"Slartibartfast, NPR News"

2008
Apr
20

I stumbled over a 3+ year old list of the Top 10 NPR Names, based on the phenomena of NPR News reporters being less concerned that their names are difficult to spell or pronounce than those employed by more commercial American news outlets (or maybe their names kept them from being employed elsewhere) resulting in a wide assortment of long, colorful, often quite ethnic monikers (it really is surprising they didn’t kick out the blandly named Bob Edwards years earlier). The list predates the hiring of Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who a new consensus says is the best NPR name ever. So, let’s do an up-to-date, totally subjective alphabetical list, including contributors to NPR, PRI and any other Public Radio entity I’ve ever heard of, with my re-interpretations of the names that may border on (or cross the border to) ethnic offensiveness. But, having grown up Wittler – or as most commonly mispronounced, Hitler – making fun of names is a way of life.

Farai Chideya, something that Dr. Seuss’s Whos sang in a musical number edited out of “Horton”.

Andrei Codrescu, a French/Czech joint operation fashioned after the secret high-tech organization in “Thunderbirds”

Mandalit del Barco, the REAL forbidden dance.

Kitty Felde (who left NPR for local radio in Los Angeles, possibly after the bigwigs decided that after Cokie Roberts, they could no longer support reporters with ‘cutesy’ first names), a rather obscure predecessor to LOLCATS.

Ira Flatow, one of those macro-economic things you need to protect your retirement savings from during a recession.

Corey Flintoff, old west gunslinger whose 37 confirmed kills included 22 guys who laughed at the name “Corey”.

Anne Garrels, reportedly a British Secret Agent who rose through the ranks to become the highest ranking woman in the Nazi Party.

Steve Inskeep, that character played by Tom Poston on “Newhart”.

Renee Montagne, the fifth Musketeer.

Sylvia Poggioli, long rumored to be the mistress/brains-behind either Benito Mussolini, Tony Soprano or Mario Batali.

Snigdha Prakash – I think I accidentally ordered this once off a confusing menu in an Indian restaurant… a little too spicy for me.

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, the result of a merger of three pharmaceutical companies based in different countries, currently attempting to market a cure for Adult Hyperactivity (the problem being it works so well, the patient’s income sharply declines and can no longer afford the medication)

Kai Ryssdal, one of those more obscure nutrients you get in an expensive multivitamin (which also reminds me of the days before Regis Philbin became ubiquitous how he’d joke that people would mispronounce his name “Ribo Flavin”… which really is a better name for him, but I digress)

(Puzzlemaster) Will Shortz (not so much known for his work on NPR, although he is there every Sunday on Weekend Edition doing the radio version of a crossword puzzle, and a very NPR name), a new line of products from Fruit of the Loom.

Joanne Silberner, a newfangled kitchen appliance for putting grillmarks on paninis.

Lakshmi Singh, a direction from a seriously drunk vocal coach.

(I hate to do essentially the same joke twice in a row, but…)
Sandra Tsing Loh… sweet chariot.

Eric Westervelt, a region of Africa next to the Eastervelt.

Daniel Zwerdling – I wouldn’t know, I’ve never zwerdled.

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