Here's where you can find some of our favorite people this week:
Asheville, NC - They Might Be Giants at The Orange Peel on Sept. 28th;
Atlanta, GA - Adam Corolla at the Tabernacle on Sept. 30th;
Baton Rouge, LA - Brian Posehn at the Manship Theater on Sept. 26th and 27th;
Bloomington, IL - The Comedy Attic will feature Jackie Kashian and Maria Bamford on Sept. 22nd, 23rd and 24th and Doug Benson (taping an episode of Doug Loves Movies) on Sept. 26th;
Canton, MA - The Hold Steady will appear at the Life Is Good Festival on Sept. 24th;
Chicago, IL - They Might Be Giants with Jonathan Coulton at The Vic Theater on Sept. 23rd;
Colorado Springs, CO - Doug Benson at The Black Sheep on Sept. 21st;
Des Moines, IA - Demitri Martin will appear at Hoyt Sherman Place on Sept. 23rd;
Detroit, MI - Chris Tucker will perform at the Fox Theater Detroit on October 1st;
Louisville, KY - The Improv will host Marc Maron on Sept. 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th and Doug Benson on October 1st; Bob Edwards will be appearing to promote his new book, "A Voice in the Box: My Life in Radio", at the Filson Historical Society on the 22nd;
Madison, WI - Dave Atell will at the Comedy Club on State on Sept. 23rd and 24th;
Miami Beach, FL - Chris Tucker will be at the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater on Sept. 24th;
Nashville, TN - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at the Cannery Ballroom on Sept. 27th;
New Haven, CT - Das Racist will play at Toad's Place on Sept. 29th;
New Orleans, LA - Chris Tucker at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Sept. 23rd;
New York, NY: Colson Whitehead will be doing a book signing at McNally Jackson Books as part of the New Yorker Festival on October 2nd; He'll also be participating in a panel discussion about Alternative Realities at SVA Theatre on Sept. 30th;
Omaha, NE - Demitri Marin will be at the Omaha Music Hall on Sept. 24th;
Ottawa, ON - Greg Proops will be performing "Whose Live Anyway?" at the Centrepointe Theater in Ottawa, ON on Sept. 23rd;
Providence, RI - Das Racist at The Met on Sept. 30th;
Raleigh, NC - Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson performing "Two Kids, One Hall" at Goodnights on Sept. 29th, 30th, Oct. 1st and 2nd;
Richmond, VA - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at the The National on Sept. 29th;
Salt Lake City, UT - Jimmy Pardo at Wiseguys Comedy Club on Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st;
Sayreville, NJ - Brian Posehn at the Starland Ballroom on Sept. 30th;
Seattle, WA - Demitri Martin at The Neptune Theater on Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st;
St. Louis, MO - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at The Pagaent on Sept. 24th
Tulsa, OK - They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton at Cains Ballroom on Sept. 25th;
Ventura, CA - Doug Benson at the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club on Sept. 28th;
Washington, DC - Das Racist at the 9:30 Club on October 1st.
If the comedy nerd next to you just looked up from his laptop with tears of relief and joy in his eyes, it's probably because FX just announced that the network has renewed Louis C.K.'s Emmy-nominated show "Louie" for a third season.
That's my best guess, anyway. Truly wonderful news.
Nathan Rabin and Josh Modell join Jesse to recommend the best of popular culture. Nathan chooses Louis CK's Louie and the new film The Kids Are All Right. Josh Modell chooses Inception and Children's Hospital.
The brilliant comedian Louis CK has been a guest on our program on a number of occasions over the years. As I recall, the first time he appeared was nearly ten years ago, promoting the DVD release of "Pootie Tang." More recently, he's become a repeat guest on one of our favorite public radio shows, Fresh Air. In fact, we liked his last interview so much that we embedded it on this here blog.
Unfortunately, it seems that the folks at Mississippi Public Broadcasting didn't like the interview as much as we did. In fact, they disliked it so much that they pulled Fresh Air from their stations. This was reportedly prompted by the fact that the station plays as the "hold music" on the University telephone system, and a caller to the University who was put on hold happened to jump into the Louis CK conversation just as Gross was asking if he always kept his shirt on during sex. This one person was SCANDALIZED, and it led directly to an appropriate and proportional reaction on the part of MPR: dropping one of the best radio shows in the world.
This was the statement that MPB Executive Director Judy Lewis released to explain the decision:
Mississippi Public Broadcasting strives to deliver educational, informative, and meaningful content to its listeners. After careful consideration and review we have determined that Fresh Air does not meet this goal over time. Too often Fresh Air’s interviews include gratuitous discussions on issues of an explicit sexual nature. We believe that most of these discussions do not contribute to or meaningfully enhance serious-minded public discourse on sexual issues.
Of course, this thesis is absurd on its face. Fresh Air won a Peabody - the most prestigious award in broadcast news - because it's very, very, very "educational, informative and meaningful." Gross also won an Edward R. Murrow award, the most prestigious award in all of public broadcasting, in 2003. If you still need convincing that Gross and Fresh Air meet the goal of "educational, informative and meaningful content," check out this video of another of our heroes, Ira Glass, giving Gross a National Book Award.
This incident is of particular concern to us here at The Sound of Young America not just because we create a show with a format similar to Fresh Air's, or because Terry Gross is a personal hero of mine, but also because much of our show is focused on humor, and that seems to be the real target of the ban. Louis CK is, in my professional opinion, the single most insightful, "meaningful" comic working today, and he is no less insightful and "meaningful" in an interview context. Ms. Lewis' statement, to our eyes, seems to imply the age-old falsehood that the work of a comedian, because it's funny, doesn't "contribute to or meaningfully enhance serious-minded public discourse." That's directly contrary to the values upon which we've built this show. I've often said that one of our goals on The Sound of Young America is to demonstrate that you needn't be "serious" to be "serious-minded." In my mind, one of Fresh Air's most redeeming attributes is Gross' warmth and openness to the insights that can come from humor, though she herself is not a humorist. That's certainly one of the attributes I have most tried to emulate.
For these reasons, we'd like to stand with Fresh Air and our colleagues and heroes Louis CK and Terry Gross, and we've come up with a plan.
For as long as Mississippi Public Radio continues to unjustly bar one of broadcasting's best programs from its air, The Sound of Young America is hereby banning itself from Mississippi Public Radio. Mississippi Public Radio doesn't carry The Sound of Young America, and they probably weren't considering carrying it, but that won't stop us from snipping any potential consideration of carriage that might occur in the bud, should it happen to unexpectedly appear. WE'RE JUST THAT PRINCIPLED.
That's right: you mess with Louie and Terry, YOU MESS WITH US. Whether you KNOW WHO WE ARE or whether you are COMPLETELY UNFAMILIAR AND UNINTERESTED IN US AND OUR PROGRAM.
Consequences be damned.