Sunday Video: Balloon Animal DIY With Ira Glass

Plus a bonus Ask a Grown Man.

Ira Glass is the creator of the public-radio show This American Life, but he used to have a really cool job. As a tweenager he performed at kids’ birthday parties as the “Magical Mystifier” (true story), doing magic tricks and making balloon animals. Here, he shares some of his children’s-entertainment skills with you, while answering your questions about haircuts and blow jobs.

The book he recommended for aspiring balloon-animalists is Roger’s Rubber Ark: One Balloon Zoo, Volume Two.

(He asked us to tell you that you don’t have to be afraid of the balloon popping. The only reason that one popped, he said, was that it was old.) (Suuuuuuure.)


  • Mary the freak October 21st, 2012 12:31 PM

    how could I even survive without weekend content?! This video is so adorable and awesome!

    • Jessica W October 22nd, 2012 12:36 AM

      I can’t believe I used to have to spend the weekends Rookieless.
      How did I even survive? How was I not depressed, crawled up in a cave and weeping violently!?

      The Lovelorn

  • Kathryn October 21st, 2012 12:37 PM

    Do I dare put off my homework for another 17 minutes?? YES I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MY WHOLE LIFE.

  • Abby October 21st, 2012 12:37 PM

    BAHAHAHAHA when I want to give a guy a blowjob, I’m going to be like, “BLOW JOB WANT TO HAVE DO YOU???”

    Also, if the guy was actually blind, writing it in braille and guiding his fingers over it would be really sexy… ha.

  • puffling October 21st, 2012 12:41 PM

    Message for the unsure-about-blowjobs girl – don’t go down on a boy who isn’t gonna reciprocate!

  • Roxxxanne October 21st, 2012 12:45 PM

    This is the best ask a grown person segment EVER! I have so much respect for this man. Thank you Ira.

  • ValeCrts October 21st, 2012 1:15 PM

    This is SO AWESOME!!
    Loved it.

  • Mollie October 21st, 2012 1:32 PM

    Ira Glass + Buffy OMG OMG

  • tobtob October 21st, 2012 2:00 PM

    Ah! I love This American Life so much!

  • deemary October 21st, 2012 2:18 PM

    i love you ira. omg omg omg

  • Val October 21st, 2012 2:25 PM

    Before even watching the video, I went to grab my little brother’s balloon bag.
    Loved it!

  • whitneymr October 21st, 2012 2:37 PM


  • MADZ. October 21st, 2012 3:01 PM

    Demonstrating how to make balloon animals and answering questions from teenage girls is the best (somewhat freudian…..) combination of topics ever. My only complaint is: this is too long a video to have on a Sunday afternoon (ie PRIME homework time that is now being left partially completed)

  • laughinguacamole October 21st, 2012 3:14 PM

    Wow. That at the end sort of makes me feel like I’m part of this army of children, sitting in front of a computer and learning how to make a balloon Snoopy while simultaneously listing to Ira Glass talk to us about the male gender. It’s slightly demoralizing. However, from Ira Glass? I’ll take it.

  • poison ivy October 21st, 2012 3:28 PM

    i like how its like “condom” and then “and here’s how we make the snoopy balloon animal” in the same breath. Good stuff. Thank you Ira!

  • Yani October 21st, 2012 4:19 PM

    Ira speaks truth and it radiates a good warmth. thanks Ira for the honesty. you’re beautiful.

  • TheNarcissisticGinger October 21st, 2012 4:40 PM

    This really made me smile :) Ira is adorable!

  • Hayley G. October 21st, 2012 5:11 PM

    Fantastic! I was entertained and informed.

    And this is off topic sort of, but there is a convention for Game of Thrones! I only know this because I was trying to save up money to attend it in the UK. Here’s the link:

    (Someone should totally start a Throne Con in the US!)

  • Sharon October 21st, 2012 6:14 PM

    this is so comforting. Something about balloon animals + Ira Glass makes sex ed so casual.

  • Harley October 21st, 2012 7:26 PM

    That Yoda bit came out of no where, you’re hilarious!

  • katrina October 21st, 2012 7:32 PM

    YES. I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR IRA TO DO ASK A GROWN MAN SINCE FOREVER. and it was not disappointing. this american life and rookie together, two of my absolute favorite things.

  • Terra October 21st, 2012 7:45 PM

    So I feel like in that first answer Ira straight up made all the problems in my life so simple ?

  • giov October 21st, 2012 9:03 PM

    Ok, basically, this video just made it really clear what I need to look for in a partner: Ira Glass.

    • Tasya October 24th, 2012 9:55 AM

      it’s like you read my mind

  • bellalane October 21st, 2012 10:45 PM

    I just pulled my roommate into my room, showed her this video and said, “This right here? This is EXACTLY what I am looking for.” Sweet Jesus. Perfection in glasses.

  • Hunter October 22nd, 2012 2:45 AM

    I can’t wait to give BJ’s now!

  • zhajean October 22nd, 2012 9:43 AM

    this is such a very fun video!!! “one of the weirdest experiences of my life”,, i definitely agree :)


  • koalabears October 22nd, 2012 1:00 PM

    *_* I need to buy some balloons!!

  • pocketmouse October 22nd, 2012 1:40 PM

    love this, even if the balloon squeaking kills my ears <3_<3

  • ladyjenna October 22nd, 2012 8:04 PM

    Oh please oh please can we make this a monthly Balloon-Twisting Ask Ira Glass segment? You could call it…SHATTERING GLASS. No jk that is a really bad name idea. Or THROUGH THE TWISTING GLASS. Equally bad. ORGLASSM. god just ignore me please

    ANYWAY Thank you, Mr. Glass…this was wonderful!!

    • mickeyf19 October 23rd, 2012 8:42 PM



  • jenaimarley October 22nd, 2012 11:29 PM

    join the club and be a snob :)

    I’ve wanted to learn this FOREVAH. Thanks, Ira; thanks, Rookie!

  • BritishFish October 23rd, 2012 12:46 AM

    He mentioned Buffy and my heart exploded. I love this man.

  • Second Floor Flat October 26th, 2012 6:35 PM

    Srsly, biggest crush ever. Is anyone else obsessed?

  • Chloe October 29th, 2012 8:21 PM

    OMG. IT’LL BE A NEW TREND. Talking like yoda in bed. Want to sex do you have?

  • olive November 10th, 2012 3:46 AM


    ira glass is a wonderful human, so glad he did this for rookie!

  • rararomama November 11th, 2012 7:55 PM

    he is not necessarily rejecting you! i told my crush i liked her and a month later she told me she liked me back. and then we dated!

  • ___ellarose January 29th, 2013 6:10 PM

    Thank you so much Ira! I wish that you had a web series where you answered questions and also taught us a new balloon animal each time:) Your advice was so on point and i love This American Life!!