The story of a typical American family, and how their family dynamic has reorganized itself around an imaginary duck, invented in childhood, who somehow stayed alive well into adulthood. (14 minutes)
Host Ira Glass talks with filmmaker Alan Berliner, who for six years collected old home movies he found at thrift stores and garage sales. He says that almost all of them document either rites of passage, like birthdays and weddings, or moments of leisure—the beach is especially big.
Host Ira Glass talks with Chris, who worked for a company that helped deaf people talk over the phone with hearing people. The deaf person would type what they wanted Chris to say, and Chris would say it, then type back the response from the hearing person on the line.
Host Ira Glass talks with Erin Einhorn, a reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, who went to Poland to find the Catholic family that had sheltered and saved her mother from the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. She found that in Krakow where she was living, in a country where Jewish populations had been vilified and then exterminated by the Nazis, Judaism was suddenly trendy.
Ira's conversation with Erin Einhorn continues. She talks about the possible reasons that, 50 years after Auschwitz, 10,000 Polish hipsters will now show up to see a Klezmer music concert.
Host Ira Glass plays tape from the documentary TV series American High of a teenager fighting with his parents about which car he can take out that night. Every family has its own way of fighting and its own particular family dynamic, and if things go terribly bad, it's often hard to figure how the bad things could've been prevented.
Ira explains that our show's a little different this week. It consists of one long story, lasting the entire hour, about a young boy, an abandoned house, and the mysterious family who once lived there and then seemed to disappear without a trace.
Ira talks with two New Yorkers on their reactions to seeing something they could never have believed possible. They acted in ways that they never had before, just ran around and around in circles.
Host Ira Glass talks with Rebecca, who, using perfectly valid evidence, arrived at the perfectly incorrect conclusion that her neighbor, Ronnie Loeberfeld, was the tooth fairy. We hear her story.
Leah remembers when her parents got divorced and her dad, a farmer in North Dakota, moved to an apartment in town. It was cramped and ugly, and it had a Murphy bed that made a horrible creak when you brought it down from the wall.
A collection of small stories, all on the the theme introduced in the prologue—the first few months after the divorce, and suddenly, your parents are less composed, more flawed, and more human, than perhaps you've ever seen them.
Jonathan Katz listens to old tapes of his family; then travels back to the neighborhood in Brooklyn they lived in during the 1950s, looking for evidence of what his childhood was like. His sister is along for the trip, and they do not agree on the meaning of what they're seeing.
Ira talks with journalist Jason Bleibtreu about Luther and Johnny Htoo, twelve-year-old twins, and the leaders of a rebel army of Burmese separatists called God's Army. Everyone around them, both their own forces and their enemies, believed they possessed superpowers, that they could not be harmed by bullets, that they had the power to command ghost armies.
Sylvia becomes the first person in her Mexican-American family to go away to college, at a predominantly white school in upstate New York.
Myron Jones and his sister Carol Bove explain what happened when they were teenagers, and they ended up babysitting children who didn't exist.
The story of Tyler Cassity and how he's trying to remake one of our oldest rituals of commemoration.Tyler is one of the owners of a cemetery called Hollywood Forever, and he's been introducing 20th-Century technology to American funerals, which haven't changed much since the Civil War. At Hollywood Forever, the cost of a burial includes a video of your life: to be shown at your funeral, to be viewable at kiosks on the cemetery grounds, and to be posted—for eternity—on the Internet.
Host Ira Glass describes a children's book from the 1970s called Nobody's Family Is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh, the author of Harriet the Spy. On the surface, it sounds like a rather menacing title for a kids' book. But in fact, the story is about how kids can finally find peace if they stop hoping that their parents will ever be any different.
What happens when you want your dad to change—and he wants to change, too—but there's literally nothing that can be done to change him. Jon Sarkin was a chiropractor with workaholic tendencies.
The story of two young people who, in their search to figure out who they were, pretended to be people they weren't. Both were from small towns; both took on false identities.
This is the story of two people—one in his late teens, one in his late fifties. Both have good reasons to be mad at the world, but what they did with their anger—and what society did with them—are very different.
Host Ira Glass with Rory Evans, who describes the day her father fired his own mother from their family business, a machine shop called Evans Industries.
In this act we hear two stories of people who stumbled upon a place where they instantly and instinctively felt more at home than in their real homes. Stephen Dubner, author of the memoir Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family, talks about an encounter with a Jewish man named Irving that changed his life.
Host Ira Glass talks about the role of mealtime in family dynamics.