Strangers

Strangers

www.storycentral.org
From Lea Thau, Peabody award-winning producer and creator of The Moth Podcast and The Moth Radio Hour, comes her new storytelling baby, Strangers. 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.


Hi
Mar 27, 2018 • 14 min
15 minutes of life
Isn’t It Nice
Dec 12, 2017 • 34 min
We bring the year full circle with a new story about Jared in St George, Utah, who was the subject of our very first episode this year. We reflect on the beautiful difference a year can make, even for someone who thought his whole future had disappeared.…
Go, Kalan
Nov 21, 2017 • 24 min
The story of a young man who decided to say yes.
Do You Like My Little Lie?
Oct 12, 2017 • 33 min
It’s the time of year when skeletons come out of the closet. We honor the dead, as we get ready for holidays among the living, where secrets will be spilled, and secrets will be created that will haunt us for years to come. You might describe today’s…
Jack Be Nimble, Part 2
Aug 18, 2017 • 35 min
Ladies and Gentlemen: Jack, Part 2, in which there will be guns and fear and roses and magic. There will be frat boys and homeless ladies, sweet clowns, and sad selves. Above all, there will be Jack. He will be nimble and he will be bold.
Jack Be Nimble, Part 1
Aug 4, 2017 • 34 min
A run-down trailer in small town Texas, Sunday mornings with Charlie Chaplin, heroine-dazed zombies, fighting off dragons, and narrowly escaping real life monsters — this was Jack’s life when she was a little girl. It was about survival from the very…
Human/Ordinary
Jul 21, 2017 • 29 min
A couple of weeks ago we got an email from Sam in Australia about his podcast Human/Ordinary. We liked it so much we decided to share it with you. Here’s an adapted version of his 10th episode called Headstone: Breath and Bone. The content might be…
Franky Carrillo: Life Now
Jul 12, 2017 • 28 min
We check in with Franky who did 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit (listen to our original Franky Carrillo episode “Life” for the backstory) and find out how he’s doing now and what he’s been up to for the last six years since his…
Franky Carrillo: Life
Jun 8, 2017 • 33 min
Franky spent 20 years in prison for a crime he had nothing to do with. This is his remarkable story. We first published this story four years ago and are rerunning it this week as part of the network-wide Radiotopia theme, “Doing Time.” And we’re working…
Dear Diary
Jun 1, 2017 • 30 min
This is not another Trump voter conversation. It’s not an end-point or a neat conclusion to the series. This is Lea crying into her iPhone at 10pm on a Tuesday because she doesn’t know what to conclude, how to mend, where to go. It’s a messy, confessional…
Lea in Trumpland #2: Eugene
May 12, 2017 • 57 min
This is where the gloves come off. In this episode, Lea travels to New York to talk to a Trump supporter who defies a lot of the stereotypes: he’s coastal, young, urban, educated, Jewish, an immigrant… But man oh man do the punches fly, on both sides.
Lea in Trumpland: Alicia
Apr 29, 2017 • 56 min
Lea has been traveling around interviewing Trump supporters and she’s tried to do it differently. She’s gotten drunk with them and high with them, she’s road-tripped with them and stayed overnight in their kids’ bedrooms, she’s cried with them, dined with…
Kugel vs Khaled
Apr 16, 2017 • 36 min
In this episode we revisit the story of Alaa Khaled AKA Alec Ledd and ponder life’s big questions, such as kugel, identity, celebrity, and how far we will go to please Barbara Streisand or compete with a more-famous brother.
Claire Obscure
Mar 10, 2017 • 56 min
It starts with a murder and ends with new questions. In between there’s Claire’s story. That’s not her real name. It’s neither her old name, nor her new name. It’s the name she took to tell this story. Warning: this episode contains graphic and disturbing…
12 Years On
Feb 25, 2017 • 32 min
In August 2004, a Somali refugee family arrived in Vermont. It was the beginning of many good things.
Pabba’s 32nd Year
Feb 10, 2017 • 27 min
Imagine if your parents had access to your online dating profile. That happened to Pabba.
