who: Ira Glass is the host of the show, with segments and stories told by several of the other contributing producers. often they are interviewing other people or playing recordings of relevant content.
what: each episode has a theme and the entire episode consists of one or several stories related to the theme. the topics vary across a wide array of subjects (read: the 10 year aftermath of hurricane katrina on one episode, to another episode about a reality show that featured OJ Simpson).
when/where: this show is broadcast all over the nation + is done in conjunction with chicago public radio.
why: the way this show is produced and the way that the stories are told is beyond captivating. definitely approach each episode with an open mind, because each show is not exactly like another. some are somber (i've been known to shed a tear at the end of a few episodes) others are hilarious, and some will have you on your seat in anticipation of each next word.
what else? this american life also produced a spinoff show called serial that is INCREDIBLE. if you haven't heard about it, you absolutely need to check it out. learn more about it here.