This American Life


This American Life is a weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 2.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, 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.

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Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • Jack198677
  • Santa fe Jack
    Essential 744 Fake News
    Look, I’m not looking to complain but when I hear a McD commercial that says, “We’re feeding FIRST RESPONDERS and HEALTH CARE WORKERS…” and then hear one of their employees say, “What about me?” and then the narrator asks him, “Wait? Aren’t you an essential worker?”, I want to yell at you, “FAST FOOD WORKERS ARE NOT FIRST RESPONDERS AND THEY ARE DEFINITELY NOT HEALTH FOOD WORKERS” but you go on and on like an idiot for the rest of the story like you’re dragging your fingernails down a blackboard. Very Amateurish Editing. Just another reporter manipulating the story to fit her narrative. Please don’t be this stupid on THROUGHLINE. I like that show. You should feel lucky to have a partner to save you from your mistakes. I’m embarrassed for you. Are you sure you should be at NPR? I’m so irritated 😤 about this. It’s not even an Easter egg 🥚 you have to think about. You play what the ad says and then acts like it said something else. Thanks for the fake news
  • ccccccccaitlinnnnnnnnn
    The GOAT
    Simply the best radio show of all time.
  • hannnnahcc
    Unfortunate Decline in Quality :/
    Let me start by saying I adore this show! I have listened every week for years. It makes me feel more human, connected to people in ways I didn’t think possible. Since the pandemic, though, I’ve noticed the quality decline starkly. Almost every week is a rerun of a show I’ve listened to previously, and the new episodes can’t compare to those of the past. Would love to hear some original, compelling stories again. A little disappointing, but I guess it has its reasons.
  • rollwithsoul
    my go-to
    Thank you for this podcast - it’s a gift
  • frustrated framer
    Favorite Show
    I have been listening to your show for years and it is absolutely my favorite show. I learn something from and experience full emotions of the “stories” presented. I have always recommended the show to everyone I know and just meet. Thank you so much to everyone involved with the production of This American Life for enriching my life.
  • Laidldjusn12304563,(;:;
    First time listener
    I’ll stick to other podcasts. I listened to Get Out. Just another show jumping on the political bandwagon where it’s totally acceptable to stereotype/bash “typical white guy behavior”. I wasn’t impressed by the domestic abuse episode & the kid from Rochester story didn’t resonate with me. It appears I missed out on the impressive years of this podcast and the descriptions of episodes don’t give me enough info to consider wasting another hour of my life.
  • gpd209
    Just not the same
    I listened to every single episode from about 2000 to 2018. I was a fanboy of TAL long after my friends got tired of it. I have a TAL tour poster up on my wall! Now I approach TAL with the same enthusiasm that I do going to the dentist. I feel like I *ought* to listen but just don’t take pleasure in it anymore. Where is the whimsy, the quirk, the absurd? The humor? I’m very liberal, but I can only listen to so much about politics and policy and heartbreaking drama. And I’m so frustrated at TAL releasing a “new” episode only to find I listened to it just a couple years ago. TAL is the show that launched a thousand storytellers. It has left an indelible mark on podcasting and storytelling. That said, I think I’m done with it.
  • ruckus451
    Show about the family splitting up over environmentalism.
    This isn’t about any issue. The father is a sociopath. He’s put environmentalism where his religious fervor once was. Like sober alcoholics put meetings in place of drinking. And he’s a counselor? Seriously? Take away his license and commit him.
  • Jeff0244544
    I’m over hearing repeats . You should at least label them that way so I’m not trying to recall if I’ve heard the episode or not.
  • aplwasgdsuxnow
    Removed all episodes
    Great show for over 10 years but tryna monetize now bad for poor folk left behind.
  • Rachel Pargwte
    Many topics! :)
  • meagan leah 91
    #1 in our hearts
    What I look forward to every week…
  • John Goodhart
    Be careful about the promos that run before the show. A Jaguar ad bragging about using 585 hp to take off from a stop sign which precedes a global warming story is too much, especially when read by the show’s collaborators, rather than Madison Avenue.
  • elainecalledmary
    Stories are so good
    I listen every week. They do a great job of telling stories that you might not otherwise hear. Sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always thoughtful and leaves you with things to think about.
  • Bombastic Bushkin
    love hate
    Used to love TAL. Now I hate TAL. Don't know if Ira is responsible for this unfortunate trend or if someone above him is pulling the strings. I am a moderate politically and have no axe to grind with either wing but the relentless Wokeness and pushing the Left's agenda has really turned me off. Please give me back the TAL I once loved.
