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How to be on The Sound of Young America...


Want to be on The Sound of Young America?

Call the listener comment line at 206-984-4FUN and leave a message. Say: "This is ______ (first name is fine) from __________ and you're listening to The Sound of Young America."

If you'd like, add one sentence about why you listen. "I listen because ________."

I want to make some little IDs and promos from them. They will probably be edited together in a collage.

True Hollywood Stories: Sad Edition


A friend of mine, we'll call him B, was booked to do a late night TV show, which we'll call TLLSwCF. This is a big break for B, who's never really been on TV (outside of a few here and there tiny things, and maybe Premium Blend, I can't remember).

So anyway, he goes and tapes the show, and to hear him tell it (and he's not one to misrepresent these things) does very well. Big laughs, a few applause breaks, etc etc etc. This is great news, because he has a very unique style that isn't what you see from your airplane food type comics, and this very middle-america audience ate it up.

So it was really cool. He was really happy. Wasn't sure if CF saw it, but the writing staff all came and talked to him about how great he was, and how happy they were to see him on the show. Kudos all around.

The day the bit is scheduled to air, he finds out that an executive at the network (which we will also call by initials: CBS), saw the tape of his performance. She is not offended by the performance, there is no political material in the performance, he did not swear. But she thinks it's weird. Over the objections of the staff of the show, including the booker who booked B in the first place, she bans it from being shown on the network. In fact, she won't even allow B's agent to have tape of it, so he can put it in B's reel for booking purposes.

B talks to the folks from the show, and they're all steamed, but they can't really do anything. In fact, the booker was reprimanded by the exec for booking B in the first place.

B is understandably frustrated, not to mention saddened, that his big break has gone sour because one exec (not nameless, but name's not really important) banned him from network TV. He can only hope it'll happen again -- and given his talent and commitment, I think it will.

Man, that's totally fucked.

Here's the question for me...

TLLSwCF is the last show of the broadcast day. After it goes off the air, we go to Taxi reruns or something. The comedy segment is the last segment of the show. The only thing left after it is the credits. This comedian killed in front of a middle American audience, and he's built a significant live audience by being a brilliant and unique comedian. Those qualities even earned him a development deal.

When will TV programmers realize that in the 21st century, the business is about putting on something that people will love, not about putting on something that is C+ for everyone? If they can't do it at 1:30 in the morning, when can they do it?

Aspen Roundup


Last week, we asked five great comedians to tell us some stories about their experiences at the HBO Aspen Comedy Arts Festival. Here's a roundup.

Charlie Todd

There was a local guy who showed up at all of the social events with his dog. He had trained the dog to stand on his arm. No one really knew what his deal was, but everyone called him "Dog Dude". I guess he's there every year. Anyway, at the UCB party his dog was walking around the kitchen and I figured out how to get it to stand on my arm. The dude saw me doing it and just said, "Go for it, man." So I walked around the party very drunk with this dog standing on my arm.

Ryan Stout

So, Weinbach and I loaded up on one of those carts that are normally reserved for the disabled and elderly. The driver hit the gas and we were on our way. We thought we might be going all the way to another terminal. Nope. Six gates. They had someone drive us, two young, healthy looking lads, five hundred feet.

Anthony Jeselnik

Also, I was caught off guard by the sheer number of times I heard everyone, and I mean everyone, using the word “buzz” in casual conversation.

Sherry Sirof

I also got kicked out of the HBO hospitality lounge on account of my baby. The industry doesn't like babies all up in their business, I don't blame them, but I can't help but resent them.

Brent Weinbach

I'll tell you what though, about nine of us went snow mobiling one morning. If you consider that a social event, that was the best. It was like a video game or an action movie or something, sort of. It was very fun. We rode through the mountains and ate burgers at this log cabin and raced at the end. We met a mysterious man named the Red Zinger.

Patton's Special on DVD Tommorow


Despite my apparent feud with Patton Oswalt, he remains The Sound of Young America's #1 comedy pal, and we're proud to have him as such. He's one of the funniest comedians working today, if not the funniest. Amazing cascades of hilarious verbiage follow him wherever he goes... I'm thinking of, say, his description of Cirque du Soleil, which involves "a hedgehog with a boner on a tricycle." That's the kind of diction that comes from years of craft and dedication, and also being a genius. Anytime he's on the show, he demonstrates that he has both. Anyway, he performed at the 826 Valencia benefit this weekend (which, by the way, was wonderful... see Ian Brill's writeup), and slew an audience of (literally) thousands.

Anyway, Patton's on tour all the time, so if he comes to your town, catch him. He's coming to San Francisco in May, and hopefully he'll revisit our modest airwaves.

All of that said... tommorow the DVD of his comedy special, "No Reason to Complain," is released. It's classic material, and it's 30% off at Amazon, where you can order it RIGHT NOW.

"The Great Communicators" with Patton Oswalt & Chris Hardwick on The Sound of Young America (MP3 Link)

A different interview with Patton on The Sound with Jesse & Brian "Back in Business" Lane (MP3 Link)

Patton plays and talks about his favorite songs on KZSC's dearly departed "Collector's Item" (MP3 Link)

Nick Adams book tour kicks off...


