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August 13th, 2005

Radio to TV

One of my favorite radio shows is This American Life, an NPR staple. It’s been really interesting for me to read accounts of the show’s attempt to transition to television – like this LA Times article – because it recollects a time that a lot of us haven’t seen or can’t remember: a time when radio programs were transitioning to TV.

The biggest hurdles for This American Life are probably keeping the same storytelling without getting overwhelmed by the visuals. For instance, a lot of people haven’t seen host Ira Glass and have no idea what he looks like. (What does he look like? Pretty average.)

The show isn’t guaranteed in any way to make the airwaves. But reading about the process has made me a lot more interested in it.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: snaily
DATE: Saturday August 13, 2005 -- 8:01:40 pm
i wish more people would listen to radio shows. i do like the american life too. and garrison keiler:-)

FROM: Merle [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday August 14, 2005 -- 2:36:05 pm
Ah, radio shows. I remember waiting for my weekly installment of a number of shows. And thinking about how badly it sucked when I missed one.

That's odd. They created VCRs for TVs so you could do timed recording. I wonder why they never did the same for radio? I would have loved having something to record the Thursday night 2am-4am segment on a local station when they did techno/acid/house mixes. But I was rarely up that late, and, oddly enough, that sort of music puts me to sleep.

It does seem odd for them to transition. I would think online streaming audio would be the obvious step, not TV. (perhaps they already do that?)

FROM: Trizzay
DATE: Tuesday August 16, 2005 -- 5:02:31 am
NPR is carried by Sirius (the satellite radio outfit).
This American Life's website has Real Audio formatted episodes available for stream also.
P.s. Is Ira Glass gay? I could care less if he is but was just curious if his slightly effeminate tone was a product of his sexuality or possibly just a "whiney new yorky" thing going on.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday August 16, 2005 -- 7:18:18 am
P.s. Is Ira Glass gay? I could care less

If you could care less, perhaps you should?

FROM: Aanen
DATE: Tuesday August 16, 2005 -- 11:02:08 am
I remember listening to the old tv shows on NPR when we were driving home from vacation. They had the coolest sound effects.

FROM: Oswaldo
DATE: Thursday September 22, 2005 -- 2:23:42 am
So, is he gay?

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday September 22, 2005 -- 10:10:07 am
So, is he gay?

So, are you stupid?

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday September 22, 2005 -- 8:15:44 pm
I'd like This American Life better, but I just can't listen to that nasally monotonous Ira Glass anymore. TV might be cause to introduce a new host, who might be able to draw me back to the show.

DATE: Thursday September 22, 2005 -- 8:16:06 pm

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday September 22, 2005 -- 8:17:19 pm
Whoops. Sorry. You see how grating Ira Glass is? I screwed up my un-italic just thinking about his voice. It's like nails dragging on a chalkboard

FROM: ann
DATE: Sunday October 9, 2005 -- 2:35:39 pm

FROM: elise
DATE: Saturday November 5, 2005 -- 7:33:57 pm
So, is he or isn't he?
I think that he is luscious and I entertain a warped fantasy that I'll meet him one morning while crossing Michigan Avenue ... hmmm, sounds like a "This American Life" episode :)

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday November 6, 2005 -- 11:08:27 am
So, is he or isn't he?

Maybe you should ask him?

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Sunday November 6, 2005 -- 1:29:48 pm
What does it matter? With that voice, no one, male or female, 's going to do him anyway.

Can you imagine the sounds he must make while approaching orgasm?

(total montone)

oh . . . that's great . . . this reminds me of . . . the time . . . when I was . . . a small boy . . . oh . . . I . . . thought of . . . oh . . . oh . . . my grandma's bloomers . . . oh . . . there's an idea . . . for . . . oh . . . my . . . oh . . . next . . . oh . . . grandma . . . oh . . . show . . . OH!.

Sound of lover, male or female, wretching.

Ira: (adjusting glasses) I wonder if this has happened to anyone else?

