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

Matt Chase / via This American Life

This week on This American Life: LaDonna works security at an airport, a job she really loved, except for her supervisors. They did some pretty bad stuff. But LaDonna, she does not accept the world as it is. She reads a lot of self-help books and decides to put them to work — all of the stuff in them — to fix her situation. How that goes for her… that’s this week on This American Life.

This week on This American Life: In high school, Gary Gulman didn’t want to be a football player. Then he got this phone call from two coaches who told him they were going to train him and make him a star, ripped like Arnold. A timid kid gets ripped like Arnold and stays …  timid. It’s complicated. Young people looking to adults for insight and guidance and getting confusing answers.

via This American Life

Our entire show this week is one long story, sort of a real-life Hardy Boys mystery. More than most of our shows, this one lends itself to a Hollywood-style tagline. Perhaps: "You Might Break In... But You'll Never Forget." Or "Dead Letters Tell No Tales."

Painting by Steve Connell/via This American Life

The This American Life producers 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, the couples working out their problems, various assorted drunks, and, of course, cops.

The Brick Testament / via This American Life

Stories of people struggling to follow the Ten Commandments from the book of Exodus.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org /  On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

A painting by Fernando Botero, photographed by Edgar Zuniga, Jr. / via This American Life

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.

via This American Life

Stories of very small injustices and also one very big one.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org /  On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

The enduring appeal of connecting dots that probably should not be connected.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org /  On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

Library of Congress

A man in 1717 has a midlife crisis, and decides he's going to leave his family and go be a pirate. He builds himself a ship, sets sail, makes friends with Blackbeard, plunders many ships, and then you might say he gets a little too successful at piracy. That guy's story — all true — this week on This American Life.

Matt Chase

Stories from the upside-down world where conspiracy theorists dwell.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org /  On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

via This American Life

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.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org /  On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

via This American Life

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 with them as they tried out their new powers for the first time.

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. Punishing them with crummy work assignments. Or worse things, like secretly slashing their tires in the middle of the night.

This week, people tossing words out into the world impulsively. And how they ignite and burn. Over decades.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org /  On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

bored-now / via This American Life

This week on This American Life: Kurt and his girlfriend had been together for 13 years. They wondered why they had never considered marriage, and realized that they wanted to sleep with other people before they tied the knot. Then the adventure began. This week on This American Life, stories of love making us do crazy things.

Matt Chase / via This American Life

There's a community radio station in a small town in Syria. But in the current war, this town is run by extremist Islamists who decide that it is offensive for women's voices to be on air. So...the radio station disguises them. This week on This American Life, an incredible look inside Syria as seen through this little radio station. 

Satan! In his many surprising manifestations, all around us.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org / Comcast Cable channel 961 all over the Bay Area / On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

We revisit those moments of calm before the storm when things could have gone very differently, but instead, they went to hell.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org / Comcast Cable channel 961 all over the Bay Area / On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

Frankie Quinn / via This American Life

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

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org / Comcast Cable channel 961 all over the Bay Area / On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

 

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images via This American Life

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 roam the stacks and find unexpected things that just happen to be exactly what they required.

Courtesy of David Sedaris

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.

This week, the story of how the American Psychiatric Association decided in 1973 that homosexuality was no longer a mental illness.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org / Comcast Cable channel 961 all over the Bay Area / On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

The KRCB FM Holiday and End Of Year Fundraiser is happening NOW! 

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Mike McQuade

This week on This American Life: There's a lawsuit over whether Harvard admissions discriminates against Asian students. And because of the suit, many students have gone to the registrar's office to look at their own files. One student learned something that made him uncomfortable. His story, this week on This American Life.

Courtesy to Pioneer Press: Minnesota Historical Society / Via This American Life

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 after a war with white settlers. John went back to Minnesota to figure out what really happened 150 years ago, and why Minnesotans didn’t talk about it much after.

Erin Brethauer (Benjamin); Andre Teague / Bristol Herald Courier/AP/Via thisamericanlife.org

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 becomes. Everyone loved the old Dr. Gilmer. So, Benjamin starts digging around, trying to understand how a good man can seemingly turn bad.

Imagno / Getty Images via This American Life

Stories of people who believe there is always a way and also those who don’t.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org / Comcast Cable channel 961 all over the Bay Area / On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

thisamericanlife.org

  Women are often told they have the wrong idea about their own experience. That what they say happened never happened, didn't happen like they say it did, or that it did happen—but it was not that bad. This week, women run up against resistance when they tell stories about their own experiences.

Sarah / This American Life

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.

This American Life is heard every Friday night at 7:00 pm; repeating every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91 / Streaming @ norcalpublicmedia.org / Comcast Cable channel 961 all over the Bay Area / On-demand with the FREE KRCB App @ iTunes App Store & Google Play!

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.

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