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Paging Mr. Herman

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Man, Pee-Wee Herman on the Letterman show in 1984. I really don't think there has been any entertainer who has been more important in my life than old P.W. Herman. Used to watch "Playhouse" every Saturday morning with my mom, absolutely without fail. When it was cancelled, I was heartbroken. Fuckers.

"Sasquatch" weighs in on Studio 60

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I've been thinking about posting something about how dissapointed I was with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip's second episode. Themes I was thinking of including were: "why so much camera-swooping?" and "what's with the music? is this Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and "why no fun?"

Then Aspecialthing.com's beloved pater familias, In Search of Sasquatch (known in the real world as podcast producer Matt Belknap of AST Radio and Never Not Funny), said it better than I ever could have. Like me, he was a big Sorkin fan (love that Sportsnight) and defended the first episode, but like me, he's gone sour on the whole proposition.

Here's what Matt had to say:

"I don't think Aaron Sorkin would know good sketch comedy if it shit in his mouth. We've seen what he thinks is funny (snobby historical references, obvious social, religious and political jabs), so why would he want real comedy writers coming in to muck up his genius?

I will hang in there until the bitter end with this show, but it's fast approaching indefensible. You can't write about comedy if you don't know what makes good comedy. Sorkin could probably take on anything else in the world and make it work, but this is his Achilles heel. His humor only works when the characters aren't meant to be funny for a living -- CJ Craig is funny for a press secretary, but if she were running a network comedy show it would be a disaster (well, it would be Studio 60).

Also, these characters are incredibly pompous and self-absorbed, which would be fine (and realistic) except Sorkin's presenting them as people we're meant to like, admire and respect. Again, I don't mind high-minded and principled characters on a show about the White House, because I want our leaders to be high-minded and principled -- Bartlet being a proud intellectual was a reaction to Bush, and it made sense. But in the TV business, it's ludicrous. These characters have no perspective on what they do for a living, and act like they're saving the world by producing empirically bad sketch comedy. If the comedy they were doing was good, the rest might be permissible. If they acknowledged what they were doing was bad (or at least unimportant), it might be tolerable. If any aspect of the world Sorkin & Co. are creating rang true, maybe the show would work. So far, though, they're moving further away from all that with every new episode."

"Hear hear!" says I.

Contest Winners!

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First of all, thanks to everyone who told a friend about The Sound of Young America in order to enter the contest, and all who have done it over the past few years because... well... they like the show. My "marketing budget" is some stickers and your help. Thanks!

Now... the winners...

Ryan wins DVDs of At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set!
Aaron wins Season Two of Arrested Development!
Joe C. wins Season One of The Bill Cosby Show!
Lauren wins The Best of The Awful Truth and The Sinners Guide to the Evangelical Right!

I'll email you all to get your addresses. There weren't any super-creative entries, so no super-creative prize, but don't worry friends, there are plenty more contests in your future. IT PAYS TO PLAY.

Sound of Young America Banners

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If you'd like to help spread the word about The Sound of Young America, you can use one of these great banners... we have a variety of sizes for you to choose from.

120x120
Proud Of His Suspenders
Leaping the Gorge
In Awe of the Mighty Power
Mmmmm... watermelon!

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Superlad
Playing with Albums
Sherlock Holmes Jr.
That Guy At the Office Party
Houston, More Bananas Please!

160x600
Trains
Warehouse
Balance

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Tongue
Superboy, redux
Dino Ride
Motorbikes are great
Racecar

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Maximum Fun

Just link them to http://www.maximumfun.org (if you need help or HTML code, just let me know), I'm happy to help.

Marc Maron Treasure Trove

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Marc Maron's second run on Air America Radio, with "The Marc Maron Show," recently ended. We're sad to see Marc off the air, but amazed at the online treasure trove of interviews that are his show's legacy.

This amazing stash includes interviews with lots of great comics, including Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Todd Barry, Sarah Silverman, Stephen Colbert, Chris Elliott, Harry Shearer, Mort Sahl and a million others.

Here's a download list, thanks to Mason Proulx of AST. Another AST user was nice enough to create this RSS feed for a podcast of the files: http://odeo.com/channel/131082/rss. You can subscribe to that in iTunes -- just copy the URL, then open iTunes, choose the "Advanced" menu, and "Subscribe to Podcast." Paste the URL in the box and click OK.

All of these are courtesty of The Snot-Green Sea, which has an astonishing archive of Maron broadcasts.

If you're a fan of Maron's, you might enjoy this TSOYA broadcast from 2005, which featured an interview with the man himself.

Numberwang

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From "That Mitchell & Webb Look," it's the new game show sensation that's sweeping the world.

Don't forget the contest!

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Don't forget the Tell A Friend Contest this week. Remember... you can win The Bill Cosby Show, The Awful Truth, At Last the 1948 Show, Do Not Adjust Your Set or Arrested Development on DVD, plus other stuff! All you have to do is something to spread the word about The Sound of Young America... multiple entries are encouraged, and we'll take nearly anything.

Today is your last day to enter!

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