In 1990 WBEZ, Chicago started an adventurous weekly program produced by Ira Glass and Gary Covino called The Wild Room. It was the foundation for This American Life.
Glass and Covino were creating a new kind of program every week, in real time. The Wild Room was called “freeform documentary banter.”
Here is a sample of The Wild Room from the 90s featuring Gary Covino:
By 1995, The Wild Room was one of the most popular programs on WBEZ. But, success changed the stakes. Though accounts differ, Glass (without Covino) went on to host The American Life.