This American Life- Tough Room was really great.
Being in the home town of the Onion, I have a fondness/ fascination with the secretive creative genius of the comic process that has produced such great humor for many years. I am still a bit bitter that they had to move out of Madison but they still have an office here which I think houses their AV Club folks. I am a bit surprised they let a radio reporter record their brainstorming session where they come up with new headlines. I thought they tried to maintain a certain mystique about the whole thing but maybe they like This American Life. They provided a window of a place that would be a dream job for many. How they decide what is funny. Some of the rejects I thought were pretty good.
After listening to the piece I thought, how hard could it be to come up with some good spoof headlines. Then I sat a tried to come up with something funny and drew a blank. It is harder than you think. Try to come up with even one good Onion headline.
The Bar Car story reminded me of the train my mom took from Chicago to the burbs each day. There was supposedly a car on there were people played cards and smoked and drank. I don't think there was a bar but all the rest sounded the same. I think having 2 hours each day on a train with friends sounds like a nice way to commute if you have to do it. Some of those folks sounds like they have been playing cards for years.
The last one- Malcolm Gladwell talking about his first gig as a journalist. Very funny stuff. I googled the phrase "perverse and often baffling" and found a fellow TAL listener who put the phrase to good use on Daily Kos - "The perverse and often baffling GOP raises new and troubling questions"