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First Day Back

Author: Stitcher and Tally Abecassis

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First Day Back is a documentary podcast series about people facing and trying to overcome life’s most challenging moments.  Each season, host and creator Tally Abecassis tells the story of someone attempting their own personal comeback.




In 2019, First Day Back is back. 




On May 3rd 2017, comedian Jason Weems collapsed on stage from an asthma attack. His heart stopped beating for a full 5 minutes. Jason was lucky enough to be revived by a member of the audience. 

 

Now the Baltimore comedian is dealing with his death the only way he knows how: by making jokes about it. Jason wants to turn these jokes into a 1 hour special that he hopes will make him a household name.

 

For the past year, Tally Abecassis and the First Day back team have been following the life and career of Jason Weems, a man who lives and died for comedy.
25 Episodes
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S3E6: Unknown

S3E6: Unknown

2019-02-2729:39

We follow Jason in the hours leading up to the taping of his much-anticipated special. The excitement builds as his friends and family all gather at the theater. When Jason steps onto that stage, will he have transformed his near death experience into something meaningful?
S3E5: The Countdown

S3E5: The Countdown

2019-02-2025:55

There’s one month to go before Jason is set to perform his new special and the pressure is on. It’s a mad dash to sell tickets, finalize his set, and get everything in order to film and shoot the special. Will Jason make it to the special or will the pressure of putting on the show derail him?
It seems like asthma is always with Jason Weems. In this episode, Jason's constantly being confronted by health scares - on stage, at home, even with his family. But at every turn, he surprises Tally with his resiliency.
Twelve years into his comedy career, what keeps Jason hopeful that his big break will still happen? We get a peek inside his creative process and find out what family drama pushed him to stay in a city that isn’t great for his national career ambitions
S3E2: Almost Famous

S3E2: Almost Famous

2019-01-3021:28

How do you build a career in comedy? Jason takes us through his journey and how a childhood filled with health issues drove his desire to be the funniest man in the room.
S3E1: The Attack

S3E1: The Attack

2019-01-2319:54

What happens on stage to set in motion comedian Jason’s Weem’s first day back story? On May 3, 2017, Jason collapsed at a Philadelphia comedy club after suffering a near fatal asthma attack. We hear a blow-by-blow account of Jason’s night as it shifts from raucous to downright terrifying.
First Day Back returns this season with the story of Jason Weems, one of Baltimore’s biggest comedians. Jason’s life changed on May 3, 2017 when just minutes into a set, he had a severe asthma attack. It was so bad, his heart stopped. Sixteen hours later, he was barely alive, recovering in a Philadelphia hospital. This season on First Day Back, host Tally Abecassis follows Jason as he tries to come back…from death. He wants to keep doing comedy— the stage is where he’s always felt the most alive. But now it’s a place of real trauma. Can Jason Weems transform the worst thing that ever happened to him in to the event that changes his life? Listen to the trailer now and subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. New episodes drop every Wednesday beginning January 23, 2019.
We are hard at work on season 3 and are following another story that is unfolding as we speak. In the meantime, if you like First Day Back, check out Dear Franklin Jones by my friend Jonathan Hirsch. Growing up, Jonathan’s family was a little different. They followed a controversial spiritual leader named Franklin Jones. Join Jonathan on a journey to find out what really happened. Subscribe to Dear Franklin Jones, a new documentary podcast from Stitcher.   Subscribe to Dear Franklin Jones in your favorite podcast app: Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dear-franklin-jones/id1348032695?mt=2 Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=172342
S2E6: The Refuge

S2E6: The Refuge

2017-05-1622:49

Lucie obsesses over Gerry’s death, her regret about what she did and her inability to remember what happened the night she killed him. How will she find some sliver of peace? Her search for forgiveness leads her to an unlikely source.
S2E5: The Doubters

S2E5: The Doubters

2017-05-0920:38

Six years after Gerry’s death, close friends from Lucie’s past make a startling accusation. How will Lucie cope?
S2E4: Lucie Island

S2E4: Lucie Island

2017-05-0225:50

Even as Lucie reconnects with family and spends more time outside the transition house, she finds herself increasingly isolated.
Once Lucie gets her day parole from prison, she has one foot in the correctional system and the other in the regular world. She gets tiny rations of freedom in the transition house where she lives, but she soon realizes her crime is going to follow her wherever she goes.
S2E2: The Prelim

S2E2: The Prelim

2017-04-1828:48

Lucie is charged with first-degree murder after police arrive at her home and find her husband shot dead. She hires a top lawyer, but there’s one huge problem: How do you defend yourself when you have no memory of what happened?
S2E1: Lovebirds

S2E1: Lovebirds

2017-04-1127:371

Lucie and her husband Gerry were together for 13 years. People called them lovebirds. Until the fall of 2010, when she shot and killed him. And here's the thing: Lucie has no memory of killing him. This season on First Day Back, how do you come back from the worst thing you’ve ever done when you don't even remember doing it?
First Day Back returns this season with the story of Lucie and Gerry, lovebirds who were together for 13 years. Until the fall of 2010, when Lucie accidentally shot and killed him. And here's the thing. She has no memory of killing him. Lucie's story isn't just about what she did, it's about the aftermath. How does she come back from the worst thing she's ever done, when she doesn't even remember doing it? Season 2 of First Day Back debuts April 11, with new episodes out every Tuesday.
A short piece for Mother’s Day. Something different that is not part of the First Day Back storyline. Stay tuned for details on Season 2!
S1E9: Generations

S1E9: Generations

2015-08-2720:06

What happens when Tally's life starts mirroring the subject of her film? Also she talks to a 97 year-old woman and a Millennial who both reject the idea of "having it all".
S1E8: Your Stories

S1E8: Your Stories

2015-07-1019:23

In this episode, listeners sent in recordings of themselves talking about work, parenthood and, how hard it is to know what to do with your life, with kids or without.
Tally gets news about her film project, compares notes with a friend who didn’t have kids, and hears about her youngest son’s turnaround.
This episode is a little departure. In it, Tally goes looking for a teacher who had a huge impact on her life and career.
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Comments (5)

Jane Rosen

So real and heartfelt. I love the way Tally explores the approach-approach conflicts that we all face.

May 16th
Reply

Lady Woo

absolutely beautiful 👭

Feb 10th
Reply

Marilyn Caine

I have only listened to Season 2 so far and really liked it.

Feb 10th
Reply

Duckylips2286

the first episode...poor planning. should have been a cliff hanger about the shooting. The big to do over staying at home or working was weird to me since it was ENTIRELY up to the host. she has a choice. most ppl do not. I tried a few episodes but I can't do it.

Jun 22nd
Reply

A. Gannon

I very much enjoyed both seasons of this that are out so far. I love slice of life type podcasts, I love getting a look inside other people's lives and their perspectives on life changing events. The seasons are very different from one another, but I liked them both equally and I hope there is more soon.

May 30th
Reply
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