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Maximum Fun is your home on the internet for things that are awesome. Our blog will guide you and our family of podcasts will entertain and inform you. About

Sacha Baron Cohen on Fresh Air

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As himself, not as Borat. Streaming audio is available now, or you can listen today on your local NPR station.

New NPR Morning Show...

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Targeted at younger listeners (which for NPR means 25-44). Sounds interesting, though there are few details

NPR's press release

LA Times piece (behind a reg. wall, so I'm reprinting it:
NPR is planning a new news show
Lee Margulies
January 4, 2007

Encouraged by the growth of its weekday news program "Morning Edition," National Public Radio said Wednesday that it was developing a new news and information program to compete with … "Morning Edition." The new morning show, as yet untitled, will be aimed at people in the 25-to-44 age bracket. NPR already is testing ideas and plans to roll out the program on some stations in September.

" 'Morning Edition' is a tremendous success and a daily priority for millions of Americans, but one size doesn't fit all when it comes to news and information," NPR Chief Executive Ken Stern said. "The 25-to-44 age group is underserved by the media and seeking smart, thoughtful content relevant to their lives."

The program is intended not only for public radio stations that don't presently carry "Morning Edition" but also at those that do: They will be able to run it on digital channels and their websites. It will also be available on satellite radio.

Here's the letter from NPR honcho Ken Stern:

From: Ken Stern
Date: January 3, 2007
Let me take this opportunity to wish you, your colleagues and your families a happy and healthy 2007.
A brand new year seems an appropriate point to announce a new enterprise for NPR: one that breaks the boundaries of our comfort zone and demands risk-taking, but also has the potential to significantly expand our audience and our public service to stations and communities across the country. Today, I’m pleased to announce that NPR will launch a news and information service, focused on listeners between the ages of 25-44. Its core will be a two-hour morning drive time program, to air 7:00-9:00AM, but its reach will extend throughout all media platforms, serving this younger audience in the many places they seek and use news.

Forty years ago this November, the Public Broadcasting Act was signed and included a call for “the development of programming that involves creative risks and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences.” This commitment speaks to that priority. During New Realities, we all discussed at great length the need to bring public radio into the lives of the next generation - to fulfill our public service mission and secure the survival of the public radio system in a media environment characterized by almost unlimited choice. We believe that there is an opportunity to take a leadership role in serving the educated, curious younger adult audience searching for smart, thoughtful news and information.

While NPR and our public radio colleagues have always offered programming that is recognized as important and meaningful, we know one size cannot fit all. To better connect with younger listeners, we must speak to them with relevant content: with hosts, reporters, topics and production mirroring their priorities, interests, lifestyles, issues, values and media choices. This new service will embrace a different tone - more conversational, more casual, more humorous - but it will be rooted in the essential values of careful, in-depth journalism and civil discourse that has always characterized NPR and public radio.

This concept will be introduced in March on NPR Rough Cuts, the “open piloting” model housed on NPR.org that we rolled out last month to test-drive content ideas. (An A-Reps explaining how Rough Cuts works was sent December 22.) The two-hour morning program will launch in September for stations to broadcast on their primary signals and on HD Radio multicast channels. It will also launch simultaneously on satellite radio, with podcast elements and in online offerings for station websites and for NPR.org. Like all new content at NPR, it will be multimedia in scope, spanning audio, video and text, but with radio at its heart and core.

Overseeing the development of this service will be Matt Martinez, familiar to many of you as a producer for All Things Considered and, more recently Weekend Edition Saturday. Matt was also formerly a producer at member station KNAU-FM Flagstaff. We are currently hiring staff, including two hosts, who will be based at the NPR New York Bureau. We are actively developing the service’s focus, sound and approach and will count on feedback from stations and the public, through NPR Rough Cuts, to play a key role in this process. And this service will embrace all types of digital media from the start, with the program acting as a launch pad for a variety of original content across platforms. One such element will be the creation of an online community - something this audience seeks and expects - to generate interactivity, feedback and public dialogue.

We will be sharing updates on this project in the coming weeks, and we encourage your questions, ideas and involvement.

Win Knights of Prosperity T-Shirts

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The folks at ABC have given us a couple of t-shirts for the show to give away. They say "Join the Knights" on them, and I have no idea what size they'll be. Maybe extra-large?

If you want one, email me at jesse@maximumfun.org, and tell me what my favorite movie starring Donal Logue is. It may be the only movie starring Donal Logue, actually, but I really liked it. It's definitely the only film I'm aware of that stars Donal Logue, maybe there's others, but that's beside the point.

