Ira talks about the phenomenon of weird food mashups that fast food companies started selling in the last five years – things like the pizza with hot dogs on the crust that Pizza Hut made or the Hardee's burger with a cheesesteak as the topping on the burger. Ira explains that there is something about these foods that he's been wondering about.
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The formula for Coca-Cola is one of the most jealously guarded trade secrets in the world. So we were surprised to come across a 1979 newspaper article with what looked like the original recipe for Coke.
Hanco's and Henry's are two restaurants in Brooklyn that sell Vietnamese sandwiches and bubble tea. Their menus are identical, down to the order of the items, the layout, the fonts.
A Holiday Inn comes up with a brilliant scheme to increase their roomservice orders. Former room service waiter Cliff Doerksen says there was only one problem with the plan...and it came down to a big, ridiculous, floppy hat.
When you're in school, you're supposed to be a Renaissance person — do art, literature, sports, music—and be enthusiastic about it all. You get graded for effort.
Host Ira Glass and his friend Danielle, whose family says they're eating fish when in fact it's turkey or chicken, for an unusual reason.
In which we conduct a little scientific experiment—on tape, with hidden microphones—about whether niceness pays. We wire two waitresses with hidden microphones.
Ira talks with Lee Qi, who came to America from China. He worked in Chinese restaurants in small towns, live in tiny apartments with other illegal immigrants who worked there as well—apartments that were sometimes in the back of the restaurants.
In this act we hear from the rowdier, drunker late-night patrons of the Golden Apple. A guy walks in with two young women, hoping to go home with one of them.
In this act we hear several stories that happened during the daylight hours of the diner's operation. The first is from Nancy Updike, who talks with several early morning customers, including one guy who comes in mornings to play his accordion, and another who at the age of 8 was the youngest butcher in Illinois.
The story of two young people who, in their search to figure out who they were, pretended to be people they weren't. Both were from small towns; both took on false identities.
The story of a typical American family—imaginary poultry—and a handpuppet.
Host Ira Glass talks about the role of mealtime in family dynamics.
When is a chicken your friend? When is he your dinner? This American Life's former webmeister Elizabeth Meister talks with Kamiko Overs, an 11-year-old girl at the annual poultry exhibition run by the American Poultry Association in Columbus, Ohio. Elizabeth Meister is a producer with Long Haul Productions.
When Francois Mitterand knew he was about to die, he decided that the last food to cross his lips would be poultry...a tiny bird that is actually illegal to eat in France. It's a bird that, by tradition, is eaten with a napkin covering your head.
The true story of a dinner conversation in which several Americans came to realize how many iconic Americans are, in fact, Canadian. "If William Shatner's Canadian," one insists, "then I could be Canadian." Another opines that there should be a law against Peter Jennings, a Canadian, hosting a network news program.
When Danielle's family serves poultry at their dinner table, no one utters the word "chicken." Instead, it is always called "fish." Danielle explains why with the help of her friend "Duki." (16 minutes)
When Danielle's family serves poultry at their dinner table, no one utters the word "chicken." Instead, it is always called "fish." Danielle explains why with the help of her friend "Duki." (20 minutes)