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Storytelling

Strangers

Lea Thau

+97 FANS
From Lea Thau, Peabody award-winning producer and creator of The Moth Podcast and The Moth Radio Hour, comes her new storytelling baby, Strangers. Each episode is an empathy shot in your arm, featuring true stories about the people we meet, the conne...Show More
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Jack Be Nimble, Part 2

35:20 | Aug 18th, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen: Jack, Part 2, in which there will be guns and fear and roses and magic. There will be frat boys and homeless ladies, sweet clowns, and sad selves. Above all, there will be Jack. He will be nimble and he will be bold.
Jack Be Nimble, Part 1

34:21 | Aug 5th, 2017

A run-down trailer in small town Texas, Sunday mornings with Charlie Chaplin, heroine-dazed zombies, fighting off dragons, and narrowly escaping real life monsters — this was Jack’s life when she was a little girl. It was about survival from the very...Show More
Anniversary

06:22 | Aug 4th, 2018

A mini update from Lea, in which she has an anniversary and gets back in the closet. 
Isn’t It Nice

34:30 | Dec 12th, 2017

We bring the year full circle with a new story about Jared in St George, Utah, who was the subject of our very first episode this year. We reflect on the beautiful difference a year can make, even for someone who thought his whole future had disappea...Show More
Go, Kalan

24:55 | Nov 21st, 2017

The story of a young man who decided to say yes.
Do You Like My Little Lie?

33:15 | Oct 12th, 2017

It’s the time of year when skeletons come out of the closet. We honor the dead, as we get ready for holidays among the living, where secrets will be spilled, and secrets will be created that will haunt us for years to come. You might describe today’s...Show More
The Continental Divide

55:42 | Sep 26th, 2017

In this episode, Lea reckons with her mistakes and turns to the work of her longtime hero, Scott Carrier, of the podcast Home of the Brave, which you can find at homebrave.com.
A Filipino-Albino-Gay-Straight-Boy-Girl-Poor-Privileged-Immigrant-American Life

38:04 | Sep 7th, 2017

Born in the Philippines as the only blond person for miles around, race was merely the first thing about the albino baby that confused people…
Human/Ordinary

29:58 | Jul 21st, 2017

A couple of weeks ago we got an email from Sam in Australia about his podcast Human/Ordinary. We liked it so much we decided to share it with you. Here’s an adapted version of his 10th episode called Headstone: Breath and Bone. The content might be i...Show More
Franky Carrillo: Life Now

28:36 | Jul 12th, 2017

We check in with Franky who did 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit (listen to our original Franky Carrillo episode “Life” for the backstory) and find out how he’s doing now and what he’s been up to for the last six years since his exoner...Show More
A Brief Mea Culpa From the Land of the Danes

04:22 | Jun 22nd, 2017

Where’s your episode? Where’s Lea? A short audio postcard from Denmark.
Franky Carrillo: Life

33:40 | Jun 8th, 2017

Franky spent 20 years in prison for a crime he had nothing to do with. This is his remarkable story. We first published this story four years ago and are rerunning it this week as part of the network-wide Radiotopia theme, “Doing Time.” And we’re wor...Show More
Dear Diary

30:05 | Jun 1st, 2017

This is not another Trump voter conversation. It’s not an end-point or a neat conclusion to the series. This is Lea crying into her iPhone at 10pm on a Tuesday because she doesn’t know what to conclude, how to mend, where to go. It’s a messy, confess...Show More
Lea in Trumpland #2: Eugene

57:34 | May 12th, 2017

This is where the gloves come off. In this episode, Lea travels to New York to talk to a Trump supporter who defies a lot of the stereotypes: he’s coastal, young, urban, educated, Jewish, an immigrant… But man oh man do the punches fly, on both sides...Show More
Lea in Trumpland: Alicia

56:07 | Apr 29th, 2017

Lea has been traveling around interviewing Trump supporters and she’s tried to do it differently. She’s gotten drunk with them and high with them, she’s road-tripped with them and stayed overnight in their kids’ bedrooms, she’s cried with them, dined...Show More
Kugel vs Khaled

36:52 | Apr 16th, 2017

In this episode we revisit the story of Alaa Khaled AKA Alec Ledd and ponder life’s big questions, such as kugel, identity, celebrity, and how far we will go to please Barbara Streisand or compete with a more-famous brother.
Claire Obscure

