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Mirman, Showalter, Leo Allen on Tour

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This just came in over the transom from Stella headquarters. I've never seen Showalter or Allen perform solo, but I've also never seen them be lousy. Seeing Eugene Mirman is a wonderful multi-media experience that I reccomend to all.

Michael Showalter, Eugene Mirman and Leo Allen will be on an East Coast
tour in May. It will a very fun, life changing and lively evening of
alternative stand-up comedy. Please come and check it out.

5/9 Toad's Place, New Haven, CT 203-562-5694
5/10 Higher Ground, Burlington, VT 802-654-7079
5/11 Lupo's, Providence, RI 401-286-0902
5/12 Iron Horse, Nothampton, MA 413-584-0610
5/13 Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA 215-922-6888
5/14 Black Cat, Washington, DC 202-667-4490
5/15 Relative Theory Record Store, Norfolk, VA 757-962-8052
5/16 40 Watt Club, Athens, GA, 706-549-7871
5/17 The Earl, Atlanta, GA 404-522-3950
5/18 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC 919-967-9053
5/19 Ottobar, Baltimore, MD 410-662-0069

Also: on a related note, I really liked "The Baxter," which surprised me, because I'd heard such mixed reviews. Schowalter was indeed a bit too mannered to be the lead, but other than that, it was really wonderful and hilarious.

Related:
Eugene Mirman talks to a telemarketer on Hello. I'm Eugene

Related on TSOYA:
"Canada Etc" with Eugene Mirman, Brandon Bird, and Kyle MacDonald (MP3)
Eugene Mirman Interview (Real Audio)
"The Nucyular Option" with Stella (featuring Michael Schowalter) and Geoff Nunberg (MP3)
Slovin & Allen Interview (Real Audio)

Next! Episode One

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Next! Episode One
Video sent by YoungAmerican

This is the first of two pilot episodes of Next!, a series Bob Odenkirk created for FOX a few years ago... it was apparently well-regarded, but FOX decided to go with Cedric the Entertainer Presents instead.

Anyhoo, Next! features Odenkirk, along with a number of Mr. Show castmembers (Jay Johnstone, Brian Posehn, Patton Oswalt, Jill Talley), Fred Armisen, and Zach Galifianakis. I'll post the second episode later.

They're starting to get it...

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Time Magazine has a big group profile (or more properly, group of profiles) on alternative comedy. Feature are our good pal John Hodgman (not really our good pal, more like a solid acquaintance of whom we are very fond), the guys from Wonder Showzen, Channel 101, and more.

Link

PS: Does anyone read Time magazine and feel informed afterwards? Or Newsweek? Those things are written for like... 7-year-olds.

David Mamet Loves to Say Stuff

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One great thing about David Mamet is that he'll just bust out saying some ridiculous stuff. Like anything that comes to his head. Only he's such a verbal genius, that anything he says comes out sounding completely correct, and absurdly pithy to boot.

When I was studying acting, the best book I read on the subject was Mamet's, which is saying something because he didn't even try to hide his contempt for actors. His basic stance was that an actor's job is to say the words loud enough for the audience to hear. I'm not exaggerating, either, that's really his thesis. It has sub-theses, like how acting training is just a hustle run by failed actors, but that's the main thrust. It was GREAT.

He was on Fresh Air a couple weeks ago to talk about his new TV series "The Unit," which is co-created by Shawn Ryan ("The Shield"). I haven't seen the show, but this kind of made me want to. On the other hand, though, who wants to see something written partially by David Mamet, and partially by Another Guy?

The interview STARTS with Mamet saying: "The trick is to leave everything out. That's the whole trick to drama."

Not one of the tricks. The WHOLE trick.

Awesome.

