The MaxFun Blog

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

Fundraising Update


We now have 32 financial subscribers supporting the program on a monthly basis. Their donations total about $150 every single month for the show. We've also received several one-time donations.

These donations have paid our hosting costs the past two months. They've also paid for the equipment, postage, and most of the materials for the big Maximum Fun Club mailing that went out to everyone who filled out the listener survey late last year. I just ordered some postcards, and I'm working on a new batch of stickers and hopefully, soon, a banner for events. T-Shirts are on the horizon, though how soon they come is slightly dependent on my personal financial stability.

A few folks have asked me why I chose to ask for financial "subscriptions" rather than one-time checks. The reason is this: I'm not a fundraiser. A pro tries to get folks in at the bottom, then ratchet their contributions up every year or so. Because I work full-time, produce the show, host it, edit it, support the website and write the blog, I don't have time right now to do that. So I offer these subscriptions that renew themselves (you can cancel at any time), and the subscriptions give the show relatively steady income that I can count on when I'm, you know, spending it.

As this income continues to grow, I'll be using some of it to pay for things that I should have been doing all along, had I not been so (personally) broke. These include attending conventions (both radio and podcasting) to promote the show, the aformentioned shirts, perhaps some events here in the Bay Area or elsewhere, and so on. And, depending on my job situation, pay for me.

So there you have it. If you have any feelings about any of this, please share it, either by email ( or in the comments. If you haven't donated, but you'd like to, why not do so now?

Ellen: The Musical


Today's "Ellen" is a full-length musical, starring Jack Black, According to Eban Schletter, the composer/lyricist. Also featured are Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway star, also was on West Wing), Karen Kilgariff (Girls' Guitar Club), Crissy Guerrero, Laura Milligan & Tracy DeNisis (from Dave Foley's show "The Tribute"), Olivia Olson (from Love Actually) and Jack Sheldon (the voice of much of Schoolhouse Rocks).

Check your local listings. Somebody should computer-tape this.

(Edit: Brian M. Palmer informs the world that someone has)

Are Germans funny?


There's a great piece in the Guardian with a theory about why English-language comedy doesn't translate to German. To paraphrase briefly, it's largely a matter of sentence structure. The strict structure of German, and it's rigorous specificity, make it difficult to give sentences and language double-meanings and "reveals." The author describes how, when translating a show about standup comedy into German, his German partners wanted to transpose it into a theatrical, caberet context:

...this instinct to formalise a genre of comedy we accept as inherently informal is not indivisible from the limitations the German language imposes on conventional British comedy structures. The flexibility of the English language allows us to imagine that we are an inherently witty nation, when in fact we just have a vocabulary and a grammar that allow for endlessly amusing confusions of meanings.

There are also some great German jokes, like this one:

Tabea Rudolph, 26, Stuttgart

There are problems in the woods. The animals of the forest are always drunk, so the fox decides to ban alcohol. The following day, the fox spies a rabbit hanging out of a tree, clearly wasted. The fox ticks him off, and carries on his way. But the next day he sees the rabbit drunk again, and gives him a final warning. The next day, the fox does his rounds and there's no sign of the rabbit, but he notices a straw sticking out of a stream. Wondering what it is, the fox scoops it out, only to find a very drunk rabbit on the other end of it. "How many times do I have to tell you that animals of the forest aren't allowed alcohol?" says the Fox. "We fishes don't give a toss what the animals of the forest aren't allowed to do," says the rabbit.


Will Franken - "Best Alternative to Psychadelic Drugs"


Will Franken was recently voted "Best Comedian" in the San Francisco Weekly and "Best Alternative to Psychadelic Drugs" in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He performs a remarkable blend of solo theater, standup, and sketch comedy, seemlessly transitioning between characters like a funny version of Robin Williams.

I spoke with Will this weekend -- he'll be performing in Los Angeles tonight at Comedy Death Ray with Sarah Silverman, among others, and tommorow (Wednesday) he performs solo at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Tickets for the latter show are a mere $5. He's also performing June 21st at the Marsh Theater in San Francisco. More info here.

Download the Interview (includes two live sketches from Will)

Listen Online

The dogged pursuit of banality


Dear New York Times,

Is the dark side of Ryan Seacrest really that Jay Leno makes jokes about him being gay?

Or is it that he represents everything that's wrong with American entertainment?



Elephant Larry in New York


The Apiary has a great recap of Elephant Larry's new show in New York City. Seen above: "One enticing sketch involved the character of Gargamel in the midst of a Smurf-induced postmodern breakdown. 'Who am I really?,' Gargamel wonders aloud, while cycling through the cloudy nostalgia of the cartoons of our youth."

This American Life Podcast


I encourage you to purchase This American Life from But you could also check out this page. If you wanted.

Don't ever say I wasn't looking out for you.

Sound of Young America Postcards


File this one in "things your donations bought." I plan to distribute these at comedy events and the like.

David Wain, circa 1978


Dan points us to this short tour of Shaker Heights, Ohio, as conducted by David Wain of The State, Stella, and Wet Hot American Summer, in 1978.

TSOYA: The Nucyular Option with Stella (MP3)

Scientology Metal


I once saw my freshman roomate punch a hole in a wall. He also plays drums, and wants to start a Scientology-based metal band. If you are interested, you can contact Erotikus on MySpace. He lives in the Bay Area.

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