Just email me if you want a shirt, and I'll choose two randomly in a week or two.

I know I haven't blogged in a while...

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but I've been depressed, because my aunt is selling her El Camino.

What's got me down isn't that she won't have it anymore. It's that she never gave it to me, and I can't afford to buy it.

I always thought that eventually, my aunt would break down and give me that truck, because I am her favorite nephew. My first target was college graduation (at the time, I was driving an '82 that I had to sell to buy a car I could drive back and forth to Santa Cruz to do the show). Then I targeted my 25th birthday. Then her (imminent) retirement. Each time I convinced myself I was certain to get a gift I'd always remember. But it wasn't to be. Now she's selling it for $3900.

Which brings me to the point of this post... anyone got four grand burning a hole through their pocket? Want to support public broadcasting?

Charlie Rose interviews all of Mexico

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Charlie Rose talks with Alfonso Cuaron ("Children of Men"), Guillermo del Toro ("Pan's Labarynth") and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("Babel").

God bless Charlie Rose and PBS for making his shows available free on the internet. Putting the PUBLIC in Public Broadcasting!

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO!: Episode 5 Pro Wrestling and Top Fives

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In this week's Jordan Jesse GO!...

We resume discussion of Del Monte Fashion Peas, Jordan's brilliant innovation in the world of whatever Del Monte Fashion Peas are.
The above cartoon is by Kyle Hatch, and I think my favorite part is the perfect New Yorker font on the tagline.

We also chat with TSOYA listeners Nathan and Zach, both sophisticates from New York City, both fans of professional wrestling. They explain to us why professional wrestling is something a grown adult can and perhaps even should watch.

Also: we share some top five lists for 2006. What are yours?

THIS WEEK'S ACTION ITEMS:


* DEL MONTE FASHION PEAS. What can you do with that? Personally, I want to know where the songs and poems are.
* What are your top fives of 2006? Call us at 206-984-4FUN, or email jesse@maximumfun.org with them! We'll talk further on next week's show.


CONTINUING ACTION ITEMS:

* Review the show on iTunes.
* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.

Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.

Subscribe in iTunes
Podcast Feed
Download Episode Five

Hear Episode Five


Our new theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

RIP to the GFOS

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You can have Elvis and Louie Armstrong and Sinatra, I'll take the Hardest Working Man in Showbusiness every time. Rest in Peace to the greatest American musical entertainer of the 20th century.

Update: Kelefa Sanneh on JB in the NY Times

Fighting Male Camel Toe with Kasper Hauser

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SF Sketchfest 2007

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Me (left) and Brent Weinbach (right) at SF Sketchfest 2006 (hidden in shadows: Theresa Hossfeld)


The Sound of Young America is proud to be a sponsor of SF Sketchfest 2007, running January 11th through 28th in San Francisco. As usual, the festival has assembled a world-class list of performers that cement its reputation as one of the best comedy festivals in the world.

The full lineup is here, and it's unbelievable. Headlining is a tribute to my life-long hero, Paul Reubens. Also featured are performers from around the country, including TSOYA pals like Elephant Larry, Will Franken and Kasper Hauser. The list of Big Names is too long to write here, but it includes the Upright Citizens Brigade, the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Bruce McCulloch, Todd Barry, Jon Benjamin, and many many many more.

Tickets are available here. For two years, I watched almost every show in the festival, and I never saw a bad show. And the lineups just keep getting better. Kudos to SF Sketchfest!

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO! Episode 4

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Intro & George Clooney's Pig

Jesse and Jordan discuss the news that George Clooney had a pet pig for 19 years. As Jordan points out, this means he had a pet pig well before he was famous. We decide that the pet pig makes George Clooney the Greatest Living American Actor.

We also discuss great things people have said on talk shows. Jordan shares something Jay-Z said on Ellen, as well as something Rosanne said. Jesse shares something that Richard Pryor said on Fresh Air once.

Trader Joe's Reviews

Jordan reviews products from Trader Joe's

Frank Stallone

Jordan talks about his job as a red carpet reporter for Fuel TV, and how much fun it is to dress up in a silly outfit and ask celebrities questions. Jordan mentions his most recent premier was of "Rocky Balboa," and Jesse mentions he'd like to see that film. They discuss the various Rocky films, and how difficult it is to look back through the mists of time and decide whether any of them were actually good. Jesse stands up for the first Rocky film. Jordan mentions he recently read The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and felt the impact would have been much greater had he been 13 when he discovered it. Jesse confirms, having read it when he was 13.

