Too Much Public Radio?

I think I listen to too much public radio and too many podcasts.

This morning while waiting in the border line I started listening to the latest podcast from The Moth. It was Mike Birbiglia, a comedian and actor telling a story about his problems with sleep walking. After a few minutes I started to recognize the story and by the halfway point I realized I’d heard it before. Performances from The Moth often get played on This American Life, a public radio show and podcast. As it was an entertaining story I kept listening.

Later in the day I started listening to the latest Sound of Young America show (another podcast/public radio show). The guest this week was none other than Mike Birbiglia. As I listened I felt like I was hearing the same story again. I found it weird because the thing about The Moth is that the stories are told live without notes, but as I kept listening I was heard the exact same story, with the same jokes and exact same language as I heard hours before.

Mike Birbiglia was on the show promoting his new one man play Sleepwalk With Me. He told the story of wanting to write a one man romantic comedy, which got me interested, I love romantic comedies and I think if done right a one-man-play-romantic-comedy would be awesome. Then he started telling the story exactly how I heard it on The Moth. I got a lot less excited about his one man show. (It’s playing in New York so I’m not going anyways) but I felt like if I went I’d be sitting through this story a fourth time. Towards the end of the interview he did talk a bit more about it, which made it sound like it might have more to it than just the story he told on The Moth. But then I worried it might be like those movies, with really awesome and funny trailers and commercials, that when you go to see them the only funny parts were in the trailer. Hopefully his show isn’t like that, and if I were in NYC I might check it out, because he is funny and a good storyteller.

But I did start thinking that I might be listening to a little bit too much public radio.

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One response to “Too Much Public Radio?

  1. I know someone who saw “Sleepwalk With Me” and she loved it. On the other hand, she also can’t sit still for spoken-word broadcasts, so she hadn’t really heard the story before (I tried to play it for her from The Moth podcast).

    As for the concern that the story sounded rehearsed even though it is supposedly “live without notes”… The mainstage shows at The Moth are rehearsed. There’s a very interesting interview about the process with The Moth’s Catherine Burns on the Storytelling With Children podcast from a couple of months back (http://www.storytellingwithchildren.com/2009/03/13/catherine-burns-the-moth-coaching-new-storytellers/).

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