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So what if McSweeney's was a public radio show?
Well, that's the idea. Chris Monks' proposal for a show called McSweeney's Presents is the winner of WBUR's Next Great Show Contest, the station announced Thursday. And his concept for a show involves bringing the online literary magazine to the airwaves with a satirical look at politics and pop culture.
The Boston NPR station received 400 entries from all over the country for the contest that sought "a creative, funny, and engaging show to make listeners laugh." The five finalists presented their ideas to a panel that included WBUR producers and comedian Alonzo Bodden.
Chris Monks, who lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, is the managing editor of McSweeney's Internet Tendency. If you're not familiar with McSweeney's, it started in the late '90s when author Dave Eggers (best known for "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius") began publishing literary submissions. Now, the publishing company puts out books, a quarterly literary journal and updates a daily literature and humor site. We have McSweeney's to thank for that viral post from last September entitled "If Bostonians Loved Other Local Institutions The Way They Love Their Local Sports Franchises."
"I look forward to making a radio version of McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and the challenge of not bringing shame upon my family of avid WBUR listeners," Monks said in a statement.
Monks will now produce a pilot episode of the radio show with WBUR that will air on 90.9 FM at some point in the fall.
This contest came as Car Talk began winding down. The loquacious, comedic car-loving brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi were a public radio staple for 40 years. New episodes ended in 2012, though repackaged episodes still air on many member stations, including WBUR.
"This contest introduced us to new voices and helped us find what we think is a great idea for a new radio show," said Iris Adler, the executive director for programming, podcasts and special projects at WBUR, in a statement. "We’re excited to make it a reality and see where this journey takes us, our station and our listeners."
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