Two Men and a Baby, The Final Episode
Jan 27, 2017 • 22 min
For nearly three years, we’ve been following Patrick and Steve and their attempt to adopt their foster daughter, and no other story we’ve done has generated as many emails from you, wondering how it all worked out. Today you will finally know. You can…
Wouldn’t It Be Nice
Jan 13, 2017 • 32 min
It’s a new year, a time for hope or worry, for regrets or new plans, a time to count our blessings or pick up the pieces. Last year around this time, as 2016 was just beginning, Jared and Sharry in Utah were tremendously excited about the year ahead, but…
Eleven Up
Dec 12, 2016 • 66 min
Today’s story is about two families trying to become one family. One set of parents is white, one is black, one lives in Portland, OR, the other in Miami, FL, one is Canadian/American, the other is Haitian/American. So, geographically, demographically,…
The People Next Door
Nov 24, 2016 • 54 min
Three stories about Mexican immigration, showing us that there are two sides to the border fence, but many sides to the story. On this episode, we find some unlikely bedfellows among liberals and conservatives, even immigrants and the border patrol. These…
Lex
Nov 11, 2016 • 34 min
When you start to think your own child might have a propensity for violence, what do you do?
The Truth
Oct 28, 2016 • 49 min
Ashley’s husband, Corey, is accused of the worst thing imaginable. What follows sends the family on an ever darkening journey, swinging between answers, hypotheses, emotions, and, ultimately, the truth. This story is not appropriate for children.
I’m an American
Oct 12, 2016 • 26 min
Lea recounts the personal journey that led her to become an American citizen this summer. It starts in Sweden in 1945….
Me For Mayor?
Oct 3, 2016 • 20 min
Have you ever had the fantasy that a chance encounter with a stranger could tell you who to be? Karin Gutman was working as an assistant when a senior advisor to a US Senator came out of the blue with an offer to change her life… This story first aired on…
Blue Astringent Blues
Sep 23, 2016 • 22 min
A wanna-be artist finds himself in a dual-life dilemma. Can you be the next Bukowski and the king of high-end skin care — at the same time? When push comes to aftershave, which do you choose? Brian Finkelstein tells this story, which originally aired on…
Matjames Returns: Scenes from Yellow Springs
Sep 2, 2016 • 25 min
Three years after Tyler issued a dare for Matjames to return to Yellow Springs, and 26 years after he fled, Matjames finally makes the trip. For optimal enjoyment of this episode, please listen to the first story about Matjames and Tyler, “Flee, Flood,…
Matjames and Tyler: Flee, Flood, Float
Aug 26, 2016 • 38 min
This is a rebroadcast of a story we produced three years ago. It’s a story we’ve always really liked, and we’re sharing it with you this week because we’ll have an update on the story next week. So be sure to check this out and stay tuned for the…
Love Hurts — Two Years Later
Aug 16, 2016 • 44 min
Lea revisits her own love life. Two years ago, Lea produced “Love Hurts,” a series about her ill-fated adventures in online dating throughout the 4 years since she’d suddenly found herself single with an infant in her late 30s. The same week that the…
The Bus & The Duff
Jul 22, 2016 • 28 min
Two stories from two stages of love about chance encounters, bold moves, tough luck, predictable fights, unlikely angels, and those unavoidable moments where you simply have to “sh*t or get off the pot.”
Not By Accident
Jul 8, 2016 • 42 min
So you’re 37 and single…. On this third installment of our “Summer of Love” series, we explore the singles’ experience with two intimate stories from the lovely podcast “Not by Accident” by Sophie Harper.
Jo & Fayaz
Jun 24, 2016 • 41 min
Fayaz asked Jo to marry him after they’d spent just one week in the same place. Here’s how that worked out. This story is the second installment in our Summer of Love series, but as it unfolds it becomes about more than just love.
As Far As You Can Get
Jun 10, 2016 • 20 min
Welcome to our new series, “Summer of Love,” inspired by this quote from a Danish newspaper: “For decades women seem to have been asking themselves the following questions: How do I get a man? How do I hold on to him? How do I put up with him? How do I…
The Son, The Goddess, and Leopoldo
May 30, 2016 • 46 min
Born in a coven of lesbian witches in a Haight-Ashbury commune after the fall of Saigon, young Joshua Safran soon hit the open road with his single mother, Claudia, and things only got stranger from there. A word of warning: this story contains some…
Outside In
May 13, 2016 • 27 min
One day when her daughter was 1 month old, Nanna Balslev took the elevator to the top floor of one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen. Here’s why.
