unbelievably true stories of chance encounters that changed the world. A pair of mail-order shoes that led to the film The Outsiders. A secret road to a California paradise. The day LA and smog first met. Stories that will stick in your head like a.....Show More

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24-hour Radio Race 2017

0:00 | Sep 12th, 2017

The winners of the fifth annual 24-hour radio race. [EXPLICIT LANGUAGE]

Sister Aimee

0:00 | Jun 3rd, 2017

Sister Aimee combined faith and fame in 1920s Los Angeles. She was the most popular woman in the country. Then she disappeared.

Barcelona: The View from the Streets

0:00 | Apr 29th, 2017

A tour through the life… of the tour guide.

Joe Frank: Dreamers

0:00 | Apr 22nd, 2017

A work by legendary radio storyteller Joe Frank.

UnFictional Wrap Party

00:53 | Mar 21st

Come join us to celebrate the season!

The Dream is Over

34:08 | Mar 21st

One man’s treasure is another man’s Olympic gold medal.

Denial

30:43 | Mar 14th

It never occurred to Janey that he would put something in her drink. Never in a million years.

Friends in Juggalo Places

30:39 | Mar 7th

Take a three-day bus trip across the country with a juggalo, and you’ll learn some things.

1-800-KISS-MY-ASS

22:31 | Feb 28th

Aric Allen spent much of the early 2000s on the phone – selling get-rich-quick schemes and rapidly turning into a person he didn’t recognize.

Vampire of Barcelona

23:36 | Feb 21st

Enriqueta Marti was a real-life monster who roamed the streets of 20th Century Barcelona  collecting bones and kidnapping children. Except, of course, she wasn’t.

Strangers in a Good Way

29:40 | Feb 14th

One woman discovers that her childhood crush has grown up into someone she doesn’t recognize.

Purple Rain

17:46 | Feb 7th

A romantic daytime drive becomes a nightmare when Mihai’s mind betrays him – and he turns on the person he loves.

My Foolish Illusion

28:01 | Jan 31st

When John Elder Robison gets an experimental treatment for Asperger’s, he feels like he’s suddenly seeing the world in technicolor. But that doesn’t mean he likes what he sees.

Stories of Perception

01:44 | Jan 24th

This season on UnFictional, we’re looking at how we come to know the unknown parts of ourselves. Get the first episode January 31st.

Halloween 2018

22:01 | Oct 31st, 2018

It’s a bonus episode! We’ll be back in January, but we’ve got two spooky stories to tide you over – a Halloween classic, and a brand-new, never-before-heard story of a haunted house gone terribly wrong.

Introducing ‘Bodies’

34:56 | Aug 1st, 2018

A couple years ago, sex suddenly became painful for Allison Behringer – for no obvious reason. This is the story of how she unraveled the mystery.

Introducing ‘Welcome to LA’

0:00 | May 22nd, 2018

UnFictional is still in its offseason. We’ll have news about our next batch of shows soon. In the meantime we’re bringing you the first story from KCRW’s new show “Welcome to L.A.,” hosted and produced by UnFictional contributor David Weinberg.

Louie Louie: The Strange Journey of the Dirtiest Song Never Written

0:00 | Apr 12th, 2018

An FBI Investigation, an engagement ring, wine coolers: the surprising story behind the ubiquitous rock ‘n roll anthem that every teenager bangs out on their first guitar.

Punk Jubilee

0:00 | Mar 29th, 2018

A girl gang goes on a rampage of sex, larceny and murder. But what happened when the cameras weren’t rolling? Go behind the scenes of a riotous ‘70s punk film.

Haunted

0:00 | Mar 22nd, 2018

Tara has always believed in ghosts, so she wasn’t surprised when a ghost starting haunting her Los Feliz apartment. That is, until she found out that the ghost was actually something far more frightening.

Her Name is Ember

0:00 | Mar 15th, 2018

Ember has pretty much always known who she truly was. But it was a long, obstacle-ridden path to live that true life – as a woman.

Big Sur: The Secret Road

0:00 | Mar 8th, 2018

A secret road leads to a marooned community and an ocean paradise – along the coast of California.

