September 12, 2017
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about growing up. In Stephan Enter's "Resistance," teenagers at a local chess club are suspicious of their new teacher. The reader is Michael Cerveris. And sassy Hazel Parker speaks her mind in Toni Cade Bambara's "Gorilla, My Love," read by Hattie Winston.
September 5, 2017
Guest host Josh Radnor presents two stories about expectation, hope and disenchantment. A navy wife isn't charmed by the Riviera, until a chance encounter changes everything, in Richard Yates' “Evening on the Côte d’Azur," read by Edie Falco. And a video parlor run by a lonely widower is the source of solace and catastrophe in an early George Saunders story. Josh Radnor reads “Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz.”
August 31, 2017
Guest host Josh Radnor presents three stories about needy people. An online dating service promises to help a guy with really big problem in Ramona Ausubel’s “You Can Find Love Now,” read by Martin Short and Amy Ryan. Kate Burton is the impetuous mom in Dave Eggers’ road story “The Alaska of Giants and Gods.” In Aimee Bender’s “Loser” a gifted young man can find anything. Linda Emond reads.
August 24, 2017
Guest host David Strathairn presents four works that teach us a few things: how to eat a bony South African fish, in Calvin Trillin's "Dissed Fish," which he reads himself. How to write a great term paper according to Kurt Vonnegut. His "assignment" is read by B.D. Wong. How to breakup with your girlfriend, in "The Breakup Ceremony," by Toure, read by Maulik Pancholy. And how to humiliate yourself in public--Seth Fried's "The Frenchman" is read by Tate Donovan.
August 16, 2017
Guest host Sonia Manzano presents works by the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. Carolina Ravassa reads "Remnants of Carnival," in which a little girl is briefly transformed. Denis O'Hare tells an eerie tale of a strange marriage in "The Obedient Ones," and Lynn Cohen is a scary matriarch in "Happy Birthday."
August 9, 2017
Guest host Kate Burton presents four unusual love stories. David Galef imagines “My Date with Neanderthal Woman,” read by Giullian Yao Gioiello. It’s raining old boyfriends and ex-husbands—literally—in Marie-Helene Bertino’s “Edna in Rain,” read by Colby Minifie. An extra-marital affair becomes a comedy of errors in Sam Ruddick’s “Leak,” read by “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” host Peter Sagal. And Kathleen Turner performs Isabel Allende’s magical “The Little Heidelberg.”
August 2, 2017
Guest host Josh Radnor presents two stories that are favorites of novelist and screenwriter Richard Price ("Lush Life," "The Wire") and Colson Whitehead remembers his personal New York. Maggie Gyllenhaal reads Isaac Babel’s tale of local crime and politics, “The King,” and Rita Wolf reads Lucia Berlin’s odd love triangle, “The Love Affair.” Whitehead’s “Lost and Found” is read by Alec Baldwin.
July 25, 2017
A poignant, funny, melancholy story about a man whose wife leaves him for a ping pong player. It was written by the fiction writer and playwright, Joe Meno, who has contributed several great stories to Shorts over the years. The reader is actor, comedian and writer Michael Ian Black (Wet, Hot, American Summer, and The State). Later in the show, Aparna gets Joe on the phone to talk about this story, writing, and driving a delivery truck.
June 25, 2017
Our story today addresses, or should I say undresses - why snacking on your underwear might not be all that’s promised on the box. In this hilarious story written by Tony Tulathimutte, the narrator, played by actor Maulik Pancholy, is taking on the edible underpants industry. Later host Aparna Nancherla talks to the author about where he got his inspiration from...
May 28, 2017
From actor, writer, comedian and the former Senior Middle East Correspondent on The Daily Show, a sweet, funny story about nerdom and outsider culture taken from his memoir, No Land's Man. Published in 2014, No Land's Man chronicles Aasif’s life as an Indo-Muslim-British-American and gives a first-hand look at the American immigration experience. After the story, Aasif calls in to talk to Aparna about his book and the current state of affairs.
November 30, 1999
Back by popular demand, actor Stephen Lang reads, “Batman and Robin Have an Altercation”, a -shall we say- intense story about family, love, and dying by Stephen King (yes, THAT Stephen King). Host Aparna Nancherla talks to Stu Tinker, a Stephen King superfan from King’s hometown of Bangor, Maine (get ready for that accent!). For nearly 20 years he’s been giving tours to spots that have inspired so many of author’s stories.