Speak of the devil, and he shall appear: David Mamet on this week's The Treatment (MP3 Link)

Birthday Sweater

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Careful listeners may recall that during our Wonder Showzen interview, the creators of that show discussed working on Doggie Fizzle Televizzle, Snoop Dogg's short-lived MTV sketch comedy series. Besides hilariously recalling Snoop's "real name" (Snoople P. Doggsworth, DDS), they shared the story of how they tricked Snoop into being on their album: one of them told Snoop it was his birthday. This lead directly to the only words Snoop ever spoke to him.

Snoop pointed to the sweater the Wonder Showzen fellah was wearing, and uttered the simple (but now classic) phrase: "Birthday Sweater."

My birthday is coming up, and my mom got me a nice, sky blue cashmere v-neck sweater. And all I can think of is Snoop pointing at me and saying, "Birthday Sweater."

And every time I think of it, I laugh uproariously to myself.

Daily Show Producer on Fresh Air

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I know this is in danger of becoming the Fresh Air blog instead of The Sound of Young America blog, but what could be more charming than Terry Gross's awkwardly dork approach to interviewing admirably hip guests?

She interviewed Ben Karlin, former Onion editor and current Daily Show and Colbert Report boss.

Link

The Philadelphia City Paper + TSOYA

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The Philly City Paper has a regular feature where local artists talk about something they love... and guess what? A local artist loves The Sound of Young America...

I'm a comedy nerd. So is Jesse Thorn. Only, he has a radio show. The Sound of Young America is a weekly radio program out of KZSC in Santa Cruz, Calif. Each week Jesse interviews comedians, authors and other artists that comedy nerds find cool. Lest you think by "comedians" I am speaking of the local Chuckles' open-mic winner; let me present you with a sampling of his guests: Louis CK, Paul Feig, Patton Oswalt, Mike Nelson, Shelly Berman and Terry Jones. If none of those names sound familiar then I've just wasted about 26 seconds of your life. Otherwise, fellow nerd, check out The Sound of Young America at www.splangy.com/radio or subscribe to it in iTunes.

--Don Montrey
Comedy writer, member of ComedySportz and sketch group Bad Hair

Thanks, Don!

Link

TSOYA Podcast Promo

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If you or someone you know has a podcast, here's a 40-second promo for The Sound of Young America you can use for it. If you do use it, leave a comment with your website info so I can check out your show!

The Sound of Young America Podcast Promo (MP3)

The Anti-Comic

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In this week's Boston Globe Ideas section (which is wonderful every week, by the way), James Parker briefly considers "Wrestling with the American Dream," whose author, Florian Keller was a guest on The Sound a few weeks ago.

Keller in his book goes at this ''anticomedy" with the tongs of academe; but where contemporary commentators registered their bafflement in woolly references to European avant-gardism (''...like Ionesco doing stand-up," ''comedy's stand-up Pirandello," ''the Dada of ha-ha," etc.) Keller is committed to Kaufman's Americanness-specifically his relationship to the American Dream. The moment in Kaufman's set when Foreign Man, who has been nodding placidly along to a recording of the theme from ''Mighty Mouse," suddenly raises his arm and lip-synchs the line ''Here I come to save the day!" is for Keller a ''primordial scene": It ''basically re-enacts," he writes, ''the most fundamental myth about America as the land of opportunities where immigrants can reinvent themselves."

Also considered: the week that Kaufman opened for... wait for it... BARRY MANILOW.

Link

TSOYA: "The American Dream" with Florian Keller, Louis CK, and Neil Hamburger (MP3)

Things Rob Corddry hates...

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Dead-Frog.com always comes correct, but they've outdone themselves with this remarkable list of groups Rob Corddry hates.

In Rob Cordry's Wednesday report on the Daily Show entitled "Racist Like Me", he ends his report saying people might say of him that "he's a pretty decent guy, unless of course, you're one of these things. In which case I hate your guts." The screen then shows a long, very fast scroll of group names.

My favorites are "Tivo List Pauser," "NPR Listener," "Jim Belushi," and most particularly "Somone Who Only Gets Their News from The Daily Show."

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