TV Article

What's on Ira Glass's mind

The host of ''This American Life'' discusses the show's transition from public radio to Showtime

IT'S NOT REALITY TV
Truthfully, one of the things that make this different than anything on TV is the attitude we have toward the people and the stories. We're not making fun of them. We're trying to tell their stories in a complicated way. Ours really is a ministry of love.

RADIO VS. TV
I can talk longer on the radio because we don't have to find things to look at while I'm talking. [On TV], it's more compressed and poetic. We get way more assured over the course of the six episodes. I think the last two [airing April 19 and 26, 10:30 p.m.] are the best in the series.

CHICAGO VS. NYC
I'd get recognized exactly one time a day in Chicago. It sounds like an exaggeration, but it actually isn't. In New York, I'm never recognized ever. People here don't listen to radio in the same way because they're not in their cars. [But NYC has] better takeout food.

HOW DO I LOOK?
They hired [me] a stylist who also does, like, Katie Couric. I've got to say, once you have a person who comes to your workplace with a bunch of clothes for you to try on, shopping the normal way really seems annoying.

MR. GLASS' GLASSES
I bought them not long after I moved to Chicago [from Washington, D.C.] in 1989. These are literally the same frames. I've tried to replace them — but it's impossible to find ones that look like them.

NAME-DROPPER
I work with all these people [on the radio show] who suddenly became insanely famous. When I met David Sedaris, he had never published anything. John Hodgman — who's so weirdly recognizable because of those Mac ads — was doing his reading series. And OK Go didn't have a record contract. It's just very strange.

Originally posted Apr 06, 2007 Published in issue #929 Apr 13, 2007 Order article reprints
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