Best True Stories podcasts — Where fact is more fascinating than fiction (Updated June 2017; image)
Related podcasts: Society Arts True Storytelling Comedy Conversations True Story Christian Horror Theater Books History Health and Well-Being Religion True Story Audio Storying Orality Io Bible Stories Bible Story  
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show episodes
 
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This American Life
Weekly
 
This American Life is a weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 2.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards.
 
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Snap Judgment
Weekly
 
Dramatic tales, killer beats and the edgiest new talent in storytelling come together for a weekly radio hour hosted by Glynn Washington.
 
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Serial
Rare
 
Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won't know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she'll bring you the latest chapter, so it's important to listen in, starting with Episode 1. New episode ...
 
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the memory palace
Monthly+
 
the memory palace
 
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The Moth
Weekly
 
Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of true stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers. The storyteller and the audience embark on a high-wire act of shared experience which is both terrifying and exhilarating. Since 2008, The Moth podcast has featured many of our favorite stories told live on Moth stages around the country. For informa ...
 
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Criminal
Monthly+
 
Criminal is a podcast about crime. Not so much the "if it bleeds, it leads," kind of crime. Something a little more complex. Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, and/or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. We are a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
 
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Death, Sex & Money
Monthly+
 
A podcast hosted by Anna Sale about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Email the show at deathsexmoney@wnyc.org.
 
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Revisionist History
Monthly
 
Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell's journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time. From Panoply Media. Because sometimes the past deserves a second chance.
 
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RISK!
Weekly
 
If you like The Moth, This American Life or Snap Judgment, take a walk on the wilder side with RISK! Your colorful host Kevin Allison (of the legendary comedy group The State) helms this surprisingly uncensored show where people tell jaw-dropping true stories they never thought they'd dare to share in public. RISK! is hilarious, heart-wrenching and remarkably real. Think you've heard it all? Fasten your seatbelt.
 
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Love + Radio
Rare
 
Nick van der Kolk’s Love and Radio features in-depth, otherworldly-produced interviews with an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime. Get inside the mind of a rogue taxidermist. Find out what it’s like to experience a stroke firsthand. Or spend time with an artist who gives away her life savings every night. You’ve never heard anything like it before. Love+Radio is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
 
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The Mortified Podcast
Monthly+
 
The Mortified Podcast is a storytelling series where adults share the embarrassing things they created as kids—diaries, letters, lyrics & beyond—in front of total strangers. PS: It totally likes you. The Mortified Podcast is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
 
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Modern Love
Weekly
 
Stories of love, loss and redemption
 
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Mystery Show
Monthly+
 
A podcast about mysteries, hosted by Starlee Kine. From Gimlet.
 
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Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People
 
1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred. Thats the premise behind Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, hosted by comedian Chris Gethard (the Chris Gethard Show, Broad City, This American Life, and one of Time Outs 10 best comedians of 2015). Every week, Chris opens the phone line to one anonymous caller, and he cant hang up first, no matter what. From shocking confessions and family secrets to philosophical discussions and shameless self-promotion, anything can and will happen! T ...
 
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StoryCorps
Weekly
 
Some podcasts cover politics, others pop culture — the StoryCorps podcast covers the human heart. At the center of each episode is a StoryCorps interview, a candid, unscripted conversation between two people about what's really important in life: love, loss, family, friendship. When the world seems out of hand, tune in to StoryCorps and be reminded of the things that matter most. Learn more at StoryCorps.org.
 
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Heavyweight
Monthly+
 
Maybe you’ve laid awake imagining how it could have been, how it might yet be, but the moment to act was never right. Well, the moment is here and the podcast making it happen is Heavyweight. Join Jonathan Goldstein for road trips, thorny reunions, and difficult conversations as he backpedals his way into the past like a therapist with a time machine. From Gimlet Media.
 
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The Lapse Storytelling Podcast
Monthly
 
See with your ears. The Lapse’s award-winning audio wonderment thrusts listeners headlong into true stories as they transpire. Whether trapped in a touring carnival, running a marathon across Antarctica, or accidentally joining a cult, experience stories as diverse as they are fascinating. Beautifully edited and rich in sound, this is The Lapse.
 
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Strangers
Monthly
 
From Lea Thau, Peabody award-winning producer and creator of The Moth Podcast and The Moth Radio Hour, comes her new storytelling baby, Strangers, part of KCRW’s Independent Producer Project. Each episode is an empathy shot in your arm, featuring true stories about the people we meet, the connections we make, the heartbreaks we suffer, the kindnesses we encounter, and those frightful moments when we discover that WE aren’t even who we thought we were. Strangers is a proud member of Radiotopi ...
 
