This American Life

Friday - 7:00 pm / Saturday 9:00 am
  • Hosted by Ira Glass

This American Life is a weekly public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations to about 2.1 million listeners. 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 it's sort of hard to describe. Probably the best way to understand the show is to start at our favorites page, http://www.thisamericanlife.org/favorites , though we do have longer guides to our radio show and our TV show. 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.

Ira Glass Host and Executive Producer

Ira Glass started working in public radio in 1978, when he was 19, as an intern at NPR's headquarters in DC. Over the next 17 years, he worked on nearly every NPR news show and did nearly every production job they had: tape-cutter, desk assistant, newscast writer, editor, producer, reporter, and substitute host. He spent a year in a high school for NPR, and a year in an elementary school, filing stories for All Things Considered. He moved to Chicago in 1989 and put This American Life on the air in 1995.

www.thisamericanlife.org

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 on the subject, but when he learned that producer David Kestenbaum was also a kid conjurer, they decided to dive in together. 

Listen to THIS AMERICAN LIFE with host Ira Glass, every Friday night at 7:00 pm, and repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91!

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 deals, lawyers threatening to beat up parents, felony criminal charges, and the highest levels of state government. Meanwhile, the students are caught in the middle.

"Tell Me I’m Fat"

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 inspired by Lindy West’s book Shrill.

Listen to This American Life every Friday night at 7:00 pm / Saturday morning at 9:00 am - on KRCB-FM Radio 91!

If there is life elsewhere in the universe, why haven't we heard from the extraterrestrials yet? And given that there is no sign of them, does that mean we are all alone? This week, stories asking the most fundamental questions about the need to connect— to a spouse, to a daughter, to an E.T.

Hear This American Life every Friday night at 7:00 pm, and repeating Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91!

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 Hamlet.  

Listen to This American Life every Friday night at 7:00 pm, and repeating Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91.

Library of Congress

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.  

Listen to This American Life Fridays at 7:00 pm, repeating Saturday mornings at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91!

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 you’re desperate to hold onto it. You might even wonder HOW you know all the things you know. Hosted by Chana Joffe-Walt and featuring SNL’s Sasheer Zamata.

Listen to This American Life Friday nights at 7:00pm, and repeating Saturday mornings at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91!

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 confusing information landscape that is Putin's Russia. 

"In Defense of Ignorance" - 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 of ignorance truly being bliss, or even being an asset.

This week on This American Life - "Testosterone."  

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.  

Listen to This American Life - Friday nights at 7:00 pm; repeats Saturday morning at 9:00 am - on KRCB-FM Radio 91!

This week on This American Life: Ask A Grown-Up  

Stories from people who need need a grown-up to answer a question—from teenage girls asking for advice about their love lives...to a father who waited until his son was an adult to ask him how he could have been a better parent.    

Listen to This American Life Fridays at 7:00 pm, and repeats Saturday at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91!

March 10th & 11th 2017 - "My Damn Mind!"
 

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. 

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.

"It's Working Out Very Nicely," - This week, This American Life talks to people whose lives were affected by the president’s executive order on immigration. And we ask: The chaos of the rollout, the vague language that left travelers in airports, people in refugee camps, and government officials confused about how to interpret the order—was this incompetence? Or was it intentional?

Dollar photo courtesy of Paul and Esther Grachan

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 baffling apparition in a college shower stall.

This American Life airs every Friday at 7:00 pm; and repeats every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM.