Reinventing Radio: Lessons Learned From an Evening with Ira Glass
On Saturday Ira Glass, host of the award-winning radio program, This American Life, stood before an auditorium of "NPR Junkies," at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts to discuss everything from his love of Radiolab to his weekly battles with the FCC to his limited knowledge of Arizona (namely, our extreme temperatures and even more extreme politics).
Photo credit: Stuart Mullenberg
For many Public Radio listeners, Ira Glass is a household name. But many of his fans are beginning to wonder if Glass's increasing popularity will soon interfere with the indie enigma that is This American Life.
Just last week, Portlandia's Fred Armisen guest starred on This American Life in an episode entitled "Dopplegangers," where he delivered a comical impersonation of Glass.
Although this was not even Armisen's first instance of Ira Glass role playing (his first impersonation was a SNL skit that ultimately got pulled from airing), it raised enough hype for Slate magazine to ask: "Is Ira Glass Becoming Too Famous for This American Life?"
Glass addressed this issue head on at Saturday night's show, saying that despite the celebrity cameos and the occasional pop culture reference, he can still manage to get on a plane to Phoenix, check in and out of his hotel, and still remain unrecognized.