This American Life

Year: 2008

Directed by: Christopher Wilcha

Written by: Ira Glass

Music by: Jane Feltes

Narrated by: Johnny Depp

Runtime: 30 minutes

Official site IMDB Episode Download


In the second season premiere of the TV show “This American Life”, hosted by Ira Glass, escaping is the main theme. People who try escaping from a place, people who try living independently. Mike Phillips, a 27-year-old suffering from spinal muscular atrophy, a disease which has eliminated his ability to move his limbs, has the same wish. He wants to have own life, a life like anyone else has a chance to have, as he states. Because he lost his ability to speak, due to a breathing tube inserted in his neck, he communicates typing out the words on a 17-inch Macbook Pro laptop suspended above his bed. He types words letter-by-letter with his thumb across a cylindrical switch connected to a CD-sized box on his bed, sending the completed sentence through a voice simulator. In the beggining of the episode, the host asks Mike who he would like to read his e-mails in the story, replacing the voice simulator. Mike says that he would like Johnny Depp or Edward Norton, because either way, they are both badasses. And, by his request, because Edward Norton was not available, the kind and always willing to help – the one and only Johnny Depp, served as his voice, reading e-mails in which Mike wrote about his personal experiences. Despite his illness, Mike is ambitious, living and trying to live as a normal human being, along his girlfriend Sara, with whom he has lots of fun, going to movies, clubs, restaurants – things any couple does. He has no time for fear

Mike’s blog

Johnny Depp

Ira Glass
Host of the show

Mike Phillips
the 27-year old suffering from SPA

Mike’s Mother

Sara Rosenbaum,
Mike’s Girlfriend

Mike’s Former Assistant

George McGovern
US Senator/Presidential Candidate

Tom Wolfe

Directed by
Christopher Wilch

Writing by
Ira Glass

Produced By
Kevin Wargas

Jane Feltes

Sarah Koenig

Jon Jetter

Lisa Pollak

Robyn Semien

Alissa Shipp

Executive Producers
Julie Snyder

Executive Producers
Alex Blumberg

Executive Producers
Nancy Updike

Executive Producers
Ira Glass

Executive Producers
Banks Tarver

Executive Producers
Ken Druckerman

Executive Producers
Christine Vachon

Executive Producers
Jocelyn Hayes Simpson

Co-Executive Producer
Christopher Wilcha

Edited by
Joe Beshenkovsky

Director of Photography
Adam Beckman

Narrated by

Original Music
Jane Feltesc

Production Companies
Chicago Public Radio

Other Companies
Killer FilmsShowtime Networks Inc.

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