If you’re a Terry Gross fan, you have to check out the film short above starring Terry and comedian Mike Birbiglia, which Birbiglia directed and they shot for a special edition of This American Life, shown in theaters around the country last night (and to be repeated Tuesday).
The bigger news is that Fresh Air is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary as a daily national program today with a special show recalling some of Terry’s best moments with musical guests over the years. I promise it’s worth listening to, but Fresh Air always is.
I’m old enough to remember when Terry did a three-hour local show here with a tiny staff, pinwheeling from national celebrities and book authors to local politicians and artists, to callers – yes Fresh Air took on-air callers. It was so long ago the station had different call letters. They would play jazz records during the show so Terry could get to the bathroom.
I remember when Dick Cavett came on the show, probably on a book tour. He didn’t know who Terry was, but as their hour was coming to a close, he paused and said, “You are really good. You should get a raise.” Since Cavett was maybe the most highly-regarded interviewer in America at the time, this was high praise but no surprise to those of us who knew and treasured Fresh Air.
So raise a glass to Terry and Danny Miller, who’s been her executive producer pretty much from jump street, and the rest of a very talented, dedicated staff who bring you that show every day: Amy Salit, Phyllis Myers, Roberta Shorrock, Ann Marie Baldonado, Sam Briger, Lauren Krenzel, John Myers, John Sheehan, Heidi Saman, Dorothy Ferebee, Melody Kramer, Therese Madden, and engineer Audrey Bentham.