FROM: Barry
DATE: Sunday May 7, 2006 -- 5:12:34 pm
Nope Ira Glass is not gay. Here is an article in his own words

Reese June 22, 2007, 7:59 pm

Yes, he is openly gay and has said as much recently. What I find curious is how paranoid people are about gays. If someone casually commented on someone who was straight, it would be no biggie. But for someone gay, people get all angry and fake ‘protective’. Give me a break. Everyone cares about a person’s sexual orientation – it’s a simple fact of life. What are most songs, books, presidential campaigns bases on? Yes, so-called values, family values, relationships, love, faith, their spouses (which are all part of sexual orientation). Ira Glass has nothing to be ashamed of just because a lot of people are homophobes.

Mike December 2, 2007, 12:52 am

I don’t think he is gay. I think he actually has a wife, but can’t be sure.

Paul S Wilson February 12, 2008, 10:17 pm

He may or not be gay, but his voice (whiny and effeminate) doesn’t rest well on the ear. His ramblings about whatever enters his head for the moment seem to at least satisfy his need to spew forth his own self-serving dialogue.

Adam April 19, 2008, 7:51 pm

My guess is he’s a queen. Reese, you say that when it’s suspected that someone is “gay”, then people get angry and fake and “protective”. To me, your flaming friends are more angry and fake than any others. The first defining characteristic of a human being at the moment they are born is that they are in fact a human being. The second defining characteristic is whether or not they are male or female. The “gays” are so full of ANGER about being a male, that they create a FAKE personality which is supposed to resemble a woman trapped in a man’s body. To a normal man, the idea of romantic or sexual contact with another man is as revolting as the idea of romantic or sexual contact with a week-old, bloated human body half submerged in a stagnant pond. Sorry to have to remind you, but there really is a right and wrong, good and evil. Don’t be so “PROTECTIVE”.

erin May 4, 2008, 11:56 pm

are gay men really so full of anger that they actually create an alternate personality to pretend that they are, in fact, a woman trapped in a man’s body? that is stretching it quite a bit, adam, just so you can assertively argue with reese about sexual orientation. to me, reese, it seems that your reasoning is heading in the same direction as mine; we are slowly growing used to accepting people and their different sexual preferences, and sometimes that comes off as not knowing how to act in front of an openly gay man/woman. we will soon get used to each others differences

Dave May 6, 2008, 9:58 pm

I don’t care if he is gay, straight, or likes goats… His voice is so grating and distressing that I can’t listen to him.

rob April 30, 2009, 4:39 am

this american life is from pri, not npr. They are two separate, and competing, companies.

D. Erasmus July 2, 2009, 5:56 pm

Ira Glass is married to Anaheed Alani, an editor from Chicago. They have been married since 2005. Prior to their relationship, he was actually reputed to be something of a lothario. So there it is: he’s not gay. Not that it would make a difference if he were, of course. Ultimately, his career has been built upon his intellect and gifts as a storyteller. It has nothing to do with his sexual orientation.

Also, in response to Adam’s remarks about human sexuality: Sir, you clearly are an anti-intellectual, bigoted ignoramus. I quote, “To a normal man, the idea of romantic or sexual contact with another man is as revolting as the idea of romantic or sexual contact with a week-old, bloated human body half submerged in a stagnant pond.” This is perhaps one of the most idiotic statements I have ever come across. What exactly constitutes a “normal” man? Sexual orientation is genetically determined, sir, and homosexuals and heterosexual have coexisted since days of yore.

And finally, I can understand how some folks don’t appreciate the timbre of Glass’s voice, but I’ve always found it to be somewhat soothing. Can’t say why, but I do.

lavander September 11, 2009, 2:06 am

I love Ira’s voice! He’s awesome…This American Life is very entertaining

tim oppenheimer June 14, 2011, 9:28 pm

Reese, you say that Ira has stated his sexuality explicitly. Can you source that?

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