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The Sound of Young America

On the West Coast, Jesse Thorn, the host of Santa Cruz's radio program, The Sound of Young America, has been steadily conducting and archiving a library of interviews of many of the best comedians and characters running amok in comedy today. In his most recent show, he has all 3 of the guys from Stella on the line for about 25 minutes or so. It's a great interview. Midway through, Stella begins seriously undermining the Q's and the A's and the tension builds as the host gets closer and closer to screaming, "Why can't I get a straight answer out of you?!" like a parent trying to manage his or her smart-aleck teenager. It doesn't get that far--Jesse somehow finesses the situation by lobbing some sass back. At one point, everyone on the show is in total agreement that Good Morning Miami and Watching Ellie are two of the most influential television programs of recent memory. Anyways, if you go to the sound archives, there are interviews with Improv Everywhere, the EiC of The Onion, Tim & Eric, Eugene Mirman, Slovin & Allen, and many MORE. The shows are available in all sorts of formats. It's definitely worth checking--radio interviews with some of these guys are quite rare.

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Andres du Bouchet Sticks it to Tom Cruise

Andres du Bouchet has posted a funny sketch on his site that he wrote for this past Sunday's performance of Saturday Night Rewritten titled Tom Cruise's Non-Gay House of Straight Seafood The setup:

A couple dines at a table off to one side. Tom Cruise enthusiastically bounds out onto the stage...
Read the shocking conclusion here! Tonight! See Andres host Giant Tuesday Night @ Rififi. Today's tab features a rare appearance by Kyria Abrahams. UPDATE! Kyria can't make it. See comments below for details. C. Peretti has a funny post up too about urgent text messages

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Awesome Items of Interest Found on Ebay

A Bootleg Upright Citizens Brigade T-shirt The Ebay store selling the Bootleg UCB T-shirt also sells 10 different Super Troopers shirts... FOR SOME UNGODLY REASON. The new Stella TV show PILOT. Update! Jesse tells us you can get the Stella pilot in this month's free Filter mini-magazine. According to the issue will be available at Urban Outfitters outlets, Levis stores, and Diesel beginning June 5. A Todd Barry MP3 Bewarned! Ebay won't have everything you're looking for. A search for "Christian Finnegan's Hair Products" returned nothing.

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Inside With: Neil Swaab, Creator of Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAfter 5 years of weekly comic strips, Neil Swaab's Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles has been unceremoniously axed by the New York Press' new editors. With a masthead that changes with the breeze, one wonders why the New York Press would drop one of the few consistent things readers look forward to in their paper. We asked Neil what the heck is going on over there and what we can do to find Mr. Wiggles a home in NYC. What exactly is going on with the NY Press? Isn't that always the question? It seems like from the first day I started, that question was getting asked. The Press has gone through a series of editors upon Russ Smith's sale a few years back. John Strausbaugh was fired, replaced by Lisa Kearns who stepped down after only a few weeks, replaced by Jeff Koyen who in turn quit after a couple years over the Death of the Pope scandal, and then helmed by Alex Zaitchik until he was fired several weeks ago and replaced with Harry Siegel. Each editor has had their own vision of the paper some more successful than others. I thought Alex's was very successful and it's a shame they cut him off so early. He had a smart, intelligent, and irreverent take on the paper and also had a good sense of humor and treated the contributors with respect. Long story short, the new editors have decided that after five years in the paper, my popular comic strip, Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles, didn't fit into their vision of the paper. So they fired me. Over e-mail. Wouldn't even bother to do it over the phone or in person which is kind of crappy to do to someone who's helped define the paper for the past five years. Anyway, that about sums it up. Clearly The Press is scrambling to find an editorial voice that engages anyone other than themselves. It's well known that Gawker has put a deathwatch on the paper. Do you feel that dropping Mr. Wiggles is part of an enlightened bureaucratic overhaul with the paper's voice? Or do you think this is just another step on its road to ruin? I can only speculate on the real reasons the new editors of The NY Press decided to drop my comic. I knew from reading what the editor of one of my other papers referred to recently as "that pretentious, wanker manifesto" they published the first week they started, that my comic probably wasn't going to appeal to them. Anyone who publishes a manifesto with no hint of irony probably isn't going to get the humor of my comic. Apply that logic to the rest of what makes the paper great and you get what the paper is currently turning into. The listings have become clones of the other papers, they've fired the excellent relationship expert Judy McGuire, they've done an interview with George Clooney (George Clooney for God's sake!), and they actually intend on publishing poetry (again, with no irony)! I can't imagine this paper appealing to anyone other than the guys who make it. Which is good for the editors because they're firing everyone who's made it great and replacing them with their friends. So they'll all be happy at least. But ultimately it's the readers and advertisers who will determine its success or failure. Do I think the paper is headed towards it's demise? Not really. They've been saying that from the first day I started. I don't think the paper is going out of business anytime soon. As long as people continue to pick it up and advertisers continue to buy space in it, it'll last. If it does go belly up, it'll probably be more from the competition of the internet, news blogs, and craigslist than from the people at the top. It doesn't make much sense. Was this all just out of the blue? It's always a possibility when the masthead changes over because editors like to shake things up and you never know what appeals to them. And, as I mentioned above, I didn't think my comic would be their thing, but there were no hints before the actual firing. An ironic story is that I was at a bar two nights before and ran into fellow cartoonist Dean Haspiel and he alerted me to the fact my strip wasn't in the paper that week. Figuring it just got cut because of space which sometimes happens I joked that maybe they were firing me. I guess the joke was on me. Has the Village Voice expressed interest? Will Mr. Wiggles find a new home in the city? I just dropped off a package to some folks at the Voice. Hopefully they'll be interested. I think it would be very smart for them to pick up the comic for a variety of reasons and I'd love to be in their paper, but honestly, I think the likelihood is very slim. I'll just have to cross my fingers and hope. Is there anything we can do about it? Absolutely. If you enjoy the comic, then please let the editors know how you feel about this decision to fire me and ask them to reconsider. The only way it will be able to come back to the paper is if people like you let it be known that you won't stand for it. You can e-mail the editors at or Harry Siegel at You might also want to try Tim Marchman as well at If you'd care to send snail mail, the address is: New York Press 333 7th Ave., 14th Floor New York, NY 10001 Another thing is to write to the Village Voice and inquire about them picking up my comic and tell them how much you'd like to be able to keep reading it. I don't have an e-mail address from them (maybe one of your smart readers will be able to provide one), but their mailing address is: The Village Voice 36 Cooper Square New York, NY 10003 If you can spare a few minutes, send an email or two to the editors letting them know what you think. Collections of Neil's strips have been published in two volumes: Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles Vol.1 and Attitude Featuring: Neil Swaab, Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles (AKA Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles Vol. 2). Until Wiggles finds a new home in NYC, you can continue to read his comics here. ADDENDUM by Neil Swaab This interview was conducted a day or two after I was fired and I was in a pretty bad mood to say the least. What I wanted to clarify was the reason that I was fired. Or at least the reason I was told. In their e-mail, they said it was time to open up the space to give to new cartoonists. You can infer from that whatever you want. I made my own inferences based on that e-mail and the new agenda at the paper and what else was going down and that's what I felt at the time of this interview. I won't publicly comment on my feelings now (assume they're bad), other than to offer up their explanation for you to make your own inferences.

