Ira Glass makes balloon animals

As a young'n, This American Life's Ira Glass performed magic and made balloon animals at children's birthday parties. You can watch his mad balloon skills in this Rookie Sunday Video during which he also discusses other more pressing, adult matters. To learn the fine art of balloon animal creation, Ira suggests "Roger's Rubber Ark: One Ballon Zoo" (1971).


  1. There’s a subculture around balloon animal making. I learned about it from a guy who was a “balloon artist” who was hired by local businesses that catered to kids, back when my daughter was that age where we’d hang out at such places. This guy was amazing and very serious about his craft. He could make a jillion kinds of animals (he actually knew the exact number of different animals he had mastered), including many of the Pokemon. I learned from him that there are balloon animal making conventions and it’s a whole thing that people get into. I guess it makes sense that people who are into it gather together and talk shop, and that the people who are trying to make a business at it would seek support from each other, but it was a little strange how “professional” about it this man was. It’s like when you learn that clown people are really really really into the esoterica of the types of floppy shoes and face paint. 

  2. WTF does he means when he says ‘there’s no such thing as magic’? Just WTH is that? I am scared and confused.

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