Bay of Smokes: The Day Smog Showed Up In LA

0:00 | Mar 1st, 2018

When you think of Los Angeles, you think of smog. But have you ever heard about the day when smog just showed up in Los Angeles? An impressionistic trip the hazy history of the skies over Los Angeles.

Man Choubam (I am good)

0:00 | Feb 22nd, 2018

After years of living in the space between who she really is, and who her mother wants her to be, Sharon decides she’s finally going to confront her mother – on a cruise with a famous Iranian talk show psychiatrist.

The Outsider

0:00 | Feb 22nd, 2018

A young movie nerd from Los Angeles finds himself in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on the set of Francis Ford Coppola’s redemption film, “The Outsiders,” thanks to a strange cosmic twist of fate (and a pair of mail-order shoes).

UnFictional returns!

0:00 | Feb 14th, 2018

The new season of UnFictional is right around the corner. Unbelievably true stories of chance encounters that changed everything. A pair of mail-order shoes that led to “The Outsiders.” A secret road to a California paradise. The day Los Angeles and ...Show More

The Past Can Hold a Terrible Power

0:00 | Jul 1st, 2017

The past can warp a person in mysterious ways. Sometimes we can figure out what's eating at us, but sometimes, we just have to push forward – into the darkness.

Because It's There

0:00 | Jun 24th, 2017

A former mountaineer returns to the Himalayas for one last climb – to bury his long lost friend. A story from KCRW's newest podcast: The Document.

Father's Day 2017

0:00 | Jun 17th, 2017

There comes a time in every child's life when they realize they can strike their own path. But often, that path leads straight back to their parents. This week, three stories of fathers and their children.

Lost Bird

0:00 | Jun 6th, 2017

A bird and a cat are saved, and so – somehow – are their saviors.

The Other Man

0:00 | May 27th, 2017

Stories of two men who meet by chance and emerge indelibly changed – or at least, one of them does.

The Enemy Within

0:00 | May 6th, 2017

Coming home from war can be messy, especially when the battle doesn't stay on the battlefield. This is the story of what it means to love and care for soldiers who have brought the war home with them.

Green Goblins

0:00 | Apr 15th, 2017

A story of baseball, fatherhood and what it's like to be the black team.

Running Away

0:00 | Apr 1st, 2017

Perseverance is a funny thing. Some people are addicted to finishing the job, no matter the cost. Running away with an idea, no matter where it takes them. And sometimes, it turns out to be worth it.

Conspiracy, Not the Crime

0:00 | Mar 18th, 2017

When you're in trouble, do you fight or do you run? The story of a man who fled from the US government for 31 years.

That Escalated Quickly

0:00 | Mar 11th, 2017

Life comes at you fast and sometimes – sideways. And, before you know it, things have gone totally off the rails.

The Liberace of Lucha Libre

0:00 | Mar 4th, 2017

Into the hyper-masculinized world of Mexican wrestling steps Cassandro, an unapologetically gay man whose 27-year-career exploded traditional ideas of what it means to be a lucha libre fighter.

The Road Warriors

0:00 | Feb 25th, 2017

When it comes to crazy, immoral and stupid decisions, nothing can match a teenager looking for a good time.

Bait and Switch

0:00 | Feb 18th, 2017

It can be a masterful feat of salesmanship, or it can be a total mistake – an unhappy case of mistaken identification. This week on the show, Bait and Switch. Three stories from our live show at Riot LA.

Last Chapter

0:00 | Feb 11th, 2017

A story about the last chapter of a man’s life, and how he asked for his best friend's help – to die.

You Want a Piece of Me?

0:00 | Feb 4th, 2017

There are times when it feels like everybody wants something from you, even when you have nothing left to give. This week, three stories of people who gave up a piece of themselves – or wanted a piece of somebody else.

The Big Day

0:00 | Jan 28th, 2017

A wedding, a bar mitzvah, and a day of innocence lost. (EXPLICIT LANGUAGE)

Shoot First

0:00 | Jan 21st, 2017

There's a bloody war raging in the Philippines – a war that's being waged by the country's own government, against its own people. The story of Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, and the thousands of lives it has already claimed.

Eyes Back on the Highway

0:00 | Jan 14th, 2017

Scooter Tramp Scotty has been drifting for twenty years, dipping in and out of people’s lives along the way. The road has become his home. As far as he's concerned, living life the way it should be lived.

Solo Man

0:00 | Jan 7th, 2017

When Erden Eruç set off to circumnavigate the globe, rowing alone across three oceans, he didn’t know just how much the trip would change him – and his relationships with his friends, family and wife. The story of an epic journey by bike, foot, and b...Show More

What Jacob Heard

0:00 | Dec 17th, 2016

When Jacob was a kid, he was a devoted member of his local Pentecostal congregation. But as he got older, he realized that the church he loved so much might not love him back.

Grace of the Sea

0:00 | Dec 10th, 2016

A story containing love, violence and a magic potato. Warning: This program contains explicit language and addresses adult topics and themes - including sex and drug use.

The Bar Girls of Angeles

0:00 | Dec 3rd, 2016

On November 8, 2013, the Philippines was ravaged by the strongest typhoon to make landfall in recorded history. This week, we're partnering with WGBH's GroundTruth to tell the story of the aftermath, from the place where climate change and sex traffi...Show More

The Animal Inside

0:00 | Nov 26th, 2016

We live with them. We feed them. Sometimes, we even clothe them. And sometimes, it all comes back to bite us. This week, trying to care for the animals in our lives – and inside ourselves.

No Such Thing As Luck

0:00 | Nov 19th, 2016

Those with experience know that things happen for a reason -- or they don't happen at all.  (Repeat)

Bilal's Calling

0:00 | Nov 12th, 2016

There's a fine line between taking a principled stand and being stubborn. Follow Tyreek Bilal as he struggles with his mosque and with his own attempts to live a godly life in a harsh world.

Graffiti Paint and Protest

0:00 | Oct 22nd, 2016

They do it under the cover of darkness, on buildings and storefronts and the walls of alleyways. Can breaking one law help change another? This week, we hear from street artists about graffiti as political protest, as art, and as an addictive, inimit...Show More

Terri and Clifford

0:00 | Oct 15th, 2016

Clifford Clinton lived a very public life in Los Angeles. He opened high-profile cafeterias – Clifton's among them – and launched a campaign to rid the city of corruption and other vices. BUT, he also lived a private life as a sexual pioneer who may ...Show More

The Missileers

0:00 | Oct 8th, 2016

Go down into the silo with the "missileers." Their hands are on the nuclear keys, and they practice the end of the world over and over. (Repeat)

Looping Swans

0:00 | Oct 1st, 2016

In Soviet Russia, when the TV started playing Swan Lake, it meant something had hit the fan.

A Shock to the System

0:00 | Sep 24th, 2016

Sometimes, all we need is a good, hard push over the edge. This week, four stories of people who got a shock to the system – sometimes, literally.

Joe Frank: Thief

0:00 | Sep 17th, 2016

Another story from broadcasting legend Joe Frank. (Repeat)

Live Die Kill: Los Angeles

0:00 | Sep 10th, 2016

What do you live for? What would you die for? What would you kill for? (Repeat)

Love Me

0:00 | Sep 3rd, 2016

The messiness of human connection.

24-hour Radio Race 2016

0:00 | Aug 27th, 2016

The winners of KCRW's fourth annual 24-hour radio race.

Faster and Faster

0:00 | Aug 20th, 2016

"If everything seems under control…. you’re not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti

We Are Not Alone

0:00 | Aug 13th, 2016

There's a place in the desert where people gather. They have different beliefs. But when they look into the night sky, they all share one idea.

Hearing Hiroshima

0:00 | Aug 6th, 2016

What an atomic bomb leaves behind.

Possession

0:00 | Jul 30th, 2016

I once saw a woman possessed right in front of me. Her eyes glazed over, she shook, and she wasn't there anymore… someone else was. (Repeat)

Stockholm Syndrome

0:00 | Jul 23rd, 2016

What happens in a bank vault doesn't always stay in a bank vault.

Wake Up Baby

0:00 | Jul 16th, 2016

Do you know who's watching your baby?

You’re a Mind Reader

0:00 | Jul 9th, 2016

With enough practice, you can know what anybody’s thinking – or can you?

Cut Your Losses

0:00 | Jul 2nd, 2016

Three stories about falling short, and having to move on anyway.

Homeless

0:00 | Jun 25th, 2016

One man's life is split between homeless shelters, rental apartments, and a home – his home – in the woods.

Fathers' Day 2016

0:00 | Jun 18th, 2016

Sometimes fathers lift you up, sometimes they need a hand, but a lot of the time they just want to rock.

Crack Up

0:00 | Jun 11th, 2016

All the best stories live on the brink of a breakdown.

What Keeps Us Apart

0:00 | Jun 4th, 2016

Between meet-cute and final embrace, every love story has an obstacle keeping our lovers from a shared destiny. (Repeat)

A Dancer Dies Twice

0:00 | May 28th, 2016

You leap in the air, but any landing might be the end of your career.

Misdirection

0:00 | May 21st, 2016

The greatest magicians keep their best and most finely tuned skills... a secret.

Something Can't Be Everything

0:00 | May 14th, 2016

Spirituality, love, and magic in 60's Hollywood.

Belle of the Ball

0:00 | Apr 30th, 2016

Stories of women who are the center of attention, for better or worse.

Standing Over the Bed

0:00 | Apr 23rd, 2016

The scariest nightmares are the ones that follow you into the daytime.

The Pirate

0:00 | Apr 16th, 2016

A cigarette at his lips, parrot Bok-Bok on his shoulder, Johnny O spent 68 years on the San Pedro waterfront, he calls himself a pirate. (Repeat)

A Portrait of Horace Parlan

0:00 | Apr 9th, 2016

Denmark was once home to many expatriate American Jazz musicians. These days, Horace Parlan is one of the only ones left.

The Hoax Artist

0:00 | Apr 2nd, 2016

Some grifters are just in it for cash. Others are in it for something much more valuable.

Thinking of You

0:00 | Mar 26th, 2016

There are the people we think of when they're not there, and there is the hope that someone, somewhere is thinking of YOU. (Repeat)

A Bump in the Road

0:00 | Mar 19th, 2016

What's it all about, the journey, the destination… or the potholes?

The Grace of Jeff Buckley

0:00 | Mar 12th, 2016

When Jeff Buckley began his day in London on March 18, 1994, he was virtually unknown. By that night, he was a legend. (Repeat)

Out of the Air

0:00 | Mar 5th, 2016

Two stories of unexpected exits from the sky - one mysterious, the other terrifying.

Service Sector

0:00 | Feb 27th, 2016

Stories about those who are here to serve you… at least in theory.

I Am Montgomery Clift

0:00 | Feb 20th, 2016

A psychic told Craig he is haunted by the ghost of actor Montgomery Clift. First he didn't believe it, but finally he couldn't deny it. (REPEAT)

Don’t Judge Me

0:00 | Feb 13th, 2016

Stories of bad decisions, dark sides, and guilty pleasures.

My Life of Crime

0:00 | Feb 6th, 2016

All it takes is a sudden thought, a snap decision, that sends you down a road of lawlessness.

Where Nobody Knows Your Name

0:00 | Jan 30th, 2016

Sometimes you find yourself in an unfamiliar place.  A foreign country, jail, or maybe just the wrong smoky club...

Joe Frank: Downfall

0:00 | Jan 23rd, 2016

Created in adversity, against all odds, and finished yesterday in the ICU of a major hospital. (Repeat)

Career Change

0:00 | Jan 16th, 2016

Two stories about detours on the path of life.

Last Chance to Evacuate Earth

0:00 | Jan 9th, 2016

A story of lost souls, close calls and web design.

Skylarking

0:00 | Dec 29th, 2015

A meditation on the joys of laying back and looking up at a big blue sky.

UnFictional Holiday Special 2015

0:00 | Dec 25th, 2015

A holiday broadcast presentation of UnFictional, featuring some of the show's best stories.

Tough Guy

0:00 | Dec 5th, 2015

A couple of stories about badass dads who don’t care what you think. (Repeat)

Friends and Basketball

0:00 | Nov 21st, 2015

When you're out on the basketball court, is a teammate the same thing as a friend?

