List of 1995 This American Life episodes

In 1995, there were seven new This American Life episodes; all were broadcast under the original name of the program Your Radio Playhouse.

Air Date: 1995-11-17
Description: Our program's very first broadcast
Interlude: Dinah Washington – "Destination Moon"
Kevin Kelly has a sort of religious experience in Jerusalem and decides to live the next six months of his life to the fullest. This plot was revisited for episode 50 – Shoulda Been Dead
Ira calls his parents in for advice about broadcasting.
Steger recounts a road trip he and a friend took after hearing about Steger's HIV diagnosis.
Interlude: The Treniers – "(Uh-Oh) Get Out of the Car"
Ryder was wrongly imprisoned for twenty years and recently released, and he discusses dream of playing music. Ryder performs "God Bless the Child"—this performance was re-broadcast in episode 119 – Lock-Up.
Interlude: Django Reinhardt – "I've Had My Moments"
Air Date: 1995-11-24
Description: Small-scale stories on the nature of small-scale sin
  • Prologue – Ira Glass visits the Hackers On Planet Earth conference and talks to three teenagers who committed credit card fraud tell their stories. (16 minutes)
  • Act 1
Playwright Jeff Dorchen writes a play about the previous act. (10 minutes)
Poet Warr discusses his childhood as a Jehovah's Witness. (8 minutes)
  • Act 3
A member of the hacking group MOD discusses his arrest and imprisonment and his success as a criminal. (26 minutes)
Air Date: 1995-12-01
Description: Stories decrying the wonders of turkeys, chickens, and other fowl
  • Act 1
Danielle explains why her family calls chicken "fish" at the dinner table. (20 minutes)
Interlude: Louis Jordan – "Saturday Night Fish Fry"
  • Act 2
Julie discusses life on a turkey farm (8 minutes)
Rodriguez reads a poem about poultry. (4 minutes)
Interlude: Cab Calloway – "A Chicken Ain't Nothing But a Bird"
The hostess of NPR's Seasonings explains how to cook a chicken. (6 minutes)
Interlude: Charles Mingus – "Eat That Bird"
Sedaris buys a taxidermied turkey. (3 minutes)
Glass presents the first new episode of the WCFL radio program "Chickenman" since 1969. (8 minutes)
Air Date: 1995-12-08
Description: Stories about vacations gone awry—or perhaps vacations that never should have happened
Ira discusses his family photos from a trip to Hawaii. (9 minutes)
Loh reads a story about her family vacation in Ethiopia. (22 minutes)
Sedaris discusses hitchhiking. (25 minutes)
Interlude: Ozark Mountain Devils – "If You Wanna Get to Heaven"
Air Date: 1995-12-15
Description: Stories that reveal the societal "trend" toward anger and away from genuine forgiveness
Prologue – Ira Glass
Glass reads a list of words that Newt Gingrich advised Republicans use when referring to Democrats. (7 minutes)
Hitt is confronted by someone who read an article he wrote about Susan Smith. (15 minutes)
Moore and Steeger give monologues about forgiveness. (9 minutes)
Interlude: Unknown artist – "I Blame God"
Bowden explains the effects of harsh criminal sentences on minors. (6 minutes)
Interlude: Johnny Cash – "The Wall"
Glass interviews Glen Fitzgerald, a Christian missionary who works with gang members. (9 minutes)
Interlude: Johnny Cash – "Folsom Prison Blues"
A story read before a live audience about someone who doesn't want forgiveness. (14 minutes)
Air Date: 1995-12-22
Description: Several Christmas-themed performances
A Christmas radio play with Sedaris and the Pinetree Gang. (28 minutes)
A Christmas tree story. (14 minutes)
A story about Christmas at juvenile court. (10 minutes)
Christmas at the Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church, whose choir provides music for the entire episode. (9 minutes)
Air Date: 1995-12-29
Description: Stories of people who quit everything in their lives that they hated—and what happened to them afterwards
Evan Harris starts the magazine Quitter Quarterly with Shelley Ross (22 minutes)
Interlude: Ella Fitzgerald – "Don't Fence Me In"
Loh reads a story about quitting. (10 minutes)
Interlude: Brave Combo – "Do Something Different (Disappear)"
Glass plays excerpts from Shut Up, Little Man! (9 minutes)
A story about being unable to quit. (13 minutes)
Interlude: Robert Metrick – "The Calendar Song"
Okita reads the poem "Farewell Samba" from his book Crossing with the Light and Glass reads Philip Larkin's "Poetry of Departures". (3 minutes)