The MaxFun Blog

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And you thought their food was gross.

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I was rooting around the McDonald's website, looking for a sound clip of their "I'm Lovin' It" theme to play after Dan Levitin mentioned that jingle being stuck in his head at the end of our interview last week. I couldn't find the song, but while I was there, I saw this...

In case it's difficult for you to read, or you need someone to repeat it to make it seem real, I quote this tree directly: "Like the mighty Baobab, McDonalds(R) and I will not be moved."

When slavery was toppled... McDonald's was by Frederick Douglass' side.

When children were fighting for equal access to education... Clarence Thomas had the McGriddle.

When Dr. King was shot... the Rev. Jackson was there. With a Filet-O-Fish Sandwich.

Is it real? Yes. All too real. (And apparently, both Tom Joyner and The Tavis Smiley Foundation are involved.)

Screamin Jay Hawkins - Old Man River

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This dude is a classic New Sincericist. This is some wild, wild s**t.

One time we had a lady on The Sound from a group called "Jay's Kids," which was 57 people whose father was Screamin' Jay.

Interview: Jim Gaffigan's Pale Force Collaborator Paul Noth

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Paul Noth is co-creator of the cartoon series "Pale Force," which stars Conan O'Brien and Jim Gaffigan. Initially a one-off joke on O'Brien's "Late Night," "Pale Force " has been transformed into a series of "webisodes" at nbc.com. When he's not working on "Pale Force," Noth is a graphic novelist and a regular cartoonist for The New Yorker. I sat down with Paul at a local cafe, where I was typing emails back and forth with him wherever it was that he was.

How did you get involved with the series?

Watching Jim on "Late Night" got me thinking about how both he and Conan had a lot of self-deprecating pale jokes. I came up with the idea for "Pale Force," wrote a script, and emailed it to Jim. He and I had collaborated on several other writing projects, one of which included my first attempt at animation. Jim liked the idea and brought me along the next time he did "Late Night" to pitch it to the head writer, Mike Sweeney. Mike liked it too, but it was almost a year before it got the greenlight. They don't usually use guest writers.

This series sort of started as a gag for Gaffigan on Conan... how did it become a proper series?

After they taped Jim's first Pale Force appearance, one of the producers came up to us and said, "Get to work on the next one." Before that moment I didn't think it would be more than a one-time thing. Jim and I wrote the origin story, "Pale Force Begins." After it taped the executive producer Jeff Ross approached us about doing a series of twenty. We were thrilled. We had had a lot of fun with "Pale Force Begins." It had set up this world where an anthropomorphic State of Utah can hang out with Santa and Larry Bird. These are stories that need to be told.

Did you go to NBC to make this an on-demand web 2.0 interweb mobisode, or did you pitch it as such?

No, I never thought this would become anything like... whatever it is it's become. I still can't believe they're letting us do twenty. My favorite part is working with my brother Patrick on the songs. Unlike me, he has musical talent. I'll sing him something terrible, stupid and off-key, and he'll turn it into an actual song. I never thought I'd get to do musical numbers.

How do you make 20 episodes of this, and how does it work without the setup of Gaffigan springing it on Conan? Did you have to expand your idea of what it was and could be?

At first the idea of doing twenty was kind of daunting. But we were encouraged by the first two episodes, "Sidekicks 1 and 2," which don't contain any pale jokes at all. I think we were trying to prove to ourselves that these can be about anything, as long as the small group of people who work on them all think that they're funny.

Hopefully people will watch the episodes from the show first. But even if they just stumble upon a later one out of context, I don't think it's very difficult to infer the set up (that these cartoons are Jim's delusional fantasies, which humiliate Conan) perhaps from the opening sequence alone. That's not to say that any of the online episodes wouldn't benefit enormously from having the real life Jim and Conan there to react to them. But there are other things that we're willing to do online that we wouldn't risk during a show, for fear that the studio audience wouldn't laugh.

You can see some of Paul Noth's work on his website, and watch "Pale Force" here.

Club Chuckles Saturday Night in San Francisco: Win Tickets!

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The Sound of Young America is proud to present comedian Todd Barry at The Hemlock Tavern's Club Chuckles in San Francisco Saturday night.

Performing with Todd will be our old college pal Mary Van Note, who's been making big noise in the SF standup scene the past year or so.

There are two shows, one at 9 and one at 11:30, and tickets are only $10 in advance, or $12 at the door. It's your chance to see some great comedy in a rock club setting.

But let's say you're cheap... or poor. You don't have ANY money to spend on tickets. DON'T WORRY!

We're giving away two pairs of tickets for each show! All you have to do is email contest @maximumfun dot org, and include your full name and phone number. I will announce the winners on Friday morning, so you have until the end of the day Thursday to enter.

Ready, steady... GO!

C.S. Lewis Jr., Famous Country Singer

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"Pickup trucks / beer & meat / pussy from Vegas / boots on my feet"

Don't forget to take your Weinbach!

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The great Brent Weinbach is coming to Portland and Seattle today and tommorow, so if you live in either of those cities, now is your time to strike. Brent is one of our all-time favorite comics, and these are his first headlining shows in both cities, so we're proud to present them both!

Portland, OR / Monday October 23rd
Brent Weinbach
Towne Lounge
714 SW 20th Place
Show at 8PM, $6

Seattle, WA / Tuesday October 24th
Brent Weinbach
Jewelbox Theater
2322 2nd Ave.
Show at 8PM, $7

You can hear a bit of Weinbachia in this TSOYA episode. I also reccomend this interview with Weinbach from the great Brian Palmer.

And if you do go, make sure to loudly proclaim to no one in particular things like, "Boy, these Sound of Young America presents shows are GREAT," and "I'm here because The Sound of Young America reccomended I be here." Every little bit helps.

People I Have Invited to TSOYA/NYC

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As you probably know, The Sound of Young America will be taping two live programs in New York City November 10th, at the People's Improv Theater.

To help celebrate this occaision, I have invited some great New Yorkers to the show:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Hillary Clinton
Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer

Anyone have any other great ideas for who I should invite? Spill 'em!

How to, how not to.

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How to get invited back on Letterman (courtesy of TV on the Radio)

How not to get invited back on Leno (courtesy of Bilal)

Just to clarify: both of these are great, and my personal preference is for the latter, despite the fact that Bilal is clearly high out of his gourd and makes the inexplicable choice to sing the entire first half of the song in the uppermost part of his register.

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