Jack Hitt begins his story about a group of prisoners at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center who are rehearsing and staging a production of Hamlet. The man who plays Hamlet gets in character by recalling times he's wanted to hurt people, like the crime that sent him to prison, in which he shot two people and left them for dead.
Jack Hitt's story about a prison production of Hamlet continues. He discovers that almost all the actors draw on their pasts in one way or another to get into character.
A fable of how America got its name, and how it was named after someone who was a fraud, but the kind of fraud people love, the kind of fraud who knows how to please a crowd. Jack Hitt tells the racy and little-known story of how Amerigo Vespucci got his name all over the map of the western hemisphere by telling lies about what he found there—the type of lies which can be found today in the pages of Penthouse magazine.
A Michigan millionaire tries to swing his swing state, using only his voice, his millions, and major market radio ad time. A report on Jeffrey Fieger, who helped swing his state to McCain during the primaries with several irreverant attack ads against Bush.
Yet another testimony to the power chickens have over our hearts and minds. Jack Hitt reports on an opera about Chicken Little.
Jack Hitt tells the story of Charlene Riling, who nearly died, and who explains how life near to death can be better than everyday life.
There's the pretending we do as individuals, and there's the organized pretending that happens in group therapy sessions, in the roleplaying games that are done in some clinical settings. Jack Hitt tells the story of the Mother of All Roleplaying Games.
Writer Jack Hitt talks about his daughter Tarpeley's first day in her new school. It was her first "first day" of any kind.
Jack Hitt visits Toby Lester, who has mapped all the ambient sounds in his world: the hum of the heater, the fan on the computer. Jack's most recent book is Bunch of Amateurs.
Jack Hitt talks about a radio station he chanced upon while on a long drive. The station seems to ignore the last six decades of broadcasting history and convention.
Jack Hitt reports on one woman's opera about Chicken Little.
South Carolina native Jack Hitt discusses the Confederate Flag's prominent place over the statehouse.
Or is that "Ooting?" 90210 expert Danny Drennan on the pro-Canadian bias in the hit TV show Beverly Hills 90210 now that Canadian Jason Priestly is not just a star of the show, but a producer and director as well.
Writer Jack Hitt tells the story of a small town production of Peter Pan, in which the flying apparatus smacks the actors into the furniture, and Captain Hook's hook flies off his arm and hits an old woman in the stomach. By the end of the evening, firemen have arrived and all the normal boundaries between audience and actors have completely dissolved.
A 17 year old tricks an entire resort town into believing he is someone he is not. By Jack Hitt and Christopher Cerf.
Writer Jack Hitt discovers that the world of dinosaurs is a man-made creation, a simulated world that may or may not accurately reflect what happened on earth 100 million years ago. Talking with dinosaur experts like Jack Horner (whose work was the basis of much of the film Jurassic Park), Hitt finds that most of what you think you know about dinosaurs is probably wrong, and that Americans' ideas about dinosaurs go through "fashions" that reflect the national mood: We believed dinosaurs were more aggressive when we were on the brink of World Wars One and Two.
Jack Hitt reviews the strange case of William Kane, his mistress, his family, and fifteen vials of frozen sperm.
Jack Hitt's quest to find out the truth about the man who lived down the street from him 30 years ago in South Carolina: Gordon Langley Hall, a.k.a. Dawn Langley Hall Simmons.
Two-and-a-half years after Jack Hitt wrote the story that makes up Act One of our show, he returned to the tale of Dawn Langley Simmons.
Former Harpers magazine editor and TAL contributor Jack Hitt wrote an editorial about Susan Smith, who murdered her two children in South Carolina. The editorial redirected the rage from Smith toward Hitt.