Dumb Sh*t We Do #3: Stow Away
Apr 29, 2016 • 12 min
Wanna go to Europe? Got no cash? Why not stow away? Well….
Dumb Sh*t We Do #2: Rob Banks
Apr 15, 2016 • 26 min
We feature the story of Joe Loya’s bank robbing career by producer Ben Adair of the podcast “First Time Last Time,” along with a follow-up conversation between Lea and Joe about the dumbest sh*t he’s pulled as a bank robber. Check out the “First Time Last…
Dumb Sh*t We Do #1: Fib
Apr 1, 2016 • 12 min
Melia Mills was working as a lobby-greeter at a hotel, when one day Dave Chapelle came to stay…This is the first in our April mini-series “Dumb Sh*t We Do.”
Worth Saving
Mar 18, 2016 • 23 min
Annie Bradley was raised to believe that women shouldn’t have opinions or make decisions. But what happens when her life depends on a radical split-second decision?
Elizabeth and Mary: The Aftermath
Mar 4, 2016 • 33 min
Do altruists make us uncomfortable? Hell freakin’ yeah. Or so it seems. The most generous person we’ve ever profiled became the center of a social media storm. Lea called up some of the harshest critics to find out, eh, WHY?
Elizabeth and Mary, Part 3
Feb 26, 2016 • 30 min
So did this transplant happen? Is Lea going to give away a kidney? Are you? Tune into this third instalment of Elizabeth and Mary to find out.
Elizabeth and Mary, Part 2
Feb 12, 2016 • 39 min
This is the second installment in our series about Elizabeth and Mary. On this episode, we play some of the strong reactions we received from listeners to the first installment, and dive deeper into why Elizabeth decided to give a kidney to a stranger,…
Elizabeth and Mary, Part 1
Jan 29, 2016 • 44 min
Would you give a kidney to a stranger? Inspired by a previous episode of Strangers, Elizabeth decided to do just that. This is Part 1 of the story that ensued.
The Waxing Virgin — Then and Now
Jan 15, 2016 • 28 min
Four years ago, we met Becca, a virgin in her 30s who waxed genitals for a living. On this episode we play her original story, along with an update about what Becca has been up to since then…
A Special Broadcast From Strangers
Jan 4, 2016 • 60 min
Two of our favorite stories in one radio hour. With Henry & Jane Evans and Lyena Strelkoff, produced for KCRW.
Left Right Black White
Dec 4, 2015 • 36 min
A stereotypical, Whole-Foods-shopping, NPR-listening liberal finds herself in an alliance of Republicans.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman
Nov 6, 2015 • 30 min
Sometimes you get in a rut as a creative professional, wondering if you’ll ever be a professional, creatively, or if you’ll be forever stuck in some dead-end day job that’s designed to pay the bills but barely does. And then you might fantasize that some…
My Father’s Bones
Oct 9, 2015 • 30 min
One day when Susan was five, her father came home and nailed her bunk bed shut. That was the beginning of a long strange journey.
Jenni, Remembered
Sep 11, 2015 • 33 min
In the Strangers community, we’ve lost one of our own: Jenni Rowell, 33, has passed away. In this episode, with the help of her family and friends, we rejoice in her life and everything she gave us, and we mourn what we have lost. We also reveal some…
Sexistential
Aug 18, 2015 • 33 min
What exactly does a sex surrogate do? Meet Kendra Holliday to find out. Warning: This content is not suitable for children.
