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Tag: This American Life (1-4 of 4)

Fred Armisen to imitate Ira Glass for an hour on 'This American Life'

Portlandia just exploded into a cloud of artisanal doorknobs and twee glee.

This weekend, This American Life will have a very special guest host: SNL star Fred Armisen, who’s still on his winter vacation (he’ll start work on the sketch series’s first episode of 2013 on Monday).

But Armisen won’t be narrating quirky tales using his own voice. According to the program’s website, the comedian will spend the entire hour doing an impression of someone coyly referred to only as “a public radio personality” — which almost certainly means regular This American Life host Ira Glass. Armisen says that he developed the impersonation for Saturday Night Live, but ultimately decided that “the public radio personality isn’t quite famous enough to be mocked on network TV.” You can, however, get a taste of the impression in this clip from an SNL dress rehearsal in 2011:

If you like Fred Armisen and Ira Glass, this radio show will be the best thing since Moonrise Kingdom. If the whole thing seems way too precious for you, might we suggest looking at these new stills from big-budget blockbuster Catching Fire?

Read  more:
Justin Bieber to host ‘Saturday Night Live’
‘Portlandia’: Fred Armisen gives you 15 esoteric hints about season 3
Fred Armisen and ?uestlove have a drum-off on ‘Fallon’ – VIDEO

OPINION: Mike Daisey, 'This American Life', and the invention of 'counterfeit truth'

The phrase “based on a true story” has become weak currency in the world of storytelling, and unfortunately it keeps getting worse.

The latest downgrading occurs at the hands of performer Mike Daisey and his falsehood-perforated theater monologue The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, about the exploitation of Chinese workers who manufacture Apple products.

Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life presented an entire episode this past weekend to retract and correct its very popular January show that featured Daisey’s now-discredited reporting. The entire program can be found here, and it’s compelling listening – even if you didn’t hear the original broadcast.

Daisey’s defense is that worker abuse in China is real and documented elsewhere, and he only made up lies about meeting abused, ailing, and underage tech employees because he wanted to create a personal connection for the audience that would make them care.

Except Daisey has undermined his own cause by introducing us to a new genre of storytelling: counterfeit truth. READ FULL STORY

Mike Daisey urges focus on the 'bigger story' of global manufacturing

Mike Daisey has released a statement on his official blog urging critics to focus on the bigger story of the nature of Apple’s Chinese manufacturing, rather than his admission that he fabricated important parts of his one-man show.

“If you think this story is bigger than that story, something is wrong with your priorities,” writes Daisey, whose The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs addresses working conditions of Apple employees in Chinese sweatshops. The off-Broadway production was the focus of a segment on Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life, which has since been retracted after word circulated that the show was in fact a mix of fact and fiction. READ FULL STORY

Mike Daisey restructures show after 'This American Life' controversy

Mike Daisey, the off-Broadway performer who admitted that he made up parts of his one-man show about Apple products being made in Chinese sweatshops, has cut questionable sections from the monologue and added a prologue explaining the controversy.

Oskar Eustis, artistic director of The Public Theater, where the monologue is being performed, said Saturday that Daisey has “eliminated anything he doesn’t feel he can stand behind” from the show and added a section at the beginning in which he addresses the questions raised by critics. Eustis called the prologue “the best possible frame we could give the audience for the controversy” and said Daisey agreed to make the changes himself, which are “his and his alone.”

“Mike is a great storyteller, not a journalist. I wish he had been clearer about that distinction in the making of this piece,” Eustis said after seeing Saturday’s matinee performance. “If we had understood the rules Mike was using to make the show, we would have framed it differently from the outset.” READ FULL STORY

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