This American Life

Built around the innovative vision of Ira Glass, this program documents and describes contemporary America. Using radio monologues, mini-documentaries, “found tape,” and unusual music, it is radio storytelling at its best.

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Thursday, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
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Saturday, September 20, 2014 Permalink

This American Life: Origin Story

In one story, a man tries to set the record straight about his life's achievements, which he says include inventing thumb wrestling and popularizing the eating of shrimp in the New York area. And the story of a seven-year-old old boy trying to figure out where he comes from.

View On ThisAmericanLife.org

PROLOGUE

Host Ira Glass talks to business professor Pino Audia and Fast Companymagazine columnist Dan Heath about corporate creation myths, and why so many of them involve garages.  

 

ACT 1 : Mad Men

TAL producer Sarah Koenig tells the story of her father, Julian Koenig, the legendary advertising copywriter whose work includes the slogan "Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking" and Volkswagen's "Think Small" ads. For years Sarah has heard her dad accuse a former partner of stealing some of his best ideas, but until recently she never paid much attention.Then she started asking her dad for details of this fight for his legacy, and what she learned surprised her. 

 

ACT 2 : Secret Life Of Secrets

Ira tells the story of the 1953 U.S. Supreme Court case that formed the basis for the controversial state secret privilege—the precedent that allows the United States government to stop lawsuits by claiming that national security secrets might be revealed in court. Ira talks to Barry Siegel, author of the book Claim of Privilege, and Judy Loether, whose father's death was at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case. 

 

ACT 3: Wait Wait... Don't Film Me.

Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me, tells Ira the origin story of one of the worst movie sequels ever made. 

 

ACT 4 : Bill Clinton's Seven-Year-Old Brother

Reporter Mary Wiltenburg tells the story of a little boy stymied by the question "Where do you come from?"