They held a live taping of "It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders" at NPR headquarters last week and I was there. So I have seen Aunt Betty, have learned that Sam tapes shoeless, which was fun for us all, and got to watch the taping, which included some stops and starts, and some pickups, but generally felt like a live episode of the show. They had solicited live best thing that happened to me moments, so we got to watch some people giving those, along with listening to some of them.
Now having listened to the episode, some of the non-news chatter was cut down for the podcast/show version but mostly it was an in person version of the show you get to listen to. (No big surprise there.) It was still fun, and one audience member lad a long but ultimately incredibly touching Best Thing. (Since that didn't seem to make it into the episode, her family invited some new co-workers over for a game night since their dog had passed away and the house felt too quiet. The co-workers were new to the US, and said that the night felt exactly like what they had imagined watching game nights on American TV. And so they felt so touched that this thing they had done to distract themselves, had also been so big for these new friends.)
As we listened to the previously submitted best things, one involved an important question for another listener and a few folks started looking around to see if that person was there, which triggered an large reaction as others turned to see what everyone else was looking at. (Nothing, so we all will need to wait on that one.)
I listen to a limited number of straight news podcasts, mostly because so much of my news comes from other forms, but this one snuck onto my list, and I enjoy both the news roundups and the one-on-one interviews. I am sad that Sam is abandoning us for the other coast, but hope he gets lured back soon.