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The 11 best episodes of 'This American Life' according to host Ira Glass

Host Ira Glass suffering from a (not) serious 500-episode hangover as
Host Ira Glass suffering from a (not) serious 500-episode hangover as "This American Life" celebrates nearly 18 years on the air.
PRI

The award-winning show that might have been a "Journey to Whatever" but instead became "This American Life" reached a milestone with its 500th episode on Friday.

The long-running (almost 18 years) and highly successful radio show focuses each week on a single theme, delivering one long story or several shorter ones. It has been the most popular podcast in the country and won all the major broadcast awards (and it recently earned additional street cred when it emerged victorious in our Public Radio Bracket Madness).

Host Ira Glass seems to be taking it all in stride.

"Honestly, it feels to me more like an odometer rolling over than anything else," he said in an interview with BuzzFeed.

Still, to mark the moment, the man who said he doesn't often look back did spend a little time reflecting on the past. Glass shared a document that is assured a place in public radio history: a piece of paper containing notes scrawled during the meeting in which the show got its name. Among the titles considered were "Glasshouse," "Journey to Whatever," "Radiolicious" and "Mouth Noise."

Glass also shared 11 of his favorite episodes, which he noted also happen to be fan favorites.

But Glass didn't stop there. Other episodes and stories he said he loves "for purely selfish reasons" were:

And finally, for good measure, he threw in the Christmas and Commerce show. It was the first time on radio for David Sedaris and the first time they worked together. "Putting it on the radio changed my life as much as it changed his."

More than a few lives, no doubt, were changed by putting "This American Life" on the radio.