NPR's "This American Life" celebrated their 400th episode this week with a unique experiement; all of the show's reporter/producers called their parents and asked them to pitch stories. Host Ira Glass explained how everyone who works on the show is always being peppered by ideas from friends and family members about stories that would be "perfect" for the award-winning radio show. So this week he finally decided to take them up on their offers and the results are extraordinary.
The pitches range from something as simple and odd as "something on the Eerie Canal" to a dad's obsession with a "rotary-dial controlled car" to one parent's interest in "funny funeral stories". There is a prize for the best story, decided by all the reporters (and Ira Glass) voting at the end of the show. To make their judgement, there's also a series of very unusual and very funny behind the scenes-style critiques after each piece filled with some brutal honesty. In fact, one story is deemed so "boring" that it's stopped half-way through.
I've been a fan of the show for a few years and this special episode is one of my favorites. Definitely worth a listen. And when you're done, you can vote on your favorite story too on their website...my vote went to the last story. The two winners will have their parents flown to Chicago for a visit. Perfect.