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Sale on Haircuts at the Magnet Theater

The comedy community wants to make you laugh AND make you look good too! One of the managers of the Magnet Theater, Shannon Manning, is hosting a hair-cutting party in the studio! A stylist friend of hers who "worked for Vidal forever and now another equally fantastic salon in town" is doling out haircuts this Tuesday at 4:30 for BARGAIN BASEMENT PRICES. Time to trim that blunt cut, ladies! The Magnet Theater is at 254 west 29th st btw 7th and 8th. Email for an appointment!

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It Doesn't Take a Village.

A search query at produces no results. Image Hosted by This is an outrage!

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Chevy Chase + The Learning Annex = Fun for the Whole Family

Or not. The good guys and gals over at A Special Thing remind us that Chevy Chase will be hosting a class at The Learning Annex on how to "stay visible." An Evening with Chevy Chase Check out this copy from the press report:

He has written for Lily Tomlin and the Smothers Brothers, and earned a Writers Guild of America Award. In addition, he won an Emmy Award for co-writing The Paul Simon Special.
Um... Anyways, it's hard to determine what day a noticeable chunk of the general public turned against Chevy Chase. The IMDB message board suggests December 16th, 2004, as the day the comments definitively stopped saying nice things like "Funniest Man Alive" and started saying "What a butthead." Apparently, disparaging comments towards the President had something to do with it. One can also cite that the release of Live From New York the previous year--THE SNL insider's bible book--was a big strike against Chevy Chase's character. In it, Chevy was more or less villified in personal accounts by other cast and crew members on SNL. Some have since apologized, but it's hard to shake an image painted on so thick. An unscientific Google survey: "I love Chevy Chase" returns 125 pages. "I hate Chevy Chase" returns 23 pages. Chevy will be speaking July 11th, at 7PM at an UNDISCLOSED NYC LOCATION. The location becomes disclosed once you give the Learning Annex 20 clams.

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Recap: Invite Them Up 6/1/05

Image Hosted by Jordan Carlos of Best Week Ever and the upcoming Stella TV show @ Invite Them Up 6/1/05 One of the billionaires from College Humor made his stand up debut in an Invite them Up feature called 30 Seconds of Standup, in which a comedian gets 30 seconds to tell jokes. His closer? Something like "How do you curb cocaine use amongst hipsters? Start selling it at Urban Outfitters." You heard it here first, Urban Outfitters is NOT DECK! The shocking Pleaser Twins video made its first uninterrupted premiere. Here's the setup: Craig Baldo and Bobby Tisdale race around the city pleasing people with acts of kindness. Lots of laughs, great production values! Cameos by Ed Helms, Paul Scheer, Chelsea Peretti, and MANY OTHERS. Spotted! Despite none of them performing tonight, Todd Barry, Rob Huebel, & Victor Varnado were all seen after the show carousing with peeps and patrons. It actually sort of says a lot that comedians who aren't on a bill come out. It means that a show is QUITE TOLERABLE and that the performers are WORTH SEEING. During the afterparty in the Rififi lounge, a DJ appeared and spun some tunes and the mood was festive and jovial. Suddenly, a distinguished looking bike messenger type with thick framed glasses entered the bar and alcohol induced hysteria swept the scene. "Holy Shit! It's Hank Azaria! Hank Azaria--from The Simpsons, Spamalot, and Herman's Head--just walked in the door! And he's talking to freakin' Rob Huebel!" Image Hosted by "That's not Hank Azaria, you idiot. I'll bet you a million dollars. I think it's Ted Raimi." Image Hosted by Some back and forth bickering occurs until finally someone has the sense to solicit the truth from Bobby Tisdale. It was Seth Morris! Image Hosted by

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