Ira Glass

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Ira Glass in 2006

Ira Jeffrey Glass (born March 3, 1959) is an American public radio personality, and host and producer of the radio show This American Life and the television program of the same name.


  • The Cruise is one of my favorite films and very close to the spirit of This American Life: It’s funny and moving and surprising and just beautiful to look at–black and white, shot on the cheap with all natural light on digital video, incredibly.
    • Glass, Ira (7 June 1999). "DIARY: Ira Glass". Slate Magazine. Retrieved on 13 July 2020.
  • There are stories that change the way I see stuff, like the Harper High School story. I didn't really understand what it was like to live in a neighborhood like that, or be a kid like that. One of the things we learned is that every kid in the school is in a gang. The nerd kids are in a gang. The drama kids are in a gang. Before I read that series, and this is kind of ugly to say, but I would think, ‘Well, if they got shot they're a gang kid ... that's a bad kid.’ I don't feel that any more at all. Those of us who don't live in neighborhoods like that, we're so dumb.
  • 'I don’t know, it seems weird to be making this much money and asking people to donate money,' It seemed unseemly. So I said, 'I think that I should just make less.’ I just thought it ... seemed fair. It seemed like I should make what you make if you're like, a high school principal or something. Not even the principal, but the assistant principal.
  • Why is my job like the second job that somebody who's a genius at something else can do, and actually still be really good at? It's not fair!
  • The honest answer to your question is that I think Anaheed and I could do this whole thing better, and that we're a terrible role model for anyone. We muddle our way through, for sure. And we've been together for 20 years—but it's hard on us. I feel like I know other people who manage it way, way better.
  • The thing that happens to me is that if it’s going well, and the person is really talking from the heart about a thing that means something to them. And I’m talking back to them, and we’re understanding each other, and like I start to feel really close to them. I know that as like a professional journalist, it’s not like the right thing to say, to say this, but I start to really love them. Like it has the intimacy of any like actual intimate conversation with somebody who I feel super close to.
  • I'm just a very mindful, worried person in a lot of ways. And I remember the first time I took ecstasy, all that goes away. And I remember having the thought, "Do other people live this way? Is this what it's like for other people? Are there people who have this experience of feeling no anxiety, and just walking up to people and assuming that people might like them?

This American Life[edit]

  • Nobody hearing my words right now is thinking, Oh man, remember that show, back when it used to be good?
  • Progress' constant companion is nostalgia for the way things used to be.
    • "Pandora's Box", This American Life, television season 1, installment 6, 26 April 2007.
  • What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
    But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
    It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.


  • I called Ira up and I said, 'You're gonna be a cult hero eventually'—and I think it's coming true. The other thing I said to him was, 'It's gonna devour you.'
  • "Ira is a big fag. He's just not a homosexual."
    • David Rakoff on pervasive rumors that Ira Glass is in the closet
    • Bergquist, Kathryn (November 26, 2002). "The host with the most". Advocate (877).


External links[edit]

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