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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Ira Glass (and his back-up dancers) win over Kingsbury Hall crowd

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Ira Glass and his back-up dancers entertained a nearly full house at Kingsbury Hall on Saturday night.

Yes, Glass - the host of "This American Life" - came with back-up dancers.

Mostly, however, he was there to talk about what he does. And tell stories. Which he did in the dark for a while to mimic the effect of radio before bringing up the lights.

"This is what I look like," he told the audience. "I thought you'd look different, too."

He talked about how, while "This American Life" tackles to important stories, "We think of this as entertainment." And how the goal has always been to "take the smell of broccoli out fo the air" when they're telling stories on public radio.

He also took a jab at other journalists or being too serious.

"They're not doing their job," Glass said. "They're not accurately portraying the world."

Which is why he's proud of doing "the single funniest hour on Guantanamo that anyone has ever done." Among other things.

Speaking of other things, how 'bout those back-up dancers? A pair of young women danced behind Glass as he retold a "This American Life" story about a troupe of dancers who thought they could influence the outcome of the lottery if they just danced hard enough.

True story.

And, eventually, Glass joined his back-ups and danced a bit himself.

You kind of had to see it. You'll have to take my word for it - it worked.

Glass was smart, funny and entertaining. The same could not altogether be said about the audience at Kingsbury Hall.

As you might expect, the question-and-answer session at the end of the presentation featured a few cringe-worthy moments. The high school social studies teacher who was under the impression that Glass (and the audience) were there to listen to her drone on. The woman who asked, "What is your spirit animal and why?"

And the oh-so-proud-of-herself woman in the front row who insisted on pulling a dangling thread from Glass' jacket.

"You're really a fearless person, aren't you?" said Glass, adding that he would never have imagined doing that to someone he didn't know. "You know what I think? I think sometimes I'm too approachable."

Despite that weirdness, Glass will be back in Utah in March 2015. Along with his dancers. They're working up another show he's hoping to take to Broadway.

Really.

That March 2015 appearance will be at Weber State University. Which Glass kept pronouncing as Webber State University until an audience member called out a correction.

"As somebody who pronounces things for a living, you'd think I'd have gotten that right," said a chagrined Glass



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