I just listened to last week’s episode (#348 Tough Room) of This American Life.
This week we bring you backstage with comedy writers at The Onion. They start with over 600 potential headlines for their fake-news newspaper each week, and over the course of two days, in the very tough room that is their editorial conference room, they select 16 to go in the paper. Plus other people speaking their minds in very tough rooms.
One of the contributors, Malcolm Gladwell, relates some prankery from his days at The Washington Post. The mp3 is available on TAL’s website, and you can also get it on iTunes. For those not interested in digesting stories aurally, Gladwell wrote a version of this story for Slate in 1996.