56:32 | Mar 11th, 2017

It starts with a murder and ends with new questions. In between there’s Claire’s story. That’s not her real name. It’s neither her old name, nor her new name. It’s the name she took to tell this story. Warning: this episode contains graphic and distu...Show More
12 Years On

32:45 | Feb 25th, 2017

In August 2004, a Somali refugee family arrived in Vermont. It was the beginning of many good things.
Pabba’s 32nd Year

27:32 | Feb 10th, 2017

Imagine if your parents had access to your online dating profile. That happened to Pabba.
Two Men and a Baby, The Final Episode

22:22 | Jan 27th, 2017

For nearly three years, we’ve been following Patrick and Steve and their attempt to adopt their foster daughter, and no other story we’ve done has generated as many emails from you, wondering how it all worked out. Today you will finally know. You ca...Show More
Wouldn’t It Be Nice

32:41 | Jan 13th, 2017

It’s a new year, a time for hope or worry, for regrets or new plans, a time to count our blessings or pick up the pieces. Last year around this time, as 2016 was just beginning, Jared and Sharry in Utah were tremendously excited about the year ahead,...Show More
Eleven Up

1:06:52 | Dec 12th, 2016

Today’s story is about two families trying to become one family. One set of parents is white, one is black, one lives in Portland, OR, the other in Miami, FL, one is Canadian/American, the other is Haitian/American. So, geographically, demographicall...Show More
The People Next Door

54:14 | Nov 24th, 2016

Three stories about Mexican immigration, showing us that there are two sides to the border fence, but many sides to the story. On this episode, we find some unlikely bedfellows among liberals and conservatives, even immigrants and the border patrol. ...Show More
Lex

34:07 | Nov 11th, 2016

When you start to think your own child might have a propensity for violence, what do you do?
The Truth

49:04 | Oct 28th, 2016

Ashley’s husband, Corey, is accused of the worst thing imaginable. What follows sends the family on an ever darkening journey, swinging between answers, hypotheses, emotions, and, ultimately, the truth. This story is not appropriate for children.
I’m an American

26:28 | Oct 12th, 2016

Lea recounts the personal journey that led her to become an American citizen this summer. It starts in Sweden in 1945….
Me For Mayor?

20:58 | Oct 3rd, 2016

Have you ever had the fantasy that a chance encounter with a stranger could tell you who to be? Karin Gutman was working as an assistant when a senior advisor to a US Senator came out of the blue with an offer to change her life… This story first air...Show More
Blue Astringent Blues

22:57 | Sep 23rd, 2016

A wanna-be artist finds himself in a dual-life dilemma. Can you be the next Bukowski and the king of high-end skin care — at the same time? When push comes to aftershave, which do you choose? Brian Finkelstein tells this story, which originally aired...Show More
Matjames Returns: Scenes from Yellow Springs

25:37 | Sep 2nd, 2016

Three years after Tyler issued a dare for Matjames to return to Yellow Springs, and 26 years after he fled, Matjames finally makes the trip. For optimal enjoyment of this episode, please listen to the first story about Matjames and Tyler, “Flee, Floo...Show More
Matjames and Tyler: Flee, Flood, Float

38:02 | Aug 26th, 2016

This is a rebroadcast of a story we produced three years ago. It’s a story we’ve always really liked, and we’re sharing it with you this week because we’ll have an update on the story next week. So be sure to check this out and stay tuned for the fol...Show More
Love Hurts — Two Years Later

44:19 | Aug 16th, 2016

Lea revisits her own love life. Two years ago, Lea produced “Love Hurts,” a series about her ill-fated adventures in online dating throughout the 4 years since she’d suddenly found herself single with an infant in her late 30s. The same week that the...Show More
The Bus & The Duff

28:18 | Jul 22nd, 2016

Two stories from two stages of love about chance encounters, bold moves, tough luck, predictable fights, unlikely angels, and those unavoidable moments where you simply have to “sh*t or get off the pot.”
Not By Accident

42:16 | Jul 8th, 2016

So you’re 37 and single….  On this third installment of our “Summer of Love” series, we explore the singles’ experience with two intimate stories from the lovely podcast “Not by Accident” by Sophie Harper.
Jo & Fayaz

41:49 | Jun 25th, 2016

Fayaz asked Jo to marry him after they’d spent just one week in the same place. Here’s how that worked out. This story is the second installment in our Summer of Love series, but as it unfolds it becomes about more than just love.
As Far As You Can Get

20:49 | Jun 10th, 2016

Welcome to our new series, “Summer of Love,” inspired by this quote from a Danish newspaper: “For decades women seem to have been asking themselves the following questions: How do I get a man? How do I hold on to him? How do I put up with him? How do...Show More
The Son, The Goddess, and Leopoldo

46:38 | May 30th, 2016

Born in a coven of lesbian witches in a Haight-Ashbury commune after the fall of Saigon, young Joshua Safran soon hit the open road with his single mother, Claudia, and things only got stranger from there. A word of warning: this story contains some ...Show More
Outside In

27:56 | May 13th, 2016

One day when her daughter was 1 month old, Nanna Balslev took the elevator to the top floor of one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen. Here’s why.
Dumb Sh*t We Do #3: Stow Away

12:31 | Apr 29th, 2016

Wanna go to Europe? Got no cash? Why not stow away? Well….
Dumb Sh*t We Do #2: Rob Banks

26:31 | Apr 15th, 2016

We feature the story of Joe Loya’s bank robbing career by producer Ben Adair of the podcast “First Time Last Time,” along with a follow-up conversation between Lea and Joe about the dumbest sh*t he’s pulled as a bank robber. Check out the “First Time...Show More
Dumb Sh*t We Do #1: Fib

12:46 | Apr 1st, 2016

Melia Mills was working as a lobby-greeter at a hotel, when one day Dave Chapelle came to stay…This is the first in our April mini-series “Dumb Sh*t We Do.”
Worth Saving

23:29 | Mar 18th, 2016

Annie Bradley was raised to believe that women shouldn’t have opinions or make decisions. But what happens when her life depends on a radical split-second decision?
Elizabeth and Mary: The Aftermath

33:12 | Mar 4th, 2016

Do altruists make us uncomfortable? Hell freakin’ yeah. Or so it seems. The most generous person we’ve ever profiled became the center of a social media storm. Lea called up some of the harshest critics to find out, eh, WHY?
Elizabeth and Mary, Part 3

30:02 | Feb 27th, 2016

So did this transplant happen? Is Lea going to give away a kidney? Are you? Tune into this third instalment of Elizabeth and Mary to find out.
Elizabeth and Mary, Part 2

39:26 | Feb 12th, 2016

This is the second installment in our series about Elizabeth and Mary. On this episode, we play some of the strong reactions we received from listeners to the first installment, and dive deeper into why Elizabeth decided to give a kidney to a strange...Show More
Elizabeth and Mary, Part 1

44:32 | Jan 29th, 2016

Would you give a kidney to a stranger? Inspired by a previous episode of Strangers, Elizabeth decided to do just that. This is Part 1 of the story that ensued.
The Waxing Virgin — Then and Now

28:48 | Jan 15th, 2016

Four years ago, we met Becca, a virgin in her 30s who waxed genitals for a living. On this episode we play her original story, along with an update about what Becca has been up to since then…
A Special Broadcast From Strangers

1:00:03 | Jan 4th, 2016

Two of our favorite stories in one radio hour. With Henry & Jane Evans and Lyena Strelkoff, produced for KCRW.
Left Right Black White

36:42 | Dec 4th, 2015

A stereotypical, Whole-Foods-shopping, NPR-listening liberal finds herself in an alliance of Republicans.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman

30:09 | Nov 6th, 2015

Sometimes you get in a rut as a creative professional, wondering if you’ll ever be a professional, creatively, or if you’ll be forever stuck in some dead-end day job that’s designed to pay the bills but barely does. And then you might fantasize that ...Show More
My Father’s Bones

30:47 | Oct 9th, 2015

One day when Susan was five, her father came home and nailed her bunk bed shut. That was the beginning of a long strange journey.
Jenni, Remembered

33:22 | Sep 12th, 2015

In the Strangers community, we’ve lost one of our own: Jenni Rowell, 33, has passed away. In this episode, with the help of her family and friends, we rejoice in her life and everything she gave us, and we mourn what we have lost. We also reveal some...Show More
Sexistential

33:24 | Aug 19th, 2015

What exactly does a sex surrogate do? Meet Kendra Holliday to find out. Warning: This content is not suitable for children.
Love Hurts – One Year Later