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Outlook
Daily
 
Extraordinary first person stories from around the world
 
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Radio Diaries
Monthly
 
First-person diaries, sound portraits, and hidden chapters of history from Peabody Award-winning producer Joe Richman and the Radio Diaries team. From teenagers to octogenarians, prisoners to prison guards, bra saleswomen to lighthouse keepers. The extraordinary stories of ordinary life. Radio Diaries is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm
 
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Undone
Monthly+
 
When big news happens, the world tunes in and then moves on. But often the stories we thought were over haven’t really ended; they were the beginning of something else. Undone is a new show from Gimlet Media that digs up the surprising things that happened when we weren’t looking.
 
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The Kitchen Sisters Present
Monthly+
 
The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. The episodes tell deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse producers The Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, Fugitive Waves and coming soon… The Keepers). “The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast ...
 
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Conversations
Weekly+
 
Spend an hour in someone else's life each weekday. 'Conversations with Richard Fidler' draws you deeper into the life story of someone you may have heard about, but never met.
 
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The Secret Room
Monthly+
 
There's a new place to share secrets. Join Ben Hamm and Dahlia Beta as they explore the stories no one ever tells. Welcome to The Secret Room.
 
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Upvoted by Reddit
Monthly+
 
Thousands of unique stories are happening on Reddit everyday, propelling people and ideas to an audience of millions. But what happens after those posts go up? What happened leading up to it? Upvoted gives these stories—from the seemingly ordinary to the extraordinary—the creative space to expand, breathe, and grow. Learn more by going beyond the upvote and see what makes Reddit so remarkable.
 
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Backseat Rider
Weekly
 
Journalist Anthony Ponce goes from the bright lights of a major news network to behind the wheel of a ride-share car, bringing you the real life stories of his passengers. From businessmen and baristas to strippers and students... hear the unique worldviews of people from all walks of life, as Anthony and his riders navigate the streets of Chicago. (interviews are recorded with full knowledge and consent).
 
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Tell The Bartender - A Storytelling Podcast
 
Tell The Bartender is a storytelling podcast hosted by Katharine Heller
 
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FOUND
Monthly+
 
Have you ever found a note on the ground, maybe meant for someone else? Help Davy Rothbart solve these mysteries on the FOUND Podcast, where we explore personal stories of love, loss, hope, transformation and aspiration through the lens of lost and found notes --with the power of humor and music. You can see these notes, and more, on the FOUND App on iOS, and help us solve the mysteries behind them as part of a global community art project. New full episodes every other Wednesday, with updat ...
 
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UnFictional
Monthly+
 
UnFictional is a program of storytellers and documentaries that cover the ground between the sophisticated and the profane. Audiences will hear captivating stories of real life told by writers and performers with a talent for tales that will suck you in. The program also features documentaries created by the most talented producers from around the country. UnFictional is one part of the Independent Producer Project , an initiative to cultivate and support the work of independent radio produc ...
 
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Life Changing Stories
Monthly+
 
The Stories That Will Change Your Life
 
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Home of the Brave
Monthly+
 
Home of the Brave: new and old stories from "This American Life" contributor Scott Carrier.
 
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That Story Show – clean comedy
Monthly+
 
Hilarious Real-life Stories for the Whole Family
 
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Trust the Random
Monthly
 
A conversation about how random circumstances or coincidences lead people down different paths to better lives through interviews with great people.
 
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Work in Progress
Monthly+
 
Behind every working human, there’s a story. Work in Progress is a new show about the meaning and identity we find in work. Each week, hear stories of personal ambition and debilitating insecurities, great successes and abject failures, the plans we make and the luck that…happens. Hosted by Dan Misener, produced by Slack. Follow along @slackstories or slack.com/podcast
 
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Dear Sugar
Weekly
 
The universe has good news for the lost, lonely and heartsick. Dear Sugar is here, and speaking straight into your ears. Hosted by the original Sugars, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the podcast fields all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offers radical empathy in return. *New episodes are released weekly.*
 
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Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids
 
Remembering the good, the bad, and the awkward parts of growing up
 
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Radio Diaries
Monthly
 
First-person diaries, sound portraits, and hidden chapters of history from Peabody Award-winning producer Joe Richman and the Radio Diaries team. From teenagers to octogenarians, prisoners to prison guards, bra saleswomen to lighthouse keepers. The extraordinary stories of ordinary life. Radio Diaries is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm
 
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The Untold
Monthly+
 
Grace Dent presents a series documenting the untold dramas of 21st-century Britain.
 