Jordan describes the red carpet process, and the odd celebrities that show up for these events. The huge celebs don't always stop for the camera, but sometimes surprising ones do. Frank Stallone, for example. Who, as Jordan describes, is a really pleasant, nice guy.

Jesse mentions professional wrestling: do you or does someone you know support it? Why? What's your rationale? We are genuinely interested. Call 204-984-4FUN.

"Casino Royale" with Mike Pesca

Mike Pesca of NPR's Day to Day joins us to talk about the new James Bond film.

Everyone agrees that the film is shockingly intense. Mike brings up Parkour, the French-derived motion style which is featured in the movie.

Everyone agrees that the big, burly Daniel Craig is a genuinely scary Bond, who is imposing enough to seem dangerous.

All discuss the bizarre product placements in the film, and particularly a magazine advertisement that claims a certain watch brand is "James Bond's Choice," ignoring the fact that Bond is a fictional character.

Somehow Bartleby the Scrivener and Un Chien Andelous come up.

We refocus on Mike's expertise: gambling.

Mike's happy that James Bond has finally given up Baccarat, a game that literally involves no skill at all. (Though Bond, inexplicably, is remarkably good at it).

Mike's quite upset about how despite the fact that Bond's now playing a skill game, every climactic hand is settled when Bond has an amazing hand that any fool could play to great success.

More discussion of gambling... and we're all done.

THIS WEEK'S ACTION ITEMS:


* What do you think of the new name and format changes?
* Do you watch wrestling? Call up and explain to us why. 206-984-4FUN.

CONTINUING ACTION ITEMS:

Intro & George Clooney's Pig

Jesse and Jordan discuss the news that George Clooney had a pet pig for 19 years. As Jordan points out, this means he had a pet pig well before he was famous. We decide that the pet pig makes George Clooney the Greatest Living American Actor.

We also discuss great things people have said on talk shows. Jordan shares something Jay-Z said on Ellen, as well as something Rosanne said. Jesse shares something that Richard Pryor said on Fresh Air once.

Trader Joe's Reviews

Jordan reviews products from Trader Joe's

Frank Stallone

Jordan talks about his job as a red carpet reporter for Fuel TV, and how much fun it is to dress up in a silly outfit and ask celebrities questions. Jordan mentions his most recent premier was of "Rocky Balboa," and Jesse mentions he'd like to see that film. They discuss the various Rocky films, and how difficult it is to look back through the mists of time and decide whether any of them were actually good. Jesse stands up for the first Rocky film. Jordan mentions he recently read The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and felt the impact would have been much greater had he been 13 when he discovered it. Jesse confirms, having read it when he was 13.

Jordan describes the red carpet process, and the odd celebrities that show up for these events. The huge celebs don't always stop for the camera, but sometimes surprising ones do. Frank Stallone, for example. Who, as Jordan describes, is a really pleasant, nice guy.

Jesse mentions professional wrestling: do you or does someone you know support it? Why? What's your rationale? We are genuinely interested. Call 204-984-4FUN.

"Casino Royale" with Mike Pesca

Mike Pesca of NPR's Day to Day joins us to talk about the new James Bond film.

Everyone agrees that the film is shockingly intense. Mike brings up Parkour, the French-derived motion style which is featured in the movie.

Everyone agrees that the big, burly Daniel Craig is a genuinely scary Bond, who is imposing enough to seem dangerous.

All discuss the bizarre product placements in the film, and particularly a magazine advertisement that claims a certain watch brand is "James Bond's Choice," ignoring the fact that Bond is a fictional character.

Somehow Bartleby the Scrivener and Un Chien Andelous come up.

We refocus on Mike's expertise: gambling.

Mike's happy that James Bond has finally given up Baccarat, a game that literally involves no skill at all. (Though Bond, inexplicably, is remarkably good at it).

Mike's quite upset about how despite the fact that Bond's now playing a skill game, every climactic hand is settled when Bond has an amazing hand that any fool could play to great success.

More discussion of gambling... and we're all done.

THIS WEEK'S ACTION ITEMS:


* What do you think of the new name and format changes?
* Do you watch wrestling? Call up and explain to us why. 206-984-4FUN.


CONTINUING ACTION ITEMS:

* Review the show on iTunes.
* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.

Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.

Subscribe in iTunes
Podcast Feed
Download Episode Four

Hear Episode Three


Our new theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

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