Holiday Stories #6


Episode #611

Date December 22, 2014

Run Time 1:28:01

Hank Chen, Nicole Byer, Danny Lobell, Sandi Marx and Sam Feirstein share stories happy and horrific on The Holidays.

Song: RISK! Theme by Wormburner and John Sondericker

Song: O Tannenbaum by Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Playhouse Revue

Live Story: Jew Heaven by Sandi Marx

Interstitial: The Humbug of Seville by Jeff Barr

Live Story: Santa’s Cabin by Sam Feirstein

Song: Ho Ho Ho by Liz Phair

Live Story: A Place at the Table by Hank Chen

Interstitial: Briefly Blue Christmas : Elvis Presley and Jeff Barr

Radio Story: The Best Thanksgiving by Danny Lobell

Song: Mary’s Little Boy Child by The Harry Simeone Chorale

Live Story: Season’s Drinkin’s! by Nicole Byer

Song: Hungover Boxing Day by The Gasoline Brothers


Want to hear more yuletide and other end-of-year stories? Find all our of Holiday Stories episodes here!



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9 years ago

So Nicole Byer just made my entire day. What a joy to listen to. Love her spirit and this show! Thanks for all you do!

9 years ago

One of the reasons I’ve loved RISK! so much all these years is that no matter how subversive, questionable or misguided the actions in the featured stories have been, the storytellers themselves have usually been humble, compassionate and KIND in their telling of the events. In a media world that often spins on humiliation and insults, I’ve been so impressed that on RISK!, I almost never hear storytellers insult, demean or denigrate the other people in their narratives — or if they have, there’s a payoff in which they realize their misjudgment, and change.

Thanks so much, Sam Feirstein, for becoming a huge, glaring exception to this rule.

I am sickened by the story “Santa’s Cabin”, and by the way Sam talks about his girlfriend Liz. She’s hairy? Yes – we all grow hair – we are mammals, that’s how it fucking works. He calls her a “monster”, a “kidnapper” a “wet/dry shop vac eating a McDonald’s SuperSize meal”. He mocks her for listening to musical soundtracks, for making noise during intercourse (“a viking having a seizure”, “a bull with an arrow”)…and the sex they have makes him hate his life, he tells us repeatedly. The entire story is an excuse to SHAME this woman, in ways that feel completely irrelevant to the actual issues that are going on between them.

I KNOW from experience (and from ALL THE PREVIOUS EPISODES OF RISK) that it’s completely possible to tell a story about a bad relationship choice without shaming and insulting the other party. Sam admits that his life wasn’t perfect, that he was making poor choices…why is there NO self-deprecation here, or introspection, to balance the slash-and-burn of Liz? Why is there no epiphany here whatsoever?

I’m not surprised that Sam’s previous girlfriend broke off their engagement, or that he can’t find another partner. I wouldn’t spend a minute with a man who has so little respect for another human being.

9 years ago

I’ve never commented on a podcast page before, but i cane here for the same reason as “Disappointed” above. While the lady in the story sounds like a bummer, Sam appears to be a complete douche who strung a woman along while keeping tally of all her perceived monstrosities. I’ve never heard someone so cruel and unawares of how unlikable he is. I can’t fathom what his story contributes but a reminder that we aren’t all so progressive.

Disappointed Too
9 years ago

Disappointed said it perfectly. No risk at all in that story, just a lack of self-awareness and a pathetic mean-spiritedness I’ve never, ever heard on this podcast. He fell very short of the show’s standards.

9 years ago

I’ve heard mean-spiritedness on this show before.

9 years ago

I just stopped by to praise Risk on both of the Holiday episodes this year for being as diverse, wacky, and intriguing as I have come to look forward to and stumbled across this silly rant about about Sam’s story. I enjoyed Sam’s story and didn’t feel at all like the story was shaming in such a vehement way as the people above describe and agree with. What I heard was a guy who admittedly thought with his dick and wound up with an unsavory stalker. Did he embellish the things he disliked about her? Yup! But isn’t that called comedy? This is not the first time I’ve heard something like this on Risk but it is the first time I have seen such an overblown reaction to it. Risk will always be my roadside companion. Amazing and hilarious, and certainly not always for everyone! I would think that the adults out there listening should be adult enough to use the fast forward button or at the very least, let it go! No one can agree with every story or viewpoint. The world is full of different viewpoints with no two alike. What we ought to be able to agree on is that Risk is a safe place for people of all walks to share their own true stories with each other.

Now…. That all said…. Congrats to Risk on another great year of shows and I look forward to hearing what you got in store for 2015!!!

9 years ago

Nicole Byer was so hilarious!! Please have her on the show again! I loved her!

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