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.
811: The One Place I Can’t Go
Spots we’re avoiding in our private maps of the world.
Prologue: Guest host Bim Adewunmi talks to her cousin Kamyl about a funny thing Kamyl did when she was small, regarding a dog named Foxy. (4 minutes)
Act One: Comedian Atsuko Okatsuka moved suddenly from Japan to the U.S. when she was eight years old, and has long joked that it was because her grandmother kidnapped her from her dad. But she'd never talked to anyone in her family about what had actually happened. (31 minutes)
Act Two: Producer Emmanuel Dzotsi has a tale about something he avoids at all costs, even though it seems to follow him everywhere he goes. (8 minutes)
Act Three: Writer Tamsyn Muir spent her childhood craving a world that she could not find on earth. So as an adult, she just created it. And it was perfect. Until she became the one person who couldn't go there. (12 minutes)
779: Ends of the Earth
An exploration of the very upper limits of what you do for someone you love.
Prologue: Host Ira Glass explains what we’re doing on today’s show. (2 minutes)
Act One: Amy Bloom tells the story of her husband, Brian, getting Alzheimer's and wanting assisted suicide. Her search to find a way to do that led her to Dignitas, in Switzerland. Hear this intimate and frank account of the experience they go through, excerpted from her book, IN LOVE. (39 minutes)
Act Two: Comedian Zarna Garg tells jokes onstage about the extreme ways she tries to control her daughter Zoya’s life. Zoya explains, they’re not really jokes. Ira Glass talks to both of them about it. (15 minutes)
810: Say It to My Face
Friends and ex-friends finally talk about the one thing between them they've been avoiding.
Prologue: Host Ira Glass tells a story he’s never told anyone before, about something someone said to him. (4 minutes)
Act One: Gabe Mollica had something important he needed to discuss with his friend — stewed about it for eight years. But rather than go to that friend, he talked about it with everyone other than that one person. (28 minutes)
Act Two: Jasmine and Gabbie are best friends. BFFs! But there’s something major that they’ve never been able to talk about. Something so important that it makes them wonder, who does this person even think I am? (23 minutes)
809: The Call
One call to a very unusual hotline, and everything that followed.
Prologue: Ira talks about a priest who set up what may have been the first hotline in the United States. It was just him, answering a phone, trying to help strangers who called. (2 minutes)
Act One: The Never Use Alone hotline was set up so that drug users can call if they are say, using heroin by themselves. Someone will stay on the line with them in case they overdose. We hear the recording of one call, from a woman named Kimber. (13 minutes)
Act Two: An EMT learns he was connected to the call, in more ways than he realized. (16 minutes)
Act Three: Jessie, who took the call, explains how she discovered the hotline. She keeps in touch with Kimber. Until one day, Kimber disappears. (16 minutes)
Act Four: We learn what happened to Kimber after she called the line. (10 minutes)
808: The Rest of the Story
Legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey had a popular show called “The Rest of the Story.” Today on our show, we do just that. We hear from people who, whether they want to or not, find themselves face-to-face with the rest of their stories.
Prologue: Legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey had one of the most popular radio shows of all time. For 35 years he served up big twists and jaw dropping reveals all with his one-of-a-kind delivery. (7 minutes)
Act One: Psychiatry used to be all talk. Then came a patient named Ray Osheroff. Producer Chris Benderev tells us what became of the man who changed therapy. (26 minutes)
Act Two: Contributor Samuel James thought he knew what happened to his mother. But he was wrong. Then he was wrong again. (9 minutes)
Act Three: A new resident in Berlin is greeted like a minor celebrity wherever she goes. The perks are nice, but does she really want to know why? Producer Bim Adewunmi has the rest of the story. (14 minutes)
807: Eight Fights
Nadia's family is split between Russia and Ukraine, which is pretty common. And when Russia invaded Ukraine, it didn’t just start fighting on the battlefield. It sparked family conflict, too. An intimate story of the war from writer Masha Gessen.
Prologue: An extended family, and eight fights. (1 minutes)
Fight #1: Luka’s parents – Nadia and Karen – try to figure out where to take him once war breaks out. (6 minutes)
Fight #2: Nadia and Karen have been arguing over Russian-ness since they needed to pick a school for Luka. (10 minutes)
Fights #3 and #4: Nadia remembers the times that Luka’s father would suggest going to Crimea for vacation, as if it wasn’t Ukrainian land occupied by Russia. And she remembers a present that Karen once gave Luka––the sort which had to be smuggled into the country. (6 minutes)
Fight #5: Nadia tells the story of her father, Alex, who lives near Bucha, and how differently he and she view the Russian atrocities there. (10 minutes)
Fight #6: Nadia tells the story of her mother, who lives in Russia, and how she won’t do the one thing Nadia keeps asking her to do. (2 minutes)
Fight #7: Karen sends Nadia a photo which drives them to a final showdown. (12 minutes)
Fight #8: Nadia’s step-father works for the Russian government. How to manage that? (4 minutes)
Epilogue: Nadia and Karen’s son, Luka, who most of these fights are about, gets the last word. (3 minutes)
Fascinating Sleuthing into the American Mind
These guys pick apart claims, beliefs, questions, and unwritten rules and dig out some truth, managing to raise plenty of new questions in the process.
One of the best podcast
If you only have time to listen to only one podcast, you should listen to This American Life. Don't worry if you are not from USA, the reporting are still revelant. I love the stories and audio quality. An additional bonus is that the espiodes are uploaded regularly every Monday