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Funny, Cuz It's True
Monthly
 
Stories. Everybody’s got them. Funny, Cuz It’s True hosted by writer/comedian Kevin McGeehan is a bi-monthly storytelling show recorded LIVE at The Second City Hollywood in Los Angeles. People sign up on the night of the show and are randomly selected to come up on stage and tell a five-minute, TRUE story based on the theme of the night. This podcast is a mixed bag of some of the best ones.
 
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Everything Is Stories
Rare
 
An ongoing audio survey of individuals who have experienced transcendence and/or power of the will. No story will be considered too troubled, no atmosphere too strange.Needed: tales from the underground, the underdog, the outlaw, and the outcast. Genuine characters of all kinds welcome.Everything Is Stories explores unconventional narratives of the past and present to preserve the eccentric, the authentic, and the personal.Produced by Garrett Crowe, Mike Martinez, and Tyler Wray.For dialogue ...
 
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Story Club
Monthly+
 
Each week, we bring you stories told live from the Story Club chair at the Giant Dwarf Theatre in Sydney.
 
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Lancaster Story Slam podcast
Monthly
 
A monthly podcast featuring three stories chosen from live Story Slams in Lancaster, PA. Learn more at LancasterStorySlam.com.
 
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Stories We Don't Tell
Monthly+
 
Join Paul Dore, Brianne Benness and Stefan Hostetter as they debrief their candid monthly storytelling event. Tune in each week for an authentic story and an exploration of what makes a good workshop, story and event.
 
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The Beginning of the End
Rare
 
WDET's original podcast featuring stories about when, how and why things end, told by the people who have to live with what happens next.
 
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XO
1
XO
Rare
 
A show in the tradition of This American Life. Sort of. It's different, obviously.
 
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STORIES THAT NEED TO BE TOLD by Mike Young
 
Comedian/Writer/Director Mike Young (My Man Is A Loser, A Stand Up Guy & The Young American Comedy Tour) invites you to hear his Stories That Need To Be Told. This bingeable podcast chronicles the up's and down's of being an entertainer whose life would be perfect if his career and social successes could ever match. Listen to stories about making movies, famous friends, beautiful women, family, writing, pitching televisions shows to networks, single life, traveling the country for comedy, Lo ...
 
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Do Something Beautiful
Monthly+
 
Leah Darrow, former America's Next Top Model, shares with you inspirational people and stories that add true beauty to the world.
 
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Modern Stories Mix
Rare
 
Modern Stories Mix focuses on just one story (and one storyteller) at a time.
 
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Steppin Out Radio
Weekly+
 
Listen to real people with gripping, true stories of real life. Not only is this an amazingly compelling show, It’s socially responsible, entertaining and resonates with people of all ages, lifestyles and backgrounds.
 
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The Monti Podcast
Monthly
 
The Monti is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing community through the telling of stories. Since its founding in 2008, audiences have been flocking to the sold out shows across North Carolina to listen to true stories told by bestselling authors, musicians, poets, local celebrities, and just about anyone with a great story to tell. While it has been impossible to meet the demand for our live shows, The Monti Podcast is a way to bring the energy and feel of a given event to anyo ...
 
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show series
 
On the next Snap..."Overthrow." You give the big speech, lead the big charge, but can you take them down?
 
In this final mini series of interviews, we go for something different. Singer/songwriter Arlene Paculan has performed at Stories We Don’t Tell and been a friend of the event since the beginning. Paul goes on location with Arlene, talking with her about storytelling through music. We included the song Arlene played at Stories We Don’t Tell, and ...…
 
Where’s your episode? Where’s Lea? A short audio postcard from Denmark.
 
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Revisionist History
 
What happens when a terrorist has a change of heart? Revisionist History is presented by Chanel. Discover the story of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel on inside.chanel.com.
 
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The Monti Podcast
 
Episode #183: A chance encounter at a Whole Foods triggers a young woman to confront her body issues. Recorded live at our Confrontations show on Feruary 4, 2017 at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro.
 
Liz Tynan explains how Australia became the toxic testing ground for Britain's nuclear program (R)
 
Indian Ayisha Falaq has been called a hero after saving her brother-in-law who had been taken hostage. Little did the captors know they were facing an award-winning shooter.Image and credit: Ayisha Falaq
 
Danielle Brooks of "Orange Is The New Black" on a daughter's discovery of her father's secret investigative skills. The target? Her boyfriends.
 
You can get a lot of things out of work. For some people, it's satisfaction; for others it's a headache. Then there are the people who go to work one day and find love.
 
