The Blog of Young America

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RIP, Kurt Vonnegut

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Happy 60th birthday, David Letterman. Please don't die, ever.

"Tiny Oscars, here we come."

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Human Giant - Lil' 9-11 Trailer

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This new video from the Human Giant is amazing. Also, a little offensive, so if the idea of something called "Lil 9/11" offends you, don't watch it.

Podcast: Coyle & Sharpe: Ep. 3: The Plank

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In the early 1960s, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe roamed the streets of San Francisco, microphone in hand, roping strangers into bizarre schemes and surreal stunts. Today, their humor is a cultural touchstone for artists as varies as Henry Rollins and The Upright Citizens Brigade.

These recordings are from the Sharpe family archive, which is tended by Mal's daughter, Jennifer Sharpe. You can learn more about Coyle & Sharpe on their website or on MySpace. Their recent box set is These 2 Men Are Imposters.

This week, Coyle & Sharpe ask whether you would be willing to cross a plank over a rivulet, if your safety was assured. Also -- how do you feel about the possibility of being destroyed by the vice?

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Better than the lottery!

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SPACE CONTESTS!

In addition to the $250,000 NASA is giving away, I will give $20 to any Maximum Funster who wins THE 2007 ASTRONAUT GLOVE CHALLENGE.

Furthermore, I will offer $50 (in addition to the $250,000 prize) to any Maximum Funster who wins the PERSONAL AIR VEHICLE CHALLENGE.

My promise to you is simple: design me a jetpack, win fifty big ones.

Podcast: Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock's "Kenneth"

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Show: 
Bullseye


Jack McBrayer plays the almost alarmingly lovable NBC page Kenneth in the new sitcom "30 Rock." He's unquestionably the breakout star of the program, lighting up the screen with a 10,000 watt smile. (In case you haven't noticed, I think he's fucking great.)

While Jack is a newcomer to the national stage, he's a comedy veteran. He appeared in the film Talladega Nights, and has graced the boards of The Second City, The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and the IO for many years.

Video of the interview:

By the way, the day after this interview was recorded, it was announced that 30 Rock has been renewed for a second season!

Please share your thoughts on this program on our forum!

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God bless these people!

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I have recently been interviewed a couple of times, and I thought I would share them for those who don't have a google news alert set up for "the sound of young america" yet. (Which, I sincerely hope, is everyone on earth who isn't me).

Here I am on this morning's "Moldawer in the Morning" podcast
. The charming David Moldawer and I discuss a few interesting news stories, as well as how much we love SkyMaul. It was a very fun show.

Here I am being interviewed in The Coming, which is the new LA affiliate of The Apiary. I talked with Megan Berru about the roots of TSOYA and the Los Angeles comedy scene.

Also and additionally, Dr. Tim Anderson posted this small piece in the online journal "In Media Res" about the show. It's about how TSOYA covers hip-hop, and specifically about portrayals of "the game" in our interviews with Killer Mike and Peedi Crakk.

Oh! And I've been hosting the Slate Daily Podcast the last couple days. That's mostly me reading a story from Slate, but Friday's show was an edition of the Political Gabfest, so I actually had some agency in it. It was fun!

Also: because I don't have any "marketing budget" or "publicist," I'm pretty much happy to help you out with any press project. If you want to interview me or use me as a resource, I'm happy to help. I even have high-quality photos (thanks Noe)!

Jordan Burns MTV

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In 2003, Jordan, Jesse GO! co-host Jordan Morris was bored. So, he did what any normal college graduate would do to entertain himself -- he made up a complicated and absurd story in order to prank a prank show.

He told "Burned," a dating-based knockoff of "Punked," that his friend Hector had a one man show, which Hector performed in order to get girls. He also told them that he could get Hector to come to a party with him, where Hector would perform the monologue, then get "Burn'd."

It turned out Jordan's friend Hector couldn't come, so Jordan asked another friend, whose name wasn't even Hector, to stand in for him. Then he wrote the "one man show" for "Hector," corralled a few other friends into the operation, and, well, burned Burn'd.

It aired a month or two later, my aunt and uncle taped it for me, and this is the first time the prank has been ever been revealed.

Particularly enjoyable: Jordan's absurd flopping about when the "burn" is "revealed."

Part One:

Part Two:

In defense of Jimmy Kimmel.

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I'm usually loathe to involve this blog in silly blogosphere crap like this, but...