Love Hurts – One Year Later
Jul 31, 2015 • 40 min
One year ago today, July 31st, Lea went to interview Robert, a guy she’d dated, about why he’d turned her down. That became the first of a series of episodes called “Love Hurts,” where Lea investigated why she was having trouble finding love again in the…
The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read
Jul 10, 2015 • 34 min
John Corcoran graduated from high school and college and then spent 17 years as a high school teacher without knowing how to read or write. How on earth did he pull that off? And why? This is his story. A different version of this story was originally…
American Mormon — International Mr. Leather
Jun 26, 2015 • 26 min
A new – and improved! – version of an old Strangers story: A Mormon boy grows up to become “International Mr. Leather,” which is the “Miss Universe” equivalent of the leather fetish world, and he’s forced to acknowledge some surprising parallels between…
Like a Pizza: Two Men and a Baby – the Follow-Up
Jun 12, 2015 • 26 min
In 2014 Patrick and Steve received a surprise delivery…and it was a newborn, whaa! A story ensued, which became the episode Two Men and a Baby. Now, a year later we check in to see how things are going. Get the full story here.
Adrian’s Race 2
May 29, 2015 • 47 min
This is the second installment in our series about Adrian Wagner, who at 25 is losing his eyesight, and who is in a race to try to locate his birth parents in time to qualify for upcoming clinical trials, which might cure his condition but require genetic…
Unconditional
May 15, 2015 • 33 min
This is a story of mothers, love, regrets and redemption, and of secrets from many years passed that cast long shadows in our lives. It’s about how Deborah Jiang-Stein came to be pulled over by two highway patrolmen at 19 years-old, with a trunk load of…
The Cruellest Month?
May 1, 2015 • 31 min
April is the cruellest month. At least it can be. If you are depressed or heartbroken, there is nothing worse than the thaw and the blossoms and the girls in short dresses and the lovers on park benches licking melting ice cream off each other’s faces and…
Adrian’s Race
Apr 17, 2015 • 38 min
Adrian is 25 and losing his eyesight. He’s in a race against time. He’s also in a battle between humility and pride. When is it stubborn, perhaps even foolhardy, not to make concessions to one’s disability? When is it the only way out? And where do you…
Jenni, Now
Mar 26, 2015 • 23 min
We revisit Jenni Rowell from the episode “Life, Interrupted” to see where things stand, and learn some sh*t about life. Get the full story here.
And Justice for All?
Mar 13, 2015 • 16 min
A booker for TV court shows shares highs and lows from the merry-go-round of daytime justice… Get the full story here.
Love – Good and Bad
Feb 12, 2015 • 35 min
For Valentine’s Day we return to the theme of love, with a story about someone else’s heartbreak for a change. As for Lea’s heart, well, you’ll see… Get the full story here.
A Father’s Story – Then and Now
Jan 16, 2015 • 25 min
To mark the three-year anniversary of Strangers we share with you the very first story ever featured on the show, about Stephen Rochelle and his son Matthew, and we return to Stephen to see how they’re doing now, three years later. In July 2011, Matthew…
Love Hurts — The Follow-Up
Dec 18, 2014 • 28 min
Lea received hundreds of messages in response to her raw, personal four-part series, “Love Hurts.” In this follow-up episode, she strings together the funny, poignant and moving voice mails she received from listeners in response to the series and tries…
The Mind Shaft
Dec 4, 2014 • 30 min
Greg O’Brien was in his late 50s when strange things started happening… Get the full story here.
Alaska Bingo
Nov 7, 2014 • 16 min
Sam Feirstein takes a broken heart to Alaska and finds surprising kindness in “enemy territory.” Also, producer Lea Thau takes a broken heart to India and has a “stranger” experience that inspires her to create this show. Get the full story here.
Screaming with Professionals
Oct 30, 2014 • 32 min
For Halloween, we give you a ghost story of sorts. Not in the traditional sense, but we think you’ll know what we mean when you hear it. As a little boy, Bill Ratner experienced a series of tragedies. Then he learned to scream…. Get the full story here.
Falling Slowly
Oct 23, 2014 • 24 min
Strangers, at its core, is about the beauty and the struggle of human connection and what happens in those moments when we get closer to someone else, or, say, further removed from ourselves. Often that change is subtle and slow, but sometimes it is…
Big Jim & Smokey Joe
Oct 14, 2014 • 12 min
A waitress, a former bomber pilot and a retired railroad engineer embark on the adventure of a lifetime. A version of this story was previously featured on Season 1 of Strangers. Get the full story here.
Love Hurts 4
Oct 9, 2014 • 33 min
In this final installment of Love Hurts, Lea talks to a guy SHE turned down. Get the full story here.
