Michael Rianda's "Work"

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It's always nice to hear from listeners about the work they do while they listen to our shows. Michael Rianda left a comment on one of our donor videos that he spent all of last year working on this short film (his third year project in animation school at CalArts) and listening to JJGo.

The film is really lovely, charming, funny and a little inspiring. Thanks, Michael!

Jordan Jesse Game: The Cut Scenes

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After a great pledge drive, I thought I'd share this bit of content with everyone - until now, it was only available on our DVD. These are the animated cutscenes from Jordan, Jesse, Game!, written and directed by Dan Henrick with special guests Andy Daly and John Hodgman.

Steve Dildarian's "Angry Unpaid Hooker"


This short film, which is very NSFW, was the genesis of HBO's "The Life and Times of Tim."





LBJ Orders Pants


This is the latest from my non-MaxFun project, Put This On.

In 1964, Lyndon Johnson needed some pants, so he called Haggar to ask for some. The call was recorded, and later became one of the most beloved White House tapes of all time. For the reason why, you'll have to watch.

Animator Tawd Dorenfeld helped us create this short.

Watch! Enjoy! Share!

Lee Unkrich, Director of Toy Story 3 and Pixar Veteran: Interview on The Sound of Young America

Lee Unkrich

Lee Unkrich is the director of Toy Story 3. He's worked at Pixar for more than 15 years, and co-directed Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and Toy Story 2. Before he worked at Pixar, he was an editor in non-animated film = his credits include a TV movie called "Separated By Murder" and the erotic TV thriller Silk Stalkings.

Lee talked with us about being a non-animator in an animation company, and what his traditional film-making skills mean in a Pixar context. He also talks about introducing themes of mortality into kids' movie, and the pressure of making a Pixar film.

Lee Unkrich's Monkey

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Six or eight months ago, I visited director Lee Unkrich at Pixar Studios in Emeryville, California. Lee is a Sound of Young America listener, and he was kind enough to invite me out for a tour while I was in the Bay Area visiting family.

The topics of conversation included how great Kristen Schaal is and the crazy offices at Pixar. You see, when they moved into their facility, they let the artists buy sheds at Home Depot and assemble them in the open-floor-plan office. You know the kind of backyard shed that looks like a tiny house? Pixar is full of those. The bigwigs' offices are even crazier, and Lee's is full of taxidermied animals.

I thought I would score some cool points by asking if he'd been to the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles. Well, said Lee, My wife said I could only have one taxidermied animal in the house, so I chose a monkey. Then I had the founder of the MJT help me build a diorama for it.

Pictured, above.

Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode 131: Dinosaurs with Aqua Teen Hunger Force's Dave Willis and Dana Snyder

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Dave Willis
Dana Snyder

Dave Willis and Dana Snyder of Aqua Teen Hunger Force join Jesse and Jordan for a discussion of Girl Scout cookies, cement dinosaurs and tour buses, among other things. The two are in the midst of a national tour.

Mel Blanc and Letterman


Mel Blanc is truly amazing - but the most striking moment in this for me is seeing Letterman squirm when Blanc comes out doing schtick. He drops it quickly, but as an interviewer, I can identify.

via Merlin

Baal Shem Tov & Tawd Dorenfeld


My mother teaches at Santa Rosa Junior College in Northern California. It being a typical community college, she has all kinds of students - would-be firefighters, cowboy types, football players, and housewives. She has a soft spot for the mad geniuses.

One of her very early students was a guy named Tawd Dorenfeld, who named a punk rock band after her. A mad genius if ever there was one. Tawd now works as an animator - he's done animations for people as diverse as Serj Tankian (of System of a Down) and Rosanne Barr. His animations are beautiful and subtly twisted.

His latest project is a series of animated versions of the stories of the great Rebbe Baal Shem Tov. As Tawd describes him, "The Baal Shem Tov was the first Rebbe of the Chassidic Jewish Movement who reinvigorated Judaism in the mid 1700s across Europe. His style of Judaism was that of a Joyous religion and culture instead of the dreary fearful Judaism of the past. He is recorded to have 100s of stories untapped by the Film Industry, until now."

You can find out more about the project at Holy World Productions.

Chris Ware for This American Life


Quimby The Mouse from This American Life on Vimeo.

Real American Hero Chris Ware made this cartoon for the live This American Life that ran in movie theaters a week or so ago. Give its creator, you will not by surprised to learn that it is A) spectacularly beautiful and B) heartrendingly sad.

If you missed the first showing, it will run again in theaters on May 7th.

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