Our friend Jesse Thorn from The Sound of Young America, a public radio show about things that are awesome, interviewed This American Life’s Ira Glass in his most recent podcast. The entire interview is excellent, and there’s a section where they discuss the Improv Everywhere episode of This American Life that’s particularly interesting. Their discussion about whether a bias is created when searching for a compelling narrative in a story begins at 7:03 and becomes specifically about the Improv Everywhere episode at 13:15.
The Sound of Young America: Ira Glass
(download the mp3 directly)
If you haven’t heard of The Sound of Young America before, now would be a good time to check out the tons of other podcasts available on the site. It’s must-listen radio for any serious comedy fan.
– Best Gig Ever
– Ted’s Birthday
– IE episode from TAL’s radio broadcast
– Clip of the IE story on the TAL Showtime pilot
– TSOYA interview with Charlie Todd
Wow, I’m actually kind of surprised at Glass’s cutting stance. No pun intended. Though conflict makes for more of a story, it still doesn’t feel true to life. His opinion makes me question the validity of opinions listeners form based on his show.
I think the key point is that his show is based on life, but it’s not true to life.
as a listener to the original TAL show and not having been aware of improv everywhere before it, the show made it clear that 95% of the group’s activities are successful good fun…so they want the interesting 5%? obviously! so do i, as a listener. what’s the big effin deal? i still came away with a realistic idea of IE as to the other 95%. what’s next? prime time live not interested in following your mom to the grocery store and only cares about the murder she comitted?
This American Life is true to life. It faces the limitation of accurately reporting the interesting bit thoroughly and the rest as an addendum. You will notice this same conceit in the evening news.