Last week I co-hosted Star Talk Radio with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and we talked about the physics of superheros. Though we never figured out the power behind Green Lantern’s will-powered-ring, we did discover that Daredevil is slightly plausible and that Mr. Fantastic is very un-realistic (and not just because it’s not likely for someone to be very smart, but because of how much he stretches). Here’s a link to the hour-long program.
Watch a new episode of Bob’s Burgers tonight on Fox at 8:30/7:30c guest starring Megan Mullally (from Party Down, a show I loved).
One of the most fun things I get to do is be part of John Wesley Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders. The show features different musicians, writers (even poets!) and often me. I think cover of Kevin Ayers’ Religious Experience conveys the fun we had last week (featuring John Wesley Harding, Andrew Bird, Tift Merrit, Josh Ritter, Jonathan Coe, David Wax Museum, Robert Lloyd, The English UK, and me on the theremin — which I can both play and not play, as you will see).
I admired Mike DeStefano so much. He was the realization of what the ideal standup comedian could become as well as a testament to the American Dream and will power. I’d only met and hung out with him a handful of times. He’d just started doing my show at Union Hall this last fall. He was amazing. He killed with the darkest and most heartfelt comedy I’d seen in quite some time if not ever. He joked and shared about his wife dying of AIDS, his difficult childhood, about heroin addiction, being a counselor and mentor to addicts, and giving talks on drugs and HIV. He recounted the time (while giving a talk) someone asked him (I think it was a teacher at a high school) if you could get AIDS from a doorknob, and he explained, quite rightly, only if it was covered in blood and you fucked it. And even then the air would probably have killed the HIV virus. It was simply one of the funniest and most touching standup performances I’d seen. For weeks to come I kept telling people about the amazing performance Mike did. Mike emailed me Saturday to see if he could do my show March 6th to practice for his one-man show. I said of course. Then, because of rain and a meeting, he asked if it’d be okay to cancel. He said he could be there if I really needed him to, but that it’d be inconvenient. I said no problem, another time. I will miss you very much Mike. You were a very kind and very funny man. Goodbye, RIP.
Below is a clip of Mike telling a beautiful story about his wife, Franny. Watch it, pass it on:
Here’s a preview for tonight’s new episode at 8:30 on Fox.
Sorry I stopped answering things for a while. But just this morning I answered tons of questions. Here are a few:
Here’s a clip from the Colbert Report where I play a kind-hearted medical-sex-clown.
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Cheating Death – Ablibalify & Bing Bongavax|
Here’s a little clip from tonight’s episode of Bob’s Burgers “Dinner Theater” on Fox at 8:30/7:30C.
Yesterday NPR posted something re-explaining their terms and conditions for commenters on their site after inappropriate comments were posted regarding the tragic attack on Lara Logan. Apparently, you can’t just write idiotic, sexist or racist things anonymously. Why? Surprisingly, it’s not because NPR is run by well-meaning communists obsessed with elitist manners (look no further than Stalin and Mao Zedong for proof). It’s because it doesn’t help the dialogue — and they frown upon libelous personal attacks. Still, one anonymous commenter was disappointed in NPR’s trite, age-old message of not blaming the victim. Oh liberal, public radio when will you see how much women endanger themselves by not taking more karate and being so pretty? Below, is the comment:
Look, most of us don’t know what it’s like on the ground in Egypt or war-torn regions in general. But you know who probably does? Lara Logan. I bet she has a pretty good idea of the levels of risks involved, because she’s traveled all over the Middle-East reporting on conflicts for many, many years.
But this is almost not what annoys me about the comment. It’s the idiotic example he uses as a parallel to the situation:
“If I (a middle aged white guy) hang out on a Harlem corner at 1am with a bag of dope and $2500 hanging out of my pocket and get robbed and/or killed, I suppose I should scream victim. Oh the humanity!”
First of all, does this person not know that’s a dumb thing to do anywhere in the world (except a forest or private boat), mostly because you would be arrested by police-people who are on the lookout for just that type of thing? Also, does he think it’s the 1970s? Would it have killed him to use the much more contemporary example of Baltimore (though still dumb) and not an area of New York where Bill Clinton works? I think if an older white-guy stood on any corner in NY City holding a bag of “dope” (it’s slang for drugs — in 1964) with money hanging out of his pocket, people would assume he was insane, dangerous, or a particularly terrible DEA agent. But I think if this guy really wanted to put himself in a dangerous situation, he should go to the suburbs — where there is heightened fear of the unknown — I recommend the corner of Lowell and Woburn Streets in my home town of Lexington, MA. I’m sure a very concerned parent would call the police right away (unless a mix of white, Jewish, Asian and Indian teen hockey-players on skateboards robbed him first).
Regardless of where it’s dangerous to stand around visibly holding drugs and money, I think that is such an incongruous analogy to entrenched journalism which is fairly vital to the function and flow of democracy. However, if that middle-aged white guy did stand around doing that in Egypt, was mistaken for a Jew and then brutally, sexually attacked, I guess he’d think it was to be expected.
I made a video to help out The Thrive Project, a wonderful non-profit in western Mass that helps “young adults pursue happiness.” The Thrive Project is an educational/commuinty/cultural/career space that does everything from teaching, tutoring, putting on performances/ sallons/ art shows to organizing field trips and all sorts of great community support stuff. It’s based in Turners Falls, MA. Here’s the video I made for them: