November 29, 1996

Poultry Slam 1996

In the midst of the five biggest poultry-consumption weeks of the year—the five weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when Americans consume one-fourth of all the turkey they eat in a year—This American Life presents stories about turkeys, chickens, ducks, and fowl of all kinds.

Act One


When Danielle's family serves poultry at their dinner table, no one utters the word "chicken." Instead, it is always called "fish." Danielle explains why with the help of her friend "Duki." (16 minutes)
Act Five Preview


Chickenman was a short daily radio show airing from 1966 to 1969, and it was incredibly popular. It started locally on WCFL in Chicago, then proceeded to spread to over 1,500 radio stations. It has been translated into German, into Dutch, into Swedish. It is still on the air even today in several dozen markets, making it one of the longest running radio features anywhere. (8 minutes)
Act Two


Julie Showalter, who grew up on a turkey farm, tells the story of the night 3,000 turkeys died. (10 minutes)
Act Three

Act Three

Writer David Sedaris tells of the giddiness he felt when he purchased a taxidermy's turkey head— attached to its foot. (2 1/2 minutes)

Act Five

Chickenman, Like The Phoenix

We invited Dick Orkin to create a new Chickenman episode for our Poultry Slam. He put a cast together and created the first new episode since 1969.