5.10.15: Happy Mother's Day

May 8, 2015

It’s Mother’s Day weekend, time to shower mom with flowers, candy, and homemade cards.  On today’s show we’ll hear the story of Anna Jarvis, the woman who spent ten years trying to establish Mother’s Day as a holiday, and the rest of her life trying to end it.

Then, the late night TV monologue is one of few times American audiences can still share a good laugh. We’ll talk to seasoned comedy writer Jon Macks, about the one time of day when power, rather than partisanship, is the punch line.

Listen to the full show.

The Woman Behind Mother's Day

Andrew Phillips is the curator of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Virginia – which also hosted an exhibit on Anna Jarvis and the origins of Mother’s Day.

StoryCorps: Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono

Seán Lennon and his mom, Yoko Ono, came to StoryCorps as part of their National Day of Listening. Often, the pair are asked about Séan's famous father, but in this interview, Seán had a chance to ask his mom about her life. 

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Jon Macks: The Man Behind The Late Night Monologue

Jon Macks reflects on the craft and power of late night jokes in his new book Monologue: What Makes America Laugh Before Bed. Jon spent 22 years writing for the Tonight Show With Jay Leno, he’s also written for the Emmys, the Oscars, the Tonys, as well as some notable politicians.

The Assistant Economy

The frequently thankless position of ‘personal assistant’, often to a class of celebrities, artists, hedge-fund manager or the other 1% of the 1%, has its own entire talent pool, code of behavior and economy. And while some PAs dream of rubbing elbows with professionals and celebs –they often land in the familiar nightmare of a dead end job.

Francesca Mari is an Associate Editor at Texas Monthly in Austin, Texas, and a contributor to Dissent magazine, where you’ll find her recent article “The Assistant Economy”.  

Birth Night

Also called a birth companion, the doula is a non-medical assistant who offers laboring mothers support through massage, vocal encouragement, and more. Producer Nina Jacobi was there when doula-in-training Megan Sloat witnessed her very first birth.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.