The Apology Line

Audio Sample


The Apology Line


Critic Rating

Listen to The Apology Line exclusively by subscribing to Wondery+. Start your free trial at If you could call a number and say you’re sorry, and no one would know…what would you apologize for? For fifteen years, you could call a number in Manhattan and do just that. This is the story of the line, and the man at the other end who became consumed by his own creation. He was known as “Mr. Apology.” As thousands of callers flooded the line, confessing to everything from shoplifting to infidelity, drug dealing to murder, Mr. Apology realized he couldn...

Critic Reviews

Score: 3.5

Jody Rosen • Slate Feb 24, 2021

"The podcast stirs nostalgia for a lost age of analog technology and paper media: the landlines and answering machines and cassette tapes essential to the operation of the Apology Line, the zines and alt-weekly newspaper columns and leaflets with tear-off tabs that Bridge used to promote the project and spread its gospel. The recordings suggest that Allan Bridge was a podcaster avant la lettre, a harvester of human stories who assembled audio raw materials into absorbing theater."

See Full Review

Score: 4.5

Fiona Sturges • Financial Times Jan 24, 2021

"Marissa’s[narrator] delivery is on the wooden side, but no matter since the recordings alone make for remarkable listening. While some are tinged with sadness and shame, others carry the sound of a weight being lifted. A handful are downright chilling, and it becomes clear that what started out as art with altruistic intent became a repository for the darkest human impulses, prompting inevitable interest from police (after much agonising, Allan Bridge allowed detectives to listen to the recordings only when they had been publicly aired). "

See Full Review

Score: 4.8

Hannah J Davies • The Guardian Jan 22, 2021

"Brilliantly murky."

See Full Review