Ira Glass just celebrated the 500th episode of the award-winning public radio show This American Life. Over the course of its 18 years in production, the program has proven to be a true labor of love. “It take 3 or 4 months to do one episode,” he says. “Each one’s like an independent movie but without the pictures.”
Ira says the time-tested elements of solid storytelling are the keys to the program’s success. “We’re doing a very old-fashioned thing,” he explains. “We’re doing very old-fashioned stories where there are characters you relate to.”
Relatability is essential, and that’s why he won’t produce one particular story he’s been pitched. “Twice we’ve been pitched the idea of a story of pedophilia from the pedophile’s point of view,” he says. “When you’re doing stories like we do, you want them to have emotion. So it’s a story problem of ‘who do I relate to in this story?’ It gave us such creeps that none of us has ever wanted to get into it.”
Ira also told Ali what it was like to cover the War on Terror from an aircraft carrier right after 9/11, and why he didn't start drinking until he was thirty years old. Ira also pokes fun at his reputation as a 'sexy nerd' by playing a round of '"Nerdy or Nerd Sexy" on this episode of Daily Shot.