Love Hurts 3
Sep 17, 2014 • 43 min
On this episode, Lea seeks dating advice from two experts…and lets it all hang out. “Love Hurts” is a series in which Lea investigates why she is single. We recommend listening to the episodes in order. Get the full story here.
Love Hurts 2
Sep 3, 2014 • 29 min
Lea continues her quest to discover why she’s been single for nearly four years. She interviews yet another guy who turned her down to find out why he didn’t want to date her, and tells stories of her past loves and present dates. Get the full story here.
Love Hurts
Aug 14, 2014 • 36 min
While doing a story about online dating, Lea gets her heart broken (yet again). Get the full story here.
Kenna Fisher: Renaissance Woman
Jul 11, 2014 • 35 min
Kenna, formerly known as Ken, came out 5 years ago. This her story. Get the full story here.
Two Men and a Baby
Jun 15, 2014 • 24 min
Two young men receive a surprise delivery. And it’s a newborn. Whaaa! Get the full story here.
The Long Shadow
May 16, 2014 • 39 min
Murder, music, mystery. A controversial event in 1997 changed the fate of two band mates. Get the full story here.
Cora Leighton: The Gift
Apr 17, 2014 • 27 min
A stripper and a tattoo artist have a fateful encounter. Get the full story here.
Jenni Rowell: Life, Interrupted
Mar 13, 2014 • 30 min
Imagine waking up every morning and seeing a stranger in the mirror… Get the full story here.
Liz Fletcher: Little Orphan Edie, a Valentine’s Story
Feb 11, 2014 • 27 min
A tale of true love spanning four decades, two countries, and classic racial divides… Get the full story here.
Born Rich (or Poor): Moby, Jamie Johnson and Others
Jan 16, 2014 • 33 min
Just how fabulous is it to be fabulously rich? 4 stories of wealth–inherited and earned. Get the full story here.
Anniversary Episode: Strangers Revisited
Dec 13, 2013 • 38 min
An online dater finds love after 16 years, and an exonerated prisoner goes to see the former District Attorney. Get the full story here.
Alfredo Corchado: Midnight in Mexico
Nov 15, 2013 • 32 min
An immigrant boy receives an offer he can’t refuse. Get the full story here.
Andrew and Akina Cox: Meet the Moonies
Oct 17, 2013 • 39 min
A hip young artist couple find themselves in an arranged marriage. Get the full story here.
Andrea Askowitz: Be My Baby
Sep 20, 2013 • 28 min
A woman finds her way to the all-american, suburban, lesbian life. Get the full story here.
Terry’s Treasure
Aug 30, 2013 • 31 min
Producer Lea Thau embarks on a strange online dating adventure. Get the full story here.
Matjames and Tyler: Flee, Flood, Float
Aug 15, 2013 • 41 min
A story about the places we go and the people we find. (Sorry we don’t want to give it away, just listen, please.) Get the full story here.
Henry and Jane
Jul 15, 2013 • 43 min
A 40-year-old stroke victim demonstrates that a sense of humor can be the last thing to go. Get the full story here.
Altruism
Jun 14, 2013 • 28 min
Does true altruism exist? Here are three stories that say yea, nay, and just maybe… Get the full story here.
Gay Talese: Committed Voyeur
May 9, 2013 • 44 min
Legendary non-fiction writer, Gay Talese, discusses his marriage, his work, and the scandals that have made waves in both. Get the full story here.
Franky Carrillo: Life
Apr 11, 2013 • 38 min
A man spends 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, but comes out ahead… Get the full story here.
Alec Ledd, Moby: A.K.A.
Mar 15, 2013 • 27 min
Moby shares moments with strangers, Alec Ledd goes Jewish for Barbara Streisand. Get the full story here.
Lauren Whaley, Jake de Grazia, VS. Dobbs: Love
Feb 14, 2013 • 38 min
Three stories of heart break and true love. Get the full story here.
David Terry: Jesus
Jan 10, 2013 • 27 min
The son of missionaries is taken to Greece and returns to the U.S. in the 8th grade with a mullet and a Jesus shirt. Get the full story here.