10 episodes

Each week we choose a theme. Then anything can happen. This American Life is true stories that unfold like little movies for radio. Personal stories with funny moments, big feelings, and surprising plot twists. Newsy stories that try to capture what it’s like to be alive right now. It’s the most popular weekly podcast in the world, and winner of the first ever Pulitzer Prize for a radio show or podcast. Hosted by Ira Glass and produced in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago.

This American Life This American Life

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 284 Ratings

Each week we choose a theme. Then anything can happen. This American Life is true stories that unfold like little movies for radio. Personal stories with funny moments, big feelings, and surprising plot twists. Newsy stories that try to capture what it’s like to be alive right now. It’s the most popular weekly podcast in the world, and winner of the first ever Pulitzer Prize for a radio show or podcast. Hosted by Ira Glass and produced in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago.

    828: Minor Crimes Division

    828: Minor Crimes Division

    People taking it upon themselves to solve the tiny, overlooked crimes of the world.


    Prologue: Host Ira Glass bikes around Manhattan with Gersh Kuntzman, in search of illegal license plates. (11 minutes)

    Act One: Writer Michael Harriot reexamines the DIY criminal justice system his mom invented to deal with his bad behavior as a child. (20 minutes)

    Act Two: Producer Aviva DeKornfeld talks to Caveh Zahedi about a crime he may or may not have committed, depending on who you ask. (7 minutes)

    Act Three: Micaela Blei accidentally solves a crime that had been going on for a long time, right under her nose, and has to decide what to do next. She told this story onstage at The Moth. (7 minutes)

    Act Four: Editor Bethel Habte examines video evidence of two parents trying to get to the bottom of a minor crime committed in their own home. (7 minutes)

    • 59 min
    587: The Perils of Intimacy

    587: The Perils of Intimacy

    Mysteries that exist in relationships we thought couldn't possibly surprise us.


    Prologue: Ira talks to Rachel Rosenthal, who spent years trying to figure out who had stolen her identity. She was closing bank account after bank account, getting more and more paranoid, until she realized she knew exactly who the thief was. (5 minutes)

    Act One: Ira’s conversation with Rachel Rosenthal continues. She tells the story of why it took her so long to break up with her boyfriend, even after she figured out that he had stolen from her. We heard about Rachel's story via the podcast Risk! (9 minutes)

    Act Two: Producer Neil Drumming conducts an experiment to find out: can two adults, both new in town, become friends, with the right help? (16 minutes)

    Act Three: Comedian Kyle Mizono, in a live performance, tells about the time she met her hero, spent a week working with him every day, and it went really well. And then, she emailed him. (10 minutes)

    Act Four: A short story by Lydia Davis about trying to calculate the cost of a love affair. The story is read by actor Matt Malloy. (12 minutes)

    • 1 hr 2 min
    827: All the King's Horses

    827: All the King's Horses

    The things we break and the ones we can't fix.


    Prologue: Ira tells the stories of three things that broke–two of them in his own family. (8 minutes)

    Act One: A teenage whiz kid invents a new toy for Milton Bradley. Then the trouble starts. (28 minutes)

    Act Two: Reporter Dana Ballout sifts through a very long list—the list of journalists killed in the Israel-Hamas War—and comes back with five small fragments of the lives of the people on it. (10 minutes)

    Act Three: A skateboarding legend makes a final attempt at a high-flying trick. (6 minutes)

    • 1 hr
    826: Unprepared for What Has Already Happened

    826: Unprepared for What Has Already Happened

    People waking up to the fact that the world has suddenly changed.


    Prologue: Jackson Landers tells the story of a very strange decision he made one summer day. (6 minutes)

    Act One: Elena Kostyuchenko tells the story of how she was probably poisoned after reporting on Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, and how she kept not believing it was happening. Bela Shayevich translated this story from Russian and reads it for us. (21 minutes)

    Act Two: A recording of comedian Tig Notaro in the process of trying to catch up to the present and absolutely not being able to. (8 minutes)

    Act Three: Producer Zoe Chace with a political fable that she noticed playing out last week in North Carolina. (11 minutes)

    Act Four: Producer Tobin Low finds a group of people with a special relationship with the idea of catching up. (10 minutes)

    • 1 hr 2 min
    825: Yousef

    825: Yousef

    A series of phone calls to a man in Gaza named Yousef Hammash, between early December and now. He talks about what he and his family are experiencing, sometimes as they are experiencing it.


    Act One: Over the course of one week in December, Yousef tries to get his sisters to safety, in Rafah. (29 minutes)

    Act Two: Yousef is managing a camp of 60 people in Rafah, including his youngest sister, who is 8 months pregnant. Every day there’s talk that Israel will launch a ground assault in Rafah. Yousef and his sister make a plan for her to give birth safely, but it doesn’t go according to plan. And all 60 people in the family are looking to Yousef to tell them where they should go next and how to stay safe. (27 minutes)

    • 1 hr 6 min
    824: Family Meeting

    824: Family Meeting

    Your mother and I have something we want to talk with you about.


    Prologue: A family sits down to discuss one thing. But then the true purpose of the meeting emerges. (9 ½ minutes)

    Act One: For one kibbutz-dwelling family in Israel, the decision of where to land after the October 7th attacks goes back and forth… and back… and forth. (28 minutes)

    Act One: For one kibbutz-dwelling family in Israel, the decision of where to land after the October 7th attacks goes back and forth… and back… and forth. (28 minutes)

    Act Two: An excerpt from “Belles Lettres," a short story by Nafissa Thompson-Spires from her book Heads of the Colored People, performed by actors Erika Alexander and Eisa Davis with a cameo from our colleague Alvin Melathe. (14 minutes)

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
284 Ratings

284 Ratings

agy8743 ,

Feel good and sounds even better

Each episode is a little discovery of the human condition in all shapes and sizes. Also the audio production is rivales only by radiolab so every episode is a wonder to listen to.
Thank you to the TAL team- and I love discovering your work in other podcasts.

pamplemousse4eva ,

Every episode is a gem

Thankyou

Mariotophe ,

Necessary & wonderful

I would like to thank all of you for making this show come to life. I’ve learnt so much thanks to you and discovered so many stories. What you tell is more than necessary to our ears.
THANK YOU! Please keep on!

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