Podcast: (Un)Clean


This week's Sound of Young America broadcast bears the theme "(Un)Clean." My guests are comedian Jim Gaffigan (who doesn't swear on stage) and the creators of Wonder Showzen (who dress children up in Hitler costumes).

Jim Gaffigan is one of the country's most popular stand-up comics, and an accomplished actor, as well. His observational humor is peppered with audience commentary - that he provides himself, in a creepy high pitched voice. We talk about his long standup career, and his acting career, which features both comic and dramatic credits. He's currently on tour (including a show in San Francisco April 7th), and his new CD and DVD are in stores now.

Vernon Chatman and John Lee are the creators of the brilliant MTV2 series Wonder Showzen. The series could be broadly described as a parody of children's television, but it's really more of a satire of the banality of American culture. One recurring segment, "Beat Kids," sends children dressed as reporters to ask pointed questions of the man on the street. In one, a 7-year-old (or so) black girl is dispatched to Wall Street, asking "Who have you exploited today?" and "Where will you be when the revolution comes?" John & Vernon are also members of the rock band PFFR (pronounced P-F-R), and the former writers of the MTV series "Doggy Fizzle Televizzle." Wonder Showzen returned to MTV2 yesterday, and airs Fridays at 9:30PM. Their first season DVD was just released.

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Check out our uncut, unedited interview with Jim Gaffigan

Music This Week

Untitled Beat by DJW

Hey! Buy some stuff! (The show gets a portion of the money)

Jim Gaffigan's Beyond the Pale DVD (only $9.99!)

Jim Gaffigan's Beyond the Pale CD

Wonder Showzen Season 1

Previously on The Sound of Young America Blog

Dead Frog v. Wonder Showzen
Wonder Showzen Creators' Core Beliefs
Change the Channel for Kids
Good Shows & Bad People

Podcast: The Elements of Style

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This week on The Sound of Young America, we tackle "The Elements of Style." My guests are Maira Kalman, Nico Muhly, and George Pelecanos.

Maira Kalman is a noted illustrator and author, whose work includes award-winning children's books and numerous New Yorker covers, among them the popular "New Yorkistan." She's created a stunning illustrated edition of the classic writing manual "The Elements of Style" by Strunk & White. Her illustrations are both literal and figural (no pun intended). She talks with us about how a book about words can lend itself to images.

We also talk with and hear the music of Nico Muhly, who composed a song suite to accompany Kalman's book. Muhly, only 24 (same as me!), has already worked with artists from Bjork to Philip Glass. You can download our full interview with him (we only feature two brief clips in the show) here.

George Pelecanos is a wonderful writer of mysteries set in Washington DC. His writing reflects a side of DC that's rarely seen in the popular media -- the side that earned it the nickname "Chocolate City." He recently edited a book of short stories about every part of the District, called "D.C. Noir." He's also a writer and producer on the brilliant HBO series "The Wire," and we talk about writing what is essentially a novel for the screen.

Download this week's show (MP3 Audio)

Listen to this week's show online:

Download our full-length interview with Nico Muhly (MP3 Audio)

Music This Week

Nico Muhly: "Be Obscure Clearly" and "An Approach to Style" (as yet unreleased)

Other Stuff to Buy (The show gets a portion of the money)

The Wire on DVD

Maira Kalman's Books

George Pelecanos' Books

Podcast: Joke Warfare


This week's Sound of Young America program bears the theme "Joke Warfare." Two brilliant joke warriors join us for the show, Terry Jones and Dino Stamatopoulos.

Dino is a legendary comedy writer, having written for many of the seminal comedy programs for the past 15 years. He won an Emmy for his first gig, writing for The Ben Stiller Show. He was one of the first writers on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, and wrote for HBO's Mr. Show. We talk with him about a musical he wrote about a dead baby and his new show on Cartoon Network's [adult swim], a social satire called Moral Orel. In our full interview with Dino (MP3 Audio), we talk extensively about his writing career pre-Moral Orel.

Terry Jones, of course, is one of the founding members of the legendary sketch comedy group Monty Python's Flying Circus. He co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and directed both Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. He's also written two books on Chaucer, written and directed several other films, and composed several children's books. We talk with Jones about his years with the Pythons, as well as his career since. Monty Python's Flying Circus returns to PBS in April.

Download this week's show (MP3 Audio)

Listen to this week's show online:

Download our full-length interview with Dino Stamatopoulos (MP3 Audio)

Music This Week

Eric B & Rakim - I Ain't No Joke
Buy Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full

Eric B & Rakim - Casualties of War
Buy Eric B. & Rakim - Don't Sweat the Technique

Other Stuff to Buy

Terry Jones' "War on the War on Terror"

Terry Jones "Fairy Tales"

Monty Python's Personal Best

The Ben Stiller Show on DVD

Mr. Show on DVD

Monty Python's Flying Circus 16-Ton Megaset

Moustaches, Etc

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This week's Sound of Young America is a probing look at all things moustachioed, including but not limited to: Boston Blackie, Zorro, and your television.

Our first guest is Andy Daly. Andy's been a castmember of Mad TV, Crossballs, and he's currently a correspondent on "The Showbiz Show with David Spade." We talked about the strange creative process at Mad TV, and how hard it is to do something about it. Also, Andy's invented something called Moustache TV, which is a parlor game which involves putting moustaches on your television. He really makes and sells it himself.

Richard Montoya is 1/3 of Culture Clash, about whom I blogged last week. They've got a new show coming up at Berkeley Rep called "Zorro in Hell." Besides the stage work, Richard will also be seen in the upcoming Jack Black vehicle "Nacho Libre," from the writer of "School of Rock" and the director of "Napoleon Dynamite."

Also, a sketch from Los Angeles' Diani & Devine, and a plug for our upcoming vidcast of unseen Monty Python footage. Yes, unseen Monty Python footage.

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Podcast: Science Fiction with Ron Moore, Mike Nelson and Steve Eley


This week on The Sound of Young America, a long hard look at science fiction.

Steve Eley, who we hear from briefly in the main program, and of whom there's a more extensive interview below, is the editor of Escape Pod. This science fiction literature podcast is one of the world's most popular.

Michael J. Nelson was the long-time host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Since that show left the air, he's written several books. Now, he's putting his "mocking bad movies" cap back on to head Rifftrax, where he's recording comic MP3 commentaries for films.

Ron Moore spent ten years working on the Star Trek franchise's many incarnations before leaving frustrated. Three years ago, he co-created the SciFi Network series Battlestar Galactica. It's been hailed by critics as one of the greatest science fiction television programs ever. He and his colleague David Eick were recently awarded the prestigious Peabody Award for their contributions to broadcasting.

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

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Bonus Audio

Steve Eley of the Escape Pod

Download The Interview

Incidental Music by DJW

Extra Credit Double Bonus Audio:
Mike Nelson on TSOYA a couple years ago (MP3)
Jesse reads Cory Doctorow's "Craphound" on Escape Pod

Podcast: The Knights of Prosperity

The cast of The Knights of Prosperity

This week, we talk with Jon Beckerman and Rob Burnett, creators of the new ABC series "The Knights of Prosperity." The series follows a crew of working-class heroes as they attempt to rob Mick Jagger's luxurious penthouse. Beckerman and Burnett are veterans of David Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company, where they also developed the cult favorite dramedy "Ed." Both got their start writing for The Late Show, and Burnett now runs Worldwide Pants.

The new series premiers Wednesday, January 3rd at 9/8C on ABC.

(Note that by popular demand, we're trying a new format for TSOYA podcasts. Each podcast will be a seperate interview, typically running 20-30 minutes, rather than an hourlong radio broadcast. You should generally 1-3 new podcasts per week. If you have any feedback about this, I'd love to hear it. Oh... and if you're a real nerd like me, you might notice that the files have a new naming convention: tsoyaYYMMDD_Guest.mp3. This is to make it easier for you to sort them on your hard drive, and easier for those without high-tech MP3 players to find the shows they want.)

Please share your thoughts on the show in the comments section!

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Previously on TSOYA:

Knights of Prosperity star Maz Jobrani

Podcast: Jordan, Jesse GO! Episode 9: TV and so on...


In this week's Jordan Jesse GO!, we dive deep into the television pool.

Jesse and Jordan, trapped in a space battled, discuss our new HIGH FIVE CONTEST on FLICKR. Lots of amazing prizes so get going NOW.
Sex and the City
Jesse and Jordan get Jesse's girlfriend Theresa and her pal Rachel on the line to discuss the strange appeal of sex and the city. The discussion devolves into one of vulgarities.

Hang it Up / Keep It Up

Jesse sets you straight on what is good and what is bad.

Television and So On

Keith Phipps of The AV Club talks with us (and Theresa) about some of the best TV shows around, and which of them Theresa should watch when Jesse's not in the house.



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Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records

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