This American Life
Watch This American Life Season 2
aired: Thu, May 28, 2009
Three pieces about comedy…COMEDY KIDS: Kids of varying ages attend a comedy camp to mixed results. A NIGHT AT THE BIG FISH: What is it like to do stand-up comedy at a venue where you are not welcome, where the audience isn't just disinterested but they are downright hostile? Does it make you a better performer? Or is it an experience you'd never want to repeat? TRAGEDY MINUS COMEDY EQUALS TIME: Shot at a theater on 16mm film in front of a live audience, comedian Mike Birbiglia tells the story of the time he ruined a cancer charity event by giving the worst performance of his life. (Here's a hint: he improvised.)
Season 2 Episode 6
aired: Sun, Jun 8, 2008
In this episode, we learn the true life stories of several people named John Smith: the parents of 11-week-old John Smith of South Carolina reel from revelation that he's a boy, when their sonogram predicted a girl; 23-year-old John Smith of Laramie, Wyoming, has made some mistakes and is appearing in front of a judge; and 46-year-old John Smith of Texas welcomes his son back from Iraq.
Season 2 Episode 5
aired: Sun, Jun 1, 2008
Cartoonist Chris Ware animates a true story which demonstrates that every marriage, even the happiest, is a courtroom battle; a husband's obsession with a legal battle forces the most basic marital questions into the open: What do I need? And, what can I put up with?
Season 2 Episode 4
aired: Sun, May 25, 2008
There's a whole world of boxing way down the food chain from championship fights, and the stakes are high even without media hype and massive cash prizes. Two boxers in Tennessee who've known each other all their lives face off in a match that neither can afford to lose; a group of kids in New York learns to fight bullies the old-fashioned way: by being funny.
Season 2 Episode 3
aired: Sun, May 18, 2008
Stories of people making (or trying to remake) history. A pair of Wisconsin convicts gain local fame for almost escaping prison using dental floss; high school students pose for smiley yearbook snapshots, which capture nothing of the drama in their lives; a man with a 30-year obsession with one particular bird unveils the grainy, Big Foot-style video evidence that he actually saw it.
aired: Sun, May 11, 2008
Two foreigners in the U.S., in the aftermath of two very different wars, try to make sense of life here. A young Iraqi arrives in America after fleeing his war-torn homeland and embarks on a road trip to let Americans ask him anything they want, with hilarious and poignant results; a Bulgarian man in Rhode Island realizes that an ongoing argument with his American wife about lawn maintenance has to do with the life he left 20 years ago, on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
Season 2 Episode 1
aired: Sun, May 4, 2008
In the second season debut, people escape from home without going very far. In Philadelphia, teenage boys find ways to impress girls using a mode of transport obsolete since the 19th century; a young man's fight for independence from his mother would be normal for most kids, except for some special circumstances.
Watch This American Life Season 1
Season 1 Episode 6
aired: Thu, Apr 26, 2007
Three stories of the unexpected consequences of trying new things: scientists accidentally discover a way to erase memories and later get surprising requests from people who want their own minds wiped clean; pig researchers accidentally create more problems with every improvement they make; two owners of a Chicago hot dog stand try some novel business practices that unwittingly unleash raw human emotion that would probably be better penned up.
Season 1 Episode 5
aired: Thu, Mar 29, 2007
Four stories explore the costs of stubbornness: a man refuses to acknowledge some important events in his wife's life; a 14-year-old boy decides he will never, ever fall in love; a politician attempts to win an election without telling a single lie; a man who continues doing a job during an emergency when most people would probably stop.
Season 1 Episode 4
aired: Thu, Apr 5, 2007
Stories where the faithful and the not-so-faithful cross paths, and where unexpected things happen when people try to get closer to God through pictures: hundreds of Polaroid camera-toting believers gather in the Mojave Desert each month hoping to see God. And an artist, his Jesus model, the model's atheist girlfriend, and her religious father face off on The Last Supper.
Season 1 Episode 3
aired: Thu, Apr 12, 2007
G.J. Echternkamp started filming his own family as an act of revenge against his stepfather, and most of this episode is devoted to his footage, which is funny and stunningly honest. Also in this episode: an animated short by Chris Ware.
Season 1 Episode 2
aired: Thu, Apr 19, 2007
What do you do if you‘re unhappy with where you are in life? Some people simply will themselves to the next stage. A widow, an ambitious first-time screenplay writer, and a 13-year-old girl all charge forward into their futures with mixed results.
aired: Thu, Mar 22, 2007
Three stories of people who hatched plans in the hopes of making their dreams come true, but were snapped back to reality by unpleasant outcomes: an elementary school student tries to solve a common childhood problem; a rancher resuscitates a beloved pet, which later turns on him; people team to give an unknown rock band the greatest night of its life.