This American Life is a weekly public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations to about 2.2 million listeners. It is produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards. It is also often the most popular podcast in the country, with another 2.5 million people downloading each episode.
There's a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. Most of the stories are journalism, with an occasional comedy routine or essay. There's lots more to the show, but it's sort of hard to describe. There are people in dramatic situations. Things happen to them. There are funny moments and emotional moments and—hopefully—moments where the people in the story say interesting, surprising things about it all.
About the host:
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.