Ira Glass is the best story teller in America

Ira Glass

Tonight I was reminded why I love listening to people talk. I don’t mean that in the sense that I’m unique because of it; rather, that I can become so helplessly engulfed in a story, but that I know some people who can’t grasp that concept.

I’d like to thank Ira Glass for reminding me of that fact. For the past two hours I sat in Bovard Auditorium listening to him tell story after story related to his radio talk show This American Life and seamlessly weave in the nuances of why we enjoy the stories. From the downfalls of the teachings of writing schools to Arabian Knights, Ira Glass conveyed humor, awe, and nostalgia to the entire audience.

As a quick background, Ira Glass’s radio show takes on a simple premise and builds. The foundation is that ordinary people can be interesting. While true, there are thousands of other various pieces of art whether they be plays, movies, or TV shows that try to found themselves on this concept. Glass addressed this point saying that they aren’t really interesting in the whole story. What makes their show so intriguing is the small corners of stories or events that give it character.

So throughout the entire show (?, maybe it was more of a speech, or maybe a monologue) Glass stressed the importance in story telling of the action and the following reflection. By breaking down and getting rid of the complexities that could possibly be extracted by studying the thousands of classic stories, it becomes blatantly obvious why you love the stories you love. Whether it’s a personal experience that you can relate to, or just some universal comprehension that brings us together, the best stories hit home.

To me, this is why I love the podcasts I love. It’s why they are the top ranked podcasts.

It’s why some TV shows are amazing while others are cancelled after the pilot.

It’s why his event (that’s what I’m calling it) received a standing ovation.