We all need a good laugh from time to time especially during grim periods like this and I cannot recommend highly enough this hilarious episode from the radio show This American Life about fiascos, when things go so epically wrong that you have no choice but to laugh.

I have heard this episode twice and the first two parts especially, consisting of the prologue and Act I about an amateur stage production of Peter Pan, cracked me up each time.



  1. John McElhinny says

    Thanks for reminding me of this. I haven’t heard it in years, but I remember being in stitches laughing during the Peter Pan bit.

  2. fentex says

    I have no idea if they’re being streamed or otherwise made available online but I think you’d enjoy shows like “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” and/or “The Goes Wrong Show”.

    There’s a theatre company that has been very successful in London putting on shows where everything goes wrong (deliberately and hilariously) and some of their work has made it to TV.

    Peter Pan Goes Wrong is presented as the traditional Christmas Peter Pan play put on by a regional company being filmed by the BBC (in a “this is what’s going on around the nation” type of documentary) that doesn’t, er, pan out so well.

  3. mnb0 says

    Sorry, I’m already a bad listener in my native language Dutch, let alone in English. A transcript would work better for me.

  4. Jenora Feuer says

    Of course, ‘theatre going wrong’ is its own genre in a sense. I’ve seen ‘Noises Off’ performed on stage, and it’s its own form of hilarious as you get to watch the production of a farce fall apart from behind the scenes, along with the cast relationships. (Well, the first and third acts are seen from the front; the second act is seen entirely from backstage of the play within a play.)

    There was a movie adaptation, but it received rather mixed reviews despite its all-star cast. It is just so inherently a stage play that it doesn’t seem to work as well as a film.

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