Intruder Alert

0:00 | Nov 14th, 2015

Three stories about people who aren't supposed to be here.

The Séance 2015

0:00 | Oct 31st, 2015

On a summer night in the early 1990's, a small group of friends gather for a dinner party in Los Angeles. Just for fun, someone suggests having a little séance....

Get Off the Couch

0:00 | Oct 24th, 2015

Sometimes the hardest thing is to find motivation to do anything at all. Just stand up and walk out the door… it may kill you, or it may change your life.

Vanished Status

0:00 | Oct 10th, 2015

Howard Mechanic had been living under an assumed name for 28 years when he decided to run for his local city council. What was he hiding?

Friends in High Places

0:00 | Oct 3rd, 2015

As long as you’ve got connections you can get whatever you need; a job at the White House, some help on Shabbos, or a joint from an Amsterdam cafe.

The Couple in 303

0:00 | Sep 19th, 2015

Boston Irish mob boss "Whitey" Bulger and his girlfriend spent 15 years hiding out in Santa Monica. Residents say the most wanted man in America was a good neighbor.

The 24 Hour Radio Race 2015

0:00 | Sep 12th, 2015

The winners of our third annual whirlwind radio competition!

An American Life

0:00 | Sep 5th, 2015

A barber is sent to war with little chance of survival. Despite the physical and emotional wounds he suffered, he came out of it a better man.

Who Are You

0:00 | Aug 22nd, 2015

Often it’s the people closest to us, who hold the darkest secrets.

The Fishwives' Tale

0:00 | Aug 15th, 2015

Your husband was lost at sea, and you have no way to support your family. What do you do....? Start a band.

A Long Way from Home

0:00 | Aug 8th, 2015

Fascinating documentary production and storytelling that covers the ground between the sophisticated and the profane. A half-hour of captivating stories of real life, created by the most talented producers from around the country, as well as stories ...Show More

Collision Course

0:00 | Jul 11th, 2015

It's that shaky, full-body hangover you get after you realize how close you just came to oblivion…

When It All Blows Up

0:00 | Jul 4th, 2015

Three stories with a bomb at the center of each. One is very real, another imaginary, and in one the bomb is human.

Introducing 'Here Be Monsters'

0:00 | Jun 27th, 2015

Transport yourself into the unknown with two stories from KCRW's newest podcast, Here Be Monsters .

Advice from Dad

0:00 | Jun 20th, 2015

Live stories from Mike White, Ken Reid and Steven Yeun about getting advice (both good and bad) from their fathers.

A Need to Build

0:00 | Jun 6th, 2015

Stories of men who have a need to build, are compelled to build, obsessed, and healed by the act of creation.

Joe Frank: The Poor Are Always with Us

0:00 | May 30th, 2015

Stories by radio artist and storyteller Joe Frank.

The Wrong Man

0:00 | May 23rd, 2015

A man in the wrong place at the wrong time, a man so right he’s wrong, and a boy becomes the wrong man.

The Winter Camp

0:00 | May 16th, 2015

To the nomads of of the Tibetan Plateau, change is part of life and if you’ve got a yak, you’ve got everything you need.

Mothers Day 2015

0:00 | May 9th, 2015

"God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers." - Rudyard Kipling

The Big Lie

0:00 | May 7th, 2015

You lie to manipulate, or to hide, or to seem more interesting, but mainly it's to save your own butt. (Repeat)

The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram

0:00 | May 2nd, 2015

Against orders, Frederick Whitehurst kept the diary of a young North Vietnamese doctor. It took 30 years for her words to be heard.

My Former Enemy

0:00 | Apr 25th, 2015

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend." — William Blake (1757 - 1827)

Nature Boy

0:00 | Apr 18th, 2015

The story of a man so ahead of his time he was out of sync with the world.

The Fragile Brain

0:00 | Apr 11th, 2015

When you can't trust your own thoughts, it's a lonely world. Who decides when you're better, and how do you even know?

The Ballad of Dock Ellis

0:00 | Apr 4th, 2015

One of the most memorable characters to ever play baseball, Dock Ellis challenged the baseball establishment, pitched a no-hitter on acid, but always had impeccable style.