The name Ira Glass probably doesn’t mean much to many people outside of the US, but his radio show This American Life, is a wonderful repository of modern storytelling that deserves to have a global reach.
Ira’s unique ‘conversational’ tone of voice isn’t what you would expect from a radio host, but it works. It works, not really because of what he says, but because of the stories the programme shares.
Just take a look at the list of favourite shows.
- Show 360: Switched at Birth (25th July 2008) – On a summer day in 1951, tow baby girls were born in a hospital in small-town Wisconsin. The infants were accidentally switched, and went home with the wrong families.
- Show 241: 20 Acts in 60 Minutes (11th July 2003) – Instead of the usual “each week we choose a theme, and bring you 3 or 4 stories on that theme” business, we throw all that away and bring you 20 stores-yes, 20-in 60 minutes.
- Show 175: Babysitting (5th January 2001) – Stories of babysitters, and what goes on while mom and dad are away that mom and dad never find out about.
Anyway, this week Ira was given an award for what he describes as his, ‘stupid magic trick’, putting quotes together in an order with some music, by the Academy of Arts and Letters. I reckon his acceptance speech is worth a watch.