Heather Havrilesky of NY Magazine’s “Ask Polly”digs into found notes and dishes advice. Plus, the improbable story of a teenage phone psychic.Subscribe to FOUND so you never miss an episode: www.smarturl.it/foundpThank you to our sponsors:Blue Apron - Get 3 meals free on your first order when you visit them here: www.blueapron.com/FoundZip Recr ...…
 
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Backseat Rider
 
What keeps you up at night? For most of this week's riders, the answer to this question is anxiety. But for a select few, the answers were extremely specific. Hear a man's terrifying account of surviving a plane crash, why one woman hides all the knives in her house, the saga of a self-described "painkiller junkie," and the important issue faci ...…
 
More Americans are taking on more debt than ever before to pay for higher education: 44 million Americans have $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. But when we asked you to tell us how you feel about your debt, hundreds and hundreds of you told us about the guilt, shame and isolation that surrounds your loans. Next week, we'll share your stories ...…
 
Bob Tait’s enduring love of aviation has launched thousands of pilots to the skies
 
A man embraces his father’s music; a new dad has a breakdown in the grocery store; a young father struggles with his emotions; a son flies to Ghana for his father’s funeral, a daughter reveals an embarrassing truth, and an uncle steps in to play an important role. Hosted by The Moth’s Artistic Director Catherine Burns. The Moth Radio Hour is pr ...…
 
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Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People
 
Ever wonder what it's like to be paid to secretly watch shoppers on camera? This week's caller works in the retail field of "loss prevention." He tells Gethard about the time he confronted a shoplifter and got punched in the face, and discusses how the American heroin epidemic is directly correlated with retail theft. Plus, Gethard hears a litt ...…
 
Erin Popelka, Thandi Davis and Tim C. share stories of a Japanese flasher, a Christian cult and couple of kids saved from sex trafficking.
 
Amal Awad was her Arab-Australian family's only daughter. As a teenager, so much was 'haram', or forbidden. But later in life, she surprised everyone.
 
Photojournalist Mohammed is risking everything to document the effects of war in Yemen. Based in the capital city Sana'a, his work began in 2011 when the country was hit by a series of anti-government protests. More recently the country has faced a cholera epidemic that has killed almost eight hundred people since April. (Photo credit: Ahmad Al ...…
 
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Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids
 
Sarah writes a fan letter to Dean Cain, Chandra has a steamy make-out session, Anuj shares a story about the human reproductive system, and much more. Recorded live at the Tranzac in Toronto.
 
Lisa Cotter, podcast host of How-To Catholic, interviews yours truly for a conversation on fashion. The convo was so much fun, I am reposting for your listening pleasure. Lisa and I go way beyond what colors are in and the newest trends, and dive deep into the faith of fashion.
 
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A FACE PROJECT
 
SUMMARY: Do you struggle with personal identity based on some part of your upbringing? Does it feel like you have a lot to say but don’t know how to get it all out? Have you ever been bothered by something you can’t change about yourself? You are Teague. MENTIONS: www.afaceproject.com The New Folklore: Lyrical Tales for Dreamers & Thinkers http ...…
 
Deep in Tasmania’s convict archives, Maxwell Hamish Stewart pieces together life stories from meticulously recorded details
 
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The Untold
 
This is Nick's story; and it's a story of grit and determination; of ambition and limitations; of one young man's struggle to get his life back, after a car accident that's left him with a brain injury. Nick was 23 when his life changed forever. He's lucky to be alive. He was driving home late one night when his car came off the road. He thinks ...…
 
Sex trafficking survivor Norma Bastidas speaks to Anu Anand about completing a world record triathlon. (Photo courtesy of Norma Bastidas.)
 
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This American Life
 
Does talking about it really help? Stories where it does, and stories where it doesn't, including a man who tried to battle his fears by listing them. He ended up with a list 138 items long.
 
On this episode of the A Story Not Forgotten podcast host Liam Rathgeber interviews Grant Kelba Grant is the creator of the Calgary Flames mascot Harvey The HoundGrant tells us the story of when he was in his twenties and he confidently met with the Public Relations Director of the Calgary Flames and convinced him to let Grant create a new masc ...…
 
The story of girl who copes with feeling like a misfit by inventing imaginary pen pal relationships with Movie of the Week characters. The Mortified Podcast is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Listen @ getmortified.com
 
There comes a time in every child's life when they realize they can strike their own path. But often, that path leads straight back to their parents. This week, three stories of fathers and their children.By webmaster@kcrw.org (KCRW, Bob Carlson).
 
