The 15 Best ‘This American Life’ Episodes (So Far)

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#61: “Fiasco!”
Original broadcast date: 4/25/97

In considering TAL’s finest hours, it’s easy to focus on the serious, straightforward news shows that told important stories and started national conversations. But they tell small stories just as well — and don’t often get their due as one of the funniest shows in any medium. Take, for example, Jack Hitt’s “Opening Night” from the early episode “Fiasco,” in which the venerable writer and TAL correspondent (and several witnesses) describe what sounds like the most disastrous theatrical production ever.