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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."

What's up with John Krasinski?

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"The Office" star is getting all these movies and stuff, because he's kind of handsome and likable. And good.

There's an interview with him on Entertainment Weekly's website, and he offers this nugget about the upcoming Christopher Guest film, in which he has a small role:

What's Guest's new movie about?
A small, independent movie that starts getting Oscar buzz and then finds itself in the running against huge pictures. There's a Siskel and Ebert team who review all the major films of the year, and they review this little indie movie... I'm in the big studio movie, playing a cop. It's called — actually, I probably shouldn't give any more away, I'm just so excited about it!

While you're doing Office-related shit, why not check out the fake "The More You Know" PSAs they made for April Fools Day? As much as I hate to promote something clearly made with viral marketing in mind, they're really f'ing funny.

True Stories of the SFPD

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One time, I went looking for a "crime blotter" on the SFPD website, becuase there was a string of shootings outside my house. Well, no dice, but I found something much, much, much better. The Northern District Community Newsletter is sort of a like the greatest episode of Law & Order ever filmed. It's a newsletter, maybe written by a cop, I dunno. It starts out with some newslettery stuff (hiring announcements, community fairs, that kind of thing), and then moves on to the AWESOME PART: crime stories. Like this one, picked at random:

Friday December 30, 3:25 AM, Prositution Arrest: Officer Kennedy and Officer Paulsen were working in plain clothes in the area of California St. and Larkin St. They observed a woman whom they recognized from a myriad of prior contacts for prostitution related activity. They observed the woman for a short while. She hailed several cars and eventually got one to stop, most likely because her diaphanous blouse commanded a certain amount of attention. The officers observed as the woman entered the car and the driver left the area. The officers followed the car and found the couple engrossed in hedonistic activity. The officers interceded and the couple was arrested. The man was released on a citation and the prostitute was booked at county Jail due to the fact that she would have plied her trade in perpetuity had the officers not removed her from the streets.

It's in PDF form, and I had to retype that one, or I'd post more. They are wonderful. The word "scallawag" is used liberally. Amazing, amazing stuff.

And to think, all this was going on in my neighborhood!

Podcasting? Try Pard-casting.

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The most fun I ever had doing a Sound of Young America interview was when I talked to Jimmy Pardo. I know, you wouldn't expect much from the former host of a TV show called "National Lampoon's Funny Money," but Jimmy is the funniest extemporaneous speaker I've ever linked up with. He also has a wonderful old-timey quality that makes you think he should be drunk and hosting "The Match Game" with one of those long skinny microphones with the ball at the end. A charming combination.

Anyway, Jimmy's teamed up with Matt Belknap of AST Radio to produce "Never Not Funny," a new podcast. It's as funny as I have come to expect from Pardo, and it's set to feature a sort of rotating panel of comedians alongside him. I added it to my subscription list, which is a pretty exclusive one.

The Website
The Feed

Jimmy Pardo on The Sound of Young America (realaudio link)

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