The radio show This American Life has a a great episode where they sat in on an editorial meeting at The Onion. Every week, the comedy writers brainstorm more than 600 fake headlines, but only 16 are picked to run in the newspaper. During the meeting, there’s an average of just one laugh for every 100 jokes. Tough crowd! In the interview, the writers explain why some headlines are funny, and some aren’t; it’s fascinating to hear the nuances.

Here are a few fake headlines that passed the test…

Dolphin Spends Amazing Vacation Swimming with Stockbroker.
Foreign Guy Probably Dressed Very Fashionably For Wherever He’s From.
Man At Salad Bar Has To Say Every Item Aloud As He Adds It To Salad.
Dad’s Been On A Parenting Kick Lately.
Fun-Loving, Laid-Back Woman With A Bit Of A Nerdy Side Joins Online Dating Service.
Pretty Obvious Which Parts Of Wedding Website Written By Groom.
Exercise Ball All the Way Over There.
Eric Clapton Wows Audience with Even Slower Version of Layla.
Two People Who Went To Same College Ruin Evening For Rest Of Group.
Cat Seemed Perfectly Content Right Up Until Point He Bolted Out Of Room.
Mom Spends Beach Vacation Assuming All Household Duties In Closer Proximity To Ocean.
Dad Actually Yelled At That Guy.
Man Still Trying To Find Right Work-Anxiety–Life-Anxiety Balance.
Weird Guy From 2 Jobs Ago Still Liking Woman’s Photos On Facebook.

(Another tough crowd:)

Anyway, the episode was really funny, if you’re in the mood. Do you have any other radio shows or podcasts you’d recommend? I have a new thing where I’m trying to go on a weekly walk by myself while listening to radio, just as a little “me time.” (Not to be super cheesy about it or anything:) I’d love any recommendations!

P.S. Some funny comics.

(Top photo by Colin via Wikipedia; bottom photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt. TAL episode OfaKind)