In 1940 the Nazi’s established four new concentration camps at Neuegamme, Gross-Rosen, Natzweiler and Auschwitz; later that year Charlie Chaplin released THE GREAT DICTATOR. As the U.S. was not yet at war, Hollywood was actually worried about offending certain European dictators. Indeed, the film was immediately banned in occupied Europe. But Chaplin had other worries, namely, was this a time to be funny about dictators? How do you make jokes about such a touchy and personal subject without seeming crass or insensitive?
This American Life is not only one of the most listened to radio programs and most downloaded podcasts, but it has managed to bridge the gap between sight and sound with the “This American Life” TV series, which is just as thrilling to watch as the show is to listen to. The staff behind the program isn’t big, and yet every week they bring listeners one hour of original, insightful, often funny and frequently groundbreaking material. Just how do they do it?