Guess who's the Times of London podcast of the week?
Hint: it starts with "Kasper" and ends with "Hauser Comedy Podcast," and is the Kasper Hauser Comedy Podcast.
Kasper Hauser was the mysterious 19th-century foundling about whom Werner Herzog made a film in 1974. It is also the name of an enigmatic blog by a quartet of San Francisco comedians. Wonderfully realised, the podcast’s wistful and surreal laughs are conveyed in parodies of the cult radio show This American Life with Phantom High School, in which people talk about a fake school where diplomas “crumbled into dust” and the building was made of “spider web crystals”. Very silly and great fun.
Our first-ever MaximumFun.org pledge drive is going really fantastically well. We're giving away a bunch of prizes, including t-shirts, hobo illustrations, a copy of SkyMaul and a copy of The Areas of My Expertise, and a DVD box set of Get Smart. We're also getting lots of listeners stepping up and becoming supporters of maximumfun.org. And, of course, they'll all get Maximum Fun Packs in the mail, with their own Maximum Fun Club cards and more.
So far we've had (by my count) 34 new pledges -- most of which are monthly commitments. I want to thank the following folks for supporting the show thus far:
Sarah Z, Kyle H, Margaret H, David B, Craig S, Edward M, Mike D, Jeff M, Ayesha M, Marylee R, Reena R, David S, Guan Y, Tim A, Mark M, Scott S, Justin Z, Tom S, Brian S, Adam L, Nicholas L, Adam K, Chris F, Elias G, Matt A, Maryam M, Kristen S, Neal S, Elisabeth C, Zack S, Carol M, David L, Mason P, Daniel S, William R, Keren K, Rachel L, Charles F, Alex T, Ben W, Derek H, Joseph C, Aaron M & Linus B.
Not yet a donor? You still have time. I'm absolutely committed to keeping this drive to two weeks, but there's still a full week left.
If you haven't yet given, what's holding you back? Just haven't pulled the trigger yet?
This week: Pepper Self-Spray, from SkyMaul (click image to enlarge)
Megan Berru wrote a wonderful profile of Kasper Hauser in The Coming this week.
John Reichmuth — who wore sunglasses for the duration of the morning, distinguishing him from his twin brother, James — suggested I turn to fellow groupmates Dan Klein or Rob Baedeker if dealing with the four of them got overwhelming.
“We promise if we ever tell you something that’s not true,” says Dan, sensing my difficulty in assessing John’s dry sarcasm, “someone will say ‘that’s not true.’”
“That’s not true,” John quips, and the table laughs.
It's officially been one year since The Sound of Young America and MaximumFun.org starting accepting donations. In that time, dozens of listeners have stepped up to the plate to support our programming (and blogging). Your support has allowed me to expand our offerings, buy some new equipment and quit my day job (though I still spend too much time on contract work).
In celebration of a year of donation-supported content, we're having a good old-fashioned pledge drive. The goal is to build a base of supporters that can carry the show into the future.
I give everything away for free. The blog, all the shows and all their archives, the radio show... everything. There's no mandatory subscription fees or pay-per-downloads here. My first priority is sharing this work with you.
In order for me to do that, I need your support.
I ask that you donate to support the show. You can give $20 a month if you have the means, or you can give $2 or $5 if you're as broke as I am. I ask for monthly gifts because I'm not a professional fundraiser, and I'd rather dedicate my time (and yours) to programming and not to asking for money. This way, instead of fundraising two or three times a year, I can do it once. That said, if you'd like to make a one-time donation, or simply mail a check, you can do that as well.
I appreciate your support -- and because of that, I'm giving shit away to say "thanks."
Everyone who donates will receive a Maximum Fun Pack. That means a Maximum Fun Club card, personally inscribed (not to mention laminated) by yours truly, some stickers, and a pin for your lapel.
If you donate at the $10 or $20/month level, I'll send you a Sound of Young America t-shirt. If you've already got one, get one for your spouse! It'll be great, they'll love it, I promise.
Everyone who donates will be entered into a prize drawing. It's different from most drawings in that you have a great chance of winning.
You could win:
Kasper Hauser's SkyMaul: Happy Crap You Can Buy From A Plane
John Hodgman's Areas of My Expertise, personally autographed by the author
One of FIVE personalized Hobos drawn according to a name you choose by the great Ape Lad (also known as Adam Koford)
Or the grand prize:
A complete box set of the legendary spy spoof series Get Smart (created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry) -- a set which costs $300 in the store!
Click here for our donation page, where you can choose the level of your support. If you'd like a t-shirt, be sure to include your shirt size and address. And once you do donate, be sure to record an intro for The Sound of Young America!
They'll be at the Comedy Central Stage, 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Tickets are free but you must call (323) 960-5519 for reservations. Show's at 8, don't be late!
Elsewhere on Maximumfun.org:
Interview with This American Life Senior Producer Julie Snyder
Vlogger Jacobus of the 14th Century discusses a dispute with his compatriot Reginald on the topic of Faeries.