Sound of Young America pal Nick Adams just kicked off the tour for his very funny new book, "Making Friends with Black People," at Book Soup in LA. Not only were there plenty of folks there, but one of them was the first white lady ever to be on Soul Train... and according to photographic evidence, one of them was TSOYA pal / brilliant standup comedian Jasper Redd. I'd link to Jasper's website, but the man still doesn't have one, which is probably why so many people come to our website after searching for "Jasper Redd."

Nick's got a few more readings coming up... He'll be reading at Marcus Books in San Francisco on Friday at 6PM, and Saturday, he's reading at Barnes & Noble in Oakland at 7:30 PM. I'll be at the San Francisco reading (in the audience, of course), so come and say hi to Nick and I.

Nick Adams on The Sound of Young America
Buy Making Friends with Black People for like $10
Nick's Blog

Milton Berle's Business


Understand that I do not condone downloading or illegal internet file sharing, because it's just like Lars from Metallica coming in your dorm room and messing everything up or whatever.

But let's say I wasn't so dead set against it (which I am). I would visit this amazing blog. And I would make backup copies of things I already owned for my own personal educational use. Like Albert Brooks' long out-of-print albums. And David Cross bootlegs. IF I wasn't against it, which I am.

Anyway, the blog linked above is called Milton Berle's Cock, and it reminds me of an old showbiz yarn that I heard somewhere and think it HILARIOUS. You should know that it's not family-friendly.

Anyway, Uncle Miltie had a legendarily large schwantz. One day, a young, upstart comic goes up to him and says, "I hear you've got the biggest dick in comedy."

And Miltie says, "Well, I'm a modest man..."

and the kid says, "Come on... we'll have a contest."

And Miltie says, "No no no..."

and the kid says, "Come on... we'll have a contest..."

And Miltie says, "Kid, gimme a break."

and the kid says, "You chicken, Miltie? I'll whip out mine and you whip out yours and we'll see whose is bigger! Come on!"

and Miltie says, "Fine. But I'm only taking out enough to win."



Last week, we watched Heat Vision & Jack... this week, it's the pilot that's always nipping at HV&J's heels for "Most Salivated Over By Comedy Nerds Unaired Pilot" status... Lookwell. This series, created by Robert Smigel and Conan O'Brien, stars Adam West as a crime-stopping acting teacher. Enjoy!

Will Wright on the Future of Gaming


I'm going to start off-topic here, but did you know that you can buy magazine subscriptions on Ebay? And if you're looking for a mass-market magazine (The New Yorker, Cosmo, Spin, whatever), they're really, really cheap.

Anyway, I bought a year subscription to Wired for $3, and it ain't much of a magazine. Once in a while there's something interesting, but not too often. That said, though, there's a fascinating piece by Will Wright, the designer of SimCity, the Sims and many other games, about the future of gaming.

Games are evolving to entertain, educate, and engage us individually. These personalized games will reflect who we are and what we enjoy, much as our choice of cooks and music does now. They will allow us to express ourselves, meet others, and create things that we can only dimly imagine. They will enable us to share and combine these creations, to build vast playgrounds. And more than ever, games will be a visible, external amplification of the human imagination.

Great stuff.

Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society


At some hazy point in Europe's past, the objective truth didn't matter as much as it does today. Really rich folks collected (real and fake) religious artifacts, objects of art, biological marvels, and anything else you can imagine into wunderkammer, or cabinets of wonder.

The contents of these cabinets and other related marvels, like the cat piano above, are celebrated at the Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society. This mystery-enshrouded blog celebrates the life and ideas of one of the great collectors and creators of oddities, Athanasius Kircher.

What's most wonderful to me is the way that these objects are so profoundly liminal... they refuse to be classified as "real" or "fake." It's an idea that's deeply related to The New Sincerity.

That's what I was thinking about when I did an interview on this Sound broadcast with Ricky Jay, the brilliant magician and historian. For a while, Jay did radio commentaries about this sort of stuff, like this one about a genius pig. I tried to get them for The Sound, but he wouldn't go for it.

See also: The Museum of Jurassic Technology

Watch Comedy Central tonight.


Tonight, half-hour specials from two of the best comics in the business, Arj Barker and Todd Barry, will be premiering. Arj is the most magnetic performer I've ever seen on the standup stage, and he uses that magnetism to draw you into a weird alternate world. Todd is a master joke writer whose sly, dry delivery makes every punchline pop.

Two stories:

Last time I saw Arj Barker perform, I talked to him after the show, and told him how much I'd love to have him on The Sound of Young America. Turns out, he had already been on The Sound of Young America, and I'd forgotten. Moral of the story: I am a jackass.

Last time I saw Todd Barry, I was driving him to his hotel for SF Sketchfest. At the time, I drove a 65 Dart, which had no seatbelts in the back, where he was sitting. He was absolutely horrified, and expressed his horror by berating me and my "deathtrap" car for the next 20 minutes. Moral of the story: just let Todd Barry take a cab.

You can see some clips of them performing here on the CC Presents page. Arj has been blogging on behalf of the Comedy Central Insider from Australia or something. The shows air at 9 and 9:30 tonight.

Todd Barry on The Sound of Young America (realaudio)

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