Brian Heater and Alex Zalben join us this week to share some comics picks. Alex suggests you check out Derek Kirk Kim’s Tune: Vanishing Point, a charming, insightful graphic novel with a great twist at the end. Brian recommends the 73rd issue of John Porcellino’s King Cat, a long-running, autobiographical mini-comic featuring tight, minimalist artwork and storytelling.
Judd Apatow is a man who wears many hats: director, producer, screenwriter, husband, and father to name a few. His new movie, This is 40, explores the struggle many married couples face as they try to keep careers and children sorted while nurturing a strong relationship. Apatow talks about his relationship with his wife and collaborator, Leslie Mann, grappling with insecurity, and the source of his lifelong aversion to being the “bad guy.” He also fills us in on the latest Pee-Wee Herman movie news.
This is 40 opens in theaters December 21st.
Jason Reece of the band …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead spent many of his teenage years listening to stereotypical punk music from the 80s, and while he loved music, he felt stuck and uninspired by the genre. Fortunately, he stumbled across the Fugazi album 13 Songs in a record store. The song “Waiting Room” changed his perception of what punk music could be.
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead’s most recent album is called Lost Songs.
Dolly Parton’s beautiful voice could have easily carried her through life. Parton’s unwavering drive and embrace of hard work meant she was ready and willing to carve her own path, however, despite the great sacrifices such commitment required. Parton joins us this week to discuss some of these sacrifices, how they have affected her life, and how she feels about them now. She also shares stories from her childhood (having grown up in a large family in the mountains of Tennessee, Parton has no shortage of fondly remembered anecdotes) and relates the story behind one of her most well-loved songs, "I Will Always Love You."
Dolly Parton’s new book is called Dream More, and it is available now.
ego trip’s Big Book of Racism takes the beloved coffee table book genre and flips it on its head – it’s a book you might hesitate to display in your living room, just based on its provocative title. The content, however, is a pitch-perfect analysis of the absurdity of racism in modern and historical times – observations any host should be glad to broadcast to his or her guests.
I've spent the bulk of my non-working time the last few days devouring the DVD box set of The Larry Sanders Show. It's probably my favorite TV show, ever... brilliantly funny and powerful in every way. Some of the best acting you'll see on TV, anywhere, anytime, and some of the best writing, too.
The box set has some great extra features, as well. Among other things, you can watch Garry Shandling kick the shit out of Alec Baldwin in the boxing ring, and hear Shandling argue over jokes with Judd Apatow. Once again, the folks at Shout! Factory have come through with a wonderful collection that goes above and beyond my expectations.
If you're on the fence about buying this, come down. It's time to pull the trigger. This is pretty much the best $100 you can spend on entertainment.
Our pals at McSweeney's have decided to celebrate our interview with Judd Apatow with a special on his (great) new book, I Found This Funny. You can get it from their store for an even $20, and you can rest assured that your money's going to support two great causes (McSweeney's and 826 National).
Judd Apatow is a comedy writer, director and producer. He has become one of the largest comedic forces in Hollywood with films like Knocked Up and the 40 Year Old Virgin. Apatow's new book, I Found this Funny, is a compilation of work by some of his favorite authors. Sales of the book benefit 826 National, a literacy charity.
He spoke with Jesse Thorn from his Los Angeles office about his long career. As a high school student, Apatow used a radio show barely audible on the campus of his school to book interviews about a career in comedy with legends like Jerry Seinfeld, Henny Youngman and John Candy. He became a standup comic early, and was featured in the HBO Young Comedians special in 1992. Then he turned his attention to writing, working extensively with Garry Shandling, who became his mentor. In these early years, he worked on The Ben Stiller Show and on Shandling's seminal The Larry Sanders Show, where he also got his first shot at directing.
The tone of his films grew from in part from advice he received from Shandling while working on Sanders: that he should always seek the truth of his characters. The success of Apatow's movies ushered in a new era of loose, character-driven comedies which were a stark contrast to the star- and gross out-driven comedies of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
This special edition of The Sound of Young America also includes two pieces from I Found This Funny written by Sound of Young America contributor Simon Rich. "My Mom's All-Time, Top Five Greatest Boyfriends, by Jordi Stromson, Age 11" is read by comedian and writer Jen Kirkman; "My Friend's New Girlfriend" is read by actor and sketch comic Paul Scheer.
Nick ran across this while pulling clips for our upcoming show with Judd Apatow. Delightful.