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Cats Knocking Things Off Tables: How Podcast Premises Can Come from Anywhere

It’s handy to have kids when you work in kids’ media because I can always rope them into the work that I do. Part of my job at Pinna is coming up with and green-lighting new podcast ideas, and my brain is always turned on to possibilities.

One evening at dinner I was pitching my kids on some potential projects for Pinna, which was met with some snark from the 11-year-old about how I can turn anything into a podcast.

I naturally turned this into a challenge – I can turn anything into a podcast! Let’s do it. The first thing I saw was my dinner plate, so I suggested we turn that into a podcast.

Our cat, Jiji, was nearby for this conversation. Jiji is… mischievous. I hadn’t been sleeping well because of many middle of the wake-ups as Jiji hurled many things off of tables. So we thought about the sound that the dinner plate would make crashing to the floor, and we thought about how it might have gotten there. What if there could be a show where we hear all of the things that cats knock off of tables, and use the audio format to guess what chaos they caused? This became the seed for the show Cats Knocking Things Off Tables.

I brought the idea to our team, who ran with it and did some great additional brainstorming on it, led by our Senior Producer, Ilana Millner, who had the wonderful idea of thinking of this show like an audio meme. It’s a repeated format that becomes funny with the one thing that changes in each episode – what gets pushed off the table. Next came the idea of a researcher that was documenting each item as though he was watching cats in a lab, and we hear him reveal the object at the end of the episode (voiced by our other Senior Producer, Torran Wakefield Thompson). Ilana created the sound design of this feline mischief, and a show was born! Now you can listen and guess what’s getting knocked off the table in each episode. Some of the things may surprise you.

Wait’ll you hear what’s coming soon to Surprise Box, inspired by the sounds of someone poorly playing the recorder I heard from my apartment window…

Jiji - the inspiration behind Cats Knocking Things Off Tables

The Takeaway

Inspiration for podcasts can truly come from anywhere - including our listeners! If you or your kids have an idea for a podcast, email us!

We’re all ears!

Have you listened to Cats Knocking Things Off Tables on Pinna yet? We’d love to hear from you! Find us on all our social platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest – or email us at contact@pinna.fm.

Amy Kraft

Amy Kraft

Amy Kraft is Senior Director of Development and Children’s Programming at Pinna. She is a children’s media veteran who has developed innovative and interactive entertainment with companies including Scholastic, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sesame Workshop, Spin Master, Microsoft, Kyowon, Barnes and Noble, and Leap Frog. She was cofounder of the children’s content company Monkey Bar Collective where her first work in kids’ podcasts was the game show ExtraBLURT. Amy is also a founding member of KIDMAP, the Kids’ Inclusive and Diverse Media Action Project.