This American Life

This American Life Live

Tonight I went to a showing of This American Life Live. This American Life, if you don’t know, is an hour long public radio program generally played on Saturdays. It is often the most downloaded podcast on iTunes, and as of this blog entry This American Life sits at #1. I’m being serious when I say it is one of the best things ever. Best Things Ever. Every week they choose a theme, and then present deep, personal stories based around that theme. Most of the time the stories are taken from real life, though occasionally they’ve had short story fiction on the show. Recently they’ve had entire shows about the economic crisis. One, explaining the housing crisis, the other the banking crisis. They were priceless and really brought me to have an understanding of what is going on. This week’s episode centers around “This I Used To Believe”, and presents stories about people who believed something, and then something happened to cause them to question that belief. The host, Ira Glass, is possibly the most charismatic person ever. They’re up to episode #378, and as a collection it would paint the greatest tapestry of America ever created. The episodes are often funny, moving, sad, inspiring, and intellectual. You’ll learn a lot, perhaps about yourself even.

The live show tonight featured a who’s who of NPR intellectual geekdom. Mike Birbiglia, Starlee Kine, Dan Savage, and Joss Whedon as a musical guest. Yes, Joss Whedon, creator of my favorite TV show ever, Buffy, sang and played piano. It was a song from his commentary track to his DVD version of the internet movie musical Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog ::deep breath::. Plus an animated story featuring an Andrew Bird song. And, it did all of those things. Made me laugh, cry, and taught me something about life. The theme was “Return To The Scene Of The Crime”. Mike Birbiglia’s story was about when he was hit by a drunk driver. Starlee Kine’s was about going to an unusual therapy in order to deal with her childhood.

For what it’s worth, if you’re reading this and already know of This American Life, they’re doing an encore presentation on May 7th in theaters. If you’re wondering what is meant by live, they did the show on a stage at NYU, and broadcast it to 430 theaters around the country so that everyone can experience it who wants to. Sometimes modern technology is wonderful. It’s worth the $20, especially because it’s public radio. Just click the first link in this entry.
What a great poster!

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