40:46 | Aug 1st, 2015

One year ago today, July 31st, Lea went to interview Robert, a guy she’d dated, about why he’d turned her down. That became the first of a series of episodes called “Love Hurts,” where Lea investigated why she was having trouble finding love again in...Show More
The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read

34:26 | Jul 11th, 2015

John Corcoran graduated from high school and college and then spent 17 years as a high school teacher without knowing how to read or write. How on earth did he pull that off? And why? This is his story. A different version of this story was originall...Show More
American Mormon — International Mr. Leather

26:10 | Jun 27th, 2015

A new – and improved! – version of an old Strangers story: A Mormon boy grows up to become “International Mr. Leather,” which is the “Miss Universe” equivalent of the leather fetish world, and he’s forced to acknowledge some surprising parallels betw...Show More
Like a Pizza: Two Men and a Baby – the Follow-Up

26:02 | Jun 13th, 2015

In 2014 Patrick and Steve received a surprise delivery…and it was a newborn, whaa! A story ensued, which became the episode Two Men and a Baby. Now, a year later we check in to see how things are going. Get the full story here.
Adrian’s Race 2

47:57 | May 30th, 2015

This is the second installment in our series about Adrian Wagner, who at 25 is losing his eyesight, and who is in a race to try to locate his birth parents in time to qualify for upcoming clinical trials, which might cure his condition but require ge...Show More
Unconditional

33:32 | May 15th, 2015

This is a story of mothers, love, regrets and redemption, and of secrets from many years passed that cast long shadows in our lives. It’s about how Deborah Jiang-Stein came to be pulled over by two highway patrolmen at 19 years-old, with a trunk load...Show More
The Cruellest Month?

31:38 | May 2nd, 2015

April is the cruellest month. At least it can be. If you are depressed or heartbroken, there is nothing worse than the thaw and the blossoms and the girls in short dresses and the lovers on park benches licking melting ice cream off each other’s face...Show More
Adrian’s Race

38:19 | Apr 17th, 2015

Adrian is 25 and losing his eyesight. He’s in a race against time. He’s also in a battle between humility and pride. When is it stubborn, perhaps even foolhardy, not to make concessions to one’s disability? When is it the only way out? And where do y...Show More
Jenni, Now

23:55 | Mar 27th, 2015

We revisit Jenni Rowell from the episode “Life, Interrupted” to see where things stand, and learn some sh*t about life. Get the full story here.
And Justice for All?

16:33 | Mar 13th, 2015

A booker for TV court shows shares highs and lows from the merry-go-round of daytime justice… Get the full story here.
Love – Good and Bad

35:44 | Feb 13th, 2015

For Valentine’s Day we return to the theme of love, with a story about someone else’s heartbreak for a change. As for Lea’s heart, well, you’ll see… Get the full story here.
A Father’s Story – Then and Now

25:12 | Jan 17th, 2015

To mark the three-year anniversary of Strangers we share with you the very first story ever featured on the show, about Stephen Rochelle and his son Matthew, and we return to Stephen to see how they’re doing now, three years later. In July 2011, Matt...Show More
Love Hurts — The Follow-Up

28:27 | Dec 19th, 2014

Lea received hundreds of messages in response to her raw, personal four-part series, “Love Hurts.” In this follow-up episode, she strings together the funny, poignant and moving voice mails she received from listeners in response to the series and tr...Show More
The Mind Shaft

30:43 | Dec 5th, 2014

Greg O’Brien was in his late 50s when strange things started happening… Get the full story here.
Alaska Bingo

16:42 | Nov 7th, 2014

Sam Feirstein takes a broken heart to Alaska and finds surprising kindness in “enemy territory.” Also, producer Lea Thau takes a broken heart to India and has a “stranger” experience that inspires her to create this show. Get the full story here.
Screaming with Professionals

32:04 | Oct 30th, 2014

For Halloween, we give you a ghost story of sorts. Not in the traditional sense, but we think you’ll know what we mean when you hear it. As a little boy, Bill Ratner experienced a series of tragedies. Then he learned to scream…. Get the full story he...Show More
Falling Slowly

24:13 | Oct 24th, 2014

Strangers, at its core, is about the beauty and the struggle of human connection and what happens in those moments when we get closer to someone else, or, say, further removed from ourselves. Often that change is subtle and slow, but sometimes it is ...Show More
Big Jim & Smokey Joe