Above, witness Jimmy Kimmel, a moderately funny and very affable television host, sticking it to the alarmingly self-satisfied editor of Gawker. At issue is whether Gawker's celebrity coverage is appropriate, particularly the "Gawker Stalker," wherein "citizen journalists" tell Gawker exactly where and when they saw celebrities.

Here's the deal from my perspective: being a blogger is great. You can be irreverent, cute, whatever. But at some point, you have to take responsibility for something.

But Kimmel asks a pertinent question: "I know you're an editor, what exactly do you edit from this website?"

He's not exactly F. Lee Bailey when it comes to grueling cross-examinations, but he gets the point across.

She states, "Do you read Us Weekly and expect that everything in it is true?"

Well, I don't read Us Weekly, but even entertainment journalists check their facts and take responsibility for what they publish. That kind of "well, their ethics are questionable too!" stuff is horrible.

Kimmel hits her hard, I think, when he says to her, "I just want you to think about your life."

Then she brings up a second justification: "Honestly, I think there's a shifting definition of what is public and what is private space, for everyone, not just celebrities. No one has the reasonable expectation of being able to walk down the street and not have what they're doing be noticed by someone."

This, of course, is a specious legal argument, and Kimmel hits back on moral grounds:

"But that is just a terrible thing, though, isn't it?"

"Is it though? I think it's good that we're not putting people up on a pedastal any more..."

Does she seriously believe that she's not putting celebrities up on a pedestal? On a site called GAWKER?!

Putting celebrities down is just another kind of putting them on a pedestal. If she thinks she's doing something different from Us Weekly or even the Hollwood PR machine press of days gone by, she's kidding herself.

Well, that's not entirely true... there is one difference between the old and new celebrity media. The new celebrity media is just as worshipful of celebrity -- but it's dramatically meaner. Sometimes in the name of "snark," or "cattiness," but often just in the name of meanness.

I've never been a huge fan of Kimmel's comedy, but I think he runs a solid TV show and has had a very interesting career. Through that career, the one thing that has made him succesful above all else is his earnestness. Kimmel may be broad or gross or stupid or he may be insightful or edgy or funny, but he really seems to care about being himself and representing himself honestly. That gets him a long way, here, and is I think what made the clip so devastating, despite Kimmel's modest shortcomings as a debater.

The bottom line: this kind of snarky psuedo-journalism may be legal and it may be profitable, but that doesn't make it good or right.

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO! Ep. 18: Misspent Youth

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In this week's Jordan Jesse GO!, we discuss the misspent youths of others.

Introduction
Jesse and Jordan are in a casino in Atlantic City, joined by Stephen Brophy and Bucky Sinister. Stephen performs with The Bruce McCulloch Project and writes for the TBS "microseries" lovebites. Bucky is a poet and the author of All Blacked Out & Nowhere to Go.

We announce the winners of the High Five Contest, a conversation which spins out of control.

Mis-spent Youth
Bucky talks about, among other topics, his friend Razor. Like Bucky, Razor is now clean & sober, but in their youth, Razor was a great guy to do drugs with on Christmas Day. Bucky and Jesse start talking about AA meetings, which might be a bit self-indulgent, but it's important, you know?
Barefoot
Why isn't Jordan wearing shoes?

Bruce Wayne

Bucky reads a poem from his book. It's about an alternate universe where Bruce Wayne is a mess and Bucky really has his shit together.

Cardboard Trucks

Listeners call in to discuss the vital topic of Cardboard Trucks.

Project Breakout

Our sponsor is Project Breakout, and they are currently accepting votes on funny videos.

Beer Koozies

Jordan discuss beer koozies. He's noticed people bringing them to bars. What's that all about?

Porn in the Woods

A round robin on advice for our 17-year-old listener Ashley turns into a discussion of finding porn in the woods and the sad ways rural children entertain themselves.

Outro


We pretty much just wrap stuff up.

Bonus Audio
SPECIAL BONUS AUDIO: Bucky discusses doing standup for the first time at age 37.

ACTION ITEMS
* Enter our ATHF movie contest.
* Is it OK to take a beer koozie into a bar? What's that all about?
* What can we do to help Ashley?
* What would you like to ask Conressman Richard Martin (R-Ohio)?

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.
* Have personal questions for Jesse and Jordan? Call 206-984-4FUN and tell us what they are!
* 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.

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The Sound of Young America and Jordan Jesse GO! are supported in part by Project Breakout!

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Elephant Larry: Wii-Day!

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Pursuant to discussion of the Wii on Jordan, Jesse GO!, a wonderful video from Elephant Larry.

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