Christine Hyung-Oak Lee loses all sense of reality while shopping for groceries.Lassana Bathily becomes a hero during a terror attack on a Paris supermarket.Image: Rushing down a supermarket aisle Credit: gpointstudio/GettyImages
 
The top of the highway through Rocky Mountain National Park. The day before it snowed three inches. Donate
 
Shortly after David Brown was sworn in as the Dallas Chief of Police, his son shot and killed a police officer. Just before he retired as chief, 5 Dallas officers were shot and killed in what was said to be the deadliest attack for law enforcement since September 11th, 2001. Today on the show, we ask David Brown how he's changed after 33 years ...…
 
Dive into the daily hustle, juggle, and struggle of the freelance life in this special episode. Meet a freelance farmer with a novel approach to traditional work; a writer, mother, and animal keeper bitten by the travel bug; a sweet-talking freelance collections agent whose business is to get freelancers paid; and a private forensic pathologist ...…
 
On the next all-NEW Snap Judgment, one family, one story, three acts. The amazing Fecile family invites us behind closed doors to witness the hardest choice they ever had to make. A special stunning collaboration with Love and Radio... “Blink Once For Yes." This story comes to us from Nick van DerKolk's podcast Love and Radio. Produced by John ...…
 
Brian introduces a collection of the deepest, darkest tunes he knows
 
A preview of our next season, coming at you NEXT MONTH! Doug Williams has been waging a war for decades against the polygraph machine (aka the lie detector). Produced by Jacob McCleland and Ana Adlerstein.
 
Zoë has some bad news for you all about the seminal party song, Tequila. Also if you want to come to the event we talk about in the intro, you can get tickets here! http://womensplans.org/support/womens-plans-foundation-events/golden-age-cinema-and-bar/
 
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Revisionist History
 
Rich people and their addiction to golf: a philosophical investigation. Revisionist History is presented by Chanel. Discover the story of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel on inside.chanel.com.
 
The maximum security prisoners in Caroline Dean's workplace were the least of her troubles
 
American Ryan Speedo Green went from a troubled childhood in juvenile detention to becoming an opera singer performing all over the world. He tells Matthew Bannister how his life changed after he saw an African-American opera star singing the lead role in Carmen when he was just fifteen years old.Image: Ryan Speedo Green as Colline in Puccini's ...…
 
Griffin Dunne of the Amazon series "I Love Dick" reads a story about how distance can make the heart grow discouragingly fonder.
 
For the next few episodes, we’ll be going behind-the-scenes with storytellers that have performed at Stories We Don’t Tell. Stefan Hostetter sits down with Luke Anderson for some story workshopping. We then transport into the future to hear Luke’s most embarrassing moment(s). Learn more about Luke’s work with the StopGap Foundation.…
 
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Backseat Rider
 
With Father's Day almost here, Anthony & his passengers explore the experiences that have defined their relationships with their dads, including: why a rabbi hasn't spoken to his father in months, a dad's reaction after his daughter was kicked out of college for plagiarism, the "academic contract" one teenager signed with her dad, and the story ...…
 
Ellen Holmes became the full-time carer for her mother and her two brothers while she was at high school (R)
 
Ronnie O'Sullivan is a superstar in the world of snooker having won the world championship five times. Ronnie has had a very dramatic life and has just written a thriller novel called Framed set in the part of London where he grew up - Soho. The area is famous for its sex shops, late night bars and seedy characters. Ronnie's dad ran a pornograp ...…
 
In this Father's Day episode, what it means to become a dad, what impressions fathers leave on their kids, and how being a dad can be about so much more than just biology.
 
In this special twentieth anniversary hour, a look back at special stories and moments throughout The Moth’s 20 years. The inventor of the Baby Calzone runs into trouble with the mob. A difficult break-up lures a young woman into a digital vortex. And a pragmatic idealist learns to listen deeply. Hosted by The Moth’s Executive Producer, Sarah A ...…
 
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Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People
 
This week's caller is a somewhat unconventional podcast fan. He loves Beautiful/Anonymous even though he's never technically heard an episode. Hmmm. Mysterious. He shares his unique experience with the medium, his outlook on life, and his best party tricks.This episode is brought to you by Talkspace (www.talkspace.com/beautiful), Hulu Plus, Zip ...…
 
Adam Wade, Melanie Hamlett and Craig Mangum share about public bathroom drama, nerve-wracking weddings and Mormon missions.
 
David Coles is one of very few colourmen or 'pigment-whisperers' in the world
 
A year ago, a gunman called Omar Mateen walked into the Pulse gay nightclub in the American city of Orlando, Florida. He killed 49 people and injured dozens more in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. He claimed to be a follower of the so called Islamic state, but some reports suggest he was struggling with his own sexual identity ...…
 
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