12:43 | Oct 14th, 2014

A waitress, a former bomber pilot and a retired railroad engineer embark on the adventure of a lifetime. A version of this story was previously featured on Season 1 of Strangers. Get the full story here.
Love Hurts 4

33:09 | Oct 9th, 2014

In this final installment of Love Hurts, Lea talks to a guy SHE turned down. Get the full story here.
Love Hurts 3

43:45 | Sep 17th, 2014

On this episode, Lea seeks dating advice from two experts…and lets it all hang out. “Love Hurts” is a series in which Lea investigates why she is single. We recommend listening to the episodes in order. Get the full story here.
Love Hurts 2

29:20 | Sep 3rd, 2014

Lea continues her quest to discover why she’s been single for nearly four years. She interviews yet another guy who turned her down to find out why he didn’t want to date her, and tells stories of her past loves and present dates. Get the full story ...Show More
Love Hurts

36:58 | Aug 15th, 2014

While doing a story about online dating, Lea gets her heart broken (yet again). Get the full story here.
Kenna Fisher: Renaissance Woman

35:36 | Jul 11th, 2014

Kenna, formerly known as Ken, came out 5 years ago. This her story. Get the full story here.
Two Men and a Baby

24:36 | Jun 15th, 2014

Two young men receive a surprise delivery.  And it’s a newborn. Whaaa! Get the full story here.
The Long Shadow

39:07 | May 17th, 2014

Murder, music, mystery. A controversial event in 1997 changed the fate of two band mates. Get the full story here.
Cora Leighton: The Gift

27:14 | Apr 17th, 2014

A stripper and a tattoo artist have a fateful encounter. Get the full story here.
Jenni Rowell: Life, Interrupted

30:12 | Mar 14th, 2014

Imagine waking up every morning and seeing a stranger in the mirror… Get the full story here.
Liz Fletcher: Little Orphan Edie, a Valentine’s Story

27:54 | Feb 11th, 2014

A tale of true love spanning four decades, two countries, and classic racial divides… Get the full story here.
Born Rich (or Poor): Moby, Jamie Johnson and Others

33:42 | Jan 16th, 2014

Just how fabulous is it to be fabulously rich? 4 stories of wealth–inherited and earned.   Get the full story here.
Anniversary Episode: Strangers Revisited

38:11 | Dec 13th, 2013

An online dater finds love after 16 years, and an exonerated prisoner goes to see the former District Attorney. Get the full story here.
Alfredo Corchado: Midnight in Mexico

32:59 | Nov 15th, 2013

An immigrant boy receives an offer he can’t refuse. Get the full story here.
Andrew and Akina Cox: Meet the Moonies

39:43 | Oct 18th, 2013

A hip young artist couple find themselves in an arranged marriage. Get the full story here.
Andrea Askowitz: Be My Baby

28:42 | Sep 20th, 2013

A woman finds her way to the all-american, suburban, lesbian life. Get the full story here.
Terry’s Treasure

31:03 | Aug 30th, 2013

Producer Lea Thau embarks on a strange online dating adventure. Get the full story here.
Matjames and Tyler: Flee, Flood, Float

41:59 | Aug 15th, 2013

A story about the places we go and the people we find. (Sorry we don’t want to give it away, just listen, please.) Get the full story here.
Henry and Jane

43:09 | Jul 16th, 2013

A 40-year-old stroke victim demonstrates that a sense of humor can be the last thing to go. Get the full story here.
Altruism

28:52 | Jun 14th, 2013

Does true altruism exist? Here are three stories that say yea, nay, and just maybe… Get the full story here.
Gay Talese: Committed Voyeur

44:56 | May 9th, 2013

Legendary non-fiction writer, Gay Talese, discusses his marriage, his work, and the scandals that have made waves in both. Get the full story here.
Franky Carrillo: Life

38:11 | Apr 11th, 2013

A man spends 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, but comes out ahead… Get the full story here.
Alec Ledd, Moby: A.K.A.

27:35 | Mar 15th, 2013

Moby shares moments with strangers, Alec Ledd goes Jewish for Barbara Streisand. Get the full story here.
Lauren Whaley, Jake de Grazia, VS. Dobbs: Love

38:10 | Feb 14th, 2013

Three stories of heart break and true love. Get the full story here.
David Terry: Jesus

27:44 | Jan 11th, 2013

The son of missionaries is taken to Greece and returns to the U.S. in the 8th grade with a mullet and a Jesus shirt. Get the full story here.