Ira introduces us to Santa Allen. A man who is NOT the real Santa Claus but who will – for the first time ever – be sitting in a chair, dressed as Santa, asking little children what they want for Christmas this year. He’s nervous.
Some of the best improv actors in the country join us for a special Christmas themed performance recorded live at the Bellhouse in Brooklyn. Scott Adsit, Mike Birbiglia, Aidy Bryant, Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, and Sasheer Zamata dream up a magical world on stage that’s only possible at Christmas.
A 17-year-old Ethiopian girl who is just learning English goes with her teacher to face her fears head-on: She orders tea in a local coffee shop. A woman in America talks to Ira about her husband, in Syria, who is currently negotiating with kidnappers for the release of two of his employees.
Ira talks to John Biewen about how remarkable it is that he could grow up in a town and never learn about the most significant event in its history. This show about Native Americans and settlers was first broadcast on Thanksgiving weekend 2012, on the 150th anniversary of the war.
Ira Glass plays Christmas jokes told by third graders, collected by producer Jonathan Menjivar. It turns out there really aren't many holiday jokes (although see our blog post for more), but kids are happy to invent them.
Despite our nation's attempts to make Christmas all about toys and shopping, it is still a religious holiday. Mike Birbiglia tells this story about Catholicism and his mother. Mike is author of the memoir Sleepwalk With Me.
Thanksgiving 2002, the Ohm family's dinner conversation turned to the recent terrorist attacks. Alexis Ohm, the youngest daughter, made a comment that in retrospect she admits was probably the wrong thing to say with her conservative, military-veteran dad at the table...that Osama bin Laden was hot.