Despite our nation's attempts to make Christmas all about toys and shopping, it is still a religious holiday. Mike Birbiglia tells this story about Catholicism and his mother. Mike is author of the memoir Sleepwalk With Me.
Comedy duo Gabe Liedman and Jenny Slate disagree about the awesomeness of Hanukkah... and about the nature of their relationship. Gabe contributes to videogum.com.
Stand-up comedian Julian McCullough tells this story about heading to someone else's home for the holidays. You can watch Julian's Comedy Central Presents special at his website, julianmccullough.com.
In the midst of a real estate dispute, Jim O'Grady becomes the target of an unusual neighborhood watch group. He told this story onstage at the Moth.
A fable about being a crybaby, from David Sedaris' new book of animal fables, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.
Comedian Eugene Mirman meets three friends all named Matt who claim they are the most unforgettable people in this county: Quiet Matt, Big Matt and Artist Matt.
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani makes his pitch for a product you may have heard of. His story was recorded at Comix in New York.
Ira Glass mentions a very silly mistake he made with a girl when he was in junior high. Then comedian Mike Birbiglia tells the story of his rocky foray into the world of making out with girls.
For the last 13 years, the University of Montevallo in Alabama has held an event called The Life Raft Debate, where several professors take the stage and each tries to convince the students that his or her discipline—chemistry, say, or communications—is the most essential field of study. But in 2007, a professor named Jon Smith decided that the debate itself needed saving.
Two short ideas that didn't work out so well as full stories.
David Rakoff demonstrates—in rhyme—how to make a wedding toast for people you never wanted to see married in the first place. Rakoff is the author of several books, most recently Half Empty.
David Rakoff tells the story of a contract between a son and his visiting mother. David Rakoff is the author of several books including Don't Get Too Comfortable.
In big families, there's often one kid who always gets blamed when something goes wrong. But Shalom Auslander came from a small family, so the role of fall guy was up for grabs.
Mike Birbiglia recalls being in a car accident with a hit and run drunk driver. In the weeks that follow, Mike's brush with death turns into a full blown nightmare when the police report is so poorly filled out that somehow Mike winds up owing the drunk driver 12 thousand dollars…not because it's fair, but because he can't get anyone to listen to him.
Ira invites Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon to perform a song from his Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog DVD extra commentary, which is a musical satire that pokes fun at the idea of DVD commentary.
Joel and Kate were both working in a psychiatric hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. They both like each other, and she tries to impress him by always wearing her favorite pair of jeans.
Sketch comedy troupe Kasper Hauser performs a radio game show, where a race car driver, a guy fluent in middle English, and a teacher take turns cramming all the 21st century wisdom they can into a 30 second phone call to the 14th century.
This American Life Senior Producer Julie Snyder talks to Ira about her rather alarming theory regarding the new president's smoking habits.
Comedian Mike Birbiglia talks about the time he ruined a cancer charity event, by giving the worst performance of his life. (Here's a hint: He improvised.
There's this haven on the U.S. railroad—the Amtrak Quiet Car. You can't yammer on your cell phone in the Quiet Car, or yuck it up with your friends, or even talk above a murmur.
A short story about an orthodox Jewish man who dies on the operating table and goes to heaven. Where he meets God.
Mike Birbiglia talks about the sleepwalking that nearly killed him. It's an excerpt of his one-man show "Sleepwalk with Me," which is now also a feature film, produced and co-written by Ira Glass.
Host Ira Glass talks about the way most political apologies go, and chats with a man named Derek Jones about similar sorts of apologies among preteen girls and King David, in the Old Testament.