  • Rosadingdong
    Re-runs should be labeled
    I love the show, but I wish they made it clear when an episode is a re-run. They change up the intros, so I often don’t realize it’s a rerun that I’ve already heard until the first act. Should be in the episodes description.
  • Surviving to Thriving
    Quirky and always surprising
    I love this show because of the interesting perspectives for which it approaches stories. It’s always surprising, often funny, sometimes deadly serious and fascinating to a fault.
  • Shannon-NYC
    Always astounding
    This show and Ira have had a major impact on my life. I am always grateful to hear a new episode, to listen to Ira. He truly marks me as one of the most brilliant radio and podcast hosts of all time. His storytelling sensibilities and aptitude are unmatched. Thank you Ira and the whole team for delivering excellence and inspiration all of these years. Update: choosing to talk about climate change through the lens of how activism destroys familial relationships is a terrible angle to take in the 748: The End of the World as We Know It episode. An irresponsible angle by the TAL team.
  • Wanda Laugh
    Scratchy Vocal Fry
    Interesting story on climate change family. Everyone but the presenter has a fine and normal voice. Her absurdly unprofessional delivery is grating. I had to turn it off.
  • rokskryout
    Just Don’t Get Political
    The remarkable thing about 80% or so of the stories on This American Life is that I can escape the caustic tone of talk radio and partisan “news” programs. I like to listen to the great stories on This American Life, but sometimes have to skip over an episode because of the insistence on focusing on the politics involved—such as at the southern border, or climate change. This American Life is at its storytelling best when it facilitates my escape from the mundane chattering of the media and concentrates on telling me a great story.
  • pregnancy setting
    Used to be good
    This show used to be interesting and one I looked forward to. Now the topics are either extremely boring or deliberately incendiary in an effort to catch the listeners’ attention.
  • daisy12234
    Disappointed in lack of descriptions/content warnings
    Wish they would have descriptions longer than one sentence about what the episodes are actually about so listeners can decide if/when they listen. For example in “The End of the World as We Know It” there were descriptions of emotional abuse of children. Calling your 10 year old a c*** is abusive behavior, which was never actually stated in the show. They included the national suicide hotline but how about also including some resources for people experiencing abuse?
  • Susy Soo
    Gravelly voices
    Love love love this podcast. Keep up the good work. The gravelly voices are over the top now, and hard to listen to.
  • bjohns383
    The Worst.
    This show turned me into an NPR hating Trump supporter. Don’t listen or it will do the same to you
  • honolululistenet
    Episode 748
    Unlistenable due to VOCAL RASPING by the woman announcer .
  • Caleb M Griffin
    Great Show
    I love this show and it is super entertaining. Gives great facts and stories about really important people and people in the shadows. I love it when they go into their personal lives and talk about a real life experience. 😇😘🥰🤯❤️😊🤯🤑🤑🤑🤑🤑
  • Fortified with knowledge
    The best of the best
    I’ve been listening to this show for 20+ years. It is very good
  • Vitnay
    New content
    Dear TAL I’m so bored hearing old stories. There’s a lot in life at the moment and recirculating old stories makes me want to unsubscribe. Cmon y’all.
  • Rev BK
    The Stuff of Nightmares
    The episode Suitable for Children was horrific. I’m unsubscribed.
  • Texas Flamethrower
    Sad Decline
    I been listening to This American Life since I bought my first iPod and for years have enjoyed almost every episode. However, with the addition of the show’s new producers, you can definitely see a decline in the quality of its content. Many more slanted political pieces, more moralizing and pushing progressive agendas. I see way more than enough of this elsewhere in the media and its sad to see it here. What prompted this review was “Personal Recount”. Previously, I simply fast forwarded through all the political, moralizing content but on this particular episode, I fast forwarded through the entire episode. Still, I can’t delete this podcast from my feed. I’m hoping it gets better and returns to its glory days. P.S. I did not vote for the incumbent president
  • pjandalexsuck
    The worst
    Can it possibly get any worse. Unfortunately it can. 20 year anniversary of 9/11 and liberal Ira says nothing. Absolute garbage. Can’t not listen anymore. Unsubscribing.
  • ptotheatsign
    Show notes too limited
    Good show, of course, but the podcast episode show notes/descriptions are painfully limited, making searches nearly impossible. With all the podcast competition these days, I often put TAL episodes on the back burner simply because I don’t feel like looking up elsewhere what they are about.
  • Sano's iPod touch
    It would be nice to hear the points and stories from people who had a conservative view of the world as well. The show just feels very left of center. Well done as far as music and production, though.
  • In the sticks
    Used to love it.
    I used to love This American Life and listened to every episode. But the woke, political content became more and more. The biased snide remarks that snuck into each episode was too much to overlook. I unsubscribed about a year ago. Today, I decided to try again and was really enjoying the “Getting Out” episode , right until Ira described an action as a “white man takes charge move”. When the lady says “my Dad’s not white”, Ira didn’t acknowledge his racist assumption or apologize. He doubles down about why he’d make that comparison. It’s not a good look at all, for the podcast or Ira, to allow this behavior. I guess the show will remain off my list to listen too. It’s really a shame, it could be so good!
  • BeckyLou1983
    The Best
    I started listening to This American Life when I was 14 years old. I am now 37, and I can state with confidence that I have listened to every episode they’ve ever made. It is my all time favorite program. This American Life has added so much beauty, inspiration, and knowledge to my life, and has challenged me to grow and change in really meaningful ways. I am so very grateful to the many people that have worked on this program.
  • jcalcomedy
    Ep. 744 should be essential listening
    A great look at the pandemic essential worker stories that never got told.
  • Nalagirl12
    I love it when Nermit Bungaloy speaks! Please give him more work on this podcast. I like his voice a lot
  • Pryseless91
    Lost me
    The beginning, I was sucked in.. heavily. Episode “Good Grief” had me immensely invested in hearing these stories from grieving parents and children. Relatable, and almost calming hearing them speak words I myself can’t get to exit my mouth. And then the obvious political views and siding started.. in this day and age, with all the separation in our day to day lives it was nice being able to relate to the people speaking about personal losses close to them. Not the show for me I guess.
  • ArtG1965
    There is TAL & everything else.
    I’ve been listening to this show on my local NPR station for many years. I cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve been in my car listening, only to find myself home, sitting in my driveway, with 20 minutes left... and I cannot recall once even considering turning off my radio to walk in my house. It’s THAT GOOD!
    Used to be good
    Used to be good but now they just recycle the same stories over and over. Needs more original content to stay fresh.
  • Pummelkast
    Have brought it up many times, to no avail. How come that this outstanding program pays so little attention to speech. Many of the speakers have a monotonous way of speaking. (EVERY sentence ends down and low point. Others often mumble their words, especially at the end of sentences (listen to Ira’s “mumbles”). Besides the fact that the result of mumbling is not understanding important information, the bad speech as a whole does damage to this great program. How is it possible that a RADIO program does not have people trained in speech delivery? Laziness? Arrogance? (This is how we talk, take it or leave it) It’s really too bad and sad Frans
  • June Bug 2020
    Fresh takes on unique themes
    I am always riveted
  • froshhhhhhjjj
    Love the show - the vocal fry is awful
    Absolutely love the show. Ira Glass is phenomenal, along with the rest of staff. It’s unfortunate that the constant vocal fry from some of the reports gets in the way of the message. Episode 436 for instance, Alix Spiegel sounds awful. Very distracting and made me want to skip the entire segment.
  • tc12345!$
    Getting out
    I usually love all of "This American Life"'s stories!!! However, this episode has one story I had issues with. Sarah Koenig stated that "Dungeons and Dragons" was a computer game. And while it may have a more recent version (like 2020) of a computer version--it is traditionally an epic and long standing board game!! Get your facts straight!!!
  • 🙌😁🙌👍🙌😁😀
    Used to be good
    The stories of people’s lives, their work, their families have stuck with me. Now it’s all woke leftist propaganda. I encourage Ira and the producers to erlistend to the old stuff and follow that model
  • Downloading and Deleting
    Repeating my request, in hopes it will be honored.
    This American Life is great, and I've been listening for years, but keep running into the same issue. I download the new episode, only to realize that it is a repeat. Please please make a note (a la TED Radio Hour) on the show description that it is a rebroadcast. Thank you!!
  • Hotdawgz
  • rachsm3
    Rise and Fall of TAL
    I started listening to TAL in high school (early to mid 2000s). I listened to my favorite, old school episodes over and over. Episodes like the House on Loon Lake, Star-Crossed Love, the Fix is In, Act V, and the Call was Coming from the Basement. TAL started to loose its unique sparkle around 2010 and slowly morphed into the biased, lackluster podcast it is now. It’s too bad… I think TAL set the standard for a lot of podcasts. I was listening to one the other day (The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill). Sounds just like old school TAL. RIP TAL. I no longer listen or tell my friends to tune in.
  • manmagd
    I stopped listening
    I used to never miss an episode. I can’t